The first run of MacBook Pros have Core Duo processors, whereas all the ones after that have Core 2 Duos. Apple says Snow Leopard only requires an Intel processor, but will a first-gen MacBook Pro get enough of the improvements to be worth upgrading?

This is similar to the question about Snow Leopard on an old iBook, but it differs because this processor is supported by Apple, but seems counter to the 64-bit theme of the upgrade.


Definitely worth upgrading. New 64-bit support is kind of minor in the scheme of all the other little tweaks, enhancements, improvements, and overall shine included for $29.

  • +1 Agreed, I am currently running on my MBP 1,1 and I'd say it is definitely worth the upgrade cost. – Doug Sep 2 '09 at 19:04

I have an early 2006 MacBook Pro which still is a Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo). Since this processor is not 64-bit, I can only use Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) when applications support it comes out. It won't be able to support OpenCL and other 64-bit features. I'm perfectly happy with it for now.


Apple seems to have taken a step back from the original marketing theme of SL as 64-bit, focusing more on it as being streamlined, and optimized.

I would say right now it is debatable if it is worth upgrading - there are still some bugs, some software still does not work, etc.

However, I'm quite sure before the end of the year, you will WANT to upgrade, when bugs are ironed out, software starts taking advantage of GCD and OpenCL, and Leopard just seems old.

Personally? I'd say upgrade, it feels snappier for almost everything, and the bugs don't really bother me.

  • I've seen at least one claim (which I can't now find) that the early Core Duo models don't support GCD. That seemed a bit strange, from what I know of how it works (ok, so they may not get much benefit, but that's a different issue). Anyone know anything definitive? – jrg Sep 5 '09 at 23:32
  • GCD works on early Core Duo models, no worries. – caliban Sep 6 '09 at 5:02

I upgraded to Snow Leopard and while I had found that I had to upgrade some apps (Just one System Preferences pane-No big deal.), the speed of the native apps are immensely faster than before.

Really. Dictionary launches immediately within an invoke using Quicksilver or Spotlight and is ready to search for words. iTunes pops out almost immediately if it was closed. Seriously amazing.

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