So Jobs likes options, so do we!

Discussion in 'Hardware Rumors' started by twillis, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. twillis macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2002
    If OS X can run on x86, why not come out with Apple brand computers built on x86 in addition to those based on the PPC. Then Apple would not be at the mercy of one company or one chip. It would put pressure on both PPC and x86 sides to put out better hardware and WE THE CUSTOMERS AND APPLE WOULD BE THE WINNERS! It would also end the debate whether the x86 or PPC architecture is fastest.

    I could see it now. Jobs giving a keynote address with a x86 machine and a PPC machine both running OS X side by side, both Apple branded machines. Heck, add the Power4 to the mix too. Apple should end up with an OS that scales from an entry level machine to workstation powerhouse. Heck, there are plenty of people who would buy a quad processor Mac if it were offered. I'm not talking about making OS X available to run on older existing PCs or those offered by other companies. That way, Apple is not going to cannablize their hardware sales.

    Jobs could then have a x86 machine running OS X dual it out with a x86 machine running Windows using programs like Office, Photoshop, etc. Then the operating system would be the focus of attention not the GHz speed. Even if the windows machine was slightly cheaper and faster, the Mac has a better user interface, more stable OS, and lower total cost of ownership. (I use and own both PCs and Mac and know this from experience)

    The bottom line is this - We don't care what CPU is inside - PPC, Intel, AMD, Power4. All we care about is OS, speed, and price. Jobs, give us options 'cause WE TOO LIKE OPTIONS!
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    The x86, why not the Itanic?

    MS has been brutal to anyone that attempts to capture marketshare on their turf.

    If you don't like the size of the current bloatware, imagine fatapps built to run with multiple CPUs - painfully huge.
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Re: So Jobs likes options, so do we!

    Actually I do, I HATE Intel! AMD? That I wouldn't mind, but Intel? Nooooooooooo!
  4. jettredmont macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    Re: Re: So Jobs likes options, so do we!

    People used to say the same thing about IBM ...
  5. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Re: Re: Re: So Jobs likes options, so do we!

    Maybe one day I'll eat my words....maybe...:eek:
  6. jettredmont macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    This would be a good move as far as having a better CPU under the hood, but also remember that the Itanic's future is a bit uncertain. Also remember that the chip itself, not to mention a whole computer built around it, is quite expensive right now, and I don't see Intel cutting Apple a "sweetheart deal" to put Itanics on all Mac desktops across the country.

    Personally, if PowerPC were to strangely be dropped or sidelined, I prefer targetting AMD's 64-bit architecture. Yeah, it's not as elegant as Itanic, but it works well in both 64 and 32-bit mode, and scales gorgeously to multiple CPUs using HyperTransport. Cost will be much lower than Itanic, as it is marketed right now at the desktop rather than at high-end server farms.

    Or, heck, even maybe Sparq, as old as it is it's still kicking the pants off Itanium in many respects!
  7. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    Just wait for the 3 Thz G12 to come out, that should solve all you're woes.

    It's can do over 100 instructions per clock cycle and it's got such a high level of artificial intelligence it does whatever you're just about thinking of doing with you're mac before you get a chance to start it by manipulating brainwaves. :D

    Of course you could just hope for motorola to come out with a 64bit PowerPC chip with a 2Ghz clockspeed, 8 IPC and a DDR FSB. IBM might have the chip apple are going to use in the future assuming all the news of "no power4 for apple" are refering to the power4 itself and not the 64bit PowerPC based on elements of the power4 design.
  8. BongHits macrumors regular

    May 2, 2002
    y not do x86 as consumer level pmac, ppc as prosumer, and power4-lite as no holds barred power user (short of a multi-chip workstation). That way the uneducated consumer gets the 3 ghz chip offered in wintel pcs with the major bonus of running os x, at a similar price to high end pcs. The ppc is good for a prosumer's uses (such as myself who does no 3d rendering but lots of photoshop and gaming...still waiting on audio :eek: ) and the power-4 lite would be a dream machine for every pro mac user with dual ddr etc. :D
  9. P-Worm macrumors 68020


    Jul 16, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Not only do I think this is a stupid idea (Apple will never go X86...), I think that it is a bad idea. Let's just say that it turns out that the x86's were raster running Jaguar than the PowerPC's (Not that I think that would happen either). That would show Apple as a company that puts their pride before their customers. That's not good for stock.

    It is a good idea to have the separate chips from the other computers. It allows the chip to be made completely for one OS (Not NT/98/2000/Me) and it allows Apple to state that they think different and don't do what the norm is doing.

    And don't start going off on how fast and cheap PC's are right now, I've heared it before. :rolleyes:

    The bottom line is that PC's don't run the most advanced operating system ever, they run Windows. Speed isn't the important thing here. Keeping stock up is.

    Would you rather have a fast computer now for two years and then no Apple at all? Think about it....

    Preparing to get flamed,

  10. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Anyone remember the one Mac that actually had an Intel CPU - it was one of those educational all in ones that came out before the iMac - quite ugly.

    I don't think its smart for Apple to go the x86 route right now. They're gaining market share on what they have, why confuse the consumer with what would be perceived as an overly expensive machine that does the same thing (but not really) as the other PC makers.

    Stick with Moto and IBM - and just hope a faster processor comes out soon.....

  11. DaveGee macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2001
    Re: So Jobs likes options, so do we!

    Problem is the option you want: "to buy/build a cheap PC and still run OS X" will put Apple OUT OF BUSINESS!

    Profits from hardware funds Apple software. Not just the OS but the iApps too. You want to get away with not paying Apples prices and still benefit? Sorry but it would never work. MS makes MOST if it's money not by selling to the 'end user' but in contracts negotiated with computer makers as well as corporate site licences. Apple would die a quick death. Apple isn't in a position where it can force system makers to include OS X with each box sold (like MS can).

  12. P-Worm macrumors 68020


    Jul 16, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT

    That is exactly what I am trying to say. So give up that X86 crap, it ain't gonna happen.

    And yes, Ain't is a word. :cool:

  13. twillis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2002
    Analyzing the situation

    If Apple were to sell a x86 (or non-PPC chip) computer running OS X and it was slower, it would boost Apple's PPC sales, image, and market share. Think of the ads - yes, you could run OS X on x86 and we wil sell you one but why use an inferior machine...? This is a win for Apple.

    If Apple were to sell a x86 computer running OS X and it was faster, it would probably give us better machines at a better price, again boosting Apple's image and market share. Sure at the expense of the PPC but they would still get the sales on the x86 side. Apple does not need to be in the CPU business to be profitable in hardware. Just ask Microsoft. Again a win for Apple.

    What would probably happen is the x86 machine would be cheap and fast for many things, but not for audio/video/graphics. Here the Velocity Engine would help out. So the customer decides what he or she is going to use the computer and buys the right tool for the job. THE CHIP SPEED DEBATE NEEDS TO BE SEPARATE FROM THE OS DEBATE!

    I don't think it is a black and white issue nor is it a stupid idea. If Apple has OS X for x86 running and waiting if needed, why not release it to test the waters and see how people respond. If they get a good response and the machines are fast, they win by selling more machines and make the Mhz gap between x86 and PPC moot. If they get a bad response, they win again by showing customers think the PPC chip is superior.

    If the x86 version is slower and they don't release a x86 running OS X, they don't correct the Mhz gap myth. Apple suffers.

    If the x86 version is faster and they don't release OS X on it, they are limiting themselves by using the PPC and Microsoft keeps wining with the help of Apple's decision to stick with the PPC. Apple suffers.

    Pride always factors into decisions, but rarely ever in a good way.

    Maybe Apple has something great in the works for the PPC, or some variation thereof and will not need the x86 or some other chip. If this is the case though, Apple's superhuman PPC is not going to make Intel, AMD, and others disappear. Who knows, maybe a few years from now, AMD or Intel will come out with a monster chip and Apple needs to be able to take advantage of it.

    Apple NEEDS options. It will cost them some money developing for both platforms but it sounds like they are already doing that. It does greatly reduce their risk factor. Simple investing.

    So, the way I see it, Apple only benefits by releasing a x86 PC running OS X. Give the press, critics, and customers something to chew on.
  14. twillis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2002
    OS X on x86

    In no way am I saying Apple should make OS X available on regular PCs. Take an iMac, eMac, G4 Tower, whatever and put a x86 motherboard and chip in it and run OS X on it. Fact is, you, I, and everybody else wouldn't notice the difference. Only Apple would sell these machines and Apple could price them however they want. Forget running OS X on a Dell, HP, or Compaq. Hardware sales would still generate Apple's needed cash.

    (Off subject but very scary...
    MS could cut off sales of their operating systems to all other PC makers, make their their own PCs like Apple, and cut every other PC company out of business. If they could figure a way to weasel out the the following monopoly lawsuit they would do it too.)

    If Apple gave up hardware sales I can see why it would be a stupid move. So I would agree with the posts to not release OS X on x86 this way. But it is not the only way. I think different(ly).

    I think. Therefore, I am
    I think different. Therefore iMac!
  15. P-Worm macrumors 68020


    Jul 16, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT
    twillis, you have some good arguments, but I think you are missing the issue here.

    Now I don't want to get into an argument here (I think forum arguments are a waste of the sites space.), but I do want to try and adress why I believe it is a bad idea for Apple to go x86.

    Looking at where Apple's marketing is going, it is very obvious that they want to draw in the users that do not know much about computers or 'switchers.' By porting OS X to x86, they create two problems for themselves.

    1) It adds more choices to the purchase of a new Mac. Now to you and me, this sounds like a good thing, but to Mr. Joe Average it becomes overwhelming. The beauty of Apple's system is that they have a computer for everyone. The people that simply want a computer for the internet and email have the eMac. People that want a very good all in one computer have the iMac. Do you see where I am going here? Looking at prices, it is very easy to see what model is good for you (and please, let's not get into the price discussion. I know that Macs are more money, but we get what we pay for.)

    This is very appealing to Mr. Joe Average. At CompUSA, I have no idea how anyone could choose a new computer. There are so many numbers buzzing around at different prices it is hard to believe that anyone could leave the store feeling satisfied with their decision. These people probably don't even know or care what SDRAM stands for, so Apple is out there making it easier for them.

    2) The people who would purchase one of these x86 macs would get one with the high numbers right? Well what happens when the get home only to realize that their computer is not as fast as the numbers claim it is? Are they going to feel angry at themselves for not picking the right computer? Probably not. In their minds, they made the correct choice. 800 Mhz vs. 2.4 Ghz, the 2.4 Ghz should be more than twice as fast as the 800 right? It should, but you and I know that it isn't. So the customer just had a bad experience buying a mac. How is that going to make them come back? Intel has already recieved a lot of heat regarding this issue and I would see it as VERY unwise for Apple to enter that stage.

    Am I saying that everything is just peachy? No. I firmly believe that something has to be done to get Apple back on top of the speed race. I just don't see x86 as the answer. I just hope that IBM is making those new chips for Apple, that would certainly help.

    I'm sorry, I'm probably boring you. And I don't mean to shut you down, I'm just stating my opinions about what the x86 chip means for Apple and I strongly disbelieve in it.

    If any of you want to talk man to man, drop me an email at or my iChat account is always open under AIM as pworm420. I'll be glad to talk to any Mac fan.

  16. Anon macrumors member

    May 23, 2002
  17. P-Worm macrumors 68020


    Jul 16, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Thanks, I found that article very informitive.

    Let's just hope that Microsoft does become too large for itself and collapse. But in the mean time, Go Apple!:)

    By the way, I hope Wal-Mart doesn't collapse, I think that smiley face that rolls back prices is cool like this guy -->:cool:

  18. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    If you were going to go with an x86 in a Mac you would face market pressure to go with Intel. AMD might be a better company in our eyes and might make better processors, but right now the entire PC market is heading the Intel way. It used to be that you could buy about as many PC's with Intel as AMD chips, but look what has happened in the PC world....almost everything factory built now has that "Intel Inside" Pentium 4 decal on it. I think it all comes down to perceived speed. Intel is killing AMD right now on numbers, and the companies want bigger and badder GHz numbers. I would think that AMD must be suffering right now because of the shift to Intel by companies such as Gateway, Dell, HP and Sony.

    As for me, I think Apple should NEVER go with an x86 chip. I believe with the right resources put forth the PowerPC could be a superior chip and will end up having a much longer life for growth and expansion.
  19. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Re: OS X on x86

    The big difference would be that there would be NO software that would run on it. It would also fracture developers even further.

    You'd have OS X/PPC software, OS X/x86 software, OS 9 software.... Apple may be able to do this more cleanly in the future... but it would be a PR nightmare.

  20. gbojim macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2002
    Re: Analyzing the situation

    I think there are a few questions and points missing from your analysis.

    Do you have any idea how much it would cost to design, tool, manufacture and market a machine with an x86 based CPU to prove it would be better to use PPC?

    If Apple releases a machine based on an x86 CPU, what application software would anyone run on it? None of the apps would work since they are compiled for PPC, and I doubt the app vendors would be keen on building for both.

    Apple already has a less expensive CPU without Velocity Engine for customers who do not need high multimedia power. Its called the G3.

    Do you have any idea how much it would cost Apple in terms of money and effort to maintain an optimized release of OS X and all of the iApps for both PPC and x86?

    I'm not trying to be critical. But I do not see where having both x86 and PPC based systems would be practical or a win.
  21. twillis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2002
    Some good points, but...

    Okay, some of you have brought up some good points.

    Being fairly knowledgeable about computers I do not sweat the details on buying a computer. However, I guess I do need to look through the eyes of others - like my parents - to see the confusion they would have. One possible solution would be to do what AMD has tried to do - come up with a P value or rating system. Heck even a knowledgeable guy like me would find that useful. Of course, it would be nice to rate each machine also for various functions like audio, video, graphics. Oh well.

    I read the article about MS and WalMart. Some useful info there. I can see Wal Mart being tough to take down but think MS is not as invincible as some think they are. I think Apple putting out some good software can help their cause while MS can't for fear of monopoly lawsuits. It is MS that is handicapped here.

    I think Apple is on a roll and really do not care about x86 chips necessarily. I just want a kickin' cpu - or multiple cpus - to run OS X. Apple seems to keep getting held back by bad chip PR.

    I believe Apple's strength and future lies in software and its integration with its hardware. People need solutions, not products. Apple gets this. They need to become independent of other software companies - like Adobe and MS - and I think independent of a single cpu company.

    I don't know about no software running on OS X for x86. If programmers use Apple's APIs and libraries, should not a program be independent of the CPU? How much code now days is assembler or cpu specific? Does not software already deal with G3s without the Velocity Engine and G4s with it?

    I think Apple needs to continue on its software programs and even ween themselves off Office and Photoshop. I would like to buy an Apple with all the software I need on it. I don't care about 10 word processing programs. All I need is one. The same for audio, video, graphics, dtp, etc. Maybe have high and low end software like they are doing. That's cool. Looking forward to see what they will do with Emagic.

    Apple needs to identify the twenty or thirty most common programs and nail them. And they need TONS of games. Throw in a great accounting program with open source code, use part of their web site for people to sell custom modifications, and boom - a machine for the business and home.

    Funny, I am calling for more options in hardware, and less options in software. I guess that is because the hardware side of things need a boost but the software kicks butt.

    I guess I get carried away. I like the Mac, just as I liked my old Commodore 64, the Amiga, and NeXt Cube. Never fell in love with a PC or mainframe system. Guess I spent too much time using and troubleshooting them at work.

    Thanks to all for the good feedback. I read and read but post so little. Sorry for the opinion dump.
  22. mmmdreg macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Apple would be competing with itself which can't be too cost-effective can it...
  23. pc_convert? macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2002
    Apple and x86 won't happen any time soon.

    Why should I buy apple branded hardware when I source my own and build it cheaply and simply buy a copy of OSX?

    There goes apples biggest revenue stream...

    Even if there was some form of hardware protection to prevent this it wouldn't take long for someone to hack it....
  24. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    In other words --

    OS X + x86 = iBankruptcy(Apple)

    Why would any software maker consider making software for Apple's OS X on x86?

    They could put all their effort into a Windows version, and let the user dual boot their PC to use it.

    Why should they worry about developing an expensive Apple OS X/86 version? Especially when you'll be happy buying the x86 copy anyway.

    Save some bucks and kill the Apple OS X/86 software development and make the shareholders happy with increased revenue.
  25. jettredmont macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    Well, for one, the OSX/x86 "port" would be little more than a recompile (excepting hand-tuned assembly code patches and bits that rely on big/little endian, but if you had a Win port of your code then that batch of stuff is already in the mix).

    As a cross-platform developer, I would find it incredibly easy to port my Win/OSX/Linux program over to OSX/x86, because I already have x86 vs PPC blocks of code, and I already have UNIX vs Win blocks of code and I also already have Win vs Aqua vs Console (sorry, no UI on the Linux port :) ) blocks. OSX/x86 would just be a matter of compiling with _API_UNIX and _UI_OSX and _PROC_INTEL all defined.

    Yes, it's another executable to distribute, and (potentially) another "version" to sell (though I would hope most companies would go the route Adobe did with Photoshop Elements and deliver all platforms in one box!) And, yes, it is another test bed to set up. But on the development side, if you already do Win/OSX code you're 99% of the way there (and if you only do OSX code right now you're about 95% of the way there, as most apps have very little assembly or endian-reliant blocks of code).

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