Intel

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
First post, here goes...



I'm a relatively new mac user, so please don't think I'm trolling or anything with this question (I may be stupid but I'm not a trouble-maker)...



If speed is such an issue (as it seems to be judging by the posts I've read over the last few months) would it be possible to modify osx so it works on pentiums and then dump pentiums into macs? Or is this an engineering impossibility?

(Even just modifying osx to run of pc's would open up a new market for Apple, wouldn't it? Most of my pc friends would dump M$ in a heartbeat if a better os was available for their machines - to be honest even if it wasn't 'that much better' they'd still swap because they hate M$).



Wouldn't this fix a lot of apple's problems (speed, perceived weaknesses, market share, compatability, etc)?
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    This topic has been beaten to death, search the forums.



    Essentially Apple may have an OS X version for Intel but software would have to be rewritten/recompiled to work on the platform. Also Apple is a hardware company, don't expect OS X for intel to run on just any PC.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Anything can be made to work if you want it too.



    For now, Apple doesn't.



    But that doesn't mean that they couldn't.



    Lot's of people say 'never' on these boards, sometimes for perfectly valid reasons.



    However, those 'experts' didn't see the 'X-serve', 'iPod' or 'Lamp iMac' or Mac on Unix coming.



    Mac on Intel? I'm game if Apple are...



    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 3 of 21
    xypexype Posts: 672member
    I think one can sum it up on one word: Control.



    Right now reverse-engineering a Mac to make a "compatible" system includes the PowerPC (G3, G4) CPUs and the technology around them and thus requires a greater amount of work for a company wanting to build a "clone" than re-making an Intel-based Mac would.



    With a PowerPC chip Apple has total control over their systems and can be pretty sure noone is able to simply "hack" MacOS (or any other Apple software/service) to work on a Dell box thus to some degree guaranteeing that Apple can sell hardware, too. Also Apple doesn't need to offer the newest CPU in their machines, but can update their product lines when they wish to do so. There is no competitor to compare Apple to directly, unlike Dell, Gateway or selfmade PCs can be compared. So even if there is a 1.4 ghz G4 Apple can keep it back as long as it takes to sell all the 1.25 ghz G4 computers they have in stock.



    The last argument is that the PowerPC with AltiVec is by itself a very nice architecture that has lots of potential. Unfortunately Apple trusted Motorola do keep up with CPU/bus development that would suit the desktop/workstation computer but Motorola didn't so now Apple is in a "slump" performance wise, but that doesn't mean things wont change in the future - see the ATI vs. nVidia competition, which basically is very similiar to CPU platforms (the graphic cards these days have very powerful processing units, their own memory and memory interface and are a nice "it can be done" example).



    So while it wouldn't be as easy to start using Intel CPUs (all software has to be rewritten, etc) it wouldn't make sense. Especially now that the Intel/AMD CPUs are changing from 32 to 64 bits developing a mac that uses Intel CPUs would be a waste of money - right now those are 32 bit but will soon change to 64 bit, which needs a new architecture to support it.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    thanks for the replies...



    I didn't realise this had been so thoroughly discussed. I'll search the forums.





    I didn't really understand a few points raised however...



    1. Apple already gets it's chips from another company, why would switching from motorola to intel stop them from being a 'hardware company'?



    2. I'm not suggesting that Apple necessarily switch over to present intel/AMD CPU technology, but wouldn't it be better for apple to get there future processors from a CPU market where there is heavy competition, rather than from a motorola monopoly?



    3. Wouldn't there be a crossover effect, from making osx available across the board (all PCs)? (ie once introduced to osx on their pcs, when they go to upgrade they may jump over to apple hardware) And anyway, wouldn't the sheer size of the pc market give Apple the opportunity to make heaps of $$$ from 'just' selling their operating system
  • Reply 5 of 21
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    that hacking OS and using it on other HW doesn't hold water with me. If Apple only writes in code to support those machines hardware, IF they were hacked to run on other hardware, somone would still need to write drivers



    i think apple should, but i dont see it happening
  • Reply 6 of 21
    chychchych Posts: 860member
    Well, if Apple were to make OS X workable on just any PC, then they would become another Microsoft, which Apple is not - they are a hardware company first (most of their money comes from hardware sales), then a software company. Then, they would also be a direct competitor to Microsoft and you can kiss Office and what not bye bye. And with Microsoft's "monopoly", do you even think OS X will launch off effectively?



    I just don't see Apple ever taking that route, to completely change their business model to sell software primarily. If they were to go to intel, then there will be something Apple will do so that you have to buy Apple hardware to run OS X, otherwise they will not be making money for you can get a cheaper PC elsewhere.



    IMHO, I don't think Apple will go to intel, it just seems wrong.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    [quote]Originally posted by Anden Wood:

    <strong>thanks for the replies...



    I didn't realise this had been so thoroughly discussed. I'll search the forums.





    I didn't really understand a few points raised however...



    1. Apple already gets it's chips from another company, why would switching from motorola to intel stop them from being a 'hardware company'?



    2. I'm not suggesting that Apple necessarily switch over to present intel/AMD CPU technology, but wouldn't it be better for apple to get there future processors from a CPU market where there is heavy competition, rather than from a motorola monopoly?



    3. Wouldn't there be a crossover effect, from making osx available across the board (all PCs)? (ie once introduced to osx on their pcs, when they go to upgrade they may jump over to apple hardware) And anyway, wouldn't the sheer size of the pc market give Apple the opportunity to make heaps of $$$ from 'just' selling their operating system</strong><hr></blockquote>



    i don't think i'm answering your questions adequately, but i'm wondering why, if all your friends hate m$ so much, why they don't take the very straight forward route that is and has been available to the for so long of investing a little bit of time in linux?



    i REALLY don't understand why someone that has taken the plunge and invested hard currency in hardware such as the intel platform persists in thinking that m$ is the only option available to them...
  • Reply 8 of 21
    hledgardhledgard Posts: 264member
    I use a good PC everyday at work, and truly hate it. Not the hardware, but MS.



    So many little things, not to mention the look and feel, and the human engineering, on Macs are a world apart.



    I think Apple will be on the right track to charge users a fee to keep current. We all love Macs, and frankly get a bargain.



    Sincerely,

    Dr. L
  • Reply 9 of 21
    xypexype Posts: 672member
    [quote]Originally posted by Anden Wood:

    <strong>I didn't really understand a few points raised however...



    1. Apple already gets it's chips from another company, why would switching from motorola to intel stop them from being a 'hardware company'?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    It wouldn't stop them being a hardware company, but would make them compete with Dell et all - which is hard to do, since Dell is selling on price and Apple would have to start selling beige boxes in order to have the same production cost for a Pentium box.



    [quote]Originally posted by Anden Wood:

    <strong>2. I'm not suggesting that Apple necessarily switch over to present intel/AMD CPU technology, but wouldn't it be better for apple to get there future processors from a CPU market where there is heavy competition, rather than from a motorola monopoly?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    No it wouldn't, most of people thinking this way are forgetting that the x86 world is much more than simply x86 CPUs - there is a ton of "compatible" hardware, which really isn't compatible because PC hardware is cheap in nature and therefore sometimes of low quality. The PowerPC is not as dead-end an architecture as, say, Pentium 4 is. There is competition in the PowerPC market in the form of IBM and Motorola, and speaking of which this leads us to the next point..



    [quote]Originally posted by Anden Wood:

    <strong>3. Wouldn't there be a crossover effect, from making osx available across the board (all PCs)? (ie once introduced to osx on their pcs, when they go to upgrade they may jump over to apple hardware) And anyway, wouldn't the sheer size of the pc market give Apple the opportunity to make heaps of $$$ from 'just' selling their operating system</strong><hr></blockquote>



    You are forgetting one HUGE factor here - microsoft. Microsoft has 90% of the desktop market (or so, Linux really is not a competitor, yet) and making OSX availible for all x86 PCs would make OSX end up the way BeOS did - a great OS, many people liked it but there was simply _no_ reason for software companies to port their software over. Now if you buy a OSX x86 PC and want to run Photoshop Adobe will ask "How many people run OSX on x86?" and at the beginning you will only be able to say "Less than 1%." and Adobe will answer you "See, there's no market for Photoshop for OSX on x86!" and you will switch back to Windows since it runs Photoshop nicely.



    You wont buy an Apple x86 PC if it's 10-20% more expensive than a Dell box either.



    So all in all Apple going x86 would mean they'd _have_ to at least optionally offer their machines with Windows and sooner or later OSX would die off, which was the reason you were thinking of getting a Mac in first place.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    xypexype Posts: 672member
    [quote]Originally posted by lungaretta:

    <strong>i don't think i'm answering your questions adequately, but i'm wondering why, if all your friends hate m$ so much, why they don't take the very straight forward route that is and has been available to the for so long of investing a little bit of time in linux?



    i REALLY don't understand why someone that has taken the plunge and invested hard currency in hardware such as the intel platform persists in thinking that m$ is the only option available to them...</strong><hr></blockquote>



    duh, linux fans who spend their time either setting up a firewall or playing with themes can get along with linux quite nicely, but people doing serious work can not - at least not the majority. It doesn't help to have Linux if, say, Flash or MS Word only runs in Windows. And people who have serious work to do don't have the time to try to get every piece of their software running under Wine. And they don't have time to write their own software/drivers either.



    Linux is for geeks. Windows and MacOS are for "normal" people who want to get work done. And normal people don't give sh!t about free speach, free beer, freee whatnot, because they frankly don't care and they like the concept of actually paying for software that works for them, and if it only works under Windows that makes them complain but it's not a reason to switch to Linux.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    i dont think that apple should sell just software, but they should sell specific PC's that can run OS X...they would probably be cheaper if they teamed up with a hardware company like dell, and they people could still use windows if they didn't use OS X, but they could give it a try then if they dont like it, then they cold use windows.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    [quote]Originally posted by xype:

    <strong>



    duh, linux fans who spend their time either setting up a firewall or playing with themes can get along with linux quite nicely, but people doing serious work can not - at least not the majority. It doesn't help to have Linux if, say, Flash or MS Word only runs in Windows. And people who have serious work to do don't have the time to try to get every piece of their software running under Wine. And they don't have time to write their own software/drivers either.



    Linux is for geeks. Windows and MacOS are for "normal" people who want to get work done. And normal people don't give sh!t about free speach, free beer, freee whatnot, because they frankly don't care and they like the concept of actually paying for software that works for them, and if it only works under Windows that makes them complain but it's not a reason to switch to Linux.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    so i guess you're saying that no "serious work" can be done on linux and that M$ and apple platforms is the only place that any serious professionals do their thang using flash and word. if you're a geek and enjoy writing drivers, get linux becuase that's all it's good for..??



    xype, what are you smoking? whatever it is, i'm not sure it's expanding the horizons of your intellect enough. the cliched image you portray of the average linux user is dated and laughable.



    go back four years, i may agree with your post but in this day and age...?



    i'm not waving a linux flag here, but ignorance like this is boring.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    [quote]Originally posted by lungaretta:

    <strong>



    so i guess you're saying that no "serious work" can be done on linux and that M$ and apple platforms is the only place that any serious professionals do their thang using flash and word. if you're a geek and enjoy writing drivers, get linux becuase that's all it's good for..??



    xype, what are you smoking? whatever it is, i'm not sure it's expanding the horizons of your intellect enough. the cliched image you portray of the average linux user is dated and laughable.



    go back four years, i may agree with your post but in this day and age...?



    i'm not waving a linux flag here, but ignorance like this is boring.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    PS: you sound like you have a fear of things that you do not understand. those 'geeks' fulfill the task of learning the things that you are so scared of and making the internet a better place for you to do 'serious work'. live with the fact that not everyone is as narrow minded as yourself.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    xypexype Posts: 672member
    [quote]Originally posted by lungaretta:

    <strong>PS: you sound like you have a fear of things that you do not understand. those 'geeks' fulfill the task of learning the things that you are so scared of and making the internet a better place for you to do 'serious work'. live with the fact that not everyone is as narrow minded as yourself.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    First thing off, I've used Linux since SuSE 4.4, so I think your insults are not in place here. Secondly my point of Linux not being "useable" is still valid for a lot of people - even in "this day and age". Instead of calling my viewpoint narrow-minded and myself ignorant you could have come up with an answer as to what solution Linux offers to all the people doing either video, graphice, multimedia, sound, financial or office work. The answer to most people would be "use Wine" at best, but then that's more trouble to most people than simply continuing to use Windows.



    There can be as many "Linux is ready for the Desktop because KDE mimics Windows XP now" articles on Slashdot as you like, but that doesn't change the fact that for most people the _software_ they need to work with is not there, and in many cases the companies producing it have no intent if porting it to Linux (or they did so and got burned, a la Corel). And no software = not useable to those people.



    There are areas where Linux can be used, but like I said it's mostly the "geeks" domain, because geeks are among the only ones writing software for Linux. Sure IBM, Sun, AOL etc are sponsoring Linux projects and these days Linux is nice for, say, web browsing and emails. But people who want to do work don't want to spend time installing and configuring every piece of their software and they certainly don't want to run Linux simply for the sake of being anti-microsoft.



    It's not ignorance but realism and it's not nearly as boring as someone saying "that's a cliche portray of Linux" but failing to give any examples whatsoever of Linux being useable beyong a server setup. And don't bring in the "Lord of the Rings was done on Linux!" because not everyone has a dedicated coder team porting and writing software they need for Linux, like Weta might have had.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    There are plenty of technical reasons why Pentiums would be a bad choice. The most important is heat and power. Apple has some of the finest portable systems available but this in part because both IBM and Motorola design chips with a lot of emphasis on efficient design primarily because they also sell chips for the embedded device market (set top boxes, game consoles, vehicles) where this is important.



    Pentium chips may have an edge in Mhz currently but they run far too hot and draw way too much power to be used in those devices unless they are severely slowed down or gutted of some of their circuitry. This makes them even worse performers than the current crop of PPC chips in these applications.



    A case in point is blade servers. These are very small modular computer boxes that fit in a rack enclosure. Blades that use Pentium chips use Pentium 3 chips at around 1.2Ghz. Those chips are hardly a match for a G4 1.2Ghz chip. switching to x86 would basically kill Apple's portable business as their offerings would have no difference in performance than other x86 portables. This would also go for the XServe.



    In addition (though this just my opinion) the heat and power problems with the current Pentiums and certain backpedaling on speed projections and other statements from Intel may indicate that x86 development is slowing down. If this is the case it doesn't make much sense to switch to a processor that may be hitting a performance wall (even if it's temporary). Been there done that.



    64 bit desktop computing will have a real test this year. However Intel has said they see no use in 64bit on the desktop. That may change if AMD is successful with their offerings however Apple has a lot more to gain as they are shooting for the professional video and film market who already use 64bit machines extensively. The consumer market on the other hand is unlikely to need it. Both the AMD Hammer and the IBM 970 (which Apple is widely expected to use) will also work with 32bit applications and OS's.



    [ 01-06-2003: Message edited by: nebcon65 ]</p>
  • Reply 16 of 21
    nevynnevyn Posts: 360member
    There's a LOT of good reasons.



    One of the most compelling to me is the thought experiment (ignoring everything else!): How much would the $799 iMac cost as an x86 iMac? (Or pick-your-model).



    The hard drive: same price. DVD, screen, keyboard... none of these parts change price. There's only the CPU and the CPU-chipset that would change price.



    But wait, prices on both of those would go up! PPC CPU prices (for just the chip) have always been substantially lower. Now either Apple has to design an all new chipset, or buy one from Intel. And they won't be getting the 'volume buyer' discount Dell does -&gt; Apple will pay more for a x86-motherboard chipset than Dell.



    So now we have a more expensive computer. And the performance gains are nil-to-arguable. Finding low heat, cheap P4s is tough, and once you have one, you are nowhere near the performance that led us to consider thinking of an x86 in the first place. (That being the 3Ghz varients).



    I think Matsu would freak at a $1000 1GHz P3 iMac, I know I wouldn't be cheering too hard.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    intel has done an excellent job of pushing mhz into the minds of the computer buying public. they've also done an excellent job of taking a tired and cranky architecture and continuing to scale it.

    RISC vs. CISC has been beaten to death...but one point is undeniable. the majority of the heavy computing hardware is RISC based...and for good reason.

    it's not the computing architecture that let apple down, it's motorola. and you can argue that apple's market share plays into this. if apple could have said, "we'll need 10 million CPU's a year" i'm sure things would have been different.

    what's required now is a partner with the money and expertise to really scale the PPC architecture. that will bring apple the clout it needs to grab more sales, which in turn drives demand for PPC chips, which ultimately spurs new development.



    we can't get the 970 into the powermac soon enough, IMHO
  • Reply 18 of 21
    fahlmanfahlman Posts: 690member
    At work I have a dual AMD Athlon MP 1600 workstation. I also have access to many different Macs including an old 400 or 450 MHz G4, can't remember right now. THE MAC IS MORE RESPONSIVE! I think it is a combination of processor and OS that makes the difference. Windows is half the problem.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    i agree.



    i think the osx has a lot to do with responsiveness





    look for osx on PCs when Apple is right about to go out of business as a last ditch effort. if that ever happens, probably never.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    fahlmanfahlman Posts: 690member
    These posts could have made yesterday.



    P.S. Sorry from draggin' out the old thread. I was reading old posts that I had made and this thread was one I had posted in.
Sign In or Register to comment.