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I have a 2008 MacBook which is getting slow, I need to do an erase and reinstall.

I have the choice to install Yosemite (online) or Snow Leopard (from a DVD). But would Yosemite be too much for my old hardware? In which case could I easily get more RAM put in?

If go back to Snow Leopard, will that soon be completely outdated?

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    Which model 2008 MacBook do you have and how much RAM is presently installed? Only the MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) version of the 2008 models support OS X Yosemite 10.10.x. The other 2008 versions of the MacBook only support up to Mac OS X 10.7.5. – user3439894 Jul 21 '15 at 14:30
  • I have 13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo currently with 2GB memory, I read that I could install up to 8GB as long as I have bootrom MB51.007D.B03, honestly I don't know what bootrom is! – Stevie Jul 21 '15 at 14:49
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    Apple officially says 4 GB RAM for that model however other sources suggest 8GB. To see Boot ROM version in a Terminal, copy and past the following command and press Enter: system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | grep "Boot ROM" – user3439894 Jul 21 '15 at 14:57
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    Also note that it is always recommended that you have the latest possible OS you can have installed due to security fixes and the sort. Snow Leopard has not been supported for some time in that regard. – smoooosher Jul 21 '15 at 16:30
  • Ok, so I do have the right Boot Rom, thanks @user3439894! – Stevie Jul 21 '15 at 19:08
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I am currently using Yosemite successfully with a very similar computer: 2008 iMac 2.66 C2D. I would strongly encourage you to upgrade to 8GB of RAM and swap your drive out for an SSD. After upgrading the RAM to 6GB and making a roll-your-own Fusion drive (I installed an SSD in the Optical drive bay), Yosemite runs very well. Unless you need to use Snow Leopard for Rosetta (i.e. PowerPC compatibility), I'd go with Yosemite.

  • thank you for this info! I am going to try my best to find a mac savy friend to help me to do those things. I can only see myself with no more macbook if I try it alone! – Stevie Jul 21 '15 at 19:11
  • If you haven't done this already: The RAM you should be able to do yourself, once you find out how much RAM you have installed. The SSD drive will need some expertise, and making a Fusion drive is advanced class. – Calion Aug 8 '15 at 15:32
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To use Yosemite on ANY computer, you NEED to have an Solid State Hard Drive. This comes from painful experience on a mid-2009 and mid 2010 Macbook Pros. Yosemite is optimized for SSD, not spinning hard drives (this comes from a veteran Apple Genius who finally divulged this to me when the 2010 computer was glacially slow and unresponsive-in addition to freezing up constantly. DON'T use it with the stock hard drive! F%*#ing Apple won't tell you this like it won't tell you that updated Pages sucks big time. And Mail is a horror show. Just sayin'. I think Apple has lost its beautiful way with software en route to earning billions with the iPhone and iPad, etc..

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