Which OS X is right for me? Advice appreciated.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by pseudonamed, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. pseudonamed macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2014
    I have a late 2008 MacBook with 4gb of RAM. It is currently running Snow Leopard. I want to upgrade, but my main concerns are that I can still use Adobe CS5 design suite without too much problems, and also that I don't slow everything down by upgrading too far for my old faithful laptop to handle. I don't really care about lots of new bells and whistles, I just want to continue to use these programs as I can't afford an Adobe subscription or to buy a new computer yet.

    I have searched all over for advice and it seems so hit or miss whether I will have problems with various upgrades or not. Many have said Mountain Lion is generally better than Lion, but according to RoaringApps that is the only OSX with issues with CS5. It doesn't say what the issues are - if I'm wrong and there is some way to learn more on that site please let me know.

    Also I am wary of trying Yosemite as it's only been out a short while and I am always the cautious type to wait for the major bugs to become apparent before deciding, plus since my laptop is so old I worry it could slow it down.

    Any help appreciated!
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    My opinion and mine only, and others will disagree.

    I recommend OS 10.8.5 Mountain Lion. Still relatively "current", will run your older software, and it still uses the original OS X paradigm of memory management (whereas both 10.9 and 10.10 now use Apple's "new" memory management scheme that tries to load ALL available memory at boot, and seems to slow things down as a result).

    Also -- the BEST upgrade you can make for a MacBook of that vintage is to put an SSD into it (if you haven't already done that). Will "feel like a new machine", and extend its life...

    I use an April 2010 MacBook Pro, and still use Snow Leopard as my main OS on it. SL runs fine, why change?
  3. tampasteve macrumors 6502

    My personal opinion, for whatever it is worth, is to stick with SL. If you are not having any issues then stick with it. I would upgrade to a SSD and install SL clean. But others will surely disagree. ML is a great OS too, so you really cannot go wrong with it either.
  4. pseudonamed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2014
    Thanks for the advice.

    I wanted to upgrade as there are a few free CAD apps I wanted to use that aren't available for SL. Also wondered if I might be able to speed up the laptop with a different OS.
  5. bbfc macrumors 68030


    Oct 22, 2011
    Newcastle Great Park, England.
    I disagree with your comment about Apple's new Memory Management. My MBP came with Lion (which was awful), I then updated to Mountain Lion (which wasn't much better IMO), and then Mavericks (which gave my MBP a new lease of life). I'm currently on Yosemite, which is going well.
  6. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    2009 MacBookPro5,2 here, 8 GB memory.

    I can't comment on the Adobe software.

    Users of Snow Leopard and less should be prepared to find sources other than Apple if they require protection against vulnerabilities such as CVE-2014-6271 and CVE-2014-7169, and so on.

    Without knowing more about the opening poster's use cases, I would recommend an upgrade from Snow Leopard.

    That's not what happens.

    For me, there were remarkable improvements in swap file usage following an upgrade from Mountain Lion to Mavericks. YMMV.

    I can't recommend Yosemite at this time.
  7. librarian macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
    if you care about having the BEST performance with only 4GB of ram, SL is the only way, but you give up system security.
    ML offers a more secured environment and still have great app compatibility but it use more RAM. Do you multi task a lot with CS5 apps? wich ones you actually use the most?
  8. mastermind6192 macrumors member


    Jan 8, 2010
    Stick to 10.6

    While I love the newer versions of OS X according to Adobes own website it only reccommends 10.6 as the highest version supported. You can take a chance that it may work on a newer version, but its perfectly possible 10.10 or any newer version might break compatibility on some level. Always make sure your software is compatible with a newer version of OS X if its mission critical for your needs.


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