On 13 June 2016 Apple announced a brand new name and operating system for its Mac range, macOS Sierra. Continuing the trend of naming its computer OS after places in the company's native California, the name change to macOS helps to unify it with Apple's three other platforms: watchOS, tvOS and iOS.

What you'll be wondering, though, is will macOS Sierra work on your Mac? The older a Mac gets, the greater the risk that it might not be up to the task of running a brand-new OS.

Read more: macOS Sierra new features and release date | macOS Sierra vs Mac OS X El Capitan

macOS Sierra system requirements: Which Macs will be compatible with macOS Sierra?

Before we get into physical system requirements, there's the question of whether or not your Mac will be eligible for Sierra full stop. Here is a full list of the Macs that will be able to download the upgrade:

MacBook (Late 2009 or later)

MacBook Air (2010 or later)

MacBook Pro (2010 or later)

Mac mini (2010 or later)

Mac Pro (2010 or later)

iMac (Late 2009 or later)

Obviously it's disappointing to find out that your Mac isn't compatible, particularly when El Capitan was available to Macs stretching back to 2007. However, this stretch back to support seven-year-old machines is good work by Apple, considering it sometimes drops device support for iOS update long before they reach the ripe old age of seven.

macOS Sierra system requirements: Will macOS Sierra work on my Mac?

If your Mac will be able to download Sierra, you may want to double-check the exact system requirements. At the moment, these requirements are unknown but we can make a very educated guess from what we’ve seen in previous years.

Sierra's predecessor El Capitan required 2GB RAM to run, and the same also applied to the OS before that, Yosemite. Fingers crossed for the same to apply to Sierra so that machines don’t feel the strain, but even the late 2009 MacBook, the oldest and lowest spec Sierra compatible machine, has 2GB RAM on the base model. 

It’s worth noting that to update to El Capitan, you need to be running OS X Snow Leopard. Therefore you’ll definitely need to be running that version at least, and you may well need to running a later OS X version, potentially 10.7 Lion, which is the next one after Snow Leopard. Lion came out in July 2011 though, so hopefully you’ll be on something later and it won’t be an issue. If not – upgrade now to El Capitan! Check out all the information further down this article on how to do so right now.

How do I know if my Mac will run macOS Sierra? 

Find out if your Mac is supported by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left of your screen, and selecting About This Mac > Overview. There you will see details of which Mac you have, and the year that model first appeared. 

Will macOS Sierra make my Mac run faster or slower?

El Capitan was a welcome upgrade for many reasons, one of which being that because it had the same system requirements as Yosemite it actually offered improved performance. 

This will be true for newer Macs of about two years old and later and it’s usual that older machines may experience some slow down due to older components and memory – however once we’ve tried out macOS Sierra on various machines we’ll let you know what we find.

Mac OS X El Capitan system requirements: Will my Mac run OS X 10.11?

Apple unveiled OS X 10.11 El Capitan, the new version of its Mac operating system, during its WWDC 2015 keynote at the beginning of June. The update to the operating system finally arrived on Wednesday 30 September.

The big question is, will OS X 10.11 work on your Mac? We investigate below.

Find out what new features arrived with Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, and if there are any issues with El Capitan here and here are our top tips for OS X El Capitan.  PLUS:  Features in OS X 10.12, successor to El Capitan: Wishlist

OS X 10.11 El Capitan system requirements: Will 10.11 work on my Mac?

Yosemite required 2GB RAM to run and same will apply for its successor - this is unlikely to be an issue as Macs have shipped with more than 4GB RAM for many years now.

You will also need 8GB of available storage as the installer weighs in at about 6GB (last year Yosemite was about 5.6GB). This doesn't mean that the installation will eventually take up that much space, just that the files required for the install will.

You will also need to be running at least OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, as you will need access to the Mac App Store in order to download the update before installing (if you are running a version of OS X that predates Snow Leopard find out how to buy a copy of the Snow Leopard software here.

Which Macs will be compatible with El Capitan?

Like Yosemite and Mavericks before it, El Capitan can run on the following Macs:

iMac (Mid-2007 or later)

MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)

MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)

Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)

Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)

Xserve (Early 2009)

All of these Macs feature a 64-bit CPU.

Apple hasn't changed the requirements for OS X in a number of years, many of these Macs are now seven to eight years old.

How do I know if my Mac will run El Capitan?

Find out if your Mac is supported by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left of your screen, and selecting About This Mac > Overview. There you will see details of which Mac you have, and the year that model first appeared.

Will El Capitan make my Mac run faster or slower?

When Apple announced that El Capitan would have the same system requirements as Yosemite and Mavericks it also confirmed that the next version of OS X would also offer improved performance on the older hardware.

Read: Here are our top ten features coming in OS X El Capitan and How El Capitan compares to Yosemite

If you install El Capitan and then think you made a mistake, here's How to remove El Capitan and revert to Yosemite