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Snow Leopard Hardware Compatibility

Last updated August 29, 2009 - Send Feedback

Save your headaches by booting into 32-bit kernel mode, the default. You won’t lose anything by doing this, and it will minimize any driver issues.

Boot mode

Snow Leopard can boot into 32-bit or 64-bit mode, though the form the final release will take is unclear.

Expect issues in 64-bit mode with hardware devices and related software.


The NEC 30" LCD 3090WQXi is my favorite monitor of all time.

I had no problems calibrating the monitor with the Spectra View II software on Snow Leoaprd.

ThunderBay 4 - The Speed To Create. The Capacity To Dream.

Sonnet Tempo E4P

I use this 4-port eSATA card frequently. Operation with driver version 2.1.9 has been problem-free in Snow Leopard (in the 32-bit kernel).

I am testing the beta version of the 64-bit driver; the 32-bit driver does not load if Snow Leopard is booted into the 64-bit kernel, which means that attached drives simply don’t show up on the desktop. Rebooting into the 32-bit kernel is your solution.

Sonnet Tempo SATA Pro ExpressCard/34

Using version 2.1.9 of the Sonnet driver, I created a 2-drive RAID stripe (using Disk Utility) which worked in 32-bit kernel mode. Booting into 64-bit kernel mode the RAID stripe would simply not appear on the desktop, because the 32-bit driver does not load in 64-bit mode. See notes above on the 64-bit driver.

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Hard drives and SSDs

No issues found on either my 2.66GHz quad-core Mac Pro Nehalem or 2.93GHz 8-core Mac Pro Nehalem.

External enclosures

External drives should be unaffected. However, any specialized software or drivers associated with specialized enclosures could be a source of concern in 64-bit mode.

See Recommended Enclosures.



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