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Daniel Bolgheroni

PowerPC vs. Intel x86 issues with Leopard

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I'm willing to buy a used Mac OS X machine with at least 10.5 and would like to understand some PowerPC vs. Intel x86 transition solutions Apple used. I'm referring to 10.5 because it's the last version which can run on both architectures.


For instance, I verified that Firefox 7 requires at least 10.5 and that the RECOMMENDED hardware is a Mac with a Intel x86 processor. The questions are:


- Will it run if I install on a PowerPC machine with 10.5?

- Will it run Flash plug-in?

- How does OS translates the instructions from one architecture to another?


Thank you.

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If you move from PPC to x86 you can run your old PPC apps via Rosetta http://en.wikipedia...._%28software%29 (up until 10.6.8) but there is no way to do the opposite, there is no x86 emulation layer available to PPC users. Therefore you will be unable to use any OS X software that is compiled to run on Intel processors only.


If you look around a bit you can find unofficial PPC optimized versions of Firefox 7:


But you will not be able to use the latest version of Flash with it.


My advice: Do not buy a PPC based Mac, unless you want to use it for retro gaming: 10.4.11 + OS9 on a fast G4 is awesome if you like old PPC/68k Mac games.

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