Upgrade OS X eligibility?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jtstp17, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. jtstp17 macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2014
    I am looking to upgrade my OS X Snow Leopard to either Mountain Lion or Mavericks.

    My macbook pro is Mid 2010 13in MacBookPro7,1 MC375xx/A 13.3"/2.66/2x2GB/320-5400.
    It also has windows partition with bootcamp.

    Will Mountain Lion or Mavericks run okay on my laptop? Laggy, etc?

    Will the bootcamp partition still function?

    Should I upgrade to Mountain Lion or Mavericks?

  2. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    2010 MacBook Pro, 4GB RAM, you'll be perfectly fine. Only thing that can hold it back as it is is the (relatively) slow 5400 RPM hard drive.

    You can go straight from Snow Leopard to Mavericks without many issues. Unless you're still using some PPC based software for some reason, you'll probably be just fine. And you'll get plenty of new features and security updates to boot.

    It shouldn't be laggy, and the 320m is perfectly capable of handling the OS.

    It should not affect your Boot Camp partition either.

    I like Mountain Lion, but Mavericks is just about as good. I had some compatibility problems with some older software like Reason, Ableton Live and Rewire, but they have been taken care of this far into it. And it's current until Yosemite comes out later this year.
  3. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    You might find that the Core 2 CPU is a little slow. I jumped up to a Core i5 MacBook and its about 4 times as fast, but it should load. You might want to get an extra performance boost by buying an SSD, new non-NAND type SSDs such as the Crucial MX100 series are exceedingly cheap for what they offer, although on your machine you will be limited by the SATA2 bus.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'm running Mavericks on my 2010 MBP, and its fine. My kids use it for their needs but I don't see any performance issues.

    Unless there's a specific need to upgrade, I'd hold off, i.e., if SL works for you now, why mess with success.
  5. ND40oz macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2011
    The MX100 uses 16nm 128Gbit MLC NAND, which is why they're able to price it the way they do.
  6. x3n0n1c macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2014
    I have a late 2008 macbook (2ghz core 2 duo, 4 gigs of ram) that I use in my bedroom to watch youtube and netflix videos every night. Even with the 9400m the interface runs very smoothly, and the CPU still has plenty of grunt for the tasks I am asking of it.

    The only thing that really hits the performance is the slow 5400rpm hard drive still in the thing, its the original one, going on 6 years old.

    Upgrade that OS my friend.
  7. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    The issue I see there is if the machine is being used on the Internet, Snow Leopard is no longer getting security updates so it may expose the machine to security vulnerabilities.
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    I put a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO in my niece's 2010 white Macbook. It totally changed the performance for the better. If you want to stick with the machine for a while longer, upgrade to an SSD and put Mavericks on it. Of wait until Sept and skip to Yosemite.
  9. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    I am using 10.9.4 on a 2008 MBPro 2.53GHz.

    It is however upgraded with 8Gb Ram and a Corsair 180Gb SSD.

    The machine runs 10.9 perfectly fine.

    Personally with a 2010 model would probably have suggested stop at 10.8 as some people are reporting issues with 2010 modesl after a Mavericks upgrade.
    As usual others peoples 2010 are working fine. Apparently some test can run at an Apple Store on the 2010 and if passes that then the 2010 model should be fine.
  10. jtstp17 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2014
    Thanks for the responses! Couple more questions based off your input:

    - Sounds like my hard drive would be the only limiter. Would issues would I see if I stuck with the drive and upgraded the OS?

    - If I did upgrade to a new drive, I am assuming my warranty is up therefore I am able to open the laptop open. Correct? Also, I probably would need a guide to help me out.

    - Should I wait til fall when Yosemite comes out?

    - I have seen multiple bad reviews on the app store for mavericks, especially with 2010 macbook pro users. I am worried what mcnallym is true about problems with 2010 model and mavericks.

    I love how my macbook pro Snow Leopard functions, is fast, battery is pretty good, etc. I havent had any problems with it. And I dont want to be upgrading and having it worse off (battery, laggy, slow, etc).

    Thanks again
  11. x3n0n1c macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2014
    See Above.
  12. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    I thought I'd add another reason to upgrade to Mavericks from Snow Leopard — while Snow Leopard was probably the "best" thing Apple turned out recently as far as efficiency and a lightweight OS, Apple has been providing less and less security support for it. In my use, Mavericks and Mountain Lion seem to perform about the same on a variety of Macs (we just upgraded two labs of '09 iMacs to Mavericks and they still are plenty fast and responsive).

    I'll agree with everyone else that your hard drive is probably going to be the weak point, but it'll still be a usable computer. I've said it on some other threads, but I have a friend with a Mid-2009 MacBook Pro and once we put an SSD and 8GB RAM in it, it feels just as fast as plenty of more recent Macs. You should see similar performance with yours.

    Also, Mountain Lion was a paid update ($20), so that's another item in favor of Mavericks (or even Yosemite).
  13. wiik macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2013
    I upgraded to Mavericks from ML and it toasted my bootcamp partition, and this seems to have happened to a lot of users.

    You can of course re-install the bootcamp if you still have your superdrive, just a heads up.
  14. jtstp17 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2014
    This is what I am worried about. Is it because Mavericks creates a Recovery partition and it overwrites part of the bootcamp partition?
  15. x3n0n1c macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2014
    I should mention that I have upgraded from ML to Mavricks on multiple devices and in the case of both systems with a bootcamp partition, that partition was unaffected.
  16. jtstp17 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2014
    So basically, I probably wont notice a decrease in overall performance going from SL to Mavericks. And if I do, such as laggy, unresponsiveness, etc., then I will upgrade my drive to a SSD and possibly my memory to 8gm ram.

    For the SSD: why non-nand? I see crucial mx100 was suggested. I found other crucial SSD products on amazon with alot more reviews than the mx100. Is there a reason for the mx100?

    RAM: Is this easy installation as well? Suggestion for product?

    If I upgraded these, would my SATA2 bus be the limiter like someone suggested? I would not want the scenario where I upgraded and didn't see a difference.

    Thanks again guys. It really has been a lot of help.
  17. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    You might see a dip in performance - I went from Leopard->Snow Leopard->Lion->Mountain Lion->Mavericks on the same machine and so it would get better with one update, then worse, then better...I never made the jump across a few versions. The consensus seems to be that Snow Leopard to anything will cause a decrease in performance a bit, but Mavericks seems pretty friendly, especially with things like Memory Compression and Timer Coalescing.

    I think in most cases, SSDs sold today are NAND. Personally, I like the Samsung drives, but the big difference is MLC/TLC vs. SLC. Since it is an older machine and MLC/TLC drives are much cheaper and still very reliable, you can save some money by getting a cheaper one. I think the mx100 is just a favorite due to price, performance, and newness. Someone else may be better to comment on that, since I've had more experience with the Samsung 830/840/840 Evo/840 Pro models.

    RAM installation is super-easy in all of these machines. Once you're in there, it basically snaps in place (just be careful not to break the tabs off the clips that hold it in place. According to MacTracker, yours uses 2 - 204-pin PC3-8500 (1066 MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM and will take up to 8GB officially by Apple's specs, but people have had success with 16GB. Just about any RAM fitting those specs should work, so it may just depend on price/preference—Other World Computing is a favorite due to their knowledge of Apple products and excellent service: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Apple_MacBook_MacBook_Pro/Upgrade/DDR3

    In theory, the SATA II bus would be a limiter. Right now with a spinning hard drive, you wouldn't be able to even max it out. With any SSD, you'll see a noticeable difference. I'd get a SATA III drive in case I ever decided to use it somewhere else (in other words, don't buy an SATA II-only drive). This video might help show how any SSD will outperform a hard drive - although they're 15" models, the 2010 model has SATA II (3Gbps), while the 2011 and 2012 models have SATA III (6Gbps):

  18. jtstp17 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2014

    Thanks for the reply. On OWC, it looks like all the hard drives are compatible for SATA, SATA 2, SATA 3. Is this what you mentioned above?

    The last question which might be a silly one. But if I do upgrade my drive and/or RAM, do I do it before upgrading OS or after. And whichever way, is the OS on the drive? In my head, it seems that if I upgrade the drive, the computer will not have any OS once installed. Hope that makes sense.
  19. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    Nothing against OWC, but as far as drives go, you might be able to get something that will be plenty fast and reliable from someone like Crucial or Samsung (I know we have some SanDisk fans on the forums, too) at a lot lower of a price - that being said, they also are backwards-compatible (so if you use them in a SATA III machine, they'll be really fast, but will negotiate a proper link with even an original MacBook - I have a guy that I work with that slapped an SSD in an '06 MacBook and won't stop raving about the performance gains...too bad he's stuck with Lion) ;)

    Still, to answer your question about installation, that's entirely up to you. I never want to have too many variables, so I'd first install the RAM and make sure it's working with Snow Leopard. Once you've verified that works, then you can put the new drive in. Since you'll have to format the new drive, you might as well just install the new OS onto it and then use a Time Machine backup or Migration Assistant to transfer your files and applications from the old drive.
  20. jtstp17 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2014
    Thanks for the replies!

    That makes sense to eliminate variables and try with snow leopard first.

    The only thing I am not wrapping my head around is the OS being on the drive part. If I replace my drive with the new SSD one. How do I even format it with the new OS. Won't my laptop be non-functional since the OS snow leopard is on the old one.

    Or does the OS reside on the laptops internal memory?

    Hope this makes sense.

    Have you guys heard about "trim" on SSD ?
  21. Mystic Eddy macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2008
    Staffordshire, UK
    You'd simply boot into OS X recovery by holding down the option key when you power on. Not sure about the older Macs, but models without the SuperDrive have an internet recovery option that allows you to download OS X over your 'net connection and then restore a time machine backup.

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