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The 5GHz "G6" CPU...

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
Original poster
May 7, 2004
14,010
3,215
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.
 

SpaceMagic

macrumors 68000
Oct 26, 2003
1,740
0
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?).
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,979
428
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?
 

Benjamin

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2003
959
1
Portland, OR
Chundles said:
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?

Yes, yep, and it seems to be in their p servers and some of the intellistations (POWER5 and POWER5+).
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
Original poster
May 7, 2004
14,010
3,215
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. ;)
 

Me1000

macrumors 68000
Jul 15, 2006
1,794
4
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!
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
FF_productions said:
How much cooling would be required in a 5 ghz G6?

Liquid nitrogen me thinks. ;) :D


FF_productions said:
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?

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. :)
 

Eric5h5

macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
2,413
438
Me1000 said:
2 1GHZ processors, are faster the 1 2GHZ processor, because they can multitask better!

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.

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

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.

--Eric
 

thunng8

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2006
870
247
SpaceMagic said:
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?).

Here is your answer: http://search400.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,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 ..
 

thunng8

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2006
870
247
Lord Blackadder said:
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. ;)

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
 

comictimes

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
874
1
Berkeley, California
FF_productions said:
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?

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?
 

thunng8

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2006
870
247
comictimes said:
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?

The article mentions Power6 will be in the same thermal envelope as Power5+ devices (not G5), despite doubling the clock speed.
 

dextertangocci

macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2006
1,766
1
FF_productions said:
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?

IBM recently clocked a processor to something like 500Ghz, but that was at around -270 degrees celcius:eek:
 

bearbo

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
1,858
0
Me1000 said:
2 1GHZ processors, are faster the 1 2GHZ processor, because they can multitask better!
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
 

RedTomato

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
4,042
337
.. London ..
FF_productions said:
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?

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POWER5
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POWER6
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POWER7

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

Can anyone else interpret more from the links?
 

sycho

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2006
865
3
dextertangocci said:
IBM recently clocked a processor to something like 500Ghz, but that was at around -270 degrees celcius:eek:
Umm, no, that was a single transisitor. They would need to add a few hundred million more to make it a processor
 

blitzkrieg79

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2005
422
0
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.

http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/sabl/2006/Jul/CellProcessorPotential.pdf
http://www.blachford.info/computer/Cell/Cell0_v2.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_(microprocessor)

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 (http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2379&p=12) 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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