With the release of Mountain Lion close upon us, many people are wondering if their aging Mac will be able to run Mountain Lion.
The easy way to think of whether or not your Mac is compatible is whether or not it’s been made in the “Aluminum and Glass” era of Macs. In mid 2007, Apple released the iMac, no longer in a white plastic enclosure, but in a spiffy new aluminum and glass enclosure. Those iMacs are the oldest iMacs compatible with Mountain Lion. Most Macs released since that switch to the “Aluminum and glass” design ARE Mountain Lion compatible.
Shortly after the iMacs, in 2008, Apple revamped their MacBooks and MacBooks Pro to the Aluminum unibody with a glass panel covering the display. All Unibody MacBooks and MacBooks Pro (including the white plastic unibody MacBook) WILL work with Mountain Lion. Even some of the pre-unibody MacBooks Pro will work, provided it’s a 2008 or newer model.
Mac Minis didn’t get the Aluminum treatment until 2010, so there are a couple of older-looking models that WILL work with Mountain Lion. As long as your Mac Mini is the “Early 2009” model or later, you’re good.
For MacBook Air, unless you have the first, early 2008 model, your Air is compatible. Again ALL MacBook Air except the early 2008 models are compatible.
For the full list of Macs compatible with OSX Mountain Lion, check out Apple’s Mountain Lion page. And remember, backup before you upgrade!