Mac OS X 'Snow Leopard' Features and Parallel Computing

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has posted pages for Mac OS X Snow Leopard for both server and client and describe a bit of what users can expect from the next OS X release. Apple promises that Snow Leopard "dramatically reduces the footprint of Mac OS X, making it even more efficient for users, and giving them back valuable hard drive space for their music and photos." Some early screenshots from the Developer seed of Snow Leopard do indeed show significantly smaller application file sizes over current Leopard installations. Other features listed on Apple's site were largely touched on in the press release.

    The New York Times, however, reveals that Snow Leopard big focus is taking advantage of the recent trend towards multi-core and parallel computer processes. Steve Jobs provided some information on Apple's direction:
    According to Jobs, Apple has made a parallel-programming breakthrough. Specifically, Apple claims their new "Grand Central" technology is "way beyond what Nvidia or anyone else has." There had been talk from Nvidia's CEO that Apple may adopt their CUDA technology, but it appears that Apple's implementation may be more advanced.

    Apple's focus on parallel computing comes at a natural time with Intel's upcoming plans for Nehalem processors which will scale up to 8-core processors. Apple has announced that Snow Leopard will be delivered in "about a year".

    Article Link
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    I would like to point out that most applications (actually all save for Bootcamp Assistant) are still Universal.
  3. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Great! Now if only I had anything faster than a G4 that actually has any parallel-processing capabilities...
  4. zephead macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2006
    in your pants
    I was kinda disappointed at first that Snow Leopard wouldn't have any major new features, but it's really good to see Apple focusing on what's important instead of flashy, whiz-bang new features which don't help performance any.
  5. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    ZFS read and write support, that is nice. Wonder if it will trickle down to client but the time Snow Leopard is released. Or if it will be pushed back to 10.7
  6. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    Livermore, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    Hey Apple: Just remember that a goodly lot of us are depending on the regular "Leopard" to become as hassle free as Tiger did by 10.4.11.
  7. edwdcook macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2007
    Forgive my ignorance, but what is parallel computing?
  8. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    Wouldn't this "Grand Central" and OpenCL thing be good for people who want to run Starcraft II? :D
  9. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
  10. stagi macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    Sounds like my new Mac Pro might get a good speed bump from Snow Leopard then?
  11. iMACTASTIC macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2007
    this might be an ignorant question but i guess ill ask anyways.

    Has linux taken advantage of any of these "break throughs" that are giong to be utilized in OSXSL
  12. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    Plenty of time for that...

    Back to SNow Leopard, though it won't make the same media splash, and won't bring as much love to APple, I see this as a very important thing for a number of reasons:

    1. It shows Apple cares about bloat, and about improving things as time goes on at a level the average person doesn't even understand.

    2. Apple can implement under-the-cover technology that does not give Apple the wow factor, but allows developers to give the wow factor.

    3. It's all work that could be used directly towards other devices, say, devices that may not have as much processor or memory as modern day personal computers.

    4. It will make 10.7 all that much better. Imagine with all this solid foundational work done, how much they can focus on the UI/ground breaking interaction that we know Apple for (at least know them for more than most other companies).

    And on top of all that price doesn't matter. Would I like to have it? yeah. Do I *NEED* it, or would anyone really notice it all that much? probably not. There are developers and server side users that would probably use the "upgrade", but the rest of us probably wouldn't notice much of a difference. In the end it doesn't cause any incompatibilities, and the leopard users will still be as cool as the Snow Leopard users at first glance, no one can tell you apart by looking at your desktop ;-)

  13. kresh macrumors 6502a


    Yes that's right, Xserves with 8800GTS cards pre-installed are on the way! :eek:
  14. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    looks like leopard is going to be the core OS for a while. doesn't surprise me.
  15. bondsbw macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2006
    Fixed that for ya. ;)
  16. Dorfdad macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2007
    Why is this being touted as 10.6?? It sounds like they are just patching and making 10.5 more reliable and effective?? Sounds like service Packs to me..

    Without any new added features and just background features this should be a free upgrade or just 10.5.8 or something not 10.6
  17. Shasterball macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    Leopard is markedly slower that the previous versions of the OS. I think Snow Leopard is a great move....
  18. pixelbart macrumors member


    Nov 7, 2007
    Zwolle, the Netherlands
    It makes perfect business sense. A leaner, faster, more flexible OS X enables Apple to build more products on top of it, develop those products faster, improve battery life and performance of mobile devices, make embedded devices less expensive by requiring less Flash / RAM memory and so on.

    Snow Leopard isn't a consumer product, it's a core product inside Apple that eventually finds its way to the Mac, most likely as a cheap upgrade.
  19. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    essentially multicore processing.

    Over the past few years, there have been multi-core processors introduced, which basically means 2 processors in 1. Traditionally,if you want to run a program on them and take advantage of both cores, the tasks have to be split so that two processors can handle it in "parallel". The problem is there's some inefficiency in breaking tasks up to be handled parallelly rather than one after the other.

  20. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    Livermore, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    I don't know about that - Apple's been plenty distracted by porting OS X to the iPhone (and building the subsequent iPhone 2.0 system), and even though "about a year" is much more of a realistic timeframe than MWSF 2009 to release Snow Leopard, I've got a bad feeling that Leopard 10.5 is going to become much less of a priority. It's not that I won't buy Snow Leopard for our Intel XServe, or even care that Apple's likely going to ditch PPC in 10.6, in fact, I think it will make our XServe scream. But I don't think Apple has proven it can multitask in the OS department very well, and me fear is that for those of us who can't run Tiger (or upgrade to 10.6), Leopard 10.5 in an enterprise environment is going to become an "abandon hope, all ye who enter here" situation. I'd love to be proven wrong on this, as a matter of fact I'm hoping I am wrong, but seeing as 10.5.3 is really what should have hit the shelves last fall, there's not a lot of time left for improvement in 10.5.
  21. Digitalclips macrumors 65816

    Mar 16, 2006
    Sarasota, Florida
    So those of us with 8 Core Mac Pros are in for a real treat when this all start to take effect!
  22. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    If Apple can truly get this down in stone I can see fast O/S switching finally coming to a Mac near you.
  23. sdp macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Gotta say, I rarely if ever post, but this OS is the OS upgrade that us pro users have been waiting for.

    I was actually getting very concerned that Apple was moving so far into consumer electronics, that they were in threat of having the pro apps die on the vine.

    All these multi core etc stuff that we pay so much for on the mac pros aren't getting juiced as much as they could and one can argue that the justification to keep upgrading wasn't there too much.

    I would bet that FCP 07 will coincide with this OS in full 64bit. So long renders! Buh-bye 2 hour compressing!
  24. ltcol266845 macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2006
    Elgin, IL

    Well, I would disagree. Sure, maybe the changes wouldn't be as obvious as a new dock or transparent bar on the top, but this ability to really use a system's potential will certainly wow people. If this Central Station is really able to offload some work onto the GPU, then man can that help make our systems SCREAM. This really could be a huge performance increase accross the board. This is truly exciting, and way more exciting than adding a boat load of features that have limited usefulness (Time Machine is nearly useless for laptops. Screw Time Capsule, who wants to spend $500 for a relatively small external HD?).

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