OS X on Intel & PowerPC?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by deanbo, May 27, 2005.

  1. macrumors regular

    After having read macosrumors take on the "Intel thing", I found the possibility of OS X on x86 AND PowerPC to be quite interesting.

    So long as Apple didn't get back into the cloning game again (i.e only Apple manufactures the x86 based sytems), then this may open up a whole new realm of possibilities.
  2. macrumors G4


    it'd enter a relm of two possibilities: OS X will run slow as **** and WINE may work.

    not worth the effort on apples part.
  3. macrumors 68000


    not to mention having to code two versions for softwares.
  4. macrumors G4


    I think Apple should just keep Mac OS on powerpc- but thats just my opinion. :)
  5. macrumors member

    Why? Most peoples user experience with the Mac is with the OS. I guaren-damn-tee you, if Apple released a new machine based on an X86 cpu, you probably wouldn't even notice.

    Most BSD or Linux users will tell you just how fast their systems are, even with a GUI, and whats OS X based on? BSD.

    Anyway, wouldn't you all as users want what is best for Apple, to allow them to provide the best machines they can? If IBM et al aren't providing the CPU's they want, then they NEED to look elsewhere.
  6. macrumors G4


    the OS is not just BSD, and the gui is allot more complex that gnome or any other common *nix gui, there are API's libarys and tones of stuff that needs to be optimized to take advantage of SSE it's not a simple recompile to get it any where near as fast as it in on ppc hardware, i would notice if it had an x86 cpu, i'd notice the fact that all my software needs recompiling, it'd notice my powerbill would shoot up and i'd notice that when i run multiple apps it's no where near as responsive as ppc hardware.
  7. macrumors member

    Ahh.. now that is a good point!

    Absolutely, and I agree that will be their biggest challenge, eeking out that performance - but its not impossible, and the X86 is still a good chip.

    Even so, I suggest the Intel rumour is a half truth. Go with Intel, but not an X86 chip.
  8. macrumors member

    Well you can download the Darwin framework for x86 from the apple developer site. So i think it is defiantly possible that OS X could be rebuilt to run on x86. But it will never happen unless Microsoft stops developing office for mac, then apple might be tempted.
  9. macrumors G4


    what the hell has office got to do with it?, useing x86 chips wont magically let all windows software un on the mac without some kind of enviroment.
  10. macrumors member

    I meant apple wouldn't make the environment unless Microsoft stopped developing office X for the mac, which is often required by switchers.
  11. macrumors G4


    i think apple would rather turn iWork into a full office replacement than release the x86 build of OS X and alienate all there developers by making them recompile reoptimise and rerelease all there software
  12. macrumors 6502a

    NextStep had "fat binaries", binaries which would run on either the Motorola 68040 (black hardware) or Intel 486. And the development tools could target multiple platforms and generate those fat binaries. So it is technically possible. But it also requires more user knowledge - not all binaries were fat, so you had to make sure you were dowloading binaries that were compatable with your machine.

    BTW Nextstep for 486 was not a market success, so I have a feeling that Jobs doesn't want to go down that road again.
  13. macrumors G4


    apple maintains an x86 version of mac os x thats a fact but to release and support it is a whole nother thing.
  14. macrumors 604


    Sorry, this is an absolute impossibility without a terrible transition. Every single application in existance is PowerPC compiled. If OS X ran on x86 it could not run ANY Mac software.
  15. macrumors 68040

    Um, last time I checked Nextstep wasn't a market success on any platform.
  16. macrumors G4

    That Apple maintains an x86 version of Darwin is a fact. That Apple maintains an x86 version of MacOS X (Marklar) is a rumor. Do not confuse rumor with fact.
  17. macrumors G4


    i know for a fact that there is a version that they maintain loosely, it's not up to par with tiger but it's there.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    I know... I just wasn't going to bring that up out of respect for Jobs. :)
  19. macrumors 65832


    Short history lesson...

    NEXTSTEP (and OPENSTEP) were barred from the desktop market due to a settlement agreement with Apple (in 1987). This pushed NeXT to market their products in the workstation market which was already controlled by Sun, DEC and SGI, and was already shrinking at the time that NeXT started shipping their systems (1989).

    For the record... you can't be a success in a disappearing market (workstations) and you can't be a success in a market you aren't aloud to compete in (desktops).

    And it was very rare that all you had to do was pick which hardware platform you wanted to compile for and the app would just work.

    I'm guessing that you haven't had much experience with NEXTSTEP and application development on it.

    There are many applications that were strictly for one hardware platform because the time and effort needed for porting to the others just wasn't worth the time. There were many apps that never got ported to the x86 version of NEXTSTEP because it would be like starting over.

    In the case of Mac OS X, the number of apps that have Altivec specific code in them (including the Finder) makes such a move hard on most software developers (including Apple).

    Further, as someone who uses both the PowerPC and Intel versions of Rhapsody on a daily basis, I can tell you that developers didn't treat both platforms as equal. There was far more apps developed for Rhapsody for PowerPC than for Intel. If all that was required was simply checking a box as to which hardware platform a developer wanted to have their application on, then they would have had the same amount of software.

    It wasn't that easy (in NEXTSTEP, OPENSTEP or Rhapsody). And it really won't be that easy in Mac OS X!

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