Apple confirms switch to Intel

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  • Reply 181 of 423
    Just as an interesting side note for the technically inclined: there's some interesting stuff in usr/include/mach-o/fat.h and arch.h (it's been around for a long time, of course), for anyone interested in how the whole FAT binary thing works.



    For a more detailed description: http://developer.apple.com/documenta...chORuntime.pdf
  • Reply 182 of 423
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,334member
    Now that it's done we should stop with the hair shirts and get on with it.



    There are any number of things in my life that I could have done differently. I could have partnered with my high school friend when he wanted to start a computer company in 1970. If I had I'd be worth at least half a billion today.



    But we can't live thinking if this and if that. This is the hand we have and we have to make the best of it. We don't know the actual problems Apple and IBM are having, but we do know that it must really be something to make Apple do this.



    Now I'm concentrating on how this is going to help in the long run, and how my 10 thousand shares are going to do. You know what I want there.



    So why don't we all concentrate on figuring how this is going to be of benefit us, and how to explain it to those who aren't as knowledgable as we are?
  • Reply 183 of 423
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mandricard

    Or has Apple bought the x86 architecture whole-hog?



    They've bought into the x86 ISA at least. I'm certain they'll be engineering their own motherboards for a while though so aside from the chip the hardware won't be the same thing as a Dell. I think part of this whole thing is simply to get developers to do the whole universal binary shebang and then to keep both architectures around on the Mac through the foreseeable future, at least should both architectures continue to advance. And that's a big if there, unfortunately, for the PowerPC. But the STI alliance's Cell stuff really does look promising. I'd hate to see the last of the desktop RISCs die like this.
  • Reply 184 of 423
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    So why don't we all concentrate on figuring how this is going to be of benefit us, and how to explain it to those who aren't as knowledgable as we are?



    The easiest argument I think is that it gives Apple options. Much as I hate the x86 ISA, this actually might not be the worst idea from a business perspective. In the next few years Apple will have two architectures to choose from, so no matter which side of the fence stalls on development they can always go and buy the latest and greats from the other side. If Apple plays its cards right this could get quite interesting.
  • Reply 185 of 423
    zazzaz Posts: 177member
    But? does intel mean full on x86, ISA and all??



    Any reason Apple can't just develop it's own architecture ala SGI around the CPU?



    It isn't like they are gonna ship running an AWARD BIOS. They will write their own or such and have their own versions of an intel chipsets not available retail.



    Z
  • Reply 186 of 423
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,334member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by zaz

    But? does intel mean full on x86, ISA and all??



    Any reason Apple can't just develop it's own architecture ala SGI around the CPU?



    It isn't like they are gonna ship running an AWARD BIOS. They will write their own or such and have their own versions of an intel chipsets not available retail.



    Z




    It's hard to believe that they won't be doing something on their own. Apple doesn't want to use off the shelf machines. If they did, they could probably have them in the market today.



    I wonder what was in the iMac that Jobs was using in the demo other than the P4 3.6GHZ chip.
  • Reply 187 of 423
    Quote:

    Originally posted by zaz

    But? does intel mean full on x86, ISA and all??



    It sure looks like it. Apple wouldn't be shipping Pentium systems to developers and delivering x86 development tools if this weren't the plan.



    Quote:

    Any reason Apple can't just develop it's own architecture ala SGI around the CPU?



    They could but they clearly aren't. See above. Second, Apple already has a CPU architecture: PowerPC. Presumably this whole Intel/x86 business wouldn't be happening if there were an intention to build a custom CPU architecture and it would make no sense to reinvent the wheel. They'd use PowerPC if that were the plan. As I've speculated above, if this is about leaving the door open to both architectures in the future than the crusty old x86 ISA is the only thing that makes sense. Here they have Intel and AMD for future R&D/supplies. On the other side is IBM/Freescale on G4/G5 and Sony/Toshiba/IBM with the upcoming Cell technology. If that pans out, Apple might be shipping PowerPC based Cell systems in a few years and there will be no discussion at all of any transition, since developers will be shipping FAT applications in full swing. It'll be completely transparent to the user.



    Quote:

    It isn't like they are gonna ship running an AWARD BIOS. They will write their own or such and have their own versions of an intel chipsets not available retail.



    Apparently they aren't going to use Open Firmware either which I find a bit strange. As long as they don't use any of that BIOS trash we'll be fine though.
  • Reply 188 of 423
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TheOtherRob

    Just a couple of things for people to keep in mind:



    1. These days, the whole 'PowerPC vs Intel' thing isn't really anything more than posturing. People developed an allegience to it because that's what was inside the box, and difference encourages disproportionate notions of superiority.



    2. APPLE ARE A COMPANY. They're not your friend and they're not your Messiah. To be perfectly blunt, it all comes back to the shareholders. Jobs' number one priority is always, ALWAYS, to return a maximum dividend for shareholders - that's his job.



    To all the people saying that they've been betrayed by Steve and how could he stab us in the back, blah, blah, blah - they're just freakin' computers. If you really don't like it, buy another product, or start your own company - that's the reality.



    -TheOtherRob



    PS. Just to clarify, I'm talking to end users here - for all the developers out there facing the port, I feel for you!




    Just something to point out to you. Apple are a company, I am a customer. I don't have to buy their computers if I don't like them. Thus, in order to please their shareholder, they do at some level have to please me.



    If it were a religion, I'd do whatever Steve told me. But its not. So if I have question about the rational for this, I am acting as a rational customer. Only in Apple land could Questioning Apples direction be taken as fanatical dedication.
  • Reply 189 of 423
    johnsonwaxjohnsonwax Posts: 462member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleRISC

    [soapbox]Just because it will work doesn't mean x86 is a good architecture. As much money as Intel is pouring into this, mark my words, they are going to run into a dead end. And I'll bet they'll reach that dead end long before PowerPC (or its derivates such as Cell) do. As long as Apple doesn't permanently close the door on PowerPC/RISC I won't be bitching all the time.[/soapbox] [/B]



    You, me, and I'm almost sure Intel all believe this is true.



    Consider: Apple and MS are both running on the same hardware. Any hardware advances made now become a race between Apple and MS to support. Who'll be the first to make use of the new GPUs? Who'll jump on the new SIMD implementation? etc.



    If Intel ever wants to dump x86 (IA64 tells me they want to) who do you think will be there? And what's more, Apple after this move will be able to commit to it 100% and still have the option of going back. If ever PPC makes a resurgence on the desktop, you KNOW that OS X will have that code branch going. Just another recompile back.



    This is how Apple will fight MS---patiently, and with the best development environment.
  • Reply 190 of 423
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,334member
    I do have some thoughts about where Apple might go with hardware and software.



    If Apple's sales of non computer products continues to rise, with Apple coming out with even more of them over the next two years or so, even if the computer sales don't slack off, it might get interesting.



    Right now over half of Apple's dollars come from computer hardware sales. This is why clones are out. I'm sure most here also heard the rumors of PC manufacturers wanting OS X on their machines. That may be BS.



    But with the new revelations, it could be done with maybe no work at all.



    But with half of Apple's revenues coming from that hardware, and the bad experiences Apple had in the past with clones, it's not likely.



    However, if Apple's computer hardware sales drop to 25% of revenue, not because of slacking sales but because of added product lines, it would be different.



    If Apple then licensed the OS under strict rules regarding how those machines functioned, meaning total compatibility, it could work.



    The reason is that the sales of the OS could increase significantly. And the reason for that is pretty simple.



    As much as we dislike Dell, as much as for what Michael Dell said about Apple a few years ago, as for anything else, what is the most popular machine in business today?



    The enterprise says that as long as Apple's machines are single sourced, e.g. made only by Apple, they won't buy into it. But if it isn't...



    This could get Apple back into the business market in a big way.



    It would make up for the loss of some computer sales by selling many more OS X seats with their vastly higher profit margins.



    Apple would actually have a chance to compete with MS at their own level. As a software company, while still producing machines themselves.
  • Reply 191 of 423
    kiwimackiwimac Posts: 80member
    I'm so confused! Does this mean that Apple is using the X86 chip or another that is being made by intel? Will this mean going back to 32bit chips? and what will happen to rendering speeds that was the powermacs strong point

    also there better not be a sticker that would be to much!!!!!
  • Reply 192 of 423
    zazzaz Posts: 177member
    It also seems to me that x86 as a dev foothold (like the g5s for the xbox 360) is extremely likely?much more so that Apple just cobbling together off the shelf stuff from whoever.



    Would a jump to IA-64 be that much of an undertaking?



    I mean, if Apple is this far with x86 now, who's to say when the 'PowerMacs' go Intel they will even remotely resemble and x86 box of today. Maybe just the initial consumer macs will be x86.



    Z
  • Reply 193 of 423
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kiwimac

    I'm so confused! Does this mean that Apple is using the X86 chip or another that is being made by intel? Will this mean going back to 32bit chips? and what will happen to rendering speeds that was the powermacs strong point

    also there better not be a sticker that would be to much!!!!!




    All we have to judge by is the Dev machine, and it's a plain old P4. I don't know what becomes of 64 bitness--I can't image them shipping a machine that supports less memory, but I couldn't see them switching to Intel either.
  • Reply 194 of 423
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kiwimac

    I'm so confused! Does this mean that Apple is using the X86 chip or another that is being made by intel?



    x86, that much is quite clear.



    Quote:

    Will this mean going back to 32bit chips?



    Probably not for long. From my limited knowledge on Intel's offerings I seem to recall they recently introduced a 64 bit Celeron chip.



    Quote:

    and what will happen to rendering speeds that was the powermacs strong point



    This concerns me as well and I have no answer. Intel's chips have SIMD instructions as well, though I don't know how they compare with AltiVec.



    Quote:

    also there better not be a sticker that would be to much!!!!!



    I don't know why everyone's worried about that of all things. If anything I think it's clear Steve Jobs has a good sense of style and slapping Intel Inside® on Apple machines would not only dilute Apple's own brand, it would look ugly and out of place. It's not going to happen.
  • Reply 195 of 423
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,334member
    People forget that iA-64 chips cost several thousand dollars apiece for the high end models and are even above a thousand for the slowest. They are also a power hog.



    What would be the point of going to those?



    I believe that Apple's main concern is power. Jobs made a big point about that.



    It doesn't seem that the high end is in as much trouble. Besides, if Apple wanted to go to a workstation chip, they could have gone to the Power 5 and next year the Power 6. Those are ackowledged to be in advance of everyone else's product. But they didn't.
  • Reply 196 of 423
    Quote:

    Originally posted by D.J. Adequate

    I can't image them shipping a machine that supports less memory, but I couldn't see them switching to Intel either.



    That's what we get for not keeping track of the weather down in hell. Quite clearly it's already frozen over multiple times.
  • Reply 197 of 423
    I am very skeptical about the 'switch' only because I feel Steve Jobs left too many questions unanswered.



    First and foremost, will the new Macs running on Intel processors be proprietary Intel chips, or will they be running on specially fabricated chips specially made for Macs as IBM made for apple?



    Will the new processors be 64 bit as well as dual core? One thing I have always liked about Apple is that for the most part, their processors (G5 / G4) have had other advantages other than sheer MHz power (such as altivec capability and the implementation of 64 bit).



    I am very wary that Apple may decide to use Intel?s Pentium M series for their laptops, which may be power efficient, but are clocked much lower than regular desktop Pentium 4's.



    The whole idea of upgrading your Mac has changed. Will you be able to just go out and buy a Pentium processor and pop it in your Mac? What about the graphics cards? We all know something needs to be done about that.



    Will Apple release OS X for PC's? Or is that what essentially just happened? I believe OS X running on a pc would be a disaster. Part of the reason why Windows is so awful is because of the enormous amount of hardware options floating around. For instance, there are hundreds upon hundreds of motherboard options for PC?s; ANY OS would have difficulty achieving maximum compatibility.



    Now that the difference in hardware is gone, Apple is betting on Longhorn being a flop, so they can tout one of the only things that separates them from the windows world; OS X. Apple does still have the advantage of creating great products that interact flawlessly with each other. This will still attract many buyers.
  • Reply 198 of 423
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    Besides, if Apple wanted to go to a workstation chip, they could have gone to the Power 5 and next year the Power 6. Those are ackowledged to be in advance of everyone else's product. But they didn't.



    Perhaps we'll see those on future Xserves. I really can't imagine any reason to use Intel for high-end workhorse servers if Apple truly wants to continue to compete in that market.
  • Reply 199 of 423
    cmatechcmatech Posts: 14member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleRISC

    Which still isn't an argument for using x86. The Soviet Lada car also "worked," it still didn't mean its internal design was something to be particularly proud of.



    You are right!



    It is not an argument for using x86.

    Nor is it an argument for using PPC.



    You missed the whole point: I and a whole heck of a lot of mac buyers/users don't care what is inside - as long as it works. If what is inside does not work - I don't want it. I don't need to be "proud" of what's inside.



    BTW: if *all* you need is a ride to work and back, the Soviet Lada car will do just fine.
  • Reply 200 of 423
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,334member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by [email protected]

    I am very skeptical about the 'switch' only because I feel Steve Jobs left too many questions unanswered.



    First and foremost, will the new Macs running on Intel processors be proprietary Intel chips, or will they be running on specially fabricated chips specially made for Macs as IBM made for apple?



    They look to be standard chips.



    Will the new processors be 64 bit as well as dual core? One thing I have always liked about Apple is that for the most part, their processors (G5 / G4) have had other advantages other than sheer MHz power (such as altivec capability and the implementation of 64 bit).



    The notebook chips might be 32 bit, but probably not. This isn't happening for a year.



    I am very wary that Apple may decide to use Intel?s Pentium M series for their laptops, which may be power efficient, but are clocked much lower than regular desktop Pentium 4's.



    Pentium M chips are surprising better for their clock than are P4 desktop chips.



    The whole idea of upgrading your Mac has changed. Will you be able to just go out and buy a Pentium processor and pop it in your Mac? What about the graphics cards? We all know something needs to be done about that.



    No. And Graphics cards will be there. It would be pretty stupid if they weren't. wouldn't you say?



    Will Apple release OS X for PC's? Or is that what essentially just happened? I believe OS X running on a pc would be a disaster. Part of the reason why Windows is so awful is because of the enormous amount of hardware options floating around. For instance, there are hundreds upon hundreds of motherboard options for PC?s; ANY OS would have difficulty achieving maximum compatibility.



    They don't intend to. But read my post above.



    Now that the difference in hardware is gone, Apple is betting on Longhorn being a flop, so they can tout one of the only things that separates them from the windows world; OS X. Apple does still have the advantage of creating great products that interact flawlessly with each other. This will still attract many buyers.




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