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  1. #1
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
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    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan? Which will run the best?
    I just installed a Sandisk 240GB SSD in my early 2008 2.4GHz iMac and wondering which version of OS X will run the absolute best on the iMac in my signature below. I want it to feel super snappy and no frustrate me when using Office 2011, browsing the web, watching TV shows and movies on my Plex server and playing some World of Warcraft WOTLK (play on private server just up to this expansion). Which version will run the absolute best on my hardware? Thanks in advance!
    MINE - 20" 2008 iMac 2.4GHz | 4GB Crucial DDR2 800MHz | 240GB Sandisk SSD Plus | Radeon HD 2400 XT | 8x DL SuperDrive | OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
    WIFE'S - 2007 Mac Mini 2GHz | 4GB DDR2 667MHz | 120GB Patriot Pyro SSD | Intel GMA 950 | Pioneer DVR-K06 | OS X 10.7.5 (Lion)

  2. #2
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    lclev's Avatar
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    Well unless you have copies of Mavericks or Yosemite then El Capitan is it. Mavericks and Yosemite are no longer available in the Apple store unless you downloaded them previously or have them already.

    The SSD should give it a nice boost. That model can only be upgraded to 6GB so while that could help I don't think you would see a huge benefit.

    I do know Office 2011 will work just fine on El Capitan. From what I have read WOW should work on El Capitan although I am not a gamer and have no idea what the system requirements are.

    Lisa
    Recommend using Onyx to clean your Mac.
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  3. #3
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    GameGuru's Avatar
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    I do have the images of Mavericks and Yosemite so I can put any of them on my system. Short of putting them all on and testing them does anyone happen to know off hand which one will run best?
    MINE - 20" 2008 iMac 2.4GHz | 4GB Crucial DDR2 800MHz | 240GB Sandisk SSD Plus | Radeon HD 2400 XT | 8x DL SuperDrive | OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
    WIFE'S - 2007 Mac Mini 2GHz | 4GB DDR2 667MHz | 120GB Patriot Pyro SSD | Intel GMA 950 | Pioneer DVR-K06 | OS X 10.7.5 (Lion)

  4. #4
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I didn't notice how much RAM you have or may want to install, and I think you're limited to 6GB, but I'd do some web searching for more answers, like maybe:
    https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    For more info on your iMac:
    http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...ryn-specs.html

  5. #5
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    If you have Mavericks, It might be the fastest on that machine. I am typing this to you on that very iMac in fact. I would also recommend maxing out the RAM to 6GB.

  6. #6
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    GameGuru's Avatar
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    I have 4gb. I liked Mavericks, does it work well with SSDs?
    MINE - 20" 2008 iMac 2.4GHz | 4GB Crucial DDR2 800MHz | 240GB Sandisk SSD Plus | Radeon HD 2400 XT | 8x DL SuperDrive | OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
    WIFE'S - 2007 Mac Mini 2GHz | 4GB DDR2 667MHz | 120GB Patriot Pyro SSD | Intel GMA 950 | Pioneer DVR-K06 | OS X 10.7.5 (Lion)

  7. #7
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Mavericks should be fine on an SSD. I have one in my 2008 MacBook Pro. The difference between a standard spinning hard drive and SSD is is quite noticeable. It is most reduction of boot time and other tasks requiring a lot of reading/writing to the drive. My boot time was was cut almost in half IIRC.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
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  8. #8
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    You might want to do some checking and see if that SSD supports TRIM, and the same for your Mac, but I'm not sure if Mavericks has "native" support for third party drives and I believe El Capitan has more support for, but I'm only using Mavericks and earlier.

    Maybe do some searching on something like this:
    https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    Without proper TRIM support, that Mac may end up being slower than any old HDD…




    - Patrick
    ======

  9. #9
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    lclev's Avatar
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    Most SSDs today come with some sort of a TRIM system built into the firmware. OWC and Crucial drives have such a system. I am not sure who else does so you might do a bit of research on what ever you select.

    Prior to Yosemite 10.10.4, you could use a utility called TRIM Enabler that would disable the feature that checked to see if you were using an OEM Apple SSD and then turn on trim. While it worked, you had to remember to turn it off for major updates or your system would hang, requiring a lot of steps and hassle to get it back to running right.

    This article explains it well and tells you how to enable TRIM if your SSD does not have a built in system, but you will only be able to do so with Yosemite and El Capitan. For some reason only known to Apple, the prevented that in Mavericks.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/222077/how-...s-on-mac-os-x/

    Lisa
    Recommend using Onyx to clean your Mac.
    If you have been helped, please add to their reputation by clicking on the icon in the lower left hand corner of the post.

  10. #10
    National magnolia
    Quote Originally Posted by lclev View Post
    Well unless you have copies of Mavericks or Yosemite then El Capitan is it. Mavericks and Yosemite are no longer available in the Apple store unless you downloaded them previously or have them already.

    The SSD should give it a nice boost. That model can only be upgraded to 6 GB...

    Lisa
    I do not have an SSD, but I also have an iMac from 2008 (2.4 GHZ Core 2 Duo processor, and 4 GB RAM). I need to upgrade to some other operating system from Snow Leopard. I downloaded El Capitan but have to installed it yet because I am worried that I need need something lessor like Yosemite or Lion instead...

    I would not hesitate to buy more RAM if that is needed. The hard drive was replaced in 2011, and I only use the computer for web browsing.

    Thank you!

  11. #11
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I need to upgrade to some other operating system from Snow Leopard. I downloaded El Capitan but have to installed it yet

    You may not have much or even any choice as to your OS X Update, defending on what you've done in the past and what you have available.

    4GB of RAM is pretty minimal and the El Capt'n is the last OS X version that Mac can run:
    Apple iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 20-Inch (Early 2008) Specs
    Maximum MacOS: X 10.11.x*
    http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...ryn-specs.html

    You can wait until after you upgrade to see if more RAM is required, but 8GB would be my minimum recommendation. But El Cap'n does tend to handle memory better than Snow Leopard does.

    PS: Welcome to the mac-forums.

    PPS: I'd suggest you keep your Snow Leopard on it's own partition if and when you do upgrade. Probably a lot of apps like AppleWorks you might use or need won't run with later OS X versions.


    EDIT:
    Oppps… I forgot, your iMac can only use Maximum 6GB RAM. Keeping the 4GB PAIR just might be almost as fast or faster, (it's to do with interleaving), especially if you're adding/replacing the HDD with a SSD.

    And that 2011 hard drive is getting towards the end of its normal life and may be slowing down as well.





    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 09-09-2017 at 12:25 PM.

  12. #12
    El Capitan, Yosemite, or Mavericks? (2008 iMac)
    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    You may not have much or even any choice as to your OS X Update, defending on what you've done in the past and what you have available.

    4GB of RAM is pretty minimal and the El Capt'n is the last OS X version that Mac can run:
    Apple iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 20-Inch (Early 2008) Specs
    Maximum MacOS: X 10.11.x*
    http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...ryn-specs.html

    You can wait until after you upgrade to see if more RAM is required, but 8GB would be my minimum recommendation. But El Cap'n does tend to handle memory better than Snow Leopard does.

    PS: Welcome to the mac-forums.

    PPS: I'd suggest you keep your Snow Leopard on it's own partition if and when you do upgrade. Probably a lot of apps like AppleWorks you might use or need won't run with later OS X versions.

    EDIT:
    Oppps… I forgot, your iMac can only use Maximum 6GB RAM. Keeping the 4GB PAIR just might be almost as fast or faster, (it's to do with interleaving), especially if you're adding/replacing the HDD with a SSD.

    And that 2011 hard drive is getting towards the end of its normal life and may be slowing down as well.

    - Patrick
    ======
    Thank you, Patrick! However, would I be better off with Yosemite, Mavericks, or a lower version? Someone else said: "Get something below 10.10 (Yosemite). The newer versions have so much disk I/O it could fry the older hard drive." Do you think this is accurate? (https://apple.stackexchange.com/ques...a6066da4af642a)

    FYI, I am NOT planning on getting an SSD.

    Thank you!

  13. #13
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    RadDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSue View Post
    Thank you, Patrick! However, would I be better off with Yosemite, Mavericks, or a lower version? Someone else said: "Get something below 10.10 (Yosemite). The newer versions have so much disk I/O it could fry the older hard drive." Do you think this is accurate? (https://apple.stackexchange.com/ques...a6066da4af642a)

    FYI, I am NOT planning on getting an SSD.
    Hi MSue - responded to your cross-post and welcomed you to the forum. Patrick has already provided the link to EveryMac describing your early 2008 iMac computer - below are just a couple of screen shots from the details there; first, appears the RAM has been upgraded to 4 GB from that offered in the original machine - can go to 6 GB w/ stipulations but will that help much? Also, macOS 10.11.x (El Capitan), as you already know, is the maximum OS for your computer - others who have gone through this process will need to 'chime in', but 8 GB RAM would be a lot better for those newer operating systems.

    Finally, as seen in the last image below, Mactracker estimates that your computer is worth about $130 - you might be able to get more if sold by yourself on eBay or Craig's list (if you'll willing?) - but instead of investing in RAM and/or a SSD, you might be thinking about a newer machine, depending on your budget. Again, others who have long dealings in the used Mac market (if you want to go that route) will hopefully post. Good luck. Dave

    .
    iMac2.png

    iMac3.png

    iMac4.png
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  14. #14
    Thank you for pointing out the earlier link that I missed, and for cutting and pasting that information!

    I was concerned that El Capitan might slow down this computer too much, and that it might be better to use Yosemite or Mavericks instead. The computer belongs to a 77-year-old with the beginnings of dementia, and she only uses it to surf the internet. We aren't really concerned with any other apps except maybe Photos, I think.

    Thank you!

  15. #15
    Early 2008 iMac ... Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan?  Which will run the best?
    RadDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSue View Post
    Thank you for pointing out the earlier link that I missed, and for cutting and pasting that information!

    I was concerned that El Capitan might slow down this computer too much, and that it might be better to use Yosemite or Mavericks instead. The computer belongs to a 77-year-old with the beginnings of dementia, and she only uses it to surf the internet. We aren't really concerned with any other apps except maybe Photos, I think.
    Hello again - well, you can go to 6 GB RAM and upgrade to a macOS version less than El Capitan - others w/ experience in this area on older Macs will need to offer comments. Also, a 'slow' Mac, especially an older one, may be due to a lot of different issues - might want to tell us why you feel the macOS upgrade is needed, e.g. browser slowness, internet connection (how good?), HD capacity and free space, rebooting try, clearing of browser and computer caches, etc. - check this Macworld Article for a bunch of items that can be checked. Dave
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