View Full Version : Future Cpu Upgrades (imac / Pm)

12th June 2005, 03:43 PM
With Apple swaying away from the PowerPC chip within a year. Would this not leave open the market for greater PPC Upgrade cards?

Also, ... Please enlighten me if you'll be able to upgrade your current iMac (G5) or PM (G5) to intel in 2 to 3 years time. What are the issues.

So what i'm asking is, what are the Mac CPU makers going to do and what CAN they do.


12th June 2005, 04:02 PM
We'll probably see some cool PPC upgrades for the current line-up (laptops/mini excluded).

An intel chip in a current PPC mac will not work, because they are completely different architectures. They both handle system functions, I/O, and graphics very, very differently. I am, of course, willing to be proved wrong :)

12th June 2005, 04:04 PM
It wouldn't be possible to create a workable upgrade for a G5 to an Intel chip. The architectural differences are too immense.

What may eventuate is cheaper CPU upgrades in the future, depending how Apple design the installation of CPU's in their machines.

12th June 2005, 04:10 PM
They had a PPC upgrade for 68k - why wouldn't they be able to do the same for intel?

12th June 2005, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by Kreats@Jun 12 2005, 04:10 PM
They had a PPC upgrade for 68k - why wouldn't they be able to do the same for intel?
Well I guess if it comes with a motherboard as well as the new CPU then it would definately be possible.

Currawong I am hoping apple don't secide to solder the intel chips into the motherboards. I would love to be able to upgrade the CPU in a powermac along with the RAM and harddrives and other things until I got to the point that I actually needed to go and buy a whole new machine.

12th June 2005, 07:12 PM
As I said, " The architectural differences are too immense." They fit completely different motherboards with completely different pin combinations, different voltage requirements, different methods of handling memory. It's the same reason you don't have G5 upgrades for G4's.

12th June 2005, 07:25 PM
You could say most of the things you mentioned about the 68k->PPC transition.

The only thing which could be a stumbling block would be that both the 68k and PPC were big endian. They could get around this by using local memory on the compatibility card itself.

I think it is a bit early to dismiss things as impossible.

And the reason they don't have g5 upgrades is they want you to buy a spanking new g5 - apple don't sell ANY upgrade cards of any kind (except when they migrate processor architectures).

12th June 2005, 07:38 PM
Some things you have not considered: First, why are there no 3rd party G5 upgrades?

Second, x86 uses a BIOS. PPC uses Open firmware.

12th June 2005, 07:45 PM
Not because it is impossible certainly (google and you'll find many upgrade vendors considered releasing such cards), but because it was harder to do and less profitable.

Profit isn't really a motivation here - I would imagine that if such cards are released they are more to keep current pro users happy (e.g. they can run all their existing software + the new stuff without being required to have two machines). If people kick up a stink they'll really have no other option but to do so.

The CPU/memory is the main concern - they can write compatibility layers for everything else (or include a bios chip onboard even).

BTW: I am talking about running the existing PPC + an intel upgrade card here - just so there is no confusion.