Guys, calm down about Intel, keep buying PowerPC Macs.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by GFLPraxis, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    #1
    Sorry, I had to post this because of all the panicking I'm seeing.

    "OMG Apple's going Intel, I can't buy new Macs because they're PowerPC, etc etc!"


    Let's just briefly go over what was stated.

    Every single Mac application made after this date, June 6th, will have fat binaries- aka it will contain two binaries, one for x86 and one for PowerPC.

    That means EVERY application made after this date will run on BOTH systems. So even if you bought a PowerPC Mac today and TOMORROW Apple switched to Intel processors, the PowerPC Mac could run *EVERY* *SINGLE* *PROGRAM* that comes out.



    Further, they're using Transitive's emulation tech, so the Intel Macs can run stuff prior to June 6th, though a bit slower (Transitive's emulation technology is so much better than Virtual PC that most of us including me were convinced it was vaporware!) than a normal Mac since there is emulation involved.

    So if you already have a lot of Mac software, there is no risk in getting a Mac NOW because you can still run future applications and your old stuff will run great.

    If you wait for an Intel Mac, you will wait a long time, will have slower performance on your old software, and won't really get any benefits other than a bit of a faster system.


    So don't worry. There's no risk in buying Apple's current offerings.
     
  2. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #2
    Thanks.

    When do we expect to see hardware intel offerings from Apple? PB Intel MWSF 2006?
     
  3. Willy S macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    #3
    Yes, I´m going to buy a Mac this week as my home´s second computer. However, it´s going to be a lowend Mac, eMac or an updated Mini...
     
  4. GFLPraxis thread starter macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    Mar 17, 2004
    #4
    I expect that Apple will use the Pentium M for their laptops and Pentium 4's to replace the aging G4's in their low end stuff.

    If IBM can hit 3 GHz they'll probably keep the G5's. So Apple could end up selling half their systems with Intel and half with IBM. That'd be weird but it'd work.

    Anyway, yeah, I'd expect either eMacs and similar low end desktops with Pentium 4, or PB's with Pentium M's (Centrino), at or before WWDC '06.


    Sorry about "shouting" above (writing in caps), I just wanted to get people's attention before Apple loses all their sales and people end up waiting for almost a year just for slightly faster systems...
     
  5. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #5
    Who says that Leopard will be running on a PPC? Since it is coming out by the end of 2006 and the transition isn't over till the end of 2007 it is more than likely but still. Not all devs will be supporting PPC forever, especially not the small ones. Who is still supporting Jaguar? Very few. But this time you cannot upgrade the software, you're stuck with the hardware.
    I don't see it as going so easily as you do...
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #6
    What part of the announcement don't you understand?

    The part about developers using XCode creating dual (PPC and Intel) binaries almost automatically, or the part about the Transitive translator (Rosetta) which runs those older PPC binaries that haven't been updated.

    (I have Jaguar on my main system with 100's of apps that run very well, thank you)
     
  7. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #7
    I do understand just fine, thank you :p
    But I still see some things as being problematic. For example Applespider posted in another thread that it states in the dev notes for Rosetta that it cannot translate Altivec code and 100s of apps is nice but if they're not the ones I need it doesn't really matter, does it?
    I'd also like to know whether fat binaries are slower than the other ones...
     
  8. punkbass25 macrumors member

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    #8

    no, no slower just bigger
     
  9. GFLPraxis thread starter macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #9

    Rosetta doesn't translate AltiVec code. That means that applications made before June 6th will run slower on Intel processors. As I said. Simple as that.

    Fat binaries just have normal PowerPC and normal x86 binaries in them, and one or the other gets run. I don't see why it would be slower.
     
  10. yuy macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2005
    #10
    I think after the announcement the problem is that the future of ppc mac is dime. Would we buy a mac without future?
    :confused:
    As it was said even cocoa programs will have to be revised, i.e. the programs for intel mac will not work current PPC mac. And I am afraid after the transition, developer will not write programs for older. So PPC mac without software is dying.

    or even with universal binary, the future programs can run on PPC macs, I guess they would be slower. :(
     
  11. yuy macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2005
    #11
    I think the probelms here are that whether the programs developed for Intel mac can work on current PPC macs. Can they?

    If not, why do we buy PPC macs now?
    there will not be software special for them from tomorrow?
     
  12. punkbass25 macrumors member

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    #12

    no they wouldn't be slower they would just take up more space.
     
  13. GFLPraxis thread starter macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #13
    Like I said, when someone develops a program for the Intel Mac, XCode will AUTOMATICALLY make it a fat binary so it runs on both PowerPC and Intel. No problem at all.
     
  14. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #14
    If it's just working more slowly and the fat binaries don't have any speed decreased then I guess I have only one worry left...

    Will the new Intel chips incorporate DRM?
     
  15. GFLPraxis thread starter macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    Mar 17, 2004
    #15

    Developers don't "write" for an architecture. Developers "write" for the operating system, and the compiler (XCode in this case) compiles it for the architecture. XCode is compiling them with a "fat binary" or "universal binary" that runs on both. Problem solved.

    Fat binaries aren't slower. They just take more space. And btw, binaries are very, very small, its the program resources that take up the space, so this will only increase the size of programs by a tiny bit.
     
  16. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    #16
    Currently no mac programs outside of Apple run on intel...they all run on PPC. Basically if a developer uses xcode they can decide whether or not they want a fat binary or not. A fat binary costs nothing except build time and bandwidth. So I guess many developers will stick to releasing fat binaries at least while it's worth the effort and enough people still want them...
     
  17. GFLPraxis thread starter macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #17
  18. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #18
    How long to you expect to keep your Mac for? If it's less than 5 years you'll be fine. Everything you have right now runs fine, everything made for the next several years will be fat binary, and thus run fine.

    I think you misunderstood. The PowerPC systems will not be emulating. Anything created on the new XCode will have both PPC and X86 instructions in them, and thus will run natively on either system. That's what's meant by a fat binary.

    The more questionable side will be what Rosetta is doing (translating PPC to X86). Although I expect that it will run quite acceptably, as the x86 seems to be ramping up processor speed faster then ppc, there might be some hiccups.

    Best - safest - bet is to get a PPC Mac now, which has guaranteed binary compability for a long time to come, then switch to the x86 version after its had a couple of years to settle out. The best part of that is by then everything you have will have been switched to fat binaries by then, and the transition will be native code to native code.

    Remember Apple has a *lot* of experience doing this. After having done it once I bet they have a lot of lessons learned already.
     
  19. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #19
    Thanks for the link. I guess I have no worries left. Now I just want my 3GHz Pentium M Powerbook running Leopard. (Seeing that they already run at up to 2.1GHz)
    I guess we'll have to wait. Now we just need PCI Express to use the new x800 mobile and I'm happy :D
     
  20. yuy macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2005
    #20
    That's pretty true. :)

    My probelm solved since new apps with fat binary will work for current mac. Thanks a lot. :eek:
     
  21. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #21
    I'm buying a dual-G5 PM at the end of the year no matter what it has in it, and it looks like it will be a PPC.

    Intel's not stopping me....
     
  22. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #22
    Amen guy. I'll hopefully be ordering my dual-G5 PM this week.
     
  23. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

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    #23
    i just hope people stop waiting for g5 pb's!
     
  24. Counter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 4, 2005
    #24
    How long are you planning on keeping it?

    I want the Dual 2 or 2.3 now, but I also want to keep it for 5 years with full support and no emulation crap.
     
  25. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #25
    Then you're set. Emulation is only a worry if you're buying an X86 Mac.
     

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