[rescue] your next Solaris machine ??? (Sol/x86 booting on iMac)

Patrick Giagnocavo patrick at zill.net
Sat Apr 15 00:40:29 CDT 2006

On Sat, 2006-04-15 at 00:19, Skeezics Boondoggle wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Apr 2006, Andrew Weiss wrote:
> > [...] The new POWER
> > 6 is supposed to be pretty light on power use and scale to 6 Ghz.
> > 
> > The latest POWER5's have like 8 cores on die and like 8MB of cache on
> > die per processor.  [...]
> ...which is exactly why Apple's move to Intel couldn't have been more 
> stupid.  As the "full-blown" POWER architecture evolves and scales, you 
> know that key improvements would make their way into PowerPC.  And the use 
> of PPC in gaming platforms means more innovation and drive to improve 

And how much would that 8-core, 8MB cache per core CPU cost, even at G5
Mac volumes?  BTW I doubt the current OSX kernel can even scale to 4
CPUs much less 8.

I am afraid my response will turn this thread into a flamefest, but the
fact is that the existing POWER stuff didn't make it into the G5, so why
would you expect any different on a "G6" ?  Look at the specs on even
the earlier p-series machines (20GBytes/second memory bandwidth on
STREAM), then compare with what Apple was able to ship.

Don't you remember Motorola's too-little, too-late dog and pony show
about the 68060?  

Apple going it alone with PPC wasn't getting it dual-core laptop chips. 
Even with all the orders for PPC variants, Apple was tied to a single
vendor.  Apple was too big and yet, not big enough to change this.

Meanwhile on x86, you have two strong competitors AMD and Intel, both of
them shipping in volume.

If Apple wants to get into "server" markets not served by x64, they can
go with SPARC, which is shipping, today, 8-core systems.

> But, apparently Jobs wants Apple to be a box shifter, a Dell clone with 
> cachet, and that's their choice.  It just means that cool old "historical" 
> machines like the G5 will end up in my collection for pennies on the 
> dollar sooner, rather than later.

He has made a decision for his own reasons.  I think that the real
reasons are not public, and the full reasoning & strategy for the quick
switch to x86 will only become apparent in late 2007 or so.
> It is pretty funny seeing Solaris on a Mac, though... Now, if it were 
> running OpenStep on top of Solaris with an Intel chip inside and an Apple 
> logo on the outside...

You can get OpenStep 1.0 and get it to run, with limitations, at least
up to Solaris 9.  Not sure if they released an x86 version though.


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