IBM preps for dual-core PowerPC 970MP ‘Antares’ procecessors, Apple reportedly will use

“Currently, both IBM’s eServer BladeCenter JS20 and Apple’s line of Power Macintosh G5 desktops come with dual PowerPC 970 series processors. However, these forthcoming dual-core versions will expand the configuration options when compared with today’s multiple processor systems using the single-core PowerPC 970 or 970FX,” Daniel Drew Turner reports for eWeek.

“The PowerPC 970MP will contain two processing units per chip, with each carrying its own execution core, Level 1 cache and storage subsystems including a Level 2 cache. This move, according to sources at IBM, is intended to expand the PowerPC’s top frequency capabilities, currently at 2.5 GHz, in a dual-core configuration. The new chip will let vendors scale up server lines to a four-way SMP configuration,” Turner reports.

“Meanwhile, both AMD and Intel have stated that they are planning to bring dual-core processors to the market in 2005. Sources said IBM may start production of the PowerPC 970MP in early 2005, so the race for the first dual-core desktop computer looks to be an open field,” Turner reports.

Full article here.


  1. Damn, I don’t feel like waiting for a G5 pb.

    Should I just buy a 1.5ghz G4 pb, or does anyone think we will see a significant bump in speed for the current PB before they move on to the G5?

  2. These will be machines to drool about in scientific communities.
    With programs cranking for days continuously this will be a very welcomed hardware if Apple keeps it at current G5 price range.

    People will jump on those.

  3. Keepe,

    no way these will be make their way on a Powerbook any soon.
    At the very most I could expect a new PB with a 2.0 GHz G4 in not less than 6 months.

    A PB G5? Hopefully in time for hw turnaround as written in my contract with the lab.

  4. Hey another question.

    Is it smarter to save 200 bucks and just get the combo drive in a PB as opposed to the superdrive?
    I don’t burn DVDs often, but I do occasionally and would like to have the capability of using iDVD and DVD studio pro.
    I just heard that a superdrive is slow, so are there any good external burners that i could buy later?

  5. It sounds like the G5 processors will get bigger and hotter than ever before. It is a good thing that Apple now has experience with liquid cooling because every PowerMac with dual core processors will probably need it. As for PowerBooks, they will most likely get a cooler single-core version of this CPU.

  6. My thoughts on the G5 powerbook consideration…

    I just ordered a G4 12 inch, and if the G5’s were announced tomorrow, I wouldn’t feel cheated one little bit.

    New technology has bugs… it was only in the last year that Apple finally cleaned up some of the G4 powerbook bugs (dead pixels – motherboard woes, bad latches and a few other issues).

    When the new G5 powerbook arrives, there will be issues – especially since the G5 technology is a big step, not just an incremental development. I wouldn’t be surprised to see heat problems, battery capacity concerns and who knows what else. The first batch are bound to be doggy.

    So… even if the G5 laptops were introduced for Christmas, it will be August 05 before a reliable 2nd generation is available.

    I need a laptop now, therefore I must order a G4… but the G4s available today have been through many developments and are of proven reliability.

    Nope… even if the G5 is introduced in November, I’ll have no regrets.

    As to the DVD issue… you might not be into burning DVDs now – but when you get one, you might get into it. Also, the DVD is a great way to backup your data.

    Nothing worse than spending $2k on a computer and then wishing you had spent another piddly $200 for a DVD.

    Don’t be cheap… you’ll regret it.

  7. Keefe, it depends on your comfort level. Personally I think the superdrive is worth it just to make it hold its own well into the future. I also recommend that you spend the extra dollars ($150 on the 15″ or $100 on the 17″) to upgrade to the 128MB video card and 5400 rpm hard drive, that is what I did and am very pleased with that decision. With a PB maxed out like that your purchase should serve you for awhile no matter what requirements come along for the programs you use.

  8. Superdrive question:

    you can get an external firewire DVD-/+RW/RAM drive that burns and reads every disk shaped thing in the world for around 200 bucks, and it burns faster than the Superdrive. Then, next time you buy a computer you get a “free” $200 discount. I got a 12″ with superdrive, and I like it, but I never burn DVD’s when I am away from my usual desk. So next time I’m getting the Combo Drive.

    Another thing is you can then use Toast for very fast DVD Copy (since you have 2 drives)

  9. uhmm, if you save $200 to get the combo and spend those same $200 to get an external burner where is the saving?
    Not to add that, unless you have video editing needs, you just added to the portability of the powerbook the burden of the external drive that is bound not to be there when you happen to need to burn a DVD (say to back up or store GB of data and latest results with the demo and appendices and presentation for your next conference).

    Again, nothing smarter in getting the Superdrive or downgrading to the COMBO: it all depends on the use you think you are going to do.

    yada suggestions are valuable: I did the same and pumped 1GB memory. Smart thing in this last step? Do not go through Apple store: they charge way too much. I bought a 512MB bar at an Apple authorized dealer for less than $100. And it happened to be the same that was originally installed on the delivered 17″.
    Go figure.

  10. “Should I just buy a 1.5ghz G4 pb, or does anyone think we will see a significant bump in speed for the current PB before they move on to the G5?”

    Personally, I tend to doubt it.

    Apple could very well release a G5 laptop. It would weigh 12 lbs, run very hot, and have a battery-life measured in minutes. Would you want to buy it?

    If you need a laptop, go buy one. If you don’t need a laptop, then wait.

    I bought a Blue & White G3 when they first came out. About six months later, Apple shipped G4s. Did I make a dumb move by not waiting–nope. I got over four years use out of the G3.

    I bought a G5 when they first came out. Was I somehow prescient to the fact that there would be no 3GHz in a year? Nope. I wanted a new machine and that was the best one available.

    If you sit around waiting for “The next big thing”, you’ll be waiting forever. If Apple came out with a PowerBook G5 tomorrow running at, say, 1.6GHz, you’d be saying, “Well, gee, maybe I should wait for the 2 GHz…”

  11. “[…] the 970MP will implement ‘instruction cracking,’ […] splitting certain recognized instructions into several internal and simpler operations. […] this feature sounds new to the PowerPC architecture and it resembles the ‘micro-op translation’ long used (and needed) in the more-complex x86 architectures.”

    Hmm…has RISC reached an end? As I understand it, one of the advantages of the RISC architecture was that the reduced and simpler instructions could be processed much faster than the “complex” instructions used in Intel & Motorola chips. It’s one of those reasons that Macs are faster at a given clock-speed than PCs.

    Between that and the deep pipelines, it’s starting to sound like IBM is taking a page from Intel.

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