iMac G5 Blowers = No PowerBook G5

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Toe, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. Toe macrumors 65816


    Mar 25, 2002
    Well, if you take apart an iMac G5, you can see why there will be no PowerBook G5 in the near future.

    Most of the bulk of the iMac is dedicated to cooling. The iMac is pretty large because the screen is pretty large, but that does not account for all of it. Not only is it quite thick, but it has over four inches of white space on the bottom. A large chunk of that white space is taken by blowers and vents... as is a nice chunk of the top.

    Until there's a cooler G5 or a smaller liquid cooling system, I'm not going to hold my breath for a portable G5. I doubt this is news to anyone, but hope springs eternal... and the new iMac should help quash that hope for a while. :rolleyes:
  2. coconn06 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2003
    King of Prussia, PA

    Now everyone read this and understand, and stop talking about how the PowerBook G5 is just around corner... :)
  3. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    heh. . . now if G5 powerbook dreamers would realize this! i would love to see a G5 in a powerbook (especially once Tiger comes out) but at the rate G5s are going it will be a while before they can be cool enough . . . well it might fit. . . but then the G5 PB would look more like a giant pentium laptop that you can see through the 3" thick laptop as you look through the cooling blades from one side to the next!
  4. Elan0204 macrumors 65816


    Apr 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I'd also like to add my agreement. The iMac is a lot bigger than a 1 inch thick PowerBook, and the cooling system in the iMac would never work or fit in a PowerBook. Apple took advantage of the fact that the iMac is vertically oriented and that heat rises to develop a cooling systems that still requires 3 large fans.

    On a side note, I tried booting my iMac from a copy of X.3.5 that I had on an external hard drive, and got to hear the fans at full speed. The copy of X.3.5 was the backup of my PowerBook's hard drive, and while it did boot the iMac, it had some trouble doing so, and also didn't have the iMac fan control system built-in. Since the iMac didn't know how to control the fans under that version of OS X, they just ramped up to full speed. At full speed, the fans are pretty loud. I was very surprised to hear how loud they can get since I had never heard them ramp up more than a tiny bit. It is worth noting, however, that I have not heard the fans ramp up more than a little in normal use, and that was only when I was playing a game for several hours.
  5. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Stop going on about your iMac G5 that you already have you [lucky] bastard! :D :p ;)

    Some of us are still in the queue!!!!
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    The Power5-UL should have some additional powersaving features, along with some automatic thermal management that would make it a better choice for portables than the PPC970FX.

    That's if the Power5-UL carries over the Power5's new powersaving/thermal management features.
  7. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    I think that Apple should go the same route as Intel, and develop a separate line of chips for portables. It just seems that using older (or underclocked) desktop chips in your laptops isn't the way to go anymore.
  8. Toe thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 25, 2002
    Blowers, not fans

    Just to clarify, the iMac G5 has blowers, not fans.

    I started a thread in hardware to give the details.
  9. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    I agree that it's looking like another line of chips needs to be developed for portables. But until that's done, which would take years of work, they'll need to have something happening... My guess is that they've been working on some sort of liquid cooling for powerbooks for many months now, and that will eventually allow a G5 powerbook. But I don't think they'll be ready to unveil the book until maybe, spring at earliest... could be much later than that. Until then, let's hope they can squeeze a revision or two out of the G4.

  10. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
  11. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    Actually no. Most of that white space is taken up by the power supply and speaker.

    I don't dispute the fact that it's super difficult to cram in a G5 into a 1-inch form-factor, but I don't think you should look at the situation in the iMac and equate it to the PowerBook. Remember that the desktop G4s had huge heatsinks and fans too, way bigger than what's in the iMac. But they managed to cram the G4 into a 12" PowerBook. Laptops are very different beasts:

    -no power supply
    -smaller, slower HDs
    -slower GPU
    -slower bus
    -slower optical drives
    -smaller, less-bright LCDs

    Actually if you look at how much space is needed to cool the processor compared to other components, it's actually not that much. No doubt Apple has some tricks up its sleeves...
  12. Seanb23 macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Many, many people have been saying this for a long time. It seems that both Intel's and AMD's laptop chip lines are evolving at a much faster rate than standard windoze desktops. And it's no joke...the top of the line PC laptops I have seen recently just blow the Powerbooks out of the water speedwise. It's sad, really.

    Maybe it's also a matter of pride, on top of lackluster hardware suppliers and a complete lack of funding for things such a seperate Apple laptop hardware R&D team.

    "We SAID we're gonna cram a G5 into those Powerbooks, and damn it, we're GONNA, even if it takes IBM 5 years and costs us tens of thousands of customers ! Who cares if the entirety of the state-of-the-art laptop industry has switched paths ?"
  13. Toe thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 25, 2002
    But I don't remember them having to deploy liquid cooling systems or software-controlled arrays of blowers in the G4 towers just to keep them cool enough. The G5 seems to pose a new engineering challenge in terms of heat.

    Apple and the chip-makers seem adept at overcoming those challenges eventually, but from all the thought that went into cooling the iMac G5, Xserve G5, and G5 tower, I don't see a G5 laptop coming in 2005.
  14. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    I always learn something when I read your posts. I also feel more ignorant than I did before I read them. You vast knowledge impresses me ;)

    edesignuk: I think that avatar is my favorite yet.
  15. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    There will never be a Powerbook G5 as in the G5 used in today's desktops. It will have to be a Power5-UL or something like it. The G5 will probably be considered an inexpensive desktop processor in about a year. If it's cheaper than the G4 today, it will make it's way to the lowest priced Mac when IBM can keep up with the demand and the Powerbooks get their new processors.

Share This Page