IBM PPC => No Altivec?

arn

macrumors god
Original poster
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,536
1,817
The following was published to a public Apple mailing list:

I attended a briefing today on IBM's high performance computing technology, which is hinged on their Power4 CPU (this CPU has awesome performance in the various real-world benchmarks I have seen). After the briefing, I asked the presenter (a chief engineering manager from IBM) about the Power4 derivative for desktops and low end servers to be announced in October. You may recall that there has been speculation that this CPU would find its way into PowerMacs in the future. Well, it sounds like this CPU is not in Apple's future -- the "over 160" vector instructions are not AltiVec (even though AltiVec has 162 instructions), and there are technical issues that would prevent AltiVec from ever marrying with Power4 or its successors. Furthermore, the guy came right out and said that they have pitched the desktop Power4 to Apple, but Apple was not interested.

So, although Power4-based PowerMacs seemed like a promising (and likely) possibility, it looks like it won't happen. I guess we will have to wait and see what Apple has in store for the future . . . .
 

reyesmac

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
374
53
Central Texas
It just keeps getting worse and worse.

The powermac machines have been falling behind more and more not because Intel is making faster chips quicker, it is because Apple is not keeping up with them at a fast enough rate. Who is Apple making their machines compete with? The iMac, with an even slower chip, at least can impress windows users. The iMacs designs are always better than the PC's that it competes with. But the powermac is a different story, it in the last few years has not been designed to compete head to head with PC's. You see that if you make a PC part for part with an iMac they will both cost almost the same. But the Powermac keeps getting more expensive for what you get. I truly wonder what Apple has up their sleeve if anything to combat this. Will they just become a consumer company? If a truly fast Mac will come along, how long will they have planned it? It seems to me they just started worrying about speed when theirs machines couldnt go past 500mhz. If there was one thing I do not like about Apple it is that they do not have any competition on its own platform. Any other Mac clone company would have made faster machines than Apples by now. They would just look bad, but at least they would be cheap and the OS still pretty. Even if Apple comes out with a fast miracle chip, I can bet you it will only be the $3000 dollar one that it will be in. They always make you pay thru the nose for the machine that can actually compete with the PC in terms of speed. I have been waiting for the G5 ever since the G4 came out. I guess by the time that it does, I will be able to actually afford it.....cool!:rolleyes:
 

BongHits

macrumors regular
May 2, 2002
181
0
chicago
Re: IBM PPC => No Altivec?

Originally posted by arn

So, although Power4-based PowerMacs seemed like a promising (and likely) possibility, it looks like it won't happen. I guess we will have to wait and see what Apple has in store for the future . . . .
[/i]
well if it continues to be motorola's BS upgrades....then i won't be in apple's future for a long time...i think my 933 will be competent enough to last me until Apple get's their **** together.
 

dongmin

macrumors 68000
Jan 3, 2002
1,708
0
Yeah the last few reports on this have tended to refute any notions of a future IBM-Apple marriage. I'm sad. It seemed so promising when the Power4-derivative rumors first came out.
 

TechLarry

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2002
142
0
Marklar.

PLEASE!

Motorola is a lost cause, and if this news is correct then Apple has no choice.

It's time to move on...

TL
 

DeepDish

macrumors newbie
Jan 5, 2002
26
0
Not knowing what Apple has up it's sleeve, I am in not in a position to speculate.

Nonetheless, Apple, please don't make some stupid decision here. Apple, like most companies have made stratigical errors throughout it's histroy. However, Apple seems to make more than others. Apple creates great software and hardware, but they do make some major short sighted decissions also in terms of long term planning.

If Apple thinks it can stick with MOTO, then this is another major example of a idiot decision!
 

Uragon

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2002
178
0
guess this is good news for upgrade companies (powerlogix and sonnet).... and MAKLAR is becoming more of a reality. Why do they always make it difficult for Apple (Moto/IBM).. assuming that Apple wasn't interested with IBM due to "not to compatible with Altivec....
 

pilotgi

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2002
193
4
The following was published to a public Apple mailing list:
So does that mean this info is reliable?

Anyway, as far as Apple's future plans for faster processors, _anything_ is possible.

Maybe they're waiting for Moto's 9nm chips they claim they will be producing "6 months before the competition."

Maybe they'll go back to the G3 with the rumored 200Mhz bus and speeds up to 2Ghz.

Maybe AMD, maybe Sun.

Maybe_anything_

Steve sure loves to keep his secrets.
 

wchamlet

macrumors member
May 9, 2002
44
0
The hills...
I think you people are getting a little ahead of yourselves. Stand back and look at Apple as a whole company. How much money have they made since the first iMac? A few billion in profit? From the info I have seen on the net Apple has something like 4 billion dollars cash. Not tied up in paperware and other investments like Microsoft and other companies have done. In my opinion I think they are doing and amazing job acquiring profits, especially for being such a small company.

Now with that in mind, think what is Apple trying to do? Maximize profits? Yup. Create something new to aquire more profits? Yup. Fall further and further behind the current crop of PC's? Nope.

Apple is probably one of the few forward thinking companies in the world. For my needs, the DP 1 GHZ nonDDR G4 is more than enough for me. I could really care less if there was a 1.7 Ghz G4 available next year. And I really doubt that is where Apple is headed into the future. Remember the G4 when it came out. Outstanding chip, wasn't it? Did anyone predict it coming? Not that I heard.

Apple will provide a next generation chip, but I really don't think it will be based on this genarations technology. I wouldn't be surprsised though if Apple focuses on more specific technology in the future, like embedded graphics on the motherboard, or something that will really stand out from PC's. Because, like someone said earlier, the Powermacs are now competing with PC's, and losing. I think that Apple will change that, but I cannot guess how.
 

Timothy

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2002
473
0
Seattle, WA
I get the impression...

That SJ doesn't care about competing in the real world; and, as long as we Mac devotees don't leave, then I guess he's right.

We are in a tough spot, those of us who've chosen the Mac platform; we have no leverage in terms of competition. We've invested so much into the platform in terms of software, peripherals, and training that we hesitate to switch.

But, for how much longer? It is clear that with the money and resources that the Intel/AMD group can throw at processors, we will continue to slide further behind. I think the only option for Apple will be to make the switch to Intel/AMD processors in their boxes.

I am becoming increasingly annoyed at the silence from Cupertino regarding this very real, and growing...growing...growing problem. I've been waiting for some hint as to a possible solution for about 4 years, and nothing has come; in fact, SJ refuses to discuss the issue directly.

I remain discouraged...
 

chubakka

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2002
123
0
NYC
hello

This report isn't even talking about the next IBM PPC chip... it's talking about the Power 4... Apple isn't interested in the Power 4. This "report" is a dead end. Skip it.
 

gandalf55

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2001
343
0
boston
i am hanging my head low here... Apple has been moving to sway Hollywood types to the Mac platform via software acquisitions, etc. That activity requires Pro level machines. Fast ones. Ones that scare the neighbors. Fans? I could care less... throw 3 in there if the processors scream. apple should be looking to who can provide the best in an acceptable time frame. period. price? well, for most Pro users, its not as big an issue when you have a company signing the check (and getting a return on the investment by more productive workers.)

Things have been trickling for a while now. Looking for someone to turn the faucet a little bit. We're thirsty :)
 

djkut

macrumors member
Aug 10, 2002
35
0
Re: IBM PPC => No Altivec?

Originally posted by arn
The following was published to a public Apple mailing list:

I After the briefing, I asked the presenter... about the Power4 derivative for desktops and low end servers to be announced in October...the "over 160" vector instructions are not AltiVec (even though AltiVec has 162 instructions), and there are technical issues that would prevent AltiVec from ever marrying with Power4 or its successors. Furthermore, the guy came right out and said that they have pitched the desktop Power4 to Apple, but Apple was not interested.
So, although Power4-based PowerMacs seemed like a promising (and likely) possibility, it looks like it won't happen. I guess we will have to wait and see what Apple has in store for the future . . . .
chubakka:

I think it's pretty clear that this person wasn't talking about the actual Power4.


Once again, though, why are we believing this person so easily, why is this so reliable?
 

Timothy

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2002
473
0
Seattle, WA
Getting bleak...

With the 1.25 ghz chips not even really entering the picture until November, really, it is probable that there will not be an "update" for another 6 months at the latest, putting us in the range of MWNY 2003. If Apple gives us another 20% speed upgrade then (announced, not shipping until Nov. 2003) that would mean that we won't even cross the 1.5 ghz barrier for another year.

This is getting bleak; and Apple continues to provide NO ROADMAP for any alternate hope. Why aren't the major shareholders raising more crap about this?

This latest update of the Powermac was a joke; in reality, it was no update. The announced high-end chips still don't exist, but in theory only. The case is perhaps the ugliest case since some of the pizza box performa cases. If we imagine that Motorola is completely taxed just to make 1.25 ghz chips by November, it is highly unlikely that there is anything else waiting in the wings. It makes you wonder if they even look forward with any seriousness, or if they (Apple/Motorola) just wait until the night before an "update" and decide, then, to start working on a faster chip? I was under the naive impression that real work and possible solutions were being worked on now? Apparently not.

Did I mention I am feeling a bit down on Apple today? ;-)
 

Kid Red

macrumors 65816
Dec 14, 2001
1,379
87
Just because this one guy said Apple wasn't interested means 3 things-

1) He's covering for Apple
2) He doesn't know jack
3) He's telling the truth

If he is telling the truth then thaty could mean 3 things as well-

1) This chip isn't the one IBM is making for Apple tho they are still making one
2) Apple wasn't interested because the G4 still has plenty of legs left
3) X on Intel is a reality (it is, but I mean that it's the future)

So don't hang your heads to low.
 

Thirteenva

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2002
679
0
Re: It just keeps getting worse and worse.

Originally posted by reyesmac
The powermac machines have been falling behind more and more not because Intel is making faster chips quicker, it is because Apple is not keeping up with them at a fast enough rate. Who is Apple making their machines compete with?
Motorola is not "keeping up" not apple, apple is innovative and finds creative solutions to problems. Motorola has dropped the ball for R&D for desktop chips. Apple's marketing strategy has never been to sell the fastest chip, it's been to sell the best package. There selling a whole unit, that as a whole has more than you would get with other systems. Isn't this why we all love apples so much? Why else would we be here when we could jump on the wintel 2ghz bandwagon... Obviously speed is not the only factor in selling computers.



The iMac, with an even slower chip, at least can impress windows users. The iMacs designs are always better than the PC's that it competes with.
Case in point, the imac does well despite its "even slower chip" because apple is selling a hardware/software package that appeals to people.



But the powermac is a different story, it in the last few years has not been designed to compete head to head with PC's. You see that if you make a PC part for part with an iMac they will both cost almost the same. But the Powermac keeps getting more expensive for what you get.
How can you justify that the powermac is "getting more expensive for what you get". The lower end imac price is virtually the same yet they just added a second processor. Seems to me your getting more for you money than 3 months ago. From what i hear the low end PMac is selling very well because people find it to be a great deal for that kind of performance.



I truly wonder what Apple has up their sleeve if anything to combat this.
I also wonder whats in store for apple. They'll have to move to a new chip eventually how far can they stretch the g4, I doubt it has life above 1.6ghz.


It seems to me they just started worrying about speed when theirs machines couldnt go past 500mhz.
I don't recall this problem.


If there was one thing I do not like about Apple it is that they do not have any competition on its own platform.
Thats the beauty of apple, they provide both the hardware and software solution so it's integrated seamlessly.


Any other Mac clone company would have made faster machines than Apples by now.
And how would they do this having access to the same chips apple has access to???


Even if Apple comes out with a fast miracle chip, I can bet you it will only be the $3000 dollar one that it will be in. They always make you pay thru the nose for the machine that can actually compete with the PC in terms of speed.
I doubt if there was a new chip it would only be in the top power mac. It would probably appear in all level power macs in single and dual versions at different power levels.


I have been waiting for the G5 ever since the G4 came out. I guess by the time that it does, I will be able to actually afford it.....cool!:rolleyes:
If every time something new comes out you hope for something better you'll always be dissappointed. When the g5 comes out you'll want a G6. Use whats available or seek other solutions to your problem.

I hear dell is having a sale...
 

GetSome681

macrumors regular
Feb 2, 2002
123
0
Originally posted by Uragon
guess this is good news for upgrade companies (powerlogix and sonnet).... and MAKLAR is becoming more of a reality. Why do they always make it difficult for Apple (Moto/IBM).. assuming that Apple wasn't interested with IBM due to "not to compatible with Altivec....
This makes no sense to me. Let's say that this desktop Power4 doesn't have Altivec capabilities. Ok. So we decide to switch to some x86 chip. Those won't have the Altivec unit either. So why would Apple ever turn down this IBM chip and go to Intel or such? Doesn't make sense. They lose Altivec going either way, yet going Intel means a HUGE pain in the ARSE in terms of programs, and switching everything over.

Even without Altivec, it would seem silly to me for Apple to switch to Intel, etc., rather than take this chip.
 

bertinman

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2002
272
0
Davis, CA
Re: Re: IBM PPC => No Altivec?

Originally posted by BongHits
i think my 933 will be competent enough to last me until Apple get's their **** together.
Sorry, but doesn't that concede the fact that the motorola chips are good enough and can stand their own? If you are able to do what you need on your "933" why do you even need a "G5?"

This is just like the fast car situation. Why do you need a fast car when every car made now can go at least 65 mph (or 100kph)? The faster cars are a luxury and that is it. Same goes for faster computers. Sure people wouldn't mind having more power but really how much is the gain from the difference?

Maybe I'm slow minded but I kind of like slight pauses so I can think ahead of the computer (meaning milli-secounds, because that is all I have been given in the last few years).

My two cents are that we all should start worrying about other things anyway. Why not think about something creative/cool/unique that you can do with your mac and do it instead of wishing that there are faster macs. There will always be faster macs.

(I really enjoyed the switch ad contest btw--sad that I didnt get to finish mine in time)

(btw BongHits, this is not an attack, just thought it was a good beginning to my rant for the day :) no hard feelings)

-- bert :cool:
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
Re: Re: Re: IBM PPC => No Altivec?

Originally posted by bertinman


Sorry, but doesn't that concede the fact that the motorola chips are good enough and can stand their own? If you are able to do what you need on your "933" why do you even need a "G5?"

This is just like the fast car situation. Why do you need a fast car when every car made now can go at least 65 mph (or 100kph)? The faster cars are a luxury and that is it. Same goes for faster computers. Sure people wouldn't mind having more power but really how much is the gain from the difference?

Maybe I'm slow minded but I kind of like slight pauses so I can think ahead of the computer (meaning milli-secounds, because that is all I have been given in the last few years).

My two cents are that we all should start worrying about other things anyway. Why not think about something creative/cool/unique that you can do with your mac and do it instead of wishing that there are faster macs. There will always be faster macs.

(I really enjoyed the switch ad contest btw--sad that I didnt get to finish mine in time)

(btw BongHits, this is not an attack, just thought it was a good beginning to my rant for the day :) no hard feelings)

-- bert :cool:
In terms of the consumer market I agree. But in the pro market faster, more powerful computers will always be needed as the tasks computers are given to do will alwasy become more intensive (such as FX heavy films/commercials/TV shows and CG movies).


Lethal
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
Originally posted by gandalf55
i am hanging my head low here... Apple has been moving to sway Hollywood types to the Mac platform via software acquisitions, etc. That activity requires Pro level machines. Fast ones. Ones that scare the neighbors. Fans? I could care less... throw 3 in there if the processors scream. apple should be looking to who can provide the best in an acceptable time frame. period. price? well, for most Pro users, its not as big an issue when you have a company signing the check (and getting a return on the investment by more productive workers.)

Things have been trickling for a while now. Looking for someone to turn the faucet a little bit. We're thirsty :)

Hollywood has been using Mac hardware (running Avid software)for years and years and years. Apple is now trying to take over post production on the software side of things too (and they are making a good run at it). I've seen post houses "make the switch" but that was from Avid to FCP. I've never seen a post house edit using a PC. Apple hardware has always been a staple in post production (and will be for a long time) and they are now trying to make their software equally as popular.


Lethal
 

bertinman

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2002
272
0
Davis, CA
Originally posted by Kid Red

3) X on Intel is a reality (it is, but I mean that it's the future)
Umm, why don't people see the "marklar" thing as a joke... as it should be.

I am assuming that by "X" you mean OSX? well, that has NEVER been on an intel machine. why you ask? Altivec is not on a i386 machine.

I think people are confused because there has been something called "X" for quite some time in the UNIX/Linux world. It is an windows server (not MS windows just windows as in a command/graphical/what-not windows), KDE, Gnome and whatever else window managers you like are loaded on top and make quite useful/pretty desktop for Linux/UNIX gurus. Check out www.XFree86.com and you'll see it's not a brand new program. Also, if you want to use it on your Mac, go ahead its available through Apple free of charge (JOIN ADC FREE!).

So, in closing--I have Marklar/Darwin-x86 right here next to me running "X."
It is a Athlon 1gig that is happily saying "Welcome to Macintosh!" "login:" -- WOW.

Oh wait I lied, one more thing. Join any mailing list for darwin and search the archives ther will be at least one message thread about making Aqua (everyone’s favorite operating system which runs with Darwin at it's core) run on an i386 (intel compatible) machine--all saying that it is close to impossible and/or not worth it.

-- bert :cool:
 

Faeylyn

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2002
49
0
Groan..........

Why is ANYONE taking this report seriously? Is this any different at all from "some guy told a friend of mine that his buddy's roomate's sister had an aunt that said Apple wasn't going to use the new chip..."?

Whether it's true or not, IT DOESN'T MATTER. NO ONE CARES whether Apple uses the new IBM chip. NO ONE CARES whether Apple develops quad or 8x machines. You reading this DO NOT CARE. What you care about is whether Apple's next generation of Macs is significantly faster than the current generation. You care about whether Apple's machines can keep up with (and surpass) the PCs out there. You care about this even if you personally don't need the power because it ensures Apple's survival and thus the Macs survival.

If Apple were to come out with a Motorola 64-bit G5+ in January that beat the tar out of the best PC, you'd be happy. If they came out with Macs with IBM's new chip that beat the tar out of PCs, you'd be happy.

So, the question then is, what is the likelyhood that Apple will come out with a new Mac that will be significantly faster than the current Macs? For your answer, look to the companies Apple has been purchasing lately. Unless Apple's top brass have suddenly become brain-dead, they realize that the current crop of Macs is NO WHERE NEAR up to the task to run these apps and be taken seriously by the market they're going after. And they already have a solution for this problem. They wouldn't spend the millions on those companies otherwise.

There will be new kiss-arse Macs within a year. Do you really care what's inside, as long as they leave the PCs in the dust?
 

bertinman

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2002
272
0
Davis, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: IBM PPC => No Altivec?

Originally posted by LethalWolfe


In terms of the consumer market I agree. But in the pro market faster, more powerful computers will always be needed as the tasks computers are given to do will alwasy become more intensive (such as FX heavy films/commercials/TV shows and CG movies).


Lethal
Good point, lost that one.

I believe the Xserve is the way of the future. Everywhere I look people are buying clusters (I have a brand new 80 node Linux one next to me) and doing amazing things that no single computer can do. The pro towers can be fast enough to talk to the servers and run their code there are well. Multi-processing is fun and worth it.

True, the Xserve is not the fastest server, but it IS a baby. already with the large scale amount of time/money put into them the bugs are getting uncovered and erased. Also, the Xserve has the ability to become huge powerhouses if just given the right friends (fast XRaid servers and fast ethernet and FSB (which no doubt will be updated soon)).

I am sure there are plenty of fellow terminal users who would agree that alot can be had from a dinky crap computer that just hooks up to a "mainframe" or "room or networked kick-ass servers." Now if you had a decent computer you could also do most of the work right there, but then send the large number crunching tasks to the server.

Anyway this is getting too long for a guy who is suppose to be crunching numbers himself:D.

-- bert :cool:
 

Thirteenva

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2002
679
0
Re: Re: Re: Re: IBM PPC => No Altivec?

Originally posted by LethalWolfe


In terms of the consumer market I agree. But in the pro market faster, more powerful computers will always be needed as the tasks computers are given to do will alwasy become more intensive (such as FX heavy films/commercials/TV shows and CG movies).


Lethal

Apple is catering to these markets with faster machines. Alot of the apps used in these industries are multi processor aware and will run quite well on a dual 1.25 ghz without even a hiccup. Also alot of these industries rely on more than just ghz ratings. Faster hard drives, good graphics cards and expandability are all important factors in computer choice. Power macs have all of this available to them.

Whats makes us loyal apple users is the fact that we realize there is more to a computer than ghz ratings. Isn't this why we by apples over wintel machines. If all we cared about was speed we could just get an AMD in a custom built box....

Why do people forget this as soon as the subject of processor speed comes up...
 

Kelesis

macrumors newbie
Jan 28, 2002
12
0
Originally posted by bertinman
I am assuming that by "X" you mean OSX? well, that has NEVER been on an intel machine. why you ask? Altivec is not on a i386 machine.
I just want to point out that this is not a valid argument. OS X runs on the G3 processor, which does not have Altivec.