Which Macs will run Mac OS X Leopard and which Macs will not?

“The feature set of the new Mac operating system will be revealed soon, but there’s no way that all currently supported machines will run it,” David Morgenstern writes for eWeek. “Which ones will make the cut and which will be left running Tiger?”

“Apple Computer is putting the final touches on the feature list for “Leopard,” its version of OS X due for unveiling at the company’s forthcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in early August. Since that list is a super deep-dark secret, the Mac community is abuzz with speculation on what features the update will contain as well as many fake screen shots purporting to be genuine leaks,” Morgenstern writes. “But what few in the Mac community are talking about in advance of WWDC are which Mac models will make the Leopard cut. Apple will orphan some Mac models for sure, but which ones?”

“What will be the deciding factor for who will receive Leopard and who will be denied? Will it be machines running the G3 processor? Or what about the G4? Or will it be the speed of the processor? When OS X 10.4 Tiger was released, Apple made FireWire the line, leaving out a number of PowerPC G3-based models that had USB and SCSI connectors but no FireWire ports. Still, many older two-toned clamshell-style iBooks and CRT-based iMacs made the cut,” Morgenstern writes.

“It’s way too early for Apple to cut out all of the G4 and G5 machines,” Morgenstern writes. “However, machines with a G3 processor could be cut off. The last model appears to be the 14-inch iBook 900, which was discontinued in the fall of 2003—three years and two versions of the operating system ago.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: FYI, we have an iMac (Indigo) with a 400MHz G3 with just 192MB of RAM and it runs Mac OS X 10.4.7 Tiger (see image above). It’s no speed demon, but it does get some daily use (email, Web, word processing, etc.). That iMac was released in the summer of 2000, so it’s now six years old. Try something like that with Windows Vista.

Do you think our little indestructible RAM-deprived iMac G3 will be able to run Leopard?


  1. Well you’re forgetting MDN, that iMac will never be cursed with having to run windoze vista, its too slow to run emulation and windows cant run native on a PPC. Good for the iMac. Sorry to see our G3 iMacs have now all gone from our graphics department but we’re getting G5/Core Duo, not sure which.

  2. It had better run on G4 or better. Apple was selling G4 laptops and iMacs not that long ago.

    My Blue and White G3 is still running 10.2.8. And Jaguar runs slow. I would be afraid to go any higher with the operating system on that box. I am ready to get one of the new Intel Mac to replace it. Or possible a Dual G5 desktop if they drop the price drastically when the new Mac Pros come out.

  3. Apple’s official policy is to support their computers that are up to 5 years old. While this specifically refers to maintenance and parts, Apple has stuck to that policy for their OS and software, too.

    But, nothing is more impressive than bringing in a 7 year old Mac to a Genius and have him gladly help you with it. Such service and willingness is impossible to find in the MS Windows world.

    If Apple would stop hiring and covering their bigoted retail managers (that would be admitting that they can’t hire properly), Apple would be a perfect company. [Roommate’s closest friend, and 4th person I’ve known, that was forced to quit from of an Apple Retail store for being gay. Yes, It’s illegal in Illinois, but no paper trail or solid evidence and Apple doesn’t care and ACLU won’t touch it.]

  4. Also keep in mind that the Intel Macs are the only ones that can run Boot Camp. So Leopard can run on G4 or G5, but without that feature. Parallels also needs an Intel chip to run. So if you plan on upgrading to Leopard and need Windows (for whatever reason) better get an Intel Mac.

  5. I would think that any Mac equipped with a G3 processor (500Mhz and slower) will be eliminated from the team.

    It’s time those machines were upgraded.

    Is that too aggressive? Fine. Don’t install Leopard.

    My iMac G4 1.25Ghz is plenty fast enough for my needs, but I’ll be getting a new Mac in January nonetheless.

  6. Uh… considering the last iteration of the PowerBook was a G4, and was on sale for several thousand dollars just a few months ago, I’m guessing that G4 support is necessary. Perhaps there will be a minimum RAM requirement.

  7. Well, to answer that last question – I sure hope so!

    I have an 800 Mhz Dual-USB iBook that was purchased in December 2002 – it’s got at least another 2 years of usefulness left in it. The machine I had before that was a Beige G3 Desktop 233 Mhz that was purchased in 1998 that I turned around and gave to my sister – she’s still using it!

  8. raterbator,
    First each new OS tens to make things snappier. Expose and spotlight may not run snappily on old hardware but the code is simply improved withe ach release and gets generally faster. Moving your old macs to tiger would probably help not hurt. Second I’m pretty sure anyone reading this board understands the intel/POWER transition and that you can’t run windows on the old macs. I don’t think any of us was planning on buying leopard so we can run windows only apps on our bondi blue imacs.

  9. I wonder if my 1.5GHz/1Gb will be able to handle 10.5 spotlight is more or less worthless on it since it’s so slow. It takes atleast 15 seconds to fully generate the list of found files when you do a search. If you stay away from spotlight though, it’s nice.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.