Snow Leopard is Not Intel only

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by WalnutSpice, May 13, 2016.

  1. WalnutSpice Suspended

    WalnutSpice

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    #1
    I've had Mac related things I've been thinking about for awhile but have never shared with anyone. So here I go. Snow Leopard ditched PowerPC Macs in 2009 requiring an Intel Mac. The hackintosh community has taught us that with a boot patch it can run on AMD and the applications and etc all work just as it would on Intel. Even Rossetta works, meaning an AMD CPU is running an 'Intel Only' OS and emulating a PowerPC application. This makes me think Apple is lying to us. This makes me think with a similar patch Mac OS X 10.6 will run on a PowerPC CPU and 'Intel' apps will also run. On PowerPC Leopard and Intel Snow Leopard, apps use the same programming languages and Mac OS X does as well. Whats different is the raw data sent to the CPU. That's what the patch does for Snow Leopard to run on AMD, it makes 10.6 send data to the CPU that it can understand. I do understand that PPC is a lot more different from Intel than AMD is from Intel, so the patch would require a lot more work thats out of my skill set, but it could work. Essentially what I'm thinking is Apple just has developers throw in a line of code that pretty much says "If CPU Type = PPC = Don't work". If we could bypass that like people did for AMD, Snow Leopard would run on a G5 and possibly a G4.
    So thats my thought process. I could be very wrong but it's not like theres much talk about this subject. But I do know people all the time run modern OS X versions on CPUs that are not Intel so there must be something we can do to get it on PowerPC.
     
  2. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #2
    Perhaps it would be more accurate to say Snow Leopard is x86 only. Intel and AMD chips are both based on the x86 architecture, while PowerPC is not.
     
  3. WalnutSpice thread starter Suspended

    WalnutSpice

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    #3
    That is true. But nothing about the programming languages used by application developers are catered to the x86 platform as it's the same code used back on Tiger and Leopard. Not counting the new Swift language. So that says to me there is no reason they should be broken if ran on another platform.
     
  4. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #4
    I'm sure Snow Leopard could be recompiled to run on PowerPC, but only Apple has access to the source code so it won't happen.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #6
    x86/x86-64(from both major vendors) are a totally different instruction set from the Power Architecture.

    All I can say is unless Apple is really hiding something from us in the underpinnings of SL(which I doubt given how thoroughly the Hackintosh community has dissected it) there ain't no way, ain't no how.

    This isn't like running Leopard on G4s, where all you have to do on most unsupported systems is just bypass the installer check or, in some cases add in some missing kexts. It's also not like what Mac Pro 1,1 folks do every time a new OS comes out, which is modify platform support plists and add patches to keep 1,1s trucking with new OSs(and new GPUs).

    A closer analog would be getting the Leopard retail release to run on a G3 processor-the G3 just doesn't support some of the instructions that the OS depends on.
     
  7. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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  8. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #8
    BTW, if SL is an "Intel" operating system, does anyone want to help me install it on the 12-processors SGI Altix 3000 minicluster that's currently sitting outside my office door? It's Intel after all...
    IMG_2751.jpg
     
  9. WalkerTexasRanger macrumors member

    WalkerTexasRanger

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    #9
    >Itanium
    :p
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    Just in case anyone here may have missed the reference…

    The cartoon above is of the following…
    [​IMG]

    It is ALWAYS what comes to my mind whenever there is anything related to rabidz7.

    I guess you have to have kids… :)
     
  11. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #11
    No, it's not Intel only. It's x86(-64) only. Case closed.
     
  12. Hack5190 macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

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    #12
    Only for awhile, like Lazarus it will return :(
     
  13. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #13
    Since we've veered of track a little bit and all of this has come up, I think a little history lesson might be in order and I hope the folks who know this will begrudge me.

    The early days of computing were somewhat of a mess with multiple architectures in place. The Zilog Z80 and later the Motorola 68000 were popular, but ultimately by the early 90s Intel's x86 architecture dominated the consumer world. The exceptions were Apple, who switched from 68000 to Power around this time, and several enterprise/workstation computers, many of which had their own architecture or are at least closely associated with one.

    Through the 90s, Intel heavily licensed the x86 architecture and there were many companies making x86 compatible chips. Cyrix is one that really sticks out in my mind because I used a Cyrix 6x86 for a while, but there were several others.

    Somewhere around the turn of the century, 64 bit computing became a big deal. At that point, AMD was the "last man standing" in x86 licenses, and decided to develop a 64 bit architecture that they "tacked onto" the existing x86 instruction set.

    Apple(AIM) and Intel, however, had their own 64 bit architectures. Apple rolled out the G5, and Intel came out with the Itanium. As we all know, Apple gracefully exited the G5 and POWER as a whole for a variety of reasons(not the least of which was IBM over promising and under delivering), with the POWER architecture pretty much becoming exclusive to high performance computing.

    Intel, the 800lb Gorilla, never managed to make serious inroads with Itanium in the consumer market, and I suspect a lot had to do with the inertia of all the existing x86 stuff out there. Itanium is still gasping for air, but has too moved into the realm of high performance computing.

    Rather than lose out completely, though, Intel made "a deal with the devil" and, as I understand it essentially traded AMD a perpetual license on x86 in exchange for a perpetual license on the AMD-64 instruction set. So, that leave x86-64 as the only real player for the time being in the consumer market(although ARM is quickly becoming relevant).

    And, again, I tell all of this just to give some explanation as to why OS X can be made to run on AMD processors while, absent re-compiling from source code, it won't run on anything else. Personally, I'd love not only a PowerPC version of SL but also to be able to put OS X on the Itanium SGI I showed above, but neither is going to happen.
     
  14. Brad9893 macrumors 6502

    Brad9893

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    #14
    You have got to be kidding me. What is it with people coming out of the woodwork these days who, for some reason, think that Snow Leopard can be "patched" to run on PowerPC? It's not that easy, and if it was, it would have been done in 2009. The reason that there is no talk about this is because there is nothing to talk about.

    The reason people say that Snow Leopard is Intel only is because it is true with respect to the Macintosh. What they really mean is x86 and x86-64, which means both Intel and AMD. However, since Macs have never been made with AMD processors, it is easier to just say Intel. It's more colloquial, but it is correct nevertheless. The Hackintosh community can get Mac OS X to run on AMD because the processors use the same ISA as Intel. AMD originally licensed x86 from Intel, and then Intel used the 64-bit extensions for the x86 ISA that AMD created (because Itanium was a huge flop in the market). Intel and AMD processors do have differences between them, but the differences are not huge. And I assume that Apple would make sure that OS X would work on any x86-64 implementation, whether it be Intel or AMD's. After all, we do know that Apple always keeps their options open with respect to processor architecture.

    It seems to me that WalnutSpice has been diligently attending the "School of oi".
    --- Post Merged, May 13, 2016 ---
    @bunnspecial - Can these history lessons become a regular thing? I always enjoy yours.
     
  15. WalnutSpice thread starter Suspended

    WalnutSpice

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    #15
    Sorry, I actually forgot I wrote this up until now. Like I said, I could be very very wrong. And I guess I was. But now this leaves me wondering, since OS X 10.5 and 10.6 share a lot of similarities, could we try and instead of recompile an entire operating system, could someone possibly find a way to recompile or get working somehow Intel only 10.6 apps for PowerPC?
     
  16. oi!, May 17, 2016
    Last edited: May 17, 2016

    oi! Suspended

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    #16
    Oh great, now my AMD chipped AGP card flashing PC could become one of those things we don't talk about.
    Theoretically, you understand.




    I know we aren't supposed to use 'The H Word' here, but that would make an awesome one!!!




    Oh good. This again.
    Indeed it was, and thanx 4 teh link (saved me a job).




    LOL!
    I never said I thought it would be easy, I only said I have reasons to believe it wouldn't actually be completely impossible.


    Or...
    Maybe we can get a PPC mole into Cupertino to smuggle out the (alleged) PPC compatible version of Snow Leopard they allegedly have on an alleged server. Allegedly.

    Maybe we could ask nicely/arm twist/bribe/blackmail one of the Cupertino staffers?
    --- Post Merged, May 17, 2016 ---
    If Snow Leopard is a 86x OS, could it be run on a 6100/60 with a DOS card installed?
    (which runs a 486 processor, and up to 256mb of ram - I think)

    How about a Quadra 900? (which runs a Motorola 68040 chip, and up to 256mb of ram)
    Maybe even overclock it as far as 40Mhz!
     
  17. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #17
    If the app is open source, I'm sure it could be converted to PowerPC. But without? No. You can't recompile without the source code. Unless you'd backwards engineer the entire deal and rewrite, but that's not always a guaranteed success either, and I can't see anyone put that amount of effort to get mostly outdated 10.6 Intel apps on 10.5 PowerPC Macs.
     
  18. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    #18
    SL is a x86 OS yes but with System requirements :) officially on a vanilla kernel SL will boot on a minimum of a Yonah CPU with a Patched kernel you can get it to boot on a SSE2 CPU as long as the kernel has a SSE3 emulator written into it... with that Done I have been able to do this... Snow Leo on an AppleTV anyone? :) Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 22.49.39.png

    I also have a 64Bit Pentium 4 From 2004 (one of the first x86_64bit CPUs from intel) so what else to do then Load it up with 8GB of ram and slap Mavericks on it :) (Wish you could do this with your 2004 64bit G5 heh)
    IMG_1558.JPG
     
  19. eyoungren, May 17, 2016
    Last edited: May 17, 2016

    eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #19
    I have a great app for you! Someone HAS done this and believe it or not he's been doing it for quite a few years now!

    His name is Cameron Kaiser and he takes Firefox, which is Intel only, and makes it work on PowerPC Macs. The name of his app is called TenFourFox and it actually runs on OS X 10.4.11 Tiger.

    All you need is another Cameron Kaiser who devotes pretty much ALL of his free time to doing ONE app.

    Kaiser does have a problem now though. You see, the app world has abandoned Snow Leopard (it's too old) so any new apps are requiring recent code. Code that neither Leopard nor Tiger has and there is no way to work around it.

    One of the reasons parity development for this great T4Fx app ends with the 45 ESR.
     
  20. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #20
    I'd love to do it, but no publicly released version of OS X will run on it. It wouldn't surprise me if the proverbial black hole in Cupertino has a couple of versions compiled for IA-64, as I would almost be willing to bet that it would have been under consideration in the days before the Intel(or should I say x86) transition. At least in the early days, IA-64 looked promising and Apple would have had fewer hindrances to using it than established x86 makers. Ultimately, I think x86 was the right decision, but I would have still loved to have seen Itanium Macs :)

    As it is, I think it's running an older version of Red Hat, although I haven't had the motivation yet to haul it into my office to plug it in and check(unfortunately my office is the closest place to its current location with the required electric service). Even Linux distros for IA-64 are getting pretty thin these days.
     
  21. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #21
    Maybe in the *VERY* earliest days... When HP was still making Itanium "workstations". But by 2003 even, Itanium-on-the-desktop was dead as a doornail. The architecture sounded good, but it just didn't scale down in power well. (If you've ever looked inside an Itanium system, you'll see that each CPU has its own power distribution board that is enormous.) By the time Itanium was ready to see a jump in efficiency to make it worthy in lower-power systems, GPU computing had eclipsed it in raw computing power. Now it's really just limping along for as long as HP is willing to subsidize it. Yeah, Intel still commissions "white box" Itanium servers as reference systems, but I don't think anyone makes Itaniums any more, other than HP and Intel's white box systems.

    Yeah, I stick with Debian for my Itanium. And really, at this point, my Itanium is more of a serial terminal server than anything.
     
  22. oi! Suspended

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    #22
    OK, I've now spoken with 2 professional programmers and a professional database administrator (with a fair bit of hands on programming experience) all of who I know well. The unanimous opinion was...


    "Possible, theoretically, yes, given no time limits what so ever. But in the real world you just wouldn't, you'd just get an intel mac, unless you were trying to prove something."
     
  23. weckart macrumors 68040

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  24. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #24
    I could get offended by that, but I won't. Guess my computer science degree and 15+ years using it in industry isn't good enough!
     
  25. oi! Suspended

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    #25
    Sorry, no offense intended, but I really am less of a dreamer than has previously been suggested.
     

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