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



  • Reply 101 of 238
    ptrashptrash Posts: 296member
    [quote] One other thing... although our discussions of all of this helps US flush-out information and ideas... it's somewhat

    masturbatory in nature unless these thoughts make their way to Apple. (stating the obvious here)

    A few years back didn't xlr8yourmac and some other gamer sites get a petition going to get 3dfx to make Mac drivers for its video cards. (Maybe Invidia, I can't remember) They got over 10,000 signatures, and I beleive we got our Mac drivers.

    It be interesting to draw up an open letter to Apple, collect thousands of signatures through sites like this one, and present it to them at MYNY, where you'd be sure to get some press coverage. Of course, you'd have to hold off until after the keynote, cause if you did it before and they rolled out 2 gig dual G5s with 500mhz FSBs you'd look pretty stupid.
  • Reply 102 of 238
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    If they did that, you'd know that you're still asleep and are going to miss the expo because you're already too late.

  • Reply 103 of 238
    The probability of G5 coming out is very high. Despite everything we see so far are all based on Apollo. There are no reason why G5 won't be out. If I remember right, Motorola has HiPerMOS 7 (.13 micron) for 1 year already. As of up to now, the latest PowerBook, PowerMac and Desktop r only beginning to migrate to SOI. The performance enhancement through SOI allows .18 micron process to deliver higher performance solutuion. However, 1GHZ G4 dissipates 30 Watts of power already, if Motorola continues to try squeezing more out of the G4 through 0.18 process, power consumption and heat issue will eventually become a problem. Since we have yet to see .13 process Mac chips, there are high possibilities that G5 will be announce shortly. Although almost every single rumor site have comment on the invaidity of Motorola Roadmap, I believe the roadmap is definitly still valid. My reasoning is simple, we have seen the G4 evolved from 4 pipelines to seven along with enhancement in L2 cache along with L3 caches, but Apple still calls it a G4. This is mainly because of Apple still recognize the enhancements should still be classified as G4 category. In other words, Apple does not believe the improvements are worth the G5 name. Motorola likes to utilize its process fully, when Intel is utlizing .13 already, Motorola continues to offer .18 solutions to Apple, even though HIPERMOS 7 is available. Take a look at P3 and P4, no major changes in architecture except crazy pipelines but they did get the name change. In Motorola roadmap, the G5 architure will be more extensive, with new system bus, new pipelines (although 7450 and 7455 have more 3 more pipes, the change is necessary for the sole purpose to break the 500MHZ red light). Just think about what is likely to come up in the coming year. First USB 2 and high possibility of Gigawire, not to mention new graphics card. Right now AGP is 4x and possibly evolved into 8x in the coming future. What about higher speed 802.11 wireless, they are likely to be improved. I believe Apple knows it and the G5 architecture with Rapid I/O tailored in,was designed exclusively for that purpose, their current buses are running out of room. Small improvements are not enough, they need new direction and new architeture. Rapid I/O is their answer to traffic congestion and G5 will be based on newer buses and new process.
  • Reply 104 of 238
    daveleedavelee Posts: 245member
    I hope that you are correct tiramisubob, I have been optimistic for similar reasons, especially now that the eMac has been launched with a pretty fast G4.

    With PowerMac sales down 34% this last quarter (MacWorld) to around 200k, I think Apple must understand that the reasoning is due to the limited spec. Some exec at Apple was quoted though as saying that they 'had some wonderful products in development' (possibly talking about the Xserve) and that this next quarter was 'one of transition' - could mean just Jaguar, Xserve, but could also mean the icing on the cake.

    I just hope that all that R+D money that they spent recently hasn't all been funelled to the Xserve.
  • Reply 105 of 238
    capnpyrocapnpyro Posts: 33member
    i am strangely optimistic. i havn't really been impressed by a keynote since i bought my G4 450 (downgraded tragically in the 500mhz fiasco) in the fall of '99.. they've had their moments, but nothing truly impressive in the recent years

    i need a new computer, and apple needs another homerun, so i'm totally unfoundedly betting on 1.6-2ghz G5's. idiotically optimistic i know, because theres no way they'd increase their mhz 100% and w/ a new cpu, but it's what i want to beleive
  • Reply 106 of 238
    daveleedavelee Posts: 245member
    That would be nice, but I would be chuffed with a 1.4-1.6 GHz G4 or G5 with a RapidIO based architecture, DDR333 with a suitably quick bus (the speeds Dorsal quoted of around 500 or 667 MHz sound lovely - but too optimistic), possibly duals with these specs but I wouldn't hold my breath.

    If not something like this, then certainly duals across the board with reduced prices.
  • Reply 107 of 238
    derrick 61derrick 61 Posts: 178member
    [quote]Originally posted by MrSparkle:


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


    How long it took to reach the first 500MHz is not the issue. The issue is that we have gone from .5 GHz to 1 GHz in about 3 years, while the x86 has gone from ~700MHz to 2.4GHz in the same time. If MOT had kept up with Intel/AMD we would already be using 2GHz G5s, and looking forward to those G6s. :confused:

    I'm still waiting for a PowerMac that is worthy of a $3K+ price tag (performance-wise, so don't start with the ease of use/elegance/case design stuff. I know all that, that's why I bought a Mac in the first place).

    Beige G3 desktop 266

    288 MB RAM



    OrangePC card (so I can play Ultima Online)
  • Reply 108 of 238
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member

    " If I remember right, Motorola has HiPerMOS 7 (.13 micron) for 1 year already."<hr></blockquote>

    I believe they have HiPerMOS 7 on paper only. Could you provide a link to an actual selling part that uses HiP7.

    As far as any documents I have found, Motorola has only stated that the 0.13µ process(no mention of SOI on this process either) has been used manufacturing the cores of some embedded chips.

    [ 05-16-2002: Message edited by: rickag ]</p>
  • Reply 109 of 238
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member

    "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."

    "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."<hr></blockquote>

    Very interesting. I guess we will see(if I'm reading/understanding your quotes correctly) very shortly, when and if any xServe speed comparisons appear?? And the effect DDR sdram on the current bus has on speed??

    [ 05-16-2002: Message edited by: rickag ]</p>
  • Reply 110 of 238
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    [quote]Take a look at P3 and P4, no major changes in architecture except

    crazy pipelines but they did get the name change.<hr></blockquote>

    Unfortunately, that claim is just totally and fatally wrong. The P4 has gone through massive architectural changes up from the P3, it's not just a P3 with some extra pipeline stages bolted on, it's a whole new architecture and the only thing it really has in common with the P3 is the ISA.

    Do some google searching on P4 architectural descriptions or check out anandtech and tomshardware for facts.

    P3 to P4 is most likely more fo a change than G3 to G4 was.

  • Reply 111 of 238
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,410member
    [quote]Originally posted by G-News:


    Unfortunately, that claim is just totally and fatally wrong. The P4 has gone through massive architectural changes up from the P3, it's not just a P3 with some extra pipeline stages bolted on, it's a whole new architecture and the only thing it really has in common with the P3 is the ISA.

    Do some google searching on P4 architectural descriptions or check out anandtech and tomshardware for facts.

    P3 to P4 is most likely more fo a change than G3 to G4 was.


    In fact the P3 -&gt; P4 transition was more significant than any PowerPC transition so far. The rumoured G4 -&gt; G5 transition will be of a similar mangnitude, if true.
  • Reply 112 of 238
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    [quote]Originally posted by Programmer:


    In fact the P3 -&gt; P4 transition was more significant than any PowerPC transition so far. The rumoured G4 -&gt; G5 transition will be of a similar mangnitude, if true.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Yes the P3 to P4 transition was as significant than the transition from the K6 to the Athlon.. The G5 will be a brand new architecture : but do not expect it before next year. i fear that we will even not see for MWSF, perhaps before MWNY 2003. Why i fear this : because the 7460 or 7470 is not shipped yet.
  • Reply 113 of 238
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    "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."

    I took your advice.

    I don't know where the 'disappointing hardware' feedback tab is on Apple's site. So I used the OS X feedback tab to let Apple know how I'm not buying a 'Power'mac until Apple ship a G5 or equivalent in power spec. I explained my reasons and I was polite about it.

    I stressed the positives in terms of my supporting the rest of their soft and OS strategies but I let them know in no uncertain terms my wallet (and that of many others, I suspected) was staying shut until they come on line with more compelling POWERmac performance.

    Lemon Bon Bon <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
  • Reply 114 of 238
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    Just a thought, maybe we could start a 'Power'mac cpu protest thread to have a moderator pass on to apple for after Macworld New York if things fail to live to up expectations?

    Reckon we could get to 500 comments?

    Just a thought, Amorph...(care to referee one?)

    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 115 of 238
    thttht Posts: 3,953member
    <strong>Originally posted by G-News:

    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...</strong>

    IDE = 3 MByte/s

    EIDE = 13 MByte/s

    SCSI 1 = 5 MB/s

    Fast SCSI = 10 MB/s

    Fast&Wide SCSI = 20 MB/s

    Also remember that IDE systems of the time had more limitations, such as a 500 MB disk limit before the enhanced IDE, limited number of devices on the chain, and hurt processor performance more. For a high end system, SCSI was the best way to go pre-1995.

    <strong>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.</strong>

    It was a midrange desktop machine. The Beige G3 machines came out in November 1997. All the parts in the Beige G3 machines were typical personal computer components for the time. Not even state of the art. Backside cache? The Pentium II already had it let alone other RISC chips. Socketed CPU? It used a socket yes. But it was a socketed daughtercard. To my knowledge, all desktop PowerPC chips had BGA packaging. The PPC 750 was a midrange CPU: 2 way superscalar, poor FPU performance, and running on an aging 60x bus. 66 MHz bus? This was just an increased clock rate on the 3 year old 60x processor bus.

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

    No disagreement there. It's just all the drama queens around that are getting a little too hysterical.

    <strong>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".</strong>

    I don't think it's much of a concern. The worse problem is that the 7455 needs another FPU unit and better memory performance.

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

    Somehow I think not only the whiners are going to be dissapointed.</strong>

    If an x86 machine is a better buy for someone, they should buy it. It's really not that hard. We all know that Apple and Motorola could do better for every new product, and there should be some disappointment, but the level of expectations people have are irrational.
  • Reply 116 of 238

    This is the article from Maccentral:

    Motorola announces 0.13-micron fabrication process

    by David Read,

    April 10, 2001, 7:00 am ET

    Yesterday, Motorola announced its new HiPerMOS7 (Seventh Generation High Performance Metal Oxide Semiconductor -- called HiP7) manufacturing process that will allow future processors from Motorola, including the next PowerPCs, to run faster, use less power, generate less heat and be less expensive than ever before. This new fabrication process will be the first to use 0.13-micron lithography and SOI (Silicon on Insulator) technology along with copper interconnects.

    "With HiPerMOS7, Motorola has tried to implement parallel design efforts with all of Motorola's future microprocessors," said Suresh Venkatesan, Motorola's HiP7 Process Technology Manager. "Initial products using SOI and HiP7 will address the embedded and infrastructure markets, with Motorola's PowerPC microprocessors adopting these technologies early next year." Motorola hopes that the smaller size of a processor manufactured with the new process will allow its embedded processors to drop significantly in price and increase in functionality. Venkatesan stresses that HiP7 will migrate to the PowerPC portfolio.

    Currently, Motorola uses a 0.18-micron lithography process to manufacture Motorola 7450s, the G4s currently used in Apple's highest end systems. By moving to a far smaller 0.13-micron lithography process, Motorola's new processors will be able to use less energy per transistor, and have more transistors per processor. "Speed and dynamic power consumption are a function of voltage and frequency," said Venkatesan. "All things remaining equal, a processor manufactured using the 0.13-micron fabrication process could see a 50 percent power savings over a similar processor made using a 0.18-micron fabrication process."

    That's not all. Because of the lowered power consumption of processors manufactured with the new process, it will be possible for Motorola to ramp up its processor's frequencies. This, coupled with Motorola's SOI technology which allows individual transistors to operate more quickly and efficiently, should allow Motorola to reach the goals that it outlined at last summer's Microprocessor Forum for its GHz+ G4 Apollo.

    Mike Mendacino, Motorola's SOI Technology Manager, said that future PowerPC processors created using the 0.13-micron manufacturing process could have larger on-die L2 caches. "With more transistors on a given area, one could logically conclude that we could add more cache if the processor's performance and price worked out in a larger cache's favor," said Mendacino. He also suggested that, given Motorola's history, a larger on-die cache is a logical progression in the PowerPC's development.

    Venkatesan also said that Motorola is skipping the 0.15-micron manufacturing process. This may result in Motorola leapfrogging their semiconductor competitors, many of whom have recently begun shipping processor products using a 0.15-micron lithography process -- Nvidia's GeForce3 being a high-profile example. Nevertheless, other major semiconductor manufacturers have announced their own twist of a 0.13-micron manufacturing process. For example, rival processor manufacturer Intel last week announced that it had successfully manufactured its first .13-micron processors on a larger wafer.

    Motorola is currently sampling embedded processors fabricated using the 0.13-micron process, which it intends to begin shipping in volume in the second quarter of this year. Motorola also will be showing off its new technology at the Embedded systems conference this week in San Francisco.
  • Reply 117 of 238
    jerombajeromba Posts: 357member
    [quote]Originally posted by THT:

    <strong>We all know that Apple and Motorola could do better for every new product, and there should be some disappointment, but the level of expectations people have are irrational.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Do you really think that waiting for a Dual G4 1.4 Ghz with a FSB @ 266 Mhz it's silly ?
  • Reply 118 of 238
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    [quote]Originally posted by theMagius:

    <strong>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.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    In that case, nothing will change anything, so you're also disagreeing with yourself.

    [quote]<strong>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.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    They have to work with what they have to work with. If the CPUs they have available are better suited to PowerBooks and iMacs than to high-end towers, Apple would be foolish not to concentrate its efforts on PowerBooks and iMacs.

    The reason I see their focus as component-driven, rather than as Steve forgetting power users, is that Apple is targetting higher end customers than they ever have.

    And (I can't resist asking) have you actually tried a dual-GHz PowerMac? Is the performance actually inadequate for your needs in practice? I'm not saying it isn't, I'm wondering if you've given it a chance. I have, and as far as I can tell the thing just blazes. As some of the engineers on this board have discovered, Apple's 133Mhz bus holds its own against some DDR implementations on the PC side. Quality of implementation matters.

    [quote]<strong>Now, it is possible that the executives at Apple Computer do not realize that comparable PC hardware is CONSIDERABLY MORE ADVANCED than their own.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    And it's quite possible that people who look at nothing more than spec sheets do not realize that Apple isn't as far behind as they imagine. Spec sheets are marketing; they're designed to make the product look as good as possible. On the other hand, good engineers pride themselves on doing more with less. This is why there is no love lost between engineers and marketers, generally speaking.

    Are they behind in some areas? Sure. Woefully behind in running a couple of professional applications (I'm thinking 3D here). Could Apple solve those problems by throwing hardware at them, even though some of them may be specific to the software? Of course. Hardware was eventually able to make even System V UNIX run fast. But I suggest sitting down in front of what they're offering now, if you haven't, and giving it a fair shot first.

    [quote]<strong>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.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Faster? Name one ATA HDD that comes anywhere close to transferring 66MB/s sustained. If Apple put ATA/100 on a PowerMac tomorrow without telling you, you'd never know they had. I expect Apple to leap up to ATA/133 soon, not for the added bandwidth, but because ATA/133 can address volumes bigger than 137GB, and hard drives are getting up there.

    If you really want speed, forget the onboard controller and get <a href="http://www.macgurus.com/graphics/customraid.html"; target="_blank">one of these</a>.

    [ 05-16-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>
  • Reply 119 of 238
    daveleedavelee Posts: 245member
    That is the point Amorph.

    It is just 'future-proofing' to an extent. When the first G4's were released they had, what, a 10GB HD?

    Now that we have got at least an 8x increase in storage space on shipping computers, Apple should show that if someone wanted to upgrade the HD (which is pretty much the easiest thing to do barring RAM) then thay still have at least some support. Obviously companies have to maintain cost effectiveness of hardware implementations, but at the moment the situation is getting a little ridiculous. People buying a Dual 1GHz should be comfortable that the hardware is good for a while, the ATA bus is almost up to the point of saturation with CURRENT hard-drives, what do you think will happen two years down the line (not an unreasonable lifetime for a 'Power' computer)?

    All this points to a computer that appears to be reaching the end of it's life in it's current form.

    I don't know. Just frustrated I guess.
  • Reply 120 of 238
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    [quote]For a high end system, SCSI was the best

    way to go pre-1995.


    Like I said, SCSI was a good choice for the non PowerMac macs...then again, before 95 none or only very few configurations came with a drive bigger than 500MB anyway...

    But after 95, EIDE would have been the better, and most importantly MUCH CHEAPER, implementation for many customers. Having EIDE (which, btw has a maximum transfer rate of 16.7MB/sec, not 13) and SCSI in the same system was doen, so they could have chosen whether to give users SCSI or IDE harddrives, depending on configuration (as they did with extra UltraSCSI cards and HDs in the Beige G3 shortly after introduction).

    What I'm saying is that Apple could have added the same or more performance for significantly less cost starting around 1995, and they didn't.

    Strangely enough they did for the cheaper models, but refused to do so for the "PowerMacs".

    And I wasn't trying to say that the Beige G3 was revolutionary for the industry, certainly not, but it was for Apple, and for the Mac market, and that counted.

    And btw, the G3 266 creamed the 604ev 350 in integer performance,and vice versa in FPU.

    For some apps, the G3 was the top level machine, not the mid range thing...even across platforms.

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