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Mountain Lion may drop support for older Intel Macs

updated 07:10 am EST, Fri February 17, 2012

OS X 10.8 to drop support for early Intel Macs?

Apple's surprise announcement that its next update to OS X dubbed Mountain Lion will come as soon as this summer, has also yielded an additional surprise. As with the shift from Leopard to Snow Leopard, Apple will cut off users of older Intel Macs from its next-generation OS -- for Leopard, IBM PowerPC-based Macs missed out. However, the arrival of Mountain Lion may also see the first major Intel-based Mac casualties, as support for the original MacBook Air is not currently included within the current release developer release of Mountain Lion.

According to TUAW, Apple has currently listed Mountain Lion as being compatible with iMacs (mid-2007 of later), MacBooks (13-inch aluminum, 2008) (13-inch, early 2009 or later), MacBook Pros (13-inch, mid-2009 or later) (15-inch, 2.4/2.2 GHz) (17-inch, late 2007 or later), MacBook Air (late 2008 or later), Mac mini (early 2009 or later), Mac Pro (early 2008 or later) and Xserve (early 2009).

Users of machines older than the models listed will not be in a position to run what will be Mac OS X 10.8. This means that white plastic MacBooks that pre-dated the unibody versions will also miss out on Mountain Lion unless they are running Nvidia GeForce 9400M GPUs. Early signs indicate that the integrated graphics of early Intel Macs may not be able to support that latest UI changes in Mountain Lion.

by MacNN Staff



  1. crevatis

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Lion doesn't run on 32-bit Dual Core

    The first intel based cauallties came with lion. It does not run on the original intel macs that are using the 32-bit pre-Core2 processors.

  1. addisonx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    PPC dropped with leopard

    And I believe all PPC machines, including IBM's G5, were left behind with Snow Leopard.

  1. TheAppleFreak

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Well, I guess my 4 year old MacBook will finally b

    It served a good, long life, but I guess after my impending Lion reinstall it won't have much life left in it.


  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple style...

    they never seems to stick to one thing for very long time..... from free iTool to MobileMe to free iCloud and onto paid iCloud down the road...

  1. Haroscarfel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    mac pro

    I dont understand the mac pro, my mac pro 1,1 system is very capable and if I needed too, i can upgrade almost anything I need. I honestly should be able to squeeze another 2 years out of it at least.

    For what I do, If worse comes to worse, I'll go with snow leopard and ubuntu.

    Notice they dont show any mac pro's featured on the mountain lion page.

  1. efithian

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you had spent the cost of a Powerbook ($2000) on Apple stock in 2002, it would now be worth $150000 allowing you upgrade all of your computers every six months. If, instead, you chose Microsoft stock in 2002, your investment would be worth $1000 now. Withholding gratification is a b****.

  1. coitus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mac Pro 2,1

    Yep, I'll be disappointed if my Mac Pro Tower doesn't get supported as well. I suppose it is inevitable but more and more the designed obsolescence of Apple hardware is getting on my nerves. See the iPhone as an example...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Crapple's news just get better

    Is Windows XP Mode supported throughout the lifecycle of Windows 7?
    No. Windows XP Mode is a full virtual version of Windows XP and follows the same support lifecycle as
    Windows XP. Windows XP extended support phase ends in 2014

    Keep in mind windows xp mode is also about backward compatibility, for those really old apps that won't run on 7. Win 7 runs many apps out of the box that are 10+ years old. I know, it sounds stupid, supporting old software like that.

    And what's with telling users how long you plan on supporting an os. No one who actually cares about their customers does that. Users prefer to guess and extrapolate such information, which is why apple never tells you what they plan on supporting or what their future plans are.

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    get used to it. the first intel mac is what, 7 years old now?

  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Six years for intel

    I have the first MacBook Pro, and it is turning six this year. It was cut out of support with Lion, which bummed me out, but that is OK.

    It has faithfully gone to work and back home with me for most of those six years, suffering dings and bruises along the way. It still runs both Snow Leopard and Windows XP, just fine, but it doesn't seem as fast as it once was. Now the moving parts are giving up, and the case is getting floppy, making it only a desk-sitting former laptop. I am finally at the point where I really need to get a new laptop. If anything, I hit the breakdown point last year, but the functionality of my iPad has delayed my need to purchase.

    I'm willing to bet that many or most people affected by this cut-off for Mountain Lion are in my boat. They have had the crappy intel video for four or five years now. They can run Lion, and they likely have an iOS device or two that will take the load off of their aging Macs. Mountain Lion looks like regular Lion with some iOS programs included.

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