Rate the best Mac OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by shpankey, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. shpankey macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2014
    For example, imo...

    1. Snow Leopard
    2. Mountain Lion
    3. Mavericks
    4. Lion
    5. Yosemite
  2. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    "Best" is a pretty vague judgment method, but this is my order of preference.
    I can only rank the one's Ive used, but essentially I would agree with yours.

    1. Mountain Lion
    2. Mavericks
    3. Lion
    4. Yosemite
  3. damidget macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    I just prefer it over Yosemite and it is quite fast on my machine.
  4. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2005
    Ranked from best to worst.

    1. Snow Leopard
    2. Tiger
    3. Mountain Lion
    4. Mavericks
    5. Leopard
    6. Lion
    7. Yosemite
  5. 882188 macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2014
    I agree, but i want to add that Lion and Yosemite are way way worse than Leopard.
    Leopard was a decent OS with lots of new features and pretty stable and snappy after a few updates. Lion and Yosemite were ****.
  6. Loops macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2010
    1. Snow Leopard
    2. Jaguar (in terms of looks, although Finder toolbar icons were a tad chunky)
    3. Panther
    4. Leopard
    5. Tiger, Mavericks
    6. Mountain Lion
    7. Lion
    8. Puma
    9. Cheetah
    10. Yosemite
  7. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    10.0.0 - because it was the first modern OS out of Apple in a long time, supporting protected memory and preemptive multitasking.

    Tiger is my overall favorite. A great balance of power, functionality and speed. After that, OS X (while adding more features) started getting bloated.

    Mavericks is probably next on my list.

    Snow Leopard once apple fixed the bugs was a great OS as well.
  9. KoolAid-Drink macrumors 65816

    Sep 18, 2013
    1. Yosemite
    2. Mountain Lion (close tie with Yosemite)
    3. Tiger
    4. Snow Leopard
    5. Lion
    6. Leopard
    7. Mavericks

    I just don't understand the Yosemite hate, and the love for Mavericks. For me, it was reversed. Mavericks was horrid, sluggish, slow (and this is after three clean installs, endless troubleshooting, and many calls to Apple Support), while Yosemite (so far, on 10.10.2) has been smooth, and pretty much bug-free. And, yes, on the same hardware.

    I didn't really use 10.3 (Panther) and older, so didn't include them on the list.
  10. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2005
    I think most people hated Yosemite not because of performance issue, but because it is bug-ridden and aesthetically poor... I have to agree Mavericks for some odd reasons is sluggish compared to Yosemite and Mountain Lion...
  11. oldmacs macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2010
    I've used OSX since Panther, (I was a late switcher from OS9)

    For stability:

    1. Tiger & Snow Leopard
    2. Mountain Lion
    3. Yosemite
    4. Lion
    5. Panther
    6. Leopard

    Overall (Suability, new features, overall OS look e.g.)

    1. Yosemite & Mountain Lion
    2. Tiger
    3. Lion
    4. Snow Leopard
    5. Leopard
    6. Panther
    7 Mavericks

    Panther was a reasonable operating system, a little buggy but very usable.

    Tiger was rock solid, a great performer on the G4 and even the G3, added great new features such as mail additions, SPOTLIGHT, Dashboard, usable safari

    Leopard looked good, and had some essential new features such as quick view, coverflow, dock stacks, new mail features and Time Machine. However it didn't come close to Tiger Stability or performance.

    Snow Leopard - Brought back the performance and stablilty that were sorely missing in Leopard. Very boring feature wise (Besides the excellent quick time X), but Leopard still felt pretty fresh which made up for the lack of features.

    Lion - While most people hated Lion, I loved it. I still found it stable enough (More stable then Leopard, less stable than Snow Leopard) It was slower than Snow Leopard, but the slew of new features made up for it. The new look to applications and the finder was great. Autosave/versions, Airdrop, FaceTime, new multitouch gestures, full screen applications, Mac App store (although this came with the last versions of Snow Leopard), the new Mail application, iCloud integration and Mission Control.

    Mountain Lion - ML was a suprise building on of Lion. Performance increased with this update, and several highly essential new features were introduced. Notifications and notifications centre, iCloud document picker, twitter integration, Airplay mirroring, unified searbar safari, iCloud Tabs, searchable launchpad iMessage and reminders & notes (I use both on a very regular basis).

    Mavericks has been my least favourite of all the OSX versions I have used. Only a few of the features were actually useful to me. I use tags occasionally, I use interactive notifications all the time and Safari Keychain is useful. My Macbook became a buggy mess with Mavericks. Two different internal Hard-drives corrupted with Mavericks 6 times (Combined), there were constant crashes and glitches in the finder and many other apps, my computer slowed right down and battery life went out the door.

    Yosemite - I LOVE the new design. After my hatred of Mavericks, Yosemite's design was a completely fresh breath of air. My Macbook is far more stable now and performs much faster than with Mavericks. I love SMS and Phone relay, Airdrop to iOS devices, notifications widgets, extensions, new spotlight, batch file rename, find my friends in messages, iCloud mail drop, safari tab view (Much better than the old one) and iCloud Drive.


    YES YES YES Mavericks was TERRIBLE. Barely any new features, but it was slow and buggy big time. Yosemite is much better and much more stable. Your List is very similar to mine actually :p
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    My ranking from best to worst based on my experience with the OS

    1. Yosemite
    2. Mavericks
    3. Lion, Mountain Lion
    4. Snow Leopard
    5. Leopard, Tiger

    Yosemite and Mavericks have highest rankings in my book because they are the only OS X versions with usable Safari and Mail. Mavericks looses some points because of Mail troubles and WiFi quirks. Yosemite definitely is not as polished as it should be, but its still the most stable and best performing OS X I have ever worked with.
  13. e93to macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2015
    I got my first Mac in 2009, so I only have experiences with Snow Leopard and up. My late-2009 MBP is still on 10.6.8, and my late-2012 iMac is on 10.8.5. I've tried Mavericks and Yosemite on partition. Here's my thought:

    Snow Leopard - Feels most stable. Everything feels solid and tight. For the last 5+ years of experience on my MBP, it crashed only once. And it is still respectably fast.

    Mountain Lion - Feels very modern with lots of new useful features aimed at connectivity and integration with mobile devices. Now I can't live without these iCloud-based features! I also love the overall design and appearance. Note app looks like actual notebook while calander app looks like actual calander, etc. This gives visual and colorful distinction to each app, and it is very easy to recognize each app in Mission Control. Not as stable as Snow Leopard (my iMac crashed many times during the period of 2-year ownership), but all the new features feel well-integrated. Furthermore, the OS still handles demanding apps very well.

    Mavericks - I spent extensive amount of time on Mavericks partition on my MBP. And I have to say it was the buggiest OS. Audio would not work, Safari webpages get stuck halfway while swiping, gestures would not get recognized, etc. However, I enjoyed the new tag feature. Map and iBook apps were nice additions. I especially appreciated iBook app since I have a lot of PDF files.

    Yosemite - Despite all the criticisms, I was surprised how stable it operates. On my late-2012 iMac, it is very smooth and solid. However, I'm still not a fan of the design and appearance of icons and app windows, although I love translucent look. I've installed some apps I frequently use, and I am happy to say they work flawlessly. And it is very fast too. I haven't tried all the new features yet (SMS, calling, continuity, etc).

    Overall, I personally love Mountain Lion the most in terms of stability, features and performance.

    Snow Leopard and Yosemite are tie for 2nd place. I love Snow Leopard for stability while I love Yosemite for all the newest features.

    Coming in last is Mavericks.
  14. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    1. Mavericks -- few bugs, worked well
    2. Yosemite -- too many graphics glitches and slow screen updates to be top.
    3. Mountain Lion -- stable, refined version of Lion
    4. Snow Leopard -- stable, refined version of Leopard
    5. Tiger -- worked well but feature poor compared to recent releases.
    6. Lion -- I thought it had lots of good innovative ideas, but the majority of users seemed to think otherwise. Mountain Lion backed off of many of these.
    7. Panther -- I had little experience with this one, but I just remember that Tiger seemed much more feature rich.
    8. Leopard -- Only OS where the ".0" release was a show stopper for me.
  15. PowerBook-G5 macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2013
    The United States of America
    Of the releases that I've used:

    1) Mountain Lion. Solid as a rock for me.
    2) Yosemite. Looks great, works fine for me (mostly).
    3) Mavericks. Had some big bugs and problems with updating to it, so I started off with a bad impression. I did love it's features, when they worked.
  16. TechZeke, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015

    TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    1) Yosemite - Fast, few bugs out of the gate, visually refreshing, even better integration with iOS than before. I really don't get all the comments about "Windows is vastly improving and OS X is going the opposite direction". It's more like OS X is already an amazing OS and Windows is borrowing from it. Did you see the new notification center in Windows 10? 100% OS X inspired. I HATED the new look of Yosemite at first, but I like now.
    2) Mavericks - Fast, greatly increased memory management. Rock Solid
    3) Snow Leopard - Speaks for itself
    4) Tied, Lion and Mountain Lion.
  17. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Notifications, inspirations

    It's reasonable to assume that Apple's implementation of notifications was inspired by Growl, which has been around for more than a decade.

    From 2012:

    Going forward with Growl and Notification Center

    Growl Developers Speak Out About OS X Mountain Lion’s Notification Center | Mac|Life

    So, it's like Apple is borrowing from the amazing work of third party developers …
  18. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    I know that. Apple did same thing with the new spotlight, which was clearly 'inspired' by Alfred, an app I still use. However, that wasn't my point.
  19. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    I guess, I wanted to say that Notification Centre is not an example of amazing work by Apple.
  20. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    I find it difficult to remember which version I liked best since Leopard. I’ve used them all since they became available and was never really unhappy or distinctly happier with either version.

    I do think that Lion brought the biggest changes to the UX and it has made my experience of OS X a lot better. I run Snow Leopard on an external drive now for Rosetta, but the whole OS feels old-fashioned in terms of UX (not so much in terms of UI design specifically, but still a bit). Features like Resume and Versions are among the biggest conveniences for me. I particularly liked the removal of the scroll bars and the addition of inertial scrolling and the rubber-band effect, they have made the UX so much more fluid. More subtle animations everywhere have given the OS a certain playfulness.

    Snow Leopard always rubbed me in the wrong way because Apple intentionally disabled 64-bit support on my then less than one-year old MacBook. Lion silently fixed that. Snow Leopard is also the time in which iTunes was Apple’s laboratory and iWork had some pretty annoying bugs. I think Mountain Lion has been a better experience overall, because it improved the performance of Lion by a considerable margin on my system.

    1. Mountain Lion
    2. Lion
    3. Mavericks

    Snow Leopard and Yosemite share the same spot for me. They weren’t remarkable to me. I can’t remember how Leopard was anymore, so I don’t want to rate it.
  21. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    At the time, there would have been good reasons. In such cases I never expect Apple to disclose the reasons.
  22. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    Based on my usage:

    1. Mavericks - most feature complete and usable for me
    2. Mountain Lion - improved on Lion
    3. Lion - barely edged out SL because of FV2, gestures, and other small improvements
    4. Snow Leopard - simply rock solid

    (Large gap)

    5. Yosemite - less usable UI, graphical issues, bugs, but some nice new features.

    I'm running Mavericks now.


    Why would you rate ML over Mavericks? Just curious.


    I suppose that's inevitable...
  23. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Seems to me like you're rating in terms of the most significant and not the best. I actually rated 10.0 as the worst overall due to it being the buggiest version of OS X ever made. A lot of issues were fixed in subsequent versions.


    My personal favorite is Yosemite, especially since the interface is finally optimized for retina.

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