Should I Revert to Snow Leopard?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by JoelChristopher, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. JoelChristopher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    Hey Folks,

    My computer is running very slow. It struggles to perform basic tasks such as starting up, loading applications and saving documents, among other things. I spoke with a certified Mac tech who said downgrading to Snow Leopard would speed it up significantly. Is this true? What are the potential drawbacks of reverting? Will there be compatibility issues? If I were to do this, how would I do it? I don't have the original install disk for Snow Leopard. If reverting to Snow Leopard is not such a good idea, how else could I speed it up? I've already run First Aid and freed up about 200 GB on my disk.

    I'm running a mid-2007 iMac with a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM memory on OS X 10.9.5
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    [[ My computer is running very slow. It struggles to perform basic tasks such as starting up, loading applications and saving documents, among other things. I spoke with a certified Mac tech who said downgrading to Snow Leopard would speed it up significantly. Is this true? ]]

    Yes, it's true.

    Both Mavericks -and- Yosemite seem to have been designed to work best with SSDs (instead of platter-based hard drives). The drive seems to make more of a difference, than does the amount of RAM installed (say, 4gb vs. 8gb).

    [[ What are the potential drawbacks of reverting? Will there be compatibility issues? ]]

    Can't say -- depends upon what software you have installed.

    [[ If I were to do this, how would I do it? ]]

    You -would- need a copy of the Snow Leopard installation software, either drive-based, on a USB flashdrive, an installer downloaded from somewhere, etc.

    HOWEVER ----

    I would suggest as an alternative:
    "Downgrade" to OS 10.8.5 "Mountain Lion".
    It will be a HUGE improvement for you (speed-wise).
    And at the moment, it's not "as far back" as is Snow Leopard.
    I sense you will be very pleased with the results if you do this.

    How to get from where you are now to there:
    - You will need an external drive with a BOOTABLE copy of the OS on it. To create this, you could use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a clone of your internal drive onto the external drive.
    - Then, boot from the external drive to get up-and-running
    - Next, re-initialize your INTERNAL drive and install 10.8 onto it (It may still be possible to obtain 10.8 from Apple, but, if you can't "get it from Apple" there are (ahem) "other sources" you can use (but I can't mention them here)
    - Not sure (never having tried it), but you -might- be able to use the setup assistant to migrate your apps, accounts and data from the cloned backup
    - If migration (as above) doesn't work, you can create a new account on the 10.8 OS, and then "manually migrate" stuff over.

    Again, I think you will be FAR happier with 10.8.5 on a Mac of your vintage, than "lugging along" with 10.9 or 10.10 ...

    My opinion only.
    Others will disagree.
    Some will disagree vehemently.
     
  3. JoelChristopher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    You think Mountain Lion would be a lot better to revert to than Snow Leopard? I've run Mountain Lion on this computer and it was about the same as Mavericks. If I was to have a copy of Snow Leopard on a USB flash drive, how would I go about installing it?
     
  4. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #4
    The speed difference between Snow Leopard and anything after it (starting with Lion) is really noticeable. I’m running Snow Leopard on an external disk and even though I’m running it off an old hard drive, via USB, the performance is just a lot better.

    However, the major drawbacks are that it’s pretty much obsolete software and that you won’t get that many up-to-date applications anymore, meaning you have to resort to old versions of those or find alternatives. It would depend entirely upon your software needs. You will probably have to use another browser as well, since Safari hasn’t been updated in a while and doesn’t support the latest standards (I happen to know that YouTube doesn’t work, for instance). I don’t know how long you’ve been using modern OS X software, but I found it more difficult than I expected to get used to the UI again, it lacks a lot of tweaks and improvements that Apple made over the years.

    What you can do to speed up Yosemite is two things: an SSD and twice the RAM. It will make a clear difference as well. If you don’t have a Snow Leopard DVD anymore then I’m afraid you have to buy it online again (e.g. Amazon still sells it) or contact Apple to see whether they can help you out. You do need a second hard drive store your data on it and format your main drive to install Snow Leopard, you’d have to do it from scratch.
     
  5. JoelChristopher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
    Thanks. I'm not sure my iMac will take more than two X 2 GB of memory. If I get a new SSD, would it make any sense to upgrade to Yosemite?
     
  6. JoelChristopher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #6
    Do any of y'all know if I can use an external SSD on my iMac 7?
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    [[ zDo any of y'all know if I can use an external SSD on my iMac 7? ]]

    You can -- but it won't really speed things up too much.
    This isn't because the SSD "is fast" -- it is.
    It's because with a 2007 iMac, the fastest external connection you have will be firewire800 (or just 400?).
    And that's nowhere near the speed that the SSD is capable of delivering.

    If you really, REALLY want "up-to-date" performance, perhaps it's time to start thinking about a new (or at least, "newer") Mac. Either an iMac or possibly a midrange Mini.

    Having said that, since you have tried Mountain Lion and reported that it isn't any faster than Mavericks, if you want to speed things up "as is", I'd suggest you go back to Snow Leopard. I still use SL on my 2010 MacBook Pro, and it still works just fine for most everything I do with it...
     
  8. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #8
    I have a Snow Leopard Mac at home and I'm about to have another one Snow Leopard is still fine IMHO. My work Mac's are on 10.8 and 10.9 and my wife's is on 10.9 none of them are better than 10.6 in any way I can think of.
     
  9. Guzaking macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    #9
    I don't find this to be true. I have downgraded from Mountain Lion to Snow Leopard and found that all brand newly-applications or updates will always be compatible with Snow Leopard (albeit 10.6.8 last version) because roughly 25% of the OSX market is still on Snow Leopard and that is a big chunk of the market to loose, thus developers still incorporate compatibility with all new apps they develop.

    I just installed the latest Firefox and it works on 10.6.8, with Safari (which I don't like anyways) I'm sure probably won't work because of Apple's push towards making everything Legacy, but besides that everything else made should work fine with no problems including YouTube on Firefox and probably every other browser besides Safari possibly.
     

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