MacBook Pro: How do the drivers work?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by erkanasu, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. erkanasu macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2006
    So, I just ordered a MBP, but am a little confused on how drivers will work. Im a noob when it comes to this stuff, but do drivers have to be in universal binary to work? Reason im asking is, I have a external sound card for recording music as well as wireless logitech mouse. Both have OSX 10.4.3 drivers, will these work in the new MBP?
  2. Peace macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    I would contact the maker of the external soundcard to be sure the driver even works under 10.4.4 Intel
  3. erkanasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2006
    well that is the whole point, will older drivers for power pc computers work on the new intel chipset natively?
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    No. The kernel needs all code that interfaces directly with it to be native. Rosetta only works at the application level, way above the drivers.
  5. MRU macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005
    This is always going to be a problem. Legacy devices may have to have drivers updated to support the new macs, and we should all expect odd pieces of hardware to not function correctly until new drivers have been written to support them. This can be anything from a Skype Handset to a Scanner...

    It was exactly the same situation with os 9 to X transition. How long it takes is dependant entirely on third party developers...
  6. Anthony8720 macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2005
    This is starting to worry me. Will my apple bluetooth keyboard and mouse work with my MBP? If apple products dont have working drivers I will be completely ripped.
  7. cnakeitaro macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2006
    Virginia Beach
    i might just be stupid...

    I might just be stupid here, but this is MacOS X right? The same Mac OS we all have been working with forever, just on a different chipset. My assumption being that, drivers are set to make the OS work with the hardware your trying to connect. So....I would think all drivers would be compatible since they are only really talking to MacOS. I mean this isn't a huge overhaul, and I very much doubt that apple wouldn't of thought of such a situation. I think all of you are over reacting, and everything is going to work just fine when you get your new Intel Mac.
  8. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    It all depends on how the driver is written and how it accesses the kernel and processor. If the driver is written at a high enough level and only uses the defined kernel calls to do the hardware/processor access I don't think that there is much of an update other than a re-compile to work on the Intel Macs. If they actually access the processor directly utilizing custom assembly code the drivers will need a bit more tweaking.

    As for Apple drivers, they are included with the OS and are/were compiled for the new hardware when Apple was compiling OS X for Intel. So there should be no problem with any Apple peripherals or any 3rd party peripherals that rely on the build in OS X drivers. The only hardware to be worried about is 3rd party with special drivers. Most of these should be a simple update.
  9. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Those should work completely fine.
  10. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002

    Drivers are small pieces of software that tell your software (Mac OS X) how to talk to your hardware.

    MOST drivers, for MOST hardware, run at the kernel level. For this hardware, the drivers must be Intel native. This means relying on third-party support.

    HOWEVER, for the drivers provided in Mac OS X (many brand name printers, keyboards, mice, modems, etc,) Apple has done all the work of recompiling for Intel. If it works 'out of the box' on OS X/PPC, it will work out of the box in OS X/Intel.

    For third-party drivers, it all depends. Printers probably won't work; but you can probably use CUPS to support printers. Scanners will be a different story. Some use 'software-level' drivers that MAY work on OS X/Intel through Rosetta. Others use kernel-level. These will need to be recompiled.

    Sound cards (including external) need to run at the kernel level. They will be useless until either Apple provides native support, or the manufacturer provides Intel-native drivers.

    Bluetooth devices should work flawlessly. This is because all Bluetooth devices fall into one of a few categories, with no specific 'device' drivers. The generic drivers work for all devices. (For example, all keyboards use the 'BT HID' driver, all cell phones that are OS X compatible use the 'BT Serial' for communication, 'BT Object Push' for file transfer, and 'BT Sync' for synchronization.) Those generic drivers are native because Apple has to make them native. Otherwise Bluetooth becomes useless.

    But, I'll let you know for certain when my MacBook Pro arrives in mid-Feb.
  11. MRU macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005
    Couldn't have answered it better :)

    Modt drivers will be made available sooner rather than later, and there will be exceptions where hardware will work that we didn't expect too and vice-versa. It's a wait and see game I'm affraid.

    Hence I'm not updating most of my hardware as things like ProTools not only need to be written on the software level to be native, but all their drivers etc. do too.


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