OS X Yosemite (teaser 002)

With Monday’s announcement of OS X Yosemite now off our backs, many people are wondering whether the next major revision to Apple’s desktop operating system will run on their Macs. There’s some good news and bad news.

The good news is, Yosemite doesn’t impose steeper requirements in terms of the minimum hardware needed for a productive and hassle-free experience, simply because Yosemite is much like Mavericks in this regard. The bad news is, some older Mac models will inevitably be left behind, call it the price of progress.

Will your Mac be able to run Yosemite? Read on…

According to Apple, hardware requirements for OS X 10.10 Yosemite are identical to those of Mavericks. This means any of the Mac models listed below, or newer, will boot Yosemite:

• Mid-2007 MacBook Pro
• Late-2008 MacBook Air
• Mid-2007 iMac
• Early-2009 Mac mini
• Early-2008 Mac Pro
• Late-2008 aluminum MacBook
• Early-2009 aluminum MacBook
• Early-2009 Xserve

You’ll also need 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage to run Yosemite – again, just like Mavericks.

Now that you know that Yosemite and Mavericks require exactly the same hardware, it’s worth adding that the former should run smoother versus Mavericks due to several new performance-improving features.

Maverick has provided much of the plumbing work Apple engineers needed to roll out new features faster and optimize performance further.

OS X Yosemite Desktop

Timer Coalescing, for example, groups low-level operations together so CPU is utilized more efficiently and enters low-power state more often. Similarly, Mavericks has brought out App Nap which lets the operating system slow down an app that’s completely hidden from view and not actively working, so it uses fewer resources.

And Safari’s Power Saver technology in Mavericks pauses webpage plug-ins that are off in the margins. All these features, and many more, allow Mavericks to increase battery efficiency and boost performance, too.

In Yosemite, there’s less clutter and the user interface is simpler and free of effects like drop shadows that put a strain on both the CPU and GPU. It requires fewer clicks to perform common tasks and Safari in Yosemite gives you even faster performance, especially when watching video.

Messages for OS X Yosemite

And because Safari enables premium video support without requiring a plug-in of any sort, watching Netflix in Yosemite adds an extra two hours of video watching time on a single battery charge.

And last but not least, Swift, a new iOS and OS X programming language Apple released Monday, will allow programmers to write faster applications that better utilize resources.

Out of curiosity, does Yosemite support your Mac and will you be giving it a try when it releases this Fall as a free update in the Mac App Store.

See also: iOS 8 hardware requirements.