Analysis of G4 server proto.

mischief

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For the purposes of debate we will assume the object to be genuine. We will assume it to be a 6 to 8 month old prototype for a mobo destined for a 19" rack.

We know that the Video card, processor card, RAM, Modem and Airport card are not present although easily recognisable connectors are available for all of them.

This would explain why the G4 specs given are those of current CPU daughter cards.

We know the mobo to be 28 volt and to use DDR.

There is a "mystery" connector adjacent to the FW ports.

The standoff passthroughs and clear space immediately in front of the processor slot suggest a very large daughter card.

The indentations and arrangement of the mobo suggest 2 to 4 large fan/power assemblies.

We will assume that we are looking at this board right way round and at it's rear panel. The depth of the USB, FW, Ethernet, etc. give us the rear panel placement. The standard depth from socket to frame tells us if the case indents for connections to any PCI cards. The connectors in the upper right appear to be drive cable connectors, but which kind? If those 2 are (say) HW RAID capable ATA 133 then what is the connector midway along the right side? Opticals?

I want to go over this component by component to extrapolate the case design. we have until monday to figure it out.
 

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tortus

macrumors member
Jan 29, 2002
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Los Angeles
Those weird ports

There is a lot of interesting stuff happening on that board. Those weird ports are quite intriguing to me. Gigabit maybe? Who knows. All I know is that it has me curious. slightly curious but nontheless curious.
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
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Illinois
Case design:

All the plugs have white interiors suggesting a white exterior.

In addition, at the bottom right of the picture, the board has an angular cutout. This could signify that there is not a square 90 degree edge to the case. (or the tilt out features of the current G4 tower are set up differently)

Finally, if the board is set up so that the closest part to the camera is the rear... then you can look and see that there do not appear to be any firewire, usb, or any other front of case connectors (similar to the compaq and HP front of machine quick connects).
 

iH8Quark

macrumors 6502
Jan 17, 2002
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Big Shoulders
They don't need a front-of-case USB port. they already have 2 - on the keybord...and several on the display. Although, a front firewire would be a nice touch. No more crawling under the desk.
 

mischief

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Ack!!!

There would be no crawling under the desk anyway. This is a RACK mobo. It goes in a case that then goes in a 19" rack.:rolleyes:
 

Catfish_Man

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Sep 13, 2001
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Portland, OR
Fibre Firewire?

I have read (I don't know how accurate it was) that to get FireWire2 over 800Mbps they would need to use optical fibre. Perhaps the strange port is a 1600Mbps FireWire2 port, while the other two are normal 800Mbps ones.
 

Mr. Anderson

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Nov 1, 2001
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Re: Ack!!!

Originally posted by mischief
There would be no crawling under the desk anyway. This is a RACK mobo. It goes in a case that then goes in a 19" rack.:rolleyes:
If it a rack mobo, then the case design is a moot point. I'd say rectangular box:D

But Arn posted a view of the QuickSilver mobo on the other thread and there were a lot of similarities - in the overall shape. My guess is that it could also fit in the current case design. Maybe they were just using the current dies for the board, since it is a prototype, and nothing in its shape really matters. As for that, what's to say that the mobo layout and design weren't made to fit into a current enclosure? My guess is that the design of a new enclosure would work independently of the mobo, given that a certain amount of room be provided for the mobo, which could be then designed to fit the enclosure.

Its sort of a chicken or the egg thing, I guess.
 

mischief

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I'm convinced it's for a rack.

The inset PCI slots are far enough inboard to give rear clearance for large connectors between the case back and the rear of the rack. having the Airport card in the front is interesting too. I think the cutout is to facilitate a hinge or latch.
 

Geert

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May 28, 2001
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Analysis of G4 server proto.
Nice title, and quick response Mischief

I have read (I don't know how accurate it was) that to get FireWire2 over 800Mbps they would need to use optical fibre. Perhaps the strange port is a 1600Mbps FireWire2 port, while the other two are normal 800Mbps ones.
First 2 USb ports, next to that 2 Firewire ports (normal 400 Mbps), and next to that could very well be the Gigawire port (aka Firewire 2, but that's only my opinion), and next to that is the port for the ethernet plug.

quote:

Originally posted by mischief
There would be no crawling under the desk anyway. This is a RACK mobo. It goes in a case that then goes in a 19" rack.




If it a rack mobo, then the case design is a moot point. I'd say rectangular box

But Arn posted a view of the QuickSilver mobo on the other thread and there were a lot of similarities - in the overall shape. My guess is that it could also fit in the current case design. Maybe they were just using the current dies for the board, since it is a prototype, and nothing in its shape really matters. As for that, what's to say that the mobo layout and design weren't made to fit into a current enclosure? My guess is that the design of a new enclosure would work independently of the mobo, given that a certain amount of room be provided for the mobo, which could be then designed to fit the enclosure.

Its sort of a chicken or the egg thing, I guess.
There would be no crawling under the desk anyway. This is a RACK mobo. It goes in a case that then goes in a 19" rack.
I think you overlooked something:
(just been looking through the threads for about 45 minutes, but couldn't find it anymore)
there was something that Apple had requested license-ing for a special system for towers (or any other device)to open and close with special closing, that kinda stuff
Anybody remember that?
That could be our missing link here
 

mischief

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Can someone.....

enhance the markings on the large chip in the upper right? I think it may be an ATA RAID 133 controller.
 

Mr. Anderson

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Nov 1, 2001
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Originally posted by Geert


there was something that Apple had requested license-ing for a special system for towers (or any other device)to open and close with special closing, that kinda stuff
Anybody remember that?
That could be our missing link here
That was the patent they got for the original iMac latch, nothing radical. I couldn't find the thread either.

So that's out.

But even it if is a rack system, why are we worried about what the enclosure looks like, that's something that's not very important - the design for the new machines or the new rack systems will most likely be nothing like what this board sat in.

I think its much more interesting to figure out what else went on with the board that we don't know about, but can only guess at through observation.
 

mischief

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Exactly!!!

It looks very much like what the G5 case thread came up with.

I'm curious about the case just for where the drives go.
 

mischief

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well done but........ I still don't think it's a tower.

If I get a chance at a mockup I'll post one.

I think We're talking a 2 part chassis arranged roughly like a desktop machine to fit in a 4U case. 2 Optical drives, 4 ATA 133's. No zip. Fans front AND back.
 

Catfish_Man

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Sep 13, 2001
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Re: well done but........ I still don't think it's a tower.

Originally posted by mischief
If I get a chance at a mockup I'll post one.

I think We're talking a 2 part chassis arranged roughly like a desktop machine to fit in a 4U case. 2 Optical drives, 4 ATA 133's. No zip. Fans front AND back.
4U? Dang, that'll piss some people off. Why would a rackmount machine need two optical drives?
 

eyelikeart

Moderator emeritus
Jan 2, 2001
11,849
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Metairie, LA
interesting?

FallenCelestine: Yep. Kill Itanium like it was standing still.
(06:39) FallenCelestine:
(06:39) eyelikeart: nice
(06:40) FallenCelestine: How about when we get up to a 500 Mhz bus. 500 x 7.5=3750
(06:41) eyelikeart: oh jesus
(06:41) FallenCelestine: 3.7Ghz
(06:41) FallenCelestine: times 4 cores on one chip.
(06:41) FallenCelestine: at 32/64/96
(06:41) FallenCelestine:
(06:41) FallenCelestine:
(06:42) FallenCelestine: running 266DDR x 4Gb
(06:42) FallenCelestine: @500
(06:42) FallenCelestine: Gotta love rapidI/O
(06:42) eyelikeart: what's sad is they could do that in the next couple years....as long as motorola is our supplier....it'll never happen
(06:43) FallenCelestine: starts at 250 and goes to 500
(06:43) FallenCelestine: need a bigger fan though
(06:43) FallenCelestine:
(06:45) FallenCelestine: Hey, just for a laugh..........post this conversation............
(06:45) FallenCelestine: the newbies'll ****. lemme change my description........
(06:45) eyelikeart: ha ha ha
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
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Re: interesting?

Originally posted by eyelikeart
FallenCelestine: Yep. Kill Itanium like it was standing still.
So you want to elaborate here, eye? I can extrapolate most of it, but I'm curious to here what else you might have to say......
 

mischief

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IT IS REAL!!!!!!!!

HAH, Steve just announced a dedicated rack server for the 14th. I get a new release for my birthday!! :D

I just wish Steve'd decide to give me one for blowing the whistle...........
:rolleyes: :D
 

eyelikeart

Moderator emeritus
Jan 2, 2001
11,849
0
Metairie, LA
Re: IT IS REAL!!!!!!!!

Originally posted by mischief
HAH, Steve just announced a dedicated rack server for the 14th. I get a new release for my birthday!! :D

I just wish Steve'd decide to give me one for blowing the whistle...........
:rolleyes: :D
well then kudos to mischief...he he he :p ;)
 

aggemam

macrumors member
May 7, 2002
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0
Denmark
Re: IT IS REAL!!!!!!!!

Originally posted by mischief
HAH, Steve just announced a dedicated rack server for the 14th. I get a new release for my birthday!! :D

I just wish Steve'd decide to give me one for blowing the whistle...........
:rolleyes: :D
Heheh, congratulations then

- actually, the new iMacs were introduced on January 7th, my birthday. :)

I spent the evening watching the keynote at a location where they showed the satellite feed instead of being social with my family :)
 

sturm375

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2002
428
0
Bakersfield, CA
Possibilities

1) Power (3.3V?)

2) Main Power

3) ATA 100/133 IDE

4) Looks similar to the port on the Creative Labs Soundblaster Audigy for connecting the Front Panel FireWire ports

5) SCSI

6) I can't tell, any ideas?

7) Looks like the port used on the iBooks for connecting external video

8) Power connector for the fan?

9) Connector for the processor

10) 64-bit PCI slots
 

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schalliol

macrumors regular
May 7, 2002
178
43
Carmel, IN
The image isn't that good, but the "mystery connector" looks like the video out on the eMac to me. Not likely though (as you'd need graphics onboard)
 

peterjhill

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2002
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Seattle, WA
Originally posted by iH8Quark
They don't need a front-of-case USB port. they already have 2 - on the keybord...and several on the display.
If this board is going into their new rack, OTOH, front mount USB would be very nice. With the Headless Jaguar, those not buying a KVM switch would be able to plug a keyboard into the front of the box.