So, it was the end of the line for my 27″ 2011 iMac. After 7 years of service, the new OS (MacOS 10.14 “Mojave”) wasn’t going to be able to be installed on the old faithful. There’s some tech reasons for that – Apple moved to minimum standard for graphics cards for their system (they have to support Metal). While there’s external GPU’s for my iMac, I haven’t seen one that supports Mojave. And, even if it did, I probably can’t afford it.
And I certainly can’t afford a new Mac at the moment.
The is a bit of an issue, since I’ve got to be able to compile a project for release very soon. Well… shit.
Fortunately, there’s always someone somewhere that wants to get just a little more life out of their machine – in this case, the Mojave Patcher will do some trickery to load MacOS on a machine that’s not supposed to have it. Nice. Though, reading the notes, it mentions machines with a Radeon 5xxx or 6xxx series GPU had weird colors. Well, how bad could it be.
The answer is very. But, there’s a simple fix (for me, at least). Typically, I run dual screen. When starting the process, I turned off the second screen and went about installing, getting everything working, and back to developing software. It would be unusable with the “weird colors” if I wanted to do any graphics work.
I turned the second screen back on, which is attached via Thunderbolt to HDMI. Boom – suddenly all of my colors were correct again!
That didn’t solve the other problems, though – hardware acceleration is disabled, which means my fairly snappy iMac runs like a dog. For doing something like writing this blog, it’s fine (I’m using Chrome, though results appear the same in Safari.) I would have said YouTube would be worthless, but actually it seems to run YouTube videos just fine. Same goes for NetFlix, though there’s some issues with the animations for launching a show.
I’m dreading seeing what performance is like running the Android or iOS emulators (if they launch at all.) . I’ll find out what the damage is there tomorrow.
So is Mojave usable on my old machine? Yes. Is the machine still usable? Yeeeaaahhhh… for the most part. I think it’s gonna take me a bit to get used to the laggy interface. Since I have to compile stuff and sign it for the App Stores, I HAVE to run Mojave, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered with the upgrade. Should you bother with it? Up to you if you’re on an old, unsupported Mac. (Obviously if you’re on a supported Mac, by all means upgrade)
Run into the color issue? Try plugging in a second monitor and see if that does the trick. Honestly, I have no idea why it worked, but it does. 🙂
Two updates to this (and probably some more to come later):
First, scrolling in Safari was laggy and choppy. Dragging windows around was choppy. Quick fix – lower the resolution from the maximum (2560 x 1440) to one step top (1920 x 1080) pretty much eliminated it. Not butter smooth, but a huge improvement on all of them. It’s much more usable.
Now for the “wow, that gets weird” part: the “weird colors” issue reappeared on my main monitor, but the secondary display has the right colors. Reverting back to the previous resolution doesn’t fix it. Definitely a WTF item. 🙂