PowerPC Systems

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by RichardBeer, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. RichardBeer macrumors regular

    RichardBeer

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    Jul 11, 2009
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    England
    #1
    I was just curious as to whether the PowerPC architecture is still used by any PC manufacturers nowadays? A search on the internet turned up nothing and as far as I am aware all computer manufacturers only ship x86 CPUs nowadays.

    The only systems I am aware of that use PowerPC in the consumer computer markets are the old pre 05' Macintosh computers.

    Consoles seem to be using them these days however.

    Thanks
     
  2. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #2
    PowerPC is a traditional real-time industrial platform.
     
  3. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    May 7, 2006
    #3
    IBM had several lines of workstations in the 90s that used PPC; additionally, there were a couple of ThinkPads that were PPC (and VERY costly). In standalone computers, you won't see PPC in many mainstream current machines. They died out about the same time most non-X86 workstations died out (think SGI Octane etc...). It used to be you'd have specialized hardware to run 3D modeling/CAD software...an old employer used to have a Boeing-surplus SGI machine on every desk in his office...but once things like CATIA etc started having Windows versions, the need disappeared in a hurry. These were low-volume, high-priced machines.

    However: PPC is everywhere, not just in game consoles. For example, the F35 fighter jet uses them, as do many pieces of enterprise-level networking hardware. Oh, and embedded systems in many cars are PPC-based.
     
  4. RichardBeer thread starter macrumors regular

    RichardBeer

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    #4
    Oh I see. Does this mean that x86 is superior for general purpose computing? Or is it simply a matter of production cost? I remember reading that Apple's official reason for the Intel switch was that Intel's x86 units gave superior performance per watt when compared to PPC.
     
  5. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #5
    What makes you think they don't anymore ? ;)


    Compatibility. Intel just got big over the years and everyone wrote for their architecture.
     
  6. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #6
    It no longer makes any difference. We're all moving to ARM anyway. ;)
     
  7. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    Jan 11, 2007
    #7
    With a Power 755 system and a 220V feed - I could kick butt on Folding - AND - heat my entire home for the winter!

    I'd love to heat my home from waste heat recovered from useful work being down, however it pains me - a furnace and gas bill likely will be loads cheaper.

    If someone wants to donate, and don't mind the system not operating for 8 months out of the year.... :D
     
  8. sysiphus, Jun 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011

    sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    #8
    Ugh, that's what I get for not doing research before I post. I thought their POWER machines were now pretty much limited to server duty. My mistake. Still, IBM is no longer a PC manufacturer any more, and those workstations are not something an individual is really going to have a use for/ability to practically use it.

    That, and the acceleration of 3D graphics on PCs--all manner of specialized applications used to be only doable on specialized workstations until good OpenGL support showed up on PCs. My personal example is CATIA, since my work has led me there many times; as recent as V4 (used by Boeing to design the 777), there was no Windows version, only UNIX and IBM mainframe. By V5, mainstream hardware running on far-cheaper Windows-based machines (still more than a cheap mail-order Dell, but in the 1-3K range instead of double or triple that) could do the same work, and Windows support was justifiable. All of the sudden, demand for those specialized IBM, Sun, and SGI boxes plummeted in the industry (and likely beyond, but I can't speak with any authority there). Heck, for V6, UNIX support is gone, altogether. That pretty much speaks for itself. (To put this in perspective, each major version of CATIA is a big deal; seats for that program are generally in the $20k range, and can go up from there)
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    Don't forget the PS3 uses IBM's Cell architecture being used which is a PowerPC chip.
     
  10. RawBert, Jun 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011

    RawBert macrumors 68000

    RawBert

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    #11
    IBM's Watson and Blue Gene (#9 fastest supercomputer) both use PowerPC architecture.
    Also, Wii U.
     
  11. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Folding space
    #12
    Apple moved from the PPC chips to Intel because Motorola wasn't capable ( or willing ) to keep up with Intel. The last Moto PPC system from Apple was the G5 Quad. Great system, but it needed four cooling zones with nine seperate fans and a water cooled cpu. Not ready for prime time in laptops or desktop (iMac) systems.

    PowerMac G5 DP (quad)

    Dale
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #13
    Actually apple dropped moto when they went to the G5 and it was all IBM at that point. It was IBM that was able to produce a mobile G5 for apple nor could they break the 3Ghz barrier that Jobs proclaimed would fall a year after the introduction of the G5. Then there were yield/quality problems which plagued apple from getting the G5 in quantities they needed.
     

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