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The only program that I really top out my processor with (using 10.5.7) is Ableton Live 8.04. Some users have reported massive performance increases with OS X 10.6. However, the Ableton website says:

Live is a 32-bit application. As of Mac OS X 10.4, the Mac version of Live can make use of up to 4 GB of RAM. This still holds true for 10.6.

Does this mean that any performance increase will be minimal, or is that not a logical conclusion?

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The performance increase is likely due to Grand Central Dispatch and/or the other speed improvements in Snow Leopard. I know nothing about Ableton Live, but if it does a lot of parallel computing, it will see a very nice performance boost, and if not, maybe only a minor one. However, I don't see what it has to do with it being a 32-bit application.

Edit: Since it supports neither GCD nor OpenCL, I can't see why there would be a speed increase at all, if it's a 32-bit application.

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Live doesn't support Grand Central Dispatch nor OpenCL. I had thought that apps that run in 64-bit mode go faster. Guess that's not right? – Dan Rosenstark Sep 1 '09 at 0:09
In that case, I don't see why it would run faster in the first place, since it's a 32-bit application. Perhaps the users that reported performance increases are experiencing the placebo effect? ;) – Sasha Chedygov Sep 1 '09 at 0:15
Placebo effect, or more likely, just bad testing. Controlled testing is hard work and requires discipline and a place to take notes. When you upgrade your OS you usually lost the second for a few minutes :) – Dan Rosenstark Sep 1 '09 at 0:20
It can't be faster, it's the same application, without taking advantage of any of Snow Leopards new features... – alex Sep 1 '09 at 13:29

Snow Leopard supposedly uses less system resources having cut down half the original codebase of leopard (for the old power pc processors). Therefore in theory there's a bit more grunt left for your sequencer. I imagine any early speed differences will be variable, as there will undoubtedly be problems with the early release, even before considering compatibility issues with Live.

However preliminary reports suggest compatibility, and Ableton will be releasing a full update soon. If you need any more information on music software compatibility and Snow Leopard check here

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awesome, thanks for that. – Dan Rosenstark Sep 2 '09 at 0:11

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