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Apple switching to Intel?

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#1 Greg K.

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 11:00 AM

Reports: Apple to switch to Intel chips

(gasp!)

Seems like some good could come from this - PC emulation would be much faster than it is now, for instance.. But this is a big architecture change that would render all current Mac apps incompatible.

#2 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 11:11 AM

I'm almost certain this is not going to affect the desktop market and will be for a new product like a tablet or pda, given the success of the iPod. But then again, there is no G5 PB, and Jobs might have kicked PPC to the curb.

I'm not schooled enough to know how this would affect current software under OSX. The Darwin kernel will run on x86, but it would seem that a software layer for backward PPC compatibility would be required. This would inevitably slow things down from a user perspective, and I'm back to my reasoning this move is aimed at the mobile/portable market.

#3 rboe

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 12:53 PM

This could lead to build your own Mac over time. I would think AMD would be a better choice if they wanted to drop the powerpc.

#4 Greg K.

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 01:08 PM

AMD processors tend to run hotter than Intel, probably a bad choice especially if Apple is looking to use it first in the Mac Mini (as the rumors state)

#5 rboe

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 01:29 PM

That trend seems to be ending. Intel chips have been burning about as hot as AMD chips when you look at the hot rods.

PowerPC chips are not slouch in the heat department either - something which has been plaguing the G5 laptop rollout.

In the past Apple has favoured performance (although there were years this didn't seem to be true) over heat issues. I wonder if the pendelum has begun to swing the other way.

I also wonder if IBM wanted to pull out of PowerPC production.

#6 imjeffp

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 01:40 PM

I also wonder if IBM wanted to pull out of PowerPC production.

Not likely, since they're supplying MS with XBox 360 CPUs.

What isn't clear to me is, will Mac OS X86 run on any Intel box, or will we still be buying a special box sole-sourced by Apple?

<edit> It looks like you'll still need an Apple box to run OS X:

"After Jobs' presentation, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller addressed the issue of running Windows on Macs, saying there are no plans to sell or support Windows on an Intel-based Mac. "That doesn't preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They probably will," he said. "We won't do anything to preclude that."

However, Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers' hardware. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said."



#7 Greg K.

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 03:24 PM

It's official

For me, this announcement makes it more likely that my next computer will be a Mac, especially for a laptop, because I am assuming that running Windows on these machines will be a fairly trivial exercise.

#8 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 03:41 PM

Wow, *BLEEEP* hath frozen over. I can't wait to see a Pentium-M PB. People are gonna fall all over this, especially because they can run Longhorn without the fuss of Virtual PC. I wonder how the switch will affect hardware prices?

BTW: Pass the hot sauce...crow is a bit oily.

#9 rboe

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 04:24 PM

After Ukraine escaped from Russia nothing is sacred anymore. :ohgeeze:

The one thing that helped differeciate Apple from the PC world was the hardware and processor. It will be very interesting to see where this will lead.

#10 imjeffp

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 04:41 PM

The more I read on this, the less worried I am. All that's changing is the processor--much like the move from 680X0 to PPC. There will be an emulation layer, then software will be updated to run "native" on the new processor.

You won't be running OS X on a Dell. It'll still be an integrated system, with Apple controlling the hardware and software.

I do expect a faster version of VPC though. Maybe 90% as fast as a native PC? Perhaps at some point the best machine to run Windows on will be made by Apple?

#11 Greg K.

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 04:53 PM

For sure there probably won't be much difference between running Photoshop on an x86 Mac vs. an X86/Windows box. It'll be interesting to see how they differentiate, I don't think just having a cool desktop is enough anymore.

#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 05:20 PM

Why would you need to run VPC if the hardware was x86? Would you not just dual-boot Longhorn?

#13 John Kocijanski

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 06:04 PM

I wonder how the switch will affect hardware prices?


I wonder too. I haven't bought a new Mac in a long time due to the price. I opted for new PCs and kept my old blue and white G3. Maybe I'll get an Intel based tower in the future to replace it. :)

#14 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 06:33 PM

I've got a three-year-old PB 667 and I figure summer '06 will be a good chance to get on board with x86 and Tiger. Time to start saving! Of course, it'll be Rev. A. :grin:

#15 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 06:51 PM

Well, this was shocking to say the least. With the multi-core 970 (g5's) about to be ready for production this means that Intel must have some REALLY hot things on the roadmap over the next few years. Apple could have gone with multiple multi-core G5's, two of which would effectively give you 4 processors! So I look for Intel to announce multi-core Pentiums soon and they will be BLAZING.

You will be able to run your current OS X software via a compatibility layer. Fast? The whole presentation at the keynote today was on an Intel based Mac. It will run the current software as fast as you can today, or with minimal slowdown in certain cases.

I am a Sr. IT manager and I have used both platforms for years, but I use Macs at home because I don't want to be bothered with working on a computer at home. I could care less what Apple uses as a processor as long as the Mac still ACTS like a Mac. Plug things in...they just work. Remove software by dragging to the trash. It just works, baby. So, this may be a REAL benefit for me. When I need to run AutoStar, I hopefully will be able to run it in Native Windows or at least in a version of Virtual PC that runs Windows just as fast as if my Mac WAS a PC laptop! That would be great! In fact, the dual binary compatibility may mean MORE Mac software as company's can write one code base and make a FAT binary that will run on both platforms (something I've been doing with REALBasic for years!) ! So maybe we can finally have a Mac version of AutoStar that will run on both platforms!

This is actually what Apple had planned from the beginning with Mac OS X. When it was codenamed Rhapsody they had a set of API's which would let company's write one set of code and compile and the resultant program would run on Mac or on Windows. Adobe was basically to blame for this not happening earlier as they refused to support the new API's claiming it would take them too much time and effort. So, Apple introduced the "Carbon" API's which were basically the "old" Mac API's but enabled for multithreading, memory protection, etc. so that developers would only have to modify about 10% of their existing code to ensure compatibility. Then they introduced the "Cocoa" API's which are the 'native" OS X API's. It is these API's where the magic was retained.

They kept developing for Intel as well as the continual leaks kept indicating, just in case PowerPC fell on it's face, etc. Developers, even Adobe came to recognize the benefits of using Cocoa more and more over the years, losing their initial reluctance to the point that many ONLY use Cocoa now. Since even IBM hasn't been able to consistently jack up the clock rates Steve Jobs, being a man of action, has taken this step. Now we'll see how elegantly they can execute. I have faith given that they've really had this ready and have just been tinkering with it further over the last 5 years, but we'll see. Should be interesting.

#16 pollux

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 07:22 PM

A lot of Mac-heads are getting so emotional about the move

I also a Mac-head, but not that type of extremists. I am not too concerned about the switch.

Look at what Moronola and IBM have done in the last few years. Overpromised and underdelivered.

If the change has to be done I rather do it early than late.

I personally, don't care what's inside the machine. As long as the system runs fast and all my apps work.

#17 rboe

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 07:53 PM

Hmm, public radio - All Things Considered I believe - said the move was due to the laptop market heating up and users wanting machines that lasted for hours on one charge (all night astronomers perhaps?) and that Intel had a road map for doing just that with energy saving processors while IBM did not.

They seem to think that laptops are the coming rage and since I bought mine I seem to think the same. I have turned off my desktop since I rarely us it. SETI was the only thing running. I'm thinking our next computer will be a larger laptop. Odd how things change.

#18 RobTaylor

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 08:34 AM

I think it's a long overdue move for Apple. There are a lot of PC users that would love to have the Apple OSs available to them but don't want to give up their PC applications. This could be the best of both worlds. I think Apple can also read the polls too: MS has a huge but not particularly loyal customer base, a great many PC users, like me, would jump to another OS in a heart beat providing it does what they need it to do without the premium Apple now has to charge for it's equipment. We'll see.

#19 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 12:33 PM

I agree with Ron about the laptop market heating up, Apple claims all Mac models will be Intel by the end of 2007 and the first Intel machines due to roll out by this time next year, Im placing my money on the laptops to be the first to come out with Intel chips, the Powerbook and iBook are starting to lag way behind with mediore upgrades, it obvious the G5 Powerbook is not going to happen and they must of shelved the dual core G4s, Apple laptops are due for a major overhaul and if they dont start now, they will lose big time.

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 01:41 PM

I agree too. I'm a Sr. IT manager and have been for a good while. I love the Apple systems and the OS, but the problem has been the PPC clock speed and delivery. If Intel can deliver and get into multi-core processors, etc. and Apple can keep the Mac working like a Mac, all power to 'em. I could care less as long as my machines do what they do now and that's just work. :) This may even allow Apple to be even more cost competitive with their machines, although we'll have to see about that. All in all, a good move, especially considering what they must know about the future progress of PPC vs. Pentium. There must be something really big happening over at Intel in the future few years....

#21 rboe

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 02:37 PM

Apple seemed to think that big things were not on the horizon for IBM's chip set. Apple may be a very small user of IBM's processors but they were a flagship for them and I think IBM may gave messed up big time letting them go.

Kinda like Mustangs and vettes'. You don't sell that many but they bring people in the door.

#22 Rusty

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 11:52 PM

Wait'll Stevie Jobs announces his licensing agreement with Microsoft...

#23 kentak

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 01:18 AM

When Apple first came out with OS X thay had a big dog'n pony show. I asked an Apple engineer hanging around the back of the hall if they had run the code thru an Intel compiler since the whole thing is in C. He gave me the strangest look and mumbled and left. I knew they had done it, how could anyone at Apple avoid the temptation! So I am not surprised that they've been compatible for years. In fact, one of the beauties of UNIX systems is that they are very portable and have been put on nearly every computer. I heard some hackers had the first iPod running LINUX shortly after getting their hands on one.

If they migrate to Intel as smoothly as they have gone from Motorola 6800's, Motorola PowerPC's, IBM PowerPC's, and Systems from the first thru 9, and then X they'll do just fine, and I have no reason to doubt their abilities.

The heart and soul of the Mac is in the software and if anyone knows it Apple does.

Maybe the next Macs will have replaceable CPU modules that will allow interim machines to be processor upgraded to Mactel in two years.

#24 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 03:00 AM

My turn, my turn!

What I want to see happen is the MAC software sold direct to the public.
Remember that the PC people WANT to abandon Gatesville.
Imagine having any kind of processor running BSD MAC/Linux.
Software that actually works! My desire is for increased performance.
Plus! Apple has complete understanding of how to write good software.
Gee whiz. When the system installs the drivers they would actually work.
This would give PC people the performance they thought they would get with WinDOZE.

AMG

#25 rboe

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 09:08 AM

If they stick with C then and don't optimize with machine code then they still run the same risks with buffer overflows as any other OS written in C.

I do wonder what they will do to keep folks from building their own Macs.


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