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How do you think it's going to work? (Intel Macs, expansion, and PC components)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Basically, once one buys their Intel-based Powermac, will they be able to dissassemble it and replace the processor and put a PC graphics card in it, just as they'd be able to do with a Dell? Where does the Trusted Computing module reside: on the processor, the motherboard, or somewhere else?

Right now what I'm afraid of is that Intel Macs will crippled and restrained by Apple to make them just like the Macs that preceded them, that is, incompatible with PC parts, just to ensure that everybody will trash their Mac for a new one in three or four years, forbidding that processors could be replaced.

Also, will the graphics cards in the Intel Macs be Mac or PC cards, as far as the ROM on the card is concerned? I'd guess PC cards since the architecture is now a standard PC architecture, and because Linux uses PC graphics cards installed in a PC, but I can't be sure. I assume that if there are the proper drivers, a PC graphics card, OEM or not, should work on a Mac. Otherwise, it will just work in VESA fallback mode, and function fully in a Windows boot of the same machine.

I hope there isn't a special strain of PC graphics card that costs $200 more than the Mac one, as is the current situation.
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Basically, once one buys their Intel-based Powermac, will they be able to dissassemble it and replace the processor and put a PC graphics card in it, just as they'd be able to do with a Dell? Where does the Trusted Computing module reside: on the processor, the motherboard, or somewhere else?


Obviously we don't know all the answers yet as everyone is waiting for the real hardware.

As to replacement and upgrade hardware you will still have the issue of drivers. Hopefully this won't be as bad as it currently is. I do forsee many Mac ONLY hardware dealers going out of business though. It will be pretty hard to justify those high prices for the same hardware.
Quote:

Right now what I'm afraid of is that Intel Macs will crippled and restrained by Apple to make them just like the Macs that preceded them, that is, incompatible with PC parts, just to ensure that everybody will trash their Mac for a new one in three or four years, forbidding that processors could be replaced.

I'm not sure where this feeling comes from. Apple has been using more or less generic parts for some time now. Sure things are unique on the motherboard but a good portion of the hardware in a Mac is the same as what you would see in a PC. That is today I just see more compatiblity down the road.

As for upgrades I supsect that Apple will err on the side of reliability. I'm not convinced that they are motivated by the need to get people to trash their machines. The current machines are a result of the G5 boondoggle, there simply isn't much of a market for 970 processors. Now this doesn't mean that Apple won't continue to solder processors into the motherboards, just that their motivation is reliability not something darker. There is a reason that independant testing groups rate Apple highly with respect to repairs and service, in many cases they do build a better PC.
Quote:

Also, will the graphics cards in the Intel Macs be Mac or PC cards, as far as the ROM on the card is concerned? I'd guess PC cards since the architecture is now a standard PC architecture, and because Linux uses PC graphics cards installed in a PC, but I can't be sure. I assume that if there are the proper drivers, a PC graphics card, OEM or not, should work on a Mac. Otherwise, it will just work in VESA fallback mode, and function fully in a Windows boot of the same machine.

Agian I can't say for sure as we don't know what Apples future plans are. I would suspect that they will go with standard cards. Reports from the net about cracked versions of OS/X pretty much suggest that standard components will be the wave of the future. That isn't a shipping product though so it is still wait and see.
Quote:


I hope there isn't a special strain of PC graphics card that costs $200 more than the Mac one, as is the current situation.

Well that is the real promise of the new hardware. As I mentioned in another thread I expect to see many Mac only hardware suppliers going out of business!

Dave

Thanks
Dave
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Basically, once one buys their Intel-based Powermac, will they be able to dissassemble it and replace the processor and put a PC graphics card in it, just as they'd be able to do with a Dell? Where does the Trusted Computing module reside: on the processor, the motherboard, or somewhere else?

For the "Power Mac/Intels," Apple will use whatever component architecture Intel provides, which is likely a PGA CPU part and PCIe graphics cards. This means CPUs and graphics cards can be changed out given that the drivers are there. I really really doubt Intel will custom produce a BGA part for Apple alone. If Intel has BGA Conroe, Woodcrest parts, well, that's a different story.

A security module will likely be soldered on to the motherboard, hanging off an onboard bus.

Quote:
Right now what I'm afraid of is that Intel Macs will crippled and restrained by Apple to make them just like the Macs that preceded them, that is, incompatible with PC parts, just to ensure that everybody will trash their Mac for a new one in three or four years, forbidding that processors could be replaced.

It's probably likely that the only truly upgradable PowerMac/Intels in the >2000$ range. Everything else will be what you see now: small form factor machines where upgradability is pretty low on anyone's priority list.

Quote:
Also, will the graphics cards in the Intel Macs be Mac or PC cards, as far as the ROM on the card is concerned?

All graphics cards will be PC graphics cards. They are virtually interchangeable now short of graphic card ROM flash. When Apple move to Intel architecture, and if the machine has a graphics card slot, any [PCIe] graphics card can be used given drivers are available.
post #4 of 5
And actually, upgradability of Macs isn't too bad. Sure, I haven't seen any aftermarket G5 processor updates, but those machines are new. I've swapped CPUs in G4 machines a couple of times, and it wasn't too bad. RAM and drives are all generic.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally posted by cubist
And actually, upgradability of Macs isn't too bad. Sure, I haven't seen any aftermarket G5 processor updates, but those machines are new. I've swapped CPUs in G4 machines a couple of times, and it wasn't too bad. RAM and drives are all generic.

The reason that you haven't seen any G5 upgrades is that each PPC 970 must be custom-mated with its cooling unit.
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