PowerBook G5? 90nm G5 consumes much less power than 130nm G5

“You can see why Apple waited for the 90nm version of the PowerPC 970 before launching a G5-based Xserve 1U rackmount server: the latter’s heat dissipation characteristics. While Intel continues to have problems with the power consumed by its 90nm ‘Prescott’ processor – 100W at around 3.2GHz – IBM’s own documentation claims the 90nm 970 eats 24.5W at 2GHz. By comparison, the 130nm 970, currently used by Apple in its Power Mac G5 desktop line, consumes 51W at 1.8GHz,” Tony Smith reports for The Register.

“You’d expect the smaller process to yield a power reduction at close clock speeds, but the issue of current leakage at the smaller transistor size can counter that assumption. Certainly that’s what Intel has been forced to accept – Prescott consumes more power clock-for-clock than its 130nm predecessor, ‘Northwood,'” Smith reports. “One crucial difference between IBM’s processors and Intel’s is the former’s use of silicon-on-insulator technology, which undoubtedly helps reduce leakage at the smaller process.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: PowerBook G5’s? Anyone buying?


  1. It should have been yesterday or was it today?
    Maybe it is better that they don’t release it yet. Could save little for a change.
    No! Give me iBox, Give me my G11 now!
    Oops. That was scary ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  2. The worse thing Apple can do is pre-announce a product at this point and kill their current sales. The 970FX news being out will force Apple’s hand to at least release a new PowerMac G5 revision sooner than later as most of us will now wait knowing the new processors are being shipped in the Xserve G5’s. They must be pretty silent Xserves.

  3. It would be nice if they drop the hole G4 line totally.
    Then they could say that all of their machines are 64 not 32.
    Moto is gone anyway.
    I wonder if you could use Intel to heat up the sauna? Does any one know where they use these Intel things?

  4. One guy from Finland
    Dropping the G4 will not happen anytime soon. The ibooks FINALLY were bumped up to the G4 I seriously doubt we’ll see a G5 iBook within 2 years.

  5. If Intel dies, AMD is more than willing to take up the slack. IIRC, AMD actually licensed some of IBM technologies (and may actually uses IBM’s fab — not sure, to lazy to google). So, AMD will have access to SOI. But Windows on PPC is a sweet revenge on those “analysts” who keep insisting that Apple should port OS X to Intel.

  6. What nobody seems to take into account here though is that even though the 90nm G5s consume much less power than the 130nm G5s do, they still are much more power hungry and run hotter than the G4 currently used in PowerBooks. So don’t get to anxious waiting on those G5 PowerBooks, I’d be willing to bet it’ll probably be the 4th quarter of this year at the earliest before we see them.

  7. I doubt the G5 PB will come soon.

    Don’t forget Apple is planning to swap VT Desktops to Xserves. That is 2200 G5 90nm chips. Then they have to fill everyone else’s Xserve orders.

    IBM and Apple need time to fill the orders and catch up before they can mass produce the PB once they fix the heat and power requirements of not only the G5 but all the supporting chips.

  8. A 1.4GHz 90nm G5 is the perfect fit for a PowerBook G5, as it’s supposed to only have a requirement of just over 12W, but it’s whether Apple can get the rest of the chipset down to a low enough power requirement that is the important thing. Also I seem to remember Apple saying the system controller in the PowerMac generated quite a lot of heat. Perhaps the delay is to allow IBM to fab this chip at 90nm. If it improves as much as the processors have, PBG5s will be with us before too long, maybe as early as June.

  9. I think Xserve will not affect PBG5 if it is already designed. Xserve use high clock speed chips, so the availability of lower clocked chips is not affected. It is quite unlikely that the PB will have a 2GHz chip. Xserve is a done deal, so mostly the work needs to be done is to fix erratas and bugs. Again, most likely they will not affect PBG5. IMHO, they are two distinct products with different schedules.

  10. The Register and a lot of people posting here might be thinking too far ahead. We are more likely to see the 970FX implemented in the other desktop Macs before we see it in PowerBooks. iMacs and eMacs can deal with a lot more heat than any portable since they have bigger cases and thus, more room for air-flow.

  11. “…they still are much more power hungry and run hotter than the G4 currently used in PowerBooks.” – Philip

    Not true. In fact, at the same clock speed the 970FX is much cooler and uses less power than an equivalent G4 (7447). In fact, the current 1GHz G4 uses 15.6W whereas a 1.4GHz 970FX uses just 12.3W. So a 1.4GHz PowerBook G5 would consume less power, be a significant jump in speed, and provide 64-bit support.

    “Start saving now. I bet it will cost more than $3K” – macaddict2

    Why? The 970 chip costs less than the current G4.

    “We are more likely to see the 970FX implemented in the other desktop Macs before we see it in PowerBooks.” – Sol

    That wasn’t the case with the G4.

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