basic MacIntel question

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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I'm wondering, will the switch to Intel chips necessitate changes in Mac OS X? Will future Mac OS's become increasing incompatible with current hardware because of the switch to the new chips?

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BDub's picture
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They've promised that 10.5 wi

They've promised that 10.5 will have a PPC and an x86 build. Other than that, bets are off. I'd guess that 10.6 won't be compatible with current hardware out of the box.

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Re: basic MacIntel question

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

I'm wondering, will the switch to Intel chips necessitate changes in Mac OS X?

Yes, a different build of OS X will be necessary, one that's compiled for use on the Intel hardware. But I doubt there will be any functional changes between the PPC and x86 versions of OS X.

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Will future Mac OS's become increasing incompatible with current hardware because of the switch to the new chips?

Probably not. Apple is going to very tightly control the x86 build of OS X, as well as the hardware they build. Apple will likely only build in drivers for devices they plan to use in MacIntel systems. Those adventurous enough to install x86 OS X on non-Apple Intel hardware will either have to use hardware similar enough to what Apple uses in its machines, or write their own drivers (and that's assuming someone's able to break the x86 OS X build to run on non-Apple hardware).

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Re: basic MacIntel question

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Will future Mac OS's become increasing incompatible with current hardware because of the switch to the new chips?

My uneducated guess is that the big worry will be how interested third-party software vendors remain in supplying PowerPC versions of their programs once the majority of (fast enough to be considered "current") machines are Intel-based. One of the biggest annoying "gotchyas" in sharing software sources between platforms is "Endian-ness Issues". Companies who supply both Mac and Windows versions of their software will have some pretty strong incentives to not have to worry about *that* problem anymore, so expect some of them to stop supporting PowerPC on new versions about a week after Apple discontinues the last PPC hardware.

Apple of course has a vested financial interest in forcing everyone who wants to *stay* a Mac user to buy a new machine every two or three years, so I doubt they're going to be that upset.

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Wow what a headache. This rea

Wow what a headache. This really is going to be major, isn't it? I hadn't thought about the fact that all the software I've invested in for PPC is going to become obsolete as well, and it's probably unlikely the software companies are going to offer cheaper Macintel "upgrades." Why would they? They'll have us over the proverbial barrel. The pain of growing.

It's going to be a whole new age. Someone's got to coin the term soon for everything pre-Macintel. How about, "Leftinthelurch."

Save your pennies.

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Re: Wow what a headache. This rea

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It's going to be a whole new age. Someone's got to coin the term soon for everything pre-Macintel. How about, "Leftinthelurch."

Save your pennies.

You got that right...

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Rosetta

Apple's having a PPC emulation layer called Rosetta. With any luck most everything will run ok. Not natively-compiled fast, but not 'rebuy everything from scratch'.

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i read in a computer mag (i f

i read in a computer mag (i forget the mag's name) they done a preview of the downloadable version of OS X x86 on a P4 mobo and showed screen shots of it runing and also they linked to this site

http://www.osx86project.org/

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Remember the PPC 68k conversion

7.5.5 to 8.1 was compatible. We should be comfortable until 11.

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Re: i read in a computer mag (i f

madmax_2069 wrote:

i read in a computer mag (i forget the mag's name) they done a preview of the downloadable version of OS X x86 on a P4 mobo and showed screen shots of it runing and also they linked to this site

http://www.osx86project.org/

Yes, but that's with just the developer beta of X. The real thing will most definitely include stronger security, so that it only runs on Apple machines. Yes, it's likely that someone will hack the final release for generic PC hardware, but installing it will likely be a pain, and remember that there won't be many drivers for PC hardware -- only what Apple plans to build into its machines (which won't be standard off-the-shelf motherboards).

EDIT: I just noticed this thread is in the wrong forum. We have a forum for Intel Macs now. Moved.

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The statements made from Appl

The statements made from Apple during the big Mactel unveiling were that the move to Intel would be less troublesome than the move was from 68K to PPC.

How true that is... guess we'll have to wait and see.

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Re: basic MacIntel question

Eudimorphodon wrote:

Companies who supply both Mac and Windows versions of their software will have some pretty strong incentives to not have to worry about *that* problem anymore, so expect some of them to stop supporting PowerPC on new versions about a week after Apple discontinues the last PPC hardware.

I won't be worried, because as a non-"power user", I generally don't buy commercial software. But the real bummer for me could be tax software, it's the one thing I have to buy new year after year. If they stop releasing PPC versions, I'm screwed.

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Re: Rosetta

BDub wrote:

... Rosetta. With any luck most everything will run ok.

Three things Rosetta won't do: no Classic, no 68k, no AltiVec.

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Yes - Altivec

My friend had a dev edition, and it has altivec support according to him.

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Re: Yes - Altivec

macintoshme wrote:

My friend had a dev edition, and it has altivec support according to him.

That's not possible -- Rosetta is a software emulator. Altivec is a hardware function. How could a software emulator force a 32-bit chip (the Core Duo) to run at 64-bit?

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It's possible, just not fast.

It's possible, just not fast.

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Re: The statements made from Appl

eeun wrote:

...guess we'll have to wait and see.

I can tell you for a fact that moving anything kernel related from PPC to Intel is a headache and a half...

My companies software is all kernel-based... network stuff... I'll say no more, lest my secret identity be revealed Wink

Anyway, this is a major pain in the a$$... with an emphasis on the $$...

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