Upgrading from Snow Leopard

knew2mack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2009
188
1
The Beach
Hi folks,

I have the aluminum body, late 08 Macbook & am running Snow Leopard. What would you all suggest as my next upgrade? Am I able to go to Mountain Lion or is it necessary to have Lion first. I have attached a screenshot of what I currently have 10.6.8

Please speak in laymen's terms to me as I am not a tech genius in the slightest.

thank you so much
dawn
 

Attachments

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,266
Hi folks,

I have the aluminum body, late 08 Macbook & am running Snow Leopard. What would you all suggest as my next upgrade? Am I able to go to Mountain Lion or is it necessary to have Lion first. I have attached a screenshot of what I currently have 10.6.8

Please speak in laymen's terms to me as I am not a tech genius in the slightest.

thank you so much
dawn
Yep, as Gav said, you can jump straight to El Cap (OS X 10.11) from Snow Leopard.

Just to make you aware that the RAM on your laptop is quite low, so it won't run the OS that smoothly. With your current specs I'd recommend staying on SL for the time being. Upgrading to Lion or higher will have a very negative impact on the system performance.

The best thing would be to swap out the HDD for an SSD, and upgrade the RAM from 2GB to 8GB (2x4GB DDR3 1066MHz SODIMM). That will breathe new life into your machine.

If you are not looking to upgrade the hardware down the line, it would just be best to stick with 10.6.8.
 
  • Like
Reactions: knew2mack

knew2mack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2009
188
1
The Beach
The best thing would be to swap out the HDD for an SSD, and upgrade the RAM from 2GB to 8GB (2x4GB DDR3 1066MHz SODIMM)
This is like a foreign language to me - HDD? SSD? How does one go about upgrading the RAM to 8GB?

Thanks so much
[doublepost=1462355589][/doublepost]also, I LOVE using spaces & have since I got this machine, back in late 08 & from what I've read, the got rid of it???? Why on earth would they do that & did they replace with something comparable?
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,266
This is like a foreign language to me - HDD? SSD? How does one go about upgrading the RAM to 8GB?

Thanks so much
[doublepost=1462355589][/doublepost]also, I LOVE using spaces & have since I got this machine, back in late 08 & from what I've read, the got rid of it???? Why on earth would they do that & did they replace with something comparable?
Apple replaced Spaces with multiple desktops (they call it 'Mission Control'). Personally I prefer it to spaces as you can use three/four finger gestures to quickly swipe between them.

HDD is your hard-drive. SSD is a solid state drive (no moving components, significantly increased performance). Basically the SSD upgrade and RAM upgrade are hardware upgrades. That means taking off the bottom cover and replacing components.

If you don't know anybody who is confident in doing this, it may be worth taking a quick trip to an Apple Store to see if they would be willing to fit the parts for you, for a small charge. They can probably install the latest OS while they're there. Then we can direct you to the correct parts to order.

In all honestly though I think it would be best that you just stick to the operating system on your computer. There is no benefit to upgrading the OS from SL if you're not upgrading the hardware with it.
 

knew2mack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2009
188
1
The Beach
gotcha!!!

thank you so much for your advice & knowledge!!!
[doublepost=1462356691][/doublepost]in all honesty, the main reason I wanted to upgrade is because I got a printer (gift) that's compatible with Lion & above. any suggestions there? should I just get a different printer
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,506
6,234
Australia
In my opinion Mountain Lion is the last one that runs well on a HDD, so while I'd recommend putting an SSD in (which would make a world of difference and wouldn't cost very much), I'd say go to Mountain Lion max.
[doublepost=1462357246][/doublepost]
The best thing would be to swap out the HDD for an SSD, and upgrade the RAM from 2GB to 8GB (2x4GB DDR3 1066MHz SODIMM). That will breathe new life into your machine.
If the OP wants to keep costs down, keeping the 2GB of ram (or just going to 4GB) and getting an SSD would still make a huge huge difference!
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,266
gotcha!!!

thank you so much for your advice & knowledge!!!
[doublepost=1462356691][/doublepost]in all honesty, the main reason I wanted to upgrade is because I got a printer (gift) that's compatible with Lion & above. any suggestions there? should I just get a different printer
Which printer is it, please?
 

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,730
4,368
Perth, Western Australia
gotcha!!!

thank you so much for your advice & knowledge!!!
[doublepost=1462356691][/doublepost]in all honesty, the main reason I wanted to upgrade is because I got a printer (gift) that's compatible with Lion & above. any suggestions there? should I just get a different printer
Do yourself a favour, spend a little money on RAM and SSD (as above) then go straight to El Capitan or at least Yosemite.

Snow Leopard will no longer get security updates, as you have discovered you will start running into issues with third party hardware, new applications will not work on it (e.g., Firefox dropped support for it, so you will not get web browser security updates either).

So, its really time to get off Snow Leopard. Unfortunately the newer versions do need a little more powerful hardware to run well, but if you can spend a little bit to upgrade as per the above suggestions it will be like new computer. Especially upgrading the storage to SSD, it will run the new software better than snow leopard runs on it today.
 
  • Like
Reactions: knew2mack

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,161
7,102
OP:

Be advised that if you upgrade to El Capitan, you -may- be unimpressed by the performance of your MacBook afterwards.
I realize that the "perception of performance" is an individual matter, but I would caution that you may find the experience of El Capitan "running" on old hardware to be more like "walking" ...

Having said that, you might consider 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) as an alternative. It's more "modern" than Snow Leopard, but still runs acceptably well on older hardware.

If you really are intent on trying El Capitan, you might want to upgrade your MacBook with an SSD. The "speed boost" you'll get from using one will probably make El Cap run acceptably well on your MacBook. A 240gb SSD from Sandisk or Crucial will run you about $70. I don't know how much different the process of installing it is on the 2008 vis-a-vis the 2010 MacBook Pro I have, but it was a 15-minute job on mine (using the right tools, of course).

A suggestion:
- Buy a 240gb SSD
- Also buy a 2.5" drive enclosure like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Optimized-Inateck-External-Enclosure-Tool-free/dp/B00FCLG65U/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1462376802&sr=1-2&keywords=2.5"+USB3+enclosure+UASP
- Put the SSD into the external enclosure and initialize it with Disk Utility.
- Install El Cap ON THE EXTERNAL drive first. Use the setup assistant to copy over your current apps, accounts, data, etc. to the new SSD.

Now, boot and run this way for a few days.
Booting will be slower due to the USB2 connection, but once up-and-running, you should have a good idea of what using El Cap will be like (it WILL be considerably faster once the SSD is installed internally).

Why do it this way?
Because if you find you DON'T like El Cap, you can keep using your MacBook "as is", untouched.
You want to be very careful about doing an upgrade that "you can't back away from" if things don't go as you wish...
 

knew2mack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2009
188
1
The Beach
ok I have a much better sense of what my options & best things to do at this moment - I would be lost without everyone's help. As I've said from my very first post here on this site - I cannot thank you all enough for your advice & knowledge -
much thanks from the novice~
 

adam9c1

macrumors 68000
May 2, 2012
1,787
289
Chicagoland
I say clone your HD to the SSD, swap drives.
Run that for a day or two then upgrade the OS.
So you can compare speeds.

I recently worked on a 2010 MBP.
Swapped original spinner drive to SSD.
10.6.8 boot time went down from 25 sec to 12. Then updated to El Capitan. Boots now in 17 sec to login.
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,506
6,234
Australia
Without an SSD, 4GB is also sluggish. 8GB very much less so. But SSD still the biggest bang for buck for most.
I have 2GB of ram and an SSD in my aunt's identical computer and it runs quite well - I think extra ram would make it better, but she survives.
 

Ebenezum

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2015
782
259
OP:

You might want to try the latest GutenPrint driver first before upgrading to newer OS X, your printer is on the experimental supported printers list so it might work. Even if it doesn't you won't lose anything so its worth a try...

If that doesn't work and you have to upgrade to newer OS X your Mac is likely to work clearly slower with anything newer than 10.8 given the current components. If you want 10.9 or newer I recommend upgrading RAM and installing SSD.

Installing latest OS X without component upgrades is likely to result in Mac with one of its hands permanently tied behind its back... It will work but it can't be described fast.
 

jdasikainen

macrumors 6502
Mar 4, 2016
366
73
Bald Knob Arkansas
yeah i avise the ram upgrade i have a 2009 13 inch macbook pro basicly the next model bove what you have and it has 2b el capitan is basicly un usable super long boot up times combined with long app opening tmes takes 5 minutes jst about to open office 2016 or skype so yeah 8gb ram and a nice ssd or even just the ram would be a well wort it upgrade
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.