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Dvorak: Apple to go Intel within 18 Months


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schweb

 
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Source: pcmag.com

Prediction: Apple Computer Corp. will switch to Intel processors within the next 12 to 18 months.

The story starts with January's Intel sales conference. The surprise keynote speaker was Steve Jobs. And then, in the front row of Steve Jobs's keynote address at the last Macworld Expo were top Intel executives. Shortly thereafter, Pixar announced that it would become an Intel shop. That was all step one. Step two is coming.

Apple has been concerned about Motorola dragging its heels in the processor wars and failing to achieve clock speeds that are even half of what AMD and Intel are achieving. Apple has attempted to rationalize clock-speed issues, but the company knows that it cannot do this forever. Worse is the feud between Motorola and Apple, which began after Apple suddenly pulled the plug on the license it gave Motorola to clone the Mac.

Change is good. Apple has a unique ability to get away with changing processors radically. It has used the 6502, then the 68K, and now the PowerPC. Each transition happened almost flawlessly. On the PC side of the fence, no Z-80 maker survived even the transition to the 8080. Apple has also cultivated a fanatical following, who have long since accepted the fact that Apple eschews long-term backward compatibility. The legacy concept does not hold the power over Apple users that it does in the PC universe.

Apple's only concern is cannibalization. It cannot change architectures with a pipeline full of PowerPC products. So expect a slow transition that will start with the high-end workstations. Apple's concern is that Motorola may muddy the situation, so Jobs will have to convince Motorola and customers that the PowerPC will not be phased out but will remain as part of a dual-processor architecture.

Scenario. Apple will announce its Intel initiative by showing a transition machine that uses both the Intel and Motorola processors. "So current Mac owners will not have to worry." This will be a high-end machine optimized to run Photoshop. Apple is adept at creating dual-processor architectures, so this won't be too radical. We've heard rumors of this kind of scenario for some time, under the code name Marklar.

Itanium. What will be radical is the company's choice of processor. Apple will announce its use of the Itanium chip, which can be used in such a multiprocessor design and will become the first desktop use of the chip. The choice of the Itanium is suggested by four factors. First, there is zero evidence that Apple is talking to AMD?and it would if it were staying with the x86 legacy chips. Second, Apple likes to make jazzy announcements in which it claims to be the first or the most aggressive in a market. The Itanium fills the bill perfectly, because Jobs can lord it over current PC makers with all sorts of performance claims.

Third, if Apple optimizes the OS X kernel for the Itanium, the likelihood of the Apple OS being ripped off by normal PC users is nil. And finally, by choosing the Itanium, Apple will have an ally in Intel, who will put its design team to work for Apple and perhaps even invest in the company, knowing AMD is not in the picture.

The Apple switch cannot be just a short-term fix for the megahertz dilemma. Jobs is part of the anti-Microsoft Silicon Valley clique, and despite the fact that Microsoft helped Apple financially, the favor was designed to benefit Microsoft more than Apple. Jobs is a peer of Bill Gates. He sees the numbers Microsoft has racked up. Apple has enough confidence in its hardware designs that it can again risk licensing the Mac OS to the Intel platform. The perfect ploy would be to make an Itanium-only Mac OS with some sort of backward compatibility with Microsoft code. The fact that Apple recently released Keynote as a standalone software product says the company is ready to go after the Microsoft cash cows: Office and Windows.

Timing is everything. Announcing the new architecture in July at the next Macworld Expo would be ideal, since it takes place in the media center, New York City. Whether Apple can actually have a working unit by July is questionable, but Jobs has been known to drive his people hard. Waiting until 2004 is too risky, but that might be the reason Apple is upset about the 2004 Macworld show being moved back to Boston. And consider the fall 2003 possibility: Comdex. Now that would get some attention.

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Emrys

 
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This would be absolutely awesome! 64 Bit chip form Intel, the mother of processors! Looks like I am gonna hold off on getting a PowerMac until this happens.

Just recently I have been doing Mpeg2 encoding, both on my iMac and one of my P4 2Ghz. I can tell you that the iMac is VERY slow in comparison. It might be good for editing images, and cuting and pasting video, but as for being a number cruncher, it fails. This new chip would fix this. And not only would it fix it, it would smoke any P4 on the market. This is definately something I have been waiting for.

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schweb

 
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Yes, I'm waiting to get a Power Mac as well until either this happens or the 970 comes out...

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Wow, that interesting news. Now it is a wait and see game. As the saying goes, only time will tell.

I am interested in the 64bit processor. I believe that the IBM processor should be used to start the change over process, because of the compatibility issues with old applications. That would be the best of both worlds, until all applications are optimized for 64 bit environment.

I want one. B)

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AstralZenith
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:blink: :huh: :unsure: <_<

why Intel!? they became the ***** CPU long ago... wouldnt AMD be a wiser choice if they are dumping motorola, and they can just choose?
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im with rman 64bit :drools:
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G4 proccesses data in 128-bit chunks <_<
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Quote:
Originally posted by AstralZenith@Mar 20 2003, 12:27 PM
* :blink:* :huh:* :unsure:* <_<

why Intel!? they became the ***** CPU long ago... wouldnt AMD be a wiser choice if they are dumping motorola, and they can just choose?
Ok, so where is the 64bit AMD chip? Intel pioneers, and AMD follows. I have had tons of problems with AMD chips. Mainly from back in the K6-2 days. I do own an AMD 1800+ XP, I think that is the processor, can't remember. I can't even get it to run at full speed unless I clock down the RAM. Maybe a motherboard problem, it's not something I've ever had to deal with before in my experience. Only bought it because it was cheap. If I could have afforded the P4 at the time, there would've been no choice to make. Based on my experiences, the Intel chips blow the AMD chips away. Hands down.

Wonder why all the MAJOR companies in the world use nothing but Intel. And why most ALL servers are Intel based. You won't find a Compaq DL320 with an AMD chip in there. And that is one of the best servers I've ever worked with.

AMD is the consumer bargain chip. It works, if you wanna surf the net, do some homework, and not break your budget. But if you wanna do real work, number crunching, server based stuff, Intel is definately the way to go.

From my limited experience with Apple, it seems they go after the Audio/Video market very agressively. This would require an Intel chip. AMD wouldn't be able to cut it.

EDIT: The server that this site was hosted on before the one it is on now was an Athlon. Couldn't make it a day without reboot. Replaced the RAM 3 times, did OS restores twice, and it still was not stable at all. Just remember this. We use an Intel chip now, and the uptime is only reset by us having to do manual reboots because of user error. Which isn't very often

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AstralZenith
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i have any opinion on "PC" CPUs other then i know that AMD has higher performence then Intels at the same MHz. so im not going to argue that, I think apple should keep G4s
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i don't have a cling to the hardware that mac uses, I could careless as long as they use what is best for the SOFTWARE.
they will make the best choice. I like mac because of the software above all other things. i could live with the hardware of a pc and the software of a mac.
Intel is just a hardware creator.
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Quote:
Originally posted by AstralZenith@Mar 20 2003, 03:33 PM
i have any opinion on "PC" CPUs other then i know that AMD has higher performence then Intels at the same MHz. so im not going to argue that, I think apple should keep G4s
Dude, you called Intel a "*****" processor, and then stated that AMD is better. Obviously you do have an opinion. With nothing to back it up, I may add. Not trying to be down on you, but you really should watch what you say.

Why would AMD be the better choice?

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AstralZenith
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Quote:
Originally posted by AstralZenith@Mar 20 2003, 02:33 PM
i have any opinion on "PC" CPUs other then i know that AMD has higher performence then Intels at the same MHz. so im not going to argue that, I think apple should keep G4s
obviously i did back it up

so we can get back on the topic
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Stating that you know that AMD has higher performance than Intel is anything but backing your statement up.

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Quote:
i have any opinion on "PC" CPUs other then i know that AMD has higher performence then Intels at the same MHz. so im not going to argue that, I think apple should keep G4s
ok.. first that was suppose to say:
  • "i have no opinion on "PC" CPUs other then i know that AMD has higher performence then Intels at the same MHz. so im not going to argue that, I think apple should keep G4s"
    i was stating it from personal expirence, which should be obvious

second: my only statement is "apple should stay with G4s(motorola)"

if you dont think Intel is a ***** CPU then you havnt seen years of apple adds which said they-are-better
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Ok, ok guys, play nice! Let's keep this forum for news and comments and move the "My CPU is better than your's" to a more appropriate place

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