Is there any reason to compile for Intel 32 bit processors?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by MacRobert10, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. MacRobert10 macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2012
    Can anyone think of a reason to compile code for a 32 bit Intel processor on a Mac? To the best of my knowledge there was only one 32 bit Intel system, and that was the Mac Mini that came with a Core Solo processor, but that was only around a few months.

    Can anyone think of any reason to compile for an Intel 32 bit processor?
  2. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    Some 64-bit systems are "officially" restricted to running in 32-bit mode / versions of OS X. Due to efi32.

    Some have used the well known hacks to install newer 64-BIT versions of OS X. I'm not one of them yet. My Mac Pro is on 10.7.5.

    I have down the road plans of using the tweaks to get the newer OS X versions installed. But I need it to stay as it is for a while.

    What I find funny is how easy it was to install 64-BIT Windows 10 natively on my 2006 Mac Pro. Tells me s little something about Apple's artificial obsolescence practice.
  3. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
  4. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Plenty of 32-bit Core Duo iMacs/Mac minis/MacBooks/MacBook Pros as well. But they're all officially restricted to Snow Leopard so they only become a problem if you want to go back that far.
  5. MacRobert10 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2012
    We have to support Snow Leopard on our platforms. I forgot about the Core Duo's not being a "real" 64 bit architecture. If I set the compiler switches in Xcode 7 to support both Snow Leopard and a 32/64 bit universal binary, I can, on our systems, tell the application to run in 32 bit mode by modifying it's launch settings, but all the systems we have are 64 bit natively.

    Do you think running in 32 bit mode via the "Info" settings (right click on the app, click "Get Info" and when the dialog appears click on the "Open in 32 bit mode") will be sufficient, or do we need to get out on eBay and pick up some old systems. I'm a little paranoid about "emulation" modes.
  6. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    Core duo is real 32bit, with no 64bit spport, just dual core. Core 2 introduced 64bit to the core architecture (some Pentium 4 already had 64bit, but was never used by Apple).
  7. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    Off topic, but no, it doesn't really. Getting people to write new drivers for old hardware is expensive, even if the hardware itself can work in a fully 64-bit environment. A couple of the IBM X-series servers from that era that I have in my care won't fully work with Windows 2012R2, so this is really not an Apple-only problem:
    If a company doesn't feel obligated to support old crap in new systems, they can focus on improving things, where they otherwise would have to either let old and possibly bad design decisions live on for a long time, or write compatibility wrappings around the old/bad stuff. Apple has done this for quite some time. Microsoft is beginning to learn that the only way to fix some of their old security flaws is by going this way.

    The bad thing that can be said about Apples philosophy in this particular area is that because most computers today are connected to the Internet, obsolete hardware that still works runs the risk that someone somewhere discovers a serious security hole that won't get patched. This problem can be mitigated by following basic security principles while using such a computer, and avoided completely by air gapping it from the Internet. The latter pretty much requires you to have a secondary computer which can be connected to the Internet, though; but such a computer doesn't likely need to be a Mac Pro, and doesn't likely need to be part of the work environment that requires a Mac Pro, so it can be had a lot cheaper. On the other hand: You wouldn't have had to save many dollars per month since 2006 to be able to buy a contemporary Mac Pro in 2012-2014.
  8. Madd the Sane macrumors 6502a

    Madd the Sane

    Nov 8, 2010
    The only "emulation" that occurs would be small, as the code does run natively on the CPU.

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