How many PPC Mac's are still in use?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MadisonTate, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. MadisonTate macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2008
    I know...I know...Apple wants everybody to move to Intel. The group I'm affiliated with is planning the next release of a major application, possibly the last release on PPC. Can't say who the company is. I'm trying to find reliable statistics that would suggest whether we should stick with a PPC/Intel Universal binary or go strictly Intel. Seems to me that the people with PPC may be grateful enough to buy a few copies. Any thoughts? Preferably thoughts backed by third-party statistics...
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Snow Leopard drops PowerPC support. Heck, it might even drop Core Duo support. Switch now.
  3. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    I would venture to say that there is a fairly large installed base running PPC based Macs. Of course this will decrease over time as individuals upgrade to Intel Macs to replace their aging PPC based Macs.

    If you can create code that runs on both, with no limitations on the Intel side, then it might be worth developing binaries for both for the next couple of years.
  4. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I've got a PowerPC iMac G5 I'm preparing to hand over to a family member, but my primary Mac is Intel. I'd say it's going to depend on 2 things: What the application does (i.e. its target market), and how it performs. If it's too slow to be usable on PowerPC, then it makes sense to go Intel (for example, if it stresses the GPU heavily).
  5. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I just had a look on local Craigslist.

    The G5 prices have dropped like a paralyzed falcon.

    There's a Dual 1.8 for $400, etc.

    I would guess that if most of the people buying these machines now don't have the $$$ to get a new Mac Pro......they are also more likely to find ways to save money on software.

    I found a crazy deal on a Dual 2.7 last Christmas and bought it, with the intent to sell. (Had a 6800 Ultra in it, perfect shape, $700 with keyboard, mouse, etc) I called a Production company I design for in Hollywood and tried to sell it to them for $1,000.

    All they wanted to know was "Is it Intel?" The PPC ship is going down fast, and all of us rats are jumping. I can tell you that in LA, the people designing and editing can't get away from PPC fast enough.

    I did sell the 2.7 (sans 6800) to a guy. All he did was scour LA Craigslist and sell the Macs on Ebay around the US. So while there may be folks buying PPC machines and using them, they aren't gonna be the ones with "make it happen" sorts of budgets.
  6. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    I still use my 12" PPC PowerBook for travel and for working at the library because of its small size. My brother still has his iBook, and my other friend still has a 12" PPC PowerBook as well.

    If your application is not a CPU intensive app and would run decently on PPC machines, then it makes sense to go with Universal binary for now. Unless the effort of doing that is huge and you have to make some functionality sacrifices.
  7. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    12" Powerbook G4 still running strong here! IMO, the BEST laptop Apple has EVER produced.

    I'm still waiting for them to release its replacement: the Powerbook G5 :p
  8. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    Two PPCs here (see sig). I'll be replacing the PowerBook this year, but the G5 will have to work for another 18-24 months unless work picks up :eek: (we need a worried about the economy smiley)
  9. leodavinci0 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2006
    In my opinion you should use Apple to determine when to switch. When Snow Leopard is released, which is suppose to be only for Intel computers, then I would switch to Intel only as well, but not before. Therefore, if your product is expected to be released before Snow Leopard is released, you may want to stick to Universal Binary. If your product is expected to be released several months after Snow Leopard, then release an Intel only version.

    PS- I agree, the 12" Powerbook is the best. Part of me wants it to die to give me an excuse to get a new one (I can't justify spending the money otherwise), but the other part really likes it.
  10. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Sold my last PPC (iMac G5) this month - it was just too slow for anything but basic use. None of my friends/family have a PPC Mac.
  11. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    I still have a G4 Mini powered up, but I haven't "used" it in quite some time. My Mac Pro is a nicer system.

    I'm just disappointed that Netflix didn't support PPC, since the size is perfect to connect to my TV for watching Instant View.
  12. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2008
    I know this is a basic question, but I am a relatively new computer user with only a few years of experience and have never experienced a transition like this.

    I know with dropping PPC support - I'll be out of the loop for new software - but what does this means for my ability to use the internet, send files to peope with broad based formats such as Tiffs, Jpgegs - e-mail? Will printers still be able to output my Photoshop print files?

    I'm happy with my G5's performance using the software I have. Should I be overly concerned if Snow Leopard drops PPC?

  13. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    It depends (of course)

    Surely it completely depends on what your app does, and what your target market is, and what advantage you'd get by dropping PPC support.

    And then it's pretty much an economic argument. How much extra does it cost you to build for PPC compared to Intel, and how much of your TARGET MARKET use PPC. (Not how many MacRumors users +/- their relatives use PPC; not how many hits on Google or W3c use PPC).

    If your app doesn't run on PPC because a quad G5 is too slow, then the answer is obvious anyway.

    To actually answer your question: sorry, I don't know any reliable 3rd-party statistics, and I'm not sure where you'd find them short of commissioning a survery of your potential customers yourself.

    I'd imagine a huge number of PPC computers that have been replaced by Intel computers have NOT been scrapped, but are around the world in parents/grandparents homes and fully functional - but that might not be your market. (Or it might).
  14. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    It's better to start a new thread rather than jumping in the middle of someone else's, but in short everything you currently do will continue to work, files you create will still be identical to those created by Intel machines, and you don't need to be concerned if Snow Leopard drops PPC.
  15. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    Well, someone mentioned people buying up PPC computers— I don't think this is an issue. The main problem you're going to have is people already installed on PPC. My iBook (which was on the lower end of the mac spectrum) is five years old and still works great for a lot of stuff. I imagine professionals with a computer that cost 3x as much are even more hesitant to drop their current computer, especially with the economy turning against artists and the like.

    Also, to the post that mentioned that Apple is dropping PPC support with Snow Leopard— this should NOT be an indication that it is time to drop your own support. It is Apple's JOB to push everyone forward and get them to buy new computers, not your job. Apple is pretty notorious (imho) for dropping support of stuff before it is really done for.
  16. iDrifter macrumors member


    Sep 9, 2006
    Great White North
    iMac G5 and will be using it for a long time to come. Can't afford to upgrade.
  17. JimGoshorn macrumors 6502


    Mar 8, 2009
    I thought long and hard but finally decided to jump off the PPC ship and have a New Mac Pro on order. My reasoning was that if Apple is dropping support for the PPC with Snow Leopard, how long will it be before other developers drop it? The other issue is the PPC will not be able to take advantage of the applications which are going to start going 64 bit.

    The developer of the software is going to have to weigh how much effort it will be to support the PPC (development and tech support) vs. how much market he anticipates to have on the PPC (and for how long).
  18. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Here are the statics from Adium







    Those graphs are normalised. You can have a look through quite a few detail statistics on that site. You can also probably find similar data from other applciations.
  19. ruggerjvd macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2007
    2001 MDD dual 1 ghz - 10.2.8

    Looking to upgrade to mac pro this year, but playing the waiting game again. Too many times I got screwed by Apple, buying just before a new hardware or OS release. The result is, I hang on to my macs for a long time, due partly to the Apple premium price. Not sure if their model works better than offering a more competitive price and having people buy/upgrade more frequently.
  20. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Buy at any time before Q1 2010 and you won't be screwed.
  21. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    I think determining whether their model works "better" or not depends on whose perspective. Honestly, I feel that as an end-user of Apple's products, I'm really getting a better value for my computer than with comparable PCs.
    A lot of people I know with PCs (especially notebooks) end up dropping money on a new computer every couple years. Who knows exactly why, but their computers just stop working right at about the three year mark.
    Apple computers, though, last forever. My dad was using a G3 iMac right up until he died last year. I know there are professionals out there still running G5s of some kind— probably even a few on G4 PowerMacs.

    I am currently on a five year old G4 iBook—ancient by most computing standards, but I've never ever had any major problem (ie. an issue that lasts more than a day or slowdown that affects anything but the most intensive tasks). If I weren't receiving a new computer as a graduation gift, I'd expect that I could make this notebook last another 2-3 years at least, especially if I upped the ram from 512 mb to 1.25 gb and got a new battery (probably $80-100 upgrade in total). That'd make it only about $1250 or $1300 total that I've spent on a computer that has lasted me a hypothetical 7-8 years. If I were buying a new PC notebook every 2-3 years, even at the low end of the price spectrum (which doesn't even take into account all the other great stuff about macs—software, esp.), I'm way over my iBook investment.

    Then again, Apple does charge a premium when it comes to hardware, so they likely have better profit margins than most PC manufacturers. I suppose in the end, it is win-win for everyone.
  22. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    My two Macs are G4s although I'll be upgrading to a Mac Pro.
  23. -hh macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    It always 'depends' :)

    The Application's target audience is an important question IMO: if its a power-hungry App, then most of the potential customers have probably upgraded their iron. OTOH, if its an App that would appeal to a broader audience, then all of those "trickle down" PPCs are clearly in play.

    The next factor is the degree to which it "costs" the developer to make a Fat Binary, 'Universal', both the obvious and the inobvious factors. The other factor here is the potential for customer goodwill ... you probably won't get a huge plus for keeping PPC support for longer than Apple...but you can avoid the downside risk of ill-will generated for the customer perception of dropping PPC like a hot potato.

    Personally, I'm going to pull the trigger on a MP this spring, but even then, my laptop is still going to be a treasured 12" G4 PowerBook and my current desktop G5 is going to be re-purposed as a dual-boot Tiger Server / Client. This will let me finally retire a Mac 8500 :D

  24. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I just sold a Powermac G5 Quad for 1300 USD, and Dual Core 2.0 for 800 dollars so i don't know what that previous poster is talking about.

    I plan on keeping my PM G5s for a long time. I never use Windoze, and my Powermacs are as fast as my new aluminum mac book 2.4ghz.

    To the OP:

    Fix the Adobe Flash problem for Macs and you will ensure PPC use and users on OSX for a lot longer time.

    The Flash problem renders the PPCs obselete, not the Snow Leopard situation, because it sucks up memory and CPU to play.

    Apple should have patched this long ago but they want people to buy new macs.

    I love the PPC platform. And I have truly about 50 friends of mine that I have put on PPC Macs that are running them as their only computers.
  25. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Here are a sampling off the top of my head of my friends comptuers: iBook g4 1.33, Powerbook G4 1.5 12", iMac G3s (quite a few of my friends are running these, from 233s to 600mhzs) Pismo 500s, Powerbook 500mhz, 1 gig Titaniums, Powermac G4 overclocked at 1.8ghz, Cube, iMac G5s and iMac G5 iSights, iBook G3 500mhz -- just about the only PPC Mac my friends don't run is the iMac G4 and that is because I myself never have owned one so I cannot recommend it. Also my SO is running an iBook 1.42ghz G4. I sold my G4 1.5ghz silent upgrade mini last year for one reason only: it only took 1 gig of ram max. Otherwise I'd still be running it, and it is the flash problem that killed its usefulness.

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