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Snow Leopard On Older Hardware: A Mixed Bag

The conversation about Snow Leopard’s compatibility with older hardware has been dominated by complaints that it won’t support PowerPC—something we’ve all known for months. But Snow Leopard will have some curious implications for more recent hardware, too.

First, we have a possible bonus feature for MacBook users. According to Snow Leopard’s “Enhancements and Refinements” page:

All Mac notebooks with Multi-Touch trackpads now support three- and four-finger gestures.

Either this means that older MacBooks, which only supported two-finger scrolling, will be brought up to speed with the latest in awkward finger gesture technology. It sounds strange that Apple would leave capabilities like this unlocked for so long, but as hackers discovered months ago, that’s pretty much what they did.

This is followed, unfortunately, with a swift kick in the penis: None of Snow Leopard’s fancy new GPU offloading features, including h.264 video acceleration, will work on hardware with Intel integrated graphics. Features like that are closely tied to hardware capabilities, so this isn’t necessarily shocking, just a bit disappointing. [MacrumorsThanks, Max!]


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