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So Does Apple Truly Want the Fastest Desktop?


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So Does Apple Truly Want the Fastest Desktop?
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mugwump
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: uh huh
 
2004-08-04, 18:22

Apple computer will soon be at a threshold, and I would speculate that they are unwilling to take the step to become number one in retail desktop performance.

I'm referring to that Morpheus stormfront that blew through here recently regarding the multi processor G5's, two cores per chipotle -- leading to a possible double-double motherboard design.

Look, if apple wants to become the "world fastest desktop" in earnest, then they can with two of these chips per box. If they are unwilling to do so in order to insure scalability going forward, then that is their decision to make. Interestingly enough, this would be the first time since the Powermac g3 that they can freely decide between the high and low roads, rather than having to lean on the manufacturers for better output.

Even the pricing is not a real issue. 970 chips cost less for Apple than the g4 ones, and surely they could get some sort of discount after the 2004 970fx debacle.

"Gentlemen -- we can rebuild him, we have the technology. We can make better than he was before. Better... Stronger... Faster..."
[CENTER][/CENTER]

The question is whether Apple is willing to take a significant lead in retail desktop performance.

Last edited by mugwump : 2004-08-07 at 18:42.
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DaveGee
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: RD
 
2004-08-04, 22:23

While I'm as excited as the next mac-faithful over the news of the dual core 970's showing up on the horizon... I think it's time for a little reality check my friend. Fact is IBM (as it stands TODAY) can't even get Apple 90nm SINGLE CORE 970's in the quantity Apple needs.

I have it on pretty good authority that the problems are going away but still not as quickly as I'd like. Make no mistakes, IBM is NOT out of the woods yet - if the problems were gone we'd see a Apple home page filled with those anodized aluminum G5 iMac's that are waiting in the wings.

Let's just hope the indications that I've heard are true and all of this mess will truly be behind us come the end of the year...

Fingers crossed...

Dave
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hmurchison
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2004-08-04, 22:45

Quote:
Even the pricing is not a real issue. 970 chips cost less for Apple than the g4 ones, and surely they could get some sort of discount after the 2004 970fx debacle
This is a statement that cannot be proven. Chip pricing is affected by size of die and yield. If IBM is having issues yielding 970fx chips then the likelyhood of said cheaps being cheaper than G4s is questionable.

Frankly performance is a total sum game. Multiple factors have to be taken into account. Marketing can always claim "the fastest XXX" but reality is speed is determined by the synergy between the hardware and software. PCs benchmark fast using Pentium 4 processors but the weakness of these systems doesn't become apparent until you test in a heavy multitasking environment.

I have always said that hardware is the easiest thing to compete on. Apple has access to the same ASICS and semiconducters as everyone else. It is the software that will make the difference. The software must be efficient, stable and intuitive because it interfaces to the slowest component in the chain.....YOU.

omgwtfbbq
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2004-08-05, 08:54

Ouch. Well said, man.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-08-05, 09:11

Why is it that Apple seems to always be on the butt-end of getting faster chips/processors? I mean, we all suffered through that Motorola stall-out a few years ago (the 50MHz drop, the 500MHz year-long stall, the sluggish creeping/growth of the G4, etc.).

We were so happy last summer at the unveiling of the G5 and IBM's new role.

A year later, it suddenly feels like 1999-2002 again.



I'm not a Spec Whore, so I'm not bitching on MY "performance losses" (I have none, and am happy as a clam with my PowerBook). But they were slow out of the gate with the dual 2.0 G5s last fall, they missed the 3GHz mark (fine, whatever...stuff happens), these new liquid-cooled 2.5GHz towers are, again, slow out of the gate AND - most importantly - the iMac rollout got massively screwed up.

I know it's not about processor alone, but you look over at the other side and see 2.8 and 3.2 this and that and can't help but wonder "why can't Apple seem to ever get there, or get even a decent supply of sub-2.5GHz stuff?"

Apple could drop IBM tomorrow and sign some sort of thing with Intel and I'd bet you it would somehow stall out at 2.6GHz.



Again, I don't care in a "real world" sense. However, it just looks bad. The image it projects and the delays and unfulfilled orders that results just make us seem so lacking in that one department.

I guess it's God's way of keeping us in check. I mean, it wouldn't be fair to have a superior OS, digital media apps, hardware design AND the blazingest scorching processors too, huh? Three out of four isn't bad, I suppose. Imagine how obnoxious, as a platform/community, we'd be otherwise.

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Barto
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canberra, Australia
 
2004-08-05, 09:17

The "other side" is Intel, who is having major issues with their chips (specifically the "not going anywhere" issue). Intel is switching from MHz branding to model numbers, just like AMD. Apple is right up there with the G5 - and if you think the G5 has a heat problem, it's NOTHING compared to the Pentium 4 (the P4 heat problems have turned the chip into a dead end for Intel).

You need but wait, for our Lord and Saviour Steve Jobs will return with an improved pancreas and restore the dignity of his people.

Barto

The sky was deep black; Jesus still loved me. I started down the alley, wailing in a ragged bass.
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Luca
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-08-05, 10:20

Yeah, there have been a lot of ups and downs for all the processor companies over the years. Apple was doing so well in CPU performance in the early to mid 90s. The first personal computer to hit 300 MHz, for instance, was a Mac. Then, of course, there was the Pentium 4 which simply ballooned in clock speed, from about 1.5 GHz to 3 GHz a couple years ago. A year or two ago, AMD seemed to be on its last legs. And yet now, Intel is stalling, AMD is pushing development of 64 bit chips (Intel doesn't have viable consumer-level ones yet) but is stuck at 2.4 GHz, and Apple is also in the 64 bit club but also stalled.

I say anything could happen. Intel has dominated for a few years now (and they've always been a highly dominant processor maker), but that doesn't make them invulnerable. They've been forced to move back a generation to the Pentium III, because the Pentium 4 has not held up. And they still don't have a 64 bit chip that is actually usable for consumers. The Itanium is 64 bit only and can not run 32 bit code. And because they're stalled (at 3.6 GHz), AMD and IBM/Apple have a chance to catch up.
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2004-08-05, 10:39

Umm, a couple of Intel facts:

While output is small, they are now churning out 3.6GHz CPUs.

Intel has released their 64-bit non-Itanium chip, but they are going into servers at the moment. A full consumer release won't happen until Windows 64bit has been released.

A couple of G5 facts:

The 2.0GHz chip came out about 11 months ago.

The 2.5GHz chip is now shipping. That's a 25% clock increase along with the 970FX being about 12% more efficient than the 970 at the same clock.

Motorola fact:

The G4 was stuck at 500MHz for 18 months.

So, even though IBM didn't hit the magical 3.0GHz mark, they have improved speed faster than Moto did. In my eyes, the stalling of the G4 was much worse than IBMs flub.

Apple will have to release dual-core chips soon. AMD is on track to release dual-core Opterons next year. Apple will have to have dual-cores in order to keep up. There is no pull-ahead fastest desktop for Apple in this scenario.

That being said, I would still want an OS X solution more than a Windows solution even if the OS X solution is slower on paper. 90% of what I do on my Mac at home is held back by the slowness of me, not the computer.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-08-05, 10:46

No need to tell me all that...I know.

I'm just talking about perception and others who DON'T know, when they look at paper.

Trust me: I've said for years now that I'll take OS X on a 400MHz jellybean iMac over Windows on a 3GHz whatever.
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2004-08-05, 11:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0
Trust me: I've said for years now that I'll take OS X on a 400MHz jellybean iMac over Windows on a 3GHz whatever.
One other thing that needs to be said. Since when has MS ever released an OS update that performs better on the same hardware? *crickets chirping*

The amazing thing to me is that Apple has steadily added new features to OS X while making it perform better on the same hardware. I honestly don't know what other software companies could say this.

Although I am happy that I unloaded my TiBook 500 for a stock 1.25GHz AlBook last Fall.
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Luca
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-08-05, 11:28

The other funny thing is that the speed increases with OS updates are a relatively new thing for Apple. In the past, moving from one version of the Mac OS to the next would generally cause a slowdown. Maybe in a few cases (like bug-ridden 7.5.2 to semi-stable 7.5.3) it might help, but was 8.0 faster than 7.6? Was 9.0 faster than 8.6? No and no.

OS X is awesome. I have some nostalgia for OS 9, and it truly is the best OS for certain Macs (usually Macs with 200-400 MHz processors), but its usefulness is coming to an end.
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AirSluf
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Join Date: May 2004
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2004-08-05, 15:55

XXXXX

Last edited by AirSluf : 2004-11-15 at 23:02.
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