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New IBM chip could serve a PowerBook G5, but is it too little too late?

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 
IBM's announcement of a low-power 970FX PowerPC G5 processor yesterday came as a bit of a surprise to some analysts and industry insiders who believe the chip could be the first worthy contender to power a G5-based laptop from Apple, but question if Mac maker will choose to use it.

Two variants of the chip -- a 1.2GHz version and a 1.4GHz version -- consume an approximately 13 watts of power, believed to be cool enough to operate inside a PowerBook enclosure with an advanced cooling system. A high-end 1.6GHz version consumes 16 watts.

By comparison, Freescale's recently introduced MPC7448 PowerPC G4, the successor to the chip used in Apple's current PowerBook G4 systems, will consume about 10 watts of power running at 1.4GHz, and just under 15 watts of power at its top speed of 1.7GHz.

"The [low-power 970FX] mobile G5 may surprise some given Steve Jobs' comments at his keynote that one of the key reasons why Apple is moving to Intel is that IBM cannot come up with a low-power G5 processor for use in a PowerBook," American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a research note released to clients on Friday. "The irony of this is that these new mobile G5 processors consume 13 to 16 watts, very competitive with Intel Pentium M processors" which power today's Centrino laptops.

The current generation Pentium M mobile processors are believed to draw between 10 and 15 watts of power, with typical operation in the 13 watt range, according to Intel documents. By some industry standards, chips that consume less than 10 watts do not always require a cooling system, while those drawing a bit more power are often accompanied by cooling fans.

"For Apple, the good news is that it now has more choices on PowerPC processors to bridge the gap over the next two years as it transitions to Intel processors," Wu said. "But the bad news is that we believe it will remain a marketing challenge to say that Intel Macs are the future and at the same time be selling powerful dead-end PowerPC Macs over the next two years."

Tim Deal, an analyst for Technology Business Research, also believes Apple's switch to Intel chips may have buried any hope for a PowerBook G5 this late in the game. "Apple has made it quite clear that a PowerBook G5 is not in the companys product roadmap," the analyst told AppleInsider. "After the companys announced move to integrate Intel processors, the introduction of a PowerBook G5 would contradict Apples implication that IBM is unable to meet its ongoing product evolution."

Still, Deal acknowledges that demand for a PowerBook G5 exists amongst consumers. "If Apple could meet that demand, then there is likely a revenue opportunity in the introduction," he said.

The time between now and mid-2006 -- when Apple is expected to begin introducing the first Intel-based Macs -- has raised concern amongst some analysts who wonder if sales of PowerPC-based Macs will slip as consumers anticipate the company's first Intel-based systems. They fear changes in demand for Apple's current offerings could affect short-term Mac revenue growth.

Apple last updated its PowerBook G4 product line in January with 1.5GHz and 1.67GHz processors from Motorola's Freescale subsidiary. If Apple choose not to use IBM's new low-power 970FX G5 chips, it seems unlikely that any forthcoming PowerBook update would sport a processor faster than Freescale's recently announced 1.7GHz MPC7448 PowerPC G4.

The first PowerBook to sport an Intel processor is not expected until July 2006 at the earliest.
post #2 of 91
July 2006 at the earliest? Where does that come from?
post #3 of 91
This will be a tough choice for Apple. If the power requirement is within specs, can Apple introduce a Powerbook with a 1.6GHz G5 processor when the current one has a 1.67GHz G4? Many might see this as a step back.

I'm not sure that power would be an issue. If Freescale's 1.7 is 15 watts, and IBM's 1.6 is 16 watts, there isn't much difference there.

Remember that a 1.6 G5 is about the same as a 2 G4. As the G4 usually compared has a 2MB L3 cache, and the 7447 and new 7448 has none, it might be equivelent to a 2.2 G4 here in the portable space.

That's really not bad.
post #4 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
July 2006 at the earliest? Where does that come from?

Jobs statement that the first machines would be out by the next Dev Conf.
post #5 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Jobs statement that the first machines would be out by the next Dev Conf.

Yeah. "BY", as meaning BEFORE. Steve said they expect to have Intel-powered systems on the market by WWDC 06 - that means before he steps on stage - that means anytime between Jan '06-the day before WWDC '06.

Regardless of what analysts and others think, I'm sticking to my hypothesis that we'll see the first Intel-powered Macs at MWSF 06 and I think the first systems up will be Apple's PowerBook - maybe the iBook, as well.
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post #6 of 91
The low powre G5 is a face save for IBM. very last minute. They just handicapped a 970 FX to get the power down. sure, it consumes watts just a little less efficienct than Centrino, but then angain, the Centrino is just as fast, clock for clock as the G5. Add to that the fact that 2.1 GHZ Centrinos are out NOW and the idea of a mobile G5 just looks terrible - especially considering that the next G4 may outperform it on average. Low Power consumation, but low power output too. bummer. I suppose it would perform marginally faster than the current G4, but my goodness, it should be much further along. anyway, at least now we have good proof that IBM was not innovating and Apple HAD TO go Intel. At least they improve year on year, even if the last year was marginal(industry wide).

I cannot wait for my Merom based PB. We will probably see Yonah based Ibooks and Minis and Merom based Imacs and PBs while Powermacs will probably get whatever killer CPU is out in two years.

In either case, I love the current PB so much, I would probably buy it with a 1.8 GHZ G5 (factory overclocked or not), but not 1.6. I just do not see how Apple could improve upon its design.
post #7 of 91
"The first PowerBook to sport an Intel processor is not expected until July 2006 at the earliest."

This should read:
"The first PowerBook to sport an Intel processor is expected between January and July 2006."
post #8 of 91
I agree, at MWSF we should see some sweet stuff with an Intel logo slapped on it.
post #9 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by 9secondko
The low powre G5 is a face save for IBM. very last minute. They just handicapped a 970 FX to get the power down. sure, it consumes watts just a little less efficienct than Centrino, but then angain, the Centrino is just as fast, clock for clock as the G5. Add to that the fact that 2.1 GHZ Centrinos are out NOW and the idea of a mobile G5 just looks terrible - especially considering that the next G4 may outperform it on average. Low Power consumation, but low power output too. bummer. I suppose it would perform marginally faster than the current G4, but my goodness, it should be much further along. anyway, at least now we have good proof that IBM was not innovating and Apple HAD TO go Intel. At least they improve year on year, even if the last year was marginal(industry wide).

I cannot wait for my Merom based PB. We will probably see Yonah based Ibooks and Minis and Merom based Imacs and PBs while Powermacs will probably get whatever killer CPU is out in two years.

That's what i was thinking - what are they talking about? - Pentium M's are at 2.13GHz right now - these things are at 1.6G max? for now? how does that compare - sure theyre dissapation specs clock for clock look very similar but pointless if you cant match the max clock for Intel?.

I think well get Yonah based PB's before the next gen Merom's, but im really happy with my 1.25 PB 15" at least for now!.

Anyway,
post #10 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by sdfisher
"The first PowerBook to sport an Intel processor is not expected until July 2006 at the earliest."

This should read:
"The first PowerBook to sport an Intel processor is expected between January and July 2006."

We really have no idea. I'd expect it would be between January and June, but who knows? Jobs said that some Mac would have an Intel by June 2006, but whether that's a PowerBook or not is unknown. It theoretically could even be before January 2006, although that's unlikely. But I don't know where they got this "July 2006 at the earliest." Is it new information, or just speculation based on the WWDC 2006 reference - which is in June, not July, I believe.
post #11 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by macnut222
Yeah. "BY", as meaning BEFORE. Steve said they expect to have Intel-powered systems on the market by WWDC 06 - that means before he steps on stage - that means anytime between Jan '06-the day before WWDC '06.

Regardless of what analysts and others think, I'm sticking to my hypothesis that we'll see the first Intel-powered Macs at MWSF 06 and I think the first systems up will be Apple's PowerBook - maybe the iBook, as well.

For you and the other guys afterward who are *hoping* that what you say is correct: forget it!

That's wishful thinking, and you know it. "By" means *possibly* late spring. The chips Apple needs won't be out till then.

Don't knock this new FX either. A 1.6 GHz model can compete with a 2.2GHz x86. A 2GHz G5 has been shown to compete with a 3GHz P4 quite well.
post #12 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
We really have no idea. I'd expect it would be between January and June, but who knows? Jobs said that some Mac would have an Intel by June 2006, but whether that's a PowerBook or not is unknown. It theoretically could even be before January 2006, although that's unlikely. But I don't know where they got this "July 2006 at the earliest." Is it new information, or just speculation based on the WWDC 2006 reference - which is in June, not July, I believe.

It is June. That's why I refer to the Dev Conf rather than an actual date.
post #13 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Jobs statement that the first machines would be out by the next Dev Conf.

I saw (heard) that. That only means that they will be out no later then. I predict MacWorld San Fran. for the first ones.

I personally guess: mac mini and iBook and maybe (maybe) a powerbook. Something tells me (no inside info) that Apple was ready to go on 6/6/05. However there is the whole ramp up time of people getting used to the idea.

I do think the first computers wil be out at Mac World San Fran and will be shocked if they show up any later.
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post #14 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by iIke
I saw (heard) that. That only means that they will be out no later then. I predict MacWorld San Fran. for the first ones.

I personally guess: mac mini and iBook and maybe (maybe) a powerbook. Something tells me (no inside info) that Apple was ready to go on 6/6/05. However there is the whole ramp up time of people getting used to the idea.

I do think the first computers wil be out at Mac World San Fran and will be shocked if they show up any later.

Nah. From what I hear from my own in Apple is that the OS isn't completed as yet. There are also driver issues. Apple needs to have a *lot* of them upon release, and the driver model for Intel is different. The other question is how Apple will handle the boot-up process. Open Firmware is out. It isn't supported in x86 chips. While Apple seems to be using a BIOS in the dev kits, it isn't believed that they will use it in the final machines. Intel has a proposed model similar to OF, but hasn't been too successful in getting PC makers to adopt it. It's thought that Apple will be the first hi profile company to adopt this.

But it will take time. That's why I'm not optimistic about anything before, say, April, at the earliest.
post #15 of 91
im the biggest proponent of... erm... or rather antiponent or whatever the word is of intel, but if the arrival of these chips is Jan 06 or later, yeah its too little, WAY too late.
post #16 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by mike12309
im the biggest proponent of... erm... or rather antiponent or whatever the word is of intel, but if the arrival of these chips is Jan 06 or later, yeah its too little, WAY too late.

"Anitponent". I like that. Can I use it?
post #17 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
For you and the other guys afterward who are *hoping* that what you say is correct: forget it!

That's wishful thinking, and you know it. "By" means *possibly* late spring. The chips Apple needs won't be out till then.

Of course it's wishful thinking. Nonetheless, it still possible given the broad timeframe that Steve provided.

Quote:
Don't knock this new FX either. A 1.6 GHz model can compete with a 2.2GHz x86. A 2GHz G5 has been shown to compete with a 3GHz P4 quite well.

Of course the Pentium M (and desktop-based versions) are different beasts than the Netburst-based Pentium 4. They're much more efficient. Our current ideas about PPC vs Pentium need to be re-evaluated.
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post #18 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by macnut222
Of course it's wishful thinking. Nonetheless, it still possible given the broad timeframe that Steve provided.



Of course the Pentium M (and desktop-based versions) are different beasts than the Netburst-based Pentium 4. They're much more efficient. Our current ideas about PPC vs Pentium need to be re-evaluated.

They are. The integer performance is better. But floats are still better in the G5, and Altivec, for those who need it, still covers a lot of things.
post #19 of 91
The problem is what to do between now and say January 2006 (if that's the earliest Intel Powerbook).

I suppose Apple could do nothing...since a using Freescale's chip would be such a minor update, it's almost not worth it. The FSB is faster too, but not much.
So, assuming Jan 06 is when we get the Intel models, it'll have been a whole year between updates, which based on recent history, is not that unexpected.
The only problem with that is that it holds up any possible updates to the iBook.
post #20 of 91
I think that if the 1.6 G5 could run Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, etc (high end apps) say 15% faster than the current 1.67 G4, I think Apple might go for it--it certainly wouldn't hurt to do a "stop-gap" release before the Intel ones. It wouldn't be a "major" release, but it's likely that they've prepared for it (they wouldn't be surprised by this announcement) AND they DO need to keep selling PB's until the Intel's are ready, so even a modest speed bump would be better than none--waiting another 11 months (at most) for Intel w/o a speed bump along with the anticipated Intel machines would temporarily kill PB's after MW SF (Jan) (my opinion, of course). I think a 1.6 G5 might slow down the loss,, but not prevent it--but that's better than nothing.
post #21 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by ThinkDifferent
I agree, at MWSF we should see some sweet stuff with an Intel logo slapped on it.

Dude, you're getting a Dell.
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post #22 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
For you and the other guys afterward who are *hoping* that what you say is correct: forget it!

That's wishful thinking, and you know it. "By" means *possibly* late spring. The chips Apple needs won't be out till then.

Don't knock this new FX either. A 1.6 GHz model can compete with a 2.2GHz x86. A 2GHz G5 has been shown to compete with a 3GHz P4 quite well.

Actually, a 2 GHZ G5 is more like a 2 GHZ Pentium M. And the 2 GHZ Pentium M has been proven to be a match for a P4 at 3.6 GHZ. Only the 3.8 P4 is slightly faster.

A 1.6 G5 would get smoked by a Pentium M. Even the original bottom end Powermac 1.6 left much to be desired. The key to the 970 was that it could clock high. Yes, it is efficient like Athlon 64 and close to Pentium M, but not quite.

The fact is a 2.1 GHZ Pentium M our NOW (not to mention what will be available byt he time the mobile 970 is) will blow the doors off of a G5 at 1.6 and a 1.6 Centino would hold its own very well.

The G5 is a great processor, no doubt. Superior to the P4. However, it is equal to the Athlon 64, and less than the Penitum M, per clock.

That is just the way it is.
post #23 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
"Anitponent". I like that. Can I use it?

knock yourself out... ill be expecting royalties though.
post #24 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by 9secondko
Actually, a 2 GHZ G5 is more like a 2 GHZ Pentium M. And the 2 GHZ Pentium M has been proven to be a match for a P4 at 3.6 GHZ. Only the 3.8 P4 is slightly faster.

A 1.6 G5 would get smoked by a Pentium M. Even the original bottom end Powermac 1.6 left much to be desired. The key to the 970 was that it could clock high. Yes, it is efficient like Athlon 64 and close to Pentium M, but not quite.

The fact is a 2.1 GHZ Pentium M our NOW (not to mention what will be available byt he time the mobile 970 is) will blow the doors off of a G5 at 1.6 and a 1.6 Centino would hold its own very well.

The G5 is a great processor, no doubt. Superior to the P4. However, it is equal to the Athlon 64, and less than the Penitum M, per clock.

That is just the way it is.

I don't completely agree with that. The integer performance is better, as I said, but that isn't the only thing that matters.

You also have to look at what is being run on these machines. FCP and other programs rely heavily on Altivec, and despite what you might think, that gives a big advantage to these hi performence apps.

The other thing not being considered here is that not everyone measures their machine to what an x86 can do. In my industry, we measure our Macs against a new Mac, not against a PC. That's irrelevant. Here on the forums there is much posturing about this, but not as much in the actual places where we use these machines. The reason why the Powermac's sales have fallen is not because they are slower than a PC, but because they haven't risen much against last years model, giving little reason to upgrade. This really has to be understood.

In a year or more things will be different. If x68 gets much ahead of the PPC then we WILL look to it and wonder, but not when performance is only 10--20% less, if at all. there are functional matters that are important, and most of those reside in the OS. If that were not the case, then all video, graphics, photo, music, and publishing would have completely left years ago. College students and staff wouldn't be increasing the use of Macs, esp. Powerbooks.

But Apple has to make some kind of push or it will lose sales to the "Osborn Effect". I think that Apple will, if possible, come out with some really hot machines over the next 9 months or so. Again - if possible.

They don't want to lose the momentum that they have maintained over the last year: 36%, 43%, 51%, and now 79% growth in computers year over year. This is incredible!
post #25 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by mcdawson
I think that if the 1.6 G5 could run Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, etc (high end apps) say 15% faster than the current 1.67 G4, I think Apple might go for it--it certainly wouldn't hurt to do a "stop-gap" release before the Intel ones. It wouldn't be a "major" release, but it's likely that they've prepared for it (they wouldn't be surprised by this announcement) AND they DO need to keep selling PB's until the Intel's are ready, so even a modest speed bump would be better than none--waiting another 11 months (at most) for Intel w/o a speed bump along with the anticipated Intel machines would temporarily kill PB's after MW SF (Jan) (my opinion, of course). I think a 1.6 G5 might slow down the loss,, but not prevent it--but that's better than nothing.


It WOULD be a major release. You'd need a whole new motherboard and support chips for a start and almost certainly a new outer design. The G5 also has seriously slow firewire performance so in some respects, a faster G4 is desirable.

I predict, we'll see the 7448 in Powerbooks and iBooks soon and almost certainly at faster speeds than the 1.7Ghz speed Freescale are quoting to the embedded market. It's a drop in replacement - a no brainer.

That will tide us over till there's a decent Pentium M based laptop.
post #26 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
It WOULD be a major release. You'd need a whole new motherboard and support chips for a start and almost certainly a new outer design. The G5 also has seriously slow firewire performance so in some respects, a faster G4 is desirable.

I predict, we'll see the 7448 in Powerbooks and iBooks soon and almost certainly at faster speeds than the 1.7Ghz speed Freescale are quoting to the embedded market. It's a drop in replacement - a no brainer.

That will tide us over till there's a decent Pentium M based laptop.

It's not entirely a drop in replacement, but it's as close as can be gotten to one.

Again, it's all about momentum.

I also don't think that most consumers buying iMacs care much about the processor speeds. They're buying them for design, the OS, and because they aren't infected.
post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
It's not entirely a drop in replacement, but it's as close as can be gotten to one.

Again, it's all about momentum.

I also don't think that most consumers buying iMacs care much about the processor speeds. They're buying them for design, the OS, and because they aren't infected.

Where did iMacs come into it? ;-)

The 7448 is pin compatible with the old 7447A. The north/south bridges Apple use should be 200Mhz compatible already. It uses less power. IIRC there's some extra heat probes on the 7448.

But those are minor compared to a G5 upgrade which would need everything changed.


Whilst we're diverted on iMacs, lower power G5s would still be handy there. Apple placed them right below the drives in the iMac and the heat from the G5 heats up the hard drive to temperatures beyond what the drive manufacturers claim is acceptable. IMHO that could be a class action lawsuit in the making there.
post #28 of 91
Am I the only one gradually getting miffed by this Intel transition?

I mean everything was going great! Mac sales were way up. Apple is selling more Macs now then they ever have and the trend was going upwards. No one cares about the processor speeds as long as we can do quickly what we needed to do.

Even with the IBM processors OSX is a beauty to use. Tiger runs perfect on my 1 GHz G4 PowerBook with 512 megs of RAM. The only slow task is securely emptying the trash.

I mean how much power do you need? Is the next OS X version going to be so revolutionary it needs Intel processors? Or is this an effort to make all Windows applications run flawlessly in a future version of OS X?

I just don't understand. Needless to say I won't be replaceing this laptop with any Apple computer until the shakedown is over.
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post #29 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by humanfellow
Am I the only one gradually getting miffed by this Intel transition?

probably not...

Quote:
I mean everything was going great! Mac sales were way up. Apple is selling more Macs now then they ever have and the trend was going upwards. No one cares about the processor speeds as long as we can do quickly what we needed to do.

If by "no one" you mean everybody who doesn't know what's going on, and no one who needs to push their equipment to the limit (ie: you won't notice a slow processor until you try and do more than it's capable of)

Quote:
Even with the IBM processors OSX is a beauty to use. Tiger runs perfect on my 1 GHz G4 PowerBook with 512 megs of RAM. The only slow task is securely emptying the trash.

"securely emptying the trash"
It'll be...um...more of a beauty then...

Quote:
I mean how much power do you need? Is the next OS X version going to be so revolutionary it needs Intel processors? Or is this an effort to make all Windows applications run flawlessly in a future version of OS X?

Doubtful, because of the OS/2 effect, but it could be an effort to woo switchers with "we already have what you use now"...who really knows...as for power, see above.

Quote:
I just don't understand. Needless to say I won't be replaceing this laptop with any Apple computer until the shakedown is over.

Nobody really does understand, although they'll tell you they do. And I too plan to wait to buy my next PB until Rev. B of the intel-macs. I was planning to wait for a G5 since the G4 is so underpowered, but now I think I'll just wait, even if a G5 makes it into a laptop.
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post #30 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by 9secondko
The low powre G5 is a face save for IBM. very last minute. They just handicapped a 970 FX to get the power down. sure, it consumes watts just a little less efficienct than Centrino, but then angain, the Centrino is just as fast, clock for clock as the G5. Add to that the fact that 2.1 GHZ Centrinos are out NOW and the idea of a mobile G5 just looks terrible - especially considering that the next G4 may outperform it on average. Low Power consumation, but low power output too. bummer. I suppose it would perform marginally faster than the current G4, but my goodness, it should be much further along. anyway, at least now we have good proof that IBM was not innovating and Apple HAD TO go Intel. At least they improve year on year, even if the last year was marginal(industry wide).

I cannot wait for my Merom based PB. We will probably see Yonah based Ibooks and Minis and Merom based Imacs and PBs while Powermacs will probably get whatever killer CPU is out in two years.

In either case, I love the current PB so much, I would probably buy it with a 1.8 GHZ G5 (factory overclocked or not), but not 1.6. I just do not see how Apple could improve upon its design.

another point is that even though has these chips ready, they probably won't even be able to produce them in significant quantities. since centrinos are already faster at 2.1 Ghz compared to 1.6 (if what you say is true), and Intel already has more than enough Centrinos to meet demand, it makes absolutely no sense for apple to pick up G5s for laptops right now. especially since by the time IBM is producing these laptop chips in decent quantities apple will be beginning its transition to Intel.

Sorry, IBM, too little, too late.
post #31 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by humanfellow
Am I the only one gradually getting miffed by this Intel transition?

I mean everything was going great! Mac sales were way up. Apple is selling more Macs now then they ever have and the trend was going upwards. No one cares about the processor speeds as long as we can do quickly what we needed to do.

Even with the IBM processors OSX is a beauty to use. Tiger runs perfect on my 1 GHz G4 PowerBook with 512 megs of RAM. The only slow task is securely emptying the trash.

I mean how much power do you need? Is the next OS X version going to be so revolutionary it needs Intel processors? Or is this an effort to make all Windows applications run flawlessly in a future version of OS X?

I just don't understand. Needless to say I won't be replaceing this laptop with any Apple computer until the shakedown is over.

although these new G5 notebook-worthy chips are announced, how long will it be until they will actually be availible in significant quantities? Apple is sick of waiting for IBM and they need a partner with some real manufacturing muscle.

plus, centrinos are still faster than these clocked down G5s, and still more efficient.
post #32 of 91
Quote:
originally posted by humanfellow:
I mean how much power do you need?

Anyone named humanfellow is worthy of praise, but the question of power has been addressed countless times on these boards. For many users, increased power is irrelevant, but for those of us working in the sciences or high end multimedia, more power is always a welcome (and often necessary) sight. Let's please put this question to rest. Word processing folks can get along just fine with current specs, but scientists and visual artists, to name just a few users, always will appreciate increased speed.
post #33 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by humanfellow
Am I the only one gradually getting miffed by this Intel transition?

I mean everything was going great! Mac sales were way up. Apple is selling more Macs now then they ever have and the trend was going upwards. No one cares about the processor speeds as long as we can do quickly what we needed to do.

Even with the IBM processors OSX is a beauty to use. Tiger runs perfect on my 1 GHz G4 PowerBook with 512 megs of RAM. The only slow task is securely emptying the trash.

I mean how much power do you need? Is the next OS X version going to be so revolutionary it needs Intel processors? Or is this an effort to make all Windows applications run flawlessly in a future version of OS X?

I just don't understand. Needless to say I won't be replaceing this laptop with any Apple computer until the shakedown is over.

You raise a very valid point. For a large segment of the market the current processors satisfy their needs and faster PPCs are on the horizon. What was so dramatically special about the Intel roadmap that induced Steve to switch?

There are a number of what I call fences in computing. We have been fenced in by disk capacity, disk speed, display resolution, battery life, CPU speed, etc. We are now very close to a time when these fences will recede to the horizon. Memory is already cheap enough that there is no reason not to buy a couple of gigabytes if you want it. External hard drives are just about there as well. You can already get a 1.5Tbyte FW drive for about a thousand dollars. Desktop display prices are falling. It is not hard to imagine that inside five years all CPUs will be spectacularly faster than now.

So if in the near future all hardware will be cheap and spectacular why did Steve find it necessary to switch now rather than wait things out?

We'll just have to wait a couple of years to find out.
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post #34 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Where did iMacs come into it? ;-)

The 7448 is pin compatible with the old 7447A. The north/south bridges Apple use should be 200Mhz compatible already. It uses less power. IIRC there's some extra heat probes on the 7448.

But those are minor compared to a G5 upgrade which would need everything changed.


Whilst we're diverted on iMacs, lower power G5s would still be handy there. Apple placed them right below the drives in the iMac and the heat from the G5 heats up the hard drive to temperatures beyond what the drive manufacturers claim is acceptable. IMHO that could be a class action lawsuit in the making there.

I mean that it will require a firmware update. That ALMOST makes it drop in.

I brought the iMac's up because we are talking about processors, and the iMacs are doing very well right now in sales. The people buying them, as I said, don't care about which processor is in these machines. It's very simple.

Few consumers care about the processors in the machine they buy. That's the point.

Apple should play up the qualities of their machines and software, and downplay the cpu's. Make people concentrate on what's important.
post #35 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross


I brought the iMac's up because we are talking about processors, and the iMacs are doing very well right now in sales. The people buying them, as I said, don't care about which processor is in these machines. It's very simple.

thats quite right. when selling an imac, today for example, i had to explain to several people that A) it wasnt Mhz to Mhz vs P4, B) that it was running on a better OS, C) it would do everything they needed effeciently and quickly. They were convinced, and i dont think if the machine was a 1.8 or even a 1.6 instead of a 2.0 that it really would have made a difference to them.

esspecially since even IF the G5 2.0Ghz isnt as good as say a P4 3.4Ghz EE, the P4 will be worthless on Windows with most people due to inability to deal with security, and ultimately letting the computer be sapped of cpu preformance because of it.
post #36 of 91
Quote:
Originally posted by humanfellow
Am I the only one gradually getting miffed by this Intel transition?

I mean everything was going great! Mac sales were way up. Apple is selling more Macs now then they ever have and the trend was going upwards. No one cares about the processor speeds as long as we can do quickly what we needed to do.

Even with the IBM processors OSX is a beauty to use. Tiger runs perfect on my 1 GHz G4 PowerBook with 512 megs of RAM. The only slow task is securely emptying the trash.

I mean how much power do you need? Is the next OS X version going to be so revolutionary it needs Intel processors? Or is this an effort to make all Windows applications run flawlessly in a future version of OS X?

I just don't understand. Needless to say I won't be replaceing this laptop with any Apple computer until the shakedown is over.

I didn't think that it would happen. I'm saddened by it, but not frustrated.

There must be more good reasons why it was done than bad results from doing it. Apple might lose a billion dollars in sales from this transition. I hope it won't be more (I have too much stock for that)

This desision wasn't made quickly. No doubt it was thought through for about for a year, if not more. I would imagine that the thoughts were that the PPC was NEVER going to be problem free.

When I bought my daughters G4 450 in 1999. Jobs tried to lower the speed by 50MHz because Moto suddenly told him that they couldn't meet their commitments. Fortunatly I had ordered it too early so it didn't happen.

That machine WAS the fastest Pc in the world at the time. Really! It beat a PC by 30% in integer, and by 50% in float. Not counting Altivec. But that was the last of Apple's triumphs. It took a year to get to 500.

When I bought my Digital Audio in 2001 it was only 733! Almost two years later. It should have been at 1.5GHz.

Is there any wonder that Apple went to x86?

Not for me.
post #37 of 91
Quote:
The first PowerBook to sport an Intel processor is not expected until July 2006 at the earliest.

I can tell you that this statement is 100% wrong. Yonah is already done and is sampling at Intel (has been that wasy since March). Jobs said that they would have their first line of Intel based Macs BY the spring 06' conference. To say that it will be July at the earliest flies right in the face of all of the facts.
Bottom line is Intel already ramping up production and could launch Yonah fall of 05' but are waiting for Q1 06' because that is when they said it would launch. They gave that timeframe expecting the same problems from 130 nm to 90 nm. bottom line is 90 nm to 65 nm was been one of the easiest transitions in recent Intel history.
OEMs are going to be getting early Yonah generation centrinos (dual core and single core Pentium Ms, late beta chipsets, and the a/b/g chip minus the WiMax pretty soon). Since it takes anywhere from 2 to 6 months for companies to make products from the samples we can expect the market to be flooded with Yonah Centrino right from the launch date. They just need to make a few more tweeks with the chipsets and get the last of WiMax intigrated with their wireless chip.
It would be shocking if Apple couldnt produce a Yonah product in Q1 06'. If they couldnt that would meen they are having a problem with software or that they are just so new with Centrino they are needing a lot of outside help.
post #38 of 91
Melgross: Ditto.
I was stoked when Steve said Apple was switching to intel.
I was even more stoked when I saw Intel's future roadmap, and integer 'performance per watt'

And cwestpha, I am assuming Apple is getting up to speed pretty quick with the help of many Intel engineers.
post #39 of 91
Maybe this has been discussed before in the Intel threads, but in my opinion the switch is actually more about the platform than the processor. Intel can provide Apple with both the processors and a suitable chipset, complete with WiFi (and future wireless technologies). Just as they do with the Centrino brand on the PC-side. Less development cost and less hassle with dealing with component suppliers.

As for a G5 PowerBook. Don't see it happening. That's just because of the future roadmap, I just don't see them spending the $$$s to develop it just so it could be dumped. Nothing is certain, but currently it should be by end of the year 2007, right?

Anyway it'll be interesting to see what Apple does with the laptops. I'll hang to my iBook G4 for now. It's my third Dual-USB design and I don't want a fourth one
Into my space rocket, climb
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Into my space rocket, climb
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post #40 of 91
This would've been (EXCELLENT NEWS!!!) over a year ago. Get the point?
Nate
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Nate
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