Universal Binaries, the next step?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by R.Youden, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. R.Youden macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

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    #1
    So at the moment we have PowerPC apps only; MS Office, Adobe etc. and we have UBs; iLife, most Apple apps. My question is, will we ever see a day when applications are written for Intel based computers only or will they always be able to run on both processors. The logical thinking for a non-programmer is that if UBs are faster than PowerPC apps then wont Intel only apps be faster than UBs?
     
  2. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    #2
    UBs are not faster than PowerPC apps (except on Intel of course, because they don't need Rosetta. Going Intel-only doesn't change that though).
     
  3. R.Youden thread starter macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

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    #3
    I see what you mean.I suppose the reason UBs appear faster is that the Intel machines are faster than their respective Power PC counterparts.
     
  4. vohdoun macrumors 65816

    vohdoun

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    #4
    I've been hearing a few rumours that CS3 will be Intel only due to complications... I hope this is not true leaving PPC stuck with CS2? Yet nobody has been able to clarify.
     
  5. dansgil macrumors regular

    dansgil

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    #5
    I don't think Adobe would do this. There are too many Photoshop users still using G5's who wouldn't upgrade to a Mac pro just to use CS3.
     
  6. DeathChill macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Well, we have Parallels, which is Intel only. Compiling for both PowerPC and Intel is easy as pie anyway. I doubt we'll see too many Intel only applications until Apple no longer supports PowerPC in XCode or OS X. The only use for the Intel side will be for virtual machines and such.
     
  7. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    Does Universal Binary mean the application will run on both Intel and Power PC platform optimally? Or, Is UB more favorable toward x86 platform at the expense of PowerPC? My understanding is UB would run on both X86 and PPC equally well as each format can execute UB codes natively.
     
  8. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    #8
    Universal Binary means that there are (separate) binaries for both PowerPC and Intel included in the same application bundle. It doesn't favor one or the other. Of course, in general, Intel machines tend to be faster than PowerPC machines, so there's sort of a perception or feeling that Universal favors Intel. That's not really true though. It's reasonable to expect that a Universal app will run faster on a Quad G5 than on a Core Solo mini.

    I'm a little annoyed by the use of Universal Binary to describe Intel-only apps that I've seen around. Some apps are being compiled with separate versions for Intel and PowerPC, rather than Unversal Binary, then the Intel version gets called the Universal version. That's just simply not correct.
     
  9. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    Good to know UB means apps are for both x86 and PPC. The current Apple's marketing seems to focus on "UB = x86 based MBP, MB, Mac Pro, and iMac." I thought UB is for both platform. But, as I have seen more UB-ready apps, I started noticing they only mention about x86 Mac. So, if the software makers stamp "UB" on their packaging, is it safe to assume the software is for both PPC and x86?
     
  10. FredAkbar macrumors 6502a

    FredAkbar

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    #10
    Yeah, other than some exceptions, perhaps, brought up by mduser63, who incorrectly refer to Intel-only apps (rare though they are) as UB.

    Keep in mind that even though a UB app runs natively on both PPC and Intel, if a new version of an app is UB, the author/company might market the fact that it's now UB more toward Intel Mac users, because it affects them. PowerPC users don't gain or lose anything (other than maybe a slight difference in file size) when an app goes from PPC to UB.

    So UB apps aren't "for" Intel users, but if an app changes from PPC to UB (basically the only change we'll be seeing widespread for quite a while), that bit of news will appeal specifically to Intel users.
     
  11. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    #11
    Yes, although like I said, I have seen one or two cases of software makers incorrectly labeling Intel-only versions "Universal Binary".

    Like FredAkbar said, Universal Binaries as new releases only affect Intel users, which probably contributes to the feeling that they're focused on Intel machines. I didn't care about Universal Binary releases when I was still exclusively using PowerPC Macs. Now that I have an Intel Mac it actually matters when to me whether or not an app is Universal. That said, most of the apps on my PowerBook are Universal too, and of course they run just fine.
     
  12. Bear macrumors G3

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    #12
    Actually there has been no compelling reason for me to upgrade to CS2 yet from CS. I will evalute CS3 when it's released to see if it is worth upgrading to (for my needs). However, if it is Intel only I won't even bother considering it until I wind up with an Intel based Mac.

    CS3 should be both Intel and PowerPC. Will CS4 be Intel only is the real question.
     
  13. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    #13
    Adobe has stated that CS3 will be Universal. They'd be shooting themselves in the foot by releasing it Intel-only. A great number (the majority most likely) of the pro Photoshop users will still be on G5s, and they're not going to upgrade their machines in order to upgrade to CS3, they'll just stick with CS2.
     
  14. Platform macrumors 68030

    Platform

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    #14
    Yes, well ofcourse it is. To run Windows/Linux you need an Intel type CPU, so that is not Paralles but hardware.
     
  15. enda1 macrumors member

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    #15
    I think that it will happen for the OS in about 5 years;
    for pro apps such as matematica, matlab, adobe etc in about 3 years;
    for super pro apps such as cfd, cam, video editing, simulation software which are currently only windows we may see them release mac binaries but only for X86.

    Just my thouhgts but i feel that Apple wiill be the last ones left supporting PowerPC, not the 3rd party developers.

    Interestingly, if programs start getting made for intel only, will there be a Rosetta going the other way? Maybe attesoR? ;)
     
  16. Platform macrumors 68030

    Platform

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    #16
    I don't understand why they would need to change the way they code...unless there is a OS 9 > OS X type transition, why not just limit features for the PPC (Needs more modern type hardware)
     
  17. Bear macrumors G3

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    #17
    Considering how easy it was for some of the large applications to be made into a Universal Binary, I suspect at least some apps will continue to be universal for at least the same length as the OS.

    The applications that need custom code depending on the processor type might drop PPC support earlier if it proves too much of a cost to maintain the PPC specific bits.
    Here I fell you are wrong due to the ease of generating universal binaries for most of the applications.
    I doubt this would happen... again due to the ease of having universal binaries for most applications.
     

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