: More Proof of PPC 970 at WWDC in June

May 28th, 2003, 06:01 PM
or shorty after
A 64 bit version of project builder is being released at WWDC this June, has to be for the new PPC 970 CPU.
That will be a really big deal if it is released then.

SEE HERE (http://macedition.com/nmr/nmr_20030528.php)

May 28th, 2003, 06:05 PM
<yawn> I wish Apple would just hurry up and get on with it. And they had better up the MHz too.

I know that MHz is not the be-all and end-all of the computer...but it sure wouldn't hurt! I mean...PCs are over 3GHz now for goodness sake! :eek: :rolleyes:

May 28th, 2003, 06:13 PM
The rumors suggest the max this summer would be 1.8 ghz. But remember the bus speed will be super fast, they are saying the bus speed could ramp up as high 900 mhz, I believe the fastest PCs are at 266, but I may be wrong. Ithink we will see Apple crack 2ghz in the late fall, and 2.4 ghz early in 2004.
That's my opinion
frankly, my system is plenty fast for me and will be for a long time. I would imagine a 2ghz PPC970 would be more than enough for anyone, but maybe the most demanding video needs.

May 28th, 2003, 06:19 PM
And they had better up the MHz too.
I'm afraid you're not going to get your wish - if your wish is to match Intel's GHz. The first PowerPC 970, will clock between 1.4 GHz and 2.2 GHz. The initial PowerPC 970s were reported by IBM to scale to 1.8GHz, but there has been rumour that IBM got better results than predicted. Of course again, the PowerPC 970 is supposed to do alot more than a G4 can at similar GHz. Rumor is that a PowerPC can do twice the work than a similar GHz G4.

May 28th, 2003, 06:47 PM

Intel currently ships Pentium 4s with an 800MHz system bus. It's been quite a while since a 266MHz system bus has been standard (my P4 from a year ago has a 533MHz system bus, for example).

May 28th, 2003, 07:03 PM
Wow, I didnt know, hmm yes I guess Apple is behind
But then why dont the new P4s go many times faster instead of just 50 to 100% faster?

May 28th, 2003, 07:41 PM

What are you comparing the new P4s against? Older P4s? Apple's machines?

May 28th, 2003, 07:49 PM
I have a dual 1,25 powrmac, and my friends p4 1.6 seems much slower
you would think a 3 ghz p4 would be more than 2.5 times as fast as the 1.4 dual g4, but I dont think it is, except at cetain apps
usually it seems to be the 3ghz P4 is about 20 to 50% faster at the same app at most.
I think there is other bottlenecks besides the bus and cpu. do they have 8 speed AGP as standard on most PCs now?
My thinking is the 1.8 ghz PPC970 should be at least as fast a 3ghz if it is as efficient as the rumors say.

May 28th, 2003, 10:44 PM
The older P4s (read, your friends 1.6) had as much as a 400MHz bus, but only a 256k L2 cache. Not to mention that it really isn't that much faster than 1.25.

Depending on which P4 he has, it might also use RDRAM (instead of the DDR they so quickly changed to in the primary lines) which has mondo latency issues.

The new P4s however, are running 3.06 (and even more), with as much as an 800 MHz Bus, DDR400 RAM, a 512K l2 cache, and hyperthreading (which in the simplest terms is like processing two things at once)

Apple has a lot of catchup to do. Fortuneately, the 970 will probably fit the bill quite nicely.

What I am interested in seeing is what type of RAM Apple decides to ship with these machines.
Currently the P4 has an 800MHz FSB (which I believe is DDR), but only DDR400 RAM.

The Apple on the other hand, has DDR333 plugged into a machine with a 167Mhz FSB that is only SDR (single data rate).


May 28th, 2003, 11:06 PM
Waiting... waiting for the next-gen Macs. That's all I can do -- Apple's current hardware is embarrassing (internally). I'm waiting for the REAL next-gen PowerBooks and maybe the 2nd rev too. Power management is really going to have to be worked on -- Intel REALLY/FINALLY got it right with the Centrino -- Apple's large battery life claims DO NOT CUT IT in real world usage.

I must wait while my favourite company (Apple) gets itself together -- I'm not shelling out premium coinage for inferior/outdated hardware anymore. I can't wait for the WWDC announcements!!! Apple's in a transition right now -- my thoughts -- hopefully setting themselves up for a more performance oriented future. I hope Panther and the IBM 970 (shoe-in) help strengthen/stabilize Apple's products and (obvious) restless/curious users.

"This is clearly going to be the year of the notebook for Apple" -- Steve Jobs

:confused: Screw that. This is clearly going to be the year of Apple Computer, Inc.

I know it.

May 28th, 2003, 11:28 PM
The first generation P4s (1.4GHz to 1.6GHz) were unimpressive; Intel has tweaked the P4 design a number of times since its release, as well as improved the processes used in actually manufacturing the P4.

Don't forget that dual-processor machines tend to feel more responsive than single-processor machines. I've got a dual-processor PIII at work that feels quite zippy (even though when it comes to flat-out number crunching it's a bit on the slow side).

Oh, and the latest and greatest P4s use dual-channel DDR RAM, which provides twice the memory bandwidth that single-channel DDR RAM does (with lower latency to boot). As far as I can tell, the PowerMacs use single-channel DDR RAM.

May 29th, 2003, 01:09 AM
They do use Single Channel DDR Ram! I mean, why would you need the extra bandwidth that Dual Channel offers when the processors slow SDR bus can barely saturate a wet sponge as is?



May 29th, 2003, 01:22 AM
If Apple used dual-channel DDR RAM, then they could say they used dual-channel DDR RAM. I mean, they're using DDR RAM now, even though the processor can't take advantage of it.

May 29th, 2003, 01:33 AM
Yeah, but who else knows the difference between Single and Dual channel DDR?

Intel doesn't even mention the difference on their site, at least in any of the sections the average consumer is willing to go devling through.


May 29th, 2003, 10:22 PM
The time seems ripe for a little rumour-mongering (from MOSR tonight):

If you think the POWER4-based PowerPC 970 is impressive, just wait for its cousin from the POWER5 family -- the IBM PowerPC 980. It will reach 4.5GHz-5.0GHz+, support system busses even more incredible than the 970's 6.4GB/s FSB, include a much more powerful Altivec unit, a high-performance on-board memory controller, and countless other improvements that will mean performance levels well in excess of ten times today's. The best part is, the 980 is currently scheduled for only a little over a year from now. Of course that could very well slip...but so far, IBM has executed its timetables for the 970 extremely well -- no more opposite a story could be imagined from what we have seen out of Motorola for the past five years. Expect IBM to deliver very well on its promises to Apple to lift the company out of its hardware performance quagmire in the next two years. There can be no question, based on the very happy mood we've seen in Cupertino recently....the performance equation is going to be tipping quite rapidly and quite clearly in Apple's direction post-haste.

Speaking of Motorola, reliable sources there have said that Apple is now expecting to deliver at least two different Macs that use 200MHz DDR memory and 200MHz SDR frontside busses in the near future with the company's G4 processors. This may mean that Motorola is still having trouble with its PowerPC 7470 chips which support a DDR Frontside Bus (FSB) that could take full advantage of the DDR SDRAM memory Apple has been putting in its systems to little performance benefit (thanks to the PPC 7455's Single Data Rate FSB, which Apple runs at either 133 or 167MHz currently) for over a year now -- and are planning to ship 7455-based systems on slightly faster FSB's for the iMac or perhaps the Powerbook.

May 29th, 2003, 11:46 PM
From reading the review at www.Arstechnica.com (http://www.Arstechnica.com) the single 1.4 GHZ 970 will outperform a 3GHZ P4.

May 30th, 2003, 02:29 AM
I poked around ArsTechnica, but couldn't find the review[1] you mentioned. Could you provide a link to it?

[1] How can they review something that hasn't been announced (let alone released)?

May 30th, 2003, 03:36 AM
He is probably taking about Hannibals recent in depth look at the 970, which you can read here (http://arstechnica.com/cpu/03q1/ppc970/ppc970-1.html). Get comfy before you do though, it is quite long.


May 30th, 2003, 03:53 AM
I found that article after I posted my last comment, but for the life of me I couldn't see anything in there that indicated the PPC 970 would outperform the P4.

Did I miss something?

May 30th, 2003, 05:25 AM
I dont think so, but I am only about half way through the article.


May 30th, 2003, 08:34 AM
Read the whole article...

May 30th, 2003, 09:47 AM
Actually, I found Hannibal's article quite depressing. I think he sums up the PowerPC 970 as being better than a G4+ in floating point operations, but similar to a G4+ in integer and Altivec operations. I think he classifies the the G4+ as the 745x chip. Of course he warns a half a dozen times that he doesn't have vital information to complete hhis analysis. By the way the comparison to a P4 is here (http://arstechnica.com/cpu/03q1/ppc970/ppc970-6.html#970vsp4)

May 30th, 2003, 11:00 AM
What I don't understand is why all this insane speed even matters?!?

What do you people use your Macs for? If you are a professional video editor, or a major graphic designer with intense deadlines, then maybe I can understand... but then you likely have the latest Dual 1.25+ system, which IMHO would be pretty darn fast.

But the rest of us... what do you need the speed for? I don't understand this obsession with speed! Do you really need to open Safari in 1 second instead of 3 seconds? Is it that important that your screensaver isn't sluggish? What do you really need all that speed for!?

I have a G4 800 iMac, and I find it perfectly acceptable for everyday use, including Photoshop, iMovie, Premiere...

Intel drives the market, and people are falling for it. They are the ones pushing the speed hype. They are the ones making older technology "appear" to be obsolete, when in fact it's perfectly acceptable for 95% of computer users. So, because of good marketing, people upgrade, Intel makes things faster, people upgrade, faster, upgrade, faster... nice cycle of wasted money.

Now I know why I'm leavign high-tech and going to study art. tongue.gif

May 30th, 2003, 11:18 AM
a7mc makes a valid point. I have an IBM Aptiva in my office. It is 4 years old, and I was told that I should trade it in for a newer model. "Why?", I asked. "Because the newer model is faster!", I was told. "This computer is fast enough for me", I replied. Exasperated, the tech person put me down as a "dk", "doesn't know" if he/she needs a new computer. Why buy newer faster computers if one does not need the speed?

Now, when it comes to a Mac, it is the iLife software and reliability that should sell the computer. Granted, it may be slower than a Wintel box, but it works more efficiently, has more advanced software to do the things I need it for, and looks better (although the "cool factor" is way down on my list).

May 30th, 2003, 12:24 PM
The only reason home desktop users need faster machines is for gaming, it will be 5 to 6 years before the fastest current machines are obsolete
I dont see how the internet wont function on a 400mhz system, or any other productivity or 2d graphics.
the best systems always seem to be in the near future.
We live in a consumer society, they have to create demand by reasearching, developing and marketing new products. The world is full of landfills of so called useless technology.
I have never thrown out any old mac,, even broken ones.
When will the madness end.

May 30th, 2003, 12:43 PM
What do I need the speed for? Well, it would be nice to get better FPS on UT2003. It would be nice to see OS X be a little more snappier, especially the finder. It would help get work done in Photoshop faster. If I can get the speed, I'm sure I can find lots of uses for it. Sure my current Mac works fine, but there's always something better and faster... and I want it. I'm already pondering trading in my DP800 for a new PowerPC 970-based PowerMac this fall or early 2004.

May 30th, 2003, 02:12 PM
One reason to have newer better stuff?

A lot of the time Apple pretty much insists you have the latest and greatest toys if you want to play.

Also, every time a major software app comes out with a new version the requirements go up.

Mostly that first one though.


May 30th, 2003, 02:33 PM
Well, it would be nice to get better FPS on UT2003. Buy an XBOX. That's what it was designed for. Is it not better to spend $299 on an XBOX that has 300+ games than to spend $4000 on a Mac that has barely a dozen? If you want to play games, you bought the wrong machine.

It would be nice to see OS X be a little more snappier, especially the finder. My OSX is as fast as it can get IMO. I have no problems with the finder. If you are talking about searching for files, I hate to tell you, but all the Mhz in the world won't help you. The hard drive is the bottleneck.

It would help get work done in Photoshop faster. Help why? Because you have major deadlines? Do you work in the graphic industry? Even if you get a dual 1.8Ghz 970 Mac, Photoshop will still be slow. So your filters and effects will now take 15 seconds instead of 20 seconds. Big deal. Do you really think that will save you that much time? I don't know about you, but I spend most of my time in Photoshop DESIGNING, not applying effects.

Sure my current Mac works fine, but there's always something better and faster... and I want it. Exactly the "slave to marketing" mentality I was talking about. I won't lie... I used to be the same way. You're from Ottawa, KING of the computer speed wars. I should know, I owned a computer store in Ottawa. I saw people like you all the time. Then one day I woke up and realized how ridiculous our society was getting... contantly obsessed with getting "bigger and faster and better" things.

Since you have so much money to waste, why don't you throw some my way. I could actually put it to good use, towards my tuition fees. At least I don't need a computer... By the end of my 4th year at OCAD, my 800Mhz iMac will still be running fast enough for me.

P.S. I'm not trying to flame anyone... just pointing out my observations.


May 30th, 2003, 02:49 PM
A lot of the time Apple pretty much insists you have the latest and greatest toys if you want to play.

Also, every time a major software app comes out with a new version the requirements go up.
That's exactly my point posterboy! It's called bloatware. Software companies are in on it too! They need a reason to release their "latest and greatest" version adn scam us out of our money. They up the requirements, just because the speed is there. Then intel increases the speed to make that software go faster, which in turn allows the software company to up the requirements further on the next release. And on and on and on. I guarantee you, if processor speeds just suddenly stopped getting any faster, the software companies would still release the same new features. They would just be forced to actually make quality software for once, and stop relying on processor speeds to make up for bad programming.


May 30th, 2003, 02:52 PM
OS X is WAY demanding -- wasn't snappy enough for me even on the Dual 1.25 I used to have. I was blown away during the first few days -- coming from an 800MHz iBook -- but even doing the regular maintenance never brought it fully up to snuff. And, I'm not even talking about the rendering, etc speeds in applications. Apple's eye candy chugged a few too many times -- GUI -- menus, scrolling, minimizing apps into the dock. The current hardware is slow if it can't even do the norm'.

The GUI should be "faster" than the user. If Panther and the IBM 970 can make the GUI -- AT LEAST -- twice as fast as I've experienced with the Dual 1.25Ghz, then everything's golden. Major, huge props given if they can match/exceed the responsiveness of the "dark side OS".

The waiting game continues. Hopefully I'll be able to "pounce" on a Panther/IBM 970 PowerBook later this year/early next.

May 30th, 2003, 04:05 PM
I have been thinking lately that I might want to upgrade to a faster Mac. Currently I am running a G4 450, I have been looking at the 17" 1Ghz iMac, but I;m not sure anymore.

I want to get into some heavy digital video, and also digital photography. Gaming isn't really a problem, that is why I have my PS2 and thankfully not a XBox ;) My biggest question is this, do I get the iMac 17" 1Ghz? Wait for maybe a 19" model? Or do I get one of the current towers without an LCD? Or do I wait for the latest and greatest from Apple regarding the 970? Cost is also a factor here, if I buy now, I will most certainly be buying into old technology. If I buy an iMac I will get an LCD monitor with the Mac. If I buy a tower, I will have to spend almost the same on the tower for one of Apple's LCD's.

Right now I am going to wait to see what Apple brings to the table. If it is only a 970 1.2GHZ with old memory standards and slow bus speed, then it won't be worth it. However, Apple's 20th Anniversary is coming up in 2004, I wonder if there is anything special coming out? Or is it the 970?

May 30th, 2003, 04:24 PM
If you're going to be that way about it A7mc then people would be happy with the hardware and software of 7 years ago. Not everything is bloatware.

May 30th, 2003, 06:04 PM

I know people who use older (say, three or four years, if not more) and are quite pleased with how they perform. They're not doing anything CPU intensive, so they're quite pleased with their machines.

I also know people that use new machines (say less than a year old) and these machines still aren't fast enough. When I moved from a dual PIII 700 workstation to a P4 2.26GHz workstation, processes that took over an hour on my old workstation now take less than 15 minutes on my new workstation.

I'd call that a substantial time savings.

So, if you're happy with your current computer, then by all means stick with it and don't bother upgrading. Of course, you may not be able to take advantage of the latest and greatest software, but if your computer is working well, then how is that a problem?

I also hope you realize, though, that there are people out there that demand a lot from their computers, and that aren't as satisfied as you are with the performance of their computers. Just because it's "fast enough" for you doesn't mean it's "fast enough" for them.

May 30th, 2003, 06:27 PM
That is it exactly
If all you do is use office and surf the net and email then anything will do.
If you need to proccess lage chunks of data, compile code, or render photoshop filters and run Final Cut pro, then one can never have enough speed.

Testing editing compiling and recompiling code can be sped up by a faster machine for sure
I still think most poeple have systems that are overkill for their needs.

May 30th, 2003, 06:36 PM
After reading the article I'm not convinced a high-end 970 will outperform a high-end P4. The 970 does have better floating point and SIMD performance, but the vast majority of software spends most (if not all) of its time doing integer calculations (games being the notable exception). I know the software I work on hardly uses any floating point at all, and we don't take advantage of any SIMD instruction sets.

That said, I can't see the performance of the 970 being that far off the performance of the P4, so it looks like the PowerMac is headed for a rather large jump in performance shortly. I just hope the new PowerMacs aren't hideously expensive.

May 30th, 2003, 06:57 PM
If you need a new powermac, I would definately wait a while until the reviews come in for the new machines.
If they are 30-40% faster all around, then this is a good thing. If they move to a 400mhz fsb, as rumoured by www.macosrumors.com (http://www.macosrumors.com) then they will certainly be about as fast as the cureent P4s.
If IBM keeps on the ball we maight have 5 gigahz machines in two years.

May 30th, 2003, 07:57 PM
I just hope the new PowerMacs aren't hideously expensive. Thoughts, beefs and speculation (very random):

This is also another make/break moment for Apple, other than the horsepower issue. Does Apple REALLY want marketshare? If so -- obviously -- they'd better dramatically change the pricing structure of their pro models and pack more pow' in the low-end models. Apple's STINGY way of including basically NO RAM in the ABSOLUTE low-end models -- 128MB ram -- doesn't cut it for the consumer. It's an insult -- consumer buys the brand new late model computer, yet it performs like molasses. The consumer expects a complete working solution out of the box and not something that's "almost DOA". Ram should be something they worry about much later -- it should not be an automatic hassle included with the purchase. The absolute low-cost macs -- eMac 800 and iBook 800s -- should have at least 256MB because OS X is a hungry hog. Low-end Power Mac should include 512MB -- quite reasonable. If it's "Pro" it should perform as so. SuperDrives in all next models of the Power Mac? Probably not, except Apple will probably reintroduce it in the mid-level. Low-end model P Mac will probably adopt a 48x24x48x16 combo drive. iBooks will have to adopt either the G3 (Gobi) or move on to the G4 immediately when these 970s come out -- if not they'll be extremely lacking, with no value whatsoever. Quality control will have to be dealt with STRICTLY in iBook gen-3 whenever they come out. It's about time for new design -- two year old design ain't so fresh anymore, even though PC companies still can't match it. This gen-3 iBook will finally bring Airport Extreme. Power managment in the PowerBook and iBook lines must be dealt with in order to match/beat the Centrinos -- Apple's "5 hour battery life" boast is unfair in real world. NO MORE ONE BUTTON mouse/trackpad button for it decreases productivity CONSIDERABLY. It's time to gain back that foot in the grave -- add another button (minimum) for "right-clicking". MY PERFECT WORLD TO BEGIN WITH WOULD HAVE iBooks START at $1300CDN; eMacs START at under $1000CDN; 15" iMacs START at $1500 and 17" a few hundred more; Power Macs START at just below $2000; PowerBooks START at (12" $2400 - cheap iBook screen)/(15" $2900 - combo)/(17" $4100 - SuperDrive). A better warranty -- 2 yr standard -- should be included all around with the option of something comparable to Dell's Complete Care.

Just some random thoughts yet Apple'd better get with it in the pricing department or at least back up the prices with more performance for the money. smile.gif

[ May 31, 2003, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: Tomac ]

May 31st, 2003, 03:40 PM
Apple has a BIG challenge ahead of them, with the 15.4" (widescreen) eMachines m5305 Athlon XP 2200+ notebook now available. It's selling for $1999 at www.futureshop.ca (http://www.futureshop.ca) right now -- darn cheap. I'm actually quite impressed. Biggest flaws -- runs MS XP Home; integrated graphics chip and no firewire. MOST consumers WILL NOT shell out the extra $1600 + extra tax to get a 15" PowerBook. Apple's current marketshare makes this statement justified -- even though the PowerBook is a superior product in terms of design, materials and OS. The regular consumer will not SEE this difference; therefore, will not pay almost twice a much to get what in their mind is the same machine.

If we don't see a change in Apple's pricing -- getting rid of price gouging -- their marketshare may drop even lower than its current state. Paying a "premium" amount to buy/use an Apple product doesn't cut it anymore -- more users on Mac-oriented boards are understanding that the lack of power for the "premium" price is unjust. Many seem to be waiting on the IBM 970 based Macs -- like myself -- hoping that it finally brings the power and correct/fair pricing that todays market requires.

Bring on innovation to your pricing and hardware Apple... PLEASE!

May 31st, 2003, 03:54 PM
Biggest problem Tomac...is that that is an EMachine....total garbage..i use one at work.

used to be jwoodget
May 31st, 2003, 06:35 PM

I just can't see Apple reducing prices much beyond the current state (which, in relative terms, is the lowest they've been except for the 17" powerbook gouge). If inital price pressure is that much of an issue, people will always go Wintel. My guess is that the 970's will be premium priced. Marketshare is secondary to profit in Apple's mind - at least given previous history.

May 31st, 2003, 07:04 PM
People will still lap it up considering its price -- even if the brand signifies "garbage". eMachines may have contracted it out to a really decent company to build the product -- speculation. Maybe the quality control's decent, who knows?

With the current prices of Apple's hardware, it's making it hard for the average consumer to even glimpse the goodness of OS X and all it has to offer -- too expensive. The $1199 800MHz eMac (CD-ROM) with its measly specs warrants a brush off by the consumer. For the same $1199, the consumer can get this on the PC side (example is even a bit conservative): combo drive or 2 drives (DVD-ROM + CD-RW), a ROOMY hard drive (80GB), and a fast processor (around 2 GHz) and a monitor (17" at this range). That's value even though it contains the Windows OS. Many consumers have set budgets and cannot scrounge more cash for a computer purchase. Maybe in the mid-nineties they'd have needed $3000 to buy a computer but now speed can be had for under $1000CDN in the PC realm. With this set budget in mind, the consumer will notice the perks in the PC -- mentioned above compared to the eMac -- and thus COMPLETELY ignore the eMac because of its primitive configuration. With the PC, the customer gets THE COMPLETE PACKAGE, whereas the eMac hampers the users experience because it cannot burn CD-Rs, play DVDs, hold many files (ex. video), or hold its own in similar applications (rendering time). The PC is truly much more capable and future proof than the eMac. Apple's pricing is YEARS behind that of their PC competitors and that's why there hasn't been ANY surge in Mac adoption.

Software does matter but right now that's NOT ENOUGH for Apple to boast about its products with. OS X is looking more golden every year, but MOST CANNOT afford a even a semi-decent specced Mac, because the average price consumers spend on PCs is at/less than the cost of the low-end eMac. Do a search in CNET or Yahoo to find the current average if you're curious.

Jun 1st, 2003, 01:13 AM
I don't think Apple could drop the prices of its computers any more than it already has and remain a profitable business. While Apple does have about a 25% margin on its computers, that's only 25% above and beyond the cost to actually manufacture the computer. Other costs, such as software and hardware R&D, aren't counted when talking about that margin, since they're relatively independent to the number of computers Apple sells. These costs eat up the 25% margin (and then some); if Apple didn't have investment income it would've lost money last year.

So, if Apple were to drop its margin on each machine from 25% to 12.5%, Mac sales would have to double in order for Apple to remain profitable (which I don't think would happen; I don't think there are many people who would buy a PowerMac at $2100 that would buy it at $2400).

As I've said before, I hope the new PowerMacs aren't that expensive, but "next-generation" CPUs do tend to command a premium, especially ones where the sales volume is low. A $3000 64-bit PowerMac wouldn't be bad and might sell rather well. A $6000 64-bit PowerMac (especially if it was the base model) wouldn't.