According to Apple, Snow Leopard will locate any missing drivers on the Web for you. We had no need of any special drivers during our tests. New technologies Apple says a few new technologies in Snow Leopard make it worthy of the upgrade alone, with several features that Apple says will boost performance.
Because all new Macs come with bit multicore processors, multiple GBs of RAM, and high-powered graphics processing units, all the major applications in Snow Leopard--including the Finder--have been rewritten in bit to take full advantage of the hardware.
The bit technology allows application developers to allocate more memory to complete tasks so that the software runs faster and more smoothly. Apple has also added what it calls the Grand Central Dispatch that manages data sent to multicore processors in an effort to maximize performance; Apple says the GCD will speed up any application task, from processing images in Photoshop to playing your favorite games.
The addition of the GCD also takes away the need for software developers to spend as much time managing multicore processors. Another new technology in Snow Leopard is OpenCL, which allows software developers to tap into the power of any onboard video cards or GPUs, for graphics processing units for general-purpose computing without the addition of enormous amounts of code. Like the GCD, these are improvements that will mainly affect software developers.
But hopefully it will mean more and better-performing software for users in the future. To put some of these claims to the test, we decided to pit Mac OS X In our anecdotal tests of performance within the Snow Leopard user interface UI , the operating system seems faster and more responsive than with Leopard. Finder, Stacks, Expose, launching apps, and other everyday processes feel snappy. We didn't, however, notice any improvement in application performance.
Overall, we saw only a 2. As this falls within our typical margin of error 5 percent , we saw no significant difference with application performance when moving from Leopard to Snow Leopard. See the bottom of this review for performance charts. Expose, Apple's system for visually finding the window you want on a cluttered desktop, used to be relegated to the Function keys on your keyboard.
Snow Leopard now makes Expose accessible from the Dock; just click and hold on a Dock icon to see thumbnails of all the open windows in that application. Hitting the Tab key lets you cycle through the preview thumbnails of each open application. Using Expose in the Dock is very natural and elegant, making us wonder why this wasn't already a feature in Leopard.
The Dock In addition to using Expose to find the right window, you now also have the ability to drag files from one application to another using the Dock. Let's say you want to add an image to an e-mail, but your desktop is full of open windows.
In Snow Leopard you can go to the image, drag it to the Mail icon in the Dock, and your e-mail window will spring-load, allowing you to drop the image into place.
Though the ability to drag and drop files in this fashion is nice, we're not sure it's much easier than attaching an image by browsing through your folders. Still, if you know the image is already on your desktop, it's probably the faster method. Stacks Stacks got a much-needed upgrade as well.
In Leopard, Stacks only listed a certain number of files and applications requiring you to go to a Finder window if your app wasn't listed. Similarly, if you tried to open a folder in Stacks, you were sent to the Finder.
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It only takes a minute to sign up. I have an iMac Early running Leopard Said that, after some search, I found this macworld article showing alternative methods to upgrade from This reading brought me to another solution:.
The linked article hit my questions' topics but I did not deeply understand nor the configuration of the Apple ID on the fresh installed El Capitan nor the legal aspects of the solution. My understanding is that if you bring the Mac to an Apple Store they will install it for you. Desktops Speciality level out of ten: 1.
Answer: A: Answer: A: You can't upgrade for free. Snow Leopard General Requirements 1. Mac computer with an Intel processor 2. DVD drive for installation 5. Some features require a compatible Internet service provider; fees may apply. Upgrading to Lion If your computer does not meet the requirements to install Mountain Lion, it may still meet the requirements to install Lion.
Lion System Requirements 1. January 29, at am. April 21, at am. Lookky says:. January 27, at pm. Beeper says:. January 27, at am. Jazz Bass says:. January 26, at pm. Peter says:. Joe says:. Hoqubble says:. OSXNerd says:.
Hyperion says:. John Robinson says:. Ignite Mindz says:. January 29, at pm. Team Cookie says:. October 24, at pm. PJ says:. Bradley Dichter says:. JP says:. January 26, at am. February 5, at pm. Enzo Caggiano says:. In addition to improving some of the most important features, that update also patched a wide variety of security holes that Apple struggled with for well over two years.
As long as you are currently running some type of OS X Leopard, updating to After you have downloaded the file, you can click on the icon to automatically update your operating system.