Power4 is the "hyped" product?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
This is pure speculation, but what if the "product" that is "way beyond" the rumor sites is related to IBM's Power4?



Take a look at the <a href="http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/pseries/hardware/whitepapers/power4.html"; target="_blank">Power4 white paper</a>. According to the white paper, Power4 is:



1) PowerPC ISA compatible

2) 64-bit core with 32-bit compatibility

3) pretty much everything the G5 (G6?) is supposed to be and then some (with the notable exception of Altivec)

4) multi-core (2 microprocessors per chip which can be packaged into a "carrier" containing 4 chips [8 microprocessors] connected via a high-speed bus)

5) currently shipping (unlike G5)



Presumably, Mac OS X would run without a recompile on Power4 (neglecting the need for drivers) due to the PowerPC ISA compatibility.



Power4 could be leveraged by Apple in a couple of ways:



1) Apple could market a true server using the Power4. Mac OS X is *nix-based and Apple could resurrent the Apple Network Server for the hardware or simply use IBMs existing Power4 servers. Apple could also go after the CPU-intensive rendering market with a Power4 server (I seriously doubt anything could touch an 8-way multi-core Power4 machine running Mac OS X with appropriate software; a cluster of such machines would be wicked fast).



2) The "G5" could be a single-core version of the Power4 (remove the 2nd PowerPC core and substitute Altivec). The only shortcoming here is that Power4 dissipates a *lot* of power and hence is not really suitable for desktop use; I don't know how substantial the required changes to achieve reasonable power dissipation for a desktop machine would be (or if this would even be feasible).



Power4 showing up in Apple products in one way or another would certainly be "way beyond" any speculation I've seen on Apple rumor sites...



[ 01-03-2002: Message edited by: gopher ]</p>
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    jrcjrc Posts: 805member
    Beyond would mean a power5!
  • Reply 2 of 22
    x704x704 Posts: 276member
    You forgot to mention the price tag on these processors. There ceratinly wouldn't be any $3500 Power4 Power Mac. If Apple were at all interested in entering the Corporate Server Market, the best thing they could do is just lisence OS X to IBM for use with their Power4 Server line (IBM could toss some money towards Apple to help cover the development costs of getting OS X to work on the Power4).



    I really think this has nothing to do with MWSF.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    mazmaz Posts: 6member
    power4 is not concepted as a desktop cpu

    it´s a server cpu
  • Reply 4 of 22
    It has no meaning to the masses. Apple's new stuff will be hardware and software not processors.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    1) Power4 is a *shipping* CPU that has many of the features of the "G5" with the notable exception of Altivec. This shows IBM is capable of designing and fabbing a "G5" (G5+?) class of CPU (something Motorola has yet to demonstrate). It follows that IBM should be capable of producing something like the Motorola "G5" by modifying the Power4 design (adding Altivec and reducing power dissipation).



    2) price is much less of a consideration for servers (not a concern at all in some cases); performance is. If Apple wanted to get beyond "megahertz myth" advertising and have a box that unequivocally trounced anything else, a Power4-based system would do it. Granted it would cost a bundle and would dissipate a bunch of power.



    3) I would be the first to admit that Power4 tech going into Apple products is *very* far-fetched but Apple's teasers on their Web site promote thinking beyond what seems likely...



    4) if a new CPU based on Power4 isn't "hardware" I'm not sure what "hardware" is!?!
  • Reply 6 of 22
    x704x704 Posts: 276member
    gopher Consider that Apple would have to design a New Mobo that would match the Power of the Power4. That'd be Major R&D diversion. All for what? So they could have a Power4 server that's just as powerful as IBM's own servers? No, again, if they're going to do anything with the Power4 they'd save themselves time & money & just liscense OS X to IBM (assuming they'd be interested).



    Apple has better things to spend it's money on, like my new G5 (please Apple, I sold my G4 today).
  • Reply 7 of 22
    Just what we need, $20,000 PowerMacs for the masses.....
  • Reply 8 of 22
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    The price wouldn't matter if Maya ran 3 times faster on it. There is an ultra high end market for machines that Apple could reach more easily than anyone else because of the available applications. Why not buy an ultra high end Mac that runs Maya, as well as Office, FCP, DVDSP, Photoshop, etc.... The Mac would be an easier investment then SGI for development studios because their $10,000 investment holds some value when they replace it in a year with the newest fastest rendering machine.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    nebrienebrie Posts: 483member
    [quote]Originally posted by bunge:

    <strong>The price wouldn't matter if Maya ran 3 times faster on it. There is an ultra high end market for machines that Apple could reach more easily than anyone else because of the available applications. Why not buy an ultra high end Mac that runs Maya, as well as Office, FCP, DVDSP, Photoshop, etc.... The Mac would be an easier investment then SGI for development studios because their $10,000 investment holds some value when they replace it in a year with the newest fastest rendering machine.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I forgot the exact number, but it costs IBM several thousand just to *make* a chip. That's before overhead, R&D, sales, promotionals, etc. You also need a system that is capable of actually using it. A DDR motherboard isn't gonna cut it.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    That might all be true, I was just thinking that if Apple were to move forward with the product there would be a market for it, even if it cost $10,000.



    I just wouldn't be in it.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    aphelionaphelion Posts: 736member
    A Power4 is essentially a cluster of 8 G3's



    Why not implement Mac clustering with "Gigawire", just add more CPU's as needed.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    [quote]Originally posted by X704:

    <strong>Apple has better things to spend it's money on, like my new G5 (please Apple, I sold my G4 today).</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Please tell me you're joking....
  • Reply 13 of 22
    LOL. The price would make this a definite impossibility.... But, what if IBM DID manufacture the g5 chips for Apple?
  • Reply 14 of 22
    x704x704 Posts: 276member
    Nope, as long as there's a new PowerMac I'll be happy. Even if it's only a G4 with a revised Mobo. Of course if there's no new PM at all ... I'm going to look pretty stupid :o



    [quote]Originally posted by Moogs ?:

    <strong>



    Please tell me you're joking....</strong><hr></blockquote>
  • Reply 15 of 22
    mspmsp Posts: 40member
    [quote]Originally posted by Aphelion:

    <strong>A Power4 is essentially a cluster of 8 G3's



    </strong><hr></blockquote>





    Not remotely close.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    emaneman Posts: 7,204member
    It's not gunna happen.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    [quote]Originally posted by X704:

    <strong>Nope, as long as there's a new PowerMac I'll be happy. Even if it's only a G4 with a revised Mobo. Of course if there's no new PM at all ... I'm going to look pretty stupid :o



    </strong><hr></blockquote>





    Yah but what if it's a new G4 without a new mobo...just slightly faster chips and maybe a new graphics card or something? Will you still be happy?
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Put yourself in SJ's shoes.



    Motorola G4s haven't improved that much in 2 years (readily apparent to everyone here; why else is everyone hoping for G5s?) and Apple is starting to look bad in performance comparisons with Wintel systems (the "Photoshop bakeoffs" notwithstanding). SF has surely read about IBM's Power4 CPU (it was well known to the *public* about a year ago or more).



    SF thinks to himself, Motorola hasn't shown much interest/success at increasing G4 performance; all they really seem interested in is the embedded market. Who has a world-beater of a CPU that is PowerPC ISA compatible?



    Hmmm, what about IBM with the Power4! Based on the Power4, IBM sure is right on the bleeding edge of CPU performance... Maybe I should have Motorola develope PowerPCs for the iBook, tiBook, iMac lines (where low power dissipation and low cost are important) and IBM developes PowerPCs for the PowerMac line (where performance is more important than power dissipation and low cost).



    However, you think to yourself, the Power4 is way too much CPU to put in a desktop Mac. But IBM could prolly yank out some bleeding-edge tech (the multi-core die, the aluminum "carrier" that allows multiple Power4 dies to be mounted together, etc.) and insert the AltiVec units I need to get acceptable GUI performance for OS X.



    If you were SJ, might you not give IBM a ring to see if they would be interested? Apple gets what it needs (good low power CPUs where it needs them and cutting edge performance where it needs it), Motorola gets to concentrate on the embedded processor market and IBM gets to increase its sales of PowerPC chips and perhaps get some additional server sales.



    I'm not saying any of this is within the realm of likelihood, only that it isn't as far-fetched as some of you make it out to be.



    [ 01-04-2002: Message edited by: gopher ]</p>
  • Reply 19 of 22
    synsyn Posts: 329member
    Please do consider the fact that Power4 suck up in excess of 100W of power...



    Do you realize how much that is???



    You could, literally, boil an egg on one of those.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    How long has the 1 GHZ Power4 been available? A year? I'm sure if Apple had expressed serious interest IBM could have spent some of the past year upping the MHZ while lowering the wattage. I imagine even without Apple's interest that's what they've done.
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