View Full Version : 2GHz PPCs?

May 10, 2001, 09:45 PM
IBM's PowerPC development team plans to use several homegrown technologies to help boost performance of future PowerPC chips, which it will announce later this year. The chips will be capable of hitting 1GHz late this year, with IBM eyeing the 2GHz mark for late 2002.

Don't get too excited though - as Intel will still be pushing their own chips and will likely retain the pure "Mhz" lead. Of note, IBM may be including Altivec in their new processors:

IBM will also add a SIMD engine to some of its upcoming PowerPC chips. SIMD, which stands for "single instruction, multiple data," breaks up certain types of data to process it in multiple, parallel chunks. IBM has the option to adopt Altivec, the multimedia SIMD engine used now by Motorola. Parker declined to comment on whether IBM would do so.

May 11, 2001, 09:01 AM
So, with a 2GHz processor, we can scroll past all the fonts betweeb Arial and Zapf Dingbats four times as fast.
It seems to me that one of the reasons that computer sales are in a slump is that most people are pretty satisfied with the speed of their current computer. Very few people are saying, "this 466MHz Mac is just too slow. I need a GHz to be productive."
I think features like CD-RW drives, faster video, style and price are more enticing to buyers. That's why I bought the new iBook with CD-RW. I can't wait 'til it gets here!

May 11, 2001, 01:00 PM
Well...I've decided it's time to upgrade. I got this rev 1 B&W G3 400 in Jan '99, so it's almost two and a half years old. I got it becuase I knew OS X was coming (I'm a big NeXTSTEP fan)...it just took a little while...

I've decided around turn of the year to go in on a dual G4 733, which should be available by that time. GeForce 3 and all the good stuff. I love OS X--but I do need more speed. Even with 256MB RAM and UltraWide SCSI @ 10,000RPM, it's just not quite fast enough, IMHO.


May 11, 2001, 02:12 PM
Faster processors are nice, but when the board speeds get a lot better, won't that be silly!

software is going to drive the hardware. right now i don't think there is a real pressing need for better hardware, unless you are running intense 3d apps or video editing suites (like fcp2). for the rest of us, a base g4 is dandy.

this is all about public perception. they equate Mhz and Ghz to better technology.

if someone tried to sell you a YUGO with a 500 cubic inch engine in it, would you get excited? me neither. hence intel and their pentiums. but i'm a mac fan. maybe there are some people who would get excited over that.

2Ghz would be nice, sure, but i don't think i need to snag that for quite some time, and i am an early adopter.

May 11, 2001, 03:19 PM
Personally, I'm looking forward to the next generation of computers that use carbon nano-tube based transistors that will start in the neighborhood of 1THz. I know, I know, they're about ten years away. But with those we'll have computers that are fast enough to support true voice recognition and speach generation so the computers will simply become part of our environment.

"Hal, start my car warming up."

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."


May 12, 2001, 12:49 PM
I think not. 2Gh PPCs are very far around the corner. Apple has been around the 300-600 MHZ mark for the past 3-4 years!!. The PC users enjoy the superiority complex because of the pure MHZ initiative that Intel stuffs their ad campaigns with! "Ohhhh Intel has now invented the 5 Gigahertz Chip" It is soo fast" I think, if the PC industry is doing it? WHY SHOULDN't MAC??? Mac can also tell IBM/mot to put these "pure MHZ" tags on their processors. True mac users will know the difference and PC users will get inferiority complexes. JUST IMAGINE, The new DUAL PROCESSOR G4 2GHZ!!!. (it would be the same as the one today but with a slight coneversion).

May 13, 2001, 01:17 AM
Also remember, Apples are based on RISC chips, and Pentiums/AMD's are CISC. Risc's MHZ will never be as high as a CISC's because of the design philosophy. Plus, even Intel wishes they could go full RISC systems, but with mainstream Windows being centered around CISC and with the lower cost production of the CISC based chips, they won't be able to go full RISC in a while.

A Hybrid is probably the best answer. Isn't the Itanium some what of a Hybrid?

May 13, 2001, 04:05 AM
A very insightful reply GPTourismo. Although I didn't know that the Titanium was a hybrid?? Thats awesome! Yeah but cant apple just say G4 500 risc = 1.5GHZ cisc? I mean, that would lower the confidence of those PC GHZ fanatics!

May 14, 2001, 12:19 AM
As a mac user, I am happy with my 300 MHz iBook. 1 GHz would be nice someday and I know PCs are at 1.7.

But for people who don't know too much and place too much emphasis on speed and not features, Apple's lower GHz machines could hurt sales. And since most of us are not techies, we can be easily seduced by a "fast" PC. So for that reason, I believe Apple really needs to get their GHz speeds up.

May 14, 2001, 07:50 AM
I will reiterate. Mac does not need to get their speeds up. They are already faster. Its just that for the non techies, they need to use a simple conversion system (you know the one recommended by GPTourismo "RISC-CISC"). I get sick when I use PCS...they are so sickening in their appearance, desktop and 1.7 GHZ or 200 MHZ, they are the same speed!!. With MACs you can tell the difference.

May 14, 2001, 08:39 AM
Yea, a dual G4 500 will beat a dual PIII 1GHz...in Photoshop. I'm a little dissapointed with my Mac's performance. Yea, it's 2.5 years old, and the performance was not bothering me really until I moved to OS X, but clearly I need to upgrade.

I enjoy games as well. And as I get ready, next year, to throw down $2500 or so on, a high-end Mac w/ GeForce 3, I am aware of the fact that I could throw 1/2 that down on a PC w/ same gfx board, and get more games and far more performance out of the game. I like OS X and am pleased to be on the Mac side of things...but it's hard being a devotee sometimes when you look at the price/performance situation. Yes...Mhz are not everything--but PC's are faster than Macs today. That's a truth.

Sounds traitorous, I suppose. But it's frustrating somtetimes looking at how slow OS X is on my G3 400.


May 14, 2001, 10:06 AM
no the Titanium, but the Itanium. Intels next Gen 64 bit processor.

Confused yet?

A lot of people worked on it, from Motorola, IBM, and even Hitachi.

The thing thats nice about it is that OS X with a few additions could run on it without a glitch. With it's supposid "Blank Slate" style for instruction sets (where the instruction sets can be reprogammed,) AltiVec could easily be loaded on it.

I personally think that Apple will stick with PPC's that have altivec as the instruction set.

Only time will tell though-

May 14, 2001, 10:10 AM
Also, I failed to mention, Intel has dug thimself into a hole. The Itaniums only run at an amazing 800 Mghz. Since it is 64 Bit, it doesn't have to have the speed (sort of like PPC's.) But with the average consumer being brainwashed with More MHZ = Better no matter what, they are going to have to fight with their old marketting style to get people to buy their new products-

May 14, 2001, 11:24 AM
Well...I did just order 256MB DIMM for $57...


2-2-2, 3.3v, PC100 SDRAM -- should add nicely to my current 256MB making OS X a little more manageable on this G3 400. I'll give a report shortly...


May 15, 2001, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by blakespot
Well...I did just order 256MB DIMM for $57...

Well, I did just that last week and my iMac DV 400 is sooooo much faster now. Still not the fastest system I have workes with and slower than Mac OS 9 but ok.

May 16, 2001, 04:23 AM
Im only replying here because this really annoys me - a loyal mac user. Athlons are NOT CISC chips - no more than the g4 is a RISC chip. The definition of RISC v CISC has become blurred over the years and to say one is faster because it is a RISC chip is fatuous at best. Go check up on modern definitions of RISC and CISC and you'll find that motorola, AMD and Intel make no claims for their chips to be either RISC or CISC type architectures.

May 16, 2001, 08:40 AM
You are correct.

Recent PowerPC's borrow from CISC technologies, and recent Pentium's borrow from RISC technologies to the point that there's hardly a distinction now. I think, if you wanted to press the point, the core of AMD's latest CPU's are more RISC-like than that of Intel's...but again, the terms mean little today.

Comparing a '486 or a '040/'060 to a PowerPC 601 -- there's where you can see some difference.


May 16, 2001, 09:35 AM
If you are wanting some cheap RAM for A Mac then you need to go to http://www.memorytogo.com

The memory is Certified for Apples New bios update.
I didn't have any problems when I updated my Imac.

good luck.

May 16, 2001, 09:47 AM
If you look up the terms in the "A+ Certification" CD-Rom that i have and even on the Test.

They say that the G3 is still a RISC (Reduces Instruction Set), And the PII is CISC (Complex Instruction Set) hense the Higher Mhz for PC's and the Lower Mhz for PPC you need more speed for the CISC than you do for the RISC.
Thats why they don't get at hot and use less power.

May 16, 2001, 01:10 PM
I maintain that it is hardly any longer the case that the G3 is RISC and the P II is CISC. They came from far-flung wings of those technologies, but they borrow so much from each other (RISC, CISC) that it's very grey.

But if you were going to label them as G3=RISC, P II = CISC, that is more accurate than saying G3=CISC, P II = RISC.


May 17, 2001, 04:41 PM
Dear BLAKESPOT, how in the world can you make a baseless comment like "LETS FACE IT PCs ARE FASTER THAN MACS TODAY?" Just because your G3/400 is slow with MAC OS X doesn't mean anything!! MAC OS X IS Graphically very very demanding. A pentium 3 would die! I have a G3/400 mHZ lombard laptop and at 1024*768 it is a bit sluggish but thats because of ram. PLEASE DON't EVER SAY THAT PC's ARE FASTER THAN MACS! THEY ARE NOT...all BENCHMARK TESTS PROVE IT!!

May 17, 2001, 09:31 PM
Look--I am a Mac user and have switched from PC to become one. Well...I've had a number of machines...


...but I will say...PC's are faster than Macs. Yes--in Photoshop the Mac wins. But in most other things, the high-end PC edges out the high-end Mac. I am going to get a dual G4 Mac Q1 next year--but I still maintain that PC's are faster. A P4 or AMD Thunderbird is faster than a G4. I am looking at game benchmarks (with same video card) for instance, or other benchmarks. You always see Photoshop benchmarks when the Mac is being praised over a PC for speed--and there's a reason.

I'm sorry, and it sounds traitorous, but it's true.


May 18, 2001, 05:04 AM
What about 3D programming then. Why have MAYA officials officially announced that the MAC platform is superior in every way for their product. Maya if you dont know is the leading industry 2D/3D software package. For games PCs might be better, but as Low-End workstations, the closest to UNIX are macintoshes, not PCs. All developers are saying that the Macs are faster. You are an original PC user and you switched for a reason. Listen all im saying is that if A MAC was running bloody Windows 2000, it would run 10 times faster than MAC OS X. GET YOUR DUAL G4 and mail me. Ill bet you will be satisified by the speed.

May 18, 2001, 05:26 AM
I will indeed get the dual G4. I have been waiting for OS X for 2.5 years, since I got this B&W G3 (ordered the day it was announced, in Jan. '99). OS X is why I got this--knowing it was coming. I took a loan in college for a $4,500 486-66 fabricated with "non-standard" hardware specifically to run NeXTSTEP for Intel v3.2. I have a NeXTStation Turbo Color----clearly I am happy about OS X. I did not know Quartz would demand so much of the machine. But I'm not going to switch now to PC. I will definitely stay Mac/Unix. I do wish my current machine had more might to run OS X, tho'. (G3 400, 512MB RAM, UltraWide SCSI.)


May 18, 2001, 03:57 PM
I was just looking at my favorite PC motherboard manufacturer, ASUS. They have a nice motherboard that offers support for AMD Athlon 1.2GHz+ CPU and sports a 200Mz front-side-bus, and 266MHz DDRAM bus speed.

This machine, with a 1.2GHz Athlon, I will tell you, is of a faster architecture than the high-end G4 tower. Do you debate this?


May 18, 2001, 06:31 PM
No i don't debate this as I know Athlon processors are very good. However, why don't i tell you a configuration which will prove my point. You are aware that the G4 processor has something called the Velocity Engine. (like broadband for bytes) It can stuff way more bytes through at a time. Do you know what the G4 533 dual (AND I MEAN DUAL PROCESSOR) is capable of? Add 256MB ram to this with the top of the line N-vidia, youre talking speed which is undebatable. Look simple math:

1 G4/400 = PIII/700 right?

so a G4/533 (dual) = almost PIII/2.1GHZ

and since mathematically, and logically, the velocity engine acts like a broadband on data, the increase (i.e in doubling the processor) has a multiplier or exponential effect on speed. Its like taking the radius of a sphere and enlarging it by a factor of 2, but the volume increases by more than 2. By the ways, soon they are introducing the G4/ 733 MHZ which could equal almost a 2.5-2.6GHZ equivalent PIII.

May 18, 2001, 06:53 PM
I am not sure that I believe that your assesment of speed as far as G4 vs PIII. Yes--AltiVec is great. And the OS (X) makes good use of it. But most other apps do not. And those that do not, benefit not from it. A G3 400 is exactly the same speed as a G4 400 at running non-AltiVec enhanced code. Higher G4's have had some improvements in cache that help them out. Also remember that 2 400MHz CPU's do not equal 1 800MHz CPU. In an optimal situation, the dual processor, half clock processors will come close to the speed of the single, double clock CPU. But that's running apps coded to take advantage of multiprocessing. OS X does, and it does a good job of scheduling apps on the dual CPU's...but It's not twice the speed of one of it's processors.

Again...I will likely get a Dual G4 733 Q1 '02, so my arguing is not that of a "deserter" - I am just pointing out some issues.


May 19, 2001, 06:11 AM
I stand corrected. Thankyou for the added insight. So in the end are you saying that PCs are faster or Macs? I mean, the Dual G4/733 youre going to get with 256 MB ram, wouldn't that outrun the latest PC? (on programs that use altivec?) Please say yes.

May 19, 2001, 08:52 AM
On programs that run AltiVec, I'd say yes.

My concern is that most don't. OS X does (the OS itself) but it still feels sluggish (on the fastest G4's currently) becuase of the demands the Quartz 2D engine puts on the system. I feel eventually that better drivers will be written to allow even exsiting moderate boards (Rage 128, etc.) to offload some of the calcs to the video card.

Quartz is the interface between the user and OS X, and it being sluggish gives a very convincing feeling that the OS itself is sluggish. This is why I pointed out that for OS ops, my 68040 33MHz, 32MB RAM NeXTStation Turbo Color feels faster than OS X on my B&W G3 400, 512MB RAM. (And as you know, OS X is based on NeXTSTEP.)

I feel things will get better.

Anyway--off to the Tysons Apple Store. Will come back w/ photos a-plenty for the site.


May 19, 2001, 09:59 AM
On another subject, these new retail stores are going to be another hit in Steves Job's strategy! They are truly what Apple needs, also on a World Wide level. I was in Dubai 3 weeks ago and OH MY GOD!!! I went to the "only" retailer in the city and there was this women sitting there so disgusted with life itself, she didn't even care to assist me. I was then shocked to see that they were showpiecing Director 4.0!! Director 8.5 is already out!! Then I said I would like to purchase a titanium G4. She said, shed never heard of it. The prices were domestically inflated too!! I mean, Apple PR in Calif should know about this treachory going on!! The situation at the GRAVIS stores in Germany isn't too much better. Apple is a product that deserves so much better publicity (world wide).

May 19, 2001, 10:19 AM
Yea, the Apple store is a win. It would be hard for them to have all of them be profitable, even with massive sales, but that's acceptable (and predicted, I'm sure) as the main point of the store is not to be massive profit engines, but to be a massive interactive advertisement. Familiarize the common man with the Mac, etc. Excellent plan, I'd say.

Well, I'm off!