Mac OS X 10.7 Lion System Requirements
Update: Mac OS X Lion has been released!. You can download OS X Lion from the Mac App Store Now for $29.99 right now.
We’re all excited for Mac OS X Lion. We know it’s only $30 but a single purchase will cover installing on all of your Macs. We know it will be released in July through the Mac App Store. But up until now, we didn’t know the hardware requirements. Now we do.
Mac OS X Lion System Requirements
In order to install Mac OS X 10.7 you will need:
- Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor
- 2GB of RAM
- Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later with the Mac App Store installed
- At least 4GB of additional disk space to accommodate the download, but more is obviously recommended
That’s it. The hardware requirements are surprisingly basic, but that’s good news. Apple’s own Lion web site even touts a simple three step process to install the update once it becomes available: check Mac compatibility, update to the latest Snow Leopard, and download Lion from the App Store.
What about upgrading from OS X 10.5 Leopard directly to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion?
If you meet the hardware aspects of the Lion system requirements, then you’ll most likely need to upgrade first to 10.6 prior to 10.7, simply because 10.6.6 is the release that the Mac App Store was included with. Lion requires the App Store to install from, and thus the 10.6.6 requirement to install. If you’re in this situation, Snow Leopard is $29 with free shipping from Amazon.
Core 2 Duo is NOT the same as Core Duo
This is important to point out: the Core 2 Duo chip is newer and fully supported by Mac OS X Lion. In fact, any Mac bought within the last 5 years should have the Core 2 Duo CPU and will be fully supported. The names are similar, but the chipset is fundamentally different, with the Core Duo being an old Pentium-M based 32 bit processor and the Core 2 Duo being a completely different 64 bit architecture. Blame the confusing naming on Intel.
What about Core Duo & Core Solo Macs?
You’ll notice Core Duo & Core Solo CPU’s are not officially supported. The Core Duo & Solo chipset made a brief appearance on a series of Macs released between 2006 and early 2007, so any Mac newer than 2007 should be good to go. The other news about the older CPU’s is that users have hacked Lion Developer Builds to work on those chips, so you can bet someone will do the same for the final Lion release too. That said, there’s probably a good reason Apple has chosen not to support the Core Duo and Core Solo CPU.