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View Full Version : New Apple Mobile processor... the M4?


TrumanApple
May 31, 2005, 01:48 PM
So IBM had a processor (G4) that was pretty solid, but they cant seem to get the clock speeds up high enough to keep up with consumer demand for desktops, so they created a new processor that had no improvement in speed clock for clock (G5).
I dont know about anyone else, but does this seem strangly similar to the situation that intel had with the PIII and PIV. Then years later, intel used technology from the PIII to create the Pentium M, and everyone knows that the Pentium M (or some mod of it) will soon pass the PIV in performance (even in desktop usage). So it seems to me that it is very possible that in a few years the G4 could be resurrected as a low voltage, high performance mobile computing chip.

Maybe im wrong, who knows.

joecool85
May 31, 2005, 01:56 PM
It could happen, but I doubt it.

shadowmoses
May 31, 2005, 02:11 PM
I think this is the way to go if apple want there powerbook and ibook lines to evolve in the right direction.

PEAce

cube
May 31, 2005, 02:16 PM
e700

ravenvii
May 31, 2005, 02:39 PM
(Just FYI: The G4 is made by Motorola (now Freescale), not IBM. IBM did make the G3 and the G5 however.)

With that said, I sort of agree with you on the G4-G5 "upgrade". But the fact is, the G5 does perform about the same as the G4 at the same clock speed (maybe a bit slower, but the G4's FSB really cripples it). So it's not all that similar to the PIII-P4 "upgrade" - the P4 is actually inferior to the PIII in performance per clock speed.

Anyway, I completely agree with you, Apple should evolve their laptops to have a different species of chips than their desktops - The "M" series for laptops and the "G" series for the desktops. This will allow them to get chips specialized for laptops and chips specialized for desktops and bypass all the whiners wanting a G5 in the PowerBooks.

Mechcozmo
May 31, 2005, 03:58 PM
Anyway, I completely agree with you, Apple should evolve their laptops to have a different species of chips than their desktops - The "M" series for laptops and the "G" series for the desktops. This will allow them to get chips specialized for laptops and chips specialized for desktops and bypass all the whiners wanting a G5 in the PowerBooks.

They ARE different. The 7447a (now b?) is the mobile version, the 7447 is the non-mobile. Example, the eMac to my left and up (I'm on the floor, gotta love wifi) holds a 7447 whereas the PowerBook I am typing on contains a 7447a. I think the new PowerBooks may use the 7447b but I am not sure.

So yes, there are different chips, but they are not named differently. One is more low-power than the other however.

ravenvii
May 31, 2005, 04:19 PM
They ARE different. The 7447a (now b?) is the mobile version, the 7447 is the non-mobile. Example, the eMac to my left and up (I'm on the floor, gotta love wifi) holds a 7447 whereas the PowerBook I am typing on contains a 7447a. I think the new PowerBooks may use the 7447b but I am not sure.

So yes, there are different chips, but they are not named differently. One is more low-power than the other however.

Really. I never knew that. Thanks for the information.

I'm now even more confused on why people want G5's in PowerBooks so badly...? :rolleyes:

Catfish_Man
May 31, 2005, 04:50 PM
Actually that's not quite accurate; the 7447a is an updated version of the original 7447, not a low power version (it is lower power, but that's due to being a more recent version, not being a special variant of it). 744x is, however, the lower power version of the 745x. In response to the original poster, the 8641D (http://www.freescale.com/files/32bit/doc/fact_sheet/MPC8641DFACT.pdf) is essentially a modernized G4, so it's rather like what you were talking about (it's got an on chip DDR controller, dual cores, bigger caches, etc...).

sjpetry
May 31, 2005, 05:31 PM
Really. I never knew that. Thanks for the information.

I'm now even more confused on why people want G5's in PowerBooks so badly...? :rolleyes:
So they can use all the 64bit Apps. out there. :rolleyes:

And the 8Gbs of Ram. :rolleyes:

dongmin
May 31, 2005, 05:32 PM
So it seems to me that it is very possible that in a few years the G4 could be resurrected as a low voltage, high performance mobile computing chip.[/QUOTE]Close, but not quite.

-The G4 is an embedded chip, meaning it was originally designed for low-power duty in mind. As far as I know, Motorola/Freescale sells more G4 for embedded uses (e.g. network swtiches) than for PCs

-The G5 is a slimmed down version of the Power 4 which is a server chip. You have to remember that we're still pretty much in the first generation. Peformance improvements will come with future revisions AND optimizations in the OS.

-As others have mentioned, Moto/Freescale is already developing a new line of processors based on the G4. None of these new processors are shipping yet so they may yet be just vaporware. (MPC7448, e600 series, e700 series)

-According to rumors (Thinksecret), IBM is already at work developing a mobile version of the G5, distinct from the anticipated 970gx and 970mp. The 970gx and mp themselves will run cooler than the current G5 implementations thanks to certain power-saving features.

So, as you can see, there are already as many as 3 lower-power versions of the G4 and 3 lower-power versions of the G5 in the works. It remains to be seen, however, which of these options, if any, will actually become the next mobile processor for Apple.

Catfish_Man
Jun 1, 2005, 05:34 AM
So, as you can see, there are already as many as 3 lower-power versions of the G4 and 3 lower-power versions of the G5 in the works. It remains to be seen, however, which of these options, if any, will actually become the next mobile processor for Apple.

And then, of course, there's the PPE from CELL, which is a whole 'nother kettle of fish... low power and high clock, but it's really hard to say if it'll actually be suitable. Seems like at least an outside possibility though.

Abstract
Jun 1, 2005, 09:58 AM
(Just FYI: The G4 is made by Motorola (now Freescale), not IBM. IBM did make the G3 and the G5 however.)

With that said, I sort of agree with you on the G4-G5 "upgrade". But the fact is, the G5 does perform about the same as the G4 at the same clock speed (maybe a bit slower, but the G4's FSB really cripples it). So it's not all that similar to the PIII-P4 "upgrade" - the P4 is actually inferior to the PIII in performance per clock speed.

Anyway, I completely agree with you, Apple should evolve their laptops to have a different species of chips than their desktops - The "M" series for laptops and the "G" series for the desktops. This will allow them to get chips specialized for laptops and chips specialized for desktops and bypass all the whiners wanting a G5 in the PowerBooks.

Actually, the G4 was made by both IBM and Motorola, its just that Motorola became the sole provider of the G4 to Apple. At one point, I believe even IBM supplied some G4s to Apple along with Moto.

And while what you're saying is probably true, Moto's Freescale is still developing the G4, and it uses very little power, some are dual-core, and they scale to 2GHz or 2.2GHz, so someone is already on top of your idea (not that it's not a good comparison to Intel, though). :)

themacman
Jun 1, 2005, 10:26 AM
i think its about time for apple ibm and moto to realse a whole new procsser? Does the G5 and the G4 have a promising future

GFLPraxis
Jun 1, 2005, 10:48 AM
So IBM had a processor (G4) that was pretty solid, but they cant seem to get the clock speeds up high enough to keep up with consumer demand for desktops, so they created a new processor that had no improvement in speed clock for clock (G5).
I dont know about anyone else, but does this seem strangly similar to the situation that intel had with the PIII and PIV. Then years later, intel used technology from the PIII to create the Pentium M, and everyone knows that the Pentium M (or some mod of it) will soon pass the PIV in performance (even in desktop usage). So it seems to me that it is very possible that in a few years the G4 could be resurrected as a low voltage, high performance mobile computing chip.

Maybe im wrong, who knows.

It's called the e600 G4.

Less than 10w at 1.4 GHz, 25w at dual core 1.5 GHz.

minimax
Jun 1, 2005, 11:25 AM
Probably Apple is on a crossroad at the moment with a few possibilities:

1. Apple switches to IBM for both desktop and mobile computing.
If IBM can (perhaps willing is more suitable) develope a lower power alternative Apple will be able to switch it's mobile platform to IBM, possibly with CELL down the road. Most likely it would have to be a different core then the now used POWER4 core as it lives up to its name in more then one respect. Different manifacturing methods like SOI which will be used for the GX and MP will see powerleakage improvements but the powerhungry G5 architecture is just not made for the mobile market, just like the P4. So this seems very unlikely.
2. Apple continues to use chips from seperate vendors for their mobile and desktop market
If IBM isnt able to develope a lower power processor for Apple, CELL will be out of the question as it is propriety to IBM / Sony / Toshiba. Freescale does not take part in this consortium and would have to drastically adjust it's roadmap if it were to develope CELL-based mobile processors for Apple. Not very likely we will see Apple adopt CELL in this situation.
3. Apple returns to Freescale for both it's mobile and desktop computers
If IBM pushes CELL aggressively without offering either a mobile low-powered version or a next generation alternative based on the present PPC architecture Apple would be forced to return to Freescale and adopt it's multicore 64bit solution as a replacement to the G5. As Freescale seriously lags the IBM / AMD / Intel competition this would mean a serious setback for Apple.

It isnt exactly a pretty picture for Apple at the moment. From various reports and rumors it is clear IBM is pushing it's CELL based architecture to Apple very aggressively. If they are not able to offer a mobile solution such a move would be unacceptable to Apple. On the other hand a complete return to Freescale seems very unlikely as they seem too far behind the competion in about every aspect imaginable (busspeeds, clockspeeds, multicore, 64x, etc.). So to me the most likely scenario is the present situation, which the mobile line moving from the current 7447A/B to 7448, 8641(D) and finally the 64bit e700. And IBM designing a next-generation PPC solution for the desktop based on the Power5. But both could take a few years :eek:

feakbeak
Jun 1, 2005, 11:49 AM
So they can use all the 64bit Apps. out there. :rolleyes:

And the 8Gbs of Ram. :rolleyes:All the 64-bit apps? There are very few 64-bit apps - most apps don't have a need to go 64-bit at present. Scientific/mathematical apps can obviously benefit from 64-bit as working with larger numbers is much easier, and I'm sure some graphics intensive apps would also benefit, but very few are out there currently. Besides with the current version of OS X you can't even run 64-bit apps with a GUI natively.

One day 8 GB of RAM in a laptop will be common, but for right now the demand for this is somewhere between negligible and non-existent.

Aside from the G5 being better with multimedia tasks, the biggest advantage to moving the PB's to G5 is getting rid of the slow FSB limitations with the G4.

x86isslow
Jun 1, 2005, 02:29 PM
i think that's what he meant to say, with the " :rolleyes: ". ;)

feakbeak
Jun 1, 2005, 02:38 PM
i think that's what he meant to say, with the " :rolleyes: ". ;)Ahhhh... I must not be with it today.

Josh396
Jun 1, 2005, 03:18 PM
-According to rumors (Thinksecret), IBM is already at work developing a mobile version of the G5, distinct from the anticipated 970gx and 970mp. The 970gx and mp themselves will run cooler than the current G5 implementations thanks to certain power-saving features.

I may be wrong but I thought IBM recently said the 970MP will actually run hotter than the 970FX while the 970GX will still run cooler.

mjteix
Jun 1, 2005, 03:21 PM
It's called the e600 G4.

Less than 10w at 1.4 GHz, 25w at dual core 1.5 GHz.

Out of curiosity, I just looked at the specs of the e600 simple and dual core (MPC8641 and MPC8641D), well, I'm impressed. I think that using these chips in iBooks (single) and PowerBooks (dual) even only at 1.5GHz would be a great improvement: 2.3MIPS/MHz, L1 & L2 (1MB) caches, Altivec, Dual 64b DDR2 @ 667MHz, Serial RapidIO, Dual PCI Express... What are they waiting for ?

Mechcozmo
Jun 1, 2005, 09:23 PM
And the 8Gbs of Ram. :rolleyes:


Actually, 8 GB is only a physical limit now. The actual CPU's limit is something like 64 terrabytes of RAM. Too big to care about.

Catfish_Man
Jun 2, 2005, 06:29 AM
Out of curiosity, I just looked at the specs of the e600 simple and dual core (MPC8641 and MPC8641D), well, I'm impressed. I think that using these chips in iBooks (single) and PowerBooks (dual) even only at 1.5GHz would be a great improvement: 2.3MIPS/MHz, L1 & L2 (1MB) caches, Altivec, Dual 64b DDR2 @ 667MHz, Serial RapidIO, Dual PCI Express... What are they waiting for ?

They're waiting for them to come out ;) (Supposedly some time this winter, iirc). I agree with you though, the 8641D looks like a pretty sweet chip. It's probably not gonna beat a G5 for Final Cut or the like (2 FPUs and that much bus bandwidth go a long way), but for most other stuff...

I think in the end it's going to come down to a scheduling race: can Freescale get the 8641/8641D out at competitive prices and production volumes before IBM gets Apple either a low power 9xx chip (not all that likely, imo, given where IBM's dollars appear to be going, but it could certainly happen) or a PPE or PPE variant. Given Freescale's notorious history for being late to market, I'm somewhat skeptical.