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Apple to Use Intel Chips?

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the circle-round-round-and-again dept.

Intel 920

Stack_13 writes "Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will agree to use Intel chips. Neither Apple or Intel confirm this. Interestingly, PCMag's John C. Dvorak predicted this for 2004-2005. Are even cheaper Mac Minis coming?"

cancel ×

920 comments

Does this mean - (3, Interesting)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611230)

We'll see Mac OS X - x86 anytime soon?

Re:Does this mean - (0, Redundant)

Ylleks (807103) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611256)

Going out on a limb here: yes.

Re:Does this mean - (5, Insightful)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611266)

More likely it will mean that you'll see better pricing on PowerPC-based Macs in the future.

Re:Does this mean - (5, Informative)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611303)

This could be the same tactic Dell uses with Intel... "We could go with AMD, but about those prices..."

Cheaper because of Intel? I doubt it. Even if Apple does start using x86 - or more likely x86-64 - they would still likely use their own controller chips (Note that Apple uses a single, integrated controller rather than a north/southbridge approach) and custom boards.

It's not impossible that Apple will switch to Intel processors. We already know they keep a copy of the OS up to date on Intel hardware, and even released Darwin x86. The problems come from all the things they would leave behind:

Compatibility - The PowerPC architecture emulates x86 better than the other way 'round. To keep from eliminating all old software with one fell swoop, they would need to emulate PowerPC. This would cause old software to run like death.

VMX - Much of Apple's current power comes from the AltiVec/VMX/Velocity Engine available on the G4 & G5 processors. It is what offers Apple serious performance benefits in certain applications, and makes possible many of the near/realtime capbilities in programs like iPhoto, iMovie, and even Final Cut Pro. Unless Intel tacks on a VMX unit, I don't see Apple switching.

Maybe a dual-processor system: one PowerPC and one Intel? Not likely, I grant you.

Re:Does this mean - (5, Interesting)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611385)

My guess is they really are planning on using Intel chips - just not processors. Remember, Intel produces wireless chips, Flash memory, Ethernet chips, and Salt and Vinegar chips.

Re:Does this mean - (0)

Shisha (145964) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611392)

On Intel they have SSE, MMX etc. units. Sure some software would need optimization.... but the Velocity Engine is not _that_ unique. Apple did a good job marketing it (clearly).

As for emulation, I'd think that Apple won't bother with that at all and use fat binaries instead. (they'd be quite fat if they're to include old 32-bit powerPC code, 64-bit powerPC code and x86 code as well... but it does not matter, disk space is cheap and binaries are usually less than 50% of an application anyway).

Re:Does this mean - (2, Insightful)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611274)

Good point. But is Apple a software company or a hardware company? If OS X-86 come out then they have to dedicate an entire department for that. Not that Apple cannot afford it, but if they are really a hardware company, it really is not lucrative enough and not to mention inheriting all the troubles of x86 world.

Re:Does this mean - (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611320)

The thing that sets Apple apart from all other companies in this area is that they aren't just a hardware company or a software company. They are both. Most people buy the hardware because of the excellent software they offer on top. It's the combined experience that makes their hardware stand above the rest.

Re:Does this mean - (2, Interesting)

taskforce (866056) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611277)

It was rumoured a while back that Apple had an x86 internal build of OS X. It's not unlikely becuase of it's FreeBSD roots that it was part of the development cycle at least for the early versions of OS X. (I don't see why they would continue to develop the later versions on x86 if they wheren't planning this all along)

Re:Does this mean - (1)

oudzeeman (684485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611302)

Darwin compiles on x86, so it's a matter of porting Aqua, Cocoa, Carbon, Quartz...

Re:Does this mean - (2, Insightful)

defy god (822637) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611344)

safari, iWork, final cut, iCal, iChat, iTunes, iMovie, iDVD (not to mention the PRO versions), MS office (yeah, right..), Photoshop, Illustrator.. okay.. you get the point.

Here we go again... (5, Insightful)

tliet (167733) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611281)

For the n-th time, what would Apple have to gain? Who would buy a Mac when they could buy a Dell. Does anyone seriously believe Microsoft would release Office for Mac OS X for Intel?

The Mac would die the day the CPU would be the same as in a generic PC. Not from a architectural standpoint, I think they could make it happen, but marketingwise.

Re:Here we go again... (3, Insightful)

Rasta Prefect (250915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611337)

For the n-th time, what would Apple have to gain? Who would buy a Mac when they could buy a Dell.

Maybe someone who doesn't want his Tech support calls forwarded to Bangalore? (Not that I don't have my complaints about Apple support, but at least I could figure out what everyone was telling me, leaving out the ambiguity of figuring out whether they really sucked or whether I just thought they sucked because I couldn't figure out what the hell they were saying.)

Re:Here we go again... (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611391)

For the n-th time, what would Apple have to gain?

Really. I mean, everyone knows that software companies [microsoft.com] can't make any money.

Re:Does this mean - (2, Insightful)

selderrr (523988) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611288)

I seriously doubt it. Right now, Intel is not really leading he pack in processor terms. All you hear about these days is IBM (both PS3 and XBox360 are IBM powered) and AMD on the 64bit front. With OSX being the most widely spread 64bit consumer OS, I can hardly believe Apple switching to the least-represented CPU manufacturer.

If anything, they could perhaps use some non-x86 intel stuff for portables devices where the PPC sucks up too much power. Remember that Intel is more than only x86

Re:Does this mean - (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611319)

That the ticket. A lot of handhelds have intel chips running them.

That what this is about. The is another Apple handheld coming!!!

Re:Does this mean - (5, Insightful)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611333)

Apple may be planning on using Intel network cards. Or maybe one of intels hardware raid chips. Flash memories, Cellular processors, wireless chips are al possible. But processors? I doubt it.

Re:Does this mean - (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611339)

You already can use darwin (kernel, basic system utilities) in your x86.

Here's a link [apple.com] for x86 darwin - inside the apple site

Re:Does this mean - (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611387)

This has been discussed before. Apple uses their x86 kernel as leverage against MSFT so that there is still Office for OS X.

The second that Apple moves into the market with OS X for x86, MSFT is going to pull Office and render OS X basically useless compared to Windows. Yeah, there are open alternatives that sorta work but in the real world people want to use what they are comfortable with. Unfortunately that's Office.

MSFT knows that if they pulled Office for OS X that Apple could easily release OS X for x86 and enter a new competitor into the OS market.

Whoops! There goes the planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611232)

Cheap Macs?

Damn submitter trolling again. Macs have never been expensive, always remember the difference between price and value.

Re:Whoops! There goes the planet (-1, Troll)

dj_tsd (548135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611275)

Wow, that's funny. Mac's have always been expensive, because the value of their competitors is usually greater. Mac's are great, but by the time they're in PC price range, they're 4 years old.

Re:Whoops! There goes the planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611331)

I'll be modded down for this, as pointing out a complex argument may be flawed doesn't usually go down well.

They've usually been poor value too, whether competing against the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga in the 1980s (which generally cost about a third of the price yet were more powerful machines), or been underpowered, 500MHz "Dual G4s" competing against machines with more power for half the price in the early part of the 21st Century.

They've recently had a few good value products out, but this is a recent development. The G5s are ok, though they're competitively priced, not cheap. The Mac mini and eMac are both reasonable, though their lack of expandability means that many of the machines they compete against are ultimately better value in the long term.

Re:Whoops! There goes the planet (1)

LegendOfLink (574790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611355)

Damn submitter trolling again. Macs have never been expensive, always remember the difference between price and value.

That's why Apple released the Mac Mini, right? Apple needed a "cheap Mac" to attract more customers, because their other macs were so inexpensive? Your comment is a clear example of "head-in-the-clouds trolling" or trolling based on fiction instead of facts.

Intel what (1)

Mr804 (12397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611233)

Use which intel chips?

Dvorak (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611237)

"John C. Dvorak predicted this for 2004-2005."

Yes but he predicts so much crap of course he'll be right eventually.

Re:Dvorak (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611294)


Yes but he predicts so much crap of course he'll be right eventually.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Re:Dvorak (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611348)

So in about 12 hours, another Dvorak prediction will come true?

Cue the Four Horsemen (from the Bible, not WWF)

Re:Dvorak (4, Funny)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611314)

If Dvorak predicted it, you can bet it won't happen.

The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a "mouse". There is no evidence that people want to use these things.
- John C. Dvorak, SF Examiner, Feb. 1984.

Re:Dvorak (1)

taskforce (866056) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611345)

It's the best real world example of the metaphor of sitting an infinite number of chimps at an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite ammount of time and knowing for certain that eventually one of them will create a work of Shakespeare to date.

If true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611239)

Then it truly is a sign that the end of the world is near.

Dvorak (4, Insightful)

taskforce (866056) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611240)

If what Dvorak has predicted is about to come true, I fear the space time continuum will rupture spewing forth a hoard of evil flesh eating time daemons.

Re:Dvorak (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611361)

But that's easily remedied. Just get someone to run him over with a Vauxhall Chevette!

Re:Dvorak (1)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611374)

I fear the space time continuum will rupture spewing forth a hoard of evil flesh eating time daemons.

i think you mean "demons" -better watch it, as you don't want the BSDers to get their panties in a wad... [freebsd.org]

First Post Try - Nevermind (1)

ballsmccoy (304705) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611243)

Shouldn't they be talking to AMD?

Re:First Post Try - Nevermind (1)

fons (190526) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611389)

AMD hasn't got the best rep. in delivering big vulumes on time.

That's why Dell still prefers Intel.

AMD? (2, Interesting)

InsideTheAsylum (836659) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611244)

Wouldn't using AMD be even cheaper..?

Re:AMD? (1)

NextGaurd (844638) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611283)

Hopefully they would do it a way that they can use either/both Intel and AMD.

Re:AMD? (2, Insightful)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611343)

Why would it be ? You think AMD has some magical trick to make processors at a cheaper cost ? If boxed processors from AMD are cheaper than Intel it's because they HAVE TO. AMD is the challenger, and that's how it works in all domain of economics : the market leader can afford to price higher that's all. Are you privvy to the deals that are actually made between Intel and the likes of Dell or IBM ? What to you know of their high quantitiy pricing policy ?

The fact is, if Apple wants to go x86 (which I think they should), they'll consider both Intel and AMD, talk to them, see what they can get and make a strategic desicison. If Intel decides that it's worth it then they'll underbid AMD. Or maybe Apple might decide that they want a supplier that is more reliable for delivering big quantity orders given that they've themselves been bitten so often by back-ordering problems.

Moving toward standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611249)

What would be the reasoning behind this? Would it make the Apple computers cheaper overall?

Re:Moving toward standards? (2, Insightful)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611295)

To get a better deal from IBM. That would lower their costs and lower the prices of the Macs.

Essentially they're shifting part of the cost burden to IBM, while keeping their share of the profits intact, in an attempt to boost their sales.

Also, it could be an attempt to make sure that IBM, with its focus on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Revolution, does not forget about Apple.

AMD (-1, Redundant)

David Off (101038) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611250)

wouldn't they be better with AMD?

Re:AMD (1)

trintron (862057) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611330)

AMD doesn't exist in Apple world?

Nope (5, Insightful)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611251)

ARM for iPods maybe, but otherwise, absolutely no chance. Only a fool would even think this was likely.

O really? (5, Insightful)

yurigoul (658468) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611252)

Stuff like this keeps coming up. Seems to be part of the Apple rumour cycle. Can we trust the source??? Using the G5 is par to of the advantage in marketing terms, as a far as i can see: think different!

heh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611254)

Muahahahaha welcome to paaaain Macheads!

Paaaaaain

Aw, jeez... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611259)

...After everyone worked so hard to port Linux to the PowerPC...

Please help an Intel Newbie (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611260)

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Intel fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac running Intel (a 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Mac running Intel, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac running Intel that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Intel addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use Intel over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re:Please help an Intel Newbie (1)

Electric Eye (5518) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611298)

Um, your 8600 is not Intel-run. That' a PowerPC chip, bro. Or are you talking about running Virtual PC? That's different.

bizarro world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611265)

The Mac is using an Intel chip and the XBOX 360 is using a PowerPC chip? I think I stepped into a parallel dimension.

rumor? (1)

Electric Eye (5518) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611268)

I would normally take this as just another rumor, but the WSJ (I'm a far left liberal and I still think it's a great paper) is VERY accurate when it comes to stories like this. So, I would likely accept it. If true, this would be a coup de tat (is that how you spell it??) as all of a sudden, M$ has even MORE competition on its own turf now. You can't have anymore complaints about price disparity.

Re:rumor? (1, Informative)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611341)

coup de tat (is that how you spell it??)

coup d'état

Re:rumor? (1)

Electric Eye (5518) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611367)

Thank you. I wouldn't even know how to create those characters anyway. :-)

Re:rumor? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611369)

I'm a far left liberal

On Slashdot? I find that hard to believe!

Why move now? (5, Insightful)

JabrTheHut (640719) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611269)

Why move now? Everyone's been hearing about the dual-core PowerPC chips for months, PS 3 and Xbox 180 will be running 3-core versions of this chip, so why go Intel?

Re:Why move now? (2, Interesting)

NextGaurd (844638) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611318)

It would be really ironic - Microsoft's Xbox2 goes power PC but Apple goes X86? Something just doesn't feel right.

The article is quite worthless (5, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611270)

All it says is that "Apple will use intel chips", it doesn't state what kind of chips, but it does repeat itself over and over again. Maybe Apple will use Intel chips in an embedded device, maybe they are considering bringing back the mac/pc hybrid. There is really no "meat" to this story, but we can all speculate anyway.

I'll believe it when... (0, Troll)

mrch0mp3rs (864814) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611271)

I can boot up Tiger on my craptacular 386.

Intel make chips other than CPUs (1, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611273)

This might be video hardware or network chips.

I can't for one minute imagine Apple replacing nice fairly cool and power efficient PPC chips for hot running 100+ watt monstrosities from Intel.

Re:Intel make chips other than CPUs (3, Insightful)

Dominatus (796241) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611329)

Are you serious? The G5 generates a ton of heat. Why do you think you haven't seen G5 powerbooks yet?

Re:Intel make chips other than CPUs (3, Funny)

Loco3KGT (141999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611364)

I was led to believe we hadn't sacrificed enough virgins.

Re:Intel make chips other than CPUs (1)

matthaak (707485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611353)

Yeah, getting those "fairly cool and power efficient PPC chips" into a laptop has proven so easy to do, Apple would be foolish to leave the G5 behind.

I mean, honestly, what about this graphic says "fairly cool" to you?
http://images.apple.com/powermac/images/indexenclo sure06082004.jpg [apple.com]

Re:Intel make chips other than CPUs (1)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611356)

This might be video hardware or network chips.

I was thinking the same thing. There are a lot of chips used in computers besides the CPU, and Intel makes a lot of those chips.

Depends on what kind of chips (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611278)

Just USB 2.0 chips? Or x64 processors? Or perhaps ARM cpus for next generation iPods/Newtons?

Cell processor? (1)

ewg (158266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611279)

I'm wondering if the new Cell processor, going to market in the PS3, is suitable for desktop use.

It seems a shame for Apple to be looking toward Intel when all the next-generation consoles are using IBM chip technology.

Re:Cell processor? (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611334)


They almost certainly won't do this, but it'd be interesting if they built Macs with an x86 as the main CPU, and one of those 3GHz PowerPC-based processors from the XBox360 as a graphics coprocessor.

Re:Cell processor? (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611384)

Interesting maybe, but stupid. The PPCs in the 360 aren't meant for graphics processing; that's why it's got a monster ATI video card. Even a 3Ghz PPC would probably not be much better at graphics than an old Voodoo3 or TNT, because it has to render everything in software.

Original source? (4, Informative)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611280)

The WSJ reports it, but no link to the WSJ's actual story? Well, here it is [wsj.com] .

Re:Original source? (1)

http101 (522275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611317)

What, a link to the WSJ site, but no transcript of the article? :-P

need a laptop cpu? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611289)

my guess is they are still having trouble building a powerbook with the G5 inside.

NEWTON (1)

necrodeep (96704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611291)

Well, there has been the rumor for years that Apple would restart the Newton line... maybe they are looking at xscale PDA chips?

Apple Chips (1)

http101 (522275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611292)

Any word from Motorola yet? I'm sure after losing a little of their sales from Apple, they'd have _something_ to say... Just because Apple will be using some Intel chips, doesn't mean they're sales are going to increase so Motorola can keep selling the same amount of chips to Apple.

Re:Apple Chips (1, Interesting)

turgid (580780) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611327)

Apple doesn't use Motorola PowerPC chips any more and hasn't for years. It gets them from IBM.

Intel chips are hot, offer poor performance at a given clock frequency, and the 64-bit AMD64-a-like models are in short supply.

No, this is nonsense and a hoax. If Apple were going to switch to the x86 architecture, it would make far more sense technically and economically to choose Opteron/Athlon 64.

Nothing to see here folks. Move along please.

Re:Apple Chips (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611377)

Motorola has been losing interest in that market segment for years and is, in fact, getting out of it. Their chip division is now called Freescale [google.com] .

what'a really amazing about this rumor (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611296)

Is that it's the first time it's been reported - other than Dvorak, who I think we can all agree is a pretty obscure "technology writer" (blogger, really). I mean, no one really had any interest in licensing the Mac OS, and/or moving it to a "majority platform". Apple on x86? Who wants that? As I understand it, Macs don't really run any programs anyway. (I was never sure what people did with them!)

The other interesting facet of this story is the long, sad tale of Apple's decline. Sure, the technology press has missed the *actual* date of closing the doors at 1 Infinite Loop, but it really clinches the deal: they're going down, and soon. Why else would they go with these crappy last-ditch deals?

That's right folks. You heard it here. An accurate prediction of Apple's demise: Real. Soon. Now.

Sure (1, Funny)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611299)

Yeah, I'm sure apple is going to release a x86 apple computer. I mean, PowerPC is not in its best moment, after all xbox 2, PS3 etc are not carrying powerpc chips. Also, a new architecture would mean no binary program for mac os x would work in a x86 computer, 3rd party companies would love such movement.

Jobs would rather let apple die before selling a x86 mac

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611365)

"after all xbox 2, PS3 etc are not carrying powerpc chips"

Wrong, they both have customized multicore PPC based processors.

Apple Denies (5, Informative)

nbharatvarma (784546) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611300)

Some links I found some 30 mins ago in Google News

http://www.techsmec.com/index.php/2005/05/23/apple _denies_intel_rumour [techsmec.com]
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/73057/apple-denies-eye ing-intel-chips.html [pcpro.co.uk]
http://www.dvhardware.net/article5037.html [dvhardware.net]

Of course, one could argue that Apple wouldn't want this news to be leaked

The Register says not. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611301)

The Register already has an analysis on this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/05/23/apple_inte l/ [theregister.co.uk]

The conclusions are: Apple already use a lot of non PowerPC chips (iPod, AirPort base stations), so these talks may well have nothing to do with Mac's. Also, it could be a scare tactic to make IBM a bit more eager as a chip supplier.

I hate to like this idea. (3, Interesting)

TempusMagus (723668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611305)

Well, for one, it would make the whole confusing use of clock speeds vs platform processor go away. It would also make it easier to emu windows software and port games. However, the new IBM PPC chips seem to kick all sorts of major ass. Why give that up? I'm betting anything this is for iPod chips.

Why would they do something so stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611306)

Why would apple bother to use intel's crappy chips? I think the new xbox360 and PS3 , which are both based off multi core PPC chips is a pefect demonstration IBM's PPC chips can smoke Intel or AMD and are way ahead of them in the multicore game.

Re:Why would they do something so stupid? (1)

dick johnson (660154) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611360)

Because Apple can get a better supply of chips from Intel than from IBM.

How many times in the last two decades has Apple had a hit computer that had huge demand, but couldn't meet the demand because Motorola or IBM couldn't produce enough chips?

This just makes sense to me. Plus it should have an AWESOME increase in performance for Windows emulation software (not having to emulate the x86 hardware would make for a huge boost). (I'm assuming that Microsoft won't continue to make Virtual PC for Mac/Intel).

Plus, the old Nextstep OS always had Intel support built in. Nextstep is basically OS X. There's no reason not to do this.

Why cheaper!? (5, Insightful)

jerde (23294) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611309)

And why, now, would Intel CPUs be any cheaper?

Currently all of Intel's stuff runs hotter, so Apple would have to work significantly harder at heat dissipation issues in all but their tower designs.

And what, pray tell, do you expect them to do with little-endian issues, backwards compatibility, and all those little details?

Unless Apple thinks that neither IBM or Motorola are ever going to catch up, I just can't see them justifying the huge cost of a major architecture change like this.

- Peter

PPC chips (1)

JSRockit (852295) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611310)

So, this would be Intel making PPC chips then? I would be fine with anyone who could get anything other than a G4 into the PowerBooks.

Apple already does! (1)

TangoCharlie (113383) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611324)

Apple already uses chips from Intel and AMD, and many other suppliers. This does not mean that Apple is going to make a version of MacOS X for generic x86 boxes. There was another story like this a few months ago... and the intel chip in question was the raid controller in the XServe raid boxes.

The main CPU in Apple Macs will remain PowerPC for the concievable future.

The real speculation should be whether Microsoft should /could buy Apple because the G5 CPU is similar to the XBox's CPU.

If you think Wintel is scary.... consider a future where Microsoft makes the OS _and_ the computers.

Probably False (3, Funny)

SirStanley (95545) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611325)

This is a rumor that keeps getting recycled. It could be true this time... just like it could have been true the last 50 times it's happened.

New headline:
Erroneous Wallstreet Journal Article causes Mac Fans through out the world to riot. Killing 15

OS X on commodity hardware? (1)

Zebra1024 (726970) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611326)

It would be nice to see OS X become another choice for an OS for the commodity x86 hardware platform along with Windows and Linux.

It might not be about CPUs (1)

agpenm (689720) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611328)

Intel makes more CPUs, and Apple makes a lot of devices other than Macintoshes. This could have something to do Intel's wireless chip sets, or possibly chips to decode H.264 video. I think a device similar to the Airport Express that offered H.264 video decompression for use with home theater set ups is a much likelier candidate for an Apple product based on Intel chips than an Intel Mac.

PowerPC = IBM ? (1)

jack_call (742032) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611335)

Since the PowerPC architecture [wikipedia.org] (I know, wikipedia is not to be trusted, but I can't really be bothered to find another reference) is based on IBM's POWER architecture, and I don't _guess_ that IBM would be licensing it to Intel, isn't IBM going to be pi**ed? or are Apple going to be using IA-64 instead? or x86(no it's not a serious guess, but it would be cool if I could run MacOS X on my P4)
Adopting Intel chips would help ensure that future Macintosh systems could meet the price and performance of products from tough rivals such as Dell Inc. .
Can you really compare Apple and Dell? I don't know any persons(personally) who uses apple for their home computer, but I do know a few who use them for work(video or sound editing)

Maybe it is not for a Mac? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611338)

In case people forgot Apple does make more than computers and Intel does make things chips besides the x86.
Could it be the Xscale for a PDA, phone, or goodness knows what.
It could also be looking at an x86 based server.
I just can not see an x86 Mac desktop getting any traction. It would almost no software available for it for a good long time and would give no real advantage. The PPC is a good chip and seems to have a good future. I am waiting for the Cell based Mac Mini.

What really happened ... (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611351)

Steve Jobs said he liked the potato chips he was offered during an Intel presentation, and plans to sell the same chips in Apple's cafeteria as well. :-)

Predicting the future ain't what it used to be (4, Insightful)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611357)

Well, I suppose since Dvorak predicted it every year since 1988, he might well be right sooner or later. I guess that would be about the third or fourth thing he's gotten right in all that time.

I bet it's not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611370)

to replace the Power chips, but instead for something else, such as they WiFi on a chip.

But does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611375)

Finally. I'll get all the benefits - cheaper Apple hardware (Intel) and my favourite Linux distribution all in the same package. It'll be awesome.

Apple on a PC? No chance. (1)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611376)

The article talks about Apple using Intel chips.

If they actually made the MacOS available on PC's that would be fantastic! But extremely unlikely as that would threaten their markup.

Thoughts on this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611378)

I personally always thought Macs were more expensive not because IBM charged more for their processors, but because Apple enjoyed such large margins. Apple going to Intel on cost alone doesn't seem like it makes a lot of sense.

With the Xbox 360, PS3, and Revolution all coming out - IBM is going to have a means of mass producing PowerPC and Cell processors to a point where it would be cheap enough for each of these boxes to be profitable at a couple hundred dollars per hardware unit (yes, I know this will take time).

All Apple has to do is play the waiting game with IBM to reap the benefits - so why do the dance with Intel, especially since it requires migrating a lot of codebase over to x86?

Of course Apple could be going towards a solution where they sell a stand-alone OS for Intel-based PCs, but we know that will never happen.

So - a question for those more knowledgable than me: If Joe User has written himself an application for Mac OS X - and Apple ports Mac OS X to another hardware architecture - does Joe User need to re-compile his App, or will it work wherever Mac OS X is installed?

The question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611380)

Can x86 or 64bit Intel/AMD handle Quartz extreme and other stuff required by OS X.

I can't imagine this desktop without those frameworks, it will be torture.

Who cares about cheap?! (1)

infofreako (194212) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611383)

Give me a mini with enough horsepower to record and play an HDTV signal with full 5.1 sound and I'm in!

-Patrick

Apple makes money from HARDWARE (1)

mlorentz (860043) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611386)

Apple makes all their money from selling HARDWARE. All their software products are just to get their hardware out the door. There is no way they will switch to x86. If they just become another Dell with their own OS they could not survive. Build your own mac? Apple would hate to see that day...

Proof, though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12611394)

You know as well as I do they could just be talking about Apple getting a leg up on USB 3.0 or some other tech that Intel makes. Why does it have to be chips? And you know there ARE other types of chips out there...maybe Apple wants to make a really cheap Mac with Intel Extreme graphics.

Why does this have to be about CPUs?

That said, I look forward to being able to buy a dual 3.4 ghz PowerMac for $1500. Bring 'em on, Steve-o!

Summary of issues (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12611396)

Here's why this is not that likely:
  1. It's just Apple trying to get better terms/service from IBM (think Dell's "talks" with AMD)
  2. It will be the death of Apple's hardware division
  3. Apple will have a hard time supporting the myriad boards, chipsets, and peripherals of PCs
  4. Piracy/sharing (pick your preferred new-speak term) will mean a revenue-less expansion of the install base
That said, Apple's done some strange moves in the past. If PC users can just buy OS X86 for $99, they might give Mac a try. It wouldn't take that high conversion rate for OS software profits to easily replace hardware profits. I'd bet that Apple makes nearly as much profit on a sale of Tiger as it does on the sale of it slower-end machines.
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