Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Intel’s Apple Core

It’s all over. I’ve had my last exam (did alright, actually) and now I’m free!
You probably know by now that Apple are switching to Intel x86 chips from next year. You also probably know that I’m looking to buy a Mac soon. At the moment I think that will still be the case but I am a little concerned about buying into a platform that will soon be obsolete. I just hope that Apple and the various independent software developers retain compatibility with the PowerPC processors. I can’t wait a year for a new computer – the cooling system in my laptop isn’t too healthy which makes CPU-intensive tasks difficult, so I’d like to have a more dependable machine, and I’d like it to be a Mac.
On the plus side, at least Apple will bundling PowerPC emulation in their Intel-based machines, and it should mean that we finally get the equivalent of a G5 PowerBook. Not that I’d be able to afford one, even if the switch to Intel does mean lower prices as people are predicting.
In any case, I should be making a trip to the Apple Store in London tomorrow and I’m sure it’ll be a topic for discussion at the Geek Dinner tomorrow. I don’t know how frequently I’ll be able to blog over the next couple of days but I’ll try to keep you posted on what goes on.


  1. I don’t think you have anything to worry about… the transition to Intel is not going to happen overnight, and future apps will bind together both PPC and Intel binaries, so programs can be run on either chip.
    In the meanwhile, Apple hardware is actually quite competitive, power-wise… I think this move is mostly to address future concerns as to chip speed. PowerPC is not keeping up, so they are transitioning soon before the speed-gap gets to be a major problem. The move will not stop me from buying PowerPC-based hardware in the next two years… though I am looking forward to faster/cheaper Macs once the Intel stuff is released.

  2. I agree with the other Dave, you’d be fine getting a Mac still, I reckon they have things nailed and the transition to Intel won’t be very much different than a transition from G4->G5 or something like that.
    I’d get a mini, but I’m gonna wait to get a Powerbook.

  3. I kinda choked when i read it was indeed x86 yesterday. It’s such a backwards looking hideous platform. The x86 instruction set alone is almost legacy when compared to risc based cpu’s. I’ve always taken what Steve Jobs says with a pinch of salt, he’s a master of hyperbolic bull. “Jobs says Intel is “passionate” about its products”, pure convenience he’d have said the opposite last year. And btw, Intel, AMD… everyone has hit a brick wall in terms of clockspeed, they’re having to resort to dual-core now which is horrendously in-efficient.
    I’ll tell you what’s happened. Apple.. or should i say jobs has fallen out with IBM over the “we will have 3ghz G5’s next year” statement, and over the production of XBOX chips so much that they are no longer on speaking terms. Its nothing to do with technology but rather company relations.

  4. I’m gonna be buying a top of the range G5 2.7 dualie in the next week or two.I can’t hang around for the mactel’s need more power now!(pro audio user)and anyway Apple is not going to just drop ppc support as soon as the mactel’s ship or anytime soon afterwards as most of their user base will still be ppc based.