Dorico compatibility on Mac

My late-2013 MacBook Pro is running Catalina 10.15.7. It has a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 processor. It has 16gb of memory. (I could if necessary upgrade the OS to Big Sur, but not beyond that.)

Anybody have any idea how soon I will have to replace it in order to keep running the newest Dorico? I’m not talking about maybe SHOULD. (I’m probably to that point already!) I’m talking about absolutely HAVE to.

Thanks in advance for guidance, especially from the team.

I’m facing a similar dilemma — my old mid-2010 Mac Pro is running Mojave (10.14.6) and it can’t be upgraded beyond that. I even had to upgrade the graphics card to be able to run Mojave since Mojave requires Metal and deprecates OpenGL. So one of these days I’ll have to replace the Mac Pro when the minimum system requirements to run Dorico exceed Mojave.

I think the key to this lies in the version of Qt that’s used to build Dorico. There will undoubtedly come a time when Dorico will be built on a version of Qt that requires something higher than Mojave or even Big Sur. So you’re good until at least whenever Dorico 5 is released, and even then it’s possible that Big Sur will still be supported. I have my doubts about Mojave, though.

Dorico 4 runs on Mojave or later, so you’re fine for the time being. Only the devs will know what the requirements will be for future versions.

TBH, I would recommend upgrading to Big Sur. Any software that runs on Catalina should also work fine on Big Sur (and anything new enough to run Catalina/BS will still be in development).

That will give you a bit more breathing room. Though, a 2-core, decade-old machine will be struggling to keep up with the young kids. At some point, you’ll either have to say “no further” (for Dorico, other apps and the OS); or trade up.

The 6-core 2010 Mac Pro scores 641/3380 for CPU on Geekbench. A base M1 Mini scores 1715/7442. To say nothing of the difference in power consumption, and inherent costs. I don’t think there’s much of a dilemma.

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It is supposedly possible, but quite tedious and of course officially unsuppported by Apple, to upgrade older Macs to modern MacOs versions. I suggest a search on Youtube (as example) for (as example) “macos on unsupported mac”. Doing this kind of update might bridge you over for a few extra years.

The OpenCore Legacy Patcher is the method for updating beyond Apple’s limits.

Apple usually cuts off older hardware because they lack some physical features, like support for Metal in the GPU; or because Apple relies on support from third-parties (Intel, Qualcom, AMD), who may stop providing support to Apple for that hardware; or because the ‘experience’ (e.g. performance) is not up to their standards. So, damned either way.

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I remember making a mental note that Dorico 4 will be the last version to run under Mojave 10.14. This may imply that Dorico 5 will still run under Catalina, but we should get confirmation of that.

I upgraded the CPUs several years ago to two quad-core Intel Xeon processors (2.4 GHz). I don’t know what the Geekbench score is for this system, but it runs Dorico quite nicely. I know I’ll have to get a new computer some day, but I’m hoping to delay that until it’s absolutely necessary (which will probably be when Dorico 5 is released).

Even the 12-core 2012 Cheesegrater and the best 2013 Trashcan are less powerful than the base M1. The M1 Pro and Max CPUs outclass the 2019 Mac Pro in all but the largest configs.

We are planning to migrate to the most recent version of Qt as part of the next major development cycle, which certainly has the potential to impact the minimum operating system on which Dorico will run. According to the Qt documentation, the minimum supported version of macOS for the latest version of the framework is still MacOS X 10.14, so in theory this means that the next major version of Dorico will still run on Mojave.

However, we reserve the right to revise this. Qt is not the only consideration, since Dorico is also heavily dependent on other modules, including the audio engine, the video engine, and so on, and it’s quite possible that the minimum operating system on which any or all of these components will run could also change.

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IMO it’s not user friendly to support Apples strategy to earn as much money as possible for selling new computers. The DAW Reaper is still supporting Mac OS 10.8 and has a special version for 10.15. Why is this not possible for Dorico? I don’t want to buy every few years a new Mac computer. There are no reasons beside that Apples newer OS’s wont run with old computers.

I think it’s pretty remarkable that my almost 13-year-old mid-2010 Mac Pro is able to run Mojave and the latest version of Dorico 4 without any trouble at all. Since 1985 I’ve only owned five Macs — a 512K Mac in 1985, a Mac II in 1988, a Power Mac 7500 in 1996, a Power Mac G5 in 2004, and my Mac Pro in 2010. Total cost of ownership has been very low over the past 38 years.


I don’t think it’s just Apple. As far as I know people with Windows machines of all brands face the same issue.

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I’ve had good luck with Mac machines as well. My iMac was 9 years old before I “needed” to replace it, and that was largely because I wanted 96gb ram and my old machine only supported 32 (I would have settled for 64gb, but that was only supported by the machines made a year after mine). My laptop lasted for years too. Heck, I’ve had my iPad for 5 (going on 6) years. As far as tech devices are concerned, they really do seem to hold up well.


There are reasons. Because as has been stated here Dorico has a critical and primary dependency on the Qt Framework, and that can determine what minimum OS is required. You don’t want to buy a new Mac but Apple wants you to. :slight_smile: Reaper is not written using Qt and hence free from that particular restriction. Most, if not the great majority of programs have a cutoff point for OS release, it’s not abnormal. Look at Adobe for example - a classic big name that effectively forces you to buy current Macs. The author of Reaper is rather unique, and produces updates faster than any person I know, and I think does work hard to be backward compatible, but he is a quite special case.

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It’s a lot harder (costly, slower) for Apple to make progress with new capabilities, if that code has to be written for ARM, Intel-64, Intel-32, … PPC still…? And if they still have to support AMD GPUs that AMD no longer provides them with support for. The OS would be 3 times the size, with more bugs and fewer new features.

However, new OSes contain new capabilities and drivers for new hardware. If software developers use those new capabilities, then their apps are reliant on the OS that supports them.

You can of course stay on your existing machine, on an older Mac, for as long as the hardware works. And the strong price for older Macs on secondhand markets suggests that people do this.

It makes very little difference to Apple if you buy a new Mac or stay on your old one: they make much more money from the App Store, TV, Music, iCloud, etc than they do from Mac sales.

One of the effects of moving away from Intel, Qualcomm, AMD, and bringing all their components ‘in-house’, is likely to be longer support.


Even so, sales are booming:

This comes from a global shipping estimates report conducted by Gartner(opens in new tab), that claims Apple shipped an estimated 7 million Macs during Q1 2022, a 8.6 percent growth from 6.5 million shipped in Q1 2021.

I wouldn’t mind having a small business that only sold 7 million computers myself.

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I hear you. I still grumble when a washing machine doesn’t last 30 years “like they used to”. But ever have that experience where you fire up an older laptop that you haven’t used in a while, and just can’t believe how Jurassic it is?

I don’t think I have ever regretted getting a more capable computer. I think I lead a better life to set some money aside knowing upgrades are something I can’t change, I might just as well enjoy it, and serenity prayer. :slight_smile:

It does make me look at the ROI of a Mac differently, not so comfortable saying “but they last”. There are things they do well but I have to look at the whole picture.

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Since Ventura cut out a lot of not-so-old Macs, I hope the next Dorico will at least support Monterey. But if it can still support Mojave it would be even greater!


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And adapters. If you are in the Apple world, you will also need a good bunch of expensive adapters.


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