Powermac sales in trouble?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I just got an email from the Apple Store advertising the Powermac G4s and price breaks with Apple displays and such. Is this an indication of poor sales? It seems to be.



Apple better do something soon...they are gambling the future of Apple on sub-standard Powermacs that are too damn slow compared to the competition. If MWNY brings only speed bumped G4s around 1.2 GHz, then I'm going to become very concerned about Apple's future. OS X is phenomenal, but if Apple cannot offer hardware with performance that is competitive with Wintels, then doom is on the horizon.



We need the G5 NOW, and it better debut at sizzling speeds, I'm talkin' 1.4-2.0 GHz. Anything less and Apple's going to be in over their heads.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    what kind of price break?
  • Reply 2 of 49
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    If your talking about up to $500 when buying a PowerMac, and an Apple display that's an old promo just the ad is being rehashed.

    That promo has existed since the DP GHz machines were announced.



    [ 03-15-2002: Message edited by: onlooker ]</p>
  • Reply 3 of 49
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member
    Junkyard Dawg



    More doom and gloom predictions?

    Actually, I would think that a 1.4GHz G4, w/ a front side bus that can handle DDR, introduced at MWNY would be very competitive with anything Intel has, maybe not quite as fast in some areas, but in general across the board competitive, even in NON altivec.



    At 1.6GHz(maybe a stretch) w/ DDR it would be more than competitive. If by some miracle, I REALLY don't expect this, and @ MWNY a RapidI/O and switched fabric motherboard is introduced then at the above speeds would probably send the G4 past Intel's best offerings across the board. Dual processor machine would virtually blow out any other desktops.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    No it is not a new promo, but it seems odd that Apple is mailing out info on a preexisting promo, doesn't it? If Powermac sales were good, would Apple do this? I doubt it.



    And no, 1.4 GHz wouldn't do it. Apple needs to trounce the competition, not lag 1 GHz behind. The GHz gap is becoming a joke, and soon people are going to forego the superior OS in favor of superior hardware. I mean, if one can do everything significantly FASTER on a Wintel, to the point where designers or editors are saving several hours per day, then they aren't going to care about the OS as much.



    Soon, apps will be released for Wintels that can do things that cannot be done on Macs, because of the performance differential. For example, real time effects of some sort might only be available for Wintels, because they need the raw performance. At this point, Apple can forget about any chances they had at breaking into the DV editing market. Their niches will fall one by one as Wintel's gain performance dependent features that Macs cannot offer.



    Still think that's "gloom and doom"? Well perhaps it is, but if Intel is at 4 GHz and PPC is only at 1.5 GHz, then it's going to become reality. So go take your whiny ass home and pout about my "gloom and doom" predictions to someone else, loser.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member
    Did I miss something here? I'm whining? I'm pouting?



    Who said,"Powermacs that are too damn slow compared to the competition"...."then doom is on the horizon.".



    I understand your frustration over the lack of power in Apple computers when compared to Intel and AMD Windows machines. But a G5 @ MWNY is not very likely. And yes a G4 @ 1.4GHz w/ an improved motherboard would be very competitive w/ a 2.2GHz Intel.



    By the time Intel gets to 4.0GHz. I wouldn't expect Apple to be @ 1.5GHz. If the direction Apple is going is to the switched fabric RapidI/O or even Hypertransport, I would expect this to occur @ the end of the year and a G5(not necessarily an MPC85XX) be introduced @ up to 2.0GHz. Duals with internal memory controllers using a switched fabric RapidI/O design would absolutely scream.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    gambitgambit Posts: 475member
    I haven't even read this thread yet, but I still feel the need to comment: Junkyard Dawg = Chicken Little. 'Nuf said.
  • Reply 7 of 49
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    [quote]Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg:

    <strong>And no, 1.4 GHz wouldn't do it. Apple needs to trounce the competition, not lag 1 GHz behind. The GHz gap is becoming a joke, and soon people are going to forego the superior OS in favor of superior hardware.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Small problem: Apple's mindshare among Wintel and Linux users, and stray Mac users like Tim Bajarin, is only increasing. The Mac is getting better and better press and winning more and more people over.



    You also missed the point that CPU speed (whether clock speed or real performance) != computer speed. If you could attach the current G4s to fast DDR RAM you'd notice a real difference, especially with code that is not optimized for the Mac platform (e.g. most games). If the performance per clock of a 1.4 or 1.6GHz G4 stays on par with the current models, with the added benefit of additional instruction units and one or more faster busses to the rest of the motherboard, the benefits would be far greater than mere clockspeed would suggest. Plus, with more bandwidth to memory, Apple might be able to indulge in four processor configurations for the first time.





    [quote]<strong>I mean, if one can do everything significantly FASTER on a Wintel, to the point where designers or editors are saving several hours per day, then they aren't going to care about the OS as much. </strong><hr></blockquote>



    This assumes that the OS has nothing to do with how fast a designer or editor can work. In practice, for almost all applications, the biggest performance bottleneck is sitting at the keyboard. For example, your hypothetical DV editor spends a great deal of time looping the same scene over and over, getting a sense of the rhythm and pacing so she can figure out where to place a cut.



    [quote]<strong>Soon, apps will be released for Wintels that can do things that cannot be done on Macs, because of the performance differential.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    This is already true both ways. Different architectures have different performance characteristics. The G4 has a few strengths that it will take a truly enormous clock gap to negate, and those happen to be the strengths that Apple is leveraging right now.



    [quote]<strong>Still think that's "gloom and doom"? Well perhaps it is, but if Intel is at 4 GHz and PPC is only at 1.5 GHz, then it's going to become reality.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Intel is not at 4GHz and PPC is not at 1.5GHz, so this is an academic concern. We'll see where the platforms (CPU + motherboard + OS + applications) are in a year, and we'll see if Apple has fallen as far behind as you fear they will have.



    [ 03-15-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>
  • Reply 8 of 49
    quaremquarem Posts: 254member
    [quote]Originally posted by rickag:

    <strong>Did I miss something here? I'm whining? I'm pouting?



    Who said,"Powermacs that are too damn slow compared to the competition"...."then doom is on the horizon.".



    I understand your frustration over the lack of power in Apple computers when compared to Intel and AMD Windows machines. But a G5 @ MWNY is not very likely. And yes a G4 @ 1.4GHz w/ an improved motherboard would be very competitive w/ a 2.2GHz Intel.



    By the time Intel gets to 4.0GHz. I wouldn't expect Apple to be @ 1.5GHz. If the direction Apple is going is to the switched fabric RapidI/O or even Hypertransport, I would expect this to occur @ the end of the year and a G5(not necessarily an MPC85XX) be introduced @ up to 2.0GHz. Duals with internal memory controllers using a switched fabric RapidI/O design would absolutely scream.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    If the latest SPEC benchmarks mean anything then I think a 1.4 GHz G4 this summer would still fall short in FPU processing compared to Intel's offerings this summer. Also the Athlon Hammer is ready for this fall and its a 64-bit chip.



    Sure we can put dual processors in our Macs but so can the PCs so lets really leave dual processors out of the 'equation' and just concentrate on performance per processor.



    To me, Apple will have finally fixed the performance problem when a top of the line Mac gets the same FPS in Quake 3 as a top of the line PC (in single processor configurations). While performance has gotten way better with DP 1 GHz, it still isn't on par per processor with PC gaming rigs.



    Steve Jobs and the rest of the guys at Apple know there's is a performance problem, they're working on it. I am going to remain optimistic and say that the G5 will be out by this summer for Macworld New York, with 10.2 as a 64-bit clean OS.



    Everyone needs to calm down just a little on this boards though. Differences in opinions is what makes being human so enjoyable and diverse. Just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't mean you need to become 'upset' with them, no matter how illogical their reasoning.
  • Reply 9 of 49
    mithralmithral Posts: 68member
    [quote]Originally posted by Amorph:

    <strong>



    You also missed the point that CPU speed (whether clock speed or real performance) != computer speed. If you could attach the current G4s to fast DDR RAM you'd notice a real difference, especially with code that is not optimized for the Mac platform (e.g. most games). If the performance per clock of a 1.4 or 1.6GHz G4 stays on par with the current models, with the added benefit of additional instruction units and one or more faster busses to the rest of the motherboard, the benefits would be far greater than mere clockspeed would suggest. Plus, with more bandwidth to memory, Apple might be able to indulge in four processor configurations for the first time.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    This is a good point. One question occurs to me: Might it be *gasp* better to have lower clock frequencies? Doesn't the amount of heat generated correlate to the clock speed of the chip? How does the heat of a 1GHz G4 compare to a 2.2 GHz P4?



    Anyone know of any other benefits of running at a lower clock speed?
  • Reply 10 of 49
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member
    Somewhat related to the discussion;



    There is a thread @ Arstechnica regarding the Spec benchmark score of the G4 vs the P3. In the thread there is some information concerning Altivec being only single precision.



    (If I'm reading the info correctly)Although Altivec can not handle double precision floating point, it has been mentioned that apparently in many cases where double precision floating is used it is/may not necessary.



    If true, and more software engineers do optimize for Altivec, this would be a good thing. It would also indicate that double precision fp for Altivec isn't in the near future, but a beefed up or additional scaler double precsion floating point would be on the way in the G4/G5??



    Any corrections to what I said are welcome.



    <a href="http://arstechnica.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=tpc&s=50009562&f=48409524&m=6570937993&; p=3" target="_blank">http://arstechnica.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=tpc&s=50009562&f=48409524&m=6570937993&; p=3</a>
  • Reply 11 of 49
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    [quote]Originally posted by Quarem:

    <strong>



    If the latest SPEC benchmarks mean anything then I think a 1.4 GHz G4 this summer would still fall short in FPU processing compared to Intel's offerings this summer. Also the Athlon Hammer is ready for this fall and its a 64-bit chip.



    To me, Apple will have finally fixed the performance problem when a top of the line Mac gets the same FPS in Quake 3 as a top of the line PC (in single processor configurations). While performance has gotten way better with DP 1 GHz, it still isn't on par per processor with PC gaming rigs.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    did you just bring up SPEC and Quake fps in the same post?
  • Reply 12 of 49
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    [quote]Originally posted by Amorph:

    <strong>



    Small problem: Apple's mindshare among Wintel and Linux users, and stray Mac users like Tim Bajarin, is only increasing. The Mac is getting better and better press and winning more and more people over.]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Instead of targeting the nerds and MHz fixated crowd, Apple is selling solutions. Real situations and how we do things in the real working environment. Not some measure of frames per second game in Quake.



    I have yet to hear of any design firm or pre-press/printer in my city that have switch to PC's because of Apple's "lack of speed".



    Are your Macs that slow that you're literally losing money by the hour? Or are some of you just losing it, period?
  • Reply 13 of 49
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    [quote]Originally posted by Quarem:

    <strong>Sure we can put dual processors in our Macs but so can the PCs so lets really leave dual processors out of the 'equation' and just concentrate on performance per processor.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Not so fast. There are several issues here: How good the MP implementation is, how pervasive it is, and what you have to do to actually make use of it. MP under Linux is inefficient. The consumer version of XP isn't MP savvy. I'm not sure how MP savvy the various x86 processors are, but the 74xx series has, in general, featured top-flight MP support.



    [quote]<strong>To me, Apple will have finally fixed the performance problem when a top of the line Mac gets the same FPS in Quake 3 as a top of the line PC (in single processor configurations).</strong><hr></blockquote>



    In other words, when it can run code written for x86's strengths faster than x86-based architectures can. That's a multi-headed problem, really: Apple speeding up gcc will go a long way toward realizing that, and faster CPUs will help, but the bus speed/CPU speed ratio and the way the main bus is designed will also be very significant. PPCs are designed to load a bit of code and a bit of data, crunch it, and store it back to RAM - it's assumed that loads and stores will be occasional, and spaced out, and that code and data will come in chunks that can be digested by the generous register set and/or the caches. In particular, starting with the G3, PPCs have been designed to assume a lopsided ratio between the CPU and the main bus - the P4 Northwood, in contrast, depends for its performance on a (relatively) fat, constant stream of data - which as I understand it is more of an amplification of the way x86 machines have traditionally been designed than a change (x86 processors are starved for registers, and until recently were cache-starved as well). The two approaches are different enough that code written for one will run relatively poorly on the other, independent of any abstract measure of CPU performance.



    There is also the minor problem that nVIDIA's Mac drivers are in woeful shape compared to their Windows drivers.



    [quote]<strong>Everyone needs to calm down just a little on this boards though. Differences in opinions is what makes being human so enjoyable and diverse. Just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't mean you need to become 'upset' with them, no matter how illogical their reasoning. </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Yes. Thank you.
  • Reply 14 of 49
    mattyjmattyj Posts: 898member
    The fact is that macs as a proper power workstation, ie running Maya etc, really do lag behind what intel and AMD have to offer.



    A G4 at a higher clock speed, be it 1.2Ghz or 2Ghz, because of its architecture, won't be able to match, thats why apple needs to launch the G5 soon. The current line up of PowerMacs seems as only a stop gap to stop people whining until MWNY.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    [quote]Originally posted by Mithral:

    <strong>One question occurs to me: Might it be *gasp* better to have lower clock frequencies?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Lower clock speeds have distinct advantages. Generally, mobo engineers will try to use the lowest-clocked parts they can find. You can use longer traces (connections between components on the board), you don't have to worry so much about timing or interference issues, there's less power consumption and therefor less heat dissipation, and of course the closer all the onboard clocks are to each other, the less you need to resort to costly workarounds like SRAM caches. Also, not all operations scale well with clock speed.



    The advantage is muddied with CPUs by the fact that a single clock controls a widely disparate collection of functions, and the clock has to accomodate the slowest one. Integer ops are both among the most common and the fastest on most CPUs (if I remember, the 604 series was odd in having an FPU that was faster than its integer unit), so their performance tends to scale linearly with clock speed increases, and the performance of most common apps does too.



    [quote]<strong>Doesn't the amount of heat generated correlate to the clock speed of the chip?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Not absolutely, but yes. Different CPU designs have different power requirements, of course.
  • Reply 16 of 49
    steve666steve666 Posts: 2,600member
    Anything over 1Ghz would be fine in my opinion, but the real problem is the price. Their cheapest tower is $1599-that is absolutely ludicrous! The low end tower must be no more than $999 in order to increase sales. Apple is messing it up big time by not bringing the price of the towers down to earth. They have done so for the iMac and laptops, but for some reason they think they can charge astonomical prices for the towers. Bad move............
  • Reply 17 of 49
    jerombajeromba Posts: 357member
    Just for the fun of it...

    Back in 1996, my first mac was a 7100 @ 80Mhz with a 40 Mhz bus speed, 16 MB RAM, 2 Mb VRAM, 700 MB HD, a 2x CD and a ... standard 1.44 Mb Drive?... with a 17" Apple Trinitron Display... and Mac OS 7.5.1

    The cost here in Belgium was $3720



    Now back in 2002... You take a G4 @ 933Mhz with a 133 Mhz bus, 256 MB RAM, GeForce4 MX, 60 GB HD and a ... SuperDrive? with a 15" Apple LCD Display...and Mac OS 10.1.3

    The cost also in Belgium is $ 3627



    Now imagine we are in 2008... and let's try to extrapolate... we have a Gx @ 8 Ghz with a 500 Mhz bus, 1 GB RAM, GeForce X, 300 GB HD and a HyperDrive? with a 18" Apple LCD Display... and Mac OS 11.0.4

    The cost will be in Belgium $ 3500



    So... i'm not switching to the wintel world...

    but if i do the same from a DX4 @ 100Mhz to a P4 @ 2000 Mhz... in 2008 a wintel box will be running at 40 Ghz....

    <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />



    sorry it's late here



    [ 03-15-2002: Message edited by: jeromba ]</p>
  • Reply 18 of 49
    [quote]Originally posted by rickag:

    <strong>Did I miss something here? I'm whining? I'm pouting?



    Who said,"Powermacs that are too damn slow compared to the competition"...."then doom is on the horizon.".



    I understand your frustration over the lack of power in Apple computers when compared to Intel and AMD Windows machines. But a G5 @ MWNY is not very likely. And yes a G4 @ 1.4GHz w/ an improved motherboard would be very competitive w/ a 2.2GHz Intel.



    By the time Intel gets to 4.0GHz. I wouldn't expect Apple to be @ 1.5GHz. If the direction Apple is going is to the switched fabric RapidI/O or even Hypertransport, I would expect this to occur @ the end of the year and a G5(not necessarily an MPC85XX) be introduced @ up to 2.0GHz. Duals with internal memory controllers using a switched fabric RapidI/O design would absolutely scream.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Sorry, I suppose I was being a bit testy. I take it back. Didn't mean to call you a loser, either. I just get tired of getting flamed whenever I express concern over Apple's future competitiveness with Wintels. Some AppleZombies can be very annoying, but you're not one of them.



    I hope you are right, about Apple hitting 2 GHz by the end of the year. Macs are plenty fast enough for me now, in fact I own a Powermac G4 400 MHz, and it is fast enough for my needs. But the point is marketing, and professional markets. I believe that if Apple is to do well and capture new marketshare, they must win both the performance AND marketing "wars". And I also think that by capturing exclusive markets, such as DV editing, and securing current markets, such as graphic arts, audio, and desktop publishing, Apple stands to strengthen their image and reputation. I think that consumers who don't know much about computers often look to computer "gurus" for advice, they might ask a friend, or an IT geek, or they might just base their decision on the prominance of Apple in some market they are impressed by. If Hollywood constantly shows and uses Macs, then people will get the impression that Apple's market share is greater than it really is, and that Apple is a thriving company with products that are widely sought after. If OS X can win the hearts and minds of professionals and IT geeks, then Apple's future is bright indeed.



    But to do all this great stuff, the GHz gap MUST be abolished. Apple cannot sustain their current market share by selling sub-performance computers. If Apple is using CPUs that are about 90% of Intel's MHz, then that is fine, a superior OS clearly can make up for the difference, and consumers can easily be convinced of the "MHz myth". However when Apple's CPUs are at less than 50% of the MHz of Wintels, it is a marketing disaster than no amount of MHz myth advertising will ever cure.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    jerombajeromba Posts: 357member
    Sorry Junkyard Dawg but i don't think the real problem for apple is speed... for the IT people i think it's the price. Actually nobody will buy PowerMac G4 Server with Mac OS X... it's too expensive compare to a Linux Server ! Apple need Rackmounted Server with only the right tools in it... and very cheap... something like starting at $699 for a [email protected] Mhz, Dual Gigabit Ethernet, CD-Rom, ATi Mobile Chip with 8MB RAM (see iBook), 40 GB HD, 1 PCI expansion slot and a place for a second hard drive and a version of Mac OS X Server ONLY for the Web, File Sharing and Server Printing... and the new app in town: Full Remote Access... no way to use iApps or anything. This must be a "plug it and forget it Macintosh".

    i think this way they can compete in the business world. Don't you think ?



    Oh and for the staring price... it's just a ticket to open new opportunities for Apple... if people want more... dual or quad processors, SCSI RAID, etc. the sky/price is the limit!



    [ 03-15-2002: Message edited by: jeromba ]</p>
  • Reply 20 of 49
    mithralmithral Posts: 68member
    [quote]Originally posted by jeromba:

    <strong>Sorry Junkyard Dawg but i don't think the real problem for apple is speed... for the IT people i think it's the price. Actually nobody will buy PowerMac G4 Server with Mac OS X... it's too expensive compare to a Linux Server ! Apple need Rackmounted Server with only the right tools in it... and very cheap... something like starting at $699 for a [email protected] Mhz, Dual Gigabit Ethernet, CD-Rom, ATi Mobile Chip with 8MB RAM (see iBook), 40 GB HD, 1 PCI expansion slot and a place for a second hard drive and a version of Mac OS X Server ONLY for the Web, File Sharing and Server Printing... and the new app in town: Full Remote Access... no way to use iApps or anything. This must be a "plug it and forget it Macintosh".

    i think this way they can compete in the business world. Don't you think ?



    Oh and for the staring price... it's just a ticket to open new opportunities for Apple... if people want more... dual or quad processors, SCSI RAID, etc. the sky/price is the limit!</strong>

    <hr></blockquote>



    Yeah. Word. Right on. (Except for the part about locking out iApps - why bother???)



    Add a thin client machine to the product matrix (or a smaller, business-oriented cube, if you prefer), and Apple might actually have a shot:
    • 600 MHz G3

    • 100 MHz bus

    • 7 Gig HD (upgradable)

    • 128 MB RAM

    • 8 MB ATI Rage video card

    • ADC (cable --&gt; DVI optional)

    • 2 USB

    • 1 FW

    • Gigabit Ethernet (modem BTO)

    • Headphone jack

    • External CD: $50; CD-RW: $100; Combo: $150

    • $500

    Bundle Appleworks, Quicken, IE, Omniweb, etc., and offer discounts when purchased with a monitor (a good reason to keep the 15" LCD around). Combined with jeromba's servers, IT pros can start seriously looking at Mac business networks. :cool:



    Thoughts?



    -mithral



    [ 03-15-2002: Message edited by: Mithral ]



    [ 03-15-2002: Message edited by: Mithral ]</p>
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