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MOSR: Next Powerbook has G4

post #1 of 124
Thread Starter 
MacOSRumors is predicting a very minor speed bump and no new features for the next Powerbook revision in spring. They are talking about a 1.25, 1.33, 1.46 or 1.53 Ghz lineup to tide the market over till the first Powerbook G5 are due in fall.

Sounds reasonably to me, but at the same time this is a total non-release in my eyes. Who cares about 1.25 or 1.33Ghz? Not me, that's for sure - they could as well drop the price and keep the speed.

And, please: I know MOSR has a bad reputation - don't go all ra ra ra again, it is getting boring.
post #2 of 124
Smirk:

And you believe them because..................
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post #3 of 124
I saw someone stating Februari the 18th over at the Thinksecret forums as a potential release date...
post #4 of 124
LARD (Luca's Apple Rumors Department) reports that the next revision of iBooks will, indeed, still use G4 processors. Exactly which speeds will be used is unclear at this point, but it is reasonable to believe that the low end will start at 1 GHz, and move up to 1.33 GHz at the top end.

Meanwhile, early reports indicate that yes, the sun WILL rise this morning, and next morning as well. However, the status of the sun is unknown after Q3 2004. Stay posted for more information!

post #5 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Smircle
MacOSRumors is predicting a very minor speed bump and no new features for the next Powerbook revision in spring. They are talking about a 1.25, 1.33, 1.46 or 1.53 Ghz lineup to tide the market over till the first Powerbook G5 are due in fall.

It does not make sense. Unless Apple has some G4 chip stock they would like to get rid of. It would make sense for the 12" Powerbook though, since this one in particular would see a 25% increase in processor performance. On the other hand, I doubt Apple would ever place the 12" model so close in processor performance to the bigger ones.

Faster hard drives and the Radeon Mobility 9700 are more likely as an update to the line before the G5, if it's going to take that long. Look what happened to Pismo back to 2000.

Oh, wait, there is also this 750VX... but, where is it?
post #6 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
It does not make sense. Unless Apple has some G4 chip stock they would like to get rid of. [...]

Oh, wait, there is also this 750VX... but, where is it?

This resembles the evolution of the G4 towers in a uncomfortable way. The mid-2002 release was somewhat underwhelming and the "windtunnel"-towers introduced in early 2003 were so obviously overclocked and underpowered it was not funny.

Ever since Apple went with the Moto-G4 for the iBooks it seemed to me that the 750vx has been cancelled or Apple never put it on its roadmap - maybe because it was not able to outperform the 745x.

If Apple does not use the the 90nm 970FX, it seems like its power saving features are not good enough yet - we may have to wait for fall and the 975
post #7 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Smircle
This resembles the evolution of the G4 towers in a uncomfortable way.

Hardly surprising, as there is not presently a roadmap for the G4.

Quote:

Ever since Apple went with the Moto-G4 for the iBooks it seemed to me that the 750vx has been cancelled or Apple never put it on its roadmap - maybe because it was not able to outperform the 745x.

G4 in the iBooks could also mean that the 750VX is near completion, more powerful than the G4 and ready to go soon in the Powerbooks. Only problem, this did not yet happen.

Quote:

If Apple does not use the the 90nm 970FX, it seems like its power saving features are not good enough yet - we may have to wait for fall and the 975

It remains to see what this PowerTune technology is exactly. When is again this introduction-presentation of the new chips by IBM?
post #8 of 124
I've said it before, and i'm going to say it again: The next powebook will use a g4.

This rumour is actually believable. Hopefully this will be the last of apple's pro machines to use a g4.


Edit: this is pure speculation
post #9 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by PB

It remains to see what this PowerTune technology is exactly. When is again this introduction-presentation of the new chips by IBM?

I think you are referring to ISSCC feb 14 - 19 (http://www.isscc.org/isscc/).
post #10 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Smircle
I think you are referring to ISSCC feb 14 - 19 (http://www.isscc.org/isscc/).

Thanks, it is exactly this one I am talking about. So, next week we will learn more on PowerTune and it will became more clear if the 970fx can be used in Powerbooks.
post #11 of 124
From what I've been hearing, it seems as though the 750VX is a G4. I mean, it's all a G4 ever was... a G3 with a vector processing unit (altivec).

Now, according to IBM it may not be a G4, but just as a 970 was a G5, the 750VX will be a G4 to Apple.
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post #12 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Smircle
They are talking about a 1.25, 1.33, 1.46 or 1.53 Ghz lineup to tide the market over till the first Powerbook G5 are due in fall.

Credible story or not, I find myself wondering how far past the current 1.33 GHz can you really push the G4. Apple pushed the MDD Power Macs up to 1.42 GHz, but in a big box with big heat sinks and very loud fans.

Has Motorola (our whatever their spun-off chip division is now called) done anything to advance the G4 at all, or would this just be a case of pushing the same old design harder while picking only the cream of crop from the productions yields?

Wouldn't heat and battery life issue be even worse than using G5s? I'd think a 90nm G5 running at something like 1.4 GHz would be a lot more appealing than a G4 pushed that high or higher, and probably use less power.

Unless I'm all wrong about the power issues (I've never seen specs for a 90nm G5 run at such low speeds, so I can only guess how much the power would scale down), Apple just can't get new G5 PowerBook mobo's out the door any faster than this, or 90nm G5s are simply in short supply, I can't see much reason for a stop-gap release of badly overclocked G4 PowerBooks.

Edit:
Does it make sense to use some new IBM-made G4 for only one short generation of PowerBooks, or would the introduction of new IBM G4s put off the day of the G5 PowerBook even longer?
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post #13 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline

Unless I'm all wrong about the power issues (I've never seen specs for a 90nm G5 run at such low speeds, so I can only guess how much the power would scale down),

If I remember correctly, there has been recently an IBM(?) document, saying that the G5@90nm@2GHz consumes 24 W and at 1.2GHz (or this was 1.4GHz?) only 12 W. However, you have the power for the other system components too, and it is exactly there the total dark.

Quote:

Does it make sense to use some new IBM-made G4 for only one short generation of PowerBooks

If a redesign of the internals is required to accomodate the new G4: No.

Quote:

or would the introduction of new IBM G4s put off the day of the G5 PowerBook even longer?

Yes. Quite likely. It is intriguing that the 750VX rumors concern the iBook alone, while there is no mention to the Powerbook. This could mean two things: (1) these rumors are largely wrong and the 750VX will go to the Powerbooks first; (2) there is something better for the Powerbook .
post #14 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
On the other hand, I doubt Apple would ever place the 12" model so close in processor performance to the bigger ones.

If you read the MOSR article carefully you might find that the 12" model (133MHz bus) will run up to 1.53GHz while the 15" & 17" models (167MHz bus) will only reach 1.33GHz
post #15 of 124
I Suspect that if Motorola could get its manufacturing act together there would be a great deal of upsid epotential in the G5. Probally scallable to 2 GHz. To be really usefull though such a revison would need its own memory port on board. Motorola has experience with such memory controllers but for some reason never pursued it with the G4.

Apple has very much hit a design wall with the G4 and the powerbooks mostly due to manufacturing issues with Motorola. If motorolas new devision is to survive they need to one of two things one would be to get out of the System processor market completely or two actually deliver a chip that is so compelling that Apple would have little resistance to its use.

As to the G5 yes heat would be an issue, much more so than many want to accept. So far the information indicates that the power figures IBM has shown so far are typical. Apple indicates that the max is quite a bit higher. I'd be surprised if Apple could deliver a G5 PowerBook with acceptable power usage and performance characteristics. Of course what is acceptable is high dependant on the user of the machine.

The big issue with the G5 is that it really isn't a stellar performer relative to the G4 at similar clock rates. If one can manage similar performance at say 1.4 GHz on both processors why not go with the lower power solution. What that solution is no one publicly has the answer to. So you really have a guestion here that asks: is there a low power solution to the G5 that would allow Apple to deliver a competitive Laptop?

The biggest issue is that Apple can't scale down any processor to far. The competition is rather intense in the battery driven market. What they really need is a 2GHz processor drawing 5 watts. Wether or not the rumored 750VX hits that point is an open question, hell we are not even sure that it exists.

AS to feasability of a 32 bit processor over a 970 based solution it really comes down to marketing and performance. There is a noteable advantage to being able to advertise a 64 bit laptop. Being able to do that does not imply however that the solution is viable. This in a nutshell is Apples problem can they put a 970 into a laptop and get results that are acceptable to their customer base. Sure they will have no problem selling to the small segment of their customer base that jumps at every new release blindly. The bigger question is would the G5 laptop perform well enough to attrack the intelligent portion of its customer base. That is an open question as their simply nothing out there to support the 970 in a laptop. Obviously Apple is working on such support now and probaly has been for some time now.

If that work of Apple's produces a Laptop with good on battery time, with a reasonable performance increase then we are all set. I loved to be proved wrong but I think Apple may be forced to go 32 bit for awhile longer. Either that or the PowerBooks become a tethered portable and the iBooks take up the slack as a battery driven laptop. Apple has everything in place to put the 970 everywhere but the laptops based on information in the public domain, laptops are a differrent issue - we really don't know.

Dave


Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Credible story or not, I find myself wondering how far past the current 1.33 GHz can you really push the G4. Apple pushed the MDD Power Macs up to 1.42 GHz, but in a big box with big heat sinks and very loud fans.

Has Motorola (our whatever their spun-off chip division is now called) done anything to advance the G4 at all, or would this just be a case of pushing the same old design harder while picking only the cream of crop from the productions yields?

Wouldn't heat and battery life issue be even worse than using G5s? I'd think a 90nm G5 running at something like 1.4 GHz would be a lot more appealing than a G4 pushed that high or higher, and probably use less power.

Unless I'm all wrong about the power issues (I've never seen specs for a 90nm G5 run at such low speeds, so I can only guess how much the power would scale down), Apple just can't get new G5 PowerBook mobo's out the door any faster than this, or 90nm G5s are simply in short supply, I can't see much reason for a stop-gap release of badly overclocked G4 PowerBooks.

Edit:
Does it make sense to use some new IBM-made G4 for only one short generation of PowerBooks, or would the introduction of new IBM G4s put off the day of the G5 PowerBook even longer?
post #16 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by wizard69
The big issue with the G5 is that it really isn't a stellar performer relative to the G4 at similar clock rates.

That's exactly what I've been thinking lately, looking at test results of the 1.6GHz G5 vs. the current G4 PowerBooks. 1 GHz G4 -> 1.33 GHz G4 -> 1.6 GHz G5 looks pretty much like a linear performance curve for most apps. So it's not like a theoretical 1.6 Ghz G5 PowerBook would simply and totally blow us away, performance-wise. (Of course, this will look very different when SJ presents the machine on-stage, and on Apple's website and brochures

Quote:
Originally posted by PB
It does not make sense. Unless Apple has some G4 chip stock they would like to get rid of. It would make sense for the 12" Powerbook though, since this one in particular would see a 25% increase in processor performance.

Well, if MOSRs prediction of 1MB level 3 cache comes true, those PowerBooks could have a nice speed advantage vs. the current crop, at least for everyday operations, couldn't they?
post #17 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by wizard69

Apple has very much hit a design wall with the G4 and the powerbooks mostly due to manufacturing issues with Motorola.

That's exactly the problem right now. IBM-G4 or G5 or whatever, Apple needs a new chip for the next update (or after that) of the powerbook line. And yet there is no light in the tunnel... Unless Motorola delivers and has in time the new dual core G4 they talked about last year. But, who counts on Motorola?
post #18 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
If a redesign of the internals is required to accomodate the new G4: No.

If the redesign can be migrated down to the iBooks and keep that line going for a while: Maybe.
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post #19 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by wizard69
... What they really need is a 2GHz processor drawing 5 watts. ...

VIA just announced the Eden ESP 10000.
7W Thermal Design Power.
1GHz
And don't think this CPU to be as fast as a G4 @ 1GHz!

The Moto bashing on this site has kept some people from seeing what Moto really did with the G4: Reduce power consumption. Point no. 1 on the wish list of their big customers. Yes, Apple is not a big customer to Moto.

BTW, ever looked under a G5 mother board?
The system controller gets massive cooling!
I don't think we see a G5 PB before the controller is build on the 90nm process.
post #20 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by philby
That's exactly what I've been thinking lately, looking at test results of the 1.6GHz G5 vs. the current G4 PowerBooks. 1 GHz G4 -> 1.33 GHz G4 -> 1.6 GHz G5 looks pretty much like a linear performance curve for most apps. So it's not like a theoretical 1.6 Ghz G5 PowerBook would simply and totally blow us away, performance-wise. (Of course, this will look very different when SJ presents the machine on-stage, and on Apple's website and brochures

Well, if MOSRs prediction of 1MB level 3 cache comes true, those PowerBooks could have a nice speed advantage vs. the current crop, at least for everyday operations, couldn't they?

It's very hard to get a 1:1 linear improvement in performance from a clock increase. And, you are not going to get it by staying on the G4 wit its slower FSB. So if you can get a linear 1:1 boost by going to a 1.6GHz G5, thatwould be awesome. I think we will see even better. Why? The 90NM 970FX is faster at the same clock speed than the 130NM 970. As far as power and heat. At 1.4 and 1.6 GHz, the 970FX appears to run at 1V compared to the new G4 7457 which requires 1.3V. The 7457 comes in a special edition limited to 1GHz to run at 1V. So the 970FX has a better thermal profile at the higher frequencies than the G4. 970FX is also faster than the 970 since it uses faster transistors and gates and the wiring between transistors is shorter. Electrons move faster in the new SOI 90NM process and IBM's newer low K dielectric materials provides a great benefit.

All in all, a 970FX at 1.6GHz in a PowerBook makes a lot more sense today than a G4 at 1.5 GHz and a lot more sense than dual G4's in a notebook.
post #21 of 124
The earliest PowerBooks will be revised, if history is a guide, is the last week of April. I would stop holding your breath thinking it's going to be anytime soon.
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post #22 of 124
I'm of the opinion that we will see a 32 bit processor for th next laptop go around. Considering what IBM did with the 90nm 970 I think they can deliver a 32 bit porcessor with an extremely low thermal profile. A SOC would obviously raise the temperature some but would prevent a great deal of losses else where.

Motorola did accomplish a great deal with the G4 but I have to disagree with the thought that it was leading edge. They simply struggled to much with scaling performance and considering the size of the processor, the thermal performance wasn't all that much to crow about either. Considering the power profile of some other RISC chips the G4 is OK but not outstanding.

It is easy to see what Motorola did with the G4. The issue is what Motorola hasn't done with the G4 and the number of screw ups along the way to today. They failed to compete in the performance desktop chip market and almost took Apple with them. The fact that the G4 was somewhat power frugal is more a result of it being a RISC machine more than anything.

Apple may not have been a big customer of motorola but they were a big customer for the G4. Loosing Apple is going to hurt motorola both in the pocket book and the credibility department.

IBM is indicating that they are about to start shipping prodcution runs of SOC at 90nm. We of course have no idea exactly what those chips are for, but my vote goes to the laptop line. If these do indeed end up in a laptop it will be very interesting to see how well they do power wise.

Quote:
Originally posted by smalM
VIA just announced the Eden ESP 10000.
7W Thermal Design Power.
1GHz
And don't think this CPU to be as fast as a G4 @ 1GHz!

The Moto bashing on this site has kept some people from seeing what Moto really did with the G4: Reduce power consumption. Point no. 1 on the wish list of their big customers. Yes, Apple is not a big customer to Moto.

BTW, ever looked under a G5 mother board?
The system controller gets massive cooling!
I don't think we see a G5 PB before the controller is build on the 90nm process.
post #23 of 124
The next CPU in the Powerbook has to be a SOC design if the Powerbooks have to compete and trounce the WINTEL competition. A normal update with just a processor speed increase will not cut it nor would plugging in a G5.
Forget heat generation, how long would the battery life be with a G5?

If they have a SOC chip with ethernet and WIFi and some other parts on the CPU fabbed on the 90nm process (which seems to be the new standard), I am sure that even a 2 GHZ G4 class processor (G3 + Altivec) would give back Apple its lead in laptop technology.
post #24 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by wizard69
I'm of the opinion that we will see a 32 bit processor for th next laptop go around.

This reflects my concerns raised in the other thread, back in December.

Quote:

IBM is indicating that they are about to start shipping prodcution runs of SOC at 90nm.

Now, where this comes from?
post #25 of 124
MOSR, he-he. I remember they predicted a quad G4 PowerBook as well.
I guess that poking their stick between 1.25 and 1.53GHz they cover all the range of modern G4s.

*CONFIRMED* the next PowerBook revision will have a hard disk!
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post #26 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by costique
MOSR, he-he. I remember they predicted a quad G4 PowerBook as well.

MOSR, certainly a joke in these boards. However, wizard69's comment on SoC systems revived my interest in this discussion. I am waiting for the details...
post #27 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by smalM
The Moto bashing on this site has kept some people from seeing what Moto really did with the G4: Reduce power consumption. Point no. 1 on the wish list of their big customers. Yes, Apple is not a big customer to Moto.

Concerning G4 processors, Apple was by far the largest customer (probably still is). That's why I find it so odd that Moto pissed them off so much.
post #28 of 124
Electronic News!

Some are speculating that it is a typo, but I don't see a slip up between an 'I' and a 'C' taking place. It could very well be a reference to the 90nm 970 as some have suggested.

I'm more of th opinion that it is not a mistake and that Apple is about to take delievery of another porcessor/SOC along with the 970. There are a couple of reasons why I lean this way.

One is the 970 itself, if this was a reference to the 970 they would have said 970 as this cat is already out of the bag. The second issue is that Apple desperately needs a laptop CPU and they are known to be working on such a chip with IBM. If you accept that it is a laptop chip then you will certainly accept that it is a 32 bit machine and is most likely desinged to afford the machine it goes into a maximum of power savings.

Since the entire Laptop line needs an upgrade and the 90nm 970 is still to hot for this product, an optimised 32 bit solution is most likely in the works.

Thanks
Dave



Quote:
Originally posted by PB
This reflects my concerns raised in the other thread, back in December.



Now, where this comes from?
post #29 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by wizard69
Electronic News!

What Electronic News?

Quote:

The second issue is that Apple desperately needs a laptop CPU and they are known to be working on such a chip with IBM.

Do you know something we don't?

Quote:

Since the entire Laptop line needs an upgrade and the 90nm 970 is still to hot for this product, an optimised 32 bit solution is most likely in the works.

For the reasons I explained in the other thread, I expect and prefer too a 32 bit chip for the Powerbooks for the time being. Of course if this is going to be cost and heat-power effective. Still very obscure what exactly one could expect.

EDIT: aha, I just saw the other thread.
post #30 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
Now, where this comes from?

"IBM is about to deliver its very first volume production of an SOC on 90nm, said Reeves. This will be a design for Apple."
link

There is a Thread dedicated to this mysterious SOC tool.
post #31 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Smircle

There is a Thread dedicated to this mysterious SOC tool.

I was already in that thread; thanks anyway.
post #32 of 124
Quote:
Stingerman wrote:

The 90NM 970FX is faster at the same clock speed than the 130NM 970.

It is??? I thought it had the same cache and same pipeline. Where would it get the extra speed?
post #33 of 124
Remember the rumor that Apple had a contract to buy G4's at a set price from Moto, and Moto was losing money on every one due to low yields?

Well the flip side of that would be that Apple are committed to buying a minimum number of G4's every quarter. If they moved thier machines to G5's or 750vx's they would still have to buy the G4's, so no point.

I can see this sort of thing having happened, both to get the low price on G4's, and to get Moto's ongoing to support to G4 development.

It would also explain why the iBook went G4, to make up for the lose of the Powermac sales, towards a total target of G4 purchases ( say Apple comitted to buy 3 million ).
post #34 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by mmmpie
Remember the rumor that Apple had a contract to buy G4's at a set price from Moto, and Moto was losing money on every one due to low yields?
.
.
.
It would also explain why the iBook went G4, to make up for the lose of the Powermac sales, towards a total target of G4 purchases ( say Apple comitted to buy 3 million ).

I remember about a contract with Moto that already ran out some time ago, and, supposedly, Apple got rid of Moto's hell; I am not sure if we talk about the same thing. I too remember some rumors wanting Apple to sue Moto because of contract violation (fabulous Moto inability to deliver, especially in the G5 project).
post #35 of 124
from http://translate.google.com/translat...language_tools

"2004-02-14 - The future battle of APPLE

APPLE is about to bring a lawsuit against Motorola:

The law firm Orrick, famous in the difficult battles for the account of large American companies, was engaged by APPLE to launch out in the battle.

APPLE intends to require approximately 500 million dollars of compensation at Motorola, and this by showing 4 essential facts:
1 Motorola is responsible for the fall on behalf of market of APPLE, because the consumers had a perception of inferiority of the APPLE products.
the 2 economic conditions of then did not have an effect more significant on APPLE than on the remainder of the actors of this market.
3 Motorola hid elements and significant facts with APPLE.
4 APPLE could not make differently than to remain to await Motorola because the costs of change would have been exhorbitants.

APPLE will support its arguments by showing that its collaboration with Motorala was very largely degraded since the year 2000, and this because of Motorola."
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post #36 of 124
Now, with the news about the PowerTune technology, I seriously doubt that we will see any Powerbook revision with a G4 in the future. See the title:

Quote:

16 February 2004

IBM reveals chip process trinity

PowerPC 970FX chip can be used in PCs, laptops and networking equipment
post #37 of 124
Interesting how the article repeatedly refers to "future Power Macs" but never specifically says in future "PowerBooks;" just say it could be used in future notebooks, routers, etc. But half the power consumption at today's present peak clock speed is encouraging nonetheless.
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post #38 of 124
I think it is tomorrow the details about PowerTune, no? Stay tuned ...
post #39 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
I think it is tomorrow the details about PowerTune, no? Stay tuned ...

Today, IBM talked about Power5 and its SMT capabilities. Tomorrow (wed, 18th) they present PowerTune and they have another talk or presentation scheduled for monday.

MacRumors quotes a senior IBM staff member as stating the 970FX uses 50W at 2.5Ghz and 24.5W at 2Ghz, compared to the 970 using 66W at a slower clock speed (was that 1.8 Ghz or 2.0? I believe 1.8 ). This should make a 1.4 - 1.8 Ghz piece suitable for notebooks.
post #40 of 124
Quote:
Originally posted by Smircle
...as stating the 970FX uses 50W at 2.5Ghz and 24.5W at 2Ghz, compared to the 970 using 66W at a slower clock speed (was that 1.8 Ghz or 2.0? I believe 1.8 ). This should make a 1.4 - 1.8 Ghz piece suitable for notebooks.

I am no CPU engineer, but isn't a twofold increase in the energy consumption over 500MHz a bit strange? Doesn't seem like a very smooth curve in power usage.

But if they'll drop these in PowerBooks soon, then woo-hoo!!! I wonder if it's more the other architecture changes that need to made to accomodate the G5 and its pipeline rather than the heat problem that is holding back introduction (or as others have said again and again, Apple wants to milk the PowerBook G4s for everything they can).
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