Report: Intel Based Apple Macs 'Fast'

Developers with access to Apple's Intel Mac development systems say they are impressed with the speed that Mac OS X and several associated applications are running at, enthusiast site AppleInsider reported on Wednesday.

According to one developer, the Intel Mac ran the operating system faster than his home dual 2.0GHz Power Mac G5. The development systems come with a Pentium 4 3.6 GHz processor, an 800MHz frontside bus, and 1GB of SDRAM. The developer said Windows XP boots quickly on the machine, as does Mac OS X -- in about 10 seconds.

Wednesday's story follows an earlier report by Think Secret, another Apple enthusiast site, which claimed the Intel Macs were "significantly slower" using Rosetta emulation.

Rosetta is the application that translates code from PowerPC to Intel in order to allow older applications to run on the new platform. But contrary to previous reports, a source told AppleInsider the application was "100 percent seamless" and said "you can't tell which applications are universal and which are PowerPC-only unless you examine package contents."

According to some rudimentary speed tests, applications run at around 65 to 70 percent of their normal speed in Rosetta; however, some programs such as Firefox show no noticeable speed difference at all. Apple has publicly said that work continues on making Rosetta as fast as possible.

Web browsing is also improved on the Intel Mac platform, developers report.

Apple said Wednesday night in a conference call that the company will have Intel-based machines on the market by this time next year. AppleInsider says rumors have surfaced that could indicate Apple might be accelerating that timetable.

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