IBM's Power4+

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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TheRegister.co.uk reports on IBM's eServer p650, introduced today. The new server features 8-processors utilizing the Power4+, a slimmed down version of their Power4, aimed at the server market:

One of the reasons why IBM can cut prices to the bone with the pSeries 650 is that the Power4+ chip at the heart of the machine is based on a single chip module implementation of the Power4 processor that has been dramatically shrunk using a new 0.13 micron copper/SOI process.

IBM's PowerPC 970 is another revision of IBM's scaled down Power4 design, which is largely rumored to make it into Apple's computers.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
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Even though I'd love to see an Octo 970 roll out the door in an Apple enclosure, it probably won't happen any time soon. But damn, this looks good. I'm wondering what the going price will end up at, since these Power4+ are quite pricey.

D :D
 

insidedanshead

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
154
0
Well because the 970 is a super slim, dieted version of the Power4 I'm sure the cost will reflect that.. Yeah ... it will be more than the G4 I'm sure.. if it DOES come to the mac.. but like anything thats smaller quicker and better you pay for it.. I'm sure apple will keep their machines within reason.. I can handle a $2,000 introductory machine if thats what it comes to.. i mean hello 900 Mhz buses here people ! (that is if they don't slim that down either)
 

BenderBot1138

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2002
439
0
... that makes me reeeeeel. Juice me up... Is it just my imagination, or is Apple Computer Inc. going to be sitting very nicely between two competing Chip Co.'s very soon... will this mean good prices down the line? Awesome news find...
 

pgwalsh

macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2002
1,639
218
New Zealand
Does anyone know how feasible this would be to adapt to PPC code or does it already have ppc code? What's the possibility of apple using something like this or are we'll a smoking?
 

insidedanshead

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
154
0
Yeah it's a real juicy tidbit of info.. but I don't think they will be sitting BETWEEN any companies.. morelike.. depending on ONE...as far as we know this next year is apple's last year with Motorslowa.. i mean rola. Sure they gave us the G4.. and gave us some of the fastest machines on the planet.. but hey times have changed .. you can only sit and depend on a certain technology for so long..as far as i know motorola gave up on the semiconductor business.. someone help me out if I'm wrong. I look foward to seeing the Power4's little brother in my next machine.. heck.. ill even take that bad boys' little sister.. or who knows maybe someday we'll see some x86 processors in our machines.. but thats an issue for a whole other forum...:D
 

ThomasJefferson

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
428
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Virginia
Power 4

Weel, based on the reports we can expect the Power 4 machines in late 2003. However, I expect the new PowerMac/Power 4 will only be introduced as the PowerMac "Ultimate" machine and the entry level PowerMac will remain a pseudo-G4 variety. If we were starting a price-poll, I would guess a price of about $4000.
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
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All up in your bidness
Why does everyone assume the 970 will be so expensive? There's no reason to believe the 970 will be any more expensive than the G4 is now, and there is every reason to believe that it will be even less expensive given the more efficient manfacturing facilities available and the fact that IBM is not in the financial pisser like Motorola is. Is the Athlon expensive? Will the Clawhammer be expensive? Not really and not really, and neither will the 970.
 

reyesmac

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
373
53
Central Texas
The Power4 cannot be more expensive than the current G4's. Apple cannot risk giving us the power that we should have had by now at a higher price. I really think Apple can and will lower the prices of the Powermacs back to the way they were in the Beige and Blue and White days. If the Power4 is more expensive than the G4, they can hold off on the discounts. If they are cheaper than the G4's or the same price, they can shave $200 off the top I think (If they don't offer a new case design).
Next year can't come soon enough. I hope when the new towers come along the wait will have been worth it. I hope that it won't be like the wait for OS X where the first version was crap and we had to wait a year for the good stuff.
 

jettredmont

macrumors 68030
Jul 25, 2002
2,706
303
Originally posted by reyesmac
The Power4 cannot be more expensive than the current G4's.
Important distinction:

The Power4 can and likely wil be far more expensive than the G4, just like it is now.

The 970, which is based on the Power4's design, should be as cheap or cheaper than current G4s (market dynamics being what they are, I don't expect to see the 970 cheaper than the G4; companies like to pay off their R&D debt more quickly if they can).

The Power4+, of course, as a successor to the Power4, should remain well outside Apple's price range. This processor is interesting only because advances made to the "pro" line of processors will trickle down to the "consumer" line (and, no, "pro" is not PowerMac level ... "pro" is fortune 500 back-room server level).
 

ThomasJefferson

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
428
25
Virginia
pricing

My experiece with Apple pricing, products and marketing, while limited to apple products released since 1984, tells me that with this significant leap in power4 - we will be made to bleed green for the privilege. I won't buy one till the second version comes out anyway. In the meantime, I may consider upgrading from system 7.5.3 to 7.6. Do any of you think 7.6 is a worthy upgrade? I just hate jumping the gun on these things. Motorola Starmax 160!
 

scem0

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2002
7,028
1
back in NYC!
Originally posted by Billicus
Interesting - I see they are targeting Sun with this server. Very smart descision by IMB. :D
That is why I can't wait till apple starts buying its processors
from IBM. Unlike moto, IBM doesn't make bad decisions.
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
5,684
1
LaLaLand, CA
Originally posted by scem0
Unlike moto, IBM doesn't make bad decisions.
Uh, re:"Pirates of Silicone Valley".

Wasn't it IBM who said they didn't care about software, especially operating systems, because the money was in hardware?

On the plus side, if Apple does use the new IBM chip, it will be faster, cheaper, cooler, quieter, and all sorts of other good stuff that will make us drool.
 

asian_prince

macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2002
2
0
PowerPC970

The problem with the PowerPC970 is timing not price or performance (as performance now)
the chip is not more expensive than the Pentium4 as long as the chip production cost are. There are 3 factor that dominate chip price: (in not technical words)
1. Number of chips you can do on a single silicon wafers (a circle of silicon of some size)
2. The persent of good chips you got (yield)
3. The number of chips you build because of fixed costs (run)
Ok look at this chart from arstechnica:

PowerPC 970    Pentium 4    G4e
1.8 GHz       2.8 GHz    1 GHz
0.13um    0.13um    0.18um
121 mm2    131 mm2    106 mm2
52 million    55 million    33 million
1.3v    1.525v    1.6v
42 Watts    68.4 Watts    30 Watts


Ok the important number is the area 121mm<sup>2</sup> from the PowerPC 970 and 131 for the
curret pentium 4, this dominates aspect 1 for the PowerPC 970, yield is a diferent animal but due the conservative timing of the release I doub it will be worse that that of a 1.25ghz capable 7550.
The number of chips is not a problem if apple adopt it.
The real problem is timing a 1.8ghz PowerPC in the late 2H of 2003 will not be compeling, not because of performance but because of ghz. I strongly expect motorola to be at that kind of numbers (in the worse case) or apple will be dead or using other chips by then.
Of course the can go 4way SMP (simetric multiprocesor, 4 cpu machine that use comon memory) or using some form of multi point conection switch.
I am sure IBM will deliber the chip at a higer clock rate than 1.8ghz, they do have been surprasing the target clock in all thier last high power chips (RS64,POWER3,POWER4) but I dont have
enough feith : Intel will get 3.6 to 4.0 by then. Intanium will on 1.5ghz+ range.
It is a great processor, altivect is hurting it on therms of clok and size (altivect is very big) so let see what happens.
NOTE: sorry for the english is not my mother language.
If I whas to technical in some poit tell me I got no problem explaining again,
 

springscansing

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2002
922
0
New York
Originally posted by scem0


That is why I can't wait till apple starts buying its processors
from IBM. Unlike moto, IBM doesn't make bad decisions.
Yeah, their desktop line is doing real well. Shut up scem0.
 

eric_n_dfw

macrumors 68000
Jan 2, 2002
1,507
55
DFW, TX, USA
Originally posted by scem0


That is why I can't wait till apple starts buying its processors
from IBM. Unlike moto, IBM doesn't make bad decisions.
You obviously have never worked with IBM and are too young to remember their OS/2 marketing blunders. What about MicroChannel - another marketing fiasco. Both were, debatably, way ahead of their time, but, IMHO, IBM didn't capitalize on them.
Heck, the fact that the IBM-PC Clone industry put IBM out of the PC business shows me they were pretty short-sided.

Those of us old enough to remember "big blue" in the early 80's (and those of us with APPL shares) may be a bit more hesitant to cheer for Apple to put all their processor eggs in IBM's basket.

I'd like to see Motorola finally step up to the plate and duke this out with IBM. Competition is good.

[edit] Fixed spelling error
 

rasha

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2002
15
0
I am worried about the 970. All the current estimated specs put it on par with the current Pentium 4. Problem is the Pentium $ is here now and still getting faster every moment. The 970 is a long ways off were told.

It does not sound like a miracle chip to me at all. Does not even sound like it will be adequate against the Intel and AMD monsters of late next year.

In the mean time while I wait to see I want Apple to give me a real frikin' computer worth buying. I have wanted to upgrade for quite some time but they all seem the same from many years now. A little more processor power on the same basic motherboard and a new case, iMac or Powermac.

If I can't get a decent chip at least give me a Powermac that has DDR and actually can use it. Hell I can buy $400 piece of crap PCs or even PC notebook computers that have and use DDR. The iMac should be past the current line of Powermac specs (without duals) by now.
 

barkmonster

macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2001
2,123
12
Lancashire
They really need the PPC970 in powerbook

Check out the specs on this PC laptop you can buy for £999 including V.A.T.

Screen size : 15.1" XGA (not very high res for the size)
Graphics Chip : Unknown, has a TV out, doesn't mention dual display capability
Battery life : Unknown, uses Li-ion long life battery
Firewire Ports : Yes
USB Ports : Yes, 4 of them and it's USB 2.0 aswell
RAM : 256Mb DDR, no mention of max ram
HD : 20Gb, no mention of rpm or cache size
CPU : Mobile Athlon XP 1600+
Optical Drive : DVD/CDRW combo drive
Modem : 56K
Ethernet : 10/100
OS : Windows XP
Wi-Fi/Airport : built-in antenna for wireless option
PC Card slot : Unknown

for another £200 you can have the same system with a Mobile Athlon XP 1800+, 512Mb a 40Gb hard disk and an office suite I've never heard of.

£1,549.00 is what you'd pay at the Applestore for an 800Mhz G3 iBook with a 14" XGA screen, 640Mb and a 40Gb HD as a CTO option.

There's no mention of weight or battery life but those alone plus the fact the Mac OS is better than windows XP arn't enough to make even the top of line powerbook competitive, forgot the iBook too, it's not even in the same league as the powerbook till it has at least a G4.

Compared with iBook it's a bargain, compared with the TiBook it's a giveaway.

It could weigh 4Kg, have a worthless graphics chip and really crappy battery life for all I know but for the price it's the closest PC laptop I've ever seen to the specs of the iBook/TiBook.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
Originally posted by i_am_a_cow
what if ibm bought apple . . . :rolleyes:

just a thought for your brain to ponder.
Idle speculation that has been done to death. Please don't revive the discussion. Please!
 

fourthtunz

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2002
1,165
627
Maine
Re: They really need the PPC970 in powerbook

Originally posted by barkmonster
Check out the specs on this PC laptop you can buy for £999 including V.A.T.
Compared with iBook it's a bargain, compared with the TiBook it's a giveaway.
Yeah but its running windoz! Good luck with the firewire on that one!
:confused:
Daniel
 

Frobozz

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,127
58
South Orange, NJ
Market prices

Some have suggested that the Power4 will be much more expensive than the G4. While this willbe true for a short period of time, it won't last.

First, the G4 was much more expensive than the G3 when it was introduced. Any new processor will be more expensive than the one that preceeded it until demand increases and cost per unit comes down.

Second, Apple knows the Power4, aka "G5" will be more expensive at first. They won't charge more for the machines than they do now. Enough people will be chomping at the bit to get one that the volume will be much higher than before. This will absorb the higher costs by selling more units. By selling more units, and creating more demand, the price per unit will drop when they are ordered from IBM. IBM is also an AIM partner with a vested interest in the price being right.

Third, Apple is much smarter than we arm-chair CEO's. They know what they are doing and they know when to strike the iron. Look at the market now. They aren't losing any customers-- they're gaining them. They're also moving away from event based product releases to help relax their r&d/production cycles. When the Power4 based Macs come out, around july to september of 2003 IMHO, the market will be ready for them.