Mac to use Intel Chips!

thekurst

Registered
Look I just recently switched to Apple, and I love it, I'm a computer tech and I deal with Intel and AMD chips on a daily basis. I love the stability and performance of the IBM PPC chip. If Apple switched over to Intel chips, I'd probably switch too, I mean I'd reather run Linux on a Intel/AMD based laptop than anything else.

Point is if Apple for some reason, any reason decides to go with Intel I hope the still keep PPC Processors as an option for those of us who like the stability and performance of the chips.

Apple should stay with PPC Point Blank.
 

wadesworld

Mac Developer
If Apple moves to Intel, you can bet it won't be on any old Intel machine out there. They will likely manufacture their own motherboards, and OS X will be setup to run only on those motherboards, likely by looking for a special chip on the motherboard.

Of course someone will eventually hack it and allow it to run on other PC's, but it will be completely unsupported and probably far less reliable.

This is all a BIG IF, of course.

Wade
 

WeeZer51402

Registered
I guess its time to break out the tissues, monday will be a very very sad day in apple history. The recompiling thing is gonna be a pain too, what if I'm a medium sized programming company and I decide I only want to compile for intel what will become of all of the legacy PPC machines. I don't even know if I could handle using an intel chip, there is such a stigma. Well I hope it is Intel PPC I suppose that might ease the pain.
 

Chazam

Apple Virgin
I couldn't care what was under the hood of my mac as long as it's:

Stable
A Good Peformer
Under Apple's Control

It won't make no difference.
Could Intel develop it's own PPC chip?
Could it just be that IBM are giving Intel the job of making G5's?
I guess we'll have to wait and see.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
It ain't gonna happen. Period.

The announcement is supposed to be on Monday. It's Sunday now. I will now spend the rest of the day storing energy, so tomorrow I will be able to laugh and say "I told you so" at great length and with full gusto when no such announcement takes place.

Wait for it.
 

Damrod

Registered
Yeah, I doubt as well that it will happen. Most developers just finished porting their programs to really be OS X native (fully cocoa, no carbon). As a developer, I would get really grumpy if I could start the whole process anew.

If Apple would take this step, they might as well abonden the whole Hardware thing and concentrate on the software side completely
 

Viro

Registered
Well, if they could port the entire set of libraryes, Core-whatever, Cocoa, QT, etc to x86 the transition will be relatively painless assuming you coded in C/Objective-C/C++ and didn't drop down to using assembler or any sort of Altivec code.

I don't think it's a big deal for developers since all they need to do is recompile their programs. Instead it would be a really big deal for Apple as they will have to port everything to a new architecture. It isn't in their best financial interest to do so for the many reasons already stated in this thread.
 

Cat

Registered
Apple was stuck with G4/motorola and went looking for a better option. Jobs said "we like having options" "the G5 roadmap looks pretty strong". Now Apple is stuck with the G5/IBM and goes looking for a better option.

However, IBM is going to supply the PPC for the next generation gaming consoles, and there is hope that things will get better on that front. No such hope on the Motorola/Freescale front. Hence, Apple is going to ditch the G4 first. Where is the G4? In the low end, consumer products ... and in the PowerBooks. What will Apple do? Switch the consumer G4 to Intel Pentium M: cheaper consumer machines for extended penetration in the Wintel market. They will also finally anounce the long awaited PowerBook G5 with the PPC 970Fx and PowerMacs at 3GHz, shipping "this year" before holiday buying season. IF IBM cannot deliver any further enhancements, also the Pro line will switch to Intel later, otherwise it can remain in PPC land.

Why is this not a desaster for everyone? The consumers do not really care what the name of the processor is, they care about the effective speed. Want to explain the differences between PPC and x86 to the unwashed masses? Be my guest! Good luck when the eyes glaze over ... The professional customers are keeping their beloved superior PPC architecture, so nothing bad happens there. When we will again be the last in line in the MHz game, Apple will switch the pro line to the winning team. The developers are going to massively shrug. x86? PPC? It's a compiler flag, so? All of the big developers have experience with x86 code and have capable programmers on that front. Moreover, partially due to the NeXT legacy, we all are familiar with Fat binaries. End users are not even going to notice.

"But OS X on x86 is the end of the world!" No it isn't. Why would it? I hope you all understand that the Mac platform is more than just the PPC processor ... Apple has been using off-the-shelf components everywhere else for years. Plain old PC compatible Harddisks, RAM, etc. They already ported Quicktime and iTunes to Windows/x86 and it seems to be a public secret that Apple has always kept current versions of OS X running on x86 hardware. All the presuppositions are met. It is going to cost Apple quite a bit to manage the transtition smoothly, but they already managed it twice: 68k -> PPC and OS 9 -> OS X. Three's the charm. It is going to be easier: remember Darwin (the BSD foundation of OS X) already runs on x86.

"What about Altivec/VelocityEngine?" What about it? IBM "grafted" it onto the POWER 4's little brother, so why couldn't Intel do the same? I'm pretty sure Apple hs covered all the license bases needed for such a transition. We need altivec? We get altivec. If they are going to do this, they will have prepared it very carefully. I wouldn't be surprised to find that have been indeed in talks for years.

On the other hand, while still a possibility and not the maniacal suicide many took it to be, it simply could not happen. Apple is OK with current IBM delivery and hang on in there. It has hung on before in much worse situations. Perhaps they have decided that that has been bad enough and don't want to even run the risk of ending up in 450MHz G4 for more that a year again ... wait a minute: we are already there! At this WWDC it will have been _two years_ since Steve said: we will go to 3GHz in a year. Two years later we are still not there. Do you think IBM can do that and not have Apple look for alternatives? What alternatives _are_ there? Motorola? No, if Apple is ever going to switch away from the PPC they are going to do so fully, completely and in style. They are going to get the biggest vendor on board in x86 land: Intel.

I'll be following the keynote tomorrow with great interest, whatever may come or fail to come.

Disclaimer: No NDA was harmed in the production of this post. ;)
 

Pengu

Digital Music Pimp
Um. altivec is one of the things apple has pushed since the inception of the G4. It's like Intel pushe(d/ing) SSE2 on it's P4's for multimedia work.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
We also have to keep in mind that such a transition wouldn't take place in 2-3 months. And support for PowerPC based Macs would probably be kept for more than 2 or 3 years. Maybe Apple even just keeps both. Why not? If we end up with FAT applications (optimised for "both worlds"), Apple could switch back and forth, using the processors best for each machine. If intel has the better processors for mobile computers and IBM for desktops: Why not use PPC in the PowerMac and Pentium-M (or successors) in iBooks and PowerBooks...
 

moav

Hunter of Muffins
Intel has not done a very good job promoting Linux so I really doubt we will see much if any market share gain by this switch. It seems it has a lot less to do with the chip then the operating system. The reason for that is you don't have specific individuals in your IT department worrying about AMD, PPC, or INTEL. Rarely do they ever ask you on the phone are you running AMD or INTEL. It's always going to be a mac windows thing. I would jump ship today if 3rd party products wouldn't need to rewrite their drivers for products and what ever ran on an intel for win would work the same on Mac for x86. This is going to be hell!! No way am I going to try to support OS 9/OS10.3/4 PPC and 10.3/4 x86.

If Intel doesn't pull a Microsoft and make a huge investment in Apple stock tomorrow we are going to see a nice double digit drop in the price in the next few days. Yes, the PPC has been stuck in quick sand for the last couple years. Well hell, look at Intel they have been in the same boat. They should be up to 5Ghz chips by now and as far as I know I don't see a 3.5Ghz chip coming from them this year. And we are kicking their ass on FSBs. In a few years IBM will get their act together. With the xbox pumping in cash to them they aren't about to abandon the PPC line. It's always going to be Wintel... Mactel and Lintel will always be the never spoken about step-kids.

It still gives me the shakes to think about seeing an AMD or INTEL sticker on my baby ass white imac...
 

markceltic

Apple Addicted
Some people got nothing better to do with their time I guess than to stick all that into a mac case.:confused:
 

RGrphc2

...InSaNe...
Has anyone thought that Intel is developing "small" G5 chips for the Powerbook/iBook G5s??

It's possible, another point is that 10.5 might be co-developed for both PowerPC and x86 chips, but limited to x86, this way switcher's will check out 10.5 (whatever it's called) on their home x86 and then actually go out and buy a Mac just to see it's full potential.

Or that Intel could be using the ARM chip (found in all PDA's) to create a Newton II??? That is smaller and lightweight and can compete with Palm??
 

CreativeEye

Registered
RGrphc2 - your last paragraph rings most true...

this is more than likely something that is for something totally different - and if it is for a Mac - then Apple will totally lock it down to only run OSX anyway.

remember folks - the WWDC is tomorrow - and rumours of new products etc are so thin on the ground that this is is the best the rumour mills could do - to regurgitate a story thats been knocking about for years... and the worst thing about it? - even if it is true - it really doesnt matter...
 
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