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News.com readers respond to Apple's Intel switch

CNET News.com readers reacted en masse to Apple's decision to use Intel processors.

News.com readers who follow Apple Computer are a loyal, knowledgeable and passionate bunch--which is reflected in their comments regarding the company's decision to use Intel processors. Here's a sampling of their comments. What's your opinion? Join in the discussion in our TalkBack forum.

well there goes mac
Posted by: John Bresnahan
man o man

Bad news...
Posted by: Pablo Mardones
Story: Jobs confirms Apple switch to Intel

This totally sucks... not that's only Apple's fault, but it still sucks. This shows how vulnerable is Apple as a company, one chip maker decides it's not profitable to provide chips to Apple any more, move into game consoles and that's it for Steve. Now it's all up to Intel for Apple's survival...and it seemed they were doing so good.

Now I get why Steve dressed in black for the keynote. RIP Apple Computer, Inc.

Not really
Posted by: X T
i don't think apple is going anywhere. i'm almost certain apple will do even better than before. what could be better than a cheaper pc that's more stable (w/Tiger) than the current line of pc's dominated by MSFT.

the price/value for my money kept me away from apple for all these years. well if they are willing to meet the consumer half way, then i would be willing to make that purchase now. and more importantly, i'm hoping i can customize my pc like i currently do, an option i don't have now with apple's current structure.

Pity the poor retailers...
Posted by: John Courcoul
Story: Jobs confirms Apple switch to Intel

Now that the Mactel story has hit the mass media, I pity the poor dealers suckered into selling Mac computers, now stuck with equipment that was officially declared obsolete, or at least that's how Mom and Pop will read it.

And I can see the Redmond spin machine having a field day, what with Longhorn launching just when Apple will be trying to get its Intel stuff right.

On the plus side, it will be a wonderful time to pick up great PPC Mac deals...

I think I'll avoid buying a Mac until the switch is over...
Posted by: Allen Velasquez
It seems to happen every time that Apple makes a dramatic change in their systems, it's a nail in the coffin for their previous systems' longevity. Sure, they're developing concurrently with PPC/x86, but look where they'll be two years from now.

First, they will support your system entirely. Then, slowly they will release some new application (or applications) which are dependent on the platform (Wired Magazine discussed some of the potential DRM/media control uses of the new Intel chips). Then, they will eventually lock out the 'old' PPC systems when it is no longer profitable to support them, which in Mac years is far before the system actually ceases to be useful. This was the case with the 68k-to-PPC transition and the OS9/OSX transition. I figure people will give up in disgust and install Linux on it.

TWO WORDS
Posted by: Dennis Roberson
I say that TWO WORDSare the main reason Apple is going INTEL........DELL COMPUTERS!

apple sales to zero until new intel machines out
Posted by: Vviron Papadopoulos
This announcement from Apple is telling people do NOT bye any products from me for the next 12 months, wait for the new models to come out.

IT'S JUST THE CPU, CALM DOWN!
Posted by: David Thomas
I can't believe that so many of you obviously didn't at least watch the keynote conference. The only way to find out what is up is to get it straight from the horses mouth.

Apple is NOT getting out of the hardware business. Apple is NOT going generic. Apple IS changing the heart of their CPUs from a G5 to an undisclosed Intel chip. Apples OS DOES run on an Pentium just fine.

It is JUST the CPU, not the architectural design, not the casing not anything but the CPU. They did this because IBM has not been able to deliver on the promise of the G5. In the mean time, Intel has made strides to cover their past mis-steps, and MORE than likely demonstrated a chip design that blew past what IBM has promised.

my two cents
Posted by: Jay Reynolds
As a user of both platforms, I disagree that PPC is a better platform. Although RISC may be a better design, a CISC chip running more than twice the speed is still going to give you better performance. And the chips these days are not actually true CISC, they haven't been for sometime. They combine CISC and RISC technologies, as well as different technologies all together. As for Intel having to had showed Apple something amazing, that's unlikely. They already have the fastest processors in the world. I think it's obvious that Apple got an amazing deal on exclussivity that will most likely keep AMD from ever powering their systems (even though AMD chips are better in my opinion). I wanted to add one last comment about speed... The "MHz myth" has always been a marketing thing... There's a lot of other factors that contribute to speed much more than the processor. You have your bus speed, memory, video and hard drive speed. These are the true variables for performance... I think know that Apple has made the switch you will see significant performance boosts that will leave the PPC lovers singing an Intel tune.

Strange, Ironic, a Definite Twist of Fate
Posted by: David Thomas
OK, I am a die hard Apple evangelist. The rumors leading up to this announcement had my brain in a twist.

While one of the primary reasons I have always been a Mac loyalist, has been Apples' decision to find the architecture that will deliver their vision of personal computing, I find myself questioning my personal angst.

This is not any different than Apple has done all along. They simply turned to the future and asked themselves, "what's next?", as they have always done. No one can imagine the firestorm of controversy and internal consternation this created. But the bottom line was where is the future, and what archictecture will allow them to continue on that path? The G5 is an awesome chip, but without further development, who cares?! A G5 mac is still a treasure, and will continue to be for a couple of years, but without development/improvement that will pass.

I watched the keynote, on my Mac-mini, with QT7 and Tiger, and experienced the best streamed wide screen video ever. I felt my stomach twist on the Intel announcement. But then it was revealed that the Mac Steve was running the demo on was a Pentium 4 based computer. Next came the announcement of XCode 2.1 and unverisal binaries.

In the end, I realized it was a matter of conception. Apple wasn't selling out. Apple wasn't giving up their control on designs. Apple was looking for future horespower, and who was going to deliver it. Strangely enough, and quite so ironic, it turned out to be Intel. Damn, I still can't believe it. But there you go. Maybe I will be able to afford a Dual G5 XServe at the end of the year now.

By the way, Intel must have showed Apple some pretty damn exciting stuff for this to happen in the first place, barring IBMs mis-steps. I would have thought AMD would have been their partner, but that only illustrates what the rest of us don't know when we aren't on the inside.

Apple's shift to Intel
Posted by: Demetrio D'ambrosi
So now Apple can start leveraging all the Linux\Unix work without PPC binaries - they loose the RISC advantage but they gain all that work for free - also, major Software companies had started ditching the Mac (see Adobe) because the second OS environment was not Mac anymore but Linux - now the Mac can get back in the saddle.

Apple's turned back to tech leadership
Posted by: Karl Roebling
Story: It's official: Apple will switch to Intel

In 1984 my Apple Lisa sported a true 32-bit processor (as did every Mac, subsequently.) Intel's state-of-the-art chip was 16-bit and many 8-bit "Intel-insides" were still around. Then the Apple's graphical interface and 16-times faster processor and the bundled Office-like software suite blew everyone else away and Microsoft's only today catching up, reliability-wise.

Yesterday's announcement that Apple would switch to Intel chips hid the bigger, gloomier message--Apple was spurning AMD's 64-bit retail leadership as well as Sun's rock-solid, Unix-proven 64-bit technology.

Today's gloomy for tech-heads but it looks like the marketing fluffers will be busy massaging the truth out of this story in their special way.

very bad move
Posted by: Lord Skydiver
I cannot believe that this has actually happened! How can you seperate the software and the equipment in a mac? I want to believe that OS X will be only running on macs otherwise mac will be a commodity just like Dell! However since architecture is the same someone will find a way to do that. I guess Steve just slipped to the dark side of the force folks!!!

On the lighter side...Hopefully this won't herald
Posted by: Filip Remplakowski
Hopefully this won't herald the start of apple ads with the annoying intel tune, or the bloody blue man group and no intel stickers or start up logos on my mac please. Actually this move is pretty smart especially since intel do make good mobile chips (and notebooks are becomming really popular) and we can now get better graphics cards too. Once all the work is done and intel and apple keep on progressing this will be a golden age.

Concerns wrongfully bundled
Posted by: Bryan Elliott
In order to ally your fears:

The processor that an OS runs under has very little to do with its security. Keep in mind that Linux also runs on x86, and still has better security in many distributions than OS X.

Indeed, none of the concerns I've read in the replys to this story are valid for a processor switch. Intel x86 processors - and their supporting circuitry - are generally lower priced than those for PowerPCs (check prices for PPC for Amiga boards vs. Intel boards), and get comparable or better performance (depending on factors such as time of the year, phase of the moon, benchmarking utility used, mood of the reviewer, company that owns the reviewer, what the reviewer had with his beef chow mein at lunch last thursday, etc).

I bet you're waiting for me to say more about Intel processors. That's it. Price and speed. That's ALL that matters.

Ok, one other thing matters: Fault frequency. The number of uncaught errors that occur per successful instruction processed. IBM's PPC has a fault frequency of 2 faults per 100 trillion instructions. Intel's x86 has a fault frequency of... 2 faults per 100 trillion. AMDs have an FF of 4 faults per 100 trillion. (aren't you glad they went with Intel?)

For all intents and purposes, Apple made a lateral move in terms of price and performance (the marginal cost of porting software - anywhere from 2 manhours to 40 manhours per major third-party application - will initially cancel out the initial savings of using a less expensive processor and logic set). So why move?

I believe Apple is positioning themselves to actually compete with Microsoft. Yes, I assume that OS-X will be locked to Apple hardware initially, but it won't last. Jobs likely knows this: Within a week of the first release of OS-X, x86 edition, there will be a patch that will allow a user to run OS-X on arbitrary x86 hardware, with full driver support.

My guess is that it'll be just a little more complicated than swapping out the OS-X kernel for the Darwin kernel - just like that which has been done in order to run OS-X on arbitrary Amiga hardware.

Darwin, being open source and meant for consumption computers, has a range of device drivers rivaling that of linux, which is to say, incomplete, but only slightly.

Jobs will appear, then, to "give in to the masses" and release x86 for the generic PC, using the Darwin driver set.

Why go through all this trouble?

A couple of reasons. One, Apple is trying to sneak up on Microsoft. MS is a behemoth, and can and will crush Apple with any number of false accusations, surreptitious lies, supposed patent violations, and about as much legal crap as they can land on Apple. If Apple is to compete with Microsoft, they have to sidestep into a position where it's feasible.

Second, Apple does NOT want to leave it's loyalists in the cold. If all else fails, they need their 16% install base. Rest assured, OS-X and the applications you love will not stop being built for PowerPC just because they're finally releasing Marklar. (Yes, Marklar. It was the code name for OS-X x86, and if you didn't know that, it would explain why you're scared.) Apple also doesn't want the purchasers of its hardware to think they've been gypped as PC users just plop OS-X on their bad-ass $1100 PCs. The way Apple's doing it, the bad-ass $1100 Mac will be availble before OS-X for the generic x86 is availble.

Anyways, thank you for not paying attention, as is the wont of these forums.

One additional item...
Posted by: Earl Benser
... as previously reported, Apple's move to Intel may have very much to do with securing video distribution rights just like Apple did with music via the iPod. Check the other articles, and wait for what OS X will be able to do inthe near future. This could make Windows Media look like a total waste of time and effort.

oh deaaar god.
Posted by: Andy Asdasda
No really, this is not good. Undoubted long term, core strategic error. God, he could at least have gone with the opteron. It trounces xeon in graphics heavy arenas. The nasty sound is the reality distortion field around cupertino cracking. This strips away one of the core elemnents of the macintosh's alternative ethos. Bugger it. I knew this era was too good to last. I think jobs has fundamentally misjudged the delicate psychology of apple's position in the buying public's mind. The one thing you cannot say about this decision is that it represents the much espused virtue of thinking different. Rather, it strikes you strongly of capitulation to the seeming banal realities of apples position. Whatever figleaf remained is now gone; the mac is now an enclosure, good fabrication and a well regarded unix variant os. Demmit, Jobs, what were you thinking of?

This is great. I think I will have WINE with that
Posted by: Paul Swansson
I am so happy about this. My kids brand new iMac G5 will not benefit but in less than 2 years I will be able to buy a brand new Pent based Powerbook with maybe even the new Mac OS X 5. Wow. Not only is this great because I love the Mac OS but because I bet my order time will be nothing like the one I just expereinced with my iMac. It took more than 2 months to get to me and then it had a faulty Mainboard and Processor which means I am still waiting for it to be repaired.

But the REALLY GREAT thing about change is that I would put money on someone porting the Linux based WINE project to MAC OS X for Intel really quickly. Plus I am betting that the Xwine (Direct X Linux library) will also be ported. I will be running all the games I want on my new Powerbook with Intel CPU... and I bet they run just as good as if they were on Windoz coz Mac just sings no matter where it is.

Hehe. Jut thought about the Perl Project which ran the Power PC version of Mac OS X on Intel architecture. But you guys are not doing much today.

Mixed emotions...
Posted by: Onizuka
I love Apple. I lvoe its products. I love the speed of the processors and the architecture. I love the apps,t he GUI, the total experience.

I'm just a little angry that this shift will end up costing us some money (consumers). I'm a bit relieved that this news came before I could by a powerbook, which, would have lasted me 3-4 years, but wouldn't be supported at the end of that time. I'm a bit confused because I've seen that AMD processors out perform Intel chips. I'm also confused because X86 as we know it today, running Windows is just a slower architecture.

Will this be good? Well, I don't see how games will be any better as they still use .exe files and OS X does not (thank God). But, I use a console for games so that doesn't matter much to me (though it amtters a lot to some people.)

I just don't know. I think I'm more confused and distraught than anything else. But, Steve hasn't made many bad decisions thus far... Maybe this WILL pan out.

My Last APPLE computer
Posted by: Roy Clarke
Story: Apple fails to meet (a columnist's) expectations

Well it looks like this will be my last APPLE computer. I have been buying Apple Macintosh Computers since the Mac Plus came out, but I won't buy a computer with a INTEL processor ever.

Bye Bye APPLE it was nice knowing you