Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th Apr 2008 21:51 UTC
IBM "The rest of the server world can play with their piddling 2-3GHz chips. IBM, meanwhile, is prepared to deal in the 5GHz realm. The hardware maker has unveiled a Power6-based version of its highest-end Unix server - the Power 595. The box runs on 32 dual-core 5GHz Power6 processors, making it a true performance beast. This big box completes a protracted roll out of the Power6 chip across IBM's Unix server line."
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hm thats alot of power
by Bitterman on Thu 10th Apr 2008 00:49 UTC
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Does this mean we now can play Crysis?

Reply Score: 5

Nice... Will Apple switch back?
by truckweb on Thu 10th Apr 2008 02:11 UTC
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Where is the 5Ghz Intel CPU?

Will Apple switch back and use Power6 CPU? ;) ;)

I can only imagine the cooling required for this CPU. Forget about the Macbook Air!!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Nice... Will Apple switch back?
by sc3252 on Thu 10th Apr 2008 03:22 UTC in reply to "Nice... Will Apple switch back?"
sc3252 Member since:

lol, thats what I was thinking of. I dont think apple will switch back, but it does look short sighted of them. Who knows though, maybe the chip is like a c7 running at 5Ghz, and isnt worth the time of day that a p4 at 4Ghz was worth.

Reply Score: 1

diegocg Member since:

I doubt apple is short-sighted, because probably Apple had roadmaps of this CPU before they switched to intel.

Don't people realize that IBM is not making desktop/laptop-oriented CPUs anymore? Did you noticed what kind of cooling has this CPU? Watercooling. Yeah, it's without doubt the best CPU you can choose for Apple's desktop and laptops.

Reply Score: 3

Nossie Member since:

the power architecture was screwing the apple laptops.... regardless of how good the architecture was itself, heat was spiraling out of control... THAT was why apple barely upped the ghz when everybody else seemed to.

If apple hadnt switched then I dont think they'd be doing nearly as well now as a company. Maybe its a shame they didnt keep the pros and xserves as PPC (shit I still love my ppc 1mb cache G4 cube)

After Apple announced the switch to go to intel and suggestions of the core2duo chips... IBM then announced the 2 core ppcs.. in an effort I believe to draw them back... but

What must have been irking apple however is that IBM was too busy chasing ALL 3 console manufacturers for business... compared to that Apple was just a 2nd rate small fry customer.

On hindsight, macs would still not run windows, and would still not have any decent games...

I really thought that once macs ran windows they would just become another high tier commodity platform (such as alienware and sony vaio) but one thing that seems to have prevailed is that people seem to far prefer using OSX and then windows on top of that, or at the most using Windows in a dual boot environment.

That is one reason why I dont think we'll see OSX on generic machines, and also the sting apple got last time they tried to license their os to 3rd parties.

Reply Score: 3

aliquis Member since:

"On hindsight, macs would still not run windows, and would still not have any decent games... "

I don't want to run Windows on my mac, and macs still don't have any decent games, and ship with shitty gfx for gaming aswell.

Reply Score: 2

Nossie Member since:

still better than what you had before... which was sweet f--k all.

The windows thing is still there as an option... which, again, is more than you had before!

Personally I wish we could move away from x86 architecture in general... but I doubt microsofts iron hand and market share will allow that for a while yet.

Remember, this is not about me and you.. I dont even play games that much anymore. Its about general acceptance, and without that companies wont find it worth their while to do your geeky shit.

Reply Score: 2

atriq Member since:

They switched because it was no longer possible to make notebooks using the POWER series without melting the notebook.

Reply Score: 3

aliquis Member since:

16 4.7GHz dual-cores at 600 Gflops = 37.5 Gflops / 4.7GHz dual-core. I don't know what the current Intels does? I found a post from 17 may 2005 regarding PS3 specs saying:

total floating point performance: 218 GFLOPS
(jmf Pentium 4~25-30 GFLOPS, pacman anm)

So if a P4 back when ran at 25-30 Gflops it's not very impressive. Maybe it doesn't scale perfectly but anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nice... Will Apple switch back?
by sb56637 on Fri 11th Apr 2008 15:09 UTC in reply to "Nice... Will Apple switch back?"
sb56637 Member since:

I can only imagine the cooling required for this CPU. Forget about the Macbook Air!!

According to internal Apple sources, the Macbook Air will be replaced by the Macbook Fan, with dual 5GHz Power6 processors.

Reply Score: 2

Arun Member since:

You mean Macbook Jet. The fans needed to cool that thing will require you to chase it around the room. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Missing one thing
by elsewhere on Thu 10th Apr 2008 03:58 UTC
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32 dual-core 5GHz procs. Wow. If only the architecture was x86, IBM would have been first-to-market with a truly Vista-capable system.



Edited 2008-04-10 04:01 UTC

Reply Score: 12

RE: Missing one thing
by Johann Chua on Thu 10th Apr 2008 12:40 UTC in reply to "Missing one thing"
Johann Chua Member since:

Well, Microsoft could use Virtual PC to run Vista on it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Missing one thing
by gilboa on Sat 12th Apr 2008 17:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Missing one thing"
gilboa Member since:

Huh? I hope you're joking...

AFAIK Virtual PC is incapable of running under Unix - and even if it did, the performance penalty of emulating x86/x86_64 on Power would have been prohibiting.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

Reminds me nostalgically of the NeXT Cube
by tyrione on Thu 10th Apr 2008 04:43 UTC
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Where one could put in up to 4 Boards in one Cube. I always like that idea of being able to expand your own cube.

Too bad we don't have such capabilities with a replaceable backplane in the consumer space.

Reply Score: 2

4 TB of ram...
by xophere on Thu 10th Apr 2008 07:39 UTC
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now there you go.... too bad they don't have a diagram of the system layout. Would be curious to see how the memory bandwidth of the beast works...

If course there is always the high density water cooled one.... that wouldn't be so bad... 256GB of ram would be enough for most things....

Reply Score: 1

Not really at 5Ghz.
by joshuah on Thu 10th Apr 2008 07:43 UTC
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As far as I know, the 64 core version will run @ 4.2 GHz. That is what I am told from IBM engineers. But I don't think anyone cares about some 800Mhz...after all that thing has hardware FPU, and will probably kick the ass of few other vendors.

Reply Score: 1

by gelosilente on Thu 10th Apr 2008 08:13 UTC
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that is a very impressive machine, i' d like to play for a few: how much will cost?

on other hand i wonder if ibm plan to make a low cost low level server power6 based.

Reply Score: 1

RE: imppressive
by SReilly on Thu 10th Apr 2008 09:06 UTC in reply to "imppressive"
SReilly Member since:

There is a Power 520 Express (entry level) server available running 1, 2 or 4 POWER6 processors, can be found at:

Mind you they still cost an arm and a leg.

Reply Score: 3

Is IBM going the wrong way?
by Don T. Bothers on Thu 10th Apr 2008 11:28 UTC
Don T. Bothers
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How many cores does their Power 6 support? How much power does it draw? Intel had reached this speed 4 years ago but was still being embarrassed by AMD running at half the clock speed. Why does IBM think the game is still a ghz game? I am far more interested in this product:

Reply Score: 2

RE: Is IBM going the wrong way?
by chicklin on Thu 10th Apr 2008 15:23 UTC in reply to "Is IBM going the wrong way?"
chicklin Member since:

IBM is not playing the "ghz game". If you knew anything about these systems you'd know that they put just as much, if not more, effort into designing a well-balanced, high I/O throughput platform to host the processor. The 5Ghz chip is just the cherry on top.

Yeah, "Rock" looks neat. Unfortunately, it's all hype at this point. Let me know when you can actually buy a server with one in it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Is IBM going the wrong way?
by rdean400 on Sat 12th Apr 2008 17:22 UTC in reply to "Is IBM going the wrong way?"
rdean400 Member since:

While the rest of the world is going multi-core, IBM realizes that this provides limited benefits to problems that aren't inherently parallelizable. Pumping the clock speed up and making efficient use of power is important.

Reply Score: 1

Power6, Intel and Apple
by broch on Thu 10th Apr 2008 15:27 UTC
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ufff... no real loss. This (power6) would not run/it is not designed for Apple. So even if apple would be still using Power processors, they would not be able to use this one.

It seems however that soon to be released intel's Tukwila
will outperform Power6 even at much lower clock speed.
detailed (first his) post by Paul DeMone)
Not to mention compiler problems

Reply Score: 1

RE: Power6, Intel and Apple
by viton on Thu 10th Apr 2008 17:40 UTC in reply to "Power6, Intel and Apple"
viton Member since:

It seems however that soon to be released intel's Tukwila
will outperform Power6 even at much lower clock speed.

Unlikely. Itaniums are on par with top x86 parts.
Second SMT thread doubles performance of p6.
1 Power6 core = 2 x86 cores.

Not to mention compiler problems
Since when Power compilers become a problem?

Edited 2008-04-10 17:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Power6, Intel and Apple
by broch on Thu 10th Apr 2008 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Power6, Intel and Apple"
broch Member since:

since IBM scarified out-of-order design for an in-order design, which will require re-compilation of software.
in-order execution requires very well tuned compilers.
So it does not mean that there is a problem with IBM compiler, but it means more work.

Reply Score: 2

Power6 does not equal PPC
by PunchCardGuy on Thu 10th Apr 2008 17:32 UTC
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Even if Apple had stuck with IBM's CPUs, there would not have been Apple systems with Power6 CPUs (except by a big stretch possibly one of their server models). Just like it cannot be expected for a low end workstation to have a Sun T2 CPU in it. Power6 is for IBM's big iron.

Reply Score: 2

by ritesh_nair on Thu 10th Apr 2008 19:45 UTC
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Boy now I want to see how mac sells those xserver blades... like 2x performance like 4 x performance.. Go IBM.. Only if u can make an x86 emulator on that it would make hte world a bettter place for me to run vista or xp.. Cos I like Playing BattleField 2 ad I dont want to be a rocket scientist to compile binaries to run it. .. I will say i am lazy cos i want to play not build rockets.. hehehe

And hey what is that ... Hmm i guess Apple can now wonder
Hey one more thing what ever is happening to the cell! or is this cell!????

Edited 2008-04-10 19:46 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: hehahahheheh
by Nossie on Thu 10th Apr 2008 22:50 UTC in reply to "hehahahheheh"
Nossie Member since:

I dont know why I'm bothering but the POWER architecture was the bigger brother of the POWERPC (PPC) architecture used by Apple.

Lets put this in a perspective you might comprehend... the wii and xbox 360 use modified PPC architecture... still wanting to bitch about apple now? The PS3 uses the cell architecture which was also worked on by IBM.

Laughing at apple for not switching away from PPC is like laughing at HP for investing in Itanium.

Both are big iron processors... the main difference is that POWER is still respected ... and well, Intels Itanium sunk like the Titanic.

Edited 2008-04-10 22:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Pointless with speed?
by Kebabbert on Fri 11th Apr 2008 09:44 UTC
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Ive seen Intel studies that shows a normal ordinary x86 server, idles 50-60% of their time under full load. That is due to cache misses. So, even under full load, it waits 50% of the time for data. This is a problem chip makers have struggled with for a long time; larger cache, komplex cache logic to prefetch data, etc. But this is a ugly truth no one speaks of. No one has been able to solve the problem. I expect IBM's power CPU to have the same problem, but more maginified because memory is too slow - much slower than such a fast CPU - the problem worsens, the ratio is larger than normal. Maybe the Power CPU works 40% of the time, resulting ~2GHz cpu speed full work.

SUN has solved this ancient problem with their new revolutionizing T1 Niagara CPU, they claim. T1 has 8 core and 64 threads and it has no complicated prefetch, very simple prefetch. When a thread stalls - which WILL happen no matter what you do, unless the CPU has esp - the T1 cpu switches to another thread in ONE cycle. No other CPU can switch thread in one cycle. That means T1 will continue to run another thread without waiting. This way it can run without idling at all (ive heard numbers on 5% idling). T1 does work 95% of it's cycles - outclassing faster CPU's on threaded work. If it is single threaded work, T1 sucks.

T1 works 95% of it's time at 1.4GHz resulting in ~1.4Ghz full work. Compare that to a Power CPU working full at 2GHz. That is not big difference, and IBM costs much much more (millions?) than Sun T1 for 10.000 USD(?). And, T1 beats Power cpu easily on some workloads. At a much lower price, and lower Wattage.

Edited 2008-04-11 09:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Pointless with speed?
by Wes Felter on Fri 11th Apr 2008 15:40 UTC in reply to "Pointless with speed?"
Wes Felter Member since:

There are several partial solutions to the memory wall: massive caches (like 128MB), massive memory bandwidth (128 channels?), and SMT aka Hyperthreading. Fortunately, Power6 implements all of them. Thanks to a more balanced (and more expensive) system architecture, you can get more performance out of a Power6 system than an x86 system.

Reply Score: 2