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How can you tell for sure?
(Source Joe Kissell "Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan")


First, get your Mac's Model Identifier.

To find this, open System Information (in Lion or later) or System Profiler (in earlier big cats); it's found in /Applications/Utilities. In the list on the left, make sure Hardware is selected, and look for the line that says Model Identifier. It consists of your Mac model name followed by a pair of numbers, without spaces - as in "MacBookPro5,5."

 

Once you know your Mac's Model Identifier, you can look it up Apple's list, below. (Keep in mind that the comma should be interpreted as a decimal point, so 5,6 is newer than 5,5, and 6,1 is newer than 5,6.) Much easier to figure out than just reading the requirements on Apple's Site.
Here are the Macs that can run Mountain Lion:


iMac7,1 or newer
MacBook5,1 or newer
MacBookAir2,1 or newer
MacBookPro3,1 or newer
Macmini3,1 or newer
MacPro3,1 or newer

If your Mac isn't on that list (or has an older model number), then regardless of its age or speed, it won't run Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan. Maybe it is time for a new computer. Call Miss Mac if you have any further questions. 415-454-7253


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