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G5 optimization could lead to improved G4 application performance; 'Smeagol' name of modified Mac OS X 10.2.7, more details

G5 optimization could lead to improved G4 application performance; 'Smeagol' name of modified Mac OS X 10.2.7, more details

According to a developer note from Apple, optimizing applications for the G5 processor may actually result in code that also runs with increased speed on G4-based machines:

"In improving your program's code to run on the G5, you may very well end up with code that runs better on the G4 in the process. Of course, you may end up requiring more than one code path to optimally target G3/G4/G5, but if performance is a priority, then there are not many alternatives. You can use Gestalt, sysctl and/or _cpu_capabilities to determine the features (i. e. Velocity Engine, DCBA, DST, etc.) that are available on the target platform to choose the optimal code to execute."

The same document calls the modified version of Mac OS X 10.2.7 that will run on the new G5 machines "Smeagol," and notes a new API making its debut:

"A new OSX API has also been proposed that will provide a superset of the existing Gestalt, sysctl, and _cpu_capabilities functionality. This API will be named OSSystemInfo and is scheduled to appear in Smeagol and Panther."

UPDATE: A technical note on the Power Macintosh G5 offers some additional details on 'Smeagol,' also known as Mac OS X 10.2.7 (G5). According to Apple, the new build is:

  • designed from the ground up for symmetric multiprocessing and multithreading
  • takes full advantage of the 8 GB memory capacity, and can now allocate up to 4 GB of memory per process to easily fir memory-intensive applications into RAM
  • the math and vector libraries have been tuned to take full advantage of the G5's 64-bit integer and floating-point math capabilities

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