Apple's next-gen Macs to have something special under the hood

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  • Reply 21 of 203
    camroidv27camroidv27 Posts: 523member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gloss View Post


    Same x86 processors, perhaps even Intel's, but not necessarily Intel's PLATFORM. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves here.



    I don't think Apple would move from x86, but also, I don't think they will move from intel either. I just think they'll have some other chip under the hood that does other stuff to relieve the load of the proc, that way they don't have to rely on the tweaked procs that Intel gives them. I could be wrong though. Usually am... but if I were running Apple... haha, it'd have sunk into the ground already!
  • Reply 22 of 203
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mebbert View Post


    If they're saying its something that their competitors won't be able to come up with, it would have to be something to do with their purchase of P.A. Semi, yeah?



    That seems reasonable, but I didn't think tech from working with P.A. Semi would have occurred this quickly. Of course, I have no idea what they are doing or when they started, I just assumed we wouldn't see any fruits of that labour until 2009.
  • Reply 23 of 203
    camroidv27camroidv27 Posts: 523member
    Okay, you have a very fine point. I'd love to see an Apple chipset instead of the current Intel set they have! (Right, intel makes the chipset for their boards? Last time I checked they did. And yes, I know the difference between chipset and processor... I didn't really spend too much time looking at the wording... my bad :P )



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    I think people are confusing processors with chipsets.



    The article doesn't suggest a move away from Intel PROCESSORS (though Apple might certainly add other compatible processor brands to the mix one day).



    The article is about the chips that ACCOMPANY and support the main processor. That's what "chipset" refers to.



    And the idea that Apple might add custom chips around the Intel processor sounds good to me. No need for Apple to limit themselves just because Wintel clones can't do that.



    And this would seem to fit nicely with Snow Leopard's plans too.







    I wouldn't worry about that theory too much. The processors are still from Intel. And if there's any overhead from dealing with the other, less-standard chips that accompany the processor, I have little fear that computers will be fast enough to still provide a productive Windows or Linux experience.



    The only reason to worry about Windows performance is if somehow the new custom chipsets would be SO much slower than the old ones that this actually offsets the ongoing performance increases of each generation of Intel processors. And offsets those increases to SUCH a large extent that Windows performance is no longer "good enough." Then the failsafe you mention would be threatened. But it doesn't seem likely. Especially since Apple actively SUPPORTS that failsafe via Boot Camp.



    Again, this doesn't sound like whole new incompatible processor architectures--that would make little sense. This about chips alongside the main processor, boosting performance for certain things. Maybe Windows and Linux won't take advantage of those benefits the way OS X will, but those other OS's will still have a nice fast Intel CPU to run on.



    Anyway, it's all rumor, but I find it plausible.



  • Reply 24 of 203
    First of all, Apple can't use chipsets from AMD. None of them are compatible or licensed to use Intel chips, even Puma. Apple would not at this time (if ever) adopt AMD CPUs.



    Second of all, Apple would drop dead before it used Via especially since Intel has sued the pants of Via for chipset licensing. Apple would never incur the wrath of their favorite new partner Intel. Also, VIA chipsets suck.



    Third of all, Appleinsider leaves out the most probable third-party chipset provider...Nvidia. Nvidia has a license for Intel chips and allows SLI for multiple graphics cards and hybrid technology that allows switching between integrated/discrete GPUs. But I don't see how using Nvidia has any advantage over Intel chipsets.



    Last of all, Apple is not developing anything. I'm pretty sure with all the talk lately about system-on-a-chip (SoC) from Intel and the press, that Apple is using a new chip from Intel that is a SoC. That means the CPU, GPU, southbridge, northbridge are all on one chip. This makes sense for laptop redesigns since you only need one main chip for the motherboard, therefore changing size and thermal considerations and simplifying the overall layout. This chip is probably very customizable to fit new notebook designs and only available for Apple from Intel.



    An SoC from Intel makes the most sense to me.
  • Reply 25 of 203
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post


    it is entirely to do with chipsets. Paralells/VMware Fusion do not emulate the x86 instruction set, they simply provide an environment for an x86 OS to run. They pass the instructions directly to the processor. If Apple switched to a processor that wasn't x86 based, Parallels and VMware Fusion wouldn't work, as the processor wouldn't understand the x86 instructions.



    They also use the windows device drivers. Apple would have to create their own drivers if they use something custom for The virtualization software or even boot camp to work correctly.



    In theory, this move could help as the chipsets themselves actually low-power versions of desktop chipsets. A portable or something like the iMac isn't going to use 10 USB ports or 6 additional PCI-E x1 lanes as you'd have to have a desktop enclose to take advantage of that. You could wind up with a much smaller and more efficient south bridge.
  • Reply 26 of 203
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,624member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pooped View Post


    oh, and I already ran parallels on my PPC 12" powerbook..



    Wow, please tell us how you did this. Parallels and VMWare always stated they're for Intel Macs only.
  • Reply 27 of 203
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Is anyone else rolling their eyes and saying "here we go again?" Apple tried going their own way for years, and mostly what they got out of it was being slower than the competition and having serious supply constraints. If this article is true, I wouldn't want to be long on Apple.



    Chip sets are not CPUs. This is a minor issue. Could be to leverage more Apple only features. This is good news not bad.
  • Reply 28 of 203
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by silentcrs View Post


    If they move significantly away from the Intel platform such that OSes like Windows/Linux/et al run slower (or not at all) they can pretty much kiss their marketshare gains goodbye. The sole reason I and other IT folks are recommending Macs to family and friends now is because they have a failsafe: if necessary, they can boot up Windows and run at native speed. If Apple decides to go their own way, a lot of people will shuffle back to the Dells and HPs of the world. I like Mac OS, but I still want to have the option of using the same hardware everything else uses (which lowers component prices and encourages developers to optimize for x86-platforms on the whole).



    This is not about the CPU.
  • Reply 29 of 203
    futurepastnowfuturepastnow Posts: 1,772member
    I take this with the whole salt mine.
  • Reply 30 of 203
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    And the idea that Apple might add custom chips around the Intel processor sounds good to me. No need for Apple to limit themselves just because Wintel clones can't do that.



    Don't other vendors use chipsets from AMD, Nvidia, Via ect? How does that distinguish Apple from the rest of the pc vendors.



    The AMD chipsets are supposed to be really nice but will it make *that* big of a difference? When you boil it all down performance is mostly tied to the cpu.
  • Reply 31 of 203
    boogabooga Posts: 1,080member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Chip sets are not CPUs. This is a minor issue. Could be to leverage more Apple only features. This is good news not bad.



    I know the difference between a CPU and a chipset. My point was that the more custom chips you have, the more risk you're at for manufacturing and supply delays, bugs, etc., that affect only you.



    This could be good, but it's also a very high-risk move if true.
  • Reply 32 of 203
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,318member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    I think people are confusing processors with chipsets.



    The article doesn't suggest a move away from Intel PROCESSORS (though Apple might certainly add other compatible processor brands to the mix one day).



    The article is about the chips that ACCOMPANY and support the main processor. That's what "chipset" refers to.



    And the idea that Apple might add custom chips around the Intel processor sounds good to me. No need for Apple to limit themselves just because Wintel clones can't do that.



    And this would seem to fit nicely with Snow Leopard's plans too.







    I wouldn't worry about that theory too much. The processors are still from Intel. And if there's any overhead from dealing with the other, less-standard chips that accompany the processor, I have little fear that computers will be fast enough to still provide a productive Windows or Linux experience.



    The only reason to worry about Windows performance is if somehow the new custom chipsets would be SO much slower than the old ones that this actually offsets the ongoing performance increases of each generation of Intel processors. And offsets those increases to SUCH a large extent that Windows performance is no longer "good enough." Then the failsafe you mention would be threatened. But it doesn't seem likely. Especially since Apple actively SUPPORTS that failsafe via Boot Camp.



    Again, this doesn't sound like whole new incompatible processor architectures--that would make little sense. This about chips alongside the main processor, boosting performance for certain things. Maybe Windows and Linux won't take advantage of those benefits the way OS X will, but those other OS's will still have a nice fast Intel CPU to run on.



    Anyway, it's all rumor, but I find it plausible.



    Exactly. I'd love to see PA work in the area of h.264 encode/decode chipsets ala the old days of the Motorola 56k DSP that was designed to do a lot of tasks and free up the cores to do work and then allow this all to work together with GrandCentral and OpenCL.



    GPU work in OpenCL/GrandCentral seems likely targeted for dedicated GPUs and not integrated chipsets that are running the current MacBooks or Mac-mini.



    Now with regards to PA Semi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.A._Semi



    I just cannot see it's founder, Dan Dobberpuhl, the lead designer of the DECAlpha Processor and StrongARM just sitting around and not adding something to Macs, across-the-board, giving Apple an even more compelling reason for consumers to buy Apple products.
  • Reply 33 of 203
    tinktink Posts: 395member
  • Reply 34 of 203
    bigmc6000bigmc6000 Posts: 767member
    In other news Pigs are finally flying! More things certain to happen are:

    1) Cars running off happiness, sunshine and rainbows

    2) Airplanes travelling at 10 Mach yet not consuming anything else than the CO2 created by the passengers breathing

    and last but not least

    3) Apple buys MS and ends the entire failed project known as "Windows" (after all, Windows are meant to break



    But seriously, no way Apple abandons Intel after all the working together they have done and how happy both of them are with the arrangement...
  • Reply 35 of 203
    NVidia2008 had it right....



    This new chipset is going to be for mobile 3G notebooks. Look at the Macbook Air. This is the direction where Apple is heading. No need to worry about wi-fi spots (though wifi support is not going anywhere). All notebooks will be able to jump on ATT's network (which makes ATT) happy, and surf the web at iPhone speeds.



    This also will lead to App store on the Mac as dicussed here: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/0...ref=technology.



    By the way, I'm new to the Forum. I'm looking forward to chatting with you all!
  • Reply 36 of 203
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    I don't think we have anything to worry about Intel going away.



    Steve has publically stated many times that he is more than pleased with their relationship with Intel. That is not going away.



    Second, if they were going to change PROCESSORS they would have to let their most important asset aware, their developers. WWDC made no mention of changing PROCESSORS.



    Trust me, Apple is not leaving Intel. Intel do amazing things for Apple and they need each other.
  • Reply 37 of 203
    dcj001dcj001 Posts: 301member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I'll believe it when I see it.



    Even after you see it, you won't believe it.
  • Reply 38 of 203
    nowayout11nowayout11 Posts: 325member
    This isn't nearly as big an issue as people are making it. And I blame the AI article, which wasn't very clear and is just taking bad guesses that rile up the confused people all the more.



    "What's more, those same people suggest the chipset employed by the new wave of Macs may have little or nothing to do with Intel at all."



    That's just a bad, unclear sentence. The notebooks will of course use Intel chips. All it means is that the *changes* have nothing to do with Intel specifically (because it was presupposed that Montevina was the cause of some delay.) That doesn't mean they're not using Intel chips.
  • Reply 39 of 203
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    I'm still picturing some kind of specialized high-performance SSD controller where the SSD contains key components of the OS and other software. But, I'm not overly aware of what chipsets are currently available for that type of application to speculate further. I could easily envision some kind of near instant-on and loading of apps scenario.
  • Reply 40 of 203
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    I'm still picturing some kind of specialized high-performance SSD controller where the SSD contains key components of the OS and other software. But, I'm not overly aware of what chipsets are currently available for that type of application to speculate further. I could easily envision some kind of near instant-on and loading of apps scenario.



    Intel and HDD manufacturers have such options on the market that use SSD for fast booting and laoding of apps, but so far the results have been less than stellar.
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