Old hardware with newer operating systems

I am not saying that Apple released new IOS versions to obsolete hardware but that they I believe they purposely do now allow installation of it on older devices in order to coerce users to abandon perfectly good and fully functioning older products and buy new ones. Perhaps some the older devices are incapable of utilizing some of the newer features but that should be something for the user to decide, not Apple. One distinct advantages of running the current IOS is that it is actively monitored for security issues that older IOS are not and security updates may no longer be offered on older IOS’s

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You are certainly welcome to believe whatever you want, but I feel I should point out that Apple has been doing this for a couple of decade now. And I believe there is also an equally valid argument that it requires additional resources and compromises to develop and test OS’s on older equipment. There are some significant hurdles to overcome to backport new features on older, slower equipment. That requires additional time and engineers (that are already in short supply) in order to accomplish. Apple has been under increasing pressure to improve quality and supporting older equipment is bound to make those matters worse.

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I agree, there is a cost for Apple to continue to support older hardware. If you have hardware no longer supported by the OS, how much are you willing to pay per year to have the new OS work on your hardware?

Who says this has to be a zero sum game? I want better quality software releases and more resources dedicated to supporting the hardware of their loyal customers. This is Apple, they always claim they strive to be better. So show us. With $250B in the bank I’m sure they can afford to make a few necessary changes here and there.

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I think that’s a serious stretch. As @alvarnell points out, Apple spends significant time, money, and resources on developing for and testing against older devices and then supporting them with the new versions. If the goal was to get people to buy new devices, Apple could spend no money at all and just drop those devices from the compatibility list.

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I agree with Al, and AFAIK, other mobile and desktop hardware manufacturers have approximately the same refreshment and replacement cycle. Windows stuff is moving to 64 bits too.

I was not at all a happy camper when Apple announced that OS X would not run on my beloved 9600 that I had just bought a few weeks before. But the explanation about why it was important that Apple moved away from RISC chips to stay competitive and to keep developers in the loop to update existing software and develop new stuff did make sense to me.

My 9600 still works, as does my cheese grater, and I do fire them up from time to time. I’m still using my ancient MacBook Pro and I’m only thinking about replacing it because it’s sending increasing signals that it is getting ready to give up the ghost. I hope I can wait long enough until Apple starts its inevitable move to ARM chips for Macs. And 5G means there will be new developments in business and entertainment options as well as services. Stuff that won’t run on older equipment or software, stuff that can only run on new chips. It’s inevitable that a time will come there will not be enough holdouts with old hardware that will make software upgrades profitable for developers.

Because they would probably quickly have less much less than $0 billion in reserves if they did.

Lets agree to disagree. As an example I have an older MacPro Desktop tower, before 2010, and it cut me off of updates at Mountain Lion. Later I ’shoehorned’ Mavericks on the machine and it has been working fine with it for many years.

On my MacPro 5.1 Desktop I could upgrade the processors, and replace the GPU with a ‘Metal’ card, but Apple still will not allow me to update the MacOS beyond High Sierra. That would likely meet my needs for X-Plane if I could do it. Instead I have to buy the new 2019 MacPro Desktop starting at $6K. Even so, that machine would not be effective for X-Plane due to the default graphics card, designed for video editing. Instead I have to either purchase a Radeon 5700X card at $700 as an add-on with the result being I have paid for a default GPU that is insufficient for my needs and that I no real use for, or wait till Apple gets good and ready to release the card as a to build option at their inflated prices. In my opinion the only reasons that Apple does “just drop the older devices” is that the resultant uproar of making there marketing plans that obvious would create such an uproar that their stock price might be affected. I have assigned a term to Apples behavior. I call it “myopic greed” - focusing on quick exorbitant profits while alienating customer loyalty for the long term.

Just try and convince me that it is not exorbitant to charge $1000 for a monitor stand with the only major difference from an iMac stand is that you can rotate the monitor 90º or charging $400 for a set of 4 what amounts to a set of screw in office chair casters for the new MacPro.

FYI: Monitor Stand with more functionality that the Apple MacPro Stand for $26:

https://www.amazon.com/Computer-Free-Standing-Adjustable-Rotation-HT05B-001/dp/B07Q79ZZJ6/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=HT05B-001&qid=1581223348&sr=8-1

The only downside is that it is black instead of aluminum finish which can be corrected with a can a spray paint if one is picky for under $5. It even has cable clips.

Many years ago I “shoehorned” Mavericks on an older MacPro Desktop that Apple would not allow anything above Mountain Lion to be installed. It has worked perfectly fine in that configuration for many years. I can’t run Catalina on my MacPro 5.1, even if I upgrade the process and GPU to provide performance of many similar machines that are updateable because Apple reads a chip in the machine and will not allow it to be installed. It has little to do with additional resources and compromises. It has everything to do with myopic greed. It is no secret that many of the older machines are more reliable than current machines (i.e butterfly keyboards) and that older MacOS’s are more stable that Catalina.

I’m not going to disagree with what you have said except to say it’s strictly from a customer point of view. No public corporation can do business by only listening to what customers have to say as they must satisfy their investors or fail. But it can’t be one or the other as they must continue to sell their products which means satisfied customers, otherwise they wouldn’t be as profitable as you must agree they are today. It cannot be simple greed. That just doesn’t work in the business world.

Perhaps my experience has been very different from yours. I’ve owned over half a dozen Macs, starting with a dual floppy Mac SE, PowerPac G5, PowerBooks and recently a couple of iMacs. I never felt pressured to upgrade due to OS compatibility, rather I was driven by a desire to keep up from a performance point of view. To some extent I escaped issues like the butterfly keyboard, but appreciate that many users weren’t as fortunate. I’m also persuaded by the need to avoid obsolescent, vulnerable and failing hardware. I honestly think I would have paid more over the years to try to keep legacy Macs repaired and upgraded rather than replacing them. I’m not particularly persuaded to upgrade quickly by new OS features, but at the same time I wouldn’t feel comfortable running a legacy OS these days. I do what I can to report any and all software problems to Apple and several other developers, to the point of volunteering for beta testing on a separate drive or partition, when they accept me. I find that much more appealing and hopefully effective than simply continuing to publicly complain.

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Have you investigated a solution using an eGPU with a suitably powered modern Mac with a Thunderbolt 3 port (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208544)?

A few points. And I am unhappy when I can’t use functioning computers anymore due to being able to upgrade them. OTOH I look forward to good excuses to dump 10 year old Mac because they are so much slower than what is available now.

Just try and convince me that it is not exorbitant to charge $1000 for a monitor stand with the only major difference from an iMac stand is that you can rotate the monitor 90º or charging $400 for a set of 4 what amounts to a set of screw in office chair casters for the new MacPro.

This is just wrong. The Pro Display XDR is not just like an iMac without the computer. I wish Apple sold such a monitor. It is designed for a very small but demanding group of video users who will love buying this monitor rather that can cost $25,000. It isn’t the same as the Sony and cannot replace it in all circumstances but it will be a boon to video professionals. Note that the monitor is 37", not 27" and is 6K.

Now do complain about the lack of a 27" 5K monitor from Apple. I would love to give an iMac quality screen to our few Mac mini users and some MacBook users. The Lacie doesn’t excite me and very few people make 5K monitors.

No due to latency, performance hits and it would not help me with my MacPro Desktop 5.1 as it would still be MacOS version deficient. I also need direct USB ports via PCIE for my real time flight instrumentation for similar reasons. Thanks for the suggestion however.

FYI: If it were not that I have around 500 Mac Apps on my machine for support reasons and running Mac only finance and database software, I would likely abandon Mac and consider Linux with consideration of Windows if the software I needed was not available and I could do it for less than half the price of the new MacPro Desktop, even though I worked for Apple for around 13 years starting in 1982 and still have a employee number under 5000 assigned to me.

The stand price I mentioned, is not for the monitor which is priced between $5K-$6K. It is just for a metal stand accessory, similar to the iMac stand but it can also rotate 90 degrees to put the monitor in portrait mode. My current processor from 201o is running at 3.2GHz, only 0.3 GHz slower than the 8 core MacPro 2019. The PCIE Slots are fast enough for my USB card. By replacing my current GPU a new ‘Metal’ GPU I would have all the performance needed for X-Plane both now and likely in the future and I do not need the performance of Apple’s new monitor. Right now I own a several critical applications that I no longer can upgrade because I cannot run Catalina and Apple will not allow me to do so no matter how much I upgrade my current machine. I expect the number to grow in the future. If Apple wants to continue to make money they should focus on attracting new customers to the platform with reliability and innovative and affordable engineering, and not by squeezing every last penny out of existing customers wallets. I rest my case for myopic greed.

I started using Apple products before the Mac was created. I was even using a Lisa while working at Apple in 1982. Right now I have 3 Macs in my home, 2 of them MacPro Desktops.

My current processor from 201o is running at 3.2GHz, only 0.3 GHz slower than the 8 core MacPro 2019. The PCIE Slots are fast enough for my USB card. By replacing my current GPU a new ‘Metal’ GPU I would have all the performance needed for X-Plane both now and likely in the future and I do not need the performance of Apple’s new monitor.I could do all of the upgrades I need for less than $1K. Right now I own a several critical applications that I no longer can upgrade because I cannot run Catalina and Apple will not allow me to do so no matter how much I upgrade my current machine. I expect the number to grow in the future. If Apple wants to continue to make money they should focus on attracting new customers to the platform with reliability and innovative and affordable engineering, and not by squeezing every last penny out of existing customers wallets. I rest my case for myopic greed.

I can’t comment on what hardware you might need for X-Plane, since I’m entirely unfamiliar with it, but from everything I know about how Apple develops and tests versions of operating systems, the reasons that a new version of macOS won’t install on a particular old Mac are:

  • It’s likely going to be a poor user experience due to slow performance or missing features
  • It has known problems that Apple doesn’t wish to spend the time and resources to fix
  • The time and resources necessary to update it aren’t worthwhile given the small number of users who would benefit

That’s not to say that your opinion of an acceptable user experience might not disagree with Apple’s, and it’s also possible that you wouldn’t run into the known problems (which is partly why some people have managed to install and use newer versions of macOS on unsupported hardware in the past).

Thank you for your reply. However my frustration is not that they will not allow me to install newer operating systems on older machine but that even if I upgrade the hardware to support the newer OS they still will not allow me to do it as they link the capability for updates to the model of the machine instead of to the actual hardware in the machine. That may work fine for non-upgradeable products such as laptops, mini Macs, and iMacs, but not for MacPro Desktops which are designed to be upgradable and which purchasers pay a premium price for that capability. Such a policy is also very ecological unfriendly as well.

FYI: I am curious on how you justify Apple’s decision to solder in the storage drive to the motherboard in the latest mini Mac so if the drive fails you have to replace the entire device as if it fails out of warranty the cost of a motherboard replacement with the drive is likely not cost effective?

I, for one, make no attempt to justify such a decision. Maybe it lowers their manufacturing costs, since soldering a chip to the board doesn’t require manual installation by an assembly-line worker later on, but that’s about all I can think of.

That being said, thanks to Thunderbolt ports, if your internal SSD fails and the computer is out of warranty, you can attach a TB-based SSD and use that instead of the built-in one. The performance might even be better than the one Apple provides. The only downside is that you now have an external device hanging off of what was previously a self-contained system.

But how can we know that it’s possible to upgrade the hardware sufficiently? There are so many custom chips in Macs that it’s not just a matter of a CPU and a GPU.

My point is that we don’t know what’s involved with qualifying an older model with a new version of macOS. Apple does, so at best we’re second-guessing the experts.

I don’t justify anything—I merely try to understand and explain. :slight_smile:

I suspect Apple solders the SSD on for a variety of reasons, which might include:

  • It enables a smaller or tighter design. That’s more commonly an issue with laptops.
  • It’s cheaper or easier to manufacture.
  • SSDs are generally reliable, so it’s not a likely failure scenario.
  • From a support standpoint, it’s easier and cheaper for Apple to replace the entire board.
  • I wonder if there’s an issue with the security provided by the T2 chip; that may weigh against replaceable parts.

And yes, in the event that the Mac mini’s SSD dies out of warranty or AppleCare (though the latter can now be extended indefinitely), it is a bummer. If I were in that situation and I didn’t want to buy a new Mac mini, I’d use an external SSD via Thunderbolt.

Thank you for your reply. I feel that what you have described also describes Apple’s continuing pursuit of myopic greed rather than a reasonable profit with a delightful customer experience.