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Official: Mac OS X Snow Leopard doesn't support PowerPC Macs

post #1 of 161
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Documentation included with copies of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard distributed during Apple's developer conference this week confirm that the next-generation operating system does not presently support Macs with PowerPC processors.

LogicielMac.com has published a screen capture of the PDF-based requirements document included on the Snow Leopard disc that provides a rundown of the system's requirements.

The documentation states that in order to install Snow Leopard, developers must have a Mac computer with "an Intel processor" and at least 512MB of RAM, though additional memory is recommended for development purposes.

The findings confirm an AppleInsider report from last September, which cited people familiar with the ongoing development of Leopard as saying that Mac OS X 10.6 would in all likelihood exclude support for PowerPC processors.

According to the Snow Leopard documentation, the new system will also require an Apple-supplied video card, 9GB of hard disk space, and either an internal, external or shared DVD drive.
post #2 of 161
Wow! Its official.

Now watch as all the complaints from G5 users stream in.

I agree with the move, however.
post #3 of 161
Is it possible that this particular build of 10.6 isn't fully compatible with PowerPC Macs, and that official support will be added in future builds?
post #4 of 161
For get the Intel v. PPC question. The only Apple-specific requirement is:

- Display connected to an Apple-supplied video card

Connected with the missing "Mac" on the OS X banners, does this open the way for other PC manufacturers to offer OS X on their machines?
post #5 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoughBoy View Post

Is it possible that this particular build of 10.6 isn't fully compatible with PowerPC Macs, and that official support will be added in future builds?

In the past, requirements like this have not varied much from the developer builds to the release. All the evidence points to the end of PowerPC support w/ 10.6.

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post #6 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoughBoy View Post

Is it possible that this particular build of 10.6 isn't fully compatible with PowerPC Macs, and that official support will be added in future builds?

Yes! Its absolutely possible. This "It's Official" stuff is pure crap. It will only be official when Apple announces that Snow Leopard is Intel only. Right now a developers preview first release working on Intel only is not good enough evidence in my mind.
post #7 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

You're reading too much into that I think. Its basically saying that it only has drivers for Apple hardware, so that third party GFX card you installed in your Mac Pro won't work.

I'm not sure how relevant it is to this speculation, but the iPhone SDK is Intel only.
post #8 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoughBoy View Post

Is it possible that this particular build of 10.6 isn't fully compatible with PowerPC Macs, and that official support will be added in future builds?

It's possible but unlikely. Apple rarely builds more support in over a development cycle than is initially available, even when they've promised to do so. They usually just end up narrowing the scope as release nears and cut the features entirely. By the time Snow Leopard is released in a year, it will be even less relevant than it is right now.
post #9 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsbeme View Post

For get the Intel v. PPC question. The only Apple-specific requirement is:

- Display connected to an Apple-supplied video card

Connected with the missing "Mac" on the OS X banners, does this open the way for other PC manufacturers to offer OS X on their machines?

You're reading too much into that I think. Its basically saying that it only has drivers for Apple hardware, so that third party GFX card you installed in your Mac Pro won't work.
post #10 of 161
Well you know what to do if you want to run Snow Leo when it comes along then guys? Get an Intel Mac. If you don't want it then I don't see an issue with sticking with Leopard.
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post #11 of 161
It's a PREVIEW. It's not a beta, not even an alpha version. It isn't even a complete build of Mac OS X. A few files have been "snowed", so the developers can have a taste of it and can start playing with it and their apps. The current requierements are and will be subject to change.
post #12 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

Wow! Its official.

Now watch as all the complaints from G5 users stream in.

I agree with the move, however.

Yeah, well.
After they acquired PA Semi I was hoping the PowerPC would stay in, or even end this unfortunate Intel alliance!
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post #13 of 161
bad for edu and xserve. lots of g5s recent in both ecosystems
post #14 of 161
Oh Kasper, you REALLY screwed up on this one.

Developer Previews *USUALLY* run on a subset of the final supported hardware. It's a *PREVIEW*. The fact that PPC isn't mentioned means nothing about what the final shipping product may or may not support.

'Official' may get the clicks, but you really biffed it. It's speculation, nothing more. Jeez.
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post #15 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I See no valid reason why they would remove PPC support only to add it later on. As of right now, we have an official specification list from Apple that states "Intel only." We don't have to wait for JObs to say it on stage before it becomes canon.

Wrong. The early Rhapsody builds, the Dev Previews handed out at WWDC, required certain *models* of Macs to run on. This is normal. They haven't *removed* PPC support, it's that, to minimize their testing at this point in time, they haven't *done* PPC support. They simply turned it off. Checkbox in Xcode.
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post #16 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

Yes! Its absolutely possible. This "It's Official" stuff is pure crap. It will only be official when Apple announces that Snow Leopard is Intel only. Right now a developers preview first release working on Intel only is not good enough evidence in my mind.

I See no valid reason why they would remove PPC support only to add it later on. As of right now, we have an official specification list from Apple that states "Intel only." We don't have to wait for JObs to say it on stage before it becomes canon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

If you don't want it then I don't see an issue with sticking with Leopard.

The problem is that many people feel their current system is now not worth using even though Apple continues to supply updates to the OS. If they want to have a "me first" attitude then you have to pony up the money for being an early adopter and not bitch about getting less tested HW and SW.


Quote:
Originally Posted by guest View Post

Yeah, well.
After they acquired PA Semi I was hoping the PowerPC would stay in, or even end this unfortunate Intel alliance!

There is nothing unfortunate about the move to Intel.
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post #17 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I See no valid reason why they would remove PPC support only to add it later on. As of right now, we have an official specification list from Apple that states "Intel only." We don't have to wait for JObs to say it on stage before it becomes canon.

We only have an specification list for the Developer Preview though, not Snow Leopard itself. I personally won't believe it until its listed on the Apple Snow Leopard page that its Intel only, anything up to then is speculation only. Apple could well have their reasons for limiting the DP to Intel only right now after all, we don't know their internal process.
post #18 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post

Wrong. The early Rhapsody builds, the Dev Previews handed out at WWDC, required certain *models* of Macs to run on. This is normal. They haven't *removed* PPC support, it's that, to minimize their testing at this point in time, they haven't *done* PPC support. They simply turned it off. Checkbox in Xcode.

Your story does show precedence, but I hope you are wrong this time.

Though it's hard to argue with a psychic who is replying to your posts before you even make them. What's up with timestamps AI?
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post #19 of 161
So the integrated graphics card in my MacBook? Will I be able to run 10.6?
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post #20 of 161
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Originally Posted by JoeDRC View Post

So the integrated graphics card in my MacBook? Will I be able to run 10.6?

It'll work fine as it's "supplied" by Apple when you purchased you MB.
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post #21 of 161
I'm a G5 user, but I won't complain. (I will complain if CS4 leaves G5's behind, however.) But I am a bit surprised. After all the trouble to make the OS more chipset-agnostic, why bother to leave the G5s behind so quickly?

Seems a little blatantly hardware sales-driven, on one hand, but a ways down the line on the other, thankfully.
post #22 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Your story does show precedence, but I hope you are wrong this time.

Though it's hard to argue with a psychic who is replying to your posts before you even make them. What's up with timestamps AI?

I'd like to take credit for my prescience and powers of prognostication, but yeah... wth?
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post #23 of 161
IF this is true then apple better have a $800 to $2100 tower then the old g4 and g5 uses can move to as the Imac screen are not that good and the mini is a POS.
post #24 of 161
I don't see this as a bad thing really. I mean the feature set is going to stay the same right? Safari 4 will most likely come out for all platforms back to 10.4.

I work in education and our G5 machines really are starting to seem a little sluggish in comparison to the newer Intel based machines. But in terms of compatibility we'll still be getting Leopard (which we're only upgrading to this year) which will have its usual bug fixes and our newer hardware will be getting an even more optimised version of Leopard (Snow Leopard) to run alongside it.

If they really are not adding features then to our end users they'll all be Leopard.

10.7 is when PPC people have to start thinking about "end of life" hardware issues.

Or am I bonkers?

Perhaps some people don't realise but with Leopard Server, some features already only work correctly/are officially supported with Intel hardware as it is, Podcast Producer being one of them.

I think this idea rocks! I wasn't expecting 10.6 for a long time and really it's probably better to think of 10.7 as 10.6..... if you know what I mean.

Of course, what they do in terms of charging for it is going to be interesting!
post #25 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

IF this is true then apple better have a $800 to $2100 tower then the old g4 and g5 uses can move to as the Imac screen are not that good and the mini is a POS.

Joe

This is June of 09 , not today friend.


I think it's a tough but necessary decision from Apple. While they want to support PPC you have yet another platform (iPhone) taking up an immense amount of resources. Apple likely does not have the headcount to continue throwing engineers on legacy engineering so Carbon must give way to Cocoa and PPC must give way to Intel.

I do agree with Joe_the_dragon on one thing. With the GPU finally gaining some credibility as a general purpose processor it would be nice to see the return of a sub $2k Mac Pro.
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post #26 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post

Wrong. The early Rhapsody builds, the Dev Previews handed out at WWDC, required certain *models* of Macs to run on. This is normal. They haven't *removed* PPC support, it's that, to minimize their testing at this point in time, they haven't *done* PPC support. They simply turned it off. Checkbox in Xcode.

And no shipping Mac that wasn't one of those models was supported by MacOS X 10.0. They did not add support for any shipping Macs... they added support for new Macs, but not any that were already shipping. In fact, they removed support for a couple before 10.0 finally came out.

Apple almost never adds additional support between developer previews and final releases. (Can you actually name a model that support was added for in any preview->final MacOS X release?)
post #27 of 161
I say let PPC die. Do it now.

Before anyone starts to whine, I own 6 of them.

Intel is here to stay for the Mac platform. Microsoft is beginning to learn (we knew it) their OS sucks and they need really to fix it (pronounced "total redo"). MS could possibly beat out OS X 10.6 due to a lack of "touchiness" on the Macs part. But I doubt it.

Apple has said it will focus on enhancing and cleaning up OS X. I agree this is the perfect time to do it. But what they also say is "... Apple is said to be interested less in new features and more on improving the overall speed, stability and security of Macs." Well, since the iPhone is a close family member of OS X, maybe adding touch isn't considered a "new feature". Either way, MS will be dipping its toes in new waters while Apple is taking a system lined with bulletproof glass and replacing it with carbon nanotubes.

If Snow Leopard is going to make Leopard the fastest, most streamlined, and of course prettiest OS out there, it's time to do it. The eye candy of Windows 7's catch-up to the iPhone is a joke. Maybe they can call it something like "Vista i Touched". The problem lies in public perception.

Sadly many of us are fish who'll go after anything shiny even if it's bait. Apple has capitalized on this truth, except they've deviated in one major way - the products are great!
post #28 of 161
Well, I'm convinced. I can't say that it really bothers me though since my heavily upgraded Quicksilver doesn't take too well to OS upgrades. I still have a friend running 10.3 on a G3 iMac and the OS still gets the job done.

I actually hesitated to upgrade to Leopard, because the perks were so marginal. If I would go back I'm not sure that I'd be missing anything at all; 10.6 seems to be even less important of an upgrade. I'm an Apple fan, but charging $139 for what seems to be the equivalent of an MS service pack doesn't jive too well with me.

The real downer won't be when Apple drops PPC support from OS X, but when developers decide it's not worth their time supporting 10.5 and lower, or making universal binaries.
post #29 of 161
If you're still hoping for PPC support, you're fooling yourself.

By the time Snow Leopard ships, Apple will have been selling Intel machines for more than 3 years. That's a significant amount of time. Plus, building PowerPC support into Snow Leopard would completely defeat the purpose of Snow Leopard, which is to create a tech foundation for years to come.

Many of Snow Leopard's features wouldn't even apply to 3 and 4 and 5 year old Macs--for instance, Grand Central is designed to increase efficiency of multi-core Macs that use 4 cores *and beyond*. Only a handful of PPC Macs have 4 cores, much less two, so how would Grand Central really pay off for such old machines?

Really, you think Apple is going to bother thinking about a dead architecture, more than 3 years gone, as it builds a foundation for OS X 7, OS X 8, etc.? It's just not going to happen.
post #30 of 161
im not sure what all the complaints are for. if it's just like a SP, 10.6 will be useless to most people and in their eyes, not worth the 130-150 dollar price tag.

im sure by the time 10.7 comes out, most everyone will have updated their computers.
post #31 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I See no valid reason why they would remove PPC support only to add it later on.

Here's the reason: If Apple promises PPC support now, then tests it later and finds out performance is too buggy/slow, it can't pull that support without angering the G4/G5 masses. Best to wait to test actual builds (as well as gauge actual demand a year from now) before making an official decision. Then developers can find out exactly where the "end of life" hardware line should be drawn.

Every OS X version has been cross-ported on both PPC and Intel internally at Apple, I don't see why that would change now. I do think 10.6 will be the last PPC OS though: The first "true" Intel-only OS will be a different name because it'll be that big of a marketing deal from Apple's viewpoint.
post #32 of 161
I bought this machine in 2002, and it's running solid with Leopard (albeit with a CPU upgrade and a few other additions) even today. Getting 7 to 8 years out of a machine isn't something to be mad about. Just because your Mac won't run the latest and greatest OS anymore doesn't mean it's by any means obsolete or useless. I can easily see this machine being speedy and useful until the end of 2009.

If your Mac can run 10.4 or greater I'd say you'll be safe for sometime to come. The latest bells and whistles? Perhaps not, but your day to day computing grind won't be hindered.
post #33 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by k2director View Post

Many of Snow Leopard's features wouldn't even apply to 3 and 4 and 5 year old Macs--for instance, Grand Central is designed to increase efficiency of multi-core Macs that use 4 cores *and beyond*. Only a handful of PPC Macs have 4 cores, much less two, so how would Grand Central really pay off for such old machines?

My G5 has four cores. Quad 2.5 GHz and it's a damn fast machine. Much faster than the dual core intel iMac (with the stupid reflective screen) I have at work, so it's still a machine which is very much worth keeping. Why should I be forced to upgrade to a slower intel machine?

Quote:
Really, you think Apple is going to bother thinking about a dead architecture, more than 3 years gone, as it builds a foundation for OS X 7, OS X 8, etc.? It's just not going to happen.

I'd be interested to see them try and abandon us. I seem to remember Steve Jobs saying PPC Mac would be supported for 5 years after the intel ones arrived. The lawyers must be rubbing their grubby hands in glee - can anyone say "class action"?
post #34 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charybdis View Post

If they really are not adding features then to our end users they'll all be Leopard.

10.7 is when PPC people have to start thinking about "end of life" hardware issues.

Personally I don't understand why some users are clinging to their PPC systems for dear life.
Its an old platform and in terms of speed and performance it makes sense to upgrade.

New systems might be expensive but with a better spec its an investment in my eyes
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post #35 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

And no shipping Mac that wasn't one of those models was supported by MacOS X 10.0. They did not add support for any shipping Macs... they added support for new Macs, but not any that were already shipping. In fact, they removed support for a couple before 10.0 finally came out.

True. However, the point stands that looking at the requirements for a Developer Preview of a technology as the final requirements is not valid.

Quote:
Apple almost never adds additional support between developer previews and final releases. (Can you actually name a model that support was added for in any preview->final MacOS X release?)

XGrid. When it first came out in preview, my PowerBook G4 was not supported. I was quite cross, because I was looking forward to trying it out with my research tools. It was supported in a later build, and the final version. Not a full OS, but there is precedent for adding models closer to shipping. This makes sense, really - hammer out the testing of the main functionality on a subset to limit your testing load, then add in new, broader support once the basics are in place. Slower hardware that is useful for preview may get left behind as unsuitable for performance reasons for the final release, of course, but I don't think that's the case here.

Now, if the headline was "Official: MacOS X Snow Leopard Developer Preview doesn't support PowerPC Macs" I'd consider it a true statement. But that's not the thrust of the article. Until the final version ships, I don't think we can call this one way or another. Is it possible PPC will be dropped? Absolutely. It is OFFICIAL? Hardly.
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post #36 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There is nothing unfortunate about the move to Intel.

...unless you consider that Apple was still selling G5's as recently as 2 years ago. Yes, Apple has over the years abandoned old hardware as new OS'es were released. But I cannot think of a time when the gap between hardware sale and OS abandonment was this short. Heck, Tiger still booted G3's. Leopard still booted 867Mhz G4's. Both of those were WAY more than 2 years old. This is unprecedented and as such is bound to set a few more people off than past releases.
post #37 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkAllan View Post


I'd be interested to see them try and abandon us. I seem to remember Steve Jobs saying PPC Mac would be supported for 5 years after the intel ones arrived. The lawyers must be rubbing their grubby hands in glee - can anyone say "class action"?

5 years yes, think about it... Snow Leopard is not going to offer any new features.. The feature set between PPC and Intel will be the same.. While the Intel machines get a performance boost..

Considering the last PPC machines were released in 2006 and Snow Leopard will be out in 2009, it will likely be another 1 to 2 years after that before the next big cat with actual "new features" is released..

So were likely looking at 2011 before an OS with new features that the PPC can't run will be out.. That still gives the last of the PPC machines a 5 year lifespan.

Pretty reasonable.
post #38 of 161
I think many of us feel bitter about the death of PPC for two reasons.

First, it's a defeat or sorts. PPC was something Apple had a personal investment in. It was made, to some extent, for us (though, obviously not exclusively). x86 never felt good enough for Macs because it wasn't custom, it wasn't something made specifically with us in mind. The move to x86 just marked this feeling of mediocrity, and the failure of PPC: the great hope.

I don't like to see Apple at the whims of someone like Intel who has so many other interests. Not to say the situation was any better with Motorola and IBM. Perhaps this acquisition of PA Semiconductor will bring us back to the glory days when a 400mhz G3 beat the pants off a Pentium II. That's what a lot of us wish for.

We have the upper hand the OS arena, and even in the design arena -- but when it comes to hardware, we have the same stuff the generic PC folks have. It's so similar, that the PC folks are throwing OS X onto any old beige box. A lot of us want to go back to the days when everything about Mac was better -- period, not just the OS and looks of the machines.
post #39 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

I think many of us feel bitter about the death of PPC for two reasons.

First, it's a defeat or sorts. PPC was something Apple had a personal investment in. It was made, to some extent, for us (though, obviously not exclusively). x86 never felt good enough for Macs because it wasn't custom, it wasn't something made specifically with us in mind. The move to x86 just marked this feeling of mediocrity, and the failure of PPC: the great hope.

I don't like to see Apple at the whims of someone like Intel who has so many other interests. Not to say the situation was any better with Motorola and IBM. Perhaps this acquisition of PA Semiconductor will bring us back to the glory days when a 400mhz G3 beat the pants off a Pentium II. That's what a lot of us wish for.

We have the upper hand the OS arena, and even in the design arena -- but when it comes to hardware, we have the same stuff the generic PC folks have. It's so similar, that the PC folks are throwing OS X onto any old beige box. A lot of us want to go back to the days when everything about Mac was better -- period, not just the OS and looks of the machines.


Bitter? Defeated? Thats absolutely ridiculous..

A Mac is a Mac regardless of who is supplying the CPU chips.. When PPC fell way behind, Intel was the best decision Apple could have made. Today's machines are the best machines they've ever built. Updates are frequent and we've got amazing performance across the line, especially for notebooks.. Something that could have never been done with PPC.

It's time to get over the nostalgia.

And BTW: Most of the Intel chips are made, to some extent, for us as well (though, obviously not exclusively.) Think MBA. Apple told Intel what they wanted, Intel delivered it.
post #40 of 161
For those wondering why Apple would do this when it clearly already had PPC support before, the answer is simple: resources.

Apple currently has 4 sets of system libraries it has to maintain: 32-bit PPC, 64-bit PPC, 32-bit Intel, and 64-bit Intel. Each of these has to be completely tested with each release (including updates). That is a HUGE strain on Quality Assurance resources.

Dropping the PPC will cut that in half, literally.

The other thing that comes with supporting PPC/Intel and 32/64-bite environments all at the same time is OS bloat. Leopard Installer now comes on a Dual-Layer DVD. I think one of the reasons for this is because of all these system libraries that are needed.

As a bonus, all the apps can be slimmed down as much. It won't be a 50% savings (like it is with not having to test 2 additional flavors of the OS), but it will dramatically trim down the size of the OS to more a manageable size again -- even as new features get added.

Those saved resources ultimately leave room for better QA on future OS releases. Some folks have talked about Leopard not being ready for prime time and I think this is directly due to the QA resource issue. Apple is realizing this and solving the problem by moving to Intel-only.

Also, I think this is good for small developers too. The QA resource squeeze affects them more as they don't usually have the money/time to test PPC/Intel the way that a larger company can.

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