Before OS X Mountain Lion hits, it’s time to think about your soon-to-be-obsolete Macs

“A number of Mac users are moaning over the fact that some models as little as four years old won’t run Mountain Lion, at least according to published reports,” Gene Steinberg reports for The Tech Night Owl. “A notable example is my son’s early 2008 Black MacBook. It runs Lion perfectly well, but the needs of 10.8 are far more demanding. In order to run Mountain Lion, a Mac needs to be able to boot into a 64-bit kernel and possess what is regarded as ‘Advanced GPU’ chipset.”

“These two requirements eliminate models with 32-bit firmware, and older Intel integrated graphics, such as the GMA 950 on my son’s MacBook,” Steinberg reports. “I do realize there are already hacks out there that will allow you to “induce” Mountain Lion to install despite having subpar hardware. But it may not be worth the effort, and perhaps it’s time for those who have those older Macs to consider an upgrade.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Longtime Mac users are used to moving forward. Newer users, coming from stagnant platforms that follow Apple at a great distance, might be surprised, but pushing the human race forward doesn’t happen with stagnant old hardware and slavish adherence to “backwards compatibility.”

Related articles:
Messages may become OS X Mountain Lion-only after beta – February 17, 2012
Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion drops support for several older Mac models – February 17, 2012
Hollywood’s worst nightmare: OS X Mountain Lion’s AirPlay Mirroring – February 17, 2012
OS X Mountain Lion sneak peek video – February 16, 2012
Security experts: Apple did OS X Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper right – February 16, 2012
Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion heralds annual Mac operating system updates – February 16, 2012
Tim Cook: Apple may further meld iOS and OS X; says Macs could run on ARM chips – February 16, 2012
OS X Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper slams the door on Mac trojans – February 16, 2012
My experience with Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview – February 16, 2012
Apple’s Phil Schiller talks rapid speed of OS X Mountain Lion release; mere 7 months after Lion – February 16, 2012
Hands on with Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lion – February 16, 2012
Apple releases OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview; public release coming in late summer 2012 – February 16, 2012


  1. MacDailyNews Take: Longtime Mac users are used to moving forward. Newer users might be surprised, but pushing the human race forward doesn’t happen with stagnant old hardware and slavish adherence to “backwards compatibility.”

    I wasn’t sure if MacDailyNews was talking about Macs or Republicans

    1. Moving forward is fine if it’s to a better place. Jettisoning what works in order to simply “move forward” for the sake or “progressing” is stupidity. “New” isn’t always better. Rampant permissiveness, new definitions for established words and ideas, the “if it feels good, do it” mentality, and other general “progressivist ideas” have severely hurt the progress of the U.S.A., Europe, and many other parts of the world.

      Again, moving forward is fine if it’s to a better place. I believe that outside of racism and sexism, precious little of what’s happened in the U.S. since the 1960s has resulted in any real progress. Almost all of it has degraded Amercian life.

      1. And this has what to do with the subject? The world revolves around its axis, not the USA; a fact a great many Americans on here seem to struggle to parse. I have a 2003 PowerBook that runs just fine using Leopard. It can’t move forward due to the PowerPC chip, but it’s immaculate and still perfectly useable. My mid-2011 Mini will handle Mountain Lion, and I hope upgrades for some considerable time to come, but I’m not going to get all bent out of shape over it when it finally fails to be upgradable.

        1. You continue to reply like a vulture, savaging over others. People can comment how ever they please; jokingly or with complaints – as you do. Yet from my observations you only prey on replies.

          Point is nothing is truly obsolete until the owner believe so.
          Agreed, (as others might feel my obsolete) Macintosh Plus still runs system 7.1 and illustrator 1.1. And, yeah I have done some small emergency projects with it not too long ago – while repairing my workstation. Useful is any tool and only dead fro those who say otherwise.

      2. This mindset that requires politicizing everything and bending a subject past its breaking point to create an excuse to go on an ideological rant…. It’s just a mystery to me. What a horrible way to live.

        Back OT, I am disappointed that my original Mac Pro will not run Mountain Lion, but I also appreciate that Apple steadfastly refuses to get into a backwards compatibility quagmire like Windows.

      3. O.K., I’ll Take you at your word and understand you to mean that you are against these things.

        01- 18 Year olds voting
        02- Legalization of Interracial marriage.
        03- Voting Rights Act banning poll taxes, etc.
        04- Child Nutrition Programs that have greatly reduced childhood hunger in the United States.
        05- Equal Pay for Equal Work.
        06- Miranda Rights. (Being told your legal rights at the time of arrest)
        07- Right to Counsel. (Public Defenders if you cannot afford an attorney).
        08- Universal Kindergarten.
        09- Clean Air Act. The Air in LA is now cleaner than 40 years ago when only 1/3 as many cars and trucks were in use.
        10- Clean Water Act.
        11- Housing Rights (elimination of discrimination in housing).
        12- Opening the Armed Forces to Women (as opposed to highly limited role) Including Service Academies.
        13- Pell Grants for Higher Education.
        14- Civil Rights Act.
        15- Airline Deregulation.
        16- Ending of compulsory military service and creation of a professional volunteer Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
        17- Consumer Product Safety Commission.
        18- Widespread banning of public smoking.
        19- Compulsory child restraint laws & seat belt laws.
        20- Car Safety Acts that have reduced traffic deaths by better than 30,000 people/year despite a doubling of the number of cars & trucks and a tripling of mileage.
        21- Breakup of the AT&T monopoly which has drastically reduced the cost of phone service and greatly improved service.
        22- End of witch hunts against LGBT people and the ongoing move to marriage equality.
        23- Federally Funded research in to Cancer, Heart Disease, Stroke and Immunology that has saved, improved and lengthened hundreds of millions of lives.
        24- Banning of High Sulfur Diesel Fuel & Leaded Gasoline.
        25- The creation of the World Wide Web from DARPANET (US Department of Defense), and yes- Al Gore championed and sponsored legislation as a Congressman & Senator to enable and fund the hand over of DARPANET to the world.

        These is more, but you get the point. It’s easy to make generalizations and throw verbal bombs. It’s harder to defend your flame throwing rhetoric.

        1. Love how republicans take credit for the liberal policies they opposed.

          Also–ever wonder why the economy almost always does better under liberal control and higher taxes (on the rich)? It doesn’t take much research, if you’re interested in a few facts. The average republican is so dumbed-down by Fox they would eagerly agree to revert to Reagan era taxes.

    2. A teacher asked her 6th grade class how many of them were Obama fans.

      Not really knowing what an Obama fan is, but wanting to be liked by the teacher, all the kids raised their hands except for Little Johnny.

      The teacher asked Little Johnny why he has decided to be different… again.

      Little Johnny said, “Because I’m not an Obama fan.”

      The teacher asked, “Why aren’t you a fan of Obama?” Johnny said, “Because I’m a Republican.”

      The teacher asked him why he’s a Republican. Little Johnny answered, “Well, my Mom’s a Republican and my Dad’s a Republican, so I’m a Republican.”

      Annoyed by this answer, the teacher asked, “If your mom were a moron and your dad were an idiot, what would that make you?”

      With a big smile, Little Johnny replied, “That would make me an Obama fan.”

      1. Yeah, Columbia & Harvard are full of idiots and morons.

        However, we know slanthead Hannity and Rushbo the Hillbilly Heroin Addict are products of the finest schooling…

    3. Seems you are a lonely soul to include a political statement just to get a reaction. Time for you to go back under the bridge before the goats toss under it…again

  2. Please apple. Allow for support of iCloud in lion to continue for at least a year. The only reason I upgraded from snow leopard to lion was for iCloud support. I was perfectly happy with snow leopard.

  3. There are some cost effective ways to “keep up”.

    Sell the old Mac through or other outfit…

    Then buy a 2010 or 2011 used MacBook Pro or Air. If you want a warranty then buy a used Mac through the Apple Store’s “Special Deals” section at the bottom left corner.

    Where there’s a need, we can minimize the bleed.

  4. As a relatively new convert to the Mac ecosystem, I don’t face this problem. But then again one of the reasons I converted was Apple’s migration to the Intel chip architecture that had greater processing powers, and iterated those powers at a greater rate, than the old Power PC chip.

    I see Apple’s move to wholly 64-bit architecture on Mountain Lion as a forward thinking move and can only be good in the long run as old users are forced to migrate to newer systems to obtain the greatest benefit from the OS. I have no qualms about moving to ML as my move to Lion from Snow Leopard was seamless and has resulted in a faster, smoother, better computing experience.

    1. “But then again one of the reasons I converted was Apple’s migration to the Intel chip architecture that had greater processing powers…”

      The “old Power PC chip” was a 64 bit chip. The OS and apps that ran on it were 64 bit also. Going to Intel was a huge step BACKWARD to the 32 bit world. That’s why a clock speed comparison between a Dell and a Power Mac G5 was meaningless.

  5. What! You mean I can’t install 10.8 on my 2003 PowerMac G5??? This is the last straw, I’m going out right now and buying a PC so I can have backward compatibility for 20 more years. Ehh, on second thought…. I’d rather use my PMG5 for another 20 years than buy a new PC.

  6. My 2008 MacBook won’t run Mountain Lion. But I’m not too upset. I was thinking of upgrading this year anyway. And four years ain’t a bad run for a computer. Back in the day, I never got more than three out of a PC, and the last year was sheer misery.


  7. Something is a bit wrong with this concept.

    A (stereo)typical Windows sufferer tends to be forced to replace his slow-as-molasses PC every two to three years, because by that time, the hundreds of malware and crapware applications slow it down so much that an ordinary person simply believes that the PC is obsolete and must be replaced.

    We Mac users so often brag about using our ancient Macs for 6, 8 or even 10 years (how many in this thread alone have mentioned their PowerPC Macs already?).

    So here we have a paradox: in the Windows world, where PCs are replaced every three years, almost half of those PCs continue to run Windows XP (11 years old). Meanwhile, in the Mac world, where people proudly use their 8-year old PPC G4 Macs, the most common OS is barely 2 years old (SL), and Apple essentially shuts all those older Macs out of the newer OS.

  8. Crud. Guess I need to give up my 1993 G3 blue and white tower.
    Nah, it still works wonders for my embroidery digitizing software. Besides, it’s never been down- why chance it.

  9. All of the Wintel (i.e: computer / motherboard) manufacturers are moving to 64-bit OS’s. I know Macs have been doing it for a while, but now even Intel (perhaps in collusion with Windows) is pushing OEM’s to use 64-bit Windows.

    Case in point: Intel’s newest reference mobo is the ‘DX79SI’ which utilizes their X79 Express chipset and has an LGA2011 socket. Asus’ flagship mobo utilizes a similar design.

    The point is, both of these manufacturers provide eight (8!) ram slots providing up to 32GB of ram space.

    When I first saw it, I was like, ‘wtf??’ Because I knew that Windows 32-bit can only utilize up to 4 GB of ram.

    Then, I remembered that Windows 64-bit can use (if I remember correctly) up to 192GB, but certainly much more than just 4GB.

    I really think that Intel has introduced this new platform to finally push Windows users on from 32-bit systems.

    I’m just glad I got a new iMac this past November

  10. It’s Apple folks. Strap in and hang on. We don’t sit in a rocking chair like Microsloth.

    Besides, your old stuff will still work if you don’t/can’t upgrade and likely still be faster than a newer PC. Most of the old Macs I’ve given away to poor, trapped PC users have been.

  11. Intel graphics always were crap, but Apple said everything would be OK, and that’s all they offered, al least if you wanted a desktop(Mac mini) or a small laptop (13″), so we held our noses and paid up. Now Apple is saying, hah hah suckers, you bought our shit, now buy it again, because we pushed out the cheapest crap intel graphics, but now you can go suck it, even if you don’t need to play games or do graphic intensive stuff. It ain’t cool.

  12. They should not have bought Macs with vampire video (integrated graphics) and shame on Apple for selling their high priced products with Wal-Mart center aisle shit video HW. Integrated Video is UNACCEPTABLE at Apple’s price points.

  13. 1) I have a feeling that a lot of the compatibility issues come from apple’s experience when os x originally came out for full sale. It was delivered installible and runnable on G3 macs with some functionality deprecated, and apple got sued. Since then, there haven’t been any os x versions sold where, for example, you could install it on a certain machine and it would run, with just time machine or something else not working. Now the only way to get that kind of install is to circumvent the installer, and once you do that you have no ability to sue.

    2) Nevertheless, much of the belligerence directed towards people with older machines is obnoxious, and pretty fscking stupid. It is asinine to brag that Apple’s machines stay in use longer than pcs, and then bitch at the people making use of that selling point.

    3) While the older machines may still run, the way os x is structured makes that of limited benefit. Because os x is object orientiented and depends so much programs making use of functionality built into the operating, very few vendors, including apple, provide updates that work with older os x versions, even when the update doesn’t use any of the new features. The older software versions run, but that isn’t a lot of help when you can’t log into anything, log on to wireless networks, get into email, etc because standards and protocols have changed. While i could plug in my old color classic and basically do anything with it now I could do with it then, the same cant be said of my cube.

  14. Upgrading one computer is not that big of a deal but when you have to upgrade 5 computers is becomes a bit of an obstacle. Besides the computers there is also the software that has to be upgraded. Now I am looking at $15,000 just to use the cloud and all I really want to do is synchronize my address book and bookmarks.

    1. Valid points, Aldo. This is especially tough for those with multiple Macs.

      I myself am planning to do a significant upgrade. I figure it will cost me at least $6,000.00 to upgrade a single Mac system. How often can I do that? Macs normally last a long time, but not if resources we will need will be locked out.

      I don’t want Apple to have to support all past systems like Microdogsoft had done for so long to its detriment. But some concern of the issues this raises for people without unlimited funds is needed for Apple to help its loyal users.

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