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MacRumors
May 29, 2003, 09:52 AM
MacBidouille details (http://www.macbidouille.com/niouzcontenu.php?date=2003-05-29#5662) some features they claim to be on the upcoming motherboads. These include 2 FW800 ports, 1 FW400 port, 3 USB, 3 Audio Connectors, as well as 5 additional unidentified connectors (in a group of 3 and 2).

Mblazened
May 29, 2003, 09:56 AM
pictures! we want pics!

RHutch
May 29, 2003, 09:57 AM
I'm intrigued by the unidentified connectors. Otherwise it's not very interesting.

astray
May 29, 2003, 09:59 AM
Well i thought it was interesting, since if it is true it rules out Powerbooks as i think it unlikely theyd have those many connectors.

Vlade
May 29, 2003, 10:00 AM
I'm intrigued by the unidentified connectors. Otherwise it's not very interesting.

I think its interesting, I want to see a picture though

hvfsl
May 29, 2003, 10:01 AM
At last it looks like Macs will have 5.1 sound. I was going to get a 12in powerbook, but I will now wait to see what Apple releases in June. I wanted to get a mac desktop, but one of the major problems with them is the lack of 5.1 sound.

hvfsl
May 29, 2003, 10:03 AM
Someone should pretend to sell one of these MBs on ebay and see if apple stops them, then we will know if the rumor is true or not.

nuckinfutz
May 29, 2003, 10:03 AM
Apple just doesn't create a small BOB with Audio connectivty. 3 ports just for Audio sound like it takes up alot of space.

evoluzione
May 29, 2003, 10:08 AM
interesting...

just went to Apple SoHo and chatting with one of the "geniuses" there, about WWDC etc, and he was looking forward to panther, so i said, "that's 64bit right?" and a big grin appeared on his face "Haha, I can't comment on that". he knows something. the vibe i got was that there is possibly more than just a new os update.

my point is, this sounds like it's a pretty damn positive sign from MacBidouille.

nighthawk
May 29, 2003, 10:12 AM
What? No ethernet port????

whoami
May 29, 2003, 10:14 AM
could those 3 + 2 = component video
and audio?? that would be the joint!

TylerL
May 29, 2003, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by evoluzione
just went to Apple SoHo and chatting with one of the "geniuses" there, about WWDC etc, and he was looking forward to panther, so i said, "that's 64bit right?" and a big grin appeared on his face "Haha, I can't comment on that". he knows something. the vibe i got was that there is possibly more than just a new os update.More often than not, that's a grin of "Yes, I read the rumor sites too, and that's all the 'inside info' we get." on Apple Retail faces.

Frobozz
May 29, 2003, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by Macrumors
MacBidouille details (http://www.macbidouille.com/niouzcontenu.php?date=2003-05-29#5662) some features they claim to be on the upcoming motherboads. These include 2 FW800 ports, 1 FW400 port, 3 USB, 3 Audio Connectors, as well as 5 additional unidentified connectors (in a group of 3 and 2).

Sounds like he has seen a prototype board, which in no way means the final board will have the same number or configuration of ports. For example, why have 2 firewire 800 and 1 firewire 400 ports? Why not nuke the FW400? Isn't FW800 backwards compatible? Also, 3 audio connectors seems odd. Wouldn't it be more likely to be a video, left audio, right audio.

I have no doubt Macbidouille's source has seen a prototype mac, but I don't think we should expect all of these features to end up in the final ones to be (hopefully) ship near or at WWDC.

rugby
May 29, 2003, 10:17 AM
No offense, but I HIGHLY doubt somebody working retail knows jack-poop about Panther. I have friends who are ASE's and they will know as much as we will.

Originally posted by evoluzione
interesting...

just went to Apple SoHo and chatting with one of the "geniuses" there, about WWDC etc, and he was looking forward to panther, so i said, "that's 64bit right?" and a big grin appeared on his face "Haha, I can't comment on that". he knows something. the vibe i got was that there is possibly more than just a new os update.

my point is, this sounds like it's a pretty damn positive sign from MacBidouille.

drastik
May 29, 2003, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by whoami
could those 3 + 2 = component video
and audio?? that would be the joint!

This is probably way, way out of reality, but imagine a mac that is actually designed to be part of your home entertainement system. If there were a kind of wireless display connection, you could have your monitor in any room as long as you had a power outlet (a monitor would kill batteries like flies).

So, the mac sits next to the rest of the sterreo, digital audio out, component video out, remote control of somesort... the true digital hub.

pyrotoaster
May 29, 2003, 10:18 AM
While this is somewhat interesting (Ooooohh... Mystery Ports), what I want to know is what the deal is with the folks at MacBidouille?

Just about every single Powermac 970 story broken in the last month has come straight from MacBidouille. I want to know where they're getting this seemingly fantastic amount information.

I would guess that either they've got one hell of a source in Apple (or many sources at various manufacturing stages), or they're just making it all up (al la MOSR).

It'll be interesting to see how accurate MacBidouille winds up being. :cool:

DeusOmnis
May 29, 2003, 10:22 AM
It's pretty dumb that apple computers havnt had at least 5.1 sound so far. I hope it has a digital out too.

Frobozz
May 29, 2003, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by TylerL
More often than not, that's a grin of "Yes, I read the rumor sites too, and that's all the 'inside info' we get." on Apple Retail faces.

Well, yes, but I think "big news" may be Quark 6, for example. But Quark's big coming out part will be July's Create expo. I think that, if the Genius is smart (is this self evident?) that he will say "no comment" because it's the only thing he can consistently say without implying anything. It's a standard response. He'd lose his job if that answer was anything else. Or worse, could get sued. On the other hand, he probably doesn't know anything because the stores probably don't know what, if anything, they are receiving.

I work in an industry where I often have to respond with "no comment" to questions about impending tech. This is weather or not I know anything about it. If I say "no", that's confirmation just as much as "yes."

Mr. Anderson
May 29, 2003, 10:23 AM
It would be nice to see USB 2 on the USB ports. If Apple stayed with USB 1.1 they'd be hurting themselves.

Sounds good otherwise....can't wait to see the new machines :D

D

DeusOmnis
May 29, 2003, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by pyrotoaster
While this is somewhat interesting (Ooooohh... Mystery Ports), what I want to know is what the deal is with the folks at MacBidouille?

Just about every single Powermac 970 story broken in the last month has come straight from MacBidouille. I want to know where they're getting this seemingly fantastic amount information.

I would guess that either they've got one hell of a source in Apple (or many sources at various manufacturing stages), or they're just making it all up (al la MOSR).

It'll be interesting to see how accurate MacBidouille winds up being. :cool:

They're doing a heck of a job lying... though i'd be surprised if the really have this many good sources, like you said.

nuckinfutz
May 29, 2003, 10:27 AM
Also, 3 audio connectors seems odd

5.1 Audio can be easily split amongst 3 stereo mini jacks. 3 ports pretty much guarantees 5.1 Audio.

. I hope it has a digital out too.

Probably not going to happen. What Digital Out would you use? SPDIF is stereo only. There is no industry standard multichannel Digital I/O.

Frobozz
May 29, 2003, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by hvfsl
At last it looks like Macs will have 5.1 sound. I was going to get a 12in powerbook, but I will now wait to see what Apple releases in June. I wanted to get a mac desktop, but one of the major problems with them is the lack of 5.1 sound.

You'd only be solving half your problem by getting hardware that support 5.1 surround. The other half is software. Aside from perhaps high end audio apps and a handful of games, nothing else supports it.

Foxer
May 29, 2003, 10:33 AM
Originally posted by Frobozz
[B]why have 2 firewire 800 and 1 firewire 400 ports? Why not nuke the FW400? Isn't FW800 backwards compatible?
/B]

The ports are different, I know that from my DP 1.4

pyrotoaster
May 29, 2003, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by DeusOmnis
They're doing a heck of a job lying... though i'd be surprised if the really have this many good sources, like you said.
If MacBidouille is actually posting real info here, all they'd need is one really good source in just the right place. But yes, I agree that it seems they're either making some things up or just jumping to quite a few conclusions.

PensDevil
May 29, 2003, 10:35 AM
MacBidouille details some features they claim to be on the upcoming motherboads. These include 2 FW800 ports, 1 FW400 port, 3 USB, 3 Audio Connectors, as well as 5 additional unidentified connectors (in a group of 3 and 2).

Three audio connectors isn't really anything new. Even the current generation iMac's have three audio connectors: line in, headphones (out), and the jack for the Apple Pro speakers.

Now, if these three audio connectors on the rumored motherboard are of a different style, then that's news.

psurrena
May 29, 2003, 10:36 AM
Oh boy I hope it's Nubus!!!!

SilentPanda
May 29, 2003, 10:38 AM
5 unidentified connectors? I hope they are an audio/video connection of some sort but I would think if they were your standard RCA jacks (for component video) and/or mini-jacks for sound they would at least tell us that they look like a/v jacks. Then again if they had no clue they might describe them anyhow which they didn't.

AndrewMT
May 29, 2003, 10:39 AM
I hope these unidentified connecters are for the new media mac. RCA video input/output. S-video output. Spdif-in/out.

Frobozz
May 29, 2003, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
5.1 Audio can be easily split amongst 3 stereo mini jacks. 3 ports pretty much guarantees 5.1 Audio.

This is only my own ignorance, but on the back of a receiver with 5.1 it has 6 connectors. One for each channel of audio. I am assuming that there is some pre or post-processing if you have only 3 connectors? Is there a custom speaker system to handle this?

For example: left, right, and center (3). The location of the audio (back and front) is done in software/hardware, and routed to the speaker it needs on a receiver or standalone system. The low frequencies are routed to a subwoofer, etc. Would this be right? I'm confused!

magitekkn
May 29, 2003, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
Probably not going to happen. What Digital Out would you use? SPDIF is stereo only. There is no industry standard multichannel Digital I/O.

BUZZ, thanks for playing our game, jimmy tell him about our consolation prize....

Anyways, SPDIF can carry digital audio in a variety of formats, least of which is PCM Stereo.

http://organics.eecs.berkeley.edu/~viveks/cs150/labs/project/SPDIF_explanation.pdf

Now granted, the problem now becomes, how do you get your 5.1 audio into a compressed format in realtime? I guess that question is best answered by the game developers and apple themselves.

Frobozz
May 29, 2003, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by nighthawk
What? No ethernet port????

Good point... what's up with that? Seems like a basic thing to report. Suspicious...

Frobozz
May 29, 2003, 10:48 AM
Originally posted by PensDevil
Three audio connectors isn't really anything new. Even the current generation iMac's have three audio connectors: line in, headphones (out), and the jack for the Apple Pro speakers.

Now, if these three audio connectors on the rumored motherboard are of a different style, then that's news.

A-ha! I think you've hit the head of the nail.

makkystyle
May 29, 2003, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by Frobozz
This is only my own ignorance, but on the back of a receiver with 5.1 it has 6 connectors. One for each channel of audio. I am assuming that there is some pre or post-processing if you have only 3 connectors? Is there a custom speaker system to handle this?

For example: left, right, and center (3). The location of the audio (back and front) is done in software/hardware, and routed to the speaker it needs on a receiver or standalone system. The low frequencies are routed to a subwoofer, etc. Would this be right? I'm confused!

A stereo mini jack can handle more than one line i.e. a set of headphones, one jack = one left + one right channel. So therefore if you have three stereo mini jacks you could have two speakers running off of each jack and thus 6 speaker 5.1 sound. Now just hope it's true :D

edit: though I don't know why they would use mini jacks for 5.1?

Winston Smith
May 29, 2003, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by drastik
This is probably way, way out of reality, but imagine a mac that is actually designed to be part of your home entertainement system. If there were a kind of wireless display connection, you could have your monitor in any room as long as you had a power outlet (a monitor would kill batteries like flies).

So, the mac sits next to the rest of the sterreo, digital audio out, component video out, remote control of somesort... the true digital hub.

Is this possible - Mac lives by the stereo/Tv acting as a PVR and feeding music /soundtracks to surround amp. Then screen and B/T keyboeard are in a different room with wireless connections. (power direct to screen).

This is the sort of setup I want and this m/board seems to sort the Mac audio issues. Am I dreaming or am I just waiting for Steve to burst my bubble :rolleyes:

barkmonster
May 29, 2003, 10:53 AM
MacBidouille details some features they claim to be on the upcoming motherboads. These include 2 FW800 ports, 1 FW400 port, 3 USB, 3 Audio Connectors, as well as 5 additional unidentified connectors (in a group of 3 and 2).

Here's what I reckon it could be :

2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 1.1 (for keyboard/mouse)


3 Audio Connectors :

stereo line-in
stereo line-out
Apple Speaker connector (0r whatever it's called)

All 24bit, like the MDD models have.


The unidentified connectors :

3 together

All 3 could be RCA style outputs to allow an additional 3 speakers for surround sound.

An adapter could be supplied so the back 2 speakers would connect to the apple speaker jack and another adapter could be provided to allow the analogue line-out to be used as the subwoofer output.


2 together

SP/DIF in
SP/DIF out

MacManiac1224
May 29, 2003, 10:54 AM
I hope it's 5.1 audio, then I wouldn't have to buy a sound card when I buy the 970 machine

Could anybody do a translation of this?

macrealist
May 29, 2003, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by pyrotoaster
================
quote:

"If MacBidouille is actually posting real info here, all they'd need is one really good source in just the right place. "

================

From their articles, it sounds like their inside source is in manufactruring. All of the info is from a non-engineer point of view, and the info on the color of the MLB and the wrapped boxes are similar to aapl manufacturing practice.

The manufacturing plant in Ireland makes PowerPCs and servers, and has a European call support facility, and probably where the source is from.

SuzanneA
May 29, 2003, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by Frobozz
You'd only be solving half your problem by getting hardware that support 5.1 surround. The other half is software. Aside from perhaps high end audio apps and a handful of games, nothing else supports it.

Um, and these new fangled things called DVD players :D

Seriously, the lack of a standard digital output (preferrably optical TOSLINK) on Macs is a bit of a pain for watching DVDs.

ZildjianKX
May 29, 2003, 11:00 AM
Man, no comment on USB 2.0? :(

SuzanneA
May 29, 2003, 11:02 AM
Btw, still on the audio theme, IF the 970s are going to use HyperTransport in any way, and Apple decided to go with nVidia for the chipset (since they have HT experience from the nForce 3) it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect the nForce's 'realtime dolby digital encoding' on multi-channel audio.

However, its probably unlikely that Apple would choose nVidia for the chipset. Though that doesn't rule out Apple have approached Dolby Labs for an AC3 encoding license for their own chipset.

alset
May 29, 2003, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by pyrotoaster

I would guess that either they've got one hell of a source in Apple (or many sources at various manufacturing stages), or they're just making it all up (al la MOSR).

It'll be interesting to see how accurate MacBidouille winds up being. :cool:

Agreed. The entire Mac community is flipping out over outrageous claims that can only be topped by even more outrageous reports. MB doesn't get any points from me. Each story digs them deeper into a hole.

Dan

SuzanneA
May 29, 2003, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by barkmonster

All 24bit, like the MDD models have.


I keep hearing this, but I wish someone would tell it to my MDD, it only claims to support 16bit audio.

Of course, it doesn't upset me much, I have a m-audio card in there for 24/96, but still...

Postal
May 29, 2003, 11:10 AM
Before I say anything else: remember that it's not so simple as whether or not MacBidouille is telling the truth or not; they claim that they aren't the sources for the rumours, they just pass them along. It's possible that MacBidouille is honestly posting what the sources say, but the sources themselves are wrong. "Don't shoot the messenger," and so on.

On to the rumour at hand: assuming this report is true, I would personally suspect that the extra connectors are for audio - though you would expect someone who can recognize audio connectors to know that he/she is looking at an audio setup. They could potentially be for video instead.

We also don't know if those unidentified connectors are on the inside or outside. If on the inside, Serial ATA is a distinct possibility.

cubist
May 29, 2003, 11:11 AM
How about 1 ADB port and two serial ports? :D

BTW, don't PMs usually have a 56K modem too?

deepkid
May 29, 2003, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by evoluzione
interesting...
"Haha, I can't comment on that". he knows something. the vibe i got was that there is possibly more than just a new os update.

Don't be silly. Its common knowledge that no one outside of Steve's first layer knows anything about what's not available, with regard to new products.

He was probably looking at you, refraining from showing his stressful natural reply when confronted by overzealous fans. Some of store workers follow the sites just like you and me, and are not privy to some internal Apple product grapevine. This, from a couple of the store reps I've spoken to.

They barely know anything until the product hits their shelves.

hvfsl
May 29, 2003, 11:16 AM
There are people saying on this thread that there would be no use for 5.1 sound on the Mac since nothing supports it, well thats only true because (as far as I know) there are no 5.1 sound cards on the Mac. All pc apps that use sound now support at least 4.1 sound. If the new Macs do have 5.1 sound I will at last be able to listen to DVDs as they are meant to be heard and Macs that are meant to be good at sound will have finally court up with PCs in the sound department. I dont know why people use current Macs for sound since PCs are so much better, nothing on the Mac beats a PC with a creative audigy2 or fire DMX 24/96.

nichrome
May 29, 2003, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by barkmonster
Here's what I reckon it could be :
2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 1.1 (for keyboard/mouse)
USB 2 is backwards compatible, so having a separate 1.1 controller would be pointless.

However, FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) is not backwards compatible. The cables are different and the connectors are different. There is no way to pipe FireWire 400 traffic through a FireWire 800 cable while maintaining adequate throughput. The only option is using an adapter, which inherently slows things down.

Thus MacB's claim about the board having two FW800 ports and one FW400 strikes me as absurd. Now, if Sony camcorders, hard disks etc. widely supported FW800, this wouldn't be a problem, but that's just not the case. The current setup, with one FireWire 800 and two FireWire 400 ports in the tower Macs, makes a hell of a lot more sense.

C'mon people, think about it: the iPod uses FireWire 400. If you had an iPod and a MoBo like MacBidouille is describing, you'd have to unplug your iPod to plug in your camcorder or your external hard disk.

Either MacB's post concerns a proto board or it's just wishful thinking.

DrGruv1
May 29, 2003, 11:20 AM
More fuel... - bring it on.. yeee haaaa

SuzanneA
May 29, 2003, 11:25 AM
Originally posted by hvfsl
There are people saying on this thread that there would be no use for 5.1 sound on the Mac since nothing supports it, well thats only true because (as far as I know) there are no 5.1 sound cards on the Mac. All pc apps that use sound now support at least 4.1 sound. If the new Macs do have 5.1 sound I will at last be able to listen to DVDs as they are meant to be heard and Macs that are meant to be good at sound will have finally court up with PCs in the sound department. I dont know why people use current Macs for sound since PCs are so much better, nothing on the Mac beats a PC with a creative audigy2 or fire DMX 24/96.

Actually, there are a few 5.1 sound cards, m-audio even have a 7.1 card that claims to support the mac (the Revolution 7.1). CoreAudio happily supports 'Multi-channel' devices (most drivers even provide both 'paired stereo' groups and a single 'Multi-channel' device that offers all the channels together) whether apple's DVD player app support them for surround playback, I have no idea, I haven't tried (despite having a card with a 'multi-channel' option)

As for 'nothing beating a creative audigy2' they are sadly, very poor choices for pro-audio or even prosumer-audio work.

Most 'pro-audio' cards for the PC also have Mac drivers, a few don't, but the majority do, even some of the terratec cards (although not the DMX cards *yet*)

Sayer
May 29, 2003, 11:25 AM
You know most PeeCee mobo's don't have optical output for 5.1 surround sound, so why should a Mac?

Just about all PeeCees get audio support via a PCI card, and it has tons of features built in and lots of software support.

SoundBlaster tried this one the Mac, once, and apparently very few people bought it which translated into weak support for drivers which meant weak support in Mac software.

So before you whine about what Apple isn't doing in some particular area, ask yourself why you aren't whining to some PCI card maker to support the Mac and when they do you actually BUY their product and hound them to make it work to the same levels on the Mac as Windoze.

Or why is there no open-source route to high-end Audio PCI cards for Linux? Do Linux users not care about 5.1 surround from DVDs played on their PeeCees?

If there is some open source drivers for sound cards why are they not being ported over to Mac OS X? Not enough talented programmers? Could be. Or is there simply not any interest in inserting a PCI card to add what you THINK should be built in from the start? And yet you whine about how many PCI slots a G4 DOESN'T have.

Mac users are the biggest bunch of hipocritical whiners ever. "Wahhh they don't make workstation graphics cards for the Mac, but even if they did I wouldn't want to spend $2k for one because I am sooooo pooooooor! Apple should make one for me and include it for FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

DrGruv1
May 29, 2003, 11:25 AM
A SPDIF in and out jack would make the mac more complete for us audio people...

(You video guys have had the firewire)

How about coax, for recording TV shows directly in the mac? No eye tv or Tivo needed.. hmmm

strider42
May 29, 2003, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by nichrome
USB 2 is backwards compatible, so having a separate 1.1 controller would be pointless.

However, FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) is not backwards compatible. The cables are different and the connectors are different. There is no way to pipe FireWire 400 traffic through a FireWire 800 cable while maintaining adequate throughput. The only option is using an adapter, which inherently slows things down.
.

Actually there is some logic to having a separate USB 1 controller. USB 2 has a tendency to slow down if you put a USB 1 device on it. So by keeping a separate channel for low throughput devices, you can prevent the mouse and keyboard form slowing everything down. Of cours,e you could just have a separate USB 2 port dedicated to the keybaord and mouse I suppose as well, but it would probably want to have tis own controller anyway (I don't know a lot about how this all works, just going on my understanding of it)

Firewire 800 does indeed require an adaptor to make the plug fit, but it was designed as being fully backwards compatible. I don't think the adaptor converts anything really, all it does is allow the plugs to work together. So putting a firewire 400 device on a firewire 800 port would not slow things down. It would only require the inconvience of a plug adaptor.

fluke
May 29, 2003, 11:28 AM
how about a single thin coax cable that carries digital ac3 data to your reciever? the ac3 is on the dvd, or game, and the cpu doen't have to process anything.

optical would be to expensive, so we won't be seeing that. probably won't see a breakout cable to rca, because the cpu would have to decode the ac3 to multi-channel uncompressed audio, better to have the reciever do all the work. you won't see the use of 1/8" mini jack for surround sound, doesn't make sense. oh.. and spdif (sony phillips digital interface format) is old technology.. no chance.

component video... possible... but not neeccessary at this time

if we don't see surrond.. you'll probably see headphone out, line in, and speaker out, on 1/8" mini jack.

SuzanneA
May 29, 2003, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by Sayer
You know most PeeCee mobo's don't have optical output for 5.1 surround sound, so why should a Mac?


Haven't looked at PC's lately? My i845PE based PC has optical OUT and IN, in fact, most recent motherboards come with optical brackets with usually at least OUT, and more often than not IN too. Even most sound cards have optical connectors now, I was just looking at a terratec Audeon for use in my PVR PC earlier, BECAUSE it has optical In/Out.

SuzanneA
May 29, 2003, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by fluke

optical would be to expensive, so we won't be seeing that.

Not necessarily true, toslink is often quoted as being cheaper than RCA SPDIF to add to a product - look at DVD players and receivers, you'll find almost every DVD player has toslink, the higher end ones offer RCA too, receivers are another story, finding one with 7 or 8 toslink inputs is easy, finding one with more than 2 RCA spdif jacks is tricky.

To support RCA spdif you require buffering and a few more support components, whereas toslink requires a simple LED assembly that costs a few cents for manufacturers.

Jaykay
May 29, 2003, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by macrealist
The manufacturing plant in Ireland makes PowerPCs and servers, and has a European call support facility, and probably where the source is from. [/B]

I'll have to have a run down the road and peek in the window. Maybe ill see a big heap of packaged 970's......

But on a (more) serious point, as was said before...

Originally posted by barkmonster


2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 1.1 (for keyboard/mouse)


Aren't the USB 2.0 connectors backward compatible?

nuckinfutz
May 29, 2003, 11:42 AM
I dont know why people use current Macs for sound since PCs are so much better, nothing on the Mac beats a PC with a creative audigy2 or fire DMX 24/96.

:p Your post was good until this last bit ;) I guess every Protools studio should sell their DAW and grab a PC running an Audigy2 card LOL.

Hell let's really jump into the future. Let's add HDMI which will handle interfacing Audio and Video I/O for the nextgen AV Devices

www.hdmi.org

hayesk
May 29, 2003, 11:48 AM
Just a few corrections to make:

1. Macs can do digital surround just fine. You just need a card or USB breakout box. M-Audio sells such devices. VLC will play DVDs and output the surround sound stream to these devices.
2. Related to #1 SPDIF supports more than just stereo. Look at almost any DVD player.
3. Firewire 800 is backwards compatible (all you need is an adapter) and does not slow the whole bus down. Only USB is that stupid.

fluke
May 29, 2003, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by SuzanneA
Not necessarily true, toslink is often quoted as being cheaper than RCA SPDIF to add to a product - look at DVD players and receivers, you'll find almost every DVD player has toslink, the higher end ones offer RCA too, receivers are another story, finding one with 7 or 8 toslink inputs is easy, finding one with more than 2 RCA spdif jacks is tricky.

To support RCA spdif you require buffering and a few more support components, whereas toslink requires a simple LED assembly that costs a few cents for manufacturers.

hmmm... good points.. i was assuming optical would be expensive, based on early sonic solutions daw's, dat, adat, etc.. optical would definetly be cooler than coax. cable run might be longer as well.

SuzanneA
May 29, 2003, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by fluke
how about a single thin coax cable that carries digital ac3 data to your reciever? the ac3 is on the dvd, or game, and the cpu doen't have to process anything.


Btw, what you're talking about here is the Laserdisk standard for PCM/AC3 transmission, often called 'AC3-RF', its still spdif really, and very very few receivers support RF encoded spdif anymore. RCA spdif and toslink are still the most common formats for digital audio in the consumer world (note, I said consumer world, AES/EBU or ADAT lightpipe isn't going to do the majority of apple's customers much good to be honest). RF/Coax spdif also requires a lot of extra support components to do the radio-frequency modulation and demodulation.

spdif (whether over RF, RCA or toslink) can carry PCM, AC3 or DTS, its not 'outdated' because its still the standard for home theatre connections. And probably will be at least for a few more years.

I still say optical toslink would be the best choice for digital audio right now, seconded by RCA spdif, RF (coax) would be a non-choice, almost nothing on the market today supports it, except perhaps a handful of pioneer receivers that still need to support their own (still sold) Laserdisk players.

whooleytoo
May 29, 2003, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Jaykay
I'll have to have a run down the road and peek in the window. Maybe ill see a big heap of packaged 970's......

Ha! Are ye kidding me?

Parts of the Cork plant are like Fort Knox; going to work every morning there is like the opening sequence from Get Smart; metal detectors, keycode locked doors, passcard locked doors. It can't be too long before they add voice recognition!!

Mike.

nuckinfutz
May 29, 2003, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by hayesk
Just a few corrections to make:

1. Macs can do digital surround just fine. You just need a card or USB breakout box. M-Audio sells such devices. VLC will play DVDs and output the surround sound stream to these devices.
2. Related to #1 SPDIF supports more than just stereo. Look at almost any DVD player.
3. Firewire 800 is backwards compatible (all you need is an adapter) and does not slow the whole bus down. Only USB is that stupid.

1. I don't believe Apples DVD Player support 5.1 output

2. Compressed Multichannel. My initial point was SPDIF doesn't support Mulitchannel in the uncompressed non muxed environ.

Frobozz
May 29, 2003, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by hvfsl
There are people saying on this thread that there would be no use for 5.1 sound on the Mac since nothing supports it, well thats only true because (as far as I know) there are no 5.1 sound cards on the Mac. All pc apps that use sound now support at least 4.1 sound. If the new Macs do have 5.1 sound I will at last be able to listen to DVDs as they are meant to be heard and Macs that are meant to be good at sound will have finally court up with PCs in the sound department. I dont know why people use current Macs for sound since PCs are so much better, nothing on the Mac beats a PC with a creative audigy2 or fire DMX 24/96.

Uh, you're a going just a tad overboard. Lots of people use Macs for Audio for good reason. I won't bother explaining it all. Just ask the thousands of professionals who do music for a living, on a Mac, including my brother.

Sun Baked
May 29, 2003, 12:01 PM
You have access to the block diagram for the system, and the actual hardware...

What do you do?

Pick the most meaningless description... what ports does it have.

A description of the bus, chips, etc. that make up the HUGE difference in the new machines and may have been a better indication of what the machine really is.

Such as, is the companion chip Apple/Agere, IBM, etc.

Southbridge?

AGP-8x

ATA -- serial?

etc.

---

But they pick ports... :rolleyes:

SuzanneA
May 29, 2003, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
1. I don't believe Apples DVD Player support 5.1 output

2. Compressed Multichannel. My initial point was SPDIF doesn't support Mulitchannel in the uncompressed non muxed environ.

1. No, I think you're right there, but, changing it to support it would be trivial, and I'm honestly supprised that apple hasn't already.

2. Actually, you remind me of an interesting thought here. AAC can be transmitted over spdif, AAC is (one of) the audio specification for MPEG4. As receivers start to support MPEG4 solutions for digital video, its reasonable to expect AAC to be incorporated into future receivers, at some point HD-DVD will probably use AAC (which, btw, is multi-channel capable). Apple's interest in adding AAC to QT may have more to gain than just another audio format for iTunes. While support for AAC might not be widespread (or even existant) at the receiver end of things RIGHT NOW, apple may be looking down the road a year or two from now, having AAC digital output MAY in the long term be a good thing. AAC multi-channel encoding in realtime COULD end being a general solution to the multi-channel realtime problem that persists now (only nVidia have licensed the AC3 encoding from Dolby for using in their sound chipsets, and right now thats the only option for realtime usage of multi-channel audio in games, without relying on Creative Labs style hacks such as 2 sets of PCM stereo output)

Sedulous
May 29, 2003, 12:02 PM
C'mon people, think about it: the iPod uses FireWire 400. If you had an iPod and a MoBo like MacBidouille is describing, you'd have to unplug your iPod to plug in your camcorder or your external hard disk.

You can't daisy chain through the iPod base?

wilhelmd
May 29, 2003, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
:p Your post was good until this last bit ;) I guess every Protools studio should sell their DAW and grab a PC running an Audigy2 card LOL.

Hell let's really jump into the future. Let's add HDMI which will handle interfacing Audio and Video I/O for the nextgen AV Devices
Let's not forget the bundled Creative software that makes recording just so much easier... and those reverb effect, dang! I just can't get enough of them!

I'll just throw away iTunes and the iPod. and go with a DAP instead!

Seriously, though, I see no reason at all for Apple not to include many of these audio standards - my PC's (cheap) sound card came with line in, mic in, 5.1 surround out through 3 minijacks (front, rear, center&sub) and coaxial out that carries both AC3 and PCM data (split minijack).

1. I don't believe Apples DVD Player support 5.1 output

Then let Apple BUILD support for it. We are, after all, talking about a new operating system version (although if the 970's ship before x.3, this could be done through a small S/W update.)

AidenShaw
May 29, 2003, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by barkmonster
2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 1.1 (for keyboard/mouse)

There's no point to have any USB 1.1 ports - 3 USB 2.0 ports would be more useful.

Note that the new Intel P4 mobos have 4 to 8 USB 2.0 ports (some on the back of the mobo, rest as connectors for front), but no USB 1.1 ports.

springscansing
May 29, 2003, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by hvfsl
I dont know why people use current Macs for sound since PCs are so much better, nothing on the Mac beats a PC with a creative audigy2 or fire DMX 24/96.

Either you have a very warped sense of humor, or you are the stupidest most ignorant human being on the planet.

springscansing
May 29, 2003, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
:p Your post was good until this last bit ;) I guess every Protools studio should sell their DAW and grab a PC running an Audigy2 card LOL.

Yeah man!! Awesome 3D sound!!
:rolleyes:

Freakin idiots man. ****, latency under X with native audio is 2ms. The audigy2 isn't even true 24-bit, and the latency sucks ass. That card is for games, nothing more.

springscansing
May 29, 2003, 12:24 PM
Actually I heard the new macs are all going to ship with 3x MOTU 896s...

RHutch
May 29, 2003, 12:28 PM
My first post regarding the rumor about the unidentified ports was that it wasn't that interesting. Obviously people have taken much more interest in it than I did.

I don't know what the ports might be either, but is it possible that it's something else, maybe for one or more of the devices suggested by other rumors sites or that the ports are there for testing of something else and that they won't be there later?

It just seems that this whole thread has become an audio discussion, as if that is the only possibility for the ports. If that's all that it can be, then I stick by my original claim that it's not that interesting. How interesting can it be if there are no alternate theories about the ports?

Someone please tell me if I am just plain wrong.

Postal
May 29, 2003, 12:29 PM
I agree on USB, it would make more sense to have only USB 2.0 ports on a new system.

In fact, that would jibe with what we've seen recently: if you remember, Apple quietly released a basic "Apple Keyboard" and "Apple Mouse" combo when they updated the eMac. It's possible that a new revision of the Pro Keyboard and Pro Mouse would include transforming them into USB 2.0 devices - and what better to go with new input devices than new PowerMacs?

reyesmac
May 29, 2003, 12:34 PM
Why doesnt Apple just make a mac with 6 pci and 1 agp slot and just ad cheap PC PCI surround sound cards and video in/out cards with mac drivers. Why waste money putting on the motherboard when they would just use a pci cards? That way, the people who needs extra slots can take the unwanted cards out and the ones that dont need that many slots still have 3 to work with. It will be dissapointing if they dont use industry standard connectors for audio and video.

What they need to ad to the motherboard is a hardware mpeg encoder/decoder with video in and out, that way making iDVD's and iMovies will be quicker.

3.1416
May 29, 2003, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by pyrotoaster
I would guess that either they've got one hell of a source in Apple (or many sources at various manufacturing stages), or they're just making it all up (al la MOSR).

Alternatively, they may have somebody who claims to be a source but is making stuff up and feeding it to them. That appears to have been the case with their benchmarks.

whooleytoo
May 29, 2003, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by deepkid
Don't be silly. Its common knowledge that no one outside of Steve's first layer knows anything about what's not available, with regard to new products.


Actually, quite a lot of people would know about the machines if their release was imminent. The only things that could be still kept secret would be the exact configurations, pricing, and especially, the finished look'n'feel.


He was probably looking at you, refraining from showing his stressful natural reply when confronted by overzealous fans. Some of store workers follow the sites just like you and me, and are not privy to some internal Apple product grapevine. This, from a couple of the store reps I've spoken to.

They barely know anything until the product hits their shelves.

Sales reps are usually the last to know and ( no offence to any sales reps present) for a very good reason. But a lot of people in manufacturing/assembly and in QA would know about the machines by now.

Mike.

smada
May 29, 2003, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by nichrome
Thus MacB's claim about the board having two FW800 ports and one FW400 strikes me as absurd. Now, if Sony camcorders, hard disks etc. widely supported FW800, this wouldn't be a problem, but that's just not the case. The current setup, with one FireWire 800 and two FireWire 400 ports in the tower Macs, makes a hell of a lot more sense.

But don't you remember how absurd everyone thought having only USB on the iMacs was? Then about year later there were 768.2 million USB accesories. If Apple doesn't implement FW800, then why should anybody use it?

Cabrewolf
May 29, 2003, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by Frobozz
This is only my own ignorance, but on the back of a receiver with 5.1 it has 6 connectors. One for each channel of audio. I am assuming that there is some pre or post-processing if you have only 3 connectors? Is there a custom speaker system to handle this?

For example: left, right, and center (3). The location of the audio (back and front) is done in software/hardware, and routed to the speaker it needs on a receiver or standalone system. The low frequencies are routed to a subwoofer, etc. Would this be right? I'm confused!

Post processed 5.1 requires six connections, but preprocessed 5.1 signals only need one digital line; either optical or RCA. Having only the one digital allows them to do not only 5.1 but also some of the higher quality suround encoding(6 and 7 channels).

Wolf

backdraft
May 29, 2003, 12:47 PM
"5 additional unidentified connectors"

hmm... modem port, ethernet port, display connection, power cord(though this probably doesn't count as a port), vga out, or usb 2.0?

BurntCalc
May 29, 2003, 12:48 PM
From my understanding, Apple is using a 64bit unix variant already for their OS. So is the OS going to be 64 bit??? Of course. It already basically is.

The question is whether we'll see the OS taking advantage of this in the new 970 powermacs. My guess is that we won't see anything like this.

TWO PROBLEMS: First, the chip. While I agree that the 970 is alive and well, I don't think we'll see it this summer. There are absolutely no concrete rumors or news on the subject.

Second, the OS. Again, everyone debates, but no one is sure. No reliable info here either.

In my opinion, two weak "maybe's" make a "probably not".

Folks, at this point in the game, there would be a lot more reliable info on the subject than just petty speculation on prototype boards. We'd see new case designs, chip manufacturing deals, leaked designs, etc... there is nothing like this. Usually a safe sign is when a major news site decides to break a story. Again, nothing. Just speculation.

Anyhoo... just my 2 cents.

Frobozz
May 29, 2003, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by reyesmac
... just ad cheap PC PCI surround sound cards and video in/out cards with mac drivers. Why waste money putting on the motherboard when they would just use a pci cards?

It's probably to cater to the professional audio crowd, which, has a majority of mac users. If it's on the motherbaord it's probably much lower latency. In fact, coupled with OS X, the Mac has the Digital Audio mac and newer (I believe) have the lowest audio latency of any personal computer.

nuckinfutz
May 29, 2003, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by reyesmac
Why doesnt Apple just make a mac with 6 pci and 1 agp slot and just ad cheap PC PCI surround sound cards and video in/out cards with mac drivers. Why waste money putting on the motherboard when they would just use a pci cards? That way, the people who needs extra slots can take the unwanted cards out and the ones that dont need that many slots still have 3 to work with. It will be dissapointing if they dont use industry standard connectors for audio and video.

What they need to ad to the motherboard is a hardware mpeg encoder/decoder with video in and out, that way making iDVD's and iMovies will be quicker.

1. Cost
2. Heat
3. Reliability
4. Size

To make things cheaper you must integrate as much as you can. Consolidation is key.

There really aren't any industry standards. Apple could use a myriad of the "standards"

toslink?
Coax?
DVI?
BNC?



Actually, you remind me of an interesting thought here. AAC can be transmitted over spdif, AAC is (one of) the audio specification for MPEG4. As receivers start to support MPEG4 solutions for digital video, its reasonable to expect AAC to be incorporated into future receivers,


I think you are right here. What does AAC and WM9 have over standard MP3. Multichannel capability. Now consumers have access to low cost 5.1 systems. Multichannel will become a desired capability. I can't wait.

hvfsl
May 29, 2003, 01:04 PM
Originally posted by Frobozz
Uh, you're a going just a tad overboard. Lots of people use Macs for Audio for good reason. I won't bother explaining it all. Just ask the thousands of professionals who do music for a living, on a Mac, including my brother.

I got a bit anyoyed because there were lots of people saying there was no point in having 5.1 sound because stereo is good enough. So I though I would start some flaming. I know Macs are better for audio in general, just not watching DVDs it seems.

Dave_B
May 29, 2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by macrealist
Originally posted by pyrotoaster
================
quote:

"If MacBidouille is actually posting real info here, all they'd need is one really good source in just the right place. "

================

From their articles, it sounds like their inside source is in manufactruring. All of the info is from a non-engineer point of view, and the info on the color of the MLB and the wrapped boxes are similar to aapl manufacturing practice.

The manufacturing plant in Ireland makes PowerPCs and servers, and has a European call support facility, and probably where the source is from.

As I recall, the stories about the 970's had them landed in Taiwan.

andyduncan
May 29, 2003, 01:09 PM
Somehow I doubt that "Unidentified mystery ports" would end up being USB, VGA, Modem, Ethernet, or any other easily recognizable port. Also, preproduction MOBOS often have extra ports for debugging/diagnostics. Though 5 sounds like a bit much.

With regards to 5.1 over 3 miniplugs, sure you can do it, but it sounds like *****. Digital out is the only way to go. Most of these boards don't have horse pucky in the way of D/A converters. Anecdotally my g4's miniplug sounds way better than my VIA's.

illumin8
May 29, 2003, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
Probably not going to happen. What Digital Out would you use? SPDIF is stereo only. There is no industry standard multichannel Digital I/O. I call *********. SPDIF supports many digital formats, including:

* PCM - Pulse Code Modulation or stereo
* DTS - 5.1 or 7.1
* Dolby AC3 - 5.1 or 7.1

I'm sure there are more formats available. It would be awesome if Apple had both an optical and an SPDIF output for sound.

LionMage
May 29, 2003, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by Frobozz
This is only my own ignorance, but on the back of a receiver with 5.1 it has 6 connectors. One for each channel of audio. I am assuming that there is some pre or post-processing if you have only 3 connectors? Is there a custom speaker system to handle this?

If these three ports are in fact for 5.1 surround sound, then they are probably using stereo mini-jacks for each of the three connectors. That way, each connector provides output for two separate signals. No software multiplexing or other weirdness is required. Stereo mini-jacks are the same kind of plugs that are used for headphones and ear-buds, not to mention most computer speakers in the Wintel world.

While it's not as nice as having six discrete RCA jacks, one for each channel, the use of three stereo mini-jacks has the virtue of keeping the footprint of the connectors relatively small. Most Wintel motherboards that have built-in 5.1 channel surround sound support (such as the MSI KT3 Ultra ARU motherboard that I have in my one Athlon PC at home) use this very same method for doing surround sound. It's a cheap way to add value, and of course, if you don't want surround support then the ports get reassigned -- one port becomes stereo output, another becomes microphone input, and so forth.

nuckinfutz
May 29, 2003, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by illumin8
I call *********. SPDIF supports many digital formats, including:

* PCM - Pulse Code Modulation or stereo
* DTS - 5.1 or 7.1
* Dolby AC3 - 5.1 or 7.1

I'm sure there are more formats available. It would be awesome if Apple had both an optical and an SPDIF output for sound.

I know it's semantics but if we're talking about Compressed Multichannel music then we have plenty of choices. However in the case of SACD and DVD-Audio which support multichannel uncompressed audio there is no "standard" connector.

My bad for not putting in the "Uncompressed" that's an important differentiation.

whoami
May 29, 2003, 01:34 PM
it's really funny how this topic has turned into a audio discussion!
it's too bad recievers and most home audio gear don't have MLAN or similar capabilities. then they wouldn't even have to add any jacks! multi channel audio over firewire!

Mosco
May 29, 2003, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by SuzanneA
Btw, still on the audio theme, IF the 970s are going to use HyperTransport in any way, and Apple decided to go with nVidia for the chipset (since they have HT experience from the nForce 3) it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect the nForce's 'realtime dolby digital encoding' on multi-channel audio.

The nforce 3 doesn't have the nvidea APU. IT also lacks firewire support. it also lacks a southbrdge so i not exactly sure how easy it is to add these things.

Originally posted by Sayer
You know most PeeCee mobo's don't have optical output for 5.1 surround sound, so why should a Mac?

Just about all PeeCees get audio support via a PCI card, and it has tons of features built in and lots of software support.


The nforce 2 chipset with MCP-T southbridge has a realtime DD encoder built in and most boards atleast have a built in optical out and some have in. The nforce APU is amazing, only thing better would be an high end creative stuff.

I think the new intel chipsets have something like also but i am not sure.

SuzanneA
May 29, 2003, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by Mosco
The nforce 3 doesn't have the nvidea APU. IT also lacks firewire support. it also lacks a southbrdge so i not exactly sure how easy it is to add these things.


Only because right now the nForce 3 is for servers, you can bet when the release of the consumer AMD64 nears, the nForce 3 will magically gain more consumer-PC features, such as the APU and Firewire.

Anyway, I was really more speculating on the idea of nVidia designing a new chipset based on their existing experience with HT and other features that apple MAY want. I personally doubt it would happen - Apple would want the chipset to remain proprietary IP to themselves, I imagine. Though with nVidia a touch mad at MS about the xbox2, who knows what might happen :D

Raiwong
May 29, 2003, 01:45 PM
5.1 is good, but I'd trade the connectors for something else. The whole 5.1 thing is having 6 speakers that can reproduce 3D sound. Many people are happy with 2 SPEAKERS on their godamn computer.

The 5.1 system is designed for home cinemas on plasma tv,s with a big sofa. Not some mac geek that has to be a audio phile as well, which is pretty rare to sit in a smallass screen 22inch is small for cinema standards and watch movies like that.

If you want to watch DVDs get a home cinema, nearly all of the Pc users don't use their 5.1 system. Ok now some say 5.1 for games? what games on the mac?! we will even have trouble trying to get 5.1 apps now.

5.1 is still a very nich market, i'm not saying its expensive or something, but people just don't feel the need to clamp 6 speakers in their room.

Honestly the computer 5.1 market isn't lifted off because noone is interested right now. Card manufacturers only include the connectors because they are cheap and will add value to their product.

I also agree with the whole integrated motherboard thing, why not just have other manufacturers, BUT NO APPLE has style they like to design everything, and looks innovative. I can see a innovative motherboard coming up our asses. and the innovation sure costs alot too

sorry i'm a bit high today...I apologize

P-Worm
May 29, 2003, 01:46 PM
I think the most interest is the fact that there is only one FW400 port there and two FW800. Is it just me or is there almost nothing right now that supports FW800? Maybe Apple has something else up their sleeve that none of us are aware of.

As a side not, I don't really buy all of this audio talk. It just doesn't seem like what these mystery ports are.

Another good point is where the ethernet port went. This whole article doesn't make a lot of sense.

P-Worm

Fukui
May 29, 2003, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by SuzanneA
Though with nVidia a touch mad at MS about the xbox2, who knows what might happen :D
What happened with MS/Nvidia?

SuzanneA
May 29, 2003, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by Fukui
What happened with MS/Nvidia?

MS told intel and nvidia it doesn't need their chips for the xbox 2, it will design the CPU and GPU itself.

Really, you can stop laughing now....

DharvaBinky
May 29, 2003, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by Frobozz
Good point... what's up with that? Seems like a basic thing to report. Suspicious...

It said the ports were grouped in to 3 and 2. That could be the audio grouping (3) and dual Gigabit Ethernet...

That'd make the pro mac a little more pro. Especially since Apple could assuredly write network load-balancing drivers for their own motherboards giving them a 2gb on copper solution...

:cool:

Dharvabinky

AidenShaw
May 29, 2003, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by BurntCalc
From my understanding, Apple is using a 64bit unix variant already for their OS. So is the OS going to be 64 bit??? Of course. It already basically is.

Can you offer any proof of this from Apple? A random website with OS X listed in the 64-bit column isn't proof - that mistake has been made before.

Just because some members of BSD are 64-bit, doesn't mean that the Mach kernel, the BSD layers, Carbon, Cocoa and everything else is 64-bit.

Mac OS X is a 32-bit operating system, period. The presence of 64-bit cousins should mean that the UNIX parts should be fairly easy to port, but all the Apple stuff added on top has a legacy of 32-bit code.

stompy
May 29, 2003, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by SuzanneA
MS told intel and nvidia it doesn't need their chips for the xbox 2, it will design the CPU and GPU itself.

Really, you can stop laughing now....

You're wrong about one thing, I can't stop laughing :p

Eniregnat
May 29, 2003, 02:14 PM
It seems that most everybody is 970 centered. Think outside the box, perhaps this new motherboard is for the consumer line [b]digital hub[b/] that was on top of the rumor charts way back when the Cube was about to appear. Actually the digital hub (combo entertainment center/email/phone/ and all around Jetson’s like appliance) rumor surfaces every couple of months. This is just my take.

soggywulf
May 29, 2003, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by andyduncan
With regards to 5.1 over 3 miniplugs, sure you can do it, but it sounds like *****. Digital out is the only way to go. Most of these boards don't have horse pucky in the way of D/A converters. Anecdotally my g4's miniplug sounds way better than my VIA's.

Have you tested this double-blind? I find it unlikely that you hear differences in DACs, outside the psychoacoustic effect.

Frobozz
May 29, 2003, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by Cabrewolf
Post processed 5.1 requires six connections, but preprocessed 5.1 signals only need one digital line; either optical or RCA. Having only the one digital allows them to do not only 5.1 but also some of the higher quality suround encoding(6 and 7 channels).

Wolf

Cool, dude. Thanks for the info. I was wondering if that would be scalable, since I have a system with 6.1.

elvisizer
May 29, 2003, 02:16 PM
Probably not going to happen. What Digital Out would you use? SPDIF is stereo only. There is no industry standard multichannel Digital I/O. [/B]

well, that's assuming that the multichannel decoding is being done by the mac itself.
But, like all dvd players, if the multichannel bitstream is NOT being decoded in the mac, you could use optical or spdif digital cabling to send the signal to a decoder. which would be the best way to go, anyway. the less time the audio spends inside that noisy mac case, the better . . . .

soggywulf
May 29, 2003, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by AndrewMT
I hope these unidentified connecters are for the new media mac. RCA video input/output. S-video output. Spdif-in/out.

Video output is not going to be on the Mobo unless it has built-in video. Unlikely. If you want S-video or composite or component video out, you'll have to ask ATI and/or Nvidia.

Video input...that would have to mean the Mobo has built-in analog vid capture (hardware mpeg or DV encoder on the Mobo). Again, unlikely.

Frobozz
May 29, 2003, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by hvfsl
I got a bit anyoyed because there were lots of people saying there was no point in having 5.1 sound because stereo is good enough. So I though I would start some flaming. I know Macs are better for audio in general, just not watching DVDs it seems.

:-) Agreed. It'd be nice if I could do 5.1 while watching a DVD. I guess, though, I'd prefer to be sitting on the couch and watching it on my nice flat screen sony instead. Aw, hell, I want everything for the sake of having it!

Masker
May 29, 2003, 02:39 PM
Seems interesting to me that there is no mention of:

1) Ethernet
2) Modem
3) Airport Extreme (though, this isn't really a "connector", but a mini-PCI, so I don't know if this is really something that they'd talk about, but they also mention RAM slots again...)

Although, I have to say, there are possible explanations for this:

1) No ethernet == Airport only? Not likely, but possible. Bundle an Airport Extreme base station & card with every Power Mac, and you don't need no stinking ethernet connection... The reason this isn't plausible is that 54 Mbps < 1 Gb ethernet...
2) Could be a USB modem, like in the iMac.
3) May not be talking about this 'connector', but just the serial/FW/audio connectors.

Whatever. These details are getting sketchier and sketchier.

johnpaul191
May 29, 2003, 02:40 PM
the "mystery ports" don't say much.... they say a cluster of 3 and of 2..... i would assume there is a small pop off card for a modem and maybe ethernet..... and in the past prototype boards almost always have "mystery ports" for testing reasons..... they generally go away for production (though the Rev A imac kept it's testing slot).

3 audio connectors doesn't say a lot.... as posted above the current machines have: audio in, headphones and digital out (for pro speakers).
if there was going to be built in 5.1, it could be run out of the digital port, right? ie: signal sent to iSub and then the other speakers split off that. i think that's how some others do it now.

P-Worm
May 29, 2003, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by Eniregnat
It seems that most everybody is 970 centered. Think outside the box, perhaps this new motherboard is for the consumer line [b]digital hub[b/] that was on top of the rumor charts way back when the Cube was about to appear. Actually the digital hub (combo entertainment center/email/phone/ and all around Jetson?s like appliance) rumor surfaces every couple of months. This is just my take.

Would it make sense for such a device to have a motherboard? I don't know, I'm just asking. The article says that these are a pert of the motherboard and it seems to me that they are for sure talking about the 970s. I mean, that's all they ever talk about.

P-Worm

Eniregnat
May 29, 2003, 03:31 PM
They suppose that it's a 970, but I am just stating that the 970 looks so far off. If the 970 is due out this year they wouldn't be doing prototyping now, unless this is for something beyond the next motherboard set.

I would guess that the digital hub would have to have some sort of mother board, and while I want the 970 to be a reality, the rumors about software manufacturer’s making their applications 64bit compliant is sparse at best.

I am just trying to provide a different explanation for the reports about this motherboard. Supposition on a rumor, what could be more useless.

As far as the 56k modem, I think that Apple is going to junk that at some point. I can hear Jobs now, "Dial up is like the floppy..."

NavyIntel007
May 29, 2003, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by DharvaBinky
It said the ports were grouped in to 3 and 2. That could be the audio grouping (3) and dual Gigabit Ethernet...

That'd make the pro mac a little more pro. Especially since Apple could assuredly write network load-balancing drivers for their own motherboards giving them a 2gb on copper solution...

:cool:

Dharvabinky

Probably not so much dual gigabit Ethernet as it would be a integrated dual fiber channel (drool).

The three ports could be proprietary ports for the new 5.1 apple pro speakers that were also rumored.

wilhelmd
May 29, 2003, 04:01 PM
Originally posted by NavyIntel007
Probably not so much dual gigabit Ethernet as it would be a integrated dual fiber channel (drool).

The three ports could be proprietary ports for the new 5.1 apple pro speakers that were also rumored.
I like it. I like it a lot.

However, what I would like to se in an upcoming computer (I want to build this on my _very_ noisy PC, though my Cube doesn't really have this noise problem) is some kind of solution that would let me remove the optical drives, and have a 15 ft. extension cord between the optical drives and the computer itself. The housing for the optical drives should also feature the connector for the display, firewire ports and USB-ports along with sound in/out and power/sleep-button.

This would help me get all the noisy parts out of the room, and let me sit down in front of my LCD display (that does not flicker, thank you very much) and some kind of speaker system, having a total noise level so low that I could sleep in the same rome simply by turning of the display (that's another feature I'm missing - I can't really _turn off_ the Cinema Display without waiting for the display sleep to kick inn or putting my Cube to sleep).

I don't think that Apple should have it's own standards for transfering audio to it's speakers - preventing you from a) Using other kind of surround-speakers on your computer and b) Using the speakers for anything else than the computer.

strider42
May 29, 2003, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by Eniregnat
They suppose that it's a 970, but I am just stating that the 970 looks so far off. If the 970 is due out this year they wouldn't be doing prototyping now, unless this is for something beyond the next motherboard set.

As far as the 56k modem, I think that Apple is going to junk that at some point. I can hear Jobs now, "Dial up is like the floppy..."

Why wouldn't apple be prototyping now if its due out this year? The 970 only recently became available, so they could only have just been doing real prototypes fairly recently. The 970 absolutely requires a new motherboard, so they'd need to prototype. Right now seems perfectly right for a prototype to be out (its probably neither the first nor the last prototype they've made)

As for the dialup modem, there is absolutley no way apple is going to junk a 56k modem any time soon. Most of the country is still on dialup, not everyone can even get broadband. Dumping dialup would absolutely, utterly dsetroy apple. Its possible it might be a BTO option ont he high end machiens (didn't they actually have it set up that way in the past), but certainly not on the consumer line. The US is years and years away from doing away with dialup.

deepkid
May 29, 2003, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by reyesmac
Why doesnt Apple just make a mac with 6 pci and 1 agp slot and just ad cheap PC PCI surround sound cards and video in/out cards with mac drivers. Why waste money putting on the motherboard when they would just use a pci cards? That way, the people who needs extra slots can take the unwanted cards out and the ones that dont need that many slots still have 3 to work with. It will be dissapointing if they dont use industry standard connectors for audio and video.

What they need to ad to the motherboard is a hardware mpeg encoder/decoder with video in and out, that way making iDVD's and iMovies will be quicker.

Do you want a mac or a Dell? Apple isn't known for just slapping things together and going with the whatever the rest of the industry is doing.

Besides, there are plenty of third party items to satisfy the slot lovers. Most people who bitch about slots on the discussion boards don't even have a use for them. Its so tiring to hear.

Also, there are many different connectors, etc. that's used in the industry. For example some prefer AES/EBU, some coaxial, some RCA, etc. Which to choose?

I look forward to each new product and revision that Apple does to push the envelope.

Let's wait and see what happens.

Eniregnat
May 29, 2003, 04:12 PM
Somebody has to have the dissident view. I'm not quite the Devil's Advocate, but I do work in her office.

I didn't think that they would ever junk the floppy, but it happened. Most everybody in on dialup, but I could see Apple removing it from it iMac line. I don’t think they would pull it from a portable, but they have already done it with the towers.

As for the 970, again I hope its true and we all know it requires a new motherboard, all I am stating is this might be another unrelated device. Heck we are all making educated guesses here. I don't think my idea is any more wacky or correct. It's plausable.

Postal
May 29, 2003, 04:28 PM
Masker:

I suspect that (again, if the rumour is even true) their not mentioning Ethernet has more to do with it being a given than anything else. After all, they didn't make any mentions of the IDE connectors... so iif we took things in an overly literal way, that would mean that there would be no hard disks or optical drives. :p

It sounds more like someone is describing the features that drew their interest, more than anything.

Peyote
May 29, 2003, 04:29 PM
Anyone else get the suspicion that these mystery ports may have something to do with the new Apple patents detailing the stereo microphone input system?

dbrutus
May 29, 2003, 04:57 PM
From the original "4 des 8 slots mémoire ne sont pas actifs sur la carte" from this we can see a few things

1. There are 8 RAM slots on this MB, shades of the Mac II!!!
2. The OS currently isn't 64 bit which is why 4 of the slots aren't working (addressing problems going past the 32 bit limit).

It's going to be the 680x0 -> PPC transition all over again with the OS retaining large chunks of 32 bit code for quite some time except there will be two advantages this time around

1. Lower speed penalty. 680x0 code never ran as fast on PPC as 32bit PPC code runs on 64bit PPC chips (it's in the design spec and has been for years)
2. Since a significant chunk of the OS is open source via Darwin, the transition to a 64 bit OS will be faster since a lot of the basic plumbing is either already 64bit ready or can be made so without taxing Apple's engineering staff too heavily.

eric_n_dfw
May 29, 2003, 05:00 PM
Pro-sumer Video editors like myself would liek 5.1 - especially if iDVD were to take it from Final Cut Pro exported media and encode Dolby Digital. (all the "hard work" would have to be done in FCP or a 3rd party audio app, of course) I beleive DVD Studio Pro can handle it today.

Then if a plug in for FCP to encode Dolby Pro Logic II onto tape existed, I'd be in heaven!

Hmmmm - I wonder if there is such a beast today for FCP 3.... Time to start poking around on 2-pop.com!

pianojoe
May 29, 2003, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by nuckinfutz




Probably not going to happen. What Digital Out would you use? SPDIF is stereo only. There is no industry standard multichannel Digital I/O.

...called ADAT bridge. Available in any recording studio near you, originally developed by Alesis.

MacBoy88
May 29, 2003, 05:04 PM
Steven Jobs
I do see potential to use small device to drive a TV as the presentation vehicle

Could this come into Play ?!?!

rog
May 29, 2003, 05:57 PM
this has to be the lamest rumor yet from the MB folks. What a waste of bandwith!

Eniregnat
May 29, 2003, 06:01 PM
To add, if it is a 970 mother board, I would expect at least one if not two fiber channels. Isn’t this what the Xserves have?

contempt
May 29, 2003, 06:23 PM
Yeah, I'd be really surprised if Apple didn't come out with USB2.0. They'd be complete idiots for that. How long has it been out?

elvisizer
May 29, 2003, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by Eniregnat
To add, if it is a 970 mother board, I would expect at least one if not two fiber channels. Isn’t this what the Xserves have?

guh? xserves? why would this be an xserve board? i've heard zero speculation about a 970-based xserve rev coming up, but i have heard a thing or two about a 970-based powermac rev . :D
if this supposed board is headed for a powermac, i would be very surprised to see fiber channel on board. if apple's going to be adding things to the powermac mb, you'd probably see usb2 or serial ata before fiber channel, wouldn't you?
also, the xserve's fiber channel is on an optional pci card.
elvisizer

NavyIntel007
May 29, 2003, 06:59 PM
This could be Xserve board. I think it would be a bold and proper statement if the Xserve had an integrated Fiber channel. There would also be no problem in the Powermac getting a fiber channel either. I work for a telecom company and more and more people are doing direct fiber because of the speed and quality of the connections.

stompy
May 29, 2003, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by contempt
Yeah, I'd be really surprised if Apple didn't come out with USB2.0. They'd be complete idiots for that. How long has it been out?

Not that I believe this rumor, but Apple doesn't simply do things because they're established on the PC side. PCs had PS/2 ports, why didn't Apple adopt them? ADB perhaps? The reasons for Apple's reluctance to add USB 2 are mainly speculation, but may be similar to PS/2 vs. ADB. Apple already had a preferred solution. (In this case, FireWire.)

What willit take for Apple to add USB 2 to all their systems? Only Apple knows, I thought they might add it to systems once they put FW 800 in.

The Fatman
May 29, 2003, 07:27 PM
When they said ports could they have been talking about the expansion slots???

3xPCIexpress

1xPCI express x16
1x8xAGP????

Don't know if AGP and PCI express can work on same same chipset, but just trowing up (although maybe stupid) suggestions.:)

wizard
May 29, 2003, 07:51 PM
If Apple were to delievery a PCI Xpress capable motherboard by July that would be a fantastic coup. I would imagine that the best they would be albe to do is PCI X which isn't the same thing.

Personally I would be extremely tempted to buy a Mac if the new 970's came out next month. The reality is that Apple will have to deomonstrate substantial performance advantage relative to Linux on comparable PC hardware. Frankly Linux is more likely to be a competitive issue for Apple than MS. Lets face it a large majority ot the people out there are not going to leave the MS world, the people who do are just as likely to look at Linux as they are Apple.

Which brings up a final point I do hope that Apple has the X compatibility layer read for the next major OS release. Being able to run X-Windows along side Mac applications is one way to get people to take notice.

Kurt
May 29, 2003, 08:00 PM
I read most of this thread and didn't see anyone else ask this: How many processors? The article didn't mention one of the most important items.

Sun Baked
May 29, 2003, 08:14 PM
Originally posted by Kurt
I read most of this thread and didn't see anyone else ask this: How many processors? The article didn't mention one of the most important items. This article is useless, the info is useless.

It's like interviewing somebody who is currently driving one of the new C6 Corvette test mules and after they spend time poking around under the hood, inside, and at the alpha copy owner's manual the idiot ends up writing an exciting article about the wheels and tires and how they couldn't figure out what a couple of the buttons on the dashboard did. :rolleyes:

stompy
May 29, 2003, 08:40 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked
This article is useless, the info is useless.

It's like interviewing somebody who is currently driving one of the new C6 Corvette test mules and after they spend time poking around under the hood, inside, and at the alpha copy owner's manual the idiot ends up writing an exciting article about the wheels and tires and how they couldn't figure out what a couple of the buttons on the dashboard did. :rolleyes:

In other words, not much different than a lot of other rumors posted by the less reputable rumor sites (is that redundant?).:p

Flowbee
May 29, 2003, 08:45 PM
I was going along with MacB until this latest one. It just seems like too much info coming out too quickly. And we're talking about a brand new processor and motherboard design. Don't get me wrong... I hope their info is accurate to some extent (I really don't want to see another rumor site crash and burn), but the "rumor paradox" is in play: Too much information makes you look just as bad as too little information. :confused:

GetSome681
May 29, 2003, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by Masker

1) No ethernet == Airport only? Not likely, but possible. Bundle an Airport Extreme base station & card with every Power Mac, and you don't need no stinking ethernet connection... The reason this isn't plausible is that 54 Mbps < 1 Gb ethernet...


This is quite possibly the most stupid thing I've ever heard. It's a PRO machine...we don't want no stinkin airport extreme. I'd love to see you run a server with airport extreme LoL.

Once you thought of how sometimes wirless signals aren't that great, and when you started writing "54 Mbps < 1 Gb" you should have stopped and started hitting delete.

Sorry to be mean, but Jesus!

From Win to Mac
May 29, 2003, 11:37 PM
LOL

mathiasr
May 30, 2003, 01:40 AM
http://www.macosrumors.com/

*New audio-out options including support for digital surround sound. Dolby 5.1 or 7.1 have been frequently discussed, but details have yet to be confirmed by any source willing to speak to us.
*New connectors added to Apple Pro Speaker jack (reasons unknown) - but may be related to a second-generation iPod dock that would allow a new generation of Apple Pro Speakers to be used directly with a docked iPod, and would add other new features.

The rest is on par with MacBidouille

mustang_dvs
May 30, 2003, 01:45 AM
Not to give undue credence to a rumor, but perhaps the reason why there is no block diagram, or chipset information, or even photographs of the rumored motherboard is that MacB decided not to push the limits with Apple legal. Maybe.

Personally, I'm hard pressed to remember the last time MacB fabricated a major rumor (or any rumor for that matter -- feel free to correct me). After all, it was MacB, if memory serves, that had the first photos of the MDD cases (and everyone claimed they were bad Photoshops) and what turned out to be the Xserve motherboard.

It would be pretty ballsy and rather pointless for a site to pull an MOSR or a SpyMac (or even the dreaded Xtrem) and start spewing out useless and outlandish rumors for the sake of hype, especially given MacB's fairly solid record.

mustang_dvs
May 30, 2003, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by mathiasr
http://www.macosrumors.com/

[snip]

The rest is on par with MacBidouille

Personally, I am shocked at how far out on a limb MOSR is going by claiming that the new PowerMacs will have "airport extreme, gigabit ethernet and a 56k modem." Absolutely ludicrous. Now they're just making things up.

Wardofsky
May 30, 2003, 02:45 AM
I don't use computers based on their motherboard, more over the speed, looks and creator.

astray
May 30, 2003, 03:45 AM
MacBidouille have an update on the unknown connectors..

Google translation:
***
[ Rumour ] connectors of the 970, continuation

We had infos on part of the mysterious external connectors of the mother chart PPC 970.
One of them (and probably 2) is a connector Fiber channel to connect for example Xserve RAID.
***

Anyone feel like explaining more precisely what one of these is?

soggywulf
May 30, 2003, 04:57 AM
Originally posted by NavyIntel007
I work for a telecom company and more and more people are doing direct fiber because of the speed and quality of the connections.

Is that business or residential? If it's residential, where do I sign up, and how much does it cost? :)

In any case, I think we are far from free from ethernet, to be replacing it on the mobo with something else.

Hattig
May 30, 2003, 05:47 AM
Originally posted by SuzanneA
Btw, still on the audio theme, IF the 970s are going to use HyperTransport in any way, and Apple decided to go with nVidia for the chipset (since they have HT experience from the nForce 3) it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect the nForce's 'realtime dolby digital encoding' on multi-channel audio.

However, its probably unlikely that Apple would choose nVidia for the chipset. Though that doesn't rule out Apple have approached Dolby Labs for an AC3 encoding license for their own chipset.

I wouldn't be surprised if Apple have used the nForce2 MCP-T hypertransport southbridge in the new macs, or a variant thereof (suddenly recalls that nVidia will be integrating a gigabit ethernet controller in their chipsets later this year, and this would be a requirement of Apple's). On the other hand, maybe Apple have simply licensed the same DSP core that nVidia did for their audio solution.

However I expect the northbridge to be Apple designed still.

giffut
May 30, 2003, 06:11 AM
There are other information leaks growing: Two of the indicated five mysterious ports are fibre channel connectors like the ones used with xServe and xRaid . The other three are definitely related to video I/O.

G.

Hattig
May 30, 2003, 06:28 AM
Originally posted by astray
[ Rumour ] connectors of the 970, continuation

We had infos on part of the mysterious external connectors of the mother chart PPC 970.
One of them (and probably 2) is a connector Fiber channel to connect for example Xserve RAID.
***

Unfortunately, this really does sound like a pile of codswallop now. Why would Apple integrate FiberChannel on the motherboard, when perhaps only 1% of users will want to use it? It isn't the cheapest of options either, IIRC.

So either this is an xServe motherboard (but then, why the audio connectors?), or MacB is very mistaken, or MacB is being fed the wrong information deliberately.

The external ports I would expect to see on the motherboard of a modern 2003 computer system:

1) Gigabit ethernet or two
2) 5.1 channel audio output (3 mini-jacks, and a TOSLINK out)
3) Audio in (stereo mini-jack and TOSLINK in)
4) Firewire (800 and 400 for an Apple system)
5) USB2
6) USB1 keyboard / mouse connector (as USB2 slows down to USB1 speeds when a USB1 device is attached) unless new Apple kb/m are USB2 devices.

Video will be on a separate card. FiberChannel / SCSI / etc would be on separate cards.

soggywulf
May 30, 2003, 07:09 AM
Originally posted by Hattig
The external ports I would expect to see on the motherboard of a modern 2003 computer system:

1) Gigabit ethernet or two
2) 5.1 channel audio output (3 mini-jacks, and a TOSLINK out)
3) Audio in (stereo mini-jack and TOSLINK in)
4) Firewire (800 and 400 for an Apple system)
5) USB2
6) USB1 keyboard / mouse connector (as USB2 slows down to USB1 speeds when a USB1 device is attached) unless new Apple kb/m are USB2 devices.

Video will be on a separate card. FiberChannel / SCSI / etc would be on separate cards.

Yep, I agree. Fairly common sense stuff. I'll be quite surprised if the ports are any different from the list above.

Re USB... I'm not sure if your statement about backwards compatibility is correct. As previously mentioned in this thread, my understanding is that attaching USB 1.1 devices to a USB 2 host controller does not slow down any USB 2 devices in the same chain. I'm not sure how it can possibly work that way, but that is my impression. See http://www.buslink.com/ver2/usb24porthub.htm


Q: Can I use the USB 1.1 devices with others in USB 2.0 devices?

Yes. USB 2.0 is forward and backward compatible with USB 1.1. All USB 1.1 devices can be used interchangeably with USB 2.0 devices without affecting performance of either.

andyduncan
May 30, 2003, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by soggywulf
Have you tested this double-blind? I find it unlikely that you hear differences in DACs, outside the psychoacoustic effect.

No actually i havent. It is significant enough that such testing wouldn't really be neccessary. You can come listen if you want :-)

Admittedly it might not be the DAC, could be the amplification circuit, or some other noise from the board/case itself.

soggywulf
May 30, 2003, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by andyduncan
Admittedly it might not be the DAC, could be the amplification circuit, or some other noise from the board/case itself.

Yeah, that could be. Noise, probably...but perhaps amp clipping also. Oh well, who knows. :)

AidenShaw
May 30, 2003, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Hattig
5) USB2
6) USB1 keyboard / mouse connector (as USB2 slows down to USB1 speeds when a USB1 device is attached) unless new Apple kb/m are USB2 devices.

As soggywulf pointed out, it's almost independent. (I say "almost", because an active USB 1.1 device takes 12Mbps of the 480 Mbps USB 2 bus, leaving only 468 Mbps for the USB 2 device ;) )

The situation (and technical explanation) is similar to a network switch with 10/100/1000 support and a GigE uplink.

Adding a 100Mbps network device does not slow the switch and the uplink to 100Mbps - GigE devices and the uplink remain at GigE. The switch buffers and speed-matches the packets, even sending the data from the 100Mbps device up the uplink at GigE speeds.

A USB 2.0 hub does the same, its uplink is USB 2.0, and USB 1.1 data is buffered and uplinked at USB 2.0 speeds.

macrealist
May 30, 2003, 03:42 PM
Originally posted by Dave_B
As I recall, the stories about the 970's had them landed in Taiwan.

MPU daughtercards are mfg'd from Taiwan. Cork Ireland and Elk Grove plants put the pieces together for towers and servers (as does another plant in a different part of asia)

landing in taiwan, though, could really add fuel to the 970 on powerBook rumors...

Booga
May 30, 2003, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by Hattig
Unfortunately, this really does sound like a pile of codswallop now. Why would Apple integrate FiberChannel on the motherboard, when perhaps only 1% of users will want to use it? It isn't the cheapest of options either, IIRC.


From what it sounds like to me, and this is just a guess, this thing is a test motherboard for some new chipset. What better way to test a chipset than to put one or two of every single supported port onto a motherboard and test them all out?

I can't imagine a new pro Mac shipping with a 400 firewire port, and some of the new ports and slots seem somewhat unlikely at this point. But if you want to make sure all your drivers, chipsets, connectors, etc., work with each other, this is exactly what you'd build-- a limited-run motherboard with the works.

If this is such a motherboard, and it's all that exists right now, I wouldn't put money on seeing a 970 machine in June. Going from this kind of test to a release product is not a 1-month thing. I would believe that select developers could get their hands on them, but that the actual machines would ship in late fall. (Again, just an off-the-cuff guess from an engineering type.)

AidenShaw
May 30, 2003, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by Booga
From what it sounds like to me, and this is just a guess, this thing is a test motherboard for some new chipset. What better way to test a chipset than to put one or two of every single supported port onto a motherboard and test them all out?

A couple of problems with this approach....

1. It's expensive - you need to set up all kinds of custom glue logic and build a special board layout (some printed circuit boards are 20 layers thick) to connect the components.

2. It doesn't test the final board - after testing the mondo-motherboard, you then build a completely different board for production. It doesn't work, though, because a mistake happened while redesigning the board.


It's one thing if the board will go into production, perhaps with some components optional (Fibre Channel only when the board is in an XServe), but to make a special "kitchen sink" board for testing would be odd. Too much money, and you don't test what you plan to sell.

BTW, I find Fibre Channel quite unlikely for the PowerMac Extreme - too expensive, and a direct competitor to 1394b for storage. Makes sense for XServe....

My hunch on the mystery "3+2" connectors is Component Video + Audio Out. A great way to connect your HDTV or HD-Ready TV to the computer!

arn
May 30, 2003, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by mustang_dvs

Personally, I'm hard pressed to remember the last time MacB fabricated a major rumor (or any rumor for that matter -- feel free to correct me).

MacBidouille as not been 100% accurate

http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/05/20020508223037.shtml

http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/11/20021121194601.shtml

arn

Raiwong
May 30, 2003, 05:35 PM
Isn't that a RAID rack then..?

anjaki
May 30, 2003, 08:15 PM
It's quite obvious to me that macB. is being fed this information by Apple, the shear volume and that fact that Apple has not denied any of it point to this, after all if there were no rumours at all one would have to probably assume that Apple has nothing up it's sleeve, and even Apple can't afford that, but at the same time it has to distance itself from the "source", hence the french aspect.

And we are all busy speading the word, albeit unofficially.

Shaktai
May 31, 2003, 12:06 AM
Originally posted by arn
MacBidouille as not been 100% accurate

Very true, but what rumor site has been 100% accurate. MacBidouille like any other site has had its hits and misses. A lot depends on their sources. In the end, only time will tell. Rumors are usually a little bit of fact enhanced by speculation. The farther a rumor gets from its source, the greater the speculation and the less the fact. Each person who relays it, alters it in some manner according to their own perception and knowledge.

To prove this point. line up 10 people 10 feet apart. Give the first person a specific message of at least 10 words, and have them wait 2 minutes then walk over to the next person and repeat the message, and so on down the line. By the time it reaches the 10th person, there is a better then 90% probability it will be dramatically changed and possibly not even recognizable.

ZeeOwl
May 31, 2003, 10:17 AM
Translated from French by your's truly (French is my first language)...

"OK, take this with a major dose of salt, as usual.

The dual-processor motherboards should have 8 memory slots in all. There seems to be 4 per processor. These slots are currently compatible with 4 GiB memory modules. Therefore we should have a maximum memory capacity of 32 GiB !!

We have no clue how the Mac will manage it's RAM. We don't know if each processor will have it's own dedicated Twin Bank memory allocation, or if the two groups of 4 slots will be combined to form one large Twin Bank.

The question now remains: How much will the ultimate PowerMac 970 configuration with 32 GiB of RAM cost?"

My comments on this:

1) I find it strange that they use the words "should have 8 memory slots". But that is the exact (translated) wording which their article uses. I speak French fluently. Does that mean that only the dual-processor motherboards will have 8 slots? That would be surprising, as that would mean different motherboards for single and dual processors. Of course that would explain a former post on their site which mentioned that only 4 of the slots on the board their contact saw were working (had only 1 processor?). Or single-processor PowerMac 970s would only have access to 4 of the slots? More likely, but still a strange and suprising restriction.

2) This article is the first place I've ever seen the term "Twin Bank" used. I therefore don't know what this technology is. My educated guess is that it takes two memory busses, and multiplexes them together into a single bus running at twice the effective clock rate. In other words: a RAM RAID. That would be fabulous, as it would allow using two 200 Mhz DDR (that is supposedly what these motherboards use) banks to acheive an effective speed of 400 MHz DDR. The PPC 970's FSB can handle 450 MHz DDR, so Apple would be using the FSB close to it's maximum capacity. Goodbye data starvation! :D If my guess is right, this thing would kick a G4's butt, even running at the same clock rate. Can anyone shed some light on this?

mathiasr
May 31, 2003, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by ZeeOwl
Does that mean that only the dual-processor motherboards will have 8 slots? That would be surprising, as that would mean different motherboards for single and dual processors. Of course that would explain a former post on their site which mentioned that only 4 of the slots on the board their contact saw were working (had only 1 processor?). Or single-processor PowerMac 970s would only have access to 4 of the slots? More likely, but still a strange and suprising restriction.
The PowerPC 970 uses a point to point connexion not a bus, each processor has its own dedicated wires between its socket and the chipset, whereas both G4e were on the same small daughtercard. Early rumors said you could distinguish the single CPU motherboard from de the dual one, this could be the reason.

Even in a cc-NUMA architecture any processor should be able to access remote memory that is local to a missing processor, this is not true with Opteron systems since the memory controller is part of the CPU.

Before you ask:
http://lse.sourceforge.net/numa/faq/

ZeeOwl
May 31, 2003, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by mathiasr
Before you ask:
http://lse.sourceforge.net/numa/faq/

Hey thanks. That was quite an eductional read. Basically, NUMA is a micro-network on a motherboard. Sounds like an interesting architecture technology. Though I have trouble seeing this being used in a PowerMac, as (because of physical limits) I doubt there will be more than 4 processors in a machine. This NUMA thing sounds like it would require some pretty complex support circuitry.

BenRoethig
Jun 1, 2003, 12:53 AM
Does this mean each processor must have its own RAM?

visor
Jun 1, 2003, 06:36 AM
Originally posted by ZeeOwl

My educated guess is that it takes two memory busses, and multiplexes them together into a single bus running at twice the effective clock rate. In other words: a RAM RAID.



Well, now that would be something worth thinking in detail. It definately makes a lot of sense on HD's and it would make even more sense on RAM as a RAm module failure wouldn't cause more permanent damage on a Raid as it would on a normal bank.
I guess the problem up to now was the slow bus, efficentlky preventing data from getting to the CPU, and eventually the CPU beeing not fast enough.

Anyway, the only problem I see now is that RAM modules would need to be a perfect match.
I checked SDRAM registers about a a year ago, and no two modules had the same setup.
So it's good bye cheap addonram, and ups that RAM is oh so expensive.

visor
Jun 1, 2003, 06:56 AM
Originally posted by Flowbee
I hope their info is accurate to some extent (I really don't want to see another rumor site crash and burn), but the "rumor paradox" is in play: Too much information makes you look just as bad as too little information. :confused:

I think Apple might leak this information intentionally, and leak it to a french site because it's in the 'all so evil outlaw France' that people who ask themselves why Apple doesn't sue the site, will eventually think 'oh it's one of those french sites - Apple couldn't do anything if they wanted to.'

Knowing Apple employs quite a lot of native french speakers (just watch ADC TV) does help developing such thoughts ;)

Why would Apple leak so many details? Well, simple, they need a pull factor to the WWDC. They figure hardware is the most interesting issue apart from 'future mac platform' and 'get a preview version of panther'
Also they don't want so many people to switch - to a PC - in the time beeing.

JRG
Jun 1, 2003, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by ZeeOwl
Translated from French by your's truly

2) This article is the first place I've ever seen the term "Twin Bank" used. I therefore don't know what this technology is. My educated guess is that it takes two memory busses, and multiplexes them together into a single bus running at twice the effective clock rate. In other words: a RAM RAID. That would be fabulous, as it would allow using two 200 Mhz DDR (that is supposedly what these motherboards use) banks to acheive an effective speed of 400 MHz DDR. The PPC 970's FSB can handle 450 MHz DDR, so Apple would be using the FSB close to it's maximum capacity. Goodbye data starvation! :D If my guess is right, this thing would kick a G4's butt, even running at the same clock rate. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Does no-one remeber twin-bank memory? My Powermac 7500 supported it. If you paired identical speed and capacity SIMMS then the data transferred at twice the rate. Gave about a 5% speed boost from memory. Apple should do this to feed the 970 monster!

AidenShaw
Jun 1, 2003, 08:17 AM
Originally posted by visor
Well, now that would be something worth thinking in detail. It definately makes a lot of sense on HD's and it would make even more sense on RAM as a RAm module failure wouldn't cause more permanent damage on a Raid as it would on a normal bank.

Interleaved memory (using 2 banks of memory in unison for twice the bandwidth) is common on Intel desktops - most of the RDRAM and DDR boards use dual-channel memory. (Hint - if the board requires that DIMMs be inserted in matched pairs, almost certainly it is dual channel or interleaved.)

The higher end Intel servers most often have 4-way interleaved memory - 4 DIMMs clocked in unison for 4 times the bandwidth.

As far as "RAID" (Redundant Arrays of Independent DIMMs) memory, HPaq servers have hot swappable RAID RAM, spare DIMM support, and other techniques:

http://h71025.www7.hp.com/support/reference_library/viewdocument.asp?countrycode=1000&prodid=5730&source=TC020905TB.xml&dt=21&docid=11063

This technology brief describes the Hot Plug RAID Memory technology developed by Compaq to give enterprise-class servers the level of memory fault tolerance today’s 7x24 applications demand. It explains memory operation, provides background information on memory reliability, reviews current error detection and correction techniques....

[It] explains why the likelihood of memory errors grows with increased memory capacity. It discusses Hot Plug RAID Memory in depth and provides information on less robust, alternative fault-tolerant memory solutions.


IBM also has advanced memory error handling:

http://www.pc.ibm.com/us/eserver/xseries/x440.html

Active Memory™

- Introduces memory mirroring capabilities to dramatically reduce unscheduled downtime for memory failures through a RAID-like mirroring of memory data - a first among industry-standard systems

- Provides first-ever Memory ProteXion™ similar to “hot-spare on DIMM” that uses spare bits for redundancy that re-route data around a failed chip on a DIMM in the event of a failure

- Offers third-generation Chipkill™ memory using off-the-shelf industry-standard DIMMs as Chipkill algorithm is now integrated into the XA-32™ chipset for best performance and lowest cost


Of course, today Apple doesn't even offer simple error detection by supporting common ECC memory. When a Mac gets a memory error (and "when" is the right word, not "if") you get a crash, or corrupted data, or something unusual happening.

littlerich
Jun 1, 2003, 09:02 AM
hey guys... i posted in the 970 odd rumors thread yesterday a link to an ibm pdf file about the 970 that basically talked about apple using the 970 in its new machines.. however today that link has been made redundent by ibm.. another member has taken a screenhsot of the last page which is quite interesting if you want to take a look.

silvergunuk
Jun 1, 2003, 10:42 AM
why dont you just paste the image in here? well all take copies and start ranting even more

job
Jun 1, 2003, 11:02 AM
This was originally posted by RandomDeadHead in another thread.

ouketii
Jun 1, 2003, 10:32 PM
i have always been confused how a place in france could get info before people in the states... maybe thats sayign something...

andyduncan
Jun 9, 2003, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by AidenShaw
Interleaved memory (using 2 banks of memory in unison for twice the bandwidth) is common on Intel desktops

Yep, used to be on macs too. Sort of a pain in the ass if you ask me. Mobo has to have twice as many slots for the same number of ram upgrades, dimms (nee simms) have to be matched, installation is more confusing for novices etc (no not that slot, that one, there, no, to the left, up one...) but its worth it if it makes it run faster...