Why isn't there a 1 GHz Powerbook?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
<a href="http://e-www.motorola.com/webapp/sps/site/taxonomy.jsp?nodeId=03M943030450467M98653"; target="_blank">Motorola's proccies</a>



<a href="http://e-www.motorola.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=MPC7445&nodeId=03M9430304504 67M98653" target="_blank">The 7445</a>



If this is the chip that Apple puts in the Powerbook, then why isn't Apple buying the faster varieties, and using them?



TING5
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    price.



    the 800 costs about 125.

    the 1ghz costs about 300.



    Not that it matters to Apple, who's selling a very expensive machine to begin with, but I suspect that's the main reason.



    There's a pic of the new PowerBook internals. They put a lot of heavy duty ducting and cooling fins in there that weren't in the old 550/667. but the SOI 667 is cooler than the old 667 to begin with. All accounts are also that the new 667/800 are much cooler than the 550/667s. I don't think heat is an issue. The 1Ghz would go, but it's a much more expensive part that would eat into profit margins, and we know from the iMac price bump debacle that for Apple margins rule.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    Warning: this is a long answer and it could be nothing more than BS. You be the judge.



    1. Apple already lives in a world where PC notebooks are faster than their power desktops. It would add insult to injury if their own notebooks appeared to be more powerful than most of their desktop line. Don't underestimate the depth of Apple's pride. The iBook is being held back because the PB isn't speced high enough. The same thing may be happening to the PB because of the PM.



    2. There are three main issues in notebooks: power, battery life, and size. The biggest difference between PC notebooks and PBs is philosophical. Notebooks designed for power in the PC world have the priorities in the following order. Power is the most important thing so they put in the must powerful processor and will sacrifice battery life and size to do it. Because battery life is second in importance, they do have limits on what they put in notebooks. Since size is least important in the desktop replacement market, they have opted to build notebooks like a brick to accommodate more fans and drive options.



    Apple has the three priorities in reverse. Design is everything. They have decided that 1" is just the right thickness and that 51/2 lbs. is the maximum weight for a PB. They will not do anything to compromise those proportions even if it means sacrificing power, features, and Airport range. They will only change their design when they absolutely have to. It is probably the most expensive part of the Mac. As a result, they tend to design first and outfit that design with the best technology that won't compromise that design. They can only go so far with power before they are forced to change the design. They are treating the PM as if it were a sub-compact. Ultra light notebooks place power at the bottom of the priority list. Apple might be better served to add another notebook line rather than to try to please all of the people with just two lines. Their PB has to try to please too many people and has to make sacrifices to do it.



    Well, that's MHO FWIW.



    PS. What Matsu said about price may also play a part in it but I don't think Apple minds releasing a notebook in the $3500 to $4000 range.



    [ 05-08-2002: Message edited by: Mac Voyer ]</p>
  • Reply 3 of 36
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    I think its more of a case of, What are we going to sell them in six months time if we shoot the load now?
  • Reply 4 of 36
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Apple is using the 7455. At 1 GHz, that's 21 watts. That's a lot of watts for a laptop. It's not price.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    I think there is a more direct technical explanation. Yes, about a month back, the 7445 magically was bumped to 1Ghz to match the 7455 desktop chip. And yes, we know the PowerBook uses the 7455. But I don't think it's the same 7455 in the desktops.



    If you look at <a href="http://e-www.motorola.com/brdata/PDFDB/docs/MPC7455FACT.pdf"; target="_blank">this .pdf file</a>, you'll see that Mot. distinguishes between the regular 7445/7455 chips and low-power versions of the same. The L3 cache alone doesn't make it low-power - there's something else going on. Maybe it's some power-saving step-down features, I really don't know.



    But the point is, there is a low-power version of the 7455, and my guess is that this new PowerBook has it. And the docs say that the low-power chip is limited to 800Mhz. Whether it's limited for technical reasons or marketing reasons, I don't know.



    But I'm guessing that the iMac uses the 7445 (is that right?), the PowerMacs use the "regular" 7455, and the PowerBook uses the "low-power" 7455. It still could be cost reasons, like Matsu says, or heat/efficiency issues, like Eugene says, but there ARE different versions of the 7455, according to Motorola.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    [quote]Originally posted by Mac Voyer:

    <strong>Warning: this is a long answer and it could be nothing more than BS. You be the judge.



    1. Apple already lives in a world where PC notebooks are faster than their power desktops. It would add insult to injury if their own notebooks appeared to be more powerful than most of their desktop line. Don't underestimate the depth of Apple's pride. The iBook is being held back because the PB isn't speced high enough. The same thing may be happening to the PB because of the PM.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    In january when Apple updated the iMacs to a 800MHz G4, that pretty much stomped on the current PMG4's (800 duals, 867 single, 733 single) at the time... not long afterward, the PM's were updated....

    A couple of weeks ago the TiBooks were updated... If it was possible, im sure they would have gone to 1GHz because the PMs are due for an update soon anyways.... a month or so of TiBooks being on par with the PM's (not to mention the huge price premium on the TiBooks) would only help Apple's bottom line... people who need PMs are not going to spring for a TiBook just because they are the same speed, and someone who wants/needs a TiBook isnt really going to care much about the PM line--2 VERY separate markets...



    <strong> [quote]2. There are three main issues in notebooks: power, battery life, and size. The biggest difference between PC notebooks and PBs is philosophical. Notebooks designed for power in the PC world have the priorities in the following order. Power is the most important thing so they put in the must powerful processor and will sacrifice battery life and size to do it. Because battery life is second in importance, they do have limits on what they put in notebooks. Since size is least important in the desktop replacement market, they have opted to build notebooks like a brick to accommodate more fans and drive options.



    Apple has the three priorities in reverse. Design is everything. They have decided that 1" is just the right thickness and that 51/2 lbs. is the maximum weight for a PB. They will not do anything to compromise those proportions even if it means sacrificing power, features, and Airport range. They will only change their design when they absolutely have to. It is probably the most expensive part of the Mac. As a result, they tend to design first and outfit that design with the best technology that won't compromise that design. They can only go so far with power before they are forced to change the design. They are treating the PM as if it were a sub-compact. Ultra light notebooks place power at the bottom of the priority list. Apple might be better served to add another notebook line rather than to try to please all of the people with just two lines. Their PB has to try to please too many people and has to make sacrifices to do it.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Well i have to agree with you on this point, but the way the TiBooks are now are pretty damn good--IMHO the best notebooks out there... now people could show you those HUGE alienware laptops that smoke the TiBooks or some realy sleek winbook that pale in comparison to the TiBook... It is the best meld of form and funcion that I have seen on the market... Now its no 3 lb subnotebook, but its small enough for most people and yet it has a huge 15" screen with a combo drive... about the only thing(s) you can really add to it is integrated bluetooth and (if this is even possible) a superdrive (and of course ram, hd and MHz).....terrriffic... as for the problem with putting in a GHz chip if they had the choice, im sure apple would have if they could have---but obviously they couldn't... I think Eugene and BRussell nailed the reason why...



    <strong> [quote]PS. What Matsu said about price may also play a part in it but I don't think Apple minds releasing a notebook in the $3500 to $4000 range.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    definately... what the hell does Apple care if their top of the line notebook costs an extra $500 if it means a faster chip? They would do it if they could..



    -Paul
  • Reply 7 of 36
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Every current generation G4 Apple uses is a 7455, I bet...even the iMacs.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    [quote]Originally posted by BRussell:

    <strong>I think there is a more direct technical explanation. Yes, about a month back, the 7445 magically was bumped to 1Ghz to match the 7455 desktop chip. And yes, we know the PowerBook uses the 7455. But I don't think it's the same 7455 in the desktops.



    If you look at <a href="http://e-www.motorola.com/brdata/PDFDB/docs/MPC7455FACT.pdf"; target="_blank">this .pdf file</a>, you'll see that Mot. distinguishes between the regular 7445/7455 chips and low-power versions of the same. The L3 cache alone doesn't make it low-power - there's something else going on. Maybe it's some power-saving step-down features, I really don't know.



    But the point is, there is a low-power version of the 7455, and my guess is that this new PowerBook has it. And the docs say that the low-power chip is limited to 800Mhz. Whether it's limited for technical reasons or marketing reasons, I don't know.



    But I'm guessing that the iMac uses the 7445 (is that right?), the PowerMacs use the "regular" 7455, and the PowerBook uses the "low-power" 7455. It still could be cost reasons, like Matsu says, or heat/efficiency issues, like Eugene says, but there ARE different versions of the 7455, according to Motorola.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    This proves it's not cost issues. The low-power 7455 tops out at 800 MHz. The difference between low-power and regular 7455s is operating voltage (1.3 vs 1.6)



    There's really no reason for Apple to use 7445s because they use a different CBGA package. It would probably just end up costing them the same or more to use 7445s instead of 7455s.



    [ 05-08-2002: Message edited by: Eugene ]</p>
  • Reply 9 of 36
    apple.otakuapple.otaku Posts: 590member
    [quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:



    <strong>I think its more of a case of, What are we going to sell them in six months time if we shoot the load now?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    You sir, have hit the nail right on the head!
  • Reply 10 of 36
    First off the iMacs do not compare to the towers, my 533 DP still kills my friends 700 iMac in just about everything, the 100MHz bus really kills it. I think the reason they havent went all out is related to the Watt issue and relying on motorola to have a faster chip out in time for an upgrade isnt really a good idea.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    [quote]Originally posted by Eugene:

    <strong>There's really no reason for Apple to use 7445s because they use a different CBGA package. It would probably just end up costing them the same or more to use 7445s instead of 7455s.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    I had thought the previous PowerBook used the 7441, though, which is pin-compatible with the 7445, not 7455. But I'm not sure if that was ever really confirmed, or if it was just assumed because it didn't use the L3 cache. And from reading other posts, it seems that they did remake the mobo for this machine.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    I still think cost is a big reason. How hot are P4's going into wintel notebooks? .13u Mobile products are going into the laptops of big name vendors, but there are a lot of smaller vendors stuffing desktop P4's into laptops too. Heat can be dealt with.



    Apple's DVI PowerBook solution looks very nice. That is some extensive ducting and sinking going on in that case. Very good! ought to keep the fan quiet.



    Now we all know the real solution to this problem is to get .13u process chips, then we get a holy trinity of smaller, cooler, faster. But untill then, we're dealing with a .18u SOI fab. A Ghz would live inside the Ti. Add another duct, put some fancy processor control into the MoBo that lets the Ti scale speed, and beef up the internal heat sink a little. Maybe make more use of the mysterious heat pad material. But that ALL ADDS COST (and probably .1-.2 of a pound aswell) in addition to the steeper price of the Ghz chip.



    People are cramming hotter stuff into laptops. Battery life is another concern. You can simply get more optimistic with your rating (which a lot of vendors like to do) or you can spec a denser (and again, a touch heavier) battery of the same size. Something with a few more watt/hours in the tank. But again that adds expense.



    It can be done. But that isn't the question. Can it be done at a saleable price for the kinds of margins we expect? I suspect the answer was for the moment, no.



    I don't think it was any kind of engineering laziness. Sorry if I implied that. I think an issue of overall cost of the design made 800 the sweet spot -- especially for things that we couldn't readily see (like more ducting and heat sinking, temp control/processor cycling, and denser batteries) but together added even more beyond the increase in CPU cost.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    [quote]Originally posted by BRussell:

    <strong>

    I had thought the previous PowerBook used the 7441, though, which is pin-compatible with the 7445, not 7455. But I'm not sure if that was ever really confirmed, or if it was just assumed because it didn't use the L3 cache. And from reading other posts, it seems that they did remake the mobo for this machine.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    AFAIK the previous PowerBook used a 7450/51 with no L3.



    ---



    And as far as MarcUK's post...shoot what load? The low-power 7455/7445 only go up to 800 MHz, my friend.



    ---



    Matsu, I don't think it's a problem with a an LP 7455 running at 1 GHz and ~20 watts in any laptop design, but it'd probably make the TiBook unbearable hot without major changes. I wouldn't want to run a P4-M 1.8 GHz in there either...which wants 30 watts with external power.



    It's just a case of Apple not being able to buy what Motorola doesn't have.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    allall Posts: 27member
    If a 1GHz low power version of the 7455 does indeed exist, I'm pretty sure it would not dissipate the same 21W as the regular desktop chip, which I assume dissipates that much. If it did, it wouldn't be low power.



    [ 05-09-2002: Message edited by: All ]</p>
  • Reply 15 of 36
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    All, that's 21 watts typical fr the desktop version. The 30 watts figure for the P4-M is maximum. I'm assuming the LP 7455 uses a max of around 20 watts.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    allall Posts: 27member
    [quote]Originally posted by Eugene:

    <strong>All, that's 21 watts typical fr the desktop version. The 30 watts figure for the P4-M is maximum. I'm assuming the LP 7455 uses a max of around 20 watts.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Gotcha. I was thinking typical for the LP would probably be considerably lower, and I didn't see that you meant the peak/max.

    I'm betting on 15-16W for that if it's still on 180nm process. What's your take?
  • Reply 17 of 36
    brunobruinbrunobruin Posts: 552member
    I still wish someone would confirm that the 667, not just the 800, is indeed using the 7455. The more I read, the more confused I get, and I've run out of other excuses not to buy.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    BrunoBruin, I don't see why not. It's going to run much cooler and use up less battery if it's a 7455.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    brunobruinbrunobruin Posts: 552member
    [quote]BrunoBruin, I don't see why not. It's going to run much cooler and use up less battery if it's a 7455.<hr></blockquote>



    I know -- that's why I want to confirm that it's the 7455 in the 667. What I'm confused about is that it seems generally accepted that the 7455 is in the 800, that's the model everyone is talking about, but I keep seeing things like "Moto's specs for the 7455 don't show a 667MHz version."



    I just want some confirmation that the processor in the 667 is the 7455. If it is, I'm headed to the Apple Store!



    I was a lot happier before I paid attention to all this technical stuff and was blissfully ignorant. "Ooo, Cube pretty, me buy!"
  • Reply 20 of 36
    agent302agent302 Posts: 974member
    [quote]Originally posted by BrunoBruin:

    <strong>



    I know -- that's why I want to confirm that it's the 7455 in the 667. What I'm confused about is that it seems generally accepted that the 7455 is in the 800, that's the model everyone is talking about, but I keep seeing things like "Moto's specs for the 7455 don't show a 667MHz version."



    I just want some confirmation that the processor in the 667 is the 7455. If it is, I'm headed to the Apple Store!



    I was a lot happier before I paid attention to all this technical stuff and was blissfully ignorant. "Ooo, Cube pretty, me buy!"</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I have a 667, and it is a 7455.
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