A few weeks ago I noticed a problem with mouse movement on the hackintosh, where the cursor would jump across the screen as if pausing for a fraction of a second. This only happened when quicktime was active, for example when using iTunes or the Quicktime player. An initial workaround was found at PCwizcomputer and while this worked by replacing a quicktime file it wasn’t a perfect solution.
Browsing for a better fix last week I found the weaksauce12 blog, also at PCwizcomputer. This highlights a problem with AppleUpstreamuserclient.kext. The explanation is that this kernel extention is for DRM use with the Macintosh versions of Nvidia 9400 and 9600 GPU’s. Although I have a 9800GT this appeared to be causing the problem as removing this kext did the trick. Combining this fix with iTunes 8.1 has made music a much better experience on the hackintosh.
Just when the GPU war looks like continuing indefinitely as a two horse race, Intel comes along to stir up the market. It’s Larrabee processor is due in 2009/10, and if initial speculation is anything to go by this could change the way GPU’s are used. There’s already been much talk about the use of the parallel processing power of current GPU’s for non-graphical tasks. Physics simulation is an emerging role, and Apple’s next OS, Snow Leopard, will include the ability to easily harness all that GPU power for programmers.
Larrabee is different to GPU’s currently available due to its use of multiple Pentium cores. They’re much improved over the original pentium cores, running a lot faster and incorporating newer technologies. The difference between Larrabee cores and a CPU like the Core 2 Duo is complexity. Larrabee is a simpler design that occupies a much smaller space, making a large number of cores in as small package possible.
Just how much the Larrabee chip can do is still a little fuzzy, and some sites are suggesting it will run applications as well as perform GPU and large number crunching duties. Does this mean current systems using a Core 2 Duo/Quad and Graphics card will be replaced by a Larrabee processor? From Dailytech.com,
Larry Seiler from Intel says, “What the graphics and general data parallel application market needs is an architecture that provides the full programming abilities of a CPU, the full capabilities of a CPU together with the parallelism that is inherent in graphics processors. Larrabee provides [that] and it’s a practical solution to the limitations of current graphics processors.”
If Larrabee performs as well as suggested this could be the biggest shake-up in system architecture for a long time. Convincing users that putting all your processing into one package is a good idea would be another matter.
Read more at