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Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: the future of 64-bit apps

post #1 of 44
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Snow Leopard's across-the-board leap to 64-bits, from the kernel to all of its bundled apps, will make more memory available and boost performance. However, Apple will also need to manage its 64-bit lead and organize its developers. Here's why.

Following the initial introduction to 64-bit computing leading up to Snow Leopard, a second segment outlining issues related to the amount of RAM that can be installed and actually used by the system, and a third segment examining how much memory a specific app can use and how performance will improve with 64-bit addressing, this fourth segment will look at how the market for 64-bit apps is unfolding and how Apple has pioneered 64-bits on the desktop.

Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: 64-bits
Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: 64-bits, Santa Rosa and the great PC swindle
Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: Twice the RAM, half the price, 64-bits
Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Future of 64-bit Apps

The rise of 64-bit desktop CPUs

Apple took an early lead in providing 64-bit support for desktop computers with Mac OS X Panther and the PowerMac G5 in 2003, which enabled users to tap into the G5's 64-bit instruction set. At that time, Intel's 64-bit strategy was Itanium IA64, but every year the outlook for the IA64 architecture got worse. Microsoft released an IA64 version of Windows XP, but nobody was buying any Itanium workstations so it didn't really matter. In 2002, HP bragged a distant lead in selling Itanium workstations (without stating exactly how many), but by 2004 it had dumped the entire line.

Alongside the new G5, AMD introduced the first processors using its new AMD64 architecture: the server-oriented Opteron in April 2003 and the desktop Athlon 64 in September. AMD64 enhanced the existing x86 family of CPUs with 64-bit instructions and other improvements rather than trying to replace it outright, as Intel had with the Itanium IA64. The industry had already aligned behind Itanium at great expense, so AMD's technology looked unlikely to make any headway in the PC world. In late 2000 a pundit in Windows IT Pro wrote, "Seeing Microsoft adopt the AMD chip is about as likely as seeing pigs fly." (Clash of the 64-Bit Architectures)

Itanium's EPIC failure (late, expensive, and underpowered) was crushed by AMD's Sledgehammer when Microsoft announced it would port Windows XP to AMD64 in 2003, and Intel was forced to sheepishly follow behind AMD and implement the same architecture in its chips. Intel began calling its version of AMD's technology "EMT64T," but AMD, Intel, and Microsoft eventually agreed to rename the new 64-bit PC architecture as x64.



The developing market for 64-bit systems

Microsoft wasn't able to ship its first x64 version of Windows XP until the second quarter of 2005. By then, Apple had shipped two years of PowerMac G5s, introduced its Xserve G5, greatly enhanced its 64-bit support in Mac OS X Tiger (adding the ability to address vast new 64-bit virtual memory spaces), and had even been shipping the iMac G5 to consumers for nine months. Many G5 Mac users were benefitting from a 64-bit OS without even knowing it before the 64-bit version of Windows XP appeared for early adopters of x64 PCs.

However, the pace of IBM's G5 development had begun to slip, and so shortly after the initial shipment of Windows XP x64, Apple announced its plans with Intel to migrate to x86, initially to dodge the larger bullet of stagnant G4 development that had hampered Apple's laptop line, but eventually to migrate from the G5 to the very promising 64-bit CPUs Intel had in the pipeline for the next fall.

In 2006, Apple transitioned its entire product line to Intel, and over the following year it moved even its desktop and laptop systems entirely to Intel's 64-bit Core 2 processors. It also released Mac OS X Leopard, with additional support for graphical 64-bit apps in addition to the existing 64-bit servers and 64-bit virtual memory found in earlier systems.

Despite two and a half years of Windows XP x64, and nearly two more years of Windows Vista x64, Microsoft has still seen only minor adoption of its 64-bit computing platform. Apple is now five years deep into delivering a 64-bit OS for consumer hardware, and has moved to selling 64-bit hardware across the board for over a year. Will Apple be able to take any advantage of that lead?

The 64-bit APIs

While 64-bit hardware, virtual memory, and related improvements benefit even 32-bit software running on Mac OS X, the greatest advantage comes when running 64-bit software, particularly on Intel Macs, where a combination of factors combine to result in a significant overall improvement when using both 64-bit hardware and software. That makes the release of 64-bit Mac apps an important topic.

Apple's cancelation of portions of 64-bit Carbon hamstrung legacy code developers such as Adobe, meaning that Photoshop CS4 will only be available as a 32-bit app on the Mac. Currently, the only 64-bit apps Apple ships with Leopard are Xcode, Chess, Java, and Quartz Composer.

Snow Leopard, which will run on both 32- and 64-bit Intel Macs, will deliver 64-bit apps across the board (that is, universal "32/64-bit apps" that run on either architecture appropriately). That will give a nice boost to users of 64-bit Intel Macs (most of the Macs sold over the last two years), who have so far been hampered by the TLB flush issue currently affecting 32-bit apps, as described in the previous segment.

New 64-bit apps on Snow Leopard will get an even bigger boost from being able to take advantage of the additional registers on x64 that are so desperately missing from the 32-bit x86 architecture (but not PowerPC).

The significant boost that comes from recompiling Intel Mac apps as 64-bit, added to the relative ease in delivering them and the increasingly large share of the Mac installed base running a 64-bit OS, should result in lots of new support for 64-bit apps over the next year. Additionally, a lot of the code that would benefit most from 64-bits is from the open source world, making Mac OS X's compatibility with the LP64 model used by 64-bit Linux useful as well.

On page 2 of 2: What About Proprietary Apps?; More 64-bit Macs?; and Can Apple maintain its 64-bit lead?

What About Proprietary Apps?

Apple still hasn't said anything about when its own Pro Apps will move to 64-bit. Aperture, Final Cut Studio, and Logic Studio are all prime candidates for the move, as they handle huge data sets that demand fast and wide access to RAM.

Final Cut Pro and Logic both use the same Carbon API that Photoshop does, so it will be interesting to see how quickly Apple can eat its own Cocoa dog food, or whether Adobe's complaints about Carbon are also a serious problem for Apple, too. If not releasing 64-bit Carbon really was a show stopper for developers, Apple not only knows their pain but would also be experiencing it firsthand itself.

Interestingly, Adobe has already delivered a 64-bit version of Lightroom, an app which was written from scratch using Cocoa and therefore easier to release as 64-bit. Apple still hasn't delivered a 64-bit version of Aperture, which is Lightroom's main competitor. Aperture along with the Logic Studio and Final Cut Studio apps will likely be updated this winter or in the spring, and should make the move to 64-bits at that time, although Apple hasn't committed to that. Along with the late summer release of Snow Leopard, 2009 looks like it will be the year of 64-bit apps. Two weeks ago, Maxon released its CINEMA 4D R11 as a 64-bit Cocoa app.

Windows is seeing new interest in 64-bits as well, in part because the limitations of 32-bit memory are more onerous on Windows, where there's no relief for the MMIO or 2GB app limit problems, and no PAE relief either. However, Microsoft's 64-bit strategy suffers a lot of compatibility problems from third party hardware vendors that Apple doesn't have to deal with in many cases. Mac OS X only has to run on a limited number of premium hardware machines from one vendor.

Adobe hasn't released a 64-bit Flash Player plugin for the Mac either, which will force users back into running the 32-bit version of Safari in order to see animated ads and YouTube videos. Of course, Apple might prefer to see Flash go away on the desktop entirely, just as it killed off Flash on the iPhone.

More 64-bit Macs?

Window's 64-bit problems explain why Microsoft reported only seeing 5.18% of the traffic to its Windows Update servers as coming from users of Windows Vista x64 this June, a year and a half after Vista went on sale, and three years after the company introduced its x64 platform. Microsoft reported this as a huge "percentage of increase" in 64-bit users over its previous figures which were even worse, but it really indicates something far more interesting: the installed base and market for 64-bit Vista is smaller than 64-bit Mac OS X.

Apple said this summer that 89% of its installed base is running Tiger or Leopard. And while an increasing number of PCs are shipping with 64-bit hardware, all of Apple's Mac models are now 64-bit and have been for nearly two years. Apple is also growing at around 40% while the PC industry as a whole is plodding along at a much slower pace. Gartner tells us that 70% of new PCs are being sold to the enterprise, a market segment that takes Vista off and installs its own image (keeping Vista's enterprise adoption rate at an abysmal 8.8% in June). Rejection of Vista, combined with Microsoft's less than stellar 32-bit compatibility, is resulting in the Windows PC market only slowly moving to 64-bit hardware, and even then often still running a 32-bit OS.

Apple has 3.5% of the worldwide market for PCs and servers, and 8% of the US market. What percentage of the world wide market for PCs is hitting Microsoft's Windows Update servers? Apparently not much of the enterprise market (70%), where companies provide their own Windows Update proxy servers for their own PCs. And scratch out the botnet PCs and anyone who doesn't update regularly or automatically. That leaves it pretty clear that only a minor fraction of a minority subset of PCs are running 64-bit Vista.

Valve's Steam, which runs surveys of its serious PC gamers, reports only 3.3% of its users are running any version of 64-bit Windows. Gamers tend to buy premium machines and would be among those mostly likely to benefit from 64-bit Windows; a full 15% were running Vista. Still, that affluent, early adopter, power user crowd had less 64-bit representation than Macs have in the entire worldwide market of PCs and servers.

Can Apple maintain its 64-bit lead?

Apple's early lead in 64-bit desktops with the G5 appeared to have an uncertain future for a few months during in the transition to Intel Macs, but the company has built upon its pioneering 64-bit technical progression to aggressively move its users to 64-bit hardware running a 64-bit OS.

After introducing 64-bit Intel Macs and servers in 2006, Apple made 2007 its year of ubiquitous 64-bit Mac hardware and 2008 a year of 64-bit development. Snow Leopard looks likely to help make 2009 the year of 64-bits apps. With all of its PC competitors tied to Microsoft, Apple has the potential to deliver 64-bit performance and compatibility that set the company apart, if it can deliver the apps necessary to take full advantage of its lead.

post #2 of 44
Um, you kinda doubled this post.

nice read, though...

I wonder -- is there anything beyond the transition to 64-bit with snow leopard... should someone with a core duo macbook pro even consider buying this upgrade?
post #3 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

I wonder -- is there anything beyond the transition to 64-bit with snow leopard... should someone with a core duo macbook pro even consider buying this upgrade?

I don't think there is. And I don't think Apple really needs to support Core Duo Macs in Snow Leopard. 64-bit support isn't there. The other major features of Snow Leopard are Grand Central for improved threading, but Core Duos only have 2 cores and Jobs said that developers multithreading for 2 or 4 cores isn't that much of a problem but doing more than 4 cores is. So Grand Central is really targetted for scalability for more than 4 cores like in dual quad core Mac Pros or future HT enabled quad core chips and wouldn't really benefit a computer only having 2 cores. The other feature is OpenCL, but that seems to be targetted on ATI 2000 series and nVidia 8000 series and up while Core Duo Macs used either the GMA 950, ATI X1600 or nVidia 7600 which won't be supported. The main reason Apple would support Core Duo Macs in Snow Leopard is to avoid complaint's of early Intel Mac adopters. But realistically they should probably not bother can just focus on 64-bit Intel.

And in terms of 64-bit adoption in Windows, I think Vista x64 is going to pick up very fast. My recent trips to Futureshop and Best Buy in Canada, I've noticed that a significant number of laptops there now have 4GB of RAM and are actually shipping with Vista x64 to make use of it. It's true that 64-bit Windows adoption may have been slow up to now, but it won't be for long. The advantage of Snow Leopard though is that if Apple makes it 64-bit only, then Apple can market it as such and people will know it as a feature. Whereas, Vista and Windows 7 will still be in both x86 and x64 editions so the message is diluted.
post #4 of 44
If the serious gamer's market is so large and really really could benefit from using a 64bit OS. And since OS/X "only runs on a few premium models", why wouldn't Apple want to aim straight at this segment and make a big dent in MS's market share? Apple would just sell many many more Macs (it's a HW company, right?) than it does now, MacGame Pro! Just think about it.
post #5 of 44
How long before the iPhone is 64 bit powered?
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #6 of 44
I would purchase Snow Leopard today...if I could.
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Final Cut Pro and Logic both use the same Carbon API that Photoshop does, so it will be interesting to see how quickly Apple can eat its own Cocoa dog food, or whether Adobe's complaints about Carbon are also a serious problem for Apple, too.

That's the million dollar question right there. All the 64 bit hype and whining about Adobe mean nothing as long as Apple hasn't adopted 64 bit for ANY of their apps.

These articles have gone on and on and on about the alleged advantage of 64 bit on the mac side. But while PC users have had some serious 64 bit apps for a couple years now (including plugin developers updating to it), there's practically nothing available for OSX users. Real world use is the only thing that matters, not hype or statistics, and there's no question that OSX lags way behind in applications that actually take advantage of the improvements.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
And in terms of 64-bit adoption in Windows, I think Vista x64 is going to pick up very fast. My recent trips to Futureshop and Best Buy in Canada, I've noticed that a significant number of laptops there now have 4GB of RAM and are actually shipping with Vista x64 to make use of it. It's true that 64-bit Windows adoption may have been slow up to now, but it won't be for long. The advantage of Snow Leopard though is that if Apple makes it 64-bit only, then Apple can market it as such and people will know it as a feature. Whereas, Vista and Windows 7 will still be in both x86 and x64 editions so the message is diluted.

If you order anything from HP's store, they all come with 32 or 64-bit Vista and drivers for the same cost. If you order the "Quick Ship" default option or leave things at their default "recommend" settings, you get 64-bit Vista on all but the lowest-end machines. If you choose to configure instead of using Quick Ship, you can still select 32-bit Vista if you have some obscure equipment that they don't develop drivers for anymore, though.

The claim that 64-bit Windows has widespread driver problems and is used infrequently would have been true at the beginning of the year. Now its market share and driver support are at least as good as MacOS X.
post #9 of 44
Comments in yesterday's article said that Snow leopard will require a minimum of a Core 2 Duo. Today's says that it will run on a 32bit Intel Mac, just better on the 64bit. I have 2 Macbook Pros with Core Duo CPUs. Are they dead ends, or will they be able to at least run the next release of OS X?
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Along with the late summer release of Snow Leopard, 2009 looks like it will be the year of 64-bit apps.


Is Snow Leopard late already?

An April 2009 launch of Snow Leopard would be best, but it was my impression that a May-June 2009 launch was scheduled.

Of course, my secret hope was a surprise MacWorld 2009 launch, but I acknowledge that it was possibly unrealistic.

So, late Summer 2009 sounds a bit late, doesn't it?

post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Of course, my secret hope was a surprise MacWorld 2009 launch, but I acknowledge that it was possibly unrealistic.

So, late Summer 2009 sounds a bit late, doesn't it?

MacWorld won't happen. The developer builds haven't even hit yet. Unless everyone is being unbelievably quiet about it, all we've seen is screenshots from the Preview build that was given to attendees of the WWDC keynote. Even WWDC 2009 seems unrealistic at this point.
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post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Dodel View Post

Comments in yesterday's article said that Snow leopard will require a minimum of a Core 2 Duo. Today's says that it will run on a 32bit Intel Mac, just better on the 64bit. I have 2 Macbook Pros with Core Duo CPUs. Are they dead ends, or will they be able to at least run the next release of OS X?

Apple has made it very clear that Snow Leopard will support 32-bit Intel Macs, and it might even ship a PowerPC build just to sell more copies (because it would have nearly zero benefit for G5 users, it is unlikely that Apple would release SL as a quad binary (PPC+Intel x 32+64), and why ship it for G4 users? That indicates SL will most likely only be delivered as (32+64, Intel only).

Comments about SL not supporting 32-bit Core Solo/Duo were uninformed speculation and are in error.

Apple announced SL would ship "in about a year" at WWDC. That indicates it will ship to developers at WWDC, and then to consumers likely around the same time Leopard did: Sept-Oct. By that time, the newest G5s will be +3 years old but oldest 32-bit Core Macs will only barely be 3 years old.

Not shipping PPC SL would also help Apple focus on testing and optimizing Intel code. Also, with the increase in Mac sales since 2006, the overwhelming majority of the installed base of modern Macs is rapidly becoming Intel-based. This year, Apple could sell 10 million Macs. In 2005 it only sold 4.3 million, so the PPC population is quickly being watered down, particularly as older machines +3 years are reaching an end to their functional lifespan in terms of whether anyone needs to buy a new OS for them. They just got the Leopard upgrade, which will be supported for another year or two.
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince View Post

Not shipping PPC SL would also help Apple focus on testing and optimizing Intel code. Also, with the increase in Mac sales since 2006, the overwhelming majority of the installed base of modern Macs is rapidly becoming Intel-base.

Anyone willing to figure the projections for what percentage of Macs will be PPC a year from now based on current sales trends? It's beyond my abilities or else I would.

GRAPH
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post #14 of 44
"Currently, the only 64-bit apps Apple ships with Leopard are Xcode, Chess, Java, and Quartz Composer."

And, man, does Chess fly!!!

Micro$ucks is hard at work to make their flagship app 64-bit - Solitaire.
post #15 of 44
FYI: The Tiger and Panther boxes are mixed up in the graphics.
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince View Post

Apple has made it very clear that Snow Leopard will support 32-bit Intel Macs, and it might even ship a PowerPC build just to sell more copies (because it would have nearly zero benefit for G5 users, it is unlikely that Apple would release SL as a quad binary (PPC+Intel x 32+64), and why ship it for G4 users? That indicates SL will most likely only be delivered as (32+64, Intel only).

Thanks for the very informative answer. I had already accepted the fact that my G5 iMac was at its end with Leopard, but I'm really glad to hear that I have a few more years of supported OS X upgrades on the Core Duo MBPs.

Mark
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

I wonder -- is there anything beyond the transition to 64-bit with snow leopard... should someone with a core duo macbook pro even consider buying this upgrade?

It's a little early to know for sure. I suspect there will be. The increased multithreading will mean increases in responsiveness even for an old 32 bit Core Duo machine. I'm typing on one right now, and it'll have Snow Leopard on it this time next year, though it's getting a little long in the tooth
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Can Apple maintain its 64-bit lead?

64-bit lead? Is this a joke? Until the release of 10.5 in October 2007, there was barely any benefit from 64-bit in a Mac. While graphics applications like Maya or Cinema 4D were running in 64-bits on other operating systems without problems, Apple wasn't offering even a reliable roadmap on how to even build a full-fledged 64-bit application for the Mac. Maxon, typically at the front of OS X technologies (among the first to ship OS X native an Intel native verisons of their applications) now finally is able to deliver Cinema 4D in 64-bits for OS X, more than three years after the release of the Windows 64-bit version.

I feel sorry for anyone who bought a G5 hoping they would get 64-bit software to run on it and then had to wait five years for it.

If Apple had been a leader in 64-bits, they'd have had OS X prepared for 64-bit from day 1 and shipping in 64-bit top to bottom, including Carbon and X11, the day the first G5 left their doors. 64-bit was on the horizon when they started building OS X, they could have made it the policy that every single new line of code written would have to build in 32 and 64 bits on both ppc and intel.
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by __f View Post

64-bit lead? Is this a joke? Until the release of 10.5 in October 2007, there was barely any benefit from 64-bit in a Mac. While graphics applications like Maya or Cinema 4D were running in 64-bits on other operating systems without problems, Apple wasn't offering even a reliable roadmap on how to even build a full-fledged 64-bit application for the Mac. Maxon, typically at the front of OS X technologies (among the first to ship OS X native an Intel native verisons of their applications) now finally is able to deliver Cinema 4D in 64-bits for OS X, more than three years after the release of the Windows 64-bit version.

I feel sorry for anyone who bought a G5 hoping they would get 64-bit software to run on it and then had to wait five years for it.

If Apple had been a leader in 64-bits, they'd have had OS X prepared for 64-bit from day 1 and shipping in 64-bit top to bottom, including Carbon and X11, the day the first G5 left their doors. 64-bit was on the horizon when they started building OS X, they could have made it the policy that every single new line of code written would have to build in 32 and 64 bits on both ppc and intel.

You seem to be forgetting that Apple is primarily a hardware vendor. Apple had pushed out 64-bit Macs first (G5, 2003), pushed out mainstream consumer Macs first (iMac G5), and caught up rapidly on the Intel side with a full line transition in one year. It converted its line to 64-bit CPUs first, and converted to the 64-bit clean SR platform first across the board.

In software, Apple released support for 64-bit desktop hardware first (2003 vs Windows XP x64 2005) and has transitioned its entire line to a 64-bit OS, well ahead of the ~5% penetration Microsoft sees.

If you want to talk about 64-bit Linux, then remember that Apple was selling Xserves to the military running YDL first. Apple also doesn't compete with Linux (as in, if you want to buy a Mac and put Linux on it, Apple is happy to sell it to you; Microsoft doesn't feel the same way about Linux on PCs for obvious reasons).

Apple also designed their OS to be compatible with 64-bit server apps and FOSS from academia and industry, so there are lots of people in SciTech using Macs to run their own 64-bit apps compiled from those sources. Also think about the G5 super computer.

Saying "Apple should have delivered a full Blah blah blah in 2003" is so ignorantly ridiculous. You might as well say everyone in the 70s was stupid because they "should have developed the technology of the 80s."

And your entire premise is wrong because even 32-bit apps benefitted from 64-bit hardware (math speed from 64-bit math libraries) and 64-bit OSs that didn't include GUI APIs (64-bit VM) and +32-bit hardware enhancements that made more RAM available for 64-bit VM. By dismissing a half decade of leading technology, you're only making yourself look uninformed and emotionally argumentative, when this is really a subject about facts.

Wishing for the sky and crying about not getting it is not the same thing as developing technology by making engineering decisions that navigate the possible and the marketable. Apple has done something neither Microsoft nor the FOSS community have been able to do: make 64-bits easy and attractive and then sell it.
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince View Post

You seem to be forgetting that Apple is primarily a hardware vendor. Apple had pushed out 64-bit Macs first (G5, 2003), pushed out mainstream consumer Macs first (iMac G5), and caught up rapidly on the Intel side with a full line transition in one year. It converted its line to 64-bit CPUs first, and converted to the 64-bit clean SR platform first across the board.

In software, Apple released support for 64-bit desktop hardware first (2003 vs Windows XP x64 2005) and has transitioned its entire line to a 64-bit OS, well ahead of the ~5% penetration Microsoft sees.

If you want to talk about 64-bit Linux, then remember that Apple was selling Xserves to the military running YDL first. Apple also doesn't compete with Linux (as in, if you want to buy a Mac and put Linux on it, Apple is happy to sell it to you; Microsoft doesn't feel the same way about Linux on PCs for obvious reasons).

Apple also designed their OS to be compatible with 64-bit server apps and FOSS from academia and industry, so there are lots of people in SciTech using Macs to run their own 64-bit apps compiled from those sources. Also think about the G5 super computer.

Saying "Apple should have delivered a full Blah blah blah in 2003" is so ignorantly ridiculous. You might as well say everyone in the 70s was stupid because they "should have developed the technology of the 80s."

And your entire premise is wrong because even 32-bit apps benefitted from 64-bit hardware (math speed from 64-bit math libraries) and 64-bit OSs that didn't include GUI APIs (64-bit VM) and +32-bit hardware enhancements that made more RAM available for 64-bit VM. By dismissing a half decade of leading technology, you're only making yourself look uninformed and emotionally argumentative, when this is really a subject about facts.

Wishing for the sky and crying about not getting it is not the same thing as developing technology by making engineering decisions that navigate the possible and the marketable. Apple has done something neither Microsoft nor the FOSS community have been able to do: make 64-bits easy and attractive and then sell it.

D'oh! Apple pushes out hardware for OS X, so who else did this specifically for Mac OS X? Apple first to 64-bit hardware across it's very limited lineup?

Every other major PC vendor had the same 64-bit hardware across all comparable Apple hardware models, from day one, it's just that they have ten times the number of hardware products, and sell both laptops and desktopt to the sub-$500 market, and those aren't 64-bit CPUs/chipsets for obvious cost reasons. \

Windows Server 2003

And 64-bit UNIX was running on supercomputers and workstations at least from the early 80's onward.

Apple is not a leader in 64-bit software, that's for sure. They lag both Windows and *NIX.

Not too difficult to see that 64-bit *NIX hit the desktop PC first.

How many Mac OS X 64-bit applications exist today? Are there any? Matlab (which is just a *NIX install anyway)? 64-bit applications written solely with Mac OS X in mind, ^NIX doesn't count since all *NIX can run on any 64-bit system made by anyone. \

How many Windows 64-bit applications exist today? Thousands, at least.

And if Microsoft has ~5% market penetration with it's 64-bit OS on the desktop, what's the market penetration of 64-bit Intel hardware on the PC side, it's certainly greater than 5%, we are talking about Core 2 Duo and the Santa Rose chipset and subsequent 64-bit compatable chipsets that have appeared first on the PC side as I write this. \

Oh, and Altevec never did do double precision reals, now did it? That entire instruction set was only 32-bits.

Another POS AI article!
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post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

How long before the iPhone is 64 bit powered?

The Atom is there for 64 bits. Whether Aple uses that for it or not, likely the other manufacturers making ARMs, will be there too.

Be interesting if the Flash would be shared memory under a 64 bit system instead of having system memory and Flash.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Is Snow Leopard late already?

An April 2009 launch of Snow Leopard would be best, but it was my impression that a May-June 2009 launch was scheduled.

Of course, my secret hope was a surprise MacWorld 2009 launch, but I acknowledge that it was possibly unrealistic.

So, late Summer 2009 sounds a bit late, doesn't it?


Well, summer is June 21st, so technically, it would still be in time. I'm not sure where the "late" part came in.
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The Atom is there for 64 bits. Whether Aple uses that for it or not, likely the other manufacturers making ARMs, will be there too.

I'm starting to think it's a possibility now. Power consumption is the biggest issue, but it looks like an under-clocked 800MHz Atom may be good enough next year and Apple can be completely on x86.

http://www.arm.com/products/CPUs/ARM1176.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...om_Z5xx_series
http://www.krunker.com/2007/12/21/ap...horne-in-2008/
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post #24 of 44
The "how many Apps" argument is still valid, and mainstream-wise that means how many Cocoa64 apps we have at our disposal. We've got Mathematica, Cinema4D and that's mostly it, I think. The truth is, G5 and subsequent Macs' processors' 64bit abilities have been rather meaningless for us until now, and I don't think things will be that much better until around next year's end or so, one hopes.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince View Post

Apple has made it very clear that Snow Leopard will support 32-bit Intel Macs, and it might even ship a PowerPC build just to sell more copies (because it would have nearly zero benefit for G5 users, it is unlikely that Apple would release SL as a quad binary (PPC+Intel x 32+64), and why ship it for G4 users? That indicates SL will most likely only be delivered as (32+64, Intel only).

Comments about SL not supporting 32-bit Core Solo/Duo were uninformed speculation and are in error.

Apple announced SL would ship "in about a year" at WWDC. That indicates it will ship to developers at WWDC, and then to consumers likely around the same time Leopard did: Sept-Oct. By that time, the newest G5s will be +3 years old but oldest 32-bit Core Macs will only barely be 3 years old.

Not shipping PPC SL would also help Apple focus on testing and optimizing Intel code. Also, with the increase in Mac sales since 2006, the overwhelming majority of the installed base of modern Macs is rapidly becoming Intel-based. This year, Apple could sell 10 million Macs. In 2005 it only sold 4.3 million, so the PPC population is quickly being watered down, particularly as older machines +3 years are reaching an end to their functional lifespan in terms of whether anyone needs to buy a new OS for them. They just got the Leopard upgrade, which will be supported for another year or two.

I kind of hope Apple will ship UB of SL. I am a owner of a last gen G5. I have 10 GB of ram installed on this puppy and would love to be able to utilize its full potential. I don't plan on buying a MacPro for a few more yrs. I bought my G5 here in Jan 06, so it has some life left in it still. Before my G5 I had a B&W G3 300mhz, which I bought in May of 99. So as this is my 2nd computer ever, I will wait for a while before I upgrade again. Either way Apple was so keen on UB's I don't understand why they would just drop it all together.
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince View Post

What absurd ranting.

For starters, while "Windows 2003" is called that, a 64-bit version was only released for Itanium servers and workstations in 2003, and nobody used it. AMD64 wasn't released until the G5 in 2003, and an x64 version of "Windows 2003" wasn't released until later. Win2k3 SP1 is what WinXP for x64 is based on. Nobody has started using XP x64 until the last couple few years; it still has extremely minor penetration in the PC market. Apple figured out how to deliver 64-bit features to desktop users first, and continues to do so.

You have three arguments that all contradict each other: 64-bit Windows was important; 64-bit Unix was way earlier; Apple doesn't innovate. Well you're wrong: Apple makes the most popular Unix distribution on the planet, and has delivered 64-bit systems to desktop users rather than feeding the market outdated stuff and then dishonestly sell them RAM they can't use.

Bringing up Unix being 64-bit in the 80s just makes you look like a moron. The article is about desktop computing. And hey, what do you think is underneath Mac OS X?

No comment necessary for your rants, screeds, manifestos, and outright name calling.
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post #27 of 44
This is coming from a Mac fan and let me say Apple does not have a 64-bit lead. Under my desk is a Mac Pro running 10.5.4 and a Home built PC running Vista 64. Both have 4GB ram and can fully utilize it.

I installed Vista 64 thinking it would be an experimental/enthusiast thing to do. But to my surprise this thing ran all my old 32-bit games and apps transparently and without issue.

MS have been keeping this one under their hat. Despite having a full 64-bit kernel it is actually ready for prime time/novice use and I predict will in fact be adopted more swiftly than we all expect.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
I kind of hope Apple will ship UB of SL. I am a owner of a last gen G5. I have 10 GB of ram installed on this puppy and would love to be able to utilize its full potential.

An OS can't make a machine support more RAM that its hardware was designed to handle. The G5 was sold as being able to support 8GB of RAM. Installing a 64-bit OS doesn't automatically give it the capacity to use 16TB of RAM.

However, if you converted all your G5 software to 64-bit (something you can't do yourself!) you'd find that it only ran slightly slower and consumed a bit more RAM due to the 64-bit overhead.

The point of this series is to show that 64-bits is a complex subject, and for most software on modern platforms, 64-bits is not a pressing need. However, on Intel, the x64 enhancements add things that were holding the 32-bit x86 back. The G5 delivered 64-bit features long ago, while standard PCs are just now catching up. Making additional moves into 64-bit support have varying levels of need/desirablity/cost.

Full 64-bit RAM addressing is still in the distant future, as few people have exhausted the need for more than 36-bit RAM (32GB), delivered by the Mac Pro and Xserve. Microsoft hasn't got there at all yet for 90% of its Windows users. That's an independent issue from 64-bit software.

64-bit software is desirable for certain apps that need to handle huge data sets, such as video, scitech, and 3D modeling, and CAD. Mac OS X is seeing its first apps move to 64-bits. This benefits users on both PPC and Intel (although many developers aren't going to create 64-bit G5 PPC apps for the diminishing population of G5 users with machines that are approaching 3 or more years old). However, on Intel the move to 64-bits is far more valuable, as it brings a lot of the benefits that were already available to PPC users (as in both G4 and G5) as well as adding 64-bit instructions. So 64-bit Intel delivers more advantages than 64-bit G5 going forward; even basic apps run better on x64 because of the other improvements.

64-bit virtual memory allows apps to take advantage of large data sets and more efficient VM, even when running on a 32-bit kernel in Mac OS X Leopard. G5 users have had this since Tiger.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I installed Vista 64 thinking it would be an experimental/enthusiast thing to do. But to my surprise this thing ran all my old 32-bit games and apps transparently and without issue.

MS have been keeping this one under their hat. Despite having a full 64-bit kernel it is actually ready for prime time/novice use and I predict will in fact be adopted more swiftly than we all expect.

It's great you're not having any problems, but 90% of the Windows world is, or sees no reason to upgrade, limiting the market for 64-bit apps to around that of the Mac. Also, while Vista x64 might run 32-bit apps "transparently," it is actually running them in a 32-bit translation layer called "WoW64" for Windows on Windows64.

If Microsoft its OEMs were as confident in x64 as you, we'd having nothing but 64-bit PCs, just as we have in the Mac world. But we don't.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince View Post

It's great you're not having any problems, but 90% of the Windows world is, or sees no reason to upgrade, limiting the market for 64-bit apps to around that of the Mac. Also, while Vista x64 might run 32-bit apps "transparently," it is actually running them in a 32-bit translation layer called "WoW64" for Windows on Windows64.

If Microsoft its OEMs were as confident in x64 as you, we'd having nothing but 64-bit PCs, just as we have in the Mac world. But we don't.

Which is it?

You need to support your conjectures with some verifiable data.

Otherwise all you are spewing is 100% BULLSHIT!

How many Mac only 64-bit applications are there on the market today? Zero? One? Two? A few? Some? A dozen? A few dozen? A score? A few score? One hundred? A few hundred?

I think the answer here is a definitive FEW, if any.

Quote:
Wow64Cpu.dll provides x86 instruction emulation on Itanium processors. It executes mode-switch instructions on the processor. This DLL is not necessary for x64 processors because they execute x86-32 instructions at full clock speed.

Quote:
No emulation is required for WOW64 on x64.

From what I've seen in terms of real world benchmark tests, 32-bit applications run almost the same speed-wise, as in it's in the single digits, percentage-wise.
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post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Which is it?

You need to support your conjectures with some verifiable data.

Otherwise all you are spewing is 100% BULLSHIT!

How many Mac only 64-bit applications are there on the market today? Zero? One? Two? A few? Some? A dozen? A few dozen? A score? A few score? One hundred? A few hundred?

I think the answer here is a definitive FEW, if any.

Calm down nutty. First, explain what benefit you perceive to come from "64-bit" apps. On Windows, running the 64-bit "edition" means apps can use more than 2GB VM each and can access more than 3GB of system RAM.

Mac apps have been able to use a full 4GB VM since the beginning of Mac OS X, and 64-bit addressing in Tiger since 2005. All consumer Macs have also been able to address a full 4GB since the SR platform, but the G5 could handle 8GB long before that, and Mac Pro system can use 32GB of RAM. Only PCs with aligned planets, the right chipsets, the the x64 Windows can use a full 4GB or more.

So Windows PCs desperately need Vista x64, and can't use it, which is why only a fraction are using it.
Macs don't have nearly the need for additional 64-bit support because they don't have the same historical limitations and have had 64-bit features for years.

Snow Leopard will deliver an additional speed benefit by compiling all apps on Intel to 64-bit, and specialized 3rd party apps and languages (Apple's 64-bit Java, or 64-bit LispWorks for example) already allow users to write or port their own 64-bit apps. 64-bit Unix in Tiger has allowed scitech users to port over their existing 64-bit servers and apps, which is the prime need for 64-bits right now.

Mac OS X Server supplies 64-bit Apache 2, MySQL 5, Postfix, Podcast Producer, QuickTime Streaming Server, and the Java VM. And along with Mac OS X on the desktop, provides 64-bit math and imaging libraries that allow existing 32-bit applications which use the libraries to benefit without modification from those enhancements.

Perhaps you think you need a 64-bit Minesweeper on your PC? Too bad trying to run that won't work if you also need to use Office imaging tools or Windows Media Player or want your printer to work.

I think you're confused about the benefits of 64-bits. You are being emotionally argumentative but can't qualify your claims or quantify your problems. Maybe you need to chill out.
post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince View Post

Calm down nutty. First, explain what benefit you perceive to come from "64-bit" apps. On Windows, running the 64-bit "edition" means apps can use more than 2GB VM each and can access more than 3GB of system RAM.

Mac apps have been able to use a full 4GB VM since the beginning of Mac OS X, and 64-bit addressing in Tiger since 2005. All consumer Macs have also been able to address a full 4GB since the SR platform, but the G5 could handle 8GB long before that, and Mac Pro system can use 32GB of RAM. Only PCs with aligned planets, the right chipsets, the the x64 Windows can use a full 4GB or more.

So Windows PCs desperately need Vista x64, and can't use it, which is why only a fraction are using it.
Macs don't have nearly the need for additional 64-bit support because they don't have the same historical limitations and have had 64-bit features for years.

Snow Leopard will deliver an additional speed benefit by compiling all apps on Intel to 64-bit, and specialized 3rd party apps and languages (Apple's 64-bit Java, or 64-bit LispWorks for example) already allow users to write or port their own 64-bit apps. 64-bit Unix in Tiger has allowed scitech users to port over their existing 64-bit servers and apps, which is the prime need for 64-bits right now.

Mac OS X Server supplies 64-bit Apache 2, MySQL 5, Postfix, Podcast Producer, QuickTime Streaming Server, and the Java VM. And along with Mac OS X on the desktop, provides 64-bit math and imaging libraries that allow existing 32-bit applications which use the libraries to benefit without modification from those enhancements.

Perhaps you think you need a 64-bit Minesweeper on your PC? Too bad trying to run that won't work if you also need to use Office imaging tools or Windows Media Player or want your printer to work.

I think you're confused about the benefits of 64-bits. You are being emotionally argumentative but can't qualify your claims or quantify your problems. Maybe you need to chill out.

How many 3rd party commercial retail Mac OS X only 64-bit applications can I buy and use today?

You seen to have a lack of fundamental understanding about the real world, boots on the ground, of 64-bit applications running on the desktop today.

You need to come to grips with this fundamental fact today.

What Apple did in the past, or what Apple does in the future, is currently a moot point, with respect to what Apple's 3rd party developers have delivered to date, in the form of 64-bit GUI desktop applications.

Windows Vista 64-bit Today

Quote:
There appears to be a shift taking place in the PC industry: the move from 32-bit to 64-bit PCs.

We've been tracking the change by looking at the percentage of 64-bit PCs connecting to Windows Update, and have seen a dramatic increase in recent months. The installed base of 64-bit Windows Vista PCs, as a percentage of all Windows Vista systems, has more than tripled in the U.S. in the last three months, while worldwide adoption has more than doubled during the same period. Another view shows that 20% of new Windows Vista PCs in the U.S. connecting to Windows Update in June were 64-bit PCs, up from just 3% in March. Put more simply, usage of 64-bit Windows Vista is growing much more rapidly than 32-bit. Based on current trends, this growth will accelerate as the retail channel shifts to supplying a rapidly increasing assortment of 64-bit desktops and laptops.

And please try to stop with the name calling. It weakens whatever it is you are trying to say.
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post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

This is coming from a Mac fan and let me say Apple does not have a 64-bit lead. Under my desk is a Mac Pro running 10.5.4 and a Home built PC running Vista 64. Both have 4GB ram and can fully utilize it.

I installed Vista 64 thinking it would be an experimental/enthusiast thing to do. But to my surprise this thing ran all my old 32-bit games and apps transparently and without issue.

MS have been keeping this one under their hat. Despite having a full 64-bit kernel it is actually ready for prime time/novice use and I predict will in fact be adopted more swiftly than we all expect.

I think what he's talking about is that while very few Windows users have taken up the 64 bit version, it's on all machines made for a couple of years, or so, from Apple.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I think what he's talking about is that while very few Windows users have taken up the 64 bit version, it's on all machines made for a couple of years, or so, from Apple.

The link I posted above suggests otherwise. As of July of this year 20% of new Vista instillations are 64-bit.

G4 (32-bit HW and 32-bit SW)
G5 (64-bit HW and no 64-bit 3rd party SW for the desktop)
Core Duo (32-bit HW and 32-bit SW)
Core 2 Duo (64-bit HW and no 64-bit 3rd party SW for the desktop)

Snow Leopard released a year or more from now with full 64-bit developers tools, full 64-bit OS, 3rd party Mac OS X only 64-bit applications trickle in at a snail's pace, IMHO.

Who had 64-bit hardware and when is a moot point, if the entire user base was stuck in an essentially 32-bit application world.

As we now know the Snow Leopard release will not support the G5's, so that now we can say that was a dead end, and produced few if any 64-bit applications.

Hopefully, by next year, Apple's improved market share will bring in a lot of additional 3rd party vendors selling shrink wrapped 64-bit applications.

Only time will tell.
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post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

The link I posted above suggests otherwise. As of July of this year 20% of new Vista instillations are 64-bit.

G4 (32-bit HW and 32-bit SW)
G5 (64-bit HW and no 64-bit 3rd party SW for the desktop)
Core Duo (32-bit HW and 32-bit SW)
Core 2 Duo (64-bit HW and no 64-bit 3rd party SW for the desktop)

Snow Leopard released a year or more from now with full 64-bit developers tools, full 64-bit OS, 3rd party Mac OS X only 64-bit applications trickle in at a snail's pace, IMHO.

Who had 64-bit hardware and when is a moot point, if the entire user base was stuck in an essentially 32-bit application world.

As we now know the Snow Leopard release will not support the G5's, so that now we can say that was a dead end, and produced few if any 64-bit applications.

Hopefully, by next year, Apple's improved market share will bring in a lot of additional 3rd party vendors selling shrink wrapped 64-bit applications.

Only time will tell.

I understand what you're saying, but the fact is still that all new Macs for some time have been 64 bit machines, running a 64 bit OS, and that's not true of Windows.

There are many scientific 64 bit apps on OS X, but you only count mainstream apps.

At any rate, it isn't really worth getting in a fizz about.
post #35 of 44
Their has been a frustration about Apple OS X and 64bit support directly related to DCC apps that keep on appearing on the other platforms in their 64bit iterations while 64bit Apple has had no 64bit gui support until recently. To compound the problem when Apple announced 64bit gui support in Leopard Jobs announced full Cocoa and Carbon support to developers and then only produced Cocoa support. Look at this announcement about no 64bit Qt support: http://trolltech.com/company/newsroo...-19.6756913411 Autodesk Maya still remains only 32bit on OS X even up to the present announcement of "Maya 2009": http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet...112&id=7639522

I can even configure what should be the Apple dream machine with 8 cores and 32GB of ram and a top of the line Nvidia Quadro FX 5600 graphics card and this type of machine gets passed over for an HP workstation running Redhat by a company like Autodesk. Imagine how much more seriously Apple would be taken as a 64bit platform if they made a deal with Autodesk to have the Discreet turnkey systems installed on Apple workstations running some version of OS X instead of HP machines running Redhat?
post #36 of 44
Neither Apple or Intel , AMD or IBM where the first bring out the 64 bit chip plus OS even though this product was a server or workstation , it was before it time , follow the link I provided. Please no more we came first crap !!! okay read some history before ya dribble rot !!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEC_Alpha
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redback View Post

Neither Apple or Intel , AMD or IBM where the first bring out the 64 bit chip plus OS even though this product was a server or workstation , it was before it time , follow the link I provided. Please no more we came first crap !!! okay read some history before ya dribble rot !!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEC_Alpha

Most of us know thisalready. It's old news.

We aren't interested in OS's from mini computer manufacturers, or mainframe manufacturers, or supercomputer manufacturers.

We're only interested in OS's from personal computers, and small servers, for the purpose of this discussion.

If you want, I can post links about 128 bit, and higher, OS's from older manufacturers of highly parallel computers from the mid 80's.

But those are also irrelevant.
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Most of us know thisalready. It's old news.

We aren't interested in OS's from mini computer manufacturers, or mainframe manufacturers, or supercomputer manufacturers.

We're only interested in OS's from personal computers, and small servers, for the purpose of this discussion.

If you want, I can post links about 128 bit, and higher, OS's from older manufacturers of highly parallel computers from the mid 80's.

But those are also irrelevant.

What the hell are you talking about? I ran WINNT 4.x and OSF/1 UNIX on DEC Alpha. The design still kicks ass.

The passive backplane and the 256bit memory bus on that motherboard was so far ahead of it's time that we're still catching up to it.

Hell, Nehalem's memory bus width is 64 bit or 8 bytes. Too bad they aren't at 256 bits or 32 bytes.

ANSYS and other Finite Element Analysis Programs loved it.
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

The passive backplane and the 256bit memory bus on that motherboard was so far ahead of it's time that we're still catching up to it.

Hell, Nehalem's memory bus width is 64 bit or 8 bytes. Too bad they aren't at 256 bits or 32 bytes.

What benefits would that have for personal computing today if they did offer that?
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post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

What the hell are you talking about? I ran WINNT 4.x and OSF/1 UNIX on DEC Alpha. The design still kicks ass.

The passive backplane and the 256bit memory bus on that motherboard was so far ahead of it's time that we're still catching up to it.

Hell, Nehalem's memory bus width is 64 bit or 8 bytes. Too bad they aren't at 256 bits or 32 bytes.

ANSYS and other Finite Element Analysis Programs loved it.

That's just "good old days" talking. Busses were wider then because they were so godawful slow, so they tried to hide glacial latency with 4-wide reads at a time. And all those extra traces cost a kings ransom.

Now you can take a 16-bit wide bus and outperform that 256 bit wide behemoth by an order of magnitude. Partly because the latency is a somewhat better, but mostly because clocking the busses is so much more precise that quad-pumping and higher frequencies push more data on fewer traces using fewer electrons.
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