If you have been keeping up with the latest news on Mac systems, then you are probably already well-aware of Apple’s upcoming operating system (OS) update, Mac OS X 10.6 – more fondly referred to as Snow Leopard. Whether you are still using the Tiger operating system or you are already on Leopard, you may be glad to know that Apple is releasing versions of Snow Leopard that will allow you to upgrade directly from either Tiger or Leopard. Before you start to get all excited about the new operating system though, you may want to know more about it. This article will cover some of the best changes that Apple has made in Snow Leopard.
1. 64-bit technology
One of the major drawbacks of Tiger and Leopard is that they were both made in 32-bit architecture, which drastically limits the efficiency of memory and processor-use. Fortunately, the people at Apple came to their senses and decided to integrate 64-bit compatibility in Snow Leopard. Basically, this means that you can make use of virtually limitless amounts of random access memory (RAM) – up to 16 terabytes of Ram, to be exact. The 64-bit technology also means faster computing, faster calculations, and better efficiency. In line with the 64-bit upgrade, Snow Leopard also comes with a number of software titles that are designed in the 64-bit architecture, making them run faster, smoother, and more secure than ever before.
2. Grand Central Dispatch
Perhaps the biggest trend in computer technology these days is the use of multi-core processors. Dual-core and quad-core processors are quickly becoming an industry standard and Apple has jumped right onto the bandwagon by adding the Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) feature to Snow Leopard. Basically, this feature is meant to optimize the way that the operating system manages the multiple cores in your processor. Snow Leopard systems allow software developers to tap into the GCD architecture to create applications that are GCD-enabled, making the applications faster and more efficient at using your multi-core processor. In the end, this translates to a faster system, faster applications, better efficiency ratings, and great performance gains.
Originally, video cards were used solely for processing graphics and graphics-related computations. So when you aren’t using graphics-intensive programs, your video card isn’t being used to its full potential. OpenCL changes all of that because it allows developers to make software that utilizes the power of your graphics card for general processing and computing. At first glance, the OpenCL feature seems as though it is only made for the benefit of software developers. In truth, however, this has some great advantages for average users. This is because OpenCL-compatible applications will allow you to make full use of your video card, ultimately speeding up your computer performance and all of the programs that make use of OpenCL technology.