Five reasons not to make the jump to Leopard -- yet

Macintosh Knowledge Center Editor Ken Mingis outlines what you should consider before upgrading to Leopard

Put down the credit card. Turn away from the Apple Store. Of course you want to jump on the latest Apple bandwagon and upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5, better known as Leopard. It has been almost two and a half years since its predecessor, Version 10.4 Tiger arrived, and the new operating system offers a slew of changes, including a revamped user interface, new apps, tweaks to older programs and numerous under-the-hood changes.

But that doesn't make it necessarily a good choice for some users, no matter their enthusiasm.

In fact, Apple has spelled out hardware requirements for Leopard that will leave some users of older computers in the dust -- unless they opt for new hardware. That doesn't even include those who still use the "Classic" Mac OS, once known as Mac OS 9, or apps that haven't been updated yet to run in Leopard.

It also doesn't deal with the fact that some people are simply averse to change, wary of jumping on the introductory release of any operating system. Just ask all those companies patiently waiting for the first Service Pack for Windows Vista.

With that in mind, here's a quick look at some of the things to consider when deciding whether now is the best time to upgrade your Mac.

  1. Older hardware. If you're using an Intel-based machine, grab the credit card and head for the Apple Store. Leopard will run on all Intel-based laptop and desktop Macs, meaning all of those released since January 2006. The same goes for older hardware that uses the Power PC G5 processor; you're good to go.

    However, if your computer runs on a Power PC G3, forget it. And if you have any hardware running on a Power PC G4 chip at anything less than 867 MHz, ditto that advice. According to Apple, Leopard isn't for you. You'll also need something with at least 512MB of RAM, a DVD drive and about 9GB of space.

  2. Mac Classic. If you're still using applications designed for Mac hardware before Apple made the leap to Mac OS X more than six years ago, you have a choice:
    • You can keep using those apps with Tiger -- and eschew Leopard until replacement software comes along.
    • You can ditch the app if there's an OS X version available and move to Leopard.
    • You can install Tiger on a separate partition of your hard drive, use Classic there when you need it and install Leopard on the other partition.
    Apple is clear on this: Support for Classic is being dropped. You can't say you weren't warned: Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself proclaimed the death of Mac OS 9 several years ago.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ken Mingis

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?