The Thing About Apple And Intel

All right, I guess I have to talk about it now.

Okay. I have been studiously ignoring this for the past five weeks because really, it makes no sense at all. Period. None. Corporate politics aside (and believe me, Intel is the KING of corporate politics) the switch would deprive Apple of one of their biggest selling points - the staggering advantage in processor power that Macs have over Windoze boxes. On average, a PowerPC chip has 4 times the processing power of an Intel chip of the same clock speed. If you have a 1.4GHz G5, then it is pretty much twice as fast as a 2.8GHz chuck of Intel silicon. That is some serious go, and the main reason I refused to bite on this for the past couple of fortnights. And yet ... the word in the valley is that today it will become official and Apple will shift to using processors made by Intel.

I can tell you this - it still makes no sense unless one of the following three conditions is true:

1 - Intel is finally giving up on their three-decades obsolete CISC technology and is going to produce a proper RISC chip. Intel's bizarre insistence in clinging to CISC is why the PowerPC chips in current Macs make Windoze machines look like Yugos. If Intel makes the change and can offer the chips cheaper than IBM/Motorola, then the switch becomes sensible.

2 - IBM and/or Motorola is getting right out of the chip biz, and the gang in Cupertino has no choice in the matter.

3 - Apple is going to produce either a "media centre" home computer or an ultra-portable palm-type computer, either of which would have both a severely stripped down version of OSX and heavily modified applications (for palm-top use or for the type of user who cant make a DVD player "play" without getting their kid to help them). At this point, you would no longer have to look at power as a selling point - price, user friendliness and/or size would be the starting and ending points of the sales pitch.

So what is it going to be? Supposedly, we will know in about 3 hours. But I still pretty much refuse to believe it until I hear it straight from Steve Jobs' mouth.

Stay tuned ...

Posted: Mon - June 6, 2005 at 08:25 AM