newbie ppc architecture question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by phidelity, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. phidelity macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008

    i am curious about the architecture of ppc g5's. having bought one shortly before the intel switch was made i am curious, aside from the speculation that apple will drop ppc support for 64 bit, if the internal architecture of this line is capable of running 64 bit app's? the information on the specs says so - well leads me to believe so as does the rumour posting but...?

    if the architecture is capable which it seems like from reading the 'snow leopard post' then could someone clarify/ articulate what apple would have to do to implement it?

    sorry if this has been answered before ... but after pages of snow leopard i am still unclear.

  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i think you might be confusing terms here.

    the G3, G4, G5 processors are all PPC.
    the current line up are x86 processors.

    the G5 is a 64bit processor, everything from intel that apple has used, aside from the Core Duo chips, is also 64bit.

    they're moving forward with 64bit, yes, but they're also moving forward with eliminating the PPC support, even if it is 64bit, to focus on the x86 processors.

    at least this is as far as i've been able to understand things from what i've read and seen so far.
  3. phidelity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    if i understand the jist :

    g4's and prior are not capable of 64 bit apps but the g5 are if the coding was in place. is that statement accurate?

    Eventually elimitating ppc code in future updates is apple's strategy to streamline there software. therefore apple will release an intel only 64 bit os software even though the g5's are capable of handling the 64 bit applications. this is the speculation, correct? then the question is that everyone is debating, is whether the next os release will do that? and if not how long before they do drop that support?

    then the speculation is that they will drop it now rather than drag a dead horse, so to speak and hence the rumours mill churning.

    is that a fair evalution of the issue?


    just trying to ascertain the life of my g5 quad.
  4. Luigi239 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2007
    You lost me.

    Snow Leopard, the next version of OS X, is rumored to be Intel Processor only, for both 32 and 64 bit. Whether your machine is 64bit capable or not makes no difference as it is still the PowerPc architecture which Apple will be moving away from. PowerPc and Intel code has to be compiled separately and completely differently; independent of whether it is 32 or 64bits.
  5. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    yes thats the gist of it, that Snow Leopard is going to drop the PPC support, even though the G5's are 64bit. there have been 64bit enhancements made already in Tiger and Leopard though, that the G5s can take advantage of. although limited. i believe the focus or Snow Leopard is less on 64bit and more on better usage of the multiple cores now readily available to everyone.

    the G5 still has life in it, but as of right now, it looks like Leopard will be the last OS upgrade for it.
  6. phidelity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    i thought that information was not confirmed. perhaps i misunderstood the information from apple and the reason for my confusion on the issue.

    thanks for the information.
  7. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    If you consider Snow Leopard the end of your G5's useful life, it'll have been 4 years old when Snow Leopard comes out. I think that's a pretty good run for a computer.
  8. phidelity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    only insofar as audio apps are going to embrace the additional processing power and with that hopefully will come a lot of enhancements. how much the sound quality will improve is the issue for me. i speculated i would get at least 6 years with this beefy a machine. i hoped for more. it is a quad and audio is my main useage. a number of audio guys are still running dual g4's and getting good mileage.
  9. phidelity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    i was confused about whether there was some development in 64 bit intel sytems as to make it impossible to port 64 bit apps for ppc machines with 64 bit architecture, g5 (aside from coding for ppc). i was confused if apple had stated they were dropping the ppc code or if it was a speculative train of logic from users in the know.
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    well the developer copies have been intel only, no ppc support

    it takes a ton of work to compile for both architectures
  11. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm only really here at night.

    As you should already know, audio quality is dependant upon the quality of the source material, the codecs used to encode it, and the hardware used to play it back.

    The sppeeed at which the audio data is encoded and decoded is what will benefit from the switch to 64 bit processing, since the audio apps will be able to address much larger chunks of ram at a faster pace, and thats a good thing, as long as you have a machine/cpus that can keep up :p
  12. phidelity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    yes but with the increases in speed and the development that goes into the software hopefully the audio engines will improve in most of the daw's ... totally speculative on my part. i heard somewhere that mixing busses internally are 32 bit depth (audio) and that increasing this yields noticeable differences in quality ...don't know if its true or where i read that but if it is then increased bandwidth/speed should make it possible/ practical to implement in terms of audio engine improvements.

    mostly..bigger track count, more soft synths and pluggin counts, decreased latency ...very bigg plusses. access to ram above the 4 gig limit . and better use of multicores - this would be very helpful on my current machine.

    not that i am not happy with the quality of my machine or software but its unfortunate that the improvement to multicore processor management will not likely get ported for ppc. if it did i would be thrilled as i can still grind my machine to a halt a low latencies and my pluggin counts aren't that high.

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