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End of Hackintosh nearing (slowly)?

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#21
naquaada

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I can't imagine that Apple will not release ARM-iMacs. Here are some reasons:

 

 

- Macs are rather uninteresting for Apple, the money comes from iPhones, iPads and iTunes. It would be easier and cheaper to reject Macs.

 

- architecture switching would result in a lot of work. The complete system, all drivers, programming tools, Apple software have to be reprogrammed. Companies must be convinced to switch to the new architecture. Imagine: Adobe should reprogram all its software to a platform which is only used by a few users, and their software works better on Windows or OSx86-systems because it's optimized for nVidia? Hobby programmers will have much less interest to learn a new processor architecture.

 

- architecture switching would need a complete hardware redesign. In comparison, the last Mac Pro was a failure and wasn't updated since 2011. The last Macbook Pro also was a failure, with some features which were not accepted by the buyers.

 

- Changing to a new architecture will be an immediately sign that the last expensive Macs bought will be outdated soon. Buyers won't like that.

 

- On ARM-Macs Windows won't work natively. Another negative issue.

 

- ARM-Macs will never have the same performance like Intel-Macs.

 

 

And... there are so many ARM-based experimental platforms on the market. Operating systems like Windows, Linux and Android are working on the Raspberry Pi. What if some guy developes a board which is compatible enough to run ARM-OS X? This would be the biggest laughter ever. It's funny enough that Apple tried on the Intel-Macs so hard to make the hardware as different to PCs (EFI, GPT, SMC, TPM) and already version 10.4.4 was even working on a low-end PC with a Pentium 4. Now are not even reprogrammed kernels are neccessary, just a bootloader.

 

I'm sure, even if Apple would switch to ARM, there will be enough people who want to get it working on other platforms, like the beginners of the OSx86 scene more than 10 years ago.

I don't think iOS is working on ARM-platforms, but probably because it's too uninteresting. Android is Open-Source, so it's much easier to modify. And you are not forced to have contact to Apple.



#22
frankiee

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I can't imagine that Apple will not release ARM-iMacs. Here are some reasons:

I have to disagree here

 

- Macs are rather uninteresting for Apple, the money comes from iPhones, iPads and iTunes. It would be easier and cheaper to reject Macs.

Unfortunately this is true. But they cannot ditch them at least not now. So it might be cheaper to unify platforms as a first step. They are already doing it. Apparently there is no dedicated macOS team anymore, and virtually every new macOS features are basically iOS ports.

 

- architecture switching would result in a lot of work. The complete system, all drivers, programming tools, Apple software have to be reprogrammed. Companies must be convinced to switch to the new architecture. Imagine: Adobe should reprogram all its software to a platform which is only used by a few users, and their software works better on Windows or OSx86-systems because it's optimized for nVidia? Hobby programmers will have much less interest to learn a new processor architecture.

You are abolutely wrong here. It is not as much work as you think. Modern software - except the low the level stuff - isn't dependent on any specific architecture anymore and that is true especially for Apple. Basically it is just only a recompile. And they don't need to "repogram" anything, because I bet they already have an ARM version of macOS running deep in some secret basement. They already did it with Intel based OS X which existed long before anyone saw the official release. Apple already did switch platform two times before with great success (68k -> PPC -> X86) and they are experts in doing that transition. Adobe software already runs better on windows since quite some time, and NO they won't have to repogram anything as long as the underlying APIs does not change. And no again, at least for basic app development you don't have to know anything about the underlying CPU architecture. It only matters if you do assembler and maybe drivers. And assembler is only used sparingly nowadays on desktop OSes, maybe for some tiny performance critical parts.

 

- architecture switching would need a complete hardware redesign. In comparison, the last Mac Pro was a failure and wasn't updated since 2011.

No comparison, the nMP failed because Apple forgot that form follows function. Same goes for the MBP (which isn't a failure at all, like it or not)

 

- Changing to a new architecture will be an immediately sign that the last expensive Macs bought will be outdated soon. Buyers won't like that.

No, beause if that happens, it will happen bottom up, not top down. I.e. with the least powerful hardware first, like MB (not MBP).

And again, this already happened in the 90s and 2006. Nothing new.

 

- On ARM-Macs Windows won't work natively. Another negative issue.

True, but is it really that important? Do not overestimate the significance of Bootcamp (at last not what Apple thinks about it)

 

- ARM-Macs will never have the same performance like Intel-Macs.

iPad pro is already coming close to the perf. of low end macs. Apple has made huge jumps regarding the performance of their CPUs.

 

It's funny enough that Apple tried on the Intel-Macs so hard to make the hardware as different to PCs (EFI, GPT, SMC, TPM) and already version 10.4.4 was even working on a low-end PC with a Pentium 4. Now are not even reprogrammed kernels are neccessary, just a bootloader.

And you are wrong again! Apple didn't try hard at all to make the hardware as different as possible, because for the most part, Intel Macs are just PCs. EFI, GPT, and TPM (the latter one AFAIK even does not exist on Macs) are no Apple exclusive technologies at all. The only "special" hardware is indeed SMC, and this is also the reason that FakeSMC is absolutely mandatory to boot. The only one! (besides the bootloader of course)

 

I'm sure, even if Apple would switch to ARM, there will be enough people who want to get it working on other platforms, like the beginners of the OSx86 scene more than 10 years ago.

Yeah, surely some want, maybe they can.



#23
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EFI, GPT, and TPM (the latter one AFAIK even does not exist on Macs) are no Apple exclusive technologies at all. The only "special" hardware is indeed SMC, and this is also the reason that FakeSMC is absolutely mandatory to boot.

1) Their EFI was extended quite heavily, which is the only reason one needs a 'bootloader' (not actually) on spec-conforming machines.

2) TPM was present on early Intel Macs, but removed quite early.

3) Not even SMC is special, Chromebooks have the chip called 'EC' (Intel name). Though it has its own protocol.



#24
Qwels

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I read this scribbling

Laugh. :hysterical:

 

Apple and Intel:Another 20 years at least will however.

:gathering:



#25
DaffyDuck

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Apple also won't go into ARM chips because it would take them a sizeable chunk of their bank to catch up with Intel on performance. Worse still is the fact that all the stuff Intel did recently is definitely still under patent so every single modern method in the chip must be reinvented. (This is why it took AMD so long to catch up with Ryzen; if you take too long to get to the patent office, you have to think of a new way to do exactly the same thing, often a less efficient way just to avoid the patent)

 

There's a lot of misunderstanding and misconceptions in this thread - so, pardon me if this gets somewhat wordy or lengthy.

 

Apple has bought a chip design company not so long ago, back in 2008.

 

https://www.wired.co...our-reasons-ap/

 

PA Semicondutor are the folks behind the A-series of CPU chips that are powering iOS devices. They have been creating not only the A-Series CPUs, but also the M-series motion processors, and the W-series wireless chips. 

Apple also recently bough a chip fab/foundry (back in 2015), that used to belong to Samsung. Likewise, Foxconn just voiced interest in purchasing the Toshiba RAM memory business, mainly their foundries. (Foxconn is basically a surrogate of Apple).

 

http://appleinsider....-semiconductor-

http://www.reuters.c...a-idUSKBN168401

This just to make an introductory point that Apple is very serious abou owning and controlling every aspect of the production of their devices - so, Apple not just designing but potentially manufacturing future CPUs to be used in Macs is a real possibility -- and those will most assuredly be ARM based chips, as the performance/Watt ratio is way ahead of intel x86 chips.

What does that mean, really?

Aside from the commodity value, availability and fabrication that Intel can offer, the huge advantage of their chips is the x86 compatibility which makes the Mac easily able to run Windows, Linux, and other x86 OS'.

Switching to an ARM platform would mean that Apple would lose that advantage.

Or does it?

Not if AMD has anything to say about that (and this is where - surprise - the AMD rumors are starting to make sense).

https://www.extremet...n-the-same-chip

In 2014, AMD announced an initiative that would culminate in project SkyBridge - an ambidextrous ARM architecture, with ARM and x86 chips operating side by side.

The first of such proof-of-concept implementations were limited to 32-bit x86, but that was 3 years ago, and the ultimate goal was 64-bit compatibility, and compatibility with modern x86_64 architecture. In other words, I believe that if Apple were to go with an ARM CPU for future Macs, this is the path they would follow - and an alliance with AMD would make perfect sense in that regard. 

That's all nice and good, but wouldn't this ultimately mean that Apple will go that route (good for them), and that the folks in the Hackintosh camp will be basically screwed, as we'd have no more compatible hardware?

Well, maybe not.

Last year, at the WinHEC hardware conference in Shenzhen, a big deal was being made (sort of) of the 'Return of Windows to ARM', with Qualcom (ARM) powered Windows 10 PCs supposedly to be shipping in 2017 - with other manufacturers following suit.

Obviously, especially if Apple makes an impact with pushing their hardware to ARM, the rest of the PC industry following won't be far behind - particularly if these new ARM chips are pin-compatible with regular ARM CPUs and provide ambidextrous cores on the same chip. Most likely, the usual suspects (hp, Dell, Asus, etc...) will provide desktops and laptops based on the new architecture, with the usual motherboard makers not too far behind.

Technically, this would open the door to Hackintosh/ARM -- albeit clearly some sort of advanced fakeSMC or the likes will need to be appropriately updated.

Could Apple screw this up?

Sure. Starting with a custom SOC with custom support and peripheral processors for all the relevant ports, thus cutting us off from using commodity parts for USB, SATA, NVMe, etc..  which is kinda what they have already done on the new MacBook Pros, which are using an Apple peripheral architecture.

In the near future (4-5 years after such an introduction) MacOS will still support the older architecture (even just the regular x86_64 that we are all currently on), so this is not an immediate issue. Furthermore, considering how slow-moving Apple is, consistently, it would take at least another 2-3 years before such an ARM CPU implementation would actually be realistic, particularly since there are still performance and compatibility hurdles to be overcome.
 

Overall, I think we are safe for at least another 5 years, probably longer.
 

Interesting bit of Trivia -- Apple originally formed and created ARM holdings, when they used the very first ARM chips in the Newton PDA. Their ownership was then sold after Jobs killed the Newton.

 

 

And imho, this is exactly the plan. The writing is on the wall all overall the place.

 

 

No, it's not - consolidation of the OS/UI platforms into a single platform isn't the plan. Possibly consolidating the hardware architecture, but not the OS architecture.



#26
technoshaman

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Look at the bright side: we might get OSX to run on our tablets/smartphones! :hysterical:
 



#27
spakk

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Look at the bright side: we might get OSX to run on our tablets/smartphones! :hysterical:
 

it works great with an AMD FX kernel :)



#28
cuthead

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Yeah and why not use quintuple boot? One system for each task? Or needing to use 5 computers instead of one? Do some graphic stuff in Illustrator for example, like creating a svg Icon and reboot into Linux for testing it on my local web server? Reboot 5 minutes later to adjust that graphic? Reboot 2 minutes later to adjust some CSS? Rinse and repeat?

 

Maybe I dont get your reply, but I think you are suggesting that I should go to straight to the asylum :surprised:

 

And, I mean if my clients wants that I produce an iBook, I cannot say: "see, that does not work with my super duper macOS Sierra, so I give you PDF". And no, using multiple GPU brands to maybe work around that issue also does not sound like a proper solution.

 

So, why not use one system that does all I want? And that system actually exists - at least until now - and is called "OS X El Capitan".

 

Besides my graphic jobs, I am doing also a lot of (frontend) web development, and OS X used to be perfect for both of these. (Graphic Design is the main reason - due to lack of software - why all Linux are not usable for me).

because their are no good OS,I do not care where you go.The client does not request a iBook because I have a lot of client.Because there is no good OS.I do not trust you can development because your can not speak english native which is needed for development and debug,and also your word is different from slice which is a true developer.



#29
naquaada

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@ DaffyDucK:

 

This reminds me on someone else: Commodore. They bought the company MOS technologies to have an own chip manufacturer. This vertical integration allowed Commodore to be independent from IC suppliers and make their computers cheap. Not only this, the 6502 processor series and all its additional chips like the VIA 6522, CIA 6526 etc. were used in one half of the 8 bit computers in this time, including Atari and Apple. Today this would be an extreme power against competitors, selling important IC's to high prices. But at these times this probably wasn't done.



#30
frankiee

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because their are no good OS,I do not care where you go.The client does not request a iBook because I have a lot of client.Because there is no good OS.I do not trust you can development because your can not speak english native which is needed for development and debug,and also your word is different from slice which is a true developer.

 

Huh? Maybe you should try again to better explain your point (if there is any, and in better English, lol). So what are you trying to tell me? That I am lying?



#31
Download-Fritz

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I do not trust you can development because your can not speak english native which is needed for development and debug,and also your word is different from slice which is a true developer.

Being a native speaker is a requirement to be a developer? Sorry mate, your 'true developer' Slice isn't a native speaker either.

Also, 'his word is different'? He says something else? Anyone who says something else than Slice is wrong? You're funny, plz post more.



#32
naquaada

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The language or status doesn't matter, important is what you're saying. Personal hick-hack will help nobody. Please calm down boys.



#33
frankiee

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Yeah, and Download-Fritz isn't a native english speaker as well (AFAIK he is living in the same country as me) and I am sure he is pretty good in what he is doing nonetheless. (Like slice of course).

 

And if I say I develop things that does not mean these things are hackintosh related. In fact, I pretty much suck regarding knowledge of hackintosh (and macOS) internals.

 

OK, back to topic:

 

This just to make an introductory point that Apple is very serious abou owning and controlling every aspect of the production of their devices - so, Apple not just designing but potentially manufacturing future CPUs to be used in Macs is a real possibility -- and those will most assuredly be ARM based chips, as the performance/Watt ratio is way ahead of intel x86 chips.

 

First of all: thanks for your post, very informative and interesting. But doesn't that actually support my assertion that Apple is at least interested in converging their hardware (and software) platforms?

 

No, it's not - consolidation of the OS/UI platforms into a single platform isn't the plan. Possibly consolidating the hardware architecture, but not the OS architecture.

 

But isn't that conversion already in effect? (maybe better say "re-conversion" as iOS actually started as an OS X fork?)

 

I mean rumor goes that there is no dedicated macOS team anymore - that is a strong indication for me at least - and that nearly all new features are iOS first nowadays (but also come to macOS later). I mean think of the new file system. Coming to iOS with 10.3 and to macOS (presumably) with 10.13 (I know its already there, but more or less "experimental" and not intended for day to day use). So at least to me it occurs that development is already synchronized to a great degree.



#34
naquaada

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Sorry, is it just me or is this whole topic a bit useless? We shouldn't care because they will not switch tomorrow. And even if they would, we couldn't do anything against it and it wouldn't matter anyway. Even if 10.12 would be the last Intel OS X, it doesn't mean that there's no software from other companies anymore. And the last new functions Apple introduced in OS X were mostly useless. Three words to close:

 

c4q7-nd-9287.jpeg



#35
frankiee

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Well, this topic in itself is surely not useless as this could have very deep consequences for us all. But yeah, it may be useless at the same time since all we can do is only speculating. But at least my self enjoys speculating, it's fun ;) So if you don't like speculating, just don't do it ;)



#36
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We could speculate about anything Apple doesn because this company doesn't care about customers. Maybe a completely new bus called AUB, Apple Universal Bus. Maybe it is USB 3.1 compatible, but only with adapter. Or a new, PCI-E-incompatible extension bus for a new Mac Pro with A10 processors. Or the're buying AMD to get easier graphic chips, memory chips, and the x86 production lines around the world will be modified to produce own Apple CPUs. Or they're creating a completely new processor structure, a company who has its own hardware and own operating system could do this. Maybe one year is an ARM emulator integrated, but already the next generation of the OS skips it and all devices before are obsolete. Speculating about Apple is in fact not worth it. If they want to do a major change, they will do it and they don't care a bit about the customers. The hard freaks will buy their stuff just because of the name and the logo.

 

It would be more interesting to speculate what the customers will do it if Apples new products are getting more and more worse: I'm in the business network XING and since the Macbook Pro 2016 and it mostly negative reviews it's no problem to talk about OSx86 there. This wouldn't be possible a few months before the MBP 2016. Some of these guys outed themself as Hackintosh users, some showed some laptops they would buy if they were fully OSx86-compatible, and I got requests if this or this hardware or computer is OSx86-compatible. Times have changed...



#37
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Yeah we can speculate about anything, but I thought it was worth speculating about this specific topic because with the 2016 MBP it is a matter of fact that both an ARM chip and a somewhat modified iOS version has landed in a mac, and I think that is quite interesting.

 

And of course does Apple not really care about their customers. In fact, no big corporation does this, all they care is about making more money and the customer is just a necessary evil. But they have to deal with their customers in one way or another and I don't think Apple is completely ignoring them. Rather I would guess they think very hard about milking their customer base as far as they can go (because this will make even more money - at least short term), and maybe the big Apple calculator has decided that 13 year old girls are now where the most money comes from, so that's why we see more new emoticons and "fancy" iMessage animations instead of anything more useful </sarcasm>

 

If the big Apple calculator (aka Tim Cook?) is right (in the long run!) is a completly other question though, there are other things to consider here, like long term customer loyality and halo effects etc. One thing is for sure: if the iPhone fails, Apple fails as well. They have made themselves way too dependent on this particular device. And imho this is one reason why macs (and macOS) suck more and more, Apple seems to have their priorities almost exclusively on iPhones nowadays. All the other stuff just feels like an afterthought.

 

And now the circle closes: why not transferring the mac to a kind of supercharged iPhone? 13 year old girls will surely love this and we can earn even more money .... right? </sarcasm>



#38
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I wouldn't say that all companies don't care about their customers, especcially if they have competition. Sure, software updates on Android phones are always late or don't appear at all, but after the warranty expires you can flash it with Cyanogenmod and have an actual system. This isn't possible with Apple devices.

 

What to expect from IT companies? Car producers have it easier: Different products in different price classes and equipments, buyer-friendly companies offer longtime warranty because the most customers doesn't buy a car every two years. In the short-lived computer business this is different, long-time support for older products is often not rental. And a product is old if a competitor presents its own new generation.

 

But there *are* companies with good support. I got two of the smallest Win95-compatible laptops ever made, the Toshiba Libretto 50ct. It came out in 1997 and has the size of a VHS tape. It features a 6,1" truecolor TFT display, a Pentium 75, 16 MB RAM and an integrated Soundblaster Pro which makes it ideal for DOS games. The pointing device 'AccuPoint' is integrated: It's a knob right to the display, the mouse buttons are on the top of the case. After a short while this method works really good. The Libretto is bootable from PCMCIA floppy and CD. If you check it deeper, it gets more interesting: The graphics chip with 1 MB RAM is not connected to an ISA bus, it uses the VESA local bus which is 32 bit. DOS isn't capable of multitasking and the 640K-area has to be kept as free as possible, so the Libretto features an automatic hibernation. If the battery is too low, it automatically saves the RAM and the VMEM to the harddisk. This is displayed with a real graphical screen, not just with a bit of text. At the next start the memory is loaded back from disk. It also features Li-Ion batteries, an IRDA port, a stereo Soundblaster jack and two docking stations are available. And: The drivers are still downloadable on the Toshiba website. I love this thing, I'm now using it with an 8 GB CompactFlash card formatted with EZ-Drive. Fiddling around with MS-DOS was the horror and fun at the same time ;-)



#39
cuthead

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Toshiba Libretto cost 30$ is backward-compatible instruction set architectures.
ARM cost 100$ for people that experience money payment and minipedia.
From 10.12.4 Apple dropped Radeon HD6670 video driver support make me ceased to find oob video card for 10.12.4.
Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5 (11G63) Xcode 4.6.3 (4H1503) its code is pure clean for further OSx86 if Apple does not support x86 and VLIW anymore.
x86 and ARM is NAND gate,AND gate and OR gate,not Free market.
Free market company and customer make price fixing work real well.
NVIDIA RISC and ARM Holdings ARM is replacing Intel x86 and AMD VLIW  .


#40
naquaada

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Are you aware how high the prices of Librettos are?! No Intel-Mac or ARM-based device will reach similar prices in twenty years. Similar high can be Commodore devices. The prices for Amiga hardware increased dramatically, for an turbo board with 68060 processor you can pay 600 to 1000 Euro. A prototype version of a the C64's sound chip SID was sold for $6000 and for a Commodore 65 you could get a small car. At the end of the nineteens I could have gotten a C65 for about 650 DM, but I didn't had them at this time... :-/ I still like to have one, although there is no software for it and it's very incompatible to original C64 software. Well, maybe the MEGA65 project will cure these problems...







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