Can I still update OS on MacBook Pro from 2010?


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I'm currently running OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 on my MBP from mid 2010. And it's working, be it rather slow. I now run into the problem that certain software (e.g. Brave browser) is no longer supported and I need to update to at least OS X 10.11. But I'm wary of that because I'm afraid it will get even slower or stop working all together. And as far as I know it's not possible to downgrade again if that were to be the case. Could anyone tell me if my MBP would survive the update and what I can expect in terms of performance. Also if it is correct that downgrading is not possible. I know she's really old, but I don't have the cash to replace her just yet.
Specs:
Processor: 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4GB 1067MHz DDR3
Graphic card: NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256MB
 
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Ditto about adding more RAM.

With a machine that old I also wonder if your hard drive has developed issues with high retry counts. As sectors on the drive become weaker the machine has to try over and over again to read the data that resides on them and this has a big negative impact on performance. So I would highly recommend replacing it with an SSD. The old drive could easily be cloned to the SSD so that you would not lose anything. There are free apps for cloning available such as Carbon Copy and Superduper. You would need a USB cradle to put the SSD in for the cloning process. The only problem with cloning is that if there are problems with the file system or infections they will get transferred. It's always best to do a from scratch installation of the operating system and then add the data and apps back in, after first backing up he data of course.

Also, keep in mind that the last couple of Mac operating systems will only run 64-bit software so if you have any older programs, say MS Office, they will not work anymore. You would need to upgrade to the 64-bit versions of those programs.
 
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Hi,

I also agree re Ram and as my screen shot shows my 2010 MacBook is running High Sierra 10.13.6 with 8GB of Ram, so you should have no problems.;)
 

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A very useful website indeed. Thanks for that.
As sectors on the drive become weaker the machine has to try over and over again to read the data that resides on them and this has a big negative impact on performance.
Thank you for your answer. Is there a way to tell if this is really the case? Some sort of diagnostic test?

In general, which of the options would yield a better improvement:
  • upgrading the memory to 8 or 16GB (officially supports 8GB, but I found on everymac.com and OWC that this particular notebook supports 16GB as well, although I don't know if the difference between those two wil be noticeable if the CPU remains the same.)
    (2 x 8.0GB PC8500 DDR3)
  • or replacing the HDD with an OWC SSD (1.0TB OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSD)
Doing both would set me back about $260 - $300
I don't use the notebook to do a whole lot of fancy stuff. At least not graphically. I do fool around with DAW software, but I don't know if it's performance is enhanced by these upgrades or if it depends more on the CPU. And I just want it to be quicker in general.

Would you be so kind as to comment on this.
Thanks.
 
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Hi,

Apple installed the Ram upgrade for me maybe five years ago. And yes for running vid play back software like nextbase this was a must.
 
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Hi,

I also agree re Ram and as my screen shot shows my 2010 MacBook is running High Sierra 10.13.6 with 8GB of Ram, so you should have no problems.;)
How were you able to get 10.13.6?
Per Apple Support, I can't update past 10.13.3 on my late 2011 MacBook Pro.
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hi,

All Late 2013 MacBook Pros should be able to go to 10.13.6. How did you hear of that limitation per Apple Support?

C
 

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