Dual G4's ----> Single G5's

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Jimme, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. Jimme macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2003

    I was just wondering, Apple spent over a year of selling mainly dual processor desktop machines, mainly because of Motorola problems getting the G4 to scale over 1ghz's.

    Apple obviously put a lot of work into getting OS X optimised for dual processor machines, even if most app's at this stage were not taking advantage of both cpu's.

    I would imagine they then put a fair amount of pressure on all the major software developers to put SMP support into their products via new releases or updates.

    This was good work from Apple, getting them through a difficult time until IBM could bring the 970 / G5 to market.

    I was sort of surprised to then see when the G5 was released that there was only 1 dual processor machine in the line up. To me, it seems the G5 and its architecture is built around a dual processor setup and for only one dual processor configuration to be available seems odd.

    I totally understand the need for Apple to meet certain market price points, however when a fair few of its user base who would be buying G5's are now used to using Dual processor G4's does it not seem odd to give them only one option to have a dual processor machine, and for that machine to be the highest priced.

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand the G5 is a higher performing processor, and technically a single G5 will out perform a dual G4 machine in most tasks when optimisations have been applied to applications. However I don’t see why they don’t offer dual processor G5's at 1.6 / 1.8 and 2.0ghz's as a BTO option.

    This isn't meant to as a flame, just me wondering what other people think about Apple pushing dual processor machines, getting the OS and major applications optimised for dual processor machines, and then having 2/3 of the G5 range being single processor.

    I'am sure people will reply with 'iMacs, powerbooks, iBooks etc all have continued to use single processors, and theres always been a single processor G4 PowerMac option'... which is true, and i suppose all this optimisation for SMP is by no means wasted as 1) most power users will buy the 2ghz's model if possible 2) they will introduce more dual models later..... but still

  2. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030


    Jun 25, 2001
    Moneyapolis, Minnesota
    Re: Dual G4's ----> Single G5's

    you pretty much answered your question, along with apple needs to try to meet the price points.
  3. Jimme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2003
    Yea i was gonna just post a shorter version, but I went a bit over the top.

    However, dont you think an option for users to be able to spec any of the 3 options with Dual processors would have given alot more flexibility.

    Anyone think theres a chance the 1.6 and 1.8 may even get an offical Apple upgrade path later to give them dual processors? (the fact the chasis is exactly the same, with the fans already in place etc for the other processor 'module'), although i remember reading something about the cooling system needing configuration at build depending on the installed processor etc.

    I suppose the potential to kill future revision sales would rule out an offical Apple upgrade of this sort.

  4. MrMacMan macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2001
    1 Block away from NYC.
    I thought this was pretty simple.

    There aren't enough of them.

    I'm sure if you wanted to pay even more and the demand would be the same... and to wait till next year for post of them.


    Really, it would take that long.
  5. Jimme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2003
    Yea fair point, just really expected to see more dual processor options after all the work to get SMP optimisations in place.

    suppose sometimes they dont have an option.

  6. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Excellent post. No way it should be seen as a flame.

    I remember the first Dual G4 configuration Steve announced. "Two Brains are Better than One"
    It was during the worst of times: Moto not capable of getting the G4 above 500 Mhz. You could get a Dual 450, or Dual 500 MHz G4 back then... July 19th 2000. This was nearly 1 year after the first 500 Mhz G4 was introduced...
    Mac OS X was very immature back then, version 10.0
    So in short; Apple HAD to do something about the Moto-problem, and introduced the Dual G4 configurations. Problem was, Mac OS 9 did not support this (excellent) feature. Luckily Adobe was able to "alter' Photoshop 6 to let it use the 2nd processor, thus making the Dual G4 not a complete waste of money.
    Now we are on Mac OS X version 10.2 and better, which really does use the Dual processor feature. Later Moto got into gear, releasing the 133 MHz fsb, with faster G4's. But the speed gap with Intel was a fact....
    So, ever since July 19th 2000, Apple had created a good habit of producing Dual G4 configurations for their high-end Macintoshes. Mac OS X is now mature, and so getting a Dual PPC Mac is always a good idea, IF you are planning on using Mac OS X.
    The FSB is seen the bottleneck of the current G4s. Ever since Apple have reached the magical 1 Ghz barrier, the Duals would be starved by the not-so-good FSB speed of max. 167 MHz.
    Enter the G5. The FSB speed is half (!) of the processor speed, and with Dual configurations, each processor has its own FSB.. wow. No more FSB bottlenecks....
    But now it seems, that all those SMP optimized apps are running better on a Dual 1.42 GHz G4, than a Single 1.6 GHz G5.... yeah, no surprise.

    Apple is one Dual configuraion short: Dual 1.8 Ghz G5. The 1.8 GHz should be BTO: Single or Dual.
    I own a Dual 1.25 GHz G4, and I will never buy the Single config of a G5. Apple has don esuch a good thing getting everything optimized for SMP suppport....
    The Dual 2.0 GHz G5 is the ONLY big deal Apple have right now....

    Sorry if post is too long... G&T in my system... ;)
  7. Jimme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2003

    Yes, thats exactly what i was getting at!

    I myself see the 2ghz's as the only decent G5 configuration for a true power user who wants to take advantage of something Apple has had to force onto its Pro users for 3 years!!

  8. CMillerERAU macrumors regular

    May 12, 2003
    Fresno, CA (Prescott, AZ for school)
    I can see the 1.6 version for people who want the G5 but aren't necessarily power users. The real power users will go for the dual 2Ghz but who wants the 1.8? I suppose there are those who want the goodies (PCI-X and the like) over the dual processors. I doubt Apple would discontinue the use of dual processors since they already invested so much into developing OS X and other programs to take advantage of multi-processing. I have a feeling in the future revisions there will be more differentiation; kind of like cars. The first model always has the least customization but slowly grows as the model matures. A good example was the iMac. Came in one color, then a few colors, next a bunch of models each with a set of colors! Though its probably not the best example because now you only get them in one flavor, white.

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