FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What are the minimum requirements for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion?
A: Listed below are some minimum requirements for upgrading to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
  1. Make sure your Mac can run Mountain Lion. Your Mac must have an Intel Core 2 Duo or better, a logic board designed to boot into a 64-bit kernel as well as an “advanced GPU (graphics processing unit) chipset.” to run Mountain Lion.

    To find out if your current Mac has one of these processors open System Information (in Lion) or System Profiler in Snow Leopard (or earlier Mac OS X versions); it’s found in /Applications/Utilities. In the list on the left, make sure Hardware is selected, and look for the line that says Model Identifier. It consists of your Mac model name followed by a pair of numbers, without spaces — as in “iMac11,3” or “MacBookPro5,5.”

    Screenshot: lion-sys-info

    Once you know your Mac’s Model Identifier, you can look it up in the list below. (Keep in mind that the comma should be interpreted as a decimal point, so 5,6 is newer than 5,5, and 6,1 is newer than 5,6.)

    Here are the Macs that can run Mountain Lion:

    • iMac7,1 or newer
    • MacBook5,1 or newer
    • MacBookAir2,1 or newer
    • MacBookPro3,1 or newer
    • Macmini3,1 or newer
    • MacPro3,1 or newer
    • Xserve3,1 or newer

    If your Mac is not on that list (or has an older model number), then regardless of its age or speed, I’m very sorry to say that it won’t run Mountain Lion.

    2GB physical RAM. Even though 2 GB is the official minimum, I strongly suggest having more, if your budget allows.

    Some computers may require updated EFI or SMC firmware to run Mountain Lion. To see if a firmware update is available, check this Web page: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1237.

    Apple says Mountain Lion requires 8 GB of free disk space—presumably not including the 4 GB or so you’ll need for the installer itself. And, in fact, a full install of Mountain Lion can, under optimal conditions, fit in less than 6 GB of disk space. But my experience suggests that in real-world use, 8 GB is cutting it too close for comfort. I recommend starting with at least 20 GB of free space (before downloading the installer).

    In order to purchase Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store, you must be running the latest version of Snow Leopard or Lion. So, if your Mac already has Snow Leopard installed but its version is 10.6.7 or earlier (check by choosing Apple Menu→About This Mac), be sure to update it to the latest version

  2. Make sure you have the latest version of Snow Leopard or Lion. Get up to date with the latest version of OS X Snow Leopard or Lion to purchase OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store. If you have Snow Leopard, click the Apple icon and choose Software Update to install Snow Leopard v10.6.8, the latest version. If you have Lion, click the Apple icon and choose Software Update to install Lion v10.7.4, the latest version.

  3. For Departmental purchases: Contact Kengshi or Paul.

    For Personal purchases: Download OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store. Open the Mac App Store from your Dock to buy and download it. Then follow the onscreen instructions to install Mountain Lion.