TELL ME! what does the Intel switch mean to an average user

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by M. Malone, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. M. Malone macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

    Mar 11, 2004
    I am planning on purchasing the new iMac, but I just read the reports about the Intel based ones coming out sooner than we thought, I use my computer to get on the internet, make iMovies, use iPhoto, iTunes, sometimes watch movies, Office, etc.

    So how will my computer lifestyle change if I did all what I listed on an Intel iMac versus the current G5? I really don't mind waiting, my Powerbook is great right now and it can last me another year, but what will the Intel chip do for ME with an iMac.

    I understand the case with a G4 laptop that gets hot, isn't that fast, and has a bad battery life, now tell me what's the advantage on the desktops?
  2. YunusEmre macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2005
    Santa Clara, CA
    I think the choice of CPU will not make a big difference. It will just look like and feel like a mac, so it should not matter what type of CPU the machine uses. IBM, Motorola, Intel or AMD, should make no difference.
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    For the average user...nothing.

    I'd say if you bought a Mac now, and expected to keep using it for 5 years, you might start to have a hard time finding software for it, but that's about it.
  4. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Means diddly squat to me.

    Everything will eventually work, software will be universal binaries for a a long time (no software developer is going to risk alienating the vast majority of PPC Mac owners so I should expect to see compatible software available for easily 10 years or until software cannot run on the slower processors).

    So everything is fine.
  5. nate macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2003
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    I don't really think it will be a huge thing -- waiting or not is a personal thing.

    I decided not to wait, and I got the newest iMac now.

    Here are my reasons for not waiting.

    1) First gen Intel macs -- I'd rather wait until bugs are fixed and newer software works well on it.

    2) I got tons of older, expensive software -- although rossetta is a neat sounding idea, I'm still not sure about the performance hit. The cost to get newer software and upgrades would add to my overall costs, making it something not worth while at the moment.

    3) My iMac works perfect for what I'm doing: editing, design, photography, and the occasional short movie project. I find the new iMac to be speedy enough for what I do.

    4) I doubt that companies are going to outcast current users of the Power PC chip anytime soon, as many people aren't planning on upgrading soon.

    5) I don't have a huge need for an Intel chip at the moment. No need to use Windows, or games designed for Intel chips. I'm not a gamer at all.

    Most of my decision is based that I already had a Mac, and what I have now works for me and will work for a few years to come. Transitioning to Intel is something I will do, but not at the moment.

    If someone who is a brand-new user is thinking of switching, it might be worth it to wait until the Intel Macs, because they'll be starting out new.

  6. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    I think the #1 thing that the Intel switch gives to average users is the faint possibility that something relatively inexpensive like Crossover Office would allow them to run the occasional Windows app, such as Office itself, without performance loss.

    I for one am looking forward to this for the few apps I can't find acceptable Mac apps for. 1) MS Money 2) Various edutainment titles the little ones like.

    Otherwise, IMHO, there is no impact at all of the switch on the average user.

  7. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    There are millions of people out there using PPC Macs, they're not all going to rush out and upgrade to Mactel the moment they are released. Heck there are publishing companies still running OS9...

    I wouldn't be too concerned about the Intel transition, PPC will continue to be supported for many, many years to come. Apple aren't that stupid.
  8. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005
    One big thing you can see from the switch is obviously the speeds are going to start flying. With PPC CPUs stuck at 3.0Ghz, you will soon see 5Ghz Macs.

    Another possible thing for the end user is cheaper macs. :)
  9. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    I don't think so, Intels road map is for better not faster processors. You'll see dual core 64 bit processors with lower speeds than you see now. You need to remember that Intel are going to be basing most of their stuff off the Pentium M not the IV. Woodcrest is dual core and is said to top out at 2.5 GHz per core, not unlike the current PPC970MP.
  10. ldburroughs macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You will ultimately see a fairly significant change and it may be worth the wait. While it is true the software manufacturers do not WANT to alienate the existing PowerPC base, it may not be economically feasible for them to try very hard not to. Existing software will not be compatible with the newer systems which means new software will not likely be backwards compatible unless software makers design their programs to work on both platforms. This would mean, in most cases, companies designing their programs to work on a minimum of three different platforms. Being that the PowerPC base makes up such a small percentage of the user base and the intel based PCs are likely to open the doors wide open for Apple, it is not a likely scenario. In other words, if you want something that is short-term future proof, do youself a HUGE favor and wait until January to buy your iMac. You will not be sorry you waited, if indeed you can wait until January. If you can't hold of then just know that your lifespan for the iMac will be considerably shorter in terms of software applications availability. It is not as significant a hurdle for software manufactures as OS9 to OSX was and it the peformance differences will be rather significant in the end as well.

    Good luck with your decision but really do some research before making such an expensive decision. I too would love to go out and buy a new Powerbook tonight, but have concluded that it is well worth the wait in my case. Your situation may not allow for the possibility of waiting.
  11. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    Will PowerPC Mac's and x86 Mac's network and play nicely I presume... with file sharing (file structure not changing)?

    I love my PB, but it is inevitable that I buy either a desktop or upgrade my PB at some time.
  12. wako macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2005

    with AMD recently pumping out the 4800 X2 and their next cores are coming to light, Intel will be rethinking it. You'll see their so called "roadmap." Intel has be doing things wrong for too long and their just playing catch up now.
  13. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yeah right! :rolleyes:
  14. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    There is no reason to think networking will be any different, it's still OS X.
  15. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    In a nutshell it will mean faster machines and more software, no more PPC stagnation, no more do they make a Mac version kind of stuff.:)
  16. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    It means you'll be ready to buy the proven model with all the bugs worked out around spring of 2007.
  17. macam macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2005
    Greater London, UK
    I would consider myself as a prosumer - I have lots of design software and do this as a second job. I won't be moving to Intel for another 2-3 years - purely because I have shelled out thousands on software...

    My Parents on the other hand - just use their mac (They were computer illiterate until I gave them my old G3 blue & White) for email, web-browsing, and playing online games! I would consider them an average user - They don't use anything fancy when it comes to software so therefore they will not see any differences in the running of the machine!

    It will still run OSX - and probably very fast after the initial teething difficulties. If you're looking at buying a Mac now - I would just go for it - espcially if you're going for an iMac as they have just been released and therefore a good buy. Plus they look awesome!

    If you're a current user of Macs and have lots of PPC softeware that cost you an arm and a leg to get - then buy a Mac now. If you're just going to do be doing basic stuff and you haven't got any really expensive software - you could get a Mac now or later when they switch as you won't see a blind bit of difference.

    Hope this helps.

  18. Smallville macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2004

    No kidding. The newspaper where I work (sports writer) still uses OS9 for the design computers and Windows 95 for everything else.

    Of course, on the advertising side, they get OSX G5s, cuz, ya know, they actually make the money. We're not that important, so we get no upgrades.

    I'm counting the days until our machines commit suicide.
  19. Sunrunner macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2003

    Thats one of the big problems with macs, they never die, so you can never justify getting a new one with some execs. Much of Apples problem comes from people who got stuck using 10 year old macs in school, leaving a bad taste in their mouth for the brand... Maybe limited durability and lifespan can be a good thing in a 'puter...

Share This Page