Will the 970's go dual or stay a single chip design?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Will Apple continue with dual processor machines when(if) the 970 comes out or will they eventually be eliminated as the 970 evolves and gets better?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    Well.. Since the processors havent been launched, who knows?



    But since OSX has full SMP and Apple has been all over SMP, i guess they'll have dual processors, or dual-cores marketed as dual processors.
  • Reply 2 of 60
    nevynnevyn Posts: 360member
    Higher CPU count machines should be an area Apple could fight in. Xeons NOT cheap, NOT cool.



    Currently the design of a better northbridge/FSB appears to hinder Apple from going past two physical chips. I don't see any good reason for them not to go to dual 970's, or even dual CPUs of any further multicore 970 varient.



    Apple seems to be conceeding that normal people don't need a desktop - a really nice laptop should do. That leads to: the people that _DO_ need a desktop need a LOT more. The market Apple appeared to be moving on would seem to be able to pay for the added performance.
  • Reply 3 of 60
    My sig says it all (since 1999)
  • Reply 4 of 60
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    The 970 have been scheduled to be SMP compatible. This chip will not have a very big number of transistors, just below a P4B : it will not be very expansive to produce.



    I see no reasons why Apple will not use it in dual computers. Perhaps in the begining there will be only one SMP version.
  • Reply 5 of 60
    [quote]Originally posted by T'hain Esh Kelch:

    <strong>Well.. Since the processors havent been launched, who knows?



    But since OSX has full SMP and Apple has been all over SMP, i guess they'll have dual processors, or dual-cores marketed as dual processors.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    IBM's website say's the PPC 970 will be single core BTW.



    We'll probably see a single PPC 970 processor at first with enough speed and power to out perform the former top-of-the-line G4 and the competition. This strategy would allow them to squeeze the most profit from the 970 over it's lifetime. No doubt we will see multiple PPC 970 powered Macs used eventually.



    [ 01-11-2003: Message edited by: pey/coy-ote ]</p>
  • Reply 6 of 60
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,354member
    I don't see it being a problem once the 970 moves on to .90 micron.



    Perhaps IBM will offer Dual Core packages after that point.



    I think it would help Apple to keep SMP capabilities. Sometimes you need Brute Strength and sometimes you need great multasking(SMP)
  • Reply 7 of 60
    [quote]Originally posted by hmurchison:

    <strong>I don't see it being a problem once the 970 moves on to .90 micron.



    Perhaps IBM will offer Dual Core packages after that point.



    I think it would help Apple to keep SMP capabilities. Sometimes you need Brute Strength and sometimes you need great multasking(SMP)</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Wouldn't offering a dual core require a ground up re-design?



    [ 01-11-2003: Message edited by: pey/coy-ote ]</p>
  • Reply 8 of 60
    nevynnevyn Posts: 360member
    [quote]Originally posted by pey/coy-ote:

    <strong>



    Wouldn't offering a dual core require a ground up re-design?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    The ppc970 is a close cousin of the Power4 - which does dual cores (and can be made into an eight core module easily also). The whole thing wouldn't have to be redesigned - the whole thing wasn't redesigned in order to remove that ability in the first place (it's just left out).
  • Reply 9 of 60
    baconbacon Posts: 15member
    Todays cutting edge memory is barely fast enough to keep up with a SINGLE 970 CPU. If Apple plans on using two 970s, they'll have to do some very fancy and expensive footwork. Put another way, even if the 970 is as cheap as todays g4, the cost of the memory and motherboard are going to be more expensive. So... if Apple sticks with dual processors, we'll see much faster AND much more expensive towers.



    Another consideration is how fast IBM can ramp up production. If Apple has 100,000 chips on June 1, 2003, do they build 50,000 dualies or 100,000 singles.



    If I were Apple, I'd absolutely start the 970 with single processor machines. By all accounts, a single 970 will scream. It will make every mac fan happy...When production ramped up, I'd roll out my multi-processor machines.
  • Reply 10 of 60
    I have a question concerning dual-core CPU's. I remember reading that the G4 was supposed to be capable of having a dual-core, or at least existed in a dual-core version. Why haven't we heard or seen anything of that?
  • Reply 11 of 60
    yevgenyyevgeny Posts: 1,148member
    The question is about yeilds and pricing. If yeilds are good, expect to see duals on the top model powermac. If yeilds aren't so good, then single CPU's across the line.



    I think that we all know that after getting beaten so long by the P4, that Jobs wants nothing more than to ship a dual 970 workstation that totally crushes the x86 world. Whether or not he can is simply determined by how many chips he gets.



    I think that dual CPu's will be more likely when the 970's move to 0.9 microns. This is because the pent up demand for a fast powermac is so great that two CPU's in two seperate machines means that the two machines get sold ($$ for apple), where dual CPU's only get apple $. Apple makes more money and satisfies more users with single CPU's in the first lineup. Once the process shrink comes along, I would expect to see dual CPU's in the full PM line, and perhaps the powerbook line as well.
  • Reply 12 of 60
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,423member
    [quote]Originally posted by rampancy:

    <strong>I have a question concerning dual-core CPU's. I remember reading that the G4 was supposed to be capable of having a dual-core, or at least existed in a dual-core version. Why haven't we heard or seen anything of that?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Because they never built one? In theory any SMP-capable processor design can be modified to be multi-core, but that doesn't mean that they'll actually geta around to doing it.
  • Reply 13 of 60
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,423member
    [quote]Originally posted by Yevgeny:

    <strong>The question is about yeilds and pricing. If yeilds are good, expect to see duals on the top model powermac. If yeilds aren't so good, then single CPU's across the line.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I'm optimistic about the 970 yields. IBM has a pretty good track record, and they are typically conservative in their planning (and pretty much everything else... that's why Big Business likes Big Blue). A bigger question is how Apple wants to position these machines, and what their component costs are like.
  • Reply 14 of 60
    I really cannot see Apple stop producing dual processor machines. As has been proved before, the other processor really does pay off in multi-tasking, and in applications designed for dual processors. What about all the applications already multi-threaded? Think how much those companys would be pi$$ed off if all that hard work went down the drain. :eek:
  • Reply 15 of 60
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    [quote]Originally posted by rampancy:

    <strong>I remember reading that the G4 was supposed to be capable of having a dual-core, or at least existed in a dual-core version. Why haven't we heard or seen anything of that?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Maybe because Moto builds the G4 with obsolete fabs, so a dual-core version would be even more overpriced than the current single-core G4s.
  • Reply 16 of 60
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    The 970 is designed to be used in SMP. It cries out to be used in SMP. The only way I can imagine Apple skimping on this is if quantities are low enough and prices high enough that they have to start with single processors, perhaps at the low end. If they do ship a single-processor 970 system, they'll probably move to DP and/or QP when the 970 shrinks to .09 micron.
  • Reply 17 of 60
    [quote]Originally posted by Amorph:

    <strong>The 970 is designed to be used in SMP. It cries out to be used in SMP. The only way I can imagine Apple skimping on this is if quantities are low enough and prices high enough that they have to start with single processors, perhaps at the low end. If they do ship a single-processor 970 system, they'll probably move to DP and/or QP when the 970 shrinks to .09 micron.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    What exactly makes a processor designed to be used in SMP? (not questioning your knowledge, just wondering)



    I think the first, if only line to get quad processors would be the xServe. I dont see the current design being able too keep 4 processors cool, as well as the rest of the components. Just look (err hear) how loud the current dual G4s are now. With an xServe you don't need to worry about noise, just put it in a closet.
  • Reply 18 of 60
    [quote]Originally posted by Bacon:

    <strong>Todays cutting edge memory is barely fast enough to keep up with a SINGLE 970 CPU. If Apple plans on using two 970s, they'll have to do some very fancy and expensive footwork.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    THey have done it before, so why not do it again?



    Allright.. I know the answer.. Its Apple..
  • Reply 19 of 60
    [quote]Originally posted by T'hain Esh Kelch:

    <strong>

    THey have done it before, so why not do it again?



    Allright.. I know the answer.. Its Apple.. </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Well today's situation is a bit different then the one about dual 970s. Today the processor is the bottle-neck. The processor's bus cannot keep up with the speed of the memory. The memory problem with the dual 970's is not bad at all. In the dual 970 situation, the RAM can't keep up with the processors. This is a much better situation then the current one because this gives Apple room to expand, as opposed to now, where we've got nowhere to go.
  • Reply 20 of 60
    drboardrboar Posts: 477member
    I hope they do both

    With dual 970 in the towers and single in iMacs and eMacs. Later also in the portable as well.



    The more models that has the 970 the more important customer Apple will be for IBM. The only reason to not go 970 all the way is heat/power issues in the portable.



    To buy CPUs from Motorola is basically to support a dead end. Good for Motorolas bottom line and but no investment of the future CPUs for Apple. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
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