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IBM ready to deliver dual-core PowerPC G5 processors?

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
IBM is prepared to accept customer orders for its new dual-core PowerPC 970MP (G5) microprocessors, which it will be capable of delivering in quantity very soon, says one Wall Street analyst.

The company officially unveiled the processors last month at its Power Everywhere Forum in Japan. At the time IBM representatives commented that Apple had been working with prototypes of the processors since 2004 and could use them in a forthcoming update to its Power Mac G5 desktops.

The 64-bit chips, code-named Antares, contain two processing units per chip, each with their own execution core and Level 1 cache. Additionally, each core includes a storage subsystem with 1MB Level 2 cache, making the chips twice as efficient as IBM's current 970FX PowerPC G5 processors.

"While declining to be specific regarding customers, IBM has confirmed that it has sampled these new chip versions and is [now] prepared to accept customer orders," Caris & Company analyst Mark Stahlman said in a research note released earlier this week. The analyst speculates the processors could make their Apple debut in a revision to the PowerMac G5 line at September's Apple Expo in Paris.

Prior to Apple's announced switch to Intel processors, extremely reliable sources said the Mac maker was preparing to release PowerMac G5 models based on the processors later this year. A company roadmap seen by AppleInsider had showed the high-end model to include two of the PowerPC 970MP processors, for a total of four cores. However, it's unclear if Apple's plans have changed in light of the Intel announcement.

Potentially adding a dab of support to the rumor is the emergence of two new PowerMac-based Apple logic-boards in freshly dated Apple material -- the PowerMac12,1 and PowerMac11,1. Whether the boards pertain to a forthcoming PowerMac G5 revision or some other product are still unknown.

According to a purported version of Apple's current Intel roadmap, the PowerMac will be that last of the company's Macintosh offerings to move to Intel processors, sources have told AppleInsider. This suggests that at least one more PowerPC-based PowerMac revision could be warranted.

IBM says the PowerPC 970MP will be made available in speeds ranging from 1.4 to 2.5GHz.
post #2 of 97
Come on Apple, better late than never. Give us some macho PowerMac G5's with dual dual-core G5's... my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
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post #3 of 97
The last PowerMac revision was April 2005, or four months ago. I really don't think it will come this soon. In January 2006 perhaps.

If this CPU is pin-compatible with its current chip, then this is a no-brainer. But the PowerMac will not migrate to Intel until 2007. Therefore I feel that we will see this chip in action.

It will be something else in Paris this year...
post #4 of 97
The analyst also mentioned a Mac mini with a low-power G5 processor.

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post #5 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Potentially adding a dab of support to the rumor is the emergence of two new PowerMac-based Apple logic-boards in freshly dated Apple material -- the PowerMac12,1 and PowerMac11,1. Whether the boards pertain to a forthcoming PowerMac G5 revision or some other product are still unknown.

PowerMac12,1 is an iMac, obviously.
post #6 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by Gyroscope
PowerMac12,1 is an iMac, obviously.



I was thinking the same thing.
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post #7 of 97
Quote:
IBM is prepared to begin accepting customer orders for its new dual-core PowerPC 970MP (G5) microprocessors, which it will be capable of delivering in quantity very soon

prepared... begin... capable... very soon...

that says it all and nothing.

Anyway, the sooner, the better.

If PowerBooks, PowerMacs, iPods are to be updated at Apple Expo Paris, no wonder why Steve's gonna be there!
If there are 2 new codes, I believe it means dualcore models and at least one dual-dualcore model?
What about my favorite prediction:

low: dualcore 2.5GHz
mid: dual-dualcore 2.0GHz
high: dual-dualcore 2.5GHz
post #8 of 97
I hope IBM didn't whipped this CPU up like what Intel did with the Pentium D. Intel did that to save face; I hope IBM is not repeating. See article in Macworld: http://www.macworld.com/news/2005/08...core/index.php
post #9 of 97
Just because Steve is going to be there doesn't mean something super-great is going to be shown off. Remember Apple expo Paris 2003? What did we get?
15" Aluminum PowerBook (and upgraded 12 and 17" models)
Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
OS 9 says goodbye to native booting announcement.

It was a decent Keynote, but nothing earth shattering.

Now that I'm done playing Devil's Advocate, I say Dual Dual Power Macs at Apple expo Paris! Maybe we'll be lucky and even have models faster than 2.5 GHz. Remember, when IBM initally announced the G5, it only went up to 1.8 GHz - we got 2. Also, I hope that the specs are along the lines of this: http://www.macosrumors.com/20050815A.php (yeah, I know the source) with the exception of SLI being included.
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post #10 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by kmok1
I hope IBM didn't whipped this CPU up like what Intel did with the Pentium D. Intel did that to save face; I hope IBM is not repeating. See article in Macworld: http://www.macworld.com/news/2005/08...core/index.php

I don't think so. IIRC, IBM has been working on the 970MP for quite some time. Not to mention their prior experience with mulitcore chips like the Power 5 (pictured).


Here's Think Secret's first report on the 970MP (from July 2004): http://www.thinksecret.com/news/antares.html
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post #11 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by mjteix
prepared... begin... capable... very soon...

that says it all and nothing.

Anyway, the sooner, the better.

If PowerBooks, PowerMacs, iPods are to be updated at Apple Expo Paris, no wonder why Steve's gonna be there!
If there are 2 new codes, I believe it means dualcore models and at least one dual-dualcore model?
What about my favorite prediction:

low: dualcore 2.5GHz
mid: dual-dualcore 2.0GHz
high: dual-dualcore 2.5GHz

How bout this:

low: dualcore 2.3GHz
mid: dual-dualcore 2.3GHz
high: dual-dualcore 2.5GHz
post #12 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by w_parietti22
How bout this:

low: dualcore 2.3GHz
mid: dual-dualcore 2.3GHz
high: dual-dualcore 2.5GHz

Sounds good to me . I can't wait to see how it compares to dual core Intel and AMD chips.
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post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by macnut222
Sounds good to me . I can't wait to see how it compares to dual core Intel and AMD chips.

I wish I could compare it from to 3.6ghz Intel... can someone ship me one please!!!
post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by w_parietti22
I wish I could compare it from to 3.6ghz Intel... can someone ship me one please!!!

You could always get Apple's developer kit.
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post #15 of 97
I hope they intro a dual dual Express model in Sept so I can buy the updated version in February after it's shown in January.

I never buy a brand new technology flush out of the gate, unless it's something inexpensive that I don't care much about if it craps out.
post #16 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by baranovich
Come on Apple, better late than never. Give us some macho PowerMac G5's with dual dual-core G5's... my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Are they going to need to put a sticker on dual dual-core G5's warning you NOT to eat it?
post #17 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by kmok1
The last PowerMac revision was April 2005, or four months ago. I really don't think it will come this soon. In January 2006 perhaps.

If this CPU is pin-compatible with its current chip, then this is a no-brainer. But the PowerMac will not migrate to Intel until 2007. Therefore I feel that we will see this chip in action.

It will be something else in Paris this year...

Being that intel is far ahead of schedule, and is releasing Dual core XEONS and other non Pentium processors already in 2005 instead of 2006 I think that could get Apple to reevaluate their timeframe not only for PowerMacs on intel processors, but all Macs as well.
Plus - Apple never said the PowerMac wouldn't be shipping until 2007. They said All Mac's would be shipping with intel processors in 2007. That 2007 bit never mentioned the PowerMacs specifically.
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post #18 of 97
I imagine that, if given a "fair" benchmark, it should mop the floor with the stuff from Intel and AMD. . . That is, code that's optimized for it. Using "even" compilers for benchmarks is stupid, since IBM doesn't build-in special features for nothing.
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post #19 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by kmok1
The last PowerMac revision was April 2005, or four months ago. I really don't think it will come this soon. In January 2006 perhaps.

If this CPU is pin-compatible with its current chip, then this is a no-brainer. But the PowerMac will not migrate to Intel until 2007. Therefore I feel that we will see this chip in action.

It will be something else in Paris this year...

WTF is wrong with you people...?!?

Pin-compatibility has nothing to do with Apple using this CPU...

Repeat after me noobs, Apple uses daughtercards for their CPUs...

;^p
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post #20 of 97
Weres the article, or anything about the macmini getting a G5 in it?
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post #21 of 97
I hope they just get on with it.

The 'next gen' G5 rumours have been floating around like a Cow in labour.

Dual Dual Core 2.5? Sounds good. But remains to be seen if Software can take advantage.

Secondly, if the rest of the line up is merely 'dual core' then surely 2.3 low end, 2.5 mid end provide nominal bumps. Not spectacular. Not a huge leap from where we are now. We already have 'dual core' in a way and have had for some time.

The one hope (or two) is that these MP cpus are more efficient ie IBM says they are twice as efficient...have more cache etc...so...the dual core 2.5 may perform better than a dual 2.7?

Photoshop benches, at the ready...!

Lemon Bon Bon

(I feel with SLI graphic cards and dual core cpus...that the software to take advantage of it is behind the curve. Same with PCI Express...and that level of 'mainstream' optimisation for technologies that aren't mainstream yet could take another couple of years...)
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post #22 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by Glamingo
Weres the article, or anything about the macmini getting a G5 in it?

Here it is: http://www.macobserver.com/stockwatc.../08/15.1.shtml
post #23 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon
I hope they just get on with it.

.............

(I feel with SLI graphic cards and dual core cpus...that the software to take advantage of it is behind the curve. Same with PCI Express...and that level of 'mainstream' optimisation for technologies that aren't mainstream yet could take another couple of years...)


yeah, i'm sick of hearing IBM "might" do this and "might" do that while apple sees its powermac g5 sales go down the toilet.

bon bon - re: SLI, 3dMark and doom3 and chronicles of riddick shows awesome improvements with SLI but ut2004 and halflife2 do not show much improvement. so it's a question of looking at game developer support in the next 6-12months to see how this moves.

re: PCI express vs AGP, fair enough point. i got a pciexpress sli-ready board with one nvidia 6600gt in it, felt more 'upgradable' to me in the long run. maybe 6 months time i might put in an SLI'ed 6800gt pair for us$200 and i know its gonna scream.
post #24 of 97
Quote:
yeah, i'm sick of hearing IBM "might" do this and "might" do that while apple sees its powermac g5 sales go down the toilet.

bon bon - re: SLI, 3dMark and doom3 and chronicles of riddick shows awesome improvements with SLI but ut2004 and halflife2 do not show much improvement. so it's a question of looking at game developer support in the next 6-12months to see how this moves.

re: PCI express vs AGP, fair enough point. i got a pciexpress sli-ready board with one nvidia 6600gt in it, felt more 'upgradable' to me in the long run. maybe 6 months time i might put in an SLI'ed 6800gt pair for us$200 and i know its gonna scream.

I'm getting pretty tired of 'big shot' IBM's promises. Two years and no 3 gig cpu. After making Steve look like an idiot twice no wonder he went Intel. And no G5 low power for the 'Book. And when it does turn up, like the MP, it's late. Meantime, Apple's PowerMac sales begin hitting the 'toilet', something that started with the '500mhz Debacle' under Motorola. The promise of PowerPC? Alot of hot air and broken promise. A great leap followed by years of stasis. And it's right back at square one. After ten years of that and pulling what's left of Steve's hair out of his head or telling Moto execs ('Get the f*ck out of my office!') he finally pulled the plug on this nigh on Still born platform. IBM are all talk. They didn't develop the Cell on their own either. They thought they could stiff Steve...but after the 500mhz debacle, Apple had learned their lesson and the Mac OS 'X' was in place to give IBM teh finger if they did a 'Motorola', 'Just in Case...' Sorry, rant over. I guess I just feel let down after all the initial promise of the WWDC a few years back. Another false dawn on the CPU front. That is set to change now the world's biggest cpu manufacturer has cpus on the desktop and laptop as a priority. Not only that, if you look at the structure of Intel (overall) you'll being to see a company that fits Apple like glove in terms of where Apple wants to be 10 years from now. Steve was right. It's not about the 3 gig or the G5 'Book. It's about something bigger, way bigger.

Your second point. Yes. Some games show improvement. Plenty don't. That's SLi for you? Will Crossfire from ATI offer broader 'general' improvements? They say so. ie that all past and future games will receive some benefit. But I think the fact remains that this technology isn't mainstream yet. Optimisation is only just getting started. Witness: 'some games'. Do I think it will get better? Yes. It may be a mainstream thing in a couple of years. And 'all' or 'most' games might 'scream' because of it. But it's still early days for the technology. To the point where I think the cost of two cards and a 'SLI' motherboard might as well be 'buy the near the top gpu now' and 'buy another gpu in 6 months time'.

Re: your strategy of getting a SLI motherboard and waiting until 'near the top' GPUS like the GT come down in price to bag a brace to update your 6600Gt rig. Okay. I've thought about doing that myself...

or...

You could buy a SLI board. Still a 7800GT now...and wait for the 7800GT to come down in price.

or...

You save your pennies and wait for the ATI520 to drop. And go with the Crossfire solution. Apparently, the 520 is going to eat the G70 for breakfast ie rumour has it (and the rumoured specs seem to confirm this...) that it's designed to compete with the G80!

We shall see. While CPU development has stalled in recent years and has only just begun the 'wait for the apps to be threaded' Dual Core path the brute force, breakneck and articulate development of GPUs remains fascinating to watch.

As a footnote. As GPU development cycles lengthen...then perhaps SLI or Crossfire can give your rig a 'boost' mid-term through said cycle. SLI and Crossfire remain promising...as does PCI Express and Dual Core CPU and also memory speeds on the rise...and hard drive capacities are on the up and up.

Will I buy a dual core PowerMac? Probably. I can't stand it any longer. I want a Mac.

I'd take a dual-core 2.5 PowerMac, GT6800 or GT7800 ATI520 on PCI-Express. We'll see what apple does with the line up. (No 3 gig dual core...Thinksecret got that one wrong...)

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #25 of 97
Yes. I think one thing when running a business or being in a business environment, is you learn that when you are let down, to not let it happen again.

Check this thing out on immersion lithography in DECEMBER 2004, about IBM being the 'first' to be able to reach 45nm and 65nm using tools that at the time were making 100+nm chips.

http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/20...1203028085.htm

Fast forward one year and a half, AMD has a strong 90nm portfolio and establishing its Athlon lines, Intel is chugging away, with impressive stuff in its centrino/pentium M line while pushing Pentium 4 to its limits. Moto? okay, speed bumps of 1ghz to 1.8 (actually overclocked), but better bus speeds and dual core really nowhere to be seen.

IBM? i guess anything more i would say is covered in your rant



bon bon:

i do have an SLI board now, actually the idea was, more of a reasonable upgrade path. i got a 6600GT 128mb now for us$180 in my country, and so maybe in 6 months i can get the exact same card for maybe us$100 ~ almost like an upgrade which doubles your GPU power for half the price ~ plus i don't have to worry about throwing out or ebaying the existing 6600GT.

my intention when putting my system together was a certain level of scalability built in, eg
IDE-->SATA-->SATA RAID
6600GT x1 --> 6600GT x2 --> ?? 7800GT X 2 ??
512mb x 2 kingston value ram --> dual channel 512mbx2 --> dual channel 512x2 low latency pc4000 ram for overclocking
also socket939 gives me athlon 3000+ --> better athlons --> dual core athlon

i had no idea how software (winxp, games) would realistically perform until i tried it myself, and now i feel i have a handle on how to scale along with software (handling dual-core better) and hardware (upgrading from IDE to SATA NCQ for example)

anyway one thing that's a limit is heat and power management, (it's quite atrocious really what you need for like a SLI 2x6800 Ultra, 2 x SATA raid, northbridge/southbridge + CPU cooling, + PowerSuppy cooling and fans itself....)

...so depending on how things pan out over the year maybe i can get a pentium-M or pentium-M derivative MacIntel by June 2006.

also 'insulting' my hardware with win xp1 is fine for now but beyond a certain level maybe macintelX or more suitable-for-noobs linux distros will be around. or maybe microsoft delivers vista ahead of schedule and its fast, secure and reliable holy shit what am i smoking? strike that last line about vista
post #26 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon

The 'next gen' G5 rumours have been floating around like a Cow in labour.

Umm...am I the only one that doesn't get the metaphor? Cow? float?

post #27 of 97
I've been pondering this IBM dual-core chips scenario upgrades for Mac and frankly, like many have said so far, there will be performance gains with some apps and little to none with many. My point is the following: with Apple going to Intel starting in 2006, how much benefit will Mac buyers really get in the long run by picking up dual-core or dual dual-core systems when most S/W companies may not bother optimizing their apps to take advantage of 4 cores on PPC when Intels are just around the corner and will be the the longer lived platform processor? When all Macs will be Intel-based in 2007, who's going to bother optimizing anything for the PPC systems past that point and perhaps even as early as next summer? Where's the bigger bang for your dollar now and in the future when you factor in S/W support and potential obsolescence?
post #28 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
...<snip>....

Check this thing out on immersion lithography in DECEMBER 2004, about IBM being the 'first' to be able to reach 45nm and 65nm using tools that at the time were making 100+nm chips.

http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/20...1203028085.htm

Fast forward one year and a half, ...<snip>...

Not making excuses for IBM mind you, but....
I know I must have missed something in what has been posted here, but from December 2004 to August 2005 isn't "one year and a half", more like 9 months. I'm sooooo confused
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post #29 of 97
Guys,

Not in Paris.
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post #30 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by Harald
Guys,

Not in Paris.

So you think next Tuesday 8/23/05 maybe?
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post #31 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by MacRonin
WTF is wrong with you people...?!?

Pin-compatibility has nothing to do with Apple using this CPU...

Repeat after me noobs, Apple uses daughtercards for their CPUs...

Come on, macro-nitpicker, we're using shorthand here. Would Apple go to the effort of designing a new daughtercard for the 970MP? With the Intel transition on the horizon? How many units would they sell, anyway? It seems unlikely they'd be willing to design anything at all. You don't pour money into a dead-end product. So, then, pin-compatibility is very important.

Frankly, I think even the overhead of the new SKU's, packaging, shipping etc. aren't going to be worth the small number of sales. Apple will simply let the PowerMac languish as-is until the Intel models come out. Yes, he said "great new PowerPC products in the pipeline", but he was probably referring, if to anything, to the 7448.
post #32 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by Harald
Guys,

Not in Paris.

I tend to agree. Not that I would mind... But I still believe that it's PowerBook time!

Apple Expo Paris: PowerBooks ( 7448 ) and iPod minis/shuffle updates
MacWorld SF: PowerMacs and iMacs updates ( 970MP )
Spring '06: Intel minis and iBooks ( Yonah )
Summer '06: Intel PowerBooks ( DualCore Yonah )
Fall '06: Intel PowerMacs and iMacs ( Conroe )
Winter '06: Intel minis and iBooks ( Merom )
Spring '07: Intel PowerBooks ( Merom )
Summer '07: Intel PowerMacs, iMacs & Leopard ( Conroe+ )
Fall '07: Intel XServes
post #33 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by cubist
Come on, macro-nitpicker, we're using shorthand here. Would Apple go to the effort of designing a new daughtercard for the 970MP? With the Intel transition on the horizon? How many units would they sell, anyway? It seems unlikely they'd be willing to design anything at all. You don't pour money into a dead-end product. So, then, pin-compatibility is very important.

Frankly, I think even the overhead of the new SKU's, packaging, shipping etc. aren't going to be worth the small number of sales. Apple will simply let the PowerMac languish as-is until the Intel models come out. Yes, he said "great new PowerPC products in the pipeline", but he was probably referring, if to anything, to the 7448.


If we take the rumor that Apple has had samples of the 970MP for a few months now, then yes, I would fully expect them to have a redesigned daughtercard available...

And the original post that I replied to truly reads as if the poster thinks Apple still has ZIF sockets on their MLBs...

As for sales, the main market for Dual Duals would be the Pro app users...

Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Shake, Maya, RenderMan, Modo, etc. ...

These are the apps that would love to be cranking on "Double Duals", and most of the folks using these apps in a regular day-to-day profit-making business scenario wuld think nothing of popping for a new machineto pump out work until the first (probably second) versions of the Intel PowerMacs come out...
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post #34 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by MacRonin
If we take the rumor that Apple has had samples of the 970MP for a few months now, then yes, I would fully expect them to have a redesigned daughtercard available. . .



I agree. I think there is no doubt at all that Apple has 970MP daughter cards, but has even started manufacture of new PowerMac to build up inventory. If not yet, it will begin very soon. Apple had 970MP samples in 2004 I believe.
post #35 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by cubist
. . . You don't pour money into a dead-end product. So, then, pin-compatibility is very important. . .

Why do you think it is a dead end product? Developers who design applications to run on a dual-dual PPC will simply recompile for Intel Macs. No lost work, and a big head start on applications that run faster. This will generate many new PowerMac sales.

Quote:
. . . Frankly, I think even the overhead of the new SKU's, packaging, shipping etc. aren't going to be worth the small number of sales.

You picked some of the lowest cost overhead items in developing a new product. Engineering development cost would be the highest, and it's already done I'm sure.
post #36 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by snoopy
I agree. I think there is no doubt at all that Apple has 970MP daughter cards, but has even started manufacture of new PowerMac to build up inventory. If not yet, it will begin very soon. Apple had 970MP samples in 2004 I believe.

The reality is that upgrading the Powermacs with these 970MPs, now and after the Intel bomb, may just end up being too late. Businesses may just look aside and wait for the Intel systems before putting down any new money on a product whose processor is EOL and software support will no doubt dwindle significantly. It remains to be seen how things will really play out. IMO, the OS advantages will not help Apple much until the Intel Macs start appearing for sale.
post #37 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by DVD_Junkie
The reality is that upgrading the Powermacs with these 970MPs, now and after the Intel bomb, may just end up being too late. Businesses may just look aside and wait for the Intel systems before putting down any new money on a product whose processor is EOL and software support will no doubt dwindle significantly. . .


Even if your analysis is true for today, Apple did most all the engineering work before the Intel bombshell announcement. Since engineering is the largest piece of new product development, there is little reason for Apple not to go ahead with its original plan. When Apple began working on the next generation of PowerMacs, the Intel move was just an idea that had been around for several years. No one knew for sure what would happen.
post #38 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by DVD_Junkie
The reality is that upgrading the Powermacs with these 970MPs, now and after the Intel bomb, may just end up being too late. Businesses may just look aside and wait for the Intel systems before putting down any new money on a product whose processor is EOL and software support will no doubt dwindle significantly. It remains to be seen how things will really play out. IMO, the OS advantages will not help Apple much until the Intel Macs start appearing for sale.


The thing is there is a lot of life left in the PPC processors as far as software support. We know the transition isn't going to be complete until sometime in 2007, so that is at least two years with PPC support. On top of that look at how long Classic is still kicking around, 5 major OS updates later. So I would say at least 6 years before PPC software becomes hard to find and by then you'll be half way to your second Mactel if you upgrade every four or five years. Also the advantages of proven technology is also there where Rev. A Mactels won't necessarily have perfect hardware or software support.
post #39 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by rickag
Not making excuses for IBM mind you, but....
I know I must have missed something in what has been posted here, but from December 2004 to August 2005 isn't "one year and a half", more like 9 months. I'm sooooo confused

oops.... 9 months it is. my bad

so i think this is something IBM could have shown apple, "look we can do 65nm with our existing 100+nm tools" but perhaps it was too costly/experimental/etc for apple.
post #40 of 97
Quote:
Originally posted by DVD_Junkie
The reality is that upgrading the Powermacs with these 970MPs, now and after the Intel bomb, may just end up being too late. Businesses may just look aside and wait for the Intel systems before putting down any new money on a product whose processor is EOL and software support will no doubt dwindle significantly. It remains to be seen how things will really play out. IMO, the OS advantages will not help Apple much until the Intel Macs start appearing for sale.

After having designed enough circuit boards over the years, I can say that a daughter card is not a big deal. Cards are designed with software. A card like that could be turned around in a few days. Even after testing, it wouldn't add up to more than a couple of weeks. All it needs is one or two engineers. The question is about the support chips such as the memory controller. If two duals are being used, there might need to be a redesign there. I'm not sure though. It depends on how it works now, and I haven't investigated it.

Businesses have ordering policies in place. If they order in 18 month intervals, then they will continue to do so. You have it backwards here. They would rather continue to buy PPC machines as long as they can. They don't want to move to a new platform until everything is in place, and they have done months of testing on the new product and software.
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