Apple's next step...


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 12, 2002
Oxford, UK
With the dust settling from yesterday's Power Mac announcements, Is it possible to predict where Apple go next?

I think the new PMs are a solid and necessary update...not gonna change the world, but offer more power, a defining line between consumer and pro and the intro of new technology that will evolve in later systems...

I think that we will see something HUGE next february(ish)...proper DDR, bluetooth, gigawire, radical design etc etc...

...We all know these things exist, but for Apple to update the PM line with these things now would be a wasted opportunity...why not give the consumer's most of what they want with a little R&D spend whilst at the same time building in secret something they would never even dream of?

It won't happen for another 6 months...current top-end users won't get there machines until the end of September!...but in my opinion, what was released yesterday is the end of the G4 PM as we know it and in the background Apple are gearing up to truly knock our socks off...


macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2002
I can only hope that the Power4 Lite can do some sock knocking.

I can't help but beleive that IBM and Apple are either working together, or IBM is courting Apple. The Power 4 is a stellar chip, and a Lite version should trounce anything in the consumer computing world when released.

My update cycle is tied to this development, and I'm hoping for February. Maybe we'll know more in October...


macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
All up in your bidness
The massive heat sink and carefully designed ventilation system of the new case clearly indicates that much hotter processors are on the way. There was no major external case overhaul during the Power Mac's switch from G3 to G4, so there's no reason there needs to be one in the switch from G4 to whatever.

I think you're right that this is the end of the G4 in the Power Mac - it has to be either the last or next-to-last generation (but most likely the last), not only because of the redesigned case and memory architecture but also because there are no faster G4s on the horizon from Motorola. The G4s in the new Macs are apparently the same as the ones in the last generation - they are all "overclocked" MPC7455s with every last drop of performance squeezed out of them. The fact that they are all duals suggests that there was and would for the forseeable future be nothing faster available.

I think March or April seems likely for the next generation of Power Macs, although any time in the first half of 2003 would not be a huge surprise. I do think the recently-revealed 64-bit IBM PowerPC is by far the most likely candidate for these systems. I think it's a safe bet that even at a conservative estimate of 1.6GHz, this new chip will knock a G4's socks right off, and be competitive in integer and double-precision fp with a Pentium 4 at twice the megahertz. The introduction of this chip into the next generation of Power Macs would fill in all the missing pieces as to why the Quicksilver case was revamped, why Apple hasn't abandoned AltiVec, why there are no signs of any kind of x86 conversion project underway, why the Macs released yesterday were given a very low-key introduction and not hyped, etc. There are certainly big things on the horizon - finally, we have a true reason to believe we'll have much faster CPUs based on fact, not based on "My friend's sister's cat is owned by a Motorola engineer and it meowed to her that there would be 2.5GHz G5s sometime next year."



macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2001
Yeah right,like every time..
Anyway,next PowerMac revision,the 1.5 GHz PowerMacs are gonna be awesome! Those are my babys! I already started saving money for them.

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
The nice thing about going with IBM for the next gen in CPU for Apple is that the G4 becomes the main chip in all the iMachines - this way Motorola still has a part to play. IBM is only providing the G3, which will probably be replaced with the G4 as soon as they can.

And the main difference between the pro and consumer versions is the dual processor....I hope we see the next generation (Power4) early next year.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2002
probably the last

IF these G4s are really just overclocked, I'll say with all confidence that these will be the last G4 machines. Speed bumps would be out of the wuestion, so a new procesor is definitely in line.:D


macrumors regular
May 28, 2002
Scotland, UK
Power 4 next?

Having read all of the contributions I thought I'd put in my say, for what it's worth! (and it'll get me closer to being a memeber instead of a newbie!) To me the salient points are as follows:

(i) lack of a desktop 8500 series processor announcement by Motorola at the microprocessor forum. I think if one was being developed we'd hear about it - Motorola, especially in this economic climate, will have an eye on their stock price and a next-gen desktop processor announcement would only help, especially one with a guaranteed market (Apple).

(ii) the fact that the CPUs in the new towers are 7455 series and thus unable to take advantage of DDR (if I understand things correctly) points to this being a stopgap release only with the DDR coming into its own with the next release.

(iii) the announcement by IBM of what is effectively a desktop Power4 processor which contains "over 160" vector instructions - very similar (if not identical) to Altivec. This may be an announcement which Apple allowed because it keeps IBM happy in publicity terms but does not affect sales of Powermacs too much since only real hardcore Macheads will pick it up.

As I said, just a newbies thoughts and I am prepared to be flamed if I've said something idiotic (not the first time!)



macrumors regular
May 28, 2002
Scotland, UK

Of course, I forgot Motorla's comment that "the G4 has plenty of legs left in it" but even with this the weight of evidnec is tipped very much the IBM/Power4 way.


Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
Gone but not forgotten.
Remember the rumours about nVidia and ATI both having x86-based Macs for research?

I would imagine that those were very real as Apple would hedge its bets concerning their future. Why rely on a vendor which has been promising a G5 and has yet to provide more than early samples after, what, 3 years?


Nice work with the addendum to get you one closer to member status. :D


macrumors 68000
Jun 4, 2002
Ottawa, ON
It looks like Apple will be moving to G5s for its powermacs and 1Ghz-1.25Ghz G4s for the rest of their lineup eventually. I doubt moto's going to release any faster G4s so we may see the Tibook stuck at 1-1.25Ghz for all of next year.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2001
The big question is, will people actually buy a G5....remember when the first G4's came out, there were a lot of problems with them....i wonder if it would be the same for the G5


macrumors member
Aug 11, 2002
Piedmont (Oakland), CA
I just know why Apple will not make a cool looking Powermac (i.e. the XServe). The current design is wayyyyyy to old, I mean it been the same case since the Powermac G3!

Mr Jobs

macrumors regular
Apr 7, 2002
London, England
Originally posted by Urdam
I just know why Apple will not make a cool looking Powermac (i.e. the XServe). The current design is wayyyyyy to old, I mean it been the same case since the Powermac G3!
old doesnt mean ugly...the nuton is old but it still way better looking then a lot of present day pda's


macrumors regular
Mar 17, 2002
Leesburg, VA
long road ahead

Do you recall an article two or three weeks ago quoting Motorola Canada's President as saying that Motorola has stopped all development in support of Apple interests, finishing up on its last piece (implied).

It would seem that that last piece of Motorola development for Apple was getting the PPC 7455 to speak at 167 MHz to the System Controller, up from 133 MHz.

Also, recall the white paper from several IBM employees on a Power4 deriviatve for desktops featuring many power saving possibilities? The article stated that the CPU in question, NOT necessarily the CPU that will be discussed in October at the Microprocessor Forum, will tape out (finish designing and start prototyping) in early 2003.

Well, how far along is this CPU that IBM will be discussing in October? Has it taped-out yet? If it didn't tape out before the first quarter of 2002, is it wise to project availability for the first quarter of 2003?

How real is this PPC 7470 from Motorola? We did not get it in the latest PM revision. The Canada Motorola President says there's no more Apple related development at Motorola. How can we expect anything new from Motorola other than a slight speed bump on the already developed CPU's?

With multimedia being the single greatest driver for personal computer performance, we need greater system throughput (main memory to CPU's) than we need a 10% to 30% CPU speedbump in clockspeed alone.

Conclusion: if IBM is not far along already with this son of Power4, we're in for some low performance growth times unless Apple can figure out how to run each CPU on independent busses to the System Controller, which may be out of Apple's hands.

BTW, given that there remains a significant 1.3 GB/s bottleneck from main memory to CPU's, I wonder how the 1.25 GHz dualies will perform in real world tests compared to the 1.00 GHz dualies. For big jobs, I expect little difference. For little things, I expect more so than with the little jobs. Bottom line, not only do I not expect a 25% performance advantage, but I also do not expect a 20% or 15%. I expect it to be 5% to 12% faster than the 1 GHz dualie. I'll wait for independent tests of course but I'll bet I end up going for the new dual 1G's.


Edit: I may have been too hasty about stating that the 1.25 Gig dualies would not realize performance advantages around 25% over that of the 1.0 Gig dualies. See the Apple chart below:


macrumors G3
Feb 7, 2002
the image isn't working right..

the problem i have is that i (and others i'm sure) were pretty sure THIS announcement was gonna be the big one. of course, that was before power4 talk...

i'm hopeful for the future... just gotta save some cash..


macrumors G4
Jul 18, 2002
I accidentally my whole location.
I know, it all seemed to fit, IBM announcing a brand new chip plant and a Power4-based desktop PPC right around the time when new Powermacs were supposed to be released. That said, I'm not THAT dissapointed in the new Powermac's specs. (Looks are a different matter, however) as I'm suspecting that this is a crossover model until IBM can get the new chip in mass production. The whole design seems to be ready for it, with the logic board flipped around so the PCI slots are now on top and the massive heatsink and fan are on the bottom, allowing for air to pass straight through from front to back, leaving the optical drives in the middle. If this is just an overclocked G4 and a DDR hack, it's going to be the last one. Apple can't lag behind forever.