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

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  • Reply 41 of 203
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    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.



    Processors do not use a common interface. In addition Intel and AMD use very different connection technology. VIA, SIS, and Nvidia make separate third party chipsets for intel and AMD CPUs and to be perfectly honest you don't see VIA or SIS selling too many. ATI used to make third party intel chipsets, but after being acquired they stopped intel development and got rolled in as a first party AMD solutions. If you're going to use a AMD chipset that isn't like three years old, you have to use an AMD CPU with it.
  • Reply 42 of 203
    ajmasajmas Posts: 555member
    Looking at the MacBook Pro range, Apple strives to sell a product that at the cutting edge. They try to use top of the line chips to get maximum performance, but like any laptop maker they are forced to deal with two major issues: life of battery for a given charge and heat. I believe that any laptop maker than can provide extra performance while solving either or both of these issues gets to move past the competition in a big way. Hopefully Apple has something in terms of a solution here.



    I can't see Apple changing to a chip that uses a different instruction set, since that would hamper the goal of reducing the footprint of the OS in Snow Leopard.



    As for propriety hardware Apple has always had a certain amount in their computers, but I think that they have in recent history managed to take of advantage of off the shelf components for most things. Maybe to understand the direction of the Mac portables we may need to see some of the developments that occurred in the iPhone? I am sure certain engineering lessons there are likely to be passed on to other teams within Apple.
  • Reply 43 of 203
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,837member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post


    Even after you see it, you won't believe it.



    But will you buy it after you see it?
  • Reply 44 of 203
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A new generation of personal computers on the way from Apple Inc. may sport some of the most significant architectural changes since the Mac maker made the jump from PowerPC processors to those manufactured by Intel Corp., AppleInsider has learned.



    However, with Apple striving to maintain Mac sales growth of more than two times the industry average, it's again looking to differentiate the architecture of its personal computer systems through alternative technology that will afford it an advantage beyond the reach of its competition.



    It seems unrealistic that Apple would abandon Intel entirely so soon, particularly given the success of their collaboration thus far. Plus, Intel's Nehalem processors and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard are sure to be a very powerful combination.



    The recent shift toward multi-core processing (the race for the fastest processor seems to be moot) suggests Apple's strategy may be to not only increase the number of multi-core processors in their Macs, but to diversify the types of multi-core processors employed by any given Mac (e.g., Intel processors for the CPUs, AMD processors for the video, PA Semi for something else, etc.).
  • Reply 45 of 203
    lorrelorre Posts: 396member
    This probably means Apple will use hardware- accellerated god-knows what.



    Could be H264 en/decoding, special SSD controllers for max performance, 3G chips,...



    I remember once reading somewhere the original Apple Computer had an optional FPU-unit, programmers could adress this FPU-unit in their software, but if it wasn't there the instructions were handled, be it much slower, by the main processor. They could do something similar, yet slightly different if they incorporate supplementary chips. They could either make their own extensions to the X86 instruction set only used in OSX-software, or they could offload X86-instructions to their own specialised chips that would handle those isntructions faster.



    I'm not really an expert in this area so people that know more about it may feel free to correct me.
  • Reply 46 of 203
    johnqhjohnqh Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lorre View Post


    This probably means Apple will use hardware- accellerated god-knows what.



    Could be H264 en/decoding, special SSD controllers for max performance, 3G chips,...



    I remember once reading somewhere the original Apple Computer had an optional FPU-unit, programmers could adress this FPU-unit in their software, but if it wasn't there the instructions were handled, be it much slower, by the main processor. They could do something similar, yet slightly different if they incorporate supplementary chips. They could either make their own extensions to the X86 instruction set only used in OSX-software, or they could offload X86-instructions to their own specialised chips that would handle those isntructions faster.



    I'm not really an expert in this area so people that know more about it may feel free to correct me.



    You are talking about 68000...and 8086?
  • Reply 47 of 203
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,837member
    Y'know, this sounds a lot like a leak to suss out a "leaker" at Apple.
  • Reply 48 of 203
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    Processors do not use a common interface. In addition Intel and AMD use very different connection technology. VIA, SIS, and Nvidia make separate third party chipsets for intel and AMD CPUs and to be perfectly honest you don't see VIA or SIS selling too many. ATI used to make third party intel chipsets, but after being acquired they stopped intel development and got rolled in as a first party AMD solutions. If you're going to use a AMD chipset that isn't like three years old, you have to use an AMD CPU with it.



    I didn't explain myself well. Other vendors use and can use the 'other' non-Intel chipsets. That won't separate Apple from other pc manufacturers. Using an AMD chipset, and AMD chip, won't provide an advantage either. Even thought the AMD chipset is nice and better in many respects to Intel's chipset, the overall system performance is weaker because the AMD cpus are so much more inferior to Intel's cpus.



    Now your left with a custom chipset. Like Booga said that's a 'high risk' proposition that's been tried before. If there is a decided performance advantage it may be worth it. But that's an 'if' at this point.



    Time will tell.
  • Reply 49 of 203
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,229member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnqh View Post


    You are talking about 68000...and 8086?



    I'm talking about the 56000 DSP



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_56000



    And for the record, a device uniquely qualified to do h.264, onboard in real-time, would be a big kick in the pants.
  • Reply 50 of 203
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Y'know, this sounds a lot like a leak to suss out a "leaker" at Apple.



    +++...
  • Reply 51 of 203
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post


    they already have to write code in universal binary to be used on intel and powerpc chips... are they going to now need to write code in universal tertiary?



    This doesn't seem to have anything to do with processor architecture -- and there is no reason for Apple to jump ship to AMD for processors. AMD's processors are simply sub-par to Intel right now in every aspect of Apple's market. If they are changing anything it will be the chipset used to support the processor, and I can't even begin to speculate in what potential that could offer. I suppose wonderful things could happen, or it could be mediocre. Something significant must be happening, though, for it to be associated with the statement made about 'a product people can't complete with'. It has to be a marketable change for that to matter. Apple won't be changing the computer world by changing a chipset, even if it is incredible (and could be great for us), because that is not one of the important marketable aspects of the computer.



    Whatever it is, I can't imagine Apple will be breaking compatibility at this point.



    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.



    Same as mentioned above. I'm not sure how people are getting out of the article that Apple is going to be forging ahead with a PPC->Intel type transition again. That wouldn't make sense anyway! It is the adoption of familiar technology that is doing so many wonderful things for their platform right now. Anything proprietary (in the sense that it breaks compatibility) at this point will probably be received harshly. Apple's got too good a thing going right now.



    Paying to use Intel processors with custom architecture, though, opens up the doors for Apple to innovate on the motherboard in ways that the world has never imagined. That could be significant. This might have absolutely nothing to do with the direction in which Apple is headed -- and the article doesn't give any real information about that either -- but anything that allows them to employ their innovation in a new aspect is generally a good thing.
  • Reply 52 of 203
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,524member
    Is it possible that the modification to the chipset could be for something so

    mundane as to prevent future versions of Mac OS X from working anything

    but genuine Apple macs (as opposed to cloned macs)?
  • Reply 53 of 203
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Custom Apple designed chipsets for product classes that do not exist yet. Come on people; use your brains.
  • Reply 54 of 203
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    Is it possible that the modification to the chipset could be for something so

    mundane as to prevent future versions of Mac OS X from working anything

    but genuine Apple macs (as opposed to cloned macs)?



    This is an I, too, had and would require a new chipset to best implement HW authentication. But with so many other Macs in use and supported for a solid 3 years I don't see Apple wanting this knowledge to be released to the public until they have an OS that will only install on this new, specific hardware.
  • Reply 55 of 203
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I don't see that happening at all. Not one mention of P.A. Semi in all that BS talk of IBM, AMD and Via.



    LOL. That's what I was thinking
  • Reply 56 of 203
    8corewhore8corewhore Posts: 833member
    I can see it having the glass multi-touch track pad for functionality while computer is "off". This smaller processor would run iTunes, email, etc. Why use a powerful CPU for doing low intensity tasks? In this way, it would be two products in one.
  • Reply 57 of 203
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    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.



    QFT. Thank God some people have their heads on straight.
  • Reply 58 of 203
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    I think people are confusing processors with chipsets.



    Thank you!! I can't believe I had to get to the 19th post before reading a comment from someone who actually read article!
  • Reply 59 of 203
    Hopefully these will make up for the last two minor speed bumps.
  • Reply 60 of 203
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Companies are often bought for one specific product. Perhaps P.A. Semi shopped something around and Apple saw it and decided they wanted it so much they were willing to buy the company...



    I can't see what can be so interesting that the chipset is worth redesigning myself, it's functionality is fairly standard...
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