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You can upgrade to MacOS Sierra for free, unless you have these Macs

macs that cant upgrade to macos sierra apple mac os 0011
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Apple has officially announced MacOS Sierra, and the change to its naming convention isn’t the only way that the package will make a clean break from OS X. The company has also confirmed that the release will not supported by certain older pieces of hardware.

When Sierra releases in the fall, certain systems will not be able to make the upgrade — in much the same way that iOS 10 shuts out devices using an A5 chip. Here’s the full list of Mac computers that are compatible with MacOS:

  • MacBook from late 2009 and later
  • MacBook Air from 2010 and later
  • MacBook Pro from 2010 and later
  • Mac Mini from 2010 and later
  • Mac Pro from 2010 and later
  • iMac from late 2009 and later

Many of the computers that can’t upgrade to MacOS have already been unable to support certain functionality in recent years. Features like AirDrop, Continuity support, and the Metal graphics API were some victims of this gulf.

However, this doesn’t mean that the computers reaching their end of life will no longer be of use. Apple has previously supported legacy OS releases with a few years of security updates, so anyone that wants to carry on surfing the web on their older hardware can do so in safety.

We’re all aware of the constant forward progress of computer hardware, and seeing systems reach end of life sooner than expected is an inevitable side effect of the trend toward more powerful rigs. OS makers like Apple can’t be expected to anchor their development to older models, especially when MacOS marks an attempt to shake off the baggage of OS X.

Just last week, we saw some of the first Chromebooks reach end of life — and there’s sure to be more relatively recent hardware that will soon fail to keep up with the systems of today.

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Brad Jones
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Brad is an English-born writer currently splitting his time between Edinburgh and Pennsylvania. You can find him on Twitter…
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