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Every time Apple roll out a new version of Mac OS X they revise the system requirements. It will therefore come as no surprise that some machines are getting cut from the list of compatible Macs. Obviously, the newer the Mac the less chance there is of being excluded.

Basic System Requirements:

  • 64-Bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better required
  • Ability to boot into OS X 64-bit kernel
  • Advanced GPU chipset required
  • Internet connection required to download and install OS X 10.8

It is possible to check for 64 bit kernel boot support by typing “uname -a” within Terminal. Here’s an example of typical output:

Darwin MacBookAir 11.2.0 Darwin Kernel Version 11.2.0: Fri Jun 8 14:30:00 PDT 2012; root:xnu-1699.24.8~1/RELEASE_X86_64 x86_64

x86_64 verifies that a Mac is booting into a 64 bit kernel.

Macs that will support OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

  • MacBook Pro – 13″ from mid 2009 or later, 15″ from late 2007 and newer, 17″ from late 2007 and newer
  • MacBook Air – late 2008 and newer
  • iMac – models from mid 2007 and newer
  • MacBook – 13″ aluminum from 2008, 13″ from 2009 and newer
  • Mac Mini – early 2009 and newer
  • Mac Pro – early 2008 models and newer
  • XServe – early 2009 models and newer

Macs that are NOT expected to support OS X Mountain Lion

Older Macs and those with weaker GPU’s will likely be left behind:

  • Anything with an Intel GMA 950 or x3100 integrated graphics card
  • Anything with an ATI Radeon X1600
  • MacBook models released prior to 2008
  • Mac Mini released prior to 2007
  • iMac models released prior to 2007
  • Original MacBook Air

This is based largely from details of compatible and incompatible Macs and system requirements found within the first OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview and could well change. OS X Mountain Lion is expected to be released this summer and could even be announced formally (date wise) at WWDC in 11th June.

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