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Rosetta, Apple's PPC emulator for Intel Macs, is faster tha...

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. macrumors bot

  2. 24C
    macrumors 6502a

    So that means (generally) that buying an Intel iMac is like having a G4 inside it for non universal programs...no wonder it was slow loading Photoshop at Macworld 2006 and it's taken a performance hit compared to the iMac G5 in initial reviews :eek:

    Hmmm, 2-3X faster :confused: ;)
  3. macrumors 601


    Well, this is good news for the MBP people! :cool:
  4. macrumors G5


    Results vary from app to app--but those results are hardly bad--being faster than a G4 is a good thing:

    * Emulating/translating a different processor architecture is no easy task. Rosetta is proving faster than I'd have thought.

    * Apple claimed 2x+ faster only for certain things. That's how speed tests are always used in advertising, it's not just some Apple thing.

    * Apple never claimed that Rosetta was as fast as native.

    * More and more native apps are coming out, so Rosetta is only a transitional measure.

    And most importantly:

    * Very few people are going to sidegrade from a G5 to a Core Duo. They'll be moving up from a G4 (and usually one from a year ago or more). If they know that EVEN Rosetta apps will be about the same speed or faster, then there is no reason to wait for native apps. They can have a new machine with the latest OS and iLife, plus SOME speed boost immediately (a huge one for some apps), no speed loss compared to what they're used to, and then... more and more speed benefits in the coming year as more and more native apps appear.
  5. 24C
    macrumors 6502a

    Yep, but I wonder which G4 PB it'll be like? Hopefully the same speed as the last 15" before.
  6. macrumors regular

    not my g4 :) LOL dual 1.8 7447's ;)
  7. macrumors 68000

    W00t! I hope this applies to Halo :D *Bungie freak* I may get an MBP as a replacment for my PB if they can't fix it (someone knocked it off a desk and it went all :eek:)
  8. macrumors 6502

    Software emulation is never going to give results on par with running a program natively on the processor that it emulates. This is why I'm taking all of the negative performance reviews and the reported performance losses with a grain of salt. The way I see it is that Rosetta is a perfect hold over until more applications have gone Universal and will run natively on the new Intel architecture. A vast majority of the Macs people use now are still running G4 processors anyway, with the Powerbooks, iBooks, mini's, and even some of the newer versions of the G4 iMac. I know alot of people here have G5 towers or G5 iMacs, but this is one of those places where more frequent mac buyers and the more "power" users come, so for you guys running stuff like photoshop on a G5, you will notice a slow down. But if Rosetta actually running faster than any G4 out there, then its more than fine for the average user upgrading from an older mac or a newer G4 based one. So given that they introduced the intel versions 6 months early, and that its really only going to be a 6months to a year before alot more major heavy duty apps are Universal, I don't see why so many people are complaining about how "slow" Rosetta is. If it matters that much, you're prob better off buying a G5 or just holding out for a little while.
  9. macrumors 68040


    Some people don't understand emulation, others had talked themselves into thinking the move to Intel would make EVERYTHING scream from the start and so are disappointed, others just like to gripe no matter what.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Not 100% true article ... it may beat the fastest Apple produced G4 prossor which is 1.67ghz - but i doubt seriously that it beats the dual 2.0 Ghz G4s made by a few of the upgrade manufacturers --- the windtunnel G4s with these upgrades even beat most of the G5 Dualies.
  11. macrumors regular

    the gift that keeps on giving...

    I ordered a MBP, and as far as rosetta is concerned, I think it will make universal apps that much more fun to compare with PPC apps, as they trickle out... Off topic however, I just have this comment: Why is it that a 20 inch Imac costs less than a MBP 15"? It would seem to me like they contain a virtually identical set of components, virtually to the T. Why do you pay more for a notebook version?
  12. macrumors 603



    You are missing the point. MacBooks will prob bge faster then G4 PowerBooks even under Rosetta. :eek: . . . Thought as much. :D
  13. macrumors 603


    And other's are running with a very low amount of system RAM. 512MB is nothing to sneeze at but for emulation its definitely on the low end of teh snappy spectrum
  14. macrumors G5


    Also, I'd call myself a power user--I do a wide range of things, I customize, and some things I do demand horsepower--and yet half the apps I use could run HALF as fast as they do now and I wouldn't even notice.

    So much of what we do doesn't even tax the slowest chips out there today. I could care less if those tasks speed up or not.

    Especially when UI rendering seems to be accelerated for Rosetta apps.
  15. macrumors G5


    Battery charging circuits
    More power management
    Aluminum case
    2.5" hard drive
    More heat management
    More miniturization/packaging problems.
  16. jhu
    macrumors 6502a


    here's the link to the benchmarks. i find it unbelievable that software emulation can give such results. i'd take those results with large boulders of salt.

    back in the days of the first pentium and alpha processors, dec had their fx!32 emulation layer that translated x86 to alpha so that the alpha version of windows nt could run x86 nt applications. it actually recompiled the binary to native alpha code. even then, only certain programs were faster than running on the pentium. this was coupled with the fact that the alpha had at least twice the mhz than the pentium at the time.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    2 more reasons

    * PC Card slot and supporting chipset/circuitry
    * Convenience of a laptop (laptops are always more expensive than comparable desktops, one reason is convenience)
  18. macrumors 6502a

    True, but technology does improve, even if only slightly, and developers learn from the mistakes of those who did the thing before them. Also the new Macs are running dual core processors which should give at least the same or better peformance than a single. If the emulation software is multi-thread aware, that can be a great benefit. When the single core Intel systems (mini, iBook, etc) come out, I doubt you'll see as good performance for Rosetta on those.
  19. macrumors 68040


    doh, now my only excuse for not buying a macbook has been blown out of the water:p

    Apple does an excellent job of empying my wallet
  20. macrumors 6502

    I look at it this way,
    I've been waiting to replace my Rev-A 500MHz TI PowerBook (which never had a single problem) with the G5 PowerBook, but that isn't where Apple was able to go. I already do all my CPU heavy work on my G5 PowerMacs and I just need to be able to do changes in the field. The MacBook Pro I ordered the day they were announced is going to be a massive jump in performance compared to my PowerBook. Waiting an extra month for FCP to be Universal Binaries is no big deal, and I highly doubt I'll even notice the "Rosetta" factor for any of the other apps.

    BTW, I've never had any trouble with any of my Rev-A gear from Apple.
  21. jhu
    macrumors 6502a


    if rosetta is really that good, intel should get the team who programmed rosetta to actually program a compiler for their itanium chips. i have doubts that rosetta would be able to extract thread-level parallelism by deconstructing the binary. perhaps someone with more experience can shed more light on the matter.

    the benchmarks on some random website don't quite add up: a 1.8 ghz processor emulating a completely different and complex instruction set that has more registers outperforms the native 1.6 ghz processor? why do many other sites claim at most 50% native speed?
  22. macrumors 68000

    1) Dual Core
    2) I'm sure a Mac guy would understand this - you can't even directly compare clock frequencies within the same arch, let alone completely different archs
    3) Faster RAM (I think - did the latest PBs get DDR2?)
    4) Faster BUS - 667Mhz to 133Mhz
  23. jhu
    macrumors 6502a


    what you're not getting is that all of those things don't matter as much as you'd think. the best-case scenario for emulation is compiling the binary from ppc to x86. the ppc7447 is no slouch even if it is on a slower bus with slightly slower memory (ddr2 brings only a modest and unnoticeable performance increase) and at 1.6 ghz is definitely not going to be outperformed by 1.8 ghz pentium m derivative emulating the ppc instruction set.
  24. macrumors 68000

    It depends. As far as I remember, instead of translating each word (traditional emulation), Rosetta translates the entire sentence. I think this was discussed at length back at WWDC
  25. jhu
    macrumors 6502a


    rosetta does just-in-time code translation. so when it runs, it recompiles portions of the running code and caches them for faster access. however, as far as i know, it doesn't save the generated code as a native binary (as fx!32 did for the alpha). in the end, it generally won't be faster than running the code on native hardware unless the machine emulating said code is significantly faster.

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