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Intel-based Macs coming soon? - Page 2

post #41 of 434
This is what I think

Next week, Steve announces that they've licensed the PPC platform to Intel who will supply Apple with G5s due to IBMs inability to supply sufficient numbers of chips and Intel's superiority and experience in mobile processors. In 2006, low power Intel G5s will roll out on low end machines such as the mac mini and powerbook. In 2007 Intel will roll out cutting edge desktop G5s for the powermacs.

intel is experienced in making a broad array of chips and processors, and they have capacity that IBM can only dream of.
post #42 of 434
If this story is true, I wonder if they'll make a new "Switch" ad starring Steve Jobs himself?

-----------------

Steve [in front of white screen, casually dressed]:

My company always used IBM PowerPC chips. We thought, it's good enough for us. [shrugs] Sure, there were occasional problems... [ticks them off on his hand] Slower processor speeds. Heating issues. Unreliable supply. [shrugs again]. But I thought, so what? I mean, I never really liked IBM, they made Deep Blue... that chess computer... and, I always thought computer games were pretty stupid, and if computer games are stupid, nothing's worse than Deep Blue... but, I figured -- [shrugs again] hey, I can put up with a little stupidity as long as I can run OSX on it.

Then, last February 24th -- I remember because it was my birthday -- I was using my little Powerbook and after about 40 minutes I thought -- gee, this thing's kind of hot. [crinkles his nose] In fact, I kind of singed the hair on my legs -- cause I was wearing shorts -- and I thought, boy, that red-hot IBM chip just burned my legs and they sort of ruined my birthday there. That's not what computing is supposed to be about.

And then I thought about how IBM had me stand up in front of everybody two years ago and tell them [gesturing] "hey, 3 Gigahertz is right around the corner!", and how they never did give us a 3 Gig chip. And I thought, hey, that's not the way its supposed to be. Then I remembered that thing about how IBM was gonna start putting those PowerPC chips in the X-Box. That's even worse than Deep Blue, I thought.

That's when I decided to switch to Intel. [ticks off his fingers] They're fast. They're cheap. They make lots of them. Best of all, they don't singe the hair off your legs on your birthday. So that's what I did. I switched, and it feels really great. Everything's a lot simpler now that I know it has Intel Inside.

I'm Steve Jobs, and I'm the CEO of Apple Computer.
post #43 of 434
post #44 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by macFanDave
What could be more natural than the Nipple duopoly? Guys have been discussing Nipple duopolies for centuries!

I, for one, welcome our new Nipples overlords.

Quote:
Originally posted by Sam Damon
I'm just freakin' stunned.

I'm stunned like Bill Palmer when he first heard about the Mac mini rumor.
post #45 of 434
Well........I can see why Apple might be unhappy with IBM:

1. The hope that they would be at 3ghz LAST summer.

2. Chip production problems which led to the delay of the new iMac.

3. The poor 200mhz increase to the G5 PowerMacs, 2.5-2.7 ghz which took 8 months.

4. No sign as of yet to a fast low power chip for laptops.
post #46 of 434
I'd just like to note to those that drag up the "swich" to the 68040 and PPC, that a swich to x86 would be nothing like that of yore, at all.

The 68040 is an ISA "shrinked" 68k CPU, all you needed to do was to provide an emulation file (triggered by exception) to make all old code work. And due to the greater efficeincy of the 68040, the old "proper" 68k code would actually run faster on it. The 68k --> PPC swich is a slightly better analogy, but still moot. Old PPC had extra instructions to help the emulation of 68k code, that and the much, much better speed of said CPUs enshured that all old code would run well, and programmers could take their time learning to make the jump from 68k to PPC.

Now over to PPC emulation on x86, it's what, a slowdown of x100 or so currently? Even if a much, much better emulator is released, there still is the problem that x86 chips aren't al that much faster then PPC ones. There is no great speed up that can be expected like with the PPC swich.

And to add some more to the "flames":

Then there of course are other problems. Say that Apple makes a custom chipset x86 box, that guarantees no piracy, right? Wrong, all you'd need is MOL and a copy of OSX (pirated) and off you are running OSX for "free", and in full speed.

Then there is the reaction of people with a heavy investment in legacy, those that have just swiched, just bought expensive equipment etc. What do you think those will think of seeing their Mac being pronounced with no future. Some people buy machines hoping they will last 3-5 years, do you think they will ever concider buying a Mac again if there is an ISA shift?

Then there is all the fun for developers, having to sit on the sidelines waiting to if the swich is sucessfull or nor, or having all the fun (and extra cost) of supporting to ISAs.

[edit]Is that enough resons to justify why I don't think a "swich" will happen? [/edit]
post #47 of 434
ROFL

No wonder most people here would be stunned by the announcement - they have spent their entire time deriding Intel's cheap chips to anyone who would listen. But if, big if, Apple switches (oh the irony!) will some people have egg all over.

But the switch would be all right. After all if Steve said so then it must be true. Right?

Not knowing is much more interesting than believing an answer which might be wrong.
-- Richard Feynman
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Not knowing is much more interesting than believing an answer which might be wrong.
-- Richard Feynman
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post #48 of 434
I think what's going on here is that Apple is inking some deal with Intel for its WiMax chips -- as in "lets make an airport express for video so that we can take over the living room" -- and and not for the main microprocessor. I don't thing apple and ibm are parting ways is is reported. An understandable error, but whoever made that error and had the nerve to report it deserves one really hard punch in the jimmy.

yes, if you were going to switch chip platforms, a developers' conference would be the place to do it (everybody is in the same place, riot control, tear-gas, you get the visual), but the WiMax theory fits the overall picture better.
post #49 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by Booga
There's no point in Intel doing this. Intel works purely on economy of scale. They've already said they'll only work with Apple if it makes economic sense. Making PowerPC chips for Apple never seems to make any chip companies a lot of money.

I could, on an outside shot, see Intel licensing Altivec from Apple, but even that is a long shot.

Actually, there's definitely a reason for Intel to look into PowerPC. Look at all the traction PowerPC has been getting lately: PS3, Xbox 360. Pluis it is in embedded systems everywhere and has been for a while. Next look at the complete lack of traction from IA-64/Itainium.

If Intel wants to offer a RISC instruction set, this would be a way of adopting a proven one rather than stepping out on the ledge again. And it might be a way of getting in on the rev. 2 Xbox 360.

Also, decoding instructions is not that large a part of the chip. Intel's latest Pentium 4 and Pentium-M are already RISC chips at the core, with a x86 translator. It's possible Intel could ship a chip that ran multiple instruction sets simultaneously. While it would increase the die size a bit, it wouldn't be [B ]that[/B] much.

I could definitely see Intel being interested in this.

But I agree the whole thing is a long shot. Still, I think this is less a long shot than a switch to x86/IA32.
post #50 of 434
I've had a think about this overnight and there is a scenario that would make sense to everyone and disadvantage nobody, except some people who might live in Washington State.

Anyone reviewing Apple's situation objectively would be amazed that the company has managed to survive this long: declining market share, an extended period of what could only have been called uninspiring leadership (take a bow, all the CEOs between Jobs I and Jobs II), confused marketing, need I continue…

Even now, Apple - with it's 4.5% of global PC market share - relies disproportionately on the health of the US market: something like 55% of Apple's quarterly sales are made in a country that has around 3% of the world's population, which means that the other 97% accounts for the other 45%.

In reality, even this interpretation is false: Apple is - and will probably always be - a "First World" or developed world company (BTW, I apologize to anyone to whom those terms are insensitive; I'm not a fan of First World myself, but it's commonly understood so there you go): it's products simply do not make economic sense to the vast majority of the markets in the developing world nor are they necessarily easy to find as the local Apple representation is either a distributor or a direct Apple office that simply isn't scaled up to fight the Wintel hegemony.

Here are some figures according to the CIA World Factbook…

People's Republic of China: Population: 1.30 billion 71% aged 15-64
India: Population: 1.08 billion, 63% aged 15-64
Indonesia: 0.24 billion, 65.7%
Brazil: 0.18 billion, 67.9%

With the exception of Brazil, all of these countries - with a combined population of 2.8 billion have wealth distribution as good as or better than the United States. The problem is that the wealth simply could never afford pure Apple technology, except possibly the mini.

SFW, I hear you ask…

What if Apple decided to accede to the overtures of a select group of PC manufacturers who are…

a) well established, for whatever reason, in these developing markets with mature distribution channels and brand presence.
b) Sick and tired of waiting for MSFT to ship yet another revision of a discredited operating system.
c) Even more sick and tired of maintaining outsized customer support functions to keep alive the machines of customers running the current version of MSFT's discredited operating system.

All that would be needed would be a reference Intel motherboard design (which would inevitably require a Firewire port - ring any bells?) and a list of approved components (disc drives, optical, and video card) and an Intel version of Mac OS X with reduced localisation features, probably limited to International English and the local language which would reduce global cannibalization of Apple's existing markets, and some strict licensing terms ("try and import one of these systems into the USA, the EU or Australasia and we'll use your ass as an umbrella stand - and the umbrella will be open").

Make that deal with Lenovo, Sony and HP (leave those pesky Dell critters out, just because Michael needs a lesson in humility and Kevin Rollins is a jerk) and let's see whether Apple could ever be a real global player.

Existing developers should also be happy: after all, they get to sell product to billions of people who have never heard of them. And, even more importantly, Apple gets to encourage a new developer community in China and India - neither of which are laggards in having an educated workforce.

The hardware partners free themselves of the yoke of having their fortunes tied to a software company who couldn't find their ass with both hands and a map.

Businesses in the developing world get access to a secure operating system with a reasonable applications portfolio, whilst private individuals get access to a contemporary operating system today (as opposed to waiting to the middle of 2007) and they don't even have to buy a dual-core system to run it.

This is a solution that would make a lot of sense of all of the rumours, without any unreasonable downsides…at least, that's my opinion.
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]

"What's your point?" ~ Mark Solomon...
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"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]

"What's your point?" ~ Mark Solomon...
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post #51 of 434
Quote:
originally posted by Programmer:
Lets pray that (if there is any truth to this nonsense) that this is what will happen. Changing ISAs (to x86 no less!) will just be a disaster -- even just the big-endian -> little-endian issue will be a huge mess. Might as well put a gun to their head right now.

On the other hand, if Intel can just replace the instruction set decoder already on the front of all their chips with a PPC decoder... perhaps there is something sensible here after all. Intel has been stuck with x86 for a long time, that doesn't mean they like it... especially now that AMD has forced an extension to 64-bits that Intel doesn't control. The IA-64 is not in a happy state. Intel's process technology is top notch, and internally their cores are pretty impressive. Its just the horrid x86 ISA that really sucks, and switching to that opens up Apple to piracy on a grand scale.

The most sensible voice for years on Appleinsider, Programmer nails it. An Apple-Intel partnership surely implies something genuinely creative, not the all-too-obvious direct switch to x86. If Monday augurs anything, it's in the direction of innovation and surprise, not retrenchment. Otherwise, Apple really would be shooting themselves in the loins.
post #52 of 434
Apple will most definitely not switch to X86. X86 is dead. You know this when the family's original parent is trying to kill it. It survives today because AMD has pushed an evolution of X86 that Intel really wanted to avoid. However, this merely postpones the inevitable by a few years...

As for all the economy of scale crap, you all don't read enough and make too many false assumptions. There is no real economy of scale for using Intel/X86. Modern CPU/board design and production means that it's equally cheap to make a cpu/board of X86 design as it is a number of "custom designs" let alone something as standardized as a PPC based system. Don't confuse fan-boy apologetics with industry realities. The higher cost of Apple products has to do with marketting and the company's historical profit models, that's all, they get their parts, ALL OF THEM, just as cheap as anybody else.
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IBL!
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post #53 of 434
@Mark- Card Carrying FanaticRealist

No.

Not only would it require the Mac development base to maintain two version of their software. The markets you've mentioned are not in any stretch of the imagination as open as you'd like to think that they are. The only chance of growth in them is through low end boxes, where the real pay off is not in the boxes themselves but in what the people who buys them will buy in the future once their economies picks up speed, and in the indirect sales they generate. Most of those econo boxes being proposed to "the third world" is bundled with an internet subscription of some kind ... hello increaded high profit server sales.

That being said, the secure cheap portion of that market is allready cornered by Linux, wich in a very high degree is backed by the goverments and local companies in the countries in question.
post #54 of 434
Just a side note. I don´t think Jobs was CEO at Apple before his return.
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post #55 of 434
[Maybe intel was the only company that had a 64 bit PPC chip that can run in laptops, the g4 is long in the tooth and needs a replacement in the PBs if for no other reason the FSB. Apple could call it the G5-m or the G5-lite
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #56 of 434
Are there any chance that this is just some elaborate smoke screen to throw everybody else of the real treats of WWDC, making the surprise more .... erm surprising or perhaps there are nothing for WWDC, but by leaking this intel stuff, and on the actual day, announcing that we're sticking with PPC will get a cheer
post #57 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by bobbagum
Are there any chance that this is just some elaborate smoke screen to throw everybody else of the real treats of WWDC, making the surprise more .... erm surprising or perhaps there are nothing for WWDC, but by leaking this intel stuff, and on the actual day, announcing that we're sticking with PPC will get a cheer

I dunno, but the story certainly has put the "will the iBook get 512 MB of RAM?!?!?" threads into perspective.
post #58 of 434
If this is true, and the Intel switch encompasses an entire chipset (not just CPU), will this benefit other areas that the Mac is lacking in...like high-end graphics cards? Will these, currently PC-only, items be easier to port to the Mac?
post #59 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by Eric_Z
@Mark- Card Carrying FanaticRealist

No.

Not only would it require the Mac development base to maintain two version of their software. The markets you've mentioned are not in any stretch of the imagination as open as you'd like to think that they are. The only chance of growth in them is through low end boxes, where the real pay off is not in the boxes themselves but in what the people who buys them will buy in the future once their economies picks up speed, and in the indirect sales they generate. Most of those econo boxes being proposed to "the third world" is bundled with an internet subscription of some kind ... hello increaded high profit server sales.

That being said, the secure cheap portion of that market is allready cornered by Linux, wich in a very high degree is backed by the goverments and local companies in the countries in question.

Eric,

You're probably correct in many ways, but the idea that Lenovo wouldn't be allowed to sell products in China seems a little unlikely given that it apparently has a 30% market share in the PRC. It also sells product into India through the IBM channel.

This whole play wouldn't be about getting every sale in these developing markets, but nobody could tell me that going after the PRC's "middle class" - which is estimated to be around 150,000,000 individuals - wouldn't make sense to Apple as an OS vendor, Lenovo/IBM as a manufacturer, or Apple's independent software vendors. However, even the last part of that equation didn't fall into line with unbridled enthusiasm, there could be no doubt that the size of the PRC opportunity could/would spark a whole parallel Mac software development industry into life simply to service the indigenous market.
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]

"What's your point?" ~ Mark Solomon...
Reply
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]

"What's your point?" ~ Mark Solomon...
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post #60 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by Sybaritic
The most sensible voice for years on Appleinsider, Programmer nails it. An Apple-Intel partnership surely implies something genuinely creative, not the all-too-obvious direct switch to x86. If Monday augurs anything, it's in the direction of innovation and surprise, not retrenchment. Otherwise, Apple really would be shooting themselves in the loins.

You're clutching at straws and quoting someone who is doing likewise. Just because Programmer is saying the things most Mac fanatics want to hear does not make them true.

First question: after people here have been rubbishing Intel's products for years why expect something creative from them? For that matter, when has Intel ever been creative?

Maybe now Intel will be creative because Dear Steve is asking them? LOL

Yes Intel has been "stuck" with x86 for a long time. And you know why? Cause the revenues just from that chip line alone dwarfs the economies of several countries. Intel stuck with x86 is like saying MS is stuck with Windows. Trust me - you too would love to be "stuck" with a near monopoly that is the x86.

Why does the "horrid x86 ISA" suck? Don't quote me that only # of registers rubbish please. No x86 does not have Altivec but, frankly, it doesnt seem to have affected performance too badly. I dont think losing Altivec keeps Steve awake at night.

And one does not just stick a different decoder chip anywhere. IBM has been the top patent filer for years. Only God, and the patent office, know which thick maze of patents covers PPC. Tell me why Intel will bother to go through the hassle/licensing fees? Just becase the Dear Leader says so?

As for opening up piracy - maybe Apple wouldnt mind it. MS in its early years too didnt mind people pirating Office. Better to let people use it. Windows added stronger anti-piracy measure in XP.

On a sidenote: I think this news has brought out the creative side of the Mac fans. The creativity shown is trying to explain away the Switch has been as stunning. Talk about being in denial!

Anyway, Apple switching (LOL) to Intel is possible but not probable but if it does come to pass then ... oh boy will the Windows fans laugh so hard into their cheap 3Ghz Dells. ROFL.

Not knowing is much more interesting than believing an answer which might be wrong.
-- Richard Feynman
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Not knowing is much more interesting than believing an answer which might be wrong.
-- Richard Feynman
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post #61 of 434
I can't imagine this has to do with the third world. The problem with second and third-world market shares is how much of the software they use is pirated (just ask MS!). So it might help market share, but little with sales.

Second, if this is all about improving performance and 3GHz and all that crap, why in the hell would Apple first update the low-end, and not get to the high-end (which is so not 3GHz) until 2007??? Wouldn't you think that they'd be trying to get out the faster, higher-powered computers quicker, not the low-end consumer computer, then finally get around to what everyone is calling the bottleneck a whole year later? I'm sorry, it just sounds like a stupid plan (if this is the plan).

Third, if Apple were to go Intel on the low-end, then wouldn't that kinda kill the switcher's market, for wouldn't those with low-end PCs be going "Wait, I have a computer with a P4 in it, and you're telling me I need to buy another one in order to run this OS? How come I just can't use your OS on my computer?"

Which will also lead to OS X confusions, as people buy "OS X for Intel" not realizing they need an Intel-based Mac, not their Intel-Based PC.
post #62 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by UnixPoet

Anyway, Apple switching (LOL) to Intel is possible but not probable but if it does come to pass then ... oh boy will the Windows fans laugh so hard into their cheap 3Ghz Dells. ROFL.


Good point. Who'd buy a $1000 3GHz Mac when you can get one from Dell for half that? With LCD monitor!
post #63 of 434
I believe it when I see it. Currently, I very much suspect bovine manure, because:

- Apple depends of 3rd party developers to develop for the platform (this is especially true for Adobe and other heavyweights). After a painful transition from 68K -> PPC, painful years of developing for an abortive OS effort (Copland), going back to an aging API, then moving to a complely new paradigm (OS X) now another switch to a old/new platform? Guess what, a lot of developers would pull the plug and concentrate on their Windows offerings to prepare for the first major switch since win95 (Longhorn).

- Instant death of their hardware business. Why would anyone buy a PPC Mac now if they might be able to run a tweaked version of OS X on their Dull boxes?

- Running OS X and Win 2K side by side on the same box would be _hugely_ embarrassing for Apple. Believe it or not, but OS X is no powerhouse. It delivers decent speed, but not more. Due to its very complex UI layer and microkernel structure, it would appear sluggish. A first, mostly unoptimized, release would look rather sad side by side with a windows box.

- Ever contemplated the fate of OS/2? Superior OS, vanished because people just installed Windows on the same boxes.

If anything, I could believe Programmers speculation of an intel RISC core with a PPC ISA decoder to make it a virtual PPC. But nevertheless, I am curious what monday will bring
post #64 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by Smircle
I believe it when I see it. Currently, I very much suspect bovine manure, because:

- Apple depends of 3rd party developers to develop for the platform (this is especially true for Adobe and other heavyweights). After a painful transition from 68K -> PPC, painful years of developing for an abortive OS effort (Copland), going back to an aging API, then moving to a complely new paradigm (OS X) now another switch to a old/new platform? Guess what, a lot of developers would pull the plug and concentrate on their Windows offerings to prepare for the first major switch since win95 (Longhorn).

- Instant death of their hardware business. Why would anyone buy a PPC Mac now if they might be able to run a tweaked version of OS X on their Dull boxes?

- Running OS X and Win 2K side by side on the same box would be _hugely_ embarrassing for Apple. Believe it or not, but OS X is no powerhouse. It delivers decent speed, but not more. Due to its very complex UI layer and microkernel structure, it would appear sluggish. A first, mostly unoptimized, release would look rather sad side by side with a windows box.

- Ever contemplated the fate of OS/2? Superior OS, vanished because people just installed Windows on the same boxes.

If anything, I could believe Programmers speculation of an intel RISC core with a PPC ISA decoder to make it a virtual PPC. But nevertheless, I am curious what monday will bring

This is right. It's what we've been saying when the first rumor came out.

In addition, would developers maintain two tracks for their programs? With some 25-30 million PPC machines out there, they couldn't very well abandon that market. If the line only moves towards x86 over a one or two year period, what happens during that time?

Our discussions included the virtualization hardware that Intel developed. They said that other OSes would work on those chips. Presumably this would work in real time, not the way VPC works now. So if this would occur, it would be with these chips.

I really can't see Adobe and others re-writing all of their software again. It's not a simple re-compile. A tremendous amount of hand tweaking would be required in order to get performance back up.

Remember Office 6?. What a dog it was? That was because it was a Windows port with little hand tweaking. The reason that that latest versions work so well is because they are developed independently of the Windows version. Other than MS who is going to bother?

Well, two days to go. I just hope my stock doesn't do anything funny again.
post #65 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by UnixPoet
You're clutching at straws and quoting someone who is doing likewise. Just because Programmer is saying the things most Mac fanatics want to hear does not make them true.

You're right, it is just a forlorn hope in the face of news that I really don't want to be true. Unfortunately there seem to be business realities which might make it true. However...

Quote:
First question: after people here have been rubbishing Intel's products for years why expect something creative from them? For that matter, when has Intel ever been creative?

Actually their x86 designs are fairly innovative -- how else could they get the ancient x86 up to its current speeds? The main problem is that they've been saddled with their own situation... something they've been trying to change repeatedly for years.

Quote:
Yes Intel has been "stuck" with x86 for a long time. And you know why? Cause the revenues just from that chip line alone dwarfs the economies of several countries. Intel stuck with x86 is like saying MS is stuck with Windows. Trust me - you too would love to be "stuck" with a near monopoly that is the x86.

Not entirely -- the fact that they've tried to create several chip lines as replacements for x86 means they have reason to do so (IA-64 is the latest).

Quote:
Why does the "horrid x86 ISA" suck? Don't quote me that only # of registers rubbish please. No x86 does not have Altivec but, frankly, it doesnt seem to have affected performance too badly. I dont think losing Altivec keeps Steve awake at night.

It is a heck of a mess and there are all sorts of reasons it sucks. And AltiVec is significantly better than SSE -- look at vector benchmarks and you'll see that.

Quote:
And one does not just stick a different decoder chip anywhere. IBM has been the top patent filer for years. Only God, and the patent office, know which thick maze of patents covers PPC. Tell me why Intel will bother to go through the hassle/licensing fees? Just becase the Dear Leader says so?

I was glib in my statement, but the fact remains that the x86 portion of Intel's chips these days is a module that decodes the x86 stream into their internal microops. Intel is the king of this approach and they probably hold tons of patents on it.

Doesn't anyone else remember that Apple sponsored Exponential back in the mid-90s. That was a small startup who was building a high frequency (for the time) PPC design. They could use PPC because Apple licensed it to them. Never flew because they weren't big enough to compete with Moto/IBM and the 604e handed them their lunch. Intel is a lot stronger.

Quote:
Anyway, Apple switching (LOL) to Intel is possible but not probable but if it does come to pass then ... oh boy will the Windows fans laugh so hard into their cheap 3Ghz Dells. ROFL.

It would be political egg-on-the-face, but that has happened to Steve with both Moto and IBM. I'm more concerned about the serious mess it would make of the Mac market during the transition, which would take years to settle down. An x86 emulator of PPC would not do well, the big/little endian issue is a pretty serious one in a lot of code, and a lot of developers would just be fed up with yet another transition.

There is an extra bonus for Intel here... PPC has had a bunch of design wins lately, and if Intel could offer PPC cores that might let them pre-empt IBM and Motorola.

All that said, I don't think any of this is particularly likely.
Providing grist for the rumour mill since 2001.
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Providing grist for the rumour mill since 2001.
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post #66 of 434
all this just makes me think there might be a new OS announcement tomorrow. Perhaps an embedded OS for a tablet or new product which just might use an Intel chip. The iPod has its own little OS...why not another? Why not a new small or embedded OS on a Intel based device?

In any case, I think it might be an exciting week, at least I hope so. No news would be boring...
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post #67 of 434
I think the only thing holding back Apple is Apple. Most people (not geeks that run speed test, nor gamers that prefer video games on a supped up computer instead of a game console) really could care less what chip is inside their box! I've heard the argument that cheaper chips would allow Apple to become the new Dell (ugh) and expand its user base with really cheap Macs. Macs are not that more expensive component wise to most PCs. Apple sees itself as a quality brand and it prides its corporate self in the luxury of detail it supplies its hardware and software.

I'm not saying that using Intel chips will not happen, it just wont happen for the reasons most posters here have mentioned. I think the speed issue is low on the list of priorities with other technologies (we may discover on Monday) being the real reason.
post #68 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by Sybaritic
The most sensible voice for years on Appleinsider, Programmer nails it. An Apple-Intel partnership surely implies something genuinely creative, not the all-too-obvious direct switch to x86. If Monday augurs anything, it's in the direction of innovation and surprise, not retrenchment. Otherwise, Apple really would be shooting themselves in the loins.

I agree. Apple was part of AIM and likely has rights to the PPC instruction set and vector processor. Apple could license Intel to make a them a chip, say based on the Pentium M for notebooks. Intel may be eager to do this to get PPC experience. The Itanium isn't exactly taking off, so Intel may be considering becoming part of Power Everywhere eventually. This would be Intel testing the waters.
post #69 of 434
I've gotten some sleep and managed to get over the shock.

Let's parse the CNet article carefully, namely the first graf:


Apple has used IBM's PowerPC processors since 1994, but will begin a phased transition to Intel's chips, sources familiar with the situation said.


What I think as I reread the CNet story with a clearer mind is that the writer had just a few nuggets of truth, but lacking the context we get here on Future Hardware, wrote something that ends up as science fiction fantasy on a par with Robert Heinlein. Note carefully the story doesn't say "Apple will adopt x86 chips" but "Apple... will begin a phased transition to Intel's chips, sources familiar with the situation said."

The more I think about this, the more I think what will happen Monday is that Uncle Steve will announce a line of microprocessors from Intel that will run PPC code, but will not have anything to do with x86 ISA.

To put it another way: Steve's announcing he's got a deal for Intel to produce PPC core chips. IBM and Intel have had cross licensing deals in the past (anyone remember the "Blue Lightening" 80286 kinda-sorta-clone?). Cross-licensing the PPC stuff would be a stretch, but not an insurmountable deal, particularly with Uncle Steve zapping people with RDF.

And of course, leave it for a story like this to leak out, ensuring maximum buzz for the Stevenote. Just try and tell me some PR hand isn't behind this.
post #70 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by Sam Damon
.....And of course, leave it for a story like this to leak out, ensuring maximum buzz for the Stevenote. Just try and tell me some PR hand isn't behind this.

it was fucking brilliant. complete lockdown, then a few days before the stevenote, over the weekend, boom..! the storm hits

you could smell it in the wind in the deathly silent calm of monday-friday this week... it was a little too quiet.
post #71 of 434
I have to say that the same nonsense is repeated each time this idea is repeated. It will happen and I have been supporting this idea for years.

Quote:
I believe it when I see it. Currently, I very much suspect bovine manure, because:

- Apple depends of 3rd party developers to develop for the platform (this is especially true for Adobe and other heavyweights). After a painful transition from 68K -> PPC, painful years of developing for an abortive OS effort (Copland), going back to an aging API, then moving to a complely new paradigm (OS X) now another switch to a old/new platform? Guess what, a lot of developers would pull the plug and concentrate on their Windows offerings to prepare for the first major switch since win95 (Longhorn).

The transition is a recompile for the vast majority of devlopers it will take a build cycle i.e. less than a hour, or less than a day for Adobe.

Quote:
- Instant death of their hardware business. Why would anyone buy a PPC Mac now if they might be able to run a tweaked version of OS X on their Dull boxes?

Apple is not licencing the operating system so noone could legally install it on the dell machine. All they are doing is changing the cpu in Apple boxes.

Quote:
- Running OS X and Win 2K side by side on the same box would be _hugely_ embarrassing for Apple. Believe it or not, but OS X is no powerhouse. It delivers decent speed, but not more. Due to its very complex UI layer and microkernel structure, it would appear sluggish. A first, mostly unoptimized, release would look rather sad side by side with a windows box.

That is a problem for the OS team to fix. For historical reasons - the function dispatching in Objective C, and the Mach Kernal - are still more optimised for Intel as it stands. OS X will seem fast enough on the latest cpus, and in any case Apple may not want to put windows on the Mac boxes they release. OSX will not be available elsewhere, but people who are contemplating a switch may well be more likely to switch to an Apple machine which can ( or does) run windows for a transition period.

This has nothing to do with cheapness, either. Apple will offer a premium for a dual booting machine, and will do windows better than windows machines ( i.e. by porting the iLife suite to windows)

As a wintel ( with or without dual boot) manufacturer Apple has to chance to massively increase it's sales, as it's product recognition is far greater than it's marketshare as it is.

Quote:
In addition, would developers maintain two tracks for their programs? With some 25-30 million PPC machines out there, they couldn't very well abandon that market. If the line only moves towards x86 over a one or two year period, what happens during that time?

They would keep one track and recompile as a Fat package. The application package would contain a ppc binary and an intel binary. The package is already setup for that. ( It is also set up to allow cocoa based apps - at least - to run on Windows - which is not the same, note, as running on OS X on Intel).
I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #72 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by Programmer
Actually their x86 designs are fairly innovative -- how else could they get the ancient x86 up to its current speeds?

Never miss a chance to rubbish the x86 do you? If Intel and AMD can get archaic, messed up x86 to nearly 4Ghz why can't the same be done for the cool, sexy G5?


Quote:
Originally posted by Programmer
Not entirely -- the fact that they've tried to create several chip lines as replacements for x86 means they have reason to do so (IA-64 is the latest).

A chip line is NOT the same as an architecture. The only attempt Intel has made to supplant the x86 is the Itanium which has flopped very, very badly.


Quote:
Originally posted by Programmer
It is a heck of a mess and there are all sorts of reasons it sucks. And AltiVec is significantly better than SSE -- look at vector benchmarks and you'll see that.

Saying its a mess and "all sorts of reasons" is just a subjective opinion and hand-waving. If altivec is faster than SSE3 the reason is the implementation. I repeat, SSE3 being slower than Altivec is not, in the grand scheme of things, of major consequence. And hoping Altivec will keep Apple from Switching ( ), well...


A new decoder would be a major problem and takes time. And probably require a new chip, i.e. you don't just take an existing P4 and change its microcode.

Intel licensing PPC would be interesting and would allow it to supply the xbox360.


Quote:
Originally posted by Programmer

All that said, I don't think any of this is particularly likely.

Neither do I. But I will not be heartbroken by it
Not knowing is much more interesting than believing an answer which might be wrong.
-- Richard Feynman
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Not knowing is much more interesting than believing an answer which might be wrong.
-- Richard Feynman
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post #73 of 434
Steve's no. 1 rule is never f*ck with the brand. There is no conceivable way that Apple will transition to a chip that it might have to share with somebody else in the desktop/ consumer space. It's also inconceivable that Apple would consider a OS transition at this time. It is conceivable however that 'Nipple' have agreed to an exclusive PPC chip spec. that will come on line in 18 - 24 months. Quite what the upside for Intel is who knows? Steve has little interest in the share price (which will see a hike if this turns out to be true) but the G5 was supposed to end the speed wars and its hurting Apple's strategy in the pro space that Apple is lagging once more.
post #74 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by Mark- Card Carrying FanaticRealist
Eric,

You're probably correct in many ways, but the idea that Lenovo wouldn't be allowed to sell products in China seems a little unlikely given that it apparently has a 30% market share in the PRC. It also sells product into India through the IBM channel.

I've never said anything about not being "allowed" to sell anything. I'm talking about lukrative market segments being "closed off" due to other companies allready exploiting them.

I allso highly doubt that Levono would go for a OSX solution. There's (of course) allways the chance of things working out, but I judge it as being a very small one.

Anyway, lets just agree to dissagree. And we'll see what happens on monday.
post #75 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by iDave
I guess we'll soon see those goofy blue men dancing around Macs.

Yeah, right.

Plus, the "din dong din dong" sound and logo "INTEL INSIDE" at the end of ads.
post #76 of 434
I'll tell you exactly what this is..

This is purely major FUD being spread by the Michael Dells of the world - because Apple is about to take/demonstrate the 970MP from IBM running near 3ghz - hopefully mated to a Cell, and it is going to blow away anything Intel can manage.

All this is, is a last minute attempt to seed the public with the perception that Apple uses Intel chips, before they get their ass handed to them on a plate.

For Chrissakes, if Apple were going to go to x86 they would be using dualCore Opterons, because even they hand Intel thier asses on a plate compared to the Pentium D.
post #77 of 434
Quote:
Originally posted by Rolo
Wait, it won't be called the Power Mac then because it won't be using IBM's Power architecture then.

Not exactly. All Macs are running on PowerPC architecture. The iMac is running on IBM's Power architure and its not called a PowerMac! And the PowerMac has been called the Powermac for a long time, before there was even such thing as the G5 processor.

Also Apple PowerBook isn't running on a IBM processor, its running on a Freescale G4 just like the eMac, iBook, and Mac Mini.

So to conclude, theres no reason why Apple would have to change the name to PentiumMac or some weird name like that.
post #78 of 434
unless of course uncle Stevie thre a fit when he saw IBM had developed a 3.2GHZ cell for Sony.
post #79 of 434
If Apple were switching to another instruction set, I don't believe it would happen gradually, over the time period indicated in the CNET article. It would be carefully planned in advance and happen fairly quickly. Then there would be a period of time where all software would have two separate versions of the program, satisfying demand for both the installed base and new Macs.

No. The time frame given by CNET suggests a PPC processor from Intel.
post #80 of 434
Its a bit odd that MS has dropped intel in favour of IBM for the xbox, and now Apple might be doing the opposite, are the two events in anyway connected?
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