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Any hardware difference between new PC's and new Macs?

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July 10, 2007 1:46:03 PM

I have a buddy who is convinced that todays newest Macs are running somekind of special CPU that is different than the CPU's in a PC. I think the CPU's are identical and the motherboards are made by Intel now too.

I think the ram is made by Mac but many people make ram. Could regular ram made by some manufactuer other than Apple run in and Intel based Mac?

Any resources I can point him toward so he can learn the truth? As far as hardware goes these days Mac are basically PC's. Any comments and links to clarify this topic would be appreciated.
July 10, 2007 2:35:21 PM

Lets see,

They are the same computers now, with different OS's. If I remember correctly, Asus makes the motherboards, obviously the CPU's are Core 2 Duo made by Intel(the same ones in a PC). Anyway, I guess Apple doesn't like this type of information getting out, because I am having a hard time finding the exact info you are looking for in google. But, it's the truth, you can load Mac OSX on certain PC's now that have the same hardware configuration, hell, you can run OSX on an AMD system just as long as you find the right drivers.

Oh, they are still in those Mac cases, so, maybe he is right :sarcastic: 
a c 478 à CPUs
July 10, 2007 2:50:46 PM

RAM is RAM. They can be swapped between PC and Macs.

However, I think the "failed" RDRAM from Rambus is specific to PCs only. Just make sure both RAM and RAM slot have the same number of pins.

I seem to remember something about the C2D being "tweaked" slightly for the Mac so only those "tweaked" versions can run OS X. Probably some type of micro code identifier saying "Yes, I can run OS X."

Apple makes most of their money selling hardware, not software, so it's in Apple's best interest to make sure their OS will not run on a standard C2D CPUs.

Graphics cards are designed specifically for Macs or PCs. I remember ATI released a few cards a few years ago that were compatible with both.

I'm not sure about sound cards.


Related resources
July 10, 2007 3:10:20 PM

jaguarskx said:

However, I think the "failed" RDRAM from Rambus is specific to PCs only. Just make sure both RAM and RAM slot have the same number of pins.

I´m not trying to be picky but since the introduction of DDR3 the pin count isn´t the first choice for that kind of differenciation anymore. The most obvious difference would be the placement of the "notches" - at least to my knowledge. If anyone knows an even easier way to keep them apart (other than the horrible price), please do tell.




July 10, 2007 3:11:01 PM

I think the BIOS they use is different. Vista was supposed to support this new BIOS but i believe support was taken out of Vista because no hardware vendors had switched yet.
July 10, 2007 3:12:12 PM

Apple tried to make it where the OS couldn't be run on anything but Apple system, but with minor mods that are easy to find, you can run it on AMD or Intel.
July 10, 2007 11:41:36 PM

The case. I think its made of pure platinum. At it should be for that price.
July 11, 2007 1:01:09 AM

Slobogob said:
I´m not trying to be picky but since the introduction of DDR3 the pin count isn´t the first choice for that kind of differenciation anymore. The most obvious difference would be the placement of the "notches" - at least to my knowledge. If anyone knows an even easier way to keep them apart (other than the horrible price), please do tell.


DDR3 RAM will probably have a DDR3 sticker on it, same with DDR2...
July 11, 2007 1:46:35 AM

SEALBoy said:
DDR3 RAM will probably have a DDR3 sticker on it, same with DDR2...

A simple yet effective way to tell the difference. They should´ve done that with DDR1 and DDR2 too. In big red letters. I´ve seen to0 many amateurs force DDR2 into DDR1 slots or the other way around.
July 11, 2007 2:23:51 AM

Apple uses a different BIOS. Cpu, ram, hd's, are all the same. The motherboards are obviously not interchangable due to the BIOS and apple's specific manufacturing specs. I have also heard Asus is the maker of the boards. Apple does NOT make ANYTHING. All of their products are built to spec by large OEM's like Asus, Micron, etc.

To tell the difference between memory types: Read the label! If it's only got a product number, google it, only the crappiest memory (which probably won't run in a MAC anyway) is almost impossible to find online. RDRAM rocks by the way :) 

I also have numerous Radeon 9500-9800's that are for PC running on my macs, simple bios update is all it takes. And those aren't even intel macs :) 
July 11, 2007 2:40:43 AM

Apple uses EFI for the bios so you need EFI video and other cards are needed at boot for them to work. Also the mini and imacs use laptop parts.
July 11, 2007 2:53:21 AM

“Could regular ram made by some manufactuer other than Apple run in and Intel based Mac?”
***Apple doesn’t make the RAM. Several manufactuers make it. You can buy RAM for a Mac from Newegg from many different manufactuers.
http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategor...

“I think the CPU's are identical and the motherboards are made by Intel now too.”
***The motherboards are made by Intel via Foxconn.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn

I don’t know about the desktops but for the MBP, the graphic chips are the same as for PC notebooks. Apple is using the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor with dual-link DVI support and 256MB of GDDR3 SDRAM.
http://www.nvidia.com/object/geforce_8m.html


“I think the BIOS they use is different.”
***Yeah, it’s called EFI. The Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) is a specification that defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware. EFI is intended as a significantly improved replacement of the old legacy BIOS firmware interface historically used by all IBM PC compatible personal computers[1]. The EFI specification was originally developed by Intel, and is now managed by the Unified EFI Forum and is officially known as Unified EFI (UEFI).

In January 2006, Apple Computer shipped their first Intel-based Macintosh computers. These systems use EFI and the Framework instead of Open Firmware, which had been used on their previous PowerPC-based systems.[8] On April 5, 2006 Apple released Boot Camp which produces a Windows XP Drivers Disk as well as a non-destructive partitioning tool to help users easily install Windows XP. A firmware update was also released which added legacy BIOS support to its EFI implementation. Subsequent Macintosh models shipped with the newer firmware. Now all current Macintosh systems are also able to boot legacy BIOS Operating Systems like Windows XP.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extensible_Firmware_Interf...
July 11, 2007 10:03:19 AM

Thank you all for your answers, I live in Asia so it is hard for me to reply in a timely manner. I would like to ask more questions though.

Why can't I simply drop an OSX CD in my PC and have it work?

Does Apple make any hardware at all?

Curious1 thanks for the links!
July 11, 2007 10:59:21 AM

Curious1 said:

***The motherboards are made by Intel via Foxconn.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn


I knew this for the macbooks, didnt know it was true for the desktop?
Silly mac owners. 50% of the price goes in apples pocket. You are basically paying that money for the most expensive version of linux in the world.

yabannna: Apple probably request slight modifications so that at a hardware level the O/S will not work with normal pc hardware. This means it won't boot. There will be hacks to get around this though.
July 11, 2007 11:34:36 AM

djgandy thanks for the info...I asked an IT guy I work with today and he basically said that if the hardware in the box doesnt match what is on the OSX CD approved list, the CD will not boot. Since Apple will choose what hardware is placed in their Macs they can easily block anyone elses hardware configuration by not placing it as acceptable on the OSX CD thus blocking the boot.

I guess this stuff changes all of that:

http://neosmart.net/blog/2006/easybcd-15-multidual-boot...
July 11, 2007 12:56:44 PM

djgandy said:
I knew this for the macbooks, didnt know it was true for the desktop?
Silly mac owners. 50% of the price goes in apples pocket. You are basically paying that money for the most expensive version of linux in the world.

yabannna: Apple probably request slight modifications so that at a hardware level the O/S will not work with normal pc hardware. This means it won't boot. There will be hacks to get around this though.


I think you mean unix ;) , lol, also, if you want info, look up OSx86, very handy guys there, for osx on x86 hardware, and since you are given the tools to run xp, vista etc on mac (boot camp) i don't think there will be any problems.
a c 133 à CPUs
July 11, 2007 2:26:09 PM

Mac's ARE PC's. dont tell them that tho

They use the same intel chipsets and cpu's and the only thing extra they have is a small chip to tell the OS "Hey, i am a mac"

Not too long back all you had to do is delete the sometmporother.file driver to make it work on ANY system :) 
a c 133 à CPUs
July 11, 2007 2:29:05 PM

July 12, 2007 8:45:31 AM

nukemaster:
Please explain or provide links to the small chip
a c 133 à CPUs
July 17, 2007 1:29:15 AM

http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/2006/04/05/mac_security_the_evil_drm.htm
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Rumors-about-a-TPM-chip-inside-Intel-powered-Macs-5961.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple-Intel_architecture

there is limited info there. Google finds allot of rumors. its there trust me

The chip does nothing but tell OS-X "YES i am a mac"
there is a tpm.kext or similar file you can delete(funny enough this made the system no longer care what it was installed on :)  ) when making a hackentosh, but i am not sure if apple has patched against this yet.

I ran it for a bit but come on...its a far from as fun as windows(not much hacking around to make it do things you want). i like total control over everything. and I can do ANYTHING I wanted to do in windows.
!