Apple and Intel
Posted by unbrand on 7 June 2005 | 0 Comments
Apple announced today that they’ll be moving to Intel processors over the next 2 years. First up will be the consumer machines in 2006, then the “pro” machines like the Power Macs in 2007. The only reasoning I can understand is heat. The IBM-produced PowerPC gives off a lot of heat and is why the Powerbook G5 will never happen with PowerPC. Along with heat, there’s a scalability issue with the processor in general. Intel can scale better because of lower heat per Hz. But, Intel is CISC-based. vs. the RISC-based PowerPC. My assumption was that the Mac OS (BSD now) was better suited to a RISC processor. But evidently, Apple has been building OS X on CISC for 5 years now. Maybe Apple is thinking that even though CISC takes more CPU cycles the overall scalability will be there purely from a volume standpoint, meaning that Intel make a whole bunch more CPUs than IBM does and therefore has more brainpower dedicated to solving problems like heat and scalability.
It’s a trust issue, really. Do I trust that CISC is overall better for Apple than RISC? Considering what Steve Jobs achieved with NextStep (which became OS X) I have to place my bets on CISC if only to trust Steve Jobs. I, for one, welcome our new Intel overlords.
Update: Thanks to Matthew, I’ve been told that my CISC vs. RISC argument is obsolete. After a quick Google search, I stumbled on a really good article which goes into why CISC vs. RISC is no longer applicable. Essentially, the two methodologies have moved closer to each other and the separation is not nearly as definable as it was 10 years ago, when, um, I last thought about this issue. So maybe this Apple – Intel move makes more sense than I originally thought.