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Sodium Chloride

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 11, 2017
266
128
Has Apple made any official statement regarding their intention to switch from Intel CPU to their own chip? Should we even buy a new Mac now considering the switch? New app or new MacOS after the switch wouldn’t work with Intel based Mac, right?

Historically, how much time had passed since the release of the first Intel-based Mac to the release of the last MacOS that works with Power PC Mac? After such time, you must buy Intel based Mac if you want to run the latest MacOS.
 
Last edited:

davidg4781

macrumors 68030
Oct 28, 2006
2,829
407
Alice, TX
Mac OS X Leopard was the last supported version for PowerPC. It was released in late 2007. Snow Leopard, Intel only, was released 2009. I believe the first Intel Mac was released in 2006 and they fully converted in 2007 sometime.

As far as what to buy. If you. need a Mac now, buy it now. Or, really, wait a few weeks for the September event, if you can.

If you don't need a Mac now, don't buy one now.

Example, I have a 2011 Mac mini that won't be able to run Mojave. Fine with me, whatever. But! I'd love a portable. And I'd love one that has what I need. I feel the current MacBooks are underpowered, for my needs. While the MacBook Pros would work fine, they're expensive. I'd like a little more powerful MacBook, which I'm hoping will come out soon. Although, the current MBPs, while expensive, have more features than the last version, so it may be good enough for me to switch.

And I've been doing this though process for the past few years. It's not worth it for me to fully upgrade, but it would be nice. I'm glad I waited though. While I miss MagSafe and wish it would come back, I'm glad Apple fully switched to USB-C. I might even upgrade from my iPhone 8 if the next one has USB-C, just so I can start getting on board.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,712
Has Apple made any official statement regarding their intention to switch from Intel CPU
Nope
Should we even buy a new Mac now considering the switch?
If you need one now, buy one now. Regarding switching, if another platform fits your needs, then it will be cheaper to buy a windows PC. There is no perfect solution and both Macs and PCs offer trade offs, advantages and disadvantages.

New app or new MacOS after the switch wouldn’t work with Intel based Mac, right?
Apple provided a emulation later allowing legacy apps to run, but you are correct new apps written for the new platform will not run on the old platform. MacOS will have cross platform compatibility for a few years and given the slow pace of innovation on the macOS front, you can choose not to upgrade and not be any worse off.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,667
4,676
The Peninsula
Apple provided a emulation later allowing legacy apps to run, but you are correct new apps written for the new platform will not run on the old platform.
(Typo - "layer", not "later")

Note that the "Rosetta" emulation layer used in the PPC -> x64 transition used an existing 3rd party product (from "Transitive", which was bought by IBM). Transitive was very clever, and the emulation was helped by the fact that the Intel CPUs were quite a bit faster than the stale PowerPC chips.

It's not clear if anything similar for x64 -> AArch64 exists. There's also the general situation that x64 is much faster than any AArch64 CPU. Emulating a fast CPU using a slow CPU is a challenge.

Another thing to consider is that the Apple OSX pro market has been shrinking due to the stagnation in laptop/desktop upgrades. It's possible that many third party vendors would decide to abandon the Apple platform rather than do *another* architecture change. Is OSX viable without Adobe apps?

My personal guess would be that Apple does an OSX port to AArch64 for some "Chromebook-like" laptops and tablets for the low end and educational market - but sticks with x64 for the higher end systems.
 

jerwin

Suspended
Jun 13, 2015
2,895
4,651
If apple switches from x86-64 chips, they'll have to provide some very compelling arguments for doing so. And if the argument hinges on "freedom to innovate", I'll be very concerned about the useful lifespan of any subsequent apple product.
 
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