More than 2 Processor Support in Panther?

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    MacBidouille reports finding evidence for > 2 multiprocessor support in Panther. Oddly, including 3 processor support as well as 4 processor support.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    MarkCollette

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #2
    The G5 was designed for multiple CPUs. I fully expect 4-way systems to be available in the 2U rack mountable systems ASAP. I just wouldn't expect them to be as quiet as the PowerMac G5s.

    This will probably be necessary to compete against the next round of faster Intel chips, continuing the strategy of selling dual G4s against faster P4s, to now sell quad G5s against dual P4s.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    I thought programming for quad systems was harder than programming for 2, which is harder than programining for 1. I expect the quads will only be in the Xserves. Although it would be nice to see them in the PMs, but I just don't see many companies optimising their software for quads unless they are made standard accross the PM range.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    nl
    #4
    Not only 2,3 and 4 cpu support, but there is also an n-CPU item. :D Now we're talking!
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    MarkCollette

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #5
    It's harder to design CPUs, make chipsets, and program some bits of the operating system, in the way that you suggest, for more CPUs.

    But, the 970 handles more CPUs just fine, and the operating system is based off of FreeBSD, which supports many CPUs, and I assume that Apple can either make the chipset, or get someone who knows how to, to make them.

    For a server, it's not an issue about the applications needing to support multiple CPUs (via multi-threading), since you tend to need to support multiple users, and thus can simply run multiple instances of the applications.

    Err, long story short: there's no technical reason why this wouldn't be possible :)
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2001
    #6
    3 processors???

    THere's nowhere a sign that PPC970 supports asymmetric multiprocessing. And why should it. Afaik SMP means processors in pairs.
     
  7. macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #7
    Yeah, it's kinda gotta be 2, 4, 8, etc.

    But I'm sure they'd design the OS to get it working right, even if the software isn't built for it. Be nice with 90 something % increases for each CPU.

    Just don't look for it anytime soon in cheaper machines. XServes, maybe.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    crenz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai, China
    #8
    Re: 3 processors???

    I wouldn't attach too much importance to this rumor. They probably just added "3 processors" to their list to make it complete, even though it doesn't seem likely to happen with the PPC970. It's a common programmer's technique.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Symmetric Multi Processing is where you have multiple [identical] CPUs all doing the same thing.

    Asymmetric Multi Processing is where you have multiple CPUs with specific functions.

    Both symmetric and asymmetric forms can be done with any number of processors >1.

    Jim
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Location:
    Aussie in London
    #10
    woot!

    lol, I could resist, I had to become a member to say...

    woot! Could we expect Quad G5 PowerBooks tomorrow!!
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2001
    #11
    Thank You.

    But why isn' there any 3-processor machines available then?
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    crenz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai, China
    #12
    Re: woot!

    My auntie's friend has a brother whose postman is a cousin of the grandma of a senior engineer at Apple. This very reliable source told me of an exciting new product at Apple for kids: The iBake will be a totally new multifunctional toy for children, featuring a total of four G5 processors, overclocked to run at 2.5 GHz. Two G5's each are teamed up to power one of two black circular interfaces seen on the product whose purpose has not been determined yet. The best is that Apple manages to run those four G5's without any fan at all! Jonathan Ive commented to a selected group of reporters that "this time, we're not avoiding heat issues, we're creating them on purpose". Whatever that is supposed to mean.

    The picture (stolen from Apple's secret labs) seen at

    http://www.erzi.de/katalog/images/products/10690_Kochplatte-KLgr.jpg

    clearly shows that a number of bluetooth accessories will be available as well since I see no wires attached. Also, there don't seem to be any mouse buttons anymore -- another innovation from Apple.

    SCNR ;)
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2003
    Location:
    Aussie in London
    #13
    SMP`

    /me looks at the 3 cpu box next to him.

    There are, I have a 3 cpu SPARCServer right next to me... and with a bit of expense I can make it 8 cpu, or anything in between.
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    bennetsaysargh

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    Re: woot!

    i can't wait!! lol:p
    seriously, that will come evenbtually. (hundreds of years from now:p)
     
  15. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #15
    I don't know much on the subject - but could this have to do with clustering? There has been talk about Mac G5 clusters - n-cpus.....that would make sense for this bit of text. Going with 4 CPUs in one box right now seems a bit much - especially given the current internal config of the G5.

    Not that I wouldn't want to have a quad G5....;)

    D
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    NNO-Stephen

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  17. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    #17
    Programming a single workflow application to take advantage multiple processors is harder than programming it for a single processor, yes. However, in general, if you have your code set up to handle two processors it should be next to trivial to get it to support four, eight, sixteen, etc.

    On the other hand, multiple single-threaded applications also work smashingly well in an n-processor system ...
     
  18. macrumors 6502

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  19. macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2003
    #19
    I don;t think apple would make a 4 processor Pmac. Imagine having to pay $6000.00 entry-level for a 4 processor pmac.
     
  20. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #20
    Anything is possible and clustering, in some form, is supposed to be part of Panther.

    Most servers and big machines have had support for large numbers of processors for quite a while. I've worked with an IBM iSeries model 840 which had 24 PowerPC processors.

    The efficiency of the operating system needs to improve though, if Apple will sell the processors as add-ons at some point. Hopefully, Darwin has been improved to exploit any processor's power in multiple processor configurations.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    iLilana

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    #21
    multiple pocessor panther

    maybe this is for some kind of integrated clustering feature like appleseed. I thought I read something about that somewhere...


    hmm a little late on that post:eek:
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Location:
    Marion, Ohio
    #22
    I remember reading a long time ago when MacOS X came out that it had support for up to 32 processors. Is this still the case or not?!

    Next, with the new ability for certain Apple programs to share resources over a network for processing, it is possible we will see this application before >2 XServes/PMacs.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    iLilana

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    #23
    multiple pocessor panther

    maybe this is for some kind of integrated clustering feature like appleseed. I thought I read something about that somewhere...
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #24
    yeah..

    found this on my own during the first few days.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #25
    Three CPUs is the most they could fit in the new 19" AluBook.
     

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