Wired: Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard improves your Mac’s hardware

Apple Online Store“Some are calling Apple’s latest version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard, little more than a service pack,” Charlie Sorrel repots for Wired. “From a distance, it certainly looks that way: There’s no new eye candy, no big-ticket features and even the ballyhooed addition of support for Microsoft Exchange (ironically, even Windows doesn’t come with it) is, well, boring.”

MacDailyNews Take: Anyone calling Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard “little more than a service pack” is either paid-off, ignorant, and/or too lazy to do even basic fact-finding.

Sorrel continues, “But under its furry black and white skin, the $30 upgrade is worth it, and will reach into every corner of your Mac to speed things up. Surprisingly, Snow Leopard’s biggest improvements are to your hardware. Think of it as a tune-up for your machine.”

“For instance, on my MacBook, Safari would run at around 25-35% of CPU, and spin up to around 100%+ under stress in 10.5 Leopard,” Sorrel reports. “Right now, under 10.6, it’s not even showing up in the top five list, meaning it is idling at under 4%. This is with 12 tabs open.”

“The whole OS is snappier. Applications now load instantly… Menus appear and disappear faster (although this is surely an interface timing trick),” Sorrel reports. “And when software vendors update their wares to take advantage of some new tech, slow, heavy applications should scream along.”

Sorrel reports, “In short, the new OS has more than $30 worth of new features, it’s just that they don’t stick out at first. But think about this. What are the usual reasons to upgrade a computer? Bigger hard drive, faster processor, better battery life, right? For just $30, you get all this on a DVD.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. This new leaner faster OS X is what will drive the tablet and other devises that are yet to come making them the great user experience we have all come to expect from Apple.

  2. Apple used it in the advertising for S Leopard.

    Here at http://www.apple.com/au/macosx/refinements/

    It says: “snappier” about half way through

    A more advanced, more nimble Finder.

    The Finder has been completely rewritten in Cocoa to take advantage of all the modern technologies in Mac OS X, including 64-bit support and Grand Central Dispatch. It’s more responsive from top to bottom, with snappier performance throughout the Finder. And it includes new features such as customisable Spotlight search options and an enhanced icon view that lets you thumb through a multipage document or watch a QuickTime movie.

  3. Not so fast……

    I now have an ATI 3870 HD that can no longer output to two monitors. So yes, Snow Leopard solves many problems; many which are software development issues beyond the scope of this web site…and yes my computer is much faster. But, I still have new unwanted monitor shaped paper weight on my desk now. And that is not cool at all.

    just my $0.02

  4. WARNING: Poor me story ahead.

    I ordered SL family pack in the evening of Aug. 26th and its status shows it hasn’t shipped yet. WTF?

    I thought I’d have it on the 28th, and now I’ll be lucky if I have the damn thing before the end of the week. C’mon Apple. I want my shipping to be snappy too!

  5. I’m sure ATI 38970 HD issue will be solved very quickly (so your paper weight will resume its destined duties).

    For me, SL has been an incredible transformation. Everything is SIGNIFICANTLY faster, and the additional features are just totally neat. Extra disk space didn’t hurt either, and even the battery life reports longer on a two-year old MBP with a battery at 65% of original capacity.

    I’ve been updating my Macs since System 7.5 (8 various desktop Macs, 3 different ‘books over the years) and Snow Leopard is, without a doubt, definitely, most significant improvement for me. Following this, other significant improvements were the introduction of Exposé (Panther), System 9 to Cheetah, then Widgets and Spotlight (Tiger), iChat AV (Jaguar), etc…

  6. I’m waiting on my family pack from Amazon. Didn’t ship till Friday and now scheduled to arrive Thursday. Which kinda sucks, but Amazon gave a discount plus free shipping so that helps prevent the riot. LOL

  7. @ Ray

    Check with ATI to see if there is firmware update for your card. Same thing happened to me with an ATI card back about 10.2 or so. There was an update for my extra video card I had never installed and it was causing a kernel panic on boot.


  8. You losers should have bought from apple or gone local, only have yourselves to blame. I for one have been running this glorious update since Friday afternoon, and I can attest that it did indeed add a great chunk of more HD space, and is indeed noticeably faster.

    I rule, you drool.

  9. I think is funny for all of you that got so excited and ordered on line, expecting to get it on the 28th. I feel for you if you don’t live near an Apple Store, since you don’t have other means of getting it. But for those that do, you can walk in to any Apple Store and have it in your hands in less than a minute. Mine is laying by my computer. I am waiting to see more extensive reports of what got broken. On the other hand, it is installed on my wife’s MacBook, and it is very fast indeed.

  10. @Jubei

    Same boat, family pack from Amazon will be here on Friday… along with a big firewire HD for backup (original backup drive died, waited way to long to replace)

    It’s going to be a torturous week listening to all you describing your nice new shiny OS that I can’t play with yet…

Reader Feedback

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