Resolved: Bad News for hopes of a 970 Mac soon?

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  • Reply 21 of 55
    You have to actually read the whole article. This is a silent under the hood change, preparing it for the end. The 970 is actually in line for being announced at WWDC. I will pass on what I hear between now and WWDC. Like I have said in the past, I usually do not hear hardware info but every now and then it comes my way.
  • Reply 22 of 55
    rhumgodrhumgod Posts: 1,289member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by NewOrder

    You have to actually read the whole article. This is a silent under the hood change, preparing it for the end. The 970 is actually in line for being announced at WWDC. I will pass on what I hear between now and WWDC. Like I have said in the past, I usually do not hear hardware info but every now and then it comes my way.



    I did...where does it say anything about preparing the MDD for the "end", other than the wide-open statement in the last paragraph???:



    May 15, 2003 - Sources said that Apple will soon release a minor technical update to its Power Mac line.



    The update, known internally as project P58C, is not expected to include new features or bumps to processor speed or hard drive size. Most likely, the specifications of the models will remain unchanged.



    Instead, P58C will include minor internal technical changes, sources said, in a not uncommon practice for Apple. The tweaks are reportedly intended to provide further compatibility with Panther, the next major update to Mac OS X. However, the exact nature of the changes is unknown.



    Apple is set to finalize P58C in the next week or so, and will then quietly begin shipping the updated models to the retail channel. On the outside, P58C will probably be indistinguishable from the current Power Mac, aside from a new product number.



    This Power Mac update could be the last change to the product line before Apple releases its next major update, featuring the PowerPC 970 chip. Think Secret has acquired a variety of information about both the chip and the new Power Macs, and is in the process of confirming the details.
  • Reply 23 of 55
    bodhibodhi Posts: 1,424member
    Quote:

    This Power Mac update could be the last change to the product line before Apple releases its next major update, featuring the PowerPC 970 chip.



    I think that pretty much covers it.
  • Reply 24 of 55
    jbljbl Posts: 555member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Yet another 970 thread based on unsubstantial information. There article mentions no major changes to the hardware. I don't know how you leap from that to Delays in 970s



    Once again "Frothing at the mouth speculation"




    It all depends on where you are starting from. Some people believe that the 970s will be coming out in August or September. Others look at recent signs/rumors/suggestions and think that they will be announced at WWDC and released shortly after that. If you are in the former camp than this new "info" means nothing (or maybe it just confrims your opinion). If you are in the latter camp, the idea of a new Rev of the current PowerMacs (even if it is just a Firmware bug fix) doesn't quite make sense. Why would they bother when the 970s will be coming out by the time these new machines start to hit the street? Either you have to think that this is wrong or that the 970s will not be out until August at the earliest.
  • Reply 25 of 55
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,174member
    Or that Apple does not want to answer to customers who bought MMD PowerMacs right before OS X 10.3 was released, and then discover that Panther will not run on their 'new' machines...



    Apple could post the update then, but the whole process is bad PR...



    Apple could say 'let them eat ca...', er, 'buy a new PowerMac970, and give us more of your cash'; leaving a bad taste in everyones mouth...



    Or, the could just simply update everything they have in stock (like we constantly do here at my workplace) and prepare to sell shrinkwrapped copies of Panther, and focus on the PM970 release...



    ;^p
  • Reply 26 of 55
    rhumgodrhumgod Posts: 1,289member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Bodhi

    I think that pretty much covers it.



    And Apple COULD be allowing clones again. Open-ended statements are things that frustrate me to no end. Sounds too much like Microsoft speak....
  • Reply 27 of 55
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    I find it likely that these machines will have support for both firewire800 and USB2. USB2 support appears to be almost ready in the currently shipping machines. Perhaps there were just a few tweaks neccessary to make it robust enough for public consumption.



    APE?



    Or perhaps they are address noise (heat) issues...



    Or perhaps the production lines have already been retooled to support 970 machines but Apple still needs to make G4s until the 970s are ready.



    Or... perhaps apple has renegotiated hardware supplier/manufacturing contracts in preperation for the 970, leading to slightly varied components in existing machines.



    The thinksecret article is, at most, a single piece in the puzzle, not the whole story!
  • Reply 28 of 55
    bodhibodhi Posts: 1,424member
    Quote:

    Or that Apple does not want to answer to customers who bought MMD PowerMacs right before OS X 10.3 was released, and then discover that Panther will not run on their 'new' machines...



    My god. Do you really say that with a straight face? Are you really seriously thinking that? Yeah Apple who is in dire need of market share is going to make any Power Mac bought before May 15th 2003 unable to run on Panther.



    I am sure that whatever it is it will be provided as a firmware update for older Power Macs when Panther is released. You are really really reading way too far into this.
  • Reply 29 of 55
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Suddenly Matsu's hypothetical supply problem posts don't seem quite so hypothetical, do they?



    As Amorph mentioned, when people were ineterested in Powermacs, they sold in far greater numbers. It looks like the potential is there to sell 3X as many pMacs per quarter than the last quarterly numbers the pMac put up. They'd burn through 60 000 pMacs in two weeks, run into trouble shipping them, have 2-3 months of insane waits, and people complaining that their PM's still haven't arrived. Guaranteed. You can pretty much rest assured that PowerBooks will close out the year using .13u G4's, and NOT 970's. Hardly devasting, IMHO, since the G4 gets along well enough for a mobile chip, and a die shrink, more L2, faster speeds, and better battery life make for a neat upgrade. It's even possible that a G4 based powermac will remain at the bottom end.



    Note, I say only possible, we don't know what supply will be, or how apple will have to distribute the chips and the prices to limit demand (they did it before with the iMac!)
  • Reply 30 of 55
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Matsu

    Suddenly Matsu's hypothetical supply problem posts don't seem quite so hypothetical, do they?



    I was saying that 2 years ago -- if Apple ships a dramatically improved G5 machine they are going to have serious supply problems on their hands.









    And what is with the formatting in this thread?!
  • Reply 31 of 55
    kidredkidred Posts: 2,402member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Rhumgod

    And Apple COULD be allowing clones again. Open-ended statements are things that frustrate me to no end. Sounds too much like Microsoft speak....



    Ah, those are Think Secret's words, not Apples.
  • Reply 32 of 55
    rhumgodrhumgod Posts: 1,289member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by KidRed

    Ah, those are Think Secret's words, not Apples.



    When did I imply they were Apple's? Obviously they're TS's, either way...someone COULD do something reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer bets Jerry he will reshape his apartment with levels; then decides he doesn't want to and thinks the bet is off because he COULD'VE done it, but chose not to. "That's the bet! Show me the levels!"



    Anyway, I get the feeling that TS is feeling a little out in the cold and they had to print something, maybe, possibly, remotely, hopefully, relating to the 970.
  • Reply 33 of 55
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Matsu

    Suddenly Matsu's hypothetical supply problem posts don't seem quite so hypothetical, do they?



    They're still pretty hypothetical.



    According to Eskimo, it takes weeks to turn a piece of silicon into a packaged CPU. So what we're probably looking at is the first sputtering production when they turned on the lines. The news from IBM is that the plant was running at 1/3 capacity as of a month or so ago, and ramping up steadily, and that in general expectations were being exceeded.



    Apple will definitely stockpile, but I have a feeling that in a month or so IBM will be swimming in 970s.



    Quote:

    As Amorph mentioned, when people were ineterested in Powermacs, they sold in far greater numbers. It looks like the potential is there to sell 3X as many pMacs per quarter than the last quarterly numbers the pMac put up. They'd burn through 60 000 pMacs in two weeks, run into trouble shipping them, have 2-3 months of insane waits, and people complaining that their PM's still haven't arrived. Guaranteed. You can pretty much rest assured that PowerBooks will close out the year using .13u G4's, and NOT 970's. Hardly devasting, IMHO, since the G4 gets along well enough for a mobile chip, and a die shrink, more L2, faster speeds, and better battery life make for a neat upgrade. It's even possible that a G4 based powermac will remain at the bottom end.



    This is definitely a reason to stockpile, and a reason why Apple might only demonstrate a really fast "black box" at WWDC, as they did with the "hypothetical" dual-processor architecture a few years ago. Note that an "unknown" Apple executive is scheduled to keynote MWNY. Why unknown? If it was gonna be "Punxatawny" Phil Schiller giving a "big picture" keynote, why make a secret of it?



    As for the PowerBook, if the 7457 beats the 90nm 970 - which is not a given - it'll be a great little CPU for the PowerBook. I'm going to indulge something that approaches blasphemy on these boards and offer a best-case analysis of what's going on with Mot SPS. Givens:



    1) The '57 rather abruptly fell months behind schedule. It was due earlier this year.



    2) 130nm just is not working for Mot (something to do with dustbunnies, no doubt), and at this point it's hardly worth trying.



    3) A 90nm/65nm fab Philips/STM fab is coming on line that Mot has a piece of.



    4) Mot SPS has claimed that the issues involved in designing for 130nm and for 90nm are essentially the same.



    5) Mot SPS has voiced an intention to "leap" to 90nm from 180nm.



    6) There have been various noises of high-performing, RapidIO-based PPC boards for embedded use.



    7) The 7457-RM vanished.



    So, what if Mot looked at where it was and decided to skip the original '57 (basically a die-shrunk '55) altogether and go for a 90nm, RapidIO-enabled successor? In other words, what if the 7457-RM became the 7457? This would be a great little CPU for portables, and the RapidIO-based CPU would play nicely with ASICs and technology from the 970-based boards. The RIO bus and onboard memory controller would unleash the full power of the CPU, and don't laugh: Its AltiVec unit would probably outperform the 970s, and a whole bunch of oomph would rather abruptly appear that has been hiding behind MaxBus.



    Now, this is admittedly a moon shot. There's no way I'm going to consider this likely, and I will steadfastly refuse to be held to it. But on the other hand, if you're in the position Mot SPS is in, a moon shot is just about the only way out. I consider it quite likely that they'll fail, just like they failed with the 7500, but they have to try. At least this time they won't have dirty fabs to worry about, but they will have to cope with the fact that they treated all their senior CPU engineers so poorly that they left for Intel a couple of years ago (hello Centrino!).



    Quote:

    Note, I say only possible, we don't know what supply will be, or how apple will have to distribute the chips and the prices to limit demand (they did it before with the iMac!)



    I don't think the supply of 970s will be a problem, honestly, unless half the Windows market decides all at once that they just can't live without a PowerMac. Supplies of any Mot chip are a crapshoot (so to speak), although if the '57 is fabbed at the STM/Philips plant yields should be a lot more reliable than with Mot's own mudpuddles.
  • Reply 34 of 55
    rhumgodrhumgod Posts: 1,289member
    Very good points Amorph. Not so sure about ever seeing another new CPU from Moto for Apple though. I am going down the path of IBM chips in all product lines by MWSF (if there even is one) - a bad way to go, for a typical company, as Apple has seen in the past. I think that is the whole reason for Marklar, but let's not start up on that topic, yet again.
  • Reply 35 of 55
    shaktaishaktai Posts: 157member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    I don't think the supply of 970s will be a problem, honestly, unless half the Windows market decides all at once that they just can't live without a PowerMac. Supplies of any Mot chip are a crapshoot (so to speak), although if the '57 is fabbed at the STM/Philips plant yields should be a lot more reliable than with Mot's own mudpuddles.



    Good post! I agree that supply of 970 chips likely won't be a problem barring a major production disaster. (A UFO beeming the entire plant to another system, because the technology is too advanced for puny humans or something like that).



    Unlike some other companies IBM typically sets their estimates low, allowing for possible setbacks, and then surprises when they exceed expectations because everything goes the way it was planned. Pretty amazing really for a company that is "out on the edge" and who takes a lot of chances when it comes to R&D.



    Nice speculation on the possibility of Motorola pulling a surprise out of their hat, but I really doubt it at this point. I am still of the opinion that initial availability could be available as soon as early July folliwng a general introduction at WWDC, but it is all speculation and wishful thinking until the real product is actually sold.



    Edit: Aahh! the rain and hail have stopped, and the sun has come out briefly again. Time to head back out with my camera and give these forums a rest.
  • Reply 36 of 55
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    Quote:

    they failed



    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 37 of 55
    naghanagha Posts: 71member
    i predict that Apple will be flooded with orders for the PPC970 PMs. and i also instruct you to keep an eye on UCLA's computer store. for the past 5 years, massive price cuts have preceded the introduction of new machines. in fact, that's how i got my G3/233...



    until then, love and adore the G4 because soon it will be no more...



    na
  • Reply 38 of 55
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    ...They're still pretty hypothetical.

    ......So, what if Mot looked at where it was and decided to skip the original '57 (basically a die-shrunk '55) altogether and go for a 90nm, RapidIO-enabled successor? In other words, what if the 7457-RM became the 7457? This would be a great little CPU for portables, and the RapidIO-based CPU would play nicely with ASICs and technology from the 970-based boards. The RIO bus and onboard memory controller would unleash the full power of the CPU, and don't laugh: Its AltiVec unit would probably outperform the 970s, and a whole bunch of oomph would rather abruptly appear that has been hiding behind MaxBus.



    Now, this is admittedly a moon shot.



    Does that last statement in bold have a double meaning. I mean, well, some people here might like to give Motorola a parting MOON SHOT. Not me personally, I'm too old and if I hung a moon, it wouldn't be a pleasent experience for any witnesses.
  • Reply 39 of 55
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by DHagan4755

    I read this article over at Think Secret, and while I think it may be bad news for seeing the 970 soon, I'm still optimistic.



    I perceive this as good news as this is a very minor update that nobody will notice and won't be publicized. Had ThinkSecret reported of speedbumps, I would be more worried.
  • Reply 40 of 55
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    I don't think the supply of 970s will be a problem, honestly, unless half the Windows market decides all at once that they just can't live without a PowerMac. Supplies of any Mot chip are a crapshoot (so to speak), although if the '57 is fabbed at the STM/Philips plant yields should be a lot more reliable than with Mot's own mudpuddles. [/B]



    I don't think the supply of processors will be a problem either because Apple won't be able to build enough machines to use them all. I think there is so much pent up demand for a powerful Apple PowerMac that they'll be able to sell far more than they build for at least the first quarter.
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