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Old Mar 1, 2003, 10:00 AM   #1
MacManiac1224
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Question Would Apple actually use the 970?

I have no doubt that Apple will use the 970 as soon as possible, but at what speed? If IBM could dish out 970's at 2Ghz easy, would Apple take the jump? If they did, they would have to bump up everything else too? Something tells me that Apple would move up slowly just like everything else. maybe debut it at 1.6Ghz or maybe 1.8Ghz, I personally hope that I am wrong, but I don't think so.

What do you guys think?
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 10:14 AM   #2
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Apple is definetly in the final stages of adopting a new processor, the g4 is at least 5 years old and has been on its last legs for a long time. It seems like apple could adapt its hardware to use the ppc-970 fairly easily, and would need to change very little about their current operating system and applications. But what I want to know is if apple starts to use the ppc-970 would they put out a 64 bit version of mac osx? Panther mabye? Panther was slated for a release around july/august (thats just a rumor I heard somewhere, don't quote me on it) and thats the time a lot of people are placing apples release of new processor hardware...

Ive got my fingers crossed
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 10:24 AM   #3
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I would be surprised not to see panther running in 64/32 bit modes. I also think apple would come out with a lower mhz 970 so that it would leave plenty of room for scaling up for a long time. Funny here is a chip thats in testing and its allready scaling up faster the the g4 ever did in its entire history, Just goes to show that when you have people who are interested and excited about something things can happen vs having bean counters running the show with little interset and no forsight such as those motorola executives.
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 11:09 AM   #4
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Hmm...

Again, this is all mad speculation (guess it's the right place), but I would expect Apple to go pretty high with the 970s. If they debuted @2Ghz+ in about 6 months, I would expect the Imachines(imac, ibook etc) to use the new 8457(is that right) G4 which by that time would probably be able to sustain 1.8Ghz or so. Apple needs to play some catch up with their Pro machines, and probably couldn't afford to have them seriously behind for too long...anyway, this way there would once again be a differentiation between pro and consumer lines with plenty of maneuvering room between models (unlike now). I personally believe that there will be one more revision with the 8457 in the PMs @ 1.8 or so and no 970s till Jan(hope I'm wrong)...but Apple can't afford to alienate current PM buyers with that big of a jump yet...tricky.Just my thoughts, cheers(P.S I agree about the 64/32 bit mode 10.3...)
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 11:18 AM   #5
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7457 is the next revision of the g4, and i do think the g4s will be in the consumer lines for a while though would love to see a 970 imac. Motorola has forced apple to play the cant do this to this line because of where this line is for a long time. Time to break that mold and let those lines go where the market takes them instead of these artificial boundries created by motorolas lack of progress and apples marketing of their pro vs consumer lines. Another G4 bump will not do much to increase the sales of the powermacs.
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 11:47 AM   #6
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It's easy to be pessimistic on this one

Lord knows Apple has let us down for sometime now. However.

It's never good to have just one supplier. Apple needs Motorola right now. Here's the excellent opportunity Apple needs.

Apple has always tried to delineate the Consumer lines from the Professional. This became hard when Apple couldn't get fast enough G4's for the Professional Line and Consumers started to resist purchasing G3 based desktops. What Apple then must do is litterally cripple the consumer offerings with slower busses...slower FW etc.

With the PPC 970 Apple now as a high end processor that will distance itself from the "now" Consumer processor G4. Here's what I think is possible by Sept of this year.

G4 Based computers

eMac- 1Ghz G4
iBook- 1Ghz G4
iMac- 1.2Ghz and 1.4Ghz
Powerbook- 1.4Ghz 1.6Ghz

PPC 970 Based systems
Powermac 970- 1.6Ghz 2Ghz possible 2.5Ghz or top end dual 1.8Ghz.


This creates a clear line of professional computers with 64bit processors and consumer lineups standardized on the G4 processor.

I wouldn't worry too much about Apple Alienating PM customers. PM sales are very poor and the only people buying them are people in need of a computer NOW. Remember Apple proclaimed this the year of the Laptop meaning they plan to sell alot of laptops while the Powermac 970's are being developed. Looking at the great work they've done with the powerbook lineup corroborates this.

Fred Anderson Apple's CFO recently stated a goal of 8 Billion in revenue and a marketshare increase to %5. This is a whole heap of sales and Apple knows they cannot afford another 6 months of dismal Powermac sales and even come close to maintaining even their current marketshare. The 970 is coming as soon as it's ready...it's Apples key to getting back into the race.
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 01:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
G4 Based computers

eMac- 1Ghz G4
iBook- 1Ghz G4
iMac- 1.2Ghz and 1.4Ghz
Powerbook- 1.4Ghz 1.6Ghz
I disagree with this. In the first place, the 7457 won't be available until the end of the year. In the second place, the PPC 970 will have been out (my guess) for a few months already by the time the new Moto chips are available.

Why put a hot, 180nm chip in an iBook or an iMac when they could use a 130nm PPC 970 with a much faster bus? Of course, they probably won't use the new IBM chip in the iBook, but a hot, battery draining 7455 G4 is not the answer.

I don't see any reason for Apple to use the current G4's for anything other than they already are. I hope that the PowerMacs and PowerBooks will get the PPC 970 as soon as possible, then the high end iMac. Leave the G3 in the iBook until a newer version is available, like 130nm, 1.2Ghz, 200 MHz system bus.
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 01:20 PM   #8
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Nuckinfuta and pilotgi both make good points. I dont really think a 1.42 imac is going to happen because of the heat issue. Still would like to see what the inards of the new imac looks like? Ibm did say a 1.2 version of the 970 drew 19 watts. this would be ideal for the imac and the powerbooks and only improve when they make these chips on the smaller process. Motorolas 7457 coming out at the end of the year does not do much for mac and then it wouldnt be till 2004 that we saw them on the shelves.
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 02:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Why put a hot, 180nm chip in an iBook or an iMac when they could use a 130nm PPC 970 with a much faster bus? Of course, they probably won't use the new IBM chip in the iBook, but a hot, battery draining 7455 G4 is not the answer.
1. Because iBooks and iMacs are Consumer machines. Just because it "can" be done doesn't mean it should.

2. I believe Apple will wait until the 970 is fabbed on 90nm before attempting to put then in a portable. The 1.2Ghz 970 dissipates 19 watts but we have no idea what the effect of it's companion chipset will do heatwise.

But I agree with you. Motorola is so gawdawful late to .13 micron it's pathetic.
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 02:21 PM   #10
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What if apple decided to have the proline all 970, a highend consumer line Imac lcd 970, and then lower consumer emac on the g4. wouldnt that still fit into the business model they have? Just like right now where you can have a 1 giger imac lcd or the upgradability of the 1 giger powermac. This way we could still see a lowend 970 in the supercool imac.
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 02:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dont Hurt Me
What if apple decided to have the proline all 970, a highend consumer line Imac lcd 970, and then lower consumer emac on the g4. wouldnt that still fit into the business model they have? Just like right now where you can have a 1 giger imac lcd or the upgradability of the 1 giger powermac. This way we could still see a lowend 970 in the supercool imac.
Because then they'd be stuck in the same situation they have now. Users are purchasing iMacs over Powermacs because the Powermacs don't offer enough Bang for the Buck to warrant spending another $600 or more. That's where the margin is...the Powermac line and when those aren't selling Apple is not profitting well.

They have an opportunity right now to mile the G4 for another year and push the 970 based machines out like mad. Putting a 970 in an iMac will only cost them profits when the consumer looking for an iMac cares most about the complete package IMO but doesn't want a slug. The G4 would still be good for them.
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 03:10 PM   #12
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Thats a good point, i would love to replace this powermac with the imac lcd but if they only put the 970 in the powermac then i guess it would be another powermac. Its been a good machine but when you look at the cube, or new widescreen imacs the powermac seems a little boring. Do you think by just going to the 970 in the powermac that will take the sales from 3% marketshare to 5%? I would think they would still need more across all lines to do that. any opinions?
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 05:07 PM   #13
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I'd like to see Apple put the PPC970 in _all_ of their computers. I know it will never happen, but what an announcement that would be in the fall.

"The all-new line of Apple computers!"

New PowerMacs
High end: 2.5 Ghz PPC970, 900 Mhz system bus
Low end: 2.0 Ghz PPC970, 900 Mhz system bus

New Powerbooks
17": 2.0 Ghz PPC970, 600 Mhz system bus
15.4": 1.8 Ghz PPC970, 600 Mhz system bus
12.1": 1.5 Ghz PPC970, 600 Mhz system bus

New iMacs
17" wide screen: 1.5 Ghz PPC970, 400 Mhz system bus
15": 1.5 Ghz PPC970, 400Mhz system bus

New iBooks
High end: 1.5 Ghz PPC970, 200 Mhz system bus
Low end: 1.2 Ghz PPC970, 200 Mhz system bus

No mention of G4 processors sounds like a good way for Apple to move forward.
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Old Mar 2, 2003, 08:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by pilotgi

"The all-new line of Apple computers!"

New PowerMacs
High end: 2.5 Ghz PPC970, 900 Mhz system bus
Low end: 2.0 Ghz PPC970, 900 Mhz system bus

I believe the high end PowerMacs should be duel CPU. That way the OS is super responsive, and more importantly graphics, 3D, and AV applications will be blindingly fast. Just because a 2.5Ghz PPC970 should theoretically* outpace duel 1.4Ghz G4 doesn't mean that the high end shouldn't be duel. Having duel CPUs also makes it easy to differentiate between the consumer and pro lines.

Ignoring the multiple CPU issues, unfortunetely I think it's optimistic to expect the line up you've suggested because it will take IBM time to ramp up production, and because I don't believe we will see 2.5Ghz parts intially.

Oh and your bus suggestions don't really make sense. I believe the PPC970 bus runs at half CPU clock by default, so a 1.5Ghz part would have a 750Mhz bus, crippling it to 400Mhz wouldn't make sense. Whether IBM can manage a 1.25Ghz bus on the 2.5GHz chip is an interesting question - I'm hoping the answer is yes.

* I say theoretically because all preformance figures are only IBM estimates ATM.

Last edited by will; Mar 2, 2003 at 10:01 AM.
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Old Mar 2, 2003, 08:44 AM   #15
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Re: Would Apple actually use the 970?

Quote:
Originally posted by MacManiac1224
I have no doubt that Apple will use the 970 as soon as possible, but at what speed? If IBM could dish out 970's at 2Ghz easy, would Apple take the jump? If they did, they would have to bump up everything else too? Something tells me that Apple would move up slowly just like everything else. maybe debut it at 1.6Ghz or maybe 1.8Ghz, I personally hope that I am wrong, but I don't think so.

What do you guys think?
The MHz to MHz raw benchmarks of a RIO-based 970 vs 7457-RM will be similar in most operations, with the lead in Floating Point going to the 970. The G4 will also cost a lot less and generate less heat than the 970.

Now when you put the chips behind an OS, HW, FSB, and design trade-offs in consumer vs. pro -- things will be a little different at similar clock speeds. Will be interesting to see if similarly equiped machines justify the differences in price.

---

The major speed impovements will be focused in bandwidth improvements in the system I/O and the bus -- not in the few extra MHz these machines generate.

It's all about how much data these machines can move, not how fast they vibrate, because even a single 500MHz G4 is capable of starving for data behind the 970s bus.

All the theoritical MIPs these high MHz CPUs can do, is meaningless unless there is actual data and instructions for the machine to work with.

---

The 7457-RM brings in a huge improvement in bus bandwidth, so these machines will most likely be a lot faster than the current crop -- even at similar clock rates.

The 970 won't be spectacularly faster than the 7457-RM, but will be able to work with MORE data. The 64-bit addressing will allow people to use far more than 2-4 GB of memory, work with far larger HDs and drive directories.
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Old Mar 2, 2003, 09:15 AM   #16
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Good morning sunbaked, i think the 970 will be much faster then the g4 simply because it works with more instructions in and out per clock hence performing more work per clock. The 7457rm would be great for macs if they had them now but the rm wont be here for a year will it not. the earlier post of powerbooks at 1.5 - 2 ghz is not likely at all. the 1.8 was pulling 42 watts add your other stuff and you wont have any battery life at all. Very interesting that ibm makes this post only to pull it the same day.Screw up or intentional leak? now a 1 giger g4 is pulling 30w i think so a 1.2 970 pulling 19 should work very well in the powerbook line.
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Old Mar 2, 2003, 10:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dont Hurt Me
Good morning sunbaked, i think the 970 will be much faster then the g4 simply because it works with more instructions in and out per clock hence performing more work per clock. The 7457rm would be great for macs if they had them now but the rm wont be here for a year will it not. the earlier post of powerbooks at 1.5 - 2 ghz is not likely at all. the 1.8 was pulling 42 watts add your other stuff and you wont have any battery life at all. Very interesting that ibm makes this post only to pull it the same day.Screw up or intentional leak? now a 1 giger g4 is pulling 30w i think so a 1.2 970 pulling 19 should work very well in the powerbook line.
It's still theoretical vs. real world instructions per clock cycle ... even if you can fully load the CPU every clock -- the bus won't support it, and the current code base most likely wouldn't either. Still stuck with the bus speed and how the code is executed by the CPU.

So are you really doing more work per clock, or praying you'll do more work per clock with your current programs?
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Old Mar 2, 2003, 10:50 AM   #18
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The only way to know for sure is when you have a 970 machine to test and that is going to be awhile.
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