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Multiprocessor G4s @MacWorld 111

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the divide-in-conquer dept.
whostudios writes "According to this arricle at AppleInsider Apple will show their second generation 500Mhz dual G4 boxes at the MacWorld Expo this January. The same article also says that Apple is working on quad-processor boxes. " It'll be pretty sweet to have another SMP capable platform for Linux to run on. Update: 12/27 09:30 by CT : If you don't want to wait for Apple's solution, try this dual G4 board and roll your own.
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Multiprocessor G4s @MacWorld

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  • Doesn't necessarily mean they'll be announced, though. The article indicates they'll be unveiled on stage, but it's also possible they may just be exhibited to a few select developers. Apple is already introducing (by all accounts) a new PowerBook along with updates on OS 9 and OS X. There's also the possibility of a new 17" iMac announcement, and the long-overdue G4/OS X Server machine will hopefully be ready at the same time. That's a lot for even a MacWorld Expo. The MP machines are more likely, IMO, to be announced later in the year at an Apple Event of some type. Unless Steve is looking for that perfect Columbo-esque "Oh, one more thing..." announcement for this Expo. Hey, it worked twice last year...

    Mmmmmm...new PowerBook. (makes Homer-ish drool sound)


  • by bano (410)
    AFAIK nothing but MacOS will run on a G4 as of yet.
  • ...build yourself a dual processor Celeron system. I just did this, and it's loads o' fun. Doesn't cost much, either. The ABIT BP6 motherboard will run you around $120-130, and the processors are around $45-50 each. I used 333s, and clocked 'em to 500 MHz. With the ABIT boards, you do all of the tweaking in the BIOS; no jumpers. Rock solid so far, even while crunching RC5 (around 2.4/2.5 Mkeys/sec).

    I'm sure the Apple boxes will rock, but I suspect they'll cost a little more that this. :-)

    However, if ABIT ever puts out a dual-processor PowerPC board...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You should wake up and smell the coffee. Linuxppc and Yellowdog will run on it, and have since just after the G4's introduction.

    check http://www.yellowdoglinux.net or http://www.linuxppx.org for details.


  • by chadmulligan (87873) on Monday December 27, 1999 @04:13AM (#1443168)
    I'm writing this on a Genesis MP528. This is a 4-CPU multiprocessor box - a PPC 9500 clone with a Genesis-developed processor board. Four 132 MHz 604 CPUs... this was a top-of-the line system when I bought it several years ago.

    At the time only Photoshop, Premiere, and a fractal-calculating demo could use the 4 CPUs, until I installed the BeOS on it. It was amazing what difference the added CPUs made...

    After 2 of the CPUs burned out a couple of years ago, (the thermal paste wasn't tropics-proof, it seems) I installed a 300MHz G3 board - which at the time performed somewhat better than all 4 of the original CPUs.

    The Mac OS has for some years supported extra CPUs strictly for number-crunching, but it wasn't symmetrical for other things. I'm looking forward to swapping my board for a dual or quad G4 in the near future, once full SMP support is in place.

  • Actually yellow dog has linux running on G4's but it's still in early stage. However, you can get and run linux on G4's. Also, MP PPC Linux would be a kick ass platform for java servlets especially if the PPC JVM is SMP ready thread wise. Very fast. I use PPC Linux for my servlet development all the time.
  • Hey, it is not just "a MacWorld Expo"...

    It is the first MacWorld of the new millenium. Maybe, Jobs wants to play Santa, bearing many "gifts"...

  • I've always wanted a multi-processor G4. Currently I'm writing this on a P166 w/128 megs of ram and a 7.2 gig hard drive. I think its time for an upgrade. This box runs rc5-64/csc/seti@home rather slowly...
  • by znu (31198) <znu.public@gmail.com> on Monday December 27, 1999 @04:24AM (#1443174)
    Mac OS 9 has limited support for multiple processors, but not SMP. Apps need to be specifically coded for MP configurations. Fortunately, most of the apps that actually need MP (stuff like Photoshop) are already MP-enabled, because Apple has made a couple MP machines in the past.

    Mac OS X Server does not currently have any kind of MP support at all, but the Server 1.2 update (which was originally just intended to add G4 support) has been taking longer than expected, and it's rumored that this is because it's going to be a rather major upgrade. If Apple really does introduce MP machines at Macworld, it doesn't seem so far fetched that a version of Server that supports SMP will be introduced as well.

    SMP is an announced feature for the client version of Mac OS X as well (and all future versions of Server will be based on this client version), whenever that actually ships.

    --
  • by cxreg (44671) on Monday December 27, 1999 @04:28AM (#1443175) Homepage Journal
    I for one cannot wait to see SMP Athlon vs SMP G4 benchmarks. Both are excellent CPUs, and should scale well. IIRC, both AMI and Tyan have SMP Athlon boards coming out in 1Q00. This stuff is getting more and more important as people start to wonder about the longevity of Moores Law...
  • by jonr (1130)
    We had dual and quad PowerMacs years ago, until Apple killed the cloners...
    And we are supposed to be thankful? Try another one, Steve.
    J.
  • Yeah, i'd love to too, but I haven't seen any SMP Athlons yet. Which isn't to say there won't be (and if anyone has any reviews/prices on a motherboard for such, post them!!!!). But that said, it would be interesting running a dual processer G4 against a K7-800 . . . or one of the Kryotech 1Ghz Athlons! I'm sure the G4 would win, but by how much?


    God, it's such a good time to be a geek!
  • as a former next owner (attempting to escape the inanity of quickdraw quirks) and rabid macintosh enthusiast, mainstream multiprocessor systems running macosx are something of a holy grail (_especially_ since i recall discussing a sweet dual-processor prototype next machine with the nextstep crowd at mit _years_ ago)... where did those tissues go, i'm all misty ;) kuma
  • There were dual Apple supported Power Macs. The reason there were no SMP G3's is because the G3 does not support SMP (sounds familiar to another chipmaker, no?)

    The G4 does, and Apple is taking advantage of that. So yes, you should be thankful.

    Dan
    So many things couldn't happen today
    So many songs we forgot to play
    So many dreams coming out of the blue
  • it is, apple uses Mac OS 9.
  • Apple (and Mac OS clone manufacturers) have toyed with multiprocessor Macs in the past. Apple itself sold dual processor systems while some cloners went as far as to bring quad processor systems to market. The machines were mighty impressive, but unless BeOS was your bag, the only thing they were good for was accelerating Photoshop filters. And let's face it, most of us don't spend that much time waiting for Photoshop filters to finish.

    Fast forward to 1999 and nothing has changed, except that Apple is now being led by a guy who actually understands that multiprocessor boxes are useless with classic Mac OS. That's why Apple isn't shipping any. The next major Apple OS release, Mac OS X, will feature decent SMP support, but could still be a year away. Shipping SMP hardware before that is ethically questionable at best, doomed to backfire at worst.
  • I'm not a graphic artist type, but I didn't think SMP was of much use in the kinds of graphics apps used by so many Macophiles...Please correct my folly...
  • Didn't say a straight G4 would. But odds are a dual-G4 would beat a single Athlon
  • Even if the G4 *is* faster than Athlon 1 on 1, I'd put money on Athlon in SMP due mainly to its EV6 architecture which gives a full 200MHz per CPU to the bus. Which is why I cant wait to see the benchmarks =) Vroom
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Monday December 27, 1999 @05:57AM (#1443191) Homepage
    back when the G4 was in development they talked a whole lot about "multiple-core" G4s. As opposed to normal multiprocessor setups, these were just a number of G4s that had been wired to act as if they were only one G4. The point is unlike SMP where you have to rewrite the software to take advantage of it, the multicored g4s would not-- they acted as if they were one processor and you treated them as such. (my apologies if this is not a totally accurate discription; if you care go browse appleinsider's back issues, or something)

    Whatever happened to this? This sounded like a really good idea. Has apple just forgotten about it, or did they spend so much time on altivec they just never got around to developing the idea fully?
  • Actually, it's more of a Motorola thing than an Apple thing.

    Motorola is still on track to deliver a multiple core CPU in the G5, and I think also the G4II, which is due in 2000.
  • In the desktop side of things (meaning not enterprise-class-servers), graphics and video apps are the apps that will benifit most from access to multiple processors. In fact they don't usually care if those processors are SMP or AMP (asymetric), they just want as many processor cycles as they can get!

    Think about applying a complex filter to a large image (a poster sixed image at 1600 DPI for example.. an especialy good example as almost all movie posters are done on Macs...), what the computer is doing in this render is applying a algorithm repeatedly to each point in the picture. Usually the algorithm only involves a small number of pixels for each pass, but it has to pass over every single pixel (sometimes more than once). If you have one processor, then that one has to do the whole job, add more hands to the work, and each one can be working on its own piece of the picture, not interfering with the others.

    Since the people you pay for this sort of creative work tend to be paid a lot per hour, any speed-up you can provie in their tools saves you money (and generally makes the creative types happier people). SMP specificly is only mildly important to them (maybe they can work on email on one processor while the other grinds away..), but the MP part is absolutely critical!

    ...and just to respond ot the "Macophiles" part of the post, for Apple's graphics arts consumers this is essential, and woth any price. For the rest of us, the fact that they are working on SMP rather than AMP (finally!) means that the beinifits of MP can be put in at the system level, so that any app will instantly benifit from having multiple processors in the system, even if that app can only run on one of those processors!
  • Yeah, but that was a hack, because the OS didn't support it very well. Now we have a very robust CPU, with a choice of either Linux or OS X, two OS's that should do a stellar job compared to Mac OS 7.x

    Frankly, I'll be surprised if Be doesn't announce their support for G4's pretty soon....
  • As an avid fan of BOTH macs and Linux, I still have yet to bother trying out PPC linux. Really, I have yet to find a reason, except earning myself serious geek points. The Mac OS is great at what it does - but putting Linux on a Mac box seems to me just to waste more expensive hardware. I've got 4 Linux boxes running, none of them cost a whole wad of cash. Macs have certainly come down in price, but I'm not about to waste the $2,500 I just spent on a G4 to make a linux box that can't do nearly everything that a $500 box could do.
  • Considering the common notion that the G4 is fast, multiple G4's are obviously the next logical step. The problem becomes: what would I do with G4-MP???

    The MacOS seems infinitely capable -- why must it do all of them so poorly and/or primitively? MP support on a Macintosh works out to be a few specific Adobe apps crudely hacked to run two parallel threads on separate CPU's. The OS doesn't natively support any kind of MP, and 90% of Mac apps simply 'stay at home' on CPU 0. If there were more than ten apps used on a Mac (Adobe software, M$ Office, Quark, and Nutscrape), I'm sure that percentage would be higher.

    Linux SMP is coming along (but admit it, it's not even up to pace with NT, let alone BeOS), but Yellow Dog [yellowdoglinux.com] only has half-assed support for the G4. Then there is the problem of getting it from kernel 2.2 to 2.4 in the next couple of months...

    Apple's OS X is a way off [arstechnica.com], and given the hardware used in their systems since the introduction of the iMac, would you be able to find any other UN*X that supports bizarre foreign hardware like USB keyboards and mice?

    Just imagine a bitchin' Beowulf cluster of MP G4's with a functional OS! =)
    --

  • Actually, the primary use was in graphic apps, i.e., Photoshop. There was a time (not too many years ago) when applying certain filters in most Photoshop documents could be measured in minutes rather than seconds. (On the 68k-series CPU's, it was even measured in hours.)

    Photoshop is not the untamed beast it once was, of course, since all of the hardware got faster and bigger, but the basic needs of PS have grown relatively little.

    The really demanding graphic apps these days are the 3D animation packages. A simple 5 minute animation can take many hours to render out, and I think the lack of dual and quad-processor support on the Mac (both in hardware and in the OS) is at least part of the reason why some of the big 3D apps stayed away. From what I've read, though, I think that Jobs is very interested in wooing the 3D community back to the Mac, and that dialogue can't even begin without a quad-CPU G4 running OS X.
  • both AMD and Motorola should have multi-core technology in their next gen cpus
  • by webslacker (15723)
    Mac OSX will be coming in half a year, with better multiproc support. Until then, Adobe's products tend to work well with multiple processors.
  • Certain Apps and plugins (like photoshop/Strata Studio Pro) can take advantage of the extra CPUs even if the OS does not.

    LK
  • > Apple's OS X is a way off, and given the hardware used in their systems since
    > the introduction of the iMac, would you be able to find any other UN*X that
    > supports bizarre foreign hardware like USB keyboards and mice?

    The Ars Technica article you reference is only speculating, based on the current DP of OS X, that it will be another year in the making.

    However, it's widely believed that Apple is much farther along on OS X than what DP2 shows, because Apple doesn't want too much of the interface revealed just yet. As odd as that sounds, it's par for the course at Apple.

    Also, I've been following Apple since the early 80's, and have seen them push back important dates at the last minute, only to infuriate a lot of people. However, since Jobs became iCEO, I've noticed that he is more sensitive to this. On the one hand, he doesn't want to give out any more info on products in development than he absolutely has to; but, OTOH, he seems to know how much it enrages people to show up at a convention and say "Oh, we won't be selling that that we promised today, it'll be at least another year or two."

    Jobs has done a decent job of updating the OS X calendar, and I think we would have heard about another year-long delay by now.

  • I don't think there is ppc smp support yet, but I am far from an expert. The last I heard was that i386 was the only stable smp arch and alpha was in development. I have heard nothing about ppc smp support yet, does anyone else know?
  • For Be to support G4s, at least those made by Apple, Apple would have to agree to release the hardware specs. I seem to remember Be bitching about this (rightfully so) after Apple ended the clone era and closed all the hardware specs. As far as I know, BeOS doesn't run on any PowerPCs from Apple after the 9600 (correct me if I'm wrong...it may be the 9500). That's why Be released their OS for Intel chips.

    The LinuxPPC guys have to essentially reverse-engineer the hardware information to get Linux running on new Apple hardware.

    This is why I don't like the fact that Apple killed the clone licenses. I don't mind the fact that it stopped clones from being sold; the action allowed Apple to concentrate on making better hardware.

    Now, as for comparing Linux and Mac OS X to System 7.x...have you seen Mac OS 9? :)
  • you are being rather conservative aren't you?

    getting macos x server (serving in the field now) qualified for smp should not be too difficult, and developers are already using release 2 of macos x (haven't had time to install it myself though)

    "ethically questionable" is somewhat overstated--without macosx, the machines would likely be marketed only for macos x server and/or the most well-funded-and-supported desktop publishing shops, i.e. not for consumers or even run-of-the-mill power users... kuma
  • SiliconFruit [siliconfruit.com] is not using any technology of any kind from Apple, It would be very unwise of Apple to comtemplate anything along those lines.
  • The site's Slashdotted, so I can't get in, but my bet is that they are selling multiprocessor-G3s, not G4s.

    Why? Look at the URL. ...../QUAD750.html

    "750" is the real name of the G3, "7400" is the name of the G4.

    Also the real time when this is gonna matter is when OS X comes out, because that will include much better SMP support than MacOS 9.

    I really don't give a damn about SMP though, all I want is for Apple to start selling some machines above G4/450MHz. That is just way too slow. I know it's more the fault of Motorola/IBM than Apple, but it's still gonna be Apple's head on a plate if the speeds don't start going up soon.
  • Yes be thankful... Be thankful that Apple exists today to bring you multi-G4 Mac's... Be thankful that OS 9 is here, OS-X Server has been here for a while and OS-X consumer is due to arrive soon.... Be thankful for the little iMacs that could.... Be thankful they finally got USB to become popular enough that people decided to make USB devices... and be thankful that they've taken part in the development of firewrie... i'm sure there's others too...
  • Yes, Apple is working on [Alti-Vec/Velocity Engine/Mktg Name of the month] enhancements to GCC. That is the compiler they are using for MacOSX.
  • Programs that wait on CPU's definetly benefit from added CPU's... For instance, yes, photoshop loved them... Then there's pretty much every 3-D application on the planet... RIPs - the programs/hardware that converts Quark files to bitmaps so they can be printed in the Boston Globe, also enjoy added CPU's...

    I spend a huge amount of my time waiting and wating for my computer sometimes... just watching the bar crawl across the screen... Added CPU's would certainly help - so long as the programs were reworked to recognize them.
  • ...but for BeOS this is really a gigantic "yawn", nothing more. The first Be boxes were running on 5 processrs, because Be was built from the ground up with multiprocessing in mind. It's amazing how just by adding a second processor you increase the performance of your applications by 100% flat.
    NT has good multiprocessing, Solaris has great multiprocessing. MacOS seems to have problems with that.


    (and BTW, I was a bit disappointed with the performance of kernel-threaded Linux apps running on the 2.2 kernel.)






  • I got in earlier. They have G3's and G4's
  • Drool.... I could have some serious fun with a system like that. Dual G4's. Oh, can anybody say Quake3?? And firingsquad though it ran fast on a dual P!!!... That G4 would make mincemeat of anything intel could throw at it. And it would be BEAUTIFUL.
    =======
    There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.
  • Multi-core technology is an IBM thang, and due out on later revs of their POWER4 64bit PPC chip. Since the first rev of POWER4 isn't due to hit the RS/6000 and AS/400 scene until summertime, I would expect the MC version to hit early '01. The consumer rev should be out shortly thereafter: most folks put it at summer 2001. Whether this will be the G5, or just multi-cored G4s remains to be seen.

    SoupIsGood Food
  • the G3 doesn't support multiprocessing. That's one of the big differences between the G3 and G4. Altivec, SMP support, and higher clock speeds. At same speeds G4's benchmark(Norton) almost exactly the same as a G3. Add it altivec and the difference is much more(like 2.5x)
  • Have you tried your two remaining CPU's with OS9? According to a post to XLR8yourmac.com, OS9 reinvigorates the old MPU boxes. I would be curious how the G3 compares to your two 604's. It might tell us something interesting about Apple's MPU designs... Ashby
  • Steve Jobs just happened to save apples collective ass, and don't forget that they were the ones to really put the gui in the laps of the world. Do you think microsoft would have came up with a GUI without apple trying to hard to put theirs out? Sure they both saw what was at xerox parc, but Jobs was the man to bring it to the table. Jobs is an artist *cough*pixar*cough*. Nuff said.

    All that from someone who doesnt even use a mac on a regular basis... I guess I just have admiration for the man...

    _joshua_
  • I am only in the desktop graphics/publishing world to the extent that I know a few people who do it and I have read a few magazines, but I think this will be great for them, and meaningless for the rest of us. Over 50 percent of desktop publishers use macs, and in fact they do spend quite a bit of time waiting for Photoshop filters to finish. The same goes times 30 fps for digital video people. So this will be worth the extra expense for those professionals, and their software will already support it. For the rest of us, even one 500 mhz G4 is probably more than we need.
  • There is a serious MHz gap that the G4's need to close before it will be worth selling your soul.

    AFAIK, an overclocked Celeron (366@550) may be about as fast or faster than a G4 450, for alot less money. By the time the Multi G4's are out, AMD and Intel are going to be seriously pushing the 1GHz barrier.

    If Carmack was correct and the G4's say equal or a smig faster than Intel or AMD at the same clock speed, then the G4's will need to speed up in a hurry. The Upside to all of this is that we will have our choice of SMP machines, OS's, and CPU's. Once again, the consumer is the WINNER!!!!

  • IBM has been playing the press game with the POWER4 specs. While I won't quote them as they are probably just 'hype' at this point, (And I believe the fellow who showed me the 'hard' specs is covered by a NDA) the sanest guess makes the current rev look like an old 962...
  • Dude, Linux already has SMP Athlon support, as do the BSD's and Windows NT 4.0 and Win2K.

    It's not a change in arch, only a change in vendor and speed!
  • However, since Jobs became iCEO

    'iCEO'?

    That was the biggest laugh I've had in a while..

    Thanks!
  • Just a few graphics apps from Adobe? What about Metrowerks? Metrowerks CodeWarrior has been multiprocessor capable for many releases. This seems such an obvious and important observation for slashdot that I can't believe no one else has made it.
  • The only machines Be ever shipped were dual-603. They may have been planning a 5way box but it never even made out of the lab (if it was ever there to begin with). The dual-603 BeBox never even shipped for real as it never got FCC approval before it was killed. The only people that were able to get thier hands on them were developers.

    http://www-classic.be.com/products/bebox/dual603 ds.html
  • The G4 and G5 are Motorola chips. IBM is still pouring their development dollars into the G3.
  • Keep in mind most of the people who have bought the latest macs probably bought the because there pretty.
  • Multicore G4s are not multiple G4s tied together to act like one. The only place I can think of that stated otherwise would be MacOS Rumors, and that was based on an e-mail I sent them just to see if they would take the bait.

    Multicore G4s are just two or four or however many G4s on a single chip. They still act like seperate processors, and still need an OS and programs to take advantage of it. The main reason for it would be cost and that since they're so close to each other, inter-processor communication is really fast.
  • my single cpu G4 350 will do about 3.2k keys a sec, becuase of the altivec core.

    please educate yourself and realize that rc5 cracking is a pure integer task. Altivec does not help the slightest little bit. rc5 cracking is also *completely* worthless as a cross platform benchmark.

  • please educate yourself and realize that rc5 cracking is a pure integer task. Altivec does not help the slightest little bit. rc5 cracking is also *completely* worthless as a cross platform benchmark.

    Please educate yourself by heading over to distributed.net where you can find out that the macppc client is indeed AltiVec/Velocity engine accelerated. Maybe you should check your facts before posting in such a high-handed manner. OK?

    cheers,

    Matthew Reilly
  • Sorry, but not all of what you said is correct.
    First of all, the 5 way Be machines were built, but were not meant for selling. But they did exist, from the very start. Did I say they used PowerPC CPUs? In fact, they didn't, they used AT&T Hobbit processors. The first PowerPC-based BeBox had 7 CPUs! but I didn't mention it because I simply forgot. Yeah, I forgot that one, it never shipped and there are only the ones built for internal use in Be Inc. But still, and OS that can handle 7 (actually, they limited BeOS to handle up to 8) CPUs, for 60$, that's cheap, compared to, say, AIX. No, Yellow Dog won't cut it, the 2.2 kernel is still behind as for SMP.

    As for the dual processor BeBoxen, I am surprised that you claim they were not shipped!? I know of many people using them, and they are far from being developers, or Be Inc. employees, just regular dudes (OK, maybe not completely regular: artists, ex Amigans and electrical engineers, as myself) that bought the computer. I don't have one, but sure I would like too. You should admit that the design of the BeBox, both estetical and technical, kicks butt. I would really love, for instance, to have something like the GeekPort, where I can easily connect my home-maid I/O cards and other experimental devices, directly to the system bus. Talk about open hardware specs! Also, the two load indicator running lights were really sexy and you won't find them anywhere else.





  • the G3 doesn't support multiprocessing.

    This issue was hashed out soon after the intro of the "G3" Power Macs. Macintouch posted a discussion with a Somerset (PPC) engineer [deja.com] about 603e/750 support for SMP. They will support SMP, just not always efficiently, since they don't implement all the necessary cache coherency protocols.

  • Strange it didn't appear on Slashdot... yet.

    New PowerPC Platform in Fruition [gxnetwork.com]




  • time Apple has gone the multi-processor route. Way back a while ago they came out with the 9600/200MP, running of dual 604e processors at 200mhz. It was a decent system from what I understand, except MacOS 7 was a bit of a pill to keep running on it. That was back in 97 though. I think dual G4s would be nice but a bit of overkill unless you had some software that could use the AltiVec stuff in multiple threads to really speed things up. Lets just hope the Mystic sells a bit more than the 9600/200MP did.
  • But you fail to realize, Apple could have quite easily been dead had they not killed cloning. I didn't like it (I'm the proud owner of a PowerTower Pro 225), and the cloners at the time were putting out better hardware, but that makes little difference now.

    Now, Apple is putting out decent hardware, and has improved OS stability greatly from the 7.5.5 days...

    I hope that they allow for cloning again, but with better control over the spec. If they weren't careful, the clones could have eaten them alive. Just ask IBM.

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews (http://www.velocinews.com [velocinews.com])
  • Given that:

    1. Apple has open-sourced the relevent portions of their OS.

    2. Intel invested in Be around the time they started going away from the PPC.

    3. Hasn't stopped LinuxPPC/YDL/MkLinux much, has it?

    4. Apple makes money on hardware - BeOS would be good for them.

    At best, Be made a rational decision based on the dwindling marketshare of the Mac platform (given their target market, multimedia, I think this is bogus - but a possibility). At worst, this was due to obvious pressure from Intel and internal politics at Be. My guess is that it was partially a mixture of both.

    Either way, Be's handling of the issue has been terrible. They should just get it done with and drop PPC support altogether.


    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews (http://www.velocinews.com [velocinews.com])
  • 1. Compiling for both platforms on the BeOS is actually pretty easy.

    2. The Mac hardware platform is much less of a moving target than the wild world of Wintel. Remember the lack of driver problem? That was never much of an issue on the PPC side of things.

    3. Apple is very big in the graphics and multimedia markets. Be is aiming for a similar market. Meaning, Macs are very common in the areas Be wants to get into - piggybacking on the Mac seems logical to me (gaining more than just a 'few percent' of marketshare).

    4. PPC support is already there. G3 and G4 support is reportedly very easy to add (ie. a single developer taking a couple of weeks). Everything Be writes runs on PPC already, and it doesn't seem to be hurting them too much. Now they just need to make a promise to retain support into the future, gaining back trust.

    5. Mac marketshare has been improving drastically lately - far higher than when they first ported to the PPC. It's a good time to look at the PPC again.

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews (http://www.velocinews.com [velocinews.com])
  • Coward -

    Perhaps you should learn the history of which you speak?

    The Xerox GUI research was indeed useful, and made a major impact on Apple. However:

    1. Xerox was paid for the 'walkthrough', in the form of stock in Apple (assuming they've held on to it, they should be pretty happy right about now). When will Microsoft start sending their checks out to Apple?

    2. Xerox rarely gets anything out the door, and if they do, it usually flops (not due to inferior technology, but for marketing reasons).

    3. The previous poster said '...Sure they both saw what was at xerox parc, but Jobs was the man to bring it to the table.'. Reread that. Get a drink. Reread it again. Think about it for a minute or two. He's not saying Apple invented the entire concept of a graphical user interface, he said that Jobs (and Apple) brought it 'to the table'. They took the risk, and it more or less paid off.

    Instead of polishing your insult/flaming technique, perhaps you can pay more attention the what a person says before replying?

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews (http://www.velocinews.com [velocinews.com])
  • The G4 and G5 are Motorola chips. IBM is still pouring their development dollars into the G3.

    No they aren't. The G3, like the 603e, was meant to be a cheap consumer processor, and you don't put those in high end servers.

    IBM has and is working on the G4's and 5's, there's just been some confusion as to what a G4 is. In simplified terms, for Motorola it meant having Altivec, and for IBM it meant having the processors run at a higher clock speed.
  • Colorsync is one reason why Macs have dominated and will continue to dominate the publishing market.

    I think this has been the trend for some time as more color professionals are becoming increasingly frustrated with the MacOS.

    Even in the color/prepress world, NT and other OSes are slowly but surely becoming feasible alternatives to the current MacOS because other OSes are _sooo_ much more reliable. With the deadlines we're under, we cannot afford to reboot two, three, five times daily because of the cryptic 'Type #' errors are just plain freezing. Our Irix and NT boxes seldom ever require rebooting (once a week, if even that often).


    Um, no. When it comes to heavy memory use with graphic apps, NT is little better than the Mac OS as far stabitlity goes. And losing 20 mintutes a day to reboots is nothing compared to losing 4 hours because you can't get your output to match what you have on the screen.

    There are a couple of other big reasons why Macs dominate the industry: Applescript and better support for multiple monitors than you'll find on any other platform.
  • please educate yourself and realize that rc5 cracking is a pure integer task. Altivec does not help the slightest little bit.

    AFAIK each 128 bit Altivec register can act as either four 32 bit FP registers, or as sixteen 8 bit/eight 16 bit/four 32 bit/two 64 bit/one 128 bit integer register(s) depending on your needs.

    In that case you can certainly optimise rc5 cracking using Altivec.
  • I would be curious how the G3 compares to your two 604's. It might tell us something interesting about Apple's MPU designs...

    Interesting idea. I haven't tried mounting the old board for over a year, but with 8.1 the two 604s (at 132 MHz each) ran Photoshop at little more than half the speed of the G3 (at 300 MHz).

    I remember doing some comparisons between the BeOS (can't remember the version) on the twin 604s and the G3, and my tentative conclusion was that the G3's 1 MByte backside cache (running at 1:1 - 300 MHz) was the most important factor.

    Now, seeing that the G4's interprocessor communication protocol is even better than the 604s - and the multi-G4 boards will probably have 2 MByte backside caches - I would predict that a dual-G4 board at 500 MHz each should give at least 3 times the effective PhotoShop performance of my current G3. Not considering the AltiVec units, of course...

    Regarding Mac OS 9, I have some doubts that the new nanokernel will have a dramatic impact on a MP system, but I'll try it out over the weekend.

  • But remember, young jedi, megahertz alone does not a great chip make. It's not the size of the megahertz, but what you do with it (i.e. chip architecture). Celeron's are CISC architecture, whereas G4's are RISC architecture. RISC chips can do more per cycle than CISC chips. So, for example, if you have a 400mhz RISC chip that can perform an execute every 2 cycles vs. a 600mhz CISC chip that executes every 8 cycles, the 400mhz RISC chip will blow the doors of the 600mhz CISC chip, simply because it can do more with less cycles. Any megahertz gap is not really significant in terms of performance, but is significant in terms of marketing. Because Mr. Everyday computer user thinks that mhz alone equals faster, he'll think that the Pentiums are faster, even though the PowerPC's kick the pentiums butt.
  • Rather, the high-end shops use good _people_

    Most importantly, get qualified color people (NOT DESIGNERS). Get people who truly understand color theory, composition, and all phases of lithography (from proofing to layout to press).


    Of course you have to be qualified; that's true if you're a prepress man, a sysadmin or an auto mechanic.

    _Little_ better on heavy memory use? Though not even close to our Irix boxes (still running Photoshop 3.0), NT is _magnitudes_ better handling large CTs - under heavy usage, we reboot once weekly. So much as a Unix bigot (and former Mac bigot) as I am, this is no lie.

    NT is a hoary bitch when it comes to playing with video, but I have to admit that I haven't seen Photoshop crash and take down the whole machine, so long as the amount of memory was at least equal to the size of the file. But NT has a tendancy to do boneheaded things like erase your password file and assign the same irq to both your video and network card.

    Forget multiple monitors.
    Forget MacOS.
    Get used SGI Octanes/O2s + Photoshop 3.0
    We've got (and kept) most of their clients, despite being somewhat pricier...


    Sounds like you've turned into an anti-mac bigot, or Apple pissed you off at one time or another. Multiple monitors are great for doing work on a computer, even coding, and what if I need Photoshop 5?

    Macs can't do everything; Apple let a lot of the video editing market slip over to Windows, and I'd go with an SGI box if I wanted to do rendering. But Macs are very good at publishing and will continue to be as its one of Apple's core markets. Hell, whenever they want to show off new machines, they do it with Photoshop.
  • Also, the two load indicator running lights were really sexy and you won't find them anywhere else.

    Actually (and I hate to say this) if you walk NT in SMP mode, the Task Manager has X pulse sections (X=# of procs).. OK, they're not LED graphs, but still..

    And I'm surprised you can't find a GNOME version...
    Your Working Boy,
  • That's true :) My point is that Mac Advocates tend to suggest (if not outright assert) that Macs are the _only_ option for high-end color and prepress.

    Just like some Wintel bigots insist that you have to be using Windows to run a business, or Unix bigots who insist its the only option for running servers. You'll find bigots anywhere.

    My assertion is that though Macs may be an industry standard, they are a very _poor_ industry standard - this is analogous to the dominance of Windows 95/98 in the office world.

    Ever hear this quote on democracy? "It's the worst form of government, except for all the others."

    Our shop was an Apple beta site for many years through the late 80s/mid 90s. The amount of sheer BS from their technical departments (which should really be termed 'technical marketing') is amazing. Their support was terrible. Customer feedback was met by derision and insults (on the level of "Our software is perfect, you must be doing something terribly stupid, because you're terribly stupid.", etc.) They employed us as a beta site and our real-world feedback was derided and consistently ignored!

    And Microsoft is any better? Call for support on a system and most of the time they'll tell you to go bug Gateway or Dell or whoever you bought the it from. And how long have you been waiting for NT 5? Or how they basically made Compaq do most of the porting of NT to the Alpha chip, while charging them for the OS at the same time.

    We haven't looked back since. Our productivity is magnitudes better since we dumped the Macs.

    Sure you aren't falling into the habit of most mac bigots and comparing current PC hardware/software to the Mac equivilants of 15 years ago? :)

    At the risk of sounding redundant, that Macs are entrenched in the publishing industry is a lot more attributable to Mac bigotry than measurable technical advantage.

    And because Apple works hard to maintain that hold as a core market. Adobe is definatly at the top of Apple's most important devleopers list, probably followed by Quark and Macromedia. For Microsoft, its just another market to conquer but they don't really put effort into it.

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