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A look at the July Power Macs now that we know the Xserve specs

post #1 of 239
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Okay well we know they will increase the processor speed, thats obvious. I am guessing up to 1.4GHz with the entry model at 1 GHz. For marketing purposes that would be nice to say that the slowest Power Mac is a GHz. Now taking what we have today with the Xserve we know that there are G4's that will work with DDR on board RAM. But can Mot and Apple develop a G4 chip that can run at a faster bus than 133? Will we have dual 1.4GHz G4's with DDR ram and a 133MHz bus? Will the fiber Firewire make it on to the Power Mac? I think ATA-100 is a given. Faster PCI slots?

Lets discuss...now that we have more info to go with.
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post #2 of 239
I think that the new G4 is on the way. I 'll bet that he will be made on 0,15 micron process (remember the only thing that we know about the PPC chips from Mot is that the next PPC chip will be based upon 0,15 SOI) with DDR memory bus support and 512 K L2 cache. Unlike many people here i'll bet that there will still be a L3 cache (the same) : i do not see a reason why Mot will develop the DDR L3 cache tech to stop it 6 months later. DDR L3 is efficent and works at near 4GB/sec in comparison of the DDR PC 2100 memory where the 2GB/s is more theorical than real.
I think that the speed could range from 1 to 1,4ghz (1,5 ghz max) if i assume that the 7455 is able to reach 1,1 ghz (even if it as been deleted from Mot PDF files).

Like you i think that ATA 100 will be present : for the number of channels i don't know : if Apple has developped a special asic supporting 4 ata 100 : why not use in all the powermac line also, if it is 4 chips supporting each one single ATA 100 channel : i will ready to bet that it will have only one channel and one atapi channel for CD writer and DVD player or ZIP or whatever you want.

[ 05-14-2002: Message edited by: powerdoc ]</p>
post #3 of 239
This Xserve is a bad omen, IMO. I think it confirms that the Apollos don't support anything over a 133 bus, so they'll have to come out with an entirely new chip in order to support DDR. I doubt that's going to happen since the Apollos just came out a few months ago.
post #4 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>This Xserve is a bad omen, IMO. I think it confirms that the Apollos don't support anything over a 133 bus, so they'll have to come out with an entirely new chip in order to support DDR. I doubt that's going to happen since the Apollos just came out a few months ago.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I agree with the Sprout.
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post #5 of 239
My prediction:

-G4 1 - 1.4 GHz, some dual configurations, hopefully the top config.
- 256-512MB DDR-SDRAM 266
-L3 cache 2MB, L2 cache 256 or 512 KB (really depends on what Moto can do)
-ATA 133 bus (100 is nice, but doesn't support the latest really big drives. Most likely it's going to be 100 only, but I wish it was 133)
-USB 1.1
-FireWire 800Mbit
-Gigabit Ethernet
-4 RAM slots
-AGP 4x slot
-4 x PCI 64bit/33MHz, probably 2 of them 66MHz, depending on cost of the extra controller even all 4 of them
-HDs from 60 to 120 GB

Graphics cards depending on what's the latest & greatest, then at least one generation backwards, and you got it.

SuperDrive 2 in all but the entry level model

New case

Basically I'd say we'll get the mac that is based on the board that surfaced on ebay a few days ago.

I'd love to see a G5 with 333MHz DDR RAM and ATA 133 and Gigawire etc, but knowing Apple, these machines are at least a year off.

We're the lemons, and Steve is squeezing the most out of us.

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post #6 of 239
So, what's the deal with using the xserve as a workstation? Can I get a couple of these and use them as a high-end workstation?

Also, G-NEWS - is the superdrive 2 a prediction or do you have knowledge of one?

I would guess 1.2 Ghz DP G4s in July, with unfortunately - a 133mhz system bus. But hey, DDR SDRAM is nice.
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post #7 of 239
The XServer is awesome, but...

If Apple came out with faster PowerMacs, wouldn't that look bad for the servers? Yes, I think they are a bad omen. No G5. This year! Oh well. Next MWSF maybe? I'm not buying a new tower until most of this happens:

-FireWire 2.0
-G5 64-bit whoohoo CPU
-DDR RAM. Time to update to the last millenium, Apple.
-A real "Pro" Mouse (more buttons, maybe a scroll, Blue Tooth would be uber cool)
-USB 2.0 (don't really care, actually, but..)
-ships with OS X 10.2.1 or higher and 9.2.3 or higher
-a better audio out/audio capabilities. So OS X has support for all those channels. Great, where are they going to go? At least they should get a 3rd party to make a cheap prosumer add-on card. Hopefully not Creative!

In order of importance. I think this echoes common sentiment. I bet they haven't sold many towers for over a year. The new iMac, and iBook, are probably how APPL and Apple are staying in the black. The new PB is decent, and if I had the cash, I would definitely have ordered one! But the towers, well, there's no good defense for the lack of DDR RAM. And it is Motorola's fault the G5 isn't here, but Apple should do something about it, and get the ball rolling, like they did with Zayante. I'm hopeful FireWire 2.0 will make this MWNY, at least.

Still, wouldn't it be weird for the PowerMac to be better than the XServer?
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post #8 of 239
In response to the last comment. I don't think that the Xserve and Tower are in direct competition, so I don't see why the tower couldn't (at some point) be faster than the Xserve. Probably not at MWNY, but hopefully before MWSF.
Maybe I'm just being hopefull..
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post #9 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by Aquatik:
<strong>The XServer is awesome, but...

If Apple came out with faster PowerMacs, wouldn't that look bad for the servers? Yes, I think they are a bad omen. No G5. This year! Oh well. Next MWSF maybe? I'm not buying a new tower until most of this happens:

-FireWire 2.0
-G5 64-bit whoohoo CPU
-DDR RAM. Time to update to the last millenium, Apple.
-A real "Pro" Mouse (more buttons, maybe a scroll, Blue Tooth would be uber cool)
-USB 2.0 (don't really care, actually, but..)
-ships with OS X 10.2.1 or higher and 9.2.3 or higher
-a better audio out/audio capabilities. So OS X has support for all those channels. Great, where are they going to go? At least they should get a 3rd party to make a cheap prosumer add-on card. Hopefully not Creative!

In order of importance. I think this echoes common sentiment. I bet they haven't sold many towers for over a year. The new iMac, and iBook, are probably how APPL and Apple are staying in the black. The new PB is decent, and if I had the cash, I would definitely have ordered one! But the towers, well, there's no good defense for the lack of DDR RAM. And it is Motorola's fault the G5 isn't here, but Apple should do something about it, and get the ball rolling, like they did with Zayante. I'm hopeful FireWire 2.0 will make this MWNY, at least.

Still, wouldn't it be weird for the PowerMac to be better than the XServer?</strong><hr></blockquote>


Not even in the x86 market the fastest processors are not available to Servers for a few months. It's ok to have your Servers lag in speed a bit.

[ 05-14-2002: Message edited by: hmurchison ]</p>
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post #10 of 239
reealistically couldn't the RAM be on a seperate bus from the rest of the mobo... I think that I saw this... That would mean that they could push the RAM up and still leave everything else behind untill they can get an archetecture that supposrts past 133MHz. Frankly, if they give 266MHz DDR RAM this New York, I don't see it as bad... maybe not quite what we want, but don't forget that the G5 is comming at some point and then I bet we'll see a bus boost of some kind. I won't see it as a bad thing unless I'm still seeing DDR RAM 266 in the foreccasts this time next year.
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post #11 of 239
1.4 GHz by July is way optimistic.
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post #12 of 239
I'll throw 2 cents in:

lowend: 1 GHz, 133 MHz SDRAM, cdrw, ATI
middle: 1.2 GHz, 266 MHz DDR RAM, superdrive, Nvidia
highend: 2x1.2 GHz, 266 MHz DDR RAM, superdrive, Nvidia

Of course, it won't matter much (the DDR) becuase the chip will probably still choke the FSB to 133 MHz.

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post #13 of 239
"1.4 GHz by July is way optimistic."

No, it's pessimistic.

In fact, it's pathetic.

Lemon Bon Bon

1.2 ghz? Yeah. That'll arrest the decline in Powermac sales.
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post #14 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by MaCommentary:
<strong>reealistically couldn't the RAM be on a seperate bus from the rest of the mobo... I think that I saw this... That would mean that they could push the RAM up and still leave everything else behind untill they can get an archetecture that supposrts past 133MHz. </strong><hr></blockquote>


This has been discussed repeatedly -- the problem is not the bus or the chipset, or the memory. The problem is that the bus going into the G4(s) is the MPX bus and it is limited currently to 64-bit 133 MHz non-DDR... i.e. ~1 GByte/sec.

Rackmount servers certainly do not have to be faster processors than the desktops -- different markets. The rackmount use of DDR makes sense because servers need lots of I/O bandwidth and DMA devices (Ethernet, ATA, FireWire, USB, PCI, AGP) can access this memory at full speed even if the main processor(s) can't. On a desktop machine, however, you really don't gain much. I suppose that DDR is no more expensive these days so there would be no cost to adopting this system and it would allow Apple to roll out its new chipset. I'm still hopeful that an enhanced G4 will come with the expected update of the PowerMacs @ MWNY (or whenever it happens now, given the new apparent "media event" policy).
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post #15 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon:
<strong>"1.4 GHz by July is way optimistic."

No, it's pessimistic.

In fact, it's pathetic.

Lemon Bon Bon

1.2 ghz? Yeah. That'll arrest the decline in Powermac sales. </strong><hr></blockquote>

I disagree... if its a new G4 with DDR support and/or other enhancements. I also don't think that 1.4 GHz is out of reach if they've moved to a new process as is expected.
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post #16 of 239
If the 7470 G4 -- the 0.13 micron version that's due out shortly -- does not support faster than a 133 bus, that means Apple is going to have to do this XServe hack with DDR for the disk drives and SDR for the processor in its desktop machines. While the XServe seems fine for a server, there are going to be a lot of disappointed folks on the desktop end.

Motorola officials give an interesting interview in the June Macworld, in which they openly state 0.13 is close at hand with the G4, and the G5 is still some way off. But the alarming thing is the suggestion in the article that 0.13 opens the way to "scaling to 1.3GHz." If that's all, Apple may well be stuck at 1.2 GHz for July, with 1.3, or 1.4 if they're lucky, once Motorola takes its own sweet time to scale the processor. The other implication of scaling to 1.3 means scaling to 10 times 133, and presumably no more than that. If these new 0.13 micron chips don't fully support DDR, this processor speed situation is going to look pretty embarrassing for Apple's appeal to high-end videographers and gamers. At least there's always the G4 iMac and the PowerBook to carry them.

Now, more than ever, it is going to be up to Apple to deliver the superior speed on software that OS X promises but hasn't yet delivered. If Jaguar is able to multi-task better than OS 9.1 was able to single-task (which, after all, is the main reason for so changing the OS), they should still be able to cover their tracks -- I would hope. But that suggests a lot more people buying system software upgrades than buying new computers.
post #17 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by Programmer:
<strong>I disagree... if its a new G4 with DDR support and/or other enhancements. I also don't think that 1.4 GHz is out of reach if they've moved to a new process as is expected.</strong><hr></blockquote>Seems kind of early to me to come out with totally new G4s. They just came out with the long-awaited Apollos a few months ago. I think we're just looking at a clock-speed increase.
post #18 of 239
Would the current chip design work with quad-proccessor systems? That would be a significant speed increase, even with 1 Ghz chips.
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post #19 of 239
Of course it should also be noted that the new G4s are already breaking the 200fps barrier on the toughest games when used with the high end graphics cards, and that in many key areas the software on the Mac more than makes up for any deficiencies in speed.

Still, under the circumstances of Motorola's processor development, I think Apple ought -- especially with the direction the iMac is taking of actually being useful to mid-range home and business users -- to consider making dual processors standard across the PowerMac line. If Jaguar does what it is supposed to, a policy of standard dual processors should by and large address most speed concerns as far as competitiveness with other platforms is concerned.
post #20 of 239
the powermacs perform decently, but apple is in the business of selling stylish computers (which is healthy in this industry), not cutting-edge performance. they will continue to boost specs in small disappointing increments, because they can (4% of the market share is plenty).

would be nice if apple offered style minus the lackluster specs.

i guess i'll have to settle for a dual 2.4Ghz P4 Xeon system with a gig of 800Mhz rdram. damn i guess i'll have to get used to windows, it's gonna be different running a stable operating system that runs everything under the sun.
post #21 of 239
[quote] i guess i'll have to settle for a dual 2.4Ghz P4 Xeon system with a gig of 800Mhz rdram. damn i guess i'll have to get used to windows, it's gonna be different running a stable operating system that runs everything under the sun. <hr></blockquote>

Don't let the swinging G4 access door hit you on the way out

I work with a bunch of people who deal with Windows on a daily basis, and it's not the OS you're describing.

Howabout: Install sound card, and mouse stops working?
Install video card, and it's stuck at only one res- 800x600 on a 21" monitor?
Date changes mysteriously in BIOS, leaving co-worker locked out of machine because computer is complaining that the clock is wrong?
I could go on, but most people's daily lives with Windows machines (that I have observed), can be summed up in two words:

NIGHT
MARE

And I plod along with my 450 mhz G4, loving every minute of it...
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post #22 of 239
About the coming new PowerMacs in July:

We can't promise multi-processor 2GHz G5s, but we can promise a performance leap of more than 100% in processing speed alone over the existing PowerMac....and major leaps in almost every category on the motherboard. - MOSR

They posted this today:

We have also been given a tantalizing sneak peek at what to expect from the next generation of PowerMacs due out this summer.
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post #23 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by Zenith:
<strong>About the coming new PowerMacs in July:

We can't promise multi-processor 2GHz G5s, but we can promise a performance leap of more than 100% in processing speed alone over the existing PowerMac....and major leaps in almost every category on the motherboard. - MOSR

They posted this today:

We have also been given a tantalizing sneak peek at what to expect from the next generation of PowerMacs due out this summer.</strong><hr></blockquote>

MOSR hasn't been posting "rumours" for some time, at least a couple of months - they're just posting news follow-ups to announcements (perhaps with some speculative analysis thrown in).

"We have also been given a tantalizing sneak..."

All this means is "Woah, look at the servers, DDR RAM". They don't mean they've seen something we haven't.

[ 05-14-2002: Message edited by: Clive ]</p>
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post #24 of 239
MOSR has nothing, when they do get something it is only moments before an actual announcement. They certainly haven't been shown anything about future PowerMacs. If meader ever gets a 'sneak peak' of anything, he'll get arrested for leud behavior before breach of NDA. The site is a joke, no one would ever show him a thing.
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post #25 of 239
Speculation on processor speeds:

I don't think the Xserve (the "XBox"!?) processor speeds are all that relevant to whether Apple *announces* new machines at MWNY (or Seybold).

- Apple has a history of announcing products before they are ready to ship (did it again today)

- Apple also has a history of fairly regular processor speed updates

Given that new Macs are announced at MWNY I think it's reasonable to assume that at least some of those configs won't be available until September or October, which is a more than reasonable time frame to boost the server processor speeds.
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post #26 of 239
Well, for what it's worth, I just read this @ Metafilter. If true, then they should just do it and get the pain and howling over with ASAP.



I think that Apple is preparing to move OSX onto AMD's new 64-bit architecture and that is why these ports are being made. I like Motorola a lot, but if Apple could make the move to the AMD-64 it would leapfrog MS/Intel's problems moving win to a 64-bit architecture and get a 2x-3x clockspeed boost. BSD on 64-bit x86-like hardware has already been done to boot... and the early reports say that AMD is hitting 2+Ghz on thier prototypes with much faster speeds on the way. Only problem is AMD doesn't have anyone to buy these chips from them as they are not Intel compat.

It might be everything we always wanted and more.

posted by n9 at 3:14 PM PST on May 14
post #27 of 239
I don't care what's in the next PowerMacs if they have those freakin awesome blinkin' lights for SMP processor useage like the XServe on the front panel.

[ 05-14-2002: Message edited by: Nostradamus ]</p>
post #28 of 239
No one has responded to my initial question. If you want a fater Mac, why not get a couple of Xservers and make them a workstation. I think that say 6 1ghz G4's (for under $10k) would outpower any DP Dell workstation.

Just my two cents.
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post #29 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by Nostradamus:
<strong>I don't care what's in the next PowerMacs if they have those freakin awesome blinkin' light for SMP processor useage like the XServe on the front panel.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I think they look pretty cool too, but I'm hoping for four rows of little blinky lights....

Oh, and I want a blue motherboard too.
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post #30 of 239
My wait for a .13u legitimate DDR product continues.

Concern:

Apple chose ATA-100, why not 133?

Ok, so they gave us 4 independent channels, but is it ATA100 or ATA66 which runs into a memory limit at around a 130GB?

A higher capacity limit is essential for macs in the coming year. A hard-drive upgrade is one of the few cost effective upgrades you can give to virtually any machine (to extend it's life) With current drives approaching the memory limit of the on-board controller, it will make upgrading your iMac's or PowerBook's HDD more of a headache than it needs to be. The speed difference between 100 and 133 is a moot point -- you need more than 2 drives to even notice and Apple gives multiple channels -- it's the space/partition limit issue that they need to adress.
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post #31 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by Pixelcolors:
<strong>No one has responded to my initial question. If you want a fater Mac, why not get a couple of Xservers and make them a workstation. I think that say 6 1ghz G4's (for under $10k) would outpower any DP Dell workstation.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well Apple is talking about clustering, so, who knows. But I think that to get something to cluster (ie software) you need to write it to do so.

Perhaps Apple could write an API that off-loads processing to multiple clustered units, but i don't think that functionality is there now.
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post #32 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by Matsu:
<strong>My wait for a .13u legitimate DDR product continues.

Concern:

Apple chose ATA-100, why not 133?

Ok, so they gave us 4 independent channels, but is it ATA100 or ATA66 which runs into a memory limit at around a 130GB?

A higher capacity limit is essential for macs in the coming year. A hard-drive upgrade is one of the few cost effective upgrades you can give to virtually any machine (to extend it's life) With current drives approaching the memory limit of the on-board controller, it will make upgrading your iMac's or PowerBook's HDD more of a headache than it needs to be. The speed difference between 100 and 133 is a moot point -- you need more than 2 drives to even notice and Apple gives multiple channels -- it's the space/partition limit issue that they need to adress.</strong><hr></blockquote>

137GB is the limit on ATA-100 that I can find.

ATA-133 =&gt; An evolution of ATA-100 and using the same 80-wire, 40-pin IDE cables, Maxtor's new ATA-133 standard manages to take the maximum theoretical transfer rate of the ATA standard up another 33% to 133 MB/s. Another Maxtor initiative called "Big Drives" breaks the 137GB disk size barrier set by today's current 24-bit Logical Block Addressing. So, if you tried to use a 140 or 160GB drive on a current motherboard or Ultra ATA-100 IDE controller, it would only recognize as 137GB, unfortunately wasting all the leftover space that you're paying extra for. The "Big Drive" technology breaks this 137GB barrier by using a new 48-bit LBA pattern, which can handle drives up to 144 Petabytes (that's 144,000,000 gigabytes).

[ 05-14-2002: Message edited by: NoahJ ]</p>
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post #33 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by Pixelcolors:
<strong>No one has responded to my initial question. If you want a fater Mac, why not get a couple of Xservers and make them a workstation. I think that say 6 1ghz G4's (for under $10k) would outpower any DP Dell workstation.

Just my two cents.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Not for day to day work like Adobe Photoshop and such. But if you were rendering lightwave and Maya, definately, with the right software.
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post #34 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>
Another Maxtor initiative called "Big Drives" breaks the 137GB disk size barrier set by today's current 24-bit Logical Block Addressing. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Nitpicking, I know, but still: LBA adresses are 28 bits wide, not 24.

Bye,
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post #35 of 239
Can I remind people that Motorola have only managed to increase the G4 clock speed by 0.5 Ghz in the last two years, what makes anyone think they can boost it by nearly that again in the next two months?

1.4 Ghz in July? don't make me laugh!

1.2 would be borderline plausible, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is no speed bump in July at all, maybe the low end models will climb the Mhz ladder and the prices all go down. Perhaps they may also try and distract us with some Bluetooth tech.

I doubt a multibutton Apple mouse is on the way either, this goes against Apple user interface doctrine, and with Steve in charge, ethos is everything.

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post #36 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by Socrates:
<strong>Can I remind people that Motorola have only managed to increase the G4 clock speed by 0.5 Ghz in the last two years, what makes anyone think they can boost it by nearly that again in the next two months?</strong><hr></blockquote>Yeah, it's actually been almost three years now.

August, 1999: 500Mhz G4 is introduced.
post #37 of 239
Please clue me in ... 'cause I ain't all hip and rockin' with this DDR thingy ...

... If the new Apple servers have DDR Ram in them already, what's the big deal? Aren't all machine's with DDR running a bus speed of 133? In other words, if Apple's limited to 133, how can it get away with RAM that runs at 266?

What exactly is the "hack" that people speak of?

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post #38 of 239
[quote]Originally posted by OverToasty:
<strong>Please clue me in ... 'cause I ain't all hip and rockin' with this DDR thingy ...

... If the new Apple servers have DDR Ram in them already, what's the big deal? Aren't all machine's with DDR running a bus speed of 133? In other words, if Apple's limited to 133, how can it get away with RAM that runs at 266?

What exactly is the "hack" that people speak of?

no capito</strong><hr></blockquote>



Pay attention to the 1GB/s that the memory controller (which is part of the system controller here) is connected to the two G4s with.

So it's like there's a 4 lane highway from the memory to the system controller, but once you get there it narrows down to a 2 lane highway to get to the CPUs, and you have a traffic jam.
post #39 of 239
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Look at <a href="http://arstechnica.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=tpc&s=50009562&f=8300945231&m=369093875 4&p=8" target="_blank">this</a> thread at ARS.

[quote]It's still using the same Motorola MCP7455 CPU. The bus design on that processor hasn't changed, thus it's still the 133MHz SDR, 1GB/sec bus that we're familiar with from previous Macs.<hr></blockquote>

It's like trying to stuff a marshmallow into the slot of a piggy bank. All of the info is screaming towards the processor only to hit a huge traffic jam and sitting.

I doubt that there is much performance improvement in this system over the current Dual GHz towers.
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post #40 of 239
Of course it should also be noted that the new G4s are already breaking the 200fps barrier on the toughest games when used with the high end graphics cards

Are you joking? In Q3A a DP 1GHz w/ a Radeon 8500 or GF3 gets only 150FPS at 640x480. Q3A is not one of the "toughest games" either, and that limit appears to be because of the processor/bus, *not* the card. Try running RtCW on *any* Mac with *any* card and getting 200FPS with *any* settings....dumbass.
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