Apple PPC970 AV :Workstation

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by will, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. will macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2002
    I've been thinking about how Apple might use the PPC970 when it arrives. If Apple want to grow their market in 3D and film they really need to have some serious high end hardware. The 970 is optimised for duel and quad configuration, therefore I'd like to see Apple release a high end workstation:

    * Duel/Quad PPC970 (with ability to upgrade)
    * SCSI Disk system
    * Professional (not game player) 3D cards
    * Support for large amounts of physical memory 4G+
  2. cr2sh macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2002
    Re: Apple PPC970 AV :Workstation

    Quite frankly we'd all love to see this... but you know what I want even MORE than a Quad system? A single processor system! :)

    Are we getting that greedy already? This chip hasn't even been adopted by Apple yet (that we know of), and we're wanting quads? If it doesn't happen with the g4 i'm not sure why it'd happen with the much more sophisticated and powerful g5. :confused:

    Big speed, big cache, big resolution, big memory allocation... it's all good.
  3. austincpy macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Long Beach, CA
    I don't believe it was here (in MacRumours), but I read a report about IBM sending in PPC 970 chips to Apple, so they could do their own "testing." I'll look back and see if i can find the article, and I think the source was actually Apple. (But don't rag on me, this is what i remember, but again, i'll get the article).
    One day...PPC 970!:D
  4. Mr. MacPhisto macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2003
    I've been told by a few friends at IBM that Apple has been working with the 970 since late December. IBM expects to have a couple pallettes of chips in Apple's hands by late May/early June. I expect we'll see the 970 introduced by the end of the summer. Expect a Power 5 based chip by the end of next summer.

    I've also been told that Apple has supposedly ordered other RISC chips from IBM below the 970, so it's possible they may be switching over completely to IBM manufacture. However, this info came from a less reliable source, so I'm not sure how much truth there is in it, but I do expect the 970 to be in high-end Macs, at the least, by the end of summer. IBM is delivering the chips ahead of schedule, at least, and it's up to Apple to take it from there.
  5. Pentium Killer macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2002
    I believe it when I see it,sounds nice though....;)
  6. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Yeah, it would be nice. I agree totally on the graphics cards aswell, something we really haven't seen.

    I remember way back when I got my first PowerMac - an 8100 AV, with the Moto 601 chip. I don't know if they'd do an AV model again, they'd most likely call it PowerMac Pro or some such.

    I'd be scrounging for money to buy one though - oh to dream....:D

  7. will thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2002
    I'd imagine you'd have normal Powermacs for design etc. plus the AV workstation for people who really need the power, and aren't afraid to pay for it. Even now tho I see the abscence of professional graphics cards from Powermacs as a bit of an anomoly. Surely there should be some build to order option to give you some serious OpenGL performance?
  8. will thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2002
    I remember those - but that wasn't what I'd imagine these new AV models would be like. The model I'm envisiging would be a high end workstation for AV and 3D professionals.

    BTW here is the sort of card Apple should be offering as an option in the PM:
  9. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    Most high end Proffesional graphics cards are basically standard graphics cards like Radeon 9700, with a bit more speed, memory and better drivers. Since it is the CPU that does the final rendering, not the graphics card.

    I expect Apple to only do dual PPC970 Macs because it is alot harder to code Apps for 4 chips than 2.
  10. FelixDerKater Contributor


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika

    A quality Audio I/O card
    Pro video card w/ option on BTO for a real-time FCPro board (if that would even be needed on a 970).
    true DDR RAM or better
  11. springscansing macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2002
    New York
    Re: Apple PPC970 AV :Workstation

    SCSI? Bah SCSI... hopefully by then Firewire 800 will offer a zippy as hell SCSI alternative.
  12. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    I dont plan on seeing any dual 970's and this is why.At the same clock the 970 is going to double or more the performance of a g4. so top machine now a 1.42 dual g4. a single 1.6 should smoke that and they are saying 1.8 ghz should be the top starting speed. Why do you need 2 chips when 1 will blow the doors off the current Dual g4. All that duallie stuff was making up for motorola and where it wasnt going. I would love to see apple ditch Motorola. They have hurt apple no doubt about it. HOw about this summer a 1.4,1.6,&1.8 970 line up in the powermacs?And with all the talk on videocards, just look at where they are going. up up up. ati 9700 is a smoker and they will be increasing the clock in that card soon. Plus the new machines will able to use way more ram then just 2gb. I could be wrong but i wouldnt plan on dual 970 with the 980 on the horizon the year after.
  13. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Actually, for some applications, it isn't.

    Take a web browser. each browser window (or tab) could be running in it's own thread. Therefore it has the possibility of using a lot of processors.

    Take iTunes - right now it plays music and can burn a cd at the same time. That's two threads. It also responds to the mouse and jkeystrokes, including letting you update the MP3 tags on tracks.

    Who knows what an application like iDVD could do with a 4-way system.

    But to go back to your [incorrect] theory about coding difficulty - lets say an application could only take advantage of two processors. Well, what do you have running? Mail, iChat? Safari? iTunes? iPhoto or Photoshop? etc... This sounds like to me even with applications that were limited to two processors heavy users could make use of a 4 processor system.

    What about a system used for DVD creation? That can easily use multiple processors.

    And do remember, this was suggest for a professional level workstation. The applications that this was suggested for would be very likely be coded to use as many processors as were available.

    Remember not everyone needs two processors either. I think a 4 processor Mac is a good idea for Apple to pursue.
  14. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I do believe Apple is using G3 chips from IBM in the iBooks and has been doing so for a while.
  15. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Why you ask? Some people do more things with their computers than others. People who do DVD creation would benefit immensely from 2 or even more processors. See an earlier post in this thread by me.

    For another example, having more processsors in a system would reduce the number of systems needed in a render farm.

    Just because you don't need something, it doesn't mean others don't need it. Although I will admit that less people might need a dual processor system with a 970 chip. As for me, I can only see getting at least a dual processor system for my main system.
  16. will thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2002
    Re: Re: Apple PPC970 AV :Workstation

    FW is not a replacement for SCSI. FW disks are just repackaged IDE or SCSI disks. For internal use a high end workstation should have SCSI. 10,000RPM SCSI disks are plentiful and relatively cheap (not as cheap as 7,200RPM IDE, but quite a lot faster), and there are plenty of SCSI RAID controllers available, Apple could integrate one into the MB of the AV workstation I propose. There are even 15,000RPM SCSI disks, tho they are a tad noisy.
  17. will thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2002
    Exactly. 4CPU machines would be a boon for 3D, rendering, and film work. 3D rendering still takes a very long time, Maya can certainly chew CPU, and just imagine what effects could be done in real time in FCP.

    As you rightly say, for many applications using multiple CPUs is not difficult, e.g. when apply an effect to a film scene each processor can work on a separate frame.

    Apple need to push performance boundaries, and the PP970 is designed for duel and quad use, allowing Apple to do just that.

    If Apple are serious about AV and 3D professionals they should deliver a workstation that caters to this demanding, but important, market.
  18. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    There's more than one ways to skin a cat

    Quad Workstations sound nice but some of you are being somewhat ignorant of the design issues involved. It's not THAT simple to cram two more processor on the MB. You have just doubled the amount of PCB traces and pin connections on the MB.

    Better yet you may see Apple attack this scenario like this.

    1. Once the 970 moves to .09 Micron IBM could come out with a Dual Core 970. Add two Dual Core 970's and you have the equivalent of Quads yet with the easier MB design.


    2. Apple gets IBM to bring down SMT(Simultaneous Multi Threading) to the 970+. Intel calls this Hyperthreading. It splits a processor into two parts that for all Intents and Purposes looks like two processors to Applications! IBM's version is said to be more efficient than Intels. The Power5 will be out next year and support SMT so you'll get to see how it works. The PPC 980 is rumored to be the "Lite" verison of the Power5 so we might see it then should Apple go with the 9xx IBM series of processors.

    Ummmmm you guys should be drooling by now because if you simply add 1+2+3 you see that

    5 years from now we could be running Powermacs like this

    Powermac 980

    Dual Core 5Ghz with SMT x2(Effective Octo Processing)
    1 Terabyte of HD
    256MB Programmable GPU
    24X DVD Burner

    yadda yadda yadda. It's going to be mind blowin.
  19. WannabeSQ macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2002
    I think Quads would be cool as a pro option, with the regular powermacs getting single on the low end and dual on the high end.

    The quad would be cool as an "Xserve AV" or something, not 1U, but bigger, able to hold the 4 cpus, a nice RAID array (not as big as the xserve raid) and 4 pci slots with 1 agp, basically a regular tower on its side rackmounted. Audio and video people would eat these up, especially if you could put more PCI slots in it. Attach an xserve raid to it and have tons of room for audio and video. Also, the cost wouldn't matter, as the people who need this kind of a comptuer spend more on the audio video interfaces than the computer anyway.
  20. will thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2002
    Re: There's more than one ways to skin a cat

    True, but the 970 has been specifically designed for quad usage. IBM will have considered these issues in the design of their own systems, and there is no reason Apple won't be able to likewise. Sun, IBM etc. ship machines with many processors in, I don't think it's beyond Apple.

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