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arn
May 14, 2002, 09:31 PM
After each Apple event, we like to look back over the rumors which yielded accurate information, as well as reevaluate the current rumor scene.

The biggest news happened today, when Apple released XServe, their first rackmount server (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/05/20020514114925.shtml). Rumors of the rackmount server began back in May 2001 (ThinkSecret) (http://www.thinksecret.com/features/thing2.html), and were recently revived (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/05/20020502104725.shtml).

In an otherwise unreported Studio Summit (http://www.architosh.com/news/2002-04/2002c1-0412-applegraph1.phtml), Architosh reported on chief "wants" amongst the Hollywood studios from Apple. The "wants" listed included 1U or 2U rack-mountable servers, 'best of breed' graphics performance, duals and quads. It seems Apple may have been partially addressing these 'wants' with Quartz Extreme, and the XServe

The most significant revelation today was the release of DDR/266 capable motherboards. The DDR prototype motherboard (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/05/20020502203450.shtml) which appeared on ebay two weeks ago confirmed what many had suspected. (Note, it was not the same motherboard as the XServe) The rumored MWNY PowerMac Specs (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/05/20020511173913.shtml) are also validated with XServe's release... though the PowerMac rumors specified DDR 333Mhz chips.

iBooks and 10.1.5 (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/04/20020429235519.shtml) remain in the "any day now" category of rumors, but it should be noted that XServe will ship with Mac OS X Server 10.1.5 in June.

G4scott
May 14, 2002, 10:19 PM
KICK ASS SERVERS!!!!

At least my user name is not out of style yet :D

I love em allready... Tomorrow, I'm going to march into the IT guy's office at my school with some data sheets, and try to convince them to switch my school's network from their crappy dell's to xServes... Then, i'm going for the motherload, the whole school on Macs... The odds are against me, but oh well... iHave my iBook :D

And for the first person who complains about them being too expensive for education, you can walk out the door right now, because we (or at least I...) don't want to here it. You can also see my previous post here (http://www.macrumors.com/forums/showthread.php3?postid=63461#post63461) ...

dongmin
May 14, 2002, 10:21 PM
So we know that the pro towers are getting DDR RAM (finally), but what flavor? I'm assuming that the towers will have better specs, outside of networking and storage. We know the processor has to be faster, but what about the bus and Ram?

Or will the towers have a modified version of the same basic motherboard, dropping the extra ATA controllers and adding more PCI slots and maybe bluetooth? It would be pretty cool to get a redesigned case with something like the 1U form factor. A super-slim tower, barely the width of a DVD drive. I like the idea of having hot-swappable drive bays and a firewire port in the front like the 1U case.

arn
May 14, 2002, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by dongmin

Or will the towers have a modified version of the same basic motherboard, dropping the extra ATA controllers and adding more PCI slots and maybe bluetooth? It would be pretty cool to get a redesigned case with something like the 1U form factor. A super-slim tower, barely the width of a DVD drive. I like the idea of having hot-swappable drive bays and a firewire port in the front like the 1U case.

http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/05/20020511173913.shtml

all we've got so far...

arn

Catfish_Man
May 14, 2002, 10:33 PM
...the servers still have a 133MHz Single Data Rate FSB. That means that all the DDR is going to do is reduce latency a little, and allow for better DMA.

Wry Cooter
May 14, 2002, 11:07 PM
Speaking of accuracy of rumors, I thought some wishful thinking at Architosh the day before the Xserve announcement was 'remarkable'

http://www.architosh.com/news/2002-05/2002c1-0513-server-1.phtml

How about these apples?:

The New G5 Server: Godfrey's Guess

* 4 - MPC PPC 8540 CPU's at 1GHz (that's 4 G5's folks)
* 2 - MPC PPC 7455 CPU's at 1 GHz (that's 2 G4 Apollo chips)
* 1 - Tundra Tsi500: RapidIO 6 Port Switch
* 2 - Tundra Tsi890: PowerPC Universal Interconnect Switch (Northbridge)
* 2 - TI 1394b OHCI controllers (64bit 66mhz PCI)
* 2 - KeyLargo ASIC's (Southbridge, USB, IDE, ATI/100)
* 1- PMU99 Power Management Controller

The system above would have:

* 13,000 MIPS for PowerPC Server Applications
* 6 - PCI-X - PCI 64/66 Controllers (up to 24 PCI slots)
* 6 - DDR 333mhz Memory Controllers (up to 16 Gigabytes/sec I/O)
* 12 - Gigabit Ethernet Ports (built-in Gigabit Hub/Router)
* 12 - Serial Ports
* 24 - DMA Controllers
* 4 - USB 1.0 ports
* 6 - 1394b 800Mbps FireWire ports (FireWire Raid 0/1/5/5+Hotswap)
* 2 - IDE/ATAPA ports
* 2 - IDE/Ultra ATA 100 ports (IDE Raid 0/1)

Mr. Anderson
May 14, 2002, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by Wry Cooter
Speaking of accuracy of rumors, I thought some wishful thinking at Architosh the day before the Xserve announcement was 'remarkable'

http://www.architosh.com/news/2002-05/2002c1-0513-server-1.phtml

How about these apples?:

The New G5 Server: Godfrey's Guess

* 4 - MPC PPC 8540 CPU's at 1GHz (that's 4 G5's folks)
* 2 - MPC PPC 7455 CPU's at 1 GHz (that's 2 G4 Apollo chips)
* 1 - Tundra Tsi500: RapidIO 6 Port Switch
* 2 - Tundra Tsi890: PowerPC Universal Interconnect Switch (Northbridge)
* 2 - TI 1394b OHCI controllers (64bit 66mhz PCI)
* 2 - KeyLargo ASIC's (Southbridge, USB, IDE, ATI/100)
* 1- PMU99 Power Management Controller


But again this is based on intelligent speculation, which doesn't really mean much. It sounds good, but the G5 he's talking about is a non Alti-Vec imbedded market chip - called G5 just because its one of Motorola's 85xx. The true G5, when it comes out, should be Alti-Vec compliant, I hope.

As for today's announcement, it was wonderful. It allows Apple to compete in the server market in the heavy weight division and shows us that the new PPC Desktops should be right around the corner.

MOM
May 15, 2002, 12:04 AM
Re: Slim towers. I agree that the new servers suggest that new towers may not have to be so large. It would be great to see them shrink. There is not always room under desks for the towers, or even a desk to put them under. In the research labs I've seen the towers often end up on desks or stuffed behind microscopes etc. Any reduction in size would help. The new imac solves the problem for some, but many folks want the power and expandability of a tower. Think Thin-a slogan for MWNY?

MOM

mac15
May 15, 2002, 12:16 AM
MOM you are right the towers are huge
maybe if apple could make tham a cube shape again :D :D :D :D
hahahahah......Oh god I hope not

dongmin
May 15, 2002, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by Wry Cooter
The New G5 Server: Godfrey's Guess

* 4 - MPC PPC 8540 CPU's at 1GHz (that's 4 G5's folks)
* 2 - MPC PPC 7455 CPU's at 1 GHz (that's 2 G4 Apollo chips)
* 1 - Tundra Tsi500: RapidIO 6 Port Switch
* 2 - Tundra Tsi890: PowerPC Universal Interconnect Switch (Northbridge)
* 2 - TI 1394b OHCI controllers (64bit 66mhz PCI)
* 2 - KeyLargo ASIC's (Southbridge, USB, IDE, ATI/100)
* 1- PMU99 Power Management Controller

The system above would have:

* 13,000 MIPS for PowerPC Server Applications
* 6 - PCI-X - PCI 64/66 Controllers (up to 24 PCI slots)
* 6 - DDR 333mhz Memory Controllers (up to 16 Gigabytes/sec I/O)
* 12 - Gigabit Ethernet Ports (built-in Gigabit Hub/Router)
* 12 - Serial Ports
* 24 - DMA Controllers
* 4 - USB 1.0 ports
* 6 - 1394b 800Mbps FireWire ports (FireWire Raid 0/1/5/5+Hotswap)
* 2 - IDE/ATAPA ports
* 2 - IDE/Ultra ATA 100 ports (IDE Raid 0/1)

dude, that's beyond rumors. That's just plain crazy. Who in their right mind would mix and match processors like that? This Godfrey dude has been smoking some whack-@ss stuff, and I can't believe Architosh would bother printing this wild fantasy as "educated guess." Sorry, not even Spymac could've cook that up.

Macette
May 15, 2002, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by mac15
MOM you are right the towers are huge
maybe if apple could make tham a cube shape again

Yes, huge... but strangely cuddly. I still, after three years sharing a room with my lovely G3 tower, like to pat its little top and feel its weight when i lift it with its industry-leading handles...


xxx (those are for my G3)

Still, a couple of those 3D model mock-ups on some site that somebody posted somewhere up here sometime (oh, be specific) were small and cute and small and not unlike a grand version of my BEAUTIFUL iPod.


_____

iThink, therefore iPod

Beej
May 15, 2002, 02:10 AM
Originally posted by Macette
Yes, huge... but strangely cuddly. I still, after three years sharing a room with my lovely G3 tower, like to pat its little top and feel its weight when i lift it with its industry-leading handles...


xxx (those are for my G3)I don't think I've ever heard a computer called "cuddly" - not even a Mac. Sounds like you have an unhealthy relationship with your Mac... perhaps we could meet up some time! ;p Heh heh...

mac15
May 15, 2002, 06:30 AM
I think he has fine realtionship wth his computer
perople get that way with cars and boats....whats the difference
its a computer and its more fun

Macmaniac
May 15, 2002, 06:40 AM
I would love to see a server tower full of them! SO MUCH power! So is the system bus 133 or 266?

arn
May 15, 2002, 06:51 AM
Originally posted by Macmaniac
I would love to see a server tower full of them! SO MUCH power! So is the system bus 133 or 266?

My understanding at this point is that...

The G4 still doesn't fully support DDR... so it talks to the rest of the system at 133 mhz.

The System controller talks between the ethernet, drives and RAM at an effective DDR rate of 266mhz.

So, there is some performance benefit... but not as much as there should be.

arn

Macette
May 15, 2002, 07:02 AM
Originally posted by mac15
I think he has fine realtionship wth his computer
perople get that way with cars and boats....whats the difference
its a computer and its more fun

Hey! I'm a girl! What's all this 'he' business?
You should check out the 'Women and Macs' thread - there are at least, like, three others like me out there...


PS - Good to see the other Aussies out there. Where should we get ipod cases? (sorry.. shouldn't muck around w/ this thread anymore than i already have)

locovaca
May 15, 2002, 07:29 AM
Originally posted by arn


My understanding at this point is that...

The G4 still doesn't fully support DDR... so it talks to the rest of the system at 133 mhz.

The System controller talks between the ethernet, drives and RAM at an effective DDR rate of 266mhz.

So, there is some performance benefit... but not as much as there should be.

arn

While the system controller's bus to the ram is running at 266 mhz, the ethernet card, IDE (ATA) controller, and the rest of the PCI bus at 33 mhz (since this is the defined PCI specification).

DMA will be helped to a small degree- while the harddrive, ethernet card, etc. do use some bandwidth, a very large amount of it still goes to the CPU, and at most the PCI bus is only using about 1/20th of the memory bus (pci bus: 33 mhz*32bit/8=133 megs/sec bandwidth; memory bus: 133 mhz* 64 bit /8 * 2 ddr= 2.1 gigs/sec bandwidth)., where as with SDR ram it uses only 1/10th. DDR won't be as effective as it could be unless they make the g4's FSB a 133mhz DDR (or higher), which probably won't happen until the g5.

In other words, it'll "help" the PCI bus by having more bandwidth to the memory controller, but very little of the PCI bus goes directly to the memory controller to start with that taking away the competition will only provide a minimal increase. I think DDR won't be important in single processor g4's, but will be in dual g4's. If they were to assign each processor it's own 133mhz bus to the memory controller you would potentially see a large performance increase with each processor effectively having it's own ram bus (DDR: 266 mhz, each cpu: 133mhz).

OSeXy!
May 15, 2002, 08:34 AM
Sounds like the FSB continues to be the Mac's Achilles Heel (no wonder Steve looked a bit 'hunted' at the launch).

Isn't the rumored PPC 7500 meant to fix this? I know some people call that chip the G5, but I'm still not on that wagon...

Also: too bad there's no FireWire2 on the server. I'm still hoping for this at MWNY, but my expectations are dwindling.

ot13r32
May 15, 2002, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by locovaca



the competition will only provide a minimal increase. I think DDR won't be important in single processor g4's, but will be in dual g4's. If they were to assign each processor it's own 133mhz bus own ram bus (DDR: 266 mhz, each cpu: 133mhz).

If you mean full DDR memory bus, perhaps this is true
for the applications you have in mind. I work with audio,
and the performance of my applications is, under
rather generic circumstances, limited by the total memory
bandwidth. A single G4 processor is capable of maxing
out its memory bandwidth with pipelined altivec
instructions at somewhere around 500MHz. In practice,
both the processor and memory bus are running at
lower efficiency.

In any case, from my perspective, the overwhelming
performance advantage of the non-apple PC world is the
faster memory architecture.

OSeXy!
May 15, 2002, 08:39 AM
:D
I didn't mean to sound so negative in my last post!

I think the new machines are great and am really looking forward to MWNY (I'm ready for a new computer!).

Just think this single, persistent weakness in the current G4's architecture is strange.
:confused:

drastik
May 15, 2002, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by OSeXy!
:D
I didn't mean to sound so negative in my last post!

I think the new machines are great and am really looking forward to MWNY (I'm ready for a new computer!).

Just think this single, persistent weakness in the current G4's architecture is strange.
:confused:

Your right, the bus issue is strange, and its unlike apple to leave such an obvious flaw untouched. We can only hope that Jobs has a bunch of gnomes running around the silicon basement cooking up new and better architecture, something groundbreaking, like firewire.

Backtothemac
May 15, 2002, 09:28 AM
As far as the rumor rap up is concerned. I would have to say that it was very good. With the exception of Architosh, all of the specs were realistic, and pretty much dead on. I would have loved to see Firewire 2 though, and I am still hearing that it will debut in July. Also, the bus issue that everyone is so bent out of shape about. Get over it. This is the first step in a series of great things to come. Patience young Skywalker. ;)

eric_n_dfw
May 15, 2002, 09:48 AM
Can anyone point me to a url where the inability for the G4 to use DDR or a faster FSB is documented?

This forum is the only place I've heard it and it's always in to form of "I've heard that...". I want to know where you've "heard it" from.

OSeXy!
May 15, 2002, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by eric_n_dfw
Can anyone point me to a url where the inability for the G4 to use DDR or a faster FSB is documented?

This forum is the only place I've heard it and it's always in to form of "I've heard that...". I want to know where you've "heard it" from.
It's in Motorola's specs:

For example, on the the current g4 7455/7445, Motorola indicates that the bus speed is 133MHz.

http://e-www.motorola.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=MPC7445&nodeId=01M98653

I think this has been true of the entire G4 line, so far.

But The Register says:

"According to Motorola sources, a tweaked version of the Apollo 7450 G4, the 7470, will be ready for volume production shortly after the end of Q2, in time for a summer ramp. The 7470 will be manufactured on a 0.13 micron process, allowing for a smaller die size with room for 512K of L2 cache, and support up to 4MB of DDR-SDRAM L3 cache.

The 7470 supports a modified bus protocol, MPX+, which supports double data transfer and which should effectively run at 266Mhz according to sources."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/archive/24018.html

So, that's what I'm going on...

Anyone else?

Zenith
May 15, 2002, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by locovaca
DMA will be helped to a small degree- while the harddrive, ethernet card, etc. do use some bandwidth, a very large amount of it still goes to the CPU, and at most the PCI bus is only using about 1/20th of the memory bus (pci bus: 33 mhz*32bit/8=133 megs/sec bandwidth; memory bus: 133 mhz* 64 bit /8 * 2 ddr= 2.1 gigs/sec bandwidth)., where as with SDR ram it uses only 1/10th. DDR won't be as effective as it could be unless they make the g4's FSB a 133mhz DDR (or higher), which probably won't happen until the g5.

I believe the PCI bus is 64-bit, 33 Mhz. That means 266 MBps bandwith.

mc68k
May 15, 2002, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by Zenith


I believe the PCI bus is 64-bit, 33 Mhz. That means 266 MBps bandwith.
Here are the specs from Apple:
I/O connectivity
Two full-length 64-bit, 66MHz PCI slots (lower slot filled with PCI graphics card in standard configurations); supports 3.3V 32-bit or 64-bit PCI cards running at 33MHz or 66MHz

One half-length 32-bit PCI/AGP combo slot with one of the following:
Secondary Gigabit Ethernet card in standard configurations

AGP 4X graphics card (build-to-order option)

So barring the combo slot, you would have 64-bit, 66MHz PCI slots which would effectively have a theoretical peak of 528MB/s bandwith. But that's just for full-length PCI cards, which are only things like Ultra SCSI controllers, Gigabit cards, capture cards, etc.

cryptochrome
May 15, 2002, 03:00 PM
Did anyone hear about using these servers for scientific and media computing? While the storage is good the processing capabilities leave a bit to be desired (Two 1Ghz G4s? They had that already). It seems to me that the current G4 architecture is holding things up a bit.

With high-speed multiprocessor G5s, and a new mobo architecture based on hypertransport (both of which have been predicted for a long time) you have some serious processing power in one unit. But, that's neither here nor there yet. The real potential could be in a version of OS X for regular macs (and one for the server) that supports one-preference-panel-configured processing and storage sharing over a wide variety of methods (including internet, lans, wans, and firewire). A no-hassle distributed computing solution for the masses. It sounds like Rendezvous could help lead to that.

Catfish_Man
May 15, 2002, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by cryptochrome
Did anyone hear about using these servers for scientific and media computing? While the storage is good the processing capabilities leave a bit to be desired (Two 1Ghz G4s? They had that already). It seems to me that the current G4 architecture is holding things up a bit.

With high-speed multiprocessor G5s, and a new mobo architecture based on hypertransport (both of which have been predicted for a long time) you have some serious processing power in one unit. But, that's neither here nor there yet. The real potential could be in a version of OS X for regular macs (and one for the server) that supports one-preference-panel-configured processing and storage sharing over a wide variety of methods (including internet, lans, wans, and firewire). A no-hassle distributed computing solution for the masses. It sounds like Rendezvous could help lead to that.

...is not the problem. The problem is the MPX bus. Dual 1GHz G4s is PLENTY of power for a 1U, but they're nowhere close to their potential without full DDR support (MPX+, RIO, or integrated DDR controller).

ftaok
May 15, 2002, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man


...is not the problem. The problem is the MPX bus. Dual 1GHz G4s is PLENTY of power for a 1U, but they're nowhere close to their potential without full DDR support (MPX+, RIO, or integrated DDR controller). So is the lack of MPX+ a Motorola issue or an Apple one? I'm under the impression that Apple makes the motherboards. Would the G4 need major tweaking to get it to work on a MPZ+ bus, or will we have to wait for the G5 (or how about the 7470)?

jacka55
May 15, 2002, 05:35 PM
I was thinking. Now Apple has these rack mounted servers, there'll also be a raid array supporting terabytes of storage, and then couple that with Mac OS X NetBoot, there would be a real potential for a veritable corporate thin-client network workhorse. Apple could release a sub-sub $1000 thin-client (Maybe even a G3: Keyword=Inexpensive), without a hard drive of course, and BAM! What more could a office-type corporation want? Many of them are still haven't been able to break free from the good ol' UNIX terminals. It just hit me, that with the new network hardware, everything's there for a corporate network...except the the thin-client.

Wry Cooter
May 15, 2002, 06:18 PM
Originally posted by jacka55
I was thinking. Now Apple has these rack mounted servers, there'll also be a raid array supporting terabytes of storage, and then couple that with Mac OS X NetBoot, there would be a real potential for a veritable corporate thin-client network workhorse. Apple could release a sub-sub $1000 thin-client (Maybe even a G3: Keyword=Inexpensive), without a hard drive of course, and BAM! What more could a office-type corporation want? Many of them are still haven't been able to break free from the good ol' UNIX terminals. It just hit me, that with the new network hardware, everything's there for a corporate network...except the the thin-client.

Its certainly set up better for that now that the server is here. Even educational markets might be highly interested in this for several reasons, cost being one of them. Not sure how it might rely on changes in the current infrastructure of software licensing. And there is always some perceived need for some local storage. Previous resistance to thin client paradigms still exist.

Onyxx
May 15, 2002, 08:50 PM
the bus is 133. see here if you don't believe me. http://www.apple.com/xserve/specs.html

Did anyone take a look at the powerdraw of these little beauties? 125 watts! now this may not strike most as significant, but compare the 125 watt draw to say dell's 1u server (either the pitiful celeron model or the p4 version) and you halve your energy bill (at least halve) for the year. The servers will pay for themselves before long and since maintainence is, well, "mac-like" (aka "virtually non existant") it makes it even better.

As to the comment about scientific/media computing, these things are perfect. Many scietific apps allow you to run the process over a number of computers. This is called clustering and many universites and scientific institutions have been using this method for years. Now consider the power draw of your average tower at about 350 watts (remember you want a lot of towers so power consumption can get rather high) and the 125 - 200 watt draw of these servers there is a big advantage. And since you could fit almost 4 servers into the same space that 1 tower occupies, these servers make clustering even more feasible.

As for media, cg companies do the same thing. The way it works is that the artist creates a scene/animation/etc. and sends it out to the servers to render while they work on something else. Many 3d apps let you cluster using plugins or an extension of that program. One great example is cinema 4d and cinema 4d net. Combine the multithreading/processing capabilites of C4d net with the STANDARD gig-e and a gig-e hub, and you have instant renderfarm.

sun servers can cost a heck of a lot of money and they draw a heck of a lot of power too. Well now you can get a "machine" with 90 processors, up to 21.6 tb's of storage, and 90 gigs of ram for under 250k!! take a look at the sun line and show me a server that will match that for a render farm. And when you want to get rid of the sever and get a new g6 system (he he), instead of having to hide a hulking 7 foot high "refrigerator" in the company basement, you can split the thing up into the 45 individual servers and see who wants an "outdated" machine.

the possibilites are endless. Keep it up apple.