IBM on PowerPC 970MP Power Savings

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,446
8,513


ZDNet and eWeek report on a presentation by Norman Rohrer, and IBM engineer at the Fall Processor Forum in San Jose.

Roher discussed the IBM PowerPC 970MP which is being used by Apple in the latest round of PowerMac revisions. IBM describes the new chip as a "low-power, high-performance" processor.

The 970MP houses two processor cores each with its own CPU, AltiVEC unit and 1MB of cache. The previous PowerPC 970 (G5) processor only had a single core. In addition, the new 970MP can shut down one of the two cores and further reduce power consumption by reducing its frequency. Peak consumption is described as 100W which can be reduced to 40W.

Even with such power savings modes, it seems unlikely that the 970MP will approach the anticipiated plans from Intel to produce lower power consumption chips. Intel's future Performance per Watt roadmaps were cited as reasons for the switch to Intel which is planned to begin in 2006.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,108
1,455
combatcolin said:
Cool.

Does the power saving mode of OSX take advantage of this?

Can the OS slow the CPU down and switch off a Core if its not needed?
not sure... not sure how useful this is on a desktop machine anyway. Presumably sleep mode shuts down power consumption to almost nothing anyway.

arn
 

crazzyeddie

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2002
2,790
0
Florida, USA
The ability to reduce heat dissipation from 100W -> 40W is sure impressive though, even if most people will never see their chips consume the full 100W. I wonder if Apple's CHUD tools will eventually support manually switching off one of the cores?

Now the only thing left is the real word benchmarks for these new chips. Lets see how they do compared to their Dual Processor counterparts...

And I'm almost positive that OS X should be able to slow the CPU's down. The 'Automatic' setting on all new Powermacs has taken advantage of the Processor Slewing ability of the G5.
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
arn said:
not sure... not sure how useful this is on a desktop machine anyway. Presumably sleep mode shuts down power consumption to almost nothing anyway.

arn
It's useful because it keeps down the fan noise.
 

emotion

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2004
3,186
3
Manchester, UK
Lord Blackadder said:
100W peak power consumption, whew!

Now do you see why there is no G5 PowerBook? ;) :rolleyes: :D
Exactly what I was going to post. This is what IBM meant when they said they had 'low power G5s' in the wings!
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
I'm not really excited about this announcement. It's like saying, "Hey, look Timmy! I got you a new pair of artificial legs!", or something like that.
 

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,663
167
Bay Area, Ca.
Yeah, the CPU control has been around for ages on the G5, it's just getting better :)

The thermal stuff is BS in a way; When comparing "apples to apples", the P4 is a monster. All the current 3.2-3.8 chips are rated up to a max of 130w, and even at the 100w rating that dualcore G5 gets, that's still 30w (about 2 low power G5s) cooler than a P4...

Where Apple plans to "make up for speed" they probably will in code. OS X has been "notoriously sloppy" with that one for years, shoot every new build so far has been "slightly tweaked" to squeeze more performance out since 10.0 days, and you KNOW that wasn't just hardware (If I load 10.0.4 on my dual 800 it'll run WAY slower than 10.4.0!)

Right now the only thing Intel has to winning Apple's favor is that they haven't pulled a "motorola" on Apple (yet). While the proof is in the pudding (P4? Massive decision change.. hey wait first NetBurst is the future and then it's crap?!).. sounds kinda like Apple right now..

But they haven't gotten ditched mid-line. Admittedly, I still don't think anyone at IBM was dumb enough to tell Steve Jobs to tell everyone they'd be able to have 3ghz processors in a year. Not even Intel went from 2-3ghz in 1 year, and they're all.. reputed and stuff.. for being "so fast" right now.

It still might be that the whole thing was a political decision -- sure maklar and rosetta have been around for ages, we knew that anyway; The decision to put it in action was not.

Every step in the "Intel" direction reveals yellow tape hanging loose. Intel people say "Some apple people came over and really liked what they saw", IBM people say "we never saw it coming", and Motorola people? Oh wait, they trade insults with Steve Jobs over the ROKR..

A certain company of the AIM alliance just got caught red handed! ;) Unfortunately, IBM gets to pay for it since they're not exactly off the hook for the 3ghz thing.

That, and apparently Steve Jobs really likes options, even that means being kicked out of Nordstrom's for Ross and Big Lots.
 

Bonte

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2002
926
139
Bruges, Belgium
Intel

Intel's future Performance per Watt roadmaps were cited as reasons for Apple's switch to Intel which is planned to begin in 2006.
Apple switcht to Intel because all PC's are x86, consoles are PPC but Apple needed this switch to survive in the long run, late but brilliant move. :D
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,522
2,558
Sod off
longofest said:
Dude... I submitted this. No credit?
<pats longofest on head> good job, buddy!


JoeG4 said:
The thermal stuff is BS in a way; When comparing "apples to apples", the P4 is a monster. All the current 3.2-3.8 chips are rated up to a max of 130w, and even at the 100w rating that dualcore G5 gets, that's still 30w (about 2 low power G5s) cooler than a P4...
True, but EVERYTHING runs cooler than a P4, so lets not get excited. Suffice to say, the G5 is a hot chip.
 

igetbanned

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2005
78
0
Lord Blackadder said:
<pats longofest on head> good job, buddy!




True, but EVERYTHING runs cooler than a P4, so lets not get excited. Suffice to say, the G5 is a hot chip.
Everything except a hideously overclocked AMD.:D
 

Steamboatwillie

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2003
215
0
Memphis, TN
You know, all the hype about the switch to Intel, for whatever technical or political reason, does nothing for me. I work on R/S6000 POWER based computers at work running AIX and it's the bees knees lemme tell you. I think that the POWER platform is awesome and I for one will miss it when it's gone. Don't get me wrong, I am all for faster, cheaper, low power, low heat cpus I just like IBM.
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
Lord Blackadder said:
<pats longofest on head> good job, buddy!




True, but EVERYTHING runs cooler than a P4, so lets not get excited. Suffice to say, the G5 is a hot chip.
Dual Core Opteron 95W
Dual Core G5 100W
Dual Core Xeon 150W

I wouldn't say it's very hot. It's comparable to the best competitor.
 

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,663
167
Bay Area, Ca.
Aint nothing like 'packing a set of G5s though. It's like sitting at the wheel of a modern muscle car or something. Vroom vroom!
 

emotion

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2004
3,186
3
Manchester, UK
Steamboatwillie said:
You know, all the hype about the switch to Intel, for whatever technical or political reason, does nothing for me. I work on R/S6000 POWER based computers at work running AIX and it's the bees knees lemme tell you. I think that the POWER platform is awesome and I for one will miss it when it's gone. Don't get me wrong, I am all for faster, cheaper, low power, low heat cpus I just like IBM.
Everyone I know hates AIX.

The intel move is initially about laptop cpus not desktop. Give it two years and intel will have dumped all trace of Netburst (P4s/Xeon) then they'll be in better shape for the desktop.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,522
2,558
Sod off
gekko513 said:
Dual Core Opteron 95W
Dual Core G5 100W
Dual Core Xeon 150W

I wouldn't say it's very hot. It's comparable to the best competitor.
I wasn't saying that it's unreasonably hot, but isn't cool either.

Of course, the real comparison will be with the next Intel chips, since that's where we are headed.
 

Dr. Dastardly

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
1,317
0
I live in a giant bucket!
Really to little to late for IBM. Yeah the quad is impressive but if Apple really stuck around with IBM they would have monster desktops and the absolute most under powered laptops ever. The powerbook line is long in the tooth now just imagine only two or three years down the road with the rate of their updates.

2ghz G5 in 2008!!
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,088
4,147
The Peninsula
JoeG4 said:
(P4? Massive decision change.. hey wait first NetBurst is the future and then it's crap?!).. sounds kinda like Apple right now...
Really does sound like Apple...
  • 68K is the future, then it's crap
  • 601 is the future, then it's crap
  • 603 is the future, then it's crap
  • G3 is the future, then it's crap
  • G4 is the future, then it's crap
  • G5 is the future, then it's crap

The term "future" means "the next couple of years" in the computer industry - for Apple, for Intel, for IBM....
 

makman

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2005
3
0
Intel is not healthy

Be very wary of what Intel has sold Apple on its roadmap.

There's been a lot of discussion that Paxville, their new dual core Xeon, is absolutely terrible, eating massive power and still behind AMD Opteron:

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/10/19/1426240&tid=118

In addition, Intel just tore up much of their roadmap, cancelling Whitefield (Xeon) and introducing yet another delay to Montecito (Itanium):

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=27192

Finally, just today one of Infoworld's columnists voiced just what he thought about Intel's future roadmap, and it doesn't look pretty:

" Another journalist at the same event posited that AMD’s technological lead over Intel will be short-lived and is calling “game over” once Intel’s new Pentium M-derived cores debut across the product line. With due respect to my colleague, AMD will extend its lead, showing Intel’s reactive strategy for what it is."

http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/10/26/44OPcurve_1.html?source=rss&url=http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/10/26/44OPcurve_1.html

Finally, here's what the market thinks about Intel's prospects in the 3 months:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=3m&s=INTC&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=amd

and that's with massive Intel buyback of stock. Clear institutional distribution.

Don't assume all is fine and dandy at Intel.
 
JoeG4 said:
Yeah, the CPU control has been around for ages on the G5, it's just getting better :)

The thermal stuff is BS in a way; When comparing "apples to apples", the P4 is a monster. All the current 3.2-3.8 chips are rated up to a max of 130w, and even at the 100w rating that dualcore G5 gets, that's still 30w (about 2 low power G5s) cooler than a P4...

Where Apple plans to "make up for speed" they probably will in code. OS X has been "notoriously sloppy" with that one for years, shoot every new build so far has been "slightly tweaked" to squeeze more performance out since 10.0 days, and you KNOW that wasn't just hardware (If I load 10.0.4 on my dual 800 it'll run WAY slower than 10.4.0!)

Right now the only thing Intel has to winning Apple's favor is that they haven't pulled a "motorola" on Apple (yet). While the proof is in the pudding (P4? Massive decision change.. hey wait first NetBurst is the future and then it's crap?!).. sounds kinda like Apple right now..

But they haven't gotten ditched mid-line. Admittedly, I still don't think anyone at IBM was dumb enough to tell Steve Jobs to tell everyone they'd be able to have 3ghz processors in a year. Not even Intel went from 2-3ghz in 1 year, and they're all.. reputed and stuff.. for being "so fast" right now.

It still might be that the whole thing was a political decision -- sure maklar and rosetta have been around for ages, we knew that anyway; The decision to put it in action was not.

Every step in the "Intel" direction reveals yellow tape hanging loose. Intel people say "Some apple people came over and really liked what they saw", IBM people say "we never saw it coming", and Motorola people? Oh wait, they trade insults with Steve Jobs over the ROKR..

A certain company of the AIM alliance just got caught red handed! ;) Unfortunately, IBM gets to pay for it since they're not exactly off the hook for the 3ghz thing.

That, and apparently Steve Jobs really likes options, even that means being kicked out of Nordstrom's for Ross and Big Lots.
IBM is Nordstroms and intel is Big Lots?

Admittedly, I don't claim to be deep in knowledge of processors and their relative differences, but I will say this: however much the quad may rock, and PPC may be a smart arhitecture, apple's got nothin' for laptops now, and even less on the road map. NOTHING.

So, apple can move in the area where the PPC/power architecture does work well-high end workstations and desktops, and sacrafice essentially all of the consumer market, as well as go into direct competition with IBM, which is bad, as apple is dependent on IBM for chips.

Or, apple can move to intel, get a HUGE performance and power gain in laptops and a very nice looking road map, and trust that by the time apple gets to intel powermacs, intel's next generation of desktop chips will be here and will be truly powerful.
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,790
1,301
Falls Church, VA
AidenShaw said:
Really does sound like Apple...
  • 68K is the future, then it's crap
  • 601 is the future, then it's crap
  • 603 is the future, then it's crap
  • G3 is the future, then it's crap
  • G4 is the future, then it's crap
  • G5 is the future, then it's crap

The term "future" means "the next couple of years" in the computer industry - for Apple, for Intel, for IBM....
Remember that just because a new chip is coming out, or because a tech vender like Apple goes from one chip design to another (ppc -> x86) doesn't make the old immediately "crap." I am getting a Quad, and it will most likely be supplanted by a x86 PowerMac in about a year, but that doesn't mean that it is then crap. It is still what it is. It hasn't magically become slower. It just means that technology has moved on.

It may feel slower if I put the latest and greatest software on it that is meant to use the latest and greatest hardware which I no longer have. For instance, I tried to use PhotoBooth on my Dual 1Ghz G4 with a Geforce 4 Ti (non-core Image compatible). It was sluggish to say the least. But that is because it was using technology that my hardware wasn't ready to fully support.

Believe me, you will all feel better if you stop thinking of your machines as crap once newer machines come out.
 
longofest said:
Remember that just because a new chip is coming out, or because a tech vender like Apple goes from one chip design to another (ppc -> x86) doesn't make the old immediately "crap." I am getting a Quad, and it will most likely be supplanted by a x86 PowerMac in about a year, but that doesn't mean that it is then crap. It is still what it is. It hasn't magically become slower. It just means that technology has moved on.

It may feel slower if I put the latest and greatest software on it that is meant to use the latest and greatest hardware which I no longer have. For instance, I tried to use PhotoBooth on my Dual 1Ghz G4 with a Geforce 4 Ti (non-core Image compatible). It was sluggish to say the least. But that is because it was using technology that my hardware wasn't ready to fully support.

Believe me, you will all feel better if you stop thinking of your machines as crap once newer machines come out.
Well said. And enjoy he quad, that thing's gonna be smokin'!