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PC and MAC

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May 30, 2005 5:51:14 PM

Hi, I was wondering if anybody could help me out with a doubt I have. Are PC memories the same as MAC memories. For instance if I had an eMac that uses PC133 memories, do i need to buy those damn expensive "for apple only" memory or can I just buy standar PC133 RAMs? Thanks for your attention!

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May 31, 2005 6:32:11 PM

Quote:
Are PC memories the same as MAC memories

The simple answer is yes they use the same memory modules as PCs. But it's not so simple as that...

Many manufacturers today sell PC-compatible memory, even to companies who use MACINTOSH. The reason for this is because more people use PCs, and also because the cost is higher in handling MAC-specific memory (I dare not go into further details regarding this)

In many cases, a module built according to PC specification may fail entirely on a MAC (As I mentioned because memory is usually built for the PC). And so, many vendors have taken fail-safe measures to ensure compatibility with MAC by performing additional tests for MACINTOSH.

It is a good idea to check with the vendor regarding MAC compatibility.

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<font color=red>AIM BrentUnitedMem
May 31, 2005 10:25:41 PM

Does this mean i cant run OSX on my pc? How different is Linux from the mac OS? How is Linux able to run on PC but OSX will not? Is Linux/Unix somewhere between OSX and Windows?

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May 31, 2005 10:46:03 PM

MACINTOSH, WINDOWS and LINUX are different Operating Systems with different underlying kernals. The Kernal is the part of the OS responsible for memory management, and it is the first module of an OS that gets loaded first.

PC computers are normally windows based.

It is possible to emulate MAC on a PC, and I imagine you could do the same for Linux. In this case, the underlying OS kernel would be windows based. And thus the system would manage the memory much like a PC.

Furthermore, the kernal is also responsible for general management of the computer system and services applications as well. MAC/Linux specific applications require a kernel that is capable of processing their requests.

Certain applications are capable of running on both MAC and PC, and probably Linux too- that is, because the kernel knows how to handle them. In other cases, the OS can be written to handle very special programs that are specific to that OS platform.

<font color=green>*****
"Memory with lifetime warranty? So, whose lifetime is that?"
<A HREF="http://www.brentcrowley.com/" target="_new">homepage</A>
<font color=red>AIM BrentUnitedMem
June 1, 2005 5:30:39 AM

Now Im totally confused, which is easy to do. I guess my core question is: What is the difference in hardware between a mac and pc?

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June 1, 2005 3:44:50 PM

PC's use x86-compatible CPUs (Pentium, Athlon), Macs use PowerPC CPUs. The CPUs are incompatible with each other and can't run the same code. You can get a version of some software (linux comes to mind) that is compiled for one or the other CPU, but you can't use sofware compiled for an x86 on a PowerPC system(*).

There are more differences, but this is the 'big one' :) 

Mike.

(*) Exception: Emulation software as described in previous post by Brent.
June 1, 2005 5:37:42 PM

Oh, so they have competely different instruction sets/code? How about the architecture, is that different as well?

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June 1, 2005 5:44:18 PM

x86 and PowerPC architecture is different also.

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And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
June 1, 2005 6:10:03 PM

What RichPLS said... but they both have PCI slots (well, the Wintel platform is moving to PCI-express, but...) so if they write drivers for both platforms, expansion cards will work on either (there may be some technical issues where the card would have to be designed with dual-platform in mind, but that's beyond the scope of my ramblings...)

Mike.
June 1, 2005 7:18:27 PM

There is one other major difference in the architecture between a MAC and PC.

The OS X desktop environment is OpenGL accelerated. OpenGL is a graphics library tool, and so applications are not only CPU limited, but they also depend on the Graphics Processing Unit as well. And so, the OS utilizes both system and graphics memory for desktop applications.

This is a good thing for multimedia professionals because since applications are powered by both the CPU and GPU in tandem, you can have several applications running without losing much performance.

On the downside, you can run out of video memory fairly quick, which results in your system swapping to main memory over the AGP bus. This is not a good thing for gamers who prefer to have dedicated graphics memory, like with a PC.

<font color=green>*****
"Memory with lifetime warranty? So, whose lifetime is that?"
<A HREF="http://www.brentcrowley.com/" target="_new">homepage</A>
<font color=red>AIM BrentUnitedMem
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