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new info from macbidouille : 2.3GHz ! - Page 2

post #41 of 164
Public perception is that the PowerMac line is fataly underpowered. Apple therefore would certainly not use that name for the new line of 970 computers. Aggressive pricing is neither here nor there. They have lowered prices on consumer machines and the aging PowerMac line (they had no choice on the latter). But prices are still higher then the low-end Dells and Gateways. It is true that on the high-end models by Dell and Gateway, iMacs are very competitive price and feature-wise.
These new 970 machines will certainly be more expensive then the lowest priced PowerMac, you can bet on that.
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post #42 of 164
Quote:
These new 970 machines will certainly be more expensive then the lowest priced PowerMac, you can bet on that.

Wouldn't you need at least a little info before making such a careless wager?

Do you really think that a PPC 970 will be more expensive than a G4.

Some factors you may want to consider.

The G4 is 106mm squared @ .18um
The G4 requires L3 cache to increase performance.
The G4 hasn't had what one might say is Stellar Yields.

now...compare that to the PPC 970

The PPC 970 is 121mm squared. Just about %14 larger
It doesn't require L3 cache to boost speed.
We don't know what Yields will be like.

The real questions that must be asked are

"what is the cost of supporting chipsets for PPC 970's"

"Are these costs offset enough by ability to forgo on L3 cache"

"Will Apple seek to recoup R&D or increase marketshare"


I think you find that PPC 970 system can be created at the very same price points of the current Powermacs. Maybe even cheaper when you compare the pricing of two 1.25Ghz chips versus one 1.8Ghz PPC 970.

PPC 970s being high end only just doesn't add up right now. Fred Anderson says 10 Billion in revenue is possible with all cylinder clicking. I believe Apple will be doing the 970 systems right.
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post #43 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by MacsRGood4U
Public perception is that the PowerMac line is fataly underpowered. Apple therefore would certainly not use that name for the new line of 970 computers. Aggressive pricing is neither here nor there. They have lowered prices on consumer machines and the aging PowerMac line (they had no choice on the latter). But prices are still higher then the low-end Dells and Gateways. It is true that on the high-end models by Dell and Gateway, iMacs are very competitive price and feature-wise.
These new 970 machines will certainly be more expensive then the lowest priced PowerMac, you can bet on that.

Actually, for some reason, I think Apple is going to discontinue the PowerMac line as we know it, and introduce an all 970 line. The reason why is that Apple desperatly needs to do something with their Pro line-up. You know it, I know it, and the definatly know it (ref. Fred Anderson).

It wouldn't surprise me if they did something like this:

1.4 Ghz $1399 Combo Drive 60GB 512MB
1.8 GHz $1799 Combo Drive 80GB 768MB
1.8DP GHz $2199 Super Drive 100GB 768MB
2.3DP GHz $2599 Super Drive 120GB 1 GB

I know it sounds far fetched. It sounds that way coming from my fingers, however I have never heard Fred Anderson sound so committed to reducing the costs of the Macintosh.

FYI - The 970 is supposed to be cheaper to manufacture because of the type of facilities that IBM has available to them, whereas Motorola didn't for desktops.

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post #44 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by MacsRGood4U
These 970 machines will not be PowerMacs. Besides a new form factor they will have a new name. They will initially be aimed at the pro-user and not for g'ds sake sell for $1499. Any new processor based machine has always had a premium price at first intro. Until full speed manufacturing is achieved (with less rejects) don't look for the processor for at least a year in lower priced machines. Apple is going after the movie and graphics industry with these new "extreme" machines, not the gamer in college. Get real people.

Being quite real about it, that would be the death knell for Apple. Even as fast as the current PowerMacs are, if Apple decides to only perform incremental speed bumps at the same price points for another year or two my company will have no choice but to drop Mac support. It's not a threat, it's simple economics. They're no way I would be able to continue to justify the premium for performance that's just... unstellar.

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post #45 of 164
i have reason to believe that even with those specs.
you will find the 970's to be stellar!
that has nothing to do with economics!
post #46 of 164
As a point of interest, when has a new processor (from IBM or Moto) ever been less expensive then the previous one when first used in an Apple computer? I'm not referring to speed bumps, but new designs.
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post #47 of 164
I don't know about the processors, but I know that new Powermac models almost never cost more than the previous lineup. Or at least that has been the cas for the last <2 years. Color me stupid.
post #48 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Apple would practically have to give the current Powermacs away.

I'm assuming that the PPC 970 1.4Ghz system would enter no higher than 1499. Apple would need to blow out the current entry level Powermac for like $1099. Larger cuts may be needed. But who cares...this is the beginning of a new era. Apple can take the hit if they are actually able to hit these speeds.

I still wonder about the Dual 2.3 though. That's alot of heat!

Look at what Apple did with the G4 Cube. Though it was single 450mhz, others are running a dual 1ghz processor in a Cube. If the end user can do that, Apple can manage to keep the heat down in a tower.
post #49 of 164
The cost of the processor is irrelevent. The important element is what Apple will charge.

That very much depends on the line up. Are we going to ever see the PC7457-RM in any machines and if so how will that effect the PM line up? There is no question that the MPC7457-RM would be a significant improvement, which would allow Apple to position 970 based machines at a premium.

On the other hand, the G4 based PM's are a joke in the sense that they are no longer competitive in the media based applications, so is there a market for middeling performance machines.

We have all seen the adverse publicity around the Adobe comparrison. I hope that the experiment is repeated when 970 machines are released.
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post #50 of 164
I am hoping to add 970's to our companies desktops.

I'm praying for an aggressive price point to be able to do this.

Beginning with my Graphics station I need to justify the price over the $1400 spent on a Dell that came with a nice 19" Monitor, harman/kardon speakers and subwoofer (bought Sept. 2001), in addition to the costs of switching / cross-grading Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.

Apple needs to understand this scenario if they are going to gain market-share. Pricing systems need to take into account the cost of unseating the non Mac systems as well as the hardware costs. This also holds true for production houses moving from 9 to X.

Cost of ownership is a wash between OS X and XP as well as hardware reliability (with Dell) in my opinion.

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post #51 of 164
I don't care whether it is sub-1500 or not, but whether it can whip the asses of comparably priced PCs.
post #52 of 164
I'm putting off all purchases until I see these 2.3GHz Duals. If this processor performs better than a Power4 in different areas I would not be all that worried about about a Dual Xeon at all. Although, if these machines are not so hot I'm buying a Dual Xeon, and keeping my current PowerMac.
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post #53 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by whoami
i have reason to believe that even with those specs.
you will find the 970's to be stellar!

Don't get me wrong, I believe that Apple will introduce the PPC970 across the PowerMac line as soon as possible, and at prices at or lower the than current ones. At these prices the performance we'll see (keeping fingers crossed that the disk access and virtual memory management shims will have improved by them) be spectacular. They've set a goal for a 5% marketshare and more aggressive pricing, and I'm taking this to heart.

My "death knell" comment was in response to the implication that Apple would keep the current PowerMac line, and only introduce the PPC970 in a new premium workstation and/or low end server line aimed at graphics and video professionals. Well, we've got a couple hundred Mac desktops and laptops, and only two (soon to be three) Mac servers. Once the PPC970 is out there the ugly lack of performance in the single processor G4 boxes will be ripped wide open. If they're not targeting the "affordable" desktop market with the PPC970 boxes, then I won't be buying. I'm sure a lot of other folks feel the same way, I'm sure Apple knows this, and I'm darned sure we'll see PPC970 Macs priced where everyone will want to buy one. That's how you build market share.

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post #54 of 164
I believe that a dual 2.3 is entirely plausible. Yeah, it may cost $5,000, it may require its own reactor, and it may heat a small village, but it will leave no question that the performance gap is officially closed. Just a little jab to the Wintel world, "Here's what we got." And it will only get better.
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post #55 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
You mean exactly like they did with the Quicksilver 1Ghz - dual at the top only? Of course it's possible they would put the top chip in the dual. The reason this isn't to be trusted isn't because they woudn't do that, it's because 1) MacBeDoobie has no track record, and 2) because a 2.3Ghz machine isn't consistent with what we currently know about the 970.

I think the situation is a bit different -- with the QS 1 GHz their yields were pretty good and they were falling way behind compared to x86... they didn't really have a choice but to try and compete. The 970 will stand up much better and a dual 1.8 would be cooler, plenty fast, and would yield well. @2.3 GHz the power output is going to be close to 60W, so two of them would be 120W. That's an awful lot of power and heat.
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post #56 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by Krassy
this makes no sense - why the hell is there a lower Mhz difference between the two slower machines with just one cpu and a 500 Mhz difference to the faster one with two cpus? i think 1.4 single, 1.8 dual, 2.x dual or even 1.4 SP, 1.6 DP and 2.0 DP will make much more sense... ???????????????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actually, it's not that far off. 1.4-1.8 is 400mhz. 1.8-2.3 is 500mhz, so not that much of a difference. Apple has had top end with duals only before, and a dual 2.3ghz would be the closest Apple would have to a workstation type speed/config for highend users.

I didn't think the 970 went to 2.3ghz tho, I thought it only scaled to 1.8-2.0ghz and the taking it to .09nm (?) would allow it to scale to 2.4ghz and then the 970+ would scale close to 3.0ghz.
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post #57 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by Addison
The cost of the processor is irrelevent. The important element is what Apple will charge.

Yes, it's not a matter of economy. It's a matter of marketing. Hypothetic dual 970@2.3 GHz just cannot be priced as current dual G4@1.4 GHz. Even if it's economically possible, they can't afford it.
I have several technical questions: is the dual PPC970@2.3 GHz likely in terms of the bus speed, companion chip, memory controller etc.? Can they simply install some jumpers on the motherboard to set the CPU/bus frequency they want (like in your $500 PC)? Can we now tell anything certain about the companion chips design?
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post #58 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by costique
Yes, it's not a matter of economy. It's a matter of marketing. Hypothetic dual 970@2.3 GHz just cannot be priced as current dual G4@1.4 GHz. Even if it's economically possible, they can't afford it.
I have several technical questions: is the dual PPC970@2.3 GHz likely in terms of the bus speed, companion chip, memory controller etc.? Can they simply install some jumpers on the motherboard to set the CPU/bus frequency they want (like in your $500 PC)? Can we now tell anything certain about the companion chips design?

Correct me if i'm wrong, but i think the frontside bus of the 970 is locked to half the processor speed. For a 2.3 ghz 970 you will have a doublepumped 575mhz bus = 1,15 ghz. The 970 has a memory controller built in, and you will obviously need to have a pretty fast memory system to saturate the bandwith of the processor bus.
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post #59 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by NETROMac
Correct me if i'm wrong, but i think the frontside bus of the 970 is locked to half the processor speed. For a 2.3 ghz 970 you will have a doublepumped 575mhz bus = 1,15 ghz. The 970 has a memory controller built in, and you will obviously need to have a pretty fast memory system to saturate the bandwith of the processor bus.

I'm sorry I might have phrased my question poorly. For all we know, yes, 970 is locked to half the processor speed. Can they clock it to any reasonably arbitrary figure? Double-pumped 450MHz for 1.8GHz or double-pumped 750MHz for 3GHz CPUs? Is it all as simple as setting a couple of jumpers on the motherboard? I am not sure about it because the said 575MHz bus sounds a bit crazy. Does Apple have such chips at all?
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post #60 of 164
Costique please elaborate on
quote: _ _ _ _ \t _
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, it's not a matter of economy. It's a matter of marketing. Hypothetic dual 970@2.3 GHz just cannot be priced as current dual G4@1.4 GHz. Even if it's economically possible, they can't afford it.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

So even if the price of the 970 for Apple is the same as they pay for the G4 there is a some law of nature that stops Apple from selling them at the same pricepoint?

If Apple was the dominant supplier of personal computers they could charge far more for the 970 than the G4. But with less than 5% market share and more than 3 years of very poor CPU performance and failing tower sales they can not do that.

The dual 2.3 GHz 970 might be a pentium killer, but only if the stage is set right. In non SMP application or against dual Xeon it will not be a killer, as it looks. It will fare much better than the G4 and keep its ground but probably not beat the Pentiums.

Exactly what market beaviour stops apple from selling much faster 970 at the same price as the current towers?
The Mac user: This 970 tower is much faser than the dual 1.25 I bought a year ago! So I will either keep my G4 or buy a windows box!
The PC user: That top of the line Mac sure is faster than my current P4 3 GHz! To bad it is too cheap, I better find the most expensive brand of dual Xeon boxes on the market!

When the B&W G3 came out, crammed with new features and blazing performance (compared both with Mac and PC). The low end G3/300 was priced simliar to the previous low end and it was faster than the previous top of the line beige G3. I do not recall any uproar of dissapointment with that
post #61 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by costique
I'm sorry I might have phrased my question poorly. For all we know, yes, 970 is locked to half the processor speed. Can they clock it to any reasonably arbitrary figure? Double-pumped 450MHz for 1.8GHz or double-pumped 750MHz for 3GHz CPUs? Is it all as simple as setting a couple of jumpers on the motherboard? I am not sure about it because the said 575MHz bus sounds a bit crazy. Does Apple have such chips at all?

I asked the same question about that bus speed a few weeks ago. It seems to be what people who are "in the know" think.
If Apple has the processor yet is an entirely different question. But before we thought we knew that it was going to be in a PowerMac those outrageous sounding bus speeds were explained a few times, and it made perfect sense. And actually, it does not seem that unreasonable once you crunch other #'s based on what is known about it's architecture.
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post #62 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by DrBoar
So even if the price of the 970 for Apple is the same as they pay for the G4 there is a some law of nature that stops Apple from selling them at the same pricepoint?

I may be too pessimistic about Apple's pricing policy, but something tells me that they won't miss their chance to charge maximum for their best desktops if they prove to outperform Intel's offerings. I really hope I'm mistaken about Jobs since I want my super Mac for some $2k. I really hope he won't say, "Here is an ultimate workstation with four times more horsepower than in any desktop the world has ever seen. It's worth its 5 grand, isn't it?"

Well, just ignore all of the above.
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post #63 of 164
Don't you think that Apple will take this opportunity to sell the 970 at a competitive price?

Recent trends suggest Apple have realised they can't charge too much of a premium for the Mac experience.

I expect the 970 to be priced similar to last year's "good, better, best" Powermacs, and the G4 Powermac as we know it will be discontinued.

I would still love to see a Cube 2 based on a single 1.42ghz G4 sell for less than $900...
post #64 of 164
Here is why I think the chip will be 1) cheap and 2) plentiful.

Cheap: The chip is small. IBM wants to sell lots. It did not cost alot to design as it was produced in parallel with the Power 4+ (I would put money on the ALU, FPU, memory controller and other major systems being identical, with AltiVec added and the scheduler modified). And because they will be plentiful...

Plentiful: IBM already have experience fabbing a similar chip, the Power 4+, in the same process. That means IBM's fabs gurus already have experience how to acheive good yields, modifications to make to improve reliability (which would flow from the design process of the Power 4+) one or two spins of the Power 4+ design to get detailed real-life optimisation data from. The tweaks to the CAD files to get everything working properly.

Apple are lucky that IBM went about it this way and didn't try to debug the process problems with the 970 instead of the power 4+.
post #65 of 164
If Apple drops 970's into the current prices (assuming a 2.3Ghz high end) with the same SP, DP, DP line-up, then they'll have done OK. If they go any higher, they're idiots. Right now their machines cost a LOT more for a lot less performance, if they get to the point where they're offering a little more (or a moderate amount more) performance at the same prices the currently have, then they're doing OK, but if they have to charge astronomically more for just a bit more performance, then that universal law (OF STUPIDITY) alluded to earlier will surely kick in as Apple and Jobs kick each other in the balls yet again.

Apple has lost a lot of pro customers. Winning them back entails more than just having up to date performance. These people held on to the mac a long time because they had big investments in software, investments that easily surpass the cost of the box (per seat) in many cases. Now many of them have PC boxes and a shed load of apps and work flow tailored to said boxen. Switching back, just to gain a little performance won't be worth it, especially since any "switcher" (which in the case of pro boxen entails mac to PC) is well aware of the performance set-backs Apple can run into from time to time as opposed to the steady incremental updates available in wintelon land. Those people just spent a lot of money because Apple basically drop them away in an unprecedented show of ineptitude. They probably loved thei macs, a lot, but they aren't coming back unless they see a few generations of positive development, a steady stream of updates, a secure direction/upgrade path unfolding.

Apple has to compete. 64 bitness probably helps a lot (for some key pro markets) but everything has to count, the formula has to be honed as sharply as possible and PRICE is a major component. One of the problems with these switch-awayers is that now they've seen that they can get a lot more for a lot less and that despite mac community FUD, it works just as well, or nearly as well as makes no difference. The various app jockeys live in the app, that IS their platform, OSX vs XP means nothing to them.

PRICE PRICE PRICE you have to work TWICE as hard to win a customer back than you do to keep him, and Apple has a whole lot of customers to win back.

And come one now people, a 970 will not be 5-6 times faster than a G4. A P4 is 5-6 times faster on benchmarks, but we know it's only 2X faster in real life. ONLY!?!? Expect the 970 to be similar about 2X faster in the real world, though the FSB ought to really let altivec and MP configs shine.
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post #66 of 164
I agree with Matsu.

The whole problem with current perception is the price/performance aspect. Getting a better hold in areas that Apple is actively seeking (i.e. compositing, scientific analysis and even 3D) means that they have to offer a better alternative. The performance of current powermac offerings is not adequate for their price (at least when you consider that a 970 may be just around the corner), however at the current price-point a 970 based Mac would be extremely attractive indeed. Apple is aware that they cannot charge more, because price is still a major concern for buyers and especially when the performance difference of the 970 versus a 3 GHz Xeon is not enough to warrant companies moving BACK to Apple if their products are still not competitive.

And as Placebo has said the price of Macs has been coming down all the time. I do not think (even with the intoduction of a new processor) that they will price themselves out of the market.

They must maintain financial parity with Intel as well as performance parity.

However that isn't to say that they will not offer a higher end solution which will warrant an increase in price, I just think that the 970 will remain affordable, for those people that can currently afford a powermac.
post #67 of 164
Its tough to talk about how much faster these machines are going to be since all we have to go on is a short MDF presentation, some knowledge about POWER4, and a whole lot of supposition and guesswork.

The SPECmarks are roughly 4 times higher than for the G4 which obviously means that there is going to be some software that runs 4 times faster. Due to the 970's out-of-order-execution capabilities this is probably going to be software that currently under-performs on the G4 -- i.e. in general the software which performs the worst relative to the x86 will demonstrate the biggest improvements.

Carefully optimized G4 software will run faster, but 2x is a more reasonable guess for the improvement and in some cases it may just be the same speed clock-for-clock (e.g. carefully written AltiVec code that isn't bandwidth bound). If software is re-optimized for the 970 instead it should be reasonable to see more of a speed up.

Bandwidth limited code will certainly run faster, but exactly how much faster will depend on Apple's memory subsystem -- probably no more than a 6x improvement, and only that on software which is totally read & write bound in an even balance. 2-3x is probably going to be the norm if Apple has a good DDR333 or DDR400 implementation.

If Apple gets the 64-bit OS out the door and those high end video editing and server apps arrive then we could see massive performance improvements because now instead of going to disk it can just operate out of memory. In cases where this has happened (i.e. eliminating disk operations) we typically see improvements in the 1000x range, but because we're talking about going from 32-bit (lots of memory) to 64-bit (vast amounts of memory) only apps which truly require vast amounts of memory will see the improvement.

And, of course, its worth pointing out that having a superfast machine doesn't speed up some things -- network speeds, external bus speeds, real-time external events, the user, etc.


edit: I forgot to mention the reason I said all of this. If Apple can build a machine (say a 2.3 GHz DP) in limited numbers that will address a particular market (say film compositing) and deliver a massive performance improvement over the competition (say 10x), then you can bet that they'll charge what the market will bear. Over time they will drop the price to "reasonable" levels.
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post #68 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by Matsu
If Apple drops 970's into the current prices (assuming a 2.3Ghz high end) with the same SP, DP, DP line-up, then they'll have done OK. If they go any higher, they're idiots. Right now their machines cost a LOT more for a lot less performance, if they get to the point where they're offering a little more (or a moderate amount more) performance at the same prices the currently have, then they're doing OK, but if they have to charge astronomically more for just a bit more performance, then that universal law (OF STUPIDITY) alluded to earlier will surely kick in as Apple and Jobs kick each other in the balls yet again.

Apple has lost a lot of pro customers. Winning them back entails more than just having up to date performance. These people held on to the mac a long time because they had big investments in software, investments that easily surpass the cost of the box (per seat) in many cases. Now many of them have PC boxes and a shed load of apps and work flow tailored to said boxen. Switching back, just to gain a little performance won't be worth it, especially since any "switcher" (which in the case of pro boxen entails mac to PC) is well aware of the performance set-backs Apple can run into from time to time as opposed to the steady incremental updates available in wintelon land. Those people just spent a lot of money because Apple basically drop them away in an unprecedented show of ineptitude. They probably loved thei macs, a lot, but they aren't coming back unless they see a few generations of positive development, a steady stream of updates, a secure direction/upgrade path unfolding.

Apple has to compete. 64 bitness probably helps a lot (for some key pro markets) but everything has to count, the formula has to be honed as sharply as possible and PRICE is a major component. One of the problems with these switch-awayers is that now they've seen that they can get a lot more for a lot less and that despite mac community FUD, it works just as well, or nearly as well as makes no difference. The various app jockeys live in the app, that IS their platform, OSX vs XP means nothing to them.

PRICE PRICE PRICE you have to work TWICE as hard to win a customer back than you do to keep him, and Apple has a whole lot of customers to win back.

And come one now people, a 970 will not be 5-6 times faster than a G4. A P4 is 5-6 times faster on benchmarks, but we know it's only 2X faster in real life. ONLY!?!? Expect the 970 to be similar about 2X faster in the real world, though the FSB ought to really let altivec and MP configs shine.

Well I disagree on a technical level. The 970s are 1 1/2- 2 times faster then g$s at their same speeds. So a 1.0ghz 970 would crush the dual 1.42ghz G4s. I'd pay the same OR a few hundred more to get that performance.

Your price/performance argument will no longer hold water as the 970 will greatly deliver performance we've never seen and very few on the PC side have. So even to slightly raise would not be stupid.

Now that was tecnical, realistically, I hope Apple actually lowers the price to $1399-$1499 for the lowend. I remember a while ago in these forums someone priced out what it would cost to build a powermac with the parts and it came up pretty cheap. I'm hoping Apple can price nicely with these speed dominating chips and it would be an all out speed/spec/price war that Apple could finally win. And when they do, I think they'll win some market share too.
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post #69 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by KidRed:
Well I disagree on a technical level. The 970s are 1 1/2- 2 times faster then g$s at their same speeds. So a 1.0ghz 970 would crush the dual 1.42ghz G4s. I'd pay the same OR a few hundred more to get that performance.

Your price/performance argument will no longer hold water as the 970 will greatly deliver performance we've never seen and very few on the PC side have. So even to slightly raise would not be stupid.

But you are already a Mac user, and you are on these forums. I am not sure that as many 'pros' are as discerning about their purchases (the old MHz myth may rear its ugly head again). Apple needs to sell at least as fast a 970 as they currently sell G4s because people still see that 1 is less than 1.4 even if they are twice as powerful.

And that brings me onto another point which is perception of speed. I have never seen 970 in action but I sincerely doubt that the speed advantages over Intel that it offers will be that perceptible unless doing really high end stuff (the fact that Acrobat launces in zero or one bounce is really not here or there to most people). 3D renders, yes.

It is still about attracting serious users, who wouldn't ordinarily consider Apple, to consider Apple. (Bad grammar I know.) Any price difference remains a sticking point.

(I think however that they would be foolish to lower the price any further. The prices of the PMs now are pretty much the sweet spot as far as it goes. Excellent performance would be a bonus )

The fact that the 970 is 64 bit will be the key to Apple marketing (twice as many bits as a Pentium!!)
post #70 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by Programmer
edit: I forgot to mention the reason I said all of this. If Apple can build a machine (say a 2.3 GHz DP) in limited numbers that will address a particular market (say film compositing) and deliver a massive performance improvement over the competition (say 10x), then you can bet that they'll charge what the market will bear. Over time they will drop the price to "reasonable" levels.

This hits the nail right on the head. All the arguments about what Apple "ought" to be selling their products for boil down to this: What are people willing to pay?

If I produce a widget that people are willing to pay $50 for, then that is what I charge for it. If it costs me $60 to make, then I have no business.If it only costs me $1 to make, then bully for me. I could sell more at $40, but would I sell enough more to make more net?

Just for argument, let's say my widget costs me $20 to make. If I could sell 10% more at $40, it's a losing proposition. I gross $5000 selling 100 for $50, but only $4400 by selling 110 for $40. My net at $50 is $3000, while at $40 it is only $2200. I gain some economies of scale at higher volumes, but my cost of production would have to drop 35% (below $13 per unit) to make the same amount of money at the $40 price point as at the $50 price. Alternatively, if my research showed that I could sell 50% more at $40, then the lower price is the more profitable (I'll leave the calculation to you).

Apple has done all this math. They have good estimates as to how many units of each product they can sell at a variety of different price points. They know how their cost of manufaturing will vary with number of units produced. They know what the ideal price points are to maximize their profits. Apple has been content to price their products to maximize net profits for many years - which is why they're still making money, despite their "high-priced" products.

Building market share is a different matter. You "buy" market share with current profits - making less net temporarily with the hope of gaining more net later. More accurately, you're borrowing current profits and investing them, to be paid back with interest through higher revenue and profits in the future. This is another economic calculation. Is the Return on Investment (ROI) going to be worth it? Could the company make more money by doing something else with their profits? The company might be better off investing current profits in shares of another company, or simply banking it. This seems to be Apple's position at the moment - building market share with their current products simply doesn't have enough ROI. In other words, Apple can't boost their market share enough by cutting the prices of current hardware to make it worth their while. They would have to lower the prices so far that they would end up making nothing per unit (or overall), which would not be compensated for by sufficiently higher profits later. Consequently they're treading water, leaving market share alone and simply maximizing profits. In a down economy where nearly every other computer maker is hemorraging money, they are doing masterfully well.

The 970 offers a way to break the cycle and give Apple a chance to build both profits and market share. In my widget example, the 970 represents a "Widget Deluxe". It is so much cooler than my current widget, that I can sell 100 of them for $75, while they only cost me $25 to make. Instead of selling them for $75, though, I charge $60 and sell 125 of them. Now I'm making more net AND expanding my market share. My investors are delirious. As the Widget Deluxe matures and my cost of production drops, I cut the price accordingly, maintaining profits and still boosting market share.

I teach Chemistry, not Economics, but there's a lot of overlap in the concepts. Keeping a major corporation going is exceedingly complex. I'm confident the economists and accountants at Apple know what they are doing. The 970s ought to come in at higher price points than current hardware simply because they represent much higher performance per dollar. I also see a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuvering to allow the 970 to start driving Apple's market share up rather rapidly, as well. I think the next 12-18 months are going to be rather interesting.
"Mathematics is the language with which God has written the Universe" - Galileo Galilei
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"Mathematics is the language with which God has written the Universe" - Galileo Galilei
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post #71 of 164
I understand your point TJM and it is exactly how Apple does the business. (What they foresee they can charge to keep producing quality stuff.) And like I said, I think they may very well offer a 'super-duper' powermac which may very well cost more than the current 'ultimate'. But they cannot offer ALL the 970 based offerings (assuming that the G4 powermac will no longer be sold) at a higher price-point than current. All people see is 'this entry level powermac used to cost me £1100 and now it costs £1400' even if the performance is significantly better (which, after all is what is expected in real terms).

This is why so many people have a problem with the new 1 GHz PM; yes it is cheaper and yes it is faster (133 MHz) than the previous one, but with the previous version you got a whole extra processor. Is the new one better value?

How much faster would the 970 have to be over the current offerings (in real terms) to justify a price increase for the average self-employed photoshopper who just can't get away with doing his work on an iMac?

[My questions are rhetorical btw ]
post #72 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by TJM
I'm confident the economists and accountants at Apple know what they are doing.

Prepare to be branded an apologist.

Don't you know that everyone here knows how to run Apple better than Apple?
post #73 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by DaveLee
But you are already a Mac user, and you are on these forums. I am not sure that as many 'pros' are as discerning about their purchases (the old MHz myth may rear its ugly head again). Apple needs to sell at least as fast a 970 as they currently sell G4s because people still see that 1 is less than 1.4 even if they are twice as powerful.

And that brings me onto another point which is perception of speed. I have never seen 970 in action but I sincerely doubt that the speed advantages over Intel that it offers will be that perceptible unless doing really high end stuff (the fact that Acrobat launces in zero or one bounce is really not here or there to most people). 3D renders, yes.

It is still about attracting serious users, who wouldn't ordinarily consider Apple, to consider Apple. (Bad grammar I know.) Any price difference remains a sticking point.

(I think however that they would be foolish to lower the price any further. The prices of the PMs now are pretty much the sweet spot as far as it goes. Excellent performance would be a bonus )

The fact that the 970 is 64 bit will be the key to Apple marketing (twice as many bits as a Pentium!!)

I wasn't suggesting that Apple release a 1.0ghz 970, I was using that to compare to Apple's current fastest machine and to say that it would [970] whip the dual 1.42ghz G4's ass. Following the top end becomes the low end tradition at Apple [until recently] I'd expect 1.4ghz, 1.6ghz & 18.ghzghz. If we get a 2.3ghz I'll be ecstatic.

Yes, I do think regula rusers would see a difference between the 970 and P4s, escpeically if panther is faster like late rumors are claiming. A fast X and 970 will make PMs look very attractive at any price.
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post #74 of 164
IN ORDER FOR THE POWERMAC 970 TO SUCCEED, APPLE NEEDS TO STOCK THE FASTEST AVAILABLE IN THEIR MACHINES. Oops! CAPS LOCK! If Apple wants to enter the cut throat place that is the high-end workstation arena, Apple needs to keep the computers advancing as fast as they can possibly manage. I can imagine Schiller saying "Who cares if this upgrade to the 970 makes the last line of models unbearably obsolete?" That's the way Apple needs to think.
post #75 of 164
It almost seems like Apple is incapable of releasing anything "high-end" and under $3000. We are all used to Apple's relatively higher prices, but a lot of pc users just don't get it. My brother built himself a gaming pc, the computer(and all parts) itself cost $800, that's for a 2.4 P4(that is easily clockable to a 3.0...he has GREAT cooling) a Geforce4 ti 4200, 80 gig HD, 512 DDR ram, 533 system bus...etc. Coupled with the 19 inch monitor he bought for it, it totalled at just under $1300.

$1300 for a computer that can play all the latest games, and do web browsing and all that stuff.


Though he has switched from Macs to Pcs, he still yearns for a Powerbook, or at least some powerful mac to mess around with, he is pretty impressed with OS X.
I was on smalldog.com and he was seeing the prices(that I considered great) of like $1999 or $2300 for dual 1.25s with various options and he just couldn't believe it. Sitting there thikning about it, I couldn't believe it either.

It would be great if apple sunk the prices on the current g4 line-up to the absolute lowest they could possibly go. And if they intro'ed the new 970s at $100 lower price-points at least.

yeah...and if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his ass when he hopped.
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post #76 of 164
apple should keep prices realistic...
my first mac was a powerbook
would i buy one of the current pro machines ? ..nope

i work with large databases & do a lot of coding
would one of the 64bit cpu's insterest me ?
definitely..

however apple has a nasty tendency to nickel
& dime their customers & they need to change that
perception if they want to cater to the high end/mid end
i not talking about just gfx in general

apple needs to move beyond the gfx user market
& target developers /dba's who need/use a lot of
horsepower on their systems

look what happend to sun. their hardware is excellent
but for the mid end they quickly got replaced by x86's
beacuse they charged an arm & a leg for basic parts
(that being said i still use a sun ultra 10 pretty heavily)

competitive pricing would give apple a huge edge
&one hellva boost in the market.

my 2c

pete
post #77 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by KidRed
I wasn't suggesting that Apple release a 1.0ghz 970, I was using that to compare to Apple's current fastest machine and to say that it would [970] whip the dual 1.42ghz G4's ass. Following the top end becomes the low end tradition at Apple [until recently] I'd expect 1.4ghz, 1.6ghz & 18.ghzghz. If we get a 2.3ghz I'll be ecstatic.

Yes, I do think regula rusers would see a difference between the 970 and P4s, escpeically if panther is faster like late rumors are claiming. A fast X and 970 will make PMs look very attractive at any price.

I personally feel that we will see the 2.3 Ghz chip in the summer release of the PMs. 2.3 is a nice place to be especailly with Intel going to climb past 3 Ghz by the time the 970 is officially announced in Macs. Probably this time next year, we will probably be in the high 3 Ghz range or maybe 4. We will defantely pass Intel not in this revision, but maybe in the next. These chips are going to scale.

Plus, like KidRed was saying, people will see the PM attractive at any price if Panther is going to be wicked fast and that it has the 970 in it. Apple just needs to thread Panther like crazy and we will be doing stuff that we never imagined before all at once.
post #78 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac OS X Addict
I personally feel that we will see the 2.3 Ghz chip in the summer release of the PMs. 2.3 is a nice place to be especailly with Intel going to climb past 3 Ghz by the time the 970 is officially announced in Macs. Probably this time next year, we will probably be in the high 3 Ghz range or maybe 4. We will defantely pass Intel not in this revision, but maybe in the next. These chips are going to scale.

Plus, like KidRed was saying, people will see the PM attractive at any price if Panther is going to be wicked fast and that it has the 970 in it. Apple just needs to thread Panther like crazy and we will be doing stuff that we never imagined before all at once.



So many assumptions and reasoning flaws in your post.
post #79 of 164
I doubt that a 970 @ 1ghz would CRUSH a DP1.42 G4. Benchmarks and real world are two different things, as far as I can see, keeping in mind that I don't know about the technical bits, just what I see. If it was up to benchmarks Apple should be out of business already for all the good a G4 does versus a top shelf P4. But in reality the G4 isn't 1/4-1/5th the speed of a top P4, only 1/2 or so, altivec excpeted.

Now a 970 benches very well, but don't expect it to be 4-6X faster than a G4 in real life, like a P4 it'll probably be 2X faster, or so, than a top G4. Big improvement, but more of a field leveling, rather than a case of Apple producing a massive advantage.

However, the BIG FSB looks very interesting when you look at the very reasonable power numbers that go with it. Apple should have a definite advantage in DP (or more!?!?!) configs and of course with SIMD type tasks.

Is that worth a still greater premium? I don't think so, the premium is already there, dropping into the current prices would be just about right.

If that FSB works, and some real heavy lifters want the power, Apple should build an even higher class of machine employing QUADS and ATA/SATA RAID configs (on the mobo). For something like that, sharge whatever you want, sky's the limit really 5-10 grand, huge profits, big performance, customers who don't blink. BUt that really is a class above and beyond the PM's and by definition rather small in comparison.

PM's themselves MUST compete on a balance of PRICE and PERFORMANCE and really can't tolerate getting any more expensive no matter what Apple puts in them.
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post #80 of 164
Quote:
Originally posted by kim kap sol


So many assumptions and reasoning flaws in your post.

Thanks. That' s the fun of talking about something that you really don't know what you are talking about.

Plus, you can't see that I am just expressing what I personally feel. Several others do that and you should be breathing down on their necks, or should you leave that to Steve?
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