Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Will Mac-Intel last 10 years?

Will Mac-Intel last 10 years?
Thread Tools
The Godfather
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Tampa, Florida
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 10:52 AM
 
It's been exactly 5 years since the first Intel Mac was sold. Given the speed stagnation of Intel cores (1.83 to 2.66GHz), much worse to the one that plagued PPC chips 10 years ago (0.5 to 1.66GHz in 5 years), do you see a lot of future in the Intel alliance? Will multicore ARM have a chance in in productivity computing? Will PowerPC rise out of the dead?

PowerBook G4 500 (Original - Ti) Specs (PowerBook G4, M7710LL/A, PowerBook3,2, M5884, 1854) @ EveryMac.com (Jan 2001)
PowerBook G4 1.67 17" (DLSD/HR - Al) Specs (17-Inch 1.67, M9970LL/A, PowerBook5,9, A1139, N/A) @ EveryMac.com (Oct 2005)
MacBook Pro "Core Duo" 1.83 15" Specs (MacBook Pro, MA463LL/A*, MacBookPro1,1, A1150, N/A) @ EveryMac.com (Jan 2006)
MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.66 15" Mid-2010 Specs (Mid-2010 15", MC373LL/A, MacBookPro6,2, A1286, 2353*) @ EveryMac.com (April 2010)
     
Laminar
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 11:14 AM
 
Is straight megahertz a problem when you can cram 12 2.66GHz cores in a machine?
     
The Godfather  (op)
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Tampa, Florida
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 11:31 AM
 
Not in a laptop.
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 11:50 AM
 
Quad, on shrunken dies, with double the bus speed, mind you.

There will always be a market for "maximum possible", but, as the iOS devices are in the process of showing, for almost everybody else, "fast enough" is fast enough.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 01:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
It's been exactly 5 years since the first Intel Mac was sold. Given the speed stagnation of Intel cores (1.83 to 2.66GHz), much worse to the one that plagued PPC chips 10 years ago (0.5 to 1.66GHz in 5 years), do you see a lot of future in the Intel alliance?
We've left the megahertz race behind. Latest CPUs improve the IPC instead. The real performance boost is much larger now than in the G4 era.

(Besides, you're forgetting turbo in your megahertz math).

Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
Will multicore ARM have a chance in in productivity computing?
Unlikely. We have so much legacy code that relies on single-threaded performance, and like it or not, Intel rules that segment at the moment - even more so now after the Sandy Bridge launch. Could be interesting in a server environment though.

Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
Will PowerPC rise out of the dead?
It's not dead. All three current game consoles use PPC in some form, and it's huge in the embedded space. There is just noone focusing on making CPUs for the desktop/laptop space anymore. Someone could, but there is no real reason to. The x86 ISA has developed to remove the worst of the defects (SSE replacing x87, x64 adding more addressable registers), and Intel has grown very skilled at hiding the rest.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Laminar
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 02:03 PM
 
The company I work for uses PPC chips in PLCs.
     
Athens
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great White North
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 03:48 PM
 
Chip efficiency is improving with every generation. Ghz's means nothing. I have a 3.8Ghz P4 in the house some where and its scores only 640 in CPU mark, compare that with Core i7 920 at 2.67Ghz with score of 5556

Now its a single core CPU with one virtual core vs a 4 physical cpu with 4 virtual cores so 2 vs 8 but same die space.

Moores law still applies with multiple cores because Moores law is is based on transistor numbers. We are reaching 2 Billion transistors on a die vs a decade ago which was at about 100 Million.

The current clock speeds are limited by the thermal issues that faster clock speeds create. CPU's can do more work with less clock speed through design. ARM CPUs are designed to do as much as possible using as little power and producing as little heat as possible. They are only suitable for mobile devices. a 2Ghz ARM cpu is about as powerful as the fastest version of a Pentium 3. And thats not actually mocking it because the P3 was a better chip then the P4, the current Core 2 Duo's are based on the P3 designs.

PowerPC biggest problem was production numbers and price not performance. PPC is a totally different kind of CPU in how it treats data. RISC vs CISC, Reduced Instruction Set Computing vs Complex Instruction Set Computing. Intel CPUS are based on CISC and the PowerPC was based on RISC. HIstorically a RISC chip could do easily double the work per cycle then a CISC chip. Same time in those days P4s suffered just terrible bottle necks making RISC seem even that much better. Todays CPUs are all the same. While you still have CISC and RISK, the transistor counts on both are the same. RISC has bloated up to where CISC was and CISC has implemented features form RISC to do more per cycle. So while PPC is not dead, its not coming back to main stream computing. It will power devices, consoles and speciality computers for years to come but consumer desktops will be x86 (Intel and AMD) and mobile will be a combination of chips based on ARM for a while.

The next decade will be interesting on the price side of things though. Basically every year parts get faster and cheaper but the R&D costs go up and up. At some point in this decade we might see a price flatline due to R&D costs and start seeing price increases to continue the trend of performance.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 04:03 PM
 
It's my understanding that the RISC vs. CISC architecture distinction had become increasingly irrelevant over the last five years of Apple's PPC involvement, as the PowerPC architecture added ever more specialized instruction sets (hello Altivec et al.), while Intel worked hard at reducing/masking the cruft and overload/bloat in their architecture.

The distinction is anything but clear at this point, AFAICT, and certainly not as simple as you imply.
     
Athens
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great White North
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 04:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It's my understanding that the RISC vs. CISC architecture distinction had become increasingly irrelevant over the last five years of Apple's PPC involvement, as the PowerPC architecture added ever more specialized instruction sets (hello Altivec et al.), while Intel worked hard at reducing/masking the cruft and overload/bloat in their architecture.

The distinction is anything but clear at this point, AFAICT, and certainly not as simple as you imply.
It is which is why I said historically. Today they are more alike then not alike. Specially written software to take full use of Power8 design easily trumps Intel's best CPUs which is why you still see use of Power7 CPUs in research facilities. But beyond that and for regular computing there is almost no difference between the 2 any more, not for the last few years.

Apple only switched because IBM couldn't manufacture enough CPUs for demand, and not enough of the high end ones. We had to always wait months after announcements and then shortages on machines because not enough chips could be produced. Constant supply issues forced Apples hand. For us it was good because it brought Windows into our lives with the Intel Chips. I still keep Windows installed for the few games I like that are not on Mac. And I believe it was also easier for software to get ported to the Mac being x86 which was another bonus. A side effect for Apple was hackintosh's. It is probably why they waited as long as they did to switch.

Before PPC Macs where using CISC from Motorola, the 68x line. Apple predicted that future designs would generate more heat and take more power and require more cooling. Its why they started looking into RISC. They wanted to stand out as a better brand and different. They also wanted to be more powerful. The 601 chip was pretty good except no software was optimized for it. Between lack of PPC optimization and the public not understanding what the difference was the Mhz speed was the selling factor even though PPC's easily trumped Intel CPUs at higher clock speeds.

My assumption is this Mhz Speed as a selling point is what steered Intel towards fastest clock speeds (Pentium 4s) trying to over come design limitations by raw speed. AMD made it to 1Ghz first before Intel and by that time with the Athlon line AMD was kicking Intels but in performance. The Athlons technically CISC chips took a lot of stuff that worked in RISC chips. Its why a Athlon XP at 1.3Ghz was named XP 1700 because at 1.3Ghz it could do as much as a P4 1.7Ghz. This was the start of teaching the public that Mhz and GHz do not mean faster and better. For years Intel fought this notion which was called the Mhz Myth. This ended up being good for Apple because it was the same problem Apple Had. CPU Clock speeds slower then Intel machines but better performing.

Intel had to finally give up on the P4 line and gave in and agreed that Mhz means nothing design is whats important. They went back to the P3 design to produce the Core line of CPUs which now also took a lot from RISC design. So technically CISC, and x86 but features of RISC to do more with each clock cycle. Intel took the lead over AMD again and PowerPC was struggling to stay ahead of the new generation of CSIC CPU's. So IBM started adding more and more transistors to the Power Line in effect making them more like CISC chips. G5 CPU was bloody hot, and used a lot of power. Apple saw the trend and went with the company that could provide the most volume CPU's

PPC has one advantage right now, it can scale up to 5Ghz with good but usable cooling, and being RISC can still do a bit more per clock cycle then Intel and AMD. Specially written software to take full advantage of the CPU with that raw horse power makes it a excellent for scientific research. PPC because it was power efficient and cooler still operates lots of embedded devices, consoles and so forth.
( Last edited by Athens; Jan 8, 2011 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Correction, changed power8 to Power7 for 5Ghz example.)
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 05:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
It is which is why I said historically. Today they are more alike then not alike. Specially written software to take full use of Power8 design easily trumps Intel's best CPUs which is why you still see use of Power8 CPUs in research facilities. But beyond that and for regular computing there is almost no difference between the 2 any more, not for the last few years.
So - since, as you say, the PowerPC architecture is primarily useful for very narrow and specialized applications and not so much for general-purpose computing, where Intel *is* currently king, your posts can be summarized as

PowerPC was superior for Apple's purposes in the 90's and early 2000's, but the advantage is now negligible, and economies of scale currently work in Intel's favor.
Correct?

Yes, that's quite well-known.

I agree that PowerPC is not a contender as a replacement for Intel as the basis of Apple's computing hardware.
     
Athens
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great White North
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 06:20 PM
 
If I wanted to just reply with out the history of why its the way it is now, and ignoring the original posters misconceptions about ghz and speed yes, that would sum it up pretty good. But for teenagers who missed the early years of all this and posters not knowledgable in computers, I hope it gives them a good read, educates them and puts in perspective the current industry and why it seems that we are stagnant in increasing ghz even though technically the performance is still doubling every 18 months even though the rated speeds are the same.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Online
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 08:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
If I wanted to just reply with out the history of why its the way it is now, and ignoring the original posters misconceptions about ghz and speed yes, that would sum it up pretty good. But for teenagers who missed the early years of all this and posters not knowledgable in computers, I hope it gives them a good read, educates them and puts in perspective the current industry and why it seems that we are stagnant in increasing ghz even though technically the performance is still doubling every 18 months even though the rated speeds are the same.
Sorry - I tend to forget that people might not have been around the machines for 20+ years.

I was there for the PowerPC transition, and I remember when IBM was the archenemy, and Microsoft the ally (pre-Word 6). I ResEdited my trashcan to resemble an IBM PCjr, back in the day.
     
Athens
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great White North
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 8, 2011, 09:18 PM
 
I wish I was born 10 years sooner to see the Apple II days, I feel like I missed a lot by missing the very early days. I would have loved to been a teenager in the 70s
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Laminar
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 9, 2011, 05:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Sorry - I tend to forget that people might not have been around the machines for 20+ years.

I was there for the PowerPC transition, and I remember when IBM was the archenemy, and Microsoft the ally (pre-Word 6). I ResEdited my trashcan to resemble an IBM PCjr, back in the day.
My first Mac was a Performa 6116CD, based on the first PowerMac, the 6100. I remember a friend giving me a copy of ResEdit on floppy, that was an amazing day.
     
Athens
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great White North
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 9, 2011, 09:51 PM
 
Oh I loved ResEdit, the other one I miss is HyperCard. My first personal mac was a 5400/180 603e from 1997. It kinda died in 2003 when it was beside a open window and a rain storm gave it a bath. I still have a working Mac Plus, LC475/25Mhz and my flat pannel iMac 800mhz G4 still get some use today as a kitchen computer for looking up cooking information lol.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Laminar
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 10, 2011, 10:41 AM
 
lol
     
tooki
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 11, 2011, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
It's been exactly 5 years since the first Intel Mac was sold. Given the speed stagnation of Intel cores (1.83 to 2.66GHz), much worse to the one that plagued PPC chips 10 years ago (0.5 to 1.66GHz in 5 years), do you see a lot of future in the Intel alliance? Will multicore ARM have a chance in in productivity computing? Will PowerPC rise out of the dead?

PowerBook G4 500 (Original - Ti) Specs (PowerBook G4, M7710LL/A, PowerBook3,2, M5884, 1854) @ EveryMac.com (Jan 2001)
PowerBook G4 1.67 17" (DLSD/HR - Al) Specs (17-Inch 1.67, M9970LL/A, PowerBook5,9, A1139, N/A) @ EveryMac.com (Oct 2005)
MacBook Pro "Core Duo" 1.83 15" Specs (MacBook Pro, MA463LL/A*, MacBookPro1,1, A1150, N/A) @ EveryMac.com (Jan 2006)
MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.66 15" Mid-2010 Specs (Mid-2010 15", MC373LL/A, MacBookPro6,2, A1286, 2353*) @ EveryMac.com (April 2010)
::yawn::

GHz is not performance. A current 2.8GHz Mac Pro with 8 cores is significantly faster than the 3.2GHz 8-core from a year before.
     
olePigeon
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 1999
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 11, 2011, 05:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
Oh I loved ResEdit, the other one I miss is HyperCard. My first personal mac was a 5400/180 603e from 1997. It kinda died in 2003 when it was beside a open window and a rain storm gave it a bath. I still have a working Mac Plus, LC475/25Mhz and my flat pannel iMac 800mhz G4 still get some use today as a kitchen computer for looking up cooking information lol.
I have Rom 01 IIgs, an LC with a Sonnet Presto 25MHz 040 accelerator, a IIci with a 40Mhz 040 accelerator, a Quadra 605 with Apple IIe card, a stock Color Classic also with a Sonnet Presto 25MHz 040, and a Takky Color Classic. I use them all for various projects, often testing and archiving vintage software that I've collect. I mostly use them for playing older games like Warlords II and Pirates! Gold.

My ultimate goal is to have a IIfx with 4 Radius Rockets. Someday.

Currently I'm trying to get ADTPro to work, but it just won't. I can't get the USB serial cable to communicate with my Apple IIe.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Person Man
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northwest Ohio
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 11, 2011, 07:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Currently I'm trying to get ADTPro to work, but it just won't. I can't get the USB serial cable to communicate with my Apple IIe.
What cable and USB serial adapter do you have? And what's the serial card in the IIe? Super Serial Card? I have ADT Pro working great with my IIe and 17 inch MacBook Pro. Also works well with my IIgs.
     
olePigeon
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 1999
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 11, 2011, 07:54 PM
 
It's IIe card in my Quadra 605. I have a generic USB to Serial adapter with the Prolific chipset. OS X sees it, ADT sees it and successfully utilizes the port, but when I set my IIe card to receive, nothing happens.

It'll bootstrap when I send it from my IIci to the IIe using a serial cable, but normal Mac ADT dies when it attempts to verify the format of a disk image when I set it to receive.

I was hoping ADTPro would work, but I've been unsuccessful.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Person Man
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northwest Ohio
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 11, 2011, 08:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
It's IIe card in my Quadra 605. I have a generic USB to Serial adapter with the Prolific chipset. OS X sees it, ADT sees it and successfully utilizes the port, but when I set my IIe card to receive, nothing happens.

It'll bootstrap when I send it from my IIci to the IIe using a serial cable, but normal Mac ADT dies when it attempts to verify the format of a disk image when I set it to receive.

I was hoping ADTPro would work, but I've been unsuccessful.
Ah, Ok. I think there are some timing differences with the way the port is utilized on the IIe card. I've had issues with getting it to work on my LC 475/IIe card as well as my Color Classic/IIe card as well. I'm using a real IIe with mine, but as I said, I've been successful in getting my IIgs is work with it.
     
olePigeon
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 1999
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 11, 2011, 08:49 PM
 
Derp. Didn't think to try it with my IIgs. I'll give that a try.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:10 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,