Apple previews Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard"

Apple surprised many today when it announced it would be previewing the next version of the operating system that runs on its Mac line of desktops and notebooks, Mac OS X 10.6, aka "Snow Leopard". Despite questionable name choice, in its early stages it shows a lot of potential as an even more stable operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, featuring better 64-bit computing (a theoretical 16 TB, yes terabyte, of RAM is to be supported), full Microsoft Exchange support in its Address Book and Mail applications, improved multicore support through what Apple calls "Grand Central", and a technology called OpenCL that puts more processing to the graphics processing unit. Apple also promises an improved media experience through QuickTime X.

"We have delivered more than a thousand new features to OS X in just seven years and Snow Leopard lays the foundation for thousands more," said Bertrand Serlet, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "In our continued effort to deliver the best user experience, we hit the pause button on new features to focus on perfecting the world's most advanced operating system."
View: Snow Leopard promotional page

We don't really know a whole lot about Snow Leopard yet, however it is also in its very early stages. Many are expecting a kind of "super service pack" that will improve stability, performance, and security drastically, while others are still hoping for a full consumer release with a plethora of features like Mac OS X Leopard. In addition, while Apple has not set an official price, many feel that it will not be as expensive. Completely on speculation, we believe that it will be in the $60 range.

According to Apple, Snow Leopard will ship in "about a year", which could mean anything in the current tech industry. We will keep you up to date on Snow Leopard as more information comes in, but for now all we have is the most basic of information from Apple and pure speculation and rumors.

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Snow Leopard dramatically reduces the footprint of Mac OS X

You hear that, Steve Ballmer? Keep piling on the bloat on Windows 7 and watch what happens to your marketshare.

are you kidding me? they improve upon that product every year since it first came out. I'm not saying Microsoft shouldn't do the same thing with their own, but if you release a version almost every single last year and charge for it, you damn well better have some major improvements. Since Microsoft only charges the first time and can get away with service packs, they are excused somewhat.

Um, end users don't care. With hard drives WAY beyond the levels needed for day to day use and default RAM specifications for Vista at 2gb+, who the heck worries about how much data is installed from ANY program anymore? Honestly.

Apple comes with WAY more bundled applications, which is a selling point, not "bloat". If MS includes the backwards compatibility drivers, etc. that the 95% of the world (windows users) needs, so what? We're talking a 1-2% difference on a default hard drive install. I think that's a fair trade.

Even devices like Windows Mobile phones, iPhones, etc., aren't really affected by this issue anymore as all OS vendors have stripped down versions that support just what is needed on a consumer oriented device.

IMHO, "bloat" is a non issue henceforth.

Funny how one of Neowin's Mac users (MulletRobZ) claims a stock Mac OS X 10.5 install eats up roughly 10 GB without the bundled software suites. That's, oh, pretty much the same amount of space Vista x86 takes up?

Don't claim one's that much more lighter than the other.

"we hit the pause button on new features to focus on perfecting the world’s most advanced operating system.”

-There will never be such thing as 'perfect' software since it is subject to human error, just as this statement is in error.

-Poor sales pitch. Who has the authority to say what is the "world's most advanced" operating system? Not the manufacturers, they are biased. Perhaps the consumers? If so, they have spoken. Fewer than 1 in 10 customers would agree that Apple makes the "world's most advanced operating system", as more than 9 in 10 have directed their dollars elsewhere.

I guess Apple hit the pause button on stating accurate information.

I consider Unix an advanced operating system in terms of "under the hood functionalities" ( a lot more than Windows ).
I consider Windows an advanced operating system in terms of "ease of use" ( a lot more than Unix ).

Mac OS X offers "ease of use" ( more than Windows IMHO ), and "under the hood functionalities" of unix.

That makes OS X the most advanced operating system right now.

Edit : You know, most people said earth was flat some centuries ago, and they were wrong. Maybe most people uses Windows today, and they did the wrong choice. If the majority of people believe something, it doesn't make it the truth ( Socrate said something like this ).

Ease of use is very relative. When I use OS X, I feel crippled. I don't feel like I am using something easy, but something trimmed down.

(vanacid said @ #12.1)
I consider Unix an advanced operating system in terms of "under the hood functionalities" ( a lot more than Windows ).
I consider Windows an advanced operating system in terms of "ease of use" ( a lot more than Unix ).

Mac OS X offers "ease of use" ( more than Windows IMHO ), and "under the hood functionalities" of unix.

That makes OS X the most advanced operating system right now.

Edit : You know, most people said earth was flat some centuries ago, and they were wrong. Maybe most people uses Windows today, and they did the wrong choice. If the majority of people believe something, it doesn't make it the truth ( Socrate said something like this ).

Listen to the pot calling the kettle black, the majority of mac users i have spoken to believe they are using the "worlds most advanced operating system" and that "Mac OS X is easier to use than Windows".

Doesn't make it right tho as ease of use is subjective to the user.

A slimmer version of Mac OS X? Can't go wrong with that, especially since on every Mac at first boot (ever), approx. 15 GB get taken up. Mind ya, that includes the World Book Encyclopedia (1.4 GB), Microsoft Office Trial (400+ MB), iWork trial (700 MB), and iLife (600 MB for '05, so '08 takes considerably more with the addition of iWeb). If that were to be taken out, then it would be approx. 10 - 11 GB.

10 - 11 Gb for an OS is still a lot.

A "normal" size for an OS these days is : 2-6 Gb

Still, with a 320-500 Gb disks, 15 Gb is really not that much.

"Snow" Leopard will have the new interface and features that Apple was unable to have ready in time for the Leopard release due to the huge programming push they had to make to release the iPhone last summer. Look forward to it.

A Quantum Leap.

I guess that sums it up quite well, given you know what a quantum leap really is. :p

Snow Leopard doesn't seem that exciting of an update. I don't see myself shelling out any amount of money for it.

Well, if they fixed only performance issues and bugs, maybe. But now they're actually adding features....
I would see myself paying like half the price of Leopard (since I have Leopard already).
If it's like 130 bucks, you better just buy a new Mac that comes with this and iLife 2009 or 2010.

Why do their features look more like fixes for features that they hyped and didn't fully provide in previous versions?

They have been calling themselves a 64bit computer for like 4 years now, and OS X is still running on a 32bit kernel, and snow jobs 10.6 isn't even going to address this itssue it appears, just opening up more address space to applications on 64bit hardware.

How about a real 64bit OS first Apple?

Streamlining? A good word that means the previous versions had horrible performance or compatibility issues. Quicktime and the stupid reliance on core graphics via SSE are two of the biggest mistakes a company could have made. They were trying to compete on UI graphics with CPU multimedia featuers, when other OSes like Vista had leapfrogged them and were completely tying into the GPU for more than a single surface texture composer, which is all that OS X uses the '3D' from a video for.

The funny part about quicktime, is that many Windows users just assume it sucks because it was designed for OS X and Apple, and the Windows version is just not very good. The truth is, on OS X Quicktime is just as buggy and glitchy. From syncing voice to video to even maintaining good framerates seems to cause it more trouble than a multimedia technology and player should in the year 2008. The only thing 'good' about quicktime is the MPEG4 variant Apple has created around it, and it has become somewhat of a standard in the MPEG4 world where all features are optional or poorly implemented.

I see that .MAC is also going away to be relaced by a fee based system. Nice, milk customers while you have them I guess. As Microsoft Opens up more, provides more features like this free (LIVE), Apple continues to run and close the doors tighter and tigher hoping to lock in as many people as possible to pay the bills.

>>(a theoretical 16 TB, yes terabyte, of RAM)
Um, ya that feature will help out every Mac user in 10 years at the earliest. I don't see Apple promoting any Macs with even 128GB RAM capabilities, so this feature does what for who again? Vista x64 handles 128GB, and was an artificial 'limit' set into the core kernel based on memory table performance. Try even building a 128GB system on your own today, not going to happen.

>>(Grand Central takes full advantage by making all of Mac OS X multicore aware)
This is how they are secretly apologizing that the current version of OS X has horrid multi-tasking/threading abilities or they didn't even code for it in most of the OS. (Being a BSD/MACH variant, the monolithic nature has always been a problem, especially with multi-cpu configurations, and it looks like Apple is going to put more Duct tape on the old dog so she can walk a little better.)

The fact that there is ANY component or aspect of OS X that is not SMP or multi-core enabled or capable is a serious flaw, and they are admitting this themselves this time.

>>(OpenCL (Open Compute Library), makes it possible for developers to efficiently tap the vast gigaflops of computing power currently locked up in the graphics processing unit (GPU))
Cool, a feature like from the DirectX10 specifications given to developers back in 2005/2006. GPU based calculations and physics processing, just like out of the MS photocopier.

My question with this though is a bit complex, but I'll try to be brief. The reason DX10 can do stuff like this, is because of the GPU scheduler and GPU RAM Virtualization in the WDDM of Vista. (i.e. Vista handles multi-tasking of the GPU) So when an application (even just one) is shoving graphics and physics data at the GPU will the OpenGL/OpenCL application have to stage and multi-tasking the code going through the shaders itself? Also what happens when you have OMG two (2) 3D applications running, and they are both shoving graphical abilities and calculations through the GPU, is OS X going to be able to properly provision the applications to not choke the GPU.

Will your calculations be choking your Aqua UI (assuming Apple ever adds any 3D optimizations to Aqua)?

Is OS X creating a new OS X level video/GPU driver subsystem that lets the OS pre-emptively multitasking graphical applications like Vista does, or will it be left how it is now, and each applications (being OpenGL) can cooperative multi-task and hope they don't choke the crap out of each other. (Cooperative multi-tasking is what System 9 back and Windows 3.x gave users for the CPU, and why one application could lock the system, etc, etc.)

>>(Performance will vary based on system configuration, network connection, and other factors. Benchmark based on the SunSpider JavaScript Performance test on a 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-based iMac with Mac OS X Snow Leopard and 2GB of RAM.)
Their tiny disclaimer, cute... So OS X 10.6 will require twice the RAM that Vista does to run faster or at the same speeds? 1GB is the sweet spot for Vista to outperform XP, and Apple still lampoons Microsoft with commericals about all the upgrades needed for Vista. And yet 10.5 was the same as Vista in RAM needed, and 10.6 will require 2GB for better performance?

And sadly, the fanbois will still believe Apple and the 'vista sux' marketing, and think 10.6 rocks as Apple slips in features and functionality users have always thought they had but didn't know any better. Sad, very sad...

Try even building a 128GB system on your own today, not going to happen.

Maybe not today for consumers, pro-users, or corporations. Tomorrow, however, is another story.

Cool, a feature like from the DirectX10 specifications given to developers back in 2005/2006. GPU based calculations and physics processing, just like out of the MS photocopier

So what, they should have not created it just because Microsoft did? That sounds like forward thinking (not).

I see that .MAC is also going away to be relaced by a fee based system.

.Mac is already a fee based system. Nothing new there. Just being improved.

As Microsoft Opens up more, provides more features like this free (LIVE)

I pay $50/year for Live, what are you talking about?

In short: You spent way too much time on that rant.

1. What's wrong with a 32-bit kernel? The advantage is that it leaves backwards compatibility open for existing 32-bit applications/drivers which you can run alongside your 64-bit ones. Leopard already addressed the 64-bit target for its applications (which can address native 64-bit frameworks/libraries).

2. Quicktime is perfectly fine. Yes--it does have some issues with some odd codecs (Perian helps a lot), but overall it's been damn snappy.

3. .mac has always been fee based. What Live service offers what Mobile Me does?

4. Cool--nothing wrong with improving their limits though. Who's to say that it will be 10 years at the minimum?

5. Secretly apologizing? Please get off your high horse and look up some benchmarks on multi-threading performance improvements in OS X before yapping.

6. You really can't comment or compare on OpenCL without reading the specs of it first. Got a link?

7. Who is saying that 10.6 will require 2GB? Where are you getting that from? As far as I know, that was just their test setup computer (default 24" iMac).

And I'm sorry, but Vista ran pretty damn slow with 1GB compared to XP. (I'm speaking from experience here with my own Vista tower sitting right next to me).

(giga said @ #4.2)
1. What's wrong with a 32-bit kernel? The advantage is that it leaves backwards compatibility open for existing 32-bit applications/drivers which you can run alongside your 64-bit ones. Leopard already addressed the 64-bit target for its applications (which can address native 64-bit frameworks/libraries).

Did you read what he said? he is talking about a 64bit kernel; you can still have 32bit applications running on a 64bit kernel. Hell, in *NIX it is just a matter of loading on the 32bit libraries and away you go. With that being said, I think the 32bit vs. 64bit jihad occuringin geekdone has not a single iota benefit to the end user. I'm running Windows Vista 32bit (w/ SP1 and latest updates) on a Dell Dimension 8400 (upgraded video card to Nvidia 8400 GS for DirectX 10 compatibility) and a Lenovo Thinkpad; both of them run Windows Vista beautifully - I think the flaw of Microsoft is they tried to make out it could run on low spec systems and were till willing to hand out the 'compatibility' stickers when alot of them were barely compatible.

2. Quicktime is perfectly fine. Yes--it does have some issues with some odd codecs (Perian helps a lot), but overall it's been damn snappy.

As an API it is ugly; hopefully it is going to get fixed.

3. .mac has always been fee based. What Live service offers what Mobile Me does?

I don't know, but I don't like either service given I am on metred internet, thus, makes these services more expensive than they sound.

4. Cool--nothing wrong with improving their limits though. Who's to say that it will be 10 years at the minimum?

True, I do think it is a nitpick on the original posters past given that Apple also makes servers as well. Better allocation for huge amounts of memory also helps those who smaller amounts.

5. Secretly apologizing? Please get off your high horse and look up some benchmarks on multi-threading performance improvements in OS X before yapping.

You've never looked at the numerous benchmarks put out comparing OS X to FreeBSD to Solaris to Linux to Windows?

6. You really can't comment or compare on OpenCL without reading the specs of it first. Got a link?

Hmm, the fact that it is an old idea, but Intel, Sun, IBM (IIRC), Microsoft and the opensource community all have put out their own libraries that address those issues.

7. Who is saying that 10.6 will require 2GB? Where are you getting that from? As far as I know, that was just their test setup computer (default 24" iMac).

True, but it'll be interesting what they mean by 'slimmer' - are they going to merge the iPod OS and Mac OS into one line, and incorporate all the memory savings they did in iPod OS into Mac OS?

And I'm sorry, but Vista ran pretty damn slow with 1GB compared to XP. (I'm speaking from experience here with my own Vista tower sitting right next to me).

1GB was never enough to run Windows Vista nicely, I don't know why Microsoft or OEM's sold customers short on a false promise. 2GB minimum - it has agressive caching, and there is a penalty for this aggressiveness. Its noticeable even in the case of Solaris, where with machines less than 1gb, its painful.

(kaiwai said @ #4.3)
Did you read what he said? he is talking about a 64bit kernel; you can still have 32bit applications running on a 64bit kernel. Hell, in *NIX it is just a matter of loading on the 32bit libraries and away you go. With that being said, I think the 32bit vs. 64bit jihad occuringin geekdone has not a single iota benefit to the end user. I'm running Windows Vista 32bit (w/ SP1 and latest updates) on a Dell Dimension 8400 (upgraded video card to Nvidia 8400 GS for DirectX 10 compatibility) and a Lenovo Thinkpad; both of them run Windows Vista beautifully - I think the flaw of Microsoft is they tried to make out it could run on low spec systems and were till willing to hand out the 'compatibility' stickers when alot of them were barely compatible.

I did read it--sure you can have 32 bit applications running, but you run into the driver problems which Apple sought to avoid (thus having just one version). But yeah I agree with you--about the whole 32-bit vs 64-bit wahoo (especially in the context of the kernel).

As an API it is ugly; hopefully it is going to get fixed.

It's definitely not pretty, that's for sure. (But it's far from the grossly exaggerated things the guy above was stating.)

I don't know, but I don't like either service given I am on metred internet, thus, makes these services more expensive than they sound.

Ouch--that blows. Fortunately it hasn't started here in the US (though Comcast and Bellsouth are experimenting with it, ugh). For those that aren't metered though--MobileMe really is a neat idea for regular consumers. Take a look: http://www.apple.com/mobileme/

You've never looked at the numerous benchmarks put out comparing OS X to FreeBSD to Solaris to Linux to Windows?

Truthfully, I haven't. link?

True, but it'll be interesting what they mean by 'slimmer' - are they going to merge the iPod OS and Mac OS into one line, and incorporate all the memory savings they did in iPod OS into Mac OS?

I can't really say to be sure right now. They barely touched on it for the public today. Most of the real guts are protected under NDA sadly. Some are predicting that they'll be removing the PPC code from the binaries for further optimizations--but we really don't know.

1GB was never enough to run Windows Vista nicely, I don't know why Microsoft or OEM's sold customers short on a false promise. 2GB minimum - it has agressive caching, and there is a penalty for this aggressiveness. Its noticeable even in the case of Solaris, where with machines less than 1gb, its painful.

Indeed, Vista runs like a champ with 2GB. 1GB was certainly usable--but comparing it to XP seems a bit off target.

Leopard itself requires 512mb, but it's damn slow and doesn't speed up (again due to indexing, caching) until 1GB.

(blackice912 said @ #4.1)
Re: DirectX
So what, they should have not created it just because Microsoft did? That sounds like forward thinking (not).

I pay $50/year for Live, what are you talking about?

In short: You spent way too much time on that rant.

Last point, ya, probably...

Re: $50 for Live you are talking Gaming Live Gold. Silver Live is free. However, there is a whole ecosystem in development at microsoft around online services extending back to the desktop. Go to www.live.com to reference what I am talking about, and features like Mesh, Popfly, SkyDrive, etc. Microsoft is suck at promoting crap, so I am not surpised it isn't the association people make. Live has features from remote access to groupware, to development and even build off of ideas Microsoft put in the original MSN back in 1994/1995 that modems just couldn't handle at the time. (Since that time MS and MSN have been a mess online, and Live is the system of technologies tying things back together for the consumer. (And yes one of the main GMs in the MSN data center needs to be smacked up side the head hard, but that is just because I know the guy and he is really bad at the crap he has limited content providers like Slate, etc to .)


The DirectX point isn't about forward thinking. It about Apple kicking and screaming from having technology like this forced on them, even going to Intel to try to get around any GPU tied optimizations native to the OS, and finally when Vista throws this stuff on the table and other Vendors like NVidia and ATI go, ok Apple, your turn, they finally go there.

The second part of this, unless Apple rewrites the core OS X Video driver system, OS X will become a dog and these OpenCL won't be able to be used, as your UI and gaming will suffer. The current driver video relationship in OS X is already problematic with just OpenGL gaming and trying to deal with Aqua at the same time.

This is like when they tried to hardware accelerate quickdraw function or when they tried to accelerate Quartz 2D. Neither are ever going to happen. Even the optional switch to turn on Quartz 2D GPU acceleration in 10.4 was a nightmare of compatibility and intrinsic bottlenecks that are inherent of OS X and its display driver model.

So yay, Apple is giving us another new feature, that other people already have and games based around, and chances are they will not give us the performance or OS level modifications needed to use the new technology. So it will sound good, and look good, but application usage of it will be non-existent if OS X's video model doesn't change to handle it.

(I admit this was a bit off as I am a bit more in the know on this, and it makes far less sense if you didn't have the history of Apple and GPUs.)

(blackice912 said @ #4.1)

Maybe not today for consumers, pro-users, or corporations. Tomorrow, however, is another story.


So what, they should have not created it just because Microsoft did? That sounds like forward thinking (not).


.Mac is already a fee based system. Nothing new there. Just being improved.


I pay $50/year for Live, what are you talking about?

In short: You spent way too much time on that rant.

"I pay $50/year for Live," why u pay? can u explain?

"So what, they should have not created it just because Microsoft did? That sounds like forward thinking (not)."
That means Apple is copying Microsoft?

(kaiwai said @ #4.3)
Did you read what he said? he is talking about a 64bit kernel; you can still have 32bit applications running on a 64bit kernel. Hell, in *NIX it is just a matter of loading on the 32bit libraries and away you go. With that being said, I think the 32bit vs. 64bit jihad occuringin geekdone has not a single iota benefit to the end user. I'm running Windows Vista 32bit (w/ SP1 and latest updates) on a Dell Dimension 8400 (upgraded video card to Nvidia 8400 GS for DirectX 10 compatibility) and a Lenovo Thinkpad; both of them run Windows Vista beautifully - I think the flaw of Microsoft is they tried to make out it could run on low spec systems and were till willing to hand out the 'compatibility' stickers when alot of them were barely compatible.

Ok, loading of 32/64 bit libraries doesn't really have anything to do with *NIX if the architecture doesn't support it. Take a Itanium Intel and try running 32bit libraries on it, and assume they will just work because they are *NIX. I have a surprise for you. Recompile and run, maybe, if the code was properly written, but this is like any other OS model out there. (Do people think *NIX is magical or something that I don't know about? It defines file device I/O mechanisms and other little things to make it a *NIX. Just like NT defines a specific set of features like a non-file based device I/O with a full object oriented I/O mecahnism that *NIX can't do or it wouldn't be *NIX, make sense?)


As for the 32/64bit debate. Let's start with the easy stuff...

1) Deceptive:
Apple claimed and STILL claimes they are 64bit computers and OS X is 64bit OS. It is not. They are flat out lying because they have a thunking subset for memory allocation in one of their development APIs. PERIOD. If this is all it took to become a 64bit OS, then DOS and Win3.1 technically were 32bit OSes (which they weren't) and you could even write a 64bit application extender for DOS or Win3.1 and call it a 64bit OS (again, neither of them are.)

2) Performance:
a) Memory Tables
So if OS X is processing memory and other core features using a 32bit feature set, how do you think the performance of a 64bit application running on a 32bit kernel works out? Twice the thunking, twice the fun? Ok, Apple does have a kludge that handles 64bit RAM allocation better than this, but to be serious, their method still has a lot of weight tied to it because of the 32bit kernel trying to handle addresses and ranges out of the 32bit spectrum.

The OS also doesn't have inherent access to large memory tables for lookups, paging, or even the new 64bit application RAM space, so this all has to be broken up. So a 64bit application would in fact run slower than 32bit application on OS X, which is the opposite of what should be the outcome.

b) 64bit non-Memory address optimizations
Just like in the leapf rom 16bit to 32bit processors (mainly 32bit have a scheduler) there are always 'extra' features with moving to a new architecture. In the EMT64/AMD64 world these go from memory addressing like everyone understands, to not so mainstream topics like registers, and large lookup tables, to even CPU specific optimizations that only can be accesses or used in 64bit mode.

This again is where OS X fails, as it may provide 64bit addressing to applications, it can't hand over full 64bit process execution (there are some exceptions). So applications running in 64bit mode on OS X basically only get the new memory space, nothing else. Additionally, the low level OS that is handling the application API calls are all running in 32bit processes, so they as well are not getting the benefits of 64bit optimizations, and sometimes having to do double the work.

Let's just say, this is a kludge at best, and really really bad attempt as pushing off a 32bit OS to consumers as a 64bit OS. (If Microsoft did this, they would be written about for years to come, in fact Win95 had the Win16 mutext in it for Win3.1 application compatibility, that would allow a 16bit application to lock the 32bit scheduler. And journalists did write about this for months, and tons of people would call Win95 a 16bit OS because of it, when technically it was a 32bit OS unless the 32bit OS gave the Win16 Mutext control over to a bad Win 3.1 application.

c) Applications:
Go look up why Adobe WILL NOT release 64bit versions of their software for OS X, and why they already have the Vista 64bit versions in Beta? You won't get any 64bit features of OS X if you into applicaitons that are super RAM intensive, like Adobe, because Adobe has no plans to ever produce them.

Adobe was shoved over to OS X by Apple, which was a good thing, but Apple sold them on Carbon (as they did a lot of people), as it would be extensible and a 'roadmap to the future and Cocoa', blah blah. Adobe, like the rest of the world found out early this year that Apple has stopped any intention of making the Carbon API platform 64bit or have the ability to properly handle 64bit applicaitons.

Sadly, this is after a LOT OF TIME of continually telling people like Adobe that 64bit Carbon was coming, just hold on, we have test builds, etc etc. - They could have at least never promised it, especially a massive development platform API that BIG companies were counting on like Adobe. If Microsoft did this, they would be in court and being ordered to make Carbon 64bit.

So screw everyone that believed the Apple marketing and assumed they could move ahead with 64bit development on Carbon. (If OS X was a real 64bit OS, this wouldn't even be an issue, as Apple could much easier port Carbon to 64bits and not have to kludge it together as they have Cocoa to enable 64bit addresssing tricks.)

Understand?

Further regarding 64bit performance...
There are also some very good videos on Channel9 (MSDN) and around the internet showing direct benchmark comparisions. Some of the Channel9 and Technet information explain out why 64bit at the kernel level is faster, even if a 32bit application is running on the kernel. It has to do with how the OS behaves in its on process address handling, page tables, register optimizations, and tons of other things most people don't think of.

And all of the features and tricks that MS uses in the x64 NT kernel are things OS X could be taking advantage of as well, instead they are wasting CPU cycles to kludge 64bit applications on the 32bit OS and then arguing that 64bit will always be slower because of the extra addressing overhead. And they are wrong, very wrong...

In general you will find tests show Vista x64 to be about 10-15% faster than Vista x32 running the same 32bit application binaries. Additionally on Vista x64 the margin can increase if the applications are 64bit, especially games or memory hungry applications that do shove a lot of data around the system.

So on the AMD64/EMT64 architecture that runs 32bit and 64bit natively, this means just the OS and OS kernel running and optimized for 64bit instantly gives a 10% boost to older 32bit applications. (You would think this reasoning alone would be enough to force Apple to fully move to 64bits.)

So the old argument about the OS or the kernel and 64bit and overhead are all laid to rest with Vista, and Apple could do the same unless their kernel team are idiots. Wait, apple hasn't really touched the kernel since 10.0, are they missing?


(Heads up any Vista users out there, if you have newer hardware, and have the option, do Vista x64 if you want the most performance you can. - It is sad watching friends overclicking GPUs/CPUs for an extra 2% when moving to Vista x64 would give them more than most overclocking jumps ever could. Also don't worry about drivers, companies HAVE to produce 64bit drivers to get the Windows approval logo, so x64 drivers are no longer rare.)


True, I do think it is a nitpick on the original posters past given that Apple also makes servers as well.

Ya, cause Apple makes servers, they must know all about large memory stuffs... Come on... Vista and 2008 share the same kernel and same binary even, I think Microsoft's server and 'current' requirements are a bit ahead of Apple. The 16TB crap is just marketing and nothing else, especially since OS X desktop and server are TWO different products at more than the UI level.

Additionally, do people even realize that current CPUs are hardware limited as well, and can't touch 16TB of RAM, in fact, they can only get to 8TiB on AMD and 16TiB on Intel? And people don't think this is marketing? Vista x64 is technically limited to 8TiB because of AMD, but artifically sets it to 128GB. Windows also uses upper and lower address space, saving RAM utlization so a full 64bit swipe isn't taken out for each 32bit RAM request(One of the reasons 32bit applications don't use more RAM running on a 64bit OS, and it makes them faster as well since the OS can grab two chunks at a time for each Appliation request).

If Apple really wants to support 16TB, they need to find a CPU design that willl do it first, unless they just plan on continually paging RAM tables out as the 32bit kernel is already doing for a lot of the 64bit processes. Geesh.

Unless of course Apple is talking about Volume or File Sizes and not RAM, if so then 16 EiB would be more impressive and catch up with a very old NTFS.


As for Vista and 1GB, this can be argued either way depending on the type of user. General benchmarking shows Vista faster than XP at the 1GB mark consistently, where at 512, they each have strengths. However to be fair, 2GB on Vista 99.9% considerably faster than XP due to the superfetch system. From load times of applications and games to even gaming quality due to WDDM's GPU RAM virtualization it can use to give the user better textures and framerates in a game. (Check out any Vista vs XP gaming review in the last six Months, there is hardly anything XP keeps up with Vista on at 2GB.)

I'm not a software engineer but if OS X is as bad as you say it is then why does it run on the iPhone and iPod touch so well. There is no other mobile OS that is as fluid as the mobile version of OS X from my experience. You don't see MS using the NT kernel as the basis for it's mobile platform do you?

matt4pack said,
I'm not a software engineer but if OS X is as bad as you say it is then why does it run on the iPhone and iPod touch so well. There is no other mobile OS that is as fluid as the mobile version of OS X from my experience. You don't see MS using the NT kernel as the basis for it's mobile platform do you?

The only reason OS X works so well, on the iPod and iPhone, is because its been specially optimized to work there. the iPod/iPhone version of OS X is by no means the same version running on your Mac.

Agreed, we really don't have much to go on here. But Leopard only seemed like a few minor features in the beginning, then the started changing a lot of things at the core, and even added new consumer features. Still, I'm seeing a super service pack on its way.

(theyarecomingforyou said @ #1)
Streamlining... always good to hear. Perhaps Microsoft could learn a thing or two. However, there's nothing else really exciting here.

Yes, Microsoft could take a cue on 64-bit OSes and GPU acceleration... oh, wait... there's Windows x64 and Aero

(GreyWolfSC said @ #1.2)

Yes, Microsoft could take a cue on 64-bit OSes and GPU acceleration... oh, wait... there's Windows x64 and Aero ;)


This is different than GPU acceleration, which OS X has had since 10.02. It's actual use of the GPU to its fullest potential. God knows we don't end up using it on games :P (usually).

(simon360 said @ #1.1)
Agreed, we really don't have much to go on here. But Leopard only seemed like a few minor features in the beginning, then the started changing a lot of things at the core, and even added new consumer features. Still, I'm seeing a super service pack on its way.

Agreed. That was my impression; hopefully what it'll mean is the introduction of ZFS fot a boot volume, and better integration of the features; I have a feeling that Quicktime X is a must because talking to anyone who has to deal with the APIs currently, it is an ugly nightmare, thus focrcing alot to have to create their own custom stuff.

(GreyWolfSC said @ #1.2)

Yes, Microsoft could take a cue on 64-bit OSes and GPU acceleration... oh, wait... there's Windows x64 and Aero ;)

Microsoft's windows is for all pcs (low-end & high-end), they have to think about all ppl & country. as for example they can't recommend 4GB RAM or 512MB AGP minimum.

OpenCL? what abt DirectX?

64-Bit? What about Windows XP x64 or Vista 64 or windows server 64?

(Faisal Islam said @ #1.5)

Microsoft's windows is for all pcs (low-end & high-end), they have to think about all ppl & country. as for example they can't recommend 4GB RAM or 512MB AGP minimum.

OpenCL? what abt DirectX?

64-Bit? What about Windows XP x64 or Vista 64 or windows server 64?

Check the <-- sarcasm.

ps :your nick is a public call for troubles.

(Faisal Islam said @ #1.5)
OpenCL? what abt DirectX?

OpenCL means doing generic computation on the GPU, like programming a Chess AI on the GPU.

Direct3D (the only part of DirectX that talks to the GPU), or OpenGL don't offer this kind of features, they only offers you to draw polygons, draw textures, bump map, lightning, shadows, etc.

You can't make general computation on the GPU in a DirectX or OpenGL.
However, CUDA and OpenCL offers a similar functionality for nVidia cards.

(vanacid said @ #1.7)

You can't make general computation on the GPU in a DirectX or OpenGL.
However, CUDA and OpenCL offers a similar functionality for nVidia cards.

This is very cool actually. Certain things--such as multimedia streaming, or file compression/decompression, and encryption/decryption--can be done many times faster on GPUs than on CPUs. Once developers start taking advantage of CUDA, OpenCL, and whatever ATI backs, it's going to be like having multiple CPUs.