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Desktops (Apple) Operating Systems Upgrades Apple

OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) Won't Support Some 64-bit Macs With Older GPUs 417

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-invited-to-the-mountain-lion's-reindeer-games dept.
MojoKid writes "Apple is pitching Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) as the cat's meow, with over 200 new features 'that add up to an amazing Mac experience' — but that only applies if you're rocking a compatible system. Some older Mac models, including ones that are 64-bit capable, aren't invited to the Mountain Lion party, and it's likely because of the GPU. It's being reported (unofficially) that an updated graphics architecture intended to smooth out performance in OS X's graphics subsystem is the underlying issue. It's no coincidence, then, that the unsupported GPUs happen to be ones that were fairly common back before 64-bit support became mainstream."
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OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) Won't Support Some 64-bit Macs With Older GPUs

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  • by jlv (5619) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:11PM (#40620329) Homepage

    10.7 dropped support my 1st gen $2000 MacBook Pro, which otherwise still runs perfectly (but with only 10.6).

    Apple's hardware isn't just pricey, but they like you to buy new hardware on a regular basis.

    • by Dyinobal (1427207)
      I've always been baffled at people buying Mac, hardware to me it's a bit like console gaming, which also baffles me these days, as it's got all the hassles PC gaming has these days with none of the flexibility.
      • by blahbooboo (839709) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:18PM (#40620481)

        I've always been baffled at people buying Mac, hardware to me it's a bit like console gaming, which also baffles me these days, as it's got all the hassles PC gaming has these days with none of the flexibility.

        Really? Last I heard console gaming had no configuration issues, drivers, etc which a PC does..

        • by Dyinobal (1427207)
          hmm I guess all those reports of certain games not working correctly if you had a different (older) hardware revision of the console were just false then and that no such thing ever happened.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Not really. They don't do legacy support on the scale Microsoft does and I suspect the benefit outweights the hassle of supporting the older hardware. That sucks but that doesn't instantly make the machine unseble and even if someone doesn't want to use an outdated version of OS X for years then put Linux on it or, if you're not very bright, Windows.
      • Ummmm....different people like different things?

        Just because you don't like Macs doesn't mean I can't like Macs.

        I'm baffled at all the people that stuck with Windows in its various stages of shit. With one exception it NEVER got stable until Windows 7 and that exception is Windows XP with the service packs.

      • by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @10:49PM (#40624191)

        I've always been baffled at people buying Mac, hardware to me it's a bit like console gaming, which also baffles me these days, as it's got all the hassles PC gaming has these days with none of the flexibility.

        Even more baffling is your grammar and choice of punctuation.

    • by Psyborgue (699890) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:21PM (#40620535) Homepage Journal
      Maybe you won't be able to run the OS, but it'll still be a long time before apps require 10.8. My 5 year old MBP (late 07) is supported. 5 Years isn't exactly bad. Had the 8600m GPU not burned itself out just after the warranty period, i'd probably still be using the thing.
    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:30PM (#40620687)

      Apple's hardware isn't just pricey, but they like you to buy new hardware on a regular basis.

      Is there any company that doesn't like you to buy their product as frequently as possible?

    • by reybo (2540564)
      Every time they update the OS they claim to have added hundreds of new "features." Most are useless crap, and the good ones are quickly orphaned.
    • Since when is seven years later equal to "on a regular basis"?

      I just recently replaced mine because the plastic case was decaying beneath where my hands rested; loving the aluminum.

    • I stuck a much more modern GPU into my 2006 Mac Pro 1,1, but I bet the 32-bit firmware won't be supported by Mountain Lion anyway. A pox on them all. For the first time I'm seriously considering gutting a Windoze box I don't use any more and turning it into a Hackintosh. Anything future editions of OS X don't like about THAT box, I can upgrade away from piecemeal. Including the mobo.

      • by dhickman (958529)
        Treat your mac as a hackintosh and boot it in legacy mode. Do it with my 1,1 and have been running lion in full 64bit mode. I have heard the ML DP4 works well also and it can be installed as an upgrade install.
    • They are far happier to cut off old things and don't provide the same sort of legacy support that Windows does. In many ways that's a good thing but it's also unforunate because actually the hardware lasts for quite sometime so buying a new machine can feel a bit forced.

      Who knows, someone may find a way around that. It could be that your machine will support it but it's not ideal so they refuse to support it properly but it'll work.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by beelsebob (529313)

      Really? You're complaining that a 6 year old computer isn't up to running modern stuff? Really?

      Seriously, if you're that concerned about having to buy new machines, sell it after 3 years. Pour $2000 MacBook Pro would almost certainly have fetched $16-1800, and you'd have got a new one, capable of running more modern OSes for effectively $2-400.

      • by epyT-R (613989)

        argument from antiquity.. there's no reason the machine can't run the new os. it's artificially restricted.

    • by imamac (1083405)
      Instead of buying new hardware, spend a few minutes in Terminal and run Mt Lion on your unsupported Mac anyways: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1325818 [macrumors.com]
    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Jeez, why would you stick with a company that would do that? Seriously dude just get a nice Windows laptop and make a Hackentosh out of it. Then you can have the nicer and cheaper hardware while still enjoying OSX if you want and a free Windows as a bonus, in case you run into something you want that doesn't have a Mac version.

      Although I have to wonder, what with the slow updates and the hardware getting farther behind the curve, if Cook isn't gonna end up abandoning the Pro users, if not X86 altogether. It

  • It appears that any Mac purchased within the last 3.5 years is ok, judging by the list on that site. I'd say that it's not too horrifying that a computer 4 years old may not run the latest upcoming system. It's a tough balancing act deciding between supporting older equipment, but nobody should be surprised that Apple only looks forward in that regard. That's how they've always been.
    • It appears that any Mac purchased within the last 3.5 years is ok, judging by the list on that site. I'd say that it's not too horrifying that a computer 4 years old may not run the latest upcoming system. It's a tough balancing act deciding between supporting older equipment, but nobody should be surprised that Apple only looks forward in that regard. That's how they've always been.

      And in previous years, Apple had more time between releases. If 10.8 were released one year from now, then it would have been 4.5 year old machines.

      • The issue sounds like a technical one due to a transition period from 32-bit hardware to 64-bit so the timing of releases doesn't really factor into that. I'm not sure it's a great idea to no update the system as much just to cater to older systems especially when they'll run just fine with the latest OS they can run and if security is an issue there is Linux.
    • by epyT-R (613989)

      if the hardware simply can't, that's one thing.. if it's arbitrarily locked out, that's another.

      • by MBCook (132727)
        According to Ars Techinica, it's probably because Mountain Lion is full a fully 64 bit kernel and those machines only had 32 bit graphics drivers. By doing this, Apple doesn't have to re-write new graphics drivers for those older machines. Seems like a fair enough engineering decision.
  • I wonder if anybody dreamed it would be this successful.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      I wonder if anybody dreamed it would be this successful.

      Well, given that the turnover seems to be about 6 years, a very slow but successful one?

      How often do people turn over their primary machines anyway?

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:17PM (#40620455) Journal

    At watching all those experiencing nerd rage that Microsoft is ending XP support after a mere 14 years, and how they are so angry at Microsoft they are going to buy a Mac next rather than upgrade to Windows 7. Then we read stuff like this.

    Only a little nerd rage here on slashdot from XP loyalists, but wired.com and CIO magazine's website was filled with them and they were somewhat serious about using a Mac next to avoid planned obscelence in their minds.

  • by Assmasher (456699) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:18PM (#40620479) Journal

    ...scrapes by.

    That's reedonkulous.

    Unmitigated success for Apple has been bad for us.

    • by Sez Zero (586611)

      ...scrapes by.

      My $2200 4.5-year old Mac Pro scrapes by handily. Why did you spend $6000 on a computer again?

      • by Assmasher (456699)

        You can run Mountain Lion on your 4.5 year old Mac Pro?

        When we bought this OSX box we needed a lot o' cores and memory because the box was replacing several dell servers in a rack we wanted to be rid of (we use the monster mac to run a lot of virtualization environments and it is much simpler to debug on one physical machine in this fashion.) We did this with a Mac Pro instead of a WinTel box because it killed several birds with one stone (testing our .mono codebase under stress on OSX, Linux, Win 7, and W

    • by Burz (138833)

      I agree, though my Macbook C2D will not be supported.

      Apple has become hooked on planned obsolescence via the iPod, and more so with the iPhone, to the point where they are now worse than Microsoft and their clonemaker army. At this point I would be open to something laptop-centric based on Android.

  • AGAIN? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:19PM (#40620509) Journal

    Holy upgrades Batman!

    If they make the next version of X-Code support only Mountain Lion like they made the current version only support Lion - I'm going to scream! Because my clients wanted to support features of the latest iOS, I had to upgrade to a new Mac because my older model couldn't run Lion - which is required for the latest X-Code.

    • Re:AGAIN? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 0x000000 (841725) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:31PM (#40620727)

      You have clients ... charge a little more and absorb the cost of new hardware. What's so hard about that?

      • by OzPeter (195038)

        You have clients ... charge a little more and absorb the cost of new hardware. What's so hard about that?

        Its hard to do so when iOS app success is a "lottery": 60% (or more) of developers don't break even [arstechnica.com]

        I'm in the same boat as the OP. I was forced to upgrade my iMac to Lion in order to continue doing iOS development (and for which I am only breaking into).. What this move does is increase the Apple Tax for iOS development from $100 per year to $350 a year minimum (say a new mac mini every 3 years at $800 a pop). If you're not making money in the first place then you can't bill your customers more.

      • by vlueboy (1799360)

        You have clients ... charge a little more and absorb the cost of new hardware. What's so hard about that?

        Sure, but he is a MAC developer.
        1) Not that many mac-only clients out there
        2) World recession means that clients actively look for better deals. It's not too hard to switch Windows + Bootcamp and find a PC-only software provider. No mac premiums there. Not often that you hear clients saying "hey, you know, we're going to switch our userbase to macs we don't already own", so the switch to the PC should be more elastic.
        3) Note how he says "I" and not "my company." This is a small shop business where there are

  • Gasp! (Score:4, Funny)

    by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:20PM (#40620517)
    You mean Apple is forcing people to buy their hardware again to update their software?
    I, for one, am totally shocked at this completely unexpected turn of events.
    • I know I'd be cheesed too if I had to either continue using the old OS or Linux on my 5 year old laptop. Next time I'll buy an Acer that will only last 2 years and that'll show them!
  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:27PM (#40620625)

    Mountain Lion apparently doesn't play nice with 32-bit GPU drivers, and while Apple could spend time and resources bringing older models up to par, the Cupertino company decided it was better off dropping support altogether.

    If this were a true hardware limitation, it would still be bad. But not wanting to update drivers? While you are sitting on $100 billion cash? How many driver writers do you need for the limited selection of tightly controlled hardware?

    Ugh.

    • It's not wise to piss away money, especially for a small subset of your market. I'm sure they have a pretty good idea of how many people this current effects and it's probably not worth it. The move from 32-bit to 64-bit hasn't been great and it's still a bit shit in some cases but you gotta live with it.
  • Remember Vista? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rogueippacket (1977626) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:29PM (#40620673)
    In before the haters, just think back to the release of Vista and signed vs. unsigned drivers. In this case, we're talking about drawing a very clear line between four year old Mac hardware which will not be supported, and everything else, which will be fully supported. There is no gray area.
    Now think back to the debut of mandatory driver signing with Windows Vista - where individual components in your computer would cease to function after an upgrade for no reason other than Microsoft wanted your manufacturer to pay extra for the privilege. Even worse, there really was no way to know before the upgrade if your system would function entirely. At least Apple's upgrade paths are clearly defined, and always have been - from Classic to OS X, PowerPC to Intel, and now Lion to Mountain Lion. You knew what you were getting into when you bought the Mac, and that's a very rigid upgrade cycle of roughly three years (right after your warranty expires) if you want to remain on the bleeding edge.
    • by Rich0 (548339)

      Yeah, but you can STILL get security updates for XP, let alone Vista or Win7.

      It sounds like Apple only supports one previous version.

      That means that if you run windows you STILL get completely official security updates for a computer 12 years old, though you should be saving up to replace it now as that will end TWO YEARS from now, when your computer is 14 years old.

      It sounds like with OSX you're going to be on shaky ground in 5-6 years. I don't think that is terrible for personal use, but for a corporate

  • Subsidies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:32PM (#40620735)
    And this is why Mac OSX doesn't cost just $19.99. If you bought a Mac in 2011, you've already subsidized your purchase of OSX Mountain Lion you'll buy later in the year. Problem is, if you bought a Mac in 2008, you've already used up your copies of OSX, so you don't get to buy Mountain Lion at $19.99. Apple's decided you need to buy a new Mac to subsidize the next 4 versions of OSX, which you'll be free to buy for $19.99 of course. Until 2016 of course when the process starts over again.
    • Exactly which is why they don't want you to put OS X on other hardware. They are a hardware company more than a software company but obviously a PC needs an OS. So they've developed one which you pay for in the hardware too.

      It's still a better deal given the hardware is still usable with it's latest OS or Linux and it beats having an dell that you'd be lucky to see last 4 years.
  • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:33PM (#40620769) Homepage

    As a software company, it's in Microsoft's best interest to prevent "new hardware" from being a barrier to entry for buying their software. (Remember the "Vista Capable" mess?)

    As a hardware company, Apple mostly uses their software to try to entice you into buying new hardware.

    • As a software company, it's in Microsoft's best interest to prevent "new hardware" from being a barrier to entry for buying their software.

      That's because you are not really Microsoft's customer. Relatively few of us actually buy any version of Windows directly from Microsoft. Mostly it is purchased through OEMs. You are not Microsoft's customer. HP, Dell, Asus, Acer, etc are Microsoft's customers. They sell a license to them and those companies resell it to you. The result is that Microsoft has a hard time paying attention to their users and it shows in the experience of using their products.

      As a hardware company, Apple mostly uses their software to try to entice you into buying new hardware.

      Actually Apple is fundamentally a software com

  • older Mac Pro with EFI 32 bit likely locked out as well. And the flash is to small to take EFI 64.

    Now they have 64 bit cpus and can run 64bit code as well windows 64 so why can't apple work around that?

    • by Sez Zero (586611)

      Now they have 64 bit cpus and can run 64bit code as well windows 64 so why can't apple work around that?

      Because they want you to buy new hardware.

      • ok I can buy my own hardware and hack mac os on it or just go windows 7.

        but the mac pro is a no go right now 2010 hardware and video card at the same 2010 price.

  • by dhickman (958529) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:38PM (#40620869)
    I have a macpro1,1 with 8 cores(clovertown), 16 gigs ram, and the current 2011 ATI video card.

    Yes I have had the machine for 6 years and I could upgrade. But the current hardware is not that much of a performance upgrade for the cost.

    Xeon based systems of this generation like the Dell 2900, 1950, are still a viable system and still well supported and will be for years into the future.

    Apple decided to stop supporting this machine a few years back by not allowing it to run a 64 bit kernel with the lame excuse that a 32bit boot loader can not boot a 64 bit os.

    Solution that works great.

    Hackintosh your machintosh.

    Install cameleon and boot the mac in legacy mode as a hackintosh. With Snow Leopard, the machine runs the 64 bit kernel and is noticeably faster. There is no reason that Mountain Lion will not work well also since the macpro1,1 is the same hardware as the 2,1 and most of the 3,1.

    By doing this you can now run any video card that you want and still maintain a legal right to use the software.

    I was starting to decide on upgrading to a current mac pro, but to be honest, there is no reason to drop that kind of change on a machine that Apple will drop within a 5 year period.
    • Looked at the Chameleon website, hasn't been updated since 2009. And it specifically states

      Chameleon is developed to boot Darwin/Mac OS X on PCs, it doesn’t work on Macs.

      Is there something else here that isn't apparent?

    • MOD PARENT UP!

      I've been doing the same thing for years with a similar Macpro1,1 that I use as a dev box for 10GbE ethernet drivers. When 10.6 previews offered a 64b kernel, I was majorly pissed that I had a less than 2 year old $3000 machine that I could not use to test my drivers in 64-bit mode. So I did what you did & turned my MacPro into a hackintosh.

  • EFI32 (Score:4, Informative)

    by dmitriy (40004) on Wednesday July 11, 2012 @05:52PM (#40621109) Journal
    Mountain Lion kernel is 64-bit only, and requires 64-bit EFI firmware. Older systems have 32-bit EFI. Unofficial Chameleon EFI emulator can run 64-bit EFI on some older systems.
  • was no compatibility issues.

    • was no compatibility issues.

      Apple Marketdroid:There's no compatibility problem between the software/hardware if you buy the latest and greatest hardware. It works like a charm!

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