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Old 2005-06-03, 22:59   #1
ewmayer
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Question Apple to Switch to Intel CPUs?

It's apparently only an industry rumor at this point, but if true, would be huge news, considering how much money Apple and IBM have put into development and marketing of the PowerPC line of processors:

http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/23/tech...le_intel.reut/
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Old 2005-06-04, 00:01   #2
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And just as likely as Dell switching to AMD .....
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Old 2005-06-04, 03:32   #3
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I personally believe that they are not talking about CPUs, but are talking about memory controllers and other chips on the motherboard. If they are talking CPUs, I don't see a good reason to switch. The megahertz myth is just that, so that couldn't be the reason. SSE2? They already have AltiVec and although AltiVec doesn't do double-precision like SSE2, it wipes out SSE2 in single-precision tasks. Maybe they want Apple branded computers with OS X that run on x86. Honestly, if Apple wants x86 compaibility, AMD would probably be a better choice since the architecture is close to PPC than Intel.
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Old 2005-06-04, 05:00   #4
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No, they're clearly talking about cpus:

http://news.com.com/Apple+to+ditch+I...?tag=nefd.lede

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Old 2005-06-04, 13:07   #5
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Very interesting read. I'm still confused as to why Apple would do this. Are they going to use x86-32 or x86-64? I don't know about x86-64, but one thing I absolutely hate about x86-32 is the lack of registers.

Maybe the G4 could be replaced with x86 since they are very slow compared to the G5. But I still have difficulty seeing the path for changing G5s to x86-64 without hacking their customer base. If they truly want to gain market share they will have to compete with Microsoft and that means that OS X will have become available on ANY x86 box whether from Intel or AMD.

Last fiddled with by rogue on 2005-06-04 at 13:19
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Old 2005-06-04, 18:04   #6
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Wow - looks like it's indeed true. Wonder what some of my Cupertino neighbors who work for Apple will have to say (off the record, of course ) about this?

Ah, the irony: in an article today about California-based Peet's coffee (which just opened a new cafe' down the street, about midway between my place and Apple's main campus, as it happens) the New York Times writes:

"In the [San Francisco] Bay Area, Peet's has long been the Apple Computer of coffee, serving a small but intense group of aficionados who are convinced that the company's coffee is superior to that produced by the industry giant from Seattle: Starbucks."

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Old 2005-06-04, 19:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue
Very interesting read. I'm still confused as to why Apple would do this. Are they going to use x86-32 or x86-64? I don't know about x86-64, but one thing I absolutely hate about x86-32 is the lack of registers.
Note that Intel !== x86 ...

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Old 2005-06-04, 20:37   #8
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Remember various versions of Windows have been ported to non x86 CPUs.
Mainly StrongArm (Arm) for Windows CE, and now PowerPC on Xbox 360.

Each Xbox 360 will have 3, 3.2 Ghz custom dual thread (? dual core ?), PowerPC processors.
Microsoft with the Xbox 360 console will soon (end of 2005) overwhelm Apple as a consumer of IBM PowerPC CPUs.

Apple sold 1 million Macs 4th quarter 2004, ( ? percent that were dual CPU )
Three major console makers combined will sell xx million consoles per quarter,
with Sony PS3 50 percent, Microsoft Xbox 360 30 percent,
Nintendo Revolution 20 percent, +/- 5 percent per console.

Other info.
Sony PS3 will have the Cell processor a custom 3.2 Ghz PowerPC chip
with 8 additional very custom PowerPC coprocessors.
Nintendo Revolution will have 4 custom 2.5 Ghz PowerPC cores.

Sony has sold 90 million PS2s in 5 1/4 years. (MIPS CPU)
Microsoft worked closely with AMD on the x86-64 bit OSes.
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Old 2005-06-05, 11:23   #9
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And, apparently, not only Intel... .
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=23714
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Old 2005-06-06, 19:55   #10
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Default All Macs will have Intel CPUs by 2007

The latest - looks like notebooks will switch to Intel starting next year, and all Macs by 2007:

http://money.cnn.com/2005/06/05/tech...reut/index.htm

I'd long wondered how Apple was going to get the power consumption of the G5 down enough to put it into mobile devices - but never dreamed their solution would be to abandon it altogether. A souped-up version of the G4 would have seemed a good compromise here - you get the multimedia capabilities of the AltiVec SIMD unit, without the high silicon and power cost of the G5's FPU (seriously, how many notebook users really need dual 64-bit FMADD units?)

Wonder how the Mac-o-philes will respond to this, after all these years of being force-fed the idea that it's justified to pay a hefty premium for the PPC/AltiVec-based CPUs because of their "superior technology." (And indeed they *are* superior to Intel in terms of per-cycle throughput, but that superiority apparently came at a cost much higher than Apple would have had people believe.)

This will leave the PC market essentially 100% dominated by x86-style CPUs (face it, Intel and AMD are kissing cousins in terms of their architectures), and I for one think that is a bad thing.
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Old 2005-06-06, 20:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer
Wonder how the Mac-o-philes will respond to this, after all these years of being force-fed the idea that it's justified to pay a hefty premium for the PPC/AltiVec-based CPUs because of their "superior technology." (And indeed they *are* superior to Intel in terms of per-cycle throughput, but that superiority apparently came at a cost much higher than Apple would have had people believe.)

This will leave the PC market essentially 100% dominated by x86-style CPUs (face it, Intel and AMD are kissing cousins in terms of their architectures), and I for one think that is a bad thing.
Personally, I don't see this increasing market share. Who says that Apple wouldn't ask a premium for a Intel-based Mac? Most of their sales come from hardware, not software.

I wonder if they use the P4 as-is or if they will use a special version of the P4. I also wonder about 64-bit support. Some of us (granted a distinct minority that I am in) use the 64-bit instruction set on the G5 writing assembler. Will I have to learn x86-asm? AFAIK, Itanium has been not been successful. Will Apple use it or does Intel have something else up their sleeve?
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