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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 (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



91 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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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.
 
2012-11-06 11:30:40 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.



Sorta. In previous versions of Apple System, the OS used the upper 8 bits of a 32 bit memory pointer to store metadata. That is fine for 68000, '010 and 'EC020 processors that only have a 24 bit memory bus (as the upper 8 bits are ignored), but it breaks on a full '020, '030 and '040 processor. So for System 7, they made it 32-bit pointer clean. That ended up breaking some software (which did the same metadata trick) unless you messed with a few options in the control panel.

Also, the 68K -> PPC translator that was introduced in System 7.1 for the PowerMac required properly written 68K software. Self-modifying code and memory tricks would cause the translator to choke. But many legacy 68k apps would run on a PowerMac.
 
2012-11-06 11:42:38 AM  

Millennium: 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.


I'm kinda wondering what he means by "general purpose computing" that he thinks Macs don't do.

/as for gaming, that's why I've got a PS3 and an 11" projection screen.
 
2012-11-06 11:44:28 AM  
Apple should stop worrying so much about hardware and sell Mac OSX to PC users. That would put Microsoft down like a rabid dog.
 
2012-11-06 11:51:08 AM  

macdaddy357: Apple should stop worrying so much about hardware and sell Mac OSX to PC users. That would put Microsoft down like a rabid dog.


Two things:
First, that would absolutely destroy Apple's profit margins. Apple makes their money on hardware. They make huge profits on hardware. They'd be more likely to become a Windows OEM, if not for their institutional desire to control everything about their products.

Second, it would in no way "put Microsoft down". Businesses aren't going to get off the Microsoft teat. There's a not insignificant percentage of users who use at home what they use at work because that's what they understand. The smaller percentage of users who actively seek out different OS environments already have. Some of them are using OSX, on Apple hardware, which makes Apple huge buckets of money, as already stated. Look: there are Linux distros out there, which are free, and offer comparable user experiences to Windows. And Linux is still a tiny corner of the market, because users don't care.
 
2012-11-06 12:00:58 PM  

t3knomanser: macdaddy357: Apple should stop worrying so much about hardware and sell Mac OSX to PC users. That would put Microsoft down like a rabid dog.

Two things:
First, that would absolutely destroy Apple's profit margins. Apple makes their money on hardware. They make huge profits on hardware. They'd be more likely to become a Windows OEM, if not for their institutional desire to control everything about their products.

Second, it would in no way "put Microsoft down". Businesses aren't going to get off the Microsoft teat.


Those. If they really wanted to fight Microsoft, they could start integrating something like WINE into the OSX Kernel, along with better GPU support, so that you could run Windows EXEs seamlessly.

/of course, that would also end the whole "Macs don't get PC viruses" thing...
 
2012-11-06 12:04:32 PM  

macdaddy357: Apple should stop worrying so much about hardware and sell Mac OSX to PC users. That would put Microsoft down like a rabid dog.


Apple is a hardware company. OS X works well because Apple has all the control on the hardware it runs on.
If OS X was changed to allow it to run on all the hardware variations in the wild, it may have some nasty issues.
Besides, it's not like Apple is hurting for profits in its current business model.
 
2012-11-06 12:09:45 PM  

Theaetetus: Millennium: 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.

I'm kinda wondering what he means by "general purpose computing" that he thinks Macs don't do.

/as for gaming, that's why I've got a PS3 and an 11" projection screen.


Jeez, how can you see anything on that. I'll stick with my PC and its 28" monitor.
 
2012-11-06 12:12:04 PM  
As someone who still uses a PPC laptop, and used an SE30 black and white when I was a kid, I'm getting the sinking feeling that Apple is going to stop making computers altogether. One day, you'll look for a desktop/iMac, and it'll just be a 27" iPad w/ a keyboard and, whatever the hell they are using instead of a regular mouse. And it's a shame b/c Windows is unbelievably awful, and Linux still has too many compatibility issues.
 
2012-11-06 12:13:06 PM  

Beeblebrox: Theaetetus: Millennium: 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.

I'm kinda wondering what he means by "general purpose computing" that he thinks Macs don't do.

/as for gaming, that's why I've got a PS3 and an 11" projection screen.

Jeez, how can you see anything on that. I'll stick with my PC and its 28" monitor.


lostintegrity.files.wordpress.com
Stupid typo.
 
2012-11-06 12:22:27 PM  

Theaetetus: Beeblebrox: Theaetetus: Millennium: 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.

I'm kinda wondering what he means by "general purpose computing" that he thinks Macs don't do.

/as for gaming, that's why I've got a PS3 and an 11" projection screen.

Jeez, how can you see anything on that. I'll stick with my PC and its 28" monitor.

[lostintegrity.files.wordpress.com image 575x343]
Stupid typo.


Can I raise a practical question at this point? Are you gonna play PS3 tomorrow?
 
2012-11-06 12:37:29 PM  
The whole reason I bought a Macbook is because it used an Intel processor, and that Apple had simplified and opened up its OS enough for me to be able to tinker with it (Unix CLI, Installable applications from wherever, the ability to modify whatever I want)

If they go back to the era of monolithic walled-garden OS, junkware software, and inscrutably named (and specc'd) processors that restrict my software choices, I'll say F off and leave them in the dust.
 
2012-11-06 12:38:25 PM  
They can go screw themselves. I got screwed over on thousands in software when they went from PPC to Intel in 2005, and after two MacBook Pros failing within months of the 3 year warranty expiring I've now given up on their laptops. Went out and got myself an Alienware with the help of a ton of different coupons and discounts.
 
2012-11-06 12:50:04 PM  

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?

Lack of compatibility almost damn near killed apple, using the X86 Line brought them back from obscurity. Looks like the pendulum will swing again.


Just what in the hell are you going on about?
 
2012-11-06 12:50:06 PM  

nmemkha: SVenus: Enjoy the Apple Tax

I was paying more for the sameless functionality before it was cool.


FTFY...

/I keed....
//or do I?
 
2012-11-06 01:03:32 PM  
Great Porn Dragon: 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".

I doubt that Hackintosh / FrankenMac systems take much away from Apple's bottom line. Most of the people I know who run them are for play and not daily use. They had no intention of ever buying Apple hardware.

My thought is that Apple wants more vertical integration of their hardware. The licensing and development costs to roll your own ARM chips at an independent fab might be cheaper than the cost Apple can get processors from Intel for, even with Apple's discount. Intel's low power and ultra-low power processors still carry a price premium over similar performance rivals.

Then there is the power issue. Although Intel has been addressing performance per watt and peak power usage much better than IBM did with PowerPC, Apple still appears to be unhappy with the current crop of x86-64 chips for their MacBook series. By rolling their own ARM chips, they would be able to custom tailor their power requirements, not to mention utilize a more power efficient architecture.

Lastly, there is the app issue. System X and iOS are slowly converging. But since most Apple apps are binaries and not intermediate bytecode, you can't share ecosystems unless go return to fat binaries. Maybe Apple wants to return to having just one ISA under their roof?
 
2012-11-06 01:04:44 PM  

jfarkinB:
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.


Just because I'm a vintage Mac geek and I rarely get to bring it out around here...

System 7.5.5 was the last version that ran on nearly everything - all the way back to the Mac Plus. The 128k and 512k(e) Macs were already technically unsupported even by System 6 although 6 could be run with some work on the 512s. System 7 was pretty unhappy on a stock 1MB Plus though.

7.6/7.6.1 required 32-bit clean and such, which got rid of all the 68000 and 68020 Macs and a few early 68030 ones such as the SE/30 that were 32-bit unclean.

8.0/8.1 were the last 68k versions and technically required a 68040, but people were able to trivially modify the identifiers to get it running on any 32-bit clean 68030. 8.5 and later were PPC-only.

Puzzling for the article to call out System 7 as breaking backwards compatibility as they did quite a lot to make sure "well-behaved" apps kept running, especially the big-hitters. It was a pretty big rewrite away from the assembly and did break a lot of things that poked the hardware directly, though thanks to Multifinder there was a lot less in use by then.

/Newest Mac personally owned is from 1996
//Old Apple is a lot cooler than New Apple
 
2012-11-06 01:11:22 PM  
I like to troll the apple fanboys that I know who argue that when they switched to Intel was the greatest move for apple. I just repeat back their argument, "because it made it so you can run windows on it." Nothing like using a fanboy's own words against them.

Full context was they were excited saying that it would draw more people to use apple products because of boot camp and such would make it so people who haven't used apple before would be more likely to use it now that they could install windows on it... yes that was what one apple fanboy said.
 
2012-11-06 01:19:02 PM  
Of course, they already use a different architecture (ARM) in their iPhones, iPads etc. But what is there out there that's competitive with Intel's CPUs for desktops and laptops? Even the latest ARM CPUs are a good deal slower than Intel's stuff, and is there anything else that's mainstream and produced on a big scale?
 
2012-11-06 01:36:43 PM  
So I guess my next laptop will be an HP or an Asus...
 
2012-11-06 01:47:43 PM  

Kit Fister: So I guess my next laptop will be an HP or an Asus...


Consumer Reports are usually Mac fanboys to the last, and they actually rated an Asus model as top buy in the last issue I saw, which I think came out after the new glued-in battery, soldered-in memory Macs.
 
2012-11-06 02:00:29 PM  

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.


Intel is almost at functional 14nm node devices, so... yeah. Not going to be competing with them on performance, I would venture.
 
2012-11-06 03:31:53 PM  
Maybe they're going to try to one-up MS and the next line of MacBooks will just be A7 iPads with a keyboard slapped on and just finally stop pretending they still care about the desktop or even laptop segment.
 
2012-11-06 03:58:27 PM  

Theaetetus: Beeblebrox: Theaetetus: Millennium: 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.

I'm kinda wondering what he means by "general purpose computing" that he thinks Macs don't do.

/as for gaming, that's why I've got a PS3 and an 11" projection screen.

Jeez, how can you see anything on that. I'll stick with my PC and its 28" monitor.

[lostintegrity.files.wordpress.com image 575x343]
Stupid typo.


Nice, rocking a 133" at my house.
 
2012-11-06 04:05:54 PM  

Theaetetus: /as for gaming, that's why I've got a PS3 and an 11" projection screen.


What's the input lag on that like? Unless they've gotten a LOT better than the last time I saw it, I don't know how you could stand it.
 
2012-11-06 04:27:58 PM  

Theaetetus: Millennium: 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.

I'm kinda wondering what he means by "general purpose computing" that he thinks Macs don't do.

/as for gaming, that's why I've got a PS3 and an 11" projection screen.


11"? is it in danger of being knocked over....by a dwarf?
 
2012-11-06 04:37:38 PM  

beerdini: I like to troll the apple fanboys that I know who argue that when they switched to Intel was the greatest move for apple. I just repeat back their argument, "because it made it so you can run windows on it." Nothing like using a fanboy's own words against them.


And yet, Microsoft doesn't seem to be concerned that Windows RT can't run Windows 8 apps.
 
2012-11-06 04:56:45 PM  

ProfessorOhki: Theaetetus: /as for gaming, that's why I've got a PS3 and an 11" projection screen.

What's the input lag on that like? Unless they've gotten a LOT better than the last time I saw it, I don't know how you could stand it.


Played Forza Horizon on mine last weekend with a wheel, and have played Halo Reach quite a bit on it, no problems with lag.
 
2012-11-06 05:20:31 PM  
Well yes. But then just because there was a G4 with a P4 inside of it back in the day doesn't mean an imminent switch is going to happen.

I mean it'll happen sooner or later unless Intel can get x86's power usage through the floor but not anytime soon. But it shouldn't be a great surprise that most large OEM's are looking at ARM currently.
 
2012-11-06 05:22:07 PM  

MrEricSir: And yet, Microsoft doesn't seem to be concerned that Windows RT can't run Windows 8 apps.


That's not exactly true. Windows RT can run both Metro and Desktop applications, but currently you're restricted to the Windows Store for the installation of third part applications, which in turn is currently limited to Metro apps. If you did manage to get unapproved Desktop applications onto a Windows RT device, they'd have to be compiled for ARM, compiled to bytecode (C#, Java) or interpreted (VB).

And there are a couple of x86-to-ARM binary translators in the works (not unlike FX!32 or Rosetta), so we may one day see jailbroken RT tablets running native x86 Desktop apps.
 
2012-11-06 05:35:02 PM  

ProfessorOhki: Theaetetus: /as for gaming, that's why I've got a PS3 and an 11" projection screen.

What's the input lag on that like? Unless they've gotten a LOT better than the last time I saw it, I don't know how you could stand it.


There's none that I can notice. YMMV.
 
2012-11-06 06:18:57 PM  

Theaetetus: Those. If they really wanted to fight Microsoft, they could start integrating something like WINE into the OSX Kernel, along with better GPU support, so that you could run Windows EXEs seamlessly.


Because that worked so well for OS/2 Warp...
 
2012-11-06 07:06:54 PM  

unyon: 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.


This reminds me:

Microsoft needs to kill off Office for Mac. Apple uses it as a selling point for their laptops, which are in direct competition to machines being sold with a copy of Windows. Apple has the cash to develop their own office suite. I doubt it'd be any good compared to Office, but that's the idea.
 
2012-11-06 08:48:44 PM  
The anti-Apple propaganda machine is making the usual mountain out of a molehill. Apple is just keeping their options open. They've experimented with AMD chips, and they've tested a MacBook Air with an ARM chip in it. They had versions of OSX that would run on Intel chips ready for years before they switched over.
 
2012-11-06 09:28:48 PM  

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).


Are you absolutely certain?
 
2012-11-07 02:15:12 AM  

unyon: 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.


Yeah, it could be a problem. But I wouldn't necessarily read "new CPU" as "non x86_64 CPU" -- they may well provide the same instruction set (or a large subset of it) on a different chip. The amount of abstraction between the actual CPU hardware and the exposed instruction set has been increasing in all popular lines for a long time; at this point both x86_64 and i686 are pretty far removed from actual hardware structure on both Intel and AMD implementations. So it's not unreasonable to think they could design a fully compatible chip, either as the default/only mode or as a secondary mode that's only a context switch (like i686 is on x86_64 machines).

Of course it's Apple so they might just make up a totally new architecture, provide an emulator in the next few years of OS releases, and then pretend like they've never heard of the old system. But I'd like to think they see the value in being able to run other popular OSes at least in a VM.
 
2012-11-07 06:22:12 AM  

Marine1:
Microsoft needs to kill off Office for Mac. Apple uses it as a selling point for their laptops, which are in direct competition to machines being sold with a copy of Windows. Apple has the cash to develop their own office suite. I doubt it'd be any good compared to Office, but that's the idea.


Apple already have their own Office suite, kinda, in iWork. It's not THAT bad. Very much like the older versions of Works was to Office. However in your bid to slay the infinite loop you'd of just dealt Microsoft a hefty blow as well: Office (including Mac::Office) is one of their major sellers. Disrupting the Office ecology too much would not be a good thing for their long term future.

Now having pointed that out I do in fact fully support your idea and hope Microsoft do it soon. But for the exact opposite reason you have. The Beast of Redmond must die.
 
2012-11-07 06:43:22 AM  

macdaddy357: Apple should stop worrying so much about hardware and sell Mac OSX to PC users. That would put Microsoft down like a rabid dog.


BWAHAHAHA! Try building a Hackintosh and you'll encounter exactly the reason why Apple would never consider this. OS X runs brilliantly on Macs, where Apple has final say over the exact hardware that goes into the machines, oversight of the drivers and can literally make OS X squeeze every last ounce of functionality from it.

On a Hackintosh is regularly gets upset, throws its toys out of the pram and has a little sulk... even with hardware that is "100% Compatible". Don't even get me started on power management and how without some serious loving every Core i processor is/was locked to a 16x multiplier.

It's very much like running an old Kernel 2.2 version of Linux; works fine right up until it randomly explodes in your face because your NIC isn't quite what it demands.
 
2012-11-07 02:22:00 PM  

Vaneshi: Marine1:
Microsoft needs to kill off Office for Mac. Apple uses it as a selling point for their laptops, which are in direct competition to machines being sold with a copy of Windows. Apple has the cash to develop their own office suite. I doubt it'd be any good compared to Office, but that's the idea.

Apple already have their own Office suite, kinda, in iWork. It's not THAT bad. Very much like the older versions of Works was to Office. However in your bid to slay the infinite loop you'd of just dealt Microsoft a hefty blow as well: Office (including Mac::Office) is one of their major sellers. Disrupting the Office ecology too much would not be a good thing for their long term future.

Now having pointed that out I do in fact fully support your idea and hope Microsoft do it soon. But for the exact opposite reason you have. The Beast of Redmond must die.


It's a "major" seller for Macs. Macs make up less than 20% of the desktop market.

You can do one of two things: sell a Mac user a copy of Office for Mac, or sell a Mac user a copy of Windows that runs a copy of Office for Windows. Which one earns Microsoft more money? Which one opens up Mac users to more Microsoft products and services? Which one cannibalizes Windows and MS OEM partner sales?

It also puts Apple in a tight spot. iWork is decent, but it's no Office, and would slam the door on the small (but growing) adoption of Macs in the enterprise. Apple has shown that they are mediocre to fair in developing applications, and this would force the company into a place they don't want to be.
 
2012-11-07 03:41:24 PM  

Marine1: Vaneshi: Marine1:
Microsoft needs to kill off Office for Mac. Apple uses it as a selling point for their laptops, which are in direct competition to machines being sold with a copy of Windows. Apple has the cash to develop their own office suite. I doubt it'd be any good compared to Office, but that's the idea.

Apple already have their own Office suite, kinda, in iWork. It's not THAT bad. Very much like the older versions of Works was to Office. However in your bid to slay the infinite loop you'd of just dealt Microsoft a hefty blow as well: Office (including Mac::Office) is one of their major sellers. Disrupting the Office ecology too much would not be a good thing for their long term future.

Now having pointed that out I do in fact fully support your idea and hope Microsoft do it soon. But for the exact opposite reason you have. The Beast of Redmond must die.

It's a "major" seller for Macs. Macs make up less than 20% of the desktop market.

You can do one of two things: sell a Mac user a copy of Office for Mac, or sell a Mac user a copy of Windows that runs a copy of Office for Windows. Which one earns Microsoft more money? Which one opens up Mac users to more Microsoft products and services? Which one cannibalizes Windows and MS OEM partner sales?

It also puts Apple in a tight spot. iWork is decent, but it's no Office, and would slam the door on the small (but growing) adoption of Macs in the enterprise. Apple has shown that they are mediocre to fair in developing applications, and this would force the company into a place they don't want to be.


A lot of people at my work use Office for Mac. Word for mac likes to put random incorrect formatting characters in word documents
 
2012-11-07 06:32:23 PM  
randroid:

A lot of people at my work use Office for Mac. Word for mac likes to put random incorrect formatting characters in word documents

This must be a 'feature' as Word for Windows does the same thing.
 
2012-11-07 08:48:35 PM  

Scoth: Just because I'm a vintage Mac geek and I rarely get to bring it out around here...System 7.5.5 was the last version that ran on nearly everything - all the way back to the Mac Plus. The 128k and 512k(e) Macs were already technically unsupported even by System 6 although 6 could be run with some work on the 512s. System 7 was pretty unhappy on a stock 1MB Plus though.7.6/7.6.1 required 32-bit clean and such, which got rid of all the 68000 and 68020 Macs and a few early 68030 ones such as the SE/30 that were 32-bit unclean.8.0/8.1 were the last 68k versions and technically required a 68040, but people were able to trivially modify the identifiers to get it running on any 32-bit clean 68030. 8.5 and later were PPC-only.Puzzling for the article to call out System 7 as breaking backwards compatibility as they did quite a lot to make sure "well-behaved" apps kept running, especially the big-hitters. It was a pretty big rewrite away from the assembly and did break a lot of things that poked the hardware directly, though thanks to Multifinder there was a lot less in use by then./Newest Mac personally owned is from 1996//Old Apple is a lot cooler than New Apple


Interesting and informative, cheers.
 
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