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I have a 13 inch aluminum MacBook (late 2008 model) and I recently upgraded to Lion. It simply hasn't been working out. Everything feels very sluggish and I honestly don't really have that big of a need for all the new features. I was planning on downgrading to Snow Leopard, but I also have a Leopard install disk (the one that came with the machine.)

System stats:

Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo


Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB

My Question:

Will I see much of a performance gain from using Leopard instead of Snow Leopard?

Another question:

Are there any apps that require Snow Leopard? That simply won't work under Leopard?

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> "Are there any apps that require Snow Leopard?" None that I can think of. Maybe some, but it's probably the other way 'round for most older apps :P – slhck Jul 27 '11 at 6:48
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Snow Leopard contained significant rewrites of OSX's base code, which is why it didn't contain any major interface upgrades. In theory, it should be a faster and slicker OS than Leopard.

This test from MacWorld seems to bear that out.

As for your second question - the answer is yes, though I can't name any off the top of my head. Maybe run through a list of the apps you use regularly and look at their system requirements.

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Awesome, thank you! Will accept as soon as the time limit is up. – Wuffers Jul 27 '11 at 4:20
You're welcome! – Magnakai Jul 27 '11 at 4:22

I'm not sure if you'll notice a difference in performance after upgrading/downgrading your OS.

The real question should be "Will upgrading my hard drive to an SSD improve performance"? Yes! Do that and then your computer will feel like new! (No joke).

Your hard drive is the biggest bottleneck and the easiest way to gain performance with relatively little cost.

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-1: I wasn't asking about what would improve performance. I was asking if using Leopard would provide better performance over SL. – Wuffers Jul 27 '11 at 4:19
Fair enough - I was trying to shed some light on the fact that changing OSs is not the way to get better performance, unless you're severely resource limited (which you're not). There are better options than sacrificing updates with an older OS. – rkaregaran Jul 27 '11 at 4:27

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