"Clawhammer: The Next PowerPC?"

decimal

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 20, 2002
15
0
Let me tell you its not what it sound like! Thank God!

http://www.overclockers.com/tips011/

However, I guess one of the conclusions we can from this is that Apple stands a good chance of losing a significant marketshare if the G5 is not out there soon. Ed seems to be suggesting Hammer moving into the mac niche. What do you guys think?
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
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Natick, MA
Apple has too much invested with motorola (and IBM) to switch to a new processor maker at this point. They would have to modify the motherboard architecture to work with the 'hammer' chip which I cannot see happening. Apple would also have to recompile OS X to run on the x86 type architecture which could also open the door for people making peecee's and running OS X on them. Apple would never go for that, at all.

At the end of the day, Apple has made the committment to both IBM and motorola to use their processors. With the G5 coming soon from moto, Apple has no reason to jump ship and switch to another type chip. Especially since it would involve major work that is not necessary to do this.
 

eyelikeart

Moderator emeritus
Jan 2, 2001
11,897
0
Metairie, LA
Originally posted by AlphaTech
At the end of the day, Apple has made the committment to both IBM and motorola to use their processors. With the G5 coming soon from moto, Apple has no reason to jump ship and switch to another type chip. Especially since it would involve major work that is not necessary to do this.
so what do u think of the talk about scrapping Motorola all together in favor of IBM strictly for chips?

I've been under the impression that Motorola's days are numbered with Apple...

I do agree, though, that it would be a tough switch to something completely different...it's taken this long to get where we are with OS X...it would only be huge setback...
 

AmbitiousLemon

Moderator emeritus
Nov 28, 2001
3,413
0
down in Fraggle Rock
Alpha the title to this thread was a bit misleading. thats what friend decimal meant by "its not what it sounds like" unfortunately he didnt quote the article because he assumed people would read it before commenting.

what the article says is that the new hammer will have fewer ghz and will therefore being going the route of the powerpc in that it will have to claim to be faster than chips with higher ghz.

PowerPCs are by no means bad processors. They just march to the tune of a different design drummer. The pipelines are much shorter than those for x86 processors: seven for PowerPC G4 as opposed to ten for the Athlon, twelve for Hammer, and twenty for the PIV.

Generally, the shorter the pipeline is in a CPU, the more work that CPU can do in a clock cycle. However, the more work you do in a clock cycle, the fewer clock cycles you can have in a given period.

So a PowerPC G4 certainly does a lot more work per clock cycle than a PIV, but the fastest G4 runs at only 1GHz, while the fastest PIV runs at 2.5GHz (and will end up over 3GHz).
Nonetheless, AMD is treading down the PowerPC route with Hammer, despite Apple's obvious lack of success with it. It, too, will claim that its processor is "really" much faster than it looks due to (what for the average person is) inexplicable reasons.

Not only somewhat faster, but a minimum 70% faster.

The issue is not whether it actually is or not, but whether the Joe Sixpacks and Suits will believe that, true or not.
but rather than just reading these quotes i suggest reading the whole article it was very good.
 

jadam

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2002
699
1
ohh yeah, an 800mhz clawhammer is faster than a 1.6ghz PIV, hehe check out the benchmarks :)
 

Rower_CPU

Moderator emeritus
Oct 5, 2001
11,219
0
San Diego, CA
A very good article indeed.

AMD has been already been moving away from a MHz determination in naming their chips, opting for a "power rating" instead which attempts to show how their chips perform in comparison to Intel's.

With this new CPU running at much lower MHz than even their previous XP chips, AMD will really have to start combating the "MHz Myth" in order to sell their chips...which will indirectly benefit Apple.:)
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
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Natick, MA
I have been using AMD processors in the peecee's that I build for years now. I refuse to spend the money that intel asks for their chips. Especially since the AMD chips often do outperform the peeX's more often then not, and at lower MHz ratings. I have installed an AMD XP 2100+ into the game peecee here at home, and would put it head to head with any intel chip out there (pentium line, not server stuff or mythical chips ;) ).

The fact that AMD outperforms intel is old news to me. IF Apple was to move away from motorola, I would hope that they go to AMD, since they would be a more reasonable prospect. At this point, I feel that motorola is too diverse to truely dedicate the resources to processor R&D that will be needed to bring Apple into the next several years (or decade). AMD could easily do it, since they are constantly trying to compete with intel and have the resources dedicated to chip R&D.

Imagine Apple switching to AMD for the G6 processor (or whatever they have to call it if motorola has copy-protected the G6 name). Apple could need that amount of time to design a motherboard to properly work with the different processor. You know that an AMD chip would support PC2100 and faster memory without issue. Not just the L3 cache, but system memory (as the Xserve does).

In the past, AMD has slower speed bumps/updates then intel, but they still have a faster increase path then motorola does. I am fairly certain that AMD releases faster processors every few months (as opposed to motorola doing updates every 6 months or so).
 

Dunepilot

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2002
880
0
UK
Originally posted by AlphaTech

You know that an AMD chip would support PC2100 and faster memory without issue. Not just the L3 cache, but system memory (as the Xserve does).
Out of interest, are there any Athlons that incorporate a level 3 cache, and if so, what's the maximum size? It seems that a great deal of the increased G4 performance over the last year has been down to this inclusion, judging from the benchmarks of barefeats and so on.

As a further point, I think that Apple is far more likely to go to AMD than Intel any day (though IBM is preferable over either). A U-turn would be difficult given the PII snail and burning commercials of yesteryear directly attacking Intel.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
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Natick, MA
Originally posted by Dunepilot
Out of interest, are there any Athlons that incorporate a level 3 cache, and if so, what's the maximum size? It seems that a great deal of the increased G4 performance over the last year has been down to this inclusion, judging from the benchmarks of barefeats and so on.
Not from what I have been able to find out. Currently, they only have L1 and L2 caches. Anyone happen to know if the L3 cache is on the actual processor or the motherboard? I am sure that Apple could get AMD to put a L3 cache onto the chips they make for them.


As a further point, I think that Apple is far more likely to go to AMD than Intel any day (though IBM is preferable over either). A U-turn would be difficult given the PII snail and burning commercials of yesteryear directly attacking Intel.
Considering how Apple politely bashes intel, it wouldn't be a good move for Apple to start using processors made by intel.
 

sturm375

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2002
428
0
Bakersfield, CA
It Might Be

This is just some wild @ss speculating, but the G5 just might be an AMD processor. Hardware wise Apple has already come 95% of the way into the PC world. The real bump, as many have mentioned before, will be the software. However, if (that is a big IF ) the 3rd party software designers correctly wrote to OS X's APIs instead of writing to the hardware, than all Apple has to do is re-write OS X (Jaguer), and remap the APIs.
 

DavPeanut

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2002
272
0
Maryland
That's so against apple

There is no way in h*ll that apple would switch to AMD. Apple will stay with Moto, even if it kills them. That wont happen hopefully. Apple needs to get Moto's @$$ in gear so they don't get totally beat by x86 machines. Apple is kind of behind, and if MWNY doesn't bring PowerMacs to 1.4 Ghz, there in trouble.
 

gopher

macrumors 65816
Mar 31, 2002
1,474
0
Maryland, USA
The problem is perceived slowness

based on Mhz rating...once we see Intel's Itanium is only 800 Mhz and is claimed to be faster than the 2.4 Ghz Pentium IV, then we'll have to ask who is kidding who? The Mhz myth is just that, a myth. Apple knows it, and AMD knows it. Genentech's Blast program runs up to 5 times faster on a G4 than a Pentium IV. If more people used vector programming this wouldn't be such a difficult problem for Apple. But right now game developers have been hoodwinked into believing they should use a graphics processing unit instead of the CPU for graphics acceleration. The G4 is powerful enough to act as its own graphics accelerator. It just takes one game developer to realize it, and stick with it, and we won't appear to be behind anymore.
 

Pismo

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2002
528
48
NH
Let someone BIG make the chip

Ok, Moto's problem is that they are not THAT smart when it comes to making these really advanced processors. When the G4 came out, we were impressed but it took them forever to figure it out. The other problem is that they can't produce them fast enough. What I propose is that they sell the rights of the PPC/Gx to Apple and then have Apple go to AMD and have them build the processors. AMD makes a really nice chip and I bet they can produce the G5 in HUGE quantities. AMD has the resources and the giant facilities to produce the chips. Also, I'm sure they can work out the kinks and make the chip better than what Moto could do (I'm convinced that their engineers are smarter than those at Moto. Just look at the XP chip). Because AMD make x86 processors for PC, I'm not saying that they would be making the chips for Apple x86. AMD can make chips for Apple using the old architecture that the Mac OS will run on. This is just my opinion. DON'T FLAME ME!!!
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
0
All up in your bidness
Re: The problem is perceived slowness

Originally posted by gopher
But right now game developers have been hoodwinked into believing they should use a graphics processing unit instead of the CPU for graphics acceleration. The G4 is powerful enough to act as its own graphics accelerator.

This is just false... modern GPUs are many times faster at rendering 3D graphics than even the fastest G4 with AltiVec. If they weren't, all of us Mac users would be using the cheapest video cards available and a software OpenGL renderer. The reason few game developers take advantage of AltiVec is there is no straightforward equivalent to it on the x86 platform, which is what most developers write for. (Many Mac games are ports from x86. Those that aren't are still written to take better advantage of x86 than of PPC) Techniques used to optimize for x86's SSE2 are different than completely re-writing game code to take advantage of AltiVec.

In regards to the article, it seemed pretty much empty of substance to me...

Alex
 

Kid Red

macrumors 65816
Dec 14, 2001
1,379
87
Re: "Clawhammer: The Next PowerPC?"

Originally posted by decimal
Let me tell you its not what it sound like! Thank God!

http://www.overclockers.com/tips011/

However, I guess one of the conclusions we can from this is that Apple stands a good chance of losing a significant marketshare if the G5 is not out there soon. Ed seems to be suggesting Hammer moving into the mac niche. What do you guys think?
Did you really read the article? He doesn't say the Hammer is moving into the Mac niche, he says AMD is doing what the PowerPC does, claim that MHZ doesn't matter. That's it, nothing more then saying AMD is doing the same mhz myth fighting that Apple is doing, thus the comparison to the PowerPC.

You should re-read that article.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Re: Re: The problem is perceived slowness

Originally posted by alex_ant

This is just false... modern GPUs are many times faster at rendering 3D graphics than even the fastest G4 with AltiVec. If they weren't, all of us Mac users would be using the cheapest video cards available and a software OpenGL renderer. The reason few game developers take advantage of AltiVec is there is no straightforward equivalent to it on the x86 platform, which is what most developers write for. (Many Mac games are ports from x86. Those that aren't are still written to take better advantage of x86 than of PPC) Techniques used to optimize for x86's SSE2 are different than completely re-writing game code to take advantage of AltiVec.

In regards to the article, it seemed pretty much empty of substance to me...

Alex
Hold onto your seats kiddies, but I actually agree with Alex here. GPU's ARE much faster then any processor out there (either Mac or peecee). If they were not, then why would people purchase video cards?? ATI and nvidia are constantly working on faster and faster GPU's (to compete with each other and drive game development). If there wasn't a real benefit from that, they would have been found out long ago.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,199
1,220
East Coast
Re: Let someone BIG make the chip

Originally posted by Pismo
Ok, Moto's problem is that they are not THAT smart when it comes to making these really advanced processors. When the G4 came out, we were impressed but it took them forever to figure it out. The other problem is that they can't produce them fast enough. What I propose is that they sell the rights of the PPC/Gx to Apple and then have Apple go to AMD and have them build the processors. AMD makes a really nice chip and I bet they can produce the G5 in HUGE quantities. AMD has the resources and the giant facilities to produce the chips. Also, I'm sure they can work out the kinks and make the chip better than what Moto could do (I'm convinced that their engineers are smarter than those at Moto. Just look at the XP chip). Because AMD make x86 processors for PC, I'm not saying that they would be making the chips for Apple x86. AMD can make chips for Apple using the old architecture that the Mac OS will run on. This is just my opinion. DON'T FLAME ME!!!
This is not a flame.

The whole talk about getting MOT to sell their PPC interests is ludicrous. MOT makes PPC chips for people other than Apple. In fact, Apple is one of their smaller customers for PPC chips. Good luck in getting them to listen to your "proposal".

Secondly, why would AMD want to produce PPC chips for Apple. The market for PPC chips for Apple is very limited. Just look at the market share data and you'll see that there wouldn't be a big enough ROI for AMD to move into PPC development and manufacturing. Besides, whos' to say that AMD could catch up to the experience that MOT (and IBM) has in developing PPC chips)?

So, in my opinion, Apple will not be going to an AMD developed PPC chip in the near term. It would be more likely that Apple moved the Mac architecture over to AMD's x86 chip than it would be for AMD to manufacture PPCs. And I won't be holding my breath for that either.

Look, you can blame MOT for not producing G4s in larger quantities all you want, but you have to look at Apple as well. If Apple could sell more Macs, that would give Motorola more incentive to produce faster chips in a more timely manner. Look at IBM, even with their "superior" manufacturing skills, they haven't gotten a PPC chip up to 1ghz yet. They're currently at 700mhz, eventually getting to 1ghz.
 

decimal

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 20, 2002
15
0
Re: Re: "Clawhammer: The Next PowerPC?"

Originally posted by Kid Red


Did you really read the article? He doesn't say the Hammer is moving into the Mac niche, he says AMD is doing what the PowerPC does, claim that MHZ doesn't matter. That's it, nothing more then saying AMD is doing the same mhz myth fighting that Apple is doing, thus the comparison to the PowerPC.

You should re-read that article.
What I meant was this... In the article it says...


So when we see benchmarking of the final product, vis-a-vis the Athlon XP, you'll probably see rather lopsided results. Benchmarks of items like office applications probably won't improve much at all, while audio and video editing should show stellar improvements (improved yet more by the inclusion of SSE2 capability).

Now traditionally multimedia has been the stronghold of macs and indeed still undisputedly is. However if we were to believe whats being said about the hammer, where does that leave the macs? There ofcourse is the software issue but with the hammer and the g5 both aiming for the 64 bit market, I dont see a significant edge for the macs.

Now if the g5 were to implement a superior velocity engine, then that would be different story. But looks like the vpu is gone missing in the g5 altogether!

Excuse me if I am saying too much in just one post...

But right now game developers have been hoodwinked into believing they should use a graphics processing unit instead of the CPU for graphics acceleration. The G4 is powerful enough to act as its own graphics accelerator. It just takes one game developer to realize it, and stick with it, and we won't appear to be behind anymore.
I just wanted to say I agree with gopher here, may be you will find this interesting...

http://www.arstechnica.com/cpu/1q99/playstation2-cpu.html

"emotion engine" hah...
 

G5orbust

macrumors 65816
Jun 14, 2002
1,309
0
Hey
I heard alot about this new Clawhammer. Its a nifty little chip that supports some very cool stuff like hypertransport and dual channel DDR RAM technology. This new advance could rele help skyrocket AMD's chips. This is so because it is supposed to have TRUE 64- BIT!!!!! Imagine if Apple (pure speculation ofcourse) teamed up with AMD and put an ALTIVEC (Velocity engine) on that baby. OOOOHHHH YEEEAAAHHH. That baby would rip. That would put shame to Intel and that new P4 with the fancy smancy 533MHz system bus that made everyone in the PC world drool.

( Note:I got this info from a magazine called Maximum PC. It is factual, but since I dont have the mag right infront of me, dont bash my story just yet. Ill fix any errors when I find the mag again.)
 

PCUser

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2002
123
0
The ClawHammer (and SledgeHammer) are 32-bit/64-bit hybrid chips. They will be able to run both.

From what I've read, the ClawHammer will not have the dual-channel DDR http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1591&p=2, but the SledgeHammer will. The ClawHammer will have a single channel DDR.

What both chips will have, and AMD is very open about, is an integrated memory controlled. It speeds up talking to the RAM because the processor doesn't have to talk to the Northbridge then the RAM, instead it can talk straight to the RAM.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Still sounds like a peecee only processor and will not be used inside of Mac systems. It would be nice if when those chips actually hit the market, that they push motorola to get on the ball and really develop the Mac processors faster and better. Until motorola dropped the ball, we were looking at a 2 year processor upgrade path. Consider how long the G3 was out in towers before we got the G4 chips. If motorola had kept up chip development for Apple, we would be into the G5 chip by now, wiht the G6 in development.

I say it's time to shove a red hot rod up motorola's ass. :D Maybe that will get them moving again.
 

DavPeanut

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2002
272
0
Maryland
I dont know what will happen in like three years, but this is what I think will happen at MWSF:

iBook:
14"
600 Mhz G4
100 Mhz bus
256 MB RAM
30 GB
$1200

14"
700 Mhz G4
100 Mhz bus
256 MB RAM
40 GB
$1500

14"
800 Mhz G4
133 Mhz bus
512 MB RAM
40 GB
$1850

With all, the cases will have changed so it actually looks good with a 14" screen.

:D
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by DavPeanut
I dont know what will happen in like three years, but this is what I think will happen at MWSF
Bubba, you have the WRONG thread here... we are talking about the possible next gen of processor NOT the expo's... Read the rest of the thread before you start posting... even though this is the 'kinder, gentler' MacRumors, we still don't take too kindly to morons.

Newbies, sheeesh :rolleyes:
 
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