WSJ: Apple considering the use of Intel chips in Macs

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  • Reply 21 of 129
    The last time Apple outsourced hardware and focused on software was a disaster that almost ruined the company (Power Computing anyone?) Apple relies heavily on high profit margins generated from high end hardware sales which it was losing when it allowed cloning of it's hardware. Power Computing and Day Star were supposed to take market share from Wintel but they just wound up taking it from Apple.



    Granted they have the iPod cash cow now but the Mac cash cow is still very viable.



    hmurchison is absolutely right, transitioning for 68k to PPC was as easy as it could be given the circumstances, Apple did an amazing job for that transition, but it wasn't painless. It definitly took a while to regain footing while we waited for everything to go PPC native, especially the OS. I stil laugh at the whole Copland fiasco.



    Quote:

    A x86 transition isn't as complicated as some seem to believe. At least Jobs doesn't think so, anytime he's asked at an earnings report, etc.



    This isn't really accurate, while it's not like trying to build Rome in a day, it's certainly not shooting fish in a barrel either. The inherent differences in the x86 architecture, particularly how it handles memory (its completely different than 68k and PPC and many others) makes it a royal PITA.



    Intel has been paying for that mistake for many generations now, ask any engineer and they will tell you "yeah Intel definitely chose the wrong path there"



    When Jobs mentions it he's not necessarily saying it'd be a joke to do, but rather he has complete faith in his engineers and programmers to do, and I have no doubt they could do it.
  • Reply 22 of 129
    Quote:

    Maybe Apple would like more DSP power in an iPod.



    Hmmmm as much as they've been denying a video capable iPod, something tells me with Wall St calling (wrongly so) the PSP the iPod killer, maybe Apple plans to reverse gears on the video iPod. (Sorry, sorry I know, the naming convention would call it iPod video )



    In the end, my guess is either an iPod video or a smart phone/PDA.
  • Reply 23 of 129
    rockaperockape Posts: 12member
    I don't give a rat's bohunkus what chip Apple uses to power their computers as long as it's not from VIA, and it's the fastest/coolest running chips, which would mean AMD Athlon64 ;-)



    But seriously, three reasons that made me switch to Apple computers...in order of importance were:



    1. Operating System

    2. Applications

    3. Computer design



    Viruses and Spyware were not top reasons, because I knew how to avoid those things for the most part.
  • Reply 24 of 129
    kiwi-in-dckiwi-in-dc Posts: 102member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MasonMcD

    This is sillyness. The endian-ness of the Power line and Intel's chips are opposite. There is no direct corollary of Altivec, tens of thousands of apps wouldn't be binary compatible, etc. etc.



    Might not be that silly - Steve's done an endianness migration once before when NeXTStep 3 became NeXTStep for Intel, then OPENSTEP for HP/PA-RISC and OPENSTEP for Sparc. They know how to do it - they already have "Fat Binaries" in OS X.



    They also already have the core of OS X (Darwin) running and available on x86 architectures. They would then just need to re-build the various libraries and kits. The biggest issue here would be things like CoreAudio and CoreVideo where they need speed and endian-ness and the lack of Altivec is a problem.



    That said, with a 970MP coming, it does make me wonder why they would consider moving to x86 for the whole machine.



    One other possibility could also be a move back to the days of yore when Apple manufactured and sold a PC card for the Mac - a card that contained a Pentium processor so you could run Windows natively on your mac. Given the fact that MS controls Virtual PC, could this be a risk mitigation strategy for that problem?
  • Reply 25 of 129
    masonmcdmasonmcd Posts: 43member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kiwi-in-dc

    Might not be that silly - Steve's done an endianness migration once before when NeXTStep 3 became NeXTStep for Intel, then OPENSTEP for HP/PA-RISC and OPENSTEP for Sparc. They know how to do it - they already have "Fat Binaries" in OS X.



    They also already have the core of OS X (Darwin) running and available on x86 architectures. They would then just need to re-build the various libraries and kits. The biggest issue here would be things like CoreAudio and CoreVideo where they need speed and endian-ness and the lack of Altivec is a problem.





    What Apple itself is capable of vs. what the developer ecosystem is capable of are vastly different things. Apple of course could switch to x86 probably in a matter of months.



    That is *not* the case with 3rd party apps. With NeXTSTEP, it was pure Cocoa, and some *nix. That's easy. Particularly when Cocoa was actually portable. That's no longer the case, and Altivec specific code, Carbon, and some very widespread use of deprecated code in 3rd party apps makes a pure Carbon/Cocoa cross-platform move a mac-killing possibility.
  • Reply 26 of 129
    auroraaurora Posts: 1,142member
    When you look at the history of Apple and its PowerPc suppliers its never been pretty,Moto was a Nightmare for Apple for years with stagnation and IBM didnt hit the gate running and we still wait for the 3.0. Anyways this does seem a little odd when everyone is jumping on the PowerPc bandwagon.
  • Reply 27 of 129
    webmailwebmail Posts: 639member
    Yes because it's so "hard" to figure out intel's next generation technology. Don't be an idiot. People dont' stage corporate talks to sneak a peak back into the R&D room.



    Maybe you're not familar but many of the staff of Apple computer included Steve Jobs are welcome on Intel's campus.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    Intel is a good company that's staffed by a lot of really smart people. There's a good chance that -- if this meeting was more than just a ruse -- Apple has no plans to use x86, but is learning about a next generation of Intel chips.



    Ultimately, I'd say that Intel is a better company than IBM. I don't imagine that Intel is just sitting around, twiddling it's corporate thumbs as IBM takes control of the console market and is positioning itself to take the desktop segment as well.




  • Reply 28 of 129
    webmailwebmail Posts: 639member
    Moving will ensure the longterm viability of the Mac. Intel will continue to make cutting edge CPU technology. IBM has no motivation. If Apple uses Intel based processors it will always be equal or ahead of current windows based PC machines. As far as motherboards go, they can be made into any shape you wish. Most PC motherboards are made to be installed in a standard case type. Dell, HP, and other companies use CUSTOM motherboards, however they aren't very innovative in design. There isnt' a limitation on how the case can be designed by used a chip based on intel.



    In my opinion you wouldn't even know the difference, Only that it was cheepier and faster.



    Stop being such a drama queen.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Then we'd see no Mac mini or round motherboards like in the iMac G4. Apple becomes a commodity ATX case maker and dies. Why should I pay more for an Apple when it has the same motherboard and microprocessor? Doesn't make sense.







    It took years before a majority of applications where PPC 601 native. Do you want to go through yet "another" change that would take years to complete. The OS X transition has been hard enough and Apple doesn't have the resources to do both PPC and X86 development.



    Transition to X86 makes less sense than it did a couple of years ago. Most peoples reason for wanting Marklar where



    1. "I want a cheaper mac"



    solution Mac mini



    2. "I want faster hardware"



    solution PowerPC G5



    3. "I want to build my computer"



    no solution.



    Moving to X86 isn't going to accomplish any of the goals that people want. It makes no sense.




  • Reply 29 of 129
    Ok, the rumors are a little bit of bs, here is the real story as it seems to be:



    ? Apple wants Intel processors for it's upcoming video-capable iPods.

    ? Apple is talking with Intel to get some business done with IBM, Steve won't leave the PowerPC platform, that's sure. Some of the reasons are that IBM is not producing the G5 fast enough and that they are too expansive. To compare, the Xbox 360 will be around the $ 300 - 500, you can't even buy a 2,7 GHz processor for that, while the 3-core 3,2 GHz Xbox chip is far more advanched, so probably, the PowerMac will become cheaper in the upcoming months.
  • Reply 30 of 129
    webmailwebmail Posts: 639member
    Thanks for your lies, NEXT.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by MysteryQuest

    Ok, the rumors are a little bit of bs, here is the real story as it seems to be:



    ? Apple wants Intel processors for it's upcoming video-capable iPods.

    ? Apple is talking with Intel to get some business done with IBM, Steve won't leave the PowerPC platform, that's sure. Some of the reasons are that IBM is not producing the G5 fast enough and that they are too expansive. To compare, the Xbox 360 will be around the $ 300 - 500, you can't even buy a 2,7 GHz processor for that, while the 3-core 3,2 GHz Xbox chip is far more advanched, so probably, the PowerMac will become cheaper in the upcoming months.




  • Reply 31 of 129
    Didn't anyone think it strange that Intel was offered as a lower cost alternative? Intel, whose reputation has long been for the most expensive CPU options in their market categories?



    So, WSJ is stupid enough to believe that now that Apple almost has all of it's third party software and drivers working properly on OS X, that they are going to start all over again? Bugger that, there'd be a sum total of 3 Software developers left for Apple, total, Including Apple and FileMaker.
  • Reply 32 of 129
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,431member
    Quote:

    Moving will ensure the longterm viability of the Mac.



    Riiiiight. Intel has flopped with the Itanium, cancelled Tejas and the next Xeon microprocessor line whilst IBM has reliably delivered working POWER5 processors. Wake up Toto.



    Quote:

    Stop being such a drama queen.



    Why should I pay more for less? Look at Intel's pathetic dual-core offerings. No chip-to-chip communication. Intel desktop processors are a joke and a model of inefficient design. I'm in no rush to jump into that morass. Look at PCI/AGP. Cruddy tech delivered by Intel that just now is finally becoming workable in PCI-Express. Look at USB another half-baked format in comparo to the elegance of Firewire.



    The problem with the whole MS/Intel duo is that both companies are known for developing crappy 1st and 2nd generation products. I think they've both combined to keep computing back years. There are always more elegant solutions that get pushed to the sided because MS and Intel are so big. I'd lose respect for Apple and Steve Jobs if he went to Intel.
  • Reply 33 of 129
    zozo Posts: 3,117member
    iTunes 4.8: Soft intro of video

    iTunes 4.9: Intro of Podcast



    Apple in talks for MPEG 4 H.264 encoding/decoding DSP for iPod Video



    Connect iPod base to your DVB-S, DVB-T, Cable TV source and use your iPod Video as a PVR that you can play back either on TV or on built-in screen.



    iTunes 5 full support of H.264 video.



    iTunes renamed? Or "video" part taken care by a similar application?



    Buy your latest TV episodes online via the iTunes Video Store (that sounds like an oxymoron if I ever heard one).



    Anyway, just rambling... this is by no means coherent thinking...
  • Reply 34 of 129
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,573member
    I can't see Apple doing this either. If they had two product lines as has been suggested in the WSJ, then there would be two versions of all the software.



    Would software concerns support both versions in the box? Would you have to pay for one or the other if you got another machine that ran on either chip?



    If Apple transitioned to Intel would all of the 25 million PPC machines out there be orphaned?



    If Apple did this when X first came out, it might have worked. But not now.



    I also think that there must be something else in the works. Jobs said that they would be coming out with a lot of new products this year, so something is in line for an appearance.



    I just hope that once the market realises that what they think this means isn't what they think it means, my stock doesn't lose the gains it's making today.



    (I posted this on ARs earlier)
  • Reply 35 of 129
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by webmail

    Moving will ensure the longterm viability of the Mac. Intel will continue to make cutting edge CPU technology. IBM has no motivation. If Apple uses Intel based processors it will always be equal or ahead of current windows based PC machines. As far as motherboards go, they can be made into any shape you wish. Most PC motherboards are made to be installed in a standard case type. Dell, HP, and other companies use CUSTOM motherboards, however they aren't very innovative in design. There isnt' a limitation on how the case can be designed by used a chip based on intel.



    In my opinion you wouldn't even know the difference, Only that it was cheepier and faster.





    How does it ensure the longterm viability of the Mac. That is almost 100% reliant on Apple to (a) produce updated hardware consistently (they don't do that now, regardless of chip issues, where's PCI-Express, for example?), and (b) making sure their OS/Software is worth using. People tend to use macs because of the OS, not the processor underneath.



    Apple likes custom cases, which means standard motherboards are probably out (their also out because if they use standard mobos, then what's to stop me from just building a new mac from standard parts?). So they'd have to do what they do now, make their own. Which is what they're so prone to not want to do (again, the only reason to think PCI-Express is missing is because its on the next motherboard, which apple doesn't want to produce until the next chipset comes out of IBM).



    As for "cheaper", where in the hell does this come from. They're only cheaper if, and only if, Apple gets out of the hardware business and you're buying Dells. If apple is making the hardware, what's your theory that they will be charging less? Apple has VERY HIGH margins on its boxes, up to 30%. They're not going to cut their margins to 10% just because there's Intel Inside. And you know Apple, they LIKE high prices. They like their feeling of superiority and like to point it out. For what other reason can you see that they don't cut computer prices. They add features, but the prices tend to stay the same. Selling cheap is something they can do now, but choose not to. Intel processors aren't going to change this.



    As for "faster", where did this come from? Do you have some benchmarks that show OS X will run faster on intel chips? Not just stupid benchmarks on the chips themselves (which can't be compared and always draws arguments, so they're pointless anyway - remember the hue and cry when Apple tried saying the G5 was faster than a P4). There are comparisons now that say "running Office on a PC is quicker" or "I can do all these tasks in 20% less time on Windows" or the like. But there's a lot into all of that. Its the OS, the optimizations (which MS has had a decade to tune), the apps, etc. OS X might actually be slower on a P4 3.6GHz then a 2.0GHz iMac, for all you know. Video performance may still be stagnant (I remember that the complaints about Doom performance were all blamed on OS X's OpenGL implementation, which would not be magically fixed by being on an Intel chip).



    But, hey, on the brightside, now we can have a BIOS for our computers to set up things like A: drives, enabling internal components, controlling our IRQs and resource conflicts, etc. How can you beat that!
  • Reply 36 of 129
    kishankishan Posts: 732member
  • Reply 37 of 129
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,573member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kishan

    ABC news story



    That article is just quoting a few lines from the WSJ article.



    I read the article when the paper was delivered this morning. Interesting but it didn't really say anything substantial.



    The only thing of note that it did say, and I don't know if it was just a "throw away" line, was that Jobs could announce something by June 6th (the dev conf.).



    It so, I don't see how it could be a new Mac of some sort. Too soon.



    Probably something to do with the iPod, or some other peripheral.
  • Reply 38 of 129
    yevgenyyevgeny Posts: 1,148member
    For crying out loud, when people say that Apple is going to go with x86, they just demonstrate their own ignorance. When market analysts say stuff like this, they should be hung by their arms and whipped as examples to other would be moronic analysts.



    WHY WHY WHY would Apple go with Intel x86????? There are so many disadvantages to x86 over what Apple has written for PPC and Intel's x86 is not as powerful as AMD's x86.



    Now if Apple is working on some embedded CPU or controller chip then some analyst needs to be flogged for stating the obvious. Next up: Motorola contracts with Nokia to obtain antennas.
  • Reply 39 of 129
    insliderinslider Posts: 86member
    1. If Apple was willing to switch to DVI, they're willing to look at Intel. They've seen the pros of conforming to standards and may now be looking to gain these benefits on a larger scale. They realized they can still innovate and be standardized with the rest of the computing world at the same time.



    2. Don't underestimate the grudge Steve carries about the 3GHz comment - no - let's call it what it was - A PROMISE. I guarantee he did not make that statement lightly and all but had IBM sign off on it in blood. Combine this public humiliation (and let's realize that's what it was) with the fact that there still is no Mac over 2.7GHz, and even that has to be buried under 200 feet of Artic pack ice to keep it from blowing up like an Iraqi car bomb. I will lose respect for Steve (as will his employees and stockholders) if this IBM-still-under-3GHz-thing continues much longer. Don't think that the announcement of the XBox specs didn't grind some salt into the wound, even if they're not the same type of PPC that could drive a Mac.
  • Reply 40 of 129
    jlljll Posts: 2,713member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by inslider

    1. If Apple was willing to switch to DVI, they're willing to look at Intel.



    Switching from the DVI-based ADC to pure DVI is just a tad easier than switching CPU platform.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by inslider

    2. Don't underestimate the grudge Steve carries about the 3GHz comment - no - let's call it what it was - A PROMISE.



    So he will switch to somone who promised (but didn't deliver) a 4GHz chip?
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