Which operating system reinstall?

Macintosh1984

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 15, 2012
195
6
A friend of mine owns a MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009), 2 GB RAM. Because he wants to format it, for best performance, recommended to install Sierra, El Capitan, or what previous version? I think El Capitan.

I'm in doubt between Sierra and El Capitan, who is better?

I'm still recommending to switch to 4GB of RAM, so think as if it had 4GB.

Thanks!
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,472
24,228
A friend of mine owns a MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009), 2 GB RAM. Because he wants to format it, for best performance, recommended to install Sierra, El Capitan, or what previous version? I think El Capitan.

I'm in doubt between Sierra and El Capitan, who is better?

I'm still recommending to switch to 4GB of RAM, so think as if it had 4GB.

Thanks!
1) Swap HDD for SSD. 240GB SSDs or lower are very cheap.
2) Throw in 8GB RAM. 2x4GB DDR3 1066MHz SODIMM.
3) Install Sierra.
4) Laugh maniacally as you have a buttery-smooth Mac for a great price.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,537
2,304
Delaware
I agree with both the SSD and the 8GB upgrade.
Not sure about the maniacal laughter in #4, but I would use a self-satisfied chuckle after seeing the new lease on life for a 7-year-old laptop.
 

Macintosh1984

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 15, 2012
195
6
Thanks to all, but thinking only 4GB of RAM, which system is best?

For SSD it is necessary to remove optical drive?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,537
2,304
Delaware
You can swap out the hard drive for an SSD. You don't touch the optical drive at all - unless you want to do that.
With an SSD - either El Capitan or Sierra, because of the optimizations in the system for SSD. (in my opinion :D )
4GB will be ok, if that's what you want to stay with.
 

Macintosh1984

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 15, 2012
195
6
So, Sierra also with 4GB of RAM and not SSD?

I will try to convince my friend to both RAM and SSD.
 

curmudgeonette

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2016
505
325
California
Thanks to all, but thinking only 4GB of RAM, which system is best?
It is not worth the effort to only upgrade to 4GB. A quick online search shows 8GB kits (2x4GB) selling for $40, while 4GB kits (2x2GB) run from $26 to $30. So - max the machine out so that you never have to open it up again!

BTW, 4GB isn't really enough for just web browsing, even in older operating systems.
 
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BrianBaughn

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2011
6,351
934
Baltimore, Maryland
I wouldn't bother with upgrading anything on it if you're not going to put an SSD in it.

For RAM double check the exact model as some "MacBook" models from 2009 can only use 6GB. See everymac.com for specifics.
 

fischersd

macrumors 601
Oct 23, 2014
4,555
1,279
Vancouver, BC, Canada
A friend of mine owns a MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009), 2 GB RAM. Because he wants to format it, for best performance, recommended to install Sierra, El Capitan, or what previous version? I think El Capitan.

I'm in doubt between Sierra and El Capitan, who is better?

I'm still recommending to switch to 4GB of RAM, so think as if it had 4GB.

Thanks!
Trackpad for the older MacBooks (including the 5,2 that you mention) isn't seen as a trackpad in Sierra (we don't have a workaround for that yet). I'd definitely bump up to 4GB of memory for either OS (10.11 or 10.12).
 

fischersd

macrumors 601
Oct 23, 2014
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1,279
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Macintosh1984

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 15, 2012
195
6
Thanks to all!

I say to my friend who is better to upgrade RAM and SSD! Meanwhile I put Sierra. The computer is 6.1.

Why the "Unibody" "Late 2009" "6,1" Macbook can "unofficially" use 8GB RAM?
 
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