Will Your Mac Run Mountain Lion?

By James DeRuvo (doddle NEWS)

Every time Apple comes out with a new version of OS X, it’s inevitable that older Mac users will be abandoned in an effort to get them to upgrade their aging hardware.  But it seems lately that Apple is shortening the compatibility Window and forcing even Intel platform Mac users to pony up for a new rig or get left behind.  Will your Mac be one of them?  Let’s find out…

First off, Power PC users know they were left behind a LONG time ago, so don’t even think that you can use Mountain Lion.  The earliest version of OS X you can enjoy is OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).  That’s it for you.  But when OS X 10.7 (Lion) came out, not only were Power PC users left behind, but Intel platforms with less than an  x86-64 CPU or 64-bit Macs, with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7, or Xeon processor were out of luck.  Additionally, to use AirDrop, users had to have a MacBook Pro (late 2008 or newer), MacBook Air (late 2010 or newer), MacBook (late 2008 or newer), iMac (early 2009 or newer), Mac Mini (mid 2010 or newer), Mac Pro (early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card and mid 2010 or newer).  So first generation Intel platforms were left behind.

Now, with Mountain Lion, users have to once again check their specs and release dates.  In order to find out if your Mac is OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion supported, click on your “Apple Logo” in the upper right hand corner and then select “About this Mac.”  Go into “More info” and compare what your Mac says with this list of supportable platforms:

Mac (Mid 2007 or newer)
MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
Xserve (Early 2009)

And if you’re MAC is 32 bit, you’re out of luck – PERIOD. (These include the first-gen MacBooks.)

Now I know what you’re thinking … if I buy it anyway, how will Apple know, or care?  Well, if you recall, effective with OSX.7 Lion, Apple started selling the upgrades with a digital download through the Mac App Store (via iTunes).  The store does a check to see if your computer is compatible and if it isn’t, well, you’re out of luck.

Course, you could drive to the Apple Store and buy an upgrade copy if there’s one in your area.  But they have to install it for you (for a price) and again, if your MAC isn’t supported, they won’t upgrade it for you. So, since you’re at the Apple Store anyway, you may as well take a hard look at that MacBook Pro with Retina display, and consider upgrading your new hardware anyway.

But if you did make the cut (my god, how arrogant that sounds), then an upgrade is only as far away as pulling out your plastic and saying OK to the $19.99 upgrade fee (wow, how cheap!). Or, you can just wait until the OSX86 project gets ahold of it and begins the process of making it “Hackintosh” compatible.

Source: Pocket Lint

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.