Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips

pixel

06-04-2005, 11:23 AM

Apple Computer plans to announce Monday that it’s scrapping its partnership with IBM and switching its computers to Intel’s microprocessors, says Cnet.com. (http://news.com.com/Apple+to+ditch+IBM%2C+switch+to+Intel+chips/2100-1006_3-5731398.html?tag=st_lh) This rumour has been going on (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/11/13/apple_embarks_on_macos_x/) for more than a decade, but this article is the most credible I have read so far. The switch is technically feasible, as there were confirmed stories of Darwin, the open-source, FreeBSD-variant foundation of the MacOS X (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/unix/), runnning natively on Intel chips. Mac users, is this good or what? :slight_smile:

Paul

06-04-2005, 02:40 PM

personally, i don’t care on what processor macs run. as long as they run as good as or better than what they’re running on now. however, a smooth transition when changing processor architecture is inherently difficult. for one, most apps willl have to be recompiled and hardware incompatibilities will arise.

however, even if apple starts using intel chips, i don’t see OS X running on existing x86 machines. knowing apple and steve jobs’ way of thinking, they won’t just relinquish control over hardware design that easily.

but hey, if it’ll solve the availability problems of macs, why not. and if apple starts producing macs at lower prices than dell, then people can’t use the “but macs are more expensive” reasoning anymore (eventhough, they’re really not).

goldhorse

06-07-2005, 01:30 PM

It’s official…

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2005/jun/06intel.html

However, since my powermac still has a few years in it, I can wait until they settle most of the hardware and software issues. It will be interesting though to see Power PC and Intel versions being sold side by side. I wonder if AMD is thinking of producing clones?

Paul

06-07-2005, 04:16 PM

IBM kasi, inisnab na ang Apple kasi mas malaki yata pera sa mga game consoles. biro mo lahat ng bagong game console, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Revolution ang gamit ay IBM processors. pero ok lang, basta gawin lang ng Apple na smooth ang transition. eto siguro ang pinakamadaling intindihing dahilan kung bakit ginagawa ito ng Apple:

Apple Shifting To Intel, For Hollywood’s Sake (http://wiredblogs.tripod.com/cultofmac/index.blog?entry_id=1125226)

mukhang nagustuhan ni Steve Jobs ang hardware DRM scheme ng Intel Pentium D. kaya mukhang malabo rin na magkakaroon ng Mac na gamit ay AMD chips. sorry goldhorse.
pixel
now if only i could get my hands on the Intel build of Tiger that Jobs demoed at the WWDC…and the 3.6GHz Pentium-based PowerMac Jobs is giving to developers for $999…

reon

06-07-2005, 06:27 PM

Isa ako doon sa mga taong nag-assemble ng isang Intel PC pagkatapos gumamit ng apat na sunod-sunod na Macs noong 1990s. Parang ang susunod na PC ko ay Intel pa rin, running MacOS X! Tanong sa mga Mac users: meron akong nilalaro dati na games – Fish, Bloodbath, Marathon, etc. – meron pa ba kayo nito?

Goldhorse, palagay ko hindi papayagan ng Apple ang mga clones. Tignan mo lang ang ginawa ni Steve Jobs sa Power Computing, Motorola at Umax. Theoretically, siyempre, madali lang gamitin ng Apple ang chips ng AMD kung gusto nila.

Paul, at saang computer mo naman magagamit yang Intel-build na MacOS? Hindi ako hacker pero palagay ko hindi mo rin yan basta-basta puwedeng i-run sa isang generic na Intel hardware. Yung Darwin siguro, pero yung MacOS X mismo…

reon

06-07-2005, 08:03 PM

Paul, at saang computer mo naman magagamit yang Intel-build na MacOS? Hindi ako hacker pero palagay ko hindi mo rin yan basta-basta puwedeng i-run sa isang generic na Intel hardware. Yung Darwin siguro, pero yung MacOS X mismo… Quoting myself…hehe, puwede pala, bayad ka lang ng $999. Siguro pagkatapos ng isang buwan, meron na yan sa torrent network?

Paul

06-07-2005, 09:12 PM

eto, panoorin niyo yung keynote address ni steve jobs sa WWDC 2005.

http://homepage.mac.com/kevinmarks/wwdc2005.mov

kelangan niyo ng Quicktime 7 (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/preview/) para panoorin…

Paul

06-09-2005, 05:43 PM

ato naman ang balita tungkol dun sa Pentium 4 Mac dev kit mula sa xlr8yourmac.com (http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/)…

" I’m going to keep this brief, so please write me with the questions you have and any tests you want run on one of the dev kits. I will have one of my own next week as well.

First, the thing is fast. Native apps readily beat a single 2.7 G5, and sometimes beat duals. Really.
(I asked about real-world apps - if any were already available in native code-Mike)
All the iLife apps other than iTunes, plus all the other apps that come with the OS are already universal binaries…

They are using a Pentium 4 660. This is a 3.6 GHz chip. It supports 64 bit extensions, but Apple does not support that yet. The 660 is a single core processor. However, the engineers said that this chip would not be used in a shipping product and that we need to look at Intel’s roadmap for that time to see what Apple will ship.

It uses DDR-2 RAM at 533 MHz. SATA-2. It is using Intel GMA 900 integrated graphics and it supports Quartz Extreme. The Intel 900 doesn’t compare favorably to any shipping card from ATi or nVidia. The Apple engineers says the dev kit will work with regular PC graphics cards, but that you need a driver. Apple does not write ANY graphics drivers. They just submit bug reports to ATi/nVidia. So, when we asked where to get drivers for better cards the engineers said “The ATI guys are here.” He’s right, they’ve been in the compatibility lab several times.

It has FireWire 400, but not 800. USB 2 as well. USB 2 booting is supported, FireWire booting is not. NetBoot works.

The machines do not have Open Firmware. They use a Phoenix BIOS. That’s right, a Mac with a BIOS.
(I asked if the Bios had any tweaks like Memory Timing which is common for many PC motherboards, although Intel OEM motherboards don’t usually have any end user tweaks like that.-Mike)
They won’t tell us how to get in the BIOS. I’m sure we can figure it out when out dev kits arrive.

They run Windows fine. All the chipset is standard Intel stuff, so you can download drivers and run XP on the box.

Rosetta is amazing. (see earlier post on limitations of the Rosetta emulator - it’s a G3 emulator basically - will not run Altivec code, etc. and performance isn’t going to be as good as native code, but most Mac apps will run on a G3.-Mike) The tests I’ve run, both app tests and benchmarks, peg it at between a dual 800 MHz G4 and and a dual 2 G5 depending on what you are doing.
(I mentioned to him the limitations of Rosetta (posted below)-Mike)
It’s true Rosetta does not support Altivec, but most apps run on a G3, right? Rosetta tells PPC apps that it is a G3. Apps should fall back to their G3 code tree. Everyone I tested did.

The UI tests in Xbench exceed a dual 2.7 by a large margin. (other specific tests are much lower than a G5 per Xbench site results.-Mike)

I’ve been talking to and watching a lot of devs. There are a lot of apps from big names running in the Compatibility lab already. Some people face more pain, sure, but Jobs wasn’t kidding when he said that this transition would be less painful than OS 9 to OS X or 68K to PPC.

Game devs seem optimistic. They see porting Windows/x86 to Mac/x86 as much easier. They look forward to the day they don’t have to support PPC.
I was talking to a (game Developer) that said about 1/3 of the process is handling endian issues, the rest is Win32/DirectX. For the next 3-5 years, their job will be harder since they have to port to two processor architectures and most bugs are endian related and that they will have a hard time making the PPC versions run as well as the x86 versions.

This transition is not about current P4 vs G5. It is about the future directions of the processor families. Intel is committed to desktop/notebook and server in a big way. Freescale/IBM are chasing the embedded market and console market. Apple would have been in a lurch in 2 years.

Also, all the cell people and the AMD people need to be quiet. Apple evaluated both. AMD has the same, if not worse, supply problems as IBM. Their roadmap is fine, but the production capacity is not.

The tested Cell as well. That processor is NOT intended for PC applications. (it was designed for game systems, not as a general use CPU) The lack of out of order execution and ILP control logic creates very poor performance with existing software. Having developers rewrite for cell would have been MUCH more work than reworking for Intel. And that’s what this is, you rework your codebase in ALL cases, not rewrite it. "

reon

06-11-2005, 05:52 PM

If an Intel-equipped Macintosh can run Windows XP (and Apple says it will), it will appeal to a lot of Windows users who are thinking of buying a Mac but have to have access to a Windows PC sometimes for other work. Kagaya ko, mas gusto kong gumamit ng Mac, pero kailangan ng Windows XP dahil may ginagawa akong files galing sa office. Tapos kailangan naming ma-access ang Timog na gamit ang Windows XP dahil marami ang mga Timog visitors na Windows ang gamit. If Apple can make a Mac that runs XP (bukod sa MacOS X siyempre), a lot of PC users might as well get an Apple than a Dell. A Dell can’t run MacOS X. :wink:

pixel

06-11-2005, 08:56 PM

Can’t wait to get my hands on an Intel-powered Mac.

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