End of 68k

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by pjkelnhofer, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. pjkelnhofer macrumors 6502a

    pjkelnhofer

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    #1
    I have been going through several websites researching the changeover from 68k to PPC chips. I haven't been able pindown two things. Hoping some one can help me out.
    In my mind, the change from Motorola G3/G4 to IBM G5 is going to be as important in the history of Apple.
    1. How long did Apple continue selling 68k based computers after the first PPC's came out?
    2. Did the Laptop's go directly from 68k chips to the G3 without any over the early PPC chips being in them?
    Looking forward to the answers.
    If there is a sight that has them I would love a link.
    Thanks!!!
     
  2. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #2
    Be sure to check out everymac.com to get full answers!

    Some un-reseearch answers:

    1. I guess yes for some time;
    2. No. Powerbooks with 601 and 603's were sold.
     
  3. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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  4. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #4
    Last 68k:
    PowerBook 190cs (discontinued 1 September 1996) - 680LC40

    Last 68k in desktop:
    Macintosh Performa 640CD (discontinued 1 Febuary 1996) - 680LC40

    Last "Pro" Desktop:
    Macintosh Quadra 950 (discontinued 15 October 1995) - 68040

    First PPC
    Power Macintosh 6100/60 (introduced 3 January 1995) - PPC 601

    Points of interest:

    *PPC & 68k co-existed for 1.5 years;
    *68k was phased out of pro desktops first, followed by consumer desktops and finally PBooks.

    Based on a wild extrapolation you can expect:
    *G5 iMacs at MWSF (approx 9 months)
    *G5 Powerbooks this summer (1.5 years).

    I wouldn't get your hopes up to high though ;)
    And don't forget Apple now has a consumer laptop, so the G4 will take longer to phase out than the 68k.

    D.
     
  5. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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  6. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #6
    I guess I have a bit too much free time right now :p
     
  7. pjkelnhofer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    pjkelnhofer

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    #7
    Thanks whocares.
    You answered my questions perfectly. Also, thanks to people who sent me links!
    I am amazed how little I remember about my Mac history despite being a Mac user for 15+ years now.
     
  8. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    Location:
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    #8
    one thing to remember is that the available computers now versus the 68k/G3 ugrade is significantly different. With the iBook just going G4, it wouldn't be surprising if you see the G4 there for a couple years as the low end option.

    Also, as the G5 chips run cooler and use less power they get in the Powerbooks. That might happen with the 90nm versions.

    D
     
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #9
    There are a couple of important differences to note with regards to comparing the G3/G4/G5 transition and moving from 68k machines to PPCs:

    One, the architectural differences aren't as extreme between G4/G5 and 040/601; the PPCs actually had to emulate 68k code via the OS, and did so notably slower until the clockrates of the PPCs had advanced quite a bit. The G5, though it does require some optimization to function at its peak, uses the same instruction set as the G4 (and even G3, other than Altivec).

    Since there is also no immediate benefit for most users of going 64 bit (only high end boxes that need >2GB RAM), Apple is, therefore, not under as much pressure to eliminate pre-G5 chips. They can keep the G4s around for quite a while longer at the low end without issue, if they want.

    Second, as far as I know the 68k architecture had more or less topped out with the 040 series (unless you count the next generation 060s that never happened--remind you of anything with Moto?), and I don't remember hearing about any clock-rate advances with 040 series chips after the PPC shipped. The G4, or similar altivec-equipped IBM "G3" (basically a new flavor of G4), on the other hand, may well still have headroom.

    IBM is still developing the line, since they're used in other situations, and presuming they can bring power consumption down further or scale the clock better, it *could* be a very long time before we see the end of the G4. After all, the G5 isn't wildly faster per clock in most operations; it's more the architectural headroom and other features that make it so attractive.

    Put that all together, and I could easily imagine seeing "G4" iBooks (or maybe other, entirely new, machines) for quite a while yet. Maybe not, depending on how fast the cost and heat production of the G5 come down, but we'll see.

    Anywhoo, the transitions are an interesting comparison, but there are some significant differences. Being (arguably) faster than PC users is certainly a familiar difference, though!
     

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