Why does Apple make more old macs obsolete each system release?

Bobdude161

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 12, 2006
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N'Albany, Indiana
I know there's a marketing ploy behind it all, but lets say we were oblivious to it all. Would the new operating systems really require the dropping of older systems?
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
Bobdude161 said:
I know there's a marketing ploy behind it all, but lets say we were oblivious to it all. Would the new operating systems really require the dropping of older systems?
Yes... because they require faster hardware.

And of course it's also to sell hardware. Apple's a hardware company that also sells software.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Apple has worked harder to keep older hardware working than some other companies. They've also made it more efficient with each release.

I'm sure that hardware sales do have a lot to do with it, though. They're subsidizing the price of Mac OS X with hardware. If people don't buy hardware, they would probably have to raise the price of Mac OS X to something less reasonable for us.
 

tipdrill407

macrumors 6502
May 26, 2006
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Apple has been pretty nice with supporting old hardware. Even Leapord is reported to support the G3 which is pretty old.
 

macgeek77

macrumors regular
May 24, 2006
153
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Consider this: I bought my iBook G3 years ago. It currently runs Tiger. Sure it has slowed down from its days of running 10.1. However, its by no means obsolete. I mean thats the third OS upgrade its gone through and it still works. I agree there is sacrafice, but Apple doesn't eliminate past hardware with every new OS.
 

CorvusCamenarum

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,231
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Birmingham, AL
Doesn't this same phenomenon also occur over in the Windows world? Hardware evolves, software also evolves. Expecting to run Leopard on a Performa is rather like expecting to run an iPod through an 8-track.
 

erikistired

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2006
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yeah but in the windows world people insist on running new operating systems on obnoxiously old hardware that should have become a boat anchor years ago.
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
9,095
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count years, not "how many generation of systems", apple isn't doing better than MS, who update their system almost every 5 years.
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
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Working for MI-6
Bobdude161 said:
I know there's a marketing ploy behind it all, but lets say we were oblivious to it all. Would the new operating systems really require the dropping of older systems?

Good question, I don't understand why my 100MHz PowerBook 5300cs can't run Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. ;) :D :)
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
9,095
1
its like MS spends 5 years put all the stuff together and release one update,
apple splits stuff into 5 batches, and releases one part every year. and gives u 5 version of systems through 5 years. obviously more expensive.
 

AvSRoCkCO1067

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2005
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clevin said:
count years, not "how many generation of systems", apple isn't doing better than MS, who update their system almost every 5 years.
Except that Windows XP ran painfully slow on my 2003 PC - and still runs pretty slow on some of my friends newer PCs.

Couple that with XP's inability to handle the 20+ open apps that my iBook G4 could handle, and I'd say Apple does a decent job supporting and reasonably running new OSes on older hardware.
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
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Working for MI-6
AvSRoCkCO1067 said:
Except that Windows XP ran painfully slow on my 2003 PC - and still runs pretty slow on some of my friends newer PCs.

Couple that with XP's inability to handle the 20+ open apps that my iBook G4 could handle, and I'd say Apple does a decent job supporting and reasonably running new OSes on older hardware.

Well put AvSRoCkCO1067. :)
 

slooksterPSV

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2004
3,280
125
Nowheresville
Ok think about this; we don't need Windows, we don't need OS X, we don't need OS 9, heck we could do everything we do now on OS 8.6, and Windows 95. OS 8.6 runs on the 100MHz Powerbooks I think.
Operating systems do a lot, basically lately you're paying for power and quality for what we do with them. If you tried to make an HD-DVD on a 100MHz Powerbook, good luck, you'll be waiting months and months for it to finish. So you need a faster computer to process more complex data components. But in order to process those faster you should have more bits to process in. Windows 95 is 16-bit with 32-bit compatibility. Making an HD-DVD on Windows 95 is a joke basically.

Operating systems have to have a more focused ideal with them. When you get more processes that run in the background to make things look better quality, it takes up more CPU, which means you need a faster, better cached CPU. Think about about moving a finder window around. How much CPU usage does that take? About 20-30% CPU speed on my iBook G4 1.33MHz, but it moves around like fluid. On my G3 it looked like **** when moving a finder window around, it was slow, and very very not fluid like. So we pay for that quality with a faster CPU, but it may also use the GPU to help process certain antiquities for the CPU. For example: the 9550 supports the splash effect, which looks fluid like, anything below the 9550 ATI, does not support the splash effect, why? Well the ATI 9550 has 2 programmable pipelines? 2 programmable ____ I can't think of the word. Anyways since Apple can use the Core Image foundation and program the GPU to do that we have a fluid like splash effect that looks so good. Other GPU's don't have that programmability.

Even iTunes and QuickTime require a certain speed to run, they need to render items. The operating system renders tons of things, that's why monitors have Hz ratings. Don't think that the pixels on the screen are steady, they're being redrawn anywhere from 60times to 200times a second! Yes a second. The CPU and GPU all have to process that, but the more complex the items it has the render, the faster and better CPU & GPU the computer will need.

So why does apple push out older systems? Cause they don't have a certain compatibility to support all the items with a newer OS. Most systems in the PC world, after 6 months, that computer is obsolete. Why do you want the most up-to-date OS? Cause it will support everything you want to do and may want to do in the future, but will the hardware handle it?

EDIT: CPU's have MMX, SSE, SSE2, etc. These are components of the CPU that make the Operating System that takes advantage of these technoloties run faster. So if an OS requires that SSE3 and your processor doesn't have it, sorry you can't use that OS.
 

Mr. Dee

macrumors 68020
Dec 4, 2003
2,156
2,710
Jamaica
Bobdude161 said:
I know there's a marketing ploy behind it all, but lets say we were oblivious to it all. Would the new operating systems really require the dropping of older systems?
All I can say is, you are in for a big incompatible surprise when 10.6 comes out.
 

0003838

Suspended
May 27, 2005
34
0
As the abilities of OS's progress as will the demands of hardware requirements it is just a natural progression of technology that happens in every market.
 

slooksterPSV

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2004
3,280
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Nowheresville
Mr. Dee said:
All I can say is, you are in for a big incompatible surprise when 10.6 comes out.
Puma, Cheeta, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard... I'd like Cougar next, but here's what we don't have - some I removed cause they're already an OS name.
* African golden cat (Profelis aurata)
* Andean mountain cat (Oreailurus jacobita)
* Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii)
* Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes)
* Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
* Bornean bay cat (Catopuma badia)
* Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis)
* Caracal (Caracal caracal)
* Chinese mountain cat (Felis bieti)
* Cougar (Puma concolor) -- not going to remove
* Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx)
* Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus)
* Flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps)
* Geoffroys cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi)
* Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus)
* Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouarundi)
* Jungle cat (Felis chaus)
* Kodkod (Oncifelis guigna)
* Marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata)
* Margay (Leopardus wiedii)
* Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)
* Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus)
* Pampas cat (Oncifelis colocolo)
* Pallas cat (Otocolobus manul)
* Rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus)
* Sand cat (Felis margarita)
* Serval (Leptailurus serval)
* Snow leopard (Uncia uncia)
* Wildcat (Felis silvestris)
 

spicyapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
1,725
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I was more productive in OS9 and slower pre-gigahertz speed Macs for some reason. I'm less productive now, probably because I'm distracted by all the pretty aqua colours of OSX. :)

I say, don't upgrade software! Keep what you're using, because it works and works well.
 

Kardashian

macrumors 68020
Sep 4, 2005
2,083
1
Britain.
slooksterPSV said:
Puma, Cheeta, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard... I'd like Cougar next, but here's what we don't have - some I removed cause they're already an OS name.
I like Lynx and Cougar.
 

Mr. Dee

macrumors 68020
Dec 4, 2003
2,156
2,710
Jamaica
josh.thomas said:
I like Lynx and Cougar.
Well, take into account that there won't necessarily be a 10.7, they could use Lynx as the link to the next generation of Mac OS operating systems starting with 11.0.

10.0 - Puma
10.1 - Cheetah
10.2 - Jaguar
10.3 - Panther
10.4 - Tiger
10.5 - Leopard

10.6 - Cougar
11.0 - Lynx (link to the past, link to the future)