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July 20th 2011 11:03 am

Can I update my old Macbook to OS X Lion?

I have a Macbook released May, 2007 with 2GHz Core 2 Duo and 2 GB's of RAM (1 GB was added later), and I am wondering if it makes sense to upgrade to Lion. Currently I am running Snow Leopard smoothly, although not so speedy. Will Lion be too "heavy" for me?
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mcdoobie's pick

Here are the general requirements taken from the Lion specs page:

Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor
2GB of memory
OS X v10.6.6 or later (v10.6.8 recommended)
7GB of available space

Technically, it'll run on your computer, but I recommend holding off on upgrading and see what other people are experiencing with Lion on their machines.

You might want to follow this discussion to see what people's first impressions of Lion:­/discuss­/let­-s­-talk­-about­-os­-x­-lion­-what­-d...
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mcdoobie's pick

FWIW, I have it running on a C2D MBP from 2008, and it feels faster with Lion on it than with Snow Leopard. However, I would upgrade your laptop's RAM to at least 4GB or it won't perform very well.
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mcdoobie's pick

Lifehacker has a good guide for deciding whether to upgrade:­/5822894­/should­-i­-upgrade­-to­-mac­-os­-...

As far as performance goes, their benchmarks didn't show a huge performance difference between Lion and Snow Leopard, so if you're happy with Snow Leopard I wouldn't worry much about Lion:­/5822435­/lion­-vs­-snow­-leopard­-which­-...
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I eventually updated my computer to Lion without adding any RAM. So far I see everything running really smooth, and from activity monitor it seems that its handling the RAM even better than SL. However I expect my macbook to slow down after apple starts shooting out their updates to Lion .
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I'm wondering how lion performs with an old trackpad? My blackbook can handle two finger scrolling only. I currently use the fn key for allwindows exposé and couldn't live without it.

If I transition to lion will I still be able to enter <the new exposé, forgotten its name> with a keyboard shortcut?
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The machine can take Lion, even with only 2GB of RAM, but from my own experience, don't do it. It's slower on older machines, and you'll start to notice slowdowns and sluggishness as I did. After a month with Lion I wiped the drive and installed Snow Leopard again, rather have my performance back.
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