If Apple stayed with IBM PowerPC

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by 76ShovelHead, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. 76ShovelHead macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #1
    I'm sure this has been discussed several times, but here it goes again.

    I've been feeling nostalgic and decided to take a look at Apple.com back in 2002. I noticed it saying that the PowerPC with its AltiVec was like three times faster than pentium 3, and all other x86 processors.

    My G4 1.42 is still pretty fast, far better than the old Compaq Presario V4000 (1.67 Pentium Centrino I believe) it replaced.

    SO... Anyone know what's been happening over at IBM with PowerPC since the switch?
     
  2. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

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  3. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

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    #3
    If you take a peak at IBM's website, you can find that a lot of their servers/clusters use Power7 processors.
     
  4. rjcalifornia macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

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    #4
    May be we would be using an iBook G5 or a macbook Pro G5 :)
     
  5. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    #5
    No. No matter what happened, the G5 would not go into a laptop. Period. Tim Cook called putting it into a laptop the "Mother of All Thermal Challenges". It would be a better grill than a laptop. The steps to deal with the heat would be huge, pointless compromises -
    [​IMG]

    Besides, they would call it the Powerbook G5. ;)
     
  6. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    And I'd be saying why are you on those ancient things, Apple has just released the G11!
     
  7. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #7
    I think a large part of Apple's current success is the ability to run Windows software natively, whether it's used or not. People like the security of knowing they can do it if they have to.
     
  8. rjcalifornia macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

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    #8
    LOL I know but it was just a dream... just a dream...
     
  9. 76ShovelHead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    76ShovelHead

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    #9
    Yikes. I never realized how hot these processors got... Maybe it was good Apple switched. Still, I liked the PowerPC.
     
  10. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

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    #10
    Why people say they "like" PowerPC? What benefits does it have? Since we all know G5 ran hot and had hard time matching what Intel and AMD had to offer, AMD at the time was very strong with their Athlon 64 and Opteron offerings, nowadays Intel is course the king. PowerPC architecture brought Apple many problems before, with Motorola not being able to scale processors higher so Apple was kinda force to put dual processor models out, still those models lost to similar or even bit lower priced dual Athlon XP machines.

    The only thing I can imagine people miss is Apple thinking different, having "their own" CPU. Some of the machine designs of the PPC era are of course cool as well.

    Still, Macbook Air with IBM's server chip? I don't think so.
     
  11. SuperJudge macrumors 6502

    SuperJudge

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    #11
    Well, there's the Altivec/Velocity Engine/VMX thing. If you got a program that's optimized to make use of that instruction set (like Photoshop/Pro Tools/Logic/Final Cut/&c.), you'll get a better return on your CPU cycle. This doesn't matter so much these days, but it was kind of a big deal way back when.

    Outside of Altivec optimized software? I got nothin'.
     
  12. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    You mustn't have heard of the 7448 CPU or the e600/MPC86xx series of CPUs or the PWRficient G5 .
     
  13. Muscle Master macrumors 6502a

    Muscle Master

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    #13
    I haven't.. i'm in a mood to get school:D
     
  14. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    From wikipedia:

    See here also: PowerPC e600
     
  15. Zotaccian, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012

    Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

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    #15
    I have, 7448 was single core with 200Mhz FSB. Introduced in 2005, don't know when it was actually shipping but in January 2006 Intel was already shipping Core Duo with 667Mhz FSB. I'm pretty sure Core Duo did offer more performance per watt than 7448. Intel also had low voltage versions, U2500 for example having 9W TDP, still dual core.

    In 2008, there was MPC8641D, dual core 1.5GHz, by that Intel had released couple different iterations of Core -processors. I don't know what is the TDP for P7500 Apple used in Macbook Air but the older Core Duo L2500 had 15W TDP. Also if I think the desktop market, Intel had Core 2 Quad / Xeon, was there any offerings from Freescale to compete with these? IBM probably had something which would have to be placed inside a freezer to keep it operational.

    I'm pretty sure Intel just offered the right kind of performance and reliability what the PowerPC offerings lacked. With Gx -processors Apple faced supply, performance and heat problems, it was better to go with the leader in PC processors to avoid problems.

    EDIT:

    PPC 7448 @ 2GHz: http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/142257
    Core Duo L2500 TDP 15W @ 1.83GHz: http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/search?q=Core+Duo+L2500
    Core Duo U2500 TDP 9W @ 1.2GHz: http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/search?utf8=✓&q=Core+Duo+U2500
     
  16. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    #16
    Too little, too late.
     
  17. Lancer macrumors 68020

    Lancer

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    #17
    My G5 tower is like a radiator heater, in the winter it's nice to have under the desk, summer not so much.
     
  18. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    #18
    I have been asked to move my G5 upstairs and downstairs based on the seasons! :D
     
  19. rjcalifornia macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

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    #19
    oh wow :O
     
  20. Smithcraft macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I'm sure we all remember AIM. Apple IBM Motorola.

    When A dropped out of the equation, well before the switch to Intel CPUs, that left I and M. IBM went with customers that would pay, like Microsoft(XBox360) and Sony(PS3). Motorola went to the embedded market.

    The 360 has a triple core PPC, and the PS3 is an 11 core PPC. Both run over 3 GHz.

    The benefit of the PPC over the Intel chipset was price. Seemed like everyone was saying Macs would be cheaper using Intel CPUs and chipsets, but many became more expensive and suddenly had Intel chipset issues.

    I'm not sure what would have happened with software development, but I think we would be getting OS X apps instead of ported Windows apps that work like ported Windows apps.

    SC
     
  21. goMac macrumors 603

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    #21
    In the meantime Intel processors have adopted a module that's basically the same thing as Altivec. This happened around the Pentium 4. Apple even has a nice API that let's you do your Altivec stuff accelerated on Intel chips as well in case your app is Universal.

    Altivec hasn't offered an advantage for PowerPC for a long time.
     
  22. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #22
    Do you remember what it was like with PowerPC? We still got ported apps. In some areas I think a continuation of PowerPC would have simply resulted in fewer apps. Games would be one area. Even with Apple's growth in recent years, I doubt it would have been enough to encourage smaller game developers. The idevices are different in that regard. Their numbers are immense.
     
  23. rjcalifornia macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

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    #23
    Yes, the new team was STI (Sony, Toshiba, IBM) which led to the Cell Processor that powers the PS3 and their cousin that powers the Xbox 360.

    Too bad Apple switched to Intel... It was a fun ride.
     
  24. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

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    #24
    Yes..

    Too bad indeed :) I would have liked to see a more modern PowerPC based Mac of today try to compete with the current Intel chips. I am in no way against Intel, just don't like the monopoly they have and shutting others, like AMD out in the cold.

    PowerPC was a challenge to the status quo of the day. In the end, however, PowerPC was more efficient and had less pipelines compared to Intel's architecture. While the days of PowerPC are over, the architecture is still much better in design over Intel's.

    Now, if we can only get Vmware or Parallels to support a PowerPC emulated OS, this would be nice.


     
  25. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #25
    It's funny, beacuse scores you've picked to compare actually tell nothing. You want to compare dual core chip to single core.
    You should have to pick this one, for instance: http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/374595, dual core vs dual processor.
    Now look closer at scores. See where biggest difference is – memory performance. Lenovo laptops from your link mostly run 667 MHz bus, Cube with dual 7448 only 100 MHz. Integer and floating point performance of dual 7448 @100 MHz bus is on par with equally clocked Intel CD @667 bus. Not so bad. Check yourself.
    BTW, 7448's TDP was <15W @1.5 GHz.
    Such MPC8641D would be quite suitable for PowerBook – 600 MHz bus, PCIe support. I bet that it would perform very well in OS X.
    Today it's still in use: http://emea.kontron.com/industries/military/advancedtca++advancedmc/advancedmc/am4100.html

    Back on topic, if Apple wouldn't move to Intel, they wouldn't gain that much users from Windows side like they did.
     

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