Upgrading to Lion on older Macs

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Kilgore-Trout, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Kilgore-Trout macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    I have a late 2006 Macbook with a 2.1 GHz Core 2 Duo and 4GB of RAM. I'm currently using Snow Leopard and it runs pretty smoothly.

    I'm wondering if anyone has a similar, older Mac who has taken the jump to Lion? If so, what are your impressions of it?

  2. nicklad macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    With 4GB of RAM, you should be fine. The performance issues I've seen have been in computers with 2GB or with incompatible background applications that eat CPU or memory.

    Are you able to clean install the machine?
  3. Kilgore-Trout thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    Probably, but I'd prefer not to do a clean install.
  4. HenryAZ macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    South Congress AZ
    I have Lion installed (clean install) on an A1212 MBP (core 2 duo 2.33Ghz, 3GB RAM, which is the max it will take). This is a "late 2006" unit I bought in early 2007.

    Lion is running very well on this machine. For comparison, I also have Lion on a newer iMac with 16GB RAM. On the MBP, Lion scales itself well, typically leaving about 2.5GB RAM free until I start running hungry apps. The kernel takes 150MB to start off, whereas on the iMac, the kernel takes about 750MB (RSIZE). Lion on the MBP scales everything down but the performance is still there, and I have yet to find any apps that seem starved for resources. Apps that I run on both machines typically are scaled to use less on the MBP.
  5. Kilgore-Trout thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2011
    Thanks a lot! Are all 2006 Macbooks and Pros limited to 3GB of usable RAM?
  6. Quicksilver2001 macrumors newbie

    Yep, I live on the low-end, and Lion works with 4GB!

    My black MacBook from Mid 2007 and Mac Mini from Mid 2007 sit there and have this innovative compromise where they do non-application tasks with the fourth GB of memory while leaving the full bottom 3GB available for running applications. If you have a supportive router, even AirDrop can be enabled, although the router is managing it instead of the Mac. A specific Terminal command is required, but it gives your older MacBook (if you have anyone else with older Macs) the feeling of one that was meant for 10.7. 10.8 may not run, but with 4GB RAM, you can get 10.7 running like a top.

    Go low-end Macs for those who can't afford the new ones! :D

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