View Full Version : Apple, IBM Team on 64-Bit CPU!
09 September 2002, 02:42 AM
Finally some reliable news on the next generation of Apple processors and systems:
Article From eWeek (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,543317,00.asp)
09 September 2002, 04:57 AM
hmm... well it's still speculation, but that would be cool. the thing is apple needs to speed up the system bus on their machines really... that's the bottle neck, the current processors never get to operate at their maximum because they're running on system busses that are 1/10th of the processor speed in some cases.
09 September 2002, 05:08 AM
>> the thing is apple needs to speed up the system bus on their machines really... that's the bottle neck
The new apple machines are using DDR with a 2.7 gbps bus, but the trouble is the current motorola processors can't take advantage of that bus speed with the FSB. So it is actually the processor limitation, but other things like ram and pci can still use the speed boost from the bus.
Apple is on the Hypertransport board that AMD is heading up so as soon as the standard is fully finished they will be able to implement the 6.4 gbps bus that it has. The original report from IBM reported this same bus speed, so it is probably allready using Hypertransport.
09 September 2002, 05:23 AM
ooh, thanks for setting me straight on that one... should be good then. we will have to wait and see... all i know at the moment is that the system bus on this powerbook g4 i'm using is something pathetic (like 60,80 or 100mhz) which hardly matches the not even that great 500mhz processor (it's just cute to use sitting on the bed though ;) ). so i guess next years macs will be something to look forward to then! (i just hope that apple will be able to keep up with the wintel boxes in terms of processing power, as they seem to be a long way behind at the moment).
09 September 2002, 05:26 AM
If you look at the Spec.org benchmarks, the current Power4 from IBM is one of the top scorers at 1.3 ghz(along with the itanium 2). So if apple implements this, I don't see any problem in the future, but we probably won't see them till Macworld NY next July.
09 September 2002, 11:43 AM
And at that time AMD hammer processors are available and probably at a tenth of the price Apple will claim from its customers...
09 September 2002, 03:50 AM
Here's another interesting idea..Says Apple might consider intel route.
09 September 2002, 03:14 PM
Neff, for instance, predicted Apple, which uses chips from Motorola and IBM that currently top out at 1GHz, will switch to Intel, whose chips run at 2.5GHz, to get a performance boost and gain more customers. There's a better than 80 percent chance Apple will make the jump in two to four years, he said.
From what I've read the 1gHz PPC is just as fast as the 2.5gHz P. Motorola's chips are the Vetts and Intel's are Cavaliers (you could make a Cavalier just as fast but you have to do more to it).
And I thought that the current 128 bit processors in Macs were far superior than the 64 bit. Why would Apple drop down to 64 bit?
09 September 2002, 05:46 PM
>>From what I've read the 1gHz PPC is just as fast as the 2.5gHz
Well sortof. They are faster when the apps are written to take advantage of altivec/velocity engine(vector units, like MMX but better). The only thing is that not everything uses it, so when that happens it is faster mhz to mhz against a intel/amd(1ghz ppc would kick a 1ghz intel's ass), but intel and amd are allready at 2x the mhz, so motorola processors are still behind. Alot of video, image editing, authoring apps all run very fast because alot of them use that altivec, but 3d apps don't utilize that as much. Mpeg2 encoding is a good example of the altivec speed, it takes full advantage of the altivec, so it can encode at almost 2-3x realtime. My home 1.4ghz athlon does mpeg2 encoding much slower than that.
>>And I thought that the current 128 bit processors in Macs were far superior than the 64 bit. Why would Apple drop down to 64 bit?
They have a 128 bit registers for the altivec, but the processor itself is only 32bit just like amd/intel. More bits does not = faster processor, a 128 bit processor in this time and age would actually be much slower unless you are dealing with giant number theory. 64 bit is greatly needed right now because of memory access. We are allready hitting the celing with this in 3d becasue 32 bit processors can only access 4 gig of ram and can only allocate 2 gig of ram to any one process.
If you want to see some really nice overview of processors and the altivec in all its technobabble glory, check out here: http://arstechnica.com/cpu/index.html
09 September 2002, 09:32 PM
hi wahts is the defrent betwen 32 or64 or124 bits
09 September 2002, 10:23 PM
Good analysis, Dean. I seem to remember PPCs also outperforming PCs on Integer performance, but lagging in Floating Point performance - the latter which is most important to us 3D folks.
09 September 2002, 12:04 AM
>>And at that time AMD hammer processors are available and probably at a tenth of the price Apple will claim from its customers...
Actually, probably not. The starting price for the hammer is around $1200-1500 dollars. So the Power4 version from apple will probably cost less since their cheapest machines are allready under 1k. Even their cheapest workstation tower starts around $1500.
09 September 2002, 08:44 AM
Beaker, i said, 'at that time', the Hammer processors are a lot closer to release date than the new Apple processors, probably 6 to 10 months apart (not sure though)
But, it's nice to see Apple finally shaping up, i always though they let us pay way too much for ourdated systems.
01 January 2006, 06:00 PM
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