The Macintel Report

Merom Too Hot for 'Books - or Coming in September?, Apple Grows Notebook Market, Classic Mac OS on Macintel, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.08.24

This Week's Macintel News

Merom-based 'Books are anticipated for September - or maybe not. Reports that Merom generates too much heat may keep it off the 'Books until later in the year.

For those disappointed at the loss of Classic mode in OS X on Intel hardware, Sheepshaver lets you run Mac OS 9.1 and Mini vMac lets you run System 6 through 7.5.5 via emulation. You can even run Mini vMac from a USB flash drive.

PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing news is covered in The 'Book Review. General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review.

'Merom' Runs Hot, 'Yonah' Might Be the Better Chip for Notebooks

Daily Tech's Sven Olsen reports:

"Intel began releasing specifications of the new Merom processor to its motherboard partners today. For those expecting Merom to increase performance over Yonah while simultaneously decreasing the thermal envelope, think again....

"Those expecting to pop in a Core 2 Duo Merom processor to alleviate an overheating MacBook Pro, look not here. Merom is a better performing processor than Yonah, but its thermals on paper show its advantages are only in performance and not in thermals at all."

Link: 'Merom' Runs Hot, 'Yonah' Might Be the Better Chip for Notebooks

Merom-based 'Books in September?

The Apple Core's Jason D. O'Grady says:

"There has been plenty of speculation as to when Apple will upgrade MacBooks and MacBook Pros from the Intel Core Duo (code-named 'Yonah') chips to the faster and cooler Merom (a.k.a. Core 2 Duo) processors.

"Initially I heard that Merom was on tap to land in MacBook Pros in time for the holidays - late October or early November. Then last week, DigiTimes reported that the new chip was imminent and that it was expected to turn up in MacBook Pros and MacBooks in September.

"Sources at PC and notebook component makers indicated that Apple will launch its MacBook laptops using Intel's new 64-bit Merom CPU in September, with associated OEM makers, such as Asustek and Quanta Computer, expected to benefit from that, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report."

Link: More on Merom Ship Dates

Apple Increases Share in Notebook Market, Desktop Sales Decline

DigiTimes' Celia Lin and Steve Shen report:

"Global shipments of Apple Computer's Intel-based laptops totaled 780,000-800,000 units in the second quarter of this year, with the MacBook becoming a hot model in the mainstream market, according to sources at Taiwan notebook makers, citing data available from IDC and Gartner Dataquest....

"However, Apple did not do so well in the desktop segment with its Intel-based systems in the second quarter, with its sales volume declining 20% on year, the sources indicated."

Note that the Mac Pro wasn't released until the third quarter, but Mac customers have been anticipating it since early this year. Third quarter results should be interesting. dk

Link: Apple Increases Its Share in the Notebook Market, but Desktop Sales Decline

Windows User: Next PC May be a Mac

The Houston Chronicle's Dwight Silverman reports:

"I don't have to make a decision for a while - my 3.4-GHz Pentium 4 system will last me a bit longer. But if I had to make the choice today, and if some of my concerns could be allayed, I'd lean toward getting a Mac Pro.

"Apple completed its transition to Intel chips with the launch of powerful Mac Pro desktop computers last week and in doing so is positioned to break out of the prison it built for itself.

"The market share for Apple's Macintosh computers has been stalled in the single digits forever. Its reliance on the Mac OS X operating system - more than 90 percent of the computing world uses Microsoft's Windows - doomed it to be a niche platform.

"But no longer. With its new lineup of machines that can run both Windows and the Mac OS, Apple is now more than a contender and is a serious option for even the most die-hard Windows user.

"I can say this with absolute certainty because there's a very good chance that the next time I buy a new PC, it will be a Mac.

"The more I think about it, and the more I examine the muscular specs on the Mac Pro desktops, the more intrigued I become. But I'm not necessarily interested in buying a Mac for the Mac OS. I want it because it will run Windows - and therein lies the genius in Apple's strategy."

Link: Allure of Mac Pro May Move Windows Fans to Convert

You Can Run Mac OS 9 on an Intel Mac's Dan says:

"Who said you can't use Mac OS 9 because you have an Intel Mac? It is completely possible with a little bit of tinkering, and a really cool universal application called Sheep Shaver, which came to us via tip from Kazaki. Sheep Shaver is a full speed 'Classic' emulator for Windows, Linux, and Intel based Macs, that runs older Mac OS's at shockingly full speed!

"For the purposes of this tutorial, we will only illustrate how to run the classic environment on Intel Macs, but you can do this procedure on other OS'es as well. So lets teach your fancy Mactel a new, old trick."

Link: Run Mac OS 9 on an Intel Mac

Mac-on-Stick Is a Trip Down (Flash) Memory Lane

MacUser's Dan Moren says:

"If you're a Gadgetbox reader, you'll know I've been engaged in a battle over getting a USB thumb drive. I love the idea of having one, but I haven't quite managed to acquired one yet (mainly because I'm cheap). Meanwhile, the useful things you can do with them continue to mount up. Here's the latest in a long line: make a Mac-on-Stick.

"The idea is to use emulation software to run the Classic Mac OS off a thumb drive, allowing you to run it anywhere you want. The example used boots System 7.0.1 (though up through System 7.5.5 are available from Apple)."

Apple Boot Camp 1.1 Released

PR: Apple Boot Camp allows users with a Microsoft Windows XP installation disc to install Windows XP on an Intel-based Mac

More and more people are buying and loving Macs. To make this choice simply irresistible, Apple will include technology in the next major release of Mac OS X, Leopard, that lets you install and run the Windows XP operating system on your Mac. Called Boot Camp, you can download a public beta today.

As elegant as it gets

Boot Camp lets you install Windows XP without moving your Mac data, though you will need to bring your own copy to the table, as Apple Computer does not sell or support Microsoft Windows.(1) Boot Camp will burn a CD of all the required drivers for Windows so you don't have to scrounge around the Internet looking for them.

Optional alt. At startup, hold down the option key (alt) to choose between Mac OS X and Windows.

Run XP natively

Once you've completed Boot Camp, simply hold down the option key at startup to choose between Mac OS X and Windows. (That's the "alt" key for you longtime Windows users.) After starting up, your Mac runs Windows completely natively. Simply restart to come back to Mac.

What you'll need

  • Mac OS X Tiger v10.4.6 or later
  • The latest Firmware updates
  • 10 GB free hard disk space
  • An Intel-based Mac
  • A blank recordable CD
  • A printer for the instructions (You'll want to print them before installing Windows, really.)
  • A bona fide installation disc for Microsoft Windows XP, Service Pack 2, Home or Professional (No multi-disc, upgrade or Media Center versions.)

Boot Camp burns a CD with all the Mac-specific drivers for Windows:

  • Graphics
  • Networking
  • Audio
  • AirPort wireless
  • Bluetooth
  • The Eject key (on Apple keyboards)
  • Brightness control for built-in displays

Changes in Boot Camp 1.1 beta

Boot Camp 1.1 beta contains many updates and is intended for all new and previous Boot Camp beta users.

Boot Camp 1.1 beta includes:

  • Support for the latest Intel-based Macintosh computers
  • Easier partitioning using presets for popular sizes
  • Ability to install Windows XP on any internal disk
  • iSight camera support
  • Support for built-in microphones
  • Right-click when pressing the right-hand Apple key on Apple keyboards
  • Improved Apple keyboard support including Delete, PrintScreen, NumLock, and ScrollLock keys

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later, Intel-based Mac, blank recordable CD, purchased copy of Microsoft Windows XP, Service Pack 2, Home or Professional (No multi-disc, upgrade or Media Center versions.)

System support: Intel


Link: Boot Camp

Avid to Deliver Content Creation Tools for Intel-based Macs

PR: Avid Technology, Inc. has announced its plans to expand the wide range of video and audio content creation solutions that will be available for Intel-based Mac systems, including the new Mac Pro workstation introduced last week at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The Avid Video division expects to deliver new versions of its industry-standard Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer systems for all Intel-based Macs by December. Following the arrival of the new Mac Pro workstation, Avid's Audio Division, Digidesign, expects to release a compatible update to its acclaimed Pro Tools HD 7.2 software in September. Full qualification for the existing Intel-based Mac versions of Pro Tools LE and Pro Tools M-Powered on the new Mac Pro workstation is also expected in December, although preliminary testing indicates that both applications will run without problems. In addition, Digidesign's business unit, M-Audio, expects to qualify various hardware interfaces for the Mac Pro workstation by December. A wide range of Digidesign and M-Audio systems are already compatible with the Intel-based computers that Apple released earlier this year.

"As the only nonlinear editing manufacturer to offer video applications on both the Mac and PC, we'll be able to leverage our cross-platform development expertise to fully harness the power and performance of Apple's new Intel-based Mac workstations. This is great news for our audio and video customers who prefer to run our industry-standard video and audio systems on the Mac," said Mike Rockwell, vice president and CTO of Avid Technology. "Throughout the Mac's history, we've supported every version of its OS, and since 1998, we have optimized our products, codecs and software processing routines for Intel chipsets. Avid, Digidesign, and M-Audio customers will experience tremendous performance enhancements compared to previous Macs, and we're looking forward to innovating even greater video and audio solutions on this platform in the months and years ahead."

In addition to continuing development on Intel-based Mac systems, Avid's video and audio businesses plan to maintain backward compatibility with PowerPC-based Mac systems. Avid and its businesses also expect to support future versions of the Mac OS, including the forthcoming Leopard OS announced this week at the Apple WWDC. Specific timing for Leopard OS support will be announced after Apple begins shipping the new OS some time in 2007.

Link: Avid

Blackmagic Design Announces Support for Mac Pro Systems

PR: Blackmagic Design Inc. has announced support for the new Apple Mac Pro systems based on Intel Xeon processors. All Blackmagic Design PCI Express based video capture cards are supported as a free update from the Blackmagic Design website.

Supported products include DeckLink HD Extreme, DeckLink HD Pro 4:4:4 PCIe, DeckLink SP PCIe, DeckLink Extreme PCIe, and Multibridge Extreme and Multibridge Pro.

Blackmagic Design customers will be able to purchase these new Mac Pro systems and use any PCI Express based DeckLink card or Multibridge editing system.

In addition, Blackmagic Design's testing has shown, that when the new Apple Mac Pro is populated with 3 x 500 MB SATA disks internally mounted and striped with RAID 0 configuration, approximately 170 MB/sec disk array performance was achieved. This allows customers to build lower cost HD disk arrays for simple capture and playback tasks. For higher performance editing solutions, Blackmagic Design's testing has shown Apple's Xserve RAID works well as a high performance uncompressed HDTV disk array.

"This is an exciting time for our customers because the processor to memory speed of these new systems is dramatically higher than previously available on the Mac platform. This allows more video effects, more layers, and more complex design work to run real time, while providing much higher performance for uncompressed HD and uncompressed 2K feature film rendering," said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design Inc. "These new systems are a perfect match for DeckLink cards and our new Multibridge Pro editing solution."

Blackmagic Design software for Intel systems will ship later this week, and be available as a free update from the Blackmagic Design website. Once downloaded, any PCI Express Blackmagic Design product can be installed and operated in these new systems.

Link: Blackmagic Design Announces Support for the New Apple Intel-Based Mac Pro Systems

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