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(The Register)   Apple contemplates move to new CPU architecture for its Macintosh series. This is not a repeat from 1994 or 2006   (theregister.co.uk) divider line 91
    More: Interesting, Apple CPU, Macintosh, microarchitecture, Scott Forstall, Intel, film series, GPUs, installed base  
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3608 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Nov 2012 at 6:46 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-05 11:45:42 PM  
They won't let anything get in their way of developing the Dick Tracy wristwatch.
 
2012-11-06 12:05:21 AM  
Good farking luck with that.
 
2012-11-06 12:06:12 AM  

Triumph: They won't let anything get in their way of developing the Dick Tracy wristwatch.


It's been done.
 
2012-11-06 12:06:58 AM  
Gaaah. Hit postie to fastie.

www.google.ca
 
2012-11-06 12:07:36 AM  
Make that 'too'.

/going to bed now
 
2012-11-06 12:10:22 AM  
My concern with this is compatibility, since the ability to run windows OSes on Macs was and is a huge deal for all of those people (including me) for whom occasional dips in the Windows world for specific windows-only app usage or testing is critical.

Provided that you can still properly and easily virtualize/emulate windows on a Mac, that isn't a deal-breaker. But it can't be buggy, or it's useless.
 
2012-11-06 12:27:40 AM  
If it's faster and more powerful, I don't care who makes it.
 
2012-11-06 12:28:17 AM  
Or uses less power.
 
2012-11-06 12:49:02 AM  

Makh: If it's faster and more powerful, I don't care who makes it.


So... you're like a... cyber-whore?
 
2012-11-06 12:58:02 AM  

Fark Me To Tears: So... you're like a... cyber-whore?


Sure, we'll go with that one. I'm not saying Borg, but it's Borg.
 
2012-11-06 06:53:51 AM  
Good. Once they've got a monopoly on the CPU nobody will be able to realize that they're paying Apple more than 2x as the same hardware costs from anyone else on the planet.
 
2012-11-06 07:14:50 AM  
Enjoy the Apple Tax
 
2012-11-06 07:15:39 AM  
Jesus, don't go AMD, Apple... :P
 
2012-11-06 07:15:58 AM  
In 1991 the company abandoned backwards-compatibility by introducing System 7.

Is this right? I was using an Amiga at the time so I can't be absolutely certain but I don't recall there being any major issues with backwards compatibility under System 7. Additionally I'm certain that the PPC based Macs could run 680x0 software perfectly well. The only time I can think of them abandoning the older software was with the Intel processors' inability to run OS9 alongside OSX.
 
2012-11-06 07:22:04 AM  

unyon: My concern with this is compatibility


I know the article was talking about them going to the Ax chips, but I really doubt it. Apple has been buying up chip manufacturers, and I wouldn't be surprised if they come out with their own line of processor that's compatible with Intel, but has some proprietary extensions. Remember Altivec? That was actually pretty cool- I got better gaming performance out of that than I got from a higher speced Windows box.
 
2012-11-06 07:55:05 AM  
Why is this news worthy of reporting? It seems like ANY company in the tech business should be constantly reviewing their hardware needs for use in the future.
 
2012-11-06 08:00:51 AM  
Great. Now my next Mac won't work with even more software. I'm seriously contemplating switching to a PC if they pull this shiat again.
 
2012-11-06 08:04:04 AM  

SVenus: Enjoy the Apple Tax


I was paying more for the same functionality before it was cool.
 
2012-11-06 08:04:07 AM  

dameron: Good farking luck with that.


I don't see why it could not be done. They've gone in-house with the processors for the iStuff gadgets.
 
2012-11-06 08:15:13 AM  

qsblues: Great. Now my next Mac won't work with even more software. I'm seriously contemplating switching to a PC if they pull this shiat again.


Hey, Skyrim runs great on OSX via Wineskin. I got Dishonored working, but framerates suck. Have to play around a bit more.
 
2012-11-06 08:15:41 AM  
A lot of people like the current Apple hardware because it can triple-play (MacOS/Windows/Linux) on the same box. This means I can buy a single box and develop cross platform software without rebooting, just run a VM with the correct OS.

I do this all day, developing for MacOS and Linux distribution.

While Apple is a control freak about stuff, the move to intel helped their bottom line in a big way, so I don't know how likely they will bail completely from intel. Maybe just in the MacBook Air line where speed isn't a big issue and power consumption/weight is.
 
2012-11-06 08:16:14 AM  

xanadian: Jesus, don't go AMD, Apple... :P


My first guess is they won't and that they'll go big.LITTLE ARM, but then I remembered that AMD is about to go with 64 bit ARM in Opterons in 2014... so maybe.
 
2012-11-06 08:19:02 AM  
Oh, and then there's this cute little imaginary conversation between ARM and Intel at a cafe, wherein ARM tell's Intel that, among other things, Apple will leave them.
 
2012-11-06 08:20:21 AM  
They could go with in-house chips, but I'm betting that their tech is nowhere close to what Intel produces these days for high-performance CPUs. Unless they're totally content with forsaking the high performance computer market (i.e. their Pro models) they're not going to totally switch away from Intel, because Intel has decades of experience making high-performance chips. For sequentially threaded execution they blow everyone else out of the water.

There's also a fundamental contradiction between "thin and light" and "high performance." More performance means more power, and more power means hotter, more cooling, and more battery. All that given, I'm pretty sure that Apple does want to get out of the computing market, and move totally into their iGadgets market for casual computing.
 
2012-11-06 08:22:59 AM  

Bedurndurn: Good. Once they've got a monopoly on the CPU nobody will be able to realize that they're paying Apple more than 2x as the same hardware costs from anyone else on the planet.


Have you seen the markup on the Surface tablet? Apple wishes they could get those margins.
 
2012-11-06 08:29:20 AM  
Too many people are making do with old computers and won`t upgrade because their old computer works fine for their needs. What you need to do is completely change the hardware to force people to upgrade just to use pretty much the same software to retain compatibility with people they work with...
 
2012-11-06 08:32:37 AM  

Fubini: They could go with in-house chips, but I'm betting that their tech is nowhere close to what Intel produces these days for high-performance CPUs. Unless they're totally content with forsaking the high performance computer market (i.e. their Pro models) they're not going to totally switch away from Intel, because Intel has decades of experience making high-performance chips. For sequentially threaded execution they blow everyone else out of the water.

There's also a fundamental contradiction between "thin and light" and "high performance." More performance means more power, and more power means hotter, more cooling, and more battery. All that given, I'm pretty sure that Apple does want to get out of the computing market, and move totally into their iGadgets market for casual computing.


They seem to totally be dropping their `pro` market lately. Most comments from video editors (that don`t use Avid and high end commercial systems) are that they are moving from Mac and final cut to PC and Adobe for sustained compatibility. They want the software and platform they use today to be compatible with the software and platform they may use tomorrow.
 
2012-11-06 08:33:12 AM  

Fubini: There's also a fundamental contradiction between "thin and light" and "high performance."


Also THIS
 
2012-11-06 08:35:55 AM  
Because we all know what happens when you ditch x86/32/64 compatibility.

Macs have such a HUGE gammut of software available, as long as you are doing:

-Audio Editing
-Video Editing
-Word Processing
-Multimedia Creation

If your usage scenario is not here, good luck. Notice how "gaming" and "general purpose computing" don't fall into those categories?

Lack of compatibility almost damn near killed apple, using the X86 Line brought them back from obscurity. Looks like the pendulum will swing again.
 
2012-11-06 08:41:11 AM  

dready zim: Too many people are making do with old computers and won`t upgrade because their old computer works fine for their needs. What you need to do is completely change the hardware to force people to upgrade just to use pretty much the same software to retain compatibility with people they work with...


Nope, you don't retain compatibility. You get people to pay for the hardware, pay for upgraded hardware, and pay again for upgraded software.

Why only get paid once, when you can get paid again, and again and again?

Tie the apps to the accound, tie the apps to the PC architecture, and you have the perfect recipe for killing the used app/pc market, and forcing people to upgrade across the board.
 
2012-11-06 08:45:58 AM  
Apple went to shiat when Steve Jobs left the first time, I guess history is repeating itself (except they can't get him back to save them this time).
 
2012-11-06 08:46:41 AM  

farker99: A lot of people like the current Apple hardware because it can triple-play (MacOS/Windows/Linux) on the same box. This means I can buy a single box and develop cross platform software without rebooting, just run a VM with the correct OS.


I could do this on my Dell D830
 
2012-11-06 08:58:29 AM  

Ed Grubermann: Bedurndurn: Good. Once they've got a monopoly on the CPU nobody will be able to realize that they're paying Apple more than 2x as the same hardware costs from anyone else on the planet.

Have you seen the markup on the Surface tablet? Apple wishes they could get those margins.


Well an iPhone 5 is $650 and costs uhh... $167ish?, so let's see...

iPhone 5's retail / manufacturing cost: 3.9
MS Surface retail / manufacturing cost: 2.11

Yeah boy howdy that Ballmer fella's a shyster the likes of which the tech world's never seen before!
 
2012-11-06 09:08:42 AM  

Skyfrog: Apple went to shiat when Steve Jobs left the first time,
I guess history is repeating itself (except they can't get him back to save them this time).


i46.tinypic.com

Don't be to sure about that.
 
2012-11-06 09:24:37 AM  
Yeah good luck with that Apple.
 
2012-11-06 09:25:20 AM  
Of course, the reason unspoken for "going away from Intel" is "We don't want folks to discover it is, in fact, possible to home-build a PC that will run a (patched) version of MacOS X".

As folks noted, going to Intel saved their asses, yet at the same time Apple is going away from their traditional bread and butter (right at the time that companies might start jumping ship from Microsoft over the interface-abortion that is Metro in Windows 8) and becoming the iHandheld Company.

Then again, Apple HAS historically had occasional near-fatal episodes of Not Invented Here Syndrome, so shouldn't be all that surprised...just a bit sad, that's all.

/why yes, I LIKE the idea of a box you could put at least four separate operating systems on at once
//then again, what do I know, I'm old and still pleasantly surprised and pleased that an Android or iPhone that I can hold in my hand can fully emulate the old VAX running VMS that I first discovered the Internet on waaaaaaay the hell back in 1991
///kid. Yes you. Off my lawn
 
2012-11-06 09:39:45 AM  
I was finally going to take the plunge and plunk down some big $ for a Macbook Pro... Not sure if I want to buy something that will be completely obsolete next year...
 
2012-11-06 09:44:18 AM  

Gordon Bennett: In 1991 the company abandoned backwards-compatibility by introducing System 7.

Is this right? I was using an Amiga at the time so I can't be absolutely certain but I don't recall there being any major issues with backwards compatibility under System 7. Additionally I'm certain that the PPC based Macs could run 680x0 software perfectly well. The only time I can think of them abandoning the older software was with the Intel processors' inability to run OS9 alongside OSX.


I think that System 7 may have been the first Mac OS release that wasn't compatible with every Mac that had been introduced. That's probably what they're referring to. PPC Macs could run 680x0 apps just fine (mostly), but the first PPC release wasn't until 7.1.2 (the first worthwhile PPC release was 7.5).

Personally, I think Apple would be crazy to do this. Maybe for an Air model, where people aren't going to be running anything that will require any real guts. Also, Intel has been on a tear regarding power consumption, and Haswell looks to really reduce consumption, which should make Apple happy.
 
2012-11-06 09:46:26 AM  
Here's a crazy idea: they'll drop in an A6 on top of an Intel CPU, and run iOS apps natively on the A6 co-processor while using system RAM.
 
2012-11-06 09:46:46 AM  
Apple despises anything that's compatible with the outside world. Never mind that getting rid of proprietary connectors and piss-poor Motorola/IBM processors (RISC vs. CISC my ass) is what saved the computer side of the company, they envision a world of sealed devices with no buttons.
 
2012-11-06 09:58:51 AM  

WhippingBoy: I was finally going to take the plunge and plunk down some big $ for a Macbook Pro... Not sure if I want to buy something that will be completely obsolete next year...


Another source I read said that any change would not take place for at least 4 years.
 
2012-11-06 10:00:32 AM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: WhippingBoy: I was finally going to take the plunge and plunk down some big $ for a Macbook Pro... Not sure if I want to buy something that will be completely obsolete next year...

Another source I read said that any change would not take place for at least 4 years.


Yeah... I'm just looking for excuses to prevent myself from doing something stupid... like dropping 2k+ on a laptop...
 
2012-11-06 10:04:04 AM  

Great_Milenko: Apple despises anything that's compatible with the outside world.


An idea that made Apple a ton of money, and is what Microsoft is trying to do with the surface tablet running Windows RT.

I don't like it, but it's probably going to be the industry standard in the future.
 
2012-11-06 10:04:35 AM  
Oh HELL no

Apple, please dont do this.
 
2012-11-06 10:24:38 AM  

AlphaG33k: Because we all know what happens when you ditch x86/32/64 compatibility.

Macs have such a HUGE gammut of software available, as long as you are doing:

-Audio Editing
-Video Editing
-Word Processing
-Multimedia Creation

If your usage scenario is not here, good luck. Notice how "gaming" and "general purpose computing" don't fall into those categories?


Gaming I'll give you, but give credit where credit is due, man: Macs are fine for general purpose computing.
 
2012-11-06 10:53:21 AM  

Handsome B. Wonderful: Yeah good luck with that Apple.


Yes - it would be reasonable to presume that this is a very lucky strategy for Apple. Every step they have taken away from being a computer maker and toward being a toymaker has tripled their profits.
 
2012-11-06 10:59:42 AM  

jso2897: Handsome B. Wonderful: Yeah good luck with that Apple.

Yes - it would be reasonable to presume that this is a very lucky strategy for Apple. Every step they have taken away from being a computer maker and toward being a toymaker has tripled their profits.


The thing I discovered while researching my potential laptop purchase is that there are people out there who upgrade every time a new macbook comes out (e.g. every 6 months to 1 year).

Either they're very wealthy, or very stupid.
 
2012-11-06 11:00:19 AM  
Who is going to deal with a customer who sues their suppliers for billions of dollars?
 
2012-11-06 11:06:26 AM  

fluffy2097: Who is going to deal with a customer who sues their suppliers for billions of dollars?


Samsung
 
2012-11-06 11:17:25 AM  
LOL, The Reg is being more than usually Reg-like.

It seems quite likely that Apple is continually analyzing its options for processor strategy. I don't see them ditching Intel in the immediate future, though. Pushing the frontiers of processor technology is insanely expensive, and it is NOT something you want to in-source.

spiralscratch: I think that System 7 may have been the first Mac OS release that wasn't compatible with every Mac that had been introduced. That's probably what they're referring to. PPC Macs could run 680x0 apps just fine (mostly), but the first PPC release wasn't until 7.1.2 (the first worthwhile PPC release was 7.5).


Somewhere in there they dropped support for the 68000 and the 68020-without-68851-MMU. I was paying attention at the time, because I was running a 68000-based Lisa and a Mac II with the 68851 installed. I remember feeling a tiny bit smug because the 68851 was a bit beefier than the MMU built into the 68030, but I don't think it made any material difference.

I think 7.5 was the first release that required 32-bit support in the processor, leaving the 68000 behind and requiring various band-aids to run on the 68020.

7.6 ditched the older Mac II systems (the ones that weren't "32-bit clean"). By that time, I'd gotten a secondhand IIci, which was ditched when OS 8 came out. Meh, it'd been discontinued for four years at that point.

8.5 or 8.6 ditched all non-PPC machines. Again, this was four or five years after the shift to PPC.

I'm sure my newer Macs will be obsolete and unsupported in a few years. I'm not losing sleep over it. If they do try to move to an entirely walled-garden approach for OS X, and take away the Unix command line, I'll be moving on to something else.
 
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