Apple and Intel, Together at Last

Around 30 minutes into the keynote, Steve Jobs put up this slide:

The slide started half an hour of discussion on Apple's move to Intel's x86 processors. Starting in the middle of 2006 and being mostly complete by 2007, Apple will move from the PowerPC architecture to Intel's x86 architecture. In fact, the entire WWDC 2005 keynote was running on a 3.6GHz Pentium 4 system running OS X 10.4 (Tiger).

The reason? According to Jobs, the PowerPC roadmap would not provide the performance that Apple needed going into the future.

The most ironic part of it all? Apple's biggest reason for moving happens to be performance per watt, where according to Apple, Intel will significantly outperform the PowerPC starting in 2006 and moving forward:

Why is that ironic? Because all AnandTech readers know that presently, AMD provides far better performance per watt than Intel. During the keynote, Steve never mentioned whether or not you'd be able to run non-Intel x86 processors on the new port of OS X. We'd guess that AMD CPUs would have no problem running, but driver support for AMD platforms may not necessarily be there.

Macs with Intel processors will be shipping by June 2006, and the transition will be almost complete by June 2007.

Index Two Challenges to Transition


View All Comments

  • JAS - Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - link

    Video of the WWDC keynote:
  • Quiksel - Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - link

    oh my god, can't you people just stop all the bitchin and complainin about the possibility that you might not be able to run OS X on a normal home-built PC? I mean, if you're all willing to pay $100-200 just for a damn software license for OS X (as someone mentioned earlier), why not get a GOD DAMNED MAC MINI and STFU? You guys are all fuckin retards if you think that this is anything more than a processor switch. A PROCESSOR SWITCH, not a PLATFORM SWITCH. It'll still be a GOD DAMNED MAC, so if you want OS X, GET A GOD DAMNED MAC.

    geez, with all the speculation and other bitchin and bullshit comments, this entire comment thing has been entirely a waste of time. I wish I didn't read all these comments. :(
  • xype - Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - link

    "Why is that ironic? Because all AnandTech readers know that presently AMD provides far better performance per watt than Intel."

    Surely you're not that naive, Anand? Apple is not switching now, but in 2006-2007. Or are you claiming that you KNOW AMD will have better performance per watt in one year's time?
  • Googer - Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - link

    Apple is no longer an apple, they are now just another PC clone. Reply
  • Scott66 - Tuesday, June 7, 2005 - link

    Apple through there universal binary code will enable software to run on both powerpc and intel processors. Nice little bit of infor that OSX has been running on intel for 5 years. They already have binary translation software Rosetta to allow PPC based software not written in Xcode to run on Intel machines. The software pieces are in place for a much smoother transition than Motorola to PowerPC 10 years ago and so much better than Win 98 to ME or even 2000.

    Now it is the hardware side of the equation. Guess what guys, you won't be able to just buy OSX and put in on your machine at home. It will run only on Mac hardware that happens to have Intel Processors. Apple is already switching to "PC" standards for video cards, memory, and interconnects but they use Apple drivers and software. It is just like Linux in that if your hardware doesn't have drivers supporting the Operating System, the components become interesting paper weights or door stops.

    Apple is once again seeing a desired outcome and making the technology fit their dreams. Let's hope they can continue their rate of growth and show the Personal Computer Industry some innovation. Competition is healthy and should be encouraged.
  • JAS - Monday, June 6, 2005 - link

    Has Apple Computer said whether their next operating system release, OS 10.5 "Leopard," will run on PowerPC Macs -- or only on Intel processors? Reply
  • sphinx - Monday, June 6, 2005 - link

    It was bound to happen sooner or later. IBM has been doing to much lately with Sony and Microsoft, that they put Apple on the back burner. IBM just doesn't have the capacity to take care of everyone's needs.
    I think this is a great move by Apple. Did he mention anything about the Xserve
  • knitecrow - Monday, June 6, 2005 - link

    I am a moderate apple fan, not even hardcore, and I am infuriated by the decision.

    My only hope is that I'll be able to run a hacked OS X on my $600 athlon64 system over the overpriced intel junk apple is going to start selling.

    How low the mighty have fallen. Apple is now going to peddle intel cpus, chipsets, wi-fi chips etc.

  • downtowncb - Monday, June 6, 2005 - link

    I meant #45, sorry. Reply
  • downtowncb - Monday, June 6, 2005 - link

    As much as I'd like to think that Apple cares about the PC enthusiast market, they really don't. They have closed hardware, don't care too much about games (if at all), and haven't really done anything to woo the PC enthusiasts over. That being said, they're not too worried about the negative effects of the Intel over AMD solution. They are going for more market share, quantity over quality. If somebody told Steve Jobs, "Hey, you're alienating the PC enthusiast market by not choosing AMD!" he'd probably say, "And that changes what?"

    Also, even though AMD is the performance winner today, Apple probably has some insight into the future of both Intel and AMD, and sees a brighter future over at Intel. Plus, they don't care how good AMD chips are at games like most of us do, not to mention all the other reasons for their choice listed here already.

    Also #44, Apple shipped over a million computers in the last quarter alone, if I'm not mistaken.

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