Apple and Intel

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by arn, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    This Reuters story quotes Steve Jobs regarding the possibility of OS X on Intel:

    Some analysts have also urged Apple to move to microchips from Intel Corp. INTC.O from those made by Motorola Inc. MOT.N and International Business Machines Corp. IBM.N to cut costs.

    Asked about that possibility, Jobs said that first the company had to finish the transition to the OS X operating system, expected around the end of this year.

    "Then we'll have options, and we like to have options," he said.
  2. mcrain macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2002
    Oh my... First, Apple turns the iPod into the iWalk, and now, Apple and Intel??

    Oh, the irony....
  3. Kethoticus macrumors 6502



    Frankly, I'd prefer AMD, but hey. Anything would be an improvement right now.
  4. sjs macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2002
    Back when Fortune Magazine did an article about OSX, well before its original release, the author suggested strongly that this type of move would occur due to the nature of UNIX. I felt then and now that either Apple will use Wintel parts or port to Wintel. The former is more likely and a better business model.

    I will try to find a link.

    Also, does the end of this year have any relation to when the PPC agreement ends?
  5. AlphaTech macrumors 601


    Oct 4, 2001
    Natick, MA
    intel chips are NOT cheap... they are about 2x the cost of chips from AMD, and don't have the performance to come even close to justifying the extra cost.

    IF Apple was to switch chip makers, they should go to AMD, who has a history of producing quality processors. In the recent past, intel has had to recall the first runs of their pentium chips (did that with the p3 and p4). AMD has not done that with their line of chips dating from the same time frame.

    Besides, "intel inside" is NOT something I want to see on a Mac, EVER.
  6. gopher macrumors 65816

    Mar 31, 2002
    Maryland, USA
    Transition will never be complete until QuarkXpress upgraded to Mac OS X. I don't use QuarkXpress but know lots of people who do, and have not upgraded to Mac OS X because of it. In fact all applications that are killer applications need to be updated before the transition is complete. Oh and the economy has to pick up again. Either that, or offer all updates at reduced cost. Get people in the ball game first before slapping them with higher fees. I might be able to afford it myself, but I can't afford to upgrade everyone I know.
  7. aaronvegh macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2001
    it's not that simple

    There's way more to moving to an x86 processor than porting the OS! Every single Mac application will also have to be imported. A new processor means a new instruction set. This will be just like moving apps from Classic to Carbon or Cocoa. Can you seriously expect Apple to put developers through that kind of transition so soon after OS X?

    I suppose it's possible, but it's not terribly likely.
  8. dhdave macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2001
    Intel is the chip leader by MILES. AMD chips and their accompanying chipsets aren't anywhere NEAR as stable as their Intel counterparts and they aren't near as fast. Go to and research the benchmarks, then come back and run your mouth.

    Personally I hope Apple doesn't have to go with Intel, AMD or any X86 architecture. Especially after all the time and money they've invested bad-mouthing it. But something tells me this is definitely in the cards. While it will be fascinating to watch this play out, I can't see Apple as a "clone" manufacturer a la Dell, Gateway, etc. Will they somehow figure a way to ensure that OS X only runs on Apple hardware? And if they don't, what will become of Apple hardware? Apple makes all of it's money on hardware sales, doesn't it?

  9. GPTurismo macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2001
    Montgomery, AL USA
    I agree with DHDaves position that apple should not go Intel or AMD...
  10. sjs macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2002
    FORTUNE Monday January 20, 2000

    "The truly radical changes in OS X are under the hood. Based on Next's operating system, OS X is actually a blood relative of industrial-strength Unix operating systems like Sun's Solaris and Linux, the current freeware sensation; hence OS X is far less likely to crash than any previous Mac OS. Because of its lineage, Mac OS X may not even require a Mac; with a little fiddling by Apple, it could be made to work in Dells, Compaqs, or other Intel-based PCs. (Tevanian stresses that this is not one of Apple's immediate priorities.)"
  11. sjs macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2002
    Note that the latter part of the paragraph says OSX can be made to run on PC's and Tevanian says that is not currently (2000) in the plans.

    Just've got a Dell, you are sick of Windows. You order the $129 OSX and change your existing machine to OSX.

    Huge profits for Apple. Plus those who like it...their next machine may be a Mac.
  12. AlphaTech macrumors 601


    Oct 4, 2001
    Natick, MA
    Listen up Bubba... I have a box sitting in my office with an AMD Athlon (650MHz) processor in it (slot A) that has been running 24/7 for OVER two years now. The ONLY time it has gone down is when the building has lost power. It is ROCK SOLID, end of story.

    I have a game pc at home that I constructed and recently installed an XP2100+ chip into it. The 1.4GHz T-Bird was stable as all hell, and performed great, but I wanted the numbers, so I installed the 2100+ chip. That has also been ROCK SOLID.

    Do I care about the benchmarks?? Not really, I know both these systems are solid as all hell, as is the system that I built for my mother (put a 1GHz T-Bird into that). I know from experience that the motherboard makes a HUGE difference when you are talking about a pc's performance and stability. Giga-byte boards are top notch when it comes to AMD processors. I use those in all the systems that I build and have NEVER had ANY issues with them. I tried an Asus board when I was constructing the game system (last year) and it was flakey as a bleach blonde. I went to the Giga-byte board I originally wanted (was talked into an asus board by a salesman, never went with anything he suggested after that) and it worked perfectly right out of the box.

    You will never find an intel chip in any system I own, no matter what. So go take your intel benchmarks and shove them... :p

    BTW, benchmarks CAN be manipulated to show just about anything you want them to. Real world performance is what really matters. Then you are talking about the entire system, NOT just the processor. :rolleyes: :p
  13. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Not gonna happen

    What do you do with Altivec?

    Apps would have to be rewritten.

    all in all the marginal speed increase wouldn't be worth it.
  14. theranch macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2002
    Atlantic City area
    interesting part...

    This part of the article seems to back up the new powermac release in August....maybe.
    Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson also said that there would be more new products this quarter and that Apple intended to price them competitively.
  15. type_r503 macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2002
    Apple cannot "switch"

    If apple switches to Intel then they would have the same hardware as their competitors. People would have no reason to spend twice as much for mac hardware anymore. They would simply by a Dell for $800 then $129 for OSX, instead of $2000 for the apple hardware.

  16. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    How would this effect the software? Would you be able to put OSX on any machine and it would run Mac software? I'm thinking that there would be a lot more to it, and it would be a bumpy road getting it up and stable for all apps.

    Besides, if Apple ported to the PC - that would probably cause the eventual end of Apple Hardware as we know it. Apple would have to compete with the elcheapo machines, and they just can't win there - design or no design.

    Not sure how happy I am about these *options* being open.

  17. Grokgod macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2002
    Deep within the heart of madness!
    ONe major question has to be addressed.

    Is OSX unix enough to be ported to a different chip without having to redo the applications that too SO long to get for OSX?

    I do NOT think that the Software companies that took and are still taking their sweet time to create OSX apps are going to start ALL over again.

    SO does anyone really know the answer to this?
  18. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    I think mac will stick with IBM and Motorola for their consumer and desktop macs.

    The one area where it wouldn't matter as much if it was OS X on intel or AMD is the servers.

    I know they've only just come out but seeing as there would be far fewer applications needed on a server running OS X server, I think changing to a different chip in a year or so to decrease the cost of the Xserve would make sense, it would also totally seperate the servers from the desktops.

    I don't see apple ever using AMD or Intel chips in their main product line, it would kill them. It's the mac's completely different design that accounts for a lot of it's character, if it's just another intel box with some flashy case and OS X, I can see a lot of mac owners in complete dismay, PC's would look even more value for money compared with macs if they we're practically the same apart from the OS.
  19. thinmann macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2001

  20. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Apple should just stick with the PPC...... if only Apple, IBM and Motorola started working togther properly we'd be away........
  21. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    Re: Apple cannot "switch"

    Apple uses a hardware rom to prevent such things, even on the current powerPC platform. Plus, the OS wouldn't be written to support any old random hardware. Just because a computer uses the same chipset doesn't mean the motherboard and other components are the same and supported (as evidenced by the fact that the OS install CD's that come with a mac won't work on newer or older machines that are fully capable of running the same version of the OS, apple updates the OS every single time a new machine comes out, whether or not they increase the version number)
  22. zarathustra macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA


    Huge profits for Apple? Their next machine may be a Mac? I hope you just forgot to turn on your <sarcasm> tag. All they need is a manufactrer that can deliver PPC chips that fly - IBM? Or, as a far stretch, buy AltiVec, etc. and license it to AMD.
  23. sith33 macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2002
    The thing is, even when you port *nix to another chip, you still have to recompile every application. Thats why there are different binaries for linux on x86 and linux on PPC. Now, in a totally GPL world, this isn't too hard to use - just recompile yourself. Now try and convince Adobe, Microsoft, Macromedia to release new versions of their apps. That's assuming a 1:1 port too, but that would only be the case if applications were totally abstracted to the various libraries (cocoa). In reality, it would probably be a significant undertaking to get photoshop/office/whatever up and running on an intel based OSX. So, then you have to convince all the OSX users to rebuy all their software *again* ... and so on.

    I just can't imagine it happening. And anyways, who really needs all that cpu power? I went from a 1.2ghz athlon to an 800mhz imac and am more than happy - FCP, DVD Studio Pro... everything seems just fine to me. Oh well..
  24. #24
    think about it...

    just keep this in your head: how can apple make more money and gain more marketshare? because no doubt, that is what is in apple management's brains right now.

    eg. the iPod is really desired for it's simplicity and design (interface and exterior), therefore it was made available to the wintel market to help profits. and transposed, this shows OS X having quite the same potential. additionally, computer systems have been merging features and blurring lines of difference for years now, and I think there are definately traces of some transition -- especially listening to the "windows compatibility" undertones in the recent announcements.

    wether we fanatical "geeks" like it or not, as shown with .mac pricing, the bottom line reflects that apple is a growing public company and thus needs to make money, show profits and gain market share in whatever way they can do it.
  25. topicolo macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2002
    Ottawa, ON
    Re: Not gonna happen

    Meh, Apple would just need to tell both of the 2 companies that make altivec enabled software to update. :D

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