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OSX 10.8 and Late 2006 iMac

 
 
gtr
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      07-26-2012, 03:51 PM
I note in arstechnica review that it says:

"Mountain Lion continues the inexorable march of progress by dropping
support for 32-bit kernel extensions and requiring a Mac that can run
the 64-bit kernel. This currently excludes many Macs that have 64-bit
processors, including the *Late 2006 iMac* and many years of Mac mini
and Mac Pro models."

Sadly I have such a Late 2006 IMac, genrously bequeathed 3 years ago
when a friend upgraded at about the same point my PPC died.

I assume this means I don't get to play. Please advise if there is a
difference of opinion.

 
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sbt
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      07-26-2012, 04:57 PM
In article <2012072608514720233-xxx@yyyzzz>, gtr <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I note in arstechnica review that it says:
>
> "Mountain Lion continues the inexorable march of progress by dropping
> support for 32-bit kernel extensions and requiring a Mac that can run
> the 64-bit kernel. This currently excludes many Macs that have 64-bit
> processors, including the *Late 2006 iMac* and many years of Mac mini
> and Mac Pro models."
>
> Sadly I have such a Late 2006 IMac, genrously bequeathed 3 years ago
> when a friend upgraded at about the same point my PPC died.
>
> I assume this means I don't get to play. Please advise if there is a
> difference of opinion.
>


You don't get to play with that iMac (requires mid-2007 or later iMac).
Similarly, although my iMac and MacPro qualify, my MacBood doesn't (and
my Mac Pro still doesn't get to use AirDrop).

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Spenser
 
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Alan Browne
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      07-26-2012, 06:34 PM
On 2012-07-26 11:51 , gtr wrote:
> I note in arstechnica review that it says:
>
> "Mountain Lion continues the inexorable march of progress by dropping
> support for 32-bit kernel extensions and requiring a Mac that can run
> the 64-bit kernel. This currently excludes many Macs that have 64-bit
> processors, including the *Late 2006 iMac* and many years of Mac mini
> and Mac Pro models."
>
> Sadly I have such a Late 2006 IMac, genrously bequeathed 3 years ago
> when a friend upgraded at about the same point my PPC died.
>
> I assume this means I don't get to play. Please advise if there is a
> difference of opinion.


David Empson posted on this a few times. Search Google Groups.

But I'm pretty sure you're screwed for ML as my iMac (mid or late 2007)
is the oldest iMac that ML will work on.

Curiously, when I had SL the kernel was 32 b and I couldn't get 64 b to
load, but I noticed recently that with Lion it's 64 b.

This also likely means that Lion will be the last major OS upgrade for
my iMac. Then again I do have the replacement lust bubbling up. Damn
thing is this iMac works so well for 99% of what I do that replacing it
seems silly.

--
"Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
-Samuel Clemens.
 
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David Empson
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      07-27-2012, 12:23 AM
gtr <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I note in arstechnica review that it says:
>
> "Mountain Lion continues the inexorable march of progress by dropping
> support for 32-bit kernel extensions and requiring a Mac that can run
> the 64-bit kernel. This currently excludes many Macs that have 64-bit
> processors, including the *Late 2006 iMac* and many years of Mac mini
> and Mac Pro models."
>
> Sadly I have such a Late 2006 IMac, genrously bequeathed 3 years ago
> when a friend upgraded at about the same point my PPC died.
>
> I assume this means I don't get to play. Please advise if there is a
> difference of opinion.


There is absolutely no chance you will be able to get Mountain Lion
working on that iMac model.

The critical problem in this case is the graphics processing unit (GPU).
Mountain Lion has established a minimum baseline for GPU capabilities
(probably based on it being able to support OpenCL and certain OpenGL
features). Your Mac's GPU is old enough not to support those features,
and it cannot be replaced, so Apple did not support your Mac for
Mountain Lion.

The GPU is what caused Mountain Lion to not be supported on the
following models. I've listed the GPU in each case.

iMac (Late 2006): Intel GMA 950, ATI Radeon X1600, NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT
or 7600GT.

Mac Mini (Mid 2007): Intel GMA 950.

MacBook (Late 2006, Mid 2007): Intel GMA 950.

MacBook (Late 2007, Mid 2008, Late 2008): Intel GMA X3100.

MacBook Air (Early 2008): Intel GMA X3100.

MacBook Pro (Late 2006): ATI Radeon X1600.

Xserve (Late 2006, Early 2008): ATI Radeon X1300.

That covers all models with a non-replaceable dedicated GPU in the
NVIDIA 7000 or ATI 1000 series, plus the older very limited Intel
integrated GPUs.

The 2006 models and some of the 2007 models in that list also have
32-bit EFI (firmware) which prevents them easily running a 64-bit
kernel.

Mountain Lion requires a 64-bit kernel, and this is the reason the Mac
Pro (Mid 2006 and Early 2007) were dropped, since they would have been
the only models needing a special workaround to get the 64-bit kernel
working. (All other models with 32-bit EFI had a non-replaceable GPU
which wasn't good enough.)

The ATI 1000 series and NVIDIA 7000 series already have 64-bit kernel
extensions in Lion, so the reason models with those GPUs were dropped
was not because of the 64-kit kernel requirement, but because the GPU
wasn't good enough.

Some Mac Pros in the Mid 2006 and Early 2007 series were supplied with
GPUs in the above list (or similar models), but the GPU in the Mac Pro
is on a slot-based PCI Express graphics card and can be replaced with a
later graphics card that has a better GPU. After doing that, these Mac
Pro models apparently can be made to run Mountain Lion via a somewhat
complex and unsupported hack, but I haven't seen confirmation of that
method working with the public release of Mountain Lion, only early
developer releases.

The Xserves might have a similar option, if they have a free PCI Express
slot with sufficient lanes in which a suitable graphics card could be
installed, as long as the built-in ATI Radeon X1300 can be completely
ignored.

The Late 2006 MacBook Pro has an ExpressCard slot, so in theory it might
be possible to install a better GPU externally and get Mountain Lion
working with a similar hack, but I expect the number of PCI Express
lanes available on the ExpressCard slot would rule that out. In
addition, that model has a 3 GB memory limit, making it a poor candidate
for running Mountain Lion with enough RAM to perform well. (The Mac Pro
and Xserve can support at least 16 GB of RAM.)

All iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook and MacBook Air models in the above list
have no internal slots so have no way to install a different GPU,
therefore no way to hack around the GPU requirement in Mountain Lion.

--
David Empson
(E-Mail Removed)
 
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David Empson
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      07-27-2012, 12:24 AM
Alan Browne <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On 2012-07-26 11:51 , gtr wrote:
> > I note in arstechnica review that it says:
> >
> > "Mountain Lion continues the inexorable march of progress by dropping
> > support for 32-bit kernel extensions and requiring a Mac that can run
> > the 64-bit kernel. This currently excludes many Macs that have 64-bit
> > processors, including the *Late 2006 iMac* and many years of Mac mini
> > and Mac Pro models."
> >
> > Sadly I have such a Late 2006 IMac, genrously bequeathed 3 years ago
> > when a friend upgraded at about the same point my PPC died.
> >
> > I assume this means I don't get to play. Please advise if there is a
> > difference of opinion.

>
> David Empson posted on this a few times. Search Google Groups.


(I've just done a detailed response to the OP.)

> But I'm pretty sure you're screwed for ML as my iMac (mid or late 2007)
> is the oldest iMac that ML will work on.
>
> Curiously, when I had SL the kernel was 32 b and I couldn't get 64 b to
> load, but I noticed recently that with Lion it's 64 b.


With Snow Leopard, Apple only implemented the 64-bit kernel on 2008 and
later models in the iMac, Mac Pro, Xserve and MacBook Pro families, plus
the 2010 Mac Mini (specifically for Mac OS X Server).

The Mid 2007 iMac and MacBook Pro models may have been excluded based on
an executive decision rather than for technical reasons, though it is
possible Apple just hadn't got around to implementing 64-bit kernel
extensions required to support some older hardware components.

It appears late 2008 or newer MacBook, MacBook Air and Mac Mini models
were limited to the 32-bit kernel in Snow Leopard based on an executive
decision. Earlier models in those series had Intel integrated graphics
which never got a 64-bit kernel extension, so they cannot run the 64-bit
kernel on any OS version.

In Lion, 64-bit kernel support was extended back to the Mid 2007 iMac
and MacBook Pro, and to all MacBook, MacBook Air and Mac Mini models
with NVIDIA integrated graphics.

> This also likely means that Lion will be the last major OS upgrade for
> my iMac.


Your mid 2007 iMac can run Mountain Lion, so was that a typo or do you
have an as yet unspecified reason for not upgrading to Mountain Lion?

We can only speculate on what the minimum requirements will be for a mid
2013 version of OS X. It is quite possible it won't increase the minimum
requirements at all.

Apple's seemingly arbitrary cutoffs for supporting older models in new
OS versions usually have a valid technical reason, and they almost
always support models for at least three years after they were
discontinued, popular models for closer to four years minimum.

I have already noted that the minimum RAM requirement can't go above 2
GB for a while yet, because the MacBook Air was sold until mid 2012 with
only 2 GB in the entry level model, suggesting mid 2015 is the earliest
Apple could require more than 2 GB of RAM for a new OS release.

From a quick glance at the 2007 and 2008 models still supported by
Mountain Lion, the feature which seems most likely to be dropped first
is support for the NVIDIA 8000 and ATI 2000 series GPUs.

That would bring the starting point up to these models:

iMac (Early 2009)
Mac Mini (Early 2009) - no change
Mac Pro (Early 2009), or possibly Early 2008 as long as GPU replaced
MacBook (Early 2009, or Late 2008 Aluminium) - no change
MacBook Air (Late 2008) - no change
MacBook Pro (Late 2008)
Xserve (Early 2009) - no change

That falls within a similar cutoff time window to other OS X releases,
but is unusual in that it drops support for older iMac and MacBook Pro
models without affecting all the low end models.

If the support for the NVIDIA 9000 series was also dropped, the cutoff
would shift as late as October 2010 for some models, June 2010 or
earlier for most. That is too close to a mid 2013 OS release, but might
be acceptable for a mid 2014 OS release.

> Then again I do have the replacement lust bubbling up. Damn thing is this
> iMac works so well for 99% of what I do that replacing it seems silly.



--
David Empson
(E-Mail Removed)
 
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Lewis
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      07-27-2012, 06:44 AM
In message <2012072608514720233-xxx@yyyzzz>
gtr <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I assume this means I don't get to play.


Not officially, no.

>Please advise if there is a difference of opinion.


It is possible. It is not easy, but it is possible.

You need a spare drive you can format with a MBR (so it must be 2TB or
smaller and at least 10GB) and you need a recent copy of Chameleon, but
it is *possible*.

I do *not* recommend it.

--
I get the feeling that some people's idea of heaven is an "I told you
so" T-shirt - mmalc
 
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Lewis
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      07-27-2012, 07:12 AM
In message <1knw0bu.8crz3x1lva687N%(E-Mail Removed)>
David Empson <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Sadly I have such a Late 2006 IMac, genrously bequeathed 3 years ago
>> when a friend upgraded at about the same point my PPC died.


> There is absolutely no chance you will be able to get Mountain Lion
> working on that iMac model.


Ah, right. I should have looked up the video card. The Late 2006 iMac
has an X1600 and there are not, nor have there ever been, nor will there
ever be, 64 bit drivers for that card. David is right, you are 100% out
of luck.

> The ATI 1000 series and NVIDIA 7000 series already have 64-bit kernel
> extensions in Lion,


Are you sure? I thought they faked it and loaded the 32 bit drivers? Or
is it just the lack of OpenCL?

I certainly see links to people saying they don't have 64 bit drivers,
but they are just web forum posters, nothing reliable.

> Some Mac Pros in the Mid 2006 and Early 2007 series were supplied with
> GPUs in the above list (or similar models), but the GPU in the Mac Pro
> is on a slot-based PCI Express graphics card and can be replaced with a
> later graphics card that has a better GPU. After doing that, these Mac
> Pro models apparently can be made to run Mountain Lion via a somewhat
> complex and unsupported hack, but I haven't seen confirmation of that
> method working with the public release of Mountain Lion, only early
> developer releases.


There was a hack that worked in the DP1. That stopped working in DP2.
There is an entirely different hack that works if you have a 5750/5770
GPU.

--
Oh, he's just like any other man, only more so.
 
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David Empson
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      07-27-2012, 08:11 AM
Lewis <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In message <1knw0bu.8crz3x1lva687N%(E-Mail Removed)>
> David Empson <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >> Sadly I have such a Late 2006 IMac, genrously bequeathed 3 years ago
> >> when a friend upgraded at about the same point my PPC died.

>
> > There is absolutely no chance you will be able to get Mountain Lion
> > working on that iMac model.

>
> Ah, right. I should have looked up the video card. The Late 2006 iMac
> has an X1600 and there are not, nor have there ever been, nor will there
> ever be, 64 bit drivers for that card. David is right, you are 100% out
> of luck.
>
> > The ATI 1000 series and NVIDIA 7000 series already have 64-bit kernel
> > extensions in Lion,

>
> Are you sure? I thought they faked it and loaded the 32 bit drivers? Or
> is it just the lack of OpenCL?


Let me rephrase: they _appear_ to have 64-bit kernel extensions in Lion,
in that the executable has x86-64 code in it.

The 2008 Xserve runs with a 64-bit kernel in Snow Leopard and Lion, and
it has an ATI Radeon X1300, therefore at least the ATI X1300 kext must
have functional 64-bit code. Harder to tell for the ATI X1600/X1900 and
NVIDIA 7300/7600, because none of the models supplied with those GPUs
had 64-bit EFI.

> I certainly see links to people saying they don't have 64 bit drivers,
> but they are just web forum posters, nothing reliable.
>
> > Some Mac Pros in the Mid 2006 and Early 2007 series were supplied with
> > GPUs in the above list (or similar models), but the GPU in the Mac Pro
> > is on a slot-based PCI Express graphics card and can be replaced with a
> > later graphics card that has a better GPU. After doing that, these Mac
> > Pro models apparently can be made to run Mountain Lion via a somewhat
> > complex and unsupported hack, but I haven't seen confirmation of that
> > method working with the public release of Mountain Lion, only early
> > developer releases.

>
> There was a hack that worked in the DP1. That stopped working in DP2.
> There is an entirely different hack that works if you have a 5750/5770
> GPU.


OK, thanks for the correction.

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David Empson
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Alan Browne
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      07-27-2012, 01:54 PM
On 2012-07-26 20:24 , David Empson wrote:
> Alan Browne <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> On 2012-07-26 11:51 , gtr wrote:
>>> I note in arstechnica review that it says:
>>>
>>> "Mountain Lion continues the inexorable march of progress by dropping
>>> support for 32-bit kernel extensions and requiring a Mac that can run
>>> the 64-bit kernel. This currently excludes many Macs that have 64-bit
>>> processors, including the *Late 2006 iMac* and many years of Mac mini
>>> and Mac Pro models."
>>>
>>> Sadly I have such a Late 2006 IMac, genrously bequeathed 3 years ago
>>> when a friend upgraded at about the same point my PPC died.
>>>
>>> I assume this means I don't get to play. Please advise if there is a
>>> difference of opinion.

>>
>> David Empson posted on this a few times. Search Google Groups.

>
> (I've just done a detailed response to the OP.)
>
>> But I'm pretty sure you're screwed for ML as my iMac (mid or late 2007)
>> is the oldest iMac that ML will work on.
>>
>> Curiously, when I had SL the kernel was 32 b and I couldn't get 64 b to
>> load, but I noticed recently that with Lion it's 64 b.

>
> With Snow Leopard, Apple only implemented the 64-bit kernel on 2008 and
> later models in the iMac, Mac Pro, Xserve and MacBook Pro families, plus
> the 2010 Mac Mini (specifically for Mac OS X Server).
>
> The Mid 2007 iMac and MacBook Pro models may have been excluded based on
> an executive decision rather than for technical reasons, though it is
> possible Apple just hadn't got around to implementing 64-bit kernel
> extensions required to support some older hardware components.
>
> It appears late 2008 or newer MacBook, MacBook Air and Mac Mini models
> were limited to the 32-bit kernel in Snow Leopard based on an executive
> decision. Earlier models in those series had Intel integrated graphics
> which never got a 64-bit kernel extension, so they cannot run the 64-bit
> kernel on any OS version.



> In Lion, 64-bit kernel support was extended back to the Mid 2007 iMac
> and MacBook Pro, and to all MacBook, MacBook Air and Mac Mini models
> with NVIDIA integrated graphics.


Good for both my SO's MBA and my son's MBP.
>
>> This also likely means that Lion will be the last major OS upgrade for
>> my iMac.

>
> Your mid 2007 iMac can run Mountain Lion, so was that a typo or do you
> have an as yet unspecified reason for not upgrading to Mountain Lion?


Sorry I meant ML will likely be the last.

>
> We can only speculate on what the minimum requirements will be for a mid
> 2013 version of OS X. It is quite possible it won't increase the minimum
> requirements at all.


It seems to march forward as a 5 year (ish) span, so the two laptops
here may be covered but my iMac may not.

>
> Apple's seemingly arbitrary cutoffs for supporting older models in new
> OS versions usually have a valid technical reason, and they almost
> always support models for at least three years after they were
> discontinued, popular models for closer to four years minimum.


Good to hear. Perhaps that all of the machines here are 64 b "able" and
that that is not likely to be upped to 128 b for a long time will give
us a golden era.

> I have already noted that the minimum RAM requirement can't go above 2
> GB for a while yet, because the MacBook Air was sold until mid 2012 with
> only 2 GB in the entry level model, suggesting mid 2015 is the earliest
> Apple could require more than 2 GB of RAM for a new OS release.


Perfect. That's what's in the SO's MBA. It would be nice if that could
be updates to 4 GB. OTOH for her needs 2 GB is more than sufficient
(web, Word, Excel, photo viewing/editing).

>
> From a quick glance at the 2007 and 2008 models still supported by
> Mountain Lion, the feature which seems most likely to be dropped first
> is support for the NVIDIA 8000 and ATI 2000 series GPUs.


Why would they drop that support? It's stable stuff.

>
> That would bring the starting point up to these models:
>
> iMac (Early 2009)
> Mac Mini (Early 2009) - no change
> Mac Pro (Early 2009), or possibly Early 2008 as long as GPU replaced
> MacBook (Early 2009, or Late 2008 Aluminium) - no change
> MacBook Air (Late 2008) - no change
> MacBook Pro (Late 2008)
> Xserve (Early 2009) - no change
>
> That falls within a similar cutoff time window to other OS X releases,
> but is unusual in that it drops support for older iMac and MacBook Pro
> models without affecting all the low end models.
>
> If the support for the NVIDIA 9000 series was also dropped, the cutoff
> would shift as late as October 2010 for some models, June 2010 or
> earlier for most. That is too close to a mid 2013 OS release, but might
> be acceptable for a mid 2014 OS release.


Too much info!

--
"Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
-Samuel Clemens.
 
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Mr. Strat
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      07-27-2012, 02:05 PM
In article <2012072608514720233-xxx@yyyzzz>, gtr <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I note in arstechnica review that it says:
>
> "Mountain Lion continues the inexorable march of progress by dropping
> support for 32-bit kernel extensions and requiring a Mac that can run
> the 64-bit kernel. This currently excludes many Macs that have 64-bit
> processors, including the *Late 2006 iMac* and many years of Mac mini
> and Mac Pro models."
>
> Sadly I have such a Late 2006 IMac, genrously bequeathed 3 years ago
> when a friend upgraded at about the same point my PPC died.
>
> I assume this means I don't get to play. Please advise if there is a
> difference of opinion.


Cheer up! You're not missing anything.
 
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