PowerPC 970 (G5) prototype hits 2.5GHz; Apple may debut G5 this July

An IBM press release details the features and specs of the prototype PowerPC 970, Big Blue’s desktop derivative of its Power4. This CPU is expected by many to be used by Apple in brand new case-design desktop Power Macs perhaps as soon as this July. The 970, a 64-Bit CPU, is also to be used in IBM’s blade servers. According to IBM, the PowerPC 970 prototypes are now running at between 1.8GHz-2.5GHz. The CPU offers full symmetrical multiprocessing, a 512KB L2 cache, AltiVec and system bus throughput of up to 6.4GB p/s.

The PowerPC 970 has a high reliability (with parity L1, ECC L2 and parity checked system bus), is manufactured in the latest 0.13 micrometer Copper/SOI CMOS technology, and runs at frequencies ranging from 1.8 GHz – 2.5 Ghz. Therefore the IBM PowerPC 970 is the fastest PowerPC so far.

Further technical highlights of the PowerPC 970:
? Onchip 512 KB L2 Cache
? Altivec Vector/SIMD unit
? 6.4 GB/s I/O system bus throughput

More info here.

23 Comments

  1. i have been putting of fa powermac purchace until next Janurary when the audio side is mature and and a 2GHZ single, or 1.8GHZ dual 970 or announced if this come in summer it will be loan time and i will have to keep my old cpu and os9 apps and hardware on that

  2. Maybe the first poster has a point. If the chip is announced in July, but available in Dec – Jan, then I could see why Apple would call this the year of the Notebook.
    I’m sure Apple knew ahead of time when IBM would have the 970 available, so, maybe to take away from the anticipation of this soon to be G5, they’re trying to grab our attentions towards the Powerbooks.

    If a new G5 is released at MacWorld, I’ll be surprised. BUT, if a newly released iBook / Powerbook is released, with some of the latest, greatest, and coolest features available, I’ll understand. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. The PPC970 has been announced and in samples since macworld January. Whoever said it would be announce in july is off.. It will be SHIPPING in july. I have talked to some embedded chip people who are already done with designs, and are tweaking them, that will use this chip.
    We can pretty much plan on this chip for MW this summer or whenever they can get the chip in the qty’s they need.. which are far higher than the embedded guys need at a time.

  4. Does this mean I can expect to buy a cheaper PCI slot processor upgrade for my antiques?

    And, once Apple is rich, will it let companies make clones that run only pre-Jaguar Apple software?? That is partially the reason why Motorola has a problem with Apple; those clone-building licenses Apple pulled.

  5. > So announcing 970 towers or even 970 servers will stop the
    > G4 tower sales dead in their tracks.

    The G4 tower sales are already dead in their tracks. They are so bad they were blamed for a quarterly loss recently. Usually, the “Fastest” Power Mac is $3600, but in this generation the “Fastest” is $2600. If they could ship a dual G4/2GHz for $3600 I think they would do it, but those chips don’t exist. I think the theoretically missing sales and the theoretically missing “Fastest” computer go together. When they introduce a Power Mac G5 line, they will load up a bunch of other improvements and do some bake-offs and sell a bunch of very fast, very reliable, very capable, very cheap UNIX Mac workstations to a lot of people and organizations that don’t currently have any Macs.

    Note that Intel shipped only 3500 iTanium’s last year, and their newest chip, the Centrino, is 32-bit, runs at 1.6GHz, and they just did a Centrino/1.6GHz vs Pentium4/2.2GHz bake-off and Intel themselves were very proud that the Centrino beat the pants of the P4! And by the way, they want to also sell you the 3600th iTanium system ever made and it is 64-bit and runs at 800MHz and is “only for servers”! Ha ha ha.

    If the PowerPC 970 didn’t already exist, Steve Jobs would invent it in his dreams right now. It’s made for Apple to such an extent that I don’t think anyone has actually said “Apple will use it”, it is actually just assumed that Apple will because it is like the last puzzle piece of the new Mac platform. I think a 64-bit G5 workstation line and maybe a big brother XServe G5 would just add on to the current line and expand the ways you can put Mac OS X to work quickly and easily and reliably and cheaply to boot.

  6. There was a rumor of an iBook G4 at one point, and it turned out to be the 12″ PowerBook G4. Has the 12″ PowerBook G4 killed iBook sales? Apparently not.

    Right now, there is an obvious poster-child CPU for Apple’s G5 line. Apple had a G3 line and a G4 line, so it’s not hard to imagine that they will at sometime in the future introduce a G5 line. Since the fastest Power Mac G4 is only $2600 right now, they could introduce a new Power Mac line that goes like this:

    $1600 – Power Mac G4 2x1GHz (up to 2GB RAM)
    $2300 – Power Mac G4 2×1.25GHz (up to 2GB RAM)
    $3600 – Power Mac G5 2GHz (up to 8GB RAM)
    $3999 – Power Mac G5 2.4GHz (up to 8GB RAM)

    I am not saying that’s going to happen, or meaning to even imply that I have any information on it at all. I’m just saying that the G5 generation can come along and co-exist with the current line-up quite easily, just like the 12″ PowerBook G4 co-exists with iBooks and the new iMac co-existed with the old iMac. I think Apple also has a chance to do so well with Mac OS X 10.5 on G5’s for workstation computing that the idea that the G5 was going to hurt G4 sales for a month or two will be laughable a year into the G5. It’s going to be THE 64-bit workstation platform for the rest of us. I’m not saying that it even has to replace Sun and SGI workstations and the like, but just that animators and audio people and video people will be able to walk out of the Apple Store with complete 64-bit UNIX workstations with ridiculous CPU performance just like they’re walking out with tiny portable UNIX workstations now, and not be UNIX-heads just to do 3D animation. Same old story.

  7. $4000 for a 2.4GHZ “single” G4 is rediculous
    here is how it should be
    single G4 POWERMAC 80GB WITH SUPERDRIVE AT 1.42GHZ -$1499
    DUAL G4 POWERMAC 120GB AT WITH SUPER DRIVE AT 1.42GHZ – $1999
    SINGLE 970 200GB AT 2.0GHZ WITH FASTER SUPER DRIVE $2499
    SINGLE 970 200GB AT 2.5GHZ WITH FASTER SUPERDRIVE $2999
    DUAL 970 250GB AT 2.0GHZ WITH FASTER SUPERDRIVE $3499
    WITH THIS ECONOMY AND APPLES PRICE CUTS AND WILLINGNESS TO GAIN MARKETSHARE IDONT SEE APPLE RELEASING A SINGLE PROCESSOR DESKTOP FOR $4000, NOT ONLY THAT PART OF THE 970 STRENGHTH IS MULTICORE. THE 2.5 WILL BE HALF THE SUPPLY OF THE 2.0 SO APPLE WILL USE ITS OLD FASTER SINGLE CHEAPER SCHEMEME

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.