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MacRumors
Mar 1, 2004, 03:06 AM
The Inquirer reported (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14407) over the weekend that the Software Development Kit for the upcoming Xbox 2 is being seeded to developers "on dual Apple Power Mac G5 systems running a custom Windows NT Kernel."

It was previously announced (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/11/20031103121349.shtml) that Microsoft had chosen the PowerPC as the processor for their upcoming gaming system.

Meanwhile, Windows NT for PowerPC is something that existed (http://home1.gte.net/res008nh/nt/ppc/default.htm) in the past, but was dropped.

awulf
Mar 1, 2004, 03:17 AM
I wonder If Microsoft will be Making Windows for Macintosh, it would be good since that would salve compatibility issues between Mac and PC without running the sluggish VirtualPC.

BTW: Nice Forum Upgrade

ITR 81
Mar 1, 2004, 03:18 AM
I read about this over the weekend...I'm wondering what this could all mean??

Maybe more game ports?

NT on PPC?

Direct X for PPC?

MoparShaha
Mar 1, 2004, 03:29 AM
I wonder If Microsoft will be Making Windows for Macintosh, it would be good since that would salve compatibility issues between Mac and PC without running the sluggish VirtualPC.

BTW: Nice Forum UpgradeSure, you'd be able to run Windows flawlessly, but you wouldn't be able to run any other programs. People just don't understand that programs have to be compiled for specific architectures. The OS has nothing to do with whether you can run programs on Mac/PC -- it's the processor.

I think this whole G5 XBox SDK thing shall prove very interesting.

arn
Mar 1, 2004, 03:42 AM
Windows NT for PowerPC existed...

I don't see Microsoft bringing it back...

I also don't think there's much significance to the fact that they have an NT kernel on PowerPC. Presumably it's all just for development for the Xbox.

arn

SpaceMagic
Mar 1, 2004, 04:09 AM
Why would an xBox need something as powerful as a dual g5??? :D

samh004
Mar 1, 2004, 05:09 AM
Why would an xBox need something as powerful as a dual g5??? :D

because the xBox 2 has 3 processors in it, so one would assume that the games made for it would need more processing power that a dual G5...

ipiloot
Mar 1, 2004, 05:12 AM
Windows NT for PowerPC existed...

I don't see Microsoft bringing it back...

I also don't think there's much significance to the fact that they have an NT kernel on PowerPC. Presumably it's all just for development for the Xbox.

arn

I agree. There's no reason to read out too much from this situation. However something can be concluded from that and the previous rumor:

1. Xbox2 will not have some very specific processor design. It's going to be binary compatible with G5 in large part
2. Apple is part of the project. Possibly they helped in making the dev tools and porting NT to Mac-specific hardware. Why else is there Apple logo presented in dev tools.
3. Xbox2 will run on top of the stripped-down NT kernel
4. ATI-s R420 will not differ much binary-wise R350
5. Xbox2 is going to be 64-bit. I think that M$ and Apple made necessary adjustments to ATI-s 64-bit drivers to get them running. Keep in mind that making drivers for single machine is far simpler than making them for the whole legion of different configurations.
6. IBM's processors are going to be cheaper and cheaper.

eSnow
Mar 1, 2004, 05:22 AM
2. Apple is part of the project. Possibly they helped in making the dev tools and porting NT to Mac-specific hardware. Why else is there Apple logo presented in dev tools.

Don't forget that if NT is running natively (i.e. not on Top of MacOS X) on this machines, Apple has provided MS with the informations needed to compile drivers for the Apple-ASICS (fan control ...).


5. Xbox2 is going to be 64-bit. I think that M$ and Apple made necessary adjustments to ATI-s 64-bit drivers to get them running. Keep in mind that making drivers for single machine is far simpler than making them for the whole legion of different configurations.

Which is puzzling. 64 Bit does not make a whole lot of sense in a game console (yeah, I know, they are at 128 Bit already) since the main advantage , which is the capability to adresse huge amounts of memory, is irrelevant.

hvfsl
Mar 1, 2004, 05:42 AM
G4 Macs were used to develop the first GameCube games on and a shop in London has a combined Mac and NES that people used to use to program NES games on.

Although the if this Xbox2 thing is true, then it will hopefully mean it will be easy to port Xbox2 games to the Mac in future and maybe an emulator that will run well on Macs.

reflex
Mar 1, 2004, 05:45 AM
Which is puzzling. 64 Bit does not make a whole lot of sense in a game console (yeah, I know, they are at 128 Bit already) since the main advantage , which is the capability to adresse huge amounts of memory, is irrelevant.

Another advantage of a 64bit cpu over a 32bit one, is the possibility to read 64 bits of data at once, which is faster than reading 64 bits in two times like you'd have to do on a 32bit cpu (depending on what you're doing).

Bear
Mar 1, 2004, 05:51 AM
I wonder If Microsoft will be Making Windows for Macintosh, it would be good since that would salve compatibility issues between Mac and PC without running the sluggish VirtualPC.No it wouldn't. The programs would have to be compiled and tested for the PwoerPC platform as well as Windows. This all costs money to developers.

Also, do you really want to run windows on your Mac? It means you would be not be able to run any Mac programs while windows was booted.

At least when you're running virtual PC, you can still run Mac applications and if(when) Windows crashes you just have to restart windows under VirtualPC and not the whole Mac. This of courses prevents yo from having to restart everything you were running.

CmdrLaForge
Mar 1, 2004, 05:57 AM
I agree. There's no reason to read out too much from this situation. However something can be concluded from that and the previous rumor:

1. Xbox2 will not have some very specific processor design. It's going to be binary compatible with G5 in large part
2. Apple is part of the project. Possibly they helped in making the dev tools and porting NT to Mac-specific hardware. Why else is there Apple logo presented in dev tools.
3. Xbox2 will run on top of the stripped-down NT kernel
4. ATI-s R420 will not differ much binary-wise R350
5. Xbox2 is going to be 64-bit. I think that M$ and Apple made necessary adjustments to ATI-s 64-bit drivers to get them running. Keep in mind that making drivers for single machine is far simpler than making them for the whole legion of different configurations.
6. IBM's processors are going to be cheaper and cheaper.

I agree to most of your assumptions. I guess that the important question will be if there is an easy way of compiling the games under OS X as well - what I believe and if it will be done. And the second part is questionable. If there are many games available for Macs it would definitly increase the overall value of Macs and does M$ wants this to happen ?

I think the equotation is how much many can they make with games sold for Macs in comparison to how much money the lose because more people switch to Macs and are not running a copy of Windows.

Analog Kid
Mar 1, 2004, 06:13 AM
G4 Macs were used to develop the first GameCube games on and a shop in London has a combined Mac and NES that people used to use to program NES games on.

Although the if this Xbox2 thing is true, then it will hopefully mean it will be easy to port Xbox2 games to the Mac in future and maybe an emulator that will run well on Macs.
Yeah, but Nintendo isn't competing with Apple... One of the major advantages Windows has over Mac OS is the number of games available. They don't want people thinking "Hmmm... Wonder what would happen if I imported the source into Xcode...".

I have to think this is an interim solution. I'm surprised they didn't use an IBM workstation for the purpose... Can't imagine the cost of development hardware is an impediment to gaming teams.

MS will probably design custom hardware, if only to get the Apple logo out of their dev tools, and off of the box.

Heltik
Mar 1, 2004, 06:21 AM
Depending when it comes out - I've not seen the expected release date - won't the XBox2 represent a rather cheap but well specified option in comparison to an iMac of the time?

If this is the case, would it not be possible to crack the XBox in order to run OSX? If I 'retired' my iBook, which is capable of running X, then would that not fulfill the license requirements of the Mac OS, that I need to have a mac chipset to run Mac OS, thus making this legal?

What would be the legal aspects in relation to Microsoft? Or is this something unlikely.

I've heard of Linux running on XBox, so why not BSD based OSX on XBox2? It would certainly make a nice iTunes server!

mkjellman
Mar 1, 2004, 06:52 AM
well problem is that they are not going to have a hard drive in the new xbox so it would be hard to try and do it. Also if you really wanted to you would have to find a way to incorperate a hard drive which it may not have the drivers for....just a though

army_guy
Mar 1, 2004, 07:06 AM
Its the original NT kernal not XP and not W2K. Looking on my NT cd it runs on 486, MIPS, Alpha, PowerPC, Pentium, Petium Pro etc... However no x86 applications will run on it, they have to be recompiled for the architechture. Like wanting to run a EDA application (conpiled for SPARC) on x86 SOLARIS, it doesnt work. Also you wont be able to run MAC apps at the same time, I think it would be logical to assume its 64-bit but I cant remember if the NT kernal was 64-bit for the PowerPC, it was for the Alpha though. I remember that NT only supported early versions of direct x upto 5/6 but not 7/8/9?, I dont think it could even do DirectX 3D acceleration only OpenGL. IMO this system would be just to develope and sample games not for actually playing them at realistic speeds.

nerfmachine
Mar 1, 2004, 07:12 AM
There is no way that Xbox2 games will be portable to Mac OS. The model for Xbox2 is likely to follow the Xbox: a stripped down win2k kernel providing only memory management, threads, etc - a tiny fraction of the windows OS that needs to be ported to PPC. Graphics and sound API's are DirectX like but with no driver baggage, just compiled directly into each game executable.

Photorun
Mar 1, 2004, 07:26 AM
Despite the naysayers and an understanding software needs to be coded to an architecture it'd be cool to see if someone tries to hack XSux2's games to work on a G5 and, if this "accidentally" happened I'd be happy to try it out! :p

JtheLemur
Mar 1, 2004, 07:31 AM
G4 Macs were used to develop the first GameCube games on and a shop in London has a combined Mac and NES that people used to use to program NES games on.

In addition to what Analog Kid said... the GameCube doesn't run on Windows. ;)

Henriok
Mar 1, 2004, 07:32 AM
Its the original NT kernal not XP and not W2K.No.. the article just stated "a modified NT kernel", and since W2K, XP and XP'03 all run on a NT kernel of some sort it's probably a later version than NT 4 (I just assume that you meant NT 4, since it was the lastest OS actually named NT). I cannot se any reason why it isn't quite a late version, even later than what's beneath current Windows XP.

rt_brained
Mar 1, 2004, 07:40 AM
The Inquirer reported (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14407) over the weekend that the Software Development Kit for the upcoming Xbox 2 is being seeded to developers "on dual Apple Power Mac G5 systems running a custom Windows NT Kernel."

Okay, but this is NOT going to fit in my entertainment center.

army_guy
Mar 1, 2004, 07:41 AM
No.. the article just stated "a modified NT kernel", and since W2K, XP and XP'03 all run on a NT kernel of some sort it's probably a later version than NT 4 (I just assume that you meant NT 4, since it was the lastest OS actually named NT). I cannot se any reason why it isn't quite a late version, even later than what's beneath current Windows XP.

I suppose they could use a later version, allthough that NT 4 is rocksolid in terms of stability and allready tested with PowerPC hardware. More likely W2K as its allready compact and very stable(it has been compiled for PowerPC but is only available to OEMS i.e. IBM) but XP is bloated with crap it would need to much effort to cut it down and then recompile, debug and test it for PowerPC.

army_guy
Mar 1, 2004, 07:41 AM
Okay, but this is NOT going to fit in my entertainment center.
Black is good ;) shame about that green.

piracy
Mar 1, 2004, 07:42 AM
Keep in mind that the "NT kernel" doesn't equal just "Windows NT". The "NT kernel" is a semi-generic name for what is at the heart of not only the named NT family, but also Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003.

(This is similar to the way that saying "Linux kernel" doesn't refer to just one version. "NT kernel" is an umbrella name for the kernel family.)

AidenShaw
Mar 1, 2004, 08:06 AM
Another advantage of a 64bit cpu over a 32bit one, is the possibility to read 64 bits of data at once, which is faster than reading 64 bits in two times like you'd have to do on a 32bit cpu (depending on what you're doing).

But a 32-bit CPU can read 128-bit data! Look at the following list:


8-bit integers - 32-bit & 64-bit
16-bit integers - 32-bit & 64-bit
32-bit integers - 32-bit & 64-bit
64-bit integers - 64-bit
32-bit floating - 32-bit & 64-bit
64-bit floating - 32-bit & 64-bit
128-bit SIMD - 32-bit & 64-bit


The 32-bit CPU can process data in 64-bit chunks, even in 128-bit chunks. The "twice as much data" statement is a 64-bit myth.

The only difference is that the 64-bit CPU has native, single-instruction 64-bit integer operations. This is really the only advantage (other than 64-bit memory, which OS X does not support) of the 64-bit CPU, and for most programs it's not important.

So the "possibility" of reading 64-bits is not unique to a 64-bit CPU....

the_mole1314
Mar 1, 2004, 08:06 AM
Well, I think we might see some more OSX games, mabey more XBox2 ports to Mac, don't you think? I wonder how hard it would be to make the games for OSX. I don't think that hard. But even if it's hard, atleast developers will have Dual G5s in their hands, and mabey they'll use them beyond the XBox, and oh, mabey on the Mac perhaps?

wrldwzrd89
Mar 1, 2004, 08:11 AM
Windows NT for PowerPC existed...

I don't see Microsoft bringing it back...

I also don't think there's much significance to the fact that they have an NT kernel on PowerPC. Presumably it's all just for development for the Xbox.

arn

I read in the Inquirer article that it is quite possible that Microsoft is considering giving Intel the boot. Although this seems highly unlikely at first, imagine the implications for Apple and IBM's PowerPCs if MS 'switches' to PPC as their preferred processor for deploying Windows. I'd imagine that if MS were to do this, they would make it part of the transition to Windows Longhorn and include it with all the other sweeping changes to Windows (such as hopefully eliminating drive letters).

ennerseed
Mar 1, 2004, 08:35 AM
Man if MS sells the XBox at a loss and makes it up with license fees, it seems like a good idea to let Apple's machines play those games... They will make a ***** load more money on fees.... well it sounds nice and easy.

Frobozz
Mar 1, 2004, 08:54 AM
because the xBox 2 has 3 processors in it, so one would assume that the games made for it would need more processing power that a dual G5...

I believe the processors have to be powers of 2 (1,2,4,8,16,32,64, etc...) I think the information you are quoting about 3 processors is misinterpreted because the article never mentioned 3 CPU's. I would suspect a northbridge chip or some other ISA and 2 CPU's-- resulting in 3 "processors". All would be developed by IBM of course.

Bear
Mar 1, 2004, 09:03 AM
I read in the Inquirer article that it is quite possible that Microsoft is considering giving Intel the boot. Although this seems highly unlikely at first, imagine the implications for Apple and IBM's PowerPCs if MS 'switches' to PPC as their preferred processor for deploying Windows. I'd imagine that if MS were to do this, they would make it part of the transition to Windows Longhorn and include it with all the other sweeping changes to Windows (such as hopefully eliminating drive letters).I doubt that is what Microsoft plans. Unless that is why they bought VirtualPC? VirtualPC would ease the processor migration issues. (Except for games.)

I still doubt it is going to happen.

Bear
Mar 1, 2004, 09:07 AM
I believe the processors have to be powers of 2 (1,2,4,8,16,32,64, etc...) I think the information you are quoting about 3 processors is misinterpreted because the article never mentioned 3 CPU's. I would suspect a northbridge chip or some other ISA and 2 CPU's-- resulting in 3 "processors". All would be developed by IBM of course.Of course it could be two GPUs and one CPU. Or some other combination of processor types.

However, multiprocessor systems come in all quantity of processors from 2 up. Just because people talk about 2 and 4 processor systems, i doesn't mean it's a power of 2. Some newer high end systems require you to add 2 or 4 processors at a time. Sun's F15K mainframe supports up to 106 processors and they can be added in 2 or 4 processor increments.

DharvaBinky
Mar 1, 2004, 09:08 AM
The real gold in this rumor, should it prove to be true, is the fact that XBox uses a DirectX 8 API for the graphics, and XBox2 should use DirectX9 or 10 (probably 9, if it's being developed now). Take a quick look at this page of an ArsTechnica analysis of OS X's graphics architecture:

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/2q00/macos-x-dp4/macos-x-dp4-4.html

Quoting:

Apple describes Core Graphics Rendering as a "black box" that converts input to PDF and then converts the PDF to various output formats. The diagram below illustrates:

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/2q00/macos-x-dp4/images/core-graphics-rendering.gif
Core Graphics Rendering: The PDF Black Box


The inputs for Core Graphics Rendering include PDF files, Core Graphics Rendering's own native C API, and QuickDraw. QuickTime and OpenGL also leverage Core Graphics Rendering, but to a lesser extent since those two technologies implement their own versions of certain two-dimensional graphics capabilities. The final input arrow is simply labeled "inputs." Apple explains it by stating that future APIs in the front end may be supported.

<ars commentary>I don't know about you, but one word immediately springs to mind: DirectX. Well, obviously only the portions of DirectX that deal with screen drawing, but it's clear that Apple has designed Mac OS X's graphics subsystem to be as flexible as possible. And with QuickDraw, QuickTime, and OpenGL already implemented, I'm hard-pressed to name another API (other than X, which is already in the busy hands of Darwin hackers) that would be implemented in the future. This is pure speculation at this point, of course, but if it does come to pass, remember that you heard it here first. </ars>

The output arrows include screen rendering (i.e passing pixel values to Core Graphics Services for compositing onto the screen), PDF, PostScript, and raster data.

:)

I'm ready for SWG on Mac. Please.

Dharvabinky

wrldwzrd89
Mar 1, 2004, 09:19 AM
I doubt that is what Microsoft plans. Unless that is why they bought VirtualPC? VirtualPC would ease the processor migration issues. (Except for games.)

I still doubt it is going to happen.

I have my doubts too that this will happen, but I thought I should bring it to the attention of the members of MacRumors. You are correct about Virtual PC; you are also correct regarding games (I've tried running basic games on Virtual PC - the sound was choppy and the game was almost unplayable, even though it's only 2D. This was on a 667 MHz PowerBook G4.). I have to wonder, though, about Microsoft and how they will 'improve' Virtual PC (product activation, a la Windows XP, anyone?).

Bear
Mar 1, 2004, 09:54 AM
I have my doubts too that this will happen, but I thought I should bring it to the attention of the members of MacRumors. You are correct about Virtual PC; you are also correct regarding games (I've tried running basic games on Virtual PC - the sound was choppy and the game was almost unplayable, even though it's only 2D. This was on a 667 MHz PowerBook G4.). I have to wonder, though, about Microsoft and how they will 'improve' Virtual PC (product activation, a la Windows XP, anyone?).Actually I can think of one thing that would speed up VirtualPC a lot. And that is to let all the system calls jump thru to PowerPC code. Less code to emulate means a faster running program. I'm not sure how much of this could be done unless a PowerPC version of Windows was the operating system running on the system itself.

And as for activation, well, I'm gonna keep a G4 system around until I don't need VirtualPC anymore. I don't even intend to apply the patches that Microsoft has provided for VirtualPC. 6.02 works well for me and since I'm not running XP under it, I don't need the latest patches to support the XP patches. (Did Microsoft cause that to happen on purpose? Force people to register with them and such?)

Henriok
Mar 1, 2004, 09:58 AM
I suppose they could use a later version, allthough that NT 4 is rocksolid in terms of stability and allready tested with PowerPC hardware.Yeah well.. the NT4 kernel didn't have any support for something as mundane as USB. The NT-kernel in WinXP or later is probably more advanced in terms of memory, networking, device handling, I/O, 64-bitness, lot's of processors and so forth. And DirectX 10 will probably run much better on a fresh kernel than it would on an 8 year old one.

Frobozz
Mar 1, 2004, 10:07 AM
Of course it could be two GPUs and one CPU. Or some other combination of processor types.

However, multiprocessor systems come in all quantity of processors from 2 up. Just because people talk about 2 and 4 processor systems, i doesn't mean it's a power of 2. Some newer high end systems require you to add 2 or 4 processors at a time. Sun's F15K mainframe supports up to 106 processors and they can be added in 2 or 4 processor increments.

Ahhh. I see, said the blind man.

wrldwzrd89
Mar 1, 2004, 10:14 AM
Actually I can think of one thing that would speed up VirtualPC a lot. And that is to let all the system calls jump thru to PowerPC code. Less code to emulate means a faster running program. I'm not sure how much of this could be done unless a PowerPC version of Windows was the operating system running on the system itself.

And as for activation, well, I'm gonna keep a G4 system around until I don't need VirtualPC anymore. I don't even intend to apply the patches that Microsoft has provided for VirtualPC. 6.02 works well for me and since I'm not running XP under it, I don't need the latest patches to support the XP patches. (Did Microsoft cause that to happen on purpose? Force people to register with them and such?)

The problem with that idea is that Windows programs expect to be using x86 instructions, which must be translated to PowerPC instructions. Virtual PC would speed up quite a bit if the conversion routine could be optimized more (surely VPC spends a lot of time in this one routine). Lookup tables, binary search trees, and dynamic recompilation are all methods that could possibly speed up emulation.

Unfortunately, I have to put up with any activation Microsoft includes in Virtual PC since I don't have the option of running VPC with anything other than Windows XP. Actually, I don't use VPC currently (the copy I once had now belongs to another family member), so if I need VPC for something, I'd have to buy a whole new copy. Even if that were the case, I'd consider buying a real Windows box and RDC-ing (Remote Desktop Connection) to it.

jeffmc425
Mar 1, 2004, 10:40 AM
The Inquirer reported (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14407) over the weekend that the Software Development Kit for the upcoming Xbox 2 is being seeded to developers "on dual Apple Power Mac G5 systems running a custom Windows NT Kernel."

It was previously announced (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/11/20031103121349.shtml) that Microsoft had chosen the PowerPC as the processor for their upcoming gaming system.

Meanwhile, Windows NT for PowerPC is something that existed (http://home1.gte.net/res008nh/nt/ppc/default.htm) in the past, but was dropped.

Remember, MS had NT running on a Big Endian, as well as a Little Endian Power PC back in 1994. That whole project was shelved, but the sources stayed int eh source pool. Resurecting and upgrading the system specific HAL and drivers is not a big effort. It is the compiler ;)

pgwalsh
Mar 1, 2004, 10:41 AM
Windows NT for PowerPC existed...

I don't see Microsoft bringing it back...

I also don't think there's much significance to the fact that they have an NT kernel on PowerPC. Presumably it's all just for development for the Xbox.

arn
I have a copy of Windows NT for PPC. Never tried to install it on PPC though. No point.

jeffmc425
Mar 1, 2004, 10:44 AM
But a 32-bit CPU can read 128-bit data! Look at the following list:


8-bit integers - 32-bit & 64-bit
16-bit integers - 32-bit & 64-bit
32-bit integers - 32-bit & 64-bit
64-bit integers - 64-bit
32-bit floating - 32-bit & 64-bit
64-bit floating - 32-bit & 64-bit
128-bit SIMD - 32-bit & 64-bit


The 32-bit CPU can process data in 64-bit chunks, even in 128-bit chunks. The "twice as much data" statement is a 64-bit myth.

The only difference is that the 64-bit CPU has native, single-instruction 64-bit integer operations. This is really the only advantage (other than 64-bit memory, which OS X does not support) of the 64-bit CPU, and for most programs it's not important.

So the "possibility" of reading 64-bits is not unique to a 64-bit CPU....

Most likely, MS would use canonical logword support in the PPC to support the 64 Bit CPU on the 32 bit OS. Remember the DEC Alpha? In 1991-1995, it was supported by MS under NT. it was a 64 BIT cpu, but also had support for canonical longword addresses. So 32 bit pointers were simply "sign-extended" so 32 BIT OS's could run on it. VMS, WinNT and Linux were 32 BIT OS's that ran on it. Ture64 Unix was the only 64 bit OS at the time that Alpha supported.

Now, given all that, if everyone codes nicely and lives byt the rules of variable arguments and such, all things work with a 32 BIT OS on a 64 Bit machine. But if you try to get cleve, you will find the brick wall quickly.

Jeff

wrldwzrd89
Mar 1, 2004, 10:50 AM
Most likely, MS would use canonical logword support in the PPC to support the 64 Bit CPU on the 32 bit OS. Remember the DEC Alpha? In 1991-1995, it was supported by MS under NT. it was a 64 BIT cpu, but also had support for canonical longword addresses. So 32 bit pointers were simply "sign-extended" so 32 BIT OS's could run on it. VMS, WinNT and Linux were 32 BIT OS's that ran on it. Ture64 Unix was the only 64 bit OS at the time that Alpha supported.

Now, given all that, if everyone codes nicely and lives byt the rules of variable arguments and such, all things work with a 32 BIT OS on a 64 Bit machine. But if you try to get cleve, you will find the brick wall quickly.

Jeff

I don't believe the PowerPC G5 needs to use canonical longword pointers because of its ability to run 32-bit code natively. That being the case, a port of the most recent Windows NT kernel for PowerPC should run just fine on the PowerPC G5, as well as previous PowerPCs. Remember, the PowerPC G5, like AMD's Athlon64, is unlike 64-bit CPUs before it in that it can run 32-bit code with no emulation or performance overhead compared to 32-bit CPUs.

AidenShaw
Mar 1, 2004, 10:53 AM
That whole project was shelved, but the sources stayed int eh source pool. Resurecting and upgrading the system specific HAL and drivers is not a big effort. It is the compiler ;)

It was "shelved" after being released and supported - it wasn't a development effort that was stopped before shipment. (You probably know that, but it needed clarification.)

And, BTW, Visual Studio PPC backends exist for Windows CE ("Pocket PC") targets today....

concentricity
Mar 1, 2004, 11:45 AM
I agree to most of your assumptions. I guess that the important question will be if there is an easy way of compiling the games under OS X as well - what I believe and if it will be done. And the second part is questionable. If there are many games available for Macs it would definitly increase the overall value of Macs and does M$ wants this to happen ?

I think the equotation is how much many can they make with games sold for Macs in comparison to how much money the lose because more people switch to Macs and are not running a copy of Windows.

Do you think MS would rather have people switch from "Wintel" to Linux, or Wintel to Mac? At least if they switch to Mac, MS is going to be selling them stuff. MS won't be selling anything to the linux switchers.

MorganX
Mar 1, 2004, 11:49 AM
G4 Macs were used to develop the first GameCube games on and a shop in London has a combined Mac and NES that people used to use to program NES games on.

Although the if this Xbox2 thing is true, then it will hopefully mean it will be easy to port Xbox2 games to the Mac in future and maybe an emulator that will run well on Macs.

I don't think it means a port will be easy, but, I don't see why Xbox2 Game DVDs couldn't boot into the Xbox kernel and run on any G5, if that was desired by the developers.

One thing is for certain, Apple will sell some additional hardware. Maybe not significant amounts, but having a G5 machine in every major game developers studios doing major next generation game development can't be bad forApple.

agreenster
Mar 1, 2004, 12:16 PM
Okay, but this is NOT going to fit in my entertainment center.

That is some hilarious photoshop work. Nice job! Now why didnt I think of that?

Nice to see IBM doing so well. That only means good things for future processors and Apple.

ryaxnb
Mar 1, 2004, 12:19 PM
Maybe this will make it easier for game developers (i.e. not hackers) to port their games.

AidenShaw
Mar 1, 2004, 12:46 PM
Remember the DEC Alpha? In 1991-1995, it was supported by MS under NT. it was a 64 BIT cpu, but also had support for canonical longword addresses. So 32 bit pointers were simply "sign-extended" so 32 BIT OS's could run on it. VMS, WinNT and Linux were 32 BIT OS's that ran on it.


Actually, NT 3.1 was released in 1993, and the Alpha didn't release until Fall '92.

Were you running NT on an EV-3?


McLeman?

TrenchMouth
Mar 1, 2004, 12:51 PM
I really dont feel that this will do anything for the Mac gaming sene, and that doesnt really bother me, my Mac is great with just one or two games that i like to play.
I think the real winners here are the hardware and those that like the Xbox. it has really proven itself as a console so i am looking forward to a new installation. if its going to incorperate PPC CPUs then great, they worked wonders for the GCN and i cant wait to see what they do for the xbox.
do not confuse this as a win for Apple or MS even. Its a step in the right direction for IBM and ATi who, so far as speculation is concerned, are going to be supplying the hardware for the entire next generation of respectable consoles. With this in mind I think we can all get over which is the best console and get on with the real deal, which is making a playing great games. Its nice that some Apple hardware is in the mix, but i would take it at face value and nothing more. Save up some money, all 3 should be out within 2 years...

welborn
Mar 1, 2004, 01:42 PM
1. I've never heard of anyone refer to a machine's processors as anything other than the main CPU. If someone says "three processors", I know that they're not including the I/O, clock, GPU, MMU or other separate processors.
(Or my old IIfx would've been like a 6-processor system with its old 6502s managing ADB and such)

One question is ... wouldn't it be useful for Apple to put out a high-end triple-G5 system? This is for two reasons: to be more useful as a development platform for Xbox2, and to beat them to the speed punch. Hell-- maybe a quad, just for the hell of it.

2. Direct X for powerPC is great in theory, but it'll probably only run as interfacing with the modified NT kernel. It probably won't help much with Mac gaming (at least, not without lots of extra development to make it work in the MacOS X world).

3. Anyone know whether the big-endian vs. little-endian is a software or Hardware difference? If it's hardware, perhaps XBox 2 will help lower video card prices for Macs. (That is the big difference between PC and Mac video cards, right?)

MacFan25
Mar 1, 2004, 02:26 PM
Okay, but this is NOT going to fit in my entertainment center.

Wow, thats a rather frightening picture. ;)

As long as IBM has plenty of customers, then that means they'll continue to provide faster and better chips to Apple, which is always good.

HenMaster6000
Mar 1, 2004, 02:48 PM
Hey, I don't want to be killed for asking but...if this NT kernel or whatever is so old then is it on the internet for free? Can I download it? Where?

Macmaniac
Mar 1, 2004, 03:09 PM
Let the quest to hack the XBox to install Mac OS begin!!! Wow an NT Kenrnal on G5's wierd, very wierd.

usarioclave
Mar 1, 2004, 03:27 PM
I can think of two reasons why MS went with PPC for the new xbox:

* heat
* power

Heat is a major problem for consumer-level items, because they're usually stuffed into entertainment centers with little or no ventilation. The fans on the G5 notwithstanding, the G5 heat dissipation is really good. The version that MS will use probably has far better heat characteristics than the current G5s.

Looking forward, it's unclear how the x2 will handle backward compaibility with x1. It's a totally different hardware platform with a totally different ISA. Time will tell.

UKMacBod
Mar 1, 2004, 04:37 PM
Okay, but this is NOT going to fit in my entertainment center.

That photo was scarilly good!

maxterpiece
Mar 1, 2004, 10:20 PM
would the best suited analogy for getting X-Box2 running on a mac be the process of getting OS 9 to run via classic mode (same hardware, completely different system)... and if so, classic take virtually no performance hit in OS X, couldn't the same be done with X-Box? Or at least maybe we could restart into XBox mode? I know it took a lot of effort for apple to get classic running as smoothly as it does now (not that I've used it in months).

mgardner
Mar 2, 2004, 06:34 AM
Yeah, all of those kids saying, 'Mac's suck, why? because of gaming, you cant game on them..' First off they are wrong, and second look at your new xbox.....

Other kids go 'I'll never buy a mac, they suck.. period' Once again a mac basher who probably will be out very early to get their xbox 2, with what? dual g5's....

AidenShaw
Mar 2, 2004, 06:44 AM
Once again a mac basher who probably will be out very early to get their xbox 2, with what? dual g5's....

It's a huge leap from "Xbox2 to use custom IBM processor technology" (which is the official statement) to say "dual G5s".

Also, the Xbox2 performance with custom silicon and custom O/S means nothing to the Mac's performance. The Xbox2 could scream, and the Mac could still "suck".

Note that the current Xbox is a 733 MHz Celeron. Think about it....

kjwebb
Mar 2, 2004, 07:09 AM
Looking forward, it's unclear how the x2 will handle backward compaibility with x1. It's a totally different hardware platform with a totally different ISA. Time will tell.

If it doesn't handle backward compatiblilty, it won't be the first.

The Nintendeo's consoles (not GameBoy's) haven't had backward as far as I know of.

Also, Sega (as I know of) didin't have backwards compatiblity for it's consoles.

AidenShaw
Mar 2, 2004, 08:36 AM
Looking forward, it's unclear how the x2 will handle backward compaibility with x1. It's a totally different hardware platform with a totally different ISA. Time will tell.

Maybe MS will get IBM to put pseudo-little-endian mode back into the new custom PPC chip, so that they can use the core logic of Virtual PC !!!

:rolleyes:

JtheLemur
Mar 2, 2004, 10:07 AM
From http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?section_name=pub&aid=3039

it's known that Xbox 2 will feature six PowerPC G5 CPU cores and a new model of the ATI Radeon graphics chipset.

That cant be right....?

MorganX
Mar 2, 2004, 12:09 PM
From http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?section_name=pub&aid=3039



That cant be right....?

I think they're basing that on the rumor that it will have 3 - 65nm dual core 976-based cpus

whooleytoo
Mar 2, 2004, 02:41 PM
(Scene: Mid 1990's.. The curtains part, and a stocky middle-aged man walks into a smokey room, filled with the intoxicating smell of incense. He walks over to a table at the centre of the room where the gypsey sits, expectantly stroking her crystal ball...)

Amelio: Hi! I'm Gi..
Gypsey: I've been expecting you. You want to know where your company will be in 10 years time, yes?

Amelio: Sure! Just need to know how many beige boxes we'll be cranking out then. Heheh.
Gypsey: Mmmm.... none, actually. But don't sweat it..

Amelio: But... Apple will still be in business, riiight?
Gypsey: Oh, sure! Even Microsoft is shipping Macs these days..

Amelio: Micro... Mac... ???
Gypsey: Well, you hardly think Microsoft invested all that money with you for no reason...

Amelio: Eh? You DO know I'm the A.P.P.L.E guy..
Gypsey: Shhhh! Workstations. 64bit RISC workstations. Using IBM processors. Running a Unix OS. That's where Apple's money's at.... Them and music players. Oh, and a music store.

Amelio: Music...store..? Wait a minute, is there a hidden camera? You guys!! Heheh.
Gypsey: No, it's all the truth. That's what Steve Jobs will announce.

Amelio: STEVE JOBS?? What's going to happen to Gil Amelio???
Gypsey:... Sorry, who the hell is Gil Amelio...?

<fade to black>

Opteron
Mar 4, 2004, 05:05 PM
Why would an xBox need something as powerful as a dual g5??? :D

Maybe not Dual G5's but the PPC970 is an extrememly capable processor. Imagine all of the detail, textures, AA, AS, FPS, etc... you could push out of a 1.5GHz PPC970 based gaming consoul. The ultamate gaming experience.

army_guy
Mar 4, 2004, 05:44 PM
Maybe not Dual G5's but the PPC970 is an extrememly capable processor. Imagine all of the detail, textures, AA, AS, FPS, etc... you could push out of a 1.5GHz PPC970 based gaming consoul. The ultamate gaming experience.

AA and AF is handled by the GPU not the CPU, AF and AA is prety much usless on a consol as the difference wouldnt be that great due to the low resolution. AA and AF usually brings high BW requirements hence very fast memory hence much higher cost, but who cares they can sell it at a loss!

isgoed
Mar 5, 2004, 11:08 AM
But a 32-bit CPU can read 128-bit data! Look at the following list:


8-bit integers - 32-bit & 64-bit
16-bit integers - 32-bit & 64-bit
32-bit integers - 32-bit & 64-bit
64-bit integers - 64-bit
32-bit floating - 32-bit & 64-bit
64-bit floating - 32-bit & 64-bit
128-bit SIMD - 32-bit & 64-bit


The 32-bit CPU can process data in 64-bit chunks, even in 128-bit chunks. The "twice as much data" statement is a 64-bit myth.

The only difference is that the 64-bit CPU has native, single-instruction 64-bit integer operations. This is really the only advantage (other than 64-bit memory, which OS X does not support) of the 64-bit CPU, and for most programs it's not important.

So the "possibility" of reading 64-bits is not unique to a 64-bit CPU....

As i understand it, the advantage of a 64bit processor is that it can handle 64 bit instructions in a single call whereas 32bit processors need at least 2 calls. What else would be the point of 128bit Altivec if a 32bit processor can do the same thing. 64bit processing has a speed advantage. Just look at AMD64 in 32- and 64-bit mode.

And why do you say that OSX does not support 64 bit memory? You can put 8Gb in the G5 which means it does support it. I recall that OSX has 48bit memory addressing.

isgoed
Mar 5, 2004, 11:15 AM
I believe the processors have to be powers of 2 (1,2,4,8,16,32,64, etc...) I think the information you are quoting about 3 processors is misinterpreted because the article never mentioned 3 CPU's. I would suspect a northbridge chip or some other ISA and 2 CPU's-- resulting in 3 "processors". All would be developed by IBM of course.

I don't believe the processors have to be powers of 2. I think it is perfectly feasible to buy a 4way (opteron for example) motherboard and just install 3 processors.

The power of 2 thing is just efficient for bits, but if you want you can make 9bit sytems, 73mb ramchips, 15bit video (which actually exists: 5bit color components and 1 bit empty or alpha)

isgoed
Mar 5, 2004, 11:18 AM
well problem is that they are not going to have a hard drive in the new xbox so it would be hard to try and do it. Also if you really wanted to you would have to find a way to incorperate a hard drive which it may not have the drivers for....just a though

Why would you need an hard disk to install OSX on an Xbox2? Just burn a bootable install DVD.

second point: kinda weird that if the drivers you need for the hard disk are on the hard disk itself. How can you use the hard disk ;)

wrldwzrd89
Mar 5, 2004, 11:19 AM
I don't believe the processors have to be powers of 2. I think it is perfectly feasible to buy a 4way (opteron for example) motherboard and just install 3 processors.

The power of 2 thing is just efficient for bits, but if you want you can make 9bit sytems, 73mb ramchips, 15bit video (which actually exists: 5bit color components and 1 bit empty or alpha)
If I assume that this is true, then is no one making odd-size components because of the efficiency in keeping the byte count to a power of 2?