“iPod success paves the way for Mac OS X on X86” | iLounge News

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“iPod success paves the way for Mac OS X on X86”

“This is all very interesting, but I believe analysts and others are missing the big picture: iPod success paves the way for Mac OS X on X86. People have argued for years for and against the release of Mac OS X on Intel (and AMD) commodity hardware, but Apple derives such a large portion of its revenue from hardware that doing so could potentially damage the company beyond repair. But, what if Apple replaces that lost Mac hardware revenue with iPod revenue?

Steve Jobs would then be free to drop what amounts to a hydrogen bomb on Microsoft. Mac OS X that runs on “regular” off-the-shelf x86 hardware. Or partner with a Sony, for example - to insure quality. Years before “Longhorn” even comes close to shipping. Moo.”

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Comments

41

#### you mac elitists with your “go buy a mac if you want a decent operating system” ########.  I CAN’T AFFORD A MAC.  i can afford a PC, in fact I’ve already got one, it was the only investment it was sensible to make given my work.

the irony is that this fact - that apple hardware is insanely expensive - is exactly the reason OS X will never be ported to the PC.  apple is not a hardware company, they’re a software company with an amazing product that they hold hostage for your investment in their ridiculously overpriced hardware.

Posted by tim fitz on March 5, 2004 at 12:45 PM (PDT)

42

Apple’s hardware isn’t overpriced. They simply have nothing at the bare-bones price level. Compare a Mac with a PC of comparable quality and price, and you’ll find EACH has features the other lacks. Look at the details and you’ll find a lot that make Macs price competitive with PCs.

You may think Apple should make something cheaper than an eMac, to reach a wider audience. I think so too!

OS X on Intel has no profit though. It would be an insanely more complex—and lesser—product than it can be running on hardware Apple can control and predict. Imagine a company selling an engine “for any old car” and trying to support it! (Kind of gives you some sympathy from MS: some of their problems they created—but some are just the fact of being so big you have to support everything. That’s the road to a bloated, buggy OS.)

Posted by Nagromme on March 5, 2004 at 6:29 PM (PDT)

43

I’m a graphic designer who works on a PC (at work) and enjoys his Mac at home. High end PC’s and Macs are similar in price. At work we recently developed a new spec to replace our aging Intel boxes. The final price is actually greater than a similarly equiped dual G5… I know I’d rather be running Photoshop on a PowerPC chip, but hey, in the end computers are just tools. It’s what you do with them that is important.

Posted by dlabrosse on March 6, 2004 at 8:20 AM (PDT)

44

Why would i buy a mac when windows is more dynamic and i can run more compatible programs ?  imo with macs u dont get choice where as windows you do.

And this bulls**t about pc’s are unreliable is crap - had my pc 6 yrs (including numerous upgrades) ... not once has it broke down

Posted by jc on March 6, 2004 at 8:54 AM (PDT)

45

Obviously you’ve never run Photoshop on a quad-Opteron system.

For the same price as a dual Xeon or G5 this deliver around 6x the performance. 3D Max also screams on this rig.

Posted by Photoshop on March 6, 2004 at 8:59 AM (PDT)

46

Obviously, you have never run Photoshop on Virgina Tech’s G5 cluster supercomputer before.

Posted by SyMAn on March 6, 2004 at 10:07 AM (PDT)

47

I think gabe is right. Allow say IBM and perhaps one other to license OSX on machines running powerPC chips. They could agree to keep the hardware nicely controlled and have Big Blue’s marketting in the corporate world. Apple gets credibility, IBM sells more chips plus competes with Microsoft. Corporates get the chance to be less reliant on M$. There, all sorted. Aaaah.

Posted by Jackson in London on March 6, 2004 at 11:18 AM (PDT)

48

I use Windows XP at home. At work I use OS X and RedHat Linux. They all have their strengths - they all have their cons.
Windows is good because of the software choice and ease of use. It’s bad because of the security problems, the default appearence is hidious, and when you first install you have to go round turing off lots of patronising annoying ‘features’ like the desktop clean-up wizard.
Linux is good because it’s free, very flexible,  and under constant development. It’s bad because there is no standardisation which can make it a pain to get things to work at times, and it’s by no means novice user friendly.
OS X is good because it’s easy to use, and yet doesn’t patronise you like Windows does. I like OS X, it’s nicer than Windows. I can install it and use it without having to sit and turn off the crap like in XP. It’s bad because it only runs on Apple hardware, and there is less software choice. People ##### about Microsoft being a monopoly and tying you in, but look at OS X. You want OS X you have to buy Apple hardware. With Windows you have a myriad of choices what hardware to run it on. That hardware is cheaper, more widely available, more flexible. Your PC motherboard dies you go to any computer store, buy another motherboard for 50quid and put it in yourself. You Mac motherboard dies and it’s going to cost you. There are also two things I find infuruatingly lacking in Apple hardware which would be so very easy to fix - the keyboards don’t have a # sign (well the UK ones don’t - never seen a US one), and seriously, what’s with the one button mouse? Maybe mice with three buttons and a wheel don’t look so elegant, but they sure as hell work better.

So OS X on x86 - sure it’s a good idea. I doubt it will happen but just imagine how much of a run it could give Microsoft for their money. If you want a novice friendly x86 OS you have Windows or Windows - imagine if people had a choice.

Posted by mike on March 6, 2004 at 11:20 AM (PDT)

49

“Obviously, you have never run Photoshop on Virgina Tech’s G5 cluster supercomputer before.”

And neither have you. We are talking about real-world uses, things that people can afford, and not mega-million dollars federal research pprojects. Get a clue.

The choice of processors with parallel supercomputers is secondary - they are using Mellanox Infiniband for the server interconnects. A good choice, mostly designed by Intel.

However, Infiniband doesn’t help you on the desktop, where you are more concerned with SMP - symmetric multiprocessing. Not the parallel processing of cluster because software has to specially parallelized to take advantage of it. Photoshop is optimized for SMP and not parallelism.

Opterons have a distinct advanmtage here because every Opteron features an on-chip dedicated memory controller. No more going through off-chip memory hubs.

VT’s rig is impressive, but they chose G5 over Opteron only because G5 was available in bulk a couple of months earlier.


This means that unlike G5s and Xeons, as you add more Opterons you have no central, single hub to get choked. So SMP performance of Opterons scales linearly. A dual Opteron is probably as slow or slower than a dual G5 or Xeon, but a quad Opteron pulls away from the pack while an 8-way Opteron positively screams at SMP while the G5s and Xeons are waiting for memory reads.

If you look at the list of top 500 supercomputers, you’ll see very few Apple machines there:

“IBM is still leading the list with respect to the total installed performance - and increased its share to 35.4 percent—- up from 31.8 percent one year ago and 34.9 percent 6 months ago. HP is second in installed performance with 22.7 percent and NEC is third with 8.7 percent.
With respect to the number of systems, Hewlett-Packard topped IBM again by a small margin. HP is at 165 systems (up from 159) and IBM is at 159 systems (up one system) installed. SGI is again third with 41 systems, down from 54.”

“#6 is the first system in the TOP500 based on AMD’s Opteron chip. It was installed by Linux Networx at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and also uses a Myrinet interconnect.”

Posted by Infiniband on March 6, 2004 at 12:12 PM (PDT)

50

no system scales linearly…  although it should scale very close to linearly

Posted by meh on March 6, 2004 at 3:12 PM (PDT)

51

While I understand that Mac owners are proud of the awesome hardware that Apple makes, don’t forget that PCs do a much better job for low-income and lesser developed countries. The hardware can be bought, built, and customized from many different competing vendors. So while you may enjoy the gleaming white horse of a computer, others in the world are thankful for having their mules, donkeys, and other horses.

Posted by Andy on March 6, 2004 at 3:41 PM (PDT)

52

Get a clue… I was merely making fun of Photoshop for comparing a quad Opteron system to a duel G5 system. I was being ridiculous to proof a point.

Posted by SyMAn on March 6, 2004 at 4:55 PM (PDT)

53

How was it ridiculous?

A quad Opteron costs around the same as a dual G5 - and much less if you build it yourself.

Posted by QuadOpt on March 6, 2004 at 5:50 PM (PDT)

54

NO serious design studio would get self-built computers. never. There is simply to much margin for error, too many people to turn to if there’s a problem. Sure people who like to tinker with computers will build their “quad opterons”, but when it comes down to depending on a reliable system for income - brand name, factory built computers are the ONLY way to go.

Posted by Nathan on March 6, 2004 at 10:17 PM (PDT)

55

The “build it yourself” is for comparison - you can build Opterons yourself for dirt-cheap. This luxury is not available with Macintosh.

Or you can pay an integrator to assemble one and offer support…

Like this one?

http://www.ibm.com/pc/us/eserver/opteron/

Lots more here:

http://www.amd.com/workstationpartners

Posted by IBM Opteron on March 7, 2004 at 8:45 AM (PDT)

56

A stupid opinion from a stupid mac user! (I don’t mean every mac user)

Posted by SR on March 7, 2004 at 9:53 AM (PDT)

57

Updated

Apple zealots who think Apple created everything since the Big Bang don’t know much:

I look at the technologies in today’s Macs and I see:

PCI - Intel
AGP - Intel
USB - Intel
ATA Hard Disk - Intel
DDRAM - AMD
3D GFX - Radeon and NVidia
Firewire - Sony
Airport - Just WiFi named Airport
Mouse - Xerox
GUI - Xerox
PowerPC CPU - IBM/Motorola
Airport/WiFi - IEEE/Texas Instruments
Bluetooth - Ericsson/Intel/Nokia/IBM/Toshiba
CD-ROM - Sony/Philips
DVD-ROM - Philips/Sony/Matsushita/Toshiba
Ethernet - 3Com

So there you have it.

People who talk crap about the PC as “a barren landscape of screwups” have, I suspect, very little knowledge of how IT works

Posted by Anny on March 7, 2004 at 12:02 PM (PDT)

58

every mac user here -  has your mac ever crashed no matter what you throw at it? (and be honest)

windows users - same question wink

Posted by meatmcguffin on March 7, 2004 at 12:07 PM (PDT)

59

Anny, Firewire was invented by Apple. They turned the spec over to IEEE and it became IEEE1394.

i saw the original version of this post and you’ve edited “Apple” to say “Sony”. Sneaky, but wrong.


Sony’s implementation of 1394 is called iLink.

Posted by Firewire on March 7, 2004 at 2:26 PM (PDT)

60

No one mentioned it yet, so I thought I’d throw out the new Darwine project which aims to put all of windows software on a Mac. I know it doesn’t help the painful price-point of a Mac (despite the fact that, side by side, it’s a comparable price to a PC), but it could still have a very powerful effect.

Imagine being able to run ANY app from Windows without waiting for a Mac release OR needing an emulator (or even Microsoft, for that matter)! The possibilities are stunning.

For more info, go to http://opendarwin.org/projects/darwine/

Enjoy!

fs

Posted by filmsmith on March 8, 2004 at 11:47 AM (PDT)

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