If you plan to install Mountain Lion on an older Mac, you might be out of luck. The new operating system release raises the ladder in terms of graphics performance required for its new features like AirPlay Mirroring. As a result, a couple years old Mac might not cut it anymore. According to French-language website MacGeneration, any Mac sporting Intel’s sluggish GMA x3100 or 950 chip will not be able to run Mountain Lion. While we have come a long way since the GMA graphics, you probably have somewhere under your table or in the basement a legacy Mac that does not have enough oomph for Mountain Lion. Anything older than the mid-2007 iMacs, early-2008 Mac Pros, early-2009 Mac minis and Xserves are left behind. The same goes for MacBooks based on any Intel Core 2 Duo processor and the original 2008 MacBook Air. Sorry folks, that is the price of progression. In addition, the following platform changes may interest you…

On the software front, kernel extensions in Mountain Lion must be 64-bit. Also indicative, Apple declared most of the Carbon APIs deprecated in Mountain Lion. The company urged developers in the technical documents to resort to more modern technologies provided by the Mac operating system:

In OS X v10.8, most of the APIs in the Carbon Core framework are deprecated. In many cases, there are alternative APIs you can use, such as APIs in the Core Foundation, Foundation, GCD (Grand Central Dispatch), and Disk Arbitration frameworks.

This could mean that programs still relying on Carbon rather than the preferred Cocoa framework (we are looking at you, Adobe) risk going the way of Rosetta—a technology Apple killed with OS X 10.7 Lion.

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