The 5GHz "G6" CPU...

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Lord Blackadder, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    ...That might have been; IBM released some info on the POWER6 CPU this week. These days Intel is adding cores to increase performance, but IBM has instead doubled the clockspeed over the 970 CPUs...kind of. Not quite 5GHz but well over four according to the article.

    I'm actually very happy with the Intel transition - Intel is much better prepared to serve the PC market, whereas the POWER architecture was a server chip first and a Mac CPU second. Apple made the right choice by going with x86. Still, it's interesting to follow Apple's former chip supplier. The POWER architecture is still far from dead.
  2. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    You're right. It is interesting. A lot of money goes into the development of these chips... but do IBM make as much money from them? Is the POWER server market big? If so, which sector (government?).
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Isn't the 970 (G5) based on the POWER4 processor?

    The the "G6" was going to come from the POWER5, the POWER6 was a long way off.

    What happened to the POWER5?
  4. Benjamin macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Yes, yep, and it seems to be in their p servers and some of the intellistations (POWER5 and POWER5+).
  5. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I know that "G5" chip production overlapped with POWER5, even though the "G5" was originally based on the POWER4. But the POWER5 was dual core. I think the dual-core 970GX "G5" is a POWER5 chip. But don't quote me there. ;)
  6. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
  7. Me1000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 15, 2006
    everyone is talking more speed, but did you ever wonder why intel moved just about everything over to dual core?

    2 1GHZ processors, are faster the 1 2GHZ processor, because they can multitask better!

    Not to mention, a lot of your speed is from the speed of your HDD!

    IBM needs to work on the heat issues, and start moving over to multi (core)processors, not more speed!
  8. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6

    The last version of the Power Mac G5 used dual-core chips. :)
  9. ribbonthecat macrumors regular

    May 23, 2006
    Chicago, IL
  10. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    *Slaps* >:O
  11. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    How much cooling would be required in a 5 ghz G6?

    How is it possible that they suddenly have jumped up to such a high clock speed when they couldn't deliver 3 ghz only a year or 2 ago?
  12. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Liquid nitrogen me thinks. ;) :D

    Good question, I would imagine that it would have something to do with the Power6's architecture- much like how the architecture of the Core 2 Duo allows it to run much cooler than say the Pentium D. :)
  13. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    Er, no. A single 2GHz processor is typically quite a bit faster than 2 1GHz processors. Multi-threading is complex and outside of specialized benchmarks you almost never get anything like the full potential of both CPUs at once. (e.g., when Blender went multi-threaded, its performance went up 50%, not 100%.) The overhead for multitasking doesn't amount to much, and adding more CPU cores doesn't do a thing to alleviate that anyway.

    The primary reason for going multiple cores is because of hitting a wall on increasing speed. That's what Apple did when G4s weren't getting any faster back in the day. That's what Intel is doing too. The significantly increased complexity of multi-threading compared to the smaller gains you get by doing so, not to mention greater expense, means that it's a less desirable path than simply increasing the speed of a single core.

    However, the laws of physics being what they are (immutable ;) ), you do what you have to when you reach the point of not being able to pump up the MHz any more (at least without serious downsides like massive amounts of heat). Let's not try spinning that into something "better" though.

    Er, no. That's only an issue for launching programs or if you're running out of memory and are constantly swapping to the HDD.

  14. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    Here is your answer:,289142,sid3_gci1131804,00.html

    A bit old, but still fairly new. Total unix revenue was $4.2bn for Q2/05 with IBM taking 31% of that. So in terms of IBM Hardware UNIX revenues (PSeries), it was $1.3bn/qtr. It would be higher this year since IBM just announced a 10% increase in their pSeries line sales compared to last year.

    IBM also uses POWER chips in some of their Linux servers as well as their Entire AS/400 nee iSeries servers (and storage servers as well).

    All told, I would estimate approx $7-8bn sales from IBM Power based servers per year, just for hardware. Of course, there's also the related consulting and software IBM makes associated with these sales ..
  15. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    Nope, the dual core 970 (970MP) is not a POWER5 chip.

    Main changes from Power4 -> 5 was:
    - Reduced memory latency through use of on-die memory controller
    - Increased memory and cache bandwidths
    - Introduction of SMT (this did actually increase performance by ~30%, unlike Intel's Hyperthreading).

    The 970MP does not have any of these features
  16. iAlan macrumors 65816


    Dec 11, 2002
    Location: Location:
    The new enclosure is a refrigerator...
  17. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    All IBM pSeries servers and IntelliStation POWER workstations use conventional air cooling ...
  18. comictimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Berkeley, California
    That's my thought... wasn't the main issue with the G5 that it required massive amounts of cooling, and that's why they never got it into a laptop. So if you double its clockspeed, won't that require far more cooling than even the original G5?
  19. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    The article mentions Power6 will be in the same thermal envelope as Power5+ devices (not G5), despite doubling the clock speed.
  20. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
    IBM recently clocked a processor to something like 500Ghz, but that was at around -270 degrees celcius:eek:
  21. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
  22. bearbo macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    the last time i checked, that statement is false, please someone correct me if i'm wrong and post a link

    2 of 1 GHz processors is much slower than 1 of 2GHz processor, 2 of 1GHz processors have speed of maybe 1.6~1.7 of 1GHz processor... which means assuming a 2GHz processor is 2 times faster than the a 1GHz processor, 2 of 1GHz processors is about .8 of a 2GHz processor

    and that is provided a given application can utilize more than 1 processor. most apps cannot do that.

    the only reason people go for more than 1 processor is because achieving higher clock speed is more difficult than adding another core
    but 2 GHz processor does produce more than 2x of than 1GHz processor under similar condition

    EDIT: i guess i'm a bit late :D
  23. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I'm still looking for an intelligent detailed answer to this.

    My wild guess is that it does much less work per clock (shorter pipelines) and less branch prediction (creating wasted work/ heat like the P4) than the G5.

    But then I'm not a chip expert.

    EDIT: Wikipedia is your friend:

    Seems I was right on the pipeline thing, at least for the POWER5.

    Can anyone else interpret more from the links?
  24. sycho macrumors 6502a


    Oct 7, 2006
    Umm, no, that was a single transisitor. They would need to add a few hundred million more to make it a processor
  25. blitzkrieg79 macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2005
    currently USA
    People tend to forget that IBM also has the CELL processor. And no, it's not a specialized processor, and no it's not only for consoles.

    Cell is very power efficient compared to the performance it can generate, it does require a whoel new approach to programming but we are moving into multicore direction anyway so it won't be such a problem in the near future. Also of interesting note is the article I found ( about how Intel will produce a Cell-like processor in .... 2010-2012. Again, advanced/superior technology ahead of it's time that will probably get swallowed by the marketing power of Intel.

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