The G5 is an AMD Clawhammer

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
according to Mad Mike @ The Inquirer



<a href="http://www.theinquirer.net/07040202.htm"; target="_blank">http://www.theinquirer.net/07040202.htm</a>;
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    This pure craps . This has been discussed here so many times.

    Athlon and Modern Intel chips are basically RISC processor with a X86 decoder in the front end. The PPC chips does need a such sophistaced decoder in the front end in order to work well. Making an hibrid Atlon sledgehammer where who replace the X86 decoder by a PPC decoder will be a lot of work. If you loose the PPC instructions there will be plenty of soft who would not work anymore on the MAC , aka all the classic environnement who will collapse, add all the games. Making an X86 kernel is a huge work : the PPC kernel is not mature today, why go backward with a X86 kernel ?



    If Apple want to stop working with Motorola , he better design his own chip and let it produce by AMD plant for example, or IBM ones.
  • Reply 2 of 46
    timortistimortis Posts: 149member
    You're missing the point Powerdoc.



    What's interesting about this particular bit of rumor is that it's not coming from the Apple camp. So far, every single bit of rumor I've read at the Inquirer about ATI or Nvidia turned out to be true. They were the first to break the N-force chipset news months ahead of anyone else when Nvidia was denying such an involvement.



    So now they're saying they've heard that ATI and Nvidia have teams "investigating" an X86 port of OSX. One would think they wouldn't waste their time and money with such nonsense had they not been encouraged by Apple.



    Personally, I can't believe it either. I mean, I don't see how Apple can pull off switching to an entirely different architecture yet again, especially right after having moved to a completely new operating system. Not to mention the fact that they've been ripping on X86 computers for a good while. They haven't really been holding back their mud-slinging, they'd have to eat their own words in a big way.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    boy_analogboy_analog Posts: 315member
    I love the smell of disinformation in the morning!

  • Reply 4 of 46
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    Well personally I don't buy the suggestion that Apple is going to move away from PowerPC, but this article gave me an interesting thought:



    Everybody talks about Apple pushing their OS and apps onto the x86, but what if this isn't Apple pushing... its AMD pulling. AMD has a new 64-bit chip architecture coming and it will get quite a jump on Intel, but it needs OS support -- the more, the better. Linux they'll get no problem, but its Linux. Windows... well the schedule is fuzzy and Microsoft is unpredictable. So what about MacOSX? If they fund its development, pay Apple a nice licensing fee, and target markets that don't conflict with Apple's... then perhaps Apple might perceive it as a win, and it would give Apple the option of moving to AMD chips down the road if the PowerPC really does continue to stall badly. It would also get a 64-bit version of the MacOSX out onto the market sooner, assuming the G5 won't show up this year. Who knows, maybe the Hammer is fast enough to run a PowerPC emulator acceptably... and it does have SSE2 so it might be possible to emulate AltiVec at more than a snail's pace.



    Crazy? Maybe. Definitely a little off-the-wall.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    Originally posted by Programmer:

    [quote]

    pushing... its AMD pulling. AMD has a new 64-bit chip architecture coming and it will get quite a jump on Intel, but it needs OS support -- the more, the better. Linux they'll get no problem, but its Linux. Windows... well the schedule is fuzzy and Microsoft is unpredictable. So what about MacOSX? If they fund its development, pay Apple a nice licensing fee, <hr></blockquote>



    Right. Apple has about 3-5% market share, very attractive ;-)



    [ 04-07-2002: Message edited by: Smircle ]</p>
  • Reply 6 of 46
    catalystcatalyst Posts: 226member
    [quote]Originally posted by Smircle:

    <strong>Originally posted by Programmer:





    Right. Apple has about 3-5% market share, very attractive ;-)



    [ 04-07-2002: Message edited by: Smircle ]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Well the upcoming 64-bit version of Windows seem to support only the Itanium and not the AMD Clawhammer, so AMD is kind of stuff with the alternative platforms...
  • Reply 7 of 46
    bigcbigc Posts: 1,224member
    [quote]Originally posted by Smircle:

    <strong>Originally posted by Programmer:





    Right. Apple has about 3-5% market share, very attractive ;-)



    [ 04-07-2002: Message edited by: Smircle ]</strong><hr></blockquote>





    And how many dollars per year does 5% of the market place generate.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    Dangerous and disturbing this puzzle is...



    Lemon Bon Bon <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />
  • Reply 9 of 46
    eskimoeskimo Posts: 474member
    [quote]Originally posted by catalyst:

    <strong>



    Well the upcoming 64-bit version of Windows seem to support only the Itanium and not the AMD Clawhammer, so AMD is kind of stuff with the alternative platforms...</strong><hr></blockquote>



    There will be support for x86-64 in future Microsoft OS's. And Clawhammer can run just fine on all current versions of Windows.



    [quote]Right. Apple has about 3-5% market share, very attractive ;-)<hr></blockquote>



    It would be a nice boost for AMD. Right now they are having some trouble with tier 1 oem acceptance. Intel has locked them out of Dell forever. They lost IBM and Gateway. All that's left for them in the top 5 is HP and Compaq, both of which are merging now and IMHO will lose market share because of it. AMD is might jump at the chance to secure a few million processor sales to Apple. And it doesn't hurt that one of AMD's executive VPs was the man who lead the PowerMac 7500,8500, and 9500 projects at Apple.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    [quote]Originally posted by Programmer:

    <strong>Well personally I don't buy the suggestion that Apple is going to move away from PowerPC, but this article gave me an interesting thought:



    Everybody talks about Apple pushing their OS and apps onto the x86, but what if this isn't Apple pushing... its AMD pulling. AMD has a new 64-bit chip architecture coming and it will get quite a jump on Intel, but it needs OS support -- the more, the better. Linux they'll get no problem, but its Linux. Windows... well the schedule is fuzzy and Microsoft is unpredictable. So what about MacOSX? If they fund its development, pay Apple a nice licensing fee, and target markets that don't conflict with Apple's... then perhaps Apple might perceive it as a win, and it would give Apple the option of moving to AMD chips down the road if the PowerPC really does continue to stall badly. It would also get a 64-bit version of the MacOSX out onto the market sooner, assuming the G5 won't show up this year. Who knows, maybe the Hammer is fast enough to run a PowerPC emulator acceptably... and it does have SSE2 so it might be possible to emulate AltiVec at more than a snail's pace.



    Crazy? Maybe. Definitely a little off-the-wall.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Well an Apple server based upon the Hammer with mac OS X server 64 bits will be not so stupid. But the market of server is not huge, especially for Apple.So i doubt that Apple will do the hardware, he will just make an OS X server version. In the short term it can be good for both Apple and AMD, but in a long term , when a lot of PC turn to 64 bits, i doubt that many of us will continue to buy Apple hardware if the PPC chip continue in the wrong way.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    baumanbauman Posts: 1,248member
    x86 chips have to waste several clock cycles for every instruction just to decode the old x86 code. It makes no sense for Apple to put an x86 processor in their computers: just imagine, decode PPC -&gt; x86, x86 -&gt; Processor. This means that about 15%-20% of the processor speed is used just to decode!
  • Reply 12 of 46
    fotnsfotns Posts: 301member
    1. The x86 kernel already exists. It is available in Darwin. GNU Darwin 2.5 even incorporates newer ATA drivers and can be installed on Athlon systems. All that is needed is Quartz and then Aqua for a full desktop environment.

    2. Apple would have the full source code of Classic (obviously), and it would be relatively straightforward for them to make a classic environment in x86 that would run at reasonable speed, ie at least half the megahertz of the x86 for PPC code.

    3. As for Apple designing its own chips, I don't think this would be as easy as some believe. Designing custom Asics in one thing, but a modern competitive CPU is another. VIA has been making some good motherboard chipsets for many years, but so far their CPUs have been fairly pitiful. They even bought Cyrix and still their new C3 can only compete with old Celerons.
  • Reply 13 of 46
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,393member
    You can call me an idiot for this but I don't see how Apple would increase their market share by using AMD instead of PowerPC. The way I see it, Apple makes most of their money on hardware. So if they build a new PowerMac with an AMD chip (and assuming everything else inside the new Apple PowerMac being approximately equal to a given wintel computer with the same AMD chip), how are they going to sell it for over $1000.00 more than this wintel computer when its almost the same computer? The differences between the two computers would be the case, the logo, and the amount of software available. And for the new AMD PowerMac, there would be hardly nothing to run in native mode for a while so you'd have to run your old Mac software in emulation mode. Of course you could run XP and other windows OS's on the new AMD PowerMac but it would cost at least 1000.00 more than buying the almost same computer from some wintel maker.



    In addition, PhotoShop for PowerPC OS X is just about finished. Are they (and other OS X software companies) going to re-write their software again to run it in native mode on an AMD Apple PowerMac?
  • Reply 14 of 46
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    I thnk some of you are missing the point. As I read it originally, they are taking out the x86 decoder in the Clawhammer and replacing it with a PPC one. As for the argument of decoding loss, well it isn't harming the x86 performance at the moment. (Although I guess the RISC core would be more efficient if software was native too it). I guess its a case of -20% performance for the decoder, 300% increase performance for the higher MHZ and better architecture. Perhaps AMD could licence Altivec from Moto aswell to produce a good emulation, or just put it in as it is. If Moto could bolt Altivec to a G3 ala G4, I guess its pretty self-contained, and AMD could bolt Altivec & a PPC decoder to the Hammer by removing the x86 decoder and SSE2 from the die.



    The bonus of this is that Mac OSX & Apps don't need to be rewritten at all, as everything is still PPC compliant.



    Still, I won't believe it till I've got one on my desk. Now why were those G5 test units 'sealed' again?



    [ 04-07-2002: Message edited by: MarcUK ]</p>
  • Reply 15 of 46
    fotnsfotns Posts: 301member
    I read and then re-read the article. Nowhere does it suggest that they would insert a PowerPC decoder in the Hammer. It specifically states that they are "actively investigating the port of OSX to an X86 CPU". It does not mention modifying the x86 to run the existing Mac OS X PPC.
  • Reply 16 of 46
    Why are two graphic card companies working on porting a client's Operating system?



    How would AMD be ahead in solving the acceptance problem for the new 64 bit clawhammer part selling a customized version with a PPC decoder in place of the x86? I can see the point if they are running it as an x86 part and Apple is providing some volume. But if AMD wants to have an OS to show off it 64 bit part wouldn't it make sense for it to run on the version of the processor they are trying to sell M$ on?



    Is there a 64 Bit AMD part that will be available at Clawhammer's launch that'd work in a portable? It'd be kinda strange for Apple to run one Processor for desktop and one for Portable. I mean it seems daunting to rewrite and test the OS to a 64 bit x86 design, they're also going to compile, test and optimize for a 32 bit x86 platform at the same time?



    nForce sounds nice enough and hey I'm sure if Apple had the time and money (and user and developer support) they could build a real beaut of a rig around an AMD Clawhammer (or 2,4 or 8 of them) but as has been beat to death here Apple has none of those things. How long did it take to create OS X? We're just now getting OS X pro Applications. Even if Apple made a hard left turn, I'd make an uneducated guess that it would be 3-5 years before it was a workable option. Even if Steve sicced the Lab Monkeys on it a year ago, they wouldn't be here tomorrow.



    Hey, I'm all for embracing outrageous hope but this is a bit out there for me.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    junkyard dawgjunkyard dawg Posts: 2,801member
    Ok, let me get this straight. Apple is in the midsts of migrating from Mac OS to OS X, and they are maybe halfway, or 2/3 of the way along, but OS X still has lots of maturing to do, and more apps need to be carbonized. Furthermore, the Mac community has only recently begun migrating to OS X. Not even half of all mac users are using OS X.



    So Apple is going to decide RIGHT NOW, in the middle of a transition to OS X, to begin another transition from PPC to x86? Apple is going to ask their developers to rewrite their code AGAIN, this time for OS X on x86. And then Apple is going to ask mac users to migrate again, to OS X on x86.



    So Apple will have not two user bases, OS 9 and OS X, but THREE, OS 9, OS X, and OS X on x86! Additionally, there will be applications out for all THREE operating systems! And developers will have to waste more time converting their code to another Apple OS migration, when they could be spending the time coding NEW features into Mac software.



    Yeah, this sounds so plausible, I'm sure it is going to happen. For sure.



    Oh, and this is a report from the where? The Register? The same source that promised inside sources revealed that we'd get Powermac G5s at MWSF, running at 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 GHz? Yeah, that's what I thought.



    Amazing that the Register keeps dealing in bullsh!t, and every time people read it, they get excited, thinking that maybe it's not really bullsh!t this time. I ask, if you see the sun rise every day, do you constantly cower in fear every morning before sunrise, wondering if this is the day, finally, that the sun isn't going to rise? That since it rose every day of your life, it MUST be due not to rise soon?
  • Reply 18 of 46
    The article says nothing about swapping PPC for x86 decoder stage - but this is an extremely interesting idea anyway, and in my opinion it is the only way this rumor makes sense.



    I don't believe Apple will port to any x86 chip. It would smack of "waving the white flag", and it would be surrendering the ability to claim any technical advantages at the CPU level. Plus, there is the potential nightmare of creative hackers figuring out a way around whatever ROM protections Apple included with x86 hardware, thus unleashing a version of OS X that would run on any old x86 box. Noooooo... not going down THAT road.



    The only practical way for Apple to piggyback on the AMD/Intel clockspeed success is to make a slightly "tweaked" version of the chip that ran a different instruction set (PPC being the only real candidate at the moment). And this would actually be VERY EASY, compared to engineering a whole new chip, because the cores of AMD and Intel cpus have been RISCy for quite some time. Just change the decoder stage, and you're off & running.



    And the kicker is: a PPC decoder stage might be more efficient than an x86 decoder, because PPC is already RISC. (If anyone here knows more about this than I and can confirm this baseless speculation, please jump into the fray.)



    Granted the edge might be only a few percent, but it would be LOCKED IN - there would be no way for Windows or Windows apps to overcome it, and the point would not be arguable.



    Throw in a couple Altivec units (these should be in addition to SSE2, not in place of, because Altivec doesn't give you 64 bit floating point ops), and you have a clear win.



    I'm not saying this is Apple's primary strategy at the moment - I still think there's some kind of G5 project going on - but if the G5 runs into serious problems in the way the G4 did, this would make a very nice backup plan, much nicer than a port to x86.
  • Reply 18 of 46
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    [quote]Originally posted by BobtheTomato:

    <strong>Why are two graphic card companies working on porting a client's Operating system?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    They're not, the rumour was that they were working on porting their drivers for the newly ported OS.



    <strong> [quote]

    How would AMD be ahead in solving the acceptance problem for the new 64 bit clawhammer part selling a customized version with a PPC decoder in place of the x86? I can see the point if they are running it as an x86 part and Apple is providing some volume. But if AMD wants to have an OS to show off it 64 bit part wouldn't it make sense for it to run on the version of the processor they are trying to sell M$ on?

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    The rumour is not about an AMD PowerPC chip, its about MacOSX running on AMD's 64-bit x86 Hammer chip.



    [quote]<strong>

    Is there a 64 Bit AMD part that will be available at Clawhammer's launch that'd work in a portable? It'd be kinda strange for Apple to run one Processor for desktop and one for Portable. I mean it seems daunting to rewrite and test the OS to a 64 bit x86 design, they're also going to compile, test and optimize for a 32 bit x86 platform at the same time?

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    GEEEZZZ, did anybody even read what I suggested? <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />



    Apple is not going to build machines around an AMD x86 chip, but perhaps AMD will pay Apple to provide an alternative OS for the AMD machines. No Apple x86 machines, yes AMD MacOSX machines.
  • Reply 20 of 46
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    [quote]Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg:

    <strong>Ok, let me get this straight. Apple is in the midsts of migrating from Mac OS to OS X, and they are maybe halfway, or 2/3 of the way along, but OS X still has lots of maturing to do, and more apps need to be carbonized. Furthermore, the Mac community has only recently begun migrating to OS X. Not even half of all mac users are using OS X.



    So Apple is going to decide RIGHT NOW, in the middle of a transition to OS X, to begin another transition from PPC to x86? Apple is going to ask their developers to rewrite their code AGAIN, this time for OS X on x86. And then Apple is going to ask mac users to migrate again, to OS X on x86.



    So Apple will have not two user bases, OS 9 and OS X, but THREE, OS 9, OS X, and OS X on x86! Additionally, there will be applications out for all THREE operating systems! And developers will have to waste more time converting their code to another Apple OS migration, when they could be spending the time coding NEW features into Mac software.



    Yeah, this sounds so plausible, I'm sure it is going to happen. For sure.



    Oh, and this is a report from the where? The Register? The same source that promised inside sources revealed that we'd get Powermac G5s at MWSF, running at 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 GHz? Yeah, that's what I thought.



    Amazing that the Register keeps dealing in bullsh!t, and every time people read it, they get excited, thinking that maybe it's not really bullsh!t this time. I ask, if you see the sun rise every day, do you constantly cower in fear every morning before sunrise, wondering if this is the day, finally, that the sun isn't going to rise? That since it rose every day of your life, it MUST be due not to rise soon?</strong><hr></blockquote>





    Heh. What if AMD did most of the porting work? MacOSX/Darwin are already fairly portable, if it was an almost zero-effort proposition for Apple they might let it happen. Apple would more-or-less ignore its existance, but AMD could line up developers to jump on the bandwagon... and guess what? They can get into the Mac market at the same time.



    You're right, the whole notion is fanciful but we gotta talk about something while we wait to see if anything new shows up at the next Apple event.
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