Newsletter Issue #807: A Decade After the Intel Mac Announcement

May 18th, 2015

Although the news had been predicted by mainstream news organizations, the announcement that Apple would be moving Macs to Intel processors at the 2005 WWDC came as a shock. For years, Apple had been touting the superior performance of the PowerPC chips, so why the turnaround? Was Apple betraying Mac users?

The truth was straightforward and logical. For years, Apple had been claiming that the PowerPC could easily trounce a Pentium PC with a far higher clock speed. That was certainly true, and Apple regularly conducted bake-offs showing how a Mac would leave Intel gear in the dust.

To be sure, some doubted Apple’s claims. They must have cooked the books, or targeted very limited benchmarks where the PowerPC’s performance shined. In fact, I remember requesting Apple’s test methodology at the time, and they employed some canned Photoshop routines as part of the process. In every case where I tested a Mac against a PC, Apple’s results were pretty much confirmed.

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