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Old Jan 8, 2003, 03:29 AM   #1
will
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Question New PowerMacs

Now we've seen what Apple have in store for PowerBook, what can we expect from PowerMac?

Next revision is imminent. On the positive side I think we can safely expect:
  • 802.11g (airport extreme)
  • Built-in bluetooth
  • Faster superdrive
  • Firewire800

However I don't expect a significant speed bump. I really hope Apple are working hard to get the 970 ASAP. Hopefully it will be shipping in quantity by Q3 allow Apple to dump G4 at a stroke for professional machines (including PowerBook) and catch-up with x86 processors. I hope Apple stick with dual CPUs even when 970 arrives.

Until the 970 arrives the PowerMac is going to continue to be underpowered (please don't flame me - it's true).

Last edited by will; Jan 8, 2003 at 03:36 AM.
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Old Jan 8, 2003, 08:38 AM   #2
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Most of those things I would agree are a shoe in.

I think you forgot DDR - that is pretty much 100%.

I would hope USB2 to make a debut - but Steve (Apple) doesn't seem to like it.

970 - I guess this depends on whether Apple wants to push 64bits too. I mean, the 970 can operate in 32 bit mode, but has serious muscle in a 64 bit mode. In fact the only benchmarks are for 64bits, so no-one knows how it operates in 32bit. This would mean a build of OSX for 64bit and a 64bit safe driver base. I think OSX could be easily compiled for 64bits, but drivers - especially 3rd party ones could prove to be a problem. Was Jaguar 64bit clean, or is that planned for OSX10.3?

More likely I think Motorola has another G4 (or several ) in the stable (7470?), which could add a couple 100 Mhz to the speed.
It needs a DDR FSB - to use DDR memory to the fullest. The current PowerBook and XServe are rather silly since the FSB limits the data rate to the CPU below the DDR rate.

It would make more sense for the XServe to go 64bits with the 970 first - since it is more contained - more expensive - less expandable - less drivers to muck up - and more likely to profit from 64bit processing (Databases, etc).

More likely the 970 won't come into the PowerMacs until 2004. The realy selling point will be if Apple can convince ATI and nVidia to make cards for them. It already has been a long time and the 9700 Radeon is not available for the PowerMac. That sounds like ATI has fallen out of favor. Will the geForce FX be available?

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Old Jan 8, 2003, 08:41 AM   #3
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Sorry, DDR is already there - how about faster DDR?
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Old Jan 8, 2003, 08:44 AM   #4
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According to the Apple website

"
DDR SDRAM
Throughput between main memory and the system controller is up to 2.7GBps.

Faster system bus
New system controller transfers data with a clock speed of up to 167MHz.
"

Doesn't this mean that the FSB only transfers at 1.3GBps (167Mhz)? Is that also shared per processor, so the rate is even less per CPU?


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Old Jan 8, 2003, 08:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wyrm
According to the Apple website

"
DDR SDRAM
Throughput between main memory and the system controller is up to 2.7GBps.

Faster system bus
New system controller transfers data with a clock speed of up to 167MHz.
"

Doesn't this mean that the FSB only transfers at 1.3GBps (167Mhz)? Is that also shared per processor, so the rate is even less per CPU?


Think your are right here. Apple needs to get _full_ support for the DDR. The FSB should also work at 333 Mhz, then we are talking some speeds instead of the 167 Mhz FSB we now got. Or, we just wait and see the IBM 970 that will have around 900 Mhz in FSB i think
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Old Jan 8, 2003, 08:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wyrm
According to the Apple website

Doesn't this mean that the FSB only transfers at 1.3GBps (167Mhz)? Is that also shared per processor, so the rate is even less per CPU?


It's shared at that rate on a single bus for BOTH processors - so both processors fight for their share of the 1.3GBps of bandwidth.
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Old Jan 8, 2003, 08:59 AM   #7
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Apple should go all out with DDR, there is no sense in holdign it back, it would only improve performance. Lets hope the 25th of January has some new powermacs. It looks pretty sad when u have better laptops then desktops.
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Old Jan 8, 2003, 10:21 AM   #8
will
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wyrm
970 - I guess this depends on whether Apple wants to push 64bits too. I mean, the 970 can operate in 32 bit mode, but has serious muscle in a 64 bit mode. In fact the only benchmarks are for 64bits, so no-one knows how it operates in 32bit.
I would imagine it would be fine running in 32 bit mode, the question is how good is it running mixed software - i.e. say 64bit OS, mixture of 32 and 64 bit drivers/applications.
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Old Jan 8, 2003, 11:54 PM   #9
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Lightbulb Why does iLife wait til 25 Jan, new Powermacs

Just looking at the versions of the iApps on the machines at Macworld today and noted that none of them are betas. All are final release versions. Based on this and the fact that I can't imagine it takes over three weeks to press CD's, I would say that they are being delayed for other reasons. I day we get a Powermac and iMac update on before 25 Jan. It would not make sense for Apple to ship new machines then have to send CD's to every new user. Just my guess.
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Old Jan 9, 2003, 12:32 AM   #10
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Re: Why does iLife wait til 25 Jan, new Powermacs

Quote:
Originally posted by newamiga
Just looking at the versions of the iApps on the machines at Macworld today and noted that none of them are betas. All are final release versions. Based on this and the fact that I can't imagine it takes over three weeks to press CD's, I would say that they are being delayed for other reasons. I day we get a Powermac and iMac update on before 25 Jan. It would not make sense for Apple to ship new machines then have to send CD's to every new user. Just my guess.
I am going to have to agree with you on this one

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Last edited by iJon; Jan 17, 2003 at 01:56 PM.
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Old Jan 9, 2003, 02:24 PM   #11
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I also hope Apple will come out with fully functional DDR at the end of January!

According to MacAddict February 2003:

"A new chip from IBM could put an end to Apple's long relationship with Motorola. The IBM PPC 970 is scheduled to go into prduction in the second half of 2003.

Motorola has been the sole supplier of top end Apple microprocesors since 1984. Apple isn't talking, but who can blame them since they will be selling Motorola MPC7455 in the Power MAc for the forseeable future. They would not be suprised to see the IBM PPC 970 equiped Mac share the stage with Steve Jobs at MacWorld SF 2004.

Clock speed of 1.4 GHz to 1.8 GHz"

This is disappointing, was hoping for the announcement at MWNY, latest August. Now to see what Steve announces later this month or February.

Mac addicts, need to be a patient lot!
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 03:28 AM   #12
will
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If they don't make into PowerMcs until January 2004, then they probably won't make it into PowerBooks until Summer 2004 Oh well just have to hope the mid year G4 update (rumoured to be to 1.8Ghz) will give us a bit more power (1.5Ghz powerbook, or perhaps dual given low power consumption).

Are there any other ways they can significantly speed up PowerMacs, new graphics, new hard drives, better DDR?
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 06:09 AM   #13
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How it looks to be going (long post)

i dont think moto has anything for apple at all.

why else would apple have done so much to show off its laptops and software if it had a desktop potential u/g.

I think apple is going to steadily bring the notebooks up into line with their desktop counter-parts and then in one hit modify all lines when the 970 goes into pmacs:

<--6mnths before: 970 in Xserve + Xserve RAID (plz)
-970 DP in pmacs, 970 in pbooks
-moto G4 or G4X (ibm G3 + altivec) in ibooks, i(e)Macs

they will all have DDR with the power series and the Xserves having the full stuff for the 970 and the G4s/G4Xs having lower stuff say at about 167.

wadda ya think?
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 06:31 AM   #14
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I think they haven't announced PM's and iMacs at MW, because thy're simply not ready...YET!

Maybe they produce 970 equipped PM's right now and announce them on January 25th
At least faster G4's are on the way.

I for sure don't intend to spend my money for overpriced iMacs and Powermacs (compared to the portable line). A Superdrive equipped PB 12" is in the same price range as a 17" iMac, but has:
DDR
Faster systembus
Faster processor
Faster Graphics
Bluetooth
...
only downturn is the 12" <--> 17"

Same story with the 17" PB and PM's.

That can't be a real strategy...UNLESS Apple is gonna show something really new in 2 weeks!
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 06:57 AM   #15
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reply to hobie

I won't argue with your comparison of the 12" PB and the 17" iMac (although for many users the larger screen is a big deal), but I definitely disagree with your statement that the 17" PB is superior to the PowerMacs in all of the categories you mention, mainly processor speed. The PowerMacs all have dual-processors, so if your software can use both processors (which is now becoming the rule rather than the exception) these machines will be faster. Granted, they are limited by the bus speed issues discussed above, but I feel certain a dual-1.25 would still outperform the 17" PowerBook.

But I agree with the basic idea. We need faster PowerMacs. Right now that line looks much weaker (vs. other desktops) than the PowerBooks (vs. other laptops).
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 07:15 AM   #16
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Bifrost

Of course the 1.25 PM outperforms the 17" PB!

BUT, it really is at least 500$ too expensive. Add a 17" Flatpanel to the 1Ghz dualies, and you even pay MORE than for the PB!! The second proc. is equalled by bluetooth, more RAM
, airport extreme, backlit keyboard, higher resolution TFT (compared to Apple's 17" Studio Display), and FireWire2.

This really isn't the way it should be.
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 07:30 AM   #17
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Lightbulb One more thing needed

I agree we need blue tooth, faster drives, memory, etc.

One thing I would add to the list of revisions is the new metalic keyboard. After looking at the new 12 and 17 inch keyboard vs. the black one on the 15 inch, it is no comparison aesthetically. I don't need the auto-illumination, but I would like the new keyboard. It is far more attractive.
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 08:21 AM   #18
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illumination would be nice. i do alot of work in the dark (sound engineer) so having an illuminated keyboard to work with would be nice.

yes, it does sound wierd but i have a pmac at work. i also have one at home and doing stuff late in the nite owuld be easier if i didnt have to turn on the light to look at the black keyboard. a light would be nice .

HINT HINT WINK WINK apple. the best bit is that on the deskops there is no issue of extra battery drain
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 08:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by benixau
illumination would be nice. i do alot of work in the dark (sound engineer) so having an illuminated keyboard to work with would be nice.

yes, it does sound wierd but i have a pmac at work. i also have one at home and doing stuff late in the nite owuld be easier if i didnt have to turn on the light to look at the black keyboard. a light would be nice .

HINT HINT WINK WINK apple. the best bit is that on the deskops there is no issue of extra battery drain
Maybe you haven't seen this usb light before...

-Dr. D.
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 08:33 AM   #20
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i have, but under the keyboard light would be nice. besides i use all of a 4 port hub + the other port on my k/b for devices.

i dont want to have to spend wasated money on another hub. come one apple, it would be nice. and no one else has it. true innovation.
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 08:51 AM   #21
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I wonder if the new powermacs will intigrate a backlit keybord and light sensing monitor? That would be a cool feature, although there a a lot of other things they should do first.
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 08:54 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wyrm
<snip>
I would hope USB2 to make a debut - but Steve (Apple) doesn't seem to like it.

<snip
Since I'm no expert on these things, is it feasible to create a USB 2.0 adapter that would plug into a firewire2 (or even 1) port?

While I'm all for firewire, the reality is that there are a lot of USB devices, and since USB 2.0 is backwards compatible, plenty of USB devices will be upgraded to use 2.0, while still capable of using 1.1. For example, most digital cameras have USB. It's much more likely they'll stay with USB, and simply upgrade to 2.0 sometime in the next couple of product cycles.

At the same time, I can see why apple wants to plug firewire2, rather than USB 2. But for those of us who don't want to get stuck in another beta/vhs war, why not an adapter? Firewire2 is plenty fast enough to handle USB 2. Wouldn't it be possible to have a 3d party adapter to plug in (hey, it's better than nothing)
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 09:31 AM   #23
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I wonder if the new powermacs will intigrate a backlit keybord and light sensing monitor? That would be a cool feature, although there a a lot of other things they should do first.
1) Light-sensing monitor: Seems less useful in a desktop environment. Sure, you may adjust the lights, but there's always the brightness setting. Most people (I would guess), have a pretty regular level of light where there computer is located. With a laptop, one is constantly moving form one level of light to another, so the feature is far more useful. (I have a ambient light sensor on my TV--I turned it off a day after I got it, because it became so annoying).

2) Backlit keyboard: Seems like something that would be nice as an option, but not as standard (assuming it would cost more). Some people would find it useful, but not everyone.
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 10:04 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by TiBook

Think your are right here. Apple needs to get _full_ support for the DDR. The FSB should also work at 333 Mhz, then we are talking some speeds instead of the 167 Mhz FSB we now got. Or, we just wait and see the IBM 970 that will have around 900 Mhz in FSB i think
Apple doesn't really have a choice when it comes to DDR SDRAM. The newest Powermacs are running a full DDR architecture with a non-DDR compatible chip. It's not Apple that's the problem here, they've done all they can do. It's Motorolla that's holding Apple back.
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 10:55 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by BenRoethig


Apple doesn't really have a choice when it comes to DDR SDRAM. The newest Powermacs are running a full DDR architecture with a non-DDR compatible chip. It's not Apple that's the problem here, they've done all they can do. It's Motorolla that's holding Apple back.
I've known about this since before I ordered my MDD PowerMac but I have a question I've never asked. I believe I'm correct in saying that the only hold up in the system is the FSB and the FSB is on the cpu isn't it? If that is true when a new chip becomes available with a DDR FSB if some company makes an upgrade to the new chip for the MDD PowerMacs will cpu see the DDR ram at full speed then?
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