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Desktops (Apple) Businesses Apple Hardware

New Power Mac G4s Announced 301

Posted by pudge
from the i-want-a-dual-proc-powerbook dept.
benh57 writes "Apple today announced the new Power Mac G4 towers with new faces, running at dual-867MHz (US$1,699), dual-1GHz ($2,499), and dual-1.25GHz ($3,299). All are running DDR, the two higher end models at 166MHz FSB with Radeon 9000, the low end at 133 w/GF4MX." Check it out at The Apple Store, and keep your eyes peeled for an appearance on the Power Mac G4 site.
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New Power Mac G4s Announced

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  • by eshefer (12336) on Tuesday August 13, 2002 @09:53AM (#4061056) Homepage Journal
    Thats front page news - apple becomes the first PC maker to go totaly to dual processor in it's pro desktops.
    • And the way they did it! Yesterday $1600 (more or less) bought you a single-proc machine. Today, $1600 (more or less) buys you a dual-proc machine at the same or slightly better speed.

      I've already spec'd out my dream machine. (Realistically, that is.) It comes in just over $2,000, all-inclusive. For more than twice the oomph I could have gotten yesterday.

      The new exteriors are sexy, too.
    • Even more interesting is the fact that Apple doesn't seem to be relying as heavily on trade shows (ala macworld) to promote new products anymore.
      • Moving away from major announcements at shows is their stated intention. They don't like how their sales tank for the month or two before a show, when something major is expected to be announced there.

        I guess they want to space out product announcements all year long, and to make them as much of a surprise as possible so as not to affect their sales volume so dramatically.

        ~Philly
        • They're not succeeding, then; world+dog (as The Register says) knew that there would be new G4s released today or shortly thereafter thank to the end of the previous Crystal Clear promotion (which promptly was replaced with a new one).

          D
    • by johnpaul191 (240105) on Tuesday August 13, 2002 @10:06AM (#4061143) Homepage
      all dual combined with the faster motherboard should make these really fast running 10.2. can't wait to see the benchmark tests. it is also the first Mac since the Beige towers that have two full sized front bays. if you look at the new case modifications, you can see that this is meant to move a TON of air through the case. the whole back panel seems to have speed holes, and there are ports in the front of the case for full air pass through (older G4/G3 case had no venting in the front and most of the back was sealed up except the fan ports). it also has a monster heatsink. apple.com has some VRs posted of the inside [apple.com] and outside [apple.com] of the case. besides the already listed stats, here are some other interesting bits of information. the full breakdown is now up at Apple.com as well.

      from macminute.com- [macminute.com]

      * the ability to have two internal optical drives via a build-to-order option that adds a second DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive ($250)

      * support for four internal hard drives (two ATA/66, two ATA/100)
      * support for up to 2GB of DDR RAM with four slots (266MHz in the dual-867MHz, 333MHz in the dual-1GHz and dual-1.25GHz)
      * dual-867MHz and dual-1GHz feature 1MB of DDR L3 per processor, dual-1.25GHz features 2MB per processor

      * processor heatsink is considerably larger than previous models, but lacks a fan

      * the return of an audio-in port

      * ATI Radeon 9000 Pro replaces NVIDIA's GeForce4 MX in the mid-range and high-end models, but a GeForce4 Ti card is still available for an additional $250 (or $350 on the low-end Power Mac G4)

      * video cards feature ADC/DVI connectors; VGA is supported through an included adapter

      * dual-1.25GHz system delivers 18.3 gigaflops, versus 15 gigaflops for the previous generation dual-1GHz (20% increase)
      • * processor heatsink is considerably larger than previous models, but lacks a fan

        Well, if you look at apple's site [apple.com] you can see a fan... but it looks like its up by the CD/DVD drives. What's up with that?
        • I missed it before... you can see a second even bigger fan in the quicktime VR [apple.com]. Look under the drives, facing the massive heat sinks... Does a G4 really give out this much heat?? I wonder if this is a sign of a Power4 in our future :)
          • i saw that too..... i guess someone more knowledgable in the art of DIY computer building would know..... but this is strange to me....

            yesterday they had dual 1GHz machines in the quicksilver cases. the quicksilver case has little ventilation. no front vents, small back venting ports. today they have the dual 1GHz and dual 1.25GHz with a massive 7lb heatsink, fan directly blowing across it and it basically is sitting in a windtunnel with those front and rear speedholes. i can only guess this is for the next coming speedbumps? i think this 1GHz chip is actually a revised version of yesterdays 1GHz chip, so it might run a little hotter? also the DDRam and whatnot might be a lil warmer, but i would guess this is planning for the next speedbumps till they fully redesign the case (if they do anytime soon).
            • hrmmm now there seems to be some confusion is these are running the previous 7455 PPC chip or a new 7470 PPC. i guess the rumors of 1.4GHz were all based on the assumption of the 7470 chip being brought in...... guess we have to wait till somebody molests one.
            • It's a 120mm fan, and looks to be pushing air out of the case, through the heatsink fins.

              Also, with newer revisions of chips (smaller dyes/etc.), the chip should actually give off _less_ heat, not more. This is the case most of the time, but not always.
        • Actually, the only image that will show you a fan is the QTVR. Carefully look and you can see a giant fan right next to the heatsink.
    • Actually Apple came close to doing this a while back and almost got blasted for it.

      The original G4/MP machines, http://manuals.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/M anuals/specs/desktops/L05546A_EN.pdf , were knocked because it was seen as Motorola and IBM being unable to provide faster G4 chips.

      The machines were offered in 400, 450x2, and 500x2 MHz.

      I am sitting here with my G4/933, jealous of the new machines. I am really glad they have finally decided that dual optical drives could be important. While I have recently become glad that I go the Superdrive (having to brun 3.2 gigs worth of pictures for friends), I really wish I had the ability to burn CD's faster than 8x. Yes, I could go with a Firewire burner, but that seems like a lot of money when I already have a decent burner. A cheap iternal CD-RW would fit the bill perfectly.

      I do not see why each option has a DVD drive, though. I would think that most people that would want dual optical drives would want either DVD-R/CD-RW or DVD/CD-RW as one drive, and CD-RW in the second. How often does one person need two DVD drives?

      In the meant time, I suppose I can just wait for Jaguar (10.2) to ship. Apparently it is almost as fast as a harware upgrade on a CD.
      • by foobar104 (206452) on Tuesday August 13, 2002 @11:05AM (#4061545) Journal
        In the meant time, I suppose I can just wait for Jaguar (10.2) to ship. Apparently it is almost as fast as a harware upgrade on a CD.

        That's a really good description of the 10.2 experience. Apple could have marketed it that way. I have 6C106 running on several machines, G3s and G4s, but my personal machine is a 500 MHz iBook. OS X 10.2 6C106 makes my machine (get this) more responsive, more capable, more energy-efficient, and cooler!

        I mean, I could understand faster and more features; that's what OS upgrades are good for. But something in the new power management subsystem has tripled my battery life (no kidding) and seriously reduces the amount of heat that my iBook generates. I used to get uncomfortable after using my laptop for an hour or 90 minutes because the trackpad and palm-rests were hot to the touch. It was okay, though, because the battery would be almost flat by that time. But now I get three plus hours of battery and the machine is always cool to the touch. I don't know if that comes from hard drive spin-down or from processor cycling, but I love it.

        Incidentally, that three-plus hours is doing stuff like surfing and email and MS Word, but it's with the AirPort card on.

        Mac OS X 10.2 really is like a hardware upgrade on a CD, at least for us laptop owners.
        • Im interested in jaguar for that reason, but I have an older Lombard. from what i understand, the speed boost is by better use of hardware acceleration. would it have that same noticable difference on something with 4mb of video ram?
          • by ZxCv (6138)
            If it helps that much on his 500MHz iBook, then it should make a noticeable difference for your Lombard too. That model iBook does have 8MB vs your 4MB, but neither takes advantage of QE, so I would imagine the speed improvements are fairly similar.
          • I also have it running on a bronze keyboard PB G3-- I've forgotten all my code names; it's bronze keyboard, but no firewire-- and it's very peppy. I think it's a 400 MHz, and it has 192 MB of RAM. It's not as fast as a G4 with Quartz Extreme, of course, but it's totally usable. Which is a pleasant surprise for a five-year-old (+/- 1) machine.
          • This is a frequent misconception of the speed improvements from 10.2. Yes, Quartz Extreme uses AGP accelerated graphics for a faster GUI. However, 10.2 incorporates many other improvements that make the user experience much faster, as well.

            You will see a speed-up from 10.2. It would not be as fast as if you had Quartz Extreme capable graphics, but you will still see quite a speed-up.
      • I do not see why each option has a DVD drive, though. I would think that most people that would want dual optical drives would want either DVD-R/CD-RW or DVD/CD-RW as one drive, and CD-RW in the second. How often does one person need two DVD drives?

        I could see some people who would find it useful to have both DVD-R and DVD+R or +RW (or whatever the hell all the different versions are) on their machines in order to produce custom disks for special situations.
      • I have a G4/450 dual processor system from that era. I knew it wasn't a big advantage when I bought it, but I was definitely looking forward to it on MacOS X.

        And I wasn't disappointed, and I have real-world evidence to back it up.

        When Final Cut Pro 3.0 for MacOS X came out, I tried it out in the store on one of their then-new single-processor 867 systems. The 867 seemed a bit sluggish - when I was rendering, the whole world would stop and I couldn't even pull up a web browser window. But I can do this seamlessly on the dual 450, so in my eyes it's a much nicer machine to work with than the 867.

        So I don't think you'd regret buying a dual processor system even if it was a small cut in nominal processor speed (933 to 867 for instance).

        My main problem with my system is that my ego really wanted the dual 500 as the top of the line, but my rational self couldn't justify paying $1,000 more for it(*).

        Anyway, it looks like a repeat with the current range - the dual 1.25ghz system is only about 25% faster in mhz and is 32% more expensive. Might not be so bad if the total performance was 32% better, but it's probably not since it doesn't have a memory subsystem or disks that are 32% faster. I would have certainly gone for the high-end machine if it had been $2,999, but for $3,299 it seems like they're pushing it.

        What do you think? Is the .25ghz extra worth $800 more?

        D

        (*) Of course I could have ordered the 500 bare through the Apple Store online, but I called them and the whole experience was pretty bad because I did not have a credit card capable of handling the full amount, and they're pretty inflexible on payment options (no COD, not even cash).

        At any rate, that doesn't apply anymore since you can no longer downgrade machines on the online Apple store, and you can no longer upgrade CPUs on the lesser systems. So you're stuck paying $800 more if you want .25ghz more. Pity.

        In the end, this means there's little point to buying an Apple machine online anymore. Might as well be pampered at an Apple Retail Store for the same prices to the penny (including sales tax).
        • In the end, this means there's little point to buying an Apple machine online anymore. Might as well be pampered at an Apple Retail Store for the same prices to the penny (including sales tax).

          It might be cheaper--no shipping charges. Also, there's an Apple store in tax-free New Hampshire [apple.com], if you can get there.

        • What do you think? Is the .25ghz extra worth $800 more?

          Try this: go to an Apple store, and run the apps you use on the dual 1Ghz machine, and the dual 1.25Ghz machine. Then decide.

          -jcr

        • Anyway, it looks like a repeat with the current range - the dual 1.25ghz system is only about 25% faster in mhz and is 32% more expensive. Might not be so bad if the total performance was 32% better, but it's probably not since it doesn't have a memory subsystem or disks that are 32% faster. I would have certainly gone for the high-end machine if it had been $2,999, but for $3,299 it seems like they're pushing it.

          What do you think? Is the .25ghz extra worth $800 more?

          For that $800 you also get a 120GB hard drive instead of 80GB ($100 in build-to-order) and 512MB of ram instead of 256MB ($200 in build-to-order), so technically you're only paying $500 for the .25MHZ per processor.
          • This would look valid - but outside of Apple's price bubble, I can get a 120gb 7200rpm hard drive for $199 and 512mb of DDR RAM for $199.

            So it's really just a way to get gullible customers like me to pay extra for the speed bump :-(.

            D
  • by blakespot (213991) on Tuesday August 13, 2002 @09:55AM (#4061077) Homepage
    This is an excellent move for Apple. Solid UNIX high-end workstations making use of multiple processors, as a robust, pre-emptive multitasking system should. Let's hope Apple finds some what to make the public aware of this singificant spec of their tower machines.

    Sadly...my dual G4 800 may be getting grey hair...

    blakespot
    • The Achilles heel in all this is backup, especially for Mac OS X Server. Every other version of UNIX out there has a built-in backup solution (except, unaccountably, Linux, which has no dump/restore, last I checked). Mac OS X has dump/restore too, but they only understand the UFS file system. Apple rewrote 'fsck' to understand about HFS+ file systems, but not dump/restore.

      That leaves Retrospect as the only sensible solution for backup: a third party product. And the regular Retrospect Mac OS X client won't dump a Mac OS X Server system! Instead you have to spend $800 (!!!) for the Server backup software. That software will also dump Windows 2000 and NT workstations, whoop-de-do.

      Whatever happened to UNIX as a self-hosting, self-supporting system? Gaaaah. I'm thinking hard about wiping our Mac OS X Server machine and just installing the regular Mac OS X, where at least we can afford the backup software.

      Or maybe just dumping Macs entirely and going to FreeBSD on a dual-processor Xeon box. All hail Amanda! At least I could back up a box like that.
      • Every other version of UNIX out there has a built-in backup solution (except, unaccountably, Linux, which has no dump/restore, last I checked).

        Every instance of Linux I've ever installed came with the traditional dump/restore, which had no troubles reading Solaris ufsdump images, and generated images that Solaris' ufsrestore had no trboule reading. That includes every version of RedHat since 3.1, a preview release of Caldera before that, and Slackware even earlier, going back to March 1994 when I did my first Linux install.

  • Much like the Xserve, it looks like they've managed to hack DDR onto the G4 processor, and its still running on a bus which is not doubled like the Athlons. Running the bus at 166mhz should make up for that a little bit though. Interesting that after all the commentary on the new cases having huge (7lbs) heat sinks, I couldn't find any images of them on the apple site. They must really be that big.
    • they do sorta show it in the VR of the innards.....

      http://www.apple.com/hardware/gallery/pmg4_august2 002_480.html [apple.com]

      yes it is huge, and notice the holes in front of case venting through to the back plate that is all speed holes. i wonder if it is these dual processors that are that hot, or if Apple is just planning for the future speed bumps? also, look in the open case... there is a fan right about in the middle of the case blowing right across (or sucking air over) the heatsinks. they moved the hard drives out of the air path and use an Xserve-like (or the actual Xserve) low profile power supply strapped up to the inside top of the case. interesting layout changes inside.
  • by blakespot (213991) on Tuesday August 13, 2002 @09:59AM (#4061099) Homepage
    As an FYI:

    These machines do have DDR memory and a DDR system bus but the G4's themselves are running at 133 or 167MHz (depending upon model). The system controller and memory are running full tilt though (266 or 333 depending).

    blakespot
  • No!!!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by avalys (221114) on Tuesday August 13, 2002 @10:01AM (#4061120)
    I just bought a new Power Mac G4 (933). Yesterday!!! 12 f*cking hours ago!!!

    Noooooooooooo!!!!
    • well, then you could have gotten the rebate on a monitor? if not.... sorry buddy. sometimes those rumor sites do know.
    • Re:No!!!! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by foo12 (585116)
      Did you open it? If so, it's 15% restock fee. If not, you're out nothing.
  • I do enjoy when Apple puts out new products, it means their old products will become slightly more in my price range. Although I don't know how much longer I can wait for a deal on older TiBooks. I may have to whip out the credit card.

    >:D
  • Oh yeah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Raster Burn (213891) on Tuesday August 13, 2002 @10:15AM (#4061193)
    I never knew that I could be sexually attracted to a computer!
  • by jht (5006) on Tuesday August 13, 2002 @10:19AM (#4061216) Homepage Journal
    The other shoe that dropped today was that they've now gone full-tilt with the eMac, adding a Superdrive and running it at 800 MHz for the same price ($1499) as the 15" Combo drive iMac.

    Meaning that unless you really like the cool look of the iMac, you can save a couple of hundred dollars by getting an eMac instead, without giving anything else up (I believe they're based on the same motherboard spec) besides the cool screen. And the eMac has a pretty decent screen.

    I've been leaning towards getting an iMac in the fall to replace my wife's old iMac DV 450 (we could use the DVD burner to make movies of the baby), but assuming no other drastic changes I'd be inclined to go with the eMac now instead. And Apple is steadily returning the CRT to it's place as the lower-end anchor even though LCD prices are starting to drop again (they also reduced the prices of all the other iMac configs). That's interesting.

    Basically, I'm going to be watching the early fall with great interest - once these new configs are well-established there'll probably be some speedbumping of the whole line around October or so. My guess is that the iMac and eMac could hit 1 GHz, the PowerMac towers will start at 1 GHz and go to either 1.4 or maybe as high as 1.6 (Moto is supposedly sampling the 1.6 part now), and the PowerBook will probably get a speedbump to, say, 933 MHz at that point, too. They may not all be at once, but those are the next logical steps, and I'd expect to see them all before years' end (and before Christmas season, in particular).
  • While you could probably hack one of those two Optical drive bays for a Zip drive, I am puzzled why Apple would no longer offer Zip as a BTO option.

    Hopefully Apple or a third-party mfr will offer an attractive Zip bezel for this case.

    Also, those massive cooling vents on the front of the machine kind of have me worried that this thing is going to sound like a wind tunnel... but that is the bitter reality of it: you can't have all the speed and none of the noise.

    Otherwise this looks like a damn impressive machine, and a long-overdue overhaul to the G4 line. I'm drooling already. Nice work Apple.

    • by Spencerian (465343) on Tuesday August 13, 2002 @10:48AM (#4061444) Homepage Journal
      Why would you NEED a Zip drive as a built-in option when you can burn a CD that holds over 6 times as much?

      You can still buy a USB or FireWire Zip drive and connect it externally, but now Apple doesn't dedicate a place in the case that is a waste of space for anything other than a Zip drive.
      • Oh the Zip issue is minor for most people, I'll admit. I have an internal Zip 250 in my existing G4 right now because I use a Roland sampler (the SP-808) which also has a Zip drive, and it makes for a very convenient way to work on samples in the computer and transfer them to the sampler.

        The lack of Zip isn't the end of the world for me by any means, I'll just need to get an external Zip so that my workflow won't change.

        I suppose in the grand scheme, Zip is going the way of the floppy anyway, at least in Apple's view, and if these machines are the speed demons I expect them to be I can certainly forgive Apple for making my Zip external :)

        My favourite thing here is that while they have nudged the top end up about 20% in speed, the bottom and mid-range towers have gotten a massive boost.

    • It's simple really. A blank CD costs roughly 1/15th (or less) what a Zip disk does, stores 6.5 times as much, and is stable and reliable compared to the Zip.

      I have a couple Mac with built-in Zip drives. I stopped using Zip disks years ago for the reasons listed above.
  • Is it just me, or did the price on the 17" iMac increase by $100?

    (OH GAWD NO NOT $100 OH THAT'S BLOODY LARCENY OH THE PAIN OH MY GAWD NOOOOO.... sorry... ;-) I just realized that it is kind of ridiculous to be screaming bloody murder over a $100 price drop when they've cut the prices on their other machines and introduced rocking PMG4s. ;-)
    • Is it just me, or did the price on the 17" iMac increase by $100?

      I don't think so. I was at the local Apple Store this weekend drooling^W admiring the 17" iMac with Jaguar on it. I remember the price for the system being $1,999, which is the same price as they're listing on the Apple Store web site today.

      But they did drop the price on the 15" non-SuperDrive models by $100.
    • Nope. I watched the keynote. It was $1,999 then it's $1,999 now. :)
  • that has to be the biggest heat sink ever! i wonder why they dont go with on chip active cooling like the pc people. has anyone hacked a pc heatsink onto a g4?

    the blue board is f'n gorgeous, but i NEED my zip drive!!!

  • Mixed reaction (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Xel (84370)
    I was waiting for these for a long time. And im disappointed, frankly.

    Basically, the motherboard is a thing of beauty: DDR finally comes to Mac, dual procs, gobs of cache, ATA/100 AND ATA/66, a bitchin memory controller, 4x AGP and 4 PCI slots... This is the culmination of everything Mac users have been lusting over in a mobo.

    But what the $&#*@ is up with that case??

    It looks like Apple is so stubbornly hanging on to the 4 year old G3 design that theyre just cramming everything in wherever it will fit- some HDs mounted sideways, some flat. PCI slots on TOP? vents everywhere, ungly front bezel that looks like it was cobbled together last minute to accomodate the two optical drives, and a heatsink the size of an air conditioner. The engineers should have stopped and asked themselves if this was a good idea after they started perforating the thing like a cheese grater just to get air flowing through it.

    ----------------
    www.overstim.net

    • Re:Mixed reaction (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jcr (53032)
      But what the $&#*@ is up with that case??

      The case is a continuation of an award-winning design, that has proven very popular. It maintains the carry handles (believe me, if you've ever dropped a computer, you appreciate the handles), and the ability to open the case easily.

      Speaking as one who had to dismantle and reassemble PC's on a daily basis in my misspent youth, I'd be pretty annoyed if Apple had changed the "put most of the guts on the door" design.

      -jcr

    • Re:Mixed reaction (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Golias (176380)
      The new case looks to me like minor and needed upgrade from what was already the best case in the home computer industry: Better (and probably quieter) air-flow, room for another optical drive & more internal HD's, and Apple's usual swing-open case design that would make the Dell Dude weep with envy.

      What were you hoping for? An iMac-style dome?

  • We have an Apple store across the street from where i work, and i ran over at lunch to check things out. They are getting the low end 867 and 1 gig machines in tomorrow, but won't be getting the 1.25 machines in for 2-3 months. Apparently, the 1.25 chips aren't even available yet, at least thats what the Mac dweebie said.
  • what do i have to do to run (2) 1600x1200 CRTs with the built in video? I'm willing to get the Ge4Ti BTO card, but it has 1 ADC and 1 DVI (w/ VGA adapter). Can I get an ADC-VGA adapter to run a second CRT?

    (don't like LCD's: too expensive, lousy color gamut, way too expensive)

    Anyone have any experience with this sort of setup on a recent G4?

    Michael-
    • I'm concerned about the same thing. All of the available cards from Apple's online store are DVI+ADC out-only cards. I would rather buy a second 19" CRT for us$200 to us$350 than us$1000 for an Apple 17" ADC unit.

      Dr. Bott [drbott.com] has this [drbott.com] "VGA Extractor for ADC" for us$35 plus S&H. I can't find any reviews of how well it works or how good the video quality is. On the other hand, I can't find any complaints.

      My additional complaint is that the available video cards don't have standard TV Video out! This is becoming standard on equivalent WinTel video cards. I would rather use my Region 2 DVD drive to watch Spaced [spaced-out.org.uk] on my TV through a reliable MacOS box than my wonky WinTel box.

      By the way, you're welcome for my Googling "ADC VGA adapter" ;^)

      • Dr. Bott has this "VGA Extractor for ADC" for us$35 plus S&H.

        All the machines announced today come with an ADC-VGA adapter at no charge. If you acquire a DVI-VGA adapter, you can use two independent CRTs with your new machine.

        Apple also sells the ADC-VGA adapter separately, but I'm too busy/lazy to look it up for you right now. You can find it at store.apple.com.
    • I went out and purchased a Radeon 7000 PCI card for my G4/933 so that I could run a second monitor.

      One important thing to realize is that Quartz Extreme will probably work best with the entire VRAM for it, and not split up for two monitors (it requires 32megs VRAM). Running with a 64 or 128 meg card might allow you to run two monitors with QE, but you might want to check on that.

      I picked up the Radeon for about $120.

      Of course, if you need all of the PCI slots for something else, you will probably want to run the two monitors off of the original video card.

      Just some things to think about.

      (And now I have the great option of being able to run four monitors, and have TV-out off the 7000)
  • Add 20% to these [barefeats.com] numbers.

    Apple again shines... but only in their traditional strengths.

  • by shawnce (146129) on Tuesday August 13, 2002 @04:34PM (#4064394) Homepage
    About a year ago we had dual 800 MHz systems with 100MHz FSB, PC133 RAM (133 MHz), 2MB of L3 via a 200 MHz bus and single channel ATA/66. Just over one year later we have 1250 MHz systems with 166 MHz FSB, PC2700 RAM (166 MHz double pumped or 333 MHz data rate), 2MB of L3 via a 294 MHz[1] bus double pumped, and dual channel ATA (one ATA/100 and the other ATA/66).

    So in a year...
    1.56x increase in CPU clock speed (ignoring other CPU enhancements).
    2.5x increase in RAM throughput.
    1.66x increase in FSB throughput.
    2.94x increase in L3 throughput (possibly only 2.5x).
    over a doubling in internal disk storage support (not counting SCSI options).

    Looking over things on the Intel/AMD side...

    AMD had about a year ago 1.53GHz chips (1800+ Athlon XP) today 1.8Ghz (2200+ Athlon XP) (FSB speeds did not changed). Intel had about a year ago 2Ghz P4s with FSB of 266MHz (133Mhz dual pumped) and today 2.53GHz P4s with FSB of 533MHz (133MHz quad pumped, AFAIK).

    So in a year...
    AMD...
    1.18x increase in CPU clock speed.
    no change in FSB (from what I see).

    Intel...
    1.27x increase in CPU clock speed.
    2.01x increase in FSB throughput.

    AMD/Intel system have been using PC2100 for a while and are now starting to use PC2700 (some are starting to use DDR400 and/or going dual channel to RAM). This is side stepping the issue of RDRAM.

    Again just as a frame of reference...

    [1] Apple's current specs don't add up fully on this, one states that it stops at 500MHz DDR but the throughput numbers lead me to believe it is running faster then 500MHz DDR for the top end system.

    p.s. I am doing the above math with a fever of 102+ so I may have messed up someplace... just don't tell the pink elephant sitting next me.
    • About a year ago we had dual 800 MHz systems with 100MHz FSB, PC133 RAM (133 MHz), 2MB of L3 via a 200 MHz bus and single channel ATA/66.

      This is incorrect. The quicksilvers have a 133Mhz bus.

  • http://www.macosrumors.com
  • by LenE (29922) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @01:32PM (#4071119) Homepage
    I felt a little ill when I read through the Xserve tech. info, since this brand new ASIC called the "System Controller" was responsible for running things. With this G4 release, combined with recent and near future announcements (7470, IBM 64-bit) I'm even more disturbed.

    The thing that bothers me to the core is how long it took for the UMA, UMA 1.5, and UMA 2.0 chipsets to be released from Apple on prior designs. Now, all of these functions are put into one ASIC that would have to be redesigned to upgrade any one of the functions that it covers.

    For example, it integrates the IDE interface on the chip. It didn't make sense to me that ATA100 was used on this chip in the Xserve, since Maxtor was practically giving away PCI ATA133 cards back in January of this year with some of their hard drives. With this new G4, only two of those ATA100 channels are used, and they use an external chip to provide ATA66. This doesn't scream cutting edge, and the design seems crippled to protect the position of the Xserve.

    Maybe Apple packed a whole lot more into this System Controller than they are using. It appears to support multiple bus speeds (133 & 167), but does it support the DDR bus of the 7470? How about the interface of the upcoming IBM chip? Does it have the capability to support HyperTransport already? How about 800 Mbps Firewire?

    Who knows! If it is capable of any of these things, then Apple planned correctly to integrate everything and then drip out features as they see fit (or as tested drivers and not-yet-existant hardware are ready and feasible).

    Unfortunately, I am afraid that this may not be the case. It looks like this system controller was designed to be wintel compettitive last year.

    -- Len

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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