Apple's new Power Mac with 2 processors?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I know this has been brought up before, but I figure I'd start fueling the fire again because I think It's a cool idea.



What if Apple's new Power Mac had 2 processors? I can see what you're saying now. The Power Mac already has 2 processors. I'm not talking about a dual processor G4, but a machine with 2 different processors.



What if the Power Mac had a G4 (Apollo) and an AMD (Athlon XP)? Now before someone points out to me how this can't work technologically, here's how it would work in theory.



The Mac would primarily run off of the G4 or G4s depending if it's a single or multiprocessor machine. This would run Mac OS X and all of the Mac apps without a problem. Then let's say you want to run a PC .exe file. With the 6100/60 DOS, you'd press Apple-Return, or some other strange keystroke, and it would boot Windows 3.1. In this situation, Mac OS X would run the application using the G4 AND the AMD. (I know someone's going to tell me this isn't possible, but hear me out).



The program would run off of the AMD chip (so it's not 'emulated'), while the G4 was still running the OS, Quartz, etc. It would almost be another 'Classic' environment without the seperate OS.



Maybe Apple can also make it possible to use the Power of both chips in certain Mac applications to make developers keep writing Mac specific programs.



That way, all of the people who want to run 'PC apps' can do it and have a '2GHz' chip inside their system for bragging rights.



You'd also keep the look and feel of the Operating System, and with a couple of 1 GHz+ G4s in there, it should be a pretty fast machine.



Ok, now that I'm done, people can start saying how this machine will kill Apple, is not technologically possible, and how it should not be made or why Apple won't make it.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    imacfanimacfan Posts: 444member
    I seem to remember that back in the days of DOS, Apple created a DOS card that did a similar job, however I think that it was very clumsy and costly. Anyone else have any info?
  • Reply 2 of 42
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    The DOS card allowed Windows to run on the Mac. I was thinking more of the processor allowing Windows .exe programs to run within Mac OS X.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    slackerslacker Posts: 127member
    I've got an OrangePC card if anybody wants one! The chip on the card does the pc work and just piggy backs on the macs subsystems.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    [quote]I've got an OrangePC card if anybody wants one! The chip on the card does the pc work and just piggy backs on the macs subsystems. <hr></blockquote>



    Yeah, but doesn't the OrangePC only support a Pentium 200 Mhz? <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />



    Also, I don't think there's any Mac OS X compatibility. :o
  • Reply 5 of 42
    I'm thinking something like that would require a *major* kernel rewrite. Also, what would the UI be for these .exes?



    How would Apple market these machines?
  • Reply 6 of 42
    i think one could get even more bang for the buck by simply including an OEM version of virtual PC with each powermac. that would run exe. files and also allow you to run the odd bit of windoze software. make it less featured and give people an attractive upgrade path to get the fullblown version from connectix.
  • Reply 7 of 42
    jrcjrc Posts: 806member
    I've got a DOS card sitting in my office, BTW.



    What if Apple used the AMD chip to run the below-aqua layer (aka Darwin), and the PPC chip/raycer to run the aqua layer?



    We've already got Darwin running on X86. So, why not run it faster and communicate with the PPC for the graphics and driver stuff?



    Maybe that's why those test mules are SEALED?



    (major fantasy stuff)
  • Reply 8 of 42
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    [quote]I'm thinking something like that would require a *major* kernel rewrite. Also, what would the UI be for these .exes?<hr></blockquote>



    It would use the Mac interface powered by the G4.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    jcgjcg Posts: 777member
    I think that the Power PC chips are still cheaper than thier intel/amd counterparts. That allowed Apple to put dual 450/500 in thier pro models without increasing the cost 18 months ago. Your solution would add cost to hardware and software design.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    [quote]Your solution would add cost to hardware and software design. <hr></blockquote>



    So Apple lowers their margins a little bit. I think that this feature would sell a TON of Macs, especially to Windows converts.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,395member
    Well, according to the naked mole rat, new G4 powermacs will be released around Jan 20th up to 1.4GHz. I guess well see if they come with dual processers.



    Here is the link...

    <a href="http://www.macedition.com/nmr/nmr_20020114.php"; target="_blank">http://www.macedition.com/nmr/nmr_20020114.php</a>;
  • Reply 12 of 42
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    Dual processors are good, and all, but I'm talking about two seperate types of processors.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    [quote]Originally posted by Fran441:

    <strong>



    It would use the Mac interface powered by the G4.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Unfortunately it's not that simple. There are Windows widgets which simply don't exist on the Mac side, not to mention custom widgets and "painting" which cannot be programmatically translated to Aqua, and which will thus stick out jarringly.



    Also, buttons will still be in all the wrong places, etc. Better to leave Windows apps looking like Windows apps to highlight the fact that the user should expect a different set of behaviors from them.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    I knew someone would tell me why it wouldn't work sooner or later.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Also the power supply required for this monster would have tro be enormouse. And you think the one fan in the Mac makes noise? Wait until they would have to stick 2 such fans. It's not cost effective, even though it's feasable.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    x704x704 Posts: 276member
    [quote]Originally posted by Fran441:

    <strong>



    So Apple lowers their margins a little bit. I think that this feature would sell a TON of Macs, especially to Windows converts.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Why? If they want to run windows Apps then why not just run windows? Why pay the overhead for a Mac just to run windows apps?



    If Apple did this then there'd also be the old argument of Developers not bothering to code for mac. Afterall if you have an AMD & can run it just as fas on it then why write the mac App?



    It just seems like an incredible waste to me. If you want to run windows apps, get VPC. If you want to run them well, build a cheap PC. If you want to use a mac, use a mac ...



    Why pay for 2 processors when you can only use one at a time? I guess the other processor could be doing something at various times but personally I'd much prefer a normal DP machine which would cost less & be more effective for me IMHO.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    There are a TON of people out there that want to run Mac OS X, but don't want to have to buy new versions of every application they own. This way, they can run the Mac OS and run their old Windows apps as well. You'd get a ton of people jumping ship from Windows.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    [quote]Originally posted by Fran441:

    <strong>There are a TON of people out there that want to run Mac OS X, but don't want to have to buy new versions of every application they own. This way, they can run the Mac OS and run their old Windows apps as well. You'd get a ton of people jumping ship from Windows.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    This is a huge myth. Granted, if you read tech fora and places like ZDNet, you hear from a lot of tinkerers who'd love the chance to try OS X on cheap commodity hardware. But these people are extremely unrepresentative of the computer-using public, many of whom don't even know what an OS is. Before it went offline, the OS X on Intel petition had stalled at around 20,000 signatures. That may sound impressive, but 20,000 is not a lot of users. A really successful game for the Mac will get about 20,000 buyers--but compare the development cost of a game with that of an entire OS and your ROI goes straight into the toilet.



    Your idea misses the point. Users who tinker with OSes are pretty technically saavy. The main barrier for trying out a new platform is not software availability--every excuse for an OS comes with a web browser, a text editor and a media player--but hardware. The people clamoring for OS X on Intel didn't want a SuperMac that could run Windows and cost $3500; they wanted to build their own commodity Windows boxes that could dual-boot Mac OS. Your idea would give very little added incentive for PC users to try Mac OS, while at the same time hurting current Mac users by discouraging Mac-native software development.



    Those few PC users who are curious about Mac OS will have to bite the bullet and get an iMac. There's no way to merge the Mac and Windows platforms without hurting the Mac, and I don't see how people persist in failing to realize that.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    [quote]There's no way to merge the Mac and Windows platforms without hurting the Mac, and I don't see how people persist in failing to realize that.<hr></blockquote>



    There's also no way for Apple to increase it's marketshare without more applications running on it's operating system. I don't see how people fail to realize that.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    I wouldn´t like to have a AMD or a Intel in my mac. I would consider it infected.



    BUT couldn´t you have a VPC-like interface running Windows on real hardware? I am not talking about THE VPC of course (since its a software solution) but a solution that from the users perspective worked like that? Then it would be like having two real hardware computers in one at the same time. You wouldn´t need a 2Ghz in that, only a relative cool 800-1000Mhz.
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