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Low end 9XX series PowerPC

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have a feeling that IBM and Apple are currently working on a lower-end processor based on the 970. Lets dub it the 950, and it would be used in the iMac, eMac, PowerBook and eventually the iBook. And possibly a low end tower machine. It would be based on the 970 core, but with no multi-processor support. It should have at least 512KB of cache, maybe more if it is released side by side with a 970GX with 1MB of cache. The 950 would also lack the advanced 970 bus, instead relying strictly on HT. Therefore it will need a built-in memory controller.

The processor would be the G4 killer and IBM could also push it to replace the 750 family as its low-end desktop processor. Apple would finally have a processor to put in their low-end machines to differentiate them from the tower machines performance-wise, and they would have a low power processor for portables.

What do you all think are the chances of a lower end 9XX series making it's way out of IBM and Apple?
post #2 of 19
I'm sorry, you have a feeling?

The 970fx is Apple's low end G4 killer. Once the fab issues are ironed out, we'll see it in the iMac. The iBook will be just fine with the G4 at up to 1.5GHz for the foreseeable future, especially if that allows for reduced pricing. A combo drive 1.5 GHz G4 iBook with a Radeon 9700 mobility for $999 would be a killer deal even a year from now.
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post #3 of 19
Assuming (and this is BIG-time assuming since it was from macosrumors.com) that the 975 is going into PowerMacs, I could see the iMac getting a 970fx soon.
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post #4 of 19
BAD thread.
post #5 of 19
I'm with outsider

I've been saying all along that they need a consumer chip to replace the G4 in consumer machines... I think it is very likely Apple will adopt a chip other than the G5 for their current consumer offerings.
but they might have to call it the G5lite or i5 processor or something.

i dunno

i guess we'll just all have to wait and see :-D
iPatch

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post #6 of 19
The 970FX should be all Apple needs to replace the G4 in the consumer area for the i and eMac. I don't see why you'd want a worse (or less good) chip in a desktop, when we already have this excellent, little processor to succeed the G4.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Zapchud
The 970FX should be all Apple needs to replace the G4 in the consumer area for the i and eMac. I don't see why you'd want a worse (or less good) chip in a desktop, when we already have this excellent, little processor to succeed the G4.

Ditto that the G5 FX have the same number of transistor than the 7457. Considering the others chips of the market, the ratio transistors/fabbing process is quite good.

What is needed is a low consomation version of the G5 FX wich will allow to use them in laptops.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Powerdoc
Ditto that the G5 FX have the same number of transistor than the 7457. Considering the others chips of the market, the ratio transistors/fabbing process is quite good.

What is needed is a low consomation version of the G5 FX wich will allow to use them in laptops.

I suspect the Freescale e600 will be the next low power consumption processor. Shouldn't be too bad. Possibly at 90 nm, integrated memory controller (Rapid-IO), dual core. It's been said by many before me on these boards, but that'd be something. :-)

But also, as I read the roadmap, I notice that the other next-generation processor is "Discrete". What computer company usually has its plans kept discrete? ;-)

Of course, then it's absolutely no information to find about it.
post #9 of 19
The 970fx will probably be low end soon enough...
Stoo
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Stoo
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post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Outsider
Therefore it will need a built-in memory controller.

If I understood things correctly, this is the farthest thing from low-end (assuming you also mean low-performance to differentiate it from the 97x). Built-in memory controller kicks! See the benefits on the Opteron.

The drawback is that you can't use what the memory controller doesn't support (ie: a newer RAM standard). But the upside is that even assuming a low speed of 1.2 GHz, the mem controller would be running at full speed, and right now it'd be faster than the 1000 MHz FSB on the top-of-the-line G5.

That is, if I understood how these things work correctly.

Cheers,

ZoSo
post #11 of 19
That is almost correct, ZoSo.

The integrated memory controller usually goes into the high-end part.

But IMCs doesn't need to be in high-end parts, strictly. Just look at the athlon. In that world, the high-end and low-end parts are differentiated by the number of memory channels and size of the L2 cache.

That could well be the differentiation in IBM's processors as well. For Apple, differentiator junkies as they are, they could and would have a difference in clock frequency as well.
post #12 of 19
Would it be possible to use the 970fx with something less than a (.5)(processor speed) FSB? If so, I'd guess that would be in the iMac soon, and the PowerBook sometime later.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Would it be possible to use the 970fx with something less than a (.5)(processor speed) FSB? If so, I'd guess that would be in the iMac soon, and the PowerBook sometime later.

Yes it's possible : they can use at 1/3 ratio if they want. There is also the 1/4 ratio and the 1/6 ratio if my memory is correct.
post #14 of 19
Indeed, and that's what I think they'll do. 1.6Ghz and up at 1:4 FSB ratios should a great combination make for an iMac. Combined with single channel DDR400 memory. At least, that'd kick the iMacs of today's asses.
post #15 of 19
Kickaha and Amorph couldn't moderate themselves out of a paper bag. Abdicate responsibility and succumb to idiocy. Two years of letting a member make personal attacks against others, then stepping aside when someone won't put up with it. Not only that but go ahead and shut down my posting priviledges but not the one making the attacks. Not even the common decency to abide by their warning (afer three days of absorbing personal attacks with no mods in sight), just shut my posting down and then say it might happen later if a certian line is crossed. Bullshit flag is flying, I won't abide by lying and coddling of liars who go off-site, create accounts differing in a single letter from my handle with the express purpose to decieve and then claim here that I did it. Everyone be warned, kim kap sol is a lying, deceitful poster.

Now I guess they should have banned me rather than just shut off posting priviledges, because kickaha and Amorph definitely aren't going to like being called to task when they thought they had it all ignored *cough* *cough* I mean under control. Just a couple o' tools.

Don't worry, as soon as my work resetting my posts is done I'll disappear forever.
post #16 of 19
Errr that is not correct, there are more integrated memory controllers in the embedded space than in the mainstream desktop market. The vast majority of these embedded installations are not high end at all.

AMD finally decided to integrate a memory controller in its desktop processors to take advantage of the performance capability such stuff brings to the line. The thing is they got around to doing it in their mainline processors, but have been doing so for a long time in the embedded world. The fact that they did this on the high end product is the result of where the development work is beign done.

Thanks
dave



Quote:
Originally posted by Zapchud
That is almost correct, ZoSo.

The integrated memory controller usually goes into the high-end part.
post #17 of 19
First there is nothing about the 970FX to keep it from the low end. In fact I suspect that the low end is where this chip was going to live out its life. It certainly is not the chip we want to see in the next PowerMac rev!

On the otherhand HT and a memory controler would lead to a very smart and cheap design. In the long run higher integration is a key element of advancing performance and lowering cost. So it is pretty much a given that we will start to see high integration devices in the near future. That may very well be on the laptops.

I would hate to label such a processor as a low end model though. Done right it is an avenue to high performance at a low cost. For Apple that would be great, it would be even better for IBM as it actually may help with getting their hardware designed into other computers.

Thanks
Dave


Quote:
Originally posted by Outsider
I have a feeling that IBM and Apple are currently working on a lower-end processor based on the 970. Lets dub it the 950, and it would be used in the iMac, eMac, PowerBook and eventually the iBook. And possibly a low end tower machine. It would be based on the 970 core, but with no multi-processor support. It should have at least 512KB of cache, maybe more if it is released side by side with a 970GX with 1MB of cache. The 950 would also lack the advanced 970 bus, instead relying strictly on HT. Therefore it will need a built-in memory controller.

The processor would be the G4 killer and IBM could also push it to replace the 750 family as its low-end desktop processor. Apple would finally have a processor to put in their low-end machines to differentiate them from the tower machines performance-wise, and they would have a low power processor for portables.

What do you all think are the chances of a lower end 9XX series making it's way out of IBM and Apple?
post #18 of 19
When I think of what might be coming my best guess is that IBM will move the Power 5 derivative to the PM for WWDC, with delivery of the 3 gig in the fall. There may also be an interim "970fx" in the 2.2 - 2.6 range. Reason for the guess: IBM needs to make up Apple's losses from the recent fab problems and this is a hell of a way to do that.

The 970fx would be a hell of a chip for the eMac and iBook, with deliveries in time for Christmas selling - and it would kick ass.

The question that is left is what goes into the PB and iMac? Both are critical markets for Apple and need to be better than the low end with out stealing the thunder of the PM.

My money (up to $1.00) would be for the iMac to have the same chip as the PM, limited to a single and topping out at 0.2 below the PM. The reason for this is that it needs to be superior to the eMac - by a significant amount. It is going to need a fast FSB and a few other goodies from the PM. This is mainly because of the price points it will address - Apple has to show that there is value in the additional money, just as BMW has to show more value than a Ford.

My reasoning is that Apple needs something pretty special to have a major jump start in iMac sales again. They need something that will get prople ordering within an hour of the release and that means kick ass power and kick ass design.

If the thermal performance allows it then I see the same chip, with speeds matching the iMac - but again limited to a single processor.

This approach leaves the PM as basically the dual processor line, with one single processor at the low end for those that want expansion on the cheap.

While this might not have been the road map a year ago I believe that the fab problems put IBM into a position where they are going to need to out perform that road map starting this summer, and out performing it by a significant amount.

Not that many days until we find out - and also find out if I'm going to be able to get a color screen on an iPod.
Ken
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Ken
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post #19 of 19
Apple has absolutely no need for a 'low end chip' design.

Current G5s are perfect and just need to be offered in single configuration options at varying speeds.

Remember, the more G5s that Apple ships the cheaper they become for Apple to buy. The so-called consumer desktop lines are long overdue for a massive revision and should have gone G5 long ago (MWSF at the latest).

With the exception of the iBook/Powerbook lines Apple's offerings are pretty stale.

Hopefully this will change in the coming five weeks. Even more hopefully, the changes will be of the 'available now' variety and not just another effort to buy some time.
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