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Apple orders Mac sites to remove OS X on x86 videos - Page 4

post #121 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
Ok, I'm curious, how many people here are PC users that are simply desperate for OS X on their boxes?

The same people who haven't given a convincing argument how it's possible for Apple to do that without killing its Macintel computer sales?

Let's suppose the official x86 OS X release is hacked/pirated for non-Macintel systems (quite possible, regardless of any "customer-acceptable" protection schemes). Let's suppose that version has superior performance on systems (homebrew or from other vendors) priced significantly less than the Macintel. I'm interested in hearing speculations about how Apple might respond to that particular not impossible situation instead of just circling some older (sub)topic wagon again.
post #122 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
Better than a similarly clocked/equipped PPC.

Ahh, okay. If I were wagering on any speculation here that's the one I'd put my money on.
post #123 of 188
Re: what the Apple - Intel product will do

What if...

Since Mac OS X does not suffer from having hundreds of legacy x86 apps which need to be supported, it could be compiled for ANY ISA that Intel would make, as long as there was a compiler for it. It wouldn't matter that this hardware wouldn't run x86 binaries natively - there are none for Mac OS X.

Did Jobs say "x86" specifically, or did he just say "Intel"?

What if Intel needs somebody to use a new 64-bit ISA without having to crack x86 instructions into the real micro-ops that the CPU uses? What if Mac OS X could be compiled directly into the native ISA of the chip, bypassing x86 altogether?

And - what if this native ISA would have a full-blown vector unit as powerful as Altivec, abstracted out by the Accelerate framework of Cocoa?

Third-party developers who code with Xcode would not need to do anything - their source code stays the same (unless it has assembler), and their object code is produced by Xcode with an Intel compiler that generates code that is the native ISA of the new Intel chip.

So..

Mac OS X binaries are in the native code of the chip. They won't run on a chip that expects an x86 instruction stream. All of the Mac OS X apps are likewise - PPC or native Intel ISA, no x86.

Future Tiger and Leopard builds won't run on legacy x86, only on the new ISA chip. The chip would still have x86 cracking, so that Windows would run.

Intel and Apple would agree that the ability to run chip's native ISA would only be enabled in Apple chips. It's the exact same chip that Dell would buy, except Dell's chips would only run in the x86 instruction cracking mode. Dell doesn't care, as that is how Windows and all of the existing Windows software wants to run anyway.

Apple computers would run Windows, but OS X would only run on Apples.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #124 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy

Did Jobs say "x86" specifically, or did he just say "Intel"?

He said Intel, but simply in an attempt to prevent people from trying to hack it onto PCs on the whole. It runs on AMD setups.
post #125 of 188
Quote:
Did Jobs say "x86" specifically, or did he just say "Intel"?

I think you are absolutely right.

What you have layed out may or may not be Apple's exact plan, but I do believe they will do something similar.

I seriously doubt Apple will and can't see why they would bog themselves down in x86 legacy.

This is an opportunity for Apple/Intel to do something creative and new.
post #126 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
He said Intel, but simply in an attempt to prevent people from trying to hack it onto PCs on the whole. It runs on AMD setups.

Yeah, but see, when you say "it", you mean the x86 version of Mac OS X. The final product may not be x86 code, but another type of Intel code. As long as Intel has a compiler that compiles it, and that compiler is in Xcode, nobody will care.

Even the developers who insist on staying with CodeWarrior won't have to worry - the Apple chip will still run x86 binaries. Just Mac OS itself would not be an x86 binary.

That's my theory. And I think if Steve in fact never said "x86", then it would be the perfect solution. Intel has no other customers that want the new ISA, because everything is written for Windows and Windows is x86.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #127 of 188
Lundy:

Are you theorizing that Apple will receive different CPU's than everyone else?

Or that Apple will have a different chipset?

Or that Conroe, Merom, and Woodcrest in general will be able to run this new 64 bit ISA?

And Apple will be the only vendor to take advantage of the new ISA.
post #128 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
Brendon you are saying the same thing over and over.

I keep saying it because I believe what I'm saying is true, this time and the next.

Quote:
Originally posted by sjk
So, Apple is going to risk cannibalizing its own computer sales by licensing OS X to other vendors?

I'm not convinced that Apple is as interested in having OS X run on as many different computers as possible as they are in selling as many of their own computers as possible with OS X (and even other OSs) running on them. Of course no one knows what'll happen after the first Intel Macs are released. If profits are too low then licensing OS X might be a worthwhile strategy. Otherwise, the benefits for them (not us ) of doing it any sooner elude me.

I'm not convinced either but I can see that if curtain pieces fall in place there may be no other choice. I believe that I have outlined the numbers earlier in this thread about software. Canablizing would happen but not to the expent that you might think. The profits from software would more than offset the canabilization. The earlier experiment with clones was bad because the hardware locked the market to Mac users only. Again who would try, key word, try a Mac if they would not at least end up with a PC at the end of it if things did not workout. The hardware on the PC side is a commodity the only difference is the software and packaging, ripe for picking. Security issues alone make this a great market. You talk about the current Mac market I talk about Dell selling 5% of their sales to people buying MacOSX machines, as well as Sony, HP, etc., add those numbers up. Apple alone could not supply that market, that is something like 4 to 5 times current sales, ballpark estimating. Apple is removing a big barrer for the switchers by going to x86, this alone could spur a big swing in Apple sales.

Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
Over all the argument for Apple opening OS X is being made by those who want to build their own boxes. Those who are willing to buy expensive components and tweek for their own needs.

This is an alligation.

Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
My last trip I sat with my PowerBook surfing the web.

During the time I wait for my flight, I have three people come to me asking if I were able to get online.

I tell them yes I was online.

They tell me they are having trouble connecting wirelessly to the internet. They are all using PC laptops and Windows.

Two of the people I offer to look at their connection software. I'm not sure if this was the connection software that comes with XP or a third party app, but both were very confusing. One I figured out, but the other was beyond my knowledge.

I showed them both how simple it is to connect using a Mac. How using the Air Traffic Control widget in Dashboard makes it even more simple.

Little snip not to offend. Good story, and my point is that these people may buy a Mac if it was on x86 hardware, which it will be soon enough. They most likely would not buy a Mac if they were locked out of their HW, just in case... Going to x86 alone could spur a big market swing.

I'm including this because it kind of sums up what people are dancing around.
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
Ok, I'm curious, how many people here are PC users that are simply desperate for OS X on their boxes?

Apple is a company that is interested in growing sales, not just making computers for about 4million buyers per year. Why do the switchers? What I see is the PC market full of potential buyers. Let's face it if a person were to buy a PowerPC Mac and they did not like it, what would they do? Sell it? What about all of the wasted time and energy. No if you were a potential switcher and wanted to try a Mac and you were told by the sales person that if you did not like the Mac you could load Windows on this HW and it would run fine, it is after all an Intel PC. Now you risk maybe a little time, and very little money. Again the previous tiime the HW basically locked the cloners and Apple into the same sandbox. In this arena, no, this market is do huge that very little sales of Apple would go to Dell. Apple may be able to grow into this market but it could come so fast that Apple may be compelled to use others to satisfy the market. Security is a huge problem for PC users and they still want to surf and e-mail.

On a personal note: Cube now and a Powerbook prior to that, been on a Mac for the last 8 or 9 years, started with 6 but at the end of 6.
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post #129 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by Brendon
On a personal note: Cube now and a Powerbook prior to that, been on a Mac for the last 8 or 9 years, started with 6 but at the end of 6.

huh? What do you mean? started with 6 but at the end of 6? I don't understand what your saying. That doesn't make any sense.

Anyway, I agree completely with most of what you said. Being able to load Windows on a Mac may help their market share. I just don't think it will work both ways.
post #130 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
There's absolutely no reason to believe that Intel-based Macs will be any cheaper. After all, the only thing that Intel is making is the motherboard and the CPU. If the motherboard became $0.00, that would only be a $70 price drop. And the Intel CPUs are marginally less expensive than the PPC970, and they'll only get more expensive when they become dual-core across the line.

Right now, I'm seeing $1200 as the maximum price for a computer with a sizzling AMD 3800+ and a 7800 Ultra. Do you think a Powermac is going to be cheaper than that? Ever? Didn't think so.

There have been many comparisons on price, I believe that Apple competes very well and in most cases beats PC on price/performance. threads area disaster on PoewerPC but other than that they are very comparable, Barefeets. Apple was in the middle of the pack at the high end and I believe that they are fine on the low end, the only thing that I see that is out of line is the monitor prices, currently. Apple will do just fine in pricing on the Intel side. So currently I think that the Mac is a little cheap for the performance. Maybe a little cheaper on Intel, might as well, since their development costs will plummit. No chipset design and manufacturing costs, even if the manufacturing is out sourced. Apple still had to track those deadlines and shipments to ensure that their assembliers were not waiting on Apple parts. Centrino anyone, it is included with Intel if the customer wants, you provide yourself on the IBM side. Some costs go way down and overall most go down some. I don't care what they do I'm an investor and profit is profit $$$$, grow the market or keep the money either way I win. I would buy a Mac because it is the best value.
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post #131 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
huh? What do you mean? started with 6 but at the end of 6? I don't understand what your saying. That doesn't make any sense.

Anyway, I agree completely with most of what you said. Being able to load Windows on a Mac may help their market share. I just don't think it will work both ways.

Sorry OS6, then were the dark times of 7 wow, bad. OS7.5 much better.
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post #132 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
Lundy:

Are you theorizing that Apple will receive different CPU's than everyone else?

Or that Apple will have a different chipset?

Or that Conroe, Merom, and Woodcrest in general will be able to run this new 64 bit ISA?

And Apple will be the only vendor to take advantage of the new ISA.

Not my questions but...
No different CPUs sorry Intel too big for this.

No different chipset, I think don't kow why they would need one.

ISA?? No the digital rights chip that Intel has will lock this. Apple had little time to prepare for the developer boxes. Utilized fully, every library and every framework could call this chip. Hackers would not bother, too much trouble, or at least very difficult. No need to lock the hardware the chip does that for everyone.
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post #133 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
Lundy:

Are you theorizing that Apple will receive different CPU's than everyone else?

It would only have to be different in that it would run the native ISA as well as the x86 ISA.
Quote:
Or that Apple will have a different chipset?

Nope. The chipset would be exactly the same.
Quote:
Or that Conroe, Merom, and Woodcrest in general will be able to run this new 64 bit ISA?

Depends what you mean by "run". Natively, no customers except Apple.
Quote:
And Apple will be the only vendor to take advantage of the new ISA.

The others can't - all existing apps would have to be recompiled. Not gonna happen. This isn't a problem for Apple, because there aren't any existing x86 apps.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #134 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
Being able to load Windows on a Mac may help their market share.

Which I suggested earlier, especially with business customers not previously buying Macs restricted to running OS X (and Linux) but would consider them if they ran Windows, too. And what if Intel Macs happen to run Windows "better" than comparably priced Dells (etc.)? That's could make things quite interesting. And could MacIntel become a more viable platform for Linux users? Coming up with these unanswerable questions gets too easy.

Quote:
I just don't think it will work both ways.

Both ways, as in Windows running on a Mac but OS X not running on other Intel computers? That's the strategy I believe Apple is intending, at least initially. I think some of lundy's interesting "no x86" speculation would support that. Btw, is x64 an accurate moniker for the ISA in the new Intel chips we've discussed? I used x86 in some previous posts where I probably meant x86/x64.

Of course there are lots of other issues, like supporting operating systems other than OS X on Macs. There's already a niche for that with Linux on PPC systems. With Windows on MacIntel, ... heck, that could be its own topic so enough about that here.
post #135 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
That's my theory. And I think if Steve in fact never said "x86", then it would be the perfect solution. Intel has no other customers that want the new ISA, because everything is written for Windows and Windows is x86.

Your theory and analysis has been particularly interesting, thorough, and convincing to me.
post #136 of 188
If they release a product that supports Linux (as in, they release Linux drivers of AirPort and such..) then I can easily see it becoming a viable option for Linux users.

Right now, when it comes to laptops, Linux users pretty much fluctuate between ThinkPads, HP's, and Toshiba's who all offer support for Linux and even ship laptops with Linux.

I could easily see Linux users using PowerBooks. I would want one to run Linux and OS X.
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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post #137 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
Re: what the Apple - Intel product will do

What if...

Since Mac OS X does not suffer from having hundreds of legacy x86 apps which need to be supported, it could be compiled for ANY ISA that Intel would make, as long as there was a compiler for it.

This is a great post, and with intel announcing a new compiler to bolt in xcode maybe you are looking in the right direction. It would mean then than yonah is out of the loop and merom and its like cored brethren will be the first intel powered jobbies.. I guess thats only another 6 months away from yonah so it might be well worth the wait.
post #138 of 188
Re: my "I'm not convinced that Apple is as interested in having OS X run on as many different computers as possible as they are in selling as many of their own computers as possible with OS X (and even other OSs) running on them" comment.
Quote:
Originally posted by Brendon
I'm not convinced either but I can see that if curtain pieces fall in place there may be no other choice. I believe that I have outlined the numbers earlier in this thread about software.

I don't remember you specifically mentioning that, which isn't surprising considering the length of this thread. If you've got a link I'll go back and read it.
Quote:
Canablizing would happen but not to the expent that you might think. The profits from software would more than offset the canabilization.

I've thought about that and you may well be right. It could also mean undesirably increased concern for Apple with piracy-related issues, which they've already gotten bent about re: the original topic of this thread, among other things. And it's gotten enough out of hand with Windows for Microsoft to recently start taking more aggressive action. More about this at the end.
Quote:
The hardware on the PC side is a commodity the only difference is the software and packaging, ripe for picking. Security issues alone make this a great market. You talk about the current Mac market I talk about Dell selling 5% of their sales to people buying MacOSX machines, as well as Sony, HP, etc., add those numbers up. Apple alone could not supply that market, that is something like 4 to 5 times current sales, ballpark estimating. Apple is removing a big barrer for the switchers by going to x86, this alone could spur a big swing in Apple sales.

Not sure I fully understand all of your thought stream, sorry. An obvious question would be whether Apple is prepared (or preparing) to handle a significant growth spurt ("big swing", as you say) in computer and/or OS X sales, depending on their strategies and what actually unfolds.

From a later post (responding to someone else):
Quote:
ISA?? No the digital rights chip that Intel has will lock this. Apple had little time to prepare for the developer boxes. Utilized fully, every library and every framework could call this chip. Hackers would not bother, too much trouble, or at least very difficult. No need to lock the hardware the chip does that for everyone.

You sound quite convinced about that.

There's plenty of intense activity going on about that and I'm concerned how it may negatively impact Apple customers (including myself) although I haven't followed the topic much (so far). John Gruber goes into it a bit in his "Trusted" (Daring Fireball) article. And Placebo here seems to know a thing or two.

I dislike and would never advocate DRM although I haven't let it stop me from occasionally buying a track from iTMS, knowing there's a "back door" around it (which I'd never abuse) if that ever became necessary (which it hopefully never will).

If Apple does use some form of TCP DRM (or something else) with MacIntel products I'll be seriously investigating it before making any purchases and will recommend that everyone else do the same. I'd much prefer a scenario that plays out similar to what lundy described, hopefully avoiding DRM altogether.
post #139 of 188
And let's not forget that Jobs said they were going Intel not because Intel was faster, or cheaper, or had amazing new features - he said they had a better performance per watt . What kind of CPU has markedly less complexity, fewer transistors, and therefore less power dissipation? A VLIW CPU, of course, with a VLIW compiler. All of the branch prediction and scheduling is done in the compiler, not in the logic circuits of the chip. It might take longer to compile, but who cares? You only compile it once.

That is what the Itanium is, of course, and it also decodes and runs x86 instructions by decoding them into VLIW. But its performance on x86 isn't any better than a P4 yet. And the Windows users and MS are not interested, because there is no way MS is going to recompile Windows for an Itanium-type instruction set - there would not be any apps that would use it. Not to mention convincing all 300 million Windows installations to change to the new version.

It may be something completely new, or an improved/modified Itanium architecture. Or I could be full of shit.

Now what about the developers who are frantically recompiling their PPC apps to Intel x86? Well, their apps run just fine on the P4 now and will still run just fine on whatever the new chip is, as it will still have the x86 decoder.

But Mac OS X will be compiled with the VLIW compiler. And thus it WON'T RUN on P4s, P3s, or AMD anything. The initial versions may be straight x86 of course, but that only gets the hackers addicted to OS X and when Leopard is VLIW only (i.e. Apple only), there is a reason to switch to the Apple hardware.

If developers want to recompile their apps in the future, they can; but there is no ultra-compelling reason to do so - they can't be pirated to a Dell because OS X won't run on a Dell (unless Apple wants to allow Dell to use the VLIW chips under strict co-branding).

There must have been some deal made with Intel other than just the price of the chip - and I think it had to do with Apple getting to make a machine that will run Windows while still keeping OS X completely Apple-only. Intel could have agreed to sell the VLIW chips in x86-only mode to everyone except Apple - nobody else would want the VLIW anyway except people who want to get OS X without buying an Apple machine.

Anybody think of why this wouldn't work?
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #140 of 188
I just had a thought, what would compell Windows users to go out and buy OS X if it were in their market? Most average windows users that I know, don't know or care about their operating system, as long as it does what they need it to do. I try explaining to them how there's something much much better, but they don't seem to get it. They're not gonna dish out over 100 bucks to get another OS when the one they have (sort of) works fine. I'm talking about your average Windows user. The point I'm making is that taking this fact that windows users aren't ever quick to upgrade into consideration. I don't think that apple would be able to support itself on OS sales alone.
post #141 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay

Ill answer.
Just a few...
-Popups (most windows users hate it and some are to dumb to switch to FF)-and they end up buying expeensive software from best buy to stop IE from getting them
-When theyre computer crashes and all there precious family photos they took with there digital camera are gone
-spyware/virus
post #142 of 188
THAT'S WINDOWS, NOT PC HARDWARE.

You guys are brilliant.
post #143 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
I just had a thought, what would compell Windows users to go out and buy OS X if it were in their market? Most average windows users that I know, don't know or care about their operating system, as long as it does what they need it to do. I try explaining to them how there's something much much better, but they don't seem to get it. They're not gonna dish out over 100 bucks to get another OS when the one they have (sort of) works fine. I'm talking about your average Windows user. The point I'm making is that taking this fact that windows users aren't ever quick to upgrade into consideration. I don't think that apple would be able to support itself on OS sales alone.

If you think that no Windows users would install OS X on their PCs, then even less will shell out $1500+ for a new Mac.
post #144 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
If you think that no Windows users would install OS X on their PCs, then even less will shell out $1500+ for a new Mac.

Who knows. Never underestimate the irrationality of customers' purchasing decisions?
post #145 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
But Mac OS X will be compiled with the VLIW compiler. And thus it WON'T RUN on P4s, P3s, or AMD anything. The initial versions may be straight x86 of course, but that only gets the hackers addicted to OS X and when Leopard is VLIW only (i.e. Apple only), there is a reason to switch to the Apple hardware.

If developers want to recompile their apps in the future, they can; but there is no ultra-compelling reason to do so - they can't be pirated to a Dell because OS X won't run on a Dell (unless Apple wants to allow Dell to use the VLIW chips under strict co-branding).

There must have been some deal made with Intel other than just the price of the chip - and I think it had to do with Apple getting to make a machine that will run Windows while still keeping OS X completely Apple-only. Intel could have agreed to sell the VLIW chips in x86-only mode to everyone except Apple - nobody else would want the VLIW anyway except people who want to get OS X without buying an Apple machine.

Anybody think of why this wouldn't work?

Seems it would be in Apple's interest for them to consider such a strategy, assuming it's feasible from both a hardware and software perspective (which we don't fully know, yet). Offhand I don't see any definitive reason, obvious or subtle, why it wouldn't work although someone else may find one.
post #146 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by alliancep.s.i
-When theyre computer crashes and all there precious family photos they took with there digital camera are gone

No system is fully immune to that. Hopefully the victim learns the valuable lesson of making backups.
post #147 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
THAT'S WINDOWS, NOT PC HARDWARE.

You guys are brilliant.

no, you're the brilliant one.

At any rate, I personally think that your average non-technical joe schmo, who hasn't gone to an apple store and seen the light, will buy the cheapest computer he can buy from Best Buy, (or whatever the Best Buy guy can sell him). And he'll use Win XP Home Edition forever. BTW - Don't count on Best Buy selling a Mac very well. They had a Mac Mini set up at our store and it didn't have a keyboard because they sold it! I said, "how will you show spotlight to people?" He said, "What's Spotlight?" This is why Apple is so huge on retail right now. What would happen to all their retail stores if they licensed OS X on PCs?
post #148 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
What would happen to all their retail stores if they licensed OS X on PCs?

Thought I already asked that, adding a wisecrack about them becoming iPod stores. Guess I never posted it.

Anyway, it's yet another reason why I don't see Apple licensing OS X.
post #149 of 188
Lundy I think you are really close to the truth. And there is ample evidence to support your hypothesis.

First of all we have to recognize that Steve Jobs has a big ego and he wants to be second to none. I think thats true. I dont think its a bad trait as long as that ego can be tempered with reason and wisdom. I also think Steve has big ideas: he wants and needs certain freedoms and independence from the PC industry at large to implement his ideas.

Intel has to have some plan that really impressed Steve to switch teams like this. Many including myself dont believe its only because of power consumption.

Second fact. Intel wants to move on from x86. I havent been reading much about Intel for the past few years, so Ive had to catch up the past couple of months. X86 essentially is an old technology, largely the only reason it is still used is because of backward compatibility. The disadvantage of this as new technology is added to x86 little of the old technology is taken away. That has ultimately made x86 very inflexible. X86 cores have millions of transistors. As more transistors are added the chip consumes more power and produces more heat. Then there is the on chip x86 instructions decoder which takes a significant amount of room and power.

Over time billions in R&D are being put into x86 design to work around the problems of x86, and keep it going. There are in fact newer chip architectures which have significantly far more room for growth and innovation. Architectures such as IBMs Power and Intels Itanium.

Intel has also been in a low profile struggle with Microsoft. The two companies dont seem to be headed in the same direction any more. Ive read that new markets such as China are not openly embracing Intel because, to embrace Intel brings Microsoft.

As Lundy said Itanium is based on VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word). VLIW uses software compliers to translate x86 instructions into VLIW instructions. Over the past ten years Intel has invested billions of dollars of development into Itanium architecture. But the Itanium has proven to be largely a failure in the PC market. At this point Itanium is the scrappy step child that most kick around, even calling it the Itanic (Titanic).

Mostly from what I see the Itanium is so scorned because of its attempt to move the PC industry away from x86. I read that its first version was very poor, but has greatly improved over the years. The Itanium is currently used in high end workstations, mainframes, and super computing.

Intel exclaims Itanium is its answer to RISC processors most namely Power PC. Intel needed an answer to the Power 4 architecture which the Mac G5 is based on. Itanium was supposed to be that answer but no one supported it.

CEO of Intel has said:

Quote:
Long term, the architecture Itanium needs to aim at is [IBM's] Power line. We have nothing in our existing 32-bit line capability that can compete with Power. It's a very high performance line.

When Itanium was introduced Intel billed it has its next evolution in chip architecture and a new instruction set (IA-64). Intel was partnered with HP on Itanium design and implementation. Nearly all of the major PC world announced support for Itanium: Microsoft, IBM, SGI, Compaq, SUN.and the list goes on.

In reality all of those companies bailed on Itanium support. IBM obviously because of its competition with Power. The rest largely because of continued support for x86. Even HP is pulling out its support. All of HPs Itanium designers have now gone to Intel, and HP may be bailing on Itanium support altogether.

Intel did not want to implement 64 bit computing into its x86 architecture because it wanted to move the industry over to Itanium which is natively 64 bit. That misstep left AMD room to implement its own AMD64 bit standard, which Microsoft adopted as its 64 bit instruction set in XP 64. To stay competitive that forced Intel to adopt AMD64 in its future line of x86 chips, which it calls EM64T.

Intel is lukewarm on its support for AMD64, calling it a feature enhancement for x86. They still promote Itanium and IA-64 as a fundamental change in architecture.

Today the few working Itanium stations are mostly running Linux. Microsoft has weak server support for Itanium, and cancelled its plans for an XP version running on Itanium. This leaves Intel holding a billion dollar boondoggle.

However what may save Itanium or more specifically VLIW architecture is the advancement of Power PC. IBM can adapt Power architecture in ways that are nearly impossible with x86. That is the reason Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo are using it. Itanium (VLIW) is the only other major architecture that can keep pace.

Intel has made some interesting acquisitions. The original VLIW designs that inspired the Itanium were from a Russian company called Elbrus. Intel bought Elbrus last year, and is integrating its designs into Itanium. HP engineers from the Itanium team were transferred to Intel. And Intel has gained software that allows x86 software to run on RISC microprocessors, which is related to running x86 binaries on Itanium.

X86 cores need out of order execution, have small architectural registers, and the x86 instruction decoder takes a significant amount of energy. Intel Pentium chips have extremely long pipelines, which draw more power and produce more heat.

VLIW chips can be designed with fewer transistors than commonly used in x86 currently, by only using transistors that significantly increase performance, x86 decompiling is done in software that does away with on chip decoders, has a short pipeline, strictly in order execution, and no branch prediction. VLIW chips can use multiple low power cores, larger file registers (SSE can be made to compete and surpass Altivec), and support hyperthreading.

This architecture allows for processors that will run at 2 to 3 Watts and are just as fast. Same as Jobs has described.

To hear this sounds as though Intel is continuing to support and enhance Itanium, inspite of the fact that the PC industry at large is ignoring it.

If you have a great technology that none of the mainstream OEMs will support (because it is too new) who do you call?

Steve Jobs!

Where does Apple come into this? Tom Yager from Info-World describes it.

Quote:
"IBM and Freescale, Apples previous CPU suppliers, both said the same thing about Apples departure: Thank God, now we can get back to serving our other customers. Apple pushed IBM and Freescale to advance PowerPC technology further and faster than the majority of their customers expected or required. I hope Apple makes itself another pain in Intels ass."

At this point Intel is being beaten by Power 5 architecture in the supercomputer scale, and is being beaten on the desktop and lower server scale by AMD. Intel needs a partner to help them innovate.

Strangely enough John C Dvorak predicted this two years ago, and gives as a good explanation as any to why Apple is going with Intel.

Quote:
Itanium. What will be radical is the company's choice of processor. Apple will announce its use of the Itanium chip, which can be used in such a multiprocessor design and will become the first desktop use of the chip. The choice of the Itanium is suggested by four factors.

First, there is zero evidence that Apple is talking to AMDand it would if it were staying with the x86 legacy chips.

Second, Apple likes to make jazzy announcements in which it claims to be the first or the most aggressive in a market. The Itanium fills the bill perfectly, because Jobs can lord it over current PC makers with all sorts of performance claims.

Third, if Apple optimizes the OS X kernel for the Itanium, the likelihood of the Apple OS being ripped off by normal PC users is nil. And finally, by choosing the Itanium, Apple will have an ally in Intel, who will put its design team to work for Apple and perhaps even invest in the company, knowing AMD is not in the picture.

There is no doubt that a MacIntel machine could supplant the Wintel platform. And most likely, the entire hungry Linux community could port all the x86 Linux code to the MacIntel OS within weeks, creating a huge flood of good products.


A Macintel running an Itanium processor would be a huge shift in the computer industry.

First and most obvious would be Apple and Intel working together with Intel processors inside of a Macintosh. Thats weird enough in itself.

Steve Jobs will have teamed with a larger supplier and the ability to have common Intel motherboards using common PC components. Apple will also have the ability to be on the ground floor of pushing another powerful CPU architecture.

With the major PC industry at large treating Itanium as a laughing stock. Apple using Itanium would validate Intel and its investment in VLIW and IA-64. A Macintosh and OS X powered by the Itanium is huge validation and marketing for the platform.

Its doubtful Apple will use the current Itanium design as it was not made for the laptop or low power consumption. Plus the current Itanium line costs $900 to $4000. I imagine Intel will have to design a new line that scales from laptops, desktops, to servers.

As far as the time table I would guess Apple will need to bring laptop and desktop Itaniums right away. They may introduce x86 computers first, but that forces Apple to support three different OS types. PowerPC, x86, and VLIW.

The current developer boxes are to be returned as Apple has said they will be useless in the future. My guess is they will need to switch to Itanium with Tiger in 06.

One potential problem Im not sure of. If OS X is VLIW native to gain optimum performance applications will need to be complied in VLIW instruction set. Of course the chip can decode x86 to VLIW, but the app would be faster if it were VLIW native. It should be easier to recompile from x86 to VLIW than it is to recompile from PPC to x86.

To look at the whole situation it makes sense.

But we will have to wait and see how it all plays out.
post #150 of 188
While there is a certain logic to it all, the dev kit is compiling x86 code and that is specifically what the dev docs say the target is. Doesn't matter what words Steve used in the keynote, the dev docs are the bottom line. VLIW as a target has a different compiled binary and performance profile. The situation too much like the 68K to PPC transition for me to feel that is what Apple is doing in the middle if PPC to x86 transition without telling anyone.
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post #151 of 188
wow dude, you're awesome.
post #152 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by Hiro
While there is a certain logic to it all, the dev kit is compiling x86 code and that is specifically what the dev docs say the target is. Doesn't matter what words Steve used in the keynote, the dev docs are the bottom line. VLIW as a target has a different compiled binary and performance profile. The situation too much like the 68K to PPC transition for me to feel that is what Apple is doing in the middle if PPC to x86 transition without telling anyone.

Agreed, to further that a quote from the Intel is supposed to release something new thread:

Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Sure they did.

The developer docs are all about converting to 32bit X86, optimising for SSE2 or SSE3, endian issues. They aren't about some mythical new non-X86 architecture.

...and time will tell if that's always the case.

The dev machines use P4s why use them if they could have used Itanium? I believe that the target is x86, Intel is going after Itanium, not Apple. At least I don't see that. THW did a piece on Dothan and it runs up with P4s and the rest, while putting out 37W. Yonah, I know my spelling is off, is an improved Dothan core in a two core package. Again I think that the target is x86, the reason that Apple did not talk to AMD is because Apple is also after the rest of the chips, Centrino anyone?
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post #153 of 188
Quote:
the dev kit is compiling x86 code and that is specifically what the dev docs say the target is.

This is the wrinkle in my speculation.

If Apple were planning to use Itanium or some other VLIW variation. Why would they have developer kits compile for x86, and not tell anyone VLIW is the final chip?

There are a few possible reasons for this.

Perhaps the new Itanium chips will not be ready until mid 06 . Apple revealing its use of Itanium would be a huge shock and Jobs would wait to show a working Itanium Macintosh before he tips his hand.

Perhaps recompiling from PPC to x86 is most of the work of the transition.

In the future Intel should have improved the ability of the Itanium to decode x86 binaries much faster than previous versions. If Mac developers do nothing else Itanium will be able to decode their x86 applications and run them. But Im sure applications would still run faster if complied to run natively on VLIW.

When it reveals Itanium to the world Apple would present a way to recompile from x86 to VLIW with little effort from developers.

Admittedly it is a bit convoluted. But it is possible.



Perhaps Macintels will use Merom, Conroe, and Woodcrest. But I cant think of a convincing reason why.

First if Apple were looking at x86 why would they not even consider AMD. Whose processors even into next year should still beat Pentium M and Xeon in performance and power management.

Second the future G6 would have surely been based on IBMs Power 5 architecture.

Why would Apple pass two superior architectures to power future Macs on a family of processors based on Centrino?

I don't understand the logic in that. But it is possible.
post #154 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by Brendon
The dev machines use P4s why use them if they could have used Itanium?

Because as I said......

Quote:
Its doubtful Apple will use the current Itanium design as it was not made for the laptop or low power consumption. Plus the current Itanium line costs $900 to $4000. I imagine Intel will have to design a new line that scales from laptops, desktops, to servers.

Quote:
the reason that Apple did not talk to AMD is because Apple is also after the rest of the chips, Centrino anyone?

The rest of what chips?
And why would Apple want to use Centrino?
post #155 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell

And why would Apple want to use Centrino?

Why not?

Centrino is the whole package: Pentium M, Intel Chipset, and a Wi-Fi card.

Why design your own chipsets when you can get them ready and in excellent condition/quality? Why waste time & money?
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post #156 of 188
I don't believe Apple would make such a huge and sweeping change only to save money on chip sets.

Look at the entire equation.

Going from a G5 to a Centrino is a step backwards in processing power.

Consider the potential of a G6 (Power 5) Centrino is a huge step backwards.
post #157 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
[B]Going from a G5 to a Centrino is a step backwards in processing power.

I beg your pardon? I've never seen a G5 laptop. You know of any? 'Cause that's what Centrino's are. Nevermind that PC manufacturers abuse the brand name. It's meant to be, and it mainly is, Mobile Technology used in laptops.

A 2.13 Ghz Pentium M with Wi-Fi and an Intel Chipset is definitely better than anything offered currently by Apple. And from the looks of it, anything offered by Apple in the future too - prior to their switch.

Quote:
Consider the potential of a G6 (Power 5) Centrino is a huge step backwards.

The potential may be there, but Centrino is a mobile technology, and considering that IBM has proven itself to be unable (or perhaps, unwilling) to offer even a POWER 4 derivative for laptops, I highly douubt that anything that comes from POWER 5 will be available even for PowerMacs, let alone for the Centrino intended market - laptops.
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post #158 of 188
Quote:
A 2.13 Ghz Pentium M with Wi-Fi and an Intel Chipset is definitely better than anything offered currently by Apple.

I'm looking at the future.

Quote:
I've never seen a G5 laptop.

Oh chances are really good that you will.

Even if Apple never developed a G5 laptop that still doesn't mean Centrino is better than all other options.
post #159 of 188
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
[B]I'm looking at the future.

The future is Yonah, and a little later, Merom.



Quote:
Oh chances are really good that you will.

Perhaps I will, but at what, 1.3 Ghz? And the possibilities of that happening are very slim.


Quote:
Even if Apple never developed a G5 laptop that still doesn't mean Centrino is better than all other options.

All other options currently include G4s. You mean to tell me that a 1.67 (or 1.7 as has been reported) G4 with 512 L2 Cache, a 167 Mhz FSB is better than a 2.13 Ghz Pentium M with 2 MB L2 Cache and a 660 Mhz FSB?
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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post #160 of 188
No all other options, means all other options.
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