Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” Specs Posted, PowerPC Support Goes by the Wayside

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Date: Tuesday, August 25th, 2009, 08:35
Category: News

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With Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” operating system en route for Friday, the company has posted full links to the required specs here:

If you’re hanging on to a Mac from before 2006, you may not like it, as the specs require the following:

-An Apple computer with an Intel Processor
-1GB of Memory (RAM)
-5GB of hard drive space (Storage)
-DVD drive for installation

While the DVD drive is mentioned, it is not actually required to install Leopard though will make things easier. You can use another computer’s drive or a disk image to install Snow Leopard. While previous versions of OS X have required you to boot from the installation media, Snow Leopard copies the installer files from the media to the hard drive and then installs from there.

According to MacFixIt, Snow Leopard will not run on any PowerPC system, even PowerPC G5 systems that are 64-bit capable. If you have a PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerMac G4, Mac Mini (G4), iMac G4, iMac G5, or PowerMac G5, do not buy Snow Leopard since you will not be able to install it. Apple has split away from PowerPC, and while there are technical reasons for why the 64-bit architecture in the PowerPC will not work with the latest OS, the fact that Apple has switched architectures is the primary reason for the drop in support.

You can check to see what kind of processor you have by opening “System Profiler” in your “Utilities” folder and highlighting the “Hardware” section. The processor should be identified in there. Alternatively you can enter the command “machine” in the terminal to see what kind of processor you have. If the output contains “PPC” in the name, then you have a PowerPC processor:

You may now run into the streets flailing your arms, screaming and inquiring after the nearest store which sells torches and pitchforks with which to wave angrily at Apple…

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3 Responses to “Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” Specs Posted, PowerPC Support Goes by the Wayside”

  1. This article annoys me a tiny bit.

    First of all, it's been known for quite a while that 10.6 will be Intel-only. The way this article is written, it's been passed off as news. Then there's more:

    – “If you’re hanging on to a Mac from before 2006…” – well, there have been a couple of Mac models available in 2006 that were PowerPC. You could buy a brandnew G4 Mac Mini until September 2006, and the G5 didn't turn Mac Pro until August that year.

    – “You can check to see what kind of processor you have by opening “System Profiler” in your “Utilities” folder and highlighting the “Hardware” section.” Or, you could just choose “About this Mac” from under your Apple menu. Don't make it overly complicated.

    – “Alternatively you can enter the command “machine” in the terminal to see what kind of processor you have”… jeeez, don't you think that anyone who knows what “terminal” is (let alone use the damn thing) would already KNOW if they had an Intel Mac or not??

    – “While the DVD drive is mentioned, it is not actually required to install Leopard”. Nonsense. Of course it is required, plus you probably meant to say “Snow Leopard”. Yes, sure you “can use another computer’s drive”, via CD/DVD Sharing (for example on a MacBook Air), but the fact remains: you do need a DVD drive. And if you are installing from an image, then you would still have needed a DVD drive in the first place to create said image… unless you snatched it off BitTorrent.

    – “You may now run into the streets flailing your arms…” – if I have to read more amateurish articles like this, I might just do that.

  2. This article annoys me a tiny bit.

    First of all, it's been known for quite a while that 10.6 will be Intel-only. The way this article is written, it's been passed off as news. Then there's more:

    – “If you’re hanging on to a Mac from before 2006…” – well, there have been a couple of Mac models available in 2006 that were PowerPC. You could buy a brandnew G4 Mac Mini until September 2006, and the G5 didn't turn Mac Pro until August that year.

    – “You can check to see what kind of processor you have by opening “System Profiler” in your “Utilities” folder and highlighting the “Hardware” section.” Or, you could just choose “About this Mac” from under your Apple menu. Don't make it overly complicated.

    – “Alternatively you can enter the command “machine” in the terminal to see what kind of processor you have”… jeeez, don't you think that anyone who knows what “terminal” is (let alone use the damn thing) would already KNOW if they had an Intel Mac or not??

    – “While the DVD drive is mentioned, it is not actually required to install Leopard”. Nonsense. Of course it is required, plus you probably meant to say “Snow Leopard”. Yes, sure you “can use another computer’s drive”, via CD/DVD Sharing (for example on a MacBook Air), but the fact remains: you do need a DVD drive. And if you are installing from an image, then you would still have needed a DVD drive in the first place to create said image… unless you snatched it off BitTorrent.

    – “You may now run into the streets flailing your arms…” – if I have to read more amateurish articles like this, I might just do that.

  3. We have an office full of PowerPC Macs!
    If Mac is dropping Power PC support all together then they should offer an exchange program to upgrade to intel MACs and responsibly recycle the older products