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View Full Version : Possible Intel Chip to Run on new macs?


xaphonyx
Jun 7, 2005, 12:33 PM
I really dont think apple will be putting regular p4 chips into the next generation of hi-end macs, they are just too standard. Something tells me that Apple knows that they need to appease all of the hardcore mac professionals with something that will resassure that they have the best computer on the market. With that said, they could go with the xeon chips, but that still is relatively mainstream, I think the chip apple will go with, will be Intels top of the line, itanium 2 chip or a chip derived from it. It is intels highest performing chip, used in servers, they work great in multiprocessor, dual-processor, and low voltage situations and they are 64-bit. In my opinion that would definitly be the best idea to keep the professional market, now to reach the average consumer, i think the p4 or xeons, will be used, they are much cheaper and have higher clockspeeds, which with most consumers is all they look at. What does everyone else think, any ideas of how apple will make this switch truely worth it?

iN8
Jun 7, 2005, 02:23 PM
Apple will most likely use Intels next gen chips, codenamed Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest. Merom=Mobile, Conroe=Desktop, Woodcrest=Server.

They will be 64-bit, dual core, low power chips. A chip going in a totally different direction from Intel's past chips (Pentium 4). They have shorter pipelines (similar to PPC) which aids in the power consumption and does lower the clockrate a bit, but these chips have a high performance per clock (again similar to the PPC).

From what I have read on these since apples announcement yesterday, I think these are what Apple has their eyes on and I think we will be pretty happy with them.

admanimal
Jun 7, 2005, 02:34 PM
Apple will most likely use Intels next gen chips, codenamed Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest. Merom=Mobile, Conroe=Desktop, Woodcrest=Server.

They will be 64-bit, dual core, low power chips. A chip going in a totally different direction from Intel's past chips (Pentium 4). They have shorter pipelines (similar to PPC) which aids in the power consumption and does lower the clockrate a bit, but these chips have a high performance per clock (again similar to the PPC).

From what I have read on these since apples announcement yesterday, I think these are what Apple has their eyes on and I think we will be pretty happy with them.

While it's not impossible for Apple to use 64 bit CPUs in the future, Universal Binary applications only support Intel's 32-bit architecture, so moving to 64 bits won't do anything for them.

Apple is going to use whatever Intel's popular chips are when the systems are released. Intel isn't going to make special chips for Apple for the same reason IBM apparently didn't particularly want to- too small of a customer. By switching to Intel, Apple has basically guaranteed itself that they will have large quantities of (more or less) constantly improving chips available, since Intel has to produce them for the 100s of PC manufacturers anyway.

iN8
Jun 7, 2005, 03:18 PM
While it's not impossible for Apple to use 64 bit CPUs in the future, Universal Binary applications only support Intel's 32-bit architecture, so moving to 64 bits won't do anything for them.

Apple is going to use whatever Intel's popular chips are when the systems are released. Intel isn't going to make special chips for Apple for the same reason IBM apparently didn't particularly want to- too small of a customer. By switching to Intel, Apple has basically guaranteed itself that they will have large quantities of (more or less) constantly improving chips available, since Intel has to produce them for the 100s of PC manufacturers anyway.

I realise that the universal binaries only support 32-bit, but in truth how many Mac apps really support 64-bit.

I'm sure Apple will use whatever Intel chip it needs to when we release our first Intel based Macs, but the the processors on Intels future roadmap (and what wasn't on IBM's) is what Jobs said made them switch, not what Intel is presently offering.

Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest are Intels future and will be Intels popular chips, so Apple WILL use them.

chibianh
Jun 7, 2005, 03:25 PM
Anandtech has an interesting article discussing the possibilities.

http://www.anandtech.com/tradeshows/showdoc.aspx?i=2439&p=2

We would expect Apple to use a combination of both cores, Cedar Mill for their entry level Powermacs, Presler for their high end SKUs and potentially even a HT enabled Extreme Edition for their highest end Powermac. Given the strong brand that Apple has created with the Powermac G5 name, we do wonder what they will call this next-generation of Intel based Powermacs; somehow, the Powermac P4 just doesn't sound right, not to mention that the name Pentium 4 has been left behind since the move to dual core.

chibianh
Jun 7, 2005, 03:34 PM
Something I ran across while browsing the countless topics about this on the web. He talks about the insides of the dev boxes and possible future chips apple plans to use.

And Matt, I don't know what the developer NDA covers, so I won't go into too much detail on this, but I have a source who has provided me with some details on the IA-32 machines that are going to start shipping to ISVs in a couple of weeks. They're Power Mac G5s with almost totally stock system boards and new, air-cooled IA-32 PMUs. The U3H memory controller and bridge ASIC has been altered to match the bus timing of the IA-32 processor, but that's all. Everything else on the system board is exactly the same. The internal components are all still connected via Hyper Transport through the K2 ASIC and the PCI-X bridge chip. The PMUs have 3.6 GHz Pentium 4 processors on them, but these will definitely not be the processors that Apple ships next year. The processors will be IA-32-instruction-set-compatible, but they will not be Pentium chips. They're going to be specially designed processors that Intel delivers to Apple but to no other customers, binary compatible with the Pentium family but not identical to any off-the-shelf microprocessor. For lack of a better name, I've taken to calling them "G6," but that's totally my own invention and not meant to be in any way authentic. It's just my own shorthand.

All that information comes from a source that I trust, and one that I'll protect by not saying anything more about him. Hell, I won't even swear to you that it's a him.

Bottom line: Just as Apple has been planning for half a decade to make Mac OS X microprocessor-agnostic, the design of the Power Mac G5 system was based around the idea of isolating the processors from the other components on their own bus, making it possible to swap out CPUs with only minimal changes to the other chips on the board. In this case, only one chip has to be changed, and those changes are slight.

All indications at this point are that Apple has no intention of changing its business model one iota. They're simply going to a different microprocessor vendor. In that way, this transition is no more drastic than the switch from Motorola to IBM when they went from the G4 to the G5. And it's only slightly more drastic than that to the developers. The whole porting guide is only about a hundred pages long, and it's crammed full of detailed examples.