Use latest MacOS or keep original OS on your machines?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by pixelatedscraps, Aug 4, 2017.


Do you always keep your Macs up to do with the latest OS or do you prefer the original OS?

  1. Original / Optimized OS for my hardware

    3 vote(s)
  2. Always update to the latest OS (as far as I can go)

    20 vote(s)
  1. pixelatedscraps, Aug 4, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017

    pixelatedscraps macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2017
    Hong Kong
    Apologies if this has been covered before (or indeed placed in the wrong forum) but I'm curious about this. Since dabbling in resurrecting some of my old Mac hardware, my natural preference is to install the latest OS on every computer.

    However, quite often this isn't the smartest to do. Handoff, continuity, Siri, security - count these aside. For a pure performance optimal hardware / software combination, what does everyone here do with their legacy, their ageing, and their current Mac hardware: do you run the latest OS or do you have a preferred optimal or original OS for your machine?


    1) 10.12.6 runs horribly on my MacBook Pro 17" from 2011 despite having a 2.2Ghz i7 and 16Gb RAM
    2) My 2007 Blackbook was painfully laggy with 10.7.5 despite having support for it - for me, 10.4.10 was always the best, most optimal for it.
    3) I run 10.12.6 on my home iMac 27" (2010, 20Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD, 2Tb HDD) and have no problems with it whatsoever.
  2. Rok73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 21, 2015
    Planet Earth
    What a question. Always patch to the newest possible. Security!
  3. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
  4. MacFan497 macrumors newbie


    Aug 6, 2013
    Patch to the newest possible, even beta versions (High Sierra)
    I'm always on the bleeding edge in terms of software
  5. pixelatedscraps thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2017
    Hong Kong
    I used to do that when my career didn't depend on the stability of my workflow. Yep, it's been at least 10 years since I last installed a beta version of anything!
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I generally use "the original OS" (with all software updates installed for it) for "a good while" before I update.

    My 2010 MacBook Pro, which came with 10.6 -still has- 10.6 on it as the main OS.

    My late-2012 Mini came with 10.8, and I left it there for 4.5 years. Just "upgraded" to 10.11 (El Capitan) about 2 weeks ago, and I may leave it at El Cap for as long as I use it.

    This doesn't mean I don't -experiment- with newer versions of the OS. I have High Sierra running on an external firewire800 platter-based hard drive. Actually runs fairly well, after the slow initial bootup.
  7. FrozenInferno macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2013
    It depends on how my hardware is holding up and whether or not it'll start dragging down performance too much. My iMac is still pretty new so I'll definitely be updating for at least a couple of years. After that I'll go back to evaluating each update as they come out to see how they are performing on comparable hardware then decide from there.

    Most here will say install every update no matter what, but I'm betting most of them also upgrade their hardware more often than average so their machines are equipped for whatever is thrown at them anyway. This is agreeably less of a concern on MacOS as it is on iOS (where devices start feeling the bloat two or three years in) but it's still inevitable at some point: brand new software on old hardware isn't going to run the smoothest.

    If you're not living dangerously on your computer - pirating software constantly, using adult sites, recklessly clicking on sketchy email links or attachments - you have very little to worry about. I'd still feel FAR safer on two or three year old MacOS software than I would be on a fully up to date Windows machine.

    In the end it's up to you and how you value performance versus security. Personally I'm not a fan of prematurely bogging down my older hardware with cutting edge software, potentially reducing the effective lifespan of my machine by a year or more, on the 1% chance I actually run in to a security issue with MacOS.

    Any time an update comes out for my Mac or my iDevices I always come here to see how the update is working out before just mashing the update button the second something appears.
  8. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    I have three Macs, a PowerBook 1400c, Power Macintosh G3 Beige, iMac G3 Bondi Blue, that as far as I know have never run anything newer than their original Mac OS 7.6.1, 8.1, and 8.5, respectively. Back then you had to run to the store, and pay $129 for the latest and greatest on disk. No wonder some users chose to stay on the factory OS rather than go through the hassle of updating.

    But today, it has become so easy to update the OS that it's very rare to find Macs that are still on the original OS. And if they are, they were probably restored at some point, which with Macs you have the option to do.

    Of all the more recent Macs I unboxed new or use on a daily basis, only one is on the original OS version, my 2012 Mac mini (OS X Mavericks). All the others have been updated to Sierra. I just have no reason to hold them back, and miss out on the comforts of using a current version: app compatibility, features, security updates, optimizations. Sierra is a solid performer even on 7-year-old Core 2 Duo Macs, provided they have an SSD and 4 GB RAM or more.

    On my iOS devices it's different, as I'm hesitant to update due to the lack of downgrade rights. The typical user doesn't care about this though. They just tap update and only complain afterward if they perceive a slowdown.
  9. FrozenInferno macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2013
    Yes iOS is absolutely a different animal. iOS 10 has been slaughtering battery life for almost a year now and Apple doesn't seem to care. My iPhone SE is not that old but with reports of battery life getting worse instead of better I have been riding out 9.3.5 the past year. Id rather be an OS behind and have a battery than be up to date and tethered to the wall again like I was with my 5S previously. I'll have to see what iOS 11 looks like but I'm not confident anything will improve. Between battery issues going unresolved and the constant drive to make everything thinner (including batteries) Apple clearly doesn't care about battery life in their devices as much I do.

    Performance wise, phones 2-3 years old will handle it well enough but beyond that it you'd really start feeling it.

    My late 2015 iMac is graced with the 5400 RPM 1TB drive and is apparently put together with so much glue and solder that I'll likely never get an SSD into it so that's a factor that will effect how far I go with MacOS updates. I can and will push further than I would with iOS though so I'll be good for a few more years of updates at least. High Sierra looks like a solid update that I look forward to installing.
  10. cyberblood macrumors newbie


    Aug 19, 2017
  11. Tozovac macrumors 65816


    Jun 12, 2014
    I'll take the risk in favor of keeping an iOS that looks like adults designed it. My MacBook Air came with mavericks and I'll likely keep it until Apple design returns back to you looking like Apple design.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 20, 2017 ---
    I think it was quite safe to have this take on things, until iOS 7. I innocently upgraded overnight to iOS 7 and I have hated it ever since. I'll never again "upgrade" an iOS or OS X until I've investigated it first.
  12. pixelatedscraps thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2017
    Hong Kong
    Not sure if you guys are off-topic as this wasn't about iOS but rather MacOS...
  13. Tozovac, Aug 20, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017

    Tozovac macrumors 65816


    Jun 12, 2014
    Hi! I was talking about Mavericks vs any current operating system. So I hope this was on topic? I was just using iOS 7 as the reason why I no longer trust Apple without investigating any upgrade thoroughly prior to going with it. And, I'm sticking with the system my laptop came with ever since Apple really fouled up the appearance with Yosemite.

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