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MacBytes
Oct 15, 2004, 05:19 PM
Category: Mac OS X
Link: If Mac OS X Came to x86, Would You Switch? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20041015181906)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

quagmire
Oct 15, 2004, 06:16 PM
No, I will rather die then to use Panther or Tiger on a x86 architecture. ;) Macs have 2 things that make them better. Mac OS X and better hardware. The hardware is dependable and doesn't break down. Mac OS X and the hardware it uses works together better then windows/Linux and its hardware.

x86isslow
Oct 15, 2004, 06:33 PM
to answer, i'd probably buy a copy of tiger to upgrade whatever PCs i have leftover at home from before i switched.

about /. :
how on earth does anyone follow a conversation on their forums?! what is that stupid nesting with the "x replies below your threshold'

zelmo
Oct 15, 2004, 06:35 PM
I wouldn't think of switching out my PowerBook, but I might consider using PC hardware for my next desktop purchase, as long as the software was tightly integrated. Definitely get a little more bang for the buck if you build your own box and load Tiger on it, than buying a PowerMac.

Blue Velvet
Oct 15, 2004, 06:37 PM
No... because I could never live it down at work :)

Nermal
Oct 15, 2004, 06:49 PM
A few days later, Slashdot posted a followup - if Windows came to PowerPC, would you switch? The majority of people said no - if they have a PowerPC then they'd much rather run OS X.

space2go
Oct 15, 2004, 07:07 PM
OSX on X86? I'd rather switch to Solaris on SPARC.

macnulty
Oct 15, 2004, 11:49 PM
OSX on x86, is like masturbation, feels good but what's the point?

walkingmac
Oct 15, 2004, 11:51 PM
HELL NO... this who concept is great in theory, but has the same inherent issues as running windoz by itself - IT REQUIRES IT! You would have to run an inferior OS to run the preferred in emulation, and with cpu speed loss. Plus the x86 architecture is nowhere near as clean. I run a 5 yr old mac everyday doing things (graphics and video) that I would go crazy if I was running them on windoz platform even on a 2 yr old system or newer. I want to do my work and not worry about the OS imploding in on itself, or being attacked from the web. Besides all that, look at the costs. In 5 yrs on a M$ platform running a mac os emulation, I would be buying 2 computers (to upgrade to stay current), 2 OS's (windoz and mac os), software for 2 OS's, time and money for windoz tech support and repair (lets face it, u can't get around that). WHY WHY WHY do people even bother with windoz? That was the genius of the 1980's tv ads. And after all that I am still running, theoretically, at 80% cpu speed. JUST BUY A MAC! it will be cheaper in the long run and you will have a better experience.

Now that I am done ranting, there is a purpose for this that I see as very viable. Testing. For users and developers to test mac software and projects. For that it is great, but to use everyday instead of a native mac system, can't see it happening and being justified. maybe for someone who is like some of the mac users who run Virtual PC for those few windoz apps they can't get away from, but there they are running in inferior os in emulation ;) so there is a difference.

Basically, no, I will not be switching due to this advancement. many people might use this as a way to testing and seeing for themselves the benefits of the mac, and become a switcher. But I can't see it as an avenue of abandoning the mac architecture for the x86.... IMHO

AmigoMac
Oct 16, 2004, 05:40 AM
Yes, I will switch ... the PC off and get a Powerbook!

Dont Hurt Me
Oct 16, 2004, 08:16 AM
I get such a kick out of the pc vs mac thing, memory, harddrive,videocards,optical player are the same only the cpu & motherboard and case are different. sure i would love to have Mac OSX on this new Alienware machine but in essence i have allready switched. Apple isnt interested in gamers it seems which is such a shame for the platform. Apple could grow by leaps and bounds if they sold a x86 version of OSX. Oh well

howard
Oct 16, 2004, 08:30 AM
honestly, would os x be any good if it was on x86? i mean i thought one of the reasons why windows was so buggy is because it has to be compatible with thousands of hardware configurations.

Mord
Oct 16, 2004, 08:37 AM
i'd like to see Mac OS X on the pc just to do some proper benchmarks on the same OS,

allot of problems are caused by x86 hardware, like home built pc's with weak power supply's under powering components and processors overheating, and component conflicts but thats only half of it, windows get's boged down from viruses clocged up registary's and bad disc fragmentations, Mac OS X is not affected nearly so much as windows is on these things, you still do get powermacs with crap power supply's and conflicting pci cards (ecpecially scsi cards i hate dealing with them) and bad ram, though again it's not nearly as bad. going to Mac OS X on a pc solves half of a pc's problems but not all.

if i had a pc i'd just install some form of linux and have a Mac OS X theme

Josh
Oct 16, 2004, 09:14 AM
If OSX came out for x86, there would be absolutely *no* reason NOT to swtich.

x86 hardware is cheaper, faster, you can build your own, and most people already have it.

To not what something thats faster, and that you costomize your self, all for cheaper, would just not make sense.

That would be like Apple announcing "All new! Build your own PowerMac G5 2.0 ghz for $1000" and then saying the Apple-built PowerMac (starting at $1999) is a better deal.

Mav451
Oct 16, 2004, 09:42 AM
honestly, would os x be any good if it was on x86? i mean i thought one of the reasons why windows was so buggy is because it has to be compatible with thousands of hardware configurations.

Thank god someone said this.


If i see more ignorant blanket statements like the one below:


No, I will rather die then to use Panther or Tiger on a x86 architecture. Macs have 2 things that make them better. Mac OS X and better hardware. The hardware is dependable and doesn't break down. Mac OS X and the hardware it uses works together better then windows/Linux and its hardware.


I'm gonna puke.

As they say in politics, you repeat a lie enough times that people start to believe it--I guess this guy repeated it to himself enough to believe it, but I'm more worried bout the rest of this board getting infected by this kind of FUD.

Timelessblur
Oct 16, 2004, 09:51 AM
x86 has it adavatages over RSIC. Mainly in the deparment of raw clock speed and there are some things out there that clock speed is all that matters. Either way x86 is being pushed to it limits. The only problem is it is really hard to do a archtechal change in today world. Apple archetech is being push to its limits as well. The reallity is no can really change there chip archtecher. The software that run on it (weather it be for PC or apple) would basicly have to be rewriten and recompilent for them. What ever OS is run on them would need to be changes (Linix OSX MSwindows).

There is a reason everyone is starting to make dual cored chips. They know there architechuer has been pushed close to its limits and the best way to speed things up is to basicly use a 2nd CPU. x86-64 is where the x86 chips are moving over to. 64 bit PowerPC is where those chips are moving 2

wrldwzrd89
Oct 16, 2004, 09:52 AM
I get such a kick out of the pc vs mac thing, memory, harddrive,videocards,optical player are the same only the cpu & motherboard and case are different. sure i would love to have Mac OSX on this new Alienware machine but in essence i have allready switched. Apple isnt interested in gamers it seems which is such a shame for the platform. Apple could grow by leaps and bounds if they sold a x86 version of OSX. Oh well
I use both platforms too, and I also get a kick out of this whole PC vs. Mac debate. Both platforms have their purposes IMO. The biggest factor holding up new graphics cards for Macs is that they have to talk to Open Firmware rather than a standard PC BIOS, and ATI/nVidia can't be bothered to do the necessary work themselves - they just ask Apple to do it for them. I want ATI/nVidia to get in gear and put some serious effort into supporting the Macintosh platform - first of all, don't be so lazy; secondly, cut the price of the Mac graphics cards in half.

x86 has it adavatages over RSIC. Mainly in the deparment of raw clock speed and there are some things out there that clock speed is all that matters. Either way x86 is being pushed to it limits. The only problem is it is really hard to do a archtechal change in today world. Apple archetech is being push to its limits as well. The reallity is no can really change there chip archtecher. The software that run on it (weather it be for PC or apple) would basicly have to be rewriten and recompilent for them. What ever OS is run on them would need to be changes (Linix OSX MSwindows).

There is a reason everyone is starting to make dual cored chips. They know there architechuer has been pushed close to its limits and the best way to speed things up is to basicly use a 2nd CPU. x86-64 is where the x86 chips are moving over to. 64 bit PowerPC is where those chips are moving 2
The two biggest problems facing x86 right now are all the backward compatibility circuitry bogging down the architecture and the excessive heat/power consumption, especially with the Pentium 4. Apparently, these very issues led Intel to cancel development of a 4 GHz P4. When x86 goes dual-core, they will finally have widespread multiprocessing, but current versions of Windows can't take full advantage of it (except WinXP Pro). Now, as far as PowerPC goes, IBM has the advantage of having Apple as a customer using dual-CPU setups. This paves the way for a quad-processor PowerPC design (two CPUs & two cores per CPU) when PowerPC gets dual-core capabilities. IBM/Apple also have the advantage of an OS that handles multiprocessing well (AIX/Mac OS X) in addition to Linux, whereas all the x86 camp has is Linux.

nagromme
Oct 16, 2004, 02:51 PM
Apple has a lot of great products, but Mac OS X is by far the best and most important. (For US as users, I'm not thinking about Apple profits and markets.) OS X is the product that defines using a Mac vs. other platforms that just don't cut it for me.

So having a GOOD, WORKING version of OS X on a non-Apple, non-PowerPC machine would still be very Mac-like and a very nice system--with lots of price competition.

BUT...

a) It still wouldn't be Mac hardware, which is great hardware at a reasonable price, uniquely integrated with the OS. A complete system of hardware and software designed TOGETHER. Mac hardware may not mean as much to me as OS X--it may be a distant second--but it's still good enough to keep me with Apple. One look at the full-featured suitcase-size "portables" from Wintel companies reminds me of that, as I use my full-featured thin, light PowerBook, which sleeps and wakes instantly and with 100% reliability when I shut the lid. Or when I can't tell if a PowerMac/iMac G5 is on because it's so quiet. Sometimes Macs are faster, sometimes Wintel PCs are, but it's not about the numbers--nor about the looks--Apple design goes beyond those to things that really make a difference to daily use.

b) Apple COULD NOT MAKE OS X for x86 as good as it is now. (Unless it was ONLY for Apple-made x86 hardware, which makes no current sense.) If Apple had to support the insane chaotic complexity of all the PC hardware out there from so many companies, their OS quality WOULD suffer. That's one of Microsoft's biggest disadvantages as they try to advance their OS. The result is more bugs, more bloat. I don't want that in OS X. And I don't want Tiger delayed for years and then stripped down like Longhorn because Apple's still debugging for a zillion different cheaply-made x86 machines..

c) Even if PC companies made hardware as good as Apple's... and even if Apple could make OS X for PC be just as reliable and predictable as on Macs... and even if Apple wanted a bigger market instead of great products... they could never, of course, make much money at it. I won't get into whether they'd sell more or less hardware as a result. I could see wither side of that. But the SUPPORT costs they'd have, and the added DEVELOPMENT cost to keep OS X moving forward, would be massive. Developing for Mac is easier and faster and cheaper. Supporting Mac is easier and cheaper. Therefore profits on x86 OS X would NOT be what they are on Mac. I suspect it would be a loss, in fact.

bousozoku
Oct 16, 2004, 03:29 PM
...
I'm gonna puke.

As they say in politics, you repeat a lie enough times that people start to believe it--I guess this guy repeated it to himself enough to believe it, but I'm more worried bout the rest of this board getting infected by this kind of FUD.

There is truth in the statement that x86 PCs break down more than Macs. You pay half as much for hardware and you tend to get less reliable parts. That's not to say that everything that's inexpensive is unreliable or that Apple uses all the best parts, but for the most part, it's true.

If Apple changed processors, I wouldn't mind, as long as they kept Mac OS X tied to a very select group of machines. I would not want to run it on many of the X86 PCs out there simply because of the mess that would ensue.

Mav451
Oct 16, 2004, 04:33 PM
That's under the assumption of using "generic" parts that are cheap. Assembly of quality (but slightly more expensive) parts is still very much affordable. My original box has quality parts, top to bottom and cost a total of no more than $600.

The most important parts:
PSU (above all): Antec 430
NOT Foxconn/Austin or other inferior PSU's that cause random shutdowns and instability problems

Case w/ good ventilation: AX-01BLD
(the old "Alienware" case, but the base model); 4 fan holes (2x intake, 2x exhaust).

Memory: I had 2 x 256MB PC2700 Crucial
(again not generic--can't tell you how many people love saving $10 for memory sticks with errors >> errors = BSODs+restarts+hardlocks).

HSF: Swiftech Heatsink
(again, not generic, so overheating is never an issue, even in hot ambient environments).

There's something that irks me about the assumption that cheap = generic. You can get brand name for cheap more than you think. ATi 9800 Pro was $179 at Outpost.com (Major online retailers still sold it for $229 >> don't even get me started about BB or Compusa who sell it for $250+tax).

My case, 2 years ago, was easily $80-90. However, I got it for sale for $60 from Newegg.

Those are 2 examples of quality parts, for lower prices.

nagromme
Oct 16, 2004, 06:08 PM
As they say in politics, you repeat a lie enough times that people start to believe it--I guess this guy repeated it to himself enough to believe it, but I'm more worried bout the rest of this board getting infected by this kind of FUD.

Nobody believes Macs NEVER break down--"doesn't break down" is the kind of exaggeration that isn't meant as a lie, it's just an informal way of expressing something that IS true: that Macs break down LESS.

Consumer Reports does a large-scale survey of computer users every year. And every year, Apple comes out with higher hardware reliability--in BOTH laptops and desktops--than any other PC maker. (And they're best in effective support as well.)

And by "break down," people often mean not just hardware reliability but software stability. Some recent stats released (anyone still have the link?) showed how frequently Windows has problems requiring a reboot. I'd call that problem a "breakdown." I don't have a matching study from the Mac side, just lots of experience with Mac OS X having terrific uptime on my machine and those of my friends and family.

It's also true that Mac hardware is well-integrated with its software.

Lastly, building your own box from good parts is doable--even fun!--for many people. But you can't say that there's no downside to that savings vs. just getting a Mac (or even a well-made name-brand PC) that works. Building your own requires, time, labor and knowledge, and you have no central source for support, troubleshooting, or repair. It's a fine option to cut costs, but it's not for most people.

nagromme
Oct 16, 2004, 06:15 PM
By the way, the question at Slashdot is vague enough to apply in either direction:

If OS X came to x86, would you switch from Windows to OS X?

Or...

If OS X came to x86, would you switch from Apple hardware to x86 hardware?

Some people seem to be answering about the OS-switch question (which applies to more of the population). Most here seem to be answering about the hardware question (which applies to Mac users).

jdhuskey
Oct 18, 2004, 10:28 AM
I get such a kick out of the pc vs mac thing, memory, harddrive,videocards,optical player are the same only the cpu & motherboard and case are different. sure i would love to have Mac OSX on this new Alienware machine but in essence i have allready switched. Apple isnt interested in gamers it seems which is such a shame for the platform. Apple could grow by leaps and bounds if they sold a x86 version of OSX. Oh well

Just out of curiosity, how much did you spend on the Alienware machine (don't leave anything out)?