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#16851 06/06/05 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
I'm guessing if there is any connection, it will be that Intel will begin manufacturing PowerPC chips for Apple. A long shot, but that's my guess.
Yeah, that's really the only scenario that makes sense.

A switch to x86 is pretty crazy - Apple doesn't have much to gain from that. The performance gap between G5 and x86 isn't huge, and you'd still have to deal with emulating the PowerPC on the x86 for compatibility's sake for a number of years. And of course x86 and PowerPC use a totally different endian format, so Mac apps would suddenly have to deal with byte-swapping data on a widespread basis. That's never any fun.

Since there isn't any benefit in moving to x86 for Apple, the question that is left - how perverted did this rumor get from its original truth?

#16852 06/06/05 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
Also, I really don't think Steve Jobs' ego would permit it. He's bashed Intel too many times to do an about-face. (On the other hand, IBM embarassed him by not delivering 3 GHz...)
My main guess for WWDC is dual-core 3+ GHz G5s and a Mac mini refresh. Oh, and intel chips in new iPods. ;-)

#16853 06/06/05 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
A switch to x86 is pretty crazy - Apple doesn't have much to gain from that. The performance gap between G5 and x86 isn't huge
The big point the analysts were making were that somehow switching to Intel chips would dramatically reduce the cost of making Macs so they could build affordable computers.

Apparently, they missed the whole Mac Mini thing. And the numbers they were kicking around were ridiculous - a 20% reduction in the cost of the computer. So there is some serious perversion going on somewhere. eek


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#16854 06/06/05 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
My main guess for WWDC is dual-core 3+ GHz G5s and a Mac mini refresh. Oh, and intel chips in new iPods. ;-)
I believe this news. Or, I want to believe it. :bemused:

#16855 06/06/05 09:24 PM
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Look at the upside though - the x86 dynarec cores in MAME would work smile

#16856 06/06/05 09:55 PM
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It just doesn't make any sense does it?

The Mac on Intel rumor has been around forever, but this time the rumor seems to have gained some real press. I can't wait to find out what truth is...

If this is completely untrue, I wonder what kind of media response there will be...

"Apple is doomed, as they chose not to switch over to Intel yet again!"

I can already see my stock dropping... :rolleyes:

#16857 06/06/05 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by patmcfar8:
It just doesn't make any sense does it?
Well, moving to x86 makes no sense, Moving to another CPU platform only makes a little more than no sense. wink Having said that, a relatively anonymous user at the MacWorld forums posted something interesting. It's the only scenario I can see which is plausible. The post is by RobX and the URL is here.

Here's the text of the article:
Quote:
Apple will use a new processor from Intel that is based on Pentium but is not x86 compatible. The current Pentium processors translates x86 code to its native internal instruction set on the fly. This process is inefficient and a lot of transistors on the chip is used for this. The new processor is called Pentium X and it only runs code in its native instruction set called PX. Code optimized for PX can be considerable faster than x86 code. Pentium X is cheaper to manufacture but still uses the same production facilities as Pentium 4.

Translation from x86 and PowerPC code to PX code can be done in software, similar to Transmeta processors but translation will be done offline, before the application runs. Most existing applications for Max OS x will be able to run without modification. However, Mac OS X applications will not be compiled to PX code, instead they will be compiled to a new virtual machine (VM) from Apple. Apple VM code can run on both PowerPC and Pentium X.

Apple VM is similar to Java and .NET but is faster since application code can take advantage of processor specific features. Both Java and .NET have fixed instruction sets and uses specific memory management, garbage collection, threads, exception handling, etc. Apple VM, like Amiga/Tao VP, does't have these limitations and applications run at native speed. Apple VM is based on an open source project called LLVM.

Future Pentium X processors might have a different instruction set and only the Apple VM (and OS) needs to be adapted for applications to run on the new processor. Developers could also add processor specific code to take advantage of new features. The first Pentium X processor uses a Pentium 4 core and its instructions set is called PX.4. A Pentium M based processor will also be available.
So, a move to Intel without x86 - that would be feasible. The LLVM project actually exists as well: http://llvm.cs.uiuc.edu/

This scenario definitely bears consideration.

#16858 06/06/05 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
So, a move to Intel without x86 - that would be feasible. The LLVM project actually exists as well: http://llvm.cs.uiuc.edu/

This scenario definitely bears consideration.
Well, it's possible to have a core running both x86 and PowerPC instruction sets, like the IBM PowerPC 615 would have:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/1998/10/01/microsoft_killed_the_powerpc/

#16859 06/06/05 10:44 PM
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It does make sense - Microsoft's original plan with Longhorn was to move as much as possible into .NET, which is also a processor-indepedant VM. That got largely abandoned due to the not-so-mythical man-month, but it's still a solid concept.

In particular, AMD64/x86-64 pretty much *is* exposure of the creamy RISC middle of recent x86 CPUs, so this wouldn't exactly be a major step for Intel.

#16860 06/06/05 11:37 PM
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The rumour is true. Apple is moving to Intel chips.

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