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New Macs Use EFI - CONFIRMED!
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Jan 10, 2006, 08:58 PM
 
What does this mean?

- You can't install Win2K or XP on the new Macs (yet)
- Some of you are going to be disappointed that you can't buy PC games and that Mac gaming is safe (for a year at least)
- I told you so (I had to say it )
- Apple has a year to build consumer and developer confidence
- Even if Apple doesn't increase its market share, it's still a safe bet Mac gaming is here to stay
- Someone will undoubtedly produce a hack to bring Windows XP onto Macs (making EFI thinks it's BIOS perhaps?) Partitioning the hard drive and installing a hack to get XP onto a Mac just to play games is really not something the average joe can or will do. Mac gaming is safe. QED
- Mac gaming doom-sayers are itching to make me believe I'm wrong
( Last edited by Horsepoo!!!; Jan 10, 2006 at 09:14 PM. )
     
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Jan 10, 2006, 11:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Horsepoo!!!
- You can't install Win2K or XP on the new Macs (yet)
This is wrong. On high end HP machines EFI is the preferred way to boot Windows.
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Jan 10, 2006, 11:51 PM
 
Electronic Fuel Injection?
     
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Jan 11, 2006, 12:18 AM
 
Only XP-64 is EFI compatible.
     
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Jan 11, 2006, 01:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thinine
Only XP-64 is EFI compatible.
And Windows 2003 Server along with some Windows XP Pro non 64 bit (which is how the Itanium 2's which only use EFI where able to run Windows).
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Jan 11, 2006, 01:27 AM
 
No I installed Windows on my toaster oven it runs Counterstrike real fast like 200 FPS

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Jan 11, 2006, 01:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by goMac
And Windows 2003 Server along with some Windows XP Pro non 64 bit (which is how the Itanium 2's which only use EFI where able to run Windows).
With the caveat that I haven't really followed Windows and Intel too heavily, my understanding is that the Itanium chipset is not quite the same as the x86 one. It's really a native (and now dead) 64-bit Intel platform with a built-in backwards compatible 32-bit mode. My suspicion is that you would not be able to boot an Itanium version of Windows on regular IA32 x86 chips like those in the new Macs. Am I wrong?
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Jan 11, 2006, 02:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thinine
Only XP-64 is EFI compatible.
From AMI's site:

Since EFI does not define an existing legacy BIOS interface, how will operating current systems like Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows 98 work with a system based on Intel's EFI Framework?

The EFI Framework defines the Compatibility Support Module (CSM), which provides the runtime interfaces necessary for compatibility with existing PC operating systems.
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Jan 11, 2006, 02:49 AM
 
I think we all know what needs to be done.

Somebody buy an iMac and try to install Windows XP on it. For science, you know?
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Jan 11, 2006, 03:22 AM
 
It will happen eventually... just give it time. I'm sure that before the end of tomorrow, someone somewhere will have tried to install WinXP and posted their observations online.

Oh, and something interesting I found on Intel's site: (quoted from http://www.intel.com/cd/ids/develope...9568.htm?prn=Y ):

The Framework [aka EFI] can support non-EFI OSs (Microsoft Windows* XP and older). For IA 32 systems, the Framework loads itself above the 1 MB real-mode memory boundary to accommodate an optional Compatibility Support Module (CSM). A CSM is approximately 60 KB of firmware that is specific to each BIOS vendor’s code base. The CSM supplies services to operating systems that do not boot using EFI. It also supports legacy option ROMs on add-in cards.

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Jan 11, 2006, 03:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by goMac
The EFI Framework defines the Compatibility Support Module (CSM), which provides the runtime interfaces necessary for compatibility with existing PC operating systems.
As I understand it, the CSM is something supplied by BIOS manufacturers (like AMI) so that EFI boards can boot legacy OSes. That raises the next question : who supplied Apple's implementation of EFI? It may be that it doesn't contain a CSM. As I read it, having a CSM is not a requirement for an EFI implementation.
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Jan 11, 2006, 04:00 AM
 
actually windows xp, does support EFI, i had to deal with this on the phone with microsoft. it does have EFI support, they just don't list it, and it has to be the lastest service packs
     
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Jan 11, 2006, 05:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Oliver
my understanding is that the Itanium chipset is not quite the same as the x86 one. It's really a native (and now dead) 64-bit Intel platform with a built-in backwards compatible 32-bit mode. My suspicion is that you would not be able to boot an Itanium version of Windows on regular IA32 x86 chips like those in the new Macs. Am I wrong?
Itaniums are indeed very different from any other Intel processor. They run IA64 code and are built as pure 64 bit processors. The 32 bit mode they feature is X86 compatible, but dog slow as the processor can only be in the IA64 or X86 state, not both at the same time. It does allow mixed code, with the condition that the entire processor has to come to a halt on IA64 and make the switch, then switch back.

This is why the first Itaniums had the X86 performance of near a Pentium 200mhz when running X86 programs inside Windows IA64.

The Itaniums I played with could support an X86 full OS, but it too was also slow. Microsoft does still sell and support IA64 versions of Windows, as Itaniums are far from dead. They didn't replace X86 like Intel had hoped, but with the Alpha and PA-RISC chips now dead, HP ships a lot of Itaniums as high end Unix servers. Itanium chips are still on the Intel roadmaps leading well into 2008.
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Jan 11, 2006, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by inkhead
actually windows xp, does support EFI, i had to deal with this on the phone with microsoft. it does have EFI support, they just don't list it, and it has to be the lastest service packs
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Jan 11, 2006, 03:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Oliver
As I understand it, the CSM is something supplied by BIOS manufacturers (like AMI) so that EFI boards can boot legacy OSes. That raises the next question : who supplied Apple's implementation of EFI? It may be that it doesn't contain a CSM. As I read it, having a CSM is not a requirement for an EFI implementation.
I would assume Apple is using a full Intel implementation of EFI.

If you implement EFI, Intel doesn't care how you do it, but you must provide all the functions of an EFI machine. Apple could break with Intel and not provide a full implementation, but I don't see Intel letting them get away with that. In other words, every EFI firmware is actually vendor supplied, but has to be fully functional. This was done so it didn't look like Intel was cutting out AMD. If the vendor is writing the firmware, there is no Intel involved to lock out AMD.

Windows supports EFI just fine. Looking around on Google I saw a review of an Intel EFI board running Windows XP.

(Sorry I didn't make this clearer last night. I was sick as a dog and probably a little loopy. Someone should have taken away my computer keys. )
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Jan 11, 2006, 03:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Drakino
Itaniums are indeed very different from any other Intel processor. They run IA64 code and are built as pure 64 bit processors. The 32 bit mode they feature is X86 compatible, but dog slow as the processor can only be in the IA64 or X86 state, not both at the same time. It does allow mixed code, with the condition that the entire processor has to come to a halt on IA64 and make the switch, then switch back.

This is why the first Itaniums had the X86 performance of near a Pentium 200mhz when running X86 programs inside Windows IA64.

The Itaniums I played with could support an X86 full OS, but it too was also slow. Microsoft does still sell and support IA64 versions of Windows, as Itaniums are far from dead. They didn't replace X86 like Intel had hoped, but with the Alpha and PA-RISC chips now dead, HP ships a lot of Itaniums as high end Unix servers. Itanium chips are still on the Intel roadmaps leading well into 2008.
I honestly think it would have been great if Itanium won in some form. Then we might have moved to IA64 yesterday instead of the hack known as IA32.

The first Itanium's actually couldn't run x86 code. This was Intel's first mistake. The second ones, as you said, could run it, but ultra slow. When they were running IA64 code they were great, but the Windows side isn't quite as good at making transitions. Something like Rossetta running as an IA64 program in Windows probably would have been a better way to go.

I think for the most part people ran Windows IA64 which moots this argument (D'oh), but HP still has a lot of articles on installing older Windows on an EFI machine. It looks to me like they are standard x86 boxes.
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Jan 11, 2006, 03:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by goMac
Windows supports EFI just fine. Looking around on Google I saw a review of an Intel EFI board running Windows XP.
Let's see that link.

I invite you to buy a new Intel Mac, install Windows and show pictures of the Mac running Windows. If you're oh-so-confident that Windows XP will easily install on the iMac Core Duo or MacBook Pro, prove it.
     
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Jan 11, 2006, 04:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Horsepoo!!!
Let's see that link.

I invite you to buy a new Intel Mac, install Windows and show pictures of the Mac running Windows. If you're oh-so-confident that Windows XP will easily install on the iMac Core Duo or MacBook Pro, prove it.
Like the above post said, any newer version of Windows, even though it's not advertised, will install on EFI. You need a Windows XP SP2 disk.

Here is the review:
http://pcweb.mycom.co.jp/articles/20...xe840/002.html

The Intel 955X is an EFI board.
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Jan 11, 2006, 04:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by goMac
Like the above post said, any newer version of Windows, even though it's not advertised, will install on EFI. You need a Windows XP SP2 disk.

Here is the review:
http://pcweb.mycom.co.jp/articles/20...xe840/002.html

The Intel 955X is an EFI board.
How convenient. A japanese review. Luckily for me (unluckily for you), machine-translation exists.

What I've gathered is that EFI on that board is capable of emulating BIOS. So no, Windows does not do EFI (unless EFI can emulate BIOS). Therefore, Windows XP 32-bit can only do BIOS. It even says so on the site (unless machine-translation really messed the meaning up.)

Now the question is, can Apple's EFI implementation emulate BIOS? I doubt it since I don't believe Intel enforces that feature.

Again...if you're confident, buy an iMac Core Duo or MacBook Pro and run the experiment.

edit:
http://babelfish.altavista.com/babel...840%2F002.html

From the translation:
Simply, because Legacy Windows and Linux still do not correspond to EFI, now it is thought that the emulation of BIOS is done on EFI.
( Last edited by Horsepoo!!!; Jan 11, 2006 at 04:32 PM. )
     
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Jan 11, 2006, 04:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Horsepoo!!!
What I've gathered is that EFI on that board is capable of emulating BIOS. So no, Windows does not do EFI (unless EFI can emulate BIOS). Therefore, Windows XP 32-bit can only do BIOS. It even says so on the site (unless machine-translation really messed the meaning up.)

Now the question is, can Apple's EFI implementation emulate BIOS? I doubt it since I don't believe Intel enforces that feature.
All EFI is supposed to be able to emulate BIOS. Intel enforces all EFI firmwares supporting all EFI features. Read my post on that above.

I should have a MacBook Pro available to test on next month. But, my newest XP cd is not only a Dell CD but an SP1 cd. I'll pop into my old work next month and borrow an XP SP2 cd and a Win2k3 CD and give those a test, but I bet someone else will have figured it out by then.
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Jan 11, 2006, 04:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by goMac
If you implement EFI, Intel doesn't care how you do it, but you must provide all the functions of an EFI machine. Apple could break with Intel and not provide a full implementation, but I don't see Intel letting them get away with that. In other words, every EFI firmware is actually vendor supplied, but has to be fully functional. This was done so it didn't look like Intel was cutting out AMD. If the vendor is writing the firmware, there is no Intel involved to lock out AMD.
From what I'm learning, Apple is the "vendor" for the firmware, so they are responsible for providing the legacy "CSM" module that emulates an old BIOS. And from what I understand, EFI does not mandate that you to provide a CSM module for old BIOSes. As a PC motherboard manufacturer, you'd certainly want to do this to run 32-bit Windows, but that demand is less pressing (and not required) for Apple.

I know people have said that Windows understands EFI, but I don't believe this is true for 32-bit Windows (which is what the new Macs would require). All the examples I've seen show that 32-bit Windows only boots on an EFI board if the EFI firmware provides a legacy BIOS. If someone can show an example that contradicts this, I'd be interested in learning more about it.
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Jan 11, 2006, 04:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brad Oliver
If someone can show an example that contradicts this, I'd be interested in learning more about it.
I've done some serious searching on Google ever since goMac made the assertion...but so far I haven't found any example. On the other hand, there are tons of examples that say that the 32-bit Windows XP does not do EFI.

goMac, it's clear you're just trying to win this argument through ambiguity...but let it go instead of making people believe false info.

You've shifted goal posts 3 times already (high-end HP running Windows XP using EFI when in fact it's an Itanium, 32-bit version of Windows XP SP2 understanding EFI when in fact in only understand BIOS or emulated-BIOS, and now EFI is supposed to provide BIOS emulation when in fact it does not.)

edit:

Here's fuel for the fire. http://www.betanews.com/article/XP_W...Mac/1137003330

You won't be able to install XP without some serious hacking. This does not sound like something mom and pop can do easily (if we ignore the other hassles of erasing and repartitioning drives, unsupported hardware, etc.)

Even if someone manages to make XP run on his Mac, it's extremely safe to assume Mac gaming is here to stay.
( Last edited by Horsepoo!!!; Jan 11, 2006 at 05:04 PM. )
     
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Jan 11, 2006, 05:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Horsepoo!!!
I've done some serious searching on Google ever since goMac made the assertion...but so far I haven't found any example. On the other hand, there are tons of examples that say that the 32-bit Windows XP does not do EFI.

goMac, it's clear you're just trying to win this argument through ambiguity...but let it go instead of making people believe false info.

You've shifted goal posts 3 times already (high-end HP running Windows XP using EFI when in fact it's an Itanium, 32-bit version of Windows XP SP2 understanding EFI when in fact in only understand BIOS or emulated-BIOS, and now EFI is supposed to provide BIOS emulation when in fact it does not.)

edit:

Here's fuel for the fire. http://www.betanews.com/article/XP_W...Mac/1137003330

You won't be able to install XP without some serious hacking. This does not sound like something mom and pop can do easily (if we ignore the other hassles of erasing and repartitioning drives, unsupported hardware, etc.)

Even if someone manages to make XP run on his Mac, it's extremely safe to assume Mac gaming is here to stay.
Huh? The review I sent you ran Windows XP on an EFI board on a 32 bit processor. You don't have to read Japanese to see that. Windows Server 2003 sure as hell supports EFI, and as others have said, WinXP SP2 does too. EFI is the recommended way for vendors to go with Vista.

Look, I like Mac gaming as much as everyone else here, but it's not going to be long before someone makes an EFI driver that works with all versions of Windows.
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Jan 11, 2006, 05:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by goMac
Huh? The review I sent you ran Windows XP on an EFI board on a 32 bit processor. You don't have to read Japanese to see that. Windows Server 2003 sure as hell supports EFI, and as others have said, WinXP SP2 does too. EFI is the recommended way for vendors to go with Vista.

Look, I like Mac gaming as much as everyone else here, but it's not going to be long before someone makes an EFI driver that works with all versions of Windows.
There you go again peddling false information.

Win2k3 ITANIUM EDITION (64-BITS) supports EFI.
WinXP SP2 does NOT support EFI.

This argument is over, dude.
     
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Jan 11, 2006, 06:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by goMac
Huh? The review I sent you ran Windows XP on an EFI board on a 32 bit processor.
I don't think this point is in doubt, since WinXP can boot on an EFI-based board if the compatibility BIOS (CSM) is present in the EFI firmware. What is in doubt is if WinXP will work on an EFI board without a CSM, since this is the config Apple is apparently using.

As for WinXP SP2 and WIn2k3, it's also known that these will boot off EFI natively, but only on the 64-bit chipsets using the 64-bit editions of Windows. Can anyone provide news demonstrating this on 32-bit hardware and 32-bit versions of Windows - *without* the CSM being required in EFI?
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