Ars Technica has posted a review of the new 17-inch Intel Core Duo-powered iMac.
There has been discussion about older Mac OS X applications that are not Universal Binaries, running on the new Intel-powered Macs, especially genealogy applications. I don’t think we have too much to worry about, going by this review.
Of particular interest to us, is page four:
As Hannibal pointed out, Rosetta has a few advantages that earlier translation and emulation technologies lacked. First and foremost is an extra processor core. That allows the translation to run on one core while the application thread executes on the other core, meaning that the translated code will have a short distance to travel. In addition, it’s integrated into the operating system, so there’s no need to emulate drivers. Graphics and UI elements do redraw quickly.
Overall, I’m very impressed with Rosetta. Aside from Unreal Tournament 2K4, I’ve not run into a single application that was unusable on the iMac. Some were definitely slower on the Core Duo iMac than on the iMac G5. Launching typically took a bit longer, and I would usually get the dreaded spinning beachball for a couple of seconds once the application launched. Afterwards, it was smooth going.
Some tasks like Photoshop filters were definitely slower going on the Core Duo iMac than on the iMac G5. But using applications such as Microsoft Office felt so smooth that I really didn’t get the feeling that there was some sort of translation at work.
Something like Photoshop filters are going to be fairly hardware intensive, because they need the CPU power, while things like Microsoft Office, or in our case, genealogy applications, once they are launched, are going to be as fast as we are, because they will be waiting on input from us. If you are using an older Mac genealogy application, that was not written to run under Mac OS X, you will be out of luck – the Classic/MacOS 9 environment no longer functions under Intel versions of Mac OS X. Somebody may write an emulator or something else to change that in the future, but for now, it’s a no-go.