Upgrading to Leopard: requirements, options

Upgrading to Leopard

Mac owners looking to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard when the operating system hits store shelves on October 26th may want to consult Apple's system requirements as well as the company's upgrade program details. Leopard will run on any Mac with a PowerPC G4 867MHz or faster processor, according to Apple, and requires at least 512MB of physical memory (RAM) alongside a minimum storage capacity of 9GB and a DVD drive to read the installation media. Apple notes that some Leopard features require a compatible internet service provider, warning that fees may apply and that some features requiring the company's .Mac service may also incur further fees. Mac owners looking to pre-order Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard can do so via Apple's Online Store ($130), and Amazon.com -- which is notorious for not charging sales taxes -- is already taking Leopard pre-orders for $110.

Volume licensing is available to organizations seeking 10-99 licenses ($120 each), 100-999 licenses ($110 each), and 1,000 or more licenses ($100 each). Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Server Client volume pricing is also available for 10-99 servers ($450 per license), 100-999 servers ($400 per license), and 1,000 or more servers ($350 per license).

Specific feature requirements

Leopard also brings a list of feature-specific requirements that must be met to take advantage of the new technologies. These include an additional hard drive for Time Machine -- Apple's new backup software that uses a timeline-like layout to track as well as preserve changes to data -- and an iSight camera (either built-in or external) to make use of Photo Booth. Using Photo Booth requires a G5 or better processor to run at all, but only Macs equipped with Intel Core Duo or faster processors can make use of the software's Backdrop effects.

Users looking to install Microsoft Windows on their Mac in order to boot to either Mac OS X or Windows need to install Apple's Boot Camp software, which requires an Intel-based Mac and Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista. Apple's Developer tools require 1GB of memory and an additional 3GB of storage space.

Front Row multimedia software requires a Mac with built-in IR (Infrared) and an Apple Remote, while the company's DVD Player software requires a 1.6GHz or faster processor for improved de-interlacing. iChat requirements vary based on preferred feature usage:

Apple's Screen sharing in iChat and the Finder requires a 128Kbps or faster internet connection, although the company recommends a 300Kbps or faster connection when using this feature.

Mac OS X Leopard Up-to-Date Program

Apple's Mac OS X Leopard Up-to-Date Program allows customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac (see below) on or after October 1st of this year to upgrade to Leopard free of charge. "Qualifying" Macs currently include the following models:

Apple's upgrade program ends on December 29th of this year, requiring that customer orders be postmarked or faxed by January 4th of 2008 to take advantage of the offer. Mac owners who purchased their system from the Apple Online Store directly can follow a link to participate in the program: U.S. customers; Canadian customers (English); Canadian customers (French).

The Cupertino-based company is also accommodating customers who purchased multiple qualifying systems on a single invoice, offering the option to either purchase a Single-User Upgrade Kit for each qualifying product for $10 or purchase fewer Single-User Upgrade Kits and request the "Right to Copy" for the remaining qualifying products.

Mac OS X Leopard Server Up-To-Date

Customers who purchased qualifying new Xserve systems (models MA409LL/A and Z0DB) on or after October 1st of this year can similarly upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Unlimited Client for free. Users who purchased their systems directly from the Apple Online Store are also eligible to participate in the program via a series of links: U.S. customers; Canadian customers (English); Canadian customers (French).

Users participating in either the personal or server upgrade programs via mail or fax can check their status by submitting an inquiry.
  1. turnedge762 10/17, 11:52am

    Is Amazon really "notorious" for not charging sales tax? This makes it seems as if this is a bad quality.

  1. elroth 10/17, 12:06pm

    A very strange choice of language. Amazon is the new Jesse James.

    Or maybe it's saying that Amazon's music store is an ITS killer - hence Amazon is a "notorious killer."

  1. lockhartt 10/17, 01:25pm

    "Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Server Client volume pricing is also available for 10-99 servers..."

    I assume that means Leopard Server 10-Client?

    That's the only thing that makes sense at that price point.

  1. jpellino 10/17, 03:05pm

    seems to be a big difference this time: $69 to institutions, $116 to individuals? IIRC this used to be $69 for either.

    Also we won't be upgrading the server, as there is no upgrade path from unlimited to unlimited. It's just an outright purchase.

  1. jwdsail 10/17, 04:10pm

    " DVD Player software requires a 1.6GHz or faster processor for improved de-interlacing."

    So, does this mean that your

  1. jwdsail 10/17, 04:12pm

    try this again...

    " DVD Player software requires a 1.6GHz or faster processor for improved de-interlacing."

    So, does this mean that your slower than 1.6GHz Mac that currently plays DVDs just fine will no longer be able to? Or does it mean that you just will not see the improved interlacing? Not very clear at all...


  1. JackWebb 10/17, 04:47pm

    I believe server RAM minimum is now 1GB.

  1. Deal 10/17, 05:34pm

    According to the dictionary on my Mac:

    notorious |n??tr??s; n?-| adjective famous or well known, typically for some bad quality or deed

    SInce it is just typically a bad deed, doesn't mean it has to be a bad deed.

    However, Jesse James is pretty funny, but since it involves taxes, doesn't Al Capone fit better? :)

    It's pretty bad when you have to tell people they need an internet connection to utilize iChat to talk to Grandma and you might need .Mac to publish your web page to .Mac... etc... But then again, Apple has been sued for much dumber things.

  1. Kenneth 10/17, 06:07pm

    I'm always a fan of Amazon.com. As a resident of Washington state, I do have to pay local sales tax (8.9%) if I purchase goods on amazon.com.

    Regarding to the Amazon MP3 Download service, I have no problem towards them.

  1. pt123 10/17, 06:22pm

    Did anyone notice that 9 GB of HD space is required? The top selling Macs are laptops which don't have that much disk space to begin with.

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