Exclusive liquid-cooled Power Mac G5 development details

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple Computer has finally begun shipping its new dual 2.5 GHz liquid-cooled Power Mac G5s to some customers in the United States. The machines are arriving slowly and sporadically, but according to Apple sources, only stock configurations of the new computer have left the manufacturing facilities in Shenzhen, China.



The overall development and production of the first liquid-cooled Power Macs was no easy feat. The project was lengthy and relied on the efforts of several third parties, and in fact, still does. While following the development of the new Power Macs, AppleInsider collected several tidbits of information that may finally lend answers to some of the burning questions surrounding the new liquid cooled computers.



Who Developed Liquid Cooling System?



The liquid cooling system used inside the 2.5 GHz Power Mac was not created by Apple, though the company's materials fail to mention a co-designer. While one source originally claimed that the liquid cooling system was developed by Panasonic, more reliable information suggest otherwise.



According to unconfirmed reports from an extremely reliable sources, Apple contracted a Troy, Mich-based company named Delphi to produce the liquid-cooling system for the new Power Macs. So maybe its not just a coincidence that the cooling system looks a bit too much like automobile radiator--Delphi, also known as Delphi-Harrison, is a former division of General Motors specializing in automotive work.



Earlier this year, word spread that Apple had quietly contracted Delphi for an undisclosed project. According to sources, the project was a liquid cooling system that was being developed at Delphi's Lockport, New York location with production scheduled for China. The project had reportedly run into serious problems with leaks, causing delays in the completion of the system. Months later, a sources who has now proven to be reliable, confirmed that leaks in a new cooling system were partly to blame for the Power Mac delay that lasted into June.



In a May 2004 conference call, Delphi Chairman J.T. Battenberg highlighted a corporate push into adjacent automotive markets and cited computer cooling systems as one example. Battenberg, however, would not specify any clients.



Delphi declined to comment on any reports surrounding the liquid cooling system prior to the announcement of the new Power Macs and continues with that stance today. Apple Computer also declined to comment on the reports, but that is no surprise.



Manufacturing



With the closing of its Elk Grove assembly plant in April--which once churned out the company's candy-colored iMacs and Power Mac models--Apple's G5 product manufacturing has gone overseas.



According to sources, Hon Hai, a Taiwanese manufacturing company that operates in the US under the name Foxconn, has landed contracts to produce Apple's new Power Mac G5 line. The company runs a large manufacturing complex in Shenzhen, in which Apple, Dell and a third PC are said to be outsourcing CPU-related production. During major production launches (such as the liquid-cooled Power Mac G5), US-based Apple engineers are reportedly deployed to China to oversee the start of mass production.



Earlier this year, word leaked that Hon Hai had also acquired a production contract for Apple's AirPort Express base-station.



Sources say that Hon Hai has worked its way into becoming Apple's largest manufacturer of desktop computers and is also rumored to be responsible for the production of several Apple enclosures. Hon Hai, however, does not like to comment.



Call them shy, but Hon Hai has always kept its business dealings quiet. The company does not comment on its contract deals because it doesn't want its customers to be privy to its other business dealings. Apple, Dell, Intel, HP, Sony, and Cisco Systems are rumored to be some of the company's current customers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    kurtkurt Posts: 225member
    Does Apple actually 'make' anything anymore? It seems like all physical assembly has been farmed out. There was a plant in Cork, Ireland and a Singapore plant but I can't remember if they are closed too.



    It is a little sad that they can't seem to economically manufacture what they sell.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    ~ufo~~ufo~ Posts: 245member
    my QS G4s are from the Cork plant...



    I hope they're still there.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    I don't have any links to back this up for the moment, I should look for them some time, but I'm sure I saw a lot of shipping confirmations on CTO models, in fact I saw more CTO than stock models being shipped.



    So I don't know where this is coming from that only stock models are shipping, but it's simply not true.. ai, I would check your sources a bit better



    cheers
  • Reply 4 of 23
    macsrgood4umacsrgood4u Posts: 3,007member
    Outsourcing of manufacturing is a reality nowadays. Apple really hasn't made any of their products for several years now. It's cheaper to go overseas you know. Heck, even Sony doesn't make many products in Japan anymore because of labor costs.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    In regards to stock or CTO shipping first. I ordered a 2.5DPG5/1GB/2X250 on July 5th. It got here to West Virginia yesterday, August 6th. I use MOTU's Digital Performer and it's amazing.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    But the processors are made in Fishkill, NY, right?
  • Reply 7 of 23
    I ordered a 2.5DPG5/1GB/250/R9600XT/No Modem on 7/29. Received shipping notification 8/6, but has only made it to the Shenzhen FedEx ramp. Still waiting for the 20" to ship. Where are the monitors shipping from - US or China?
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MacsRGood4U

    Outsourcing of manufacturing is a reality nowadays. Apple really hasn't made any of their products for several years now. It's cheaper to go overseas you know. Heck, even Sony doesn't make many products in Japan anymore because of labor costs.



    as I know, iBooks are assembled by Taiwanese company, ASUS,in Taiwan. PowerBooks are assembled by Taiwanese company, Compal Computer or Quanta Computer, in Taiwan.

    PowerMac G5s are assembled by Taiwanese company, Hon-Hai(a.k.a Foxconn) in either China or Taiwan.

    iMacs are assembled by Quanta in Taiwan. iPods are assembled by a sub-company of Inventec in either China or Taiwan.



    In addition to Acer and BenQ and excluding Inventec, the chairman/CEO of Hon-hai says Quanta is E-brother No1 in Taiwan,and then Compal, Acer, BenQ,and Foxconn, respectively. But actually, Foxconn is the biggest company in revunue in Taiwan, and the second largest EMS company in the world.

    Also, under top 10 brands of computers, tons of PC components are assembled by these five unsung companies,



    Foxconn--> SONY, M$, Apple, HPQ, Dell, Cisco....

    Quanta(world's no.1 laptop maker)-->Apple, HPQ, Dell, NEC, Sony

    Compal( no 2 laptop maker)-->Apple, HPQ, Toshiba, Dell

    BenQ-->Motolora, Acer, Nokia



    Apple not only buys LCD panels from Korens, but also from new Taiwanese LCD manufacturers such as Chi-Mei, CPT and Quanta Display(a sub-company of Quanta). And from an unreliable resource, QD is cutting 13.3" wide-screen panels for its customers...

    Who will be it?? Apple's iBook??



    btw, more and more iPods are made from Inventec's factories in China, and sooner or later, after Compal and Quanta increase their laptop productions in China, we'll see more Apple's laptops and desktops assembled by Taiwanese companies in China.

    Even though, Taiwanese and Chinese may have a war in the strait in 2006..
  • Reply 9 of 23
    http://forums.appleinsider.com/newreply.php
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ~ufo~

    my QS G4s are from the Cork plant...



    I hope they're still there.




    Why?



    Do you feel a sensitive connection to the skilled fingers that crafted your G4?



    Sorry, business doesn't work that way. Even limousine liberals like Al Gore and Steve Jobs don't give a damn for anything other than the bottom line. All that social crap is a lot of nonsense for the gullible. Talk is cheap, Action is reality.



    Obviously full health benefits, family leave, IRAs, stock purchase plans & paid sick leave, not to mention the base standard of living in the USA or the EU mean ALL manufacturing will have to leave our shores as that specific technology becomes available to the less developed countries. The west HAS to move on to the Next Big Thing (nanotech f'rinstance). If our schools don't turn out the brains to handle it we steal them from India, Taiwan etc. So it's a big circle. They make the buggy whips and we design the rocket ships.



    Market economics. If left alone it should balance out like the weather. Of course the numbskulls who can't grasp this think the weather is a corporate conspiracy as well. No hope for the clueless.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,421member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rlaycock

    Market economics. If left alone it should balance out like the weather. Of course the numbskulls who can't grasp this think the weather is a corporate conspiracy as well. No hope for the clueless.



    Yep, but you probably won't like the balance point and it may not be particuarly stable.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    I haven't seen any benchmarks on the new 2.5 DP. Could someone please post links to some?



    Thanks.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    mmmpiemmmpie Posts: 628member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rlaycock



    Market economics. If left alone it should balance out like the weather. Of course the numbskulls who can't grasp this think the weather is a corporate conspiracy as well. No hope for the clueless.




    When was the last time the weather was locally stable?

    Unlike the weather people are locally stable ( most people dont move around a lot ), and if the economy cannot offer stability on the scale of people then there is an impedance mismatch, and people will suffer.



    It is not obvious to me that the market will result in a stable system. It appears that economics is chaotic ( just like weather ) and will never settle down. If it was chaotic on a scale of say, decades, then people would be able to deal with it. But with technology the rate of change for economics has sped up, and no longer operates on a human scale.



    The question is not should the market operate freely, but how do we encourage the market to operate on a scale that people find comfortable. Governments have been trying to do this for a long time ( taxation moderates economic change ), but recent free market pressure has reduced intermarket taxation. This may ( choatic system afterall ) be helping increase the rate of change.



    Traditional economic metrics fail to reveal the effect of the increasing rate of change. Although economic activity may be increased, the impact on individuals does not appear to be positive ( software engineering job numbers dropped 15% !!! in the last quarter ). At the top of the scale, to beat a dead horse, the rich get richer.



    I believe that a solution to these problems is to be found in the inverse of globalisation - localisation. Small businesses operating localy within their evironments.



    I think that communism offers some strong lessons for our future, communism took all assets _for_ the people, but managed them centrally. It is much like a mega corp, controlling everything, and leaving little for its citizens ( employees ).
  • Reply 13 of 23
    Right, but even limousine conservatives like Bush and Cheney have to keep their corporate interests too, and maintain outside contracts, like say, in Iraq!



    If any politico faction tends to watch bottom lines more than assuaging US employees, it would be those of the Republican persuasion. There was a time when Republicanism was actually a brilliant concept, but that has been overturned by small-minded extremists who can't increase educational standards, nor put in place social programs to create a smarter, more healthy lower- and middle-class so that outsourcing is no longer an issue.



    Apple has to move forward, and it's in the form of global outsourcing.







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    Right-wing asses: go away, please. And vote properly this time.



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    Quote:

    Originally posted by rlaycock

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/newreply.php



    Why?



    Do you feel a sensitive connection to the skilled fingers that crafted your G4?



    Sorry, business doesn't work that way. Even limousine liberals like Al Gore and Steve Jobs don't give a damn for anything other than the bottom line. All that social crap is a lot of nonsense for the gullible. Talk is cheap, Action is reality.



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    ...



    ...



    ...



    ...



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  • Reply 14 of 23
    auroraaurora Posts: 1,142member
    though i found this article very interesting i feel our govt gives these corporations every reason in the world to do it elsewhere and little reason if any to stay at home in the USA. Apple is just another player. If that radiater gizmo was built here it would add a thousand bucks to the machine. so that helps me as a consumer to be able to purchase the thing. i guess the days of made in California are over at Apple. still waiting for my 2.5 made in China
  • Reply 15 of 23
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aurora

    If that radiater gizmo was built here it would add a thousand bucks to the machine.



    That statement was so ridiculously stupid I wished I could laugh but I couldn't.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rlaycock

    Market economics. If left alone it should balance out like the weather.



    Great in theory. Not so clear in practice. First of all...a well-balanced free-market system assumes that asymmetrical information and power don't exist. But they do. Some people/organizations have more information and power and are able to muck with the "weather" (your vaunted "free market system")...typically to their own benefit of course.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    kurtkurt Posts: 225member
    Sorry, didn't mean to turn this thread into a political debate.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    fahlmanfahlman Posts: 737member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kurt

    It is a little sad that they can't seem to economically manufacture what they sell.



    This is thanks to unions that keep lazy, never showing up for work employees employed at $25/hr turning the same screw all day long so that the union can continue to receive the dues paid to the union by the lazy, never showing up for work employee because he knows that he can't keep a job if the union didn't keep it for him.



    BTW, I believe that unions looking out for their employee, not itself, would be wonderful. If unions would get rid of the lazy, never showing up for work employees and replaced them with hard working employees then production would increase and prices of whatever gizmo was being built would decrease.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    yevgenyyevgeny Posts: 1,148member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chris Cuilla

    Great in theory. Not so clear in practice. First of all...a well-balanced free-market system assumes that asymmetrical information and power don't exist. But they do. Some people/organizations have more information and power and are able to muck with the "weather" (your vaunted "free market system")...typically to their own benefit of course.



    Whereas some nation states (e.g. Taiwan) provide bonuses to technology companies to locate there and to do business there. The problem is actually more that this particular nation (the US of A) does not offer sufficient benefits/incentives for multinational corporations to stay here.



    But why is outsourcing bad? Because it deprives our country of arbitrarialy high union guaranteed labor positions? Would you rather have a less expensive PowerMac or know that you are subsidizing some union joe's paycheck? It is a global world and if America can provide good jobs to other nations while giving our consumers a better deal, then is that really such a bad thing? I think not.



    Oh, and for a good example of outsourcing labor to foreign countries, take a look at Mr. Kerry's wife How much of Heinz's jobs has she moved overseas? (not that I disagree with her decision, I just think it is a bit odd to see Democrats complaining about outsourcing when their candidate is married to the head of a multinational company who outsources jobs; oh well, it is a strange world we live in).
  • Reply 20 of 23
    Regardless of your feelings on Asian production that is where your next Apple will be made. The only good news is that production there does generate gross margins that support a lot of jobs at Apple, including "overseas" jobs, such as the UK/Europe, where Apple is selling Macs, iPods, etc.



    The main point of this story seems to have been missed - the level of leading edge technology & innovation that Apple is using TODAY. Liquid cooling, 90nm G5 chips, and Lord knows what else in the upcoming iMacs, G5 PBs, etc. Innovations like iSight, iPods, AirPort Express, etc.



    These innovations (and the ones we don't know about yet) are financed through the company's gross margins on sales. Part of that gross margin is achieved through production economies. This innovation is also producing jobs in the US. Jobs related to R&D, engineering, programming and design - which pay more than assembly jobs.
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