Rosetta

So I picked up a new macbook pro. It’s really great! First thing I did after I played with the migration assistant was bust out the powerpc versions of my programs I couldn’t update. First of all, 10.4.8 is fast as crap with Rosetta. I get 60+ fps in quake 2 (I know old) and I get 60 fps at 1400×900 32bit color. Generator (a Genesis emulator) runs 60fps intel, 40-50 fps in Rosetta. That’s really amazing. The only app I’ve seen crash it unfortunately is photoshop cs2. Kind of sad because a lot of people use that app and it needs to be stable. I find it really cool you can get such performance out of Rosetta in general. Amazing stuff really. FX!32 on the Dec alpha used to do the same thing with Windows NT on the alpha cpu. Only, it was slow as crap. Stuff like Office ran ok, but once you fired up something like mame32 or anything halfway cpu intensive, it slowed down to being almost useless.

I can see why Rosetta would be so fast though with general OSX apps. It doesn’t have to translate API stuff like drawing interface widgets or doing openGL calls (like Quake2). It’s really cool how it’s totally seamless. I bet apple still has room to improve it performance wise though. I noticed vmware is in some kind of group with Transitive (The people who created the technology behind Rosetta). Makes me wonder what they are trying to do. running a whole virtual machine doing translation has to be pretty slow since (again) your API’s and system calls aren’t native. Virtual PC on powerpc was this way. I’d like to see what they could do though. Would be cool as hell if you could run a virtual machine of OSX powerPC inside a vm on an Intel desktop.

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~ by Jay on November 15, 2006.

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