Detailed Notes about IBM 970

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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RealWorldTech posts some detailed notes from IBM's presentation last week. Here are some hilights:

- the SIMD unit is AltiVec compatible
- PowerPC 970 has already "taped out", parts exist in labs, undergoing performance eval and debugging
- Second half of 2003 is when volume production is expected
- if Apple adopts the 970, 32-bit applications can run seamlessly, after OS modifications are made
- due to the subsystem support required for the chip, "Unless Apple can also obtain a low cost support chip from IBM, the PowerPC 970 processor would likely force the Apple Macintosh product lines to become even more upscale".
 

reyesmac

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
373
53
Central Texas
This is bad comedy

If volume production will not be untill the end of next year, I expect Apple will use next year to sell overpriced but cheap to make powermacs to counteract the higher cost of the new IBM powermacs. But in the end, they will still raise prices on the powermacs. Or better yet, make it very clear that if you do not spend over $2,000 on a Powermac, you will end up with a crippled system. It's kind of like what they have been doing with the powermacs for a years now where they give the cheapest one a slower motherboard than the more expensive ones but it will be more obvious to the casual viewer.

For a company that prides itself on total control of their product, it is really pathetic that they are always held back by thier component partners. I still plan to buy a Powermac next year. I will not come with high expectations so hopefully Apple will still be able to surprise me (and take my $2,000).
 

ddtlm

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2001
1,184
0
reyesmac:

I can see reason for a certain amount of pessimism, but perhaps you have taken it too far...
 

3G4N

macrumors regular
Jan 24, 2002
123
0
3rd star to the right

Although the PowerPC 970 is a part that would cost considerably less to manufacture and sell, its performance actually exceeds the POWER4 processor in many areas.


I told all you whiny punks to shut up.

This PuPPy is gonna rock.
Power4 core x Altivec?!
sick.
sick with power.
 

barkmonster

macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2001
2,123
12
Lancashire
This PuPPy is gonna rock.
Power4 core x Altivec?!
sick.
sick with power.
you forgot the evil "mhaaa ha ha ha" at the end :D

Having read the specs this cpu looks like a total monster, I wonder if apple will opt for RDRAM to cope with the bandwidth needs ?

It sounds like the only option right now but I have read about dual channel DDR memory, it would need to be 2 x 333Mhz which is still less than the cpu needs.

With the same 1066Mhz RDRAM as the pentium 4 can use, this chip will have all the bandwidth it needs but I can imagine this will push up the cost of the powermac line, unless apple start being more fair with their prices because they know this chip is going to tempt a lot of high end switchers if they can make a dual configuration.
 

gotohamish

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2001
1,070
0
BKLN
Originally posted by 3G4N

Although the PowerPC 970 is a part that would cost considerably less to manufacture and sell, its performance actually exceeds the POWER4 processor in many areas.


I told all you whiny punks to shut up.

This PuPPy is gonna rock.
Power4 core x Altivec?!
sick.
sick with power.
Abso-bloody-lutely - bring it on! I REALLY have started saving up for a summer 2003 PowerMac!

Oh, and here's a thought, there'll be enough chips for PowerMacs only, but of course it won't go into the iMacs for a while (like the G4), instead it will go in the NEW CUBE! Remember, the product that never died!:D
 

ddtlm

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2001
1,184
0
3G4N:

Although the PowerPC 970 is a part that would cost considerably less to manufacture and sell, its performance actually exceeds the POWER4 processor in many areas.
Note that he did not say "all areas," and this in reference to a Power4 that runs at only 1.3ghz. In fact this statment is so unsurprising as to be boring: since the Power4 lacks AltiVec well then there are obviously going to be certain things that will go faster on the PPC-970, and seeing as how the clock speed is higher yet the core is the same, certain things that are not very memory intensive will also go faster. This should be readily apparent to you.

I told all you whiny punks to shut up.
Some of the "whiny punks" out here knew all of this, and more, long before we read the article. Your joy is misplaced.
 

foniks2020

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2002
168
0
Good for Powerbooks too?

At the end of the article in the summary of specs he lists the 1.2 ghz 970 with 19w of power used... how does this compare to current G4s being used in Powerbooks? While I didn't look too hard for this spec just now it isn't specifically listed at Apples tech spec page for Powerbooks or G4.... any experts out there?
 

3G4N

macrumors regular
Jan 24, 2002
123
0
3rd star to the right
Originally posted by barkmonster
you forgot the evil "mhaaa ha ha ha" at the end :D
I erased it, thinking I'd sound like a dork. But to each his own.:)
The real reason I didn't put it, was I didnt feel like sounding
it out finetic'ly. I knew you'd hear it in your own sick head!!!

But really, like barkmonster notes, the thing I wonder about is the
price. What's the pricetag of the good RAM and other (new) architectural
components (RapidIO,Hypertransport,AGP8x???) needed to
feed this new voracious mouth? And how much is the mouth itself?

I sure hope this doesn't give the whining masses a new topic.
I'm willing to pay more for more.

And yes, ddtlm, the 970 will go faster and slower at this and that
than the Power4. It can nitpick better than you, too. bla-bla-bla.

Bottom line. The 970 is going to rock.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
Re: Good for Powerbooks too?

Originally posted by foniks2020
1.2 ghz 970 with 19w of power used... how does this compare to current G4s being used in Powerbooks?
once upon a time, i think i read the pbook chip uses 24w, and the sahara g3 in the ibook 6w.

please be kind if i'm mis-remembering.
 

foniks2020

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2002
168
0
Re: Re: Good for Powerbooks too?

Originally posted by zimv20


once upon a time, i think i read the pbook chip uses 24w, and the sahara g3 in the ibook 6w.

please be kind if i'm mis-remembering.
First, it looks like it's the dissipation of heat that is the issue... the usage is in volts, etc... my mistake.

Looked on Motorola's site and it lists the 7451s at 14.5 watts typical and 19 max dissipation but the Rev A/B TiBooks used the earlier 7400 - 7410 with 5 watts typical and ~12 max... so if Apple worked out the power dissipation issues with the newer Pbooks then these 970s could be used for portables.
 

theranch

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2002
300
0
Atlantic City area
sounds promising

I like the news...at least Apple might finally be moving upward and onward with a much more powerful chip than using the old 2 processor speed bandage to keep the Mac faithful happy (and productive). Don't get me wrong...the current powermacs are fast enough and have enough great horsepower to handle most of what we all are doing with these machines except for those video editors or 3D modelers who need to render quicker.
This news just sounds refreshing and might just calm down some of the whiners on this site who can't wait to get up every morning to complain about mhz or ghz in the mac vs peecee.
 

lou tsee

macrumors newbie
May 2, 2002
27
0
switzerland
to ddtlm:

your wrong!
the ppc 970 CAN be faster than the POWER4, even when you rule out
Altivec & the different clock speed. check this out:


"In the case of the PowerPC 970, the processor does not need to meet similar reliability requirements as the POWER4 processor, and as a consequence, circuit and process technology can be tweaked to obtain higher performance by trading away the near-absolute reliability required by the POWER4 processor."

found here: http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?AID=RWT101502203725

cheers ,)
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,561
0
VA
So this is all well and good, but what *is* Apple going to do until they come out? I don't plan on buying a new machine until I can get a Power 4 and a 900 MHz bus (that is truly going to be amazing). And I know I'm not the only one. I wonder if Motorola will come out with a new chip or two in the mean time.

The other thing is this going to push Apple for OSXI or OSX.5 - since it will requre some coding to make the operating system work......

D
 

unclepain

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2002
67
0
Va Beach VA
Dude, it's not whining- it's good busniness sense. Apple has been sucking up all these small companies for their video and audio apps- they are desperate to get into production houses of all kinds, and they know that it will be an extremely hard sell for pros to get excited about their systems (regardless of the apps available) with the current hardware as it is now. Speed is everything in this kind of market and these guys want the fastest hardware they can afford in order to finish as many projects as quickly as possible. They need something dramatic in the hardware world for Apple to make inroads into these areas of business.

I bet we don't see any of these types of machines for under 2K though.
 

rugby

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2002
222
0
chicago
The big $1,000,000,000,000 question is "Will it be faster than whatever Intel or AMD has out by then?" We can sit here and ooh and ahh the chip, but neither one of those two companies is sitting idle in the meantime.

Will the 970 rock? Yes.

Will it be better than anything else out there? Who knows.
 

drastik

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2002
978
0
Nashvegas
Originally posted by unclepain
Dude, it's not whining- it's good busniness sense. Apple has been sucking up all these small companies for their video and audio apps- they are desperate to get into production houses of all kinds, and they know that it will be an extremely hard sell for pros to get excited about their systems (regardless of the apps available) with the current hardware as it is now. Speed is everything in this kind of market and these guys want the fastest hardware they can afford in order to finish as many projects as quickly as possible. They need something dramatic in the hardware world for Apple to make inroads into these areas of business.
I think you are only half right. Pro users will trade some things for raw speed, but software and platform do make a huge difference. I work in video, and every major production house in town uses macs, a couple have PC based avid systems as well, but FCP is definitely the tool of choice for most places, its cheaper and a better program. Plus, these places have had Macs for years, so the learning curve is nil. ALso, a good production tech doubles as an IT manager in that he or she fixes thebroken stuff( shoooting of any kind involves lots of broken stuff.) For a tech to diagnos and repair a MAc is simple, Windows starts telling you your software isn't legal and you've got a problem.

Most of the music studios around here (a lot of studios in this town) use MAcs. infact a lot of them still have the Blue and White G3's that there old Pro Tools setup came in. They trust them, and frankly, they are fast enough for the task.

People who come in here and rant about raw speed always seem ingnorant about these industries to me. Speed is wonderful, sure, but not the whole package, especially not in Audio and Video.

The 970 should rock, and it will be a boone to Pro users.
 

ryan

macrumors 6502
May 17, 2002
283
0
Denver, CO
Re: Re: Re: Good for Powerbooks too?

Originally posted by foniks2020


First, it looks like it's the dissipation of heat that is the issue... the usage is in volts, etc... my mistake.

Looked on Motorola's site and it lists the 7451s at 14.5 watts typical and 19 max dissipation but the Rev A/B TiBooks used the earlier 7400 - 7410 with 5 watts typical and ~12 max... so if Apple worked out the power dissipation issues with the newer Pbooks then these 970s could be used for portables.
I hope you're right. I would love to be able to pickup a 970 PowerPC PowerBook in early 2004 even if they had to down-clock it to something like 1.4GHz.
 

ddtlm

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2001
1,184
0
lou tsee:

Pal, you are ignorant of how digital devices work.

your wrong!
the ppc 970 CAN be faster than the POWER4, even when you rule out
Altivec & the different clock speed. check this out:

"In the case of the PowerPC 970, the processor does not need to meet similar reliability requirements as the POWER4 processor, and as a consequence, circuit and process technology can be tweaked to obtain higher performance by trading away the near-absolute reliability required by the POWER4 processor."
The Power4, PPC-970 and all other current processors are synchronous digital devices. This means that nothing happens anywhere unless there is a clock pulse telling it to happen. The millions of transistors "march" much like an army. The only way to make anything faster on a given design is to increase the clock speed.

What RWT was talking about is simply that IBM can make the transistors faster by making them less durable. But this doesn't mean anything unless they also increase the clock speed. Even if every transistor in the chip is done with its "work" in the first 10% of every clock cycle, they sit on the butts until the next clock pulse tells them to "work" again.

So yes, we are back to increased clock speed on the same core and the existance of AltiVec as far as the only two things a PPC-970 has that can make it go faster than a Power4.
 

ddtlm

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2001
1,184
0
rugby:

I pretty much have to agree with your "who knows" approach. We do pretty much know that the PPC-970 would be dominant in a large number of Photoshop filters and everything else a G4 is good at these days, but on the other hand, less highly optimized apps will not be as fast as the x86 competion, based on SPEC results (and yes, SPEC is meaningful). The PPC-970 is going to be fighting some mean x86 chips.
 

elohim01

macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2002
17
0
Gee...I might as well put of purchasing ANY computer so I can get the PPC-970 Powerbook with slot loading superdrive for a cheap $5,500.
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
0
All up in your bidness
Re: Re: Re: Good for Powerbooks too?

Originally posted by foniks2020
Looked on Motorola's site and it lists the 7451s at 14.5 watts typical and 19 max dissipation but the Rev A/B TiBooks used the earlier 7400 - 7410 with 5 watts typical and ~12 max... so if Apple worked out the power dissipation issues with the newer Pbooks then these 970s could be used for portables.
Just a minor nitpick - Actually the rev B used the 7440, which according to Motorola draws 11.4w min / 15.5w max at 600MHz... unfortunately, they don't mention what it draws at 550 and 667MHz. :)
 

lou tsee

macrumors newbie
May 2, 2002
27
0
switzerland
ddtlm:

your right: It was an overreacted and non-reflected post.
(there was also a languge-related misunderstaning)

please send post to NIL

sh*t, no I also got caught by this processor-frenzy ;)

btw: I DO know a little how such devices work

cheers