OS X upgrade beyond 10.6 or not? (2008 iMac)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macstatic, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    My wife's early 2008 iMac 8,1 (2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB RAM) runs OSX 10.6.8 which generally works quite well, but she wants to install an app which demands OSX 10.8 or higher.
    Since the app isn't a "must have" I'm wondering if installing Mavericks or Yosemite on the above computer would be a "transparent" upgrade, meaning she wouldn't notice much of a difference (except some cosmetic changes and the ability to run recent apps), or if everything would run slower and be less responsive? I know she wouldn't want that.

    I've read other threads where they say actually take a few steps back performance-wise unless you have very recent hardware which includes an SSD (she has a standard internal spinning drive), so would this be a bad decision and she should stick with Snow Leopard or not?
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Orbiting a G-type Main Sequence Star
    I have an early 2008 iMac with Yosemite on it and it runs just fine with no noticeable performance hit for me.
  3. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
  4. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Do both of your iMacs have standard hard drives (and not SSDs)? What about memory?
    I see this particular iMac can be expanded to 6GB -would that be necessary to do or will 4GB suffice?
  5. dogslobber macrumors 68020


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    Mavericks has compressed memory and is stable. Yosemite has compressed memory but massive memory leaks to compress. Avoid until next summer would be my recommendation.
  6. SandboxGeneral Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Orbiting a G-type Main Sequence Star
    Mine has the original HDD and I upped the RAM to 6 GB from 4GB. 4GB should still work fine though.
  7. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004
    My inlaws have a late 2007 24" iMac that is running Mavericks (10.9). I don't recall the computer getting slower but the annoying thing from leaving 10.6 was their scanner wasn't supported and became a cosmetic desk feature. I replaced the original hdd to a 1 TB 7200 rpm and the RAM is at 4GB.

    To be frank their iMac feels faster than my 2012 Mac Mini on 10.9

    I chose not to upgrade to Yosemite simply because my gut told me not to :)
  8. tdhurst macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Go Mavericks

    My dad has a 3.06, core2duo iMac that's about a year newer than yours, and it's lagging a bit (just a bit, but it's noticeable because the rest of our computers are ssd laptops) on Yosemite.

    I'd go 10.9 if you can.

    He has an HD and 8 gigs ram.
  9. hologram macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    I had an early 2008 24", 2.8ghz w 4gb ram, (I just got a new 5k iMac) and I was running Yosemite with no problem. It was faster and more responsive than Mavericks 10.9.

    There are 2 good reasons for running Yosemite now. First, it's more secure. They're not releasing security updates for older OS's. Second, you have to be realistic... it's old hardware. It might last awhile yet, or it may die tomorrow, and the more current you are the easier it is to move to a new machine.

    And third, as you said, you get to run software that isn't available on older OS's.
  10. midorix macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Running my 24" 2.8 GH 4GB RAM mid 2007 iMac on Yosemite. I did recently upgrade to 512GB Crucial SSD which did make significant difference (but it was still quite fast using the stock Seagate HD). I've compared to recently purchased late 2013 Macbook Pro and for web browsing and Microsoft applicates, can't tell much difference.

    You may want to consider SSD upgrade considering the price has come down quite a bit from a year ago.
  11. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    Late 2008 iMac of parents, still on stock HDD but upgraded to 4Gb RAM.

    After an upgrade to 10.9.5 then the machine slowed down.

    Machine had however been upgraded from 10.5 to 10.6 to 10.7 then 10.9.

    Backed up data etc from the machine and clean installed to 10.9.5, restored data etc and parents happy with the machine as quick as before.

    If you do upgrade then would suggest that backup the data and clean build/restore as opposed to an over the top upgrade.

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