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chibianh
Jun 7, 2005, 03:59 PM
I don't know how to delete my other posts on this, but i thought i'd start a new topic about the contents of the dev box. I ran into this while perusing the world wide web and thought it was interesting. What do you think is inside those boxes?

And Matt, I don't know what the developer NDA covers, so I won't go into too much detail on this, but I have a source who has provided me with some details on the IA-32 machines that are going to start shipping to ISVs in a couple of weeks. They're Power Mac G5s with almost totally stock system boards and new, air-cooled IA-32 PMUs. The U3H memory controller and bridge ASIC has been altered to match the bus timing of the IA-32 processor, but that's all. Everything else on the system board is exactly the same. The internal components are all still connected via Hyper Transport through the K2 ASIC and the PCI-X bridge chip. The PMUs have 3.6 GHz Pentium 4 processors on them, but these will definitely not be the processors that Apple ships next year. The processors will be IA-32-instruction-set-compatible, but they will not be Pentium chips. They're going to be specially designed processors that Intel delivers to Apple but to no other customers, binary compatible with the Pentium family but not identical to any off-the-shelf microprocessor. For lack of a better name, I've taken to calling them "G6," but that's totally my own invention and not meant to be in any way authentic. It's just my own shorthand.

All that information comes from a source that I trust, and one that I'll protect by not saying anything more about him. Hell, I won't even swear to you that it's a him.

Bottom line: Just as Apple has been planning for half a decade to make Mac OS X microprocessor-agnostic, the design of the Power Mac G5 system was based around the idea of isolating the processors from the other components on their own bus, making it possible to swap out CPUs with only minimal changes to the other chips on the board. In this case, only one chip has to be changed, and those changes are slight.

All indications at this point are that Apple has no intention of changing its business model one iota. They're simply going to a different microprocessor vendor. In that way, this transition is no more drastic than the switch from Motorola to IBM when they went from the G4 to the G5. And it's only slightly more drastic than that to the developers. The whole porting guide is only about a hundred pages long, and it's crammed full of detailed examples.

Mr. Anderson
Jun 7, 2005, 04:05 PM
That's very interesting - and it makes more sense. Very cool that Intel is going to make chips just for Apple, but I'm wondering how they compare to the other Intel chips shipped to Dell and others....

D

Sun Baked
Jun 7, 2005, 04:06 PM
If that source were correct they'd likely still be Open Firmware machines, but the Universal Binary docs state Open Firmware is dead.

I'd lean more towards a stock Intel motherboard in a Mac case.

ArcticFox
Jun 7, 2005, 04:06 PM
I'm going to post what I posted in my crying thread, slightly modified:

This is how I understand it - Intel is going to remake a processor to be compatible with the existing OS X kernel and itís software? As in developers wonít have to do much of anything to get it to run on the new chip?

Makes me feel better. Itís not about hardware support really, which is nonexistent compared to the PC world I live in, but software support. If Iím still using the same G5 system in 2007 I want to be able to run the latest software, dog-slow or not, without having to buy a new machine.

Iím still cranking on a maxed-out AthlonXP 3200+ which is outdated by todayís standards, but itís a reliable machine that doesnít need to be replaced for another year or so.

Jaffa Cake
Jun 7, 2005, 04:20 PM
...the design of the Power Mac G5 system was based around the idea of isolating the processors from the other components on their own bus, making it possible to swap out CPUs with only minimal changes to the other chips on the board.

So... does this mean that it would be possible to retrofit existing G5 systems with Intel chips? Apologies if I'm being incredibly thick asking this but my technical knowledge of the internal gubbins of the G5 only goes so far. ;)

daveL
Jun 7, 2005, 05:04 PM
I see no way that Apple will be using some kind of customized Intel processor. The new Macs will use the same CPUs as other PCs. There may be other MB details that differ from a Dell, for instance, but the CPUs will be generic Intel parts.

Sweetfeld28
Jun 7, 2005, 06:09 PM
this might be unrelated, but what is the Max amount of memory that a intel processor can support? I mean the IBM G5 chip can support up to 8 GB right, so what is the Max for a PC chip?

j_maddison
Jun 7, 2005, 06:16 PM
Guys just posted something simular to what I'm about to say on another thread, but just read this one and thought I'd repeat my self here and see if I get some answers.

Surely the P4 is a consumer level chip, and not a prosumer chip?? isnt the Dual Xeon the pro chip? So wouldn't it stand to reason that what ever will be in the Powermacs wont be the PC equivelent of a P4.

I see P4's as competing with the imac line, not the Powermac line

Jason

BillHarrison
Jun 7, 2005, 08:35 PM
I don't know how to delete my other posts on this, but i thought i'd start a new topic about the contents of the dev box. I ran into this while perusing the world wide web and thought it was interesting. What do you think is inside those boxes?

Not what you see here. The intel and G5 chips are incompatible in so many ways, having one on the others motherboard is nearly impossible. # pins, P4's do not use hypertransport (intel has its own FSB design which would be very difficult to sync / setup with hypertransport), the fact that they insinuate multiple processors, which the p4 is not capable of, the fact that even getting a different G5 processor than the mac came with to work in a G5 is a nightmare, how would making a totally diff architecture work ?

Someone is making stuff up, trust me on this.

law guy
Jun 7, 2005, 08:54 PM
this might be unrelated, but what is the Max amount of memory that a intel processor can support? I mean the IBM G5 chip can support up to 8 GB right, so what is the Max for a PC chip?

You can order PCs with 64 bit chips and 8 gigs o' ram.

EDIT - 16 GB of DDR2!!! Wow - didn't know that :eek: See Dell's dual capable Xeon 64 bit - supports 16 GB of DDR2. (ships with XP or Linux) http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/precn_670?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

law guy
Jun 7, 2005, 09:05 PM
I don't know how to delete my other posts on this, but i thought i'd start a new topic about the contents of the dev box. I ran into this while perusing the world wide web and thought it was interesting. What do you think is inside those boxes?

I question the blog. Okay, so someone could give an upshot on the developer P4 box. Why would they know what chip Apple is going to use next year? Aside from that disconnect, I just can't believe that Intel is going to spend any R&D money, production money, testing money, etc. on a seperate chip - even if related. There's just not the payoff for Intel and the Intel board is not going to allow themselves to sued by stockholders for pursuing a business model that doesn't make money. It also doesn't make sense for Apple in terms of taking advantage of good pricing on products made in vast quantities.

Steve has talked about the Intel roadmap. Apple is shipping the kits with P4s. So aside from the economics and related corp governance issues, there don't even appear to be hints (blog aside) that this is the case.

Add to this, if it were the plan, it seems more plasible to me that Steve Jobs would have used that fact and stated "but Intel is going to build some special versions of chips just for apple that are going to keep us on the cutting edge, etc., etc." to sooth the anxious mac faithful that they were special and different from the PC crowd. But he did all his demos and then shows everyone that it's a P4.

Mac_Max
Jun 7, 2005, 09:15 PM
Not what you see here. The intel and G5 chips are incompatible in so many ways, having one on the others motherboard is nearly impossible. # pins, P4's do not use hypertransport (intel has its own FSB design which would be very difficult to sync / setup with hypertransport), the fact that they insinuate multiple processors, which the p4 is not capable of, the fact that even getting a different G5 processor than the mac came with to work in a G5 is a nightmare, how would making a totally diff architecture work ?

Someone is making stuff up, trust me on this.


^^^^
Smart man. Listen to this guy, he knows what he's talking about.

The P4's architecture is completely different from the G5's. Adding bridging chips & other chips would be a waste of time. Its cheaper & faster to use a Intel mobo for the dev kit that can easily be supplied by Intel in OEM form & it would be cheaper to make a custom P4 motherboard using inexpensive Intel chipsets & other support hardware than to make some Frankensteined U3H/P4 monstrosity that would never work well.

themacman
Jun 7, 2005, 09:30 PM
to answer someones question:
There is a highend dell that ships with 16 gigs of ram

Sweetfeld28
Jun 7, 2005, 09:40 PM
You can order PCs with 64 bit chips and 8 gigs o' ram.

EDIT - 16 GB of DDR2!!! Wow - didn't know that :eek: See Dell's dual capable Xeon 64 bit - supports 16 GB of DDR2. (ships with XP or Linux) http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/precn_670?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd


Wow. Thanks for the info. Law Guy.

One thing that i did notice on that site is that the Dell has a FSB of 800Mhz. But doesn't the highend G5 have a Gig, or faster, FSB? Yep, just checked. The 2.7 GHz G5's FSB is at 1.35 GHz.

Does this mean that when Apple uses Intel chips, we will use a slower bus speed with a faster chip, or the existing bus with a faster intel Processor?

mkrishnan
Jun 7, 2005, 09:51 PM
This is very interesting, if true...I dunno, though. It seems very hard to swallow.

Can anyone explain to me...a sad hardware neophyte.... What does the quoted source mean by PMU? Are the CPUs in the PMG5 on removable daughtercards or something like that? Is there basically a big card on standoffs, sitting behind the heatsink shield? The best pictures I found on the net seem that way, but I wasn't sure, and I hadn't read about this before. :o