Worst overall version of OS X?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by KoolAid-Drink, Feb 4, 2015.


Worst overall version of Mac OS X?

  1. 10.0 (Cheetah)

    35 vote(s)
  2. 10.1 (Puma)

    5 vote(s)
  3. 10.2 (Jaguar)

    3 vote(s)
  4. 10.3 (Panther)

    1 vote(s)
  5. 10.4 (Tiger)

    6 vote(s)
  6. 10.5 (Leopard)

    21 vote(s)
  7. 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

    2 vote(s)
  8. 10.7 (Lion)

    84 vote(s)
  9. 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

    7 vote(s)
  10. 10.9 (Mavericks)

    24 vote(s)
  11. 10.10 (Yosemite)

    72 vote(s)
  1. KoolAid-Drink macrumors 65816

    Sep 18, 2013
    For me, the worst version was definitely 10.9 (Mavericks), with 10.7 (Lion) and 10.5 (Leopard) following closely. Both 10.7 and 10.5 were buggy, had odd glitches not found in their respective 10.8 and 10.6 counterparts.

    I never liked Mavericks from the beginning, though. The first developer beta left a bad taste in my mouth, and the OS just felt overall very chunky, buggy, and "unwrapped" (if that makes any sense). Release up to 10.9.5 had unfinished bugs in Time Machine (jumping back to the ~ folder when entering TM, oy! Many other odd bugs and sluggishness.

    Thankfully, solved in Yosemite for the time being), constant xpcd errors (also, so far, resolved in Yosemite), WiFi connectivity issues (by far fixed in Yosemite), and just general sluggish performance. Yosemite reminds me of Mountain Lion, coming from Lion, which was almost as bad as Mavericks.

    I find it odd and baffling that so many people laud Mavericks as the "next" Snow Leopard, or one of the best releases, while hating on Yosemite. No way, that's for sure. Mavericks was the worst release of Mac OS X. I mean, this may seem silly and nitpicky, but when I did a test upgrade from SL to Mavericks with multiple user accounts, all desktop wallpapers of each user account were deleted during the upgrade and reset to the default (ugly) Mavericks wallpaper, and there were odd glitches! Something as simple as that couldn't even be preserved during the Mavericks install. That's how buggy it was. The Migration Assistant also had odd lockups and freezes, at multiple points freezing the whole computer and resulting in a hard reset. Conversely, with Yosemite, when doing the exact same test upgrade from SL, all wallpapers were preserved beautifully, without any odd glitches (in fact, the computer actually felt more responsive), and the Migration Assistant behaves better for the most part.

    It's a well-known legend that Apple assigns the same programmers/engineers to work on every other version of Mac OS X. Meaning, the same engineers who worked on 10.6 (SL) were also assigned to 10.8 (ML) and subsequently, 10.10 (Yosemite). That would explain why odd-numbered releases of OS X has always been a bit more buggy/glitchy compared to the even-numbered versions.

    Does anyone else notice this or feel the same way about Mavericks? What is your overall opinion on the worst OS?

    My favorite is Yosemite. And, yes, this is on a non-retina MBP.
  2. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    worst for me was yosemite (not really), but mavericks just annoyed me a lot
  3. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Lion. It was unusable with multiple monitors.
  4. KoolAid-Drink thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 18, 2013
    Curious from your perspective, how did Mavericks annoy you?
  5. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    My favorite is Yosemite, on retina it looks great. Many of the bugs have been fixed and it's a lot better than it used to be.

    As for the worst overall version of OS X, I have to be reasonable here. I vote for 10.0 Cheetah. It was a very buggy OS for the time and released well before it should have been. OS 9 was a lot more stable.
  6. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2005
    From worst to the best, based on my Mac ownership experiences from 10.4 onwards:

    Mountain Lion
    Snow Leopard
  7. KoolAid-Drink thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sep 18, 2013
    How come Yosemite is the worst to you?
  8. yep-sure macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've only been using OSX since Snow Lepoard and can say with certainty that Yosemite is easily my least favourite.

    Design and appearance changes aside, the bugs, the issues, the sluggishness and horrible performance saw me downgrade for the first time back to the previous version - Mavericks, which I have never had an issue with and is probably my favourite release that I've used.
  9. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Excluding 10.0 and 10.1 (because they were almost betas and will automatically be the worst 2).

    From worst to best:

    1. Jaguar
    2. Lion
    3. Leopard
    4. Yosemite
    5. Panther
    6. Mountain Lion
    7. Tiger
    8. Snow Leopard
    9. Mavericks
  10. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    I've used OS X since around 10.3 Panther at school. Our first Mac at home had 10.4 Tiger (Core Duo MacBook) and the first version of OS X I used on a daily basis was 10.6 Snow Leopard. I don't remember much of 10.3, but I do 10.4 and definitely 10.6+. Out of all of them, 10.7 Lion was the worst that I remember. Buggy, laggy, etc. Mountain Lion and Mavericks were very good, but my favorite has to be Yosemite. Yes it has some bugs but honestly I love the flat design. I have been a fan of flat since WWDC 2013 and iOS 7 (my jaw dropped in aww when they first showed the Jony Ive-narrated video).

    My Scale of OS X Versions (Best to Worst):

    Yosemite 10.10
    Mavericks 10.9
    Snow Leopard 10.6
    Mountain Lion 10.8 & Tiger 10.4 (tied for fourth)

    Lion 10.7 (way off in the distance)
  11. bmac89 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2014
    I have never heard this before. Very interesting - I wonder if there is any truth in it. To me it sounds a little far fetched (but I'm probably wrong). Also why would Apple do this anyway?
  12. kmj2318 macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    Worst for me was Lion. I feel that each release since has gotten better, with Yosemite being the best. Mavericks was probably the biggest step forward.

    My first OS was Tiger, but I'm having trouble remembering much about it, same for Leopard and Snow Leopard,
  13. UniDoubleU macrumors regular


    Aug 14, 2014
    Lion was for me also. Doesn't seem to add much from Snow Leopard which was amazing, like snappy Leopard. I have no gripe with Yosemite, I feel it's a much needed design upgrade to keep the Apple experience in-line with iOS.
  14. TallGuyGT macrumors 6502


    Aug 8, 2011
    I was so disappointed with 10.0 that I thought "if this is where Apple is headed, then I'm going somewhere else". Sold my Mac and bought a high end magnesium Sony Vaio laptop.

    That was my time in the Windows wilderness. I came back when Apple introduced the Intel MBP, with 10.4 I think. I've liked every OS since, though usually by the 10.x.3 version.
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I have similar thoughts with 10.10, i.e., if this is where apple is headed, I'm not a happy camper. I haven't given up on the mac platform but I am disappointed in what's been rolling out of Cupertino
  16. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    Best to Worst:

    (1) Snow Leopard
    (2) Yosemite
    (3) Mavericks
    (4) Panther
    (5) Mountain Lion
    (6) Leopard
    (7) Jaguar
    (8) Lion

    Couldn't stand Lion at all.
  17. Jardins de Vin macrumors 6502a

    Jardins de Vin

    Nov 6, 2012
    European Union
    That's weird, I never had bad experiences with Lion. Back then when I bought my new iMac Lion just came out, and I came from using Panther and Tiger. I was totally impressed by all the new features and the smoothness and the design which was modified very lightly, in an understated way (not like Yosemite).

    I've been using it for a year until the Mountain Lion came out and never had a problem. OS X became better and better after that, with iOS integration and all those apps like Messages, Reminders, Notes, etc. I remember them being on the iPhone first, and it was my dream come true when they were released on the Mac and you could sync it all. It was so exciting at that time, good memories. :) Especially with pre-iOS 7.

    And then with Yosemite and iOS 7 it started to go down for me personally. I've stayed with Mavericks but wish I had stayed with iOS 6. The only improvement that iOS 7 or 8 brought with it (for me personally; that I use on a daily basis) is the fact that you don't have to go to the settings to adjust the brightness or turn on/off stuff like Bluetooth and Wifi.
  18. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Lion was crashtastic on my MacBook Pro. It could have been Tiger that I had the most kernel panics, or at the very beginning of Leopard. It's been too long now.

    Don't have any issues with Yosemite except for Helvetica, which I modded out.
  19. Sabretooth78, Mar 3, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015

    Sabretooth78 macrumors member


    Nov 13, 2012
    Western NY
    Best to worst, in their latest/finished versions and ranked based on their performance and utility to me in their time:

    10.6 Snow Leopard
    10.5 Leopard
    10.9 Mavericks
    10.8 Mountain Lion
    10.7 Lion
    10.10 Yosemite

    Below is my long-winded justification (feel free to skip :))...

    As I stated above, just because I rank Snow Leopard highest now doesn't necessarily mean I would be happy with its feature set or performance with my current configurations or workflows. If I have one regret about Snow Leopard it's that I feel like it should have set a new minimum standard for OS X and it obviously didn't. OS X has yet to catch up to this balance of performance, efficiency and quality.

    I rank Leopard 2nd because I never had any issues with it. It was the iteration of OS X which was current at my time of switching back to Mac from Windows (last prior real Mac experience was early System 7). If I tried achieving my current configuration/workflows on it today, I might very well hate it. Thing is I don't know, so I rank it as I remember it at the time.

    Mavericks now represents the best on this list that I can currently install on any of my current machines. It leaves something to be desired but all in all in its finished state it's better than Mountain Lion, which I never cared for. If I were to rank the iterations of OS X based on utility to me today, Mavs might beat Snow Leopard.

    I was content on skipping the Mountain Lion upgrade because at the time of its release I didn't see any benefit to upgrading (especially given the cost). The only reason I did was because I bought a new MBP with it preinstalled. I was never too impressed with it and for the first time since Snow Leopard I immediately jumped on Mavericks when it was released (to some initial disappointment as others have elaborated on).

    Ditto Lion. This one wasn't so much in seeing a lack of reason to upgrade as it was disappointment after upgrading. Lion, to me, represents possibly the biggest letdown in the chain of OS X releases. I only stuck with it because I soon bought a new Mini that came preinstalled with it and wouldn't let me install Snow Leopard. That said, there was nothing compelling me to upgrade away from it to Mountain Lion, which to me looking back now seems to represent the official beginning of Apple's misguided update for the sake of updating campaign, even if Lion was the technical first of the current yearly scheme.

    Then there's the embattled Yosemite. I rank it last because to me it represents a step backwards in the quality I had come to expect from Mac OS X. I was content to skip it entirely from the first time I saw it last summer and only tried it because I had just installed new SSDs in both the Mini and MBP and figured I'm going to have to do a clean install and it's free, so why not just try it. I didn't have any showstopping problems, my wi-fi worked fine, etc., but the sum total of the glitchiness and performance nags (not necessarily bad performance, but downgraded from prior experiences), kernel panics, etc. that I just didn't have with prior versions. I left Windows for OS X, and to me Yosemite felt like I was back in college constantly tinkering trying to get it to run smoothly only never to achieve it. I'm not in college any more and I don't have the time nor desire for that foolishness. I also find it not so much visually ugly, but ugly in terms of a UI that seems inconsistent and unfinished. And trendy. There was once a day when Apple set the trends (or at least tried to).

    Yosemite also joins the vaunted Windows ME as the only OSs I've ever upgraded to and then downgraded from. Technically, I also ditched Vista for XP, but that was more due to the dropping of Boot Camp support (with Lion, right?) and cost efficiency in running a Parallels VM and less due to the operation of the OS itself so I don't typically count that. I had copies of both, both did what I need but Vista didn't feel as "lean" and was also able to fetch far more on eBay for obvious reasons. I also never installed Vista on an actual PC, so there was no real upgrade "lineage" to speak of.

    Speaking of Windows, Yosemite is also the only iteration of OS X whereby if you asked me which I preferred: it or Windows, it would give me pause. I would still say OS X, but no other version would feature that pause. The gap has been narrowed, the gains made against Vista have been lost. It has totally shot my faith in Apple creating things "that work" and has rather reinforced my recent (since about when "retina" came out, maybe a little earlier) perception that planned obsolescence is the new business model. I've actually given thought to my next replacements being Linux boxes.
  20. Paradoxally, Mar 3, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015

    Paradoxally macrumors 68000

    Feb 4, 2011
    Clearly, because if you had a retina Mac, Mavericks is fantastic and Yosemite is dreadful (which is shown by the poll above). The UI is okay-ish on Yosemite, but it's the lag that sets in after a few hours that's disheartening. I am very disappointed that Apple released such a half-baked OS. Hopefully 10.11 will be better or I will not upgrade.

    Honestly, I prefer Windows 8.1 to Yosemite on my Mac (7 is not appropriate because of its terrible DPI scaling). It runs faster (no lag whatsoever), smoother, and way, way more stable (and yes, we are talking about Windows here!). I just hate its UI, and because my workflow is all Mac nowadays (Xcode and other dev. tools), I can't use Windows for anything more than the casual Visual Studio or some gaming.
  21. LittleGreyMan macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2015
    I just signed up to vote Yosemite. Worst buggiest OS ever. Snow Leo was like the best OS I've ever used.
  22. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 603

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Wow, Jaguar really isn't getting any love in this thread. Curious. I recall it as being pretty awesome, and the first OSX you could actually use full time.

    Maybe it is because I could finally burn CD's with it.. :p
  23. tomekosiowy macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2013
    Panther was ugliest in visual aspect. Metal-brushed, havy and very fat windows and panels… Massacre.
    Leopard was worst generally.
    I don't know OSes over 10.7.5 (and probably I will not, I am not interesed in buying new Mac(s) at all).
  24. LittleGreyMan macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2015
    I think you misunderstood the topic.
  25. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 603

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    No, I am quite sure I understood it absolutely correct.

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114 February 4, 2015