Lion requires MacBook Late 2008 Aluminium or Early 2009 to install/upgrade. How can I find out whether my MacBook is capable of running Lion if I forgot when I bought it?

  • Lion also runs on earlier MacBooks than that, including Core2Duo MacBooks from 2007. Mountain Lion requires 2008+. (the answers below are good for checking if Lion will run)
    – pmdj
    Sep 2, 2012 at 11:11

3 Answers 3


About This Mac > More Info... will give you a model # and serial #. With those, Apple can tell you whether your machine is compatible. Or you can look in the table on this iMac page on Wikipedia to identify your machine. Or compare the physical requirements for Lion to what you find in About This Mac.


When you look at Apple Menu > About This Mac > More info, these are the specs you need to meet as a minimum:

Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor

2GB of RAM

Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later with the Mac App Store installed

At least 4GB of additional disk space to accommodate the download, but more is obviously recommended.

Note that you will need at least 10.6.6 simply because that is the release that the Mac App Store was included with. Lion requires the App Store to install from, and thus the 10.6.6 requirement to install. 10.6.x is available from Amazon.

Second note. The processor cannot be a Core Duo. It must be at least a Core 2 Duo.

Hope this helps


From http://www.tuaw.com/2012/02/16/mountain-lion-drops-support-for-several-older-mac-models/

This means the following Macs which are supported under OS X Lion will not be able to run Mountain Lion (model identifiers in parentheses):

  • Late 2006 iMacs (iMac5,1, iMac5,2, iMac6,1)
  • All plastic MacBooks that pre-date the aluminum unibody redesign (MacBook2,1, MacBook3,1,
  • MacBook4,1) MacBook Pros released prior to June 2007 (MacBookPro2,1,
  • MacBookPro2,2) The original MacBook Air (MacBookAir1,1) The Mid-2007
  • Mac mini (Macmini2,1)
  • The original Mac Pro and its 8-core 2007 refresh(MacPro1,1, MacPro2,1)
  • Late 2006 and Early 2008 Xserves (Xserve1,1, Xserve2,1)

Update: It slipped my mind that there were two pre-unibody plastic MacBooks introduced between the aluminum MacBook and the plastic unibody redesign, both of them with the model identifier MacBook5,2. Those MacBooks, which still feature the legacy pre-unibody case design and were manufactured in early- to mid-2009, are supported in Mountain Lion because they feature an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card instead of the integrated Intel GPUs in their predecessors.

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