The G5 myth

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by MacBH928, May 9, 2009.

  1. MacBH928 macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

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    #1
    Hello
    I am here to discuss the G5 myth. But what is the G5 myth you ask. Its the G5 processor.
    For the longest time Apple and their fans were making a huge deal out of this dream processor that had a hard time seeing the light. Once the processor was out it was to be i believe "super computer" and I do not know what.

    I think there was one guy from University building a huge cluster for something like a million dollars and it was a super computer and could do stuff like $100 computers can.

    They put on the show where they show us where IBM built a factory for I do not know how much dollars just to produce those chips. Couple of years and Apple ditches all this.

    Where it all went? Is it a lie?
    I asked once about G5 being a super chip, and some one told me that the current intel chips run laps around the G5 chips.

    Was it better? Maybe, I do not know , I only owned a g4 computer and it was really reliable. I also really like the option to run Windows and Windows software and the current chips are fast.

    But what happened to the super computer? Was it just a big lie? A marketing scheme?
    I believe the g4 was on market for a lot more than the super duper G5 that every one was waiting for.
    It was so big, they even mentioned it in one of the Soprano's episodes!!

    Can any one give me a clearer view of this processor, what happened, why was it ditched, and is it really fast? What if we had quad core 2 dou g5?!
     
  2. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #2
    The "G5" was in every Mac except for the laptops.
     
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #3
    In its day, it was far faster than Intel chips at the same clock speed. The Core architecture from Intel superceeded it in many respects but most notably "Computing Power Per Watt". It was simply too power hungry for laptops.
     
  4. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #4
    virginia tech did make a super computer out of powermac g5's
     
  5. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #5
    They then upgraded to XServe G5s, and likely new Intel XServe.

    TEG
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    G5s were quite fast. They were VERY fast for things like number crunching, and pretty average for most other tasks. It really depends on what you mean by "fast". Fast at what?

    The problem was always heat. Was Apple supposed to continue putting Moto's G4 in laptops, when they announced in the early decade that they expect laptops to catch up, and surpass, desktop sales? If that's what Apple truly believed, then sticking with G-anything would have been suicide, so they eventually went with Intel. It was a smart decision, and does not mean that the G5 doesn't exist, or that it wasn't fast.

    They're not in super-computers today because IBM has moved on, in a way. Core is probably their focus right now. There have been reports of people hooking up a bunch of Sony PS3s together and making a super-computer, so it's not like IBM is dead in the water or anything. Their chips are still good.
     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #7
    The G5 was not a myth, it was a processor. Specifically, the G5 is the IBM PowerPC 970 family. This processor was a single-chip implementation of IBM's POWER4 chip set. The POWER4 was the fourth major version of IBM's server/workstation-level POWER RISC processor chip set. In its day, the G5 was one of the most powerful processor available for personal computers. Its weakness was that it was hot--very hot. Heat generation means that a G5-based laptop, PowerBook, Mac mini, or Apple TV is not possible. In previous years, the "too hot" honor belonged to Intel, but Intel had a break-through. IBM's primary focus was the enterprise where heat was not an issue. Therefore it had no interest in solving the problem--until Apple switched to Intel.

    FWIW, the Cell processor, a constrained version of the Power PC replaced Intel processors in Microsoft's Xbox. It is also the processor at the heart of Ninetendo's Wii.

    Apple's decision to switch from the PPC to Intel processors has paid incalculable dividends. Raw performance, however, was only a minor consideration.
     
  8. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #8
    Core2 and G5 are completely different architectures... What does that even mean?
     
  9. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #9
    I think he may have meant the PPC equivalent of the Core 2 Duo..... i.e. a dual core G5 processor.

    If so, then we did have one with the last Quad Core G5.

    As others have said, it was just a chip that was way TOO freaking hot. So hot that the G5 towers had limited expandability just so the cooling and fan systems had somewhere to go.

    Once Apple went Intel, the Mac Pro brought the Apple workstation back into line with it's competitors..... slightly.
     
  10. szark macrumors 68030

    szark

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    #10
    IBM wasn't focused on making processors specifically to suit Apple's low-power needs, but supposedly they would have done so if Apple was willing to pay for all of the R&D costs.

    Actually, the Cell is used in Sony's PS3. The XBox360 has a custom multicore Power PC processor.
     
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #11
    IBM had a whole series of processors in line after the G5, but since the G5 tanked in sales afterwards, IBM basically ceased development and went to upgrades based on old technologies ... something really pathetic in the realm of what Intel had in the pipe.

    aka, hyped like an Edsel, and sold like one.
     
  12. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #12
  13. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #13
  14. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

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    #14
    so it was hot
    but was it superior to the intel chips? Was it what they call a super computer? how many consumers use number crunching? Most apple consumers are in media and creative industry not in calculating DNA's or such(note most).

    and here where it gets me, Apple are known to have bad games support. Now I hear that consoles(Dedicated gaming machines) use powerpc chips. Hmm...
    what is Apple doing wrong in that sector? Is it the graphics card?
     
  15. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    You have to understand that processor technology evolves with time, each iteration is more powerful than the last. The G5 at its time was more powerful than its intel counterparts at equivalent clock speeds, and while it was dubbed a "supercomputer", many modern processors are as well. Intel Cores are faster than the G5, but they are newer technology.

    Speed in computers is relative. How fast a computer/processor is depends on the computers/processors you're comparing it against. During its time the G5 compared to the competition was quite fast. Today, not so much. When the intel Core Duo came out in the first macbookpros, it was hailed as super fast. Compared to modern Core2Duos in new macbookpros, not so much.
     
  16. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

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    #16

    yeah also take into account that PPC CPU's were kind of at a stand still. if you look at benchmarks you will see that Intel has stepped up the game each step of the way as where PPC kind of stayed in the same territories.

    not to say that with today's technology they couldn't be faster. but just saying they were kind of 'stuck'
     
  17. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #17
    i don't know. i guess for science research and stuff at VT
     
  18. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #18
    It was five years ago. You know that newer processors are generally faster?

    They did have a quad core G5 Power Mac. (2 X 2-core G5 chips.) "Core 2 duo" is an Intel name that has nothing to do with other chips.

    --Eric
     
  19. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    So? PowerPC is a ISA, not a specific chip type. The chipsets used in the gaming consoles are also specially designed chips; they target a much focused goal and can therefore strip out things a consumer system would find useful (ie: both the XBox and PS3 do not use Out-of-order execution). Claiming that since both consoles and the PMG5, for example, both used PowerPC chips and therefore should produce the same gaming performance is akin to arguing that two radically different engines should have the same exact performance simply because they are both engines.

    As for the G5 itself, assuming you could work around its requirements, AltiVec crushed nearly every other SIMD instruction set out there in terms of performance; it was just a real pain in the ass to work with.
     
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #20
    How many consumers need a supercomputer?
     
  21. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #21
    This post doesn't make sense. All a computer does is crunch numbers.
     
  22. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    #22
    http://www.barefeats.com/pentium4.html this is why the G5 was considered a great chip. When the G5 was first released it came in 1.6 ghz, 1.8ghz dual, and 2.0ghz dual. Now this was in 2003. So you have to compare to what was current then. In the graphs it has the P4 3 ghz which was not released for years after the G5 2.0ghz dual. Yet the G5 still smokes it! As for the opteron which is the second best other then the G5s. I don't think the 2.0 ghz opteron was out in 2003 when the G5 came out. So thats not a fair comparison to what was out at the time.

    EDIT:

    I think they are talking about how the G4s, and G5s were very fast at floating point.
     
  23. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #23
    At one point, it was better than Intel chips. Development moved at a snails pace on PPC chips and Intel caught up and now they have better chips. And it's likely going to stay that way for a long time because PPC development remains at a standstill while Intel keeps working on improving their chips.

    And number crunching isn't just calculating DNA. Some of the software used in the creative industry requires some serious horsepower. It might be overkill for grandma to buy an 8 core Mac Pro so she can e-mail and look up recipes on the internet, but there are people out there who need that kind of power, and Apple provides a market for that.

    That's got nothing to do with Apple. Macs are known for their poor games support because game developers opted to develop for Windows since it has 90% of the market share. I would too if I were a game developer. Game developers could've made their games for PPC if they wanted to. It had nothing to do with it being a bad chip, or a bad graphics card. It all had to do with money.

    Now that Macs do use Intel chips, it's become a lot easier for game developers to port their Windows games to Macs, especially with Cider, but they all could've made their games work with PPC Macs if they wanted to.

    The 360 and PS3 use PPC, or CPUs based off PPC technology because at the time the consoles were being developed, PPC was the best out there (and this was before Apple's Intel transition). However, it would not surprise me if the next Xbox and PlayStation use an Intel chip.
     
  24. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #24
    I remember reading benchmarks that showed a Power G5 2.7 and a slightly higher clocked Xeon neck and neck but unfortunately I cannot find the article now.

    One of the old workstations I still use sometimes is a Xeon 3.2 GHz. I think this is the same Xeon from that time period that ran fairly even with the faster G5's.
     
  25. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #25
    http://www.barefeats.com/pentium4.html

    I guess "fastest" is really whatever marketing wants it to be. Compared to most netburst CPUs, the G5 was much quicker in many respects. The Xeon would have been an exception, I agree.
     

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