Intel a développé la première carte « Mac Intel »

Amusant : je suis tombé sur un message dans un forum qui indique que la carte mère du premier Mac Intel, l’Apple Developer Transition Kit, a été développée directement par Intel. Et une des personnes qui a travaillé sur la carte mère… ne savait même pas que c’était pour Apple. Elle l’a découvert beaucoup plus tard, quand les photos de la machine sont arrivées.

Pour rappel, la carte est basée sur le i915, un chipset pour Pentium 4 — Apple a d’ailleurs utilisé un gros Pentium 4 — équipé d’un IGP GMA 900, encore bien plus lent que le GMA 950 des premiers Mac Intel officiels.

The card in the PCI Express slot wasn’t a dedicated video card, it was an adapter to allow the onboard graphics to use DVI – merely using the slot as the electrical mechanism. It’s called an « ADD2 » card. If you plug one of these in, the onboard chipset detects it, and routes DVI signal to it.

The motherboard was made by Intel, and is basically a customized version of their D915GUX motherboard. (Customized to fit in the Power Mac G5 chassis, along with some other customizations for Apple.)

A friend at Intel worked on the board during its development, and he had zero idea who it was for until a couple years later, when more details on the board came out, and I had him look up the (obviously-Intel) manufacturing part number. It was very locked-down, and came with a Pentium 4 at 3.6 GHz, which was the highest-end processor it was capable of running. (In theory it could have run a Pentium-D dual-core CPU with a BIOS upgrade, but no such BIOS upgrade was ever made.)

It did not have Apple’s custom EFI interface, so it cannot boot any stock version of OS X, only the versions made for it. (Well, you could use « Hackintosh » methods, of course, just like any other PC of equivalent specs.)