My Take on the PowerPC/Intel Support in the Future

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mr. Dee, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Mr. Dee macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Dee

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    #1
    This is an interesting topic that has come up a few times across many forums. I just want to make my point clear about the issue.

    Mac OS X Leopard will be a Universal Binary, which means, it will run on existing PowerPC and Intel systems. The big question is, which PowerPC systems will be supported. I say, support will be a reflection of Tiger today, USB and Firewire required and the lack of certain features and functionality that might require more memory and graphics/processing power.

    Also, I think using the transition to PPC is a bad example, remember, Apple has compiled a native Intel version of OS X for the past 5 to 6 years, 10.0, .1, .2, .3, .4 and .5. So, the transition is not as tumultuous with Intel as it was then, its pretty much finished with Tiger already since we have had that on machines released in January. Its delivering the systems, and Apple has pretty much accomplished much of that leaving the MacPro, Xserves and possibly a future revisioned eMac as the next candidates for Intel processors.

    But the main issue of concern among many persons is when will OS X stop supporting PPC systems. First of all, lets get something straight, the speculations about 10.7, .8, .9 are becoming a bit absurd, the farthest I think Apple has gone with the Decimal releases was 8.6, so, lets be realistic and say, the last OS X will stop at version 10.6.

    This does not mean Apple will give up on the cat names, but I am sure they want a refresh in the versioning at some point. (I know Mac OS 11 sounds bad, but it has been on my mind a few months now, and I am beginning to get accustomed to it, its possible they could bring back a classic and call it "System 11" or just Mac OS with less emphasis on the versioning.

    Back to support, I think PowerPC support will continue even after version 10.6, but possibly be dropped for PPC G3 and G4 systems, but continue on for G5 systems. We must take into account the G5 is a powerful 64-bit architecture and their are folks out their with G5 Dual core systems, 8GBs of RAM, and these systems are still upgradable. Also, I am sure Freescale will continue to provide upgrades for existing G3/G4 owners.

    Apple also said, they will finish all production of PPC by "2008". I guess you all forgot that. ;) So, OS X has a long life on PPC, and because Apple's development processes is different from Microsoft's, support for PPC can continue without being prohibitive to Apple's R&D. Remember, Apple has development of Universal binaries down to a T (they have been practicing since OS 10.0 ;) , and the fast release to market of Pro apps such as Aperture, Final Cut Studio are great examples of that. Ultimately, support will come down to the third party developers, and I believe Leopard will be a starting point for minimum requirements in the future. Note though, this is not hardware barrier, but a software one, which means, the Utlimate decision goes back to hardware support by OS X in the future versions.

    Thanks for taking the time to read.
     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #2
    PPC is almost dead as far as Apple is concerned, only the G5 powermac is left Vern.
     
  3. Mr. Dee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Dee

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    #3
    Nope, it's dying (or ramping up) interms of last systems being produced with it and while supplies last. Remember Apple continued the release of systems with PPC G4 in it (17 inch PowerBook up until 2 months ago, then it was replace with the Core Duo revision).

    Apple continues to sell PPC systems as you noted through the PowerMac systems, so (PPC can't be dead as you say). Support will come from Apple for a long while to come.
     
  4. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #4
    If you say so. I bet Jobs at WWDC will put a big nail in that coffin.
     
  5. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

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    #5
    Universal Binary: a software code that runs native on both intel and ppc architectures.

    I do not think Apple will stop UBs, so if they decide to switch in the future, they can switch hassle-free. I think the release OS may become intel-only at one point for consumers, but UB makes much more sense as a contingency plan than single-architecture binary codes. Apple will release their OS as UB until at least OS 11, and then they will release the OS intel only, but everything else still universal. Just what I think (and probably wrong…).

    EDIT: I heard somewhere that Apple was only planning to go six decimal places in OS releases. Can't find or remember source, I think I found it here though…
     
  6. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

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    #6
    I can just see the Coffin coming out of the floor like the death of OS 9
     
  7. jericho53 macrumors regular

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    #7
    I don't foresee coffins coming out in August. I doubt 10.6 will run on G3s though.
     
  8. Mr. Dee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Dee

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    #8
    All I can say is, the likely candidate for the morturary is the PPC G3. I am still finding it difficult for Apple to support this architecture, one part of me says yes they will, the other no. At the same time, it could be supported, but Apple might put a artificial system restriction on the G3 and require G4's and G5's possibly, with minimum requirement's there are again.

    It ultimately comes down to what will cause the increase in requirements. Seriously, this is a big deal here and I can't wait until August 7 to hear how it goes. Similar to Microsoft though, I think the requirement for memory might possibly be pushed to 512 MBs of RAM.

    So, I am going take a chance and confirm the following:
    1. Last OS X stops at 10.6
    2. Registered Trademarks for Lynx and Cougar (future versions of the Mac OS), does not mean they are specific to a 10. release in the future.
    3. G5 Systems will be supported with 10.6
    4. Certain G4 models will be supported with Mac OS 11
     
  9. ahuman7341 macrumors regular

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    #9
    I garuntee that leopard will run on G3's and i can almost safley say it will even run on a PowerPC 604 will a little help from xpostfacto if they dont mess with the core system too much. How can anyone even talk about 10.6 being the end of support of the G4. G4's were being sold all the way up to less than a week ago. Apple would discontinue suppourt for a Mac that stil has AppleCare. (implying that 10.6 comes out within 3 years.)

    I don't think OS 11 will be coming for at very least 10 years.. yeah WHAT? Steve said at WWDC 2005 that OS X had set apple up for the next 20 years (i think it was 20 he might have said 25 or 30). Nature will probably run out of types of cats before Apple is done with OS X.
     
  10. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    #10
    PPC may be dead soon as far as production but Apple is not going to stop supporting it anytime soon. There are FAR too many major corporations relying on the G5 architecture to pull it out from under them in 3 years or less. I would say within 5 years people will need to start giving serious consideration to getting on the Intel bandwagon. Until then, if you have a G5 or even a G4 you can relax. Don't buy into the hype.
     
  11. Mr. Dee thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Dee

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    #11
    Yes, thats why I find it difficult to confirm still. I think the policy at Apple will be, no support "officially" for G3, but we are not preventing you from installing it on such a system. But, my confidence has been reassured that G4PPCs will definitely be supported for the next 4 to 5 years while the G5 probably has another 10 left out of it, which ultimately means, even in 2015, you could be running a version of Mac OS on current G5 hardware.

    You have inflated those years. In 2000, Steve Jobs said the OS X platform will be the architecture which the future of the Mac OS will be based on for the next "15" years. I think his choice and use of "OS X" was incorrect, he probably should have said "The architecture upon which OS X is based will be the future of the Mac OS for the next 15 years".

    We have gone 5 years out of that 15 year road map. Never underestimate Jobs though, the guy could seriously use the G3 as an embarassment platform for Vista, by showing Leopard running on such hardware with ease, while Vista struggles on a P4 1.6Ghz.
     
  12. ahuman7341 macrumors regular

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    #12
    Watch the wwdc 2005 video 20 minutes, steve said OS X set up Apple for the next 20 years.
     
  13. Chasealicious macrumors member

    Chasealicious

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    #13
    Within four years, I think OS X is going to stop supporting Macintoshes all together and only support Granny Smith and Red Delicious.
     
  14. Gil Bates macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I think OS-X for PPC will be dropped in a few years after the end of PPC Mac production this year, just like OS-9 didn't support 68k Macs. There is no point in supporting hardware much slower than the latest models because, for example, there will be features that require lots of CPU power. (Note that Beige G3s are not supported anymore.)

    Apple applications will support PPC a bit longer than the OS. But eventually they will drop PPC, too.

    But I'd think they keep the PPC OS-X internally, just in case of another architecture change.
     

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