Apple's Snow Leopard rumored to be Gold Master

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  • Reply 101 of 234
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,992member
    Other than some theoretical security advantages of a 64 bit kernel that ltcommander.data mentioned, there is no reason for older laptop users to get excited over the idea of a 64 bit kernel in the OS.



    There is nothing that this will do for you than the 32 bit version won't. Older machines can't take more than 4 GB RAM. For newer machines that can, unless you're prepared to pay the still very high prices for the RAM, prices of which have been going up significantly for a while now, there is no real advantage either.



    Until these machines get 4 cores, even the greater efficiency that's supposed to be coming in handling threads won't make a difference.



    Too much commotion about too little advantage.



    Much of the speed advantages we read about in 10.6 will be there in the 32 bit version as well.



    And very few 64 bit programs will see any speed advantages over their 32 bit counterparts.
  • Reply 102 of 234
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Can you provide us with the information showing that Apple doesn't know how to write the drivers and isn't allowing Nvidia to do it?



    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/Graphics/....html#storytop



    Quote:

    Will there updated/new drivers for the GeForce 6800 Ultra?



    Yes. Apple provides all the drivers for NVIDIA-based add-in cards. We supply them with the source code and they provide the final driver. Apple will control the release schedules for drivers that provide even more performance, features and image quality enhancements.



    This is the most recent official statement from nVidia on OS X drivers I could find, but it still seems consistent. Anything nVidia branded that you can configure as a bundled option in the Apple Store has it's drivers written by Apple. It's only recently that PNY and XFX branded nVidia GPUs, Apple doesn't officially write the drivers, because Apple doesn't bundle them in OS X.



    http://www.barefeats.com/harper22.html



    Likewise it's known that Apple's nVidia drivers can be all over the place. Even fairly recently in 10.5.6, the HD3870 outperformed the 8800GT in the Mac Call of Duty 4 even though the 8800GT is theoretically faster. What's more, Call of Duty 4 appeared to be a decent port since the HD3870 gets similar performance whether in OS X or in Windows. I believe the latest drivers in 10.5.8 have finally reversed this.



    http://www.barefeats.com/imp04.html



    And it was true that early drivers for the 8800GT in 10.5.2 had the HD2600XT outperforming the 8800GT in Apple's own Core Image accelerated applications. That has since also been fixed.
  • Reply 103 of 234
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    A 64-bit kernel is actually an important security feature. For one thing, the few viruses there are for OS X would presumably be written to exploit the 32-bit kernel and would break in a 64-bit OS X kernel. I believe this is certainly one major benefit in running 64-bit Windows over 32-bit Windows. What's more, advanced security features, specifically memory randomization is significantly more effective with a 64-bit kernel since the much larger virtual memory space, regardless of how much RAM you actually have, means addresses are actually random. 10.5 Leopard's current memory randomization implementation is not effective and this has been pointed out by Charlie Miller, famous for his Pwn2Own Mac winnings, as one of the reasons why he's able to hack OS X so quickly. The much maligned Vista by contrast, does have an effective memory randomization implementation, so on the surface is harder to hack although more people try of course. The 32-bit kernel in Snow Leopard will no doubt improve things, but shortchanging older Macs either because they don't want to write more 64-bit drivers or push out 64-bit EFI firmware updates does mean they are shortchanging end user security as well. It is really in Apple's best interest to keep their users as secure as possible since as Microsoft found, once your security reputation is compromised by a major active exploit, it's very difficult to reverse public opinion.



    Uh no, K64 has little bearing on security. Very few viruses will exploit the kernel, even on Windows. Literally 100% of the malware on Windows these days targets the userspace application layer, namely, the Web browser; I can't even remember a kernel based attack in the 5+ years I've worked in IT/security. If you just mean it makes it harder to guess an address--well yeah but these types of attacks are on their way out. Any malicious code targeted at the Mac won't need anything sophisticated like a return-to-libc; it'll just attack WebKit, QuickTime or Flash as those technologies routinely have the most remotely exploitable security vulnerabilities in them. Return to libc is a hard attack to pull off for a variety of reasons so buffer overflows on heap data, where the browser is supposed to be "interpreting" the code--just not the malicious code!!--is more common these days. But even more common are attacks that aren't attacks at all. Social engineering attacks are by far and away the most common, and they require no effort. Phishing attacks and trojan horses make up at least 95% of the security threats on Windows, mainly because of its market share. Apple can't do much about them (I don't count the woeful phishing filter in Safari/Firefox, which is basically just a big blacklist of Web sites that is never up to date).



    Anyway, the memory randomization argument is valid except for the fact that Apple doesn't do it that way. The ASLR in Leopard is kind of broken because dyld, the thing that controls the ASLR, is always loaded at the same address, so anybody can just insert some jump instructions into their dyld initialization code and get around the ASLR. Apple acknowledges this, and in Snow Leopard it's fixed, but it has nothing to do with K64; 32-bit kernels will get this feature for free.



    Finally, Windows NT-based kernels (basically Vista and Server 2003+) don't have many (any?) security problems with their kernel because they only load signed code, and the code signing certificates are strictly controlled by Microsoft's developer program. Apple is not requiring signed code to load kernel extensions into K64, and I doubt they want the overhead of Microsoft's driver signing program. The 64 bit kernel loads unsigned kernel extensions, and in fact in Snow Leopard you don't need to be root to load kernel extensions if the kernel extension developer so desires (scary!).
  • Reply 104 of 234
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,992member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/Graphics/....html#storytop





    This is the most recent official statement from nVidia on OS X drivers I could find, but it still seems consistent. Anything nVidia branded that you can configure as a bundled option in the Apple Store has it's drivers written by Apple. It's only recently that PNY and XFX branded nVidia GPUs, Apple doesn't officially write the drivers, because Apple doesn't bundle them in OS X.



    I saw nothing there that said that Apple wouldn't let them write the drivers if they wanted to. I doubt they would want to, because they would want to be paid for that.



    Quote:

    http://www.barefeats.com/harper22.html



    Likewise it's known that Apple's nVidia drivers can be all over the place. Even fairly recently in 10.5.6, the HD3870 outperformed the 8800GT in the Mac Call of Duty 4 even though the 8800GT is theoretically faster. What's more, Call of Duty 4 appeared to be a decent port since the HD3870 gets similar performance whether in OS X or in Windows. I believe the latest drivers in 10.5.8 have finally reversed this.



    http://www.barefeats.com/imp04.html



    And it was true that early drivers for the 8800GT in 10.5.2 had the HD2600XT outperforming the 8800GT in Apple's own Core Image accelerated applications. That has since also been fixed.



    That article said that the card was pretty close to the PC version, and that all it needed was a tweak.



    As you must know, both Nvidia's and ATI's drivers for the PC go through long periods of upgrades before they become pretty good. The same thing happens on the Mac side.
  • Reply 105 of 234
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Hopefully, 10.7 will be two years from now, and 32 bit will be old hardware.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    If a newer version drops 32 bit support, and we don't know that 10.7 will yet, it's just speculation right now, that's a good thing.



    If history is any indication, we can expect 10.7 to follow 10.6 by one to two years (or perhaps a bit more). That makes it likely that the newest 32-bit Macs will be approximately 4.5 to 5 years old when 10.7 will be introduced. The average age of a 32-bit Intel Mac will probably be over 5 years (perhaps even 6 years). Apple's general policy is to remove support for five year old hardware, as convenient opportunities arise to do so. It's difficult to imagine a more convenient opportunity to drop 32-bit CPU support, more inline with Apple's generally desired timing, than 10.7. Is it conceivable that Apple might drop support for 32-bit CPUs only with 10.8? It's conceivable, but the chances seem only a little bit more likely than a return to PowerPC.



    The problem with dropping hardware support after less than about five years is that it reduces customer satisfaction. The problem with dropping hardware support after more than about five years is that it reduces sales.
  • Reply 106 of 234
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    So, when I go into the store and find my favorite ice cream on sale I will just steal it because hey the store can make it's money elsewhere. Yeah, right.



    Ice cream is a real, physical thing and is a limited resource.



    Software, music, etc... can be duplicated on a computer without 'taking' anything from anyone.



    copying is not stealing.
  • Reply 107 of 234
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post




    ?Much of the speed advantages we read about in 10.6 will be there in the 32 bit version as well?




    This thread has been a surprising and disappointing read ? since I knew I had a Core 2 Duo 64-bit CPU. But that CPU is a Merom version, prior to the Penryn version, so if the seed notes are correct, there will be not a 64-bit kernel for an iMac 7,1. From what I can see in the Activity Monitor, even after I open many apps, only about 1 GB of memory is utilized out of the 4GB installed. Nevertheless, I'm floored that only a portion of the Core 2 Duo CPUs will be 64-bit capable.
  • Reply 108 of 234
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iansilv View Post


    Can someone tell me i Snow Leopard will run a 64-bit kernel in a MBP with a 2.2 GHz core 2 duo? I have the one with the Santa Rosa chipset, and I cannot confirm this anywhere.



    Here are some of the details from the system info app running on my Snow Leopard installation:



    Model NametMacBook Pro

    Model IdentifiertMacBookPro2,2

    Processor NametIntel Core 2 Duo

    Processor Speedt2.33 GHz

    Number Of Processorst1

    Total Number Of Corest2

    L2 Cachet4 MB

    Memoryt2 GB

    Bus Speedt667 MHz



    System VersiontMac OS X 10.6 (10A421)

    Kernel VersiontDarwin 10.0.0

    Boot ModetNormal

    Secure Virtual MemorytEnabled

    64-bit Kernel and ExtensionstNo





    Looks like the kernel itself isn't running as 64-bit. In the Activity Monitor app most applications are running the "Intel (64 bit)" version where one is available.
  • Reply 109 of 234
    emulatoremulator Posts: 251member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    I wonder what tricks they used this time to prevent installs on normal PCs?



    the tricks that fail as usual.
  • Reply 110 of 234
    Ladies... some of you have got it right... it's 64-bit EFI that's the key thing to enable access to the 64-bit kernel. Here's how you can tell if yours has it by running the following command:



    ioreg -p IODeviceTree -w0 -l | grep firmware-abi



    If your result says EFI64 then welcome to the future.





    The guy who wanted to know about MacBook Pro's... yes indeed some MacBook Pro's do have 64-bit EFI.



    Also the MacBook4,1 and later also have 64-bit EFI.



    Originally Apple was only putting 64-bit EFI on Pro models. Then they started on the consumer ones too.



    Unfortunately simply having a 64-bit processor is not enough.
  • Reply 111 of 234
    hiimamachiimamac Posts: 584member
    For me, I want to see increased, double FPU for audio, faster redering, Photoshop, final cut pro and fast plug ins, aka FPU.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pats View Post


    I have to ask why do you care? The applications you use will work under snow leopard and the size of the kernel is basically irrelevant except for really high performance apps. Apple is moving everything to 64 bit but will it be done at Snow Leopard answer is no, because lots of applications are not 64 bit so depending on what you do on your system your performance will vary. What are worried about. Is it an issue with address space or some other constraint that your trying to address?



  • Reply 112 of 234
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ontheinside View Post




    If your result says EFI64 then welcome to the future.



    Hey thanks. If did what you suggested correctly, then a 24 " iMac 7,1 does have a future!
  • Reply 113 of 234
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,591member
    Having run



    ioreg -p IODeviceTree -w0 -l | grep firmware-abi



    I can confirm that the 2008 3.06ghz 800mhz 24" iMac 8,1 has EFI64
  • Reply 114 of 234
    Mac mini 3,1 is showing EFI64 with that line as well.
  • Reply 115 of 234
    nccyrnccyr Posts: 12member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    12 years after Windows and Linux? That's a joke. Which versions of Windows and Linux did people buy 10 years ago?



    From what I can tell (history's getting a bit foggy now), Red Hat Linux 2.1 for DEC Alpha (fully 64-bit) was available some time in 1996.



    Not sure about Windows, but I seem to remember something with the number 98 in it.
  • Reply 116 of 234
    nccyrnccyr Posts: 12member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by japtor View Post


    Mac mini 3,1 is showing EFI64 with that line as well.



    My late 2007 MacBook shows EFI64 there too. Thanks for the one-liner to find that!
  • Reply 117 of 234
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    If history is any indication, we can expect 10.7 to follow 10.6 by one to two years (or perhaps a bit more). That makes it likely that the newest 32-bit Macs will be approximately 4.5 to 5 years old when 10.7 will be introduced. The average age of a 32-bit Intel Mac will probably be over 5 years (perhaps even 6 years). Apple's general policy is to remove support for five year old hardware, as convenient opportunities arise to do so. It's difficult to imagine a more convenient opportunity to drop 32-bit CPU support, more inline with Apple's generally desired timing, than 10.7. Is it conceivable that Apple might drop support for 32-bit CPUs only with 10.8? It's conceivable, but the chances seem only a little bit more likely than a return to PowerPC.



    Speculating, I would guess that 10.8 might drop support for all models lacking EFI64. In other words, I speculate that 10.8 might not include a 32-bit kernel. I expect 10.8 will still support 32-bit applications.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    Having run



    ioreg -p IODeviceTree -w0 -l | grep firmware-abi



    I can confirm that the 2008 3.06ghz 800mhz 24" iMac 8,1 has EFI64



    I confirm that the late 2008 2GHz 1067MHz unibody MacBook 5,1 (with removable battery) has EFI64.
  • Reply 118 of 234
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nccyr View Post


    From what I can tell (history's getting a bit foggy now), Red Hat Linux 2.1 for DEC Alpha (fully 64-bit) was available some time in 1996.



    Not sure about Windows, but I seem to remember something with the number 98 in it.



    Uh, no. Windows 98 was no where near 64-bit. It was a 16-bit kernel with 32-bit in the user space. AFAIK, Windows XP x64 was the first 64-bit release of Windows, and that came out much later (around 2003?)



    Edit: Although, if I re-read the post you quoted, I see you weren't saying Windows 98 was 64 bit, but that it's what people were using then *oops*
  • Reply 119 of 234
    nccyrnccyr Posts: 12member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ontheinside View Post


    Here's how you can tell if yours has it by running the following command:



    ioreg -p IODeviceTree -w0 -l | grep firmware-abi



    If your result says EFI64 then welcome to the future.

    ...

    Also the MacBook4,1 and later also have 64-bit EFI.



    My MacBook 3,1 (10.5.8, 2.2GHz) has an EFI64 result also; is that an anomaly or is it golden?
  • Reply 120 of 234
    Quote:

    Hardware Overview:



    Model NametMacBook

    Model IdentifiertMacBook5,1

    Processor NametIntel Core 2 Duo

    Processor Speedt2.4 GHz



    Quote:

    Last login: Wed Aug 12 18:31:01 on ttys000

    Beau-MacBook:~ Beau$ ioreg -p IODeviceTree -w0 -l | grep firmware-abi | | "firmware-abi" = <"EFI64">

    Beau-MacBook:~ Beau$



    Looks like my unibody is all set and ready to go.



    Also FWIW, not seeing anything in ADC yet, only have build 10A421 accessible for me.
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