OSX 10.12 System requirements (educated guess?)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by appleish19, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. appleish19 macrumors regular


    Dec 4, 2014
    Hey everyone, if you had to venture a guess what might 10.12 system requirements be? I'm thinking about buying a Mac towards the end of the compatibility with 10.11 and looking to get one that hopefully receives one more update even if all the features aren't there.
  2. reflex99 macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2014
    I'm currently trying to find an older Macbook/Pro for a friend, so I've researched almost the exact same question as you. Trying to find the oldest (read: least expensive) Mac possible, but not so old that Apple will drop support soon.

    Currently the only unsupported systems have some sort of hardware/firmware limitation preventing them from supporting newer OS versions, and as far as I know there haven't been any truly arbitrary drops of support yet. For example the 2008 Mac Pro tops out at 10.7.5 since that's the last OS X version that supports systems with 32bit EFI. The 2008 plastic MacBooks are another interesting one since they are 64bit for both the CPU and EFI, but apparently Intel didn't release 64bit graphics drivers so they are stuck on 10.7.5.

    As far as major things like this go, I don't think anything that currently supports 10.11 will be dropped outright. As in the past, Apple might bump up the minimum RAM required (currently 2GB), which is only a problem for MBAs from late 2008 - mid 2012 that have 2GB and are not upgradable.

    The last few hard cut offs have been:
    10.5.8 - Last PowerPC support
    10.6.8 - Last 32bit processor support
    10.7.5 - Last 32bit kernel extensions (ex. graphics drivers)
    Anything that can run 10.8 has been compatible with the latest versions.

    Other than that I don't think anyone other than Apple really knows.

    If Apple does decide to arbitrarily drop support, in the worst case scenario (most models dropped) my speculation would be that they draw the line at when the Retina models came out. If they cut anything after mid-2012 I'd be surprised.

    I say this because Metal (Apple's fancy graphics API) works only on machines 2012 and later. Additionally Macs older than 2012 can have GPUs that don't support OpenGL 4+ (ex. HD 3000). Again though, this is all speculation.

    If I was looking for a late model Mac (coincidentally I am), I'd suggest looking for at least:
    • 4GB ram, or ability to upgrade to 4GB if needed
    • 64 bit processor & EFI
    • Not PowerPC (obvious)
    • GPU newer than Intel HD 3000, or at least supporting OpenGL 4 (Ideally supporting Metal)
    • currently supported by 10.11, with as many features still enabled as possible.
    • 2012 or newer if possible.
    This puts the Mid 2012 non-retina MBP or Mid 2012 MBA as the oldest (likely least expensive) models that meet those criteria. Personally I don't think apple will stop support for anything with a Core iX processor just yet so I'm looking for MBPs from ~2010 or newer, and MBAs 2011 or newer.

    I'm not a Mac wizard by any means, so if something is incorrect please feel free to correct me.

    wow that's a wall of text.
  3. appleish19 thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 4, 2014
    No problem. I really appreciate the thought put into it. I think the 2008 Mac Pro still is supported in El Capitan. I'm just thinking of getting a mini or something like that to use as a NAS or just to use for basic stuff when I don't want to use my MacBook Pro.
    I'm familiar with the hard cut off with PowerPCs. I have several of them. ;) But you can still do quite a lot with 10.5.8. At least in my opinion.

    I'm thinking 10.12 will have possibly Siri, filesystem updates and metal baked into the system from what I've read. If it's a good update, I'll update to a 15 inch MacBook Pro.

    I'm amazed that iMacs from mid 2007 are still supported. And the minis from 2009 are reasonable as well. Good job Apple.:D:apple: I think they'll probably keep up supporting as many macs as possible.

    I agree with the 2 GB of RAM. I can see them requiring a minimum of 4 GB and possibly metal only graphics or some arbitrary cut off graphics wise.
  4. reflex99 macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2014
    I was gonna add a line about the laptop-centric focus of my reply but decided not to at the last minute. whoops.

    Pretty much all of my post still applies, except the dates don't match up with desktop models so you might have to do some research there.

    You're correct about the '08 Mac Pro, '07 models are stuck on 10.7.5.

    Apple's strategy here is strange considering their history with iOS support. I'm guessing Macs are in service much longer is the reason.
  5. appleish19 thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 4, 2014
    I've really been thinking about upgrading to the 15 inch retina MacBook Pro but my 13 inch i7 from 2012 has pretty much received all the new features on every OS update so far. When it stops getting those I'll upgrade. I suspect if Siri comes to the Mac it will require the dual microphones. Hopefully the 15 inch is going to get a new form factor this year.

    I agree. I think they support so many macs because how solid the hardware usually is. I've really never had a problem with any of my macs whether they be G4,G5 or Intel. Plus I think people with iPhones and iPads can upgrade through carriers more often for a more reasonable price i.e. monthly.
  6. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    I seriously doubt Apple would drastically increase requirements for 10.12. Its requirements are likely the same as 10.11 unless Apple has very ambitious plans.

    However I would not be surprised if Apple decided to increase RAM requirement to 4 GB. While latest OS X versions will work with 2 GB it's not really enough for pleasant experience. Even RAM compression will only go so far and I doubt even Apple can make drastic improvements without increasing RAM requirement to 4 GB. Maybe not for 10.12 but likely for 10.13.

    Given that even oldest currently supported processors are 64bit I don't see any technological reasons to drop support.

    At some point Apple may decide to drop support for some Core 2 Duo models (2007-2009) because of slow processors and GPU compared to later models. I would be very surprised if it happened in 10.12 because there is no need for such change at the moment.

    I seriously doubt METAL compatibility is going to be requirement for a long time, Apple would only antagonise customers pointlessly doing so since most Macs in use don't support METAL and lots of customers would furious which isn't good business.
  7. mgsnat75 macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2011
    I know details are scarce at the moment but I sure hope that it will be able to be installed/run on the older MBP machines like with El capitan, ie; late 07 and up models. I currently have a early 08 machine that I would like to last at least one more OS upgrade :) what do you all think?

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6 December 9, 2015