Power8

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by thunng8, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    For all power/PowerPC enthusiasts out there:

    IBM just gave details of their upcoming power8 chip

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/27/ibm_power8_server_chip/?page=1

    It is a monster with approx 2.5x the performance of the Power7+ chip (which is already faster than any intel chip)

    This chip would eat the upcoming 12 core Xeon chip in the Mac Pro for lunch.
     
  2. blueTattoo macrumors member

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    Jul 12, 2013
    #2
    At last!
    That thing really just made 12-core xeon in the new Mac pro look like a lost kitten.

    Xeon E5/ Power8

    cores: 12/ 12

    threads per core: 2/ 8

    L2 cache,per core, KB: 256/ 512

    L3 cache, MB: 30/ 96

    Memory bandwidth, GB/s: 60/ 230

    Pure awesomeness: 0/ 10+


    :cool:
     
  3. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #3
    Very cool, however don't expect to see these in any Personal level computing device, ever.

    They're pretty similar to Intels Itanium line.
     
  4. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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  5. thunng8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    You never know since IBM is now open to licensing its cores.

    They should have done this a long time ago.

    http://www.zdnet.com/ibms-openpower-consortium-with-nvidia-google-aims-to-advance-datacenter-7000019052/

    ----------

    And if those performance claims are to be believed then it is around 3x the performance compared to the 12 core Xeon
     
  6. blueTattoo, Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013

    blueTattoo macrumors member

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    #6
    Very true, however, as thunng8 already pointed out, with recently announced OpenPOWER Consortium there is some hope. The basic idea is that IBM will license the technology, just like ARM.

    Hypothetically, a company like Apple could design it's own core around the latest PowerISA, and throw out everything that is not needed. Here we go, an alternative to the much rumored ARM Macs. Not saying it's gonna happen. But the benefits are exiting- just think about it- already high-performance architecture, which can be combined with different ip's like gpu's and x264 accelerators, on the same die. Nvidia, PowerVR, Apple's own rumored gpu architecture- you name it- and I suspect a deal with AMD is in the realm of possibility. I also mentioned video decoding hardware, since, while Intel did a great job with cpu power consumption, and macbook air is even beating the Ipad in browsing battery life, video playback is still quite far behind.

    That's the actual benefit of Apple eventually switching Macs to ARM, not cpu core power consumption, or convergence with I-devices- using the best technology available now, and not be tied to Intel's roadmap. But scaling ARM up the performance envelope may prove to be an uphill battle, and I imagine will also be dependent on ARM holding itself. Power on the other hand is already there.

    All of that is, of course, just food for thought. I can't imagine Apple ditching x86 anytime soon, but if they decide to show Intel the middle finger, or some other company is interested in high-performance, consumer-oriented computing, the solution is here.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    P.S.
    Oops, sorry- I just did, actually. :D
     
  7. ViennaXP macrumors newbie

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    #7
    I would love to build a power8 computer...
    Actually... would OS X 10.5 PPC run on later generations of the powerpc architecture like Power8?
     
  8. thunng8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    It should be able to run .. Main problem would be the firmware. 10.5 ppc build would would not recognize the machine.
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #9
    It will not. Even though it's a PowerPC, it's the wrong kind. No different than trying to get Leopard running on a Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3. Even though it's a PowerPC, it won't run.
     
  10. thunng8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    No such thing as wrong kind. PowerPC is PowerPC. Only reason it will not run is the firmware.

    For example, previously the powerpc build of one of the linux build (cannot remember which one) can run on Powermac G5 or the PS3. What was needed was for that build to recognize and be able to use the firmware of the PS3.
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    There is such a thing as a wrong kind in the world of PowerPC. There's the Apple 601-G5 PowerPC then there's the Power7 and now Power8. The two cannot run the same binary without it being recompiled. Just like an ARM6 CPU cannot run an ARM7 binary. While a Linux build may be able to do it, it still needs to be recompiled first.
     
  12. 53kyle macrumors 65816

    53kyle

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    #12
    Really it isn't just the firmware, that can be easily fixed. The real problem is the drivers that wouldn't be included in 10.5, similar to how there are no ivy or haswell drivers in snow leopard.
     
  13. alexrmc92 macrumors regular

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    #13
    Not entirely true. Open Firmware allows drivers to be integrated into the firmware and to be universal across multiple hardware architectures and software platforms.
     
  14. thunng8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    They are 100% binary compatible. Power7 implements Power ISA 2.06 which is a superset used by the G5 aka PowerPC 970 (v2.03).

    Here is the statement of binary compatible on IBM servers:

    http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/software/aix/compatibility/

    Note that Power7 even runs Power4 binaries which uses an even older ISA than the PowerPC 970.
     
  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #15
    The Power7 chip alone costs $900. Does anyone think of a way to build a consumer PC at a reasonable price based on a processor that costs $900?
     
  16. alexrmc92 macrumors regular

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    #16
    The xeons used in the mac pro cost more retail, not that we will see apple go back to PPC anyways.
     
  17. ViennaXP macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I would build one... It would make a great rendering machine. Well actually it wouldn't be the perfect rendering machine, because there is no Operating System for PPC which supports 3D Applications or Adobe After Effects.
     
  18. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #18
    POWER isn't as ridiculously faster as many people think:
    http://www.qdpma.com/benchmarks/benchmarks_spec.html

    Yes, there are certain tasks where it is MUCH faster than even the fastest Xeon system - but it uses a *LOT* more power, and is much more expensive.

    You can easily get a more-powerful-overall cluster of Intel systems for cheaper and drawing roughly the same (or less) power. Even direct from IBM.

    Don't get me wrong, for certain markets, POWER does kick ass over Intel, but we aren't going to slap a POWER8 or a derivative into a Power Mac chassis and be so much better than a Xeon-based Mac Pro to make it worthwhile. Especially with IBM having given up on the lower-power workstation market in favor of the ultra-high-end server market.
     
  19. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #19
    They are pretty cool, but the Xeon and Power chips are two totally different beasts. As you mention.

    Thats where I'm wondering, Power is nice stuff.

    But in the super high end market?

    We'll see if it can compete with this bad boy.

    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/itanium/itanium-processor-9000-sequence.html

    Its supposed to be the next big thing on mainframes, and large data centers. These chips cost anywhere from 1400 dollars, up to nearly 10,000 dollars per processor. I don't think POWER is any cheaper.

    These are not chips you see in anything personal lol.
     
  20. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #20
    *ahem*
    [​IMG]

    That's a quad-socket Itanium (four Itanium 9150M, 32 GB RAM, 2x400 GB 15K RPM SAS drives, 2x1 TB 7200 RPM SATA drives,) sitting under my Apple ][c, which I use as a serial terminal for it.

    I don't turn the Itanium on very often. While it is the top-of-the-line of the previous-generation of Itanium chip (and it was the "current" top-of-the-line Itanium when I got it, about a month before the current generation came out,) to put it lightly, it's crap. In floating point, the thing Itanium is best at, is is DESTROYED by even a mid-range GPU. (I ran a comparison using SETI@Home a few years ago - a single GeForce GTX285 was about 100x faster than this Itanium system.)

    Even the current-generation Itanium really isn't that impressive, sadly. (I worked for Intel when the Itanium was first coming out, and had high hopes for it - now it's alive almost solely due to HP.)
     
  21. blueTattoo macrumors member

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    #21
    The benchmarked Power7 is a quad core. I imagine these are quite competitive on TDP basis. Eight core chips, sure, they go to 200+ Watts, and are correspondingly more powerful.
     
  22. thunng8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Single threaded integer is not a strong point of Power7. The latest Haswell will beat it. Power8 should change that though as IBM is claiming a 60% increase in single threaded performance per core (100% when using multithreading) compared to Power7

    Not really a lot more power. IBM does not disclose how much power the CPU uses but does disclose how much their systems use

    http://www-912.ibm.com/see/EnergyEstimator

    A p730 model with 2x4.2ghz Power7+ CPUs with 8 cores each uses 341w at 100% load. At worst each Power7+ processor is using 170w which is only slightly higher than 130w for Intel's server processors and Power7+ is a lot faster in server workloads than intel Xeons.
     
  23. thunng8 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Lol. Itanium. A truly dreadful processor. May it rest in peace.
     
  24. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #24
    Well assuming Power8 is really binary compatible to PPC you should atleast be able to run 10.4/5 under MacOnLinux.
     
  25. rjcalifornia macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

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    #25
    How did you? How could you? Where did you?

    What's the use for that set up?
     

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