Straight to the point.

I am using Mac OS X 10.9.5 (Mavericks) and have stayed on it mainly due to overall system stability. I don’t want to reboot or deal with crashes from Mac OS X or a Linux machine.

From what I have read, heard and seen about Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) it had issues with random crashes and memory leaks so I avoided it. For example, this Engadget post kvetches about Yosemite stability issues to no end:

In performance, Yosemite didn't shine either, with altergeist complaining of "GPU panics, hard crashes, freezes and lower performance in benchmarks than Mavericks," commenting that even Windows Vista was "fundamentally more stable and reliable than Yosemite." Sydneystufff said, "I have wasted countless hours of my time force quitting, re-starting, re-installing on a daily/hourly basis" and GeeboH calls Yosemite "the most unstable version of OS X I've used since 2001."

Similar details on the Yosemite project page on Engadget as well.

Now with Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) out I am not too hot on getting into that version of the OS too quickly since I no longer trust Apple’s initial major version releases and am wary of SIP (System Integrity Protection) for now.. But I am considering an upgrade to Yosemite to the 10.10.5 version to at least be a part of the “more modern” world; I want to stay stable but not too far behind the OS support curve.

Since I have stayed on Mac OS X 10.9.5 (Mavericks) for overall system stability, do I risk losing that stability with an upgrade to Mac OS X 10.10.5 (Yosemite)? If I have to trade stability for “newness” I’m not into an upgrade just yet but would like to hear some real-world information from people who might have been in the same boat as me. I would like to think that the 10.10.5 is more stable than the initial 10.10 release.

More details.

I am one of those users out there who is still using Mac OS X 10.9.5 (Mavericks) mainly for overall system stability and performance. Basically when Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) there seemed to be tons of reports of system crashes and required reboots for recovery and that’s not what I’m used to in an OS.

Using Mac OS X 10.9.5 (Mavericks) on my Mac Mini (Late 2012) and I have pretty much never experienced random crashes or failures so server I need to hard reboot the system. Maybe one or two oddball kernel panic over the years, but nothing too bad. Here are my systems specs:

  • Model: Mac Mini (Late 2012)
  • CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i5
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4000 1024 MB
  • RAM: 16GB (1600 MHz DDR3)
  • Storage: 500GB SATA hard disk drive; about 40GB used.

I don’t use any Adobe or Microsoft products and mainly use my Mac for Linux/Unix systems administration and web development tasks. Here is what I use on a regular basis:

  • Instead of Microsoft Office, I use Libre Office for it’s word processing and spreadsheet functionality, but maybe once a week.
  • Instead of Photoshop, I use GraphicConvertor and Pixelmator for photo editing.
  • I use VirtualBox far more for my tasks mainly running simple, non-GUI Linux server instances.
  • In Mac OS X I use Apple’s command line development tools for tool compiling in Bash.
  • And of course I use some of the standard Mac OS X built-in software such as Safari, Mail, iTunes and iPhoto. FWIW, iTunes crashes like crazy nowadays, but I know that is most likely just iTune. iPhoto is rock solid.
  • Past any of that I might fire up Handbrake or use others similar media conversion tools, but I doubt those would fall victim to—or cause—any system stability issue.

So what is the general consensus on the overall system stability of Mac OS X 10.10.5 (Yosemite)?


1 Answer 1


Stability is hard to prognosticate - even if you have all the crash data that is sent to Apple or by harvesting the logs of thousands of Mac computers. Projecting the stability of a system in general to one person't specific list of modifications generally makes these comparisons poor and subjective.

What I can say is that 10.10.5 is more secure than 10.10.0 and again more secure than 10.9.5 but neither is as secure as 10.11 (which I find to be very stable - even running the beta builds, it was as stable for me as 10.10.x)

Part of me is divided, if you haven't jumped to 10.10 yet, my feeling is don't bother. You get these few features - http://www.imore.com/os-x-el-capitan-review - continuity, Photos and no big changes under the hood as 10.9 already has compressed memory.

I would say wait for 10.11.1 and then upgrade since most of the consumer crashers and allowances needed for third party apps will be out for the .1

  • Office for 10.11 is fine
  • Virtual Box for 10.11 is fine
  • homebrew and shell is better on 10.11 than 10.10/10.9 in my opinion
  • Metal on 10.11 will make pixelmator and other apps far more responsive if your hardware qualifies for that acceleration.
  • You'll want to ditch iPhoto if you go to 10.11 (probably) and iTunes might work a little better - hard to say on these two, though

From http://www.apple.com/osx/how-to-upgrade/

Metal is supported by the following Mac models:

  • MacBook (Early 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 and newer)
  • @JakeGould Security patches etc. for the first two, plus El Capitan has System Integrity Protection.
    – Tuesday
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 22:00

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