Running Intel Apps on PowerPC

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by PowerPC G6, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. PowerPC G6 macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2017
    So back when Apple sold both PPC and Intel, you had Rosetta to run your PPC apps on Intel. So could we possibly write something that did the opposite, and ran Intel apps on PowerPC? AFAIK Rosetta didn't emulate anything, so it should not only be possible, but maybe at an acceptable speed as well. Has anyone come out with something like this yet, that would allow us to run Intel apps on PowerPC? I think I watched a YT video on some software that did it but it was never released. Maybe someone here could write something. :)
  2. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Rosetta indeed did emulate PowerPC on Intel. There's nothing equivalent to go the other direction, and if it did, performance would be dismal. Intel CPUs are a lot faster than PowerPC processors in this sort of thing.
    There used to be "Virtual PC" which emulated an Intel Windows PC, and performance was at a fraction of actual hardware.
  3. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Rosetta was simply code that translated PowerPC instructions into instructions that the Intel chip would understand. As a consequence, PowerPC apps ran slower on Intel Macs using Rosetta than they did natively.

    AFAIK there was never anything that went the opposite direction. Apple would not have wasted their time on that as they were going towards Intel.

    Sure, Apple had prototype G5s that they sent out for testing purposes to various major customers during the transition, but each and every one of those Macs was accounted for because they had to be returned. They were loaned. Anything written for that would have been entirely proprietary and temporal. Kind of the same thing as being on Apple's VPN and using Purple Restore to restore an iDevice to any version of iOS it can use. Get caught with that stuff and you have problems.

    So, our only option is to emulate a PC on a Mac, which as is explained above, has it's own set of issues.

    Things like Wine and Parallels only work on Intel Macs by the way.

    Now, I probably have not discouraged you, but understand that even if someone were to "write something" to do this it's not that easy. Ask Cameron Kaiser how hard it is to make code written for Lion and above function on Xcode released in 2004/2005. Not only that but you may be stepping into some legal issues as well.
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
  5. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    The DTKs aren't all accounted for-they change hands sometimes, and even on Ebay. Even so, as said they have a P4 and run a special build of 10.4.1.

    I'll also comment that I have VPC 7 with XP Pro on my Quad. Performance is dismal. I've been advised to run with less than the maximum possible RAM allocation, but really have no need to do it. I use XP in VMWare on my MBP for the times I need Windows(I also have SL Server installed in VMWare for Rosetta).
  7. Lastic macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2016
    North of the HellHole
    Only thing except Virtual PC that comes close is Qemu but it's slow.

    The company which created Rosetta actually had a product that could run x86 Linux binaries on IBM POWER series
    but it was acquired by IBM and then buried.
  8. bobesch, Jan 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017

    bobesch macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2015
    Kiel, Germany
    Most of the latest programs, that run decently on our PPC machines were universal binaries from 2009/10 or even later. Some developers have updates to their PPC-software, so files and databases can be handled on both PPC and Intel-versions (like MS Office, DEVONthink etc.)
    I also agree that to emulate "full sized" Intel-Apps on a PPC would be beyond capabilities of even the fastest PPC.
    As @bunnspecial said: VirtualPC7 with WinXP is a hassle on a Quad-G5. On my PB-G4 it's even slooower (thanks Gavin's hint, there's "Win Fundamentals" to do a much better job). Same would be any intel2PPC-emulator, I guess.
    As for me, the biggest challenge is to keep the PPC connected to the Cloud. Any advance in keeping native Clients alive or univesal (S)FTP etc clients like Cyberduck adapted to the latest two-step-autentification of major Cloud-services would be a big step forward.
    Maybe we could make a "PPC-Croud4Cloud"-funding campaign (developing time is money) to bring those features to Cyberduck!?
    In the meantime I use my universal-hub (aka iPhone6s with iFiles) to connect all of my machines with all of my cloud-services :) An iPhone 4s or later would do the same job - even without phone-contract/SIM-card just by Wifi-connections.

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