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Best version of Illustrator for your Mac

Community Beginner ,
Feb 12, 2023 Feb 12, 2023

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I have a mid-2015 MacBook Pro and keep software up-to-date, but I am finding Illustrator to be increasingly sluggish to the point of being unusable now. I cannot be sure when precisely it started to go downhill but I wondered if other users had a clue as to what would be the best-optimised version for my laptop. I also don't know whether the OS is causing the problem, that too is the latest (Monterrey 12.6.2). Is anyone able to offer some insight? I am happy to revert to an older version but do not know which one to choose.

 

My many thanks in advance!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 12, 2023 Feb 12, 2023

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How much RAM is installed in your Macbook?

Which graphic card?

 

What kind of artworks are you creating? How many objects, which effects etc.?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 13, 2023 Feb 13, 2023

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With the greatest respect, that's not really relevant to what I'm asking, although I perfectly understand why you think it would be.

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Advocate ,
Feb 12, 2023 Feb 12, 2023

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Mid 2015? That would make the notebook computer nearly 8 years old. I don't know how well equipped your MacBook Pro was when it was first purchased (amount of RAM, CPU type, graphics board, etc). But even a high end notebook will probably start struggling to run current software at the 9-10 year mark (assuming the notebook even survives that long).

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 13, 2023 Feb 13, 2023

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16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 & Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB.

 

'This ain't my first rodeo' … been buying Macs since mid/late 90s, so it's not a case of not understanding what is necessary for realistic performance or what the limitations are for the software. 20 years ago I could work with 100 layers and have a pretty complex file open and pop into PS if necessary. The problem always comes to the mismatch with software and hardware. I simply want to know if people are familiar with what version is best optimised for a mid 2015 PowerBook Pro. I have the first Intel Mac Pro over in the corner which I haven't run for over 11 years—not used it since forgetting login details nor have a screen that will connect, but I know damn well that if I were to use it without upgarding anything, it would work just fine. The OS and software updates are what make hardware obsolete. I'd like to continue using my perfectly fine MacBook Pro without the headaches of slow performance but need to assess what software and/or OS are the best for it. That's all I'm interested in really.

 

General note to all: I always appreciate any and all responses (I really do) but sometimes I can't help but feel the younger users are the ones who answer and in doing so, fail to understand how things were 20-30 years ago. Yes, things advance all the time, but Illustrator has not really changed much. Doing lineowork, for example, is largely the same; the changes that are made usually centre on bells and whistles or modifying the workflow. It's important not to get too lost in the weeds and forget that guys in their 50s (!) are more than familiar with Adobe and Apple—we may not have our finger on the pulse insofaras updates go (there's more to life as you get older) but it's helpful to check in every once in a while and see if people know what is what.

My thanks to all who have responded and all who may still.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 13, 2023 Feb 13, 2023

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General note to all: I always appreciate any and all responses (I really do) but sometimes I can't help but feel the younger users are the ones who answer and in doing so, fail to understand how things were 20-30 years ago.


By @Simon Templar

 

Please don't make assumptions about other people's experience. Please.

 

So your computer is 8 years old and you want to use it with a somewhat current OS. That doesn't sound like a good idea, because the computer wasn't made for that and the OS might already be too demanding for your machine. In 2015 there was Illustrator CC2015 which is about the version that should run well on your system. I'm still using an early 2008 MacPro with Mac OS 10.10 and CC 2017, which works fine on that ancient hardware.

 

But then: I know what I can do with it and what would be too much. And here comes my first question again: what are you doing with it and which are the file sizes?

 

Been using Macs since 1990. I think that fits into the range of experience you consider appropriate?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 13, 2023 Feb 13, 2023

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You're confusing assumptions with drawing on experience—I'm entitled to do so, thanks. I've been using Adobe since the late 80s, I didn't mention anything in my reply to Bobby to 'outdo' anyone, it's a shame you think it necessary to be so competitive when I had just-purpose to explain where I was coming from. I meant you no offence and said as much, you needn't make this into an issue.

 

In any case, the point of how I am using the software remains irrelevant. All hardware will have an optimum version of software, and that is what the question pertains to; spelling out what projects to be undertaken is inviting suggestions of changing the hardware, which I'm not looking to do.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 13, 2023 Feb 13, 2023

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All hardware will have an optimum version of software, and that is what the question pertains to;


By @Simon Templar

 

Version CC2015 was developed in 2014, version CC2016 was developed in 2015, when your hardware was existing. It was probably rather widespread in 2017 still, so you can assume that a lot of beta testers still had it and if there were bugs or slowdowns on the machine, they might have been addressed for that version.

 

Probably the same goes for the system. For all later versions of system and Illustrator: maybe not so much.

 

Your real problem will be: being able to download and install those old versions. Try prodesigntools.com. They have links to the old installers.

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Advocate ,
Feb 13, 2023 Feb 13, 2023

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General note to all: I always appreciate any and all responses (I really do) but sometimes I can't help but feel the younger users are the ones who answer and in doing so, fail to understand how things were 20-30 years ago.


Simon, I'm in my 30th year with my current employer. I've been using computers since the early 1980's. I'm someone who can actually find his way around on an ancient machine whose operating system runs off of a command prompt. I've been using Adobe Illustrator since the install discs came on just a few 1.44MB floppy discs.

I don't know anything about your background and experience. But I have seen many examples of people trying to run newer software that is too demanding for aging computer hardware. A little over a year ago I "retired" a 10 year old 2011 model Dell XPS-15 notebook. At the 8 year mark I had to replace the original hard drive with a 1 terabyte SSD; I bumped its RAM from 8 to 16GB. That made the machine boot a lot faster, but it didn't help a lot with running apps like Adobe Illustrator. I waited another 2 years for a notebook model to come along that clicked off the check marks for what I wanted; I ended up buying an Alienware X17. I might try wiping the old notebook's hard disc, install Win 7 Ultimate on it again and then install my old CS5.5. Master Collection box on it along with some other older software. I'm not entirely sure if I can do that though. There may be possible activation issues with both Win 7 and CS 5.5. I don't think CS 5.5 will successfully install on Win 10 Pro (which is what is currently loaded on the old notebook).

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