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The End of Apple as We Know It?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Steel_Avatar, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. Steel_Avatar

    Steel_Avatar IncGamers Member

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    The End of Apple as We Know It?

    I can barely believe this.

    I don't see how Apple expects their admittedly limited stable of third party developers to rewrite all of their code for the x86 architecture. It's not just a matter of recompiling; any sort of hand-tuned assembly, such as Altivec, will have to be completely rewritten. For an example of the difficulties that can arise from porting from x86 to PPC, check out the various stories on the Mac version of Doom 3.

    After reading some of the comments, I suppose it is possible that Apple might switch to the Itanium's IA64. I just don't see how it would make sense though.
     
  2. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    The rumor came up a week or more ago, and everyone pointed out that Intel makes more than just CPUs, so Apple chatting with Intel about business might just mean different PCI or firewire chipsets or whatever.

    I don't believe it will happen. IBM has just as good a shot at getting solid dual-core chips out in the near future as any other chip designer. Why switch horses at this point?
     
  3. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    Yeah this is has happened a few times in the past as well.

    I don't see Apple switching, they would still need to supply support for oodles of G4 and G5 owners for the next few years. Not to mention the hassle of reporting the majority of the OS back to x86(neXTSTEP the foundation of OS X was originally x86, but a lot has been changed and added since then)

    Plus every bit of manufacturing they have in place would have to be changed, new people trained and it would still have to fit in existing size constraints(no way apple fans would go for a thicker PowerBook)

    If they ported the OS alone, I could see them needing to work with Intel to ensure a better Altivec system on future chips. . .but why would Intel do that when they are already so buddy buddy with Microsoft?

    Personally I think they might be looking at a new chip for the iPod or some other gadget, although the company that makes the chips now just released a chip that takes 1/3 the power and is twice as fast.

    The biggest thing that could come out of this? Another chip vender switch. Although it would be strange to break it off with IBM so quickly. Intel doesn't have to make x86 chips, Apple might be willing to give them a contract saying they will only buy from Intel if Intel starts making PPC chips. Intel has good track record in wafer making, getting high yields of usable chips, they also have the funds to make a few more factories.
     
  4. Stevinator

    Stevinator IncGamers Member

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    my eyes just rolled back into my head. :confused:
     
  5. Steel_Avatar

    Steel_Avatar IncGamers Member

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    Unlike the other articles though, this one specifically states that " . . . Changing the chips would require programmers to rewrite their software to take full advantage of the new processor." Which certainly implies that they're actually switching architectures.


    I highly doubt that Intel would be willing to make the massive R&D investments necessary to develop their own version of the PPC core. Remember that IBM and Moto own various parts of the original PPC designs, such as Moto owning Altivec. I don't even consider it a possibility that IBM would hand over their designs for the PPC core to Intel.
     
  6. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    It could be new chipsets to go with a throttled-power 970.

    It could be high-end quad x86 servers.

    It will not be consumer hardware with Intel CPUs.

    EDIT: Here's what happens if Apple announces it's working on x86 consumer machines next Monday.
    -- Nobody buys a G4 or G5 machine for the next 18 months, or however long it takes to actually get the new stuff out. There go the earnigs and profits.
    -- Adobe and Microsoft groan at the idea of recoding their main applications for this new platform; they show opposition to the idea of the switch, effectively killing OS X as a viable business/professional solution.
    -- Apple becomes "the iPod company." Nothing more.
     
  7. Steel_Avatar

    Steel_Avatar IncGamers Member

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    I can agree with the your second point, and can see that your third point makes sense (Jobs ain't that dumb). But again as I said above, switching chipsets would not require a complete recompile of Mac-based applications, which is what the article says. Swapping chipsets doesn't affect the actual core itself.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's a really bad idea.
     
  8. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    I think basically what it comes down to is C|NET being a bunch of gullible bozos who'll slap rumors up as news. They aren't the first. :D
     
  9. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    Chew on this for a bit.

    Apple, specifically when Jobs is in charge, is known for being super double uber secret about everything. Hell not a single rumor site has anything on what is coming for Monday. My theory, Jobs is causing commotion to build hype for WWDC.

    Why would Jobs make this meeting so obvious when the switch to IBM was almost unheard of until a week before the release?

    As long as Jobs is in power I don't think the switch will happen with us knowing a year + in advance.


    Plus, as Durf said, it would kill sales.
     
  10. SuggestiveName

    SuggestiveName IncGamers Member

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    I don't see apple switching first off, provided Blue can provide a decent next-gen core. But then again they might, since in all honesty Apple thrives off the iPod not their boxes, and this switch might provide long-term benefits for the platform.

    EDIT: Relatedly, if I could run OSX on my x86 machine I would be so there. Windows what?
     
  11. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    Apple would only allow it on certain machines, using something like Pallidium to get it set in stone. OS X is very stable for many reasons, one being the controlled hardware.
     
  12. Twoflower

    Twoflower Banned

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    why shouldnt apple switch totaly, again ?

    the switch from OS9 to OSX is barely some years old, and it was a complete change as well, not compatible in any way...

    back then i stoped using macs and got myself a pc...
     
  13. Steel_Avatar

    Steel_Avatar IncGamers Member

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    A better solution would simply be a proprietary BIOS.
     
  14. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    They still support and run updates for 9. . .OS X also covers most OS 9 apps with Classic, it won't run everything, but it will run a lot.

    OS X will also run on machines built to run OS 7.1, this switch wouldn't have that.


    Steel, a BIOS can be flashed, "Safer Computing" can make sure nothing but a very specific machine boots the OS.


    EDIT: This link has the .com.com thing going on too. . .I know it wasn't like that last night.

    Anywho I just read an article about Intel making an ultra small PC. Its a square half inch smaller than the Mini Mac, but they aren't really advertising it is the smallest desktop in the world. They are however saying it is the smallest Intel based product. The writer brought up that Apple wouldn't switch over unless all current form factors could be at least matched. I still don't think a Pentium M would do well in a PowerBook, they like to dissipate into moving air and not be using a big aluminum heatsink.
     
  15. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    Well my daily glance at www.spymac.com says that Wall Street Journal has confirmed the story.


    A lot of super computing clusters are going to be mighty mighty pissed when their 8 million dollar systems bought less than a year ago stop getting support.
     
  16. Steel_Avatar

    Steel_Avatar IncGamers Member

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    That's what they get for choosing a company with miniscule fraction of the total market. There's always a chance that the company will sink or have to change in order to survive.
     
  17. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    Ummm, have you looked at the stock of Apple recently? They aren't being forced to change.
     
  18. Steel_Avatar

    Steel_Avatar IncGamers Member

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    How much of that stock upswing has been from iPod related stuff?
     
  19. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    They sold more computers last quarter than ever before. Sure a lot of them were Mac Minis, but they aren't hurting is my point.

    Jobs has always supported the PPC arch, even when Motorola was so stagnant with upgrades. Plus Apple has always like the large scale computing, something PPC excels at.
     
  20. Steel_Avatar

    Steel_Avatar IncGamers Member

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    Forced to change may not necessarily mean market forces. Apple has never been a huge part of IBM's business; didn't Jobs promise 3 GHz G5's a couple of years ago? They haven't shown up yet.

    By forced to change, I meant also that IBM may be unwilling to sink the resources into further developing this particular aspect of the PPC line, which Apple needs if Jobs wants to be able to continue demonstrating that Apples do indeed run selected Photoshop filters faster than any other computer out there.
     

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