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MacRumors
May 20, 2003, 10:29 PM
One submission claims that we could see the 15" PowerBook revision as early as next week. Few other details available, and this info is of unknown reliability.



yzedf
May 20, 2003, 10:42 PM
god i hope so!

macdong
May 20, 2003, 10:42 PM
Few other details as in... ?? :confused:

QCassidy352
May 20, 2003, 10:53 PM
well, if it's that soon, it'll only be a minor revision, probably just enough to bring the 15" PBs in line with the 12 and the 17. Like the new casing, AE, bluetooth, maybe the light-up keys and FW 800 on the high end... certainly no 970 and only a modest speed bump at the very most. But any speed bump makes the 15 faster than the 17, which is supposed to be top of the line...

MOM
May 20, 2003, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by QCassidy352
well, if it's that soon, it'll only be a minor revision, ...

Yup, I agree. I haven't been too convinced of the 970 in the 15" powerbook right at the get go. Don't get me wrong it would be way cool. Maybe if the 15" gets an upgrade now, then the 17" can get the 970 in a couple of months to be the king of the hill again. Then the 15 and 12" can get the 970 at the end of the year (maybe still optimistic).

Nermal
May 21, 2003, 12:36 AM
If this does turn out to be true, it'll be interesting to see what they come up with. As mentioned earlier they probably won't want to give the new machine better specs than the 17". I guess it's possible that they'll give the 15" and 17" the same specs, just for the people who want the features of the 17", but without the huge size of it (like they do with the iBooks - the 14" is essentially the same as the 12" but with a bigger screen).

maradong
May 21, 2003, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by Nermal
If this does turn out to be true, it'll be interesting to see what they come up with. As mentioned earlier they probably won't want to give the new machine better specs than the 17". I guess it's possible that they'll give the 15" and 17" the same specs, just for the people who want the features of the 17", but without the huge size of it (like they do with the iBooks - the 14" is essentially the same as the 12" but with a bigger screen).

thats exactly what i hope this "little" revision to be.
let it happen , and let it happen fast. ( hence, i hope they will be aviable quite fast, not like with the 17 '' one... )

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 12:46 AM
Egads, is this going to become like the whole 'New iPods next Tuesday' rumor set that was circulating for, what, a few months?

Doesn't anyone else remember that just about a week ago there was a rumor that we'd see new 15" PowerBook at the beginning of this week?

I suppose as long as someone is predicting 'next week', someone will end up being right. Me, I'm not holding my breath. They'll come when they come.

(And, don't take that as being lack of interest in their coming. As soon as the 15" PowerBook gets updated I'll be buying one. The lack of update is the only thing that has been holding me back from getting one...)

vniow
May 21, 2003, 12:53 AM
I wonder if the iBooks and the Powerbooks (at least the 15" ones) are going to take a similar path..

With Gobi possibly coming soon, the last iBook update was just that, an update not an upgrade like last November so it wouldn't at all suprise me if upgraded iBooks are coming soon with a newer chip since they haven't been upgraded in awhile..

The Powerbooks may be a similar story (again, just the 15" here), its overdue for an update (not an upgrade neccecarally) so what may happen is the 15" gets updated to some of the same stuff as the 17" and then gets a 970 or the rumored Altivec'ed G3 or something, if all we see is a minor update to the 15" Powerbook, be expecting something bigger soon after...

ColoJohnBoy
May 21, 2003, 01:02 AM
I certainly hope this is true. I frankly couldn't care about having a PPC 970 processor. All I've been waiting for is DDR RAM, AirPort Extreme, aluminum casing, backlit keyboard (hopefully), and a SuperDrive with a higher CD-R speed. That would be perfect for me, even if the processor speed remains at 1 GHz. Oh yeah, I'd also like to see an 80 GB hard drive option. So many fantasies.

Anyhow, the point is, if the only updates made to it are Aluminum case and DDR RAM, I'll buy one and be happy.

By the way, visit my site at http://bluepudding.1hwy.com

Raiwong
May 21, 2003, 01:56 AM
Don't get your hopes too high, I doubt they will include a backlight, maybe the rest of the features. I don't care about a 970 I just want a 1ghz G4 15" NOW!

t^3
May 21, 2003, 02:10 AM
The way I see it, there are three different possibilities as far as what the top of the line 15" PowerBook processor will be:

1) 1GHz G4. This will bring it in line with the other PowerBooks, but this would make it stuck on a 1GHz G4 for around a year, something that's not acceptable, but has happened before (think 500MHz PM G4).

2) 1.25GHz G4. This will make it faster than the 17", but even if the 17" is updated, this chip will run hot (some people say overclocked as Moto's specs don't list speeds higher than 1GHz), as Moto said that the cooler-running 7457 won't be in production until Q4 of this year.

3) A PPC 970. Even if this is introduced at 1GHz, it will be still be a worthy upgrade and the chip will definitely be running much cooler than the G4.

As far as my opinion goes, I think that the G4 has run it's course on the PowerBook, and Apple will not let it be stuck on 1GHz for a year or be something you can cook eggs with. I sincerely think that we will see a 970-based PowerBook(s) at WWDC, even if speeds aren't that much greater than 1GHz if at all. Apple has kept the 15" TiBook for OS 9 booting purposes, but with the advent of Panther, it's really time to say goodbye to OS 9 and focus on OS X. Even if there isn't a 64-bit optimized version of Jaguar, a coupon for Panther can be included for free when it comes out. Wouldn't it also make sense that Apple hasn't updated the 15" so that it could get a 970 in its next revision? The 17" is where Apple is making its money, but it is not where it can gain market share. The only way it can gain market share is to make the 15" as attractive as possible, especially in this hard economy where people would not be very willing to spend $3000+ on a laptop.

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 03:00 AM
Originally posted by vniow
I wonder if the iBooks and the Powerbooks (at least the 15" ones) are going to take a similar path..

With Gobi possibly coming soon, the last iBook update was just that, an update not an upgrade like last November so it wouldn't at all suprise me if upgraded iBooks are coming soon with a newer chip since they haven't been upgraded in awhile..

The Powerbooks may be a similar story (again, just the 15" here), its overdue for an update (not an upgrade neccecarally) so what may happen is the 15" gets updated to some of the same stuff as the 17" and then gets a 970 or the rumored Altivec'ed G3 or something, if all we see is a minor update to the 15" Powerbook, be expecting something bigger soon after...

400/500 G4, Jan '01 Speed Boost:
550/667 G4, Oct '01 Speed Boost: 38%/33% Time Taken: 9 months
667/800 G4, Apr '02 Speed Boost: 21%/20% Time Taken: 6 months
867/1GHz G4, Nov '02 Speed Boost: 30%/25% Time Taken: 7 months

Now, if we assume that the only improvement will be to add the features that the 12" and 17" have, then this 'update' will look like this:

867/1GHz G4, Nov '02 Speed Boost: 1%/3% Time Taken: 6 months

Based on benchmark comparisons between the current 15" PB and the 12" and 17" models. That's not a very good showing, if you ask me, not given Apple's track record. And please don't suggest that we'll see 1.2GHz G4s, because until we see 7457s or the 750GX I highly doubt we'll see anything faster than 1GHz G4s in a PowerBook. They're just too hot.

So, if I were Apple, and faced with the choice between releasing an 'updated' 15"PB along these lines, and waiting an extra month or two to release a model with a 7457, 750GX or a 970, I'd definitely wait and let the current model stand. The improvements just aren't significant enough, and Apple couldn't get away with making this a quiet update the way they did with the iBook. A complete case change with no real gain in performance? Maybe they could have done that back in January with the 12" and 17" were released, but not now.

More and more, I'm reasonably convinced that when the new 15" PowerBook is released it will be something to ooo and aahh over.

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 03:06 AM
Originally posted by Raiwong
Don't get your hopes too high, I doubt they will include a backlight, maybe the rest of the features. I don't care about a 970 I just want a 1ghz G4 15" NOW!

If you want a 1GHz G4 15" PowerBook, then why don't you buy one? They are available right now at the Apple Store.

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 03:10 AM
Originally posted by t^3
... The 17" is where Apple is making its money, but it is not where it can gain market share. The only way it can gain market share is to make the 15" as attractive as possible, especially in this hard economy where people would not be very willing to spend $3000+ on a laptop.

This gets at something...

I've heard many people talk about how the 17" is the 'Flagship' PowerBook. Why? Just because it's got the biggest screen? Almost everyone I know thinks that the 17" is just too big (myself included). It's really a machine for a niche market. The 15" is and should be the general purpose, high end PowerBook. It should be the 'Flagship'. For this reason, I see no reason why having the 15" being the most powerful of the line, at least for a short while, would pose any kind of a problem.

gocanon
May 21, 2003, 03:26 AM
Anyone here thinks price cuts will be announced with the new 15' PB?

herocero
May 21, 2003, 03:47 AM
Originally posted by ColoJohnBoy
I certainly hope this is true. I frankly couldn't care about having a PPC 970 processor. All I've been waiting for is DDR RAM, AirPort Extreme, aluminum casing, backlit keyboard (hopefully), and a SuperDrive with a higher CD-R speed. That would be perfect for me, even if the processor speed remains at 1 GHz. Oh yeah, I'd also like to see an 80 GB hard drive option. So many fantasies.

Anyhow, the point is, if the only updates made to it are Aluminum case and DDR RAM, I'll buy one and be happy.

By the way, visit my site at http://bluepudding.1hwy.com

speed of DDR RAM: 266MHz.
speed of apple Frontside bus: 167 MHz.

if all you are waiting on is the memory change, buy one now from the lady on eBay who is giving them away for 2k. if you really really want AE and FW 800, then wait and see i guess. the enhanced memory won't mean much. and don't hold your breath on an ATI 9600. sorry to be the party pooper, but objective reality is something we unfortunately have to deal with :(
cheers

tuxnduke
May 21, 2003, 05:22 AM
Here is a translation of a german article I posted earlier
in the hardware discussion forum:

The french portal "MacBidouille" reports, that the successor
of the PowerBook G4 Titanium is close to be released. Apple
has announced lately - on a press conference about the last
business results - that the 15,2 Inch PowerBooks in the noble
Titanium-Outfit are still very popular.

According to the informations from france the stock is running low,
however and the successor model will be released at the end of
may with aircraft aluminium case.

The size of the display is increased from 15,2 to 15,4 Inch
and the resolution will be higher.
The new models will feature:

Bluetooth,
higher clockspeeds,
Ultra-ATA/100 Drive Controller,
FireWire 800.

etc.

the ppc 970 is not mentioned here!

maradong
May 21, 2003, 06:02 AM
Originally posted by tuxnduke
Here is a translation of a german article I posted earlier
in the hardware discussion forum:

The french portal "MacBidouille" reports, that the successor
of the PowerBook G4 Titanium is close to be released. Apple
has announced lately - on a press conference about the last
business results - that the 15,2 Inch PowerBooks in the noble
Titanium-Outfit are still very popular.

According to the informations from france the stock is running low,
however and the successor model will be released at the end of
may with aircraft aluminium case.

The size of the display is increased from 15,2 to 15,4 Inch
and the resolution will be higher.
The new models will feature:

Bluetooth,
higher clockspeeds,
Ultra-ATA/100 Drive Controller,
FireWire 800.

etc.

the ppc 970 is not mentioned here!
i don t trust that rumor. it is a rumor of www.macbidouille.com and there has been some content added. They only said that the stocks on pb 15'' are going down, and another rumors claimed some features the new pb 15'' will get.
these two mixed will get the one you posted.
hence, i might be wrong.

LostInAMac
May 21, 2003, 07:23 AM
I've heard that G3s are faster than G4s of equivalent clock speed if you take out altivec. With the arrival of Gobi maybe they'll take the G4s out of the iMacs and the iBooks and stick equivalent MHz Gobis in. If the Gobis are a newer technology than the G4s they're certainly not going to be worse if that is the processor they are being designed to compete with. This would give Apple a new cheaper chip (than the 970) Similar to Intel's Pentium and Celeron chips, although I doubt Apple would put their name with something as crap as the Celeron.

ncbill
May 21, 2003, 08:26 AM
Not an "extra month or 2" - try December!

Motorola itself doesn't expect to be shipping the new 512KB cache, 130nm G4s in quantity until then (they only sampled in March!)

Until then we're all stuck with the hot (up to 30W), 180nm, 256KB cache G4s

>waiting an extra month or two to release a model with a 7457, 750GX or a 970

tgrundke
May 21, 2003, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by Nermal
As mentioned earlier they probably won't want to give the new machine better specs than the 17".

I don't understand why everyone thinks that the 17" PowerBook *always* must have the 'better specs' than the other books. The major selling point of the 17" PowerBook (and really the ONLY selling point, IMO) is the 17" screen. That is what Apple has been touting above all else (bluetooth, backlit keyboard) and it is the main reason cited by everyone who buys the thing: the screen.

I'm also of the persuasion that Apple is going to have to lower the price of the 17" *OR* chock it full of some very compelling new features (or a combo) in its next rev, or sales will crawl to a stop. Apple shipped 14,000 units and it appears that 14k has virtually eliminated the backlog that existed since January. Now I am going to venture that sales are significantly lower, as is typical with Apple's 'vanity' products.

ac2102
May 21, 2003, 09:20 AM
but surely anything other than updating to the same standards set by the 17" and 12" Powerbooks would be overkill just before the WWDC. Anyway, surely Steve would love to present the latest Notebook if it was going to be anything special.

dabirdwell
May 21, 2003, 09:46 AM
I seem to remember November when we were all waiting for the new PowerBook, and the far-fetched rumor then was that the Books would have 1Ghz processors and SuperDrives. But sure enough, Steve gave us a slot-load 1Ghz.

I seem to remember that there "were no" slot-load SuperDrives being manufactured then. All I'm saying is that the last time, they exceeded many expectations by quite a bit.

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by ncbill
Not an "extra month or 2" - try December!

Motorola itself doesn't expect to be shipping the new 512KB cache, 130nm G4s in quantity until then (they only sampled in March!)

Until then we're all stuck with the hot (up to 30W), 180nm, 256KB cache G4s

>waiting an extra month or two to release a model with a 7457, 750GX or a 970

I am well aware of the projected shipping time for the 7457. That is why I seriously doubt that we will be seeing the 7457 appear in the PowerBook line. The 7457 is due on a similar time frame to the 90nm 970s. If the 130nm 970s can't be used in the PowerBooks (for whatever reason), I think it's far more likely that Apple will wait for the 90nm 970s, and never use the 7457s in the PowerBooks.

Now, we may see 7457s in the iBooks, iMacs and eMacs, but that's another issue.

The real question for me is, why has Apple waited so long to release the 15" AL PowerBook? They could have released it, more or less, along side the 12" and 17", and that would have shifted the product cycle later, giving them more breathing room. But, instead, they have waited for the regular product cycle on the 15". As I've already said, this suggests to me that we will see some kind of processor upgrade with this release. And the longer we wait, the more convinced I am.

Dr.DODO
May 21, 2003, 10:53 AM
Kodawarisan posted an update news for the new 15 AlPB

New 15 inch PowerBook G4 affected by SARS
Due to worldwide scare of SARS, announcement of new 15 inch PowerBook G4 is being delayed significantly. According to the sources, announcement of new 15 inch PowerBook G4 was planned, but due to increase in number of SARS infected patients in Taiwan, there are delays in manufacture and shipment of this new model.

Same disclaimer as my first translation applies.

moosecat
May 21, 2003, 10:55 AM
Yesterday, on TechTV's Screen Savers, Leo LaPorte predicted (without saying what his evidence is) an unspecifed Powerbook update next week.

(For what it's worth, which ain't much.)

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by ac2102
but surely anything other than updating to the same standards set by the 17" and 12" Powerbooks would be overkill just before the WWDC. Anyway, surely Steve would love to present the latest Notebook if it was going to be anything special.

Well, yes and no. I'd say that if we see an upgrade now, whether it is a minor (15" brought up to similar standards to the 12" and 17"), or major (a new 970 based 15", for example), I really doubt we'll see an addition upgrade at the WWDC. (Perhaps we'd see the 12" and 17" brought up to being 970s, if we were to see the major upgrade.)

So, if you're betting on an upgrade at WWDC, don't expect anything between now and then. Not even 'updating to the same standards set by the 17" and 12" Powerbooks'.

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by Dr.DODO
Kodawarisan posted an update news for the new 15 AlPB

New 15 inch PowerBook G4 affected by SARS
Due to worldwide scare of SARS, announcement of new 15 inch PowerBook G4 is being delayed significantly. According to the sources, announcement of new 15 inch PowerBook G4 was planned, but due to increase in number of SARS infected patients in Taiwan, there are delays in manufacture and shipment of this new model.

Same disclaimer as my first translation applies.

Okay, now I think that this one is a bit far fetched. How long has SARS been a significant issue? How long has the new 15" PB been delayed? It just seems to me that these two numbers don't line up very well...

Raiwong
May 21, 2003, 11:11 AM
I'm waiting because I don't want something cool come out after I buy it, especially with lower price and better features. My ibook pretty much does everything apart from display and superdrive the things I need. Plus the ol 15" PB is becoming an old design after 2 years, even though it superceeds many PC notebooks.

I do prefer the new alubook looks and hinge design thats all it would take for me to buy a new PB, I don't see AE as neccesary as its card is expensive and b is still the standard and remains sufficient for everything.

Also I really HOPe the new PB will adopt one of those kickass graphic chips from radeons its ok if its 9000, still better then geforce.

ZildjianKX
May 21, 2003, 11:38 AM
Any new revision would be nice... but it would still be dumb to buy one until it has a 970 processor in it... because they will eventually get them.

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by ZildjianKX
Any new revision would be nice... but it would still be dumb to buy one until it has a 970 processor in it... because they will eventually get them.

Alas, I must disagree with you here. Eventually, the PBs will get the 980 chip. Maybe even the 990 chip. Should we not buy one until we see one of these? Nah.

If you need the computing power, and we see an upgrade now, then buy. If we see an upgrade now that doesn't have the 970, then we likely won't see the 970 in the PBs until late this year, or early next year. As I said, if you need the computing power now, buy. You can always upgrade later.

MacBoyX
May 21, 2003, 11:49 AM
My 2 cents...

First of all we really have to let go of the hope of a 970 based PowerBook....why?

Well for one...no way a PB gets' the new chip before the PowerMac. No way.

Secondly, there is not even confirmation only speculation to the 970 and it seems much more likely to this MacFan that Steve would not "SLIP" something into an update but would more likely use a big press situation (maybe WWDC in place of MWNY) to announce a new major chip.

My guess is there will be an update soon just to bring the 15" PB in line with the 12 and 17. Expect Al casing and new keyboard (I would expect the backlight feature as people are really WOWed at it) maybe DDR. It will still be 1GHz. If it will be any higher then expect a full PB Line upgrade maybe 17/15 @ 1.25, a 15 at 1Ghz and the 12 still with the 867.

As far as why the 17 is the flagship... that's simple much like a BMW, they sell lots of 3 series but their "flagship" is the most expensive most feature packed car they make the 7series...same with the PB...the 17 HAS TO BE THE FLAGSHIP or no one will pay 3299 for it. The 15 will still be the bread and butter sweet spot but not a flagship.

freundt
May 21, 2003, 01:14 PM
More and more, I'm reasonably convinced that when the new 15" PowerBook is released it will be something to ooo and aahh over.

Ahh, snowy, here's to hoping you are right!

for the record...I do think you are.. most people assume the 17" is the flagship model, but I still think the 15" is. Why does larger screen make the 17" a flagship model? They sell way more 15"s than 17"s. So which model whould it make the most sense to make the fastest? The one people will buy, or the one they won't? (Cause the lapzilla is just way too big for most people).


Anyways, my incoherent ramblings are ending ...right about.... now

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by MacBoyX
My 2 cents...

First of all we really have to let go of the hope of a 970 based PowerBook....why?

Well for one...no way a PB gets' the new chip before the PowerMac. No way.

I am continually amazed when 970 PB nay-sayers bring this up. First, who said anything about the PB getting the 970 before the PM? I know that I certainly didn't. Personally, I believe that they are going to be announced roughly concurrently.

Second, why is it so unbelieveable that the 970 PB would be announced first? "Because it's never happened before"? But it has. The G3 was released in the PB before it was released in the PM. Again, this was a case of roughly concurrent release, but the PB was released a little over a week before the PM, if memory serves.

Secondly, there is not even confirmation only speculation to the 970 and it seems much more likely to this MacFan that Steve would not "SLIP" something into an update but would more likely use a big press situation (maybe WWDC in place of MWNY) to announce a new major chip.

Here again, who said anything about Steve or Apple wanting to 'slip' somthing in? Of course they are going to make a big press event out of it. However, the question remains whether that press event will be at an event like WWDC or MWNY, or if they will have a special event just for the launch of the 970.

My guess is there will be an update soon just to bring the 15" PB in line with the 12 and 17. Expect Al casing and new keyboard (I would expect the backlight feature as people are really WOWed at it) maybe DDR. It will still be 1GHz. If it will be any higher then expect a full PB Line upgrade maybe 17/15 @ 1.25, a 15 at 1Ghz and the 12 still with the 867.

I still say that we won't see >1GHz using the current generation of G4 in PBs. They're just too hot. So, if we see anything faster, it has to be something else (7457 - not yet available, as far as we know; 970 - open to speculation; 750GX - wide open to speculation). But, also, Apple has to know that the 15" is due for a speed bump, and simply updating it to have the same features as the 17" (AE, BT, etc.) really doesn't fit the bill.

As far as why the 17 is the flagship... that's simple much like a BMW, they sell lots of 3 series but their "flagship" is the most expensive most feature packed car they make the 7series...same with the PB...the 17 HAS TO BE THE FLAGSHIP or no one will pay 3299 for it. The 15 will still be the bread and butter sweet spot but not a flagship.

Now, I never said that the 17" shouldn't be updated, I just questioned the need to always make sure that the 17" has equal or better features than the 15". If the 15" is updated, and the 17" doesn't follow suit for a month, I really don't see that this would be a huge problem for Apple. The sales for the 17" are low, as it is a niche product. Letting them drop a little more for a month while that model is being updated.

Anyway, as always, these are simply my, somewhat informed, opinions...

rog
May 21, 2003, 02:12 PM
The G3 most certainly did not come out in a PB before towers. It came a while later slapped into the 603e based PBs, the 3400s or something like that.

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by rog
The G3 most certainly did not come out in a PB before towers. It came a while later slapped into the 603e based PBs, the 3400s or something like that.

Check your history. The original G3 PowerBook (aka 'Kanga', or 3500) was released about a week before the G3 Power Macs were released. Both were released in November of 1997.

t^3
May 21, 2003, 02:43 PM
For illustrative purposes,

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/1997/november.html

robmorris
May 21, 2003, 05:50 PM
I will be glad to see the new 15" books. But I do not look at the 17" as the top of the line, rather a different form factor from the 15" and that both the 15" and 17" are considered to be top of the line. They will always have the same processor speed, etc as options. The only difference is size...form factor. They really appeal to different sets of folks. The 12" on the other hand is limited in RAM, limited in cache, etc. It is not the same...and is a step down. With the introduction of the new 15", Apple will bring the 15" into the same style...and then will introduce new processors into both at the same time. I really feel that they will never let the 15" and 17" be different...they are both the top of the line...they just have different demographics. A friend at Apple has said the same thing. At least from that remark, I know how they look at it.

fred_garvin
May 21, 2003, 06:37 PM
So many people say, the PB just can't be updated to the 970 this summer, without elaborating on their reasons. I am not an electrical engineer, so if anyone here is, comments would be welcomed.

From what I've read here's what we have:

G4 1Gz, .18, 21 watts typical/30 watts max. 1.3 v

970 1.2Gz, .13, 19 watts typical (? watts max) 1.1v

970 ?Gz, .09, something like 10-12 watts typical (? watts max) <= 1.1v

I'm not sure how to determine heat output. Is there a simple calculation for this based on the above stats?

Really when it comes down to it, the only factors to consider are electrical usage and heat output. It appears that a 970 at 1.2, or 1.0 Ghz if necessary would use less power and be cooler than the current G4. If this is true, then why can't a PB get a 970 very soon? Are we doubting that apple could have the motherboard designed and built so soon? If we are comfortable assuming desktop 970's within a few months, then the motherboard design relative to bus and chipsets is in place. How much effort does it take to reduce that mobo design to a portable form factor?

If my stats are incorrect, please correct them. Lets see some insight based on the facts we do know, and draw an educated guess on when apple could release a 970 PB.

Snowy_River
May 21, 2003, 07:12 PM
Originally posted by fred_garvin
So many people say, the PB just can't be updated to the 970 this summer, without elaborating on their reasons. I am not an electrical engineer, so if anyone here is, comments would be welcomed.

From what I've read here's what we have:

G4 1Gz, .18, 21 watts typical/30 watts max. 1.3 v

970 1.2Gz, .13, 19 watts typical (? watts max) 1.1v

970 ?Gz, .09, something like 10-12 watts typical (? watts max) <= 1.1v

I'm not sure how to determine heat output. Is there a simple calculation for this based on the above stats?

Really when it comes down to it, the only factors to consider are electrical usage and heat output. It appears that a 970 at 1.2, or 1.0 Ghz if necessary would use less power and be cooler than the current G4. If this is true, then why can't a PB get a 970 very soon? Are we doubting that apple could have the motherboard designed and built so soon? If we are comfortable assuming desktop 970's within a few months, then the motherboard design relative to bus and chipsets is in place. How much effort does it take to reduce that mobo design to a portable form factor?

If my stats are incorrect, please correct them. Lets see some insight based on the facts we do know, and draw an educated guess on when apple could release a 970 PB.

I believe that you have hit the nail on the head. The nay-sayers typically spout the arguments that (a) Apple would never release a 970 PB before releasing a 970 PM (something that I have really never argued with - I argue instead for concurrent release), (b) that, based on history, here pointing to the G4, Apple will probably take a year to release the 970 as a PowerBook (this overlooks the G3 which was released concurrently in both PowerBooks and Power Macs, and that the 970 is a very different chip than the G4), and (c) that the 15" PowerBook couldn't be upgraded to be more powerful than the 17". Hmm... Did I miss any? No others are jumping to mind (other than hand-waving comments about the 970 being too hot, when it is, as evidenced above, cooler than the current G4).

As far as heat output, the figure you look at is the chip power consumption. If the chip consumes 21watts of power, that power gets turned into heat, so the chip must then dissipate 21watts of heat. So, yes, from what we know the 970 is definitely cooler than the G4 at similar clock speeds, and even a little faster.

chazmox
May 21, 2003, 11:00 PM
I think those wishing for a 970 PB are letting their hope cloud their judgement.

Look at this from Apple's point of view:

1.) PowerMac sales are lanquishing and suffer from both the perception of and actual performance gap to Intel boxes.

2.) Powerbook sales are fairly brisk with some markets gaining market share.

3.) You have limited engineering resources.

4.) A new architecture is easier and quicker to design to fit a PowerMac than a PowerBook.

Therefore, unless Apple's motivation is to purposely let the PowerMac line lanquish, we will see the 970 in the PowerMac first.

I would like to see a 970 PB tommorrow too... but I'd also like to see alot of other things tomorrow that won't happpen either ( the list is long! )...

Snowy_River
May 22, 2003, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by chazmox
I think those wishing for a 970 PB are letting their hope cloud their judgement.

Look at this from Apple's point of view:

1.) PowerMac sales are lanquishing and suffer from both the perception of and actual performance gap to Intel boxes.

2.) Powerbook sales are fairly brisk with some markets gaining market share.

3.) You have limited engineering resources.

4.) A new architecture is easier and quicker to design to fit a PowerMac than a PowerBook.

Therefore, unless Apple's motivation is to purposely let the PowerMac line lanquish, we will see the 970 in the PowerMac first.

I would like to see a 970 PB tommorrow too... but I'd also like to see alot of other things tomorrow that won't happpen either ( the list is long! )...

Yes, but we don't know how long Apple has had to prepare and engineer the new machines. Do you think that they just started last month? I don't see it as too far fetched that they could have both ready in a timely manner. And, while I agree with you the Power Mac is the higher priority, I don't think that it need completely eclipse (or be eclipsed by) a new PowerBook.

I guess it's all a matter of what Apple has had time to do. And, frankly, we don't know. But even if Apple only released the new 970 Power Mac next month, I seriously doubt that they'd release a new 15" G4 PowerBook if they had a new 970 PowerBook line in the queue just waiting for engineering to finish up and turn it over to production. In short, if the 970 is going to be seen in the PowerBooks in a reasonably short time frame, I expect that we'll see it when the new 15" PB is released. If we see a new 15" G4, then we're not going to see a 970 PowerBook for a little while yet.


93...

mim
May 22, 2003, 03:35 AM
Snowy, I want to think you're right and I know we've had similar converstations before...but I'm really uncertain now.

The thing is a revision to all the PB range right now (forgetting about the 17" late arrival...) would be right about on the 6 month timing. They may just up the screen resolutions (needed), give a better graphic's card and then do the 970's on a 0.09 process Dec/Jan.

However in your favour, no-one is going to convince me that Apple had 6+ months stock of 15"TiBook's that they're waiting to dwindle down. That's got to be rubbish. They must be manufactured in much smaller batches than that (how many 1000 is 6 month's worth?).

They could have run stocks out ages ago if they just wanted to change to the Au case. The 15" and 17" must share the same motherboard....so why the delay? A new chip is a strong possibility. But then also maybe Apple just ran out of widget X.

BTW, I don't see why people are in a fluster about the 17" not being upgraded if the 15" is. Like I said, if they don't share the exact same everything except screen, I'll eat my sig.

<edit: fixed typo's>

mim
May 22, 2003, 03:55 AM
Originally posted by Snowy_River
93...

Heh...just figured it out.

Got a tar in mind?

Snowy_River
May 22, 2003, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by mim
Snowy, I want to think you're right and I know we've had similar converstations before...but I'm really uncertain now.

The thing is a revision to all the PB range right now (forgetting about the 17" late arrival...) would be right about on the 6 month timing. They may just up the screen resolutions (needed), give a better graphic's card and then do the 970's on a 0.09 process Dec/Jan.
...

Yes. I will freely grant that this is a distinct possibility. I do hope that this isn't the case, though. Although I am one who says the G4 is too hot to place a faster chip in a 'Book, I hope that if we don't get a 970 we at least do get a faster G4 in the interim.

Heh...just figured it out.

Got a tar in mind?


There are a couple of possibilities... :D


85...

chazmox
May 22, 2003, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by Snowy_River
Yes, but we don't know how long Apple has had to prepare and engineer the new machines. Do you think that they just started last month? I don't see it as too far fetched that they could have both ready in a timely manner. And, while I agree with you the Power Mac is the higher priority, I don't think that it need completely eclipse (or be eclipsed by) a new PowerBook.



None of my comments indicated that I believed or implied that they started last month. However, if both projects were to start the same day, given the same resources, then the PowerMac would be finished first. Do you think Apple would hold up on releasing the PowerMac? No, they would want to get that finished product to the market ASAP and would move the developer's conference up so that they could make their big announcement. They wouldn't wait for the PowerBook to be finished... in fact it would make more sense to announce separately since they would both be big releases.

Originally posted by Snowy_River

I guess it's all a matter of what Apple has had time to do. And, frankly, we don't know. But even if Apple only released the new 970 Power Mac next month, I seriously doubt that they'd release a new 15" G4 PowerBook if they had a new 970 PowerBook line in the queue just waiting for engineering to finish up and turn it over to production. In short, if the 970 is going to be seen in the PowerBooks in a reasonably short time frame, I expect that we'll see it when the new 15" PB is released. If we see a new 15" G4, then we're not going to see a 970 PowerBook for a little while yet.



But here your letting the tail wag the dog... there is no indication that they would release a G4 AL PB and then a 970 PB a short time after...

Raiwong
May 22, 2003, 12:13 PM
in theory the 970 will work for a PB, but then so is many proccesors if you use the energy input theory, there is more to the eye. The proccesors has a core and multiple modules and caches around it, if it was so easy then we could snap in a radeon 9800 pro in theory, if we apply the watt consumption, but wait we need all those chips on the graphics board. The whole CPU board needs to be minimized into a laptop, heat is a issue but the whole circuit needs to take some major redesign, on the other hand it could be integrated into a power mac much easier, because there is space.

In addition the 1 inch design of the PB, only leaves less space. I'm sure a 970 could be put in a PB, but still surely there must be much more design feats then we can imagine, since most of us dont' do computer science.

And it would be damn weird if there was a 15" PB with 970, then the 17" with a tiny G4 1ghz, and the ibooks, afterwards the powermacs features G4 1.42 ghz. Yeah what about all those people waiting for a fast desktop solution?

My guess is that the 15" will be updated with a G4, and PM will come with 970 in june afterwards in late this year we will see 970 powerbooks , actually there is still the imacs so :P

Snowy_River
May 22, 2003, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by chazmox
None of my comments indicated that I believed or implied that they started last month. However, if both projects were to start the same day, given the same resources, then the PowerMac would be finished first. Do you think Apple would hold up on releasing the PowerMac? No, they would want to get that finished product to the market ASAP and would move the developer's conference up so that they could make their big announcement. They wouldn't wait for the PowerBook to be finished... in fact it would make more sense to announce separately since they would both be big releases.

Yes, but that assumes that they could deliver the product as soon as the board engineering is done. In reality, what almost universally holds back product releases in this area is the lack of having the actual processor in sufficient quantities. Now, if they have been working on both projects for over a year now, is it so hard to believe that they would have finished both and just been waiting for the processors to be produced in quantity by IBM? That is the premise of my argument that they would ship both concurrently.

But here your letting the tail wag the dog... there is no indication that they would release a G4 AL PB and then a 970 PB a short time after...

Okay, here you're making my point. If they have a new 970 PB almost ready to go, they most likely won't release an updated G4 PB. Therefore, if a new G4 PB appears, we can be reasonably assured it will be a little while before the 970 PB will be ready. Simple logic.


83...

Snowy_River
May 22, 2003, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by Raiwong
...
And it would be damn weird if there was a 15" PB with 970, then the 17" with a tiny G4 1ghz, and the ibooks, afterwards the powermacs features G4 1.42 ghz. Yeah what about all those people waiting for a fast desktop solution?
...

I do get tired of this...

How many times have I said that I'm not arguing that the PB will be given the 970 and the PM will not. I think that we'll see a concurrent release, if we see a PB 970. And, if we do see a PB970, we will certainly see it across the entire PB line.


82...

fred_garvin
May 22, 2003, 06:17 PM
No one is arguing that a 970 PB would come out before the 970 desktops. If the PB did debut first, it would be all of a week earlier as was the case with the g3's debut. People arguing for the likelyhood of a 970 PB appearing soon, are thinking that we'll see both announced in late June, or perhaps desktops in June, and PB's announced in July, now that Apple is makeing a presentation at NY.

There are really several debates here:

What products COULD Apple physically produce this summer?

What WILL Apple LIKELY produce this summer?

Given what is possible and marketing strategies, what SHOULD Apple produce and when?

So, the first question I want answered is: Is it possible to produce a PB (15 or 17") using the .13 process 970? From the docs I've read, I would think that it is possible.

If this assumption holds true, then I think it very likely to see a 970 PB announced June/July, available August/September. I'd guess that the 15 and 17 are both upgraded. The 12" may have to wait for the .09 970's.

Correct me if I am wrong, but when cpus are manufactured aren't they targeted for a certain Ghz, and some pass, some pass certification at a lower speed, some pass at a far lower speed, and some (hopefully not many) fail certification outright? If so, when they build a sheet of 1.8 Ghz 970's, they get many 1.8's, some 1.6, some 1.4, some 1.2, and maybe some garbage. I don't know the ratios for the generated cpu's, but if Powermacs use 1.4 to 1.8 only, all the 1.2's are available for PB's. In addition, any of the "faster" chips can be underclocked to 1.2 as well.

Some are suggesting we see a 1.25 G4 PB coming in 1-6 weeks. I just don't see how between the mobo and cpu that this will generate less heat than a 1.0 or 1.2 ghz 970.

As much as I want a new 15" PB, look at the performance gains from the original 500Mhz TI to the current 1Ghz Ti. Based on the early writeups, it looks like the performance boost from a 1 or 1.25 ghz PB to a future 1.2Ghz 970 PB would be greater than the performance gains made from the original TiBook to today. If so, that's worth waiting 6 months for.

rog
May 22, 2003, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by Snowy_River
Check your history. The original G3 PowerBook (aka 'Kanga', or 3500) was released about a week before the G3 Power Macs were released. Both were released in November of 1997.

You're totally right. My bad! Still everyone knew the G3 was coming for months, as both Power Computing and Motorola had announced system, which MacWorld mg even tested and reported on. So it's not in the same league as Apple right now without ever having acknoledged they plan to use the 970, just releasing it in a PB before the towers. Also, while the G3 PB came out a week before, I don't know that it was necessarily announced much before. It probably shipped early because it didn't need a new motherboard, while the G3 towers did, which probably accounted for the delay. Anything using a 970 will need a new motherboard for sure.

nikfel
May 22, 2003, 07:32 PM
Am I the only one who thinks that titanium is nicer than the aluminium design recently adopted by apple.......comments please!!

TITANIUM gave the G4 POWERBOOK a real upmarket feel that no other company could match!!

mim
May 22, 2003, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by nikfel
Am I the only one who thinks that titanium is nicer than the aluminium design recently adopted by apple.......comments please!!

TITANIUM gave the G4 POWERBOOK a real upmarket feel that no other company could match!!

Titanium..well, personally I prefer anodised aluminium - it's not a 'cheap' material by any means. Looks great, wears fantastically, light, robust. Don't think you'll find too many other laptops using it.

Oh...BTW, whoever thinks the back of the iPod is 'chrome'...well it's not. It's polished high grade stainless steel, and pretty indestructable. If the back of my 'pod was made of anything else, by now it would look like a cheese-grater had been taken to it. The aluminium pb's take this approach too. Anodising is a 'natural' finish, meaning that it won't chip or flake off. It can't be polished back up to new like stainless steel, but it will certainly take a beating.

I think the "raw" approach to materials is a good direction for Apple's design. Lends authenticity and honesty to the products.

Snowy_River
May 22, 2003, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by rog
... It probably shipped early because it didn't need a new motherboard, while the G3 towers did....

Well, actually, I can tell you from personal experience that the original PowerBook G3 had a different motherboard than the PowerBook3400. Yes, the form factor was the same (as they used the exact same case), and the connectors were the same (well, almost), but the chip configuration on the Kanga was completely new and different than that of the 3400.


81...

razorme
May 23, 2003, 12:03 AM
How often does the Apple Store go down for 'updating'? It's closed right now...

Snowy_River
May 23, 2003, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by razorme
How often does the Apple Store go down for 'updating'? It's closed right now...

It seems to be up now. Anyone notice anything different? There wasn't anything that I could see.


71...

mim
May 23, 2003, 01:49 AM
Originally posted by Snowy_River
It seems to be up now. Anyone notice anything different? There wasn't anything that I could see.


71...

Hey w00t! Extra pixels to the column width!

Thank god some one was watching out...would 'ave missed it otherwise.

ok, back to snoozing.

chazmox
May 23, 2003, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by Snowy_River
Yes, but that assumes that they could deliver the product as soon as the board engineering is done. In reality, what almost universally holds back product releases in this area is the lack of having the actual processor in sufficient quantities. Now, if they have been working on both projects for over a year now, is it so hard to believe that they would have finished both and just been waiting for the processors to be produced in quantity by IBM? That is the premise of my argument that they would ship both concurrently.


I don't think that any responsible program manager would ever design a schedule with a purposeful "wait" in it. Any waiting period in a schedule would come about because of missed dates from a supplier or because of a surprise unavailability of part that would come about becuase the part is not being tracked ( this would not happen due to the processor - it would be tracked - but it could occur from some little tantulum cap on the board which has some 80 week lead time ). If a program manager knows that there will be more time between uP samples and full production than is required to design a product then he will wait to start... not start development and wait... to stop in the middle of development means one of two things:

1.) Your engineers work on something else. Some institutional knowledge is always lost in this case and has to be relearned when starting the program. This occurs even if your stoppage is only a few weeks.

2.) The engineering team keeps "tweaking" and working on the board which results in efficiency in that the team is taking and logging more time to unneccessary design.

Then again the "wait" could come in unintentionally - say if IBM misses dates with it's parts. This is typically where a such a "wait" would occur; but, in this case, I do not believe this to be so - IBM has been ahead of schedule with the 970 release.

Therefore, I do not beleive there have been designs just waiting for the 970. If the 970 was late then I would consider this; but from what I know, it is not.

Here is the reason that I beleive that the 970 PowerMac will be seen first.

PowerMac 970 Design Cycle:

970 Production: -------------------------------|
970 Samples: --------|------------|
PM Dev: Proto1 ---- Proto2 ---- Pilot ---- Production
Mechanicals ------------------------|-----------|


PowerBook 970 Design Cycle:

970 Production: -------------------------------|
970 Samples: --------|-------------|
PB Dev: Proto1 ---- Proto2 ---- Proto3 ---- Pilot ---- Production
Mechanicals -----------------------|------------|-------------|

The point is that PB development takes longer. Not only is PCB design more difficult, but the integration of the electricals and mechanicals is also more difficult. Also agency approvals are more stringent for laptops. Therefore the design cycle is longer.

Also there are advantages to delaying PB development until most of the PowerMac development is complete. The architectual problems and "gotcha's" can be learned during the easier development cycle and passed down to the other team.

Then again, we have no idea of Job's motivation. He may put top priority on releasing the PowerBook first. But that says that he is purposely going out of his way to let the PowerMac lanquish - doesn't bode well for that line...

P.S. The reason I said that you appeared to be letting the cart pull the horse is that your theories and assumptions seemed to be trying to fit the two rumors: a PB 15 inch next week and a 970 PB in a few months.

Key:

Proto - a build using samples for development engineering and testing - usually small quantities. Usually built near engineering - not for customer sale.

Pilot - a larger build in the manufacturer of choice to exercise the production line. Some engineering issues may still be being tweaked. May be saleable units - may not...

yzedf
May 23, 2003, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by tgrundke
I don't understand why everyone thinks that the 17" PowerBook *always* must have the 'better specs' than the other books. The major selling point of the 17" PowerBook (and really the ONLY selling point, IMO) is the 17" screen. That is what Apple has been touting above all else (bluetooth, backlit keyboard) and it is the main reason cited by everyone who buys the thing: the screen.

I'm also of the persuasion that Apple is going to have to lower the price of the 17" *OR* chock it full of some very compelling new features (or a combo) in its next rev, or sales will crawl to a stop. Apple shipped 14,000 units and it appears that 14k has virtually eliminated the backlog that existed since January. Now I am going to venture that sales are significantly lower, as is typical with Apple's 'vanity' products.
You have a good point regarding the 'vanity' products. The 17" could easily go down the path of the G4 Cube... good start, long time w/o upgrades, weird inconsistency problems, lagging sales, and then cancellation.

Raiwong
May 23, 2003, 02:28 PM
Either way or not, if a powerbook does come out next week, it can't be 970, because if it did we can expect it in the keynote.

Still I stress that there is still space for sales in the powerbooks before it becomes obsolete, right now Apple's primary priority would be desktops, the laptop lines are doing fine. ITs not come to a point where the G4 is completely useless in laptops, but it has come to a point where the G4 is no longer fast enough for pro users. Plus admit that nobody really edits films on laptops on a large scale, the proccesing power is simply not enough.

In the same situation , Apple has left the old tibook, because it still knows there is still juice and is trying to push everything out of the tibook, before they introduce something new. It gives them more things to announce.

In response to someone saying that Apple is likely to release 970 in All PB and PM at the same time I disagree, because it would be possible for the PM, but impossible for the PB since there is 12", 15" 17" all sporting a completely different design especially the 12". Apple would be ridiculously slow and ineffecient if it spent the developement into 4 seperate systems.

I'll be really impressed if Apple did come out with a 970 for 15" PB, and here goes my wallet then lol

yzedf
May 23, 2003, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by Raiwong
In response to someone saying that Apple is likely to release 970 in All PB and PM at the same time I disagree, because it would be possible for the PM, but impossible for the PB since there is 12", 15" 17" all sporting a completely different design especially the 12". Apple would be ridiculously slow and ineffecient if it spent the developement into 4 seperate systems.

I'll be really impressed if Apple did come out with a 970 for 15" PB, and here goes my wallet then lol
Not really. Apple could use the same basic mobo for all 3, and leave lots of room for cooling and add-ons (secondary cards) for the 15" and 17" models. It would be stupid to have 3 totally unique designs for the same proc and chipset.... :rolleyes:

Snowy_River
May 23, 2003, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by chazmox
I don't think that any responsible program manager would ever design a schedule with a purposeful "wait" in it...

Yes, but from my experience in industry (although not the computer industry), there are far too many unknowns to deal with to try to make sure there are never any waits. If Apple didn't start development of the 970 based Macs when IBM delivered the first 970 prototype specs, then they were foolish. As you pointed out, there are always things that can go wrong, and while it may cost you a little to have to put your engineers on another project during a 'wait', it costs you a lot more if something goes wrong and you have to play catch-up just to make your original schedule. Every project manager I've ever worked with preferred to be ahead of schedule and needing to find new things for the engineers to do to being behind schedule and facing the anger of supervisors, the cost of engineering overtime, etc.

If we assume that you're right, then Apple would have been planning to release the 970 Macs (let's disregard the question about the PBs right now) some time around Q4 of this year. Then IBM comes back and says 'Hey, this is working better than we expected! We can get you enough chips to start shipping units by the beginning of Q3!'. Now Apple is in a bind. Their development cycle is way behind for having shippable product by Q3. So, did they suddenly start paying everybody massive overtime to catch up? Or are we going to see the 970 according to the original schedule because Apple's schedule is based entirely on Right-On-Time?

No, though I understand your arguments, they don't hold water for me, based on what I consider to be common sense, and based on my own experience as an engineer and project manager in industry.

The point is that PB development takes longer...

I never disputed this. I've only argued that it is possible that Apple has had enough time to get both projects ready. Nothing definite, just possible.

As far as whether or not SJ made the PBs a top priority meaning that the PMs are going to languish, I find that a weak argument, too. Just because one project (the harder of two) is a priority doesn't mean the other will simply be moth-balled. Apple has plenty of engineers to distribute between the development of the two products.

I hope that we can see Apple take the 970 and run. Apple has done some really great things in the past. I'm hoping the era of the 970 will usher in a new age of greatness in Apples products.


70...

visor
May 23, 2003, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by vniow
[COLOR=darkblue]I wonder if the iBooks and the Powerbooks (at least the 15" ones) are going to take a similar path..

With Gobi possibly coming soon, the last iBook update was just that,

What makes you think that 'gobi' will even be developed? I didn't see any reasonable source for that, as well as I don't really see the necessity for one, since the FX isn't even at it's top limit yet.
If there is a Gobi development, we'll see it in a year earliest.

visor
May 23, 2003, 03:56 PM
Originally posted by Snowy_River
This gets at something...

I've heard many people talk about how the 17" is the 'Flagship' PowerBook. Why? Just because it's got the biggest screen? Almost everyone I know thinks that the 17" is just too big (myself included).

my thoughts exaclty. I wouldn't go for a 17"er because it's to big. More like a desktop than something to take along. The 15"er is just a bit boring right now. The 'falgship' as I consider the 15"er to be, is just least attractive right now. However, if Apple wasn't going to modify it drastically, why not upgrade it with the two others to make a decent product line?

chazmox
May 23, 2003, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by Snowy_River
Yes, but from my experience in industry (although not the computer industry), there are far too many unknowns to deal with to try to make sure there are never any waits.

Where did I say that there were never any waits? What I said is that a schedule is not designed with "waits" in it. A schedule may be designed with contingencies and such, but I can't ever imagine going to senior management and saying "Yes, and at this point, we will have the engineers idle for two months, intentionally, while we wait on parts from a supplier." First off, I'd get laughed out of the room.. second, my "team" would get split up and taken to other projects during the down time - and it would be very doubtful I would get the same guys back!

Originally posted by Snowy_River
If Apple didn't start development of the 970 based Macs when IBM delivered the first 970 prototype specs, then they were foolish.

Actually, very little development can be done with a spec... yes, a schematic can be created and a board can be laid out ( all this can be done fairly quickly ), but very little testing can be done without the actual sample parts - and the testing that can be done is either of known circuitry or very preliminary.

Originally posted by Snowy_River
Every project manager I've ever worked with preferred to be ahead of schedule and needing to find new things for the engineers to do to being behind schedule and facing the anger of supervisors, the cost of engineering overtime, etc.

Of course, but if a project manager always puts "dead time" in his schedule, then, when compared to a project manager that runs his schedule lean, he will always appear to be less efficient and his development will cost more - engineers still draw a check and collect benefits during dead time. A little overtime is very cheap in comparison.

Originally posted by Snowy_River
If we assume that you're right, then Apple would have been planning to release the 970 Macs (let's disregard the question about the PBs right now) some time around Q4 of this year.

Where is our assumption on Q4 from? I put no dates in that schedule...

Then IBM comes back and says 'Hey, this is working better than we expected! We can get you enough chips to start shipping units by the beginning of Q3!'. Now Apple is in a bind. Their development cycle is way behind for having shippable product by Q3. So, did they suddenly start paying everybody massive overtime to catch up? Or are we going to see the 970 according to the original schedule because Apple's schedule is based entirely on Right-On-Time?

Based on your above assumption, Apple has the next three generations of architectures waiting "in the bag." Or is it more than three...

No, though I understand your arguments, they don't hold water for me, based on what I consider to be common sense, and based on my own experience as an engineer and project manager in industry.

Ahh... common sense... it's so rare... isn't it?

Snowy_River
May 23, 2003, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by visor
What makes you think that 'gobi' will even be developed? I didn't see any reasonable source for that, as well as I don't really see the necessity for one, since the FX isn't even at it's top limit yet.
If there is a Gobi development, we'll see it in a year earliest.

There are documents that reference the existence of the 750GX (aka 'Gobi'), so we know that it is around. The reason for developing it would have nothing to do with the fact that the 750FX isn't at its top limit. The GX presumably (if we are to believe the rumors that are around) implements an Altivec compatible unit, similar to the one on the 970. This would allow Apple to have all of its machines using the Velocity Engine.

I have theorized that this GX chip might be dubbed the G4i, as it would then be implemented in the 'i' product line, and it comes from IBM. This would allow Apple to move completely away from any chips from Moto, while still maintaining capabilities of the 'i' line (not back-stepping to 'G3's), and allowing a processor differentiation between the 'i' line and the 'Power' line. However, it is all just speculation...


69...

Snowy_River
May 23, 2003, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by chazmox
Where did I say that there were never any waits? What I said is that a schedule is not designed with "waits" in it. A schedule may be designed with contingencies and such, but I can't ever imagine going to senior management and saying "Yes, and at this point, we will have the engineers idle for two months, intentionally, while we wait on parts from a supplier." First off, I'd get laughed out of the room.. second, my "team" would get split up and taken to other projects during the down time - and it would be very doubtful I would get the same guys back!

Well, it seems that we've worked in very different environments. Every engineer that I've known or worked with (myself included) has always had more than one project on his/her desk at once. There is never 'dead time'. It is always a matter of simply working with priorities. If project A is a higher priority than project B, then I work on project A until I get to a point where I can do no more (whether because I'm waiting for parts, or what have you), then I turn my attention to project B, until I can work on project A some more. And, most of the time there are also projects C and D sitting by.

Actually, very little development can be done with a spec... yes, a schematic can be created and a board can be laid out ( all this can be done fairly quickly ), but very little testing can be done without the actual sample parts - and the testing that can be done is either of known circuitry or very preliminary.

Regardless, my experience dictates that development is done as resources are available. If provided with specs, what can be done with those is done. Then, when parts become available, further development is done. And so on.

Of course, but if a project manager always puts "dead time" in his schedule, then, when compared to a project manager that runs his schedule lean, he will always appear to be less efficient and his development will cost more - engineers still draw a check and collect benefits during dead time. A little overtime is very cheap in comparison.

Just to be clear, as I said above, the project management model that I'm familiar with doesn't include dead time (or rarely does), and, on the other hand, I don't see that we're talking about just a little overtime.

Where is our assumption on Q4 from? I put no dates in that schedule...

Q4 came from IBM's original estimates as to when the 970s would be available en-mass.

Based on your above assumption, Apple has the next three generations of architectures waiting "in the bag." Or is it more than three...

No, that's a false extrapolation from my assumptions. However, I would be surprised if Apple didn't already have some development into the 980.

Now, honestly, unless one of us works or has worked at Apple in the hardward development department, I doubt we'll get any farther with this discussion. We have different experiences and concepts concerning approach to these matters. Perhaps Apple uses yours, perhaps they use mine. Who knows?


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visor
May 24, 2003, 03:24 AM
Originally posted by Snowy_River
There are documents that reference the existence of the 750GX (aka 'Gobi'), so we know that it is around.


well, they don't exist at ibm.com. at least not where there supposed to be. I wonder where you found those docs.


The GX presumably (if we are to believe the rumors that are around) implements an Altivec compatible unit, similar to the one on the 970. This would allow Apple to have all of its machines using the Velocity Engine.


It's true that a Processor without velocity engine doensn't make much sense anymore if you look at the apps.
However the G3 has a typical power consuption of 4 Watt, which made it extremely interesting for take along notebooks, alias iBook.
Given the fact that Apple migrates to 64bit technology, it doesn't make much sense to develop another 32bit processor with major effort (that i'd suppose Velocity engeine on G3 would be)
Also there will be a development of the 970mobile wich is much more interesing and quite necessary for the powerbook line sooner or later.
It would make sense to switch processors completey rom the Gline to 64 line.

Also looking at the palette of products, the G3 is only seen in the ibook, all other platforms switched to the G4

Snowy_River
May 24, 2003, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by visor
well, they don't exist at ibm.com. at least not where there supposed to be. I wonder where you found those docs.

They are mentioned in a PDF (http://www-3.ibm.com/chips/techlib/techlib.nsf/techdocs/EF51B362583D55E487256CBE004FE2CE/) file that is at IBM.com. Well, having just check that, it seems that IBM has increased their security, and you can no longer view that article. Before they did this, I did read the article, which referred to the 750GX (but gave no specifics).

It's true that a Processor without velocity engine doensn't make much sense anymore if you look at the apps.
However the G3 has a typical power consuption of 4 Watt, which made it extremely interesting for take along notebooks, alias iBook.
Given the fact that Apple migrates to 64bit technology, it doesn't make much sense to develop another 32bit processor with major effort (that i'd suppose Velocity engeine on G3 would be)
Also there will be a development of the 970mobile wich is much more interesing and quite necessary for the powerbook line sooner or later.
It would make sense to switch processors completey rom the Gline to 64 line.

Given the fact that the vast majority of software will not move toward a 64-bit optimization (as it would do nothing to improve the software), I find it questionable that Apple would feel any need to move their entire line to the 970 immediately. The G4 is still a decent processor, and will work well in the 'i' line for a while yet.

As far as the development costs are concerned, we just don't know how complex it would be to add an Altivec type unit onto the 750FX.

Also looking at the palette of products, the G3 is only seen in the ibook, all other platforms switched to the G4

Well, yes, and that would be a reason why an IBM version of the G4 (i.e. Gobi) would be desireable, if Apple is trying to move completely away from Moto, expecially if such a processor is faster and cooler than the current G4s.


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DHagan4755
May 25, 2003, 03:35 PM
We've pretty beat the 15-inch into the ground, discussing and lusting it since January. It's clear that if it doesn't make an appearance by the first week of June, it's a WWDC or MacWorld Create Expo item, for sure!

Snowy_River
May 25, 2003, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by DHagan4755
We've pretty beat the 15-inch into the ground, discussing and lusting it since January. It's clear that if it doesn't make an appearance by the first week of June, it's a WWDC or MacWorld Create Expo item, for sure!

That seems a fair assessment of the situation. The only real question is the significance of it being at either WWDC or MW. Would that make it more likely to be a 970 upgrade, as opposed to a simple speed bumped G4 (if that's even possible, which I doubt). I guess we'll have to wait and see...


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nspeds
May 27, 2003, 11:30 AM
I recently spoke to a sales rep at my nearest apple store in Houston...

I first asked him about the 15inch powerbooks in regards to them being updated...

He then threw his hands up in a shield meaning that he can't say a word... then he whispered in my ear...

"The 15 inch will be updated real soon, it has to be, it is the flagship model."

Au contrare, I say, "what about the 17 inch, I thought that was the flagship??"

Apple rep: "the 17inch is just there for the novelty factor, in my opinion, you should wait for the 15 inch."

There ya go, straight from the horses as... umm, i mean mouth.

chazmox
May 27, 2003, 07:39 PM
I've worked in Program Management for Panasonic, Motorola, Cadence, Nokia, Philips, and Lucent. These projects have ranged from paging, cell phones, and cell base stations. I have worked in almost all cellular protocols ( AMPs, NAMPs, TDMA, CDMA, W-CDMA, and GSM/GPRS/EDGE ) and managed all disciplines ( SW, digital, RF, mechanical ). My primary engineering training is in RF with focus in synthesizers and receiver down conversion chains.

I would equate a PowerBook design to an equivalent difficulty to a cell phone design due to the interdependance of electrical design and mechanical design.

For small projects an engineer may have several on his desk; however, for medium projects ( which is where I would group the Powerbook and cell phone ); there is a definite benefit in having a team focus on one product at a time - too many things to focus on and an engineer has trouble establishing priorities ( never mind multiple product managers are telling him that their product is #1 priority ).

Now in the case of radio design, there may be multiple radio bands being worked on by the same team; however, they are fundamentally the same radio. This applies more to the digital, mechanical and SW side - the RF side may need more focus and dedicated teams per band.

I would consider ( especially during the integration of the design ) the PowerBook and PowerMac designs to be significantly different to require two different teams. There may be some cross pollination between the two teams; but everyone knows their main focus and product.

P.S. I am considering only consumer/technical products when calling development tasks "medium." Automobiles, planes, stealth fighters, and space shuttles, fit in a completely different category!

illumin8
May 28, 2003, 09:50 AM
It's Wednesday now... I move that this rumor be officially declared dead... We probably won't see the 15" AlBook until WWDC...

Move along folks, nothing to see here...