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23rd june ... new Macs
Old 11th June 2003
  #31
Lives for gear
 

Well, for the geekishly inclined, here is a copy of the post I made in another forum, answering some questions about the PPC970. I am sometimes shocked at how little technical info most Mac users possess about their machines. A luxury in one sense, I suppose. Me, I'm a very curious person.

You know, I've only owned one Mac in my life, and that was in 1995 for about 4 months. Atari before that, beginning in 1987, and PCs ever since 1995. I paid dearly with my time for that choice, as teething pains were severe in the '90s for PC DAWs. Ouch. But as a result, I was forced to learn a good bit about what's under the hood of a computer. Ummm, make that a helluvalot, actually.

I do try and keep up with nearly all technical developments affecting PCs, Macs and DAWs. And so even though I'm a PC guy, here are some facts plus a bit of speculation on the New Macs, which BTW, I'm very happy to see coming. More competition is a good thing.


*****************************

The PPC970 is purposely designed to be fully 32 bit compatible. Like AMD, and unlike Intel, IBM has intelligently considered that it will be years before 64 bit apps and drivers become the norm, so they made their 64 bit CPU, 32 bit compatible. I mean, when did OSX beta first ship? How many DAW users are currently on OSX? And what percentage of plugins are now available in Audio Unit format? It always takes far longer than we seem to expect.

In any event, the PPC970 should spank the current G4s badly and pull up to +/- equity with AMD and Intel for DAW use, unless an OSX app is seriously well optimized for Altivec (which so few apps ever have been to date), in which case the PPC970 should be able to absolutely crush the others. Done right, Altivec is superior technology.

As far as the Front Side Bus, the 1.8GHz PPC970's FSB is at 450MHz and double pumped for an effective 900MHz. There are 2 seperate 32 bit buses to/from the CPU. So each direction has a theoretical bandwidth of 3.6GB/sec, for a total of 7.2GB/sec. That puts it at the top of the heap.

By contrast, the newest Athlon runs a 64 bit, 200MHz FSB that's double pumped to 400MHz effective, for a max of 3.2GB/sec. The newest P4 also uses a 64 bit 200MHz FSB that's quad pumped for effective 800MHz. That's good for 6.4GB/sec. The way the P4 and Athlon are designed, both are faring well with their current FSB setup.

And the current G4? Totally outclassed at this point, IMO. The FSB is at 167MHz, single data rate, for a max bandwidth of 1.33GB/sec. That's a little over half of what it's "new" DDR 266 memory can do, so the DDR is basically wasted in most cases. The G4, even the single CPU, is FSB speed limited in many (most?) situations.

BTW, the dual G4s have to share the same, single, slow FSB, as opposed to the Athlon MPs in which each CPU has it's own FSB that's nearly three times as fast as the single FSB shared by the G4 MPs. Basically, about 5 times the FSB bandwidth in a dual Athlon vs a dual G4. When you guys are complaining about Nuendo 2, realize that there is no getting around the fact that Intel and AMD are simply more powerful machines currently. That doesn't explain bugs, but it does explain less visual snappiness and higher CPU useage readings. I'm just being objective, so don't shoot the messenger, please.

You guys need the IBM 970. I really hope it happens soon, to revitalize competition for MS. All DAW users win in that case.

Just one thing. I'm pretty certain they won't be cheap. I'm thinking double the $$$ for the same Mac power as a P4 3.2GHz HT, which ships June 23rd.

For some realworld, objective benchmarks (by a Mac owner), try http://www.barefeats.com/ Cool site. I think he'll be having a lot more fun benchmarking in about 4-6 months. While you're there, check out the FireWire 800 RAID tests. Wow. PT users take note of your future on that one.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 11th June 2003
  #32
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

What about the rumors (facts?) going around that actually the 970 is cheaper to produce than the curent g4 chip?

Apple's Prices On PPC 970 Ensure Motorola Departure


We have received some tantalizing information over the past few days on the prices being given to Apple by IBM on the PPC 970 microprocessors now being engineered into Power Mac and Powerbook motherboards. We are in a delicate position as to what we may publish on this topic, but have decided that a very basic statement is permissible. Essentially, the PPC 970 family of chips is about 25% to 35% less costly to Apple than the latest family of Motorola G4 chips... a fact which, we believe, speaks volumes about the likely adoption of the new 970-based machine architecture in Apple's product line.

http://www.envestco2.com/macwhispers...ves/000070.php


Also here for some benchmarks (it's in french and english)

http://www.macbidouille.com/niouzcon...003-05-05#5440
Old 11th June 2003
  #33
Lives for gear
 

I doubt the actual cost of the CPUs, a fraction of the total cost of Mac manufacture, will deter Apple's desire to charge quite a premium for the new boxes while selling through their current G4 stock.

Early adopters always pay extra. Partly for the legitmate amortization of the hefty R&D costs. Partly, just what the market will bear. For instance, what about the current G4s makes them cost double relative to a Wintel machine? RAM, motherboard, video, HD etc are all on par with PCs, except in some cases (RAM for instance), is a generation behind and actually cheaper.

I don't think actual cost of parts has much to do with Apple's pricing, do you?



Regards,
Brian T
Old 11th June 2003
  #34
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

Apple are eager to gain market share right now, and their aggresive current stance I think would mean that they wouldn't make the new computers insanely expensive. Well, not like previously insanely expensive.

Depends if its part of their strategy or not I guess.
Old 11th June 2003
  #35
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

apple always drops the old models heavily and releases the new ones at the price of the old ones... i havent seen that change in quite some years.
Old 11th June 2003
  #36
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Renie's Avatar
 

I wonder if the rumours of a $800 ish G4 range will come true too.

Does anyone know anything about the noise level the new Macs aim to propel?
Old 13th June 2003
  #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
apple always drops the old models heavily and releases the new ones at the price of the old ones... i havent seen that change in quite some years.

But the last transition this big was from the 68K CPUs to the PPC line, waaaaay back when.

I would bet the new PPC970 boxes will be introduced as being high end, 64 bit professional boxes, more powerful than Deep Thought; able to model the world's entire ecosphere in realtime, or something like that. Job's usual modesty.

I would think some form of G4 models will live on for sometime, much like the G3's lived on for years after the G4 showed up. As such, I would think G4's would drop in price a bit to compete better with Wintel, and the G5 would be the most expensive desktop Mac sold in quite some time.

Just guessing, and we know how bad I blew the Superbowl, so use a grain of salt here. But with Apple, it doesn't really seem to be about how much it cost to make. It's about how badly you want it, and Mac devotees want it bad.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 13th June 2003
  #38
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i dunno. the 7100,8100,9500,9600 to G3's were a bit of a move, and then the G4's with altivec were a big stride for MAC. i dont see the move to 64bit being more than the move from G3's to G4's... i guess we will have to wait and see.

not that im going to upgrade my dualGHZ anytime soon anyway. still waiting for them to get on the OSX train with all the apps and plugins... something about being an unpaid beta tester.

i see the prices topping out at $2995 for the top end.
Old 13th June 2003
  #39
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Renie's Avatar
 

4 real?
Attached Images
23rd june ... new Macs-1001600.jpg 
Old 13th June 2003
  #40
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e-cue's Avatar
 

How the hell am I supposed to rack mount that thing?

Ugh... Time for a call to marathon...
Old 13th June 2003
  #41
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Renie's Avatar
 

I don't think it is it.
Old 13th June 2003
  #42
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Mind-Over-Midi's Avatar
 

Renie;
Where did you see that image?
Old 13th June 2003
  #43
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Renie's Avatar
 

I picked that photo up from a link on the DUC.
Old 13th June 2003
  #44
Old 15th June 2003
  #45
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Johnny B's Avatar
 

Any new words on the new Apple?
Old 16th June 2003
  #46
Gear Maniac
 
Stizz's Avatar
Lordy - I cannot wait until next week! Believe it or not, I am still using my UMAX J700 Mac clone (with a Sonnet G3 upgrade)...
Mostly use the computer for MIDI, and lock it up to my audio on hard disc - but after 9 years, I had one drive go bad earlier this year, and just yesterday lost my HUGE 9G drive. (funny what used to seem huge!) Luckily, I am pretty good about backing up, so nothing important has been lost...
But it seems silly for me to go buy a G4 today, when next week they ought to be a bunch cheaper. Is there any point in getting one of the OS9 bootable models while they are still around? I know they are noisy mothers, and the only thing I really would need it for is Opcode StudioVision, although I have finally given up that ghost for DP3 - which won't run in classic mode anyway- maybe I have just answered my own question.
Oh well, I suppose I wil steal my wife's ibook for a week (It's her album I am working on anyway) - Please excuse the rambling, I just needed to babble - CMON G5's !!!!
Old 17th June 2003
  #47
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Johnny B's Avatar
 

Given that Apple will want to tightly integrate FCP with Logic, it makes sense that you will see a new control surface which works both the sound and picture editing. It is a no brainer!


The trick for recording great sound will be having great I/O and that means super A-to-D and D-to-A converters too. Anyone up for, say, 32-bit/192Khz or better?
Old 17th June 2003
  #48
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Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny B
Anyone up for, say, 32-bit/192Khz or better?
Not me.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 17th June 2003
  #49
Gear Addict
 
smoothmoniker's Avatar
 

176 MB for a 3 minute aiff? no thanks.

I don't want to spend 3 hours burning 56 gigs to DVD in order to transport and archive a ten song record.
Old 17th June 2003
  #50
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by smoothmoniker
176 MB for a 3 minute aiff? no thanks.

I don't want to spend 3 hours burning 56 gigs to DVD in order to transport and archive a ten song record.
that's like saying 'I don't wanna save 5mb of sounds to 1.44 disks like 10 or 15 years ago ... we're 2003 ... and definately not yet at the end of the road yet.

4 speed DVD writers are almost as cheap as CD writers these days. double triple whatever layered in development ... tape streamers doing giga's and giga's at the speed of light and becoming affordable.

56 gig is nothing ... or is going to be nothing in a matter of time ... (and it isn't going to be years)

Hell, bring me the CPU power, terabytes, 192 Khz DSD or whatever format ... I want it ... and I can't wait for it and I'm ready for it.

and at the end of the road you can turn it into a 3mb mp3 / mpeg4 or whatever dfegad format you like
Old 17th June 2003
  #51
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

THIS IS A FAKE BY THE WAY HUR HUR
Attached Thumbnails
23rd june ... new Macs-dontask2.jpg  
Old 17th June 2003
  #52
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Mind-Over-Midi's Avatar
 

Old 17th June 2003
  #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mind-Over-Midi


At the end of the day, it's still all about a great song, and a great performance!


Which is exactly why consumers are going to ever smaller file sizes while pro music people want to go to multiple times where we already are.

Hello? Anybody notice the iPod phenom? Mp3's ruling the planet?

People just want to hear the song and the singer without anything blowing up or sounding overtly crappy. The farther pro audio goes up in file size requirements, the less it is dealing with an unavoidable reality. What reality is that?

44.1/16 Redbook Audio CDs already sound better than at least 90% of comsumers can distinguish. They really don't give a crap about 192Khz, even if you A/B'ed it back to back at their house. On their stereo, with their ears, they wouldn't care which was which, sonically. What they would care about is which was cheaper, easier to deal with, and most importantly longterm, easily downloadable.

Why is it we can't seem to comprehend that, as an industry? Ivory tower syndrome?


Regards,
Brian T
Old 17th June 2003
  #54
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

(Brian I think you just replied to Mind Over Midi's sig, although i agree with you!)

Back on topic...., and the reason i just posted that leaked picture..

Discover the Future with the Apple

Apple Germany invites you to a breathtaking event in the heart of Europe.

Watch the keynote of Steve Jobs from the WWDC in San Francisco via satellite.

For Audio, Video, Publishing and Mediaprofessionals will it be an unforgettable event. News will await you, which will top all your previous expectations on speed.

Be ready for a new age of computing on 23.06.2003 starting 6 pm.
Old 17th June 2003
  #55
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Renie's Avatar
 

Wow, it's exciting!

But that picture Bev, it looks like a fanheater....
Old 17th June 2003
  #56
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dave-G's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by BevvyB
Do not publicise this post
Is that "it"? Yeesh.. Are they going to make it retro-beige too? Looks a little like a IIci on it's side. Perhaps the crumpled paper's not doing justice to the design.

-dave
Old 18th June 2003
  #57
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

copied from somewhere, translated from german

i was with a friend yesterday who is working in a big macShop - i can´t tell you city and shopname, because he´ll lose his job.
they got new computers yesterday and they are the new 970s mit OSX 10.2.7.??

There is no "G5" shown on the outer hull, just PowerMacintosh 970. The Computers are there is two versions. Grey plastic with Aluminium or white plastic with Aluminium. The grey version has got the grill optic (grey stripes), the white is completely white, no structure.
The Picture seen in here (where this was posted, --> the translator,MacCaine) is a fake, definitely.
The Machines are not shaped as seen on the picture, no grill-style air-intakes. But small holes on the top and bottom, rounded out on the front. Similar to the ones from the eMacs.
The Machines are rounded out to top-front side and to the front.
All have got Superdrives.
The sides are covered with Alu, the right cover can be opened to access the inside.
On top and bottom, the machine has got 2 polished steelparts.
The Slots for the drives are in a "box that can be pulled out!!!!!!" On this box is the Apple Logo and "Powermacintosh 970" It can be rotated 90 degr. If rotated you can use the machine as desktop or as tower. There is space for 5 drives - optical or HD.
on the frontside there are 1 FW 800 Port, Headphones, Mic, bluetooth logo, three apple typical buttons, and chromed speaker.
on the back are 1 FW 800, 1 FW 800, 2x USB, 1 USB 2.0, ethernet, ADC, DVI and four diagonal PCI Slots!!!!!, speaker connector, mic.
Size of hull.: 15cm x 65cm x 40cm

There is a new alu/white keyboard, optical 2 button mouse without cord, srollwheel made of alu, bluetooth.

The machine did´t start from a OsX 10.2.6 HD

Inside one CPU, cooler for two cores!!!!!!

the new Displays...!!!!!!! can be positioned exactly into small fittings on the left side of the hull, so that when it is used as a desktop, the display doesn´t slip away.
Old 18th June 2003
  #58
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Renie's Avatar
 

thumbsup

any price info?
inc. displays?
Old 18th June 2003
  #59
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Johnny B's Avatar
 

I as I understand the AD/DA converter issue, with a 24-bit word you effectively only get to use 18 bits. In the past there has been a lot of IAM distortion, jitter, and some bad math and bad code going on. A bigger word, say 32-bit, could help get these issues behind us once and for all.

What is really cool here is that this new Apple Box appears to have the horsepower to handle bigger words and that should eventually translate into better sound quality and making everyone's lives easier too. I could be wrong, often am.

It may take a while for this vison to be realized, but things keep getting "bigger, better, faster, cheaper," so I am hopeful.

In the meantime, I am excited as the big day approaches.
Old 19th June 2003
  #60
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mac black's Avatar
BevvyB thanks for all this Fantastic information
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