Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Oct 2005 20:09 UTC
Apple "There have been a few recent PowerPC announcements that have caused the Mac Faithful to wonder anew about The Switch and the "real" reasons behind it. First, there was the 970FX announcement, which clearly showed that IBM is capable of putting out a 970 processor that compares quite well with the Pentium M in performance/watt. And then there's the 970MP, which Apple has used to make a monster of a quad-processor 64-bit RISC workstation. To make matters even more interesting, P.A. Semi has just announced a dual-core 64-bit PowerPC processor SoC that, if the specs and numbers are to be believed, could take PowerPC to a whole new performance/watt level."
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The reason probably was only marginally, if at all, about processor performance. It is much more likely to have been about the total costs of supply of the system.

If you look at this from the outside, the prices for PPC processors and comparable X86 ones are not too crazily different. But if you look at prices for PPC main boards and X86 main boards, its factors of 5-10. Then there is the driver problem, integrating them with the graphics cards and so on.

I know that, in defiance of the observable facts, there will be people who say that the price of comparable Mac and Intel based machines is the same, but it obviously isn't, the Macs are around double the price, and this is why, and this is why they had to change. It had nothing to do with the processor itself or its performance, the processor only had to be good enough. It had to do with the total costs of the system.

So. if there is anyone who really wants to make an informed contribution, and has the industry knowledge to do so, what it would be nice to see is a real analysis of the full costs of the different alternatives.

This being OSNews in its present incarnation, I am sure someone will post saying that the two sorts of boards use the same chips so the costs must be the same. That isn't the problem, component cost. The problem is the costs of the whole supply chain. It is not because some chips are so expensive that PPC main boards are so expensive. Its because of how many are made, where they are made, what for, how long the runs are.... This sort of stuff. There may be a componenet difference as well, but I doubt its the main driver for the differences we see in the market.

If you think this is wrong - just give a link where one can buy a PPC main board with the usual features, built in graphics, networking and so on, for under $100. I'll buy it at once.

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