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Update Sierra to Mojave or Catalina?

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Hi, all. I just got a late 2012 Mac Mini (2.5 Core i5 - 4GB RAM - 500GB HDD MD387LL/A). I'll be upgrading the memory to 8GB soon and in the near future I'll be switching out the 500GB HDD to a 500GB SSD. In the meantime, it arrived with Sierra installed. So, I know I want to update the OS. Should I update to Mojave or Catalina? I've not installed any third party apps yet, so it's a clean Sierra install.

Suggestions, advice appreciated.
 

Raz0rEdge

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You should definitely go as high the machine will support and that's Catalina. You should do the memory upgrade which make a big difference. The only reason to hold off on Catalina and go with Mojave is if you have any 32-bit apps you intend to use in the future, those will not be supported unless they've been updated to 64-bit.
 
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Well, I've been absent from Mac for a few years. So I'm being reintroduced to the Mac world. Not sure if any apps I'd use will be 32 bit or not. I suspect not. Perhaps I'll update to Mojave until I upgrade the SSD and use Time Machine to restore after a clean update from Mojave to Catalina.
 

chscag

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2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, Numerous iPods, Catalina
I would advise you to install Mojave first and get your feet wet with it before updating to Catalina. Catalina not only restricts programs to 64 bit but it also makes some significant changes in security and partitioning of your Macintosh HD.

Also... if you install Mojave, it will format your HDD or SSD to the newer file format adapted by Apple: APFS
 
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If I had it to do over again I would not upgrade from Mojave to Catalina. I installed Catalina last Thursday (it's Sunday morning here) and I have spent way too much time over the past few days dealing with stuff that broke unexpectedly.

Of course, YMMV.
 
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I would advise you to install Mojave first and get your feet wet with it before updating to Catalina.

I would tend to agree with Charlie's comments, especially when considering that Mac is not exactly a recent Mac model. Personally I would almost be inclined to keep it at Sierra for a while.

You might want to check into what features with the later macOS versions won't even run on that Mac model!!!!


- Patrick
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I'm with Ashwin on this. Go for Catalina. With no third party apps on it, the install should be straightforward and clean. Catalina is up to 10.15.2, so it's had some early bugs addressed already. For me it has been rock solid.
 
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I'm with Ashwin on this. Go for Catalina. With no third party apps on it, the install should be straightforward and clean. Catalina is up to 10.15.2, so it's had some early bugs addressed already. For me it has been rock solid.
I agree with this. For better or worse, Catalina is a portent of the future of macOS. Since you are just getting back into things, you may as well be prepared for it. I would recommend doing a clean install of Catalina, not an upgrade over Sierra. Download the installer; make a bootable USB stick; then boot off that and wipe the internal drive. You should be in good shape with the RAM and SSD upgrades you have planned.
 
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Memory has been upgraded to 16GB. SSD in the near future. I decided to go straight to Catalina. So far, no issues at all. Now to go explore.

Appreciate everyone's input. Thanks!
 
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