RUMOR: Apple’s Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard multithreading ‘amazing’ on Intel multi-core processors

“A critical component of not only Mac OS X 10.5 ‘Leopard,’ but also the Cocoa/Carbon for Windows package* will be new code co-developed with Intel that helps break up tasks into multiple threads — therefore achieving considerably better efficiency on the next generation of multi-core Intel processors. The results we’ve seen on systems with up to 16 cores of Intel’s next-generation ‘Conroe’ desktop CPU architecture were amazing….with 10.4.6 as-is, the first core bears the vast majority of the workload particularly when only one or two resource-intensive apps are running,” Mac OS Rumors reports.

“Even when lots of different applications, many of them efficiently multi-threaded, are run on 10.4.5 or 10.4.6 only the first two CPUs are used efficiently while the third and fourth are getting plenty of work….but aren’t quite living up to their full potential. Each added core after four seems to drop off in efficiency….not because OS X doesn’t handle lots of processors properly, it does. In fact it’s an industry leader in terms of being ready for the next generation of multicore, multiprocessor technology. It has been since day one and Apple has consistently kept it at the leading edge since then,” MOSR reports. “The problem is, simply, getting all of those core to have the maximum possible positive effect on the performance of each application. When simulating the realistic workloads of almost every kind of user, more than four cores rapidly lost any effect because there just weren’t enough threads, efficiently enough balanced, to make good use of more CPU’s.

“Leopard changes this in every way that Apple and Intel have been able to devise. The techniques employed include tricks that both companies have been holding at ready for years, and some new things that have been developed in the past year or so to specifically address the way the ‘Core’ (Yonah, Merom and Napa-Merom) and Codename ‘Conroe’ architectures work,” MOSR reports. “Leopard is going to kick ass from stem to stern.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy” for the heads up.]

* MOSR writes, “Rather than adding Windows application compatibility to OS X or even official dual-boot support to the latest “Macintel” computers….Apple’s emphasis in the 10.5 era will be on resurrecting ‘Yellow Box for Windows,’ a set of Cocoa (and potentially also Carbon) API’s for Windows that would allow Universal Binary applications to run on Windows with a mere 150MB software package installation. And best of all, there is no extra work to be done on the developer’s part to get fully native, rock-solid stable performance from their Xcode-developed Universal applications on Windows!” Full article here.

[UPDATE: 2:49pm EDT: Pulled “Red Box” note after reader feedback and re-reading MOSR article section.]

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Related articles:
Apple Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard likely to feature Windows support, drivers for Intel Macs – March 28, 2006
Report: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to feature totally redesigned Spotlight-based Finder – October 21, 2005
Mac OS X Leopard to contain ‘Red Box’ for natively running Windows applications? – June 23, 2005
Apple to unleash Leopard on Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn; Mac OS X 10.5 due late 2006 – early 2007 – June 07, 2005


  1. Yes, this is something that was forgotten from many years ago. Show developers that a Mac Universal application does the obvious, runs on PowerPC and Macs with Intel, but with Apple’s help they will also run on a Windows PC.

    Hmmm. Code once, run everywere. Now you got the possibility of them stopping Windows developement. If the Mac Universal app runs just fine on Windows, then the hell with coding for the “godforsaken” Windows mess.

  2. It always seems to me the MOSR have a knack at expressing the wildest dreams of hard core Apple fans, but unfortunatly, there track record as far as acuratly predicting future directions and products, does not lend much credibility to the source. As much as I wish more of there imaginings were real, I’m a bit surprised they were quoted here.

  3. I don’t know about this – if apple was to release a coccoa/carbon for windows, we can say goodbye to iLife and all the other fantastic just for mac applications being just for mac… I don’t like the sound of that.

  4. The only Windows app that users would remotely even want to run would be Office. I don’t think Windows games could possibly run as fast on Apple box with Intel chip as they do on an ALienware box with AMD chip. Any thoughts on gaming comparison any one?

    Microsoft also needs to work on Office for Macintosh. Office currently does not support contact public folders, tasks and other PC-only features. These are big hurdles because large companies won’t put Apple boxes in cubicles if they cannot do th same things as PCs. In order to get IT personnel to buy Apple, these things need to be addressed in Office.

    If Apple had a compatible Office suite that worked with Exchange, there would be no hurdle in getting Macs in cubicles.

  5. Alright Yeah, More things to run on Windoze!!??? NOT!

    Tell me again why its exciting that more Mac developed Apps will run on Windhoze. Now, if I could run Windows Apps. on 10.5 that would be something amazing.

    If this constitutes big positive news for Apples NextGen OS then I see we are indeed, all headed for using Windblows – That will be the day I stop using personal computers by choice.

    I want to see the world through “Think’s” eyes, but…


  6. Wait a big fat minute….

    “API’s for Windows that would allow Universal Binary applications to run on Windows with a mere 150MB software package installation”

    Isn’t this the wrong way? I though the kicker to get more Windows users switching to Mac was to enable WINDOWS apps to run on a MAC, not the other way around. If what MOSR says would happen, the only incentive left for a Windows user would be to run OSX, not for any of the Mac-only apps.

  7. Yellow box is right and I hope it is true. I (like many) work in a windows centric company and as such can not use Apple’s great Cocoa API. I do use REALBasic whenever possible to be cross-platform, but being able to use Cocoa would be absolutely wonderful.

    This would be the best way to bring developers to the mac, by giving them a better way to develop for windows.

    I am not sure I buy the possibility of Carbon going cross-platform, Cocoa started out that way with Open-Step Enterprise.

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