Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard

  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard is built on a rock-solid, time-tested UNIX foundation that provides unparalleled stability as well as industry-leading support for Internet standards
  • Improvements include a more responsive Finder, new look and features for Exposé and Stacks, quicker Time Machine backup, faster common tasks and installation, a smaller install footprint, and plenty more
  • New core technologies unleash the power of today’s advanced hardware technology and prepare Mac OS X for future innovation: 64-bit computing, multicore-optimization, OpenCL, QuickTime X, and more
  • With virtually no effort on your part, Mac OS X protects itself–and you–from viruses, malicious applications, and other threats
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard includes built-in support for the latest version of Microsoft Exchange Server, so you can use Mail, iCal, and Address Book at home and at work

Product Description
Mac OS X is the world’s most advanced operating system. Built on a rock-solid UNIX foundation and designed to be simple and intuitive, it’s what makes the Mac innovative, highly secure, compatible, and easy to use. Quite simply there is nothing else like it. In ways big and small, Mac OS X Snow Leopard makes your Mac faster, more reliable, and easier …

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Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard

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5 thoughts on “Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard”

  1. Is Apple’s latest operating system, Snow Leopard, a strong, reliable OS that demonstrates the versatility of Macs? Yes

    That being said, is Snow Leopard an essential upgrade? No, not exactly.


    The differences between Apple’s “Tiger” OS (10.4) and “Leopard” (10.5) were very noticeable, and there were many improvements that made the upgrade worthwhile. Such as Time Machine, Boot Camp, Quick Look, and many more The bulk of changes between Leopard (10.5) and this latest release, “Snow Leopard” (10.6), are “under the hood” so to speak, and therefore the average user might not notice as much of a change as they’d expect with an OS upgrade. But then again, why fix a bone that’s not broken? Leopard was a success, and Snow Leopard improves on it, without radically altering the user experience. The majority of improvements affect system reliability, speed, and resourcefulness. There is also Microsoft Exchange support, which is great for those who need it.


    I bought the Snow Leopard upgrade knowing full well it wasn’t going to be a drastically different OS, so I was by no means disappointed. I’ve been following the tech news regarding Mac and Windows operating system upgrades very closely, and am well aware that August’s release of Apple’s Snow Leopard and October’s release of Microsoft’s

    Windows 7 are meant to provide additional stability and implement greater resourcefulness, rather than completely overhaul the user experience. This isn’t a bad thing, since greater system reliability is more important than adding bells and whistles that ultimately take away from the user experience (i.e. Vista).


    I have only installed it on only one computer so far (running on an Intel chip and 4GB of RAM), but installation was a breeze, and Snow Leopard has been running smoothly so far. I previously strongly disliked `Preview’ and `Quicktime’ since they were so slow (I preferred freeware `Xee’ and `VLC Media Player’). With Snow Leopard, loading times have noticeably improved for both Preview and Quicktime. I haven’t yet noticed other improvements in speed, but that might be because my computer was already fast to begin with (4GB is great!).

    Additionally, while I personally upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard, it is nice to know that even if you weren’t using OS 10.5 (Leopard) and were still on OS 10.4 (Tiger), you can upgrade directly to OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard).


    I didn’t have issues with Leopard, so I don’t think Snow Leopard was to me as essential an upgrade as Windows 7 will be to Windows Vista. That being said, Snow Leopard is a very strong and reliable OS, so I don’t regret my purchase. The low price makes this an affordable upgrade solution, but due to the lack of drastic changes between Snow Leopard and its predecessor, one that isn’t absolutely necessary.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. The most remarkable thing about Snow Leopard is simply that it can be installed on a Mac running Tiger. You do not need to pay the money to buy the boxed set to upgrade if you never upgraded to Leopard. This means that you can upgrade a Tiger computer to Leopard using this disk. It is up to the user to determine if they have an ethical problem with that; Apple certainly knew that this was possible when they released the software: they understand and use DRM effectively and always have. The fact it is missing here tells me that they are primarily concerned with getting Snow Leopard unto as many computers as possible as fast as possible. I am sure part of that is the desire to have Snow Leopard outperform Windows 7 which debuts in October.

    So what do you get with Snow Leopard? The answer is largely performance boosts, although many of those are not really applicable (yet) since few (virtually none) third party applications use the performance gains offered by Snow Leopard. Similar to Windows 7s ability to load share between CPU and GPU, many of the changes in Snow Leopard will take several years for developers to really start to use and write programs for.

    Relying on 64-bit architecture through the entire OS, Snow Leopard is essentially an upgrade for the future: as developers write programs that take advantage of the new, higher ceiling, end users like you and I will benefit. For now, most of the performance increases are only applicable to Apple’s own software. However, that’s not to say these aren’t nice or useful, and in some cases very impressive:

    1) Opening large photos is faster in preview mode

    2) Quicktime uses significantly less CPU on all Macs regardless of generation. Older Macs benefit the most with as much as 40% performance gains.

    3) Time Machine backups take about 20% less time

    4) Snow Leopard itself installs faster than Leopard

    5) Boot times are faster with Snow Leopard by 5-10%; Shut down times are slightly faster as well.

    6) File compression is also faster by 10-15%

    (These are somewhat simplified. If you want the exact numbers you can find them online: Google “Snow Leopard Performance”)

    Of all of these, the performance increases afforded to older first generation Macbooks are the most significant. Breathing new life into older hardware isn’t easy, especially not significant improvements. Snow Leopard manages to do just that and make even slower 1.6ghz MacBooks that much more useful.

    Installation itself is a SNAP (did I mention it takes less time than Leopard?). I’ve already upgraded a MacBook and MacBook Pro, and installation was simple, fast, and easy. I plan to install Snow Leopard on another older Macbook later in the week and will upgrade this review once I have.

    The few new visual tweaks are nice, but not the reason to upgrade. Better stacks is useful, as is the quickness of Finder, but overall I don’t find myself blown away by the upgrade. This isn’t an entirely new OS with a fantastic array of improvements, aside from the welcome and useful performance increases. That said, if you are a power user or just observant, you WILL NOTICE the speed increase, especially in Finder. I used to prefer Google Desktop search on PCs to Finder, but this upgrade has swayed me to prefer Finder.

    *****UPDATE September 2nd 2009*****

    A few other changes of minor importance but sometimes great usefulness:

    1) Air Port now shows all available wireless networks and their relative signal strength, something Windows has done going back to XP, but that for some strange reason has been absent from OSX 10.X until now. Now when you turn on the Air Port you get a drop down to select which wireless signal you want as well as signal strength.

    2) The date has been added to the desktop. This isn’t that amazing but it is useful.

    3) I am LOVING the way stacks work now. They’re so much more intuitive to use and navigate, especially the ability to brows through directories directly from the stack itself.

    4) Trash has the ability to restore a file to it’s original location right from the trash. This is a feature common to Windows that has been very strangely absent from Mac OS. It’s nice to see them catch this omission and correct it, but very odd it took this long to do it.

    A MAJOR complaint:

    1) Seriously, no support for CS3? Why Apple, why? I don’t have the grand to drop on the newest version of CS. This is very, very frustrating, and makes me wish I could take back a star and downgrade this to a 4-star review. CS3 is still so widely used that I’m amazed Apple decided not to offer support for it. If you want to continue to receive support for CS3 or don’t have the money to upgrade to CS4, this could be a big deal and even a reason not to upgrade.

    A Minor complaint:

    1) One of my time machine back-ups for a co-workers Mac was seemingly corrupted by the upgrade. Fortunately they didn’t have any old data they needed from that backup so I just made a new one with Snow Leopard that mounts just fine, but this is something to be aware of. If you have a critical time machine backup that you cannot afford to lose, I’d suggest making a backup of the entire drive (clone it) using SuperDuper! or something like it.

    *****End of update*****

    Snow Leopard will grow in usefulness as time passes. As I said earlier, once third party applications start to be written to take advantage of advancements in the OS, the performance overhead will become more and more useful. Expect to wait 6-12 months for that to happen, but in the mean time at least you’re enjoying speedier OS performance for an very inexpensive price!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. I upgraded my Leopard-equipped late 2006 Black MacBook to Snow Leopard. I had it on pre-order all week and delivered on release date. It doesn’t boast a whole lot of new stuff to it, but I like the new features it does have, and I love the fact that it takes up so much less hard drive space on my MacBook (I gained an amazing 29 gigabytes of space). I also noticed a pretty good speed boost after upgrading.

    I really love the new Dock Expose, and how I can look at just one particular application in Expose instead of all the open windows in any given space. It makes finding things a lot easier. I also like the fact that you can now resize your icons in the finder. Dock scrolling (with magnification) and cover flow have been smoothed out greatly which makes it that much more attractive. Quicktime X is a pretty good movie recorder and the interface looks a lot better than previous version of Quicktime. Some other refinements are pretty nice as well.

    64-bit support is amazing and I can see a difference in the apps that are now running in 64-bit (see the Activity Monitor for the apps that are running in 64-bit). Things just run smoother and faster.

    Now, as far as some drawbacks of the system, this first one is a major one: when redesigning Safari, they made Safari and its plugins and completely separate processes, supposedly to improve the stability of Safari. Perhaps it did this, but as a result, it eats up far more CPU power than the previous iteration. This can result in your system slowing down, and I’m running into serious issues with heating (when using Flash for example, it eats up almost 70% of the CPU and I’m running around 150F, which is somewhat dangerous). Also, there has been some lost backward compatibility with Snow Leopard, and for me, most notable with VMWare Fusion. I hope this is addressed soon.

    So would I consider this a necessary upgrade? Not really. If an upgrade is considered, it should be more for the speed boost than for new features, as most users won’t take advantage of many (if any) of the enhancements in the interface itself. However, the speed boost and freeing up of hard drive space are nice. Also, if you have programs that might have compatibility issues I’d probably recommend holding off and waiting for these to be resolved before upgrading. If you don’t have these issues, go ahead and upgrade, however, I believe you should do so with caution, and keep a copy of your Leopard install disk handy in case you need to revert should you run into any of the issues mentioned.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  4. UPDATE on Nov28 2009: Still working great, overall more reliable than 10.5. My MBP operates much smoother. HOWEVER: a few programs and expresscards may have trouble if your computer boots with the 64bit kernals. You can hold 3 and 2 keys to boot in 32-bit mode and you won’t have a problem. For instance, my Nik Color Efex 2.0 plugins have some odd menu errors in 64 bit. My big disappointment is that most eSata Expresscards will cause a total crash of the system not because of OSX, but because the drivers don’t support 64bit. Because I use eSata, I have to boot in 32bit mode to prevent kernal panics when the card is ejected. This is a well documented problem searching online.

    For 29 bucks, this is where OS’s need to start going. Make it better, don’t keep reinventing a wheel with more problems. Just keep polishes, slimming, and make it more efficient, and charge us a small fee for that polishing.

    I took a risk and installed the upgrade, rather than a clean wipe, since I have so many plugins for Aperture and Photoshop, I didn’t want to spend my whole weekend reinstalling everything. I have 40gb of software, from Adobe CS3 to Logic Studio, to VMWare with Windows XP, Vista, and Ubuntu Linux. All my advanced stuff still works great and better, and the computer actually runs faster than before. It just works great, and I could go on with life and keep using the computer.

    I have been using Mac since the later days of Tiger 10.4, and have a unibody 15.3 Macbook Pro. Still use XP for Quickbooks Pro.

    A SERIOUSLY GOOD TIP FOR MAC PEOPLE!!! I ran iDefrag from an external disk, I seriously recommend you have this program if you don’t already. If you do the upgrade, you must defrag, as your system files will be sprayed everywhere. I also use iPartition, to keep my files and OS on separate partions, along with a third partition for Bootcamp. This keeps some blank space between OS X with Apps and your files, making everything run smooth with temp files and new software installs.

    Bootup time and software load time have decreased, and everything feels snappier. Mail finally has all of the bugs out and doesn’t crash if you have it overloaded with folders and mail like me. I hooked up GoDaddy Exchange Server and love it!!! No longer have to use Entourage, thank God.

    Docks pops up must faster and is more customizable. Spotlight and finder always load quickly, even with many programs open.

    A no brainer to me.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. I love Snow Leopard. First the caveat. I ended up completely reinstalling Mac OS after having issues with the installer on my Macbook. On my first attempt to install 10.6, the install failed about midway and my Macbook shut down. I was frantic, as I hadn’t backed up my data! I booted up, it popped out the Snow Leopard disk, and voila, booted into Mac OS without issue. Even though it had been installing 10.6 for nearly an hour, 10.5.8 was still there and everything worked as if nothing had ever happened. As soon as I ran the 10.6 installer again, it resumed where it left off. Again, it failed. I’ve since determined that the issues I was having are due to a faulty DVD drive, which I worked around.

    I decided, after all of this hassle, to just back up my data and reinstall Mac OS 10.6 onto a fresh HD. So, I booted to the 10.6 DVD and wiped my drive with Disk Utility. Started the install, and it ran flawlessly. Once the dust settled, I had a year-old Macbook with a brand new operating system. I installed all of my must-have apps and everything appears to be working fine, with the exception of Perian (which is fine, I watch all of my media on a Win7 PC hooked up to my living room TV). Firefox 3.5, Adium, X-chat Aqua, Tweetie, Remote Desktop Connection all work fine.

    I have Mac OS set up to auto-run Adium, Xchat, and Tweetie when I login. In 10.5.8, this added an extra 20 seconds or so to the boot process, as the applications danced endlessly in the dock until finally they popped open and the operating system became responsive. This issue is gone; in 10.6, applications open almost instantly and the OS is responsive almost immediately after logging in. A welcome, and surprising change! Also, sleeping is overall a MUCH more pleasant experience. It wakes from sleep much faster, and with much less hassle, than it did previously.

    Interacting with Mac OS is more pleasant than it was before. Overall, minor speed boosts are apparent, especially when dealing with large directories of files. The MAIN IMPROVEMENT I have noticed which personally affects me is a tweaked network sharing Finder. With 10.6, when you command-K to connect to a network share, it connects to your selected server nearly instantly, instead of the mysterious ~10 second pause that drove me mad in 10.5.8. Also, if you’re accidentally disconnected from a share while connected to a shared folder or drive, Finder won’t hang or possibly crash; it pops up a nice error message letting you know which drive(s) were disconnected, and lets you Ignore or Disconnect them. Another very welcome, and surprising, change!

    Despite reading what I thought was every tidbit written about 10.6 before its release, I’m still finding minor revisions (such as the two above) that nobody had mentioned previously. For instance, in System Preferences, under the keyboard bindings option, they revised the display of the options slightly so they are easier to navigate. It’s such a minor change, but obvious upon reflection; and this appears to be what Snow Leopard is all about.

    Snow Leopard’s development must have went something like this. Apple programmers use Mac OS on their own computers, and they were asked to nitpick every little quirk of Mac OS. Like, why won’t it Eject a USB drive when I ask it to? So they made a list, and made all the necessary revisions to remove these quirks. What we end up with, as users, is a refreshed Leopard, with a few new surprises once applications developers hop onboard (better use of multi-core processors, 64-bit support from the OS).

    It’s still early in Snow Leopard’s life, and some applications will give you problems. Since Perian does not work, I was unable to view .mkv video files as I had previously with Quicktime… So I tried VLC. VLC is not yet supported well in 10.6 either, and it took up to 30 seconds to open a .mkv in VLC. So I’m now using Mplayer X Extended; not ideal in my opinion, but it works fine and I can live with it until developers catch up. Menumeters is missing 10.6 support as well, so at the moment I’m unable to see processor load in the menu bar, or network transfer rates :/ However, everything I NEED from my Mac is there. Chat applications work, Firefox works, and iCal works. And my experience with those apps is enhanced by a more responsive operating environment. THANK YOU, Apple, for paying as much attention to this operating system as your users do! Snow Leopard is a welcome revisit to Leopard.

    If you loved using Leopard, YOU NEED SNOW LEOPARD!
    Rating: 5 / 5

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