Will Apple drop 32-bit support with Lion?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by pineapple216, Oct 24, 2010.


Will OS X 10.7 Lion be 64-bit only

Poll closed Oct 23, 2011.
  1. Yes, it will only support 64-bit capable macs

    107 vote(s)
  2. No, it will still support 32-bit macs

    128 vote(s)
  1. pineapple216, Oct 24, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011

    macrumors member


    Apr 12, 2010
    As the title states; Will OS X 10.7 Lion be 64-bit only?
    Vote, and motivate your opinion.

    I personally think they will. If you look at the statistics from adium users, 95% of the users of adium has a 64-bit capable mac

    http://adium.im/sparkle/ (second graph from above).

    And all news mac sold the last 4 years are macs with a core2duo/xeon/core-i-series or other 64 bit capable processor.

    In the pas Apple has often used hardware features to decide if systems can or can't run a specific version of OS X; e.g. Snow Leopard, runs only on Intel macs.

    EDIT 28 feb 2011:

    I see there's a big discussion going on about this topic.
    What I meant to state is; Will Apple drop support for Mac's with 32-bit processors, with Lion?
    Because I think it's possible for Apple to reflash 32-bit EFI to 64-bit.
  2. macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    Actually the very very first macbooks came with Core Duo for a brief period of time, which are 32 bit.

    It would be a bit of pain if they did drop support for 32 bit as mine is one of these, but it wouldn't be unexpected.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2004
    Gloucester, UK
    The first series Intel-based iMacs and Macbook Pros were 32-bit too.
  4. macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    It would seem like a bad choice (and one with few benefits).
  5. macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Minis didn't get C2D until 2007. I don't see any benefit to Apple save driving sales of new machines.
  6. macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I hope it is 64bit only. Time to push the technology.
  7. macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    yeap, I'm hoping they will upgrade the entire OS to 64 bit. lots of the processes running, like secure empty trash is only coded to one core even. these are things that would be nice to support several cores
  8. macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    But none of that requires 64bit. Very few things would benefit.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    I agree with this 100%, if you're still using an older PowerPC, its time to upgrade. From what I've read, 64bit computers are able to access more RAM than the 32bit. I need my RAM. ;)
  10. macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    OS X can run 32 and 64 bit apps at the same time, even when running the 32 bit kernel. If you have four or more GB of RAM, you are going to want to run 64 bit processes. Almost all of Apple's OOTB (out of the box) processes support both 64 and 32 bit modes. The only advantage to requiring 64 bit capable processors would be a smaller (think two or three gigs) OS footprint.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    If you mean, will they switch to a 64-bit kernel default, there is ZERO chance of that happening. Even the just released iLife '11 is still 32-bit.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Apr 22, 2010
    You can run 32-bit apps with a 64-bit kernel... I'm doing it right now.

    Anyway I'm expecting support to be dropped for Core Duo machines in 10.7 then machines with a 32-bit EFI in 10.8 to be dropped or whatever they plan on calling the next version. Once your machine is out of its Apple Care range Apple doesn't have to support your machine and every Core Duo Mac is already 3-4 years old.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2010
    We still need 32 bit support. Not all software that I've purchased will eventually be ported to 64 bit so flexibility is a must.
  14. macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    My guess would be:

    Kernel only 64-bit, but 32-bit app support remaining.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2009
    Auckland, NZ
    If you're talking about booting into a 64-bit Kernel being compulsory? That cuts off many more machines than just Core Duo/Solo Macs - it also cuts off a number of Core 2 Duo machines that currently can't boot into a 64-bit Kernel under SL (My iMac and MacBook - the MB is from 2008!), because there aren't 64-bit drivers for everything, as I understand it.

    So unless Apple makes a big push to write new drivers, (or get vendors to), they'd cut off a huge chunk of users if they made the kernel 64-bit only.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

    Jul 3, 2010
    Nope, they just released iLife '11 in 32 bits.
  17. macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2006
    London, Europe
    Actually, the benefits are huge. Instead of having to code, debug, test and deploy for both 32bit and 64bit systems Apple only needs to focus on 64bit systems. Easier and faster development, ~50% smaller binaries and likely higher quality code awaits...

    Apple stopped selling non-64bit systems many years ago and currently only a few percent of all Macs out there do not have a 64bit CPU. The Adium stats suggest >95% is now 64bit capable. And no, what type of EFI you have has nothing at all to do with this. If CPU is equal or better to Core2Duo there is no need for 32bit support. 64bit CPUs and OSs will happily run 32bit apps of course.

    Therefore, Core2Duo is a likely to be the minimal CPU for OS X Lion. Apple has a lot to gain, very little to lose from that decision.
  18. macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    Yep. Doubt this release will banish 32-bit machines or apps.

    10.8 might very well only be able to run on 64-bit machines. That would be 2013: quite a way away.
  19. Morris, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010

    macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2006
    London, Europe
    I don't think anyone is expecting Apple to stop supporting 32bit apps anytime soon. There is no need for it as 64bit hardware and 64bit OSes run 32bit software just fine.

    However, I see no reason at all why Apple would not drop 32bit machines for 10.7. It has only upsides for them: People with >4 year old machines will have to buy a new one if they want to run 10.7 and it makes their developer's lives a lot easier because they would only have to focus on developing and testing 64bit code. Joe Bloggs need never notice because they have been running 64bit software (Snow Leopard) on 64bit hardware (any Mac since early 2007) for years.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
    It will more then likely still support 32bit it won't be drop anything time soon.
  21. macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    No. The overhead is minor compared to having PPC and Intel. The developement process would gain minimal benefit. The only real benefit for Apple is driving sales of new machines. Having said that, there aren't many x86 left compared to x64 machines. Apple will be true to form most likely and abandon older users at the first opportunity.
  22. macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2007
    Adium is not a reliable source to determine how many people have 64-bit capable Macs. I don't use Adium, none of my friends do either.

    Granted, it is a popular IM app, but hardly a way to show how many people have 64-bit capable Macs..
  23. macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2006
    London, Europe
    I agree it is not perfect. However it is probably one of the better sources of data we have. Do you have any reason why you think it is not reliable?

    The fact that you or your friends do not use Adium doesn't mean much. The sample size of Adium's data is hundreds of thousands clients. For most normal purposes a sample size of more than 10,000 is way overkill. Whether the data is based on 450,000 or 450,010 (when you and your friends would be included) would have no meaningful effect on the results. Not even in the unlikely event that you and all of your friends have machines bought in exactly that short time frame years ago that Apple sold Intel32 processors.

    The only thing that would make the data unreliable is if there was an uneven distribution among the users of Adium, if the data would therefore not be representative (like those often misused browser stats of w3Schools, a site mostly visited by techies). If it were only used by grannies, or only by techies, that would skew the results. However, I would argue that a much-used program that appeals to a broad group of people, from 13 year old girls and techie boys to perhaps even grannies, would probably be one of the best cross sections of all OS X users.

    Or do you have a particular large group in mind that is very likely to use machines bought before summer 2007 but not use Adium? Could there be a relationship between having bought your machine before summer 2007 and not having Adium? Because a massive group of those would be the only reason the 95% would be lower in reality than in Adium stats.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2010
    i think its early. mac pro 1,1 would be pissed
  25. macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2007

    It is irrelevant whether 95 or even 100% or users have 64 bit processors, what matters if how many users' hardware has a full set of 64 bit drivers.

    What also matters is how many peripherals from third parties also have 64 bit drivers

    There is simply no way that 10.7 will drop 32 bit support. I imagine well over half of all macs on the market at the moment do not support a 64 bit kernel, and even if they did, a great number of printers, usb devices and pci-x ones would be made completely incompatible.

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