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Ask Max: What Do Recommended Specifications Mean?

Asked on 05/26/2006:

I'm VERY interested in the new iLife '06 mainly because of the new iWeb app. I'm currently using an iMac G5 with OS 10.3.9 (that I bought from you!) and iTunes 6.0.2 and Quicktime 7.0.4. In your latest newsletter your description of iLife '06 System Requirements says I can run it on 10.3.9 but 10.4.4 is recommended.

What does that mean exactly? Will it just run just a bit slower on 10.3.9, or will it have operating issues? Also, will I still be able to work on older iMovie HD projects in the new iMovie if I'm still on OS 10.3.9?


That is a very good question. Recommended specifications are usually directed at hardware. That is because the speed of your computer's hardware is going to affect the performance of the software running on it. When it comes to OS recommendations, it has more to do with long-term stability and not performance. Running iLife '06 on your computer as it is right now will work fine. The only problem with running it on OS 10.3.9 is going to be as iLife '06 updates occur you may find problems unfixed. When Apple updates software they do it with a focus on the current version of the Mac OS. Their support for problems between iLife and 10.3.9 will dwindle quickly. That is why it is recommended you keep all your software up-to-date. If it is, you will receive the best upgrade support.

As for your old iLife files, they will update to the new format when you open them in iLife '06, but expect not to be able to open them with the older iLife on another computer. You can always move up. It is often harder to go back down again.

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