Personal and Technology blog

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard review

In this review of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, I will focus on the new features, performance improvements and compatibly. Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is an evolutionarily update to Mac OS X. Snow Leopard focuses less on end-user features and more on under the hood tweaks and performance. One of my favorite features of Snow Leopard is QuickTime X (10). In QuickTime X, the entire back end of QuickTime has been rewritten. QuickTime X supports more video formats, has basic video editing capabilities and the ability to upload to YouTube and MobileMe. Apple has described QuickTime X as "A mini iMovie". in Snow Leopard, you can now go within a folder in a grid stack and watch videos from within the Finder. You can now use Expose with a single application's windows. Support for Microsoft Exchange is built right in to Snow Leopard in Mail, iCal and Address Book. The Macintosh is the first computer to ship with built in support for Exchange. Snow Leopard focuses on under the hood improvements like Grand Central dispatch, OpenGL and 64-bit. Grand Central dispatch gives you better multiple core performance and OpenGL lets applications tap into the power of your graphics processor unit. Now with Snow Leopard, most of Mac OS X is written in 64-bit but interestingly the operating system still boots into a 32-bit kernel by default. To boot into a 64-bit kernel, you need to press 6 and 4 at start up. Snow Leopard seems faster and more responsive than Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard but the performance jump is not as big as the performance jump from Windows Vista to Windows 7 is. By installing Snow Leopard, you recover hard disk space just like with Windows 7. Snow Leopard is only available for Macs with an Intel processor because Apple removed all the PowerPC code. Before Snow Leopard, Mac OS X was all in universal binaries that contained both PowerPC and Intel code. That is why you recover hard disk space. Also, in Snow Leopard because of the removal of all PowerPC code, software updates are smaller because they only contain Intel code. In terms of application compatibly most major applications designed for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard work fine under Snow Leopard. But some do not, for example Adobe Photoshop and many freeware applications for Mac OS X do not work on Snow Leopard. My overall opinion of Snow Leopard is it is a evolutionary update to a already rock solid operating system and is worth the $30.00 to upgrade. Interestingly, you do not need to have Leopard installed to use the $30.00 upgrade disc. You can even perform an in-place upgrade from Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard user interface improvements-


1 comment:

nintendo ds lite r4 said...

Easy, clean, no brainer install. Upgrades from Tiger or Leopard within minutes. Excellent new features, great UI, implements 64 bit tech for new apps, small HD space required.