an All Creative World site
Ivan's picture

What can't you run on an Intel Mac?

Yes, we will have Rosetta and it's going to make Intel Macs backward compatible, so you don't have to purchase a new version of your softwares, but not absolutely everything will run on an Intel Mac. Here is the list of application types that Rosetta can't translate:

  • Applications built for any version of the Mac OS earlier than Mac OS X —that means Mac OS 9, Mac OS 8, Mac OS 7, and so forth
  • The Classic environment
  • Screensavers written for the PowerPC architecture
  • Code that inserts preferences in the System Preferences pane
  • Applications that require a G5 processor
  • Applications that depend on one or more PowerPC-only kernel extensions
  • Kernel extensions
  • Java applications with JNI libraries
  • Java applets in applications that Rosetta can translate; that means a web browser that Rosetta can run translated will not be able to load Java applets.

Universal logoNow, this means no Classic apps on Intel Macs, but you will most probably be able to install Windows. Generally speaking, of course it's better to run universally translated application that can run natively on both PowerPC and Intel CPU based Macs, so that you don't lose power by translating code. Bottom line, if you're planning to get an Intel based Mac in the future, look for the Universal logo on applications you purchase from now on.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

William's picture
187 pencils

Does anyone know what compiler is used when building Intel code ?

I have seen some blogs saying that Apple are using an Intel compiler which is highly optimized compared to GCC. This would explain the huge performance boost.

The important question is, if this is true, which compiler is shipped with Xcode?


edit: I found this fourm thread:

ItalianMike's picture
303 pencils

Final Cut Studio apps are the ones I use most often, and they should be ready in about two months. Plus Apple is offering a decent deal, and I'll be able to upgrade from FCP4.5 to the latest version at an excellent price.

Aside from that I've seen most of the small apps I used in my day to day routine are well under way. For example the VLC team says it will be on universal binary with it's next release. BBEdit is already a Universal Binary. I'm not sure about Transmit, but I imagine porting it shouldn't be so complicated.

The only big programs I haven't heard anything about that I'm very interested in are. Well Adobe of course, and FrameForge 3D Studio. Which is a program I use to make storyboards for various film projects. They have been working on a new version for well over a year, which incorporates even more amazing features (depth of field, f-stops, and other stuff) but this transition to Intel kind of came up right in the middle of the development.

Infinite Style

jameskitty's picture
13 pencils

Little Snitch just released an universal binary update, so obviously there is some method available for apps to access System Preferences.

seuj's picture
2 pencils

What we're talking about here is a Universal Binary update — Universal Binaries can do anything applications from pre-intel could, they just have to be re-coded to do it both ways for both architectures.

What Ivan was talking about is the fact that you can't run a NON Universal Binary application that inserts preferences into the System Preferences pane, akin to trying to use the old Classic Control Panels in OS X.

Hope this clears that up :)

MtnBiker's picture
1 pencil

Other sites are saying because BIOS is not being used, Windows won't install--I don't understand this stuff, but this seems to be the consensus. But virtual somethings (things that seem to be being developed in the open source community) are mentioned as a way to run Windows. I would like to be able to run some windows apps that aren't available for the Mac, so being able to have both running at the same time (like Virtual PC currently except much faster) would be great.

I'm wondering also about peripherals such as my basic Canon N670U scanner. I have enough trouble with it now--seems unlikely there won't be problems on a Mactel.

Kernel extension are mentioned--what do they impact?

bteverybody's picture
101 pencils

Windows XP will not install on an Intel Mac, but Windows Vista should be able to be installed. Vista will support EFI (an updated BIOS specification), which is what is used in the Intel Macs.

bteverybody's picture
101 pencils

This also means that by the next computer upgrade cycle, my company will have to finally let go of Quark 4 and Outlook, which drag me down day after day with their Classic crashiness. Outlook mostly.

Creativebits is a blog about Creativity, Graphic Design, Adobe, Apple and other related subjects.

Do you need a great new logo?

Pick a pre-made design from a collection of 50,000+ logos that will be customized to your business name for free.