What hardware does Apple make themselves?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Ramius, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Ramius macrumors 6502

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    #1
    So I've had this discussion with friends many times, and I was hoping some of you could help me understand this better.

    Their argument is that an Apple computer, in this case the new MacBook, will run better and faster than an equal laptop (with the same hardware). The reason for this is that Apple's hardware is not general purpose, but dedicated and tailored to work as good as possible with the different parts.

    Is this true? If so, in what way do they dedicate hardware?


    Also, since I know Apple is supposed to be a hardware-company as well as software company, what do they make themselves? I know they didn't make the Hard Drive. They didn't make the graphics card, they didnt make the processor.

    I have the impression that Apple makes the LCD screens? Is that true. And of course they make the casing, keyboard, mouspad and all that themselves.
     
  2. cube macrumors G5

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    #2
    Mac hardware are just PCs now. They days when it was special are long gone.
     
  3. SuperSnake2012 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Apple does not make the LCD panels... those are made by other companies. Apple does create the software to run with handpicked hardware, and that's where you find compatibility and stability in OS X. The design the computers and the cases, but Apple doesn't make all the hardware themselves. I always found Apple's software to be remarkable rather than their hardware. IMO the switch to Intel was a good move :)
     
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #4
    Pretty sure they don't make anything themselves. They design systems around core components widely available, have logic boards/cases made to fit their needs, then plumb in the CPU, GPU, drives, RAM etc that are pretty much available off the shelf.
     
  5. cube macrumors G5

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    #5
    Well, they are supposed to be designing some handheld CPU or most probably SoC.
     
  6. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #6
    Meaning they've bought in to other companies that actually do design hardware from the ground up ;)
     
  7. cube macrumors G5

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    #7
    OK, but they did design chipsets before when Mac hardware was special.
     
  8. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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  9. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

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    #9
    +1... sort of

    Once upon a time, they were made in (or at the very least assembled) in Cupertino... the OS has come a long way but the hardware is pretty generic. The reason they run faster than a "PC" counterpart is they use a more efficient OS based on BSD (UNIX)... if you install Linux or BSD on a PC, it will run more efficiently than if it were running Windows... for the most part.
     
  10. cube macrumors G5

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    #10
    You do realize that designing chips is where the action is, as opposed to fabbing them, which is commoditized?
     
  11. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #11
    Don't they make their mice and keyboards? Well they probably at least make their own documentation and the papers that come with your machine.

    Oh and those sweet ass stickers that come with new macs.
     
  12. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #12
    See my post above… ;)
     
  13. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    So does Apple design the chipset themselves? Aka the motherboard?

    And do you think it is possible that when Apple gets an Nvidia GPU, the have a say in the architecture of it?

    Is there really nothing special about the hardware in a Mac?

    Lets contrast it with Dell or Fujitsu Siemens. These companies just buy in heaps if different hardware parts, puts them together in a standard laptop case, and installs Windows on them. Is that what Apple does now?

    My impression was that Apple tailored their hardware. Which means they optimised the GPU to work a 100% with the selected CPU. And that they really made the RAM work for all it was worth.

    Cause with general purpose computers, you dont get the maximum effiecency the hardware is capable of. But if you would customise an application, lets say Windows, for just one graphic card and one selected processor, you would be able to make it sing alot better than otherwise. I thought Apple was doing this... but maybe not?
     
  14. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #14
    Apple don't design anything themselves, there is nothing special about any of it. It's an Intel proc on an Intel chipset, coupled with RAM and GPU of their choosing from parts available from other vendors.
     
  15. cube macrumors G5

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    #15
    They designed chipsets when Macs used PowerPC CPUs.

    The chip design company they bought is supposed to be making something for iPhone/iPod (or maybe netbook?).
     
  16. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    So if its just a normal PC. Can I install OSX on my desktop-computer ?

    In case of the processor in the new MacBook, the Nvidia 9400M. Thats custom-made for the MacBook by Nvidia is it not? For that specific machine ?

    While the other gpu's they make, are custom-made for atleast 20 other chipsetmodels.
     
  17. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #17
    You haven't heard of a Hackintosh?
    The physical hardware may be jigged around a bit to fit in Apple's systems, but the chipsets themselves are nothing special.
     
  18. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

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    #18
    If your desktop has compatible hardware, then there are ways to install OS X on a PC. It's not legal as it goes against their EULA but many people do it anyways. Look up osx86 or hackintosh on google.
     
  19. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #19
    ill leave that up to you to research.

    Nvidia went to Apple about hybrid SLI ideas and Apple said they loved it but wont it in their notebooks. so Nvidia designed it specifically for the MacBooks, not Apple.

    Apple design and market the computers using third party OEM manufactures like Intel, Nvidia, ATI (less now), Foxconn, Broadcom etc.

    the analogy once posted here is the question 'Do you grow and refine the ingredients used to bake a cake?'. No, you outsource the ingredients and then prepare and bake the cake just as Apple outsources the components and then designs the computer around them. its actually quite an intensive process and Apple make a lot of money out of it and so to the OEM manufactures.

    /thread.
     
  20. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    So does Apple bake a better cake than anyone else ?


    And another question, if the hardware is just like PC-hardware, then would OSX run better on a better laptop? Like a Dell with 4gb ram, 3ghz cpu, 512mb gpu etc? Or an Asus or Fujitsu with better specifications?

    Cause back to my original question again, how come the MacBook Pro ran Windows Vista significantly better than any other laptop in 2007? Even when many of the laptops included in the test, had better hardware? Results like that leads me to think theres something better about Apples hardware.
     
  21. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

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    #21
    take benchmarks with a grain of salt...
     
  22. kasakka macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Yes, it would run better if the hardware support is there. At the moment the only real limitations to installing OSX on a regular PC are that there are drivers for fewer devices. Especially with laptops certain WLAN, Bluetooth, audio etc chips just won't work due to incompatible or missing drivers since Apple only has drivers for their systems really.

    As for that test, it was possibly conducted with PCs that were not wiped clean, meaning they were full of **** like manufacturer's crap programs or Norton or F-Secure **** slowing things down.

    There is absolutely nothing special about Apple's hardware. They use the same parts many other manufacturers do, they simply have a rather nice operating system and the Apple look that makes them so cool. On the computers I'd say the new Macbook trackpad is really the only thing that really separates them from other laptops. Well that and the stupid video adapters.
     
  23. Ramius thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Well you have that. But the way the new case is designed also is a new step in the evolution of how hardware in a laptop is built.

    Anyway, you say this:
    Chips like what? Is there any devices in a Mac thats not in a PC? Cause thats also what another friend told me. That Apple has special hardware to run things in OSX that Windows cant.

    Also, since OSX is a better programmed operating system than Windows is. Does that mean it requires less powerfull hardware to run than Windows does? If so, does this have a say in applications like rendering films and photos, or playing games?
     
  24. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #24
    Components can come from anywhere, whatever OS you have there will need to be a driver to make them function.

    OS X has an extremely limited range of drivers since Apple control the hardware, there are Windows drivers for just about everything.
     
  25. mbleopard macrumors regular

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    Sep 8, 2008
    #25
    There are some companies that have engineers that work at Cupertino full time just to make sure that Apple has all the support they need getting their hardware to work inside the Apple products.

    As far as specialized hardware I don't really think so, it just seems that Apple holds sway over the hardware companies and tend to get first choice, such as with the new Nvidia chipsets and the processors in the first gen MBA
     

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