Mac OS X Snow Leopard in SA...

Posted by Minnaar Pieters 27 Aug 2009
Snow Leopard

It seems South Africans wont have to wait for Snow Leopard after all, it will be released on Friday 28 August at premier resellers. The good news is that the price is not too bad - R329. Compare that to $29 in the US and 29 pounds in the UK, and I guess we are OK.

The official reviews by the typical Apple bigshots have started to trickle in, and the opinions are universally positive. The major plus for Snow Leopard is the performance boost - many built apps launch much quicker, and there is big potential for speed improvements once third party apps start taking advantage of Grand Central Dispatch - Apple typically fancy name for its service that enables better handling of applications in multiple core environments.

The other major advantage is that the built in apps have been rewritten in 64 bit which gives great performance boosts in environments where the machine has large amounts of RAM. OpenCL will enable Macs to use their graphics card (anything from a Nvidia 8600 and up) to contribute processing power to everyday applications. While many of these new technologies are not necessarily going to be used immediately, it does show that performance in the future on Snow Leopard might improve more once third party developers harness these tools.

Only minus is that support for PowerPC macs has been pulled - it is Intel only, which is just about any Mac after 2006. However, you can still run older PowerPC apps as with Leopard, but Rosetta is now an optional component. The install is much smaller because of this - you will have about 7Gig more space than with Leopard. (This is also because the giant printer driver database has been removed, it will by default rather download the driver)

Personally I cannot wait to load up Snow Leopard on my mac - not that I have noticed it was slow. Its almost like the iPhone 3G - I did not notice it was slow until I used a 3GS. Guess thats what technology companies should do - convince you to get something new, when you did not realize you needed it. Evil.

At R329 it is a must have upgrade though.

Now if Microsoft could have only followed suit with this pricing - but luckily they are bringing out a "family pack" of Windows 7, which is great for multiple PC households.

Review Round Up:
Engadget
Gizmodo
CNET
Walt Mossberg (you can even upgrade from Tiger for $29 - whoops!)
PC World
Slashgear

One more thing:
If you want to see if all your apps can run on Snow Leopard, go to http://snowleopard.wikidot.com/ - thanks @neio


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I am a R&D Analyst in Stellenbosch South Africa who has a immense passion for all things tech related. I embrace technology, open source and web standards, and I participate and contribute to the social web.