New Dual Core Power Macs

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 50
    snoopysnoopy Posts: 1,901member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    The upcoming Powermacs specs smacks of Apple surveying the situation and saying



    "we can't do what we want to right now so we'll just delay our project another 6 months"









    Yep. It looks like the new designs will not be here before August and hopefully not later than October. After reviewing the constraints Apple is working with, I still have doubts about Apple doing it all in a single product. Check me out -- I may be overlooking something.



    Heat: Dual core chips will dissipate more power than singles. Putting two dual chips in a Power Mac would certainly require liquid cooling to keep fan noise within Apple's expectations. This may or may not be a problem, depending on Apple's experience with liquid cooling so far. If Apple has good reason to go to air cooling, I'm pretty certain the enclosure needs to be bigger to accommodate larger cooling channels and heat sinks.



    Cost of CPU: CPU cost is not an issue but I'll include a few comments. Dual core chips will costs more than singles -- not twice as much but a significant amount more. However, these can be quad core Macs, which can easily justify a higher selling price. Another up side is that a dual G5 Power Mac will have lower manufacturing cost. The CPU will cost less than two single CPUs, and having just one cooling channel means fewer mechanical parts, like fans and heat sinks.



    Market Requirements and Price Range: Even if CPU cooling ends up with an elegant solution, the market may dictate two separate products. The current Power Macs sell from essentially 1500 to 3000 dollars US, covering entry level towers to high end professional models. Customers at each end are already voicing their particular needs and dissatisfaction with the Power Mac offerings. The high end typically wants better graphics cards, more hard drive bays and often dual optical drives. The low end wants lower prices and often a smaller enclosure.



    Dual core chips will magnify this difference in customers. The top end Macs will have extreme performance and a higher price tag. Customers for these Macs will become more dissatisfied with lack of professional utility in the Macs they purchase. At the bottom end, buyers will continue to push for a consumer tower that costs less. Apple would find it ever more difficult to satisfy both sets of customers with the same basic hardware.



    The only good solution to this dilemma that I see is Apple making two distinct products. A bigger box with the goodies that the pros want at the high end, and a smaller, cheaper box at the low end. The high end would be duals and quads only. The low end would have room for just one CPU chip. It could be a dual core for the best consumer tower, and surely a single core for the entry level.
  • Reply 22 of 50
    rolorolo Posts: 686member
    I'm thinking dual core chips and a more modern mobo within 6 months or so. The new chips would be much more efficient but may still need something other than air cooling. I hope something more reliable than the current liquid system. Puron heat pipe? It should be possible to come up with something that lasts more than 2 years. I'm currently replacing an air conditioner that's lasted nearly 26 years. Old ammonia refrigerators had no moving parts, used no electricity, and would last decades. Currently used in small RV fridges. I'll bet a dual core G5 generates enough heat to make something like that work.



    If done right, a dual dual-core 970MP system wouldn't need to be any bigger than the current system unless it has 5 PCIe slots (one for graphics) and/or 4 HD bays. That need only add about 3-inches to the height. With a more advanced cooling system, not even that.



    I can dream, can't I?
  • Reply 23 of 50
    dave jdave j Posts: 84member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by snoopy

    The only good solution to this dilemma that I see is Apple making two distinct products. A bigger box with the goodies that the pros want at the high end, and a smaller, cheaper box at the low end. The high end would be duals and quads only. The low end would have room for just one CPU chip. It could be a dual core for the best consumer tower, and surely a single core for the entry level.



    But I thought the low end was to be served by the iMac, not true? Instant smaller box. If it were, then the PM's could concentrate on the high end and give us some muscle when we need it. Problem seems to be that Apple is listening to the low end only.
  • Reply 24 of 50
    rhumgodrhumgod Posts: 1,289member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Dave J

    But I thought the low end was to be served by the iMac, not true? Instant smaller box. If it were, then the PM's could concentrate on the high end and give us some muscle when we need it. Problem seems to be that Apple is listening to the low end only.



    While I agree that today's big unveiling was bit on the yawn side, the Power Macs have been pretty decent performance-wise and this update is a bump in the right direction. Lower costs would have been nice, considering what they are putting out there is outdated technology (AGP, DDR2, 512MB for a Pro machine?, etc). But then, this is Apple, and you must pay the premium for 2GB of memory, for example.



    PCI-Express, on board memory controllers, at least a Gig of memory standard, etc. These are pro machines, no?



    But they do perform remarkably well for all their lack of current technology.



    Apple's pro hype has been a bit on the sparse side, so far as I can see it, but the near-pro finds them quite adequate.
  • Reply 25 of 50
    thttht Posts: 3,307member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Rhumgod

    PCI-Express, on board memory controllers, at least a Gig of memory standard, etc. These are pro machines, no?



    1 GB memory standard can probably be considered a workstation standard. I'm a little bit more comfortable calling it workstation instead of "Pro", which is rather vague. The others probably not.



    The on-chip memory controllers and PCIe are marketecturing. The bottom-line is performance, and on-chip memory controllers only represent a design tradeoff. As seen before, Pentium 4 and 970fx performs just as well as Athlon/Opteron. PCIe as it currently stands, only represents a new expansion bus standard which has no performance advantages over AGP. All comparisons of AGP versus PCIe show no performance differences, no?



    I agree the revised Power Mac G5s should compare well in performance to the x86 dual-core chips. The big problem will occur when dual dual-core x86 machines become affordable. By that time, Apple better have dual 970mp machines available.
  • Reply 26 of 50
    mikenapmikenap Posts: 94member
    i'm disapointed with the the latest upgrades as well, but the "near pro" remark isnt accurate. How many movies, magazines, ads, albums, websites, etc. are created on Macs, many times much older Macs, G4's even! So I'm not sure what market segment you are refering to as "near pro", but the clients i work with in my print shop are pretty damned profesional, and have been doing business happily, making a boatload of money on there Macs, some even running OS9 on G3's for gods sake.



    I also find it interesting that movie studios are using Macs to edit HD and film every day (Cold Mountain comes to mind) and doing a pretty darned good job of that as well. I think we get a bit carried away with our quest for industry leading performance on these forums, and forget how much money is being made with Macs every day. I want a G5 Quad badly, but I have to ask myself how much more money would I make (in large format print, huge PS file mostly) with this machine vs. a dual 2.7. I know time is money, and for intense 3D rendering I'd probably go PC anyway, but all in all our tools dont suck that bad. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the current PM's are the finest content creation computers ever made, with the highest ROI, best uptime, most reliable hardware, etc. if you add in the OSX factor and outstanding software available on the platform. All this ranting is targeted to myself, since i am caught up in this Apple future plan madness more than most, but lets keep some kind of grip shall we? =)
  • Reply 27 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    Quote:

    PCI-Express, on board memory controllers, at least a Gig of memory standard, etc. These are pro machines, no?



    LOL...no man. My God PCI-Express barely has the card coverage. Ondie Memory Controllers are great for latency but are equal to external controller in bandwidth throughput. Gig of memory standard..there is no "Pro" standard here. You buy what you need.



    As much as i'd like to argue otherwise it's blatantly obvious that the bulk of AI readership is not Pro in any way shape or form. Any threads that pertain to high end software pretty much die quick deaths here whilst bitching threads about how sucky Apple hardware live for days.



    I'm no Pro myself but I chat with them and the whole perspective is different. They typically look at new hardware from a "how many jobs will this get me and how quickly will those jobs pay off the new toy"



    They don't futz around with internal crappy RAID and most have the memory they need from the initial purchase. Pro's look at Apple like they should...a starting point to configure the system to where they need. Consumers look at the base price and want everything to be all inclusive. That's the difference.



    PCI-X cannot get any more Pro. 8-16GB of RAM support is Pro. 32/64-bit CPU are pro. 16-bit hypertransport links are Pro.



    Will Apple update their hardware? Yes they will and once again they'll raise the bar but today's new Powermacs are fit for doing anything you need to accomplish.
  • Reply 28 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    Mikenap



    Great points. I've been here long enough to see the same bitching everytime Apple doesn't fondle the geek errogenous zone just right for some people.



    I guess I've been in sales too long because I always break things down to features vs benefits and when I do this with a mind on concrete improvements I realize a lot of recent computing tech has be largely "markitechture" rather than real world productivity enhancers.
  • Reply 29 of 50
    gamblorgamblor Posts: 446member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    They don't futz around with internal crappy RAID and most have the memory they need from the initial purchase. Pro's look at Apple like they should...a starting point to configure the system to where they need. Consumers look at the base price and want everything to be all inclusive. That's the difference.



    I agree with your post, hmurchison, but this makes Gamblor sad. I think it'd be kinda cool if Apple integrated at least a RAID 1 controller on the motherboard, and gave the option to have a machine configured with a boot array from the factory. I'm sure nobody would use it the same way a pro would an external array connected through fiberchannel. The added reliability of having your boot volume on an array would appeal to more than a few people, I'm sure. Not having to worry about losing what you've done since your last backup if your boot disk takes a dive, and being able to keep working while you RMA a dead drive could be selling points.
  • Reply 30 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    Oh me too Gamblor. I'm not denigrating the idea of built in RAID. I'm just saying that the RAID coming in chipsets like the nForce are "not" Pro. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be happy with another hd bay in a powermac so that we have more "cheap RAID" solutions.



    Check this out Gamblor. The second spec of SATA supports 3Gbps but what's even more interesting is that you can run a port multiplier and support multiple drives on each channel! Port selectors allow you to run a drive from two controllers for redundancy.



    Sooooooo what's going to stop the industry from simply putting in SATA 3Gbps channels into their chipsets and then shipping external boxes with the multiplier built right in?



    Think about that. Say the next Powermac refresh has a single eSATA connection that supports the port multipliers. Simply add an external RAID box with a built in multiplier and support many drives with one connection. I'm loving that.



    Methinks FW800 is pretty much dead as a drive connectivity standard. Internal RAID is nice but if I could I'd defer to external. I think we'll all be happy with the hardware soon enough. I see plenty of ways to improve the Powermacs that go beyond PCI-Express.



    Bring it on!
  • Reply 31 of 50
    murkmurk Posts: 935member
    hmurchison, I find your take interesting. If I recall correctly, you are the one who still hasn't bought a Mac and keeps waiting for some mythical update. Some of us already have Macs and are waiting for that same update. You know, the one that always seems to be peeking just over the horizon. So are you buying now or still waiting for something else? I'm betting you will wait for dual core and PCI-Express. I'm not criticizing you. After all, I suffer from the same mental disorder. Its an insidious disease caused by hanging around these forums too long. I'm upping my Prozac dosage and waiting a few more months. Of course, when we have finally climbed the 970MP mountain, we will have a better view of the Cell based G6 peeking just over the horizon.



    PS- Now that I think about it, you probably have already raised your dosage and are trying to bring everyone back to reality.
  • Reply 32 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    Murk..



    I've been in pain waiting for my time to buy a Mac. I'm looking at getting a mac mini this fall to tie me over and then I'll add a iMac G5 a year from now. Waiting sucks...I'm ready to get moving.



    I guess you could say the mini might help many of us cope. That's my magic elixir. Think about it, how far can a $500 Mac depreciate in a year? Not much at all...even if I decide to sell my mini in 2006 i'll still fetch $400 for it.



    Man it really sucks that we don't have new hardware. I don't think the new machines are pathetic but I think we all miss the euphoria that new hardware causes.
  • Reply 33 of 50
    buccibucci Posts: 100member
    I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned in other threads, but I'll say it anyway. What if the new dual core chips start off in XServes? They haven't been updated in a while, right?
  • Reply 34 of 50
    cubistcubist Posts: 954member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bucci

    I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned in other threads, but I'll say it anyway. What if the new dual core chips start off in XServes? They haven't been updated in a while, right?



    Good suggestion, especially if the chips are expensive and/or scarce. The XServe is already expensive and catering to the 'maximum performance' crowd. Va. Tech could double the performance of their cluster yet again, and there are lots of copycat clusters. You may have hit the nail on the head here.
  • Reply 35 of 50
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Think about it, how far can a $500 Mac depreciate in a year? Not much at all...even if I decide to sell my mini in 2006 i'll still fetch $400 for it.





    Umm, sorry to rain on your parade, but I'd expect the mini to depreciate at least by half once new models are introduced. Besides, if it only depreciated by $100, I'd bet most buyers would rather pay the extra $100 and get a full warranty and more power.



    If you bought the mini now, at least it would have Tiger pre-installed. And if you installed more RAM, that would help increase its resale value.
  • Reply 36 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Xool

    Umm, sorry to rain on your parade, but I'd expect the mini to depreciate at least by half once new models are introduced. Besides, if it only depreciated by $100, I'd bet most buyers would rather pay the extra $100 and get a full warranty and more power.



    If you bought the mini now, at least it would have Tiger pre-installed. And if you installed more RAM, that would help increase its resale value.




    I'd be picking up in Oct so I'm thinking there's a possibility that there's a rev b Mm by then. The only thing that would kill the value of the Mm then would be if Apple came out with a G5 mini. Then i'd be hosed.



    Hopefully by then they'll have announced Asteroid as well.
  • Reply 37 of 50
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison



    I think it's important to realize that Powermac sales will never just explode. They are targetted at a small market that only has so much buying power.





    I don't think the market is as small as you think. I think the potential expanded buyer base that would parallel the consumer lines have chosen to avoid PowerMacs for numerous reasons over the past few years, and Apple's PowerMac #'s reflect that.

    I know so many people that used to use a PowerMac that don't use Mac's at all any more. I also know a lot of people that were planning a return to the Mac after SJ, and IBM proclaimed 3GHz in a years time that were upset, and went back to higher powered PC's. I know PC users that wanted to switch to the PowerMac because they thought IBM was capable of helping Apples pro lineup look like better qualified workstations.

    All these mediocre updates, set backs, and the length of time it takes to update the PowerMac was keeping them at arms length, and essentially has shoved them far enough away to keep them away until Apple can redeem itself over time, and a few updates. (wounds heal)



    Most all of the things I come in here and complain/explain about are not spawned originally from my own thoughts, but from discussions about the possibility of Apple computer making an entrance into the pro workstation market between others, and myself. The general consensus is Apple just doesn't "stay" on the cutting edge of hardware technology as they once did, and just about all other computer manufacturers seem to do just that.



    The thing that seems to keep Apple alive in the end is their great software, and a fanatical user base, but they too are always let down by hardware offerings, and wait for the "next great hardware update" that never comes.



    That last sentence in a way sums up everything I said previously from the views of many onlookers.
  • Reply 38 of 50
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    Onlooker



    I don't ever see the Powermacs selling more than 400k units a qtr. Back in the days you had Powermac configs with Appleshare IP preinstalled. Today you have Xserves taking those duties.



    I believe Apple combines the Xserve numbers with the Powermacs nowadays making it hard to see the individual breakdowns.



    I know of many people like the ones you speak of. They always seem to have some stipulation as to why they won't or haven't purchased a Powermac.



    I think these people are really atypical of the Macintosh spirit. Macs have rarely had a bonifiable speed advantage in hardware yet Mac users have generally been pretty damn productive. The Mac is "all" about software and I only worry for Apple when they are in a quandry over their OS(read Copeland). It used to be when Mac users were too busy getting work done to excessively worry about the specs. You either can or can't do the job with the hardware and software at hand.



    I'm not overly concerned with Apple obtaining fairweather fans that jump ship at the drop of a dime. Apple needs to remain true to themselves and focus on making OS X and their hardware run like a champ. I do admit that they are likely upset that they to run yet another revision on the same hardware but if the planets and moons haven't aligned yet then we must wait.



    I have faith that Apple will once again push the envelope with their next large revision. Whether people see the value of their decision depends on their own unique needs.
  • Reply 39 of 50
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    hmurchison, I think you missed the point that the people I speak of can not afford to wait for hardware in this way all the time, and in their situation it would be poor judgment to get caught up in this, and become one of these people/companies.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker



    The thing that seems to keep Apple alive in the end is their great software, and a fanatical user base, but they too are always let down by hardware offerings, and wait for the "next great hardware update" that never comes.







  • Reply 40 of 50
    gamblorgamblor Posts: 446member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    hmurchison, I think you missed the point that the people I speak of can not afford to wait for hardware in this way all the time, and in their situation it would be poor judgment to get caught up in this, and become one of these people/companies.



    Actually I think he got your point perfectly:



    Quote:

    I know of many people like the ones you speak of. They always seem to have some stipulation as to why they won't or haven't purchased a Powermac.



    Bottom line: If you absolutely MUST have a machine with 14 8x PCIe slots, SLI (with both slots having full 16x bandwidth), two dual-core procs, two internal RAIDs, etc... then the Mac really isn't for you. Apple hasn't satisfied that end of the computing spectrum probably since the IIfx, and I honestly don't see them doing it again any time soon.



    On a tangential note: I picked up a dual 1.8 from the Chandler Apple store yesterday, since they went on sale. It's not even close to being the current top end machine, and it's ridiculously fast... And that's before I sink another gig of ram & a 9800 pro into it. I rendered one of the example scenes that comes with Lightwave 8.0 on it. It takes about seven seconds a frame. My old 867MHz Powerbook took closer to a minute per frame... Good God that's nice. I'm not going to load any more software on it until I get my grubby little mits on a copy of Tigger. Can't wait to see how Photoshop does (even though I've only got 7.0...)
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