Are the G4 and G5 Chips Apple's ONLY Choice For Laptops?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by LaMerVipere, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. LaMerVipere macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2004
    I'll be honest, I know nothing about what sort of chips IBM or Motorola might be currently cooking up or have in the pipeline, but I was just wondering if the G4 and G5 chips are the only choices for Apple regarding the chips they could use in laptops/notebooks?

    Is IBM maybe working on their version of a Pentium M? I was just wondering if it was possible, since getting the G5 chip designed for desktops, into a thin and light metal enclosure doesn't seem too promising at the moment.
  2. thedoc1111 macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2003
    IBM 750VX

    The next generation of 750 processors from IBM (aka G3) after GX (now in Powerlogix' Pismo Upgrade), will feature a G4 style velocity engine and the extremely low power consumption of the 750 series (by comparison to the Motorola G4, even the upcoming 7457A revision).

    Because of this G3 series processor's velocity engine, it could fairly be badged a G4, perhaps the G4e, though it will probably officialy be known as the 750VX.

    So there is an alternative to the Motorola G4 in the pipeline, but no alternative to the G5. And btw, one of the main problems of shoehorning the G5 into a laptop is the Northbridge chip, as well as the processor, because of the prestigous amount of heat that produces in a modern computer!

    Hope this helps

  3. Rincewind42 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    IBM isn't working on any version of a Pentium M, Intel is, but Apple doesn't use Intel chips. However, IBM has recently shown the 970FX which is very promising as a portable chip (and would most likely carry the G5 moniker).

    Another 750VX believer I see :D. There is zero, zilch, zip, no evidence that the 750VX ever has or ever will exist. Really. Don't count on ever hearing about it. IBM would be better off spending their research dollars on making the 97x series lower power and with a better Altivec implementation than in retrofitting a 750 with an Altivec unit. iBooks will stay with Motorola G4s until the PowerBooks have had G5s for 12-18 months, and then we will be able to bid adieu to Motorola's sinking chip ship.
  4. Nny macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2004
    Will never happen... this article explains why:
  5. thedoc1111 macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2003
    The 750 series made by IBM still have a superior architecture than any Motorola Chip. They are very suitable for embedded applications as well as Apple Laptops, look at the Gamecube (not exactly unsuccessful) so could well be profitable (I can think of as many non-Apple uses for a powerful, efficient 750 as a 97*)

    The Altivec unit need not be a retrofit, as the unit in the G5, for instance, isn't identical to the G4 unit but just bolted on the side.

    We know what happened when one company relied on just one high end processor series and expected it to fulfil every role (desktop, high-end laptop, low-end laptop, intergrated compact computer, high-end server). I think the company's name began with an … 'M' perhaps.

    There is no hard evidence yet, but we will see.

    (And btw, the 750 is not obsolete, look at the wattage numbers:

    The FX has equivalent Watt per Megahertz to the new Pentium M Series at 8W for 800-900MHz. (1)

    The GX has 1MB 1:1 speed L2 cache and is likely to have even better characteristics.

    What is obsolete about that?)

  6. Rincewind42 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    Actually, they aren't. The 74xx series can dispatch more instructions per clock, has a more efficient system bus, and has a better floating point unit. The only thing that was really disappointing about the 74xx series was Motorola's lack of motivation to make them run at high clock speeds.

    Retrofit: to install (new or modified parts or equipment) in something previously manufactured or constructed

    The 970 was designed with Altivec, as such the Altivec unit was not retrofitted into it. The 750 was not designed with Altivec, as such adding one would be a retrofit. But that is just arguing semantics (you could say the 970 was originally a Power4, therefore it is, and that a "750VX" was a new chip and thus it is not, but the reality is that each chip was designed to be what it is).

    IBM sells 400 series PowerPCs for embedded operations, 600 & 700 series for systems that require processing power on a small power budget, the 900 series for workstation class performance, and the Power series for server class performance. Of all those chips, only one comes with an Altivec unit (the 970) and I doubt that either Apple or IBM is willing to invest in adding Altivec to a 750 when 1) Motorola sells a better unit in the 7447/7457 and 2) The added circuitry would likely make the 750 worse than the 7447/7457 in terms of power usage.

    Yup, and there is no good reason to make one either. If you want 750 power usage and Altivec, go grab a 7447/7457. If you want lower power and don't need Altivec, grab a 750. If you want Altivec and high performance, grab a 970.

    The 970 FX consumes 12.3W at 1.4Ghz and is considerably faster than the 750. It has a slightly smaller cache, but also a superior bus. Adding Altivec to a 750 could potentially add 2-4 watts to the power budget of the 750, making it no better than the 7447/7457 and still not as fast as the 970FX.

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