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Next PowerBook Rev. When, What

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
I looked through the topic list but didn't see this. I am probably going to be in the market next spring...depending on how my AAPL stock is doing. My Pismo will be 4 full years old and is getting long in the tooth...as MOSR would say.

I would hope for this:

When: Spring 2004

What: ---PPC G4 topping out at 1.5GHZ
---Fixes in production control/screens/hinges, etc (I'd be going
for a 15")
---Top clock speed available for 15" model
---5400 RPM drive standard


So mostly a nice speed bump with some fixes. That would do it for me. I guess the real question is when.
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post #2 of 63
Like everyone else here, you're just going to have to wait and see. We're trying to determine what's coming for January, nevermind Spring. I think you're going to find that most significant hardware is announced at MWSF -- and if it's not PowerBooks this year as it was last year -- you can expect the regular PowerBook refresh in the spring (April/May).
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post #3 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by DHagan4755
you can expect the regular PowerBook refresh in the spring (April/May).

According to the currently available information, the most one can expect regarding powerbook updates for the next 6 months or so, is what DHagan4755 said: a regular spring update. However, it is difficult to believe that Apple will update e.g. the 17" powerbook from 1.33 GHz to just 1.42 GHz (less than 7% but possible). It seems that the most powerful G4 available today clocks at 1.42 GHz and there is little, if anything, known for its future.
post #4 of 63
Unless, of course, Apple goes dual G4. But I don't understand why they would...just pour the effort into making a G5 PB.
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post #5 of 63
the only productline apple is upgrading in a regular spring/fall 6 months interfall is the ibook.
and that productline hit its seeling in comparision to the powerbook next april albeit they boost the powerbook line before that.

so new powerbooks before april. like DHagan4755 said.
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post #6 of 63
Like everyone else here, i have no idea when the PB will be updated (hopefully not too soon, seeing how as i just bought an 15" alBook)

I have said before that i think the next PB rev will be a g4, not a g5. With all the rumours of what IBM is doing with the g5 and the fact that the apple tech who repaired my white spotted screen said that apple seems to be preparing to put a g5 in the lap PBs, i am beginning to thikn that the next rev will be a g5. He explained that the new fans are way better than what was in the TiBooks and he believes this is in preperation for the heat of a g5.

Also, with the g4 iBooks being so close the powerbooks in terms of performance, i cant' see apple keeping the g4 in its consumer line for much longer.
post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo

Also, with the g4 iBooks being so close the powerbooks in terms of performance, i cant' see apple keeping the g4 in its consumer line for much longer.

agreed upon...
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post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by shabbasuraj
agreed upon...

actually i don't agree, now that i see my own typo
i think the g4 will stay in the consumer line for a while longer (maybe a year or two (MAX))

i meant to say that i don't see apple keeping the g4 in its pro line for much longer

(you all know what i meant anyway, right?)
post #9 of 63
I'm really looking forward to the next year, as it will show Apple finally doing a great deal of catching up with the PC world - specifically in terms of speed. I mean, just look, without the G5, the "pro" Apple desktops would still be running on roughly dual 1.5GHz G4s or whatever (with little more within sight), VA Tech supercomputer wouldn't have happened, etc.

If 2003 was the "year of the laptop", 2004 is certain to be dubbed the year of the G5 by Steve. iMacs with G5s soon and G5 towers getting significant speed increases is a given, but I'm really interested to watch how the Powerbook line evolves. I'm sure that the appropriate tradeshow crowd will go nuts whenever Apple rolls out G5 Powerbooks, as the level of sheer anticipation will be quite high.

All of the above said, the really interesting stuff is going to be Apple's approach to the enterprise market. G5 Xserves will be cool, seeing dual 3GHz G5 desktop boxes around summer 2004 will blow most people away, but I'm the most interested to see the overall developments in the business sector for 2004. It's a sure bet that the constant stream of security vulnerabilities and virus updates in the Windows world is slowly driving sys admins nuts, so I personally see a great deal of potential for Apple to start making serious inroads into the business market.

Also worth mentioning that a couple of traditional corporate PC vendors have done a fair bit of ball dropping recently (*cough* HP *cough*)...
post #10 of 63
A G5 PowerBook would be nice - but I'm sort of intrigued by the possibility of a dual G4 PowerBook first. If they couldn't manage to get a G5 into the PowerBooks, then a dual G4 would be pretty darned good! ...heat issues aside, of course.
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post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Cosmo
actually i don't agree, now that i see my own typo
i think the g4 will stay in the consumer line for a while longer (maybe a year or two (MAX))

i meant to say that i don't see apple keeping the g4 in its pro line for much longer

(you all know what i meant anyway, right?)

Two more years with the G4 would be beyond idiotic. Everything in Apple's lineup should move to G5's as soon as possible.
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Motorola is preparing a next-generation two-core G4-class PowerPC processor,[..]
The chip, as yet unnamed - at least in public - will contain two PowerPC cores with AltiVec, Motorola's SIMD engine. It will also contain its own memory controller, capable of connecting to DDR and DDR 2 SDRAM, according to documents seen by The Register. [..]

As one presentation says: "We are putting a dual core PowerPC on our roadmap," and that a "high performance dual core is on our roadmap in a manufacturing process that provides a cost-effective solution." That suggests a 100nm as per the G4+ or, more likely, 90nm process .

The chip is some way off, with a 2004 appearance at the earliest.

From an article appearing in The Register back in April 03.

Since Apple execs have repeatedly gone on record stating that G5 in a mobile computer is some time away and since Moto despite their miserable situation surely did see the blow coming when IBM featured their 970 a year ago, this is what I would consider a likely scenario:

Powerbook 15" and 17" going single-processor/dual-core in March/April with a native DDR-interface and an optimized chipset. Of course, Moto could just fvck up again and Apple has to release a 1.44 Ghz stopgap generation until they can hack together a gen1 Powerbook G5 based on the 970+/980.
post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Paradise
Two more years with the G4 would be beyond idiotic. Everything in Apple's lineup should move to G5's as soon as possible.

i agree with you, but i don't think they can put a g5 in the consumer line until the entire pro line has finished the move to g5s. If apple cannot get the g5 into the PowerBook until next summer, then they won't be able to start moving the consumer line to g5s until then.

Considering apple has been using the g4, for what, 4 years now and they only recently switched the ibook to a g4 processor, i don't think it is unrealistic to imagine apple using a g4 in at least some of its consumer products for at least another year, maybe two

hopefully ibm will come through and by this time next year the transition to the g5 (6?) will be complete, but i still believe that to be an optimistic prediction.
post #14 of 63
Dual core G4 doesn't make any sense, since a single G5 would be easier to put into a PB even at 130NM, but we do expect the 90NM sometime in 2004. When, well who knows? Apple isn't saying till the day they release it.

A single G5 has a higher degree of parallelism than a dual G4, though to handle multiple simultaneous threads will require SMT. Will Apple/IBM put SMT into the 90NM 970? Who knows, but it will be a better utilization of the high degree of parallelism in the G5 and a better alternative to a dual core G4. The biggest problem with the G4 is the FSB constraint, and Motorola doesn't seem to have a plan to take the G4 FSB to 400MHz which is currently necessary. The G5 gets there pretty easily. The rumor is that the 90NM 970 has a built in memory controller and a larger L2 cache, well we will see. But if it is true, performance will take another significant bump up even without an increase in frequency. Too, with more of a SOC approach, the Powerbook will require less support chips, it will also have a smaller 90NM ASIC controller with less transistors. Bus Slewing and voltage will be controlled automatically by the processor using PowerTune along with dynamic shutdown of whole portions of the 970. Enabling 1.4 - 2GHz Powerbook G5's to really sizzle at cooler temperatures.
post #15 of 63
I doubt the G5s cost much more than the G4s anyway. Apple will probably put the G5 into all their lines within a year or so. To differentiate the models the Towers will be dual and the PowerBooks will be more expandable and have faster insides (i.e. ram and graphics cards)
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post #16 of 63
Well like all things realted to new Apple products this is pure speculation. Given that here goes:

It is very unlikely we will see a G5 in a power book in January or even the spring. I'd be shocked if they could get the power usage into the range a portable needs and still run at a decent clock rate. We are talking like a 75% drop in power used. I won't say it impossible but on the other hand it would be a magnificant jump in the family.

A faster G4 is a very good possibility and if cuopled with the reight memory and frontside bus improvements has excellent potential. The fact that it is potentials and not a reality does indicate the issue with Motorola, if they have the ability to rev the G4 they have not let the cat out of the bag.

the issues you have mentioned will hopefully be resolved by the time you look to buy so hopfully you won't have to gamble there. by that time of the year you will not want a G4 running at less than 1.6GHz in a laptop. You could very well go out and buy a PowerBook in a few weeks and hopefully get the engineering revs to correct some of the problems as things like the display issues can not be delayed fix wise.

there are also rumors going around that Apple and IBM are working on a laptop specific processors. So maybe we won't get either the 970 nor the G4.

Dave


Quote:
Originally posted by SDW2001
I looked through the topic list but didn't see this. I am probably going to be in the market next spring...depending on how my AAPL stock is doing. My Pismo will be 4 full years old and is getting long in the tooth...as MOSR would say.

I would hope for this:

When: Spring 2004

What: ---PPC G4 topping out at 1.5GHZ
---Fixes in production control/screens/hinges, etc (I'd be going
for a 15")
---Top clock speed available for 15" model
---5400 RPM drive standard


So mostly a nice speed bump with some fixes. That would do it for me. I guess the real question is when.
post #17 of 63
A dual core processor is like everything else in life, it is an excercise in trade offs. Do realize though that SMP on die has advantages over running independant processors on the motherboard. If such a chip is also implemented with a memory interface, indepedant of the Front side bus, you do have a considerable performance advantage over the 970 in any form.

SMT, while a good way to increase the performance of a processor, is not in any way competition for SMP implementations. Beyond that a dual processor offers its own potential methods for power savings. Now I'd love to see a 970 or dirivative in a PB, I'm just not going to hold my breath. 32 bit processors should be much more effiecent for the foreseeable future.

With Apple well known issues with its 32 bit supplier we could see them take drastic action such as a 970 in a laptop. But unless they have made tremendous strides in performance it does seem unlikely at least in January.

Dave



Quote:
Originally posted by stingerman
Dual core G4 doesn't make any sense, since a single G5 would be easier to put into a PB even at 130NM, but we do expect the 90NM sometime in 2004. When, well who knows? Apple isn't saying till the day they release it.

A single G5 has a higher degree of parallelism than a dual G4, though to handle multiple simultaneous threads will require SMT. Will Apple/IBM put SMT into the 90NM 970? Who knows, but it will be a better utilization of the high degree of parallelism in the G5 and a better alternative to a dual core G4. The biggest problem with the G4 is the FSB constraint, and Motorola doesn't seem to have a plan to take the G4 FSB to 400MHz which is currently necessary. The G5 gets there pretty easily. The rumor is that the 90NM 970 has a built in memory controller and a larger L2 cache, well we will see. But if it is true, performance will take another significant bump up even without an increase in frequency. Too, with more of a SOC approach, the Powerbook will require less support chips, it will also have a smaller 90NM ASIC controller with less transistors. Bus Slewing and voltage will be controlled automatically by the processor using PowerTune along with dynamic shutdown of whole portions of the 970. Enabling 1.4 - 2GHz Powerbook G5's to really sizzle at cooler temperatures.
post #18 of 63
I am considering getting my first Mac for college next year. Currently I am hoping Apple has a G5 in a Powerbook (I will be getting the 12") by school buying season. Is that realistic?
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post #19 of 63
Wow, I think we can tag that as the earliest "what should I get for college next year" thread ever!

I have this little inkling that we will see something in January. I mean, if they are going to put it in an iMac, they can put it in a PowerBook. The move to aluminum cases was not mere cost-saving aesthetics, either. Then this combined with the rumors about varous cooling techologies being looked into...well, it can go several different ways.

But really, Apple has built up quite a mountain of progress this year. To see the PowerBooks stagnate for another year would be bad, and I know people are going to say, "Oh, please! They're fast enough for most people!!" Yes, I know. I used my 350 G3 the other day the first time in a long time -- my 867MHz G4 seems QUITE nice now. But business is business --- and right now, as attractive as OS X is, people buying laptops want the numbers, regardless of how hideous or heavy it might be.
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post #20 of 63
As most know Apple likes to shock the loyal following and jump start sales. I look for a 19"/20" Powerbook for the professional/video market with duel 7457 processors at 1.4 GHz announced at San Francisco. 8) 8) 8)
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Wow, I think we can tag that as the earliest "what should I get for college next year" thread ever!

Hey, since I am in full admissions mode right now, might as well think about what I am going to bring.
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post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Bob
As most know Apple likes to shock the loyal following and jump start sales. I look for a 19"/20" Powerbook for the professional/video market with duel 7457 processors at 1.4 GHz announced at San Francisco. 8) 8) 8)

An 18" makes more sense but really why? The beauty of the 17" is that it is still portable at least Apple's model is
post #23 of 63
Thread Starter 
this thread is now officially going...

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post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac+
A G5 PowerBook would be nice - but I'm sort of intrigued by the possibility of a dual G4 PowerBook first. If they couldn't manage to get a G5 into the PowerBooks, then a dual G4 would be pretty darned good! ...heat issues aside, of course.

If you clock the 7447/7457 at 1GHz you still get a massive boost if you use 2 CPUs which avoiding excessive heat emission! Dual 1.25 seems to be about the sme class of problem as fitting a G5 into a PB case, so I guess it won't happen.
post #25 of 63
I think MWSF is going to be a total consumer show. That said -- and to get this thread back on topic -- I think we'll see PB G4 and PM G5 speed bumps a few weeks after MWSF. No duals in the PB. No G5 in the PB. Just a speed bump.

Oh, and you *might* be able to get a G5 PB for school, but I'd say it's a 50/50 shot right now.
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post #26 of 63
I don't think there will be PowerBook G4 updates until well into the spring. "...a few weeks after MWSF..." for something that just came out a couple of months ago? Knowing how long Apple takes (and has taken) between previous PowerBook revs?

If it's before April or May, I'll be really surprised.
post #27 of 63
Not a techie, but would a improved front side bus make a huge difference in speed? If so, then I could see a 1.42 gHz PB as an interim speed bump before any G5 PB is unveiled.
post #28 of 63
A 1.4 Powerbook would consume a lot of watts.
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post #29 of 63
Thread Starter 
Well my Pismo is getting a little flakey. But now I'm paranoid they'll bump the thing right after I buy. When did they intro the alubook 15"? September? I'm thinking no upgrade until like Feb/March.
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post #30 of 63
My iBook will have a G5 in it soon... imagine the speed of revisions.

NEXT up is the G5 Powerbook - January !!!

THEN the G5 iBook - January 2005 !!!

One more years baby!
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by Dr_Holistic
NEXT up is the G5 Powerbook - January !!!

I suppose there's nothing wrong in being optimistic.
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post #32 of 63
it better not be soon, I just got my alu 15"
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post #33 of 63
Thread Starter 
Well I'm thinking I'm going to wait...even if they don;t upgrade till mid to late spring.
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post #34 of 63
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post #35 of 63
That would not even be a 100mhz speed boost! lol If apple does this they will just look silly to the public. If they added more VRAM, faster Harddrives, 2MB L3 cache, and more ram standard it would be great though. Who knows.... But the G4 needs every bit of power it can get at this point. A 10% increase with 2MB L3 will be well worth it. The cache really helps with games.
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post #36 of 63
I'll tell you what!

I've just played with a G5 hands-on for the first time (1.6GHz, 512MB, Panther).

Wait for 90nm 970FX with PowerTune, detune it to 1.6GHz, stick it in a Powerbook, watch it fly off the shelves.

It may not be the bleeding edge of performance (i.e. not 2.5GHz), but it would make most Wintel laptops look like a steaming pile, especially with a big black cat at its heart.

Sometimes we need to remember that good can be another way of saying "good enough", as opposed to aiming for the definitive example of excellence with every product.

Is a 1.6 G5 PowerBook better than a G4? Probably.
Is it better than any Wintel laptop? What parameter are you using? Looks? (Yes), Software (Yes), Battery Life (Centrino - questionable ; everything else - probably).

I think Apple and IBM are now playing with us and the rest of the world pretty much the way my friend's cats play with a mouse.

Just because an Apple exec says: "I don't see a Powerbook anytime soon" is no reason to believe him as a) the term 'soon' is subjective and b) what did you think he was going to say?

Do you really think that when Darth Jobs stood up and said 3GHz in a year, he hadn't been shown a 2.5GHz prototype at that time? Or do you think he was prepared to repeat the whole Moto G4 see-saw fiasco again?

At its very soul, Apple now knows that it has headroom in a roadmap that can make the Intel-powered market uncomfortable - from a market leadership standpoint - at a time and market location of Apple's choosing.

Half the fun for a megalomaniacal showman like Jobs is using the art of surprise to disrupt the market or expectations.

We (as a community) are now not expecting a G5 Powerbook until the second half of 2004, whereas I - as an individual am now expecting an initial release of a detuned G5 (1.5/1.8 GHz, with either 3:1 [500/600MHz) or [less likely] 4:1 (375MHz/450MHz) FSB, DDR-II) sometime in the Spring.

As for MWSF, I suspect the 20th anniversary of the Mac needs to be marked by a new consumer machine (1.6/1.8 GHz, 4:1 FSB, standard DDR).
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post #37 of 63
Hi Mark;

Glad I'm not the only oneout there that has come to the conclusion that Apple is jerking us around big time on performance. Like you said they are toying with us. In my mind they are attempting through marketing to milk the market as much as they can instead of delivering the fastest possible hardware. There is just ot much evidence floating around that the G5 could be running much faster today.

My suspicion is that Job had already seen a 3GHz machine at the point when he made the announcement. What CEO would make such a statement else wise. Especially in the case of Jobs who has been burn't so many times by motorola. This statement more than anything indicates to me that there is alot of potential in the current 970 that is going unused.

Now I don't know what apple thinks about having head room over the intel world. From my perspective if they really wanted to out distance the intel world they simply could have added another 200 MHz to their machines. Instead they delivered machines that are parity with current intel hardware or slightly faster. There certianly was no effort put into providing an undeniable lead! Maybe that is what is going to happen in January - a big 3GHz whalop to the head of the intel world. Wishful thinking I.m sure but a 2.5 GHz machine will be a little to little by Febuary.

Dave


Quote:
Originally posted by Mark- Card Carrying FanaticRealist
I'll tell you what!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>snipped

I think Apple and IBM are now playing with us and the rest of the world pretty much the way my friend's cats play with a mouse.

Just because an Apple exec says: "I don't see a Powerbook anytime soon" is no reason to believe him as a) the term 'soon' is subjective and b) what did you think he was going to say?

Do you really think that when Darth Jobs stood up and said 3GHz in a year, he hadn't been shown a 2.5GHz prototype at that time? Or do you think he was prepared to repeat the whole Moto G4 see-saw fiasco again?

At its very soul, Apple now knows that it has headroom in a roadmap that can make the Intel-powered market uncomfortable - from a market leadership standpoint - at a time and market location of Apple's choosing.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>..snipped
post #38 of 63
For what it is worth, I agree with Mark and the Wizard. G5 Powerbook soon.
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post #39 of 63
I want to believe...
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post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally posted by wizard69
Hi Mark;

Glad I'm not the only oneout there that has come to the conclusion that Apple is jerking us around big time on performance. etc.
Dave

There are, of course, numerous interpretations possible for this model of behaviour, quite apart from my theory that Jobs is a theatrical megalomaniac (half-PT Barnum, half-Kublai Khan).

There is a distinct possibility that much of this 'sandbagging' is actually the side-effect of product development cycles; my personal belief is that 970 in its first iteration was actually rushed to market by IBM to fulfil Apple's need for a more competitive processor for its professional market, as is being used - rather like 601/G1 - as a technology demonstrator for the benefits of 64-bit in the mainstream, whilst 601 was a demonstrator for the benefits of RISC in the mainstream.

970FX is analogous to 603; smaller than 970/601 respectively and capable of better power management.

Which means that 980 may actually be the processor we really want for our desktop, as it will be the analogue of 604/G2 which was actually not a bad processor for its day (1996). 970FX will probably spawn three subtle variant strands of development: one optimsed for power consumption and designed for full function laptops (Powerbook, think 603e), one with smaller caches and less capable technology aimed at entry-level markets (eMac, de-specced like a Celeron) and a hybrid for iBooks.
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