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Internal differences MAC and PC (1 Viewer)

Jassen M. West

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Subject says it all. could a mac be formatted and setup to run like a PC , could a PC be formatted to run like a mac. Are the differeces only OS related or are the internals different?

I'm not thinking of doing it , i just wanted to know if it could be done, why/whynot.

thanks
jay
 

Vince Maskeeper

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Yes- the internal hardware is completely different. A program (or OS in your example) would need to be compiled for the different hardware and processor architecture.
 

JamesHl

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Some parts are interchangeable, but mostly not.

Do macs still use scsi for most stuff?
 

gregstaten

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James: not really. Modern Macs don't have SCSI built-in as they used to. They use Firewire and IDE just like PCs. That said, there are certainly a wide variety of SCSI cards avaiable from ATTO and others.

-greg
 

Joseph S

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The reason you can't do it is because Macs have a system and PCI bus that's too advanced for Windows. ;)

Nothing is fast enough to justify Virtual PC though. It's not worth the money. Buy a cheap PC or use the Remote Desktop client to connect to someone else's.
 

Keith Mickunas

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The key difference is the CPU. Macs use a completely different CPU, the PowerPC line (I think the G4 and G5 are still in that line), that is not compatible with the x86 instruction set used by AMD and Intel in the PC CPUs. EXEs, and whatever the Mac executable format is, are completely specific to the instruction set used by the CPU.

Of course, since OSX is largely based on BSD, which is cross platform, with some modifications it could be ported to the CPU, but all the software would have to be ported also. Also, with linux or BSD, they can run on multiple CPUs, But porting the code to another CPU requires recompiling code into an executable specific to the CPU.

At one time MS supported Windows NT on PowerPC, MIPS and DEC Alpha, but that's a long time gone. And it would still require new versions of the apps in most cases. Although I think DEC Alpha version had an emulator but that's not really relevant.

There's been the occasional rumor that Apple was going to port OSX to the x86 architecture, but I doubt Jobs would ever let that happen. But you'd still have to get separate copies of the OS from Apple to run on the PC and the Mac if that ever came to be. And you'd have to get "Adobe Photoshop for OSX on the PowerPC" and "Adobe Photoshop for OSX on the PC" and so on.
 

John_Berger

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And you'd have to get "Adobe Photoshop for OSX on the PowerPC" and "Adobe Photoshop for OSX on the PC" and so on.
I don't doubt that, but with a well-written hardware abstraction layer and by taking advantage of the OpenBSD cross-platform aspect of OSX, I can't see how that would be as much of a burden as many people think. Since only the binaries and probably libraries would need to be modified, the data itself could be the same, thereby allowing both versions on one CD instead of separate versions. The consistent MacOS interface would then eliminate the need for multiple versions of the manuals.

It might be a long shot but it is most certainly a technical possibility and would not be difficult to impliment if designed properly.
 

Joseph S

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Plus, it would whet people's appetite for Mac without forcing people to take the very risky plunge of paying twice as much for a Mac as they would for a PC. Hook people in by getting them acclimated to the operating system, THEN go for the jugular by showing how much faster the operating system works on the real hardware!
I'm not sure what "risky plunge" you're talking about. The prices aren't that obscene for an iMac or an eMac. Plus, the resale value is very high on all systems even 3-4 years out. If you want a loaded dual system, of course you will pay for it. My new HTPC case is over $800 and that only includes a power supply and a few fan controllers. I have to add the MB, Processor, Video Card, HDs, DVD-Rom, HDTV cards...

You can live as cheaply as you wish and there are plenty of affordable Macs now that won't crash and run faster than the avg buyer needs them to.
 

Patrick Larkin

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Porting OS X to x86 in general isn't a bad idea - but only if a.) apple MADE the x86 systems or b.) had a partnership with a limited amount of manufacturers.

OS X would turn into an unreliable POS like Windows if it had to support every 3rd party piece of hardware. No thanks. I'll gladly pay "double" (even though an eMac is $799, egads!). :rolleyes
 

John_Berger

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Wow! I didn't realize that Macs had dropped in price that much! Hmmmm....

OS X would turn into an unreliable POS like Windows if it had to support every 3rd party piece of hardware. No thanks. I'll gladly play "double"
No one said that they had to support "every" piece of hardware. I certainly wouldn't expect them to. I would fully understand if they had a hardware compatibility list that says straight out that only certain video, audio, and network cards are supported. Even XP will not support everything that's out there natively.

Microsoft put out a system analyzer to determine if your system can run XP. There is no reason why Apple couldn't do the same.
 

Ken Chan

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...and at the price they would have to charge
...for the volume they'd expect to sell
...to offset the lost hardware profits
...to cover the increased development and support costs

Seems risky.

//Ken
 

John_Berger

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Seems risky.
Without question. But if they, as the rumor goes, already have it developed, why would they have paid the developers to do that with no possible return on investment? Risky is one thing. Blatantly throwing away money is another.

And regardless of how inexpensive Apple hardware might be, people are still not going to be willing to just go to a totally new hardware platform if they can "test the waters" first. Apple would make the sale on the OS, then those who are convinced would then go and buy a new Apple system on top of it later. Yes, it's a gamble, but I think that if they play their cards right it could have a very big return. I know that I'd be the first in line (and hopefully not the only one) to buy this if it ever came out for the x86 platform.
 

Walter Kittel

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Why would Apple have ported to an Intel architecture? Purely speculation of course, but it may have been due to concerns about Motorola's ability to provide processor support, prior to IBM's G5 processor. I am certain that they felt pressured by the speed advances of the Intel and AMD processors and having an x86 OS X would have given Apple an alternative if the G5 failed to materialize.

-- Walter.
 

Patrick Larkin

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Without question. But if they, as the rumor goes, already have it developed, why would they have paid the developers to do that with no possible return on investment?
Well, first of all, OS X was based on NextStep which ran on x86. So, it wasn't that big of a deal. The BSD part was already running on x86 as well. If Apple did it, which I'm sure they did, it was probably proof of concept so that if they had to switch to x86 processors in their machines, they could.
 

DonRoeber

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I don't think Apple was really ever thinking about putting their OSes on Dell type PCs. Instead, they'd probably develop hardware that had Mac like boot prom information, and an x86 processor. Walter is right, Apple wants to remain in business even if their first choice of processor manufacturer goes out of business (or closes that line of business).
 

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