Why are people going for the intel rather then the PPC?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Wellander, May 1, 2006.

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  1. Wellander macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hi,
    Why are people going for the intel based rather then the PPC?
    Is there something wrong with the PPC macs?
    Are people worried about loosing support?
    I am just wondering.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Glenn Wolsey macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

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    #2
    Because they are faster, because they are the way Apple are heading, and the way they believe will do better for us in the long run.
     
  3. Acehigh macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I think they want the newest thing and looking to the furture... Also in a few monthes they will stop selling all PPC at the apple store.

    PPC are must slower then the intel chips that is why Apple switch to intel. Also they are cheaper, so more profit for the company.
     
  4. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #4
    PPC is being phased out by Apple - Intel is the future. They have a better roadmap, especially when considering performance/watt, and it allows Apple to release solutions such as Boot Camp. The list goes on and on. :cool:
     
  5. Wellander thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Hi,
    But what is wrong with the PPC chip?
    Why did apple decide to switch?
    And does anyone know for how muck longer will we be able to but new PPC based macs?
    Thanks.
     
  6. Acehigh macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I think August.... Its on the rumor page. Well you need to talk to Steve Jobs the exact reason they switched. Probably to gain market share and the price of the chips
     
  7. Wellander thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Hi,
    You said I think August
    I am not talking about directly from the apple store.
    I am talking when do you all think that the resellers will be out of them.
    Also you said august. You forget about the xserve.
    Thanks.
     
  8. Acehigh macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Apple wont sell them direct in the store new (Refurb they will probably still sell) Its not like they are going to throw them away

    As for stores , who knows...Probably when their supply runs out. Since J&R still sell PPC Mac Mini's and Costco sell them also. Might take awhile if they dont put them onsale.

    They will probably do support for a long time. Atleast 3 years but probably much longer. Since some people will have Applecare.
     
  9. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #9
    The PPC chip (in the configuration suitable for personal computing) was sold by only one computer manufacturer - Apple. Freescale and IBM (who make PPC chips) made the vast majority of their sales and profits from embedded chips for high-end routers and the like. Apple was crumbs compared to what they made from the other markets.

    Without massive R&D money from Freescale and IBM (why would you put so much cash into something that made so little back) the PPC chip had stalled in it's development. The G5 was wholly unsuitable for portable use and wouldn't be for quite some time, the G4 was suitable for portable use but was lagging behind Intel's Pentium-M and massively behind the Core chips that are yet to come out, there was no chip in the timeframe that would be able to compete.

    Apple needed to leave PPC behind as it was no longer viable when compared to newer processors on the market. Yes the megahertz myth meant that the G4 was still pretty good but with the new Core architecture Intel was going to obliterate any sort of advantage the G4 had.

    The G5 was fine for desktop use - still is - but Apple desperately needed something to put in the laptops, enter Intel with a chip providing a giant increase in speed without requiring any more power. Apple would be stupid to pass up the opportunity to use it. And hey, what do you know, it's "quicker" than a single G5 processor and somewhat cooler than a G5 too, good for the iMac as well, makes it faster, quieter and now even more competitive price-wise.

    All Apple systems will be Intel-based by the end of the year. We will likely see "Merom" chips in the MacBook Pros by year's end, "Conroe" in the iMac and possibly low-end PowerMacs, "Woodcrest" in the top-end PowerMacs and xServe. August looks likely for the introduction of Intel PowerMcs and xServes as this corresponds with the WWDC - Apple's annual professional/developer focussed event and with Intel's purported availability of Core-based desktop chips.

    People are leaving the PPC behind because Apple is leaving it behind. Everybody moves on to bigger and better things, Intel is the future of Apple - that doesn't mean the past should be buried and forgotten, just that when you have to spend a great deal on something wouldn't you want a machine that's at the beginning of it's life rather than the end?
     
  10. rspeaker macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Why are you so focused on PPC? Wanting a laptop (to accompany my iMac) I understand the desire for something cheaper. But having switched from a G4 mini to a dual-core Intel iMac, I can tell you, if I do get around to getting a laptop, it will be an Intel one. My experience, with much increased speed and much better graphics, coupled with the ability to boot into Windows with Intel Macs (unable to do so with PPC Macs,) has left me very satisfied. If there is some pressing reason other than finances, I say go for it. If finances is the only issue, I say do your best to pony up an extra $100 or so, and wait for the Intel Macbook.
     
  11. FireArse macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    PPC vs Intel

    With some open-sourced apps (prime example x264) Altivec optimization isn't as well supported as sse2 and whatever is on the Intel/AMD Chips.

    My Dual 2GHz G5 produces iPod-compatible material from DVD (Handbrake) at about 18FPS. Thats pretty crap compared to my brother's Intel Mac mini Core DUo which is currently doing about 50-60FPS.

    I spent £1700 on this G5 - he didn't spend £700. Yes there is a difference of about one year - but it goes to show that optimization for Intel is more common and advanced than PPC and its AltiVec equivelent.

    I am sure that once the PPC code is of the same optimization level as Intel (within the x264 project) the PPC chips would kill the mini. However, I feel I should sell the G5 while its still kinda hot and get a cheap PPC PB. I'll then get a middle of the line PM when the new ones come out.

    FireArse
     
  12. Wellander thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Hi,
    It is just that I like the PPC chip.
    Thanks for the replies.
     
  13. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

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    #13
    just curious, why do you like the PPC chip? The Intel Core Duo processor beats the PPC handidly in almost every application (in fact I haven't seen one where it the G4 hasn't been trumped). I'm currently writing from a 1.67ghz G4 Powerbook, and my friend's Macbook Pro can run about 8-10 times as many plugins as my Powerbook handles in Logic Pro.
     
  14. tim2006 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    if intel is so great why not get a pc its cheaper. the only difference is the os, big one I know but thats it.
     
  15. huck500 macrumors 6502

    huck500

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    #15
    :p

    Apple hardware consistently ranks at or near the top in reliability according to Consumer Reports. With Apple you get iLife. You get no virus worries (for now). You get better customer support in my experience. Just a few other differences. The OS is reason enough, imo.
     
  16. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #16
    Good points, gotta love Apple! :)

    Same for me. :D
     
  17. Acehigh macrumors 6502

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    #17
    WHY?

    Cool names like G4 & G5
     
  18. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #18
    I know I find that to be one of the "cool" factors of the PowerPC processor. :)
     
  19. ahunter3 macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Not all of us are. (Proud & happy owner of 17" PowerBook PPC).

    But unless one had a true need for running a double-handful of Classic apps on occasion (that would be me) or needed to use apps now that won't work in Rosetta and haven't yet been ported to Intel, the Intel-based machines are newer and, at least in the case of the Mini and the MacBook, undeniably faster. (The MacBook 17" can probably run most of my PPC apps nearly as fast as I can on my PB 17", sometimes faster; and on universal-binary apps leave me in the dust).

    Over the next 6 years, expect to see some vendors not bothering to compile for PowerPC (especially once the performance cycle has moved on far enough that even a quad G5 would have insufficient horsepower to push the code around with aplomb), and quite a few more who optimize their code for the Intel architecture and only toss in a PowerPC version as an afterthought. Sure, most apps will continue to be available for both hw platforms, and for the next 9-18 months it will still be the PPC Mac that has more native sw available for it, but in the long haul the Intel Mac has a brighter future, compatibility-wise.

    Think also of upgrades. Four years from now, today's purchaser of an Intel Mac may be dropping in a faster Intel chip for considerably less than the cost of a whole new computer. Possibly even an entire new motherboard. I would assume my hardware upgrade options are going to be far more limited.

    And Rosetta performance might improve. (It's certainly not likely to deteriorate!).

    Finally, some folks need to run Windows apps from time to time. I myself do (although fortunately not often and they aren't very processor-intensive or graphics-intensive). I have to run mine under VirtualPC, emulating an Intel-based PC and taking a prodigious performance hit; the Intel-Mac folks can run Windows in an environment-emulation window with their Intel chip executing those Windows instructions at native speed, or they can even switchboot into Windows itself and literally run their Mac as a PC. That's not a big deal for me, but it is for some folks (many of whom would have to own a Dell or a Sony or something, either in addition to or instead of a Mac, if they couldn't run Windows at Intel-native speeds on their Macs).

    But yeah, some of it is just "ooh, new & shiny!", and a PowerPC Mac is still very much a nice machine that in at least a few cases would better serve the person buying the latest & greatest Intel Mac than the Intel Mac they are buying. Those boxen are still a bit on the bleeding edge and have some bugs, a few insufficiencies generated by shortcutting in order to get them to market, and as I said a thinner rank of MacOS software you can run on them. Just as for some people a top-of-the-line 68K-powered Quadra was a better choice than a 1st-generation PowerMac back a decade or so ago, there are people who would do better to snag a PowerMac or PowerBook and wait until the next iteration of their personal upgrade cycles before acquiring an Intel-based Mac.
     
  20. Wellander thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Hi,
    Thanks again for the replies.
    I love the Power PC chip because you can still run os 9 and below applications on it you can still use the real windows media player on it.
    And I love the look of the chips better then intels.
    And the power pc chips do not have the same problems that the intel ones are having at this time (on the mac side).
    Want more?
     
  21. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I cannot speak for the OP, but the PPC architecture is a much nicer chip from the software developer point of view. The PPC instruction set has a cleaner design and there are various low level chip benefits compared to Intel. However, many similar benefits will be available in the upcoming Intel chips.
     
  22. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

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    #22
    OS 9 is dead. It died about three years ago. Let. It. Go.

    WMP sucked. Microsoft ended development because it sucked.

    Who cares about the looks? You aren't supposed to see them anyway.
     
  23. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #23
    Just use one for more than 10 minutes and you'll see what all the fuss is about. I sold my Powerbook G4 (latest rev) for a MBP. Got my MBP...insanely fast. So fast that I sold my QUAD!!!! The MBP beats it in a number of minor things like opening UB apps, surfing the net, iPhoto, etc. Similar speeds in big apps like Final Cut Pro which is acceptable for the moment (at least until the Intel towers come out)
     
  24. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #24
    Hi,
    There are plenty of good uses for PPC processors. If you like them, then get a Mac that still has one. It will still last you for a couple/several years.

    But why the heck does the 'look of the chips' matter? No one ever sees them unless they open up the case. Thats rather strange if you ask me. And its not the intel processors that are having problems, they are more likely software/logic board issues.

    And you probably don't need to write 'Hi' at the beginning of every post.
     
  25. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #25
    The POWER/PowerPC architecture is still one of the best processor lines in the world today. Despite what people are saying now (about Intel being faster) that was not the reason behind the switch to Intel processors in Macs.

    The reason, plane and simple, was that (1) IBM no longer had any internal need for the PowerPC 970 series processors (and therefore was not going to put any additional funding into R&D for that series) and (2) IBM shifted it's manufacturing resources to provide processors for it's newest PowerPC client, Microsoft.

    Seeing that it would have to shoulder the future development of it's processors and that production of those processors would be a lower priority to Microsoft's processors, Apple accepted an offer that Intel had been making for almost ten years now.

    Intel had been dying to get Apple as a client. Why? Intel is a technology company. And they have always had problems introducing technology into the PC world.

    A little history...

    Intel developed and started pushing USB back around 1994. No PC makers would add it to their systems because it wasn't supported by Microsoft's operating system. Microsoft wouldn't add support because it wasn't shipping on any PCs. Third party hardware makers wouldn't make devices that used it because no systems worked with it. USB was dead in the water as a technology.

    Then in 1997 Apple announced the iMac. And made it known that the only way to connect devices to the iMac would be via USB.

    All of a sudden there were tons of USB devices on the market.

    By 1999 many PCs had USB and Microsoft had added support for USB to it's consumer OS (they didn't add support to the NT line until the release of Windows 2000).

    It was this type of technology showcasing that only Apple could provide Intel, so even though Apple would be (by comparison) a small consumer of processors, they would still be a highly valuable client and would be given preferential treatment by Intel.

    So when it came down to which vender to go with, Apple decided they would rather be a highly valued client of Intel rather than an after thought of IBM.

    Besides, if Intel processors were so fast, then we would have seen a top down transition rather than a bottom up transition as we are having now. The bottom up transition lets Apple take advantage of the PowerPC 970 line as long as it can while giving Intel's line the time to catch up.

    Anyone thinking it is because of a lack of software is overlooking the fact that the Xserve is still PowerPC and is not dependent on third party software. Until an Intel based Xserve can surpass a PowerPC based Xserve, Apple will continue to use PowerPC processors in them. The last thing Apple is going to do is put out a slower Xserve considering that their performance in clustered computing has been very important to them.

    Another historical point... the heat/power issue with the G5 series isn't the first time that Apple and IBM have had this run in. It was also an issue with the PowerPC 604 series (which was why there was never a 604 based PowerBook). In both cases, IBM was using those processors in high end workstations and servers, so heat/power issues were not a major issue for them. Infact the only AIX ThinkPad used a PowerPC 603e and there were only a handful of them made.

    And just as Apple is pushing the Integer performance of the new Intel processors, they did the same thing when pushing the G3 processors when they came out even though the 604e was actually faster (per clock cycle) than the G3 in floating point performance (IBM continued to sell 604e workstations until 2003).
     
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