MacBook Pro Question

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Izze
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Post by Izze » January 10th, 2006, 6:39 pm

They just released the Mac Book Pro (http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/whatsinside.html, and it truly is droolworthy (I just wubbers Macs, can't wait until I have enough spare cash to afford one! ^.^ ), but I have a question for anyone who knows anything about computers:

What is the difference between the processors on a Mac and on a PC? Because I always walk into a Mac Store, and they have their 1.3Ghz laptops laid out, and they're supossed to be really fast and all of that, but my 1.4Ghz laptop from four years ago would seem to be faster if I look at the numbers.

So, why are the numbers so different?

P.S. Please put the explanation in stupid, because I don't speak fluent computer. ^.^;

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Post by Kristen » January 10th, 2006, 6:58 pm

Comparing processors speeds by the numbers doesn't work. The processor just computes at a given speed. It's the elegance and grace with which the computations are done in the OS that make the machine seem fast. OS X is fairly elegant; Windows isn't.

So even with a slower processor, an OS X machine will seem faster because it's doing things more efficiently behind the scenes.

Of course there are head-to-head comparisons you can make-- "computationally intensive" processes, like rendering--where processor speed does make a difference. But except for gamers and artists, most people never push their machines hard enough to get into that range of performance.

That's it , in a nutshell. There are lot more techincal ways to explain it, of course. And I'm sure someone will!
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Rev. Steve
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Post by Rev. Steve » January 10th, 2006, 7:30 pm

The processors just work differently.

It is essentially the difference between addition, and multiplication; Intel chips add things up really really quickly, where PPC chips in Macs just multiply things once. The both end up at the same place, at about the same time ? they just did it differently.

But don?t worry about it ? Apple has announced that all Macs will all be using Intel chips in the next few months. Soooo... if you are planning on buying a new Mac ? wait, if you can. I would also suggest waiting a bit longer even ? in the Mac community it is pretty well known that buying the first generation of any product line can be questionable. Usually by the second generation of a product line, most of the bugs have been worked out.

Izze
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Post by Izze » January 10th, 2006, 9:36 pm

Okay, so the Macs are just switching over to the same processor chips as PC's use?

That explains the rumors of the PC version of OSX I've been hearing and drooling over as well. ^.^

Of course, as a poor college student, I'll probably be panhandleing for a free copy outside of the Mac Store. :lol:

Rev. Steve
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Post by Rev. Steve » January 10th, 2006, 9:48 pm

Yes ? it is all true ? unfortunately Apple is crippling OSX such that it will only run on Apple branded hardware ? though that hardware will be essentially off the shelf PC hardware.

I expect it will be less than 6 months before someone figures out how to circumvent that restriction.

Izze
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Post by Izze » January 11th, 2006, 12:44 am

No, I heard that Apple planned to sell OSX for regular PC's as well, as an option instead of WInXP.

Of course, I heard this from a Linux Guru who might have been refering to a guy named Apple that was planning on releasing OSX for PC's on a torrent or something... I always wonder about those Linux people, they always come off as a little bit more than insane to me. :?

vee
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Post by vee » January 11th, 2006, 9:18 am

The MacBook Pro that you posted is, along with the new iMacs, the first machines being released by Apple with the Intel chip. The iMac is available now and the MacBook Pro should be available in February, although you can place orders for them now.

The new Intel chip they are using the new Intel Core Duo chips (Intel just underwent a massive change in naming structures). The easiest explanation of the Core Duo is two computer processing chips in one. This should, given software support, lead to faster applications. Direct comparison to your existing PC laptop will probably be very difficult. You'll need to wait a little until review sites are able to run benchmarks on them before you'll get a better idea.

We're going to have to wait on whehter OS X will be available for non-Apple built PCs. This is highly in doubt, because Apple does not want to deal with the same headaches of Windows. Apple is able to build a more stable operating system, in part, because of a smaller set of hardware. By controlling the hardware inside the machines they have less to worry about. Also this would reduce their sales of hardware since most people will choose the lower price point of Apple's competitors.

I would probably hold off on purchasing this first version of the MacBook Pro (worst apple named product ever, IMO). Apple has generally had problems with first runs on their hardware, from batteries which fell out (first Titanium Powerbooks), to systems overheating (G5 Powermac). Probably wait at least 6 months for all the complaints to come out and Apple fixing the production issues.
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Post by kayray » January 11th, 2006, 9:38 am

vee wrote:
I would probably hold off on purchasing this first version of the MacBook Pro (worst apple named product ever, IMO).
LOL -- that's what Dan and I were saying last night.

Izze, save your pennies and by the time you can afford a new Mac they will have worked out the hardware bugs ;-)

I _lurve_ my macs, both iBook G4 and iMac G5.

Kara
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sunbug
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Post by sunbug » January 12th, 2006, 5:29 pm

MacBook Pro just gives me a vision of the product of an illicit fling between a MacPlus and the old luggable early dingy grey PowerBooks.

Both of which I have used in the past and still have lurking back in Dublin in my room at my parent's house, along with I am ashamed to say innards of other macs!

Still must second kayray - I got a new G5 iMac just before Christmas and I love it to bits - spent the better part of a hour entranced by the remote sticking to the side of the machine! And my iBook G4 is still handy.

xen
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Post by xen » January 17th, 2006, 11:44 am

Yes ? it is all true ? unfortunately Apple is crippling OSX such that it will only run on Apple branded hardware ? though that hardware will be essentially off the shelf PC hardware.

I expect it will be less than 6 months before someone figures out how to circumvent that restriction.
The new macs don't use a bios. They use something else (God help me I can't remember the name of it, it's something like RFTE ??). Anyway it's ment to be quite a large eprom chip (64-128mbs) and so as I understand it most of the boot sequence is on there. As well as a lot of daemon stuff. So inorder to run OS X on a generic PC Hackers will have to dump the chip, diassemble the binary, and then write a new bios interface from scratch (or use BSD's). It can be done but it would be a pain in the but.

And the reason Apple went with their own hardware is becuase they can't directly compete with M$. So their sticking with their own machines.

raouf
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Post by raouf » January 29th, 2006, 3:39 pm

Since the original question was not answered, here is quick one.

Power PC are RISC processors while Intel chips are CISC processors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RISC
RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) architecture do simple tasks every "tick" hence they need to run faster to perform complex tasks.
CISC (Complex Instruction Set) do more complex tasks in fewer "ticks".

As was mentioned before in this thread, one cannot compare processors by their specs alone.

vee
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Post by vee » January 29th, 2006, 6:35 pm

The new Intel Macs use something called EFI instead of BIOS. Extensible Firmware Interface (I think). Windows XP does not support EFI but I know there are definitely a lot of people trying to do it anyway. I think someone's offering a prize if someone can figure it out before his MacBook Pro comes in. Apparently he convinced his boss to buy him one as a replacement for his Windows machine without telling his boss that it doesn't run windows :)

Windows Vista supports EFI and I'm pretty sure the new Linux kernel supports EFI as well. It'll happen soon, we hope.

You'd think with all those smart, chic people at Apple they'd come up with a better name. I know I said this before, but it's still the worst apple product name ever. I wonder what the new Intel based PowerMacs will be called? MacDesktop Pro? MacComputer Pro? ugh.
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ciaran.mooney
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Post by ciaran.mooney » March 26th, 2006, 12:51 pm

vee wrote:Windows Vista supports EFI...
I read that I'd been dropped.
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vee
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Post by vee » March 27th, 2006, 9:50 am

Yup. Microsoft officially announced that Vista will not support EFI. It still may be possible with the 64 bit version.

Although the most recent thing out now is that someone got Windows XP to load on an Intel base Mac. http://onmac.net/
Chris Vee
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Post by kayray » March 27th, 2006, 9:53 am

vee wrote: Although the most recent thing out now is that someone got Windows XP to load on an Intel base Mac. http://onmac.net/
Eww... WHY? ;-) Poor little Mac.
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