Why couldn't Apple go With AMD?

Sirtovin

Senior Switcher Tech Guru
I watched the news today and to my dismay Apple has gone with Intel. The pros are there finally... for Apple... but so are the cons...

Pros...

1. Apple prices will go down hopefully with the shift to Intel.
2. Apple will become backward compatible more friendly with Windoze... M$.
3. Apple will give Longhorn a real run for it's money.
4. Places like Best Buy, Circuit City, will now feel more obligated to buy Apple for their customers to choose from.

Cons...

1. Intel has yet to make a decent 64-bit processor as AMD has already been testing the waters for almost 2 years now.
2. The next Apple OS release will probably be backward compatible to Windows and run some major Window applications thus eliminating the need for M$ Virtual PC.

My big concern is why Apple did not go to AMD instead of Intel? AMD has a clear advantage when it comes to 64-bit. Does this mean perhaps that Intel will be stepping up it's 64-bit line for next year when they have been so far reluctant to go that route and stay with their 32-bit Pentium IV?
 

Qion

Uber Nothing
I don't think you will be able to run Windows on a Mac still... at least I damn well hope so. Can someone shed some light on this?
 

wiz

Registered
wine can't do a good job in that area, so i doubt you'd be able to run _most_ widows programs on the mac either.
 

Pengu

Digital Music Pimp
Ok. tell me how the hell switching to a completely different CPU type is going to give you backwards compatibility!?
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Windows applications will not run under Mac OS X with Intel processors. It will also not be possible to install the Intel-version of Mac OS X on non-Apple computers, meaning you can't just go buy any cheap-o Intel box and install Mac OS X on it. You'll still have to purchase an Apple-branded Intel machine. Think about it: Windows applications are programmed to run under Windows (with Windows-specific API calls, etc.) -- not under a certain processor. Can you run an x86 Linux application under Windows or vice-versa? Same for Mac.

Older, PPC-only applications will run atop an emulation layer on Mac OS X with Intel processors, without a significant performance hit (though there will be a performance hit, just not as bad as trying to run VirtualPC).

AMD is small-fries compared to Intel. Just because they were first to 64-bit doesn't mean they're the best choice for 64-bit processors. Intel hasn't entered the 64-bit market wholly probably because they're not ready to. AMD has been "testing the 64-bit waters" for quite some time now, but that doesn't mean their 64-bit implementation is the way to go nor does it mean that it's the best 64-bit implementation.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
There's virtually no way you'll be able to run Windows apps natively. However, there might be some Virtual PC-like solution that will let you run Windows within the Mac environment. It wouldn't really be "emulation" (since Windows would be running on its native hardware), but it wouldn't really be native either.

I highly doubt Apple's prices will go down much. Macs are not more expensive because the PPC costs more; they're more expensive because Apple likes to make profits. They have the highest margins in the industry, and I don't think they'll throw that away just because they're switching chips.

Backward compatible? Meaning what? Do you expect the Intel Macs to have PS/2 ports and PC printer ports? I doubt it. Apple's not big on legacy technology. Just because other machines with the same chip use these technologies doesn't mean Apple will abandon their current design philosophy.

Right now, we still don't have a lot of info. Will OS X run on non-Apple PCs? Will Windows run on Apple PCs? Will they be using the same motherboards used in other PCs? What about Carbon? (He only mentioned Cocoa in the keynote; the Carbon apps were run in emulation.) And really, how good can this emulation possibly be? He showed Photoshop running, but really, wouldn't you have to be eight kinds of Crazy to run a pro-level app in emulation? Even if it's as good as the 68k emulation on PPCs (which I doubt), that's still a big performance hit.

I'm shocked. I was all ready to laugh my ass off when Steve said "those news and rumor sites were all on crack".

I honestly don't think there's any advantage here, except (I guess) that IBM just can't deliver the goods. There's no reason Apple should want to make this switch; they must be doing it because they have no choice.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a very bad piece of news. That said, I expect Apple to pull it off reasonably gracefully.

Now if you'll excuse me, I believe I promised to eat a feast of hats, crow and my own words. I'd better get feastin'.
 

jeb1138

Carioca
It seems like a good idea for Apple to go with the big dog (Intel) on beginning this big switch. The bigger point is that _after_ this switch takes place they _will_ be able to think about going AMD, or even going AMD for one line and Intel for another. Who knows -- maybe Apple will eventually choose AMD for desktops and Intel for laptops.

This is awesome news and HUGE news for running Windows apps. Running on x86 hardware means that a VirtualPC-like program will be MUCH easier to make and will run MUCH faster. Apple could (and perhaps already has) create their own and could even bundle it for free. Then you could finally sell people on getting a Mac because their PC-exclusive apps could potentially run for free and probably faster than they're currently running on their old PC. Nice.
 

MisterMe

Registered
Sirtovin said:
I watched the news today and to my dismay Apple has gone with Intel. The pros are there finally... for Apple... but so are the cons...

Pros...

1. Apple prices will go down hopefully with the shift to Intel.
The switch to Intel won't make for cheaper computers because Intel chips are more expensive, not cheaper, than comparable PPC chips.

Sirtovin said:
2. Apple will become backward compatible more friendly with Windoze... M$.
Huh? I don' t quite understand what you are trying to say. It is clear that Intel-based Macs will run Windows.
Sirtovin said:
3. Apple will give Longhorn a real run for it's money.
Apple says that you will not be able to run MacOS X 10.5 on non-Apple computers. However, it seems that the only thing stopping you is the EULA. Quite frankly, I believe that this has a lot more to do with the switch than any mythical performance deficit in PPC performance two years out.
Sirtovin said:
4. Places like Best Buy, Circuit City, will now feel more obligated to buy Apple for their customers to choose from.
This comment makes absolutely no sense at all.

Sirtovin said:
Cons...

1. Intel has yet to make a decent 64-bit processor as AMD has already been testing the waters for almost 2 years now.
Whatever AMD's advantages, it is clone architecture. x86-32 and x86-64 are what Intel says they are. With this transition, Apple assumes a leadership position among Intel-based computer manufacturers. Choosing AMD would make Apple a follower.
Sirtovin said:
2. The next Apple OS release will probably be backward compatible to Windows and run some major Window applications thus eliminating the need for M$ Virtual PC.
It won't be backward compatible, it will be compatible [at the hardware level]. Virtual PC will still be required to run Windows and Leopard simultaneously.
Sirtovin said:
My big concern is why Apple did not go to AMD instead of Intel? AMD has a clear advantage when it comes to 64-bit. Does this mean perhaps that Intel will be stepping up it's 64-bit line for next year when they have been so far reluctant to go that route and stay with their 32-bit Pentium IV?
The first part is simple: leaders don't place their bets on clones. This is a high risk move by Apple that is being made less so with Intel's support. AMD brings nothing to the party.

That said, I have lots of issues with this move vis-a-vis 64-bit and a host of other issues. Intel essentially admitted that the x86 architecture had reached its limits when it partnered with HP to develop the misbegotten IA-64 architecture. We now see that x86 has pretty much reached a wall despite the $1 billions that Intel has poured into it. OTOH, the PPC seems to have a lot of upside left. Like a lot of Mac customers, I want to know WTF is going on here.
 

kainjow

Registered
Why does everyone keep saying that the PPC has a ways to go, and how there is still a lot of development in it?

If this was the case, then Apple would be 100% all over it for X years down the road. Obviously IBM can't keep up, and can't even create a decent mobile processor. The G5 is great for desktops, but that's it. Apple has no PPC to put in its mobile line (don't even think G4 anymore).

The switch to Intel, as I see it, was mandatory. I'm glad they're doing it. Now we can look forward to some great machines coming out of Apple and Intel.

M$ = bye bye :)
 

scruffy

Notorious Olive Counter
ElDiabloConCaca said:
... It will also not be possible to install the Intel-version of Mac OS X on non-Apple computers, meaning you can't just go buy any cheap-o Intel box and install Mac OS X on it. You'll still have to purchase an Apple-branded Intel machine.
I doubt that will really be the case. You can run Darwin on an ordinary PC right now - not "any cheap-o Intel box", as the device driver support is rather limited, but the Darwin kernel will boot from a bog-standard PC, with a bog-standard PC BIOS.

And, the point of a kernel being to provide hardware abstraction, a cleanly written OS should not bother much with what's below it - so, with a Darwin from opendarwin.org, and an OS X x86 install disk, you might well be good to go.

I guess it's possible that they'll somehow tie the higher layers of the OS to open firmware (breaking the "cleanly written" thing, but whatever). Then you wouldn't be able to run OS X on PC BIOS boxes.

- Open firmware is, as the name suggests, an open standard, so there's nothing stopping anyone from making open firmware based Intel boards.
- even if nobody makes an open firmware Intel board but Apple, the restrictions will likely be bypassable.

Now, your copy of OS X will probably not be licensed to run on non-Apple hardware, but that's very different from it not being possible...
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Possible, yes. I agree. I'm sure we'll see an "XPostFacto" application designed to help Mac OS X run on non-Apple-branded hardware.

I am highly skeptical of being able to grab an Intel-based version of Mac OS X and slap it in any old PC and get it to boot. I'm sure Apple will build in some sort of protective measures (either into Mac OS X itself, or into their own Intel-branded machines) that will limit what computers you can install the software onto.

If Apple allows their retail copy of Intel-based Mac OS X to be installed on any old Intel-based computer, I'll eat my shoes. Guaranteed. I highly doubt that a simple license agreement will be the only thing holding people back from installing Mac OS X on their non-Apple Intel-based machines. That would absolutely cannibalize sales of Apple-branded computers, IMO.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
From a CNet article:
However, Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers' hardware. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said.
As expected, really. Also, Schiller said that you will be able to run Windows on Apple's machines; they won't support it, but they won't prevent it. Which, come to think of it, is kind of strange, because it makes switching from Mac to Windows a lot easier than switching from Windows to Mac. o_O
 

joneSi

wanna be power user
Well, I'm not sure how I feel about it right now....but I accept the future of Mac computing, so long as I can stay with OS X. I made the switch when I bought my iBook back in February.

I guess I am kinda disappointed, however, I realize that apple will not leave us in the dark with brand spankin' new hardware.

All that said, I _almost_ sold my iBook on eBay last week in favor of a PowerBook. I did not end up selling it, but I'll be one of the first when I hear about the new pb's to get one ordered up the second they are announced!

j.o.n.e.s.
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Here's how I see all of this. A bit of history, if you will....

After Jobs was ousted from Apple, he decided to start his own computer company called NeXT. These machines were very slick and used a UNIX operating system called NeXTSTEP geared to everyday users without ever having to touch a command shell. The first machine, the NeXT Cube, had no floppy drive. Various other incarnations of NeXT machines did include it. Unfortuntately, this wonderful system and OS was way ahead of its time, and the company eventually had to drop the hardware and become a software company, changing the name of NeXTSTEP to OPENSTEP and porting it over to x86 hardware from 68K. (Even while just being hired back at Apple, Jobs was running NeXTSTEP on his IBM Thinkpad.)

Meanwhile, Apple started licensing its OS to computer companies that wanted to make clones of the Mac hardware. From what I've read, Sony..while hesitant...wanted in badly but once Jobs came back into Apple's offices and killed the clones, that was it for Sony's chance at the Mac OS.

Personally, I have seen history repeat itself now, but with Apple being the company. We've had the G4 Cube and Macs without floppies (all ideas from NeXT) and now we have a UNIX OS that is easy to use without having to touch the command shell. Remember that Mac OS X is a descendent of NeXTSTEP, which means he might have had this plan in place for a while now (which he personally confirmed in the keynote with his 5 year testing). After Steve came back, Apple dropped Be's BeOS for NeXTSTEP, which became Rhapsody, which became Mac OS X. Rhapsody and Mac OS X 1.0 were available for x86 as well as PPC, so who was to say that this would be the end of the road for x86 on Macs?

Beyond this, I look back at that mention of Sony wanting to make clones and ponder about this deal that Apple made with Sony on sharing technologies in January. Personally, I had a feling there was something more to this. This might be a wild shot, but I have a feeling that once the PPC-to-x86 transition is complete, Apple WILL license once again and this time exclusively to Sony. Sony has always acknowledged that the Mac OS is superior to Windows, but didn't see the need to risk its business on non-x86 hardware platforms. Now with Macs and Mac OS X on Intel CPUs, this might be a lucrative business for a company that might have the desire to become a software company just as NeXT did.

Anyways, that's my speculation on it from my experiences following Apple through the 80s as a kid until the present day. Take it with a grain of salt...I know I have. :p
 
I must say. I am PISSED with apple using intel :mad::mad::mad::mad:. THANKFULLY they wont have intel processors in them until 2006; which means that hopefully when I get my iMac this year, it _BETTER_ have a PPC in it. They couldv'e gone with AMD or the Cell processor with a little tweaking.
 
I must say. I am PISSED with apple using intel :mad::mad::mad::mad:. THANKFULLY they wont have intel processors in them until 2006; which means that hopefully when I get my iMac this year, it _BETTER_ have a PPC in it. They couldv'e gone with AMD or the Cell processor with a little tweaking. I certainly hope apple knows about this site and sees my nice message ::evil::.

Edit: Sorry for double post; server timed out.
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
You know what else is ironic about all of this??

Release date for Intel based Macs: 06/06/06

Need I say more?? LOL!!
 
nixgeek said:
You know what else is ironic about all of this??

Release date for Intel based Macs: 06/06/06

Need I say more?? LOL!!
now thats ironic. maybe that means intel will die :)
 
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