PowerPC to Intel Processor - Apple's smart move!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by slooksterPSV, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #1
    Ok, if you guys have read the specs on the PS3 and XBOX 360, Next Gen 2 is what I'll call them. They use Power PC Processors, and since gaming has higher demand, and IBM is having troubles producing enough chips, Apple had to get out. Now this is all in my opinion and knowing what's happened in the past and all that, so I'll continue.

    Now Apple says they moved for the better, and its true, not having to have people wait for PowerPC Processors to be developed, speed, etc. I did learn about one thing that I wish IBM could produce more or at least hand tips on the technology for AMD or Intel. Synergistic Processing, where you have different SPE's (8 for the PS3) that delegates itself to managing the processes. Apple would probably benefit from this for XServer, if they don't already user it. Considering its a Cell Processor aspect.

    Now I know I'm going on and on, but Apple had to make a decision and passed it off as something that when the time came they'd have to do. But did they lie? I mean PowerPC Cells are up to 3.2GHz, so I dunno this is all just cramming in my head. Ok Steve himself said, that there would be a time that came where Apple would have to go to x86 processors, which they are. They had the first 64-bit processor for the desktop in the world. Steve is making the right move, yes. So why all the sudden want for gaming for PowerPC Processors? Is it cause IBM knows how to do cells and are the only ones? But what about the XBO... XBX360 uses cell, oh ok. So did Apple know IBM's new developing technology, and was a converge of all companies exchanging an ideal business market. Which did IBM go behind one or the other or was this a total all out converge?

    You guys are going to read this and say: he's an idiot. But I'm trying to cram all this down and understand the flock towards IBM PowerPC processors. Of course they're better, but whats with all the other gaming companies moving to them. Sony had their own processor, why not for PS3? XBox, why not Intel? I don't understand! Help me through this guys.
     
  2. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

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    #2
    I don't think your an idiot at all. I think your one of the few that actually get it.:cool:
     
  3. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

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    #3
    Couple of things. The PS3 is using the Cell Processor, which is designed by a couple of companies. the xBox is using powerPC processors, but none of these are the same as what apple used. A these chips could not be used for general purpose computing. they are specialized chips good at the things gaming needs.


    Apple changed chips because IBM was not going to spend the money to really develop the chips apple needed. The have their aim elsewhere (gaming and server markets). Apple knew this, and saw intel had a pretty good roadmap, knew they would invest in the chips (obviously, they have to), and new intel brought a lot more to the table as well (multimedia chips, ARM chips wireless chipsets, etc). the switch to intel makes to much sense. some might argue AMD would have been a better ft, and that always will remain an option going forward, but intel gives apple a lot of oppurtunities.
     
  4. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #4
    Well the OP is way smarter than me but what I absorbed runs along the same as you just posted here -- xBox not the same PowerPc platform as what Apple uses.

    The fact that IBM was sold to China is also a weird concept for my head to get around. I know all this business is happening in China, but if there is not really such thing as private property there, you can't truly own anything but you can sort of lease things with the Government if you are not pissing them off in some way -- like blogging on the internet -- that means the State is really behind a lot of these tech buys like IBM. (?)
     
  5. slooksterPSV thread starter macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #5
    Wait IBM was sold to China...? I faintly remember something like that. And I know the chips aren't the same. From what I've read though, the PS3 has a PowerPC Architecture, but as cell chips. Now if the architecture is different of course that makes sense, but thats how I'm figuring there was a converge somewhere. - well sorta. I've gotta get ready for school. Thanks for clearing a bit up.
     
  6. BENJMNS macrumors 6502

    BENJMNS

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    #6
    what are you guys so worried about? don't you think apple did their homework to ultimately drive more sales? to drive more sales, the product's gotta get better via innovation.

    intel, powerpc, whatever. give me results to justify yet another apple purchase. done.
     
  7. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    #7
    just the pc and laptop division....now owned by Lenovo

    IBM are still an american mega-corp.
     
  8. Daedalus256 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Everytime I hear "PowerPC in an Xbox360" I chuckle. It's just so damn ironic.

    Anyway on-topic. I think you're correct. Apple realized that they couldn't wait on IBM anymore and that with nextgen demands (ESPECIALLY with the xbox360, look at what a disaster release THAT was) there weren't going to be any PPC cores for them!

    SPEs are a great idea and I do believe that cell technology is going to be implemented into regular PCs quite soon. I hope it does because it's going places.
     
  9. MacTruck macrumors 65816

    MacTruck

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    #9
    You know everyone is saying that the XBOX 3.2ghz tripple core CPU is only for gaming and not for computing. Exactly why is that? Gaming is the most processor intensive thing you can do. I think this chip would rock in a computer. Lets get some techical reasons why it will be slow aside from the 1mb cache which isn't that bad.
     
  10. MacTruck macrumors 65816

    MacTruck

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    #10

    IBM was NOT sold to China. IBM sold off PART of its Laptop division to Lenovo. They still own 20% of it. Lenova is a Chinese company. But hey, aren't all the tech companies here only hiring chinese and indians (india) anyways? They work for cheap, don't have social lives and get the job done. They have to, they send all their money home to their families so hey can eat. Lazy americans like me just work so I can get the quad G5 then I sleep in the bathroom every hr for 20 minutes after my hourly 10 minute smoke break. LOL!
     
  11. Daedalus256 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I detect some stereotypical racism in this post.
     
  12. slooksterPSV thread starter macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #12
    Anyone else get a headache trying to figure and piece this puzzle together? Apple->Intel, PowerPC-Gaming why? Cell-Chip technology? Cheap processor performance? XBOX 360 ****ing lousy 10MB VRAM, WTF is up with that?! PS3 has 8 SPE processors (cell chip btw) and 256MB GDDR3 VRAM and DDR2 RAM. Apple made INtel along side why? Was this all adventitious? Probably so. I think I get it. If this is along the lines. PPC->Gaming cause of Cell - if thats the only answer I get from you guys I'll be purrrfect
     
  13. MacTruck macrumors 65816

    MacTruck

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    #13

    Ooohh, a racism claim. That didn't take long at all.
     
  14. eAspenwood macrumors member

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    #14
    Yeah, how dare you. My smoke breaks are only 5 minutes long.

    :D
     
  15. neocell macrumors 65816

    neocell

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    #15
    I've been wondering the same thing. Could someone buy a Xbox 360 for $400 then throw OSX on it and have a ripping good computer with 3 3.2GHz cores that only the G5 quad could match for thousands more?
     
  16. slooksterPSV thread starter macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #16
    *hugs you guys* Now you guys see my frustration... Cell is supposedly supposed to be cheaper.
     
  17. Keltec macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Cells and other bits and bobs

    I recall an article some time ago where jobs had looked at cell architecture and it's quite simply lacking certain performance tasks in general computing operations.

    Sony announced the Cell technology first and whilst it sounded great at first, I believe there are certain functions that really just don't cut it for general and broad processing tasks.....YET.

    And that's the problem. With cell based processors in general computing architectures, its not viable. Cell for gaming is probably where it's ideal - there may be instructions that can allow faster processing of video or display based renders or typical rendering equations, and games utilise a specific instruction set so it seems fitting that gaming architectures may benefit more from cell based processors.

    I think Apple's overall motive is long-term and short term security. They need the short-term to create a migration path that doesn't hurt sales in the face of another architecture change (and they're pro's now when it comes to this), and long-term Apple are rest-assured that the products and Services Intel can offer are going to prevent Apple from having to change again - or at least for a very VERY long time.

    Intel has the strongest short-term and medium term and long-term road-map, as well as a diverse range of other chipset offerings which secures Apple's investment in this architecture for many years -I mean when you think of it, Apple have always fought to be better and faster than x86 based processors and in the process have been through a number of architecture changes whereas x86 has only had the obligatory changes from 16bit to 32bit and now 64bit; but apple faced those also.

    This decision gives Apple an extremely solid foundation with which to beat the wintel's out there through innovation without care for the underlying hardware changing on them... And that achieves the overall purpose for consumers because at the end of the day, all we want is faster, more powerful, more creative and more innovative products. Desktop processing is now being split between other devices in the home and processing is becoming distributed. General purpose PC's are now becoming specific appliances within our environment and so as we move into a future where processing is around us and no longer centralised or localised to the study, it will leave desktop computing to the professionals who depend on it for work. Mobility, sensory stimulation and quality of life are key proponents to this vision and apple will start leading the charge on new and innovative products that will feed our creative minds heheh...

    Sorry for the rant :(
     
  18. Morn macrumors 6502

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    #18
    What's different from the G5 with the 3 core Powerpc in the xbox?
    Regardless, you know that gaming is just SIMD heavy code. Most of the stuff people do that's CPU intensive does similar things to gaming code. Things like photoshop, video encoding etc, should perform well on a CPU designed for gaming.
     
  19. MacTruck macrumors 65816

    MacTruck

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    #19
    - Only x86 architecture is and has been seriously flawed since its inception in a number of areas.

    - The xbox does not use Cell at all.

    - Apple is only going with x86 because IBM can't get off their butts and make a low power cpu.

    - A 3.2ghz IBM 3 core chip would rock in a computer. Saying its not suited for computing is a load of crap. Thats like saying the Celeron is not suited for computing because it didn't have any level 2 cache when it was first released.


    I would bet dollars to donuts that the xbox cpu will be a badass computer chip. Wait until someone hacks it and we can install linux on it.
     
  20. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

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    #20
    yea, but those other people only get 42.614 seconds for a smoke brake.....
    so consider yourself jaded, in that regard anyway
     
  21. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

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    #21
    But consider this:
    If Apple stayed with IBM and PPC architecture then what would they do on the laptop side of things? IBM currently makes no laptop processors and the future of Freescale mobile processors is bleak at best (no dual core and no 64 bit to my knowledge). Additionally Freescale's current G4s consume how much more watts/performance then Yonah? A lot I think.

    maybe this decision doesn't entirely make sense on the desktop side of things, but for laptops it sure as hell does!
     
  22. slooksterPSV thread starter macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #22
    Well, you guys have put my mind at ease, but the XBOX 360 sucks compared to the Playstation 3 - honestly look at the specs. PS3 runs at 2 Teraflops and the XBOX360 runs at half that (so 1 Teraflop). Performance and graphics on the PS3 should be so much further ahead of XBOX360, i can actually see a drop in sales when PS3 comes out. -- Beside that point, do you think a lot of the reason for the move to Intel is laptop based? I'm considering it to be a bigger part than the desktops to Intel.
     
  23. MacTruck macrumors 65816

    MacTruck

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    #23

    Well whatever the speed is the Xbox 360 is purely unbelievable. I can't believe the graphics on this thing. Besides xbox has the best controllers out there period. And they have HALO!
     
  24. slooksterPSV thread starter macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #24
    :( that's why I want one is purely for that. But wtf is with just 10MB of VRAM?! Microsoft, you idiots, when someone tries to make a game using more VRAM than is avail what happens? Slow down! What about when it tries to pre-load textures? Guess all the RAM's used up(w/no VRAM avail) so the game has to be toned down. VRAM is important, what about special effects? Oh well not enough VRAM to render better particle effects to store the quads or that, oh well, lets tone it down. -- Sorry I believe VRAM is important, very important when rendering items in games?
     
  25. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    #25
    Lots of misconceptions in this thread...

    OK:

    Xbox360:
    Uses the Xenon processor, which consists of 3 PPE cores, which implement the PowerPC instruction set. Has 512MB of memory shared between graphics and the CPU (yes, that's 512MB of vram if the rest of your program isn't eating any of it), plus a little dedicated memory for graphics. The GPU can also read directly from the CPU cache.

    PS3:
    Uses the CELL processor, which consists of 1 PPE core, and 7 SPE cores (was originally going to be 8). Has dedicated memory for graphics and the cpu (this is both good or bad), but no more total than the Xbox. The SPE cores are not PowerPC, but use a specialized vector instruction set.

    PPE vs. G5:
    The G5 can execute up to 5 instructions each clock pulse, can speculatively execute around branches, and can reorder instructions on the fly.
    The PPE executes up to 2 instructions each clock pulse, can't reorder instructions, and can't speculatively execute around branches. This makes it MUCH simpler, and capable of running at higher clock speeds, but it also makes it much slower. It's especially slow for integer-heavy code, and poorly optimized code.

    Teraflops:
    If someone says teraflops to you, stop paying attention to them. It's even more of a BS measurement than just comparing clock frequencies.
     

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