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I have a 2009 MacBook Air with Mavericks. (It’s old, but low miles.) I was about to pull the trigger on buying a SSD to improve performance, but I just now learned that I won’t be able to upgrade to Sierra (?). Only 2010 and later models for MacBook Air are supported according to apple.com.

https://www.apple.com/macos/how-to-upgrade/

I’m floored. Am I really stuck with Mavericks forever? Should I just forget about upgrading the hard drive, since I cannot install Sierra anyway? Is the pitiful 2 GB of RAM (which cannot be upgraded ☹️) unable to handle any more OS’s?

What can I do, then, with this perfectly ok, if painfully slow, machine? Has anybody done this against recommendation and had it turn out ok?

FWIW, my primary use for this machine is going to be development work, i.e., self-study, writing & testing scripts in the terminal, etc. I don’t do much gaming, video, or heavy graphics, etc.

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    You can upgrade to El Capitan and it's still available for download. As far as getting an SSD, you'll need a 1.8 inch SSD and those are few and far between at this point making the price per GB quite high. It might not be worth the time/effort to upgrade it.
    – Allan
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 20:14

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Replacing your rather slow spinning HD with an SSD will certainly make your Mac faster. It is the one upgrade that will give you a noticeable speed bump. Other things can give you some speed like RAM , but that is not an option for you.

That said Apple does not support upgrading to Sierra (though there are hacks that will allow you to do so, which is beyond the scope of this site.)

You can not know if the upgrade will support your usage without trying it. Personally, 2 GB of RAM is considered pretty small these days and I would be hesitant to upgrade the OS because of that. But depending on your use case it might be acceptable in combination with the SSD upgrade.

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