I have a 13" Late 2011 MacBook Pro with the following specs:

  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5
  • 4GB RAM
  • 240GB SSD

I just put in the SSD and did an internet recovery, which installed Lion 10.7.5.

From a performance perspective, should I just leave it there? Or will I get any kind of benefits from upgrading to the latest (or a later) macOS?

My concern is I upgrade and then everything is much slower due to the machine not being able to handle the system requirements.

  • 1
    Please improve your answer or it will be flagged as either too broad or primarily opinion-based. Technically it's no problem to run HS on your Mac. Personally I upgrade to the oldest still updated system on older mid-range Macs (e.g. MacBook Pro early 2011/ custom SSD/10 GB RAM > El Capitan 10.11.6 & security updates)
    – klanomath
    Dec 7, 2017 at 22:00
  • Recently updated 2011 MacBook Pro (4GB RAM, 500GB HDD) from Yosemite to High Sierra. Performance actually seemed to be negatively affected. I also managed to contract the Month 13 glitch from HS which is very bad. I would have rather stayed on the older version myself, based on usability and performance; however updating to the latest version allows you to use apps that have stopped supporting the older systems.
    – Ckacmaster
    Dec 8, 2017 at 2:20

2 Answers 2


From a performance perspective, should I just leave it there?

No. For two reasons:

  • You are running a 7 year old OS that is no longer updated since about October 2014.

  • 4GB RAM is rather inadequate considering today's use cases.

Or will I get any kind of benefits from upgrading to the latest (or a later) macOS?

The benefits will be numerous. The most obvious would be increased application compatibility (i.e. Office 2016 and Phoshop CC just to name two) and increased security with System Integrity Protection (SIP).

Your performance is mostly determined by hardware and you've already taken steps to increase speed with the addition of an SSD. Increasing your RAM will have an immediate effect by reducing/eliminating the need for swap space. While you SSD is amazingly fast compared to the HDD it replaced, it's still not as fast as system memory.

You may find this answer relevant: My Mac is getting really slow, what should I do?

Personally, I have upgraded 2009, 2010 and 2011 MacBook Pros by maxing out the memory and upgrading to at least El Capitan all with excellent results. There are no loss of performance with the upgrades.


Every machine is a bit different, but I would say that your computer will be able to handle it, especially since Apple hasn’t marked it as obsolete yet. However, there is a chance that it will slow your machine down. Some updates actually improve the performance of the devices they run on, but often that is unfortunately not the case.

  • My bad, accidentally replied here. Sorry!
    – Jess
    Dec 8, 2017 at 17:33

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