A look at the July Power Macs now that we know the Xserve specs

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  • Reply 81 of 238
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    "Thats why iMacs are flying off of shelves and Powerbook sales are strong."



    Excellent point.



    It doesn't really matter what the economy is doing. Sure the IT industry is in the doldrums. But Apple have shown, if you make a compelling consumer product...sales will come.



    Equally so. IF you let your professional line of Macs stagnate in relation to the competition (and yes, Apple, you are competing with the x86 directly or indirectly....) then guess what, your Powermac sales will drop.



    The DDR/mobo fix and bump may 'bump' the sales. But as overall 'Power'Mac sales have shown...its a 'spurt' in an overall shrinking 'cup' size. Because the updates aren't frequent enough, the architecture is old, the innovations haven't been compelling or soon enough.



    IF Apple DO make a compelling 'POWER'mac eg G5 will trimmings and gravy on top then I'd be among the first needing a/ ice and b/ a hole in my wallet.



    Problem is. If apple don't deliver this soon enough its impact will be diluted by what the COMPETITION will probably have to offer by then.



    Bra size? Right now? The 'Power'Mac aint no double D.



    Lemon BOn BOn

    :cool:
  • Reply 82 of 238
    thttht Posts: 3,953member
    <strong>Originally posted by G-News:

    The main problem Apple has is that they aparently have never understood that bandwidth is of the essence.</strong>



    No, I think the main problem is that they don't control their own CPU hardware. They really should have started designing their own PowerPC processors when they killed cloning.



    <strong>They clocked up the MHz ramp on the 604ev to notice it wasn't quite all there is to it.</strong>



    The 604e was an excellent processor. It was bandwidth limited for which a backside cache would have helped tremendously. I think it would have performed better (10 to 20%) clock for clock with the 750 if it had backside cache and a good compiler.



    <strong>They just took the G3 with all it's aged flaws, added double precision FPU and Altivec (all pure IPS rate wanking actually) and completely forgot about the fact that they might eventually need to have a bus that could support the chips speed...</strong>



    Once again, the G3 had double precision FPU. The only difference is the G4 can do 3 cycle DP multiplies while the G3 could only do 4 cycle DP multiplies.



    They also improved the bus efficiency 2 to 3 fold by moving from the 60x PPC bus to the MPX PPC bus. The MPX bus could do streaming reads, 3 times the simultaneous reads, had better cache performance, and eliminated a lot of dead cycles with respect to memory allocation. With the 7450 revision, they added DDR SRAM backside cache support, increasing cache performance further.



    So, they didn't forget the fact that the G4 needed more bandwidth. If the STREAM numbers are true and 133 MHz MPX machines can push 800 to 900 MByte/s bandwith, then Apple's machines have about the same realworld bandwidth as Athlon and P4 PC2100 machines. That's if the STREAM benchmarks are true, I think it still needs to be verified.



    <strong>You can tell me whatever you want, but it's not all tech issues right there, it's bad judgement, a whole whooping lot of it. In war you get shot for that, and the IT industry IS WAR...

    Also military courts like facts, not words...



    I've said it in the past, adn I'll say it till the day has arrived: they've got time until MWSF 03, then it's deliver or die, as sorry as I am.</strong>



    This is a touch too dramatic. If you want the fastest hardware one can buy, a 2.4 GHz P4 is probably the way to go. Whether it's a do or die problem for Apple is a much more complex problem.
  • Reply 83 of 238
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    "It always kills me during the earnings calls. "We still think our pro customers are holding off their hardware purchases for more professional OSX apps to become available.."



    Well, Apple, you can keep telling yourselves that. Cos, maybe when 'Power'mac sales reach under 100,000 per quarter...you may just take the 'HINT'.



    "So what you are saying is that if I buy a Dual GHz G4 Photoshop 7 will not run on it when it comes out?? So I should hold off on my hardware purchase until they make Quark for OSX?"



    (Now let's not tempt fate here. We'll probably still be on cutting edge dual 1.2 gig 133 bus, 266DDR 'Powermacs' by the time Quark goes carbon in two years time... )



    I realize that this is just Apple's spin they are putting on this and that they cannot actually believe this.



    Yeah. It's spin and they KNOW it. Perhaps I just want Apple to break down and cry at their conference calls and wail,



    'We've been b-bad...we know...sniff...we'll (blub) try to d-do better with our (wail) 'POWER' WAHHHHHHH....Mac line...'



    "But I really hope someone somewhere on that campus at Cupertino realizes that Apple is stil selling computers with a 66MHz bus, the "high end" machines have sdram and 133MHz bus speeds and ATA-66 interfaces."



    Hmmm. Hey, don't Apple have a reputation for using way years old technology? Just my imagination or are they slow to adopt new technology. Cos if the people at Cup of tea land don't realise it then I'm clearly off my rocker.



    Lemon Bon Bon



  • Reply 84 of 238
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    "The 604e was an excellent processor."



    Agreed. I had mine for four years. Only recently sold it for, sniff, £99. I await it's successor. But my wallet stays where it is until...



    "It was bandwidth limited for which a backside cache would have helped tremendously."



    I've heard that said. It was a fine CPU at the time and recall it giving one or two Pantiums a bloody nose. Remember the Powercomputing crowd? Shame Apple didn't keep 'em around for 'Competition'. (Gee, that word again...)



    "This is a touch too dramatic. If you want the fastest hardware one can buy, a 2.4 GHz P4 is probably the way to go. Whether it's a do or die problem for Apple is a much more complex problem."



    Yes. Agreed. But the drama comes from the frustration many feel at Apple's apparent 'lack' of progress in this area.



    It's a good job Apple have started to diversify into developing more of its own software solutions, 'x', styling of machines, server hardware, eye on the '3D' ball... However, the CPU/mobo and keeping their 'specs' fresh do seem to be constant issues.



    It can't be helping Apple's cause. If they hadn't started the above innovations then a os '9' and beige box PC strategy would have seen Apple dead and buried by now.



    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 85 of 238
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    [quote]Originally posted by photoeditor:

    <strong>If the 7470 G4 -- the 0.13 micron version that's due out shortly -- does not support faster than a 133 bus, that means Apple is going to have to do this XServe hack with DDR for the disk drives and SDR for the processor in its desktop machines. While the XServe seems fine for a server, there are going to be a lot of disappointed folks on the desktop end.

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    they're skipping .15? thank god.
  • Reply 86 of 238
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    You're getting me wrong, I wasn't saying their chips had bad bandwdith in the past, obviously that's not the case. but those chips are bound to other components, and THESE have traditionally been slower than what the chips could actually push.

    With the g4 it's a little bit more complicated, as obviously there the limits already start in the CPU, with that damn bus that wasn't designed to scale with the CPU itself.



    So my point is, that Apple has always had the bottlenecks in the system and HD busses and NEVER EVEN REMOTELY in the chips themselves.



    And that's bad. AND it's getting worse.



    And yes I am bitter on that issue.



    When we got our first Mac at home, for the family, in 1995, I knew I wanted one for myself too.



    I had to wait until 1998, thats 3 years, until Apple came out with something that was reasonably priced and as fast, or faster than a PC with the same "visual" specs.



    That machine was the Beige G3 Tower.



    Well, 4 years have passed now, and there hasn't been a single point where I would have had to admit that now, Apple has achieved another revolutionary step like the Beige G3.



    Maybe it's Steve Jobs reign, maybe it's Motorola's incompetence, but Apple has failed to bring us another such revolution, performance and functionality wise. The iMacs revolutionized personal computing, but it's about looks and experience, and while these maybe be important to be "special", being special alone won't get you over the rounds.



    Thus I give Apple time until MWSF 03 to revolutionize computing again, the way they did with the first G3s.



    That includes a new mainboard, a new chip, and pentium beating performance. plus minus one factor.



    G-News
  • Reply 87 of 238
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    [quote]Originally posted by theMagius:

    <strong>

    On Apple DissatisfactionIdle threats to “leave the Mac and buy a PC” are commonplace on some of the Macintosh forums. My personal belief is that the people who make such statements are really Apple’s biggest fans. When their favorite computer maker appears to have a flaw, they see a flaw within themselves. It has also been suggested that we (the Apple consumers) should write to Apple telling them what we want from our OS and our hardware. While this is a noble effort, I have an alternate method for getting Apple to “listen” to our requests.



    Don’t buy any new Apple hardware.

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Actually, both of those only go halfway. If you just fail to buy Apple hardware, they have to guess why. If you write them and tell them what you want from your OS and your hardware, and you tell them that you aren't buying until you get it, then they know they're losing the sales and they know why.
  • Reply 88 of 238
    mrsparklemrsparkle Posts: 120member
    Forgive me for being a newbie, but I just want to make a couple of points.



    First of all, this .5 GHz in the last 2 years thing defies logic. How many years did it take to get to the first .5 GHz?



    Second, It seems to me that this is the first time in a while that Motorola has very high yields of the processors in the high end PMs. Is it safe to assume that they have chips rated higher than 1 GHz from the same batches? I realize that they may be using a slightly different rev of the G4 next round, but I would think that 1.2 and probably 1.4 GHz G4s exist in some quantity already.



    Again, I am a newbie who doesn't know a whole lot about chip production, but I am aware of the problems that Apple has had in the past of getting enough of the high end processors to satisfy demand.
  • Reply 89 of 238
    bodhibodhi Posts: 1,424member
    [quote]Originally posted by MrSparkle:

    <strong>Forgive me for being a newbie, but I just want to make a couple of points.



    First of all, this .5 GHz in the last 2 years thing defies logic. How many years did it take to get to the first .5 GHz?



    Second, It seems to me that this is the first time in a while that Motorola has very high yields of the processors in the high end PMs. Is it safe to assume that they have chips rated higher than 1 GHz from the same batches? I realize that they may be using a slightly different rev of the G4 next round, but I would think that 1.2 and probably 1.4 GHz G4s exist in some quantity already.



    Again, I am a newbie who doesn't know a whole lot about chip production, but I am aware of the problems that Apple has had in the past of getting enough of the high end processors to satisfy demand.</strong><hr></blockquote>





    That's great and all but it doesn't dispute the fact that technically we are stuck at 133MHz bus for the foreseable future.
  • Reply 90 of 238
    mrsparklemrsparkle Posts: 120member
    I wasn't talking to you.
  • Reply 91 of 238
    themagiusthemagius Posts: 28member
    [quote]Originally posted by Amorph:

    <strong>



    Actually, both of those only go halfway. If you just fail to buy Apple hardware, they have to guess why. If you write them and tell them what you want from your OS and your hardware, and you tell them that you aren't buying until you get it, then they know they're losing the sales and they know why.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Normally, I would agree with your stance on this issue, Amorph.



    However, the slouching of PowerMac sales over the past few quarters does not seem to have motivated Apple Computer to revamp their motherboard capabilities.



    What Apple HAS done is re-focused their efforts toward: laptops, consumer AIOs, servers, and their next generation OS. All of these things are important, but they do not address PowerMac line whatsoever.



    Now, it is possible that the executives at Apple Computer do not realize that comparable PC hardware is CONSIDERABLY MORE ADVANCED than their own.



    But I would like to think that I have invested stock in a company that is intelligent enough to realize that Hard Drive controllers really should be faster than ATA/66 for a price tag of $2999.



    My $0.02,

    -theMagius
  • Reply 92 of 238
    thttht Posts: 3,953member
    <strong>Originally posted by G-News:

    With the g4 it's a little bit more complicated, as obviously there the limits already start in the CPU, with that damn bus that wasn't designed to scale with the CPU itself.</strong>



    The MPX bus was designed with AltiVec loads in mind. It doubled or tripled the bus utilization. An AltiVec load is like equivalent to a 2x to 4x increase in clock rate, so they tried to match the increase bandwidth needs 1 for 1 when moving from the PPC 750 w/60x bus to the 7400 w/MPX bus. Mind that 80 to 90% bus utilization is an incredible number, to good to believe, but those STREAM benchmarks are pretty good.



    On the surface, it's not a technical problem to move from SDR to DDR signaling for the MPX bus. Either Apple doesn't have enough weight with Moto, Moto simply doesn't want to go through the effort (considering it does not have a chipset that supports the MPX bus let alone a DDR MPX bus), or there is still some unresolved contention between Apple and Moto.



    <strong>So my point is, that Apple has always had the bottlenecks in the system and HD busses and NEVER EVEN REMOTELY in the chips themselves.</strong>



    The system bus, ie, the processor bus, is an integral part of the processor. If the processor doesn't support the signaling, there's nothing Apple can do. Yes, Apple has a problem if they can't convince Moto to design PPCs to their and our liking.



    The hard drive issue is overblown. ATA/133 and ATA/100 isn't that big of a deal for Apple's market. If the Xserve represents Apple's new system architecture, that the Power Macs will use the new core logic chipsets, then I think they'll be fine, especially if they keep the 4 independent ATA/100 bus controllers. If there is a new G4 processor that supports DDR signaling in the processor bus, then it'll be a very nicely balanced system.



    Furthermore, never say always. For a long while, PowerMac shipped with SCSI drives (both hard disks and opticals). They were faster then.



    <strong>And that's bad. AND it's getting worse.</strong>



    Compared to the PC side? Perhaps it will get worse, perhaps it won't. I do think that a lot of people are getting overwhelmed with the numbers. Steady clock rate improvements, steady memory performance improvements, steady video improvements, and steady disk improvements is about all we should expect. There really isn't a revolution in performance.



    <strong>Well, 4 years have passed now, and there hasn't been a single point where I would have had to admit that now, Apple has achieved another revolutionary step like the Beige G3.</strong>



    I'm surprised you think the Beige G3 were a revolution. It's a rather mundane architecture. In fact, there is nothing revolutionary about personal computer architectures. They are all rather typical.



    What was a mistake was dropping the development of the 604e.
  • Reply 93 of 238
    thttht Posts: 3,953member
    <strong>Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon:

    Yes. Agreed. But the drama comes from the frustration many feel at Apple's apparent 'lack' of progress in this area.</strong>



    People have unrealistic expectations even when the facts say otherwise. It's been obvious since the clones were killed and since Moto and IBM decided to design processors for embedded or big iron server markets that Apple wouldn't have gotten their best efforts.



    It was really time for them to start desiging their own processors at the time. Further developing the 604e would have been a good start.
  • Reply 94 of 238
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    "Further developing the 604e would have been a good start."



    I was about to ask you if it would have scaled well...?



    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 95 of 238
    eskimoeskimo Posts: 474member
    [quote]Originally posted by MrSparkle:

    <strong>Forgive me for being a newbie, but I just want to make a couple of points.



    First of all, this .5 GHz in the last 2 years thing defies logic. How many years did it take to get to the first .5 GHz?

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    The problem people have is that Moore's Law predicts an exponential growth in transistor density which would thus result in twice the features and/or speed every 18-24 months. Thus as a simple mathmatical excercise Apple's product line should be doubling in capacity more quickly than it is currently according to industry standards.
  • Reply 96 of 238
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    [quote]Furthermore, never say always. For a long while, PowerMac shipped with SCSI drives (both hard disks and opticals). They

    were faster then.<hr></blockquote>



    Haha, they were probably faster back in 1986, but almost the whole line of powermacs with G1 and G2 processors was not.



    They had SCSI I or Fast SCSI at best, that means 5 to 10MB/sec...and the PCs have had ATA with 16MB/sec for ages. and the bus on the 60x chip maxed out at 50MHz in most systems, 60 in the fastest afaik...



    And yes the Beige G3 was revolutionary:

    SDRAM, a 66MHz bus as seen in PCs, IDE harddrives, CD-ROMs and such, some of the first 3D accellerated graphics chips that actually did something (Rev B and C), socketed CPU instead of slotted, a brand new CPU chip, backside cache architecture at 2:1 ratio, internal modems, the works. The revolution would have been perfect if they had also ditched the serial ports in favor of USB already.



    Eventually it was also an evolutionary step, but a significantly bigger one than the measly 8-25 MHZ increments they had made before (before the MACH G2s)



    They could have thrown in Ultrawide SCSI years ago, the 9500,9600 sure would have profited.



    And the Beige G3s could have gotten ATA33 too maybe even a 75-83MHz bus, as was planned, but decided against.



    They have made bad decisions in the past, where it wasn't moto's fault at all.



    It's strange to have one half of the company do incredible things,while the other one just does or has to do incredibly stupid things.



    As for the ATA 100 vs 133 issue:

    It's not about speed there, taht's no problem, but imagine how good it would have sounded to say:



    4x160GB drive space instead of 4x120 (or probably 4x137 at the next update)



    640GB is more than half a TB, not "almost half a TB per 1U".



    The RAID is going to fix some of those concerns for sure, but I'm convinced, teh big customers wouldn't have minded ATA-133 in that xserve



    I wonder what they'll drop on us at MWNY...

    Somehow I think not only the whiners are going to be dissapointed.



    I hope Mike is right about the 100% performance increase, but I doubt it more than I doubt my grandma is going to return some day. Or elvis for that matter.



    G-News
  • Reply 97 of 238
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    [quote]The problem people have is that Moore's Law predicts an exponential growth in transistor density which would thus result in

    twice the features and/or speed every 18-24 months. Thus as a simple mathmatical excercise Apple's product line should be

    doubling in capacity more quickly than it is currently according to industry standards.

    <hr></blockquote>



    My dear friends:

    Intel and AMD may be more or less following Moore's law, which is actually only a rule, not a law.



    But, my companions, Apple and Motorola are not following Moore's law, there's another famous law they follow, and that is known by the name of



    "Murphy's Law"



    and yeah, that is a law, not a rule.



    G-News
  • Reply 98 of 238
    beside faster bus system and so on: at the beginning of this thread people made the conclusion that powermacs are (much) slower than PC based on this famous AE race or based on game performance.



    am i the only one who thinks, that this is also caused by non-optimal portings of PC programms ? who says that two computers (one pc, one mac), both technically with the same performance, would have to show the same speed with adobe's AE ? maybe they didn't put much efford into optimizing it for the mac platform in terms of speed.



    or take a look at the game sacifice - not playable on mac (sooo slow) and buggy. not because of bad mac hardware, but bad programing.



    maybe apple needs beside faster hardware also software (game) companies who are willing to put as much work into a stable, fast mac version as they put into the pc version.



    maybe an apple (partly) owned game company wouldn't be such a bad idea. i would like to compare a highly optimized, multithreaded, G4 enhanced mac game with it's pc version on actual mac and pc hardware ...
  • Reply 99 of 238
    crayzcrayz Posts: 73member
    In 1997 PowerComputing had 275MHz G3s. For most tasks, a G4 is no faster than a G3, especially taking into account the longer pipeline of the 7450.



    So in almost 5 years, Mac processor speeds have less than quadrupled.



    Within the same time frame, x86 processor speeds have increased to more than 8x their original speeds.



    That is just sad. If it continues for another 5 years, in 2008 we'll have 3.5GHz G5s and PC users will have 21GHz Pentium 6s.



    Wonder what Apple stock will be at that point.
  • Reply 100 of 238
    detahdetah Posts: 57member
    just get over it, powermacs aren't fast. i remember reading a comment from john carmack about developing Quake3 for the mac...



    "We did a ton of testing the last two weeks while we were putting the demo together.



    "The 733 G4 was not as fast as my 1 ghz PIII in any of the trouble areas. Apple is doing a lot of good work, but the CPU's just aren't as fast as the x86 ones."



    "We did a couple functions with AltiVec, but they didn't make much difference."



    <a href="http://maccentral.macworld.com/storyforum/forums/2001/02/23/geforceannc/?read=4"; target="_blank">http://maccentral.macworld.com/storyforum/forums/2001/02/23/geforceannc/?read=4</a>;



    sorry...you just need to realize that you won't have top-notch performance using a powermac. maybe apple/motorola will get their s**t together someday and keep up with the rest of the industry, cuz right now they are on borrowed time.
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