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Mountain Lion Upgrade Not Compatible with Older Macs

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 08-08-2012

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OS X Mountain LionApple’s newest OS X, Mountain Lion, has officially been released, albeit with its fair share of problems, like draining battery power and having excruciatingly long load times on some devices. In spite of  that, the official system requirements for the update are also all over the internet and, according to the specs, some Apple devices won’t be getting the Mountain Lion update.

According to the requirements on Apple’s website, some older Macs won’t be able to handle the Mountain Lion upgrade due to the fact that they are simply outdated. Apple’s website has a list of all the devices that are eligible for the Mountain Lion treatment, which includes:

  • iMac (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)

The reason that some devices are incompatible with Mountain Lion is that the new operating system is 64-bit. Even though some of the incompatible Macs have 64-bit capable processors, their EFI firmware remains at 32-bit and will only work with a 32-bit OS kernel. So essentially, if your system is unable to run a 64-bit kernel and the extensions, it cannot run Mountain Lion.

In addition to that, the drivers for the older Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics that are in a number of these incompatible Maces are still 32-bit versions as well. That means they probably won’t be able to handle the more graphics intensive Mountain Lion while Apple also probably doesn’t feel like it is worth the time and resources to support them.

Even if your Mac is unable to upgrade to Mountain Lion, you can rest easy knowing that Apple will continue to support Lion for quite a while, including updates. Although, if you really want that Mountain Lion update then you are going to have to replace your Mac. A full list of eligible and ineligible Macs can be found here.

Source: CNET – Older Apple computers left out of Mountain Lion upgrade

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