Intel-based MACs - Softwared Compatibility Question

Posted on 2006-04-06
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Hello.  I currently have an iBook G4 1.2GHz.  I was looking to get a G5 dual 2.3GHz processor MAC with the Intel processing.

I have a couple of applications (Macromedia Studio MX and Carrara 3D) on my iBook.

Are there any compatibility issues with these applications and G5, Intel MACs?

Question by:lshane
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    You are confusing the processors used in Macintosh models:

    PowerPC G4 from Motorola/Freescale used in iBook G4, PowerBooks, Mac Mini (pre Feb 2006), and hemispherical based iMacs (pre Aug 2004), and PowerMac G4, and XServe G4

    PowerPC G5 from IBM (single and dual-core) used in PowerMac G5, XServe G5, and integrated flat panel iMacs (pre Jan 2006)

    intel Core (single and dual-core) used in MacBook Pro, new Mac Mini, new integrated flat panel iMacs.

    In other words, a G5 based Macintosh does NOT have an intel processor.

    To answer your question, Adobe (the current owner of Macromedia) has said it does not expect to ship intel-native versions of its products until at least 2007.  Eovia claims that native intel support for Carrara 5 will ship "before summer 2006".

    Until these applications support intel macs natively, you will have to run them in emulation mode using Rosetta.
    Rosetta emulates a PowerPC G4 process on the intel systems.  Running the software under emulation will likely impact performance noticably.

    If you really need to buy a new computer now, and spend a great deal of your time in Macromedia Studio, then I think you should get a PowerPC G5 based Mac (PowerMac G5 are still available to order, but G5-based iMacs are limited to what's in stock at available stores and refurbished units.)

    If you really want to buy an intel-based mac, but don't need to do so in the next 18 months, I would hold off until Adobe provides native intel support.


    Author Comment

    Hey, thanks for the information.  I am a new convert to MAC, as of a couple of years ago.  I've been hearing the hype for the Intel-based MACs, and just assumed the new dual-processor MACs were Intel-based.

    A) Are any of the G5, dual-processor MACs Intel-based, or are the Intel-based MACs not even called "G5"?
    B) If so, is there a projected obsolescence date for the G5-based MAC?

    I was hoping to procure a dual-2.3GHz G5 in the next month, or two.  Do you think they will still be available?

    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    > A) Are any of the G5, dual-processor MACs Intel-based, or are the Intel-based MACs not even called "G5"?

    Intel-based Mac are not even called G5  (PowerPC G5-based Macs are called G5).

    > B) If so, is there a projected obsolescence date for the G5-based MAC?

    Apple put PowerPC G5 processors in 3 models of machines: consumer level integrated flat panel iMacs (iMac G5), PowerMacs ("Desktop" tower systems with perforated aluminum enclosures), and XServe G5 (rack mounted servers).  At this time, only the iMac has been switched to intel processors.  The PowerMac and the XServe still use IBM PowerPC processors.  It is expected that the entire Macintosh line will switch to intel processors within the 2006 calendar year - possibly stretching to summer 2007.  At this point, intel is not shipping x86 chips that can compete with the quad-core PowerMac G5 that occupies Apple's high-end products.

    >I was hoping to procure a dual-2.3GHz G5 in the next month, or two.  Do you think they will still be available?

    Until Apple switches the PowerMac line to intel CPUs, you should still be able to buy the 2.3GHz dual-core G5.
    For an extra $800 retail (less if you are a developer or academic) you get more than double the compute power
    with the quad-core 2.5GHz G5 machine.  (That is what I just got.)


    Author Comment

    That's great info!  Thank you.  So, I should be OK for awhile then.  Does your quad-core 2.5 G5 smoke?

    How would one qualify to be a "developer" or "academic"?
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    > How would one qualify to be a "developer" or "academic"?
    Sign up at
    There are several "tiers" of Developer,  but you need to be at least "Select Developer" to get hardware discounts.

    > How would one qualify to be a "academic"?

    You can be a teacher, or professor, or educational staff.
    Or you can be a student, (or have a child who is a student, or know someone who is a student ... ;)


    Author Comment

    Great.  Thank you.  You've been very helpful.  As I'm getting to know MACs on a deeper level, you may be seeing my name from time to time, as I'm sure I'll be learning a lot here.  I've begun reading several of the "Current Hot Issues" regarding the MACs.  Those are helpful and informative, as well.

    Thanks so much, again.

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