If Apple was still trying, could they make a PowerBook/iBook G5 by now?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Ariii, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Ariii

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    #1
    Apple said that they were trying to do so for a long time by now, and I heard of a chip called POWER7 (Not sure if it's PowerPC but I'm pretty sure) running in a laptop. I even heard somebody say (like 6 years ago) that Apple's shift to Intel would be temporary(I was skeptical of that). I mean, those G5 iMacs were good computers. I always thought that if Apple could've found a way to make a G5 notebook, the performance would've been okay even for today's standards, even though I guess its performance would probably be more like something you would find in a cheaper laptop. I'm not saying that they should've or that it would've been better, just wondering.
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #2
    Not unless there were vast improvements to the G5 ...
     
  3. macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #3
    There was a company called PA-Semi that was nearing completion of a lower power, low heat output version of the G5 chip in late 2005. But of course by that time Apple had already started its switch to Intell chips. I wouldn't call the G5 iMacs good computers. They, along with the PowerMac G5's, where plagued with problems throughout their life. No doubt a Powerbook G5 would have had similar problems.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    #4
    I was able to check out an early prototype of one once.
     

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  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ariii

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    #5
    I think there was some now campaign for the new PowerPC chips called PowerFICIENT or something, wasn't there? Sorry, I've used G5's, but not as my main computer and I've never taken one apart, so I probably wouldn't know many of the flaws in them.
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #6
    I haven't heard anything about that.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ariii

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    #7
    Is that actually a prototype? That looks so cool! Actually, I always thought the thing the Mac Minis had on the top would look so cool in an actual laptop. But yeah, to carry that around would be horrible, so it wouldn't be very convenient as a laptop.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #8
    No, that's not an actual prototype - it's just a mockup of the rumored PBG5
     
  9. macrumors 6502

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    #9
    and when it breaks, you can use it as a weapon to beat someone to death! lol
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #10
    The G4 7448 (Freescale e600) was being engineered when Apple decided to go Intel. It was too far off for them but it certainly would have solved the underpowered PowerBook issue that pushed them onto Intel. Apple announced the Intel switch in summer 2005 and the G4 7448 wasn't even ready and available for sale to computer makers till late 05. The 7448 upgrades didn't surface till late 06.

    A dual 1.8GHz 7448 could have easily been put in PowerBooks and only have the power consumption of a single 1.7GHz 7447.

    A G4 7448 in many ways is more advanced than G5's with a single core.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ariii

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    #11
    Oh, I wonder if a picture of the prototype was ever released... a Google search returned nothing.
     
  12. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #12
    I really, really doubt it. Corporations are really strict about photos of unreleased products.
     
  13. macrumors 603

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    #13
    There was never a G5 Powerbook prototype.

    Apple probably sampled the newer G4s, but the Core Duos had quite a few advantages like PCI Express support, a system bus more than three times faster than the 7448, far faster clock rate, a faster SIMD processor than Altivec, and Windows compatibility. Plus the Core Duos gained 64 bit a revision later.

    Apple likely compared against the 7448, did the math, and decided to switch. PowerPCs were also very expensive and difficult to develop, and with Intel Apple offloaded most the hardware design to Intel, who had some of the most solid chipsets in the industry.

    I'm not sure even if the G5 was still in production it could have caught up. The G5 had a lot more in common with the Pentium 4 (raw horsepower no matter what the heat/power cost) than the Core Duo, and the Pentium 4 ended up being a dead end on the Intel side.
     
  14. macrumors 603

    SkyBell

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    #14
    PPC technology has certainly progressed a lot since the time Apple discontinued their use, but as far as I know not a whole lot of development has been done on the consumer side, it's mostly used for very powerful business and research machines.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    mabaker

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    #15
    And ARM noebook is far more likely than the comeback of PowerPC architecture. Sadly.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Drew017

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    #16
    Sure they could but they won't. Intel is a faster and more compatible CPU. I'd like to see it, though! Perhaps they could make a modified PowerPC version of Lion while they are at it!
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Hrududu

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    #17
    I think the MPC8641D which was the dual core version of the e600 would have been right on par with the Core Duo chips that were in the first Intel systems. I think Apple probably looked at the kind of cash Intel was sinking into R&D vs what Freescale could afford and what IBM simply didn't seem to want to do and chose Intel. It could have had something to do with the 64bit Core 2 being closer to market than any sort of 64 bit G4 or mobile G5 chip as well. In another world, I would like to see what would have been if Apple had given Freescale the bid.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    It's a joke! No laptop would have ever been able to cope with the amount of heat a G5 creates... hence the fake huge enclosure.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #19
    I have heard of the dual core e600's and would love to get my hands on one. Sadly they were never used in Mac CPU upgrades. I would still like a dual single core 7448 one day but for now I am happy with my single. It out computes my old dual 1.42 MDD or any single G5. Only consumes 19 watts @ 1.8GHz vs. the 36 watts a single 1.8GHz 7447 consumes.

    If the 7447 wasn't such a power hog they could have possibly gotten away with a dual in the PowerBook. Even the newer 65 watt laptop power adapters wouldn't have been enough for that as a dual 7447 @1.8GHz would have consumed approx. 70-75 watts on it's own before any of the other hardware got power.
     
  20. macrumors 603

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    #20
    It wouldn't have been. The problem is it still had the slow system bus meaning you never would have actually been able to feed the second core enough information to keep it running well.

    It's the equivalent of putting some high end factory on an island, and the only way to get materials to the island is by canoe.

    The Intel chips eventually ran into the same problem where their 800 mhz/1066 mhz weren't fast enough to keep up with quad cores. Kind of puts the 167 mhz system bus on the G4 into perspective.
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #21

    All your arguments ever do is obsess over numbers like bus speed etc. There is this thing called real world performance that you don't seem to comprehend.

    I work with many G5 clusters on a weekly basis and you can't tell me that their 800MHz+ bus speed translates into real world gains. Live in the numbers cloud as long as you want but those of us that understand the real world results will almost always disagree with your arguments.

    For the record.. the e600 (7448) was engineered to run on a 200MHz bus so if Freescale made boards for Apple I'm sure they would have been 200MHz+.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    #22
    Don't listen to r.j.s. He never got to play with one. ;)
     
  23. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #23
    You're right, I was busy working on the G6
     
  24. macrumors 603

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    #24
    I'm a computer scientist who works on multi core design/programming, and I also did software development on the G4, but do go on...

    It transfers into huge gains, actually. Why do you think Apple went through the trouble of licensing HyperTransport from AMD for the G5? They did it because the bus on the G4 was so poor, and they wanted to correct it.

    If the G4 had a faster system bus, the G5 wouldn't have been necessary, and Apple wouldn't have bothered with it.

    Until you get to the 400 mhz-600 mhz range you're just not fast enough for dual core. The bus speed limits the speed of the memory on the machine. So no matter how fast of memory you put into the G4, the e600 limited the memory speed to 200 mhz or slower. At that rate, you just can't get information out of RAM fast enough to process it. It's barely fast enough to pull from RAM fast enough to feed one core. Two cores is flat out a waste.

    Again, the G5 fixed this problem and really did a great job. The HyperTransport bus it used was better than anything Intel had until the Core i7. But the G5 had other issues.
     
  25. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #25

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