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OS upgrade on a Macbook Air 2015 i5 Model


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#1 Macster

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 10:42 PM

I typically upgrade to the latest and greatest version of OS for my Macs but recently (since about 2014) I have been very wary of doing this. Software gets unsupported and other such inconveniences really dampen my enthusiasm for putting my laptops through these OS upgrades.

However, as I am tethered to my iPad for a plethora of functions, mostly work related, it is becoming clear that I need to upgrade my OS to keep some compatibility stable with my tablet, specially when using Keynote and Pages.

What OS would you guys recommend I upgrade this old workhorse up to and what costs would there be to doing so for other software (in terms of dropped support and such)?

More importantly though would an upgrade to a newer OS really hit the speed and performance I have grown accustomed to under my current OS?

Presently I am running:

MacOS: 10.11.6 El Capitan
8Gigs of Ram
1.6ghz i5
13" monitor

#2 Cougar

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 01:54 AM

As macOS has become more mature, speed and performance has become less of an issue. System requirements havenít really changed in several releases (except for Apple cutting off older Macs for Metal support), and thanks to various optimizations, later releases can run better.

Compatibility is more of a concern. Catalina kills 32-bit apps, so if thatís a problem, install Mojave. Iím not sure if Mojave has been pulled from the App Store yet though (Catalina was released yesterday...another reason to avoid it.)

#3 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 02:22 AM

Depends on your requirements. Metal and 32 bit are likely to be the biggest contestors. Speed wise I don't see much of a difference personally.
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#4 macdude22

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 05:07 AM

Apple does not actively promote this but they document the App store links for previous OS installer.apps

https://support.apple.com/HT210190

I think you will be pleased with the performance of Mojave on a 2015 Air.

I am not going to upgrade my home iMac to Catalina for some time. I need to work out cutting over all my 32-bit games to another drive. I don't usually upgrade til pointOne at home anyway.

At work it's usually pointTwo or later before I release but I am unsure when I will release it to the masses. I don't have as many game breaking radars open this year but my reporting has an awful lot of 32-bit binaries out in CCOM nobody wants to discuss.
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#5 Spike

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 08:46 AM

I recently bought a Mac to play WoW Classic and so personally using:
2015 MacBook Pro with R9 M370X - 10.14 on HFS+ and iTunes 12.6.5.3 and Windows 10
2012 MacBook Pro with 650M - 10.12 and Windows 7

I need HFS+ so I can access the partition from bootcamp as its such a needed feature. Sticking with 10.12 on nvidia mac as 10.13 ran terrible.

#6 macdude22

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 08:56 AM

Paragon has an APFS driver for Windows (not free). I have not used it but I have used their Camp Tune tool to resize NTFS partitions with great success so I expect it works.

Unless you really need to access APFS containers from windows frequently it's probably not a good value at 50 bucks (I think if you do and it works well it's a fair price)
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#7 Macster

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 09:53 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. I think I have a starting point now and will do some further research on my end to see the software effects but so far it looks like Mojave might be the route I go. Very much appreciated everyone.

#8 dojoboy

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 09:01 AM

I was about to hit the install button for Catalina yesterday when a notification popped up informing that the Steam app wasn't compatible with the upgrade. Cancelled it. My assumption is a Steam update would be forthcoming. perhaps it already has arrived.  ???

Yep, seems they have.
https://support.stea...=1055-ISJM-8568

Edited by dojoboy, 09 October 2019 - 09:03 AM.

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#9 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 09:45 AM

It has been available for a while, the built in updater just doesn't pick it up for whatever reason, so one has to download and install it manually.
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#10 macdude22

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 11:30 AM

The built in update mechanism does not update the stub that gets stuck in /Applications and only updates the support files in /Application Support (who knows why, I suppose it gets around having to prompt for privilege escalation).
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