The first release of the new OS — Mac OS X Server 1.0 — used a modified version of the Mac OS GUI, but all client versions starting with Mac OS X Developer Preview 3 used a new theme known as Aqua. Aqua was a substantial departure from the Mac OS 9 interface, which had evolved with little change from that of the original Macintosh operating. For the strongest security and latest features, find out whether you can upgrade to macOS Catalina, the latest. MacBook Air: Late 2008 or fresher. Here is How to turn an old 2008 iMac to a handy Computer. These iMacs are like the Mercedes Benz of computers, they are robust, with built-in cameras and mic. If so, then the OS you want to run on it is 10.8.5 'Mountain Lion'. It's the last version of the Mac OS that runs really well on older Macs with platter-based hard drives inside. Anything 'newer' (i.e., 10.9 'Mavericks' or later) is going to run slow because the newer versions of the OS put more wear and tear on the internal drive.
Apple updated the iMac with Intel’s more efficient Penryn processor in April 2008, which has a larger Level 2 cache and includes the SSE4.1 instruction set. The Early 2008 iMac also moved from the 800 MHz system bus in the Mid 2007 iMac to 1066 MHz, and clock speeds now range from 2.4 GHz to all the way up to a 3.06 GHz build-to-order option.
The aluminum iMacs have three USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and 800 ports, gigabit ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and an 8x SuperDrive – as well as a slim keyboard with USB 2.0 ports. This was the last iMac to use an Ultra ATA interface for its optical drive.
The 20″ 2.0 GHz iMac has 1 GB of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, an 8x SuperDrive, Radeon HD 2400 XT graphics, AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, and Apple’s aluminum keyboard and Mighty Mouse.
The 2.66 GHz and faster models ship with 2 GB of RAM, a 320 GB hard drive, and use Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics (Nvidia GeForce 8800 is a built-to-order option on the 24″ iMac). The new iMac ships with OS X 10.5.2 Leopard and iLife ’08. These iMacs support OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
The Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 Pro graphics processors, while better than the Radeon X1600 GPU in the 2.0 GHz Late 2006 iMacs, are in some respects a step down from the Nvidia GeForce 7300GT and 7600GT in the 24″ Late 2006 iMac. Gaming benchmarks measure GeForce frame rates as anywhere from 20% to nearly 200% higher. There are also many complaints about reflections due to the glossy display.
Although it is not officially supported, the Early 2008 iMac can run macOS Sierra using Colin Mistr’s Sierra Patch Tool. However, WiFi is not supported on this device. See our macOS Sierra page for more details and a link.
While you can run OS X 10.5 Leopard with 1 GB of system memory, it runs much more smoothly with 2 GB, and 2 GB is a realistic minimum for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. You can run OS X 10.7 Lion with 2 GB, but it needs 4 GB to flex its muscles. OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and 10.9 Mavericks run poorly with 2 GB and improve drastically with 4-6 GB. OS X 10.10 Yosemite really wants the 6 GB maximum this model supports.
Note that 20″ aluminum iMacs use an 18-bit LCD, which can only display 262,144 colors, not the “millions” all other iMacs can display. This should be good enough for most users.
Unlike earlier iMacs, where every USB port could provide 500 mA of power, only a single high-powered device can be attached to the USB ports, and software will enable one of its downstream ports to supply 500 mA of power. If a second high-powered device is attached, it will behave like a normal bus-powered hub and only provide 100 mA per downstream port.
Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. PowerPC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.
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iMac 10.8.5 Supplemental Update 1.0
The iMac OS X v10.8.5 Supplemental Update 1.0 is recommended for iMacs (Late 2013) using NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics and running OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5.