4.7 GHz Power6

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noisetonepause
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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby noisetonepause » Thu May 24, 2007 3:57 pm

dlundh wrote:
noisetonepause wrote:
dlundh wrote:On their servers it would make sense but I guess, from what's written above, that they will drop their server line.


Drop their server line? Why in the world would they do that?


Please read my post again or, better yet, read frapazods. Thats the source here.


Err... this bit?

Frapazoid wrote:The Power6 has nothing to do with Apple, it's a server chip, a rather high end one, and Apple wants to make portable, quiet things. I don't see Apple going back to PowerPC no matter how fast the thing is.


I agree with that in a sense (portable & quiet), but there's nothing in it nor your post about why Apple would suddenly drop their server line. Looking at all the improvements that are going into Leopard Server makes that very far-fetched, IMHO.

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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby dlundh » Fri May 25, 2007 2:01 am

noisetonepause wrote:
Frapazoid wrote:The Power6 has nothing to do with Apple, it's a server chip, a rather high end one, and Apple wants to make portable, quiet things. I don't see Apple going back to PowerPC no matter how fast the thing is.


I agree with that in a sense (portable & quiet), but there's nothing in it nor your post about why Apple would suddenly drop their server line. Looking at all the improvements that are going into Leopard Server makes that very far-fetched, IMHO.


Apple wants to make quiet and portable machines. They don't want fast server chips.
Either Apple wants to make portable, quiet and under-powered servers or drop out of the server biz? :twisted:
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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby noisetonepause » Fri May 25, 2007 8:54 am

dlundh wrote:
noisetonepause wrote:
Frapazoid wrote:The Power6 has nothing to do with Apple, it's a server chip, a rather high end one, and Apple wants to make portable, quiet things. I don't see Apple going back to PowerPC no matter how fast the thing is.


I agree with that in a sense (portable & quiet), but there's nothing in it nor your post about why Apple would suddenly drop their server line. Looking at all the improvements that are going into Leopard Server makes that very far-fetched, IMHO.


Apple wants to make quiet and portable machines. They don't want fast server chips.
Either Apple wants to make portable, quiet and under-powered servers or drop out of the server biz? :twisted:


Haha. That's oversimplifying it quite a lot.

There's absolutely nothing at all to indicate that Apple will be dropping their (low-mid end) servers - quite the opposite, really, with Leopard Server like I said.

Apple wants quiet & portable on the consumer side, hence they go for Intel as Intel is aimed at the consumer. IBM make chips for their high-end stuff and whilst sometimes good stuff trickles down, they don't really care about laptops... so if Apple wants a uniform product line, IBM isn't the best choice. And Apple do want a uniform product line, for interoperability, which is the key... it used to be that the 'whole widget' philosophy applied to just each computer. I think Apple are moving towards making every device a person needs for their "digital lifestyle" and the consumer side, and make sure the Mac stays on top in content creation... which means they need a server offering of some sort.

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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby Frapazoid » Fri May 25, 2007 1:58 pm

I never implied that :roll:

Apple's server business is not their main driver and while you could argue for putting out a Power6 product line in parallel with their Intel offers, I strongly doubt spending so much money developing+supporting+advertising a new product line is worth the very temporary advantage it would give to a less important business.

Besides, the announcement isn't really that significant: New, faster than ever CPUs come out all the time. There's 2003's Opteron64, 2005's UltraSparc T1, 2006's Intel Core Architecture, and now in 2007 we get IBM's chip and AMD is about to roll out a new, much faster core and at the same time move to quad-core. And in '06 Intel promised bi-annual super upgrades so they're due for a super-upgrade next year. Apple doesn't make big decisions based on who is the momentary leader of the pack.

This is just getting more attention because for the longest time we all grew up in the 90s culture of mhz and more mhz, and after the past several years of mhz not going anywhere (and sometimes even going down), everyone is excited to see IBM put out a big number - even though we all consciously know what ghz actually means.

But it's the same old thing.
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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby R-ten-K » Fri May 25, 2007 11:54 pm

No, this is not about some "enlightened" person finding out that MHz ain't everything, anyone with an introductory class in computer architecture knows that performance is a combination of many things not just frequency alone.

At this point, performance is not the only first order design parameter/metric. Power, area and to some extent complexity are now becoming as important as performance. The problem is that to meet all those performance-power-area budgets microprocessors are getting so complex that the cost of developing grows exponentially. Which means that with the userbase that PPC had in the desktop, there is no way Apple alone could have afforded to bankroll most of the G6 development. Even if it is a scaled down version of whatever POWER core IBM has at that moment, it is very expensive to get a high performance micro out of the door.

Apple knew this, and the simplest -and most logical approach- was to go to intel, they have the production scale to afford and be at the forefront of processor design. As simple as that... Servers, laptops, whatever. Apple can use Core/Xeons and save a big deal in both time/effort/money.
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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby Frapazoid » Sat May 26, 2007 10:21 am

No, this is not about some "enlightened" person finding out that MHz ain't everything


I know that, but every forum I see every moron is acting like it's some huge big deal. Here wasn't bad but most are followed by the instant, obligatory "BUT WILL APPLE GO BACK!?!?!". It was kinda irritating the hell out of me and when I saw it posted here immediately followed by comparing it to Apple PowerPCs I kinda went off.

Sorry.
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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby R-ten-K » Mon May 28, 2007 9:27 am

Apple is not going back, there is just not a single current PPC part out there since the G5 that would make sense for Apple to even bother with PPC again. I assume apple wants to have a common platform that scales from the mobile/low power desktop, to the high end desktop and small server back end. Power6 is however geared for the high end desktop and high end server backend, neither of which are Apple's core markets. I am sure that IBM will release a workstation around Power6, however it will not be geared towards the same cut throat segment of the market in which Apple is positioned.

The only way I can see Apple going PPC again would be as an embedded processor for either the iPhone, or iPod. And then the processor would be fairly transparent to the end user anyways. For desktop purposes, the PPC is pretty much dead. Wether we like it or not, x86 will be the defacto standard for most desktop applications.
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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby Arie van Schutterhoef » Mon May 28, 2007 5:09 pm

>Apple can use Core/Xeons and save a big deal in both time/effort/money.
-Wonder if they will ever start using the Itanium in their servers.
But may they'll try it first with their lap-tops...

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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby Frapazoid » Tue May 29, 2007 12:10 am

Maybe the Amiga will move to it then.

*hides*
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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby noisetonepause » Tue May 29, 2007 3:24 am

To be fair, though, Apple have proven that their OS is portable (PPC, x86, allegedly ARM for the iPhone) and that they've got a decent setup for cross-compilation, so a return to PPC or switch to, I dunno, MIPS isn't impossible - just not very likely...

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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby Frapazoid » Tue May 29, 2007 3:44 am

That's really not the biggest factor here. Just cause the software will run on it doesn't mean they wanna build a production line of the things and support them. They'll only be a performance leader for a moment anyway.

Everyone has new chips lined up - nobody questions wether Apple will release a system on the next Sparc.
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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby R-ten-K » Tue May 29, 2007 11:30 am

noisetonepause wrote:To be fair, though, Apple have proven that their OS is portable (PPC, x86, allegedly ARM for the iPhone) and that they've got a decent setup for cross-compilation, so a return to PPC or switch to, I dunno, MIPS isn't impossible - just not very likely...



Yeah, but it doesn't mean that the software vendors are willing to support two or more different architectures. It has taken Adobe forever to get their act together regarding their products and OSX/x86.

NeXTStep at some point had 4 architectures supported, NT supported MIPS, x86, Alpha, PPC, there were even some internal ports running on Clipper and SPARC. We all know how that turned out :-)
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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby thunng8 » Wed May 30, 2007 2:51 am

R-ten-K wrote:Power6 is however geared for the high end desktop and high end server backend, neither of which are Apple's core markets.


Why does this false statement always come up? IBM has on record said that POWER6 will power their entire UNIX server range, ranging from Blades (they will be dumping the 970MP aka G5 in their blades), low-end (1U), midrange and high end servers. It is not geared only for high end servers. It may not be for laptops, but it certainly not only for high end servers.
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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby noisetonepause » Wed May 30, 2007 6:25 am

R-ten-K wrote:NeXTStep at some point had 4 architectures supported, NT supported MIPS, x86, Alpha, PPC, there were even some internal ports running on Clipper and SPARC. We all know how that turned out :-)


I think NeXTStep's failure had nothing to do with the number of architectures it supported - indeed I find it more conceivable that they would have survived if Sun hadn't given them the boot and gone for Java, not less. It would have been interesting, really, to see what kind of developer and coding culture they could have created if support for 2+ architectures for all apps had been promoted...

I don't know about NT, but maybe if Apple hadn't backstabbed PReP and CHRP we would have still seen some support for PPC? I dunno, really. Probably not. You can still get it (whatever they're calling their latest server offering) for Itanium though, right? Isn't Itanium as different to IA32 as IA32 is to PPC?

/Niklas

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Re: 4.7 GHz Power6

Unread postby R-ten-K » Wed May 30, 2007 10:57 am

thunng8 wrote:Why does this false statement always come up? IBM has on record said that POWER6 will power their entire UNIX server range, ranging from Blades (they will be dumping the 970MP aka G5 in their blades), low-end (1U), midrange and high end servers. It is not geared only for high end servers. It may not be for laptops, but it certainly not only for high end servers.


The thing is that the low-end p-series for IBM, is the high-end for apple's xserve. They still need to cover their low and mid-ranges, and the Power6 seems to be priced at from 3x to 4x times higher per core than xeon. So it is not a processor even remotely geared for the mass-market/high-margin that is Apple's bread and butter.

The Power6 obviously makes sense for IBM, because they can use it for their entier P-series, Z-series, and whatever is the AS400 called these days. However Apple is in the laptop/desktop/low-range server business, in which the Power6 does not scale well if at all... so what was so false about stating the obvious?
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