OS X Lion: Five simple questions and my oldish Mac

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Blue Velvet, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Hi all

    Before I set up a test hard drive, some straightforward questions about Lion if anyone can take the time to feed back. I've done a little reading here and elsewhere, but would appreciate any personal experiences or opinions with the following:


    1. Anyone tried running Lion on an older Mac? Something like a Mini or close to a 2006/07 Core 2Duo 2.33 MBP with 3Gb (perhaps maxed out, see question 5) of RAM, Bus Speed 667 MHz? If so, how does it run?

    I need to coax this current machine along for a little while yet, which is starting to struggle with my work. Buying a new Mac isn't an option right now, unfortunately. Besides, in the medium term, I'm waiting for news on Mac Pros and in the longer term, am keeping an eye out for Blu-ray support.

    2. In your opinion, is it a worthwhile upgrade from Leopard (which I'm currently running)? Not Snow Leopard. Will skipping one almost-incremental OS version feel substantially like an improvement? Or should I just move to Snow Leopard?

    3. Anyone found or heard of any major problems with these two main productivity suites: Adobe CS5 (incl. Acrobat Pro) and Office 2011?

    4. I'm a graphic designer mainly for print and for now, working from home with my setup with an extra display, I need to ensure that transitioning to a new OS doesn't break anything major. I'm also a diehard extended keyboard/shortcuts/mouse user. Full screen apps are counter-productive for CS5 use and saving work consistently with multiple versions is second nature.

    With all this in mind, in your opinion, what additional benefits does Lion have?

    5. One final question: Is it worth upgrading to 4GB of RAM in this old Mac, bearing in mind the following:

    If someone could translate this into plain English, I'd appreciate it. ;)


    Guess that's it for now. I won't be around for a little while, but I'll check into this thread later this week.

    Thanks in advance for any insights and replies.

  2. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Can't help with the Lion questions as I haven't used it however...

    Basically it is like my iMac, you can install 4GB of RAM but you will actually only be able to use 3.3GB of RAM. So upgrading from 3 to 4GB doesn't get you an extra 1GB it only gets you an extra 300MB. In other words not really worth it.
  3. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    You can only buy Lion from the Mac App Store and Mac App Store is only available on SL. SL is only a 30$ upgrade from Leopard anyway.

    You'd be increasing the amount of RAM by 10%. I wouldn't bother.
  4. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    I've run DP4 and the GM on my 2008 MBP, 2.5Ghz C2D, 4Gb RAM 667Mhz which is similar to your machine. Runs very well :)

    Didn't mess around with my production Mac Pro, but I'm sure it's gonna be fast!
  5. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    1. Anyone tried running Lion on an older Mac?

    It's running on my girlfriends 2010 MacBook, 2.4GHz C2D, 2GB RAM. Works just fine. I'd say informally around the same speed as Snow Leopard.

    2. In your opinion, is it a worthwhile upgrade from Leopard

    This question is effectively the same as whether it is a worthwhile upgrade from Snow Leopard, as very little was changed for the end user. This is down to personal preference - there are some features that could be compelling; Full Screen, Resume, Auto Save, Versions, Mail. You'll have to consider for yourself whether it's worth the upgrade. At $29.99 though, I'm sure you'll find something worth the money.

    3. Anyone found or heard of any major problems

    Aside from minor graphical errors on Office 2011 when bringing it back from being minimised (can be fixed through simply bringing another app to the front and then back to Office, not there. Both CS5 and Office add a lot of junk apps at present to Launchpad, but that is a 'feature' of Launchpad.

    4. I'm a graphic designer

    As stability is obviously very important to you as you are using your computer professionally, I would recommend against upgrading for a while. There are always issues with new OS releases, and Lion is no exception. Actually I see Full Screen support as being potentially a positive for those working in the creative industry. Giving complete focus to my work through full screen writing applications such as iA Writer and Pages has given me a huge productivity boost, and I don't see why it shouldn't be the same for those working in the likes of Photoshop. In fact, for (granted, minor) graphics editing for my website I use Pixelmator, often in Full Screen mode, and it works great.

    5. One final question:

    No. :) The increase is so minimal as to be irrelevant for most use.

    I hope this helps. You can check my signature for a link to a fairly comprehensive review I've written of Lion. Perhaps reading through some of the feature reviews would aid you in making a decision on whether to upgrade. :)
  6. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Doesn't work that way. I'm often dragging elements from one app's tabs or windows to another, including from Bridge... across two displays. To work smoothly on page layout, send files out and keep tabs of everything in a production environment, I'm usually juggling a dozen apps or so, including a trafficking spreadsheet. It's rare to spend longer than ten minutes in just one app alone.

    Thanks for all replies so far. I'll come back in more detail when I've got a little more time later on.

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