What if Motorola hadn't been asked to make PPCs???

ftaok

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jan 23, 2002
6,199
1,220
East Coast
If you all look back, you'll see that the PowerPC architecture was completely IBM's design. When IBM asked Apple to look at using PPCs in Macs, Apple was reluctant to sole source their entire processor line on one company (at the time, Motorola's 68000 series chips were losing in the mhz war against the 486). So wisely, Apple convinced IBM to let Motorola into the PPC game. Thus, AIM was formed.

Fast forward to 2002, many Mac fans are pleading with Apple to drop Motorola completely. So what would the Mac landscape look like had Motorola not joined in the PPC party?

Here's my take ...

MWNY 2002 - Apple unviels it's latest generation of PowerMacs. The new 1ghz G3. It sports a new 200mhz system bus with support for DDR RAM. Sound good?

Well, unfortunately, there's no SuperDrive. Why? Because there's no iDVD or DVD Studio Pro. DVD encoding would take so long that it's not even worth it to have SuperDrives installed.

Also, Apple's market share would have dropped so low because we were stuck at 600mhz for 2+ years and only got to 700mhz early in 2002.

In closing, as much as everyone around here bashes Motorola, you have to take a look at what IBM was doing over the same time span.
 

kaltsasa

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2002
585
21
Kellogg IA
Perhaps If IBM would have worked harder at making a faster PPC chip if more chips had been bought from them, its hard to say what would have happened moto wasnt around, I for one am happy with my g4 imac 800, , granted i would love tons more speed but it runs final cut pro, gets my video done, burns it to dvd, all easyer then on windows. I'll gladly take my speed hit because while my freind with is p4 spent a week tring to get his firewire card recognized, i had edited and produced my film for the student film fest here(we were both doing films) who got the better deal, his faster computer set him a week and half back behind me and my "slower" computer. speed is in the eye of the beholder.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,973
3
Gone but not forgotten.
You must remember that IBM is only really interested in PowerPC for its potential in communications boxes. They have the Power processor line for their general-purpose computing...even for the smaller boxes.

Motorola was interested in Apple using the 88000 processor line, which wasn't well-adopted elsewhere--Data General being the only major vendor.

Motorola is mostly interested in PowerPC for volume in embedded applications such as communications boxes and printers.

Apple doesn't sell enough to keep Motorola interested. Of course, Apple would sell more, if there were interesting processors.

What would Apple have used otherwise? The MIPS lines were looking good at the time--SGI proved that. They could have used SPARC processors. They still could.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jan 23, 2002
6,199
1,220
East Coast
Originally posted by kaltsasa
Perhaps If IBM would have worked harder at making a faster PPC chip if more chips had been bought from them, its hard to say what would have happened moto wasnt around, ...
Well, up until Apple started putting in G4s in their machines, I think that most Macs had IBM G3's in them. That didn't urge IBM to make faster chips. Motorola was the one that developed Altivec so that the existing PPC chips could be made to do certain task at breakneck speeds.

I'm believe that if Apple had just gone with IBM PPC chips, it would be out of business by now. Having MOT innovate has helped Apple's cause. Of course, Motorola's manufacturing capabilities have much to be desired.

Maybe with IBM's new "G5" and Motorola's latest G4's, Apple can put together a killer line-up of Macs for 2003.
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
a lot of people are down on motorola because of how intel and amd are progressing

the five hundred megahertz drought was certainly bad, but motorola has been progressing steadily

won't we all soon be sick of speed one day soon? i am more interested in bus speed, cache, ram, and price
 

rice_web

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2001
584
0
Minot, North Dakota
I've got a feeling that Motorola is right up there with the big boys Intel and AMD--except about a year and a half behind. That wall at 500MHz held back Motorola, but now Motorola is coming back strong. With rumors that the 7470 could reach 2.0GHz, the G4 still has a lot of life left in it (even if it is only used in the iMac after the G5 is released--but who knows when that will be?)
 
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