While it’s already been revealed that there are certain spec requirements for installing Apple’s upcoming OS X Mountain Lion, certain 64-bit Macs will also be unable to run the new operating system when it ships this month. Following the release of the Mountain Lion GM to developers, Apple has an official list of current Mac models that are compatible with Mountain Lion.
If your Mac doesn’t support the current OS X Lion already, don’t expect to hop on the Mountain Lion bandwagon later this month.
According to Apple:
Your Mac must be one of the following models:
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
Apple also notes that, “If you are running Lion, you can find out if your current Mac qualifies by clicking the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, choosing About This Mac, then clicking More Info.” If your Mac is part of the above list, you’re good to go.
Why is Apple abandoning its earliest 64-bit hardware? We agree with Ars Technica; the issue is likely “related to an updated graphics architecture that is designed to improve OS X’s graphics subsystem going forward.” The unsupported GPUs in Mountain Lion have drivers that are technically 32-bit KEXTs, and Apple is abandoning support for 32-bit in favor of the newer architecture.
OS X Mountain Lion will go on sale in the Mac App Store later this month for $20.