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View Full Version : PPC970 much cheaper than G4...Apple to go all IBM in 9mos time




jholzner
Jun 1, 2003, 11:26 PM
I know a lot of people don't like macwispers but if this rumor is true than I think Apple has a very bright future. Have a read: http://www.envestco2.com/macwhispers/archives/000070.php



RandomDeadHead
Jun 2, 2003, 01:09 AM
Sounds very good, but then Apple would only have 2 procs, the G3 and G5(or what ever they call it). What would happen to the ibook? Would they keep the G3 for another couple years, or would it go directly to the 970?

I think they will keep the G4 around for awile, just to serve as a bridge between the other procs.

MacBandit
Jun 2, 2003, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by RandomDeadHead
Sounds very good, but then Apple would only have 2 procs, the G3 and G5(or what ever they call it). What would happen to the ibook? Would they keep the G3 for another couple years, or would it go directly to the 970?

I think they will keep the G4 around for awile, just to serve as a bridge between the other procs.

There's a new G3 coming down the pipeline with an integer processing unit on it ala Altivec that should wipe the floors with the G4.

NavyIntel007
Jun 2, 2003, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by MacBandit
There's a new G3 coming down the pipeline with an integer processing unit on it ala Altivec that should wipe the floors with the G4.

Is there any documentation on that?

MacBandit
Jun 2, 2003, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by NavyIntel007
Is there any documentation on that?

Well there is the 750GX that you can get info right at IBMs website and then there are the rumors and timelines that are for chips after it. There was another whole thread on this.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=26757&highlight=750GX

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=26548&highlight=750GX

One of these should answer all your questions.

groovebuster
Jun 2, 2003, 07:24 AM
Interesting!

But I doubt that Apple has the power to overhaul their complete product line within a few months... It also would be kind of risky economically. So the question (like almost always) is not if, but when...

The first thing that's gonna happen is the 970 in the pro machines, since new performant hardware is long overdue for that market. I expect the rest of the product lines to "upgrade" to a new processor until summer next year, step by step...

groovebuster

[Edit: My point was that it takes at least a year for Apple to overhaul the complete line up... 9 months is way too optimistic!]

Mr. Anderson
Jun 2, 2003, 08:10 AM
Keeping the pro systems multi processor and having a single CPU on the iMachines and PowerBooks really has some apeal.

Does anyone have any info on the 980?

D

Tim Flynn
Jun 2, 2003, 10:08 AM
Perhaps this time next year,
the high end will be dual 980s
and the low end will be single 970s

( and G4s ... what are G4s :confused: ):)

nuckinfutz
Jun 2, 2003, 10:15 AM
IBM is snatching Fab business from alot of people. I wouldn't be suprised to see them price themselves low enough to cause Moto to lose all Powermac business. Look at what IBMs done to Foundries like TMSC(taking a portion of their business).

Apple need to drop the price of their hardware ..as the increase in sales will make up for it. Start shipping boxes baby!!

praetorian_x
Jun 2, 2003, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by jholzner
I know a lot of people don't like macwispers but...

I'd like to put in my props for macwhispers-powerjack-jack_campbell. He has done some moderately shady stuff in the past, but he's been pretty honest about those mistakes (from what I've seen and know) and seems to be more humble and, importantly, he has developed a sense of humor about himself (see his spymac posts).

I like how he is relatively transparent about his sources and, after an initial bout of arrogance on macwhispers, has calmed down into a fairly analytic and informative mode. He's gotten a few things dead on (usb/fw cables), a few things wrong (ipods). The 970 release is going to be a big test for his sources, with his commitment to the powerbook rumors, so we'll see.

Cheers,
prat

Laslo Panaflex
Jun 2, 2003, 10:54 AM
1. I think that the 970's will be less expensive for apple as a chip, but knowing I don't think that this will effect the overall prices too much. Apple makes money on hardware, and they need all the money they can get right now. Sorry to say it guys, as much as you and I want to believe that good ol' Jobs is looking out for us, Apple is a business, and they make money and that's the first and formost thing for them, not making supercomputers at rock bottom prices.

2. The whole line all IBM by this time next year? Impossible, apple would never take the loss of all the stock of computers that they have that still have motorola, like the emacs, imacs, powerbook and powermac line. As I understand it, the ibooks have a IBM G3 chip in them so those don't need to be changed. But, if the new IBM chips are compatable with the boards that apple produces right now, then it would be no big deal at all to switch. Does anyone know if this is true? have anyone seen a gobi g4 chip? Even if it is compatable, you still have the slow bus speed and slow sdram, so wow big deal,more megahertz? that doesn't matter according to apple.:) Oh well, we will see.

ncbill
Jun 2, 2003, 01:21 PM
Why not drop Moto entirely (G3 from IBM)?

1. EOL iBooks, except for the lowest end. $999, 800MHz G3, 30GB drive, CD-only.

2. Powerbooks:

a. 12" 1GHz 970, 40GB drive, combo optical.
$1399 (Superdrive $200 more)

b. 15"/17" 1.2GHz 970, 40/60GB drive, superdrive.

Sure, notebook memory is not as fast as desktop memory, so they'll need to design for PC2700 (DDR 333MHz) notebook memory - slightly slower than desktop systems, but the speed bump from going to 1Ghz/1.2GHz 970s should compensate

(I picked those speeds arbitrarily, assuming for power consumption's sake notebooks would need a slower 970 than the desktops)

3. eMacs/iMacs - 970, but slower, like the notebooks (1/1.2GHz, slower memory bus (DDR 333) as well)

wms121
Jun 2, 2003, 03:54 PM
I have a friend who works for a "Area 51" related contractor...they do "deeply isolated power requirements"..or whatever..and he says that IBM has specialists all over the "desert area electronics community" doing "Ultra Black optical chips and 1024 bit processing systems..all custom". They already have multi-teraflop chips and may soon have 1024 teraflop chips and associated systems.

'Is a POWER12 on their roadmap?'

He said he would love to tell me..but he would have to kill me later.

<--died and went to moto heck

ddtlm
Jun 2, 2003, 04:35 PM
People really need to stop believing this stuff. While it may be true that IBM is willing to sell 970's at prices lower than Moto will sell 7455's and 7457's, that is not likely. The 970 is so far beyond any 745x that IBM can charge just whatever they want and Apple would have to pay it. While it may be appealing to cast IBM as some loving gentle giant, the fact of the matter is that they are a large corporation. A profitable large corporation. They don't make money by giving away products that they can charge for. Yeah, they could pass up millions in revenue because they are nice... :rolleyes:

And while it may also be appealing to visualize Apple casting aside Moto in a fit of rage and then throwing itself into IBM's loving arms, this does not seem like a business reality. Revenge is not a business policy, and before anyone even mentions it, no, Apple's use of nVidia's prodicts along side ATI's was just a smart business move. The reality of Apple's situation is that they have a lot of experience, money and time invested in chipsets and motherboards that work with G4's. G4's will be plenty fast enough for low-end products for some time to come, hopefully until Apple's first generation of 970 systems has been able to pass down some technology. And using these G4's costs Apple very little in R&D... a very important thing to remember.

Consider this fantasy about Apple going IBM top to bottom. Depending on the connected rumor/fantasy of an IBM "G4" which will apparently replace the Moto G4 while accomplishing nothing except revenge, Apple would need to design system controllers and motherboards suitable for Xserves, PMacs, 3 sizes of AluBooks, and maybe even the iMac and perhaps eMac. Remember also that multi-CPU 970 systems would conventionally require specific motherboards for each configuration. This gives us 3-5 families of new PPC970 motherboards, plus at least two 970-compatible chipsets, since the high-end and low-end models would pretty much have to be different, plus possibly another model for laptops, but who knows. Details aren't important, but clearly there is a lot of work here. You can rest assured that Apple will have to spend some time to do it all (more than one year).

mcs37
Jun 2, 2003, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by ncbill
Why not drop Moto entirely (G3 from IBM)?

1. EOL iBooks, except for the lowest end. $999, 800MHz G3, 30GB drive, CD-only.

2. Powerbooks:

a. 12" 1GHz 970, 40GB drive, combo optical.
$1399 (Superdrive $200 more)

b. 15"/17" 1.2GHz 970, 40/60GB drive, superdrive.

I would _love_ to be able to get a 12" 1 Ghz PPC 970 PowerBook for $1400. That'd be a sweet deal!

applemacdude
Jun 2, 2003, 07:17 PM
well youre only 200$ off right now

MacBandit
Jun 2, 2003, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by applemacdude
well youre only 200$ off right now

Not for a 1 GHz machine as he stated. I personally think the price drop was done so that in a couple weeks they can introduce the new laptops at the newly lowered price and not have a bunch of people returning there machines for the new ones because the new ones are cheaper. This way there isn't an apparent price drop.

XnavxeMiyyep
Jun 2, 2003, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Anderson
Keeping the pro systems multi processor and having a single CPU on the iMachines and PowerBooks really has some apeal.

Does anyone have any info on the 980?

D
The 980 will probably be marketed the same as the 970, just like the 7455s and 7457s were both marketed as G4. The 970 itself can only get to 2.5 GHz(which would only last a year or so, or Apple would have to go incredibly slow in terms of updates), so Apple would have to make a major change too soon. Thus, I believe the 970 and 980 will be marketed as the same thing.

MacBandit
Jun 2, 2003, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by XnavxeMiyyep
The 980 will probably be marketed the same as the 970, just like the 7455s and 7457s were both marketed as G4. The 970 itself can only get to 2.5 GHz(which would only last a year or so, or Apple would have to go incredibly slow in terms of updates), so Apple would have to make a major change too soon. Thus, I believe the 970 and 980 will be marketed as the same thing.

I thought the 980 with the .09nm processing could scale up to 3-5GHz.

XnavxeMiyyep
Jun 2, 2003, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by MacBandit
I thought the 980 with the .09nm processing could scale up to 3-5GHz.
I said that the 970 could only get uip to 2.5 GHz. I said nothing of the 980s limit.

ddtlm
Jun 2, 2003, 10:52 PM
MacBandit:

I thought the 980 with the .09nm processing could scale up to 3-5GHz.
Unless the 980 is a radically new chip 5ghz is out of the question for 90nm. For one thing, it would mean that going from 130nm to 90nm yielded 100% speedup (40% is more reasonable), and for another, 2.5ghz isn't even a confirmed figure. It may be the case that the 970 can't go even that fast. It would not surprise me at all if the 980 couldn't go much faster than 3ghz, and it would surprise me if it beat 4ghz.

GeneR
Jun 3, 2003, 04:53 AM
That would be really, really wonderful if it was true. I'm going to reserve judgment on it though since it seems a little too good to be true at this point. (However, I'd really, really like to believe this! :D)

hvfsl
Jun 3, 2003, 04:59 AM
The G4 is the most costly part of current Macs, just look at the price of upgrade CPUs and compair them to PC chips that can be got for less than $100. The upgrade chip makers say that they can not use the high end G4 chips since they cost too much and would cost about the same as a new Mac if bourght by the consumer. Also the rest of the computer will not cost anymore than the current Macs. The prices of PC motherboards only varry from $50 to $100.

So I am hoping the PPC970 will cost about the same as a P4, which means a $1800 1.3Ghz PPC970 / Radeon 9600M Powerbook G5 should be possible at WWDC. It is possible to get a P4 2.5Ghz version of the above laptop at that price.

Also about IBM keeping prices high, nintendo chose IBM PPC chips for the Gamecube because they were cheap and fast.

ddtlm
Jun 3, 2003, 10:14 AM
hvfsl:

The upgrade makers are not charging only the cost of the processors, they are paying for R&D spent designing their product and reverse engineering Apple's mobos, they are paying operating costs, and they are trying to make some money. You'll need some other way to determine processor cost.

nuckinfutz
Jun 3, 2003, 10:38 AM
I said that the 970 could only get uip to 2.5 GHz. I said nothing of the 980s limit

That depends on if you believe the leaked IBM Blade docs which showed PPC 970s 130nm running at 2.5Ghz. I think it's fair to see a 90nm 970 is definitely going to hit 2.5Ghz. How much higher it goes is unknown as of today.

There are no specs on the 980 that I know of. I've heard rumors of a built in Memory Controller and support for SMT but not much else is known. It should start at 90nm and perhaps move to 65nm at the end of it's life.

Maxkraft
Jun 3, 2003, 11:43 AM
The 970 have 16 stages and only 57 mil transistors. If we use the g3 as a guide, it reached 1 GHz at 4 stages then the 970 should easily scale past 3 GHz.

m_gerbik
Jun 3, 2003, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by ddtlm
People really need to stop believing this stuff. While it may be true that IBM is willing to sell 970's at prices lower than Moto will sell 7455's and 7457's, that is not likely. The 970 is so far beyond any 745x that IBM can charge just whatever they want and Apple would have to pay it. While it may be appealing to cast IBM as some loving gentle giant, the fact of the matter is that they are a large corporation. A profitable large corporation. They don't make money by giving away products that they can charge for. Yeah, they could pass up millions in revenue because they are nice... :rolleyes: Have you ever heard of a company having a better strategy than another? A different company selling a different chip might just decide to have a different price. Maybe they are trying to sell in volume. You should think about things before you call everyone else stupid... Plus it's not at all unrealistic that Apple would and could switch entirely over to IBM's chips in one year if they are really determined. Whatever man, my fantasy is better than yours anyway.

BenRoethig
Jun 3, 2003, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Laslo Panaflex
1. I think that the 970's will be less expensive for apple as a chip, but knowing I don't think that this will effect the overall prices too much. Apple makes money on hardware, and they need all the money they can get right now. Sorry to say it guys, as much as you and I want to believe that good ol' Jobs is looking out for us, Apple is a business, and they make money and that's the first and formost thing for them, not making supercomputers at rock bottom prices.

2. The whole line all IBM by this time next year? Impossible, apple would never take the loss of all the stock of computers that they have that still have motorola, like the emacs, imacs, powerbook and powermac line. As I understand it, the ibooks have a IBM G3 chip in them so those don't need to be changed. But, if the new IBM chips are compatable with the boards that apple produces right now, then it would be no big deal at all to switch. Does anyone know if this is true? have anyone seen a gobi g4 chip? Even if it is compatable, you still have the slow bus speed and slow sdram, so wow big deal,more megahertz? that doesn't matter according to apple.:) Oh well, we will see.

You have a person choosing between a Mac and say a Dell. The Equivalent Dell is much cheaper than the Mac. Only the hardcore Mac user is going to buy the Mac in that situation. Yes Apple is a Business and has to make money. However, they cannot make money if people do not see their systems as a good deal and buy a PC instead. A 3ghz Dell Dimension 8300 with 1gb of RAM, 120GB HD, 4X DVD burner, Gigbit ethernet, on-board sound, Radeon 9800pro graphics, WinXP pro, Microsoft Works suite, and Norton Antivirus can be had for $2572. The OS may suck, but it's good enough for most computer users. A similarly equipped dual 1.42 ghz G4 came in at $3458. Apple needs to find some way of lowering it's prices..

ddtlm
Jun 3, 2003, 12:12 PM
Maxkraft:

The 970 have 16 stages and only 57 mil transistors. If we use the g3 as a guide, it reached 1 GHz at 4 stages then the 970 should easily scale past 3 GHz.
Clock speed does not scale linearly with number of pipeline stages.

m_gerbik:

You should think about things before you call everyone else stupid
So my disagreement with you implies that I didn't think enough about it?

A different company selling a different chip might just decide to have a different price.
They will set the price to where they think it will benefit them the most.

Maybe they are trying to sell in volume.
If IBM prices the chip low, say going from $600 to $300, they have more than halved their profits (since the cost of production is static). Apple would save $600 if they had two in a machine (PMac), and perhaps they would reduce their price by that $600. Would this more than double sales? If not, then IBM has not benefited in terms of sales.

In another scenario, IBM might price some 970's low enough to make it work out in iMacs. This would add considerable low-margin volume that IBM might like. However Apple would need to have a system controller, motherboard, and slight case redesign to match. This is highly unlikely so soon because they have Xserves, PMacs and AluBooks to worry about first, so I don't think IBM would benefit from low-priced 970's here (yet).

I'm willing to believe that a year after intro IBM could be selling cheap 970's, but not so soon.

MacBandit
Jun 3, 2003, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by ddtlm
Maxkraft:

If IBM prices the chip low, say going from $600 to $300, they have more than halved their profits (since the cost of production is static).........


Chip production costs rarely stay static. Typically yields are low when a chip is first produced and over time they refine the production and yields improve greatly. The better yields per wafer the lower the cost. Also when they move to the 9nm process costs will go down again as they will be able to get even higher yields per wafer and last but not least IBMs new plant is designed to work the the larger wafers so they can from the start produce more chips in mass production. IBM is set to produce these chips cheap. Also IBM plans on using these chips in there own workstations and therefore it would be costly for them to price them high as with any big business they will most likely have to sell the chips to themselves to show an expense for tax purposes and for profit evaluation.

ddtlm
Jun 3, 2003, 01:02 PM
MacBandit:

Chip production costs rarely stay static. Typically yields are low when a chip is first produced and over time they refine the production and yields improve greatly.
True. ...but I do think my argument that IBM will probably not price low for a while still stands.

Dont Hurt Me
Jun 3, 2003, 02:07 PM
I think macbandits point is good but remember ibm is actively working on the 970,power4,power5 and 980 to come. In the past 3yrs what has motorola done with their chip? NOT SQUAT! still dreaming of a g4 that can use a bus speed of better 133? I think the 970 will be better, cheaper and will produce in volume giving apple what it needs in a cpu maker who is actually interested in advancement and helping apple sell computers rather then motorolas take of doing nothing and then apple having to figure out how to cram 2 cpu's in one machine to make up for motorolas stagnation. Apple should give them the boot. The MAIN item in any computer is the cpu. You have to have a cpu that is advancing if you are to keep up with the wintel world. Motorola go back to you phones and toasterovens. WE need a REAL CPU MAKER like IBM.

hsilver
Jun 4, 2003, 12:24 AM
What is the Gobi chip the MacWhispers article refers to?

Rincewind42
Jun 4, 2003, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by ddtlm
People really need to stop believing this stuff. While it may be true that IBM is willing to sell 970's at prices lower than Moto will sell 7455's and 7457's, that is not likely. The 970 is so far beyond any 745x that IBM can charge just whatever they want and Apple would have to pay it. While it may be appealing to cast IBM as some loving gentle giant, the fact of the matter is that they are a large corporation. A profitable large corporation. They don't make money by giving away products that they can charge for. Yeah, they could pass up millions in revenue because they are nice... :rolleyes:

But you forget the business of scale. If IBM sells 970s for $600 each, then potential customers will be fewer (barrier of entry, cost of final product) and those customers that bite will buy fewer (due to their own costs). If IBM sells them cheaper, then more people will be able to afford the chip, will be able to afford to use the chip, and most importantly buy more of the chips. Selling a thousand chips at $300 profit each is not as good as selling two thousand chips at $150 profit each - the overall profit is the same but the cheaper price will attract more people to purchase. In the case of Apple, if they can put 970s in iBooks and still sell them for $999, then Apple will buy more (many many more) 970s than if they cost so much that they could only be put in PowerMacs.

Kamu-San
Jun 4, 2003, 05:56 AM
One of the things I can remember IBM execs said was that they wanted to wipe away the Itanium with the PPC970.

So they want to sell *a lot*, which would be very hard if the price is so high.

Also, as opposed to Motorola, they will sell the PPC970 to other computer manufacturers than Apple.

ddtlm
Jun 4, 2003, 12:23 PM
Rincewind42:

Selling a thousand chips at $300 profit each is not as good as selling two thousand chips at $150 profit each - the overall profit is the same but the cheaper price will attract more people to purchase.
People won't buy PPC970's. People will buy machines wrapped around them, and if IBM halves the price or profit on a PPC970 the product holding it will not experience nearly as large a price drop... if it gets any at all. As I already outlined, it seems unlikely that halving the price or profit on a PPC970 would double the sales of an expensive machine since such as a PMac, and as I already outlined wether or not the PPC970 could be priced low enough for an iBook or iMac is irrelevant... Apple can't implement that hardware until they implement multiple higher end lines first. It takes time, regardless of Apple's long-term plans. I maintain that there is no incentive for IBM to price the PPC970 low initially, I say for at least a year after introduction.

Assuming it ends up in a Mac at all. :D

Kamu-San:

Well the Itanium is easier to outsell that it is to outperform. Intel's sales have been very bad, as outlined by The Register (referencing the IDC): http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/3/30966.html . Perhaps between the Power4, the PPC970, and their decendants the Itanium can be beaten. But Intel has a lot of money. Billions have already been sunk into Itanium.

Also, as opposed to Motorola, they will sell the PPC970 to other computer manufacturers than Apple.
Such as? Anyway, Moto sells G4's to anyone that wants them. You can buy non-Apple Moto powered computers from a small number of other companies.

Rincewind42
Jun 4, 2003, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by ddtlm
Rincewind42:

People won't buy PPC970's. People will buy machines wrapped around them, and if IBM halves the price or profit on a PPC970 the product holding it will not experience nearly as large a price drop... if it gets any at all. As I already outlined, it seems unlikely that halving the price or profit on a PPC970 would double the sales of an expensive machine since such as a PMac, and as I already outlined wether or not the PPC970 could be priced low enough for an iBook or iMac is irrelevant... Apple can't implement that hardware until they implement multiple higher end lines first. It takes time, regardless of Apple's long-term plans. I maintain that there is no incentive for IBM to price the PPC970 low initially, I say for at least a year after introduction.

People was a bad word to use. Corporations would be better, buying chips in lots of 10,000. As a corporation basing a product on a particular chip, I know that I would buy more chips (or at least plan to buy more chips) if they sold at a lower price point, as this would enable me to sell my product cheaper and/or make more profit from my product. This is not just because of the cheaper outlay for me, but also because I could expect more sales if one of the products key features was the new chip.

And it is entirely possible that if the chip were priced low enough, they could be used accross an entire range of products. After all, one of the major selling points (and cost predictors) of a computer is determined by the CPU count & speed. If you want to differentiate the PowerMacs from the iMacs, it's simple. PowerMacs get 1.6+Ghz and dual configs, iMacs get 1.2Ghz single. There's your differentiation. iBook/PowerBook would be similar. And suddenly instead of buying 10k chips, your customer is buying 40k - but only if the price allows.

I certainly agree that it takes time to plan and develop all of these products. But these kinds of deals aren't like you or me going to the super market to get groceries for the week. These are agreements that are made for minimum quatities of chips purchased over a period of time. The more attractive the price, the more likely the customer will agree to more chips over that period of time. If the price is unattractive, the customer may not even agree to a minimum order because they couldn't guaruntee their level of product sold.

So I entertain there is alwasy incentive to price your products reasonably (such that you get maximum sales and maximum profit). Selling less for the same profit is never a good thing - just look at Apple in the 80s.

MacBandit
Jun 5, 2003, 01:39 AM
Something else to point out is that when a large company develops a new product they usually don't amertize the cost out over a batch of chips. They usually go it costs us 'x' dollars in development and then sell the first product to themselves for the total cost of 'x' dollars and right off the expense. This comes back to what I was saying before that as a large multy divission corporation they sell the product to themselves so that they can use it in merchandise they sell (i.e. workstations). To do this they have to sell it at or near the price that they sell it to say Apple if it's in the same bulk. This is so it doesn't look like they are price fixing.

This is how I understand it from years of listening to a boss of mine spout off business accounting practices. If I'm incorrect and someone is actually educated on the proper practices please let me and us know so I can learn.

mathiasr
Jun 8, 2003, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by MacBandit
Something else to point out is that when a large company develops a new product they usually don't amertize the cost out over a batch of chips.
The 970 is not exactly a new product, most of its R&D comes from the POWER4, AltiVec is poorly implemented. This chip will not live more than 18 months, its a kind of transitional hack (like the 601 was a bridge between POWER and PowerPC), it will be quickly replaced by the 980.

ddtlm
Jun 8, 2003, 04:23 PM
mathiasr:

This chip will not live more than 18 months, its a kind of transitional hack
18 months isn't an especially short life span for a desktop chip design. Intel's current P4 design will last less than 24 months according to plans.