View Full Version : The intel era

09-08-2006, 01:51 AM
Now the mac line up is all intel based is MacGurus going to be offering intel upgrades as well as for the old G3/G4 systems. I understand that for imacs and macminis (and I guess macpro) it should be just a chip swap. The laptops are another thing altogether.
So will your expertese extend the intel range? we have to buy our chips from someone!

09-08-2006, 07:25 AM
No, Books are the same, the chips can be changed equaly.
But, it is a bit more "delicated" than a CPU change in an desktop PC, there are some upgraded MacMinis with Merom/Core2Duo out there. Question is what about warranty? ;)



09-08-2006, 10:05 AM
Board architecture is wrong for a G3, G4 or G5 to take an Intel processor. For that matter, the architecture is wrong for a G3 and G4 motherboard to take a G5 processor - and those are at least similar, from the same family of processors.

I don't think it can be done in a useful efficient fashion. This is not to say someone can't force fit one in there and kludge it together. Used to be done, you could get a Intel card for the old PowerPC machines. Wasn't very effective and wouldn't be now.

The new Intel machines are going to be really hard on Mac CPU upgrade manufacturers. Those that only do CPU upgrades are going to get crippled if they don't go into something else. The problem is the orphaning of older systems. Upgrade developers for many years benefited from the Apple use of same family CPUs. The 68040, the G3 and the G4 all work the same and can run on the same motherboard. This meant that for years the developers could offer you todays CPU for any of yesterdays computers.

Then came the G5. It is a totally different beast with 64 bit RAM and HUGE pipelines feeding it. A G5 upgrade for a G4 motherboard would not be worth the effort or cost. Just forcing it to run on 32 bit would defeat the benefits. That is if it could even be done.

THEN, Intel Macs put the nail in the coffin. The G5 broke the chain of putting new processors in older computers. No one has even talked about putting a G5 upgrade in a G3 or G4 computer. This already has seriously pinched the CPU Upgrade developer. They were already hurting because with the release of the G5 it now makes more sense to buy a new computer. You couldn't even pretend to keep up with an upgraded G3 or G4. There may be a little more to be made for those older computers, but that is a dying market. Becoming less important everyday as new computers with much faster busses leave them behind.

Adding insult to that injury, the new Intel machines orphan the G5! Intel processors won't efficiently go in any of the PowerPC machines. Not to mention that the Intel lineup most likely won't require an upgrade developer to design around the blocks Apple puts in the way to using other, newer, faster processors in the PowerPC Mac. I do not know enough about what the rules will be, but it appears in some cases it will be a simple swap to upgrade the processor in an Intel Mac. Right off the shelf.

There will be many restrictions though. More speed equals more heat. What seems like a simple deal usually isn't. More speed also equals more power use and many of the Macs using Intel chips will get killed by some wild upgrade possibilities just by burning out power supplies and cooking off components that were not designed to run hotter. Eventually we'll all have a handle on it though with guidelines and capabilities published. Upgrading Intel machines is new enough that there is not a great deal of angst and urgency to get it done today.

Going to be fun. Upgrading and building our own may be the future of the Mac. Don't like the power supply limitation in your Mini, how about put it in a generic mini ATX case with an ATX power supply and boost the CPU to double?


09-08-2006, 10:47 AM
Did I read that wrong? Or did you, Rick?

I read it as MacGurus currently offers G3/G4 upgrades for those Macs that can use them. Will MacGurus also offer Intel processor upgrades to be used in Intel based Macs?

09-08-2006, 10:54 AM
.....yeah. I thought Nic meant selling Intel X86 CPUs for Intel Macs that have a standard socket CPU, and can be upgraded. Intel Mini, Imac, and MP so far.


09-08-2006, 11:59 AM
.....yeah. I thought Nic meant selling Intel X86 CPUs for Intel Macs that have a standard socket CPU, and can be upgraded. Intel Mini, Imac, and MP so far.

Yep, ment X86 CPU upgrades for IntelMacs sorry.



09-08-2006, 12:32 PM
Now you have me confused.

Here's the deal, yeah, as we learn what one can safely install in given models we'll offer those Intel CPUs.

Yes, we will still offer G4 upgrades for G3 and G4 computers.

If a G5 upgrade ever comes around for G5s we will offer those as well.

No, I don't expect any crossover from/to any of those three types of CPUs.


09-08-2006, 12:43 PM
Yep I knew there was no scope for upgrading G4 etc to intel. I was hoping that macgurus might develop in to a knowledge base for how to upgrade intel machines over the coming years. Alas my macbook pro isnt going to be an upgradable machine... something to do with chips being soldered directly to the board. But when my G4 finally fades away and is replaced by an imac or macpro, at some point I will be looking to re chip it. Intel updates its chips pretty regularly so the price of the last generation chips falls fairly quickly. If I had an old 1.83Ghz Imac I might be tempted next year to shell out for the 64bit 2.3GHz conroe chip when the price drops. If the swap is easy .. i will need a guru to show me the way!
My old G4 dual 1.4 giga design is running fine. not as fast or quiet as the new laptop! ... but the wife keeps taking the laptop to work! ;)