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This dictionary defines some terms that are used in the OS X on x86 world.

[edit] Hardware

  • Hackintosh:
    • A normal x86 PC (white box/gray box/vanilla) running OSx86.
  • Macintel:
    • A Macintosh computer containing an Intel processor.
  • PAE:
    • Physical Address Extension - An extension originally implemented by Intel first found in the Pentium Pro processor that allows your CPU to address more than 4 GB of physical memory. This is a requirement for the 10.4.3 build, and seems to be missing in a lot of the Pentium M processors.
  • PowerPC (or PPC):
    • The processor design used on older Macs. This CPU was developed in a collaborative effort between Apple, IBM, and Motorola and has been the main desktop rival to traditional x86 CPUs since the mid-1990s.
  • SSE:
    • The first version of the SSE instructions. It is used in the Pentium III (and Pentium III-based Celeron) and the AMD Athlon XP. SSE has been largely replaced by SSE2 and 3. Mac OS X will not run on SSE-only systems.
  • SSE2:
    • A much improved version of Intel's SSE instruction set. SSE2 is supported by the Intel Pentium 4 (and Pentium 4-based Celeron), AMD Athlon 64/AMD Opteron, and Intel Xeon Willamette Series CPUs.
  • SSE3:
    • An extension to SSE2. SSE3 is supported in the revision E Athlon 64 (Venice core upwards) (released in April 2005), Prescott Pentium 4 and Celeron D (introduced in early 2004). Wikipedia has a more exhaustive list.
  • SSSE3:
    • An extension to SSE3 introduced with Intel's Core Architecture. SSSE3 support is required to boot vanilla kernels. Note that "Pentium D" has SSE3 but no SSSE3, however "Pentium Dual-Core" has SSSE3 support. Wikipedia lists CPUs with SSSE3.
  • White Box/Gray Box:
    • Standard x86 PC.
  • x86:
    • The processor architecture used in almost all PCs today. Intel, AMD, Cyrix, Transmeta, and most other CPUs are all compatible with this standard.
  • EFI:
    • The successor of the BIOS, see EFI .
  • DSDT:
    • The main table in the ACPI part of a computer's BIOS, see DSDT

[edit] Software and Operating Systems

  • OSx86:
    • The operating system Mac OS X for x86 or x86-64 non-apple machines.
  • Native:
    • Programs that do not require Rosetta to run on a Mac OS X environment for x86 and x86-64 machines. See here for examples.
  • Rosetta:
    • Apple's official emulation layer. It allows PPC Mac applications to run on a Mac OS X environment for x86 and x86-64 machines. Rosetta only runs on SSE3 or patched SSE2 computers.
  • Dev DVD or Developer DVD:
    • The original OSx86 DVD released to Apple developers.
  • .Kext (see Hardware .kext Patching List for detailed information)
    • The base Mac OS X has several kernel extensions, known as .kext, which are compatible with more than the device IDs they are programmed with. First and foremost, a .kext is not a file, but a directory of files and subfolders which together create a working kernel extension.
  • Marklar / Star Trek:
    • The rumored Apple internal project to keep OSx86 in sync with OS X for PowerPC. See OSx86 History for more.
  • Quartz Extreme:
    • Starting with Mac OS X v10.2, Quartz Compositor was extended by Quartz Extreme, which uses OpenGL to render screen displays faster by presenting them as textures within a 3D OpenGL context. This permits faster compositing of screen images using 3D hardware acceleration. To use Quartz Extreme, the Macintosh must have an AGP graphics card with support for arbitrary texture dimensions and a minimum of 16 MB of VRAM. In practice, this means either any nVidia, an ATI Radeon, or better. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz_Extreme
  • VMware:
    • An application for Windows, Linux and Intel based Mac's that allows people to create virtual computers, each running their own OS and software.
  • Parallels:
    • An application designed specifically for the Intel based Macs allowing that allows people to create virtual computers, each running their own OS and software.

[edit] See Also

  • The Knowledge Base is a great source of information about many of these terms.

This page was last modified on 17 January 2013, at 18:34.
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