Rumor Wrapup - Rackmounts and Beyond

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by arn, May 14, 2002.

  1. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    After each Apple event, we like to look back over the rumors which yielded accurate information, as well as reevaluate the current rumor scene.

    The biggest news happened today, when Apple released XServe, their first rackmount server. Rumors of the rackmount server began back in May 2001 (ThinkSecret), and were recently revived.

    In an otherwise unreported Studio Summit, Architosh reported on chief "wants" amongst the Hollywood studios from Apple. The "wants" listed included 1U or 2U rack-mountable servers, 'best of breed' graphics performance, duals and quads. It seems Apple may have been partially addressing these 'wants' with Quartz Extreme, and the XServe

    The most significant revelation today was the release of DDR/266 capable motherboards. The DDR prototype motherboard which appeared on ebay two weeks ago confirmed what many had suspected. (Note, it was not the same motherboard as the XServe) The rumored MWNY PowerMac Specs are also validated with XServe's release... though the PowerMac rumors specified DDR 333Mhz chips.

    iBooks and 10.1.5 remain in the "any day now" category of rumors, but it should be noted that XServe will ship with Mac OS X Server 10.1.5 in June.
  2. G4scott macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX

    At least my user name is not out of style yet :D

    I love em allready... Tomorrow, I'm going to march into the IT guy's office at my school with some data sheets, and try to convince them to switch my school's network from their crappy dell's to xServes... Then, i'm going for the motherload, the whole school on Macs... The odds are against me, but oh well... iHave my iBook :D

    And for the first person who complains about them being too expensive for education, you can walk out the door right now, because we (or at least I...) don't want to here it. You can also see my previous post here ...
  3. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    So we know that the pro towers are getting DDR RAM (finally), but what flavor? I'm assuming that the towers will have better specs, outside of networking and storage. We know the processor has to be faster, but what about the bus and Ram?

    Or will the towers have a modified version of the same basic motherboard, dropping the extra ATA controllers and adding more PCI slots and maybe bluetooth? It would be pretty cool to get a redesigned case with something like the 1U form factor. A super-slim tower, barely the width of a DVD drive. I like the idea of having hot-swappable drive bays and a firewire port in the front like the 1U case.
  4. arn thread starter macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001

    all we've got so far...

  5. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR

    ...the servers still have a 133MHz Single Data Rate FSB. That means that all the DDR is going to do is reduce latency a little, and allow for better DMA.
  6. Wry Cooter macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2002
    Speaking of accuracy of rumors, I thought some wishful thinking at Architosh the day before the Xserve announcement was 'remarkable'

    How about these apples?:

    The New G5 Server: Godfrey's Guess

    * 4 - MPC PPC 8540 CPU's at 1GHz (that's 4 G5's folks)
    * 2 - MPC PPC 7455 CPU's at 1 GHz (that's 2 G4 Apollo chips)
    * 1 - Tundra Tsi500: RapidIO 6 Port Switch
    * 2 - Tundra Tsi890: PowerPC Universal Interconnect Switch (Northbridge)
    * 2 - TI 1394b OHCI controllers (64bit 66mhz PCI)
    * 2 - KeyLargo ASIC's (Southbridge, USB, IDE, ATI/100)
    * 1- PMU99 Power Management Controller

    The system above would have:

    * 13,000 MIPS for PowerPC Server Applications
    * 6 - PCI-X - PCI 64/66 Controllers (up to 24 PCI slots)
    * 6 - DDR 333mhz Memory Controllers (up to 16 Gigabytes/sec I/O)
    * 12 - Gigabit Ethernet Ports (built-in Gigabit Hub/Router)
    * 12 - Serial Ports
    * 24 - DMA Controllers
    * 4 - USB 1.0 ports
    * 6 - 1394b 800Mbps FireWire ports (FireWire Raid 0/1/5/5+Hotswap)
    * 2 - IDE/ATAPA ports
    * 2 - IDE/Ultra ATA 100 ports (IDE Raid 0/1)
  7. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    But again this is based on intelligent speculation, which doesn't really mean much. It sounds good, but the G5 he's talking about is a non Alti-Vec imbedded market chip - called G5 just because its one of Motorola's 85xx. The true G5, when it comes out, should be Alti-Vec compliant, I hope.

    As for today's announcement, it was wonderful. It allows Apple to compete in the server market in the heavy weight division and shows us that the new PPC Desktops should be right around the corner.
  8. MOM macrumors member


    May 14, 2002
    San Francisco
    Re: Slim towers. I agree that the new servers suggest that new towers may not have to be so large. It would be great to see them shrink. There is not always room under desks for the towers, or even a desk to put them under. In the research labs I've seen the towers often end up on desks or stuffed behind microscopes etc. Any reduction in size would help. The new imac solves the problem for some, but many folks want the power and expandability of a tower. Think Thin-a slogan for MWNY?

  9. mac15 macrumors 68040

    Dec 29, 2001
    MOM you are right the towers are huge
    maybe if apple could make tham a cube shape again :D :D :D :D
    hahahahah......Oh god I hope not
  10. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    dude, that's beyond rumors. That's just plain crazy. Who in their right mind would mix and match processors like that? This Godfrey dude has been smoking some whack-@ss stuff, and I can't believe Architosh would bother printing this wild fantasy as "educated guess." Sorry, not even Spymac could've cook that up.
  11. Macette macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2002
    towers are cuddly

    Yes, huge... but strangely cuddly. I still, after three years sharing a room with my lovely G3 tower, like to pat its little top and feel its weight when i lift it with its industry-leading handles...

    xxx (those are for my G3)

    Still, a couple of those 3D model mock-ups on some site that somebody posted somewhere up here sometime (oh, be specific) were small and cute and small and not unlike a grand version of my BEAUTIFUL iPod.


    iThink, therefore iPod
  12. Beej macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2002
    Buffy's bedroom
    Re: towers are cuddly

    I don't think I've ever heard a computer called "cuddly" - not even a Mac. Sounds like you have an unhealthy relationship with your Mac... perhaps we could meet up some time! ;p Heh heh...
  13. mac15 macrumors 68040

    Dec 29, 2001
    I think he has fine realtionship wth his computer
    perople get that way with cars and boats....whats the difference
    its a computer and its more fun
  14. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    I would love to see a server tower full of them! SO MUCH power! So is the system bus 133 or 266?
  15. arn thread starter macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    My understanding at this point is that...

    The G4 still doesn't fully support DDR... so it talks to the rest of the system at 133 mhz.

    The System controller talks between the ethernet, drives and RAM at an effective DDR rate of 266mhz.

    So, there is some performance benefit... but not as much as there should be.

  16. Macette macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2002
    Hey! I'm a girl! What's all this 'he' business?
    You should check out the 'Women and Macs' thread - there are at least, like, three others like me out there...

    PS - Good to see the other Aussies out there. Where should we get ipod cases? (sorry.. shouldn't muck around w/ this thread anymore than i already have)
  17. locovaca macrumors regular

    May 14, 2002
    While the system controller's bus to the ram is running at 266 mhz, the ethernet card, IDE (ATA) controller, and the rest of the PCI bus at 33 mhz (since this is the defined PCI specification).

    DMA will be helped to a small degree- while the harddrive, ethernet card, etc. do use some bandwidth, a very large amount of it still goes to the CPU, and at most the PCI bus is only using about 1/20th of the memory bus (pci bus: 33 mhz*32bit/8=133 megs/sec bandwidth; memory bus: 133 mhz* 64 bit /8 * 2 ddr= 2.1 gigs/sec bandwidth)., where as with SDR ram it uses only 1/10th. DDR won't be as effective as it could be unless they make the g4's FSB a 133mhz DDR (or higher), which probably won't happen until the g5.

    In other words, it'll "help" the PCI bus by having more bandwidth to the memory controller, but very little of the PCI bus goes directly to the memory controller to start with that taking away the competition will only provide a minimal increase. I think DDR won't be important in single processor g4's, but will be in dual g4's. If they were to assign each processor it's own 133mhz bus to the memory controller you would potentially see a large performance increase with each processor effectively having it's own ram bus (DDR: 266 mhz, each cpu: 133mhz).
  18. OSeXy! macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2002
    London (or virtually here)
    Sounds like the FSB continues to be the Mac's Achilles Heel (no wonder Steve looked a bit 'hunted' at the launch).

    Isn't the rumored PPC 7500 meant to fix this? I know some people call that chip the G5, but I'm still not on that wagon...

    Also: too bad there's no FireWire2 on the server. I'm still hoping for this at MWNY, but my expectations are dwindling.
  19. ot13r32 macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2002
    If you mean full DDR memory bus, perhaps this is true
    for the applications you have in mind. I work with audio,
    and the performance of my applications is, under
    rather generic circumstances, limited by the total memory
    bandwidth. A single G4 processor is capable of maxing
    out its memory bandwidth with pipelined altivec
    instructions at somewhere around 500MHz. In practice,
    both the processor and memory bus are running at
    lower efficiency.

    In any case, from my perspective, the overwhelming
    performance advantage of the non-apple PC world is the
    faster memory architecture.
  20. OSeXy! macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2002
    London (or virtually here)
    I didn't mean to sound so negative in my last post!

    I think the new machines are great and am really looking forward to MWNY (I'm ready for a new computer!).

    Just think this single, persistent weakness in the current G4's architecture is strange.
  21. drastik macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2002
    Your right, the bus issue is strange, and its unlike apple to leave such an obvious flaw untouched. We can only hope that Jobs has a bunch of gnomes running around the silicon basement cooking up new and better architecture, something groundbreaking, like firewire.
  22. Backtothemac macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2002
    San Destin Florida
    As far as the rumor rap up is concerned. I would have to say that it was very good. With the exception of Architosh, all of the specs were realistic, and pretty much dead on. I would have loved to see Firewire 2 though, and I am still hearing that it will debut in July. Also, the bus issue that everyone is so bent out of shape about. Get over it. This is the first step in a series of great things to come. Patience young Skywalker. ;)
  23. eric_n_dfw macrumors 65816


    Jan 2, 2002
    DFW, TX, USA
    No DDR on G4?

    Can anyone point me to a url where the inability for the G4 to use DDR or a faster FSB is documented?

    This forum is the only place I've heard it and it's always in to form of "I've heard that...". I want to know where you've "heard it" from.
  24. OSeXy! macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2002
    London (or virtually here)
    Re: No DDR on G4?

    It's in Motorola's specs:

    For example, on the the current g4 7455/7445, Motorola indicates that the bus speed is 133MHz.

    I think this has been true of the entire G4 line, so far.

    But The Register says:

    "According to Motorola sources, a tweaked version of the Apollo 7450 G4, the 7470, will be ready for volume production shortly after the end of Q2, in time for a summer ramp. The 7470 will be manufactured on a 0.13 micron process, allowing for a smaller die size with room for 512K of L2 cache, and support up to 4MB of DDR-SDRAM L3 cache.

    The 7470 supports a modified bus protocol, MPX+, which supports double data transfer and which should effectively run at 266Mhz according to sources."

    So, that's what I'm going on...

    Anyone else?
  25. Zenith macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2001
    I believe the PCI bus is 64-bit, 33 Mhz. That means 266 MBps bandwith.

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