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Can my Mac run OS X Lion?

20 April 2011 69,460 views 47 Comments

Gadzooks! The weather has been hell with snow, rain, wind o’ plenty and colder than the business end of a sorceress’s mammary. Although foul weather delayed him by a day, Scruffy the American Kennel Club certified feature retriever did find his way to my door with a best-as-he-can-reckon listing of OS X Lion compatible Macs.

Is time to upgrade? When Apple’s next-generation desktop operating system arrives this Summer, OS X Lion will leave some Intel-based Macs behind. Further, Scruffy advises that because the Rosetta PowerPC emulation layer, which translates G3, G4 and Altivec instructions, is also going away, you won’t be able to use legacy versions of many apps, such as Photoshop CS 4 and Microsoft Office 2004, a double whammy.

Here are the OS X Lion compatible Macs listed by date of introduction and model identifier number:

• Mac mini (Mid 2007, Macmini2,1)

• iMac (Late 2006, iMac5,2)

• Mac Pro (all models)

• MacBook (Late 2006, MacBook2,1)

• MacBook Air (all models)

• 13-inch Macbook Pro (all models)

• 15-inch MacBook Pro (October 2006, MacBookPro2,2)

• 17-inch Macbook Pro (October 2006, MacBookPro2,1)

• Zero Intel Core Solo, Core Duo or PowerPC Macs are compatible

See also: Can my Mac run OS X Mountain Lion?


Related stories:

New in OS X Lion: Mail 5
New in OS X Lion: QuickTime 10.1
New in OS X Lion: TextEdit
New in OS X Lion: About This Mac
New in OS X Lion: Preview 5.5
Mac OS X Lion icons are bigguns

Wikipedia’s saying that any Core 2 Duo Mac (i.e. 64-bit Intel processors) is OS X Lion compatible. However, if you try to install Lion on a Core Solo or Core Duo Mac, it won’t let you perform the installation, a roadblock that’s probably easy to get around.

Further, the earliest Core 2 Duo models listed above — especially Apple’s consumer-grade, low-performance Mac mini, MacBook and MacBook Air — likely won’t perform well. As always, whatever you’ve got, more RAM and a better graphic card are going to make Lion run more smoothly.

See an error, omission or a head scratcher? Drop Scruffy and I a note in the comments below…

Has Scruffy (Tip — Scratch him behind the ears) visited your home or office? Dish a little in the comments below on what you like, and not, in Apple’s OS X 10.7 Lion Developer Preview…

iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

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