No Itanium = No G5 ???

Discussion in 'Hardware Rumors' started by sjs, May 29, 2002.

  1. sjs macrumors 6502

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    #1
    http://www.msnbc.com/news/758851.asp?0si=-

    The article at MSNBC (sorry) is entitled "Next- Generation Chip Meets Mark". The chip they refer to is the Itanium 2, a true 64 bit chip to be introduced soon for highend servers and supercomputers. It runs at 1 ghz, which they say is twice as fast as the original Itanium, and has 3 mb of Level 3 cache. (Sounds a lot like the specs of a hoped-for G5.)

    My point is this: there is no mention of this chip being for anything like a consumer or pro model computer, and it sounds very expensive. If this were true and Intel has no near term plans to intoduce 64 bit computing to Dell-type products, then doesn't it follow that Apple would feel no pressure or need to introduce a 64 bit G5??

    We really could be looking at variations of the G4 for some time; maybe no G5 even in 2003. Also, the type of software that most benefits from 64 bit processing may not be what Mac users need.

    What do you think are the chances we may not see true G5 til maybe 2004?
     
  2. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    #2
    Re: No Itanium = No G5 ???

    the "bitness" of the Itanium is not what makes it so expensive, it's just a side benefit that they through in because all the other high end chips do it. The best way of explaining VLIW (the concept that the Itanium, along with a few other chips, is designed around) is that the whole chip works like Altivec. It's a lot more complex than that, but that's sort of how it works. So the reasons why the Itanium is a pro chip and not a desktop one (the reasons why it's expensive) are:
    1) size. The 3 MBs on chip L3 cache makes it HUGE. The bigger the chip, the pricier the chip
    2) completely new architecture (everything from the 286 to the Pentium 4 is x86, otherwise known as IA-32. The Itanium uses Intel's new IA-64 assembly language)
    3) marketing decision. High end chips always cost more


    Anyway, the Itanium has no effect on the G5. The G5 is not going to the same type of radical redesign the Itanium was (if it was, none of our old programs would work). The G5 is much more similar to AMD's new Hammer (to be released as a desktop, notebook, and server chip in late 2002/early 2003). Hammer is 64 bit, but it's an extension to x86, not a whole new assembly language.

    A third point is that the current G4s could have been called the G5. The change from G4 to G4+ was much larger than the change from Pentium Pro to Pentium II, or Pentium II to Pentium III. If, by "true G5", you mean a 64 bit chip, drop that concept. 64 bit just isn't that useful. There are many other things that would be a better definition of a G5 (on chip DDR controller, RapidIO, HyperTransport, pipeline changes, 256 bit Altivec, etc...). Not all of those will happen, but any of them would be a more useful indicator of a G5 than it being 64 bit (although if it is 64 bit, it is the G5. 64 bit would require a pretty major reworking of the chip).
     
  3. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #3
    Re: No Itanium = No G5 ???


    The clock speed of McKinley (Itanium 2) at 1GHz is only 200MHz more than the Itanium at 800MHz, but I've heard rumors of the 1GHz Itanium 2 having 2x the performance of the 800MHz Itanium. Which is quite an improvement - it actually makes the Itanium competitive. Maybe.

    I was under the impression that there would be both 32 and 64-bit versions of the G5 available. That's not to say I think Apple would opt for the 32-bit version, but don't forget x86-64, with the likes of AMD's Hammer and Intel's Yamhill. Those are both intended for the desktop.

    I agree. The only Mac users I can imagine would need 64-bit processing would be Xserve customers. For everyone else it would only add cost and probably power consumption, for no performance gain.
    I think there are good chances we will never see the G5. Where is the buzz? Where are all the rumors? Why have there been absolutely no IBM or Motorola statements concerning G5 released in the past several months? Processor companies are not like Apple - they can't just drain billions away on new chips in secret. They have to answer to their stockholders. Apple has to have something up its sleeve, but what could it be? This is what the rumor forums are for, I guess.

    Alex
     
  4. sjs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I did not realize just how the different versions of 64 bit processors varied. Thanks for that info Catfish_Man.

    It has been my impression on these forums that most people hope/expect that the G5 will be 64 bit.

    I agree that with all the DDR, bus and other motherboard changes we hope are coming, combined with Jaguar, that may be what defines G5. I can't see Apple having enough of the type of market that would need 64 bit power to justify it.

    If that is the case, then we may well get "G5" at MWNY, but it won't be 64 bit, it will be a dramatic overhaul of the entire componentry of a PowerMac.

    *(Although it may be that Apple's inroads with the scientific community might spur a need for 64 bit someday.)
     
  5. Rajj macrumors 6502a

    Rajj

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    #5
    Say what you say

    I hope we never see a G5!!! because Motorola don't know how to look into the future!! AMD is the wave of the future, because the focus on consumers thoughts and needs. What I mean by this statement is, AMD chips give you the best bang for your buck!!! And that's only have of it. Wait until AMD engage the "HAMMERS" late this fall. Motorola needs to stick to PDAs!!
     
  6. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    #6
    Re: Say what you say

    Of course, Apple would completely screw itself over if they went with AMD. Apple currently has only three remotely possible choices:
    1) Motorola
    2) IBM
    3) Transmeta (not very likely at all)

    If they went with any other company (or any current Transmeta chip for that matter), every single program would have to be ported to run on the new macs. It would be like the OSX transition but much much worse. Also, Motorola's a heck of a lot more forward looking than AMD is, x86 is 20 years old! It was supposed to die with the 486, Intel and AMD are just squeezing last little drops of performance from it by making it more powerpc like (x86-64 adds a bunch of registers, making it more ppc like and fixing one of the big weaknesses of x86). Motorola is also much much bigger than AMD is, if Apple could convince them that it was worth it to develop for, Moto could put enough engineers and money into it to *squish* Hammer. The problem is that Motorola has much bigger customers than Apple that think that small size and low power requirements are MUCH bigger concerns than high performance.


    btw, almost all of my chip info is from http://www.arstechnica.com
    (and the arstechnica writers say it a lot better than I do, in my opinion their stuff should be required reading for any amateur processor discussion).
     
  7. me hate windows macrumors 6502

    me hate windows

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    #7
    Re: No Itanium = No G5 ???

    evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil

    Sorry, but I dont want to wait until 2004 for a G5.
     
  8. Cappy macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Re: Re: Say what you say

    Saying Moto could squish Hammer with enough money and engineers is almost like saying MS could take out Sony with the xbox with enough money and engineers. Sure it could happen. Will it? Only if Sony mismanages things. Same deal with AMD. Moto's problem is that they are mismanaged from being too thin. It started years ago. They're not squishing much of anyone in any of their markets these days.

    As to what cpu they use can revolve quite a bit on whether a chip can support the correct endian mode or if Apple pulls some tricks in the OS to address this. Remember the powerpc can do big and little endian with I believe the G3 and newer being able to do both at once. There's no reason that another chip may not be able to do that in the future aside from patent issues of course. I've also been told that Apple has a number of patents and technologies that address issues like these. Much of that came from NeXT.

    The thing that we'll probably see is a non-powerpc chip with a Mac OS on various niche devices that aren't desktop or laptop systems just so Apple could take advantage of costs. That would allow time for development to be enhanced to make a smoother migration.

    Of course who really knows. All any of us ever do is guess. ;)
     
  9. Falleron macrumors 68000

    Falleron

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    #9
    I reckon we will see a G5 in NY! It wont be what we are expecting. It will be basically a G4 (beefed up version) at 1.4Ghz with DDRAM, new motherboard, new case, firewire 2 etc. This is a big enough change to warrent the name change!
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #10
    Re: Re: No Itanium = No G5 ???

    Alex,

    Just because MOT and IBM hasn't said anything about a G5 doesn't mean they're not working on it. Intel and AMD sell to a whole variety of vendors, so they aren't bound to keep secrets.

    MOT and IBM, on the other hand, sell PPC (desktop) chips to Apple only. Therefore, they can't be releasing information that would kill the sales of the current Macs. It would hurt Apple's bottom line and, in turn, their own.
     
  11. agreenster macrumors 68000

    agreenster

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    #11
    I dont think its a big secret that Motorola has been working on the "G Series" for years. Ive seen numerous charts and diagrams taking the family all the way up to G6.

    We wont see the 64-bit G5 until MWSF '03. I dont think DDR Ram and all that stuff warrants a name change of G5 stature.
     
  12. PFY macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Stop that motorola bashing already! Although I think the G5 is still some way off, but Motorola needs it for their telco equipment just as much as Apple needs it for their Desktops.

    Sure at the moment it doesn't look as if motorola is ready for the "great leap ahead" but AMD didn't look so hot before they released the Athlon.

    As for the Itanium, well that thing is a monster and not in the positive sense. It is pretty much unuiseable as a desktop CPU in its current form and even use as a workstation processor doesn't look too promising. At the time Intel and HP came up with its architecture VLIW looked like the next big thing but by now superscalar CPUs are just as powerfull with less design headaches. And while the fact that Intel got Compaq to kill the Alpha and that HP partnered with them in developing the Itanium will asure some sort of succsess as a server CPU it might still not take off as planed.
     
  13. dongmin macrumors 68000

    dongmin

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    #13
    I thought one of the reasons people are so hard up for the G5 is that it scales up much better than the G4. The G5 will take us far beyond the 2 ghz mark whereas the G4 is more limited in how high it can go. There were rumors last year about how Moto was getting samples of 2.4 ghz G5s. Am I way off base here? Could the G4 go much higher in frequency as they improve the fabrication process of these chips?
     
  14. tortus macrumors member

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    #14
    the powerPC roadmap

    Well, the roadmap for the 7xxx family of PowerPC chips is quite ambiguous. It says 1Ghz+. The 8xxx family is listed at starting at 800Mhz and going to 2Ghz+. So, without any guesswork, we have no idea what the ceiling is for the g4. With the new XServe architecture, Apple seems pretty content with the throughput capabilities the g4 offers. So, all signs point to the g4 being around for awhile, but only Apple and Motorola know how high they want to go with frequency (duh.) I am sick of trying to guess. I seriously am spending too much time wishing for the g5 or ultimate g4 machine than working. LOL.

    "Oooooo, I have wasted my life." -Comic Book Guy
     
  15. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #15
    Re: Re: Re: No Itanium = No G5 ???

    If Motorola and/or IBM are working on a G5 in secret, where is the evidence of this on their balance sheets? (Not that I've looked - maybe it's there, I don't know.) Why is there no line that says, "G5 Development, Q4 - $150,000,000"? If these companies "pay" $6 million for screwdrivers and $13 million for toilets like the Pentagon does, then that would explain everything, but like I said, both Motorola and IBM are public companies accountable to their stockholders and do not have the license that Apple does in regards to keeping their work classified. I am aware that Apple is a public company as well, but it is common knowledge that when you invest in Apple, you invest in a company that is not at all forthcoming about its product development. This is not the case with IBM or Motorola. I see no recent and credible evidence of a G5 and thus I have no reason to believe it exists, at least not in the form we are all anticipating.

    Alex
     
  16. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #16
    Isn't that roadmap like a year and a half old? In any case it was made before Motorola's big layoff of, what was it, 6,000 from their semiconductor division?

    Alex
     
  17. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #17
    Re: Re: Re: Re: No Itanium = No G5 ???

    Alex, I'm not saying, one way or the other, whether MOT/IBM have G5s in secret. All I'm saying is that this sort of stuff may not show up in financial reports.

    Back when the 1ghz G4 came out, MOT released a statement saying that a 1ghz chip was available for use in such and such. There was no mention of Apple using this chip. A few days later, Apple unvieled the Dual Gig. Only after this, did MOT say that the previously released 1ghz G4 was also being used by Apple. When asked why, MOT stated that they can't jump the gun and steal Apple's thunder.

    So basically, all I'm saying is that the lack of details about G5 development on MOT's financial records doesn't really mean that there is no development.
     
  18. tortus macrumors member

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    #18
    Old Roadmap

    Hell yeah it is old! It is older than dirt. So, I don't put too much credence in ole Moto's roadmap for the PowerPC when trying to determine where the 7xxx caps at. And I am sure those layoffs don't help production/development speed either.
     
  19. King Cobra macrumors 603

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    #19
    If there are no G5 chips planned to be used, then what about our G4? Weren't there previous rumors that a G4 maxed out at 1.5GHz? And doesn't the G3 go up in price once you get to extreme speeds, also according to rumors?

    My main question: What comes for Apple after the G4, if al of this is true?
    __________________

    Fear the King.
     
  20. gbojim macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I don't understand why people think G5 development is secret. Motorola has publicly disclosed info through the PPC roadmap as well as tons of tech data about the MPC8540 - the first chip in the G5 series which Cisco is currently designing into new high-end routers. That chip is full 64 bit integer like it or not.

    BTW R&D must be shown as a line item on financial statements but companies are not required to disclose the projects or the project breakdown.
     
  21. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #21

    The PPC roadmap everyone seems to be referring to is very old. Isn't there anything newer? When can we expect the G5? Based upon the roadmap, it's due sometime in "200x." Gee whiz, how helpful is that. It is in the best interests of Intel, AMD, and every other manufacturer to announce at least an estimate release date. The fact that Motorola hasn't leads me to believe that either the G5 is long overdue, or it doesn't exist at all. We've got the MPC8540 (which I believe is 32-bit) and other 85xx series chips, so we know that something is going on at Motorola, but all I'm saying is that it is unusual to see such secrecy - not only secrecy, but utter silence - in regards to new processors. Intel, AMD, and IBM are known to blather on about products more than a year away from release. Motorola seems to have nothing to say whatsoever, which is why I'm suspicious.

    Or it could be that I'm just not listening. Although I try. RapidIO and SOI and 256-bit AltiVec and so on is great, but I want to see release dates! And I want to see them now!

    Alex
     
  22. Supa_Fly macrumors 68030

    Supa_Fly

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    #22
    My take on Apple/IBM/Motorola & the G5

    Hey beautiful ppl, a newbie here so just bear with my thoughts, cool?

    Motorola:
    yes indeed their roadmap is very old and hasnt been updated as far as I can tell. This I believe is due to the massive downsizing and loss of contracts in the processor markets. They only now have 2 worldwide manufacturing plants for their cellphone chips--relying heavily on outsourcing. They are focussing more on the ARM9/6 technology chips for PDA's of which Palm is going to be their biggest client. This market is growing worldwide and provides more revenues for them. Where as the PPC markets for desktop/laptop/server computers has either leveled off or just chugging by. This is obvious as Apple has always had to wait 2 months before shipping any G4 CPU-based computer in high yields (more on this fiasco soon)! Mind you Motorola by far in terms of intellectual prowess is the 2nd top developer of CPUs for any computing market. Intel being #1, AMD being#3 and steadily rising to #2.

    Now roughly 3 yrs ago during the initial launch of the G4 at 450Mhz ahum, 400Mhz, Apple executives publicly and openly stated that Motorola was to blame (and actually were) for Apple announcing 450Mhz(450/500/550Mhz) chips that it couldnt ship, and re-announcing them at 400Mhz(400/450/500); which in turn caused some serious marketing and supply&demand woes for Apple.

    Now ever notice why IBM cannot produce any G4's even though they own the most advanced CPU plants in the world--not even rivald by Intel??! Well its because of the patent that Motorola owns, and the aggrement between IBM,Motorola & Apple. This makes Motorola the sole provider of G4 chips(Altivec co-owned by Apple & Motorola)! Lately Apple has polished up its act and sees the future a little clearer, as more aggressive development, designing, and testing actively of G4 chips (733/867/933Mhz &1Ghz)!

    Apple will not go to AMD for CPU's because the whole OS X architechure needs Altivec in the Motorola G4. Also $$$$ in the Billions or development and market go down the tubes just to be replaced by billions more for going to another CPU manufacturer. Also, Apple could hope that Motorola doesnt renew its aggrement with Apple that binds them to Altivec technology, or the Motorola becomes heavily cash stricten--could happen, revenues are down, liabilities are up and huge expenses, not to mention high outstanding loans--were Apple could buy a majority stake giving them huge power!

    Lastly, if Altivec can speed up the algorhythm processing power of a 32-bit chip to 128-bit crunching speeds, why cant it do the same for a 64-bit chip?! and why cant a 64-bit chip be 32-bit compatible via algorhythms and the OS X?! Hmmm, I thought all the hardware in a computer is driven by the software that controls it?!!! Even the CPU! The CPU isnt just 1s & 0s anymore, its like accounting.....it isnt just about the numbers but how the fit in the puzzle, how to utilize the numbers, and what they can do for you!

    Well, am I crazy to think all of this or what?
     
  23. Rajj macrumors 6502a

    Rajj

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    #23
    Re: My take on Apple/IBM/Motorola & the G5


    Well said A!!! But Motorola is holding Apple back and Apple is letting them!!!
    I think AMD can provide the turbo boost needed to push OSX!!!
    AltiVec is getting old and besides, OSX is Unix so AMD should be able to run on it!!!!

    This is technology we are talling about, so they will figure it out!!!
     
  24. Falleron macrumors 68000

    Falleron

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    #24
    2 Things!

    1) Apple is being held back and there is nothing they can do about it in the short term anyway!
    2) They are not moving to AMD for chips! Its not happening.
     
  25. Supa_Fly macrumors 68030

    Supa_Fly

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    #25
    Didnt see it that way

    Hmmm,
    Thanks Xrhajj.

    Even though OS X is UNIX, its Altivec's subprocessing unit that makes OS X shine, along with other Multithreaded programs. It is unfortunate that Apple is indeed being held back by Motorola; however it seems they are taking an active role in developing the CPU's; I mean we are at 1Ghz!! :)

    Again if Motorola release their aggreement with Apple & IBM then and only then can Apple port over Altivec to AMD or another CPU manufacturer. Yes Im wishful thinking here.

    Lastly, I do think that some markets can benefit considerably from a true 64-bit G4/G5 CPU under the bonnet. The biotech industry would bite on that fish like candy in front of a 7 yr old. Programmers for high-end servers could benefit as well, but only with LVD SCSI in the XServe, along with DDR SDRAM PC333Mhz, and with HyperTransport (an AMD technology I might add) to connect all internal peripheals. But it still will be a bottleneck to a 64-bit CPU. Hard-drive performance must jump 10X for serious enhancement to use a 64-bit CPU-in my opinion.


    Got a question, The Airport slot inside of the G4 Tower I have is exactly the same specs as a PC Card Slot just like my old laptop! Can I connect any PC Card into this slot to use (so long as OS X can utilize the PC Card device entered), or is it hard-wired to accept only the Airport cards???

    Thanks peeps
     

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