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08.29.2006
Mac Pro vs. Power Mac G5 photo gallery
Apple's Mac Pro: "The ultimate in desktop computing"
Intel launches the Core 2 Duo processor series

08.17.2006
Understanding the Mac Pro's FB-DIMM memory architecture
Mac Pro benchmarks: Up to 85% faster than quad G5

08.15.2006
Ars Technica reviews the Mac Pro

08.14.2006
Selling my Power Mac dual G5 2.5 - anyone interested?

08.10.2006
Apple beats Dell on quad-Xeon system pricing

08.08.2006
Mac Pro photos from WWDC
Fruits of WWDC 2006: Mac Pro, Intel Xserve

08.07.2006
The Apple 2006 World Wide Developers Conference begins

08.02.2006
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro battery exchange program

07.25.2006
Apple acknowledges MacBook Pro whine issue

07.18.2006
Migrate your Boot Camp Windows install into Parallels

07.15.2006
Photos of upcoming Mac Pro enclosures?

07.10.2006
New enclosures expected for upcoming Mac Pro and MacBook Pro

07.04.2006
Run Windows apps under Mac OS X - without Windows

06.26.2006
All-inclusive list of MacBook Pro bugs

06.15.2006
Parallels Desktop for Mac goes final, hits the shelves

06.06.2006
Is your MacBook's main vent covered by plastic?

06.01.2006
Intel-based Xserve expected this summer

05.28.2006
MacBook benchmark round-up

05.25.2006
Power Mac line to become "Mac Pro" with move to Intel

05.17.2006
Apple Notebook Comparison Chart

05.16.2006
Apple speed bumps the MacBook Pro line
High res, close up photos of the new MacBook
Apple introduces the MacBook

05.06.2006
Intel-based Mac mini CPU upgrade guide

05.01.2006
MacBook Pro whine issue solved by hacking system file?

04.28.2006
Hot MacBook Pros...heatsink compound applicaton to blame?

04.26.2006
Parallels Workstation beta 5 breaks OPENSTEP

04.24.2006
Apple releases the 17-inch MacBook Pro

04.20.2006
Release of 17" Intel-based MacBook Pro imminent
NeXT's OPENSTEP up and running on a MacBook Pro

04.18.2006
Is Apple underclocking the MacBook Pro's ATI X1600 GPU?
Will Apple bid farewell to the Mach microkernel
PC World adds the Mac to their Top Desktop PC charts
A first use for MacBook Pro's ExpressCard slot: EV-DO wireless

04.15.2006
Triple booting Mac OS X, Windows and Linux via Boot Camp

04.13.2006
Intel Merom processor swapped into Mac mini

ALL Stories

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It's official...

Apple has begun transitioning the Mac to the Intel processor platform.

In mid-2005, Apple announced that the company would be transitioning the entire Macintosh line from the PowerPC to Intel processors. For the past six years, Apple has maintained a secret, in-house Intel build of Mac OS X as a "safety net," making this transition possible. During his Macworld Expo 2006 keynote in January, Steve Jobs unveiled the first Macs powered by the Intel "Core Duo" processor. The transition has begun.

Farewell Motorola, Freescale, and PowerPC. Hello, Intel....

• Photos: Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro disassembled

iFixit has posted the first internal photos of Apple's recently released Core 2 Duo 'Merom' MacBook Pro. The disassembly guide/gallery can be seen here.

The disassembly features high resolution images of the redesigned logic board and Intel's new Merom chip. Also included is the first photos of Apple's 802.11n draft board for the MacBook, and Apple's new 6x dual-layer 9.7mm SuperDrive.

An appropriate Halloween story...digging into the guts and gore of a new MacBook Pro. Mwwhhaaa haaa haaa....


• Apple releases Core 2 Duo based MacBook Pros

As anticipated, Apple has released an updated MacBook Pro model that dispenses with the Intel Core Duo processor in favor of the new Intel Core 2 Duo (codename: Merom) based on the Intel Core microarchitecture (which the Core Duo was not). The new units bring a variety of performance increases and enhancements; Apple claims up to a 39% performance increase over the previous MacBook Pro.

15-inch MacBook Pro specification tree:
  • 2.16GHz or 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor w/ 4MB shared L2 cache
  • 15.4-inch TFT display, 1440x900 native res. (67% brighter than previous PowerBook displays)
  • 667MHz frontside bus
  • PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 SDRAM
    • 2.16GHz model: 1GB, single SODIMM (one slot free)
    • 2.33GHz model: 2GB, dual SO-DIMMs
  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 w/ dual link DVI support
    • 2.16GHz model: 128MB GDDR3 memory
    • 2.33GHz model: 256MB GDDR3 memory
  • Serial ATA hard drive
    • Standard: 120GB 5400-rpm drive
    • Optional: 160GB 5400-rpm, 200GB 4200-rpm drives
  • 6x Slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD+-RW/CD-RW)
  • Integrated iSight camera
  • Expansion:
    • Single FireWire 400 port
    • Single FireWire 800 port
    • Two USB 2.0 ports
    • ExpressCard/34 slot
  • Communications:
    • 54Mbps AirPort Extreme (802.11g) networking
    • Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
    • 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
  • Audio:
    • Combined optical digital input / audio line-in
    • Combined optical digital output / heaadphone-out
    • Built-in stereo speakers
    • Internal microphone
  • Backlit keyboard with light sensor
  • Physical specs:
    • Height: 1.0 inch (2.59 cm)
    • Width: 14.1 inches (35.7 cm)
    • Depth: 9.6 inches (24.3 cm)
    • Height: 5.6 pounds (2.54 kg)
  • Bundled 6-button Apple Remote
  • Bundled Mac OS X v10.4 and iLife '06 suite, Front Row, and Photo Booth
17-inch MacBook Pro specification tree:
  • 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor w/ 4MB shared L2 cache
  • 17-inch TFT display, 1680x1050 native res. (67% brighter than previous PowerBook displays)
  • 667MHz frontside bus
  • 2GB PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 SDRAM, dual SO-DIMMs
  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 w/ 256MB GDDR3 memory and dual link DVI support
  • Serial ATA hard drive
    • Standard: 160GB 5400-rpm drive
    • Optional: 100GB 7200-rpm, 200GB 4200-rpm drives
  • 8x Slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD+-RW/CD-RW)
  • Integrated iSight camera
  • Expansion:
    • Single FireWire 400 port
    • Single FireWire 800 port
    • Three USB 2.0 ports
    • ExpressCard/34 slot
  • Communications:
    • 54Mbps AirPort Extreme (802.11g) networking
    • Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
    • 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
  • Audio:
    • Combined optical digital input / audio line-in
    • Combined optical digital output / heaadphone-out
    • Built-in stereo speakers
    • Internal microphone
  • Backlit keyboard with light sensor
  • Physical specs:
    • Height: 1.0 inch (2.59 cm)
    • Width: 15.4 inches (39.2 cm)
    • Depth: 10.4 inches (26.5 cm)
    • Height: 6.8 pounds (3.1 kg)
  • Bundled 6-button Apple Remote
  • Bundled Mac OS X v10.4 and iLife '06 suite, Front Row, and Photo Booth
Currently the MacBook and Mac mini are the only remaining Macs that have not moved to a Core 2-based processor.


• Core 2 Duo-based MacBook Pros expected today

As MacRumors reports, an update to the MacBook Pro line is expected in the very near term - likely today. The new units are expected to feature the Core 2 Duo processor, larger hard drives, FireWire 800 support, as well as upgraded SuperDrives. As an indicator, several European vendors have been unable to acquire the current MacBook Pros for some time.


• (PRODUCT) RED iMac and MacBook on the way?

As you may be aware, Apple recently rolled out the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED in support of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in Africa; Apple donates $10 for every nano (PRODUCT) RED sold to the fund. It seems the iPod may not be the only place where Apple sees red.

According to Think Secret's sources, CEO Steve Jobs and the Global Fund's Bono have discussed bringing to market PRODUCT (RED) versions of the iMac as well as the MacBook. See an artist's rendering of the concept at LoopRumors. Stay tuned....


• Video of Counter-Strike: Source running smoothly under CrossOver Mac

We've written a number of times about CodeWeavers' CrossOver Mac, a WINE-based system that allows certain Windows applications to run under Mac OS X for Intel (at great speed) by way of native DLLs. CodeWeavers offers a 60-day free beta of the application, making it easy take for folks to get a feel for its performance. Those that haven't given it a try may find a recently posted YouTube video interesting (and perhaps even surprising).

User FragTek posted a video of Valve's Counter-Strike: Source, a Windows first-person shooter, running under CrossOver Mac beta on a MacBook Pro from within Mac OS X. Have a look. We think you may be surprised at the smooth framerate.

We're all pretty avid gamers here at Mac On Intel, but booting into Windows via Boot Camp is quite a hassle, and Parallels Desktop isn't suited for gaming, so it's been pretty much Mac-only games for us. (And despite folks' griping, there's a pretty good selection out there!) But this really opens up a whole new world of gaming possibilities for the OS X-entrenched. We're excited!

Related links:


• Intel Cloverton in a Mac Pro: 8 core goodness

Towards the end of the year, Intel will be rolling out a quad-core version of the Core 2 and Xeon processor lines, codename Kentsfield and Clovertown, respectively. These processors utilize the same LGA-771 sockets as their dual-core brethren, a fact that raises the question as to whether or not these new processors can serve as drop-in replacements for the Mac Pro's dual-core Xeons.

Current indicates are: yes, indeed they can.

The folks over at AnandTech took a couple of 2.4GHz Cloverton engineering samples and replaced the Woodcrests in a Mac Pro with them. They worked like a charm, with Mac OS X detecting and fully utilizing all eight cores. The test setup ran with a 1066MHz front-side bus, but AnandTech expects that the final chip will utilize a 1333MHz FSB.

Current indications are that the quad-core units will run at a lower clockspeed than their dual-core siblings, but in situations where heavily threaded applications (or many, simultaneous lesser threaded applications) are run, more cores means a more powerful system.

The future looks bright for those hoping to extend their investment in a Mac Pro with upgrades down the line.


• Core 2 Duo-based iMac benchmark results

Macworld Labs recently took a look at Apple's new iMac Core 2 Duo and posted some early benchmark results.

According to Intel, a similarly clocked Core 2 Duo will provide 20% more computing power than a Core Duo (the chip that previously powered the Intel-based iMacs) at the same voltage. Macworld's comparison between a 2GHz Core Duo iMac and a 2GHz Core 2 Duo iMac showed an overall performance improvement of 10%, with some individual tests showing a gains of up to 20%.

Not surprisingly, Macworld's tests revealed that the quad-core, Woodcrest-based 2.66GHz Mac Pro handily outperformed the Core 2 Duo iMacs:
With twice the number of processor cores, all running faster than the iMac, the Mac Pro had a definite advantage in this match up. But because not all applications and tasks take full advantage of the Mac multiprocessing capabilities, most results showed the Mac Pro between 20 and 30 percent faster than the 2.16GHz iMac.



• 24-inch iMac unpacking photos

Have a look at a photo series posted by a lucky user who just received his 24-inch iMac. A rather capable machine with some serious desktop real estate.


• Core 2 Duo iMacs arrive, 24-inch model at high-end

Apple, today, updated the iMac line by replacing the Intel Core Duo processor with the recently released Intel Core 2 Duo, utilizing the chipmaker's new Intel Core Microarchitecture, also used in the Xeon 5100-series (aka "Woodcrest"), used in Apple's recently released Mac Pro line. At the same time, Apple introduced a new, high-end iMac featuring a built-in 24-inch display.

These new iMacs offer a performance increase of up to 50% over the previous iMacs thanks to the improved efficiency of the Intel Core Microarchitecture. The specs are impressive. Though the Xeon used in the Mac Pro is a more powerful processor, there is certain overhead in the Mac Pro's DB-DIMM memory subsystem that have lead some to speculate that a Core 2 Duo-powered machine using DDR2 memory (which is used in the iMac) may outrun a Xeon + FB-DIMM system. Benchmarks should be interesting.


• CodeWeavers' CrossOver Mac free beta released

Codeweavers has released a public beta of CrossOver Mac for the Intel-based Macintosh.

CrossOver Mac is a system through which Windows applications can be run alongside Mac OS X applications in a "rootless" fashion - not contained within a emulation or virtualization window. How does Codeweavers work that magic? CrossOver Mac has WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator) at its core, a compatibility layer that provides alternative (native) implementations of the DLLs that Windows programs call at runtime. What's more, CrossOver Mac is tuned to run a select list of applications and games (about 2000 titles in length) with particularly high performance. We're not just talking MS Office and Lotus Notes, but 3D games such as Half-Life 2.

If interested, grab your 60 day free beta from CodeWeavers now.

See our original look at CrossOver Mac back in June 2005, one of our first articles.


50 latest "Mac on Intel" external news links...

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From Apple...

Important points to consider...

Technical / developer considerations...

Apple has dictated a "universal binary" approach to handling the dual-platform nature of the future Macintosh. A universal binary is an application that contains a single set of resource data and two separate binary executables—one for each platform. While OS X itself, being highly portable, would exist in a native version for PowerPC and a native version for Intel, a single universal binary application would be able to run on either. The latest developer tools, Xcode 2.1, allows (right now) compiling of universal binaries. PowerPC native applications that have not yet been compiled for the Intel processor will be able to run at approximately 80% full execution speed using Apple's new "Rosetta" dynamic translation technology.

Apple has made some indication as to the complexity of porting existng applications to the new platform:



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