IBM leave Apple for the CELL?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
What if IBM stops the PowerPC line to make the CELL? Will Apple survive?



--Not a Troll, I Love Apple and want to switch, but realistically should I?



Really nervous about buying Mac. I have just purchased an iMac G5 and a new Gateway 7422GX Laptop. Both are great. The Gateway by the way is the new Athlon 64, 1GB memory, Dual Layer DVD, etc. Top of the windows laptop line. I was thinking about getting a PowerBook 15? or iBook 14? instead. I am selling the iMac because I need something that can sit with me on the couch, that is it. I like Macs but am very worried about the future of them. The software is far and away the best but the hardware seems to have hit a wall unlike any we?ve seen. The G5 is all but stalled and no G6 really around the corner. The G4 is slow and aging fast. I would love to get a Mac laptop but am concerned about what they can release in the next year or two to stop the Mac line of Hardware from dissolving. I realize that x86 has stalled some but they are adding extra benefits and they have a clear future for the processors. I really am confused on if I should use the Gateway or if the iBook 14? will do just as good. I don?t play games, but I would like to edit my wedding video on iMovie. I just don?t want to switch if there really isn?t going to be 3ghz in the next year on the desktop and what if IBM pulls out? There is no clear sign they will continue the PowerPC line with the CELL being so ?cool?. Please advise on what to do.



Thanks!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    cygy2k careful.



    CELL hype is fun but with volume production not commencing until mid year you won't see anything until 2006 at the earliest.



    Also keep in mind that OSX has a nice layered architecture that would allow Apple to move it to new hardware platforms providing those platforms offered enough of a performance incentive to forgo on Altivec.



    Check Apple's market Cap and stock price. Shite...not only are most of us not worried about Apple's future but we're bullish on it.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Those are good points. I guess I am just in a perfect place to make a change if I am going to and have around 1500 to spend on a great laptop. I know I hate comparing PCs and Macs but I am just wondering if anybody can give some input on the possible future for Apple hardware and when we might see some explosive speed starting to imerge? I really hate Windows but I like some of the machines that run it. Is the iBook 14" enough to get by for a year or two of iMovie and stuff until Apple gets it's hardware groove on?
  • Reply 3 of 20
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    I would expect for Apple to update the Powermac line in about 2-3 months. I'm hoping they can get up to 2.8Ghz or so at the high end. They could be new designs with larger l2 cache and PCI Express.



    I'm sure they'll move to dual core chips with the next following revision. While I think Cell might make a great processor for media servers and the like it remains a mystery on how well of a general computing processor it really is.



    Apple's close relationship with IBM really gives them a leg up over Intel/AMD who have to continue to flog X86. Cell is intriguing but we'll have to see working silicon before we can make accurate judgements.



    Grab a Mac with no fear man, I think this year is going to have suprises that I cannot fortell. Apple has 6.5 Billion dollars and something tells me that we have a large suprise coming before 2H 2005.



    I'm pretty freakin' stoked about this year...I take Apple's silence as proof that they have some nice stuff simmering on the stove right now.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    While people moan about the Mac's market share the fact is that Apple is the number 5 computer maker in the top ten. Apple is profitable making and selling computers, and only Dull can say that when it comes to the top 10. Apple has about 6.5 Billion in cash (Gateway would kill for that) and puts about half a Billion into R&D each year.



    Apple and IBM have a solid relationship. Apple has invested millions, in terms of cash and engineering talent, into projects with IBM and we will continue to see new products from this relationship.



    Apple has a very long future ahead of it - even without considering their advances in supercomputers.



    In terms of Cell, Apple will have a pretty good view of where this is going. Unlike most computer companies Apple has a very good OS development department and can be way ahead of the curve with Cell IF they decide to go that route. Other companies are going to have to wait until MS has finished with Longhorn . . .



    Keep the iMac and sell the Gateway while you have a chance to get some of your money out of it. The iBook or PBs are fine for basic internet stuff and can handle a lot more than you think.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Is the iBook 14" a good choice with Tiger coming out soon? Any ideas of certainty of the iBook getting left out of some of the features of Tiger like Core?



    Thanks!
  • Reply 6 of 20
    rolorolo Posts: 686member
    If you have an iMac G5, I'd edit your wedding video in iMovie on that. The iBook is a very nice laptop and can certainly do the job but not as fast as the iMac. The PowerBook is much better than an iBook but still, the iBook is a very nice laptop.



    I wouldn't be concerned about Apple and the Macs. There's a lot going on with the PPC chips and lots of possibilities. IBM had problems moving to smaller fabs but it's an industry problem not isolated to IBM or Apple. Moving from 130nm to 90nm hasn't been easy and then there's the SOI to SSOI process (silicon on insulator to strained silicon).



    The Cell is an entirely different sort of chip in some ways but relies on a very G5-like controller so Mac OS X could certainly take advantage of it with some modifications. Right now, Apple is relying on HyperTransport but the Cell uses FlexIO and Rambus technology. Still, the Cell is OS agnostic so Apple could use it if it proved to be an advantage.



    It's curious that anyone would have any uneasiness about using a Mac these days. I'd be far more uneasy about using any sort of PC that uses Windows considering they're drafty as hell and let in all sorts of viruses, worms and spyware. Yeesh, wear a mask!
  • Reply 7 of 20
    rolorolo Posts: 686member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by cygy2k

    Is the iBook 14" a good choice with Tiger coming out soon? Any ideas of certainty of the iBook getting left out of some of the features of Tiger like Core?



    Thanks!




    No, absolutely not. Tiger takes advantage of AltiVec which the G4 in the iBook has. Tiger also takes advantage of the GPU and the one in the iBook is sufficient to see a benefit. No worries, mate! The iBook is just right.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by cygy2k

    What if IBM stops the PowerPC line to make the CELL? Will Apple survive?



    Well given that Cell is a PowerPC chip that's going to be really tough. Don't really understand why people want to create battles where there aren't any.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    sell the gateway and max out on the memory for the laptop. That should keep you snappy for several months to come. Remember it has been the usual case that when a new apple OS hits it usually runs quite well on older hardware.



    Remember UNIX has been around a lot longer than windows.



    also take some of the extra cash and buy applecare. I just lost my harddrive in my powerbook G4 and apple picked up the enire cost with nary a quibble. Apple rocks.



    oh and do remember to backup often!



    cheers!



    I am typing this post away on my little backup sony vaio pcg-tr1a sub notebook and would love to see sony with some apple connections. Great feature rich little laptop - shitty OS in windows.



    I know, it is a leap, but a sony licensed apple OS X with itunes and ilife, etc. It would rock. Yes, I know it would be a cold day in hell before the clones came back but, it is an observation.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    If IBM can create a protype 4Ghz cell chip. Where are our 3Ghz G5?
  • Reply 11 of 20
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Altivec_2.0

    If IBM can create a protype 4Ghz cell chip. Where are our 3Ghz G5?



    Hell if GHz was IBM's priority they could create a 5GHz G5. GHz is simply a cyclical measurement akin to the tachometer in your car that measures wheel "revolutions per minute" you can obtain a higher number of RPMs but that doesn't mean your car is faster than other cars with slower RPMs.



    You new it was coming people; the obligatory car analogy! :P
  • Reply 12 of 20
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Hell if GHz was IBM's priority they could create a 5GHz G5. GHz is simply a cyclical measurement akin to the tachometer in your car that measures wheel "revolutions per minute" you can obtain a higher number of RPMs but that doesn't mean your car is faster than other cars with slower RPMs.



    You new it was coming people; the obligatory car analogy! :P




    Take "wheel" out of that and it's correct.

    The tachometer actually measures how fast the "engine" is turning in RPM (Revolutions Per Minute)



    Sorry. I just know that sh*t.



    And technically if your wheels were turning more cycles per minute than anyone else you would be going faster. (unless they had bigger wheels)
  • Reply 13 of 20
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Cell is not a PowerPC, but it contains a PowerPC core.



    IBM has just made a massive commitment to the Power architecture, which the PowerPC belongs to. It's not going anywhere. In fact, Cell is a part of their push to get the Power architecture into everything. It's no more a threat to the PowerPC than Book E (the embedded architecture that's also a spinoff from PowerPC) is.



    OS X could run on the Cell previewed this week with just the requisite hardware enabler (a small part of the OS particular to each CPU). It wouldn't exploit all of Cell's capabilities, and it wouldn't run better than it does on a 970, but Cell contains a 64 bit PowerPC with AltiVec, and that's enough to at least get things running. Apple could tune the system to take advantage of Cell from there.



    Go ahead and take the plunge. The water's fine.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    I don't know why people are not asking the obvious question... has Apple been part of cell development team from the very beginning? We all know that Apple does not want to let others know what they are doing so they would not have participated in the PR side of the project.



    There are many, many clues that their software will be "the glue that gets the maximum value out of the hardware".
  • Reply 15 of 20
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jaslu81

    I don't know why people are not asking the obvious question... has Apple been part of cell development team from the very beginning? We all know that Apple does not want to let others know what they are doing so they would not have participated in the PR side of the project.



    There are many, many clues that their software will be "the glue that gets the maximum value out of the hardware".




    I think nobody asks that question because it draws from no evidence, and is only speculation at best. Also Apple couldn't hide something like that from the beginning. There is no way. To many non apple trusted affiliates would know about it. And we would have known a week in.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    I think nobody asks that question because it draws from no evidence, and is only speculation at best. Also Apple couldn't hide something like that from the beginning. There is no way. To many non apple trusted affiliates would know about it. And we would have known a week in.



    Speculation? Yes.



    No evidence? Hmmm.



    1. Sony showing up at Macworld was an interesting coincidence.

    2. The structure of Core Audio, Core Video and Core Image are interesting.

    3. Why did the Apple engineer say in the middle of this presentation that these technogies work with GPU's or other "parallel architectures"?



    http://stream.qtv.apple.com/events/j...m_sotu_ref.mov



    4. Why does Cell include VMX?



    Also, why were people speculating about Apple using the PPC 970 right up to the G5 introduction? If such information is so readily available, why didn't everyone know the details about Cell before yesterday's presentation?
  • Reply 17 of 20
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Take "wheel" out of that and it's correct.

    The tachometer actually measures how fast the "engine" is turning in RPM (Revolutions Per Minute)



    Sorry. I just know that sh*t.



    And technically if your wheels were turning more cycles per minute than anyone else you would be going faster. (unless they had bigger wheels)




    Thanks! I love learning new things. I had always thought it was wheels but had I thought about it deeper I probably would have wondered why changing wheel sizes affects speedometer settings but not tachometer settings.



    Hell I'd be happy to see a Cell powered Media Center from Apple. Imagine a HD DVR that has a Cell processor handling the show? I hope they will be fabbing these by the megabushel to drop the costs of the chip.



    I'm sooooo ready to "really" build a Digital Lifestyle.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jaslu81

    Speculation? Yes.



    No evidence? Hmmm.



    1. Sony showing up at Macworld was an interesting coincidence.

    2. The structure of Core Audio, Core Video and Core Image are interesting.

    3. Why did the Apple engineer say in the middle of this presentation that these technogies work with GPU's or other "parallel architectures"?



    http://stream.qtv.apple.com/events/j...m_sotu_ref.mov



    4. Why does Cell include VMX?



    Also, why were people speculating about Apple using the PPC 970 right up to the G5 introduction? If such information is so readily available, why didn't everyone know the details about Cell before yesterday's presentation?




    [List=1][*] Sony, and Apple have done this before with Sony/Erickson telephones. Apple features someone when they can, and the sony prez was in town. [*] Ok, so you find them interesting. I'm happy. For you have found an interest. Show me something that is out of the ordinary that directly links it to the cell processor that is not a requisite for the G5, or the P5, and I'll bite on that one. [*] Because that is what they do, and how core image works. What's it supposed to run off of. The Fans? Maybe the water cooler? If your a musician/developer - developing an application that you want to take advantage of the core audio API, and you have a PCI card with another linking audio enhancing parallel processor this could be helpful information. Would you not agree? I would say that the World Wide DEVELOPER Conference would be a suitable place to reveal that information. [*] Sony/LSI had a VMX in the PS2. Why would they remove it from the PS3 architecture? Motorola, LSI, and IBM have all shown what it's capable of. I doubt any of them would choose to give it up if they had a choice in the matter. [/list=1]



    Quote:

    Also, why were people speculating about Apple using the PPC 970 right up to the G5 introduction? If such information is so readily available, why didn't everyone know the details about Cell before yesterday's presentation?



    Ok, 2 more.
    • why were people speculating about Apple using the PPC 970 right up to the G5 introduction?

    • why didn't everyone know the details about Cell before yesterday's presentation?

    1. Apple never reveals anything when they release something as big as a newly designed PowerMac from the inside out. IBM did say there were processors intended for Apple though. The only people speculating IMO were those who didn't believe that Apple would use IBM as a processor supplier. I wasn't one of them. I new the 970 was going to be the G5. IBM practically confirmed it.

    2. The only thing people didn't know about cell processors were very precise little details. Most of the information on Cell has been heavily talked about sense the day it was revealed that Sony's PS3 would be using a chip based on IBM's cell processor research. It was called SOC about 5 years ago when I first heard of it. System On a Chip. I remember it well.

  • Reply 19 of 20
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison



    Hell I'd be happy to see a Cell powered Media Center from Apple. Imagine a HD DVR that has a Cell processor handling the show? I hope they will be fabbing these by the megabushel to drop the costs of the chip.



    I'm sooooo ready to "really" build a Digital Lifestyle.




    Now that I can see. An Apple powered media centre based on, or using cell processors. Everybody has a media center. Put iTunes in one quick, and your in 30% of households in no time.



    70% shortly there after.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    Apple Media Center will come in a year, once Apple has had enough time to see wtf people really want.



    Very smart on their part. The MacMini is generic enough to allow everything to be done.



    Going back to subject, Apple has known about CELL for years. Their processor people are in touch with eachother from different companies.



    CELL is "just" a POWER processor with 8 co-processors (Altivec?). There should really not be any reason whatsoever for it not to be used by Apple unless they have some very specific reasons not to
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