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melanie81's avatar

Which Mac OS is better, Leopard or Snow Leopard?

Asked by melanie81 (792 points ) December 29th, 2009

One friend told me that Snow Leopard uses less memory and is more efficient; another friend told me that Leopard is more stable and that I should stick with it. Thoughts?

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14 Answers

HongPong's avatar

Snow Leopard is a good refinement of Leopard and should work for most things. It has been out for a while—if you have special hardware needs like scanner drivers it might not work though. Overall Snow Leopard is snappy and not bloated.

phil196662's avatar

As long as you Buy only Mac Software at Exploded Prices it all works perfect…Mac’s are great for specialty applications but not daily life- too impractical.

simpleD's avatar

Snow Leopard is an outstanding upgrade from Leopard, at an insanely cheap $29. It cleared 15GB of system files from my HD. I haven’t had any driver incompatibility issues, although I’ve had to install minor updates for several apps. I use my own 3 Macs, and the 100 that I’m responsible for at work, all day, every day.

phil196662's avatar

Ahhh- perhaps they’ve gotten Real- Finally! but I have both and like anything each machine has its Limitations.

Naked_Homer's avatar

I have both and use my macs for daily life.

I don’t find them impractical at all. I find it quite convenient actually.

Snow Leopard really sped up my dual quad.

rguest's avatar

snow leopard is a better version on leopard. it is slimmed down and sped up. snow leopard is better!

melanie81's avatar

thanks everyone!

gretchenpadams's avatar

snow leopard i am finding to be a much smoother experience, the little rainbow scroll which at first looks so endearing, has definitely made less of a show. If i were you i would most certainly switch to snow leopard, the expense is a bit silly in my POV but what are you going to do..that’s where college comes in handy, or file sharing =P
good luck in your choosing!

daemonelson's avatar

I’ve just upgraded to snow leopard. I haven’t yet had any issues with backwards compatibility and the computer is running a whole shitload faster. That being said, I’ve noticed a few little bugs. Nothing major. Just things like the file renaming thingo disappearing when you’re typing in the name. I assume this will be fixed.

As far as I was aware, all of the fixes in snow leopard were supposed to originally come with leopard. However, at the time a large chunk of the leopard dev team went over to the iphone dev team.

Pcrecords's avatar

i love snow leopard. and i love my macs use them everyday and have never found a windows based machine to be faster or easier to use @phil196662 macs are great for ‘daily life’

phil196662's avatar

Yes they are but have limitations like any machine.

Pcrecords's avatar

@phil196662 sure they do, they are a machine after all.

panatlantica's avatar

It depends on the machine you use. You will need to have at least an Intel-based Mac in order to use Snow Leopard. Go to the Apple-Menu and select “About this Mac”. You will see a line saying “Processor”. It will either be something Intel or something PowerPC. If it is the latter, you will have to remain with Leopard which is a great system. If it is an Intel, you are in luck and should definitively update to Snow Leopard. It is much smaller in space on the hard disc, so extra room for more music or family pictures. It is a good refinement over Leopard and the update is exceptionally cheep.

You will profit even more from Snow Leopard if your Mac’s processor can handle 64bit computing since this is one of the main features of Mac OS 10.6.x: full 64bit capabilities. Not all (Intel) Macs can do it. To check if your’s will do 64bit go to the Terminal applications (usually in Utilities) and enter this line:

sysctl hw | grep 64bit

The Terminal should answer back with either hw.cpu64bit_capable: 0 or 1
If the answer is hw.cpu64bit_capable: 1 this means Snow Leopard can use all its capabilities on this computer and you will most likely already note that finder windows do open much much quicker after you updated. Other apps will also profit. But there are downsides to this:

Safari e.g. will work in 64bit mode. If you are using Google Gears (the offline webbrowser database from Google, to allow things like speeding up WordPress blogs’ admin area or allow for offline access to Google Mail accounts etc) the 64bit mode will break Gears. You won’t be able to use Gears any more on 10.6 since they still haven’t updated their plugin to be 64bit compatible (well this is the short story, in reality this is a much more complex thing as it has not only to do with 32 or 64bit mode but also with the way how in general plugins should work in Safari)

But even if your Intel-Mac is not 64bit, if you HAVE an Intel Mac (and not a PowerPC based Mac), GO for the update to Snow Leopard!

amazonstorm's avatar

I actually went from a PowerPC iBook running Tiger to an Intel Macbook Pro running Snow Leopard and I was almost stunned by how much faster and cleaner everything was.

Sadly, I can’t offer any viewpoints on Leopard, but I will say that Snow Leopard is a vast improvement over Tiger and it seems to leave a smaller HD footprint than Leopard did. Snow Leopard also makes for a much smoother computing experience. All in all, I say get Snow Leopard. If you’re upgrading, they made it inexpensive and easy to do.

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