Tuesday, June 07, 2005

More about Intel in Mac's, or how Steve Jobs got an iPod shuffle lodged in his brain

Here's the lowdown. Right now, IBM manufactures mosts of the processors used in Macs.... PowerPC G4's and G5's. I think Motorolla may still make a few. This isn't the first time Apple has switched it's processors... and it pisses off developers because they esentially have to write two different versions of the same program to accomidate old users and new users.


Apple's decision to switch to Intel, based on the hearsy and rumors I've created, is based on cost and availability. Intel processors are less expensive, and under constant development. IBM processors are more expensive, and are on a slower development scale. Right now IBM is swinging its efforts to develop the processors that will power the new Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo Revloution, leaving the G5 processer largely ignored. Not good if you're Steve Jobs promising 3.0ghz processors in your G5 Laptop (which don't exist, and probably never will). Intel is already at 3.0ghz, and soon to be at that speed in laptops (if not already).

Will you be able to put your Windows XP install CD in a Mac and have it work? Probably not. Will Alias save a boatload of development cost on the next version of its software? Possibily. Will they pass savings onto the users? Uh, no.

More here, at News.com

I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing. Intel is not in the best shape of its life, and Apple already pissed off a lot of people when it swiched from the older OS9 to OSX platforms. Eitherway, my iBook is still a pimp computer.


Blogger dennis said...

I lioke my lil' pimp, too. And from what I've read, porting a lot of the software to the new chip isn't necessarily as terrible a task as it seems, not that I know anything about coding, but.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

I knew somebody could explain this better, thanks Pat.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Alley Party said...

Actually the Intel architecture is garbage, it always has been. It's based on a CISC design which means much of the realestate is spent deciphering complex instructions to smaller ones the core can process. This is largely due to their backward compatability issues, basically every chip can theoretically run any program ever written to the x86 architecture.

The IBM cpu however uses a RISC design which means 100% of the CPU is dedicated to ripping the instructions (that do not need to be broken down) through the core (faster execution). The Intel also has a lot of depricated registers and hardware that does nothing but slow the works down.

The Intel performance gains are laregly decreasing the distances between transisters and smaller components. From what I am told they are near the end of what they can push before the CPU becomes to difficult to manage heat wise. In fact they are going back to an older design (which escapes me now, maybe the Pentium Mobile or M) and tsarting over to gain any perfomance increase.

So the lesson is that making things easy to change (backward compatable) is better than making things more efficient. the G% most likely outperforms and Intel chip regardless of the CPU speed since most of the time the Intel is just deciphering instructions.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Alley Party said...


here's a good link...I think

4:11 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Wow. I think after reading that, my brain needs a new heat sync because it overheated. Yowsahs that's a lot of tech talk! But I guess that's what you get when you have a blog centered on a very complicated computer program...

4:53 PM  

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