Apple and AMD Rumors

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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AMDZone reports on Comdex rumors about Apple and AMD together.

There was a lot of talk around the media people about Apple's presence so far at Comdex this year. In the Comdex press briefing we were told that Hector Ruiz would make a "shattering" anouncement about a new licensee. As much as Dell would be a shocker to the public, the shattering news would be Apple moving to the x86 platform.
According to their earlier report, there is a large Apple presence at Comdex.
 

dricci

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2001
537
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Wow... maybe today we will finally be able to put the Apple on x86 rumors to rest. If it isn't about Apple, then I think it can be put to rest for good, but If the announcement is about Apple, then a lot of people will owe the "told you so"'ers (me included) :D
 

Thirteenva

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2002
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I guess we'll know tomorrow. I still have my doubts about apple moving to x86 but like i said, i guess we'll know tomorrow.....
 

dricci

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2001
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Ah, it's tomorrow? I thought it was today :(

Here's something that's not thought of much: What if AMD could make PowerPC (read: not x86) chips for Apple? AMD could use their knowledge of processors (and their ability to make a lot of them for cheap, and fast).
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
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Originally posted by LethalWolfe
anyone else on pins & needles?

I'd love to see Apple release x86 boxes that just crush everything else out there.

Lethal
I'm not holding my breath.

arn
 

DakotaGuy

macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
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South Dakota, USA
This might be real bad, if Apple comes out with these x86 boxes this winter, it means that in a few months software wise there will be no new development for the PowerPC because they will want you to switch over, meaning the machines people are buying right now will be junk in a few months.

Talk about pissed off people....I will be one...at least Windows sticks with x86 and that makes it easy for their customers, Apple switching all over on chips will make it real tough, because if they go x86 32 bit and then a few months later go x86 64 then they will have year old PowerPCs that are no longer supported, and a few month old 32bit x86's that are not...what a mess...if this all happens kiss them goodbye, they might as well load Xp on it
 

Mudbug

Administrator emeritus
Jun 28, 2002
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emulation would be a bad thing - look at the "blistering" speed of VirtualPC (or Classic, for that matter).
While it fill the void, actually doing work in an emulated environment isn't a very stable way to go.

And I do realize that those aren't in the Kernel, but still the idea of running one thing under another stays true.

What about AMD making a PPC Variant or adding an AltiVec piece to a Hammer or Sledgehammer?
 

gropo

macrumors member
Jun 25, 2002
74
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Queens, NYC
Originally posted by arn


I'm not holding my breath.
Well... Allow me to fire up the wayback machine... here we travel back to 1982, Digital Equipment Corporation has released the DEC Rainbow 100 (PC100), powered by:

1) the 16-bit Intel i8088

and

1) the 8-bit Zilog Z80

Allowing it to run either an altered version of MS-DOS - or CP/M-80/86

Apple already has little-endian compatability... PowerPC 97x/75xx + x86-64 systems seem like a veritable no-brainer to me.
Best of both worlds.
 

Frobozz

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
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South Orange, NJ
HyperTransport

Isn't AMD and nVidia a part of the HyperTransport consortium? It's been rumored that Apple is working on a HyperTransport enabled motherbaord for quite some time. If this is true, I'll bet the announcement is that AMD will be manufacturing chips for the IBM 970 based motherboard. Apparently, these CPU's will require a different NorthBridge chip.

There's no way Apple is moving to x86 chips, unless perhaps AMD's new Claw Hammer 64 bit chip is a possiblitity. But, overall, I just don't see it. I've already written a exhausively long essay on these boards about how I don't see Apple essentially throwing out it's marketing campaigns for the past 5 years on a whim when such promising IBM chips are on the horizon. Also, it doesn't make sense to require developers to recompile just to run on a new machine. It's one thing to require a recompile for faster performace or 64 bit compilance. It's another thing entirely to render all existing apps either useless or severely speed hit.
 

DakotaGuy

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Jan 14, 2002
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This is all going to get so messy I might just get a PC, I don't want to deal with all these compatibility issues. They are so dumb to ditch PowerPC development right now and go to a 32bit x86, when the 64bit PPC 970 would keep classic compatibility with the 32bit PowerPC's and would be a smooth easy transition for everyone. This is a dumb move that Apple is making, I think in the end it will cost them the company and for what a freakin MHz number, and we only know the x86 speed with XP, who knows how well it is going to run OSX. It might turn out to be a dog at first and if it takes a year to get it optimised, Apple will be done, I can't believe they are really going to do this x86 thing, IMHO this a a bad move
 

Frobozz

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
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South Orange, NJ
AMD Manufacturing

A couple of people mentioned AMD manufacturing PowerPC chips for Apple. That sounds like a tantalizing and extrememly possible scenario. AMD has always been close to Apple, dspite staying out of the lime light. I think if AMD is not producing controller chips for the 970 based motherboards, then perhaps they are going to crank out G5/970 or G4/7455, etc. chips?
 

Falleron

macrumors 68000
Nov 22, 2001
1,609
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UK
Originally posted by Abercrombieboy
They are so dumb to ditch PowerPC development right now and go to a 32bit x8....
Oh dear! Understand that there is NO way that Macs are going to use PC chips any time soon!
 

Pentium Killer

macrumors member
Apr 10, 2002
39
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Berlin
Calm down....

they will not do it,it is just a rumor,and a very unlikely one.Enough has been said about this,it will not happen,O.K.??;)
 

Cappy

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2002
386
2
I just don't see it. As much as I don't have a problem with Apple going x86, I just don't see it.

This is comdex we're talking about. The odds are more in favor that Apple is simply announcing their xraid setup and showing off their xserve with the latest Mac OS X even more.

With the xmas season upon us it just doesn't make sense to announce x86 systems that would be released anytime soon and kill xmas sales. Now I might see them making an announcement that they might migrate over in a year or so but anytime soon? Just don't see it.

If anything I could see an announcement of an Apple tablet or, dare I say it, pda long before an announcement to move to AMD chips. The only announcement I would guess to see that would deal with AMD chips and Apple's current line would be in the server field.

Since sometimes rumors have a small sliver of truth to them, I would wonder what other technologies AMD is involved in that Apple might be associating with them on an announcement. The only thing I know of would be hypertransport.
 

DakotaGuy

macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
4,007
3,138
South Dakota, USA
Originally posted by LethalWolfe
anyone else on pins & needles?

I'd love to see Apple release x86 boxes that just crush everything else out there.

Lethal
If this happens get ready to throw every PPC box in the trash in 6 months to a year, software development for the PPC will head the same way OS9 development has. Everyone that owns a Mac will have to update and my guess is they will loose a high % like myself who will have been totally betrayed by the move making me throw out good equipment.

Also the shift would have to be product wide, you can't just put an x86 in a PowerMac and leave a G4/G3 in the consumer products, you then have two platforms and two different software requirements, hell you have two Macs that are not even compatable with each other!!!!! You would have to replace the G4's with an Athlon or Pentium, and the iBooks and Ti Books with PIV mobiles, and Celeron mobiles...this will be a huge mess and we don't even know how these chips will perform on OSX. What if the same chip runs OSX slower then it does XP? That could really happen you know, then Apple has some serious issues, because they will then be benchmarked right up with XP because the system will be exactly the same except for the OS. Dumb Dumb Dumb Steve Jobs, you brought Apple back from Dead with the G3 and the iMac, but you are going to kill it just turning it into another Wintel box maker.....duh!
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
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Originally posted by Abercrombieboy


If this happens get ready to throw every PPC box in the trash in 6 months to a year, software development for the PPC will head the same way OS9 development has.
Actually - this is not true.

NeXTStep was available for multiple architectures, and people just generated Fat Binaries... with code for every platform.

Since the frameworks would be the same, there would be no extra effort in supporting PowerPC and x86.

arn
 

rugby

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2002
222
0
chicago
Quad-Hammer
Serial-ATA
onboard 7.1 THX sound
HT through the motherboard
PC400 Dual channel DDR RAM
8XAGP
700w PSU ;)
and OS X

Sounds good to me.
 

Thirteenva

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2002
679
0
Originally posted by Abercrombieboy
This is all going to get so messy I might just get a PC, I don't want to deal with all these compatibility issues. They are so dumb to ditch PowerPC development right now and go to a 32bit x86, when the 64bit PPC 970 would keep classic compatibility with the 32bit PowerPC's and would be a smooth easy transition for everyone. This is a dumb move that Apple is making, I think in the end it will cost them the company and for what a freakin MHz number, and we only know the x86 speed with XP, who knows how well it is going to run OSX. It might turn out to be a dog at first and if it takes a year to get it optimised, Apple will be done, I can't believe they are really going to do this x86 thing, IMHO this a a bad move

Whoa there.....

Bit dramatic aren't we, this is a RUMOR, and a highly debated one at that. I think most people would agree that this is not going to happen. So RELAX, and don't stir everyone up and start getting angry over something that has NOT happened. If it does happen then you'll have plenty to panic about, but till then, settle down.

Geez, talk about flying off the handle. over a rumor no less.....
 

Datazoid

macrumors regular
May 10, 2002
167
1
Looking at CNET's Comdex coverage, I found this:

Advanced Micro Devices, looking to find a niche in the business market, plans to announce a large corporate contract next week, according to company executives.

The new customer is a Fortune 500 company located in the northeast United States, according to executives. AMD Chief Executive Hector Ruiz will announce details of the contract during his keynote address at the Comdex Fall 2002 conference in Las Vegas next week.

The company is expected to adopt Hewlett-Packard's new Compaq D315 business desktop, said Kevin Knox, AMD's director of commercial segment marketing and business development. The Compaq D315 uses AMD's Athlon XP processor.
Doesn't sound much like Apple to me....http://news.com.com/2100-1040-965511.html
 

SpiffyGuyC

macrumors newbie
Feb 28, 2002
3
0
If they did this right...

I think it's not unlikely at at some point Apple might transition to an x86 architecture. But if they do so, the smartest way might be to start out with XServe only. Blazing speed (using AMD's Hammer, likely) and the best OS for a server, and easier for x86 developers to port their software over. That's something that could be a big boost At the same time, XServe is too expensive for most consumers, and developers of non-server-specific software wouldn't have much of a compelling reason to port their apps yet. Still, it serves as a heads-up and allows preparation of such software for introduction with the next major release (rather than playing catch-up like with OS X 10.0/10.1 versions). It's an excellent way to prove the power of OS X on X86 and gain some marketshare in the server area without letting OS X for Intel into the hands of every bug-eyed consumer.

At the same time, I don't think AMD's "shattering" announcement or Apple's large Comdex presence have anything to do with it. In fact, aside from Hypertransport, I don't think the two will have anything to do with each other at this show. Apple could be updating their display line, making all iMacs 17", introducing Firewire RAID, or just showing off their "trojan horse" products - the new Windows iPod and Move2Mac software to all these PC-heads in time for the holiday buying season. A large presence doesn't necessarily mean they're up to something incredible, they might just be there to project an image of success and demonstrate some products that have serious potential with current PC users.

My $.02

-S
 

Gus

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2002
1,078
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Minnesota
The whole "machines no longer booting into OS 9" thing would make a whole lot more sense if this happened.

Gus
 

gropo

macrumors member
Jun 25, 2002
74
0
Queens, NYC
IOW...

I guess the concept of my post escaped many of you as evidenced in the continual "ALL OR NOTHING" attitude regarding OS X on x86/x86-64...

I'll restate it in a somewhat less obscure manner:

It's quite possible to support multiple CPU architectures on one system without breaking legacy compatability of that platform.

A great deal of microcomputer manufacturers employed this technique back during the somewhat rocky transition from 8-bit to 16-bit cpu's...

Apple already supports little-endian (x86) byte order on its PCI bus implementation, indicating that supporting both a big-endian and a little-endian cpu through a single or combination of northbridges shouldn't be too far of a stretch for them.

Such systems would still natively support Classic and Carbon applications, although the Cocoa libraries could be updated to be 'x86-64 aware'... Multithreading between the two architectures would be tricky, but entirely possible.

Win-32 emulation would be hardware-native, Connectix would be very happy - assuming Apple doesn't pull a 'Sherlock 3' on them.

I don't see Apple producing such monstrosities in any kind of mobile format at any point... Unless AMD eventually produces some zany dual-core CPU specifically for Apple's needs. The power consumption would be astronomical on a PPC/Hammer system.