Written by: Adam Christianson
Listen to today’s show here!
MC20050610.mp3 [26.67mb 58:14 64kbps]
A podcast about Macs done by a Mac geek for Mac geeks. Show 66. The Apple Intel Special. The Mac Geek responds to the major announcement from WWDC 2005 and answers the questions: Why is Apple switching? Why Intel? What about the software? Won’t Apple sales go down? What about Games? Will Macs be less secure? Should I wait to buy a new Mac? Will there be a version of OS X for PC? Will I be able to run Windows on my Mac? All this and several listeners chime in with reactions and opinions. New music, Swoosh by Ton-O-Honey. That’s right. You heard me right. Now shut up and pay attention. Shownotes: HTML or OPML
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Excellent show as usual Adam. Like you I strongly recommend that anyone concerned over the switch to Intel processors head over to apple.com and check out the developer conference keynote by Steve Jobs. He does a fantastic job of explaining why he’s doing the switch and exactly what it means to developers and users. The link is on the apple.com homepage, I’ll put it here too:
Regarding Podcastalley. I think it would be good if there was a link/button on maccast.com (eg in right-hand column of homepage) that allows anyone to vote for the maccast. Currently, and especially if the Maccast is not in the top 10, it requires several steps to vote for the Maccast which I reckon affects the number of votes the Maccast gets.
If Intel has a ready-to-go duel processor in its back pocket, then why are the game makers using IBM chips in their next generation game boxs?
I have a problem believing that Intel upgrade path is as clear as Steve Jobs wants you to believe.
The big issue is the future upgrade path of the Intel chip and not conversion from IBM to Intel.
Regarding why users would need dual processor Intels: high-end media applications and servers can *always* use more power. It’s not a matter of more speed as it is the ability to better handle multi-tasking. For example, the nice thing about a dual system is that you hardly ever notice any lag if you have one process running in the background while you’re doing something else in the foreground. This is why my dual G4/1.25GHz still competes with a single-processor G5 1.8GHz (and that is benchmark, not user experience; the user multi-tasking experience cannot be judged by a single-process benchmark.)
I could never imagine going back to a single processor on my main production machine. it would be painful indeed.
Excellent podcast! I surfed over to podcastalley immediately and cast my vote.
As far as I am concerned the processor isn’t what makes the computer a Mac. It is the wonderful OS and the great workmanship.
I switched to Mac two years ago and, at the time, didn’t have the slightest idea what processor Apple was using. I came over from PCs because Windows is horrible and Mac OS X is by far the best OS out there!
I am not a processor expert, but I think dual core chips are essentially like having two processors, just on one chip instead of two (I may be wrong). So my thought was isn’t having a 1 dual core processor essentially the same as have a dual processor machine? maybe it isn’t. Can anyone explain this?
I’ve always considered dual processor and dual core processor as having the same net effect.
There’s a few technical differences, advantages and disadvantages. Wiki does a good job of comparing the two:
Listening to the show, you say that Darwine is going to be a good thing for the Mac, it’s going to be just the oppsite, if Windows applications will run native under OS X, developers are going to not want to code native to OS X, since they won’t have to since they could just code for Windows and get more people using the application with less effort.
You played my comment!
It’ll be interesting to see what the new iMacs and PowerMac’s look like.
They won’t need to make them so big anymore…
The GameTime podcast I mentioned in my comment is no more, I’m working on a news show for Yankidank.com. Only thing is, the Audio-Line-In on my iMac G5 doesn’t work :\ [go to the Hardware section of the MacCast forums if you can help, I’ve started a topic there]
Great episode, [of course]
13 year-old Podcaster [Yankidank.com] /Podcast listener/ Blogger [mkp2k4.1up.com]
Congrats on the new iMac.
I tend not to be too critical but the show on the Intel Mac appeared to be the musings of an Apple apologist. Take a look at the initial timings at thinksecret.com. Being generous, the Rosetta will probably result in a 50% performance hit (if the app runs at all as not all apps are compatible).
I won’t move from the Mac but I doubt if I will buy any software until the universal editions come out. Good thing Apple has the iPod cash cow. I feel sorry for independant developers.
OS X’s kernel has an issue with thread scaling. Until this is fixed higher speed CPU’s on Server based systems really won’t be of any benfit. However for calculation intensive applications such as video encoding more CPU power will always help.
Checkout on the kernel thread issue:
Maybe the threading issue will be improved on Intel based system? But that depends if the threading part of the OS is handled different on Intel based systems.
Love the broadcasts,like the style and content, after your most “appeal” immediately cast a vote for Maccast.Am currently an MS user but am beginning to “see the light” and would like to “go Apple” asap (only financial restraints prevent this).However, despite your reassurances,the latest processor switch opens up a whole new debate and will probably delay my own personal changeover until the situation becomes more clear. That’s my two centimes, keep up the good work and quality Adam and I am sure that, collectively, we can keep The Maccast in the top ten.
Everyone who says developers won’t code for Mac OSX dual boot machines are missing the point. If Apple comes in with an intro Mini – my old man will buy a mac as part of his home theatre – and my mum will buy one. They just want to do photos, video and tinker with music. iLife runs fine, iWorks is good enough. 85% users won’t initially want anything that runs on Windows (especially spyware and viruses), and they just won’t bother. I think there’s a very specific reason Apple is releasing the ‘lower end’ boxes on Intel first – the exact opposite to when PowerPC’s appeared on the PowerMacs first – I bet the lower end macs run less 3rd party developer software anyway!
Can’t wait to buy my 3rd mac and make it a Macintel!
512kE ‘Fat Mac’
iMac 17inch G4 800Mhz
iPod Photo 30GB / iPod Shuffle 512MB
I greatly enjoy Maccast. Your presentation is refreshingly authentic and low-keyed. Itâ€™s nice to listen to a real person who doesnâ€™t pepper his speech with silly exclamations. Speaking of which, I listen to Inside Mac Radio because I have to, (well, the daily news is good) but I want to listen to your podcast. Yes, I voted for Maccast and I intend to vote again in July.
I have an observation about Virtual PC for Mac on Intel. I run VPC on Windows now and there is a hit for the virtualized environment. VPC on Intel should now prove to be usable, but it won’t be at full performance parity compared with running within a full Windows environment. I ran tests on my Windows box of VPC versus native performance:
Intel Pentium 4, 2.5 GHz 1 GB RAM, Windows XP 51.2600 SP2
CPU speed: 3937 (87.5% of native speed)
RAM speed: 4164 (78.7%)
Video speed: 18 (18.6%)
Bandwidth down: 974
Bandwidth up: -3
Ping time: 63
CPU Load: 5%
CPU speed: 4499
RAM speed: 5285
Video speed: 97
Bandwidth down: 955
Bandwidth up: 1028
Ping time: 56
CPU Load: 0%
Itâ€™s one thing to say, â€œit feels slowerâ€ itâ€™s another thing to back it up with data. I use http://www.pcpitshop.com for benchmarking. As you can see, itâ€™s not a big hit, but itâ€™s not native speed, either.
Just for kicks, here are the results from running VPC on my PowerBook G4/667 MHz:
VPC/Mac/PowerBook G4/667 MHz
CPU speed: 562 (12.5% of the above score, or a factor of 8)
RAM speed: 656 (12.5%)
Video speed: 14 (14.4%)
Bandwidth down: 1382 (138% — run from a different network)
Bandwidth up: 229 (22.3% — so it is an ADSL network :))
Ping time: 69 (123% — again, network-related)
CPU Load: 100% (VPC tries very hard to keep up)
This is why I cringe when a mac zealot excitedly barks about using VPC for the occasional Windows program. I use VPC the same way I use Job Johnnies.
Finally, as you acknowledge when talking about viruses and spyware, there’s more to executing a binary than having an executable compiled for a processor. There are application calls to the OSâ€™s APIs, ports, and so on. DarWine can help bridge this but until now DarWine was off the radar as a minor threat to Windows. This changes that dynamic in an interesting way. Yet, there was a blur of distinction between these two facts. The advantage to an Intel chip for which I look forward is the better open source support and code optimization for the GNU C++ compiler. But, hey, thatâ€™s just me.
To me, the most shocking, and, simultaneously the most reassuring, thing Steve said was that the Marklar project had indeed been going on for years.
How they kept that big a secret for that long is stunning! In retrospect, I can see the logic for Apple’s nasty legal actions against rumor sites. Remember, the real targets were the leakers inside Apple. Had Marklar been credibly leaked last year, the result would have been disastrous.
It showed that Jobs’ decision was not some mercurial hissy-fit or a pissing contest with IBM. It showed that he kept his options open and prevented Apple from getting trapped in another abusive relationship.
By the way, Adam, when you signed off of this show, you tried to say something like “Until next time…”, but I think it came out as “Intel next time…” Maybe just you and me both have had Intel on the brain too much this week.
Apple trails to you. Intel we Mac again.
yes I agree with macFanDave and this has been my view since day one. I also appreciate why Jobs has gone after rumour sites that clearly publish information from people under NDA. If employees or associates abuse their NDA then Apple have no choice but to sniff out who they are by putting pressure on the rumour sites. What good is, for example, sending an internal email asking the guilty people to step forward – this just can’t be resolved internally. Jobs had no choice on this one.
Adam, you said something about unscroupulous people on podcast alley that were in the top ten that were doing some things wrong. What are they doing? I must really be naive.