Leopard Under The Hood And Requirements Analysis

With Mac OS 10.5 "Leopard's" formal announcement, many readers have been reading through Leopard's list of over 300 new features and their associated technical requirements. With the list being quite extensive, we will attempt to analyze some of the less talked about points here.

Under The Hood
Leopard has seen many enhancements that many users may not be immediately aware of. AutoFS claims to multi-thread the practice of mounting and dismounting network filesystems, which should virtually eliminate the spinning beach ball network users may have become familiar with. Leopard will also include various security enhancements aimed at tracking applications (including potential malware), including application signing similar to what Microsoft has done in Windows.

System Requirements
Leopard is the first release of the Mac OS to exclude all G3 class machines, and it also will exclude many G4 class machines as well. In order to run Leopard, a user must have a G4 (867Mhz+), any G5, or any Intel processor. Also, while most features of Leopard appear to be universal, some will require more advanced system requirements or an Intel system. Below is a comparison chart comparing Tiger's system requirements vs. Leopard's.

Requirement Mac OS 10.4 "Tiger" Mac OS 10.5 "Leopard"
Processor G3, G4, G5, Intel G4 (867+), G5, Intel
RAM 256 MB 512 MB
Disk Space 3 GB 9 GB
Miscellaneous Built-in Firewire required Photobooth backdrop effects require Intel Core Duo or faster, Boot Camp requires Intel Mac, Front Row requires built-in IR, DVD Player requires 1.6 GHz processor for improved de-interlacing

If you plan on buying Leopard at a retail store on the night of the 26th, be sure to check our new Leopard Meetup forum to meet other MacRumors members.

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