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View Full Version : Gobi, G4 and (more) Powerbook discussion


Aciddan
Jun 24, 2003, 09:20 PM
Guys,

it's funny after the release of the G5 that all anyone can talk about is the Powerbook - I know I am because I am arranging to purchase a pb soon (as I've said in the last 6 post or so ;) )

Anyhoo, I thought I'd start a discussion about IBMs 'Gobi' vs a Moto 7457.

Also, do any of the Moto G4s in the pipeline support Hyperthreading or higher bus speeds than current G4 processors?

My concern is if they stay with a processor labelled 'G4' (I say labelled - do you think another processor could be labelled G4, but from IBM?) would they be able to gain more performance by having a faster bus (and a chip that would suport that).

Given Moto (and IBMs) processor roadmaps what do you belive the situation will be when the fabled Powerbook updates become a reality?

-- Dan :D

illumin8
Jun 25, 2003, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by Aciddan
Guys,

it's funny after the release of the G5 that all anyone can talk about is the Powerbook - I know I am because I am arranging to purchase a pb soon (as I've said in the last 6 post or so ;) )

Anyhoo, I thought I'd start a discussion about IBMs 'Gobi' vs a Moto 7457.

Also, do any of the Moto G4s in the pipeline support Hyperthreading or higher bus speeds than current G4 processors?

My concern is if they stay with a processor labelled 'G4' (I say labelled - do you think another processor could be labelled G4, but from IBM?) would they be able to gain more performance by having a faster bus (and a chip that would suport that).

Given Moto (and IBMs) processor roadmaps what do you belive the situation will be when the fabled Powerbook updates become a reality?
I was thinking this too. Since Motorola will probably never get beyond 1 ghz. in a form factor that won't fry eggs on the aluminum case, the IBM 750 Gobi chip would be a perfect chip for the Powerbook line. Especially if they can get the FSB up to 400 mhz. like they were talking about, and the clock speed close to 2 ghz. This thing would be a screaming laptop, and would add Altivec.

Please Apple, surprise us again and release the Gobi 'G4' equivelant in the new 15" PowerBooks.

Mr. MacPhisto
Jun 25, 2003, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by illumin8
I was thinking this too. Since Motorola will probably never get beyond 1 ghz. in a form factor that won't fry eggs on the aluminum case, the IBM 750 Gobi chip would be a perfect chip for the Powerbook line. Especially if they can get the FSB up to 400 mhz. like they were talking about, and the clock speed close to 2 ghz. This thing would be a screaming laptop, and would add Altivec.

Please Apple, surprise us again and release the Gobi 'G4' equivelant in the new 15" PowerBooks.

Gobi will feature a 200MHZ FSB w/ 1024KB of L2 cache (an improvement on the 750FX in my iBook and 4x the L2 in the G4s). It is Mojave (750VX) that will introduce the FSB increases (450MHz) and will use Altivec. It will also scale to 2GHZ. Gobi and Mojave are fabbed @ .10micron. Gobi is ready to go, Mojave is being sampled by Apple right now. I thought it may be have been ready for mass production at the end of May, but it won't be ready to go until late October. I doubt the VX will appear in Apples until January, and by that time the G5s will be fabbing at .09 - so a PowerBook G5 introduction may be possible at that point. They may rebadge the 750VX as a G4 and introduce the iBook G4 running a 750VX. I think Apple will stick with Motorola only until the VX is ready.

cb911
Jun 25, 2003, 08:08 AM
so Gobi is ready to go? do you mean ready to start production, or is ready to release Gobi equipped Macs? if they are ready to put out there, what are the chances that the next PB will have a Gobi in it? does it have Alti-Vec, or anything that will keep it's performance up there with the current 1GHz G4?

Mr. MacPhisto
Jun 25, 2003, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by cb911
so Gobi is ready to go? do you mean ready to start production, or is ready to release Gobi equipped Macs? if they are ready to put out there, what are the chances that the next PB will have a Gobi in it? does it have Alti-Vec, or anything that will keep it's performance up there with the current 1GHz G4?

Gobi doesn't have Altivec and is ready for mass production. I doubt Apple will use these until Moto produces the 7457. My bet is Gobi lands in the next iBook revision or not at all. The thing that coul really boost speeds in Gobi is the increase of the L2 cache which will provide 512K more memory for the chip to access at the processor clock rate.

I can only predict what Apple will do. I have sources on IBM production. I know the 970 is currently up to 2.5GHZ at .13, but it is running extremely hot. Gobi is ready and Apple has some, but not enough for any mass production. Mojave (750VX) is sampling soon. It is Mojave that has Altivec and a faster bus speed support. If Apple uses these, the earliest they'd introduce them is in January. I'm not too sure of an iBook speedbump any time soon mainly because of Moto's lack of production on the 7457 until October. Apple could get the iBooks past 1GHz by the end of summer, but that would push them past PowerBooks in raw speed and give them 4x the L2 cache - and a faster bus (which would likely be limited by Apple, just like the 750FX is). If Moto can deliver the 7457 sooner, than my guess is the PBs will run off it and get a faster FSB (200MHZ), more L2 cache (512K), some L3 cache (7457 is supposed to cost 1/4 the price of the 7455), and likely speeds up to 1.4 GHz, paving the way for 1Ghz plus iBooks. With luck, the next PB revision would feature the .09 G5, but that is speculation on my part.

mathiasr
Jun 25, 2003, 11:26 AM
The Register wrote that the 7457 release date is now Q3 2003:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/39/31424.html

gbojim
Jun 25, 2003, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by Mr. MacPhisto
Gobi will feature a 200MHZ FSB w/ 1024KB of L2 cache (an improvement on the 750FX in my iBook and 4x the L2 in the G4s). It is Mojave (750VX) that will introduce the FSB increases (450MHz) and will use Altivec. It will also scale to 2GHZ. Gobi and Mojave are fabbed @ .10micron.

Do you have any links to tech info on the 750VX?

Mr. MacPhisto
Jun 25, 2003, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by gbojim
Do you have any links to tech info on the 750VX?
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/39/30640.html

Most of what I know is based on internal IBM contacts I have, but these are the official rumors. IBM has not officially released the info yet.

I was unaware of Moto moving up the 7457, so that is good news and could mean new Powerbooks with 1.3 GHz speeds could be introduced come MWNY - that may be the hardware presentation. The inclusion of Gobi in the iBook could be a possibility. A July introduction may make it so new G4 PBs (with fully functional DDR400) could come in August, the time the G5 is actually shipping. Same for the iBooks hitting 1GHz - or 1.25GHz. The advantage for the PBs could be the full implementation of DDR400 with the iBooks being limited to DDR333 and having no L3, as compared to the PBs. I know Gobi is in production presently and that Apple is due shipments this summer.

rice_web
Jun 25, 2003, 03:22 PM
I had always read from IBM technical documents that the 750FX actually supports a 400MHz system bus, thanks to DDR memory support.

Officially, the 750FX supports a 200MHz system bus (per IBM.com), so the only significant difference between the Sahara and Gobi processors is the cache size and manufacturing process, correct?

But here's a question that's plagued me, why not implement a faster bus on the iBooks?

zimv20
Jun 25, 2003, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by rice_web

But here's a question that's plagued me, why not implement a faster bus on the iBooks?

because if the ibooks are as fast as the pbooks, apple would have a marketing headache on their hands. or head.

so the sooner moto can provide the faster laptop chips, the sooner apple can let ibooks run at the speed at which they're capable.

Mr. MacPhisto
Jun 25, 2003, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
because if the ibooks are as fast as the pbooks, apple would have a marketing headache on their hands. or head.

so the sooner moto can provide the faster laptop chips, the sooner apple can let ibooks run at the speed at which they're capable.

Exactly right, Apple has had to handicap the iBooks because the 750FX can actually support DDR400 as it stand right now, so Apple has to slap a 100MHz bus on it to slow it down. The 750GX will be even better, especially due to the 1024KB of L2 cache accesible at the processor speed. I hope for 1.3GHz PB revisions with DDR400 and 1-2MB of L3 cache w/ iBook revisions of 1.25GHz with no L3 and DDR333. I wouldn't complain if Apple gave the PB the 200MHz FSB and gave the iBooks a 167MHz FSB, it would still allow for the iBooks to be very fast consumer laptops.

cb911
Jun 25, 2003, 09:04 PM
Mr. MacPhisto, thanks for explaining about the Gobi.

it's great news that production for the 7457 has been moved up, so it's looking like that's what the new PB's will have.

and MacPhisto, since you've got sources on IBM production, make sure you keep us updated on when the G5 will make it into PowerBooks, eh?;) :D

Mr. MacPhisto
Jun 25, 2003, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by cb911
Mr. MacPhisto, thanks for explaining about the Gobi.

it's great news that production for the 7457 has been moved up, so it's looking like that's what the new PB's will have.

and MacPhisto, since you've got sources on IBM production, make sure you keep us updated on when the G5 will make it into PowerBooks, eh?;) :D

That I can't tell you. The most I can do is alert you to what IBM is fabbing and expecting to ship. My shipping info isn't as reliable as production info because of the nature of my sources. So I can only tell you when .09 micron should be available - Q1 2004. I also think Steve's promise of 3GHz in 12 months is conservative. IBM expects the 970 to be at 3.5GHz by June, 3GHz in January at .09. Of course, 2.5GHz is available now at 130nm, but it is unbelievably hot - although stable. It also costs more than the G4s.