Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am on Leopard right now 10.6.8 and happy so far. Just have been checking out the Lion features. I am not interested in an iOS-like OS X, thanks. So I would like to know which is the best upgrade (performance-wise only)? Snow Leopard right?

share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by Daniel May 28 '12 at 20:50

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

10.6 already is Snow Leopard. Regular Leopard is 10.5. – NReilingh May 28 '12 at 15:39
Yeah I just found out... I am on SL already! Sorry about that. No way I am going to Lion!! – FFish May 28 '12 at 15:48

Obviously 'performance' is a subjective measurement and is more based on hardware and the types of applications you're using (ie TextEdit versus Photoshop), but I'd say that Snow Leopard, aka Mac OS X 10.6.8, does indeed feel faster than Lion on the same Mac.

The only thing I really find myself missing in Lion compared to Snow Leop is the ability to resize windows from all edges. Mission Control is worthless if you're using a better launcher like Quicksilver.

share|improve this answer

Snow is a little bit faster in usual day to day operations. However if I were you I would wait for the mountain lion (10.8) to arrive within next 3-4 month.

share|improve this answer

I understand your apprehension about Lion. But I don't think we have choice.

You can upgrade to Snow Leopard, but you should understand that Lion is the latest version of OS X, and, more importantly, the way forward.

I am not sure what performance considerations are important to you. I may depend on the applications you use regularly.

From Snow Leopard vs. Lion: Performance head-to-head:

For the most part, we found only minor speed variations between the two operating systems. Lion seemed a touch slower in our Photoshop CS5 batch processing test, but it also has a similarly small edge in iTunes encoding. We can't explain the variations with certainty, but it seems that iTunes does indeed benefit from the shift to 64-bit support. For Photoshop CS5, which does not yet support Lion's versioning capability, the performance dip could come from background code tied to versioning, or perhaps it's simply an optimization issue.

Even assuming equal performance, or even considering Snow leopard to have better performance at this point, if at all there is going to be an improvement to performance in future, or any improvement at all, it is definitely going to be on Lion.

One other point that may be important to consider is the hardware you have. Is it relatively new? Would you change your machine in the near future?

share|improve this answer

Surely the only iOS style interface is Launchpad? That's something you have to choose to use, and you'd never have to see it if you didn't want to.

I don't use Photoshop, and that's the main thing people quote where Snow Leopard is faster than Lion. In most things though it's a marginal difference with one or the other being fractionally faster, but for media encoding and multimedia use (my main use) Lion is definitely faster.

In general I have had less overall issues with Lion, and I've actually come to like Launchpad as it's quicker to open apps from a single screen on a 5 finger pinch than by scrolling through on the dock or by opening Finder.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.