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Question Mac OS for Macbook Pro Mid 2012 model

ayg

Prominent
Mar 22, 2019
7
0
510
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I have a macbook pro mid 2012 model, it's with 2nd gen core i5 and has 4GB DDR3 RAM and 500GB HDD. OS X 10.7.5 is practically of no use now as most apps do not work/install. Please suggest the OS which will best work with current hardware without any significant degradation in performance?
 
This Mac is just past the cutoff for compatibility with the most recent Mac OS (Catalina), though not all features will be supported. Upgrading all the way to Catalina would solve all software compatibility issues for the time being.

As far as performance and error avoidance, it would be best to do a fresh install. Save any important files (documents, pictures, etc) firsthand, download but don't immediately install Catalina from the Mac App store and use Disk maker X to prepare a flash drive as an installer. Once ready, boot the mac with this drive plugged in, holding down Option to see the boot options. Once in the installer interface, use Disk Utility to erase the disk then run the installer.

If performance is still an issue, there are a few options. The Mac could be upgraded with extra RAM and/or an SSD, or a slightly older release of Mac OS can be considered. Going too far back though will just re-introduce possible software compatibility problems while the difference between newer versions in performance won't be huge.
 

ayg

Prominent
Mar 22, 2019
7
0
510
0
This Mac is just past the cutoff for compatibility with the most recent Mac OS (Catalina), though not all features will be supported. Upgrading all the way to Catalina would solve all software compatibility issues for the time being.

As far as performance and error avoidance, it would be best to do a fresh install. Save any important files (documents, pictures, etc) firsthand, download but don't immediately install Catalina from the Mac App store and use Disk maker X to prepare a flash drive as an installer. Once ready, boot the mac with this drive plugged in, holding down Option to see the boot options. Once in the installer interface, use Disk Utility to erase the disk then run the installer.

If performance is still an issue, there are a few options. The Mac could be upgraded with extra RAM and/or an SSD, or a slightly older release of Mac OS can be considered. Going too far back though will just re-introduce possible software compatibility problems while the difference between newer versions in performance won't be huge.
Thanks
This Mac is just past the cutoff for compatibility with the most recent Mac OS (Catalina), though not all features will be supported. Upgrading all the way to Catalina would solve all software compatibility issues for the time being.

As far as performance and error avoidance, it would be best to do a fresh install. Save any important files (documents, pictures, etc) firsthand, download but don't immediately install Catalina from the Mac App store and use Disk maker X to prepare a flash drive as an installer. Once ready, boot the mac with this drive plugged in, holding down Option to see the boot options. Once in the installer interface, use Disk Utility to erase the disk then run the installer.

If performance is still an issue, there are a few options. The Mac could be upgraded with extra RAM and/or an SSD, or a slightly older release of Mac OS can be considered. Going too far back though will just re-introduce possible software compatibility problems while the difference between newer versions in performance won't be huge.
Thanks SchizTech for your response. Overall, what do you suggest to keep this mac or should I trade-off for some money on some website dealing with used electronics, ie if it's still worth keeping it/upgrade RAM and SSD. It's 8 years old, used sparingly; how much more can it go if h/w is upgraded?
 
I'd suppose it depends on the intended usage and how much you care to invest in this project. Macs keep their value well for resale, which means both that you can get a good return on that mac but also that a mac of newer vintage would be more than a PC of the same age. However, for light use that Mac will be sufficient for now. The caution is that Catalina is probably the end of the line for Apple support on a model that old. Over time it will gradually lose software support, though this should still give it a remaining lifespan of some years.

A DDR3 RAM upgrade to 8GB goes for about $45-$50
A good budget SSD around 250GB (say Crucial MX500 or WD Blue) is in the same ballpark
 
May 19, 2020
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Your Mac just about makes it for macOS Catalina. This is great - it’s the strongest security system for macOS you can get yet. Bear in mind though, Catalina only supports 64-bit apps, so if you know you’re going to use some 32-bit programs consider installing Mojave instead, it’s still a very good version.
  1. Make sure your Mac is backed up and you have reliable internet connection for the installation;
  2. Since you’re using such an old version of OS X, first you need to upgrade to El Capitan. Get the installer here;
  3. Find the installer in your Applications folder and follow the on-screen instructions. It will take a while;
  4. Now that you have a newer OS you can proceed to upgrading to Catalina. Download the installer here;
  5. It should open automatically. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  6. Again, the process may take some time.

One of my favourite features of Catalina is that you can use an iPad as a second screen. You’ll also find that in this version there will be no iTunes. Instead, Apple replaced it with several new applications for music, videos and podcasts. Is that a good or a bad thing? Up to you, but I personally liked it more when I could keep all my media in the same place.
 
Apr 17, 2020
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Your Mac just about makes it for macOS Catalina. This is great - it’s the strongest security system for macOS you can get yet. Bear in mind though, Catalina only supports 64-bit apps, so if you know you’re going to use some 32-bit programs consider installing Mojave instead, it’s still a very good version.
  1. Make sure your Mac is backed up and you have reliable internet connection for the installation;
  2. Since you’re using such an old version of OS X, first you need to upgrade to El Capitan. Get the installer here;
  3. Find the installer in your Applications folder and follow the on-screen instructions. It will take a while;
  4. Now that you have a newer OS you can proceed to upgrading to Catalina. Download the installer here;
  5. It should open automatically. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  6. Again, the process may take some time.
One of my favourite features of Catalina is that you can use an iPad as a second screen. You’ll also find that in this version there will be no iTunes. Instead, Apple replaced it with several new applications for music, videos and podcasts. Is that a good or a bad thing? Up to you, but I personally liked it more when I could keep all my media in the same place.
<<Edited for content by moderator>> Don’t download any garbage from the internet. Do this
View: https://youtu.be/FDRFZYImzPQ
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jul 30, 2020
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I just finished doing this exact thing with my mid-2012 13". It became impossibly slow after I started using it HARD to process thousands of music files. So, got a $99 SSD and 16 GM RAM set (yes - it does work with 16 like the boards say, even though it "maxes" at 8 officially. Full clean install of original OS version, per the internet recovery option. Then immediately opened the Apple store and downloaded Catalina. It's now running significantly faster (testing actually done... but sadly slow compared with the 2019 Pro 16" beast I got in January!). But it runs it all... Logic Pro X, multiple simultaneous types of DJ management and control software packages. Everything syncs with all else Apple instantly - started using Notes for the first time ever - syncs on a character-to-character level, with no need to save! Awesome! and for a total of like $140 and maybe 4 hours total to get everything done - and that includes every app that's on my Beast machine - all for "free", including another copy of Logic Pro X!!! Best decision ever! Go for it. Get up with me if you have any questions!
 

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