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Apple switches to Intel

Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61105
    
  66

I was considering waiting until the "last possible minute" for a new G5; but now that I have a PowerBook ...


Sounds like that might be the best course of action for your situation.

For me, the "wait til the last minute" makes sense as I have perfectly adequate, though aging, hardware right now that will last me for at least another year or beyond.

Those whose systems are so old as to no longer be adequate to the task, or are wanting to jump onto OS X from whatever, I usually recommend buying now (keeping in mind that no one person's situation is like any other and other factors my need to be accounted for).

Btw, I formalized my thoughts as a Bear Den blog entry.


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M Beck
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Joined: Jan 14, 2005
Posts: 323
count another person who's surprised Apple's going with Intel over AMD. especially if they're looking at performance-per-watt and the laptop market; i would have thought AMD64 should be a far more natural choice under those circumstances. i can only speculate that Intel must have cut a very, very sweet deal for Steve Jobs behind the scenes.

it will be interesting to see if this lets Intel catch up to AMD's multi-core CPU's in the future. i would think Apple's dual-CPU experience could become a driver for that, but it remains to be seen if Intel will listen, or even if they do, whether they can follow through.

performance-wise, i doubt there'll be any huge difference. finding SPECint/SPECfp numbers for Apple's hardware seems difficult, but IBM's server line CPU's do not appear to be performing noticeably better than current Intel/AMD hardware. even if present-day PPCs are faster dollar for dollar than Intel-compatible silicon, that won't last long with the way Intel and AMD have been improving their goods lately; over the long run, switching CPU's will certainly be a performance win for Apple.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61105
    
  66

i can only speculate that Intel must have cut a very, very sweet deal


I was thinking either that, or that Apple was worried about keeping supply up with demand and determined that Intel had the better chance of delivering.

Btw, I put action to my words last night and ordered a new iBook (sweet deal at MacMall) to replace my antique original iBook that has lasted me for many years. Sometime near the beginning to middle of next year, I'll be replacing my desktop dualie G4 with a G5 desktop.
Steven Bell
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Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
It appears that AMD is sueing Intel over monopolistic actions. If it's true it makes me wonder if that had anything to do with the decision to go with Intel.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Bear Bibeault:

I don't see it. I use XP and OS X about 50/50, and I just can't agree. Your mileage may vary of course.

I'd note that my strategy is really the same as yours, as far as it goes: buy the last, greatest G5 machine Apple produces, in 2007 or whenever that happens, to protect my PPC software investments.

I'm just looking out further than that, to when that machine gets obsolete in 2010 or whatever. By that time Longhorn will be out and will have worked out many of its kinks, and Windows will have had more time to catch up. I agree that's still not guaranteed to happen, which is why I leave open the Linux option as well.

I'm also less sanguine than you about "clicking the dual compile switch". I think that the reason some software vendors are welcoming this news is that they will be taking their compiled DLLs from windows, and hacking a way to use those binary packages to produce a "Mac" product. Without a Mac specific C# compiler, the source code isn't going to be portable. Even the option to use CodeWarrior for both platforms is likely to be closed off as Apple continues to shun Metrowerks and as CodeWarrior continues to move towards primarily supporting Freescale's embedded products.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61105
    
  66

I think that the reason some software vendors are welcoming this news is that they will be taking their compiled DLLs from windows, and hacking a way to use those binary packages to produce a "Mac" product.


Not so sure. Windows DLL's are as much, if not more, dependent upon Window's software architecture (stretching the term) as they are on the processor. Hacking a Windows-compiled DLL to work under OS X would most likely be more work than writing a Cocoa version from scratch.

I've also heard people worry that some vendors might stop creating Mac versions and just put out a Windows version and say "just dual-boot or run VPC". Again, I don't see it happening. The percentage of the general population that even knows what "dual-boot" means is teeny-tiny. And I can't see a software vendor surviving that forces you to buy Windows or VPC just to use their product -- especially for "switchers" like myself who worked very hard to jettison Windows from their homes and who aren't letting it back in in any way shape or form. And not to mention the confusion that would be caused by the severe dichotomy between the two user interfaces competing on the same screen

So catering to the dual-boot/VPC-savvy would limit the vendor to a tiny percentage of the Mac market. Why bother? They'll either support the Mac or they won't, just like today. No is going to make any money with a middle-road strategy.

Does that mean I have no worries? Of course not. I base most of my thoughts on people making good business decisions. But we all know, a lot of really crazy business decisions get made every day. So we wait to see...

My new 14" iBook arrives today!
[ June 30, 2005: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
 
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