Will Intel-Based Macs make a different in porting Win apps?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shinobe, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Shinobe macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2004
    With the intel-based mac right around the corner, what are the chance that we'll see great ports of what used to be "win" exclusive?
    Maybe games? or we still stuck at the "directX" problem?
  2. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Yes we are stuck with the directX probably, but at least there will be Wine.

    Cedegra (or Cegedra.. whatever) has said they will release a version of Transgaming for Intel macs though.
  3. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    my opinion:
    Mac for a computer and a game console for games.
  4. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Until the day when World of Warcraft or Guild Wars are playable on a console I will choose to disagree with you.
  5. shdwsclan macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2005
    ____Mac isn't for games or heavy production. Since its X86 components you can install windows on a AppleIntel machine or as I have done.......Installed MacOSX.4 on a homebuilt pc which I already had 4 other OSs running on.

    ____To port a windows app is a waste of time and money. Apple spent so much time idiotproofing their operating system so the average joe can use a computer, that they forgot about programming libraries. For a developer like me, mac is one of the worst Oses to program for because there are almost no prewritten libraries. For all you average joes, libraries are functions supported by an operating system or a piece of sofware that are prewritten into a programming language and are accessable by importing an api. Basically, a large piece of sofware prewritten for you and you just call methods or functions to access and mutate data.

    ____A very good example is DirectX which is very expansively written. OpenGL(what is used in Mac) is very nimble but is extremely limited and outdated. A lot of things you have to manually and I do mean a lot of the basic things that directX has for you already prewritten and adaptive. DirectX also combines every aspect almost the 5 sense together...smell and taste haven't been reverse engineered. In directX you have access to your hardware from one place....steering wheel, monitor, graphics card, sound card, network card no matter if its built in or extra. OpenGL usually only does graphics.

    ____Also, for games or video/movie production you really cant beat directX acceleration. Also, openGL isnt for games at all, its mostly meant for 3d modeling which I wouldn't do on a mac because its so unstable with such apps. Apple has dropped the ball for the second time in the last 5 year which basically has destroyed productivity on the mac.

    ____The only thing that the mac triumphs over win is in 2d graphic design because the internal font management is a lot better...especially if you have over 500 fonts(I have 20,000). Ive used bitstream font manager and it still made windows do funny things.

    ____Finally, it will not make it easier for porting apps because the only thing they have in similar now is the way the OS compiles for hardware. Windows has a lot of experience in the X86 and so does Linux(I run it on my server). Apple has about 10-15 years of catching up to do. Remember, Apple started out with Motorola hardware, then moved to IBM and now to X86. The correct term would be not be IntelBased macs but X86 based macs.

    ____I feel that Apple will be loosing a lot of money when people start installing macOSX on cheaper units like dells. Also, Intels are very expensive and I foresee them moving to AMD as a subcontractor. Consoles are somewhat good, but they dont give you the features of a pc like editability( NFS->your own cars,GTA->your own characters, maps cars...HALO/Doom/HL2-> Maps!Maps!Maps!).

    ____Also, consoles are not as portable like pcs. If there are portables, then they are pretty crummy like the PSP haveing no internal memory and sony constansly trying to stop you from executing homebrew apps.

    ____Concluding, if apple tried hard enough, they could develope their own accelarion software. Nobody really knows what to call this acceration..The best way to describe it be experience acceleration. See a correllation...DirectX -> DirecteXperience-> WindowsXP.

    ____Apple could also make translators for dx so all you need to do is pop the sourcecode into a compiler like carbon and you get a ready made app with no fuss. But here comes in experience....DirectX started out a crappy superObtuse language in C. It has evolved into something pretty legible with (C++)++ or C# which is microsoft's knockoff of JAVA. I remember friends drinking themselves to sleep when they were developing using the very first versions of DX.

    ____Every console developer has their own graphic acceleration libraries. Microsoft obviously uses DirectX for their eXperienceBox(Xbox) which makes it pointless to buy an XBOX if you can get a pc with DX.

    There...revised into somesoft of paragraphs
  6. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    What a cluster f*** of words. I suggest using paragraphs for everyone's benefit.

  7. Shinobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2004
    First of all. Console games and PC games are day and night, "apple" and oranges.
    Tell me that half life or Doom oe CS is as enjoyable on the console as on the PC or that Metal Gear Solid 2 for PC is as good as the PS2 ver.
    somethings are just better on PC and others are better on console.
    its a different experience.

    Also, didn't Apple say that they will never sell OSX for joe avg machines, if you want the OSX experience, u'd have to buy an Apple?

    Regarding the DirectX and console bit, Since the 360 does use the PowerPC chip, what engine are they using? Aside from the royalty bit, whats to stop the current generation of Macs to use the same platform? Same with DirectX being ported to x86 Mac.
  8. shdwsclan macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2005
    Very true, but I was referring to XBOX itself. Xbox has a similar game selection to PC. PS2 does not. I own a modded PS2 myself, but I still prefer games on the PC platform because you are always to run it, store it, have easy acces to it. I still do believe that all games should be on PC in one way or another....you can always get a usb controller. The only reason Set-Tops exist because the japanese were generally too poor to own a high power computer so the console was created. Look at the Panasonic Q which has the features of a PC but no real OS. MediaCenter PCs offer a similar setup to a console and games do offer similar experience to console Xbox games. The problem comes in with emulation of consoles.

    True. Apple wouldn't want their OS running on quality components for a change. Apple's revenue comes from selling shotty hardware. Most people wouldn't buy apple hardware if they could. The installation process of MacOSX86 has a hardware check in it during initialization. It just checks for Apple signatures on internal hardware. To bypass this is very easy and can be achieved by using the linux command prompt in conjuction to hack the process.

    The Xbox runs on WindowsX which runs what has been codenamed NTFSX which is a highly encrypted filesystem. The OS itself is very similar to MS MCE 2005. There are only a few people who have decrypted the hard drive and they are rewarded by microsoft and made to sign a waver of silence. Some people who decrypt the OS partially, add a dashboard to it through a mod chip. Also, windows dominates the market with hardware compatibility is why it will run on processor beyond X86. You can plug in foreign components and the xbox will detect them..etc..

    Having directX ported to mac will mean that Apple has folded and windows has dominated. Apple holds MacOSs individuality above all else...that is why you cant just install MacOSX anywhere. MacOs has only one final stand which is Graphic design and minor apps. Windows has the stability piece for all other standart production applications like 3d, video production, Cad, etc... Windows is even more stable in such production than MacOS....but as you can see....windows is not very user friendly and does have a steeper learning curve than MacOSX. WinXp tries to implement idiot-proofness with hidden menus that can only be accessed through the Run Console. Also, directx programs also rely on many other libraries that are windows specific. You not only need to port directX but a lot of .net libraries which make up windows. Also, not to mention the debugging which would take about 5-8 years. If you want dx and the mac experience then get a dell, spray it white, and google MacOSXp and download all the plugins to make it look like Mac.

    Basically, its not feasible and the processor type has nothing to do with it. X86 just gives it similar assembly packages. DX is not something you can just port overnight and install in a minor upgrade package. DX for windows took about a decade from conception to what it is now. With DX on winC (consomer level packages like winodws 95,98,me, etc..) generated many problem. I'm sure all of you heard of the BSOD (blue screen of death). DX was mainly responsible for BSOD. DX for OSX means the whole OS needs to be rewritten to support it and then you loose stability and people start switching to XP.

    The best resolution for Apple would be to beef up the OpenGL API or develope something else.
  9. Shinobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2004
    that was very informative :p ty.

    Someone mention that the OpenGL architecture is very slow and very outdated, to my knowledge, it really isnt a mean-lean,3d graphics rendering machine (or code rather). Would it not be a step backwards to fix the problem and try to catch up...now? (when they should of fixed it years ago.)

    Now, DX has to suuport so many different types of hardware combination, its probably reasonable to expect the BSOD once in a while. But with Apple hardware being so specific, shouldnt it be alot easier to write something for those specific hardware?

    Also, whats the process of porting games? Something like World of Warcraft?
    does WoW not run on DX (on windows)? what does the mac ver of WoW run on if it isnt OpenGL or DX?

    Also, something Interesting I found just now...

    how "close" can u get something like "a dell" box to running like a duel core g5 box? How about driver issues? is that going to be a problem?

    how troublesome is this process?
  10. shdwsclan macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2005
    That is very impressive. A decade in developement seems about right. I dont know what DX equivalent they are. I must say, very close, but no cigar. Im not sure how the deployable package works. DirectX is a system control component but this seems like a emulation container.

    Setting up Development Environment & Compile Code
    Operating System Dialogs
    This is dependant on number of OS specific dialogs and complexity
    Movie playback
    Convert to QuickTime.
    CD/MP3 playback
    Use QuickTime if required.
    Midi playback
    Byte Swapping code
    OS Specific code
    Assembly Functions (if any)

    It is still a lot lost of time, especially assembly functions. Os specific code is usually present inside a dx app. It is still missing things like directshow support. Most games have Bink and here you have to convert to QT.
    The have the 3d and the manipulation down pretty well. The problem is that c++ has just recently evolved into C# and that is the way most apps are coming out.

    Also, this thing doesn't seem to have a price tag.....Which means it could cost millions...especially if DX is MS.
    Now look if you skip the middle men.
    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 - Free? (Microsoft send it to me in the mail for free and even paid shipping)
    Microsoft DirectX SDK - Free

    Also, Im not sure completely about the hardware support. And I want to know how the DX distro works. If there is no enduser dx distro for mac then this is an emulation container/translator for OpenGL. Emulation leads to slow pwerformance. There are many obvious reasons that its not in wide use. As for WOW, it is unclear. It can be DX, but if macDX is emulation/translation then it is OpenGL through macDX. DirectX is direct because it gives dos hangles inside an operating system. These handles can directly control hardware. They are very vague on the way macDX works.
    I am leaning toward the game being rewritten using OpenGL because it is not under their "games" section.

    The funny thing is that games are the only thing being supported. That is very odd since there is a lot of software with DX.

    Porting a game requires rewriting specific pieces of the game that would normally call directX apis. There may not exist OpenGL equivalancies for some directX methods...then they have to written manually.

    Here is another interesting fact...a programmer...on average....writes 10 lines of code a day. Thats debugged and fully functioning code. I didn't make that statistic...I heard it somewhere.

    Also, you would be amazed how many x86 internal components are supported. True there are driver issues but not with processor, ram, video, and usb things like mouse and keyboard. On average, an x86 component is about 1.5-2.0 faster than a PPC component-another statistic I found from an actual Dev. Im only a Dev in training so I cant answer all the questions. Compared to the G5s, my school has in the macLab, my dual xeon is faster. But a dual core to a dual processor isnt a valid comparision because the dual processor is faster than the dual core even when comparing a G5 to 2 G5. I have heard overall that x86 will run a lean os like MacOSX a lot faster than the hardware that apple is peddling.

    MacOsX will run on an AMDs but I have really no unit to test it on. The pc is still a better for the money though even if it is apple. I know of hacks for macOS if one wants install it on a PC. It will run on generic components and AMD components. On a pc, the "switch" is no longer set in stone but it is only a 2 max minute process which happens during boot. And you can switch back because you have both oses on the same unit. No longer do you have to use virtualPC.

    The process of running MacOS on a PC is very easy but that depends one's skill level. You could probably find a special version of mac os online for download if you wanted to. You also need a live linux to hack the hardware check.

    DirectX is ONE of many APIs that can be ported and by looking at the macDx web site....macDX has been in developement for about a decade.....but as you can see...time machines are scarce and apple is moving to intel now. MacOSX86 will make it easier to dev if you illegally hack mac os to run a regular X86 machine.

    Another thing I foresee is the developement of Mac Viruses since running mac is no longer a hardware issue. Porting software can be an excruciation process, but it depends on the complexity and OOP quality of the program. There is also BigO when determinig performance.

    I never said It was impossible, but improbable.....I want to see how doom 3 was ported to mac. Nobody seems to be saying anything. I know that the games have to be design in the PC because of the native DX environment and 3ds max etc....

    I do support developement for mac, because a foreign, naive and native platform means buisness which means jobs for people like me...as long there is interest by the community to lobby game devs comanies...
  11. shdwsclan macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2005
    Can anyone show me any other Microsoft API port projects ??
  12. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I was going to leave this post, but it's so wrong I've decided I have to reply.

    Mods: If I step over the line let me know, I've got a feeling this might turn into a flame!

    This is one of the least well thought out statements I have seen in a long time! OSX may not have a lot of games compared to windows, this is true, but it makes an excellent production system, unlike Windows. At it's heart OSX is a Unix with all the benifits that brings. I work in industry with real heavy production systems. They all run on Unix. None run on Windows. Why because it itsn't suited to 24/7/365 running of mission critical systems on machines with 8+ CPUs and gigabytes of RAM.

    Are you a developer? It certainly sounds like you think you are. If so you clearly have not looked at what Apple provide! Cocoa and Carbon are some of the richest, best designed (well Cocoa is) libraries available. How else can you explain tiny compaines like Delicious Monster being able to produce world beating products in a short time with very few programmers (Delicious Library was written by a single programmer in under a year). If you don't know what you are talking about it's best to keep quiet otherwise you look at best ignorant and at worst stupid.

    This is a spurious comparison. DirectX is a collection of libraries including Direct3D, DirectInput and DirectNetwork. Direct3D is more ore less the same as OpenGL. Yes they have their differences but both can acheive the same thing. Look at Doom3 or Quake4. They are both using OpenGL not Direct3D, even on Windows. If you want input handling, networking, sound and so on SDL is available on OSX (a port from Linux) that handles all these things for you. Again a little reasearch would have saved you.

    OpenGL is still the professional standard for accleration of 3D design. In addition look at CoreImage/CoreVideo. These blow DirectX out of the water when it comes to video editing acceleration.

    Probably becase the Microsoft APIs you were bigging up are so badly designed, buggy and difficult to use that the developers cannot stop it screwing things up.

    Where do they have to catch up? They are using the same compiler that the Linux distros have been using for all these years. No-one writes in assembler these days so they get all the same optimisations and benifits that everyone else has! Again you seem to be missing the most basic facts.


    Apple already have their own acceleration technology. See CoreImage, CoreVideo, Quartz Extreme (that uses OpenGL). Apple are way ahead in this area. MS are trying to catch up in Vista but they are clearly 5 years behind. Windows XP is a triumph of marketing but it is no more that a thin layer of Windows 2000. It does not use DirectX in any meaningfull way to deliver the so called XPerience. You can look at the internal version numbers. We had NT4, NT5 (Windows 200) and NT5.1 (Windows XP).

    This is actually not true. Middleware like RenderWare that runs on multiple consoles can make ports very easy. GTA for example uses RenderWare to abstract the different libraries out of the way.

    And breath!
  13. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2001
    west of Philly
    I don't think big applications will change that much. Those developers who thought it was worth the effort would have already made that change and overcome the OS differences (ie. the DirectX problem).

    I think the big difference will be in the small developers. In my neck of the woods (plug-ins for 3D apps), the Mac has always been the red-headed step child. Most of the developers work on the PC, porting to the Mac is an afterthought, if it's done at all. I've actually made quite a bit of extra money because I'm already set up to port to the Mac and can do so quite quickly. I have in the past and currently sell plug-ins developed by other folks who didn't have a Mac and needed a partner to get to that other market. The reasons come down to costs. If you're a small developer, that 2k or so you need to spend to get a dual processor (because the stuff is threaded you must have two processors to test) Mac is a big investment for a much smaller market than the PC side.

    If Apple builds a machine that's dual core and can dual boot windows, suddenly that additional cost is a lot smaller. There will still probably be a premium on the Apple hardware, but if the small guy can buy an Apple, then pick up an OEM or retail copy of Windows and dual boot it's cheaper than buying two high end machines and suddenly you can support two platforms.
  14. shdwsclan macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2005
    True....but its even cheaper if you get a intel(non-apple) based pc and put mac on it as I have done.
  15. link92 macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2004
    Therefore breaking the EULA...
  16. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    No to mention loosing all tech support - which is why companies and businesses pay for linux - the assurance that it will work. They could get the free version - buy paying for the assurance is what they do.
  17. shdwsclan macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2005
    Breaking EULA ->
    "MacOSX liscense agreement"
    A. This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time.
    Fine, ill just label it as an apple...easy enough....

    C. Except as and only to the extent permitted in this License and by applicable law, you may not copy, decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, modify, or create derivative works of the Apple Software or any part thereof.
    This is vague at best since there is fair use law, and it is not being sold nor distributed since linux has the functions built in to bypass the hardware check.

    Also, if you buy MacOSX and force it on a PC, you'll still get tech support from apple as long as they have intelMacs out there....
  18. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Bigger than the law...good for you - what a disgrace! - especially for someone who claims to be a software developer :rolleyes:
  19. DVDSP macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2003
    Southwick, MA
    How do you know this? Has Apple stated they will provide tech support to non-Apple computers? Putting an Apple label on a Dell (or whatever) doesn't really count, as your example implies.

    By your logic, I could force a Ford engine into a Chevy, then when I have problems with the door locks I can call Ford.
  20. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    Sorry, but it does not work that way!! An apple branded computer is one BUILT by apple. Not a POS dell you buy and call it an apple branded computer.

    Not to mention OS X x86 is not available to buy, therefore technically you are installing something you DO NOT own.
  21. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    When Apple finally releases the x86 hardware, hopefully people (who want OS X) will wise up and buy a Mac rather than running a cracked version of OS X on a PC (how smart is that? :rolleyes: ).
  22. shdwsclan macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2005
    I'm not sure what kind of production you are in, but for me creating a web site or editing video on a mac is like fighting a computer. You basically have to coax it into doing what you want to do without crashing your software.

    Remote processing is somewhat different as in you are sending the already made instructions to a computer and recieving the product through a network.

    Windows is just as well suited on muliple processors and gigabytes of ram. Windows currently can handle up to 64 processing cores and i dont even remember what the memory ceiling.

    For example, idustrial light and magic is outfitted with windows based machines running on opterons
    Sony pictures also uses windows running on intel based machines for production.

    I have never used cocoa but ive heard that it is comparable to visual studio. As for the libraries, I just have a much larger selection written by third parties..im not sure how big, or good the cocoa list is. Also, Delicious Monster's library is an indexing app. I'm not sure why it took them a year, I remember my first list app took me about 2 months to make from beginning to end. It was an online reservation system with graphics and gui.

    Also, os specific software is an even bigger mess. I dont know how many libraries or how well written they are in cocoa but this is a debatable topic. Mostly, because windows has a larger software selection and with those titles come many new libraries that become automatically embedded into VS. For me, using carbon is a hassle.

    That would also explain them in being pretty slow...HL2 has comparable graphics and runs much faster on DX9.
    I've heard of CoreImage/CoreVideo but I'm not sure that they are the standard. From what I understand, Avid and Discreet are the standards.

    Most apps run perfercly with the addition of fonts. The apis dont seem to be buggy, it just seems a time constraint. There are no problems in windows and most of the office apps. I think the main app that likes to screw up is probably outlook from what I've seen. Everything else really has no problem. Unfortunatley you cant just reinstall outlook to fix the problem.

    But as you can see, running Dreamweaver on mac is like fighting a computer to get your work done. Same thing with some other upper level software I have used on macOS. It just crashes for no reason, doesnt even save before crashing like windows. I have never had dreamweaver crash in windows. As you can see, good idea, poor execution for mac os.

    Doom3 to HL2 analogy. Both games at highest setting, HL2 still comes out on top with the fastest framerates. Porting HL2 to openGL would still retain the graphics but probably kill framerates.

    Porting may sound easy and can be easily be done but is the execution between consoles that good? It is not, in fact it can become very buggy like with GTA(3). The PC port would have disappearing textures all over, GTA 3-2 was even worst. GTA 3-3 was better but still had its problems. As you can see, there is a because there are different libraries. RenderWare only tries to make the puzzle pieces fit. If you look in the console of any game, you will see many errors that can be atrributed to porting that are just handled pretty well and the user is usually unaffected. The PS2 sdk is very good, but port from that leaves bugs.

    Its not point and shoot like you say and that is why you dont have a balance library of software.
    As for the waste of money piece, it truely is. Mac users are scarce, therefore the market is very small. The switching does fluctuate back and forth because of hardware and software choice. It is basically inefficient to spend X amount of money on development that will not yield at least a full return. That is why apple makes it money off of its hardware and not its software. As you can see, moving to X86 is a very big gamble for the company. It can mean sudden death, or sudden victory. They could still stay alive on ipods, if moving to x86 kills them. OpenGL with workstation cards and DX with consumer cards is also an issue when getting framespeeds out of games.
    Both have extensions of each other's technologies.
  23. shdwsclan macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2005
    Also, mac peddles crap for internal hardware.

    Its not very smart since the internal hardware will most likely be crappy. The will probably run p4s or celerons or similar hardware since its the cheapest. They will pop in generic ram. They will also pop in a maxtor which is not a very realiable drive but it is the cheapest. They might even put in a crappy generic dvdrw, but ive seen pioneers in some macs so this is debatable. Finally, they will slap a shiny case around components(so nobody suspects a thing) and then put an outrageous price tag on it while in reality you could probably get the same components for half price.

    For the same price of crappy IntelApple you could probably build a liquid cooled tower and put macOS on it.

    I'm not sure how smart burning money is, but i dont think it is very smart. I did buy MacOsX because credit is deserved where credit is due. To pay more for the same components because they are in a shiny box is pretty stupid. Also, you get a better warranty from the parts manufacturers than from apple.

    I understand paying for a PPC Apple, but an X86 Apple.....no way..
  24. dubbz macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2003
    Alta, Norway
    Cocoa is an API, not an Dev. app. It's comparable to MFC, not Visual Studio. XCode is comparable to Visual Studio.

    Do you have any idea what you're talking about? :confused:

    There's more I disagree with... but I honestly have no idea where to start.
  25. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    What leads you to believe Apple will use "crappy" hardware? There's simply no evidence that they will. Apple is a bit conservative with hardware but that doesn't mean it is low-end. I can guarantee that they will not use the P4, except in the developer machine already being used. Not so sure about the Celeron but I highly doubt it - more likely a Yonah-based CPU in the Mac Mini.

    You seem to be quite the fan of AMD. That's fine, but what about the Sempron or Duron? would you complain about "crappy hardware" if Apple used those? Are the only good computers in your eyes powered by a "Clawhammer" Athlon?

    And yes, it is always a bad idea to use a cracked OS. It's unwise and wrong. Especially if you are a developer - it's stealing software.

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