Power Mac G5 and 64-bit Mac OS X 10.3 coming sooner than expected?

“Is IBM’s much-vaunted PowerPC 970 coming to the Mac sooner rather than later? There’re at least two conflicting, but equally well-sourced points of view. [attrib: MacGeneration]”

“On the one hand, Ars Technica says that the 2.5GHz version – prototypes of which IBM has running currently – will be a ‘later rather than sooner’ version, with the 1.8GHz versions coming in the first wave.”

“On the other hand, MacBidouille reports that Peter Sandon, “father of the PowerPC 970″, will make a presentation at the World-Wide Developers’ Conference (May 2003). The MacBidouille story says that only certain select members of Apple’s Developer Connection will get the exclusive demo of the capabilities of the PowerPC 970 actually running on a Mac prototype.”

“Better still, the story states that Apple has a beta version of Panther – OS X 10.3 – in advanced stages of development, running in full 64-bit mode.”

“The article also notes that the current (prototyped) version of the 970 running at 2.5GHz needs a lot of juice: 64 watts. A DP version would need 128. Ars Technica adds a little to this, stating that the 2.5GHz version will come later, rather than sooner, as IBM will fabricate this version of the 970 using a 90-nanometer process,” reports Remy Davison for Insanely Great Mac. Full article and links here.


  1. Still cheaper than a light bulb. And let’s not forget the Apple //c used about 100 watts total, so going from 100 to 400 total wattage in about 15 years is rather conservative, considering the advancements and the usability increases in the hardware.

  2. 64 Watts is terrible! The current G4 runs at maybe 20 Watts. I have a dual 2400+ AMD chip that I built myself. It requires 9 fans (2 in PS) to cool it. If you didn’t have a heat sink and fan on each processor the processor would fry in less than 3 seconds. That’s why most PC mobo have some form of temp shutoff capabilities on board. If that fails goodbye $200 a piece processors. And the noise!!!! It sounds like a jet engine. I swear I’m losing my hearing. For Apple to actually build computers sans fans (iMac, iCube) is actually amazing. I hope this is not true about 64 Watss 🙁

  3. The issue isn’t just the power consumed, it’s the resultant heat that needs to be disappated. And remember, Intel has at last made reduced power consumption a major priority for its future development.
    It would hardly be a great selling point for Apple for fan noise to be further increased, or for the battery life of its portables to be reduced by two thirds!

  4. Low power consumption is a good thing. A lot of people can’t really tell the difference between using an 80W P4 3.06GHz with HT on and a 50W AthlonXP anyway. It’s a waste of electricity.

    *Why buy a gas guzzling sportscar when all you use it for is to drive to market on the weekends.

  5. I hope they do not call it “G5” the string of “G” is only two CPUs long and half of them was a real failure. So it is time to cut that g-string short!

    As the 1.2 Ghz 970 is belived to need about 20W and wattage seem to increase with the square of the clock speed or something like that those 64 W can be used for two CPUs running about 1.7 GHz. These would be plenty fast on non SMP and really really fast on SMP.

    To put that 1.8 or 2.5 Ghz in its perspective for a G4 owner like me. To get the same SPEC2000 score as a 1.42 Ghz G4 a 970 has to run at 620 MHz for the integers while for the fp part 320 MHz is enough. Replacing the dual 1.42 G4 with one 1.1 GHz 970 will have the same SMP integer performance, almost twise the fp performance and way better than that in the non SMP stuff.

    So even if a dual 2.5 970 is more superior to current G4s than a dual 1.8 970 would be the point is that Apple this time really have to work hard to not make something that is not much better than what is currently aviable.

    The G4 started as SP/400-450-500 and then went to SP/350-400-450 so the proper way to start a G5 would be to anounce it as SP/800-900-1GHz and then down clock it to 700-800 and 900 MHz!

  6. so the ‘g’ series has been a failure, huh dr. bore- err, boar?
    the g series has been fine. they compete with processors 3x faster, with less than 1/4 the heat. that is terrible, huh? you, sir are not even a moron… you are a less-on. they have not ramped clock speeds competitively with intel/amd because they have different priorities. now i am not saying i am not in favor of the 970, just that the g series was fine. stop being ill-informed, and you may start sounding intelligently educated. just throw things out like ‘that g series really sucked’ and you just sound misguided.

    feel free to continue posting dumb things. don’t let a voice of reason stop you.

  7. The G series is certainly not a failure. But it is long over due to be updated. While the g4 is “fast enough”, you have to factor in how Joe Consumer’s perception impacts on how Apple makes money, stays healthy, and allows me to continue to justify purchasing them in my company. Most independent bench marks show Apple’s top end systems lagging far behind lower priced and equally equipped Wintel machines. Joe consumer looks at this stuff, sees apple as an arrogant designer fluff brand, and goes with a PC. I have to defend Apple purhcases all the time in my job.. its especially hard when some snitty little network jerk tells me they are trying to get Macs OUT of our org becasue they are hard to play with on the network, ARE SLOW, more expensive, have poor service contracts (compared to Dell), and do not run AutoCAD, 3DMax and a host of other apps that our staff PREFER. Yes there are alternatives, and I can argue against all the points they’ll make, but I am not convincing them of anything… instead I am viewed as the misguided mac geek.
    My point is, Apple needs to get their act together in the speed arena sooner than later. It is just one step in a walk (run) towards a better, (more easily justifiable) purchase.
    What I hope Apple avoids is milking the new chip introduction… giving us bits and pieces, slowly creeping towards the speed king goal… I WANT IT TO BLOW THE DOORS OFF A DP ITANIUM on day one. (sorry bout that outburst… ok, I AM a woeful a geek)

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