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Old 6th June, 2005, 10:38 PM
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Apple to switch to Intel processors

Well, the resale price of my Powerbook just bottomed out.

Today at WWDC San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would be switching to Intel processors from IBM PowerPC processors. The transition seems as though it will get into full swing in about a year and complete within two years. Details can be found all over the place, including at macrumors.com and engadget.com. These sites are all under a great load right now so you might have problems getting them to load. Anyway, Apple has had an x86 version of OS X for about five years now and they're finally fed up with IBM not being able to supply enough processors and their glacial development cycle. Powerbook G5s were always on the top of Apple's list, but the heat that the G5 generates was just too much to slap into a notebook. I have my suspisions that Intel's integrated DRM has something to do with the switch as Apple may be trying to get an itunes movie store in line.

Ok, so details are thin right now. Here's how I see it all panning out: Apple, being in the hardware business, makes OS X for x86 specific to Apple computers. They'll use some sort of hardware lock, most likely something in either the processor or the mobo that the OS will need to run. However, Microsoft, being in the software business, will not restrict their Windows OS. Therefore, I believe that in a year or two Apple computers will be able to dual boot OS X and Windows XP. Of courese, this is all pure stipulation right now as no solid details have emerged yet.

Think different...... for the OS at least.
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Old 6th June, 2005, 10:53 PM
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Intel or AMD though, they'd be fools to use a netburst arch
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Old 7th June, 2005, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamGarside
Intel or AMD though, they'd be fools to use a netburst arch
They haven't said what processors they'd be using, or even if the processor was one from an existing line. They DID say that Jobs' keynote today was running on a P4, but that didn't seem hinted towards all Apple's computers using the P4. If I were to venture a guess, different computers will use different processors. Most of those processors I'd think would be existing. Maybe they'd put a P4 in the mac mini, a pentium m or centrino in the Powerbooks and something different in the Powermacs.
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Old 7th June, 2005, 12:49 AM
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Anyone want to guess why Apple went with Intel rather than AMD?
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Old 7th June, 2005, 01:13 AM
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I guess they're thinking big, and intel can provide larger volumes and probably lower prices.

Intel them selfs are looking like they will abandon netburst (hurrah) so it's probably unlikely apple would use it
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Old 7th June, 2005, 01:36 AM
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Old 7th June, 2005, 01:42 AM
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By Intel's own admission, they've been after Apple for 20 years. I doubt AMD has really been pursuing them. Although Apple is a nice design win from a prestige standpoint, the kinds of volumes that Apple runs wouldn't really make much difference to the production (and hence the profitability) for either Intel or AMD.

I think there is a lot more going on here than meets the eye. For one thing, Steve Jobs cited the heat problems of the G5 chips. Well, a P4 derivative ain't going to be any cooler, while the A64 chips are quite a bit cooler. Yet Apple didn't go to AMD. Why? One would think that basically all AMD would have had to do is ask if Apple was interested in buying their chips, if heat were the only issue.

I suspect it has at least somewhat to do with the fact that Intel can put together an entire platform, while AMD is really just CPUs at this point. AMD's previous efforts at a chipset have been, shall we say, lackluster. Plus, Intel can probably do a better job of presenting something resembling a roadmap.
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Old 7th June, 2005, 03:15 AM
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MS have been expressing their desire to move away from the wintel platform, the xbox360 using PPC chips is their first step, and now apple moving over to X86, it's like some kind of soap opera, now all we need is nexgen to wake from a coma and rule the world!
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Old 7th June, 2005, 10:48 AM
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That's simple, Daniel. They chose to use the intel for public relations. There are a lot of people who view the Mac as substandard hardware. The same people (and a lot of them) view AMD the same way. They see it as a "brand B". Also, as steve jobs noted, the mac os has been working on intel hardware from the advent of OSX. As far as I know it has only run on an intel BX chipset. Iow, really really old ****e.

Apple had a choice to make. They chose to appeal to potential customers rather than their current market share. The current mac users are fanatical nutcases that will embrace anything mac does, trust me. So even thought they are using a chip from Intel (teh debil to a Mac user) their customers will get over it. Mac users are kinda like people who rice out a cavalier that way. They think it owns, but most everyone snickers when they aren't looking. Had apple gone with the AMD chips, they would have gained more support from their current customers initially, but they would have put off potential customers (who are in fact all retarded it seems) who think Intel is "state of the art" . ..

Okay, had to take a break to puke there ( yes, I still bash intel whenever I can. )

Really I think the whole thing is a suicide move. They are narrowing the gap between the two platforms. I'm not sure how they plan to sell it without making windows software support completely native on the new macs. The mac's only strong point is their ability to hand any PC it's ass as a graphics workstation. Without the PowerPC chips, that's all over.

One side effect that will actually be nice is the introduction of the CHRP (Common Hardware reference platform) that they refused to support back in the clone wars. They will be force to allow it. Nobody is going to pay twice the price for a computer that uses the same chip without being able to use cheap PC components.


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Old 7th June, 2005, 01:25 PM
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Why would they be forced to support it? the xbox is basically a none upgradeable pc
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Old 7th June, 2005, 02:46 PM
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The very interesting claim that Apple made at that keynote is that Intel chips produce more performance per Watt, than any other CPU. They had one of those marketing graphs... you know the ones that show a massive difference between the two bars, but NO SCALE, to illustrate the performance per watt (as if that is even a real measurement) between the G5 and the Intel (unknown which intel).

Anyone who knows what a prescott is can tell thats complete bunk. Centrino is good, but not 10 times better than PowerPC.

I dont expect Jobs to tell the truth.

I for one, am not going to be drinking the red Kool-Aid at one of Steve's functions any time soon.
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Old 7th June, 2005, 05:23 PM
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Shame Apple have decided to start marketing the idea on hot air and rhetoric so soon. If any company were able to make M$ shiver (just a little bit) with such an idea, it should be Apple.

The desktop OS market is dominated by M$ - we all know that. Alternatives to Windows are limited to either the extinct (OS/2), the impenetrable (BSD/Linux) or the obscure (BeOS). Apple's OSX is probably the only other current, available and mature desktop OS that people could be persuaded to trust. Only problem is it comes bundled with phenomenally expensive hardware and forces all its users to wear Gap jeans and grow goatees. Even the women.

Make OSX vaguely usable on generic hardware, and get rid of the iAnnoying iBloody iDancing iGap iStyle iAdverts and maybe, just maybe, it might be the alternative we're waiting for.

Not an auspicious start though.
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Old 7th June, 2005, 06:05 PM
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I would think a geode was technically a better performer/per watt than anything intel has
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Old 7th June, 2005, 06:17 PM
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A geode? Really?
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Old 7th June, 2005, 06:18 PM
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My sides are splitting.

http://www.amd.com/us-en/Connectivit...0_9863,00.html
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Old 7th June, 2005, 11:45 PM
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Well truthfully this could either go really well for Apple - or be the end. Apple is really hot now with Ipods and Itunes, and if they make a Windows compatible machine they will sell a LOT more machines. And then you will find that the 'stability problems' with the Windows platform reside in the ridiculously large number of hardware and software combinations, which simply can't be properly tested. Now take an MacIntel, with everything built in and all the drivers fully tested. All the applications are bundled with the system, just like a Dell or a Gateway, but everything actually runs correctly out of the box. Dual boot? I think it will be possible - and it would be cool to be able to dual boot my PC to Tiger - but the mainstream user won't. They will use Windows, and I venture to say that as crazy as it sounds, Apple may even sell machines with Windows pre-installed! For all the talk of Apple's superiority, can anyone name me the number one selling software package for Macs? The answer is Microsoft Office, of course. The thing that could kill apple on this whole deal is the raving ego of Steve Jobs -the guy is brilliant but unstable. He often makes business decision based on emotions (particularly anger) and just as he led Apple back to profitability he can lead them off a cliff to Chapter 11.
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Old 8th June, 2005, 01:01 AM
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I can't see them touching windows personally, but an investment in wine would make a lot of sense
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Old 8th June, 2005, 03:25 AM
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The only wine investment Jobs is going to make is in the kind you drink. Truth is, unless Apple does something to become more comapatiblr with Windows - and not the other way around - the market for Apple machines will be small. If Apple now makes a machine that IS compatible - whether they put Windows on the machine at the factory or not - then they have the opportunity to sell more machines, and that would make business sense. We are however talking about Jobs and Apple - so anything goes.
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Old 8th June, 2005, 05:32 PM
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Apple's said that they won't stop people from putting windows on their new Apple boxes. However, whether or not Microsoft puts something in their software to disable this capability remains to be seen (I don't think they will honestly.)

Here's the source.

Benchmarks have been released on the web of one of the Intel systems at WWDC. XBench was the program that was used. The benchmarks are mostly modest compared to a brand-new top of the line G5, but one must consider the differences in architecture of the chips, the fact that the OS running on the Intel box was not complete yet (it was running fine though), and the BIG fact that XBench was running emulated with Rosetta.
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Old 9th June, 2005, 12:36 AM
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One big advantage of switching to x86 would be games. If apple put some investment in wine or cedega it could open the doors for the mac as a gaming platform
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