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bluecell
Dec 18, 2002, 07:35 AM
I was intrigued by this latest article (http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2002Dec/bma20021217017801.htm) on Geek.com, which talks about the performance of IBM's 970 processor vs Intel's P4. It basically says what everyone pretty much already knew. The 970, when it's released (and regardless of Apple's adoption), will be behind in comparison to the P4 at its highest clock speed.

When released, the 970's highest clock speed will be 1.8GHz. The Intel P4 is already at 3GHz and that number is likely climb before the 970's debut. However, it should be recognized that the 970 at 1.8GHz delivers 937 SPECint2000 Base and 1051 SPECfp2000 Base. By comparison, the P4 at 1.8GHz only delivers 596 SPECint2000 Base and 618 SPECfp2000 Base. The P4 at 3GHz does manage to beat the fastest 970 with 1085 SPECint2000 Base and 1092 SPECfp2000 Base.

It's interesting, I've been reading more and more about IBM's future PPC plans and I'm very surprised. They say that they hope to make the 970 reach 6GHz within the next couple of years. Hopefully, IBM will actually make the effort and Apple's PPC dilemma will be a thing of the past.

So, if Apple does decide to adopt the 970, how fast do you think it will be by the end of 2004?

Mr. Anderson
Dec 18, 2002, 08:03 AM
Well, it is a better processor than the G4 - and if the performance is lacking a bit, well, they'll most likely continue the dual processor options. I'd love to see a quad too.

Who knows how fast it will be by the end of 2004. If they manage to get an extra GHz by then I'd be surprised. 6 GHz is a long way, but is it feasible to think that they can implement large speed upgades?

I personally can't wait to own one.

D

oldMac
Dec 18, 2002, 08:32 AM
Well, one of the theories of RISC used to be that you could go faster (MHz) by keeping the complexity of the chip down. Seems that hasn't happened in reality.

In fact, our chips keep getting more complex *and* faster. The truth is that there isn't that much of a difference between Intel's "CISC" designs and PPC's "RISC" these days except that Intel has another stage or two in the process. So, complexity doesn't seem to be slowing Intel down.

Some have speculated that it's actually the complexity of the Altivec unit that prevents Motorola's G4s from running faster. IBM was not a big proponent of the vector unit when it was originally introduced into the PPC plans. Maybe IBM knew what they were talking about and Altivec is preventing the G4 from reaching its true speed potential?

Assuming that it's Altivec that has tied the hands of the G4, perhaps IBM knows how to make a better (more scalable) vector unit?

We can only hope.

Falleron
Dec 18, 2002, 09:05 AM
This is not good. The fact that a P4 3.06Ghz chip will outperform the IBM chip is worrying. I know the IBM chip is better than the G4, but still, this is a big problem. We will probably have to compare a 1.8Ghz 970 to a 3.6Ghz P4/5! Its bad (actually, there are things that the SPEC dont/cant measure which makes this not such a bad chip). However, still behind the equivalent Intel chip. :(

edesignuk
Dec 18, 2002, 09:11 AM
Indeed, this is worrying for the future of the PPC and in turn Apple. Let's hope they can get those 970 clock speeds up ASAP and Apple can start kickin' some wintel a$$ once more.

Mr. Anderson
Dec 18, 2002, 09:15 AM
I noticed at the message board on that site that someone brought up the good point that the 970 is a 64 bit chip - so actual milage might vary. He also mentioned that its all speculation at this point.

I'm not worried, a dual 1.8 GHz 970 will be blindingly fast compaired to the current machines - get a new faster bus and memory and we'll be fine. If they make it to the 6GHz mark, well, all the better.

D :D

Chad4Mac
Dec 18, 2002, 10:14 AM
What about the chip's efficiency.

When I heard about the Megahertz Myth, the most valuable attribute I learned about was the way the chip processed information. I want to say, how smoothly and quickly the chip brought info through the pipeline, and out the other side.

Would it be safe to say that this 970 chip is more efficient, that is, over the P4? Could this be another selling point for Apple? A 64-bit over 32-bit type thing...

On the other side, could this (the fact that there will be a difference in gigahertz between the 970 and the P4) hurt Apple? Sounds like the G4 and P4 Megahertz Myth type thing all over again? No?

And, just a point. The people that will truley utilize these next genreation chips (you people on these forms) are the people that will benefit from these chips. You guys doing video and photo rendering on a daily basis, and those "render farms."

IN your case, I would like to look at power consumption between these two chips. Which one would be more efficient in energy conservation? *****, it will save you money in the long run.

"...go with Apple's new 64-bit technology and save five hundred dollars every year in energy savings."

Chad4Mac

Funkatation
Dec 18, 2002, 10:30 AM
Hmm. A single P4 3Ghz+ may be faster than a SINGLE 1.8GHZ 970. But I would guess that apple would continue the all dual processor strategy, so there will be 2 babies in this thing. That should more than make up for it I think.

ExoticFish
Dec 18, 2002, 10:33 AM
if this new 970 is really that much faster that what we've got now, even if it doesn't quite reach the P4's speed when released, that would still be absolutely amazing speed for OS X. I'll be the first to say that my 1GHz TiBook isn't as fast as my friends 1.7 GHz Dell laptop... but Apple has proven that speed doesn't make a good machine. but my point is that right now we have a HUGE performance gap between Mac's and PC's so this chip sounds like it'll close that gap by a very significant number. I'm all for it and ready with open arms!

MacBandit
Dec 18, 2002, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by ExoticFish
if this new 970 is really that much faster that what we've got now, even if it doesn't quite reach the P4's speed when released, that would still be absolutely amazing speed for OS X. I'll be the first to say that my 1GHz TiBook isn't as fast as my friends 1.7 GHz Dell laptop... but Apple has proven that speed doesn't make a good machine. but my point is that right now we have a HUGE performance gap between Mac's and PC's so this chip sounds like it'll close that gap by a very significant number. I'm all for it and ready with open arms!

I would venture to guess that your friends laptop doesn't have the battery life of your Dell. If this is true which one is faster when the Dell is dead and you Ti is still ticking along?

Catfish_Man
Dec 18, 2002, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by Falleron
This is not good. The fact that a P4 3.06Ghz chip will outperform the IBM chip is worrying. I know the IBM chip is better than the G4, but still, this is a big problem. We will probably have to compare a 1.8Ghz 970 to a 3.6Ghz P4/5! Its bad (actually, there are things that the SPEC dont/cant measure which makes this not such a bad chip). However, still behind the equivalent Intel chip. :( ...SPEC does NOT test vector performance, and is heavily influenced by compilers. I would guess that the 970 will be miles ahead of the P4 in vector and double precision integer performance, and a little bit slower on single precision scalar code. Here's my guess at the stats:


PPC970 Prescott
frequency 1800 3600
IPC 3-4 ~2
cache 512k L2 1MB L2
power 40W 80+W
die size ~120 ?
bus 800MHz 800MHz
SPECFP guess 1051 ~1350
SPECINT guess 937 ~1350
max ram 2^64 2^32 (4GB)
process .13u SOI .09u


When the 970 switches to .09u manufacturing is when it really gets fun. Then it'll be able to compete against the P4/5 on an equal footing (they'll have room to do things like add a second core, or a bunch of cache, or an on chip memory controller. Plus, the clock frequency will go up).

ExoticFish
Dec 18, 2002, 10:48 AM
but yes I agree, that's what I was trying to say anyway! My TiBook technically is slower, but that doesn't mean that my TiBook doesn't kick the crap out of his Dell in every way, it does! He constantly has that thing plugged in! The Dell is HUGE and the fan is so much louder! He tries to multitask using Winblows and I just laugh in his face and show him how many apps I always have open and running and how great it still runs. The only comment he ever makes is "hey you wanna play some UT2K3? oh wait, you're using a gay Mac" Just wait till the port is released, then he'll have nothing to say as I'm fraggin his ass to death!!!

bluecell
Dec 18, 2002, 10:51 AM
Hmmm... Looking at the information that IBM has given thus far, the 970 at a little over 2GHz will most likely outperform the 3GHz P4. The 'MHz myth' is actually a myth to some extent, it's when the P4's clock speed is more than twice as fast as a G4. Just the fact that at 1.8GHz, the 970 totally outperforms the 1.8GHz P4. It even outperforms the P4 at 2GHz in a big way (640 SPECint2000 Base/704 SPECfp2000 Base).

People should know by now that there's more to a processor than just the clock speed, although it helps. This article (http://arstechnica.com/cpu/01q2/p4andg4e/p4andg4e-3.html) from Ars Technica compares the G4 to the P4 in great detail. Basically, it says that the G4 is more efficient and other things besides clock speeds do have to be taken into account. Take the pipeline, for example. The article's diagram (pictured below) shows how efficient the G4's pipeline really is compared to the P4. What Intel lacks in efficiency, it makes up for in speed. If the G4 was set at higher rates, it wouldn't be as much of an issue. Another thing is that making everything dual processor isn't the answer.

Top: Intel P4/Bottom: Motorola G4
http://arstechnica.com/cpu/01q2/p4andg4e/pipeline_anim1.gif

bluecell
Dec 18, 2002, 11:13 AM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
...SPEC does NOT test vector performance, and is heavily influenced by compilers. I would guess that the 970 will be miles ahead of the P4 in vector and double precision integer performance, and a little bit slower on single precision scalar code. Here's my guess at the stats:


PPC970 Prescott
frequency 1800 3600
IPC 3-4 ~2
cache 512k L2 1MB L2
power 40W 80+W
die size ~120 ?
bus 800MHz 800MHz
SPECFP guess 1051 ~1350
SPECINT guess 937 ~1350
max ram 2^64 2^32 (4GB)
process .13u SOI .09u


When the 970 switches to .09u manufacturing is when it really gets fun. Then it'll be able to compete against the P4/5 on an equal footing (they'll have room to do things like add a second core, or a bunch of cache, or an on chip memory controller. Plus, the clock frequency will go up). I agree, but isn't the 970's bus at 900MHz?

pgwalsh
Dec 18, 2002, 11:51 AM
Chard4Mac
IN your case, I would like to look at power consumption between these two chips. Which one would be more efficient in energy conservation?
I read in the paper the most home computers only increase your electric bill between $3 and $6 dollars a month, if left on all the time.

Originally posted by bluecell
Another thing is that making everything dual processor isn't the answer.
Cool animated gif showing the pipeline.

Two processors helps with FCP, AP, and Cubase. These apps can take advantage of dual processors and they all tax processors big time. When you start loading effects and transitions you start seeing the processors bog down.

bluecell
Dec 18, 2002, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by pgwalsh
I read in the paper the most home computers only increase your electric bill between $3 and $6 dollars a month, if left on all the time.

Cool animated gif showing the pipeline.

Two processors helps with FCP, AP, and Cubase. These apps can take advantage of dual processors and they all tax processors big time. When you start loading effects and transitions you start seeing the processors bog down.Yes, dual processors help apps like FCP, Logic, Maya, etc, but making everything dual processor to compensate for lack of speed is probably something Apple isn't too happy about. I've seen some pretty upsetting benchmarks that show that even the top end dual processor PowerMacs fall behind in performance compared to a single top end P4 or Xeon machine.

Flickta
Dec 18, 2002, 12:53 PM
Well, the only thing that confuses me is that the upcoming 970 (top of the line!) will be as fast as a P4 available now! And Intel won't just sit and wait.

And imagine if PC's become dual processor? Seems like Apple's big day is far away... too far away.

Mr. Anderson
Dec 18, 2002, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by Flickta

And imagine if PC's become dual processor? Seems like Apple's big day is far away... too far away.

There already are some - but it requires that the software can recognize the multiple processors.

D

bluecell
Dec 18, 2002, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by Flickta
Well, the only thing that confuses me is that the upcoming 970 (top of the line!) will be as fast as a P4 available now! And Intel won't just sit and wait.

And imagine if PC's become dual processor? Seems like Apple's big day is far away... too far away. Actually, the 970 at its top end of 1.8GHz isn't as fast as the P4's current top end at 3GHz. It is pretty close. At 3GHz, the 970 would destroy all of the P4s and Xeons out there today. If IBM stays on target, they could very well help Apple come back to the front. From reading everything IBM has put out there, the chip will get smaller (.09u) and they expect to reach 6GHz within the next couple of years. Hopefully, they'll keep their promise and maintain development of PowerPC (which includes more processor options) and not cause a problem for Apple like Motorola did.

pgwalsh
Dec 18, 2002, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by bluecell
Yes, dual processors help apps like FCP, Logic, Maya, etc, but making everything dual processor to compensate for lack of speed is probably something Apple isn't too happy about. I've seen some pretty upsetting benchmarks that show that even the top end dual processor PowerMacs fall behind in performance compared to a single top end P4 or Xeon machine.

I agree that that making everthing dual just to compensate for lack of speed isn't a good thing. I was coming from the point of view as when they do match the speed, I hope they don't drop the second processor.

I don't know anyone that has a computer with the 3 Ghz Intel inside. Most PC users I know are happy with what they have. I think the speed appeals more to gamers and hard core professionals. Most of my friends don't play games and aren't hardcore professionals. Many people I know in Silicon Valley don't want to spend the money right now on beefy machines. The majority of the working professionals want laptops. They all have Apple envy. :rolleyes:

Flickta
Dec 18, 2002, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet


There already are some - but it requires that the software can recognize the multiple processors.

D

Right you are! And some software, especially games, do not recognize them. And Games are one of the major impluses for lots of people to buy a certain comp.

Flickta
Dec 18, 2002, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by bluecell
Actually, the 970 at its top end of 1.8GHz isn't as fast as the P4's current top end at 3GHz. It is pretty close. At 3GHz, the 970 would destroy all of the P4s and Xeons out there today. If IBM stays on target, they could very well help Apple come back to the front. From reading everything IBM has put out there, the chip will get smaller (.09u) and they expect to reach 6GHz within the next couple of years. Hopefully, they'll keep their promise and maintain development of PowerPC (which includes more processor options) and not cause a problem for Apple like Motorola did.

I've been hearing it for several years. "this processor is slow, yes, but if they can manage it to become faster, it will just crash any competitors!" - Again, the competitors won't wait.

bluecell
Dec 18, 2002, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Flickta
I've been hearing it for several years. "this processor is slow, yes, but if they can manage it to become faster, it will just crash any competitors!" - Again, the competitors won't wait. I totally agree.

frogstomp
Dec 18, 2002, 02:39 PM
I love my Apple, but I have lost all dellusions that it compares to mainstream systems. Yes the OS is superior, but we need speed to compete.

If IBM can not keep up even with its new 970, it is time for Apple to make some serious choices.

I have no qualms with any chip makers, if they are stable and fast let's use them.

jayscheuerle
Dec 18, 2002, 02:50 PM
For 95% of the Mac users out there, performance worries disappeared a couple hundered mHz ago. A 1.8 gHz PPC 970 won't be discernably different from an 800 mHz G4 (or even G3 for that matter). Most of the apps that people run are relatively simple and the biggest change may be that the Aqua overhead is no longer noticed, unless Apple makes it even more burdensom to force us into hardware upgrades (does that sound jaded? ;) )

That said, I'd be happy to not have the burden of defending an obviously slower processor to people who think that's the most important attribute in a computing experience.

Let's at least get Apple back in the race!

Flickta
Dec 18, 2002, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by jayscheuerle
For 95% of the Mac users out there, performance worries disappeared a couple hundered mHz ago. A 1.8 gHz PPC 970 won't be discernably different from an 800 mHz G4 (or even G3 for that matter). Most of the apps that people run are relatively simple

Let's at least get Apple back in the race!

Eeeh.. Damn games! I can't stop thinking of them! Doom III, for example... It'll EAT Megaherz! But I am also for the idea to get Apple back into race. But not to the third place! IntelAMDApple

jayscheuerle
Dec 18, 2002, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by Flickta
Eeeh.. Damn games! I can't stop thinking of them! Doom III, for example... It'll EAT Megaherz!

I'm not a gamer, but if I was, my first inclination would be to buy a PS2 or an Xbox. What advantages (other than resolution) do computer games hold over these consoles?

ExoticFish
Dec 18, 2002, 03:23 PM
Well first off computer are always ahead of consoles as graphics are concerned. Plus the fact that Doom 3 isn't comming out for console at least anytime around the time that it's released for PC/Mac/Linux, plus, most important for me, if you've ever tried to play a FPS with a joystick VS a keyboard and mouse you're movement ability is greatly restricted and cumbersome with a jotstick. Me with my keyboard and mouse and anyone with a joystick... you're going down!!!* ;)

* not that I'm all that good anyway, just saying it's easier! :)

Flickta
Dec 18, 2002, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by jayscheuerle


I'm not a gamer, but if I was, my first inclination would be to buy a PS2 or an Xbox. What advantages (other than resolution) do computer games hold over these consoles?

Extensibility. You can modify them! There are several genres which can not be implemented on consoles - RPG (real), Strategy (Good). Consoles are getting old faster. And so on. And computer gives you an opportunity to work (you'd like it to work fast, eh?) and play (leisure. kids love that. Parents buy computers. It is what Apple wants, eh?) at the same time.

jayscheuerle
Dec 18, 2002, 03:35 PM
I guess I'd give up graphics quality for the ability to play it on the tv with some friends, kind of like how I prefer to play all my CD's as mp3's through my stereo even though they sound inferior.

Sometimes convenience has precidence over quality.;)

I can do all my work on a beige G3, but I don't think I could play many games. The best graphics card I can get is the Radeon 7000 pci... I'd much rather invest $400 in a gaming system than $1600 in a computer!

ExoticFish
Dec 18, 2002, 03:39 PM
Why do you think I bought a TiBook!!! :)

Flickta
Dec 18, 2002, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by jayscheuerle
I guess I'd give up graphics quality for the ability to play it on the tv with some friends, kind of like how I prefer to play all my CD's as mp3's through my stereo even though they sound inferior.

Sometime convenience has precidence over quality.;)

I can do all my work on a beige G3, but I don't think I could play many games. The best graphics card I can get is the Radeon 7000 pci... I'd much rather invest $400 in a gaming system than $1600 in a computer!

Play over the Internet. And there are tons of games for G3... Simple games. As for investment, you are right. But in the country where computer games cost $2, I think we have enough reasons to buy a PC. For $600. (PC not Mac!)

jayscheuerle
Dec 18, 2002, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by Flickta


Play over the Internet.

Do you mean as opposed to sitting next to real people?! That's not the same in my book, but that's probably one of the many reasons I don't play video games (console or computer). I will admit to being a big Atari 2600 fan back in Junior High, but that was the last console I was regularly around.

Heck, I'm grateful to gamers though. They're probably 90% of the reason that processor speeds are as high as they are now (especially in the PC world). :) :p

hvfsl
Dec 18, 2002, 04:04 PM
I need all the speed I can get, I do a lot of 3D modelling and my Mac is just not fast enough. I have started to use a PC for it now. Also when Apple releases the 970, Intel will be at 4-5Ghz. They already have working 4Ghz prototypes.

But there is good news in these P4 clock speeds. Intel will and is having problems releasing the new P5 because the megahertz gap is so great. I have hearld that the P5 is meant to max out at around 2Ghz at the moment. So sometime in the future, the P4 will come to a point where it can not go any faster and Intel will have to wait to release the P5, until it's clock speeds increase.

Basically the P4 is a slow CPU, but it is able to have very high clock speeds. This is good for Intel in the short term, but not the long term.

rice_web
Dec 18, 2002, 04:06 PM
The one thing that I'd like to point out, is the fact that the 970 reaches another tier of speed that was previously a dream to Mac users (well, it still is just a rumor).

But just think about it:

PowerMac G4
- up to 1250MHz
- 166MHz System Bus
- SDRAM (more or less)
- .18 Micron Manufacturing
- 256K L2 Cache
- 32-bit Processing

IBM 970
- up to 1.8GHz
- 800MHz System Bus
- DDR RAM
- .13 Micron Manufacturing (moving to 90nm)
- 512K L2 Cache
- 64-bit Processing

All-in-all, the 970 KILLS the G4. With a larger L2 cache, an astoundingly fast system bus, actual support for DDR memory, and a more efficient design, the 970 should slaughter the G4. But don't forget, the new 64-bit architecture will allow for insane amounts of memory, further allowing entire programs to run inside the memory, and thus avoid the hard disk as much as possible.

I'm excited, even if the 970 doesn't match up against the Prescot P4/P5.

FelixDerKater
Dec 18, 2002, 04:42 PM
At least we're getting into some real comparisons where the 970 is faster at everything than an equal speed P4. No more of that crap about the Mac being twice as fast only in AltiVec-optimized Photoshop.

eric_n_dfw
Dec 18, 2002, 05:03 PM
It's not nessesarily the application software that has to be coded for multi-processors - it's the OS's ability to throw different processes and/or threads across those multi-proc's.

As long as your code is multi-threaded, an SMP aware OS will spread the work over the available CPUs.

Some OS's that support SMP:
Mac OS X
Windows NT/2000/XP Pro
Linux
xBSD
BeOS
Solaris, Irix, HP-UX (and most Unix's)


Some OS's that don't support SMP:
Classic Mac OS*
Windows 3.x/95/98/Me/XP Home
MS-DOS/PC-DOS

* Some applications can access the 2nd processor if coded explicitly to do so on classic Mac OS but the OS is not SMP capable. As far as I know, none of the other OS's could even allow that. Although anything is possible, especially if you coded to the hardware directly - but then you are taking the OS out of the picture anyway.

yosoyjay
Dec 18, 2002, 05:20 PM
First of all I'd like to say I think that it would be great if Apple chooses to use the 970. It appears that it will be a tremendously better chip than the G4, as it should be. Also, I think this will aide Apple should they use it in future laptop designs considering future competition.

Before I comment on the competition, I would like to touch upon other posts comments, especially those concerning a P4 vs. 970. Let me start by saying you are comparing a chip that is built, shipped, and used everyday to a chip that is to be released in the second half of next year. Also, I'm tired of people saying that it doesn't matter if Intel or AMD have faster chips because people don't need faster computers. That is apologist crap. Call me a heathen, but I don't like seeing the spinnning disk when I open a PDF file while I'm checking my email and listening to MP3s. When I'm able to encode 1080i HDTV fullscreen in realtime while checking my email and listening to an MP3 without a hiccup then I might accept that argument. Until then...

To make the comparison fair of x486 to PPC, it seems you should be comparing the 970 to the unreleased Prescott chip that will be released at 3.4GHz and will feature 1MB of cache as well as Hyper-Threading, allowing certain applications to view the single chip as two chips. Remember, to make two chips substantially better than one chip you need software that is designed to exploit this otherwise the performance improvement is close to nil or, quite possibly, in the negative. Hence the fast movement towards and away from SMP on the PC side of the fence a few years back. Also, by the second half of next year Intel will have released Banias, it's low power consumption, more work per cycle, slower clock chip. (Sounds familiar to some other chip design/philosophy...) The important note about this chip is that it drops power consumption so much that a PC laptop that would theoretically last three hours will now last six. Not too shabby anyway you look at it. Also, it has integrated 802.11a/b dropping the overall price of a laptop. The only thing that looks like it might hinder Intel's total domination is Palladium, but that is another thread on another site...

On the plus side for the 970, it is 64-bit. This would be great for graphics/video/audio folks, but no programs I use would benefit (Word, Chimera, iTunes, emacs, War Craft III, Civ 3). And... um... it will run OS X 10.3. Also, it is a plus that IBM plans to scale the 970 all the way to 6GHz in the next 4? years. It looks like the future is potentially bright. But remember, Intel already has unreleased 4GHz prototype chips, many very bright workers, and very deep pockets. The future looks interesting...

MacAztec
Dec 18, 2002, 05:42 PM
Did you know that those tests you saw comparing the chips were just RAW processing power?

The 970 will have Alti-Vec, it will have L3 Cache, it will most likely be Dual Processors, it will also be on OS X.

Now, this sounds like your being a hippocrit. The 970 is a fairly new chip, and it dosent have "Hyper-Threading" or any of that crap. If you compare the whole computer to a PC whole computer (as in the P4 with all its doodads to the 970 with Altivec and L3 cache) I believe that the 970 will come out on top.

Oh, maybe not in the newest Warcraft III or whatever. If games were compiled and accelerated for the mac (like Quake III) than the Mac vs PC challenge, well, there wouldnt be one.

Games like Red Faction, WarCraft, *JediKnight II, etc. do not support AltiVec and were not compiled to accelerate on the mac. If they were, the mac would be running up and above par to the PC game world.

(* means im not sure)

MacCoaster
Dec 18, 2002, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by MacAztec
The 970 will have Alti-Vec, it will have L3 Cache, it will most likely be Dual Processors, it will also be on OS X.
Last time I checked, PowerPC 970 will not have L3 at all.
CreativePro.com (http://www.creativepro.com/story/news/17958.html)
"While the Power4 core has two processor cores and massive caches for MP implementations, the PowerPC 970 has only one processor core, an SIMD unit and a 512K on-die L2 cache. The cache includes error correction. The PowerPC 970, as described today, has no connectors for an L3 cache."
Therefore, PowerPC 970 will have less cache than its competitors.

I wonder what Apple would say about that.
Apple Marketing Department
"Oh we were wrong, L3 doesn't matter when you have physical RAM to processor bus that's faster than the L3."

ibjoshua
Dec 18, 2002, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by pgwalsh
I read in the paper the most home computers only increase your electric bill between $3 and $6 dollars a month, if left on all the time.

That seems a tad unacceptable to me.
If only 1 million people decided to do that then you'd be wasting $3-$6 million worth of energy a month.

i_b_joshua

cubist
Dec 18, 2002, 06:15 PM
Perhaps we can get the OpenGL system layers written in 64-bit (or altivec-optimized) and that will help the existing games, too.

Also one poster mentioned an "xlc" compiler from IBM which has substantially better optimization. Apple ought to license that and include it with the developer tools. I personally won't mind paying for it, if it's not absurdly expensive.

MacCoaster
Dec 18, 2002, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by cubist
Perhaps we can get the OpenGL system layers written in 64-bit (or altivec-optimized) and that will help the existing games, too.

Also one poster mentioned an "xlc" compiler from IBM which has substantially better optimization. Apple ought to license that and include it with the developer tools. I personally won't mind paying for it, if it's not absurdly expensive.
Yes, Unreal Tournament 2003 ported to 64 bit AMD Hammer got a 15 % increase in performance versus 32 bit version running on AMD Hammer.

pgwalsh
Dec 18, 2002, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by i_b_joshua


That seems a tad unacceptable to me.
If only 1 million people decided to do that then you'd be wasting $3-$6 million worth of energy a month.

i_b_joshua I think your comment is funny. :p In terms of someone pointing out how much you save it's nbd. However, if you're folding or doing seti at home your helping a great cause at 3 to 6 million.

Considering my monthly bill averages around $200 a month I don't think 3 bones is going to make all the difference in the world to me. Most of my appliances are energy star compliant. I don't use a blow dryer and I always turn off the lights so maybe I save 2 or 3 bones here and there.

ibjoshua
Dec 18, 2002, 09:10 PM
Originally posted by pgwalsh
I think your comment is funny. :p In terms of someone pointing out how much you save it's nbd. However, if you're folding or doing seti at home your helping a great cause at 3 to 6 million.

Funny or not it was meant to be serious.

I've heard somewhere that if the US turned off all its appliances that sit around in 'standby' mode the nation would need 7-8 fewer power stations. Now that may not be correct but it's something to think about.

i_b_joshua

MrMacMan
Dec 18, 2002, 09:16 PM
If the 970 came out now, it would kick, but the fact is that even overclocked chips can beat the 970.
It IS a step in the right direction but...
Hm... Does THIS ring a bell, BTW this will not come out in 2003, most likely mid-late 2004 (http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/20021216/index.html)
*dies*
OMFG, Super-Mega Overclock.
4.1 GHZ. :eek: :eek: :eek: (sorry soo many but really)
The 970 can go head-head with the P4's Now but when they get mass-produced to compare with the future we will need dual-quad setups. Maybe matching the preformance of the newer processors.

MacBandit
Dec 18, 2002, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by bluecell
Yes, dual processors help apps like FCP, Logic, Maya, etc, but making everything dual processor to compensate for lack of speed is probably something Apple isn't too happy about. I've seen some pretty upsetting benchmarks that show that even the top end dual processor PowerMacs fall behind in performance compared to a single top end P4 or Xeon machine.

Two processors also help when running more then one app at once. This is certainly the case in OSX 10.2 at least. I would like to see real world tests comparing the 2xG4 1.25GHz against any single processor P4. The test should include heavy Photoshop plugin tests while burning a DVD and rendinging in Maya all at the same time.

ibjoshua
Dec 18, 2002, 09:41 PM
I think it's easy to lose sight of reality here.
Statements like ...the PowerPC 970 will surely be underwhelming--less of a "WOW" and more of a "Whew, just made it," and that's assuming all goes well. seem to sum up how everyone is starting to feel, until you consider the fact that a 970 really will leave the G4 in the dust.

I think some of us should reconsider our priorities. Which do we want most, an awesome new processor in our Macs or an 'Intel killer'? Personally if I had to choose between the two the former would win every time.

i_b_joshua

ibjoshua
Dec 18, 2002, 09:43 PM
...heavy Photoshop plugin tests while burning a DVD and rendinging in Maya all at the same time
Oh yeah, we're all doing that every day!
:)

i_b_joshua

Tenacious B
Dec 18, 2002, 11:49 PM
I think some of us should reconsider our priorities. Which do we want most, an awesome new processor in our Macs or an 'Intel killer'? Personally if I had to choose between the two the former would win every time.
Unfortunately, you are not the average consumer. When someone sees a computer advertised, the speed is the first thing noticed. Price is the second. When people see that PCs are faster and cheaper than Macs, they see what the better value is in terms of Mhz per dollar. THe ratio is obviously much higher for PCs.

I would like to see both "an awesome new processor in our Macs" and an "Intel Killer" because it is the best way to get people to switch. There was a time when Apple should have capitalized on the megahertz myth idea when PPCs actually had a real advantage over Pentiums.

It may be true that when it comes down to the bottom line, a few hundred megahertz here and there don't matter to the average consumer's tasks. But numbers=power in their eyes, not the operating system. The Switch campaign is helping, but it might be too little too late. Apple needs the power for these consumers (so that they switch) and for us (so that we don't).

Sedulous
Dec 19, 2002, 12:06 AM
I'm really excited about the 970. Of course, as many have pointed out, the 970 1.8 GHz chip will be "only" on par with a 4 GHz P4. I can't help but to wonder if anyone has realized that Intel is slowing down on faster chips because they run too hot. Intel is going to sit around 3 GHz for much longer than we'd expect. Meanwhile, the BUS on the 970 is scalable, already moving to smaller process, designed for multiprocessor designs, and is well designed in general. I would venture a guess that the 970 will be outstanding and will out pace the Intel offerings (the P4 is too hot and the Itanium design is not as good as the 970).

I am of the mind that we will be hearing Apple announce the 970 sooner than later. According to the Reuters article I read, the fab is already making chips. IBM has already stated that 1.8 GHz 970 chips will be available this spring. This suggests that maybe 1.4 GHz 970 is already being produced. Certainly Apple already has systems running 970s and will be ready to release them as soon as they are available.

MacBandit
Dec 19, 2002, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by i_b_joshua

Oh yeah, we're all doing that every day!
:)

i_b_joshua

It's not so much that you do but that you can. In the situation I pose I believe a 2x1.25GHz G4 running 10.2 will beat any current single processor Pentium computer out there.

The demonstration I did to my friends was to rip a cd while burning a cd and playing Unreal Tournament at the same time. There was no noticeable slow down in any of the tasks. This was on my 2x1GHz DDR.

MacCoaster
Dec 19, 2002, 06:21 AM
Originally posted by i_b_joshua
I think it's easy to lose sight of reality here.
Statements like seem to sum up how everyone is starting to feel, until you consider the fact that a 970 really will leave the G4 in the dust.

I think some of us should reconsider our priorities. Which do we want most, an awesome new processor in our Macs or an 'Intel killer'? Personally if I had to choose between the two the former would win every time.

i_b_joshua
One should never try to equal a dual processor to a single processor unless it is proved that the single processor system is twice as fast as the dual processor system (per Digital Video Editing).

A fair comparison would be a dual PowerPC 970 based Macintosh with a dual Xeon of that time.

ibjoshua
Dec 19, 2002, 07:26 AM
Originally posted by MacBandit


It's not so much that you do but that you can....... rip a cd while burning a cd and playing Unreal Tournament at the same time.... This was on my 2x1GHz DDR.

I did understand what you were saying. I was just being sarcastic. :)
What you describe is truly cool it's just that not too many people need to do it - but I have to admit plenty of people may think they want to do it. :)

Originally posted by Tenacious B

Unfortunately, you are not the average consumer. When someone sees a computer advertised, the speed is the first thing noticed. Price is the second. When people see that PCs are faster and cheaper than Macs, they see what the better value is in terms of Mhz per dollar. THe ratio is obviously much higher for PCs.

I would like to see both "an awesome new processor in our Macs" and an "Intel Killer" because it is the best way to get people to switch. There was a time when Apple should have capitalized on the megahertz myth idea when PPCs actually had a real advantage over Pentiums.

It may be true that when it comes down to the bottom line, a few hundred megahertz here and there don't matter to the average consumer's tasks. But numbers=power in their eyes, not the operating system. The Switch campaign is helping, but it might be too little too late. Apple needs the power for these consumers (so that they switch) and for us (so that we don't).

I take your point but I think you misunderstood my mine. What I was trying to say was that this switch from G4 to 970 (if it happens) will be really good for us. These machines will kick arse compared to the G4 and we shouldn't lose sight of that. They just may not be 'Intel Killers' but they will be streets ahead of where we are now. As an 'average user' I think we already have pretty good computers and for the power users these 970 chips should easily satisfy their needs.

If you're still worried about 'switchers' then I'd suggest most PC users can come up with an array of different reasons (some good but mostly bad) for not buying a Mac whether it has an Intel wupping processor or not.

I hate to sound like an optimist but I think things have never looked so good. We have an awsome operating system, masses of open source and proprietary software being ported every day and the promise of a really sturdy processor at the beginning of (what appears to be a long and exciting) development life.

Well done Apple.

i_b_joshua

jayscheuerle
Dec 19, 2002, 07:51 AM
The average consumer doesn't know much about speed at all. They show up at CompUSA, BestBuy or even WallMart looking to buy either the cheapest computer advertised or the one that Consumer Reports labeled a "Best Buy".

At this point, the salesman starts selling. Megahertz, RAM, video cards, sound cards, printers, etc. It's a crash course for the consumer who may end up spending way more than they planned to when all they really needed was something to surf the net, do their taxes on and maybe print out crappy clip-art holiday cards.

If you're reading this, you're not an average consumer! ;)

- j

MacBandit
Dec 19, 2002, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by jayscheuerle
The average consumer doesn't know much about speed at all. They show up at CompUSA, BestBuy or even WallMart looking to buy either the cheapest computer advertised or the one that Consumer Reports labeled a "Best Buy".

At this point, the salesman starts selling. Megahertz, RAM, video cards, sound cards, printers, etc. It's a crash course for the consumer who may end up spending way more than they planned to when all they really needed was something to surf the net, do their taxes on and maybe print out crappy clip-art holiday cards.

If you're reading this, you're not an average consumer! ;)

- j

This is all a good point. Maybe we can benefit from the ignorance of the typical consumer. They've been touting higher MHz for about 3 years now. We will be able to tout twice the bits :). I'm not an idiot I know that 64bit Processor doesn't do twice the work. That's not to say that we can't claim that it can because it surely can in the perfect situation.

synthetickittie
Dec 19, 2002, 10:40 AM
how long is it untill we are going to see 970s in a mac that we can buy?... and you gotta know that 90% of the people going to buy a computer look for the teh most mhz for the cheapest amount of money, thats by far the first thing they look for.

eric_n_dfw
Dec 19, 2002, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by i_b_joshua
Now that may not be correct but it's something to think about.

:rolleyes:

Nipsy
Dec 19, 2002, 11:29 AM
quote:...heavy Photoshop plugin tests while burning a DVD and rendinging in Maya all at the same time

Originally posted by i_b_joshua

Oh yeah, we're all doing that every day!
:)

i_b_joshua


Okay, how 'bout listening to iTunes, burning a CD while organizing photos in iPhoto with a few browser windows and a mail and a chat and an Office program open.

The first scenario is fully likely in a Pro environment, and the second just as likely in a consumer environment.

My G4 is always running 30-40 applications...always.

Coupla terminals (in turn running any number of command line tools), Flash, Dreamweaver, CodeWarrior, ProjectBuilder, BBEdit, apache, MySQL, Mozilla, Mail, Thoth, SlashDock, Timbuktu, calculator, Xnap, Xtunes, readerware (book, cd & dvd), and Excel, in addition to the apps which comprise OSX, and the daemons not listed above.

My sister's iMac is always running 20-30 apps.

iPhoto, Fire, Timbuktu, XNap, LimeWire, Word, a puzzle game, IE, Mail, Frogblast, iCal, Sherlock, and apache, l, in addition to the apps which comprise OSX, and the daemons not listed above.

So multitasking is ELEMENTAL to modern performance metrics, but seldom measured. I have a Dual G4 867, and a Dual Athlon MP 1600 (much faster in raw metrics), however, under both Linux (Mandrake), and Windows (2000), the Athlon box cannot multitask as well as the slower G4, and can be ground to a total halt by a few instances a FSRaid, a compile & a 10,000 file batch replace, etc. I have serious trouble intentionally freezing the Mac when multitasking.

So, if a reasonably modern Dual G4 can plod through many tasks and a reasonably modern Dual Athlon cannot, a IBM PPC 970 Dual (please let them be duals), should fly through many tasks at once.

Sure, this is more valuable for a pro than a consumer. Sure we may not have the fastest benchmarks. But if a chip is derived from a Power4, it is begging to be abused, and to handle it, and that means best of breed multitasking, serious (but not top) raw processing performance, and a compelling draw for Pro users in studios, print shops, etc.

The consumer can continue to buy at Walmart on the MHz numbers for all I care, because the 970 won't see a consumer machine until mid-2004 anyway.

Kid Red
Dec 19, 2002, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by jayscheuerle
For 95% of the Mac users out there, performance worries disappeared a couple hundered mHz ago. A 1.8 gHz PPC 970 won't be discernably different from an 800 mHz G4 (or even G3 for that matter). Most of the apps that people run are relatively simple and the biggest change may be that the Aqua overhead is no longer noticed, unless Apple makes it even more burdensom to force us into hardware upgrades (does that sound jaded? ;) )

That said, I'd be happy to not have the burden of defending an obviously slower processor to people who think that's the most important attribute in a computing experience.

Let's at least get Apple back in the race!

Believe me, resizing in X would be remarkably faster on the 970, along with menus, app switching, etc. Anyone who uses the mac to work, will notice the difference. I can't wait to update my dual gig :)

ibjoshua
Dec 19, 2002, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by i_b_joshua
Now that may not be correct but it's something to think
Originally posted by eric_n_dfw


:rolleyes:

What that meant was that I'm too lazy to find the article as 'proof'. The claim may be unsubstantiated but my guess is that it is just some basic mathematics applied to a single home and then extrapolated out to cover the nation.

The point is it's something to think about. The accumulative effect of millions of people's actions really does matter. A single coal or gas fired power station uses a lot of fuel and outputs large amounts of poisonous waste. And we're talking about 7 or 8. Therefore if we use low power devices we're doing more than just saving ourselves a few dollars in power bills.

i_b_joshua

Catfish_Man
Dec 19, 2002, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by bluecell
I agree, but isn't the 970's bus at 900MHz?

Yes, but due to the complexity of the bus protocol (it's some funky packet based one) it's effectively an 800MHz bus.

reversereligion
Dec 27, 2002, 02:22 PM
i find it very strange over here at macrumors...
people compare a dual g4/dual 970 to a single 3ghz p4

hello!!!
intel's run dual processors all the time

in a wintel platform, you can get dual p4, dual athlon, or dual xeon... and your choice of sdram, ddr ram or rdram and motherboard, etc...

how about making a FAIR comparision... the best apple can offer (dual 1.25ghz g4) versus the best wintel can offer (dual 3.2gig p4).

6.4 gigs of p4 CRUSHES 2.5gigs of g4 any day of the week.

i use macs and pc's and have no loyalty to anything other than high performance and the truth.

apple is REALLY looking silly right now asking for $3800+ for a "top of the line" system that really is a joke compared to what you can put together on a wintel system for half the cost.

Abstract
Dec 27, 2002, 04:40 PM
I also do not quite understand why people are saying that the 970 will blow Intel out of the water? When will this happen? It won't happen when the 970 is first released, and may not happen for several speed bumps. Intel has already planned a new processor >4GHz P5, while the 970 will not reach comparable speeds. No way. At best, the Apple-PC speed gap will be reduced. Well, on the other hand, we can say, "Geez, at least its better than nothing. At least the speed gap isn't embarrassing anymore!" I guess that's something. I think that in 3 years, the difference will be negligible, but only if IBM spends the $$$ and effort to develop the chip.

Anyway, I see the 970 playing a good game of catch-up after its release, hopefully reducing the performance difference to something negligible.

And for you people who say things like, "I'd like to see a PC user burn DVD's while playing mp3's and Unreal Tournament, etc...", I hate to tell you that PC users can do this. Heck, a knowledgeable PC user, like my brother, can build a PC with a AMD Athlon 1.3GHz and do all of this. And he didn't need to overclock or anything.

I'm not a Mac user (yet), but I'm definitely going to switch to an iBook, but the more I learn about the performance gap, the more difficult it is for me to justify spending that kind of money on an iBook, especially when my prof's new Fugitsu laptop is fast, and can last for 4.5 hours, all for the same price. WinXP doesn't crashed on my home PC, either. Although, individual programs crash on occasion, but this happens on a Mac too, right? I can't defend my "switching" choice, especially to my brother who thinks its an absolutely ridiculous to pay THAT much money for 3 year old technology.

Be afraid, Mac users. Dual battery PC laptops are quite a trend now, and they get 5-9 hours of batterly life.

PS: I'm switching anyway. :D

PPS: If the Power4 has 4 cores, why don't they just use a pared-down Power4 with 2 cores instead of making a Mac with dual processors? I don't know much about computers, so forgive me if its a stupid question.

MrMacMan
Dec 27, 2002, 08:58 PM
Woah, sudden apple bashing.

One: The average person doesn't use Dual P4's. But on the other hand, many Apple users use Dual processors.
Second: Intel said that 4GHZ processors will not be ready for some time. Years.
Third: Apple's money should be put to things like new processors, sure it probably will not BLOW Intels CPU's out of the water, but it is a very nice start.
4th: Apple might look into dual bateries but that aint a huge point most apple laptops can run for some time doing non-extensive use. Plus they need 2 because the processors suck up so much money.
i find it very strange over here at macrumors...
people compare a dual g4/dual 970 to a single 3ghz p4

hello!!!
intel's run dual processors all the time

in a wintel platform, you can get dual p4, dual athlon, or dual xeon... and your choice of sdram, ddr ram or rdram and motherboard, etc...

how about making a FAIR comparision... the best apple can offer (dual 1.25ghz g4) versus the best wintel can offer (dual 3.2gig p4).

6.4 gigs of p4 CRUSHES 2.5gigs of g4 any day of the week.


Note: Dual processors never equal the same amount.
Example: 2, 1 GHZ processors normally beat out something like 1x2processor computer.
Never, DARE Mutiply with comp parts.

ktlx
Dec 27, 2002, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by MrMacman

Second: Intel said that 4GHZ processors will not be ready for some time. Years.


Do you have something to back up that statement? Various sites on the Internet have claimed that Intel already has them at 4Ghz in the lab. Other sites (places like Tom's Hardware Ace's Hardware, AnandTech, etc) have claimed they can already take the 3.06Ghz part up to 4Ghz with good memory and sufficient cooling.

The only thing getting in the way of faster processors from Intel is the economy. There simply is no economic justification for pouring the development dollars into faster processors right now. AMD is still behind and loosing money. Intel is spending a lot of effort right now updating their chipsets so that the next set of processors can be connected to memory that allows them to shine.

There is no point in bringing out a 4Ghz part and attaching it to PC1066 RDRAM or PC3200 DDR memory. Those will not provide sufficient memory bandwidth to make the processor worth the money.

MacCoaster
Dec 27, 2002, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by MrMacman
One: The average person doesn't use Dual P4's. But on the other hand, many Apple users use Dual processors.
Second: Intel said that 4GHZ processors will not be ready for some time. Years.
Third: Apple's money should be put to things like new processors, sure it probably will not BLOW Intels CPU's out of the water, but it is a very nice start.
4th: Apple might look into dual bateries but that aint a huge point most apple laptops can run for some time doing non-extensive use. Plus they need 2 because the processors suck up so much money.

Note: Dual processors never equal the same amount.
Example: 2, 1 GHZ processors normally beat out something like 1x2processor computer.
Never, DARE Mutiply with comp parts.
Geez. Assumptions. Assumptions. Assumptions.

The average person doesn't use dual P4s, neither does the person use dual G4s. I know many, many people who own dual Xeon and dual Athlon PCs--far outweighs the number of people I know who even own Macs with dual processors [read: they're too darned expensive and slow].

Point is, it doesn't matter if the average Joe doesn't use dual Pentium 4s, what matters is that the choice is available. People who need the choice take advantage of it and have a system [way] faster than the top-of-the-line G4.

Yes, you are correct that dual 3.2 GHz != 6.4 GHz total. But come to think about it... dual 3.2 Ghz with HyperThreading, I can't imagine how fast that computer would run the FPMathTest. I tested the Dual 1.25 G4 at an Apple Store today--65 seconds. My Athlon XP 2100+ (1.733 GHz) does the same thing in three seconds.

Shadowplay
Dec 28, 2002, 02:55 AM
Two processors also help when running more then one app at once. This is certainly the case in OSX 10.2 at least. I would like to see real world tests comparing the 2xG4 1.25GHz against any single processor P4.

Ask and ye shall recieve...
http://www.digitalvideoediting.com/Htm/DVEditHomeSet1.htm

It's not even close. P4 wins, hands down. Does everything the Dual G4 does in half the time. Let me repeat: half the time. And this for a machine that costs $630 less than the Mac, and that's after Apple's generous discounts and rebates. Otherwise, the Dell comes in a cool $1,000 under the Mac.

What really is tantilizing is the thought of Intel getting its act together and making the P4 SMP-capable, like the P3 is. We SMP fans would love to have a Dual P4 HT system... 2 CPU's that show up as 4 in NT... Photoshop and other processor-hungry apps would really fly under that scenario.

And as for responsiveness? Those new HT P4's are amazing. Toms Hardware (www.tomshardware.com) has some videos you can watch that compares a HT P4 to a non-HT P4, both running at the same speed. The HT P4 kicks all sorts of ass on the non-HT P4, even in apps that aren't multithreaded and thus are non-SMP optimized. The OS (WinXP) manages the threads and distributes the workload appropriately across the HT.

And you're right... CPU speed is just one part of the equation. But even in that case, the PC's architecture is still kicking the Mac's ass. It has faster FSB speeds, AGP speeds (AGP x8 is appearing on mobos and AGP x8 graphics cards are now becoming available), faster memory speeds (both DDR and RAMBUS), etc. Sure, Mac will probably crib some of those technologies from the PC like they have been doing in the past, but the fact remains that Intel and AMD invest billions of dollars into CPU and chipset R&D a year while Motorola and IBM don't seem to care that much about CPU development.

MacCoaster
Dec 28, 2002, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by Shadowplay
What really is tantilizing is the thought of Intel getting its act together and making the P4 SMP-capable, like the P3 is. We SMP fans would love to have a Dual P4 HT system... 2 CPU's that show up as 4 in NT... Photoshop and other processor-hungry apps would really fly under that scenario.
Yep. Pentium 4 Xeon MP has HyperThreading.

They even have L3 caches up to 2 MB.

http://www.intel.com/products/server/processors/server/xeon_mp/index.htm?iid=ipp_srvr+proc_xeonmp&

Shadowplay
Dec 28, 2002, 11:24 PM
Yeah, those are the P4 Xeons, though. They're pricey 'cause they're meant for servers. But if Intel could reinstitute SMP capability in the consumer-level P4's, then we're talking. I know a lot of SMP'ers just drooling at the thought. Most of them have to make do with Athlon MP's or P3's if they want to SMP.

Also, the link I posted went to the general Digital Video Editing site... here's the link to the actual review...
http://www.digitalvideoediting.com/2002/11_nov/reviews/cw_macvspciii.htm

I'm a PC desktop user, because I like the platform, the OS, the speed, and the sheer size of the software library. I grew up on it, I know how to use it, and my PC is a great machine.

I use a PowerBook because laptops are the one area where Apple is competitive on a price/performance ratio. Besides which, i don't need an overpowered laptop as a desktop replacement, and I just use the PowerBook for basic tasks like researching in the library or checking my email at Starbucks. And I really like the elegance of the black G3 PowerBook's minimalist design. That's something PC laptop designers never understand. My dad has a ThinkPad and it's a solid machine, but it has weirdo buttons everywhere that have absolutely no use.

But for desktops, Apple is seriously outgunned. And it is annoying how Mac fanatics keep moving the goalposts. All those times Steve Jobs was up on stage doing a side-by-side comparison of the PPC versus the latest Intel chip, speed was king. But now that the shoe is on the other foot and the PPC is sucking the exhaust from the P4/Athlon XP as it gets left behind in the dust, Steve is awfully quiet about speed nowadays. I think it's overdue for Gates or Barrett to have a nice side-by-side Photoshop comparison during their next keynote.

Seriously, when corporate buying officers look at the options, there's really no question what to go with. The PC is twice as fast and is considerably less expensive. With XP, stability, security, and compatibility are there. Plus its the platform they already use and it has all the software they want to use, whether they work in legal, media, or just plain office work. PC companies such as Dell offer superior service and bend over backwards to work with companies to tailor the systems to their needs, and they're there for years afterward with service and support. Now you may argue that "they'll need the service in three years," but the fact remains that they're still there and nurturing the relationship so they'll be the first ones the corporate IT guys call when it's time to upgrade again.

Apple's Switch campaign is just going after the moms and pops of the world, but they're making no inroads with corporate America. And they won't until they get their act together in both processor speeds and service. The former is up to IBM, and everyone seems to have this belief that Intel will sit still while IBM takes the next year to get it's next generation chip out; but the fact is that Intel is still screaming ahead and plunking billions into R&D. It's Intel's bread and butter, while IBM has a gazillion other things on its priority list. And I don't see Apple doing much about the latter in terms of working with corporate America.

frogstomp
Dec 29, 2002, 01:22 AM
To ShadowPlay and Others;

I would have to agree with Shadowplay on many levels in the comparison of present G4 chips vs P4 chips.

Mac Users (myself included) would have to be completely delusional to think our systems(Macs) even come close to P4 box's in speed. Sure Ghz is not the be all/end all of speed, it just happens that most P4 boxes beat Apples G4 in every other category as well. My Grandma rides a System Bus faster than me!!!

Also, why would Big Biz want to run Apples? It is a lot cheeper and faster to run Linux Servers than an Apple Xserver.

As for Operating systems, I could understand using XP for the Above reasons (if Linux takes too many brain Cells to figure out...) and if Windows was all I knew. However, a small population finds Windows very unintuitive, glitchy (although stable in XP), highly propietory(yes even more so than Apples OS's) and Commercially Swamped to the nines.

I do not use a Mac because I have been brainwashed into believing they push more 'bits' than Athlons or P4s. I and many others use Macs because of the OS and quality of software developed for Mac OS. Also, the Hardware is dependable and Apple has been great to me on any Warrantee concerns.

I would like to point out that this forum is in fact trying to compare the new 64bit 970 (which will hopefully breathe new life into Apples Desktops) vs. todays fastest P4 (although Intel will surely be 3 steps forward by the time the 970 is 'ever' introduced in Macs)

Personally, if Apple does not address the ever increasing speed gap I will be forced to use a P4 box to 'finish' items prepared on my Mac to remain competitive.

If the 970 can compare, bring it online now. If not let's talk "Marklar!" ... but that's a different discussion.

Cheers Happy New Year!

benixau
Dec 29, 2002, 06:10 AM
go download mobydock. it is a dock program for windows 2000/xp.

i have it on a pc cause my brother likes my dock (jag.3)

all i have to do is run the mouse over it from start to end and watch CPU usage go up to 100% it even cant finish without laging.
this is on a AND XP 1800+ w/256 PC2100 GF2MX 32 DDR

a G3600 calssic imac uses 5% more to do the same task. try printing a pdf from any program that can print in 2k/xp? you need an add-on program


OS X is better than win in every way except one, it doesnt natively run counterstrike. oh well, have to use VPC for that :)

MrMacMan
Dec 29, 2002, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by ktlx


Do you have something to back up that statement? Various sites on the Internet have claimed that Intel already has them at 4Ghz in the lab. Other sites (places like Tom's Hardware Ace's Hardware, AnandTech, etc) have claimed they can already take the 3.06Ghz part up to 4Ghz with good memory and sufficient cooling.

I like the part where you posted that Intel has them in Lab's. I'm sure apple has labs with a few 970's, but do I say that apple is ready to release them tommorow, NO.
Intel cannot get the P4 in its current condition to 4 GHZ. Intel has stated tha in 2003 the highest possible they will release is 3.6 GHZ. And look what it took for Tom's Hardware to get it to 4 GHZ, not monster fans, not water cooling. LIQUID NITROGEN. THEY BASICALLY FROZE THE CHIP.
What was it - 52 degrees Celcius?

Any-how, inless you are operating a server or extreme graphics/EXTREME gaming you don't see many people using Dual Xeon's look at that Dell commerical (*ech*, sorry seen it too many times) they advertise it as a server, Which it was made for doing. Xeon's are nice, but only if you are willing to pay the price.

Edit: UBB code not working...

Clockwork
Dec 29, 2002, 01:48 PM
Also, why would Big Biz want to run Apples? It is a lot cheeper and faster to run Linux Servers than an Apple Xserver.

The XServe is a very new product and I think time will show wich platform is actually the cheapest and most reliable.
Recent survey's show that Linux servers are no cheaper in cost of ownership than windows servers. This is largely because linux servers require a lot more professional and expensive care. Windows servers however are expensive in the way that Microsoft charge quite alot in licensing of their server and client software. Apple however has made a brilliant, easy to use and powerful operating system with a cool GUI and a BSD/Unix command line. Also the XServe comes with unlimited client license for Mac OSX Server.
As for the part about performance. I do not believe a linux server in the same price range as the XServe is any faster. keep in mind that NASA chose the XServe for a cluster of 33 servers.

Clockwork
Dec 29, 2002, 01:53 PM
Here is the link for those of you unfamiliar with it : http://www.daugerresearch.com/fractaldemos/JPLXServes/JPLXServeClusterBenchmark.html

MacCoaster
Dec 29, 2002, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by MrMacman
Any-how, inless you are operating a server or extreme graphics/EXTREME gaming you don't see many people using Dual Xeon's look at that Dell commerical (*ech*, sorry seen it too many times) they advertise it as a server, Which it was made for doing. Xeon's are nice, but only if you are willing to pay the price.
More assumptions! So I am more likely to see G4 towers around than iMac for a consumer who doesn't need all that power? Can you back up your claims with data?

Not only Intel is advertising the Xeon as a server chip, but as a workstation chip. It could be very well said that Xeons do compare with the G4 towers.

And same is true for a G4 tower. They are nice, but only if one is willing to pay the [disgustly overpriced] prices.

AGAIN, it doesn't matter if "less" percentage of people use Dual P4s than Dual G4s, what matters is: the option is available. And can you prove that there are less percentage of Dual P4 users than Dual G4 users? Out of what? Etc.

will
Dec 29, 2002, 02:01 PM
I think you'll find that study was comissioned by Microsoft and was misleading in many ways. For example it compared costs over five years so licensing costs were lower, over three years even the MS comissioned study showed Linux was cheaper. Read The Register article for more http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/28408.html I can't think of any area I would choose to use a Windows server, I would choose Sun or a BSD based system myself. The XServe is actually a very nice bit of hardware, but it will take a while for it to build up the support base and stability that exists for longs standing server systems like Sun.

frogstomp
Dec 30, 2002, 02:33 AM
Wow think of what that network system could do with some real power under their hoods ie 970's instead of the bottle necked shared bus rate of 1.3gb/s for both cpu's!

The P4's suffer from the inability to support seperate busses for each CPU also, but at least run at many times faster buss rates.

The Athlons can utilize a seperate bus for each cpu and therefore make for great data pushers...hmmmm Linux Rendering Networks....

So right now the fact that Xserves have DDR memory is moot. It is choked off at the system.
http://www.barefeats.com/xserve2.html

Ahh but bring on 64bit technology please! Not only is the 970 altivec compliant, but will also allow 32bit programs to run at the same speed advantage as 64 bit programming! Ohh and how about Bus Speed 900mhz sounds really nice ~ 5x the data through-put that apples ppc can handle right now!
http://www-3.ibm.com/chips/products/powerpc/newsletter/dec2002/newproductfocus2.html

Will the 970 @ 1.8ghz trounce a P4 at 3ghz? I haven't done the math yet...

cheers!

will
Dec 30, 2002, 06:00 AM
Originally posted by frogstomp
Will the 970 @ 1.8ghz trounce a P4 at 3ghz? I haven't done the math yet...


Hard to tell as we have 3GHz P4s now, but the 970 hasn't shipped. So it's a bit of a moot point. Also performance very much depends on the benchmark you choose.

However I think it's important that Apple have processors that are at least in the same league as the P4/Hammer on SPEC INT and FP benchmarks. CPU performance does matter, particularly in areas important to Apple like graphics, 3D, and video editing.

I look forward to seeing a shipping Apple 970 system in Q3 2003.

bluecell
Dec 30, 2002, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by frogstomp
Will the 970 @ 1.8ghz trounce a P4 at 3ghz? I haven't done the math yet...
No, the 970 @ 1.8GHz is a little behind the P4 @ 3.06GHz. That's why some see this as a potential problem for Apple. From the SPEC results that I've seen for the Athlon64, the PPC 970 seems to be the winner.

MacCoaster
Dec 30, 2002, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by frogstomp
The Athlons can utilize a seperate bus for each cpu and therefore make for great data pushers...hmmmm Linux Rendering Networks....
Why do you think George Lucas' company used a cluster of Athlon MP-powered PCs running Linux to render their latest films. ;) :p

papolo
Jun 7, 2003, 10:38 PM
hi guys
I just enjoyed reading the first tree pages, I learned a lot, but I have to leave now...
and I would like to continue my reading tomorrow expecting that somebody could answer this doubt I have:

In a posted message someone made the compairison between the 970 processor against the actual G4 processor, he says that the actual G4 use SDRAM memories structure against the DDR memory use of the 970... Could somebody tell me what does it mean? and why the Albooks17 uses DDR SDRAM memories??

thanks a lot

maradong
Jun 8, 2003, 02:34 AM
well they are using ddr right now, but the fsb between cpu and ram is still 133 at the max it s not doubled , resp quaded as with the pentiums, what gives a great bench of performance.
with the ppc 970 this should change.
i hope that helps you.

daveg5
Jun 8, 2003, 03:27 AM
A switch to a Larger 1MB or 2MB L2 cache will all by itself ad 20-30% to the performace if the 603-604-G3-G4 are any indication and could probably done sooner then higher clock speeds.

Cubeboy
Jun 8, 2003, 05:51 AM
Originally posted by MrMacman
I like the part where you posted that Intel has them in Lab's. I'm sure apple has labs with a few 970's, but do I say that apple is ready to release them tommorow, NO.
Intel cannot get the P4 in its current condition to 4 GHZ. Intel has stated tha in 2003 the highest possible they will release is 3.6 GHZ. And look what it took for Tom's Hardware to get it to 4 GHZ, not monster fans, not water cooling. LIQUID NITROGEN. THEY BASICALLY FROZE THE CHIP.
What was it - 52 degrees Celcius?

Any-how, inless you are operating a server or extreme graphics/EXTREME gaming you don't see many people using Dual Xeon's look at that Dell commerical (*ech*, sorry seen it too many times) they advertise it as a server, Which it was made for doing. Xeon's are nice, but only if you are willing to pay the price.

Edit: UBB code not working...

Not quite how it works, we're not talking about the current Pentium 4 are we now? No, we're talking about Prescott, which in terms of the micron process itself is more than an entire generation ahead of the Pentium 4. Look at the difference between the .18 Pentium 4 and .13 Pentium 4, one was only able to scale to around 2 Ghz, the other can scale to well over 3 Ghz (3.6 is the estimated limit) before reaching the same temperature/limitations. With .09 micron process as well as strained silicon technology which allows a processor to scale to even higher clockspeeds, the Prescott will easily scale to 5 Ghz before reaching anywhere near the temperature/limitations of a current 3 Ghz Pentium 4. The reason they don't just come out with 4-5 Ghz parts from the outset is due to the fact that far more profits can be made by keeping higher yield parts (like a 3-4.5 Ghz Prescott) at premium prices while still offering superior performance to competitors (as was clearly seeing during the speed wars between AMD and Intel with Intel only releasing higher clocked Pentium 4s after AMD released a higher clocked/better performing Athlon that could outperform the Pentium 4s on the market at that time.)

Also, exactly what price is their to pay for a Xeon workstation, I've seeing dual 2.4/2.66 Ghz models go for equal or less than most Powermacs.

jwdawso
Jun 8, 2003, 07:07 AM
Originally posted by Cubeboy
... The reason they don't just come out with 4-5 Ghz parts from the outset is due to the fact that far more profits can be made by keeping higher yield parts (like a 3-4.5 Ghz Prescott) at premium prices while still offering superior performance to competitors (as was clearly seeing during the speed wars between AMD and Intel with Intel only releasing higher clocked Pentium 4s after AMD released a higher clocked/better performing Athlon that could outperform the Pentium 4s on the market at that time.)

Also, exactly what price is their to pay for a Xeon workstation, I've seeing dual 2.4/2.66 Ghz models go for equal or less than most Powermacs.

Business doesn't work that way. If they have the parts, they sell them. There is no holding back. Of course they price them appropriately - high yields are cheaper than the rarer ones.

Give us a link to the Xeon pricing.

Cubeboy
Jun 8, 2003, 07:53 AM
Originally posted by jwdawso
Business doesn't work that way. If they have the parts, they sell them. There is no holding back. Of course they price them appropriately - high yields are cheaper than the rarer ones.

Give us a link to the Xeon pricing.

On the contrary, the longer you keep a part relevent on the market (and thus charge a premium price for it), the greater the profit margins. By constantly upgrading your chip line or starting your chip line with only the higher clocked models when the competition doesn't demand it, your losing profits for every chips you sell since your essentially asking for the same price for a chip with lower yield (since their is a limit to how high your can ask).

If you look at the speed wars between Intel and AMD during 2002, Intel only released a higher clocked Pentium 4 when a Athlon threatened to overtake the previous Pentium 4 model, even though the Pentium 4 at that time wasn't coming anywhere near it's architectural limit and could easily be clocked to higher speeds (i.e it's really not hard to come out with 2.4/2.6/2.8 Ghz parts when your processor can readily scale above 3 Ghz). The thing to remember here is, until a processor nears it's architectural limit, it's relatively easy to increase it's clock rate, only in cases where a processor reaches or exceeds it's limit does it take significant time or resources to clock it higher.

Also regarding Xeon workstations, you can customize a very well equipped Dual Xeon 2.4 / 2.66 Ghz workstations from Dell for around $2000.

jwdawso
Jun 8, 2003, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by Cubeboy
On the contrary, the longer you keep a part relevent on the market (and thus charge a premium price for it), the greater the profit margins. By constantly upgrading your chip line or starting your chip line with only the higher clocked models when the competition doesn't demand, your actually losing profits for every chips you sell since your essentially asking for the same price for a chip with lower yield (since their is a limit to how high your can ask).

If you look at the speed wars between Intel and AMD during 2002, Intel only released a higher clocked Pentium 4 when a Athlon threatened to overtake the previous Pentium 4 model, even though the Pentium 4 at that time wasn't coming anywhere near it's architectural limit and could easily be clocked to higher speeds. It's really not hard to come out with 2.4 or 2.6 Ghz parts when your processor only begins to have issues at over 3 Ghz. The thing to remember here is, until a processor nears it's architectural limit, it's relatively easy to increase it's clock rate, only in cases where a processor reaches or exceeds it's limit does it take significant time or resources to clock it higher.

Also regarding Xeon workstations, you can customize a very well equipped Dual Xeon 2.4 / 2.66 Ghz workstations from Dell for around $2000.

Business doesn't work that way - that's an outsiders view of big, bad corporations. It's simple - you've got the parts, you sell them. Every company has pricing formulas that they follow that relate to cost and consider uniqueness that allows a premium. Higher clock speeds roll out from constant engineering analysis. When a new chip comes out, it's projected high end comes from improving processes, improved components, and small board changes.

I don't disagree about the price - just provide a link to a configured system. I refuse to go to a PC site.

Cubeboy
Jun 8, 2003, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by jwdawso
Business doesn't work that way - that's an outsiders view of big, bad corporations. It's simple - you've got the parts, you sell them. Every company has pricing formulas that they follow that relate to cost and consider uniqueness that allows a premium. Higher clock speeds roll out from constant engineering analysis. When a new chip comes out, it's projected high end comes from improving processes, improved components, and small board changes.

I don't disagree about the price - just provide to a configured system. I refuse to go to a PC site.

It's not big or bad, it's just how chip makers do things, why do you think Intel clocked their first northwood Pentium 4s at only 2.0 Ghz when that exact same core can be easily pushed to over 3 Ghz? It's simply how things are done and have always been done.

Also, here's a link to a Xeon workstation I just configured. Just to name a few features:

Dual Xeon 2.4 Ghz
512 MB Dual Channel DDR226
36 GB Ultra 320 SCSI drive
QuadroFX 500
Total price: 2235 dollars

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W463&l=en&oc=ws450min

DakotaGuy
Jun 8, 2003, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by pgwalsh
I don't know anyone that has a computer with the 3 Ghz Intel inside.

I have a friend with a 3.06Ghz P4 Gateway. The thing has been locking up a lot. When it runs, it's fast. He has had it back to Gateway 3 times now because of overheating problems. The problem is more Gateways then Intel though. He bought one of the first ones they put out and Gateway did not beef up to cooling enough for the chip. It is a piece of junk for all the money he paid for that thing. I don't care what a lot of people say about speed. If they had that Gateway or a new Dual 1.42 sitting there and said, take your pick it's your birthday, the decision for me would be a no brainer.

jwdawso
Jun 8, 2003, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by Cubeboy
It's not big or bad, it's just how chip makers do things, why do you think Intel clocked their first northwood Pentium 4s at only 2.0 Ghz when that exact same core can be easily pushed to over 3 Ghz? It's simply how things are done and have always been done.

Also, here's a link to a Xeon workstation I just configured. Just to name a few features:

Dual Xeon 2.4 Ghz
512 MB Dual Channel DDR226
36 GB Ultra 320 SCSI drive
QuadroFX 500
Total price: 2235 dollars

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W463&l=en&oc=ws450min

If you mean by "easily pushed" that it takes not a lot more engineering and not much of a change & improvement to components, I guess we agree. But I would suggest that "easily pushed" does cost money, and that the price reflects it. In other words, Intel can produce a 2Ghz chip for $x, but by "easily push[ing]", can produce a 3Ghz chip for $x+"a small amount". I would also suggest that the time to market for the 3Ghz chip - even if Intel wanted to produce it ASAP - is some delta after the 2Ghz could be produced. But I do not believe that Intel - for the same price and at the same exact time - could produce the 3Ghz as the 2Ghz. The reason? Because Intel would make more money and garner greater market share by releasing the "giant leap forward" chip. For Intel to only release the 2Ghz when at the same time and for the same money it could release 3Ghz, then AMD and Intel must have an agreement to release chips incrementally in unison. :rolleyes: If they don't, then why would they ever increase the speed?

When you say the "exact same core", do you mean there are no component changes at all? Even if that is true, there are process changes that enable producing faster & faster chips at higher yields. Small component and process changes are the inputs to faster chips and higher yields. This takes time.

Thanks for the info/link on Dual Xeon.

trebblekicked
Jun 8, 2003, 12:03 PM
i saw a couple of references the "the best apple can offer" being a dual 1.25. unless i'm missing something i believe this is the top of the line under $3000.00 (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/70207/wo/SA4OzxAJK3tH27YUVKD2JjsrEBP/1.3.0.5.21.1.2.19.3.1.1.0?26,11)

anyway, i second this emotion:

I think some of us should reconsider our priorities. Which do we want most, an awesome new processor in our Macs or an 'Intel killer'? Personally if I had to choose between the two the former would win every time.

how the 970 compares to the P4 (prescott or not) in non-specific benchmarks is mainly irrelevant for the market the 970 is aimed at. apple pro users run programs like FCP, AE, Photoshop etc, all of which are multi-processor aware and i believe altivec enabled. this puts real world pro useage on a comperable stage as the pc platform. that's all we need. not to bury the P4 (although we'd love to see that). i bought my desktop relatively recently, and if apple can provide me significanlty decreased render times in after effects, photoshop and FCP, i will upgrade.

Cubeboy
Jun 8, 2003, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by jwdawso
If you mean by "easily pushed" that it takes not a lot more engineering and not much of a change & improvement to components, I guess we agree. But I would suggest that "easily pushed" does cost money, and that the price reflects it. In other words, Intel can produce a 2Ghz chip for $x, but by "easily push[ing]", can produce a 3Ghz chip for $x+"a small amount". I would also suggest that the time to market for the 3Ghz chip - even if Intel wanted to produce it ASAP - is some delta after the 2Ghz could be produced. But I do not believe that Intel - for the same price and at the same exact time - could produce the 3Ghz as the 2Ghz. The reason? Because Intel would make more money and garner greater market share by releasing the "giant leap forward" chip. For Intel to only release the 2Ghz when at the same time and for the same money it could release 3Ghz, then AMD and Intel must have an agreement to release chips incrementally in unison. :rolleyes: If they don't, then why would they ever increase the speed?

When you say the "exact same core", do you mean there are no component changes at all? Even if that is true, there are process changes that enable producing faster & faster chips at higher yields. Small component and process changes are the inputs to faster chips and higher yields. This takes time.

Thanks for the info/link on Dual Xeon.

Yep, same Northwood Pentium4b core, all you have to do is increase the multiplier or fsb or both, how do you think hardware enthusiasts overclocked their 2.4 Ghz Pentium 4s to 3+ Ghz models (this is a particularly popular setup in the overclocking community)?

As I've said before, the industry revolves around providing the fastest processor while making the most profits. Back in the day it was introduced, a Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz costed around $500 dollars, right now, that same Pentium 4 costs around $150 dollars. A 2.80 Ghz Pentium 4 was initially priced at $508 dollars, now it costs around $200. It's counterproductive and frankly incredibly stupid to introduce a part at it's highest frequency if lower clocked higher yield parts well fetch you the same sales and go for the same price. If a 2.2 Ghz Pentium 4 is the highest performing chip on the market (it was), and sells for $650 dollars (it did), why on earth would you lower it's value to well over half of what it was before with a 3.06 Ghz Pentium 4 that will probably cost much more to make (it does), fetch around the same number of sales (it did), and go for the same price (intro'd at 650 dollars as well). Not only are you significantly cutting profits by a rather large amount, your also preventing every single Pentium 4 before the 3.06 Ghz model from ever fetching a decent profit. Thats why Intel only released a 2.8 Ghz model right after (and I mean right after) AMD released it's 2600+ and 3.06 Ghz model right after AMD released it's 2800+.

scem0
Jun 8, 2003, 03:56 PM
They are both better for different things and to argue about which one is better is useless and won't get anyone anywhere.

http://www.my-smileys.de/argue.gif

http://www.my-smileys.de/signs/77430bbce83afc89881430e177cabb9b.png

Vlad
Jun 8, 2003, 04:29 PM
The 970 is a 64 bit cpu. This will make a difference for new software and the OS update, Panther. Consumer PCs will have to rely on a new windows version and an update to their cpus such as the new Athon Operton. IBM will continue to push the 970 for their server lineup and also because it will be the basis for the Playstation 3 (which will be using 4 x modified 970s). The key going forward is definately performance like it always has been; however, Apple has also greatly benefited from power usage which will only get better and now they will also get better pricing. Apple has a road forward without another completley new processor architecture switch while remaining competitive--this is good . . . all good.

fred_garvin
Jun 8, 2003, 05:56 PM
For 95% of the Mac users out there, performance worries disappeared a couple hundered mHz ago. A 1.8 gHz PPC 970 won't be discernably different from an 800 mHz G4 (or even G3 for that matter). Most of the apps that people run are relatively simple and the biggest change may be that the Aqua overhead is no longer noticed, unless Apple makes it even more burdensom to force us into hardware upgrades (does that sound jaded? )

Apple will always find a use for the speed, and consumers will want it. Sometime around MWSF 2001, Steve mentioned "look what we can do now that we have a gigaflop to play with!" I think he was showing off Aqua, the genie effect, etc. Some of this is fluffy eye candy, other parts are very useful. I'm sure Apple has a slew of advanced UI features they'd like to release, but are just too heavy for current hardware. People have speculated about piles, but I think piles will be more useful when it can be rendered in 3d.

Try to think into the future, and what OS features we'll take for granted in 10 years. At some point we will have good speech recognition built in, which takes cpu, extremely useful artificial intelligence, more cpu, and 3d rendered ui.