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Inside Apple's Intel-based Dev Transition Kit (Photos)

post #1 of 69
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Versions of Apple's $999 Intel-based Developer Transition Kit began arriving on the doorsteps of several Mac OS X developers earlier this week, offering the first material evidence that the company will adopt the two-way serial interface known as PCI-Express in future Macs.

According to reports, the systems identify themselves as Apple Development Platform (ADP 2,1) and sport a 3.6 GHz Intel Pentium 4 with 2 MB L2 Cache, 800MHz front-side bus, and 4 DIMM slots -- two of which are occupied by 512MB 533MHz DDR2 Dual Channel SDRAM modules for a total of 1GB of SDRAM.

Sources said the system's graphics card identifies itself as an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (GMA 900). Some other reports have placed an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 800 (GMA 800) inside the units. It's unclear if those reports are inaccurate, or if Apple is shipping the systems with slightly varying specs.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the development systems is their PCI layout, which implies that Apple will likely adopt the PCI-Express interface by the time it ships its first Intel Macs. In addition to two vacant 33 MHz, 32-bit PCI slots, the systems pack a single 1X PCI-Express slot and a single 16X PCI-Express slot -- the latter of which comes occupied by a Silicon Image Orion ADD2 card offering DVI-D compatibility.

For its drive interface, sources say the development systems include a total of 4 Serial ATA (SATA) connectors. Two of the connectors are free, one is wired to a 160GB/7200rpm SATA hard disk drive and the other dangling. A 16x DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW optical drive is connected to an ATA chain.

These development-based Intel Macs appear to be shipping in a slightly modified aluminum Power Mac G5 enclosure that sports an altered cooling system consisting of a different fan configuration. Located at the rear of the unit are two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet connector, and one FireWire 400 port. On the front of the unit developers have access to a headphone jack, one USB 2.0 port, one FireWire 400 Port and a micro switch that comes mounted next to the power switch and can be activated by a paperclip. However, its function is unknown.

Also shipping inside the development kit packages is a keyboard, mouse, power cable, keyboard cable, and Mac OS X 10.4.1 for Intel DVD. Sources so far have reported absolutely no luck in their attempts to boot the included copy of Mac OS X for Intel on other PC systems. In their attempts to do so, they have reportedly been met by error messages stating that the PC hardware configurations are not supported by Darwin -- the underlying UNIX-based foundation to Mac OS X.

Developers who signed up to receive Developer Transition systems are actually renting the $999 hardware from Apple for a period of approximately 18 months. Apple requires that the developers make plans to return the systems to Apple within a week of December 31, 2006.

post #2 of 69
<specwhore>

that kit for us$999 sounds like a good deal if you were a consumer, mac os 10.4 on intel was ready and running, and you didn't have to join ADC

fuck me. some nice specs in there, in a cool looking g5 tower. 6-months to a year to complete the transition, and fresh Macintesh's should be cool.

i'm going to sit it out and resurrect some old pc parts lying around to use while my iBook g4 is prostituting itself to other family members

i can survive on windows2000 a few hours a day (it's got broadband now) for another year , as long as i get a few hours of my Tiger on the iBook g4 a day.

</specwhore>
post #3 of 69
A microswitch? Hmm... I wonder what this one will be for...

I think these driver-problems are Apple-based problems. Maybe they think that if they don´t make any drivers for Darwin, there is no way that the INtel-Version could be installed on a beige Box.

I´m checking the supported hardware on Darwin....


Edit:
Guys, check out THIS --> http://www.opendarwin.org/hardware/
site, and if you have a x86 machine that fits, well... would be interesting what Darwin says then... :3
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post #4 of 69
Won't someone press the goddamn microswitch to see what it does?

ferchrissakes - it's a reset button
post #5 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Denmaru
A microswitch? Hmm... I wonder what this one will be for...

I think these driver-problems are Apple-based problems. Maybe they think that if they don´t make any drivers for Darwin, there is no way that the INtel-Version could be installed on a beige Box.

I´m checking the supported hardware on Darwin....


Edit:
Guys, check out THIS --> http://www.opendarwin.org/hardware/
site, and if you have a x86 machine that fits, well... would be interesting what Darwin says then... :3

Who cares what the microswitch is for. Hey, maybe its one of those speed boost things you used to see on 486's to double/half the MHz on the chip! (You remember the cool ones, right? with the little digital display on the front showing the speed of the computer!) That's what we need! A speed doubler for those P4s! Or maybe its a switch to force the fans on so you can get better circulation and warm up your office quicker on those cold mornings.

As for running on any PC, don't you think someone has already tried it on a PC that's running Darwin? It'd be kind of stupid to just shove it into any ol' computer and say "Hey, work!" rather than checking the compatibility list.

BTW, does anyone know if there's a way to turn off Rosetta in these things? Just wondering from a programmer's standpoint, to see if developers can turn it off so they can verify their code is completely running as Intel, rather than some of it being run through the emulator (the way OS 7-9 did when it went PPC).
post #6 of 69
will the new macintels have firewire 800?
post #7 of 69
check out thinksecret, successful win xp install (although can't handle the resolution of a 23 in display) and pictures.
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post #8 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
[B]Who cares what the microswitch is for. Hey, maybe its one of those speed boost things you used to see on 486's to double/half the MHz on the chip! (You remember the cool ones, right? with the little digital display on the front showing the speed of the computer!)

Yes, indeed, I remeber them. I still have one lying around...

Quote:
As for running on any PC, don't you think someone has already tried it on a PC that's running Darwin? It'd be kind of stupid to just shove it into any ol' computer and say "Hey, work!" rather than checking the compatibility list.

Well, I´ve seen far dumber things in my life...
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post #9 of 69
Apple probably made a program on the Instaler or modified Darwin so that it looks for all the right hardware or it won't install.
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post #10 of 69
I guess that means (confirms) if the developer boxes were arriving now that those DELL laptops were actually running pear PC as most of us thought. Add that to the fact that these developers have tried to install it on x86 machines with no luck.
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post #11 of 69
I wish I could rationalize buying -- strike that, renting -- one of these dev rigs. But with my current ADC-based display and G5 tower, I don't have room for another tower. Might make a mean closet server though.
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post #12 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
BTW, does anyone know if there's a way to turn off Rosetta in these things? Just wondering from a programmer's standpoint, to see if developers can turn it off so they can verify their code is completely running as Intel, rather than some of it being run through the emulator (the way OS 7-9 did when it went PPC).

Unlike the 68k emulator in the PowerMacs, Rosetta is an all-or-nothing thing. Either the entire app is running Rosetta, or it's not. While that may simplify things, it means that if even one of your Photoshop plug-ins are PowerPC, you'll be running the whole thing in emulation.

At least, that's what the documentation on Apple's site seems to imply.
post #13 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
BTW, does anyone know if there's a way to turn off Rosetta in these things? Just wondering from a programmer's standpoint, to see if developers can turn it off so they can verify their code is completely running as Intel, rather than some of it being run through the emulator (the way OS 7-9 did when it went PPC).

This is not comparable. Rosetta works on the application-level in an all-or-nothing way. While the 68K emulator of old was transparent and could kick in whenever you were exectuting 68K resources, Rosetta will terminate a PPC-application that tries to call into a x86-plugin or vice versa.
post #14 of 69
LOL Luzer - return of the "Turbo" button! I loved those things! I don't think I ever could detect any difference with Turbo mode on or off, it was like it was just a cool scoop on the hood of a Trans Am that didn't do anything at all.

Of course Apple wouldn't call it "Turbo," they would call it the "EMP," as in, "Extreme Mac Power". When you're rendering something in Photoshop and you need that extra little push to get it done on time, just shout out, "EMP! Hit the EMP NOW!"

Heh.
post #15 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by chris000001
will the new macintels have firewire 800?

I can't imagin them not having it.
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post #16 of 69
The only reason I would have Windows installed is since I design websites they need to be tested on all platforms and browsers. That's about it. Well.. maybe a little CS action here and there.. but that's about it. Man.. wouldn't that be great. Have native Windows emulation and playing CS on your Mac. That's the day. Well.. having CS ported to Mac would be the day.. but until then...
post #17 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by crees!
The only reason I would have Windows installed is since I design websites they need to be tested on all platforms and browsers. That's about it. Well.. maybe a little CS action here and there.. but that's about it. Man.. wouldn't that be great. Have native Windows emulation and playing CS on your Mac. That's the day. Well.. having CS ported to Mac would be the day.. but until then...

Yeah, that would be great! CS all day and all night! Man, I'm about to wet my pants right here!!!

Just one question. What the hell is CS?
post #18 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg
LOL Luzer - return of the "Turbo" button! I loved those things! I don't think I ever could detect any difference with Turbo mode on or off, it was like it was just a cool scoop on the hood of a Trans Am that didn't do anything at all.

I think the only use it was for was backward compatibility (PC users rejoice!) for some older software, mostly games, that used the CPU's clock as a timer, rather than an actual timer. You know, so if you've got the game running at 66MHz, those Tetris blocks just come screaming down the screen even at level 1! Stuff like that.

Hey, while we're talking the good ol' days of PC hardware, remember how all those PCs used to come with keys and locks on them as well? "That's right, you need a key to start up that sucker!" We had some of these in our office, and it was hysterical when I found out that they all used the same key! (that's OK, turned out all our desks used the same key too, I guess it was to keep the cleaning staff out of our stuff!).

I know, you're all on the floor now. Or at your computer going "Vroom! Vroom! Rev that baby up to its Max, baby!"
post #19 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Yeah, that would be great! CS all day and all night! Man, I'm about to wet my pants right here!!!

Just one question. What the hell is CS?

Counter Strike, I guess? 8)
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post #20 of 69
What is a BIOS???
post #21 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by salmonstk
What is a BIOS???

Basic Input/Output System.

You know, going to google and typing in BIOS isn't that hard.
post #22 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by chris000001
will the new macintels have firewire 800?

These Dont... but the future Mactels will. I dont see what would hold them back from it.
post #23 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by crees!
Man.. wouldn't that be great. Have native Windows emulation and playing CS on your Mac. That's the day. Well.. having CS ported to Mac would be the day.. but until then...

Thus Ryan Gordon's point in his plan file awhile back... if Mac users are willing to go buy XP to dual-boot and play games, you will never see Mac ports of future games. Why would the game companies bother, if you buy it anyway? Major cost savings for them, and no more Mac games.
post #24 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by w_parietti22
These Dont... but the future Mactels will. I dont see what would hold them back from it.

The fact that almost no one uses it is the biggest reason I can see to reduce the cost by omitting it from the Macintels. I wouldn't care much if they were omitted from the PowerPC Macs, either.
post #25 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Booga
The fact that almost no one uses it is the biggest reason I can see to reduce the cost by omitting it from the Macintels. I wouldn't care much if they were omitted from the PowerPC Macs, either.

Of course they will have FW800, hopefully FW1600. The dev board doesn't support it that's all. My ext. drives and my RME audio interface are FW800 thanks very much.
post #26 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Booga
Thus Ryan Gordon's point in his plan file awhile back... if Mac users are willing to go buy XP to dual-boot and play games, you will never see Mac ports of future games. Why would the game companies bother, if you buy it anyway? Major cost savings for them, and no more Mac games.

Well you seem to be batting .500 on stupid/sane comments at the moment. You are quite correct; I think the Mac games market, such as it is, will die completely. And frankly who gives a shit? Games have never sold a single Mac.
post #27 of 69
damn, bios is UGLY
post #28 of 69
I would be interested to know where the warning about the unsupported hardware came from... specifically if it came up before Aqua started. Splicing in an OpenDarwin 8.0.1 kernel would be an interesting thing to try. I wonder if we'll have something like XPostFacto on x86.
post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by vinney57
Of course they will have FW800, hopefully FW1600. The dev board doesn't support it that's all. My ext. drives and my RME audio interface are FW800 thanks very much.

Only thing I use my FW800 port on my G5 for is to plug in my iPod. I use a FW800-400 adapter dongle so I don't have to plug my iPod dock in to my G5's front FW port. Now if I had a snazzy new aluminum display I'd just use its FW ports, but I don't.

I think other people may actually make good use of the port though, and I'm glad its there as far as future-proofing goes.
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post #30 of 69
I don't see the Mac game market collapsing, because dual booting requires you have a copy of Windows. Thats not cheap. Hmm, Spend $200 and then the games or spend $50 (or less) and play the games without having to buy, install, and otherwise mess with Windows. Choices.

Similar outcome with, "no more cross-platform applications" argument. It would actually benefit the Mac game market as developers wouldn't have to worry as much with endian issues. Well after they stop supporting PowerPC
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post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by spyder
Basic Input/Output System.

You know, going to google and typing in BIOS isn't that hard.

Would someone explain to me why Windows uses this and Macs have not in the past. Advantage of BIOS vs whatever else???
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by salmonstk
Would someone explain to me why Windows uses this and Macs have not in the past. Advantage of BIOS vs whatever else???

There are advantages to using BIOS? I think you'd find it is just what they used first and hasn't ever been overhauled.
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post #33 of 69
I remember reading that Mac's used to have a very complicated patent on their old BIOS, and that was why the Mac could not be openly legally cloned, only licensed. It was the Bios that let Compaq steal the IBM PC, and turned the PC world into a over bloated nightmare for years.
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post #34 of 69
Yeah, exactly. The BIOS was something IBM hacked together for the original IBM PC, expecting it to exist only on that hardware. But then it got cloned. And so we still have it today. It still runs in 16 bit real mode. PCs still use the same memory addresses and IRQs they did in 1983. They still have the same limitations (in this regard anyway). It's why I can run MS-DOS 2 on my Xeon if I want.

As Telomar said, it's just what they used first. Like most things x86, it's a hack that just won't go away.

As regards the mac, Apple has used 3 different systems in the past. There was the Nubus ROM, much like a BIOS, except almost completely unconcerned with being compatible with itself. Then, with the first PCI powermacs we got a weird hybrid of the Apple ROM and Open Firmware. With the colored G3s, it started being just Open Firmware. The Apple boot rom contained substantial portions of the OS at various times, but Apple eventually ditched it in favor of the more flexible Open Firmware.

Likewise, Intel et al. have recognized the need to toss the BIOS (which also limits you to 15 IRQs and such things) and replace it with EFI/ACPI. But. in the tradition of x86, few manufacturers have wanted to switch, for compatibility reasons. So ACPI got tacked on to the BIOS, and it's more of a hack job than ever.

EFI and ACPI together make a really nice firmware solution, in many ways similar to (and perhaps better than) Open Firmware, so most people are hoping Apple will adopt it, since they don't need to worry about compatibility.
post #35 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by vinney57
Of course they will have FW800, hopefully FW1600. The dev board doesn't support it that's all. My ext. drives and my RME audio interface are FW800 thanks very much.

FW1600??? that miight be awhile espically since FW800 is realitvely new.
post #36 of 69
I remember the days before Open Firmware macs where you could boot OS 8 off a RAM disk-- 4-6 second boot times!
post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
I guess that means (confirms) if the developer boxes were arriving now that those DELL laptops were actually running pear PC as most of us thought. Add that to the fact that these developers have tried to install it on x86 machines with no luck.

That wasn't PearPC. It was VNC. It's simply the display of an actual Mac shown on the Dell laptop through the network. When a window is minimized to the Dock, you can see large, patterened square distortions -- that's VNC's compression algorithm at work.
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post #38 of 69
whats the deal with "confirming pci-x" or whatever?

my powermac already has pci-x slots
post #39 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by starwxrwx
whats the deal with "confirming pci-x" or whatever?

my powermac already has pci-x slots

Your confusing PCI-X, and PCI-E

PCI-X is already in Macs, and is the upgrade to PCI, but backward compatable.

PCI-E is PCI Express which is the Graphics port Upgrade from AGP, but is not backward compatable with anything.
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post #40 of 69
oh ok cheers for clearing that up
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