Home > Apple > Multi-core CPUs on the Horizon at Apple? Multi-core CPUs on the Horizon at Apple? Submitted by Alexandros Roussos 2005-03-11 Apple 26 Comments An Apple developer noticed a cryptic mention of the PowerPC 970MP processor while using Apple’s MONster utility. Update: Everything Apple has even more evidence. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 26 Comments 2005-03-11 6:31 pm finally we can see mac with more than 2 proc, mac os x i very multi tasking, so this is a good sution 2005-03-11 6:39 pm I assume that the quad processor you want us to see are the 4 people at the top of the page. OK, so I fell for it. Enjoy the laugh. lol 2005-03-11 6:39 pm http://everythingapple.blogspot.com/2005/03/chud-tools-reveal-apple… 2005-03-11 6:51 pm …until they release an Xserve with 1 or 2 Cell processors… 2005-03-11 6:53 pm There is another point here. If this is true then apple will offer quite a bit more performance than intel rigs. Apple would reclaim the performance crown with this move. I wonder if they’d offer computers with multiple multicore chips so say maybe two chips eac with 2 cores. 2005-03-11 7:01 pm I hope they do it and I think they will. Intel is coming out with dual cores and I don’t see Apple standing still as long as IBM can deliver. 2005-03-11 7:04 pm It’s not that I don’t like Apple’s products, or at least some of them, but all this excitement true fans seem to feel with every little blurb and rumor is just beyond me. I mean, just look at how many mac rumor sites there and how excited people like Ryan here get anticipating Apple to reclaim the perfomance crown. Come on, who cares? And you can’t even make fun of it by posting this little gem: http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/images/iProduct.gif Admit it, it’s funny. ;-D 2005-03-11 7:15 pm As an parallel processing junkie I love this move towards multi-core chips. Makes programming computational code much more interesting! Yeah I know SMP threading issues can be a royal bitch, but OpenMP helps allievate some of that (some not all) for computational stuff. Sadly, I don’t think OpenMP is supported in the current Apple compiler directly, as it will be in the VS.NET 2005 compiler and as it already is in the Intel and (I think) IBM compiler. 2005-03-11 7:37 pm http://www.macosxrumors.com/articles/2005/03/11/multi-core-cpu-ment… There is a %22 at the end that screws things up on the original story’s link. 2005-03-11 7:42 pm “I mean, just look at how many mac rumor sites there and how excited people like Ryan here get anticipating Apple to reclaim the perfomance crown. Come on, who cares?” i don’t own an apple and i’d always prefer to spend my funds on microphones or other recording equipment as opposed to computers. I am not that excited and its highly unlikely that i would buy a multi-core apple unless i can get a G5 power mac for about $1000-$1300. I will not pay more for a computer. Recording gear is more important to me. However, its pretty significant that intel has hit the end of the road of their marketing hype campaign and may now be behind everyone else in available performance vs. price vs. power consumption. If apple does then it is the last piece of evidence that intel has really dropped the ball. Look to AMD and the apple 64 bit transition or the Itanium for current info on intel’s lack of execution. Thus, apple’s introduction (really that of ibm) of multi-core processors is further evidence that things are becomming equal. Those signs revitalize confidence in apple -yes there have been many positives doing this lately. I think its cool to have a more level playing field and a larger role for apple and hopefully for linux on PPC. 2005-03-11 7:46 pm First off, sorry, I didn’t really want to single you out, I just had read your comment and took you as an example, apparently falsely so. And I agree that it’s significant that Intel’s unnerving market campaign has hit the end of the road. 2005-03-11 7:50 pm http://www.articasemi.com/files/1_1.png (image view) http://www.articasemi.com/page1.html (detail page) 2005-03-11 8:06 pm Wouldn’t this help the scientific community also? I’ve heard this rumor for years now, hopefully it’s true now. 2005-03-11 8:10 pm I mean, just look at how many mac rumor sites there and how excited people like Ryan here get anticipating Apple to reclaim the perfomance crown. Come on, who cares?>> I care. Not because I want/need to have the biggest/fastest rig beneat my desk at home, but because I hold stock in Apple. Back when I was doing my research to see where to park my $$$, I took a look and realized that both Apple (IBM) and AMD would beat Intel to market on a 64bit processor, and that Intel’s 64 bit would not play well with legacy code. Now, I know that there are other 64 bit systems out there, SGI and Sun come to mind, as do their INSANE prices. I took a look at IBM … didn’t like what I saw in their financials, and their servers run AIX (or Linux) and they were embroiled in the midst of that SCO broughhaha. Apple, however had none of the legal entanglements of IBM, more solid financials, and the G4 XServes had gotten rave price/performance reviews. (And there was also this music box widget in the pipeline …) AMD was a little shakier financially, but once again, great bang/buck ratio and backwards compatibility made their product look great. Needless to say I’m very happy with the results of my investments. So, yes, I’m looking to see what Apple’s got next. Can Freescale deliver a dual core G4 and or fix the bottlenecking issues? Would a Quad Proc G5 have a market? Oh hell yes! Right now in the sever room we’ve got a Sun quad proc box that cost about as much money as a BMW 5 series. I guestimate that an Apple Quad proc server *and* raid array will sell for about the price of an RSX-s. Provided your business/project does not need any software specifically tied to Sun’s hardware & OS … — And then there are the video/image production houses who would love to render video or run PShop on a quad g5. — 2005-03-11 9:17 pm If I ever win the lottery I’m geting myself the best Mac I can afford. In the meantime I’m still saving up for an iBook. Maybe they’ll be dual core when I finally have all the money in place. ^_^ 2005-03-11 10:40 pm Arent we forgetting about AMD? Intel’s time is over. AMD single core FX 55 beats a 5.2 GHZ oclocked Intel P4. You are kidding when you say just by adding 2 more processor basically to an already dual g5 you apple people are going to take the performance crown. Performance crown in what exactly? I know the Power architecture is brilliant and all I read the http://www.aceshardware.com review on the POWER chip used in the high end machines. Nothing could touch it. But that POWER chip is light years away from what the Mac machines are going to be getting. Seriously guy, you think adding more cores are going to speed up the machine?!?! Heh it will just enable better multitasking IF the software is coded right. Now if there was a dual or a dual dual core AMD FX…thats a completely different story…already brutal performance mixed with now brutal multitasking performance. Apple has a while to go I am sorry to say. 2005-03-11 10:46 pm In unit terms, Intel can easily catch up in selling “X64” processors due to it’s dominate position in the market place e.g. refer to Pentium IV 600 series, Pentium IV 500 series (with EMT64 enabled) and Xeon EMT64. 2005-03-11 10:50 pm >I know the Power architecture is brilliant and all I read >the http://www.aceshardware.com review on the POWER chip used in >the high end machines. Nothing could touch it. Power5 is ~270 million transistors class processor thus its worth. AMD64 wouldn’t reach 210 million transistors until its dual core release. 2005-03-11 11:05 pm I know the Power architecture is brilliant and all I read the http://www.aceshardware.com review on the POWER chip used in the high end machines. Nothing could touch it. I think you’ll find Fujitsu’s SPARC64, now clocked at 2.0+ GHz, and the Sun Niagra processor, with 12-way hardware parallelism, can both beat POWER5 hands down… Cell and Niagra are where I see real innovation in processor design, especially as an employee in the scientific computing field and a consumer of HPC resources… 2005-03-12 1:09 am The 970MP looks like to CPU’s. Thus when asking which CPU you would like to MONitor, it’s actually asking which core. Apple will still be making 2 CPU (chip) boxes. Also, the next generation 980(?) will be HT. Thus, a two CPU box will still have 4 processing units. If IBM releases a dual core 980, then Apple will have to change the program again to support the 8 processing units. The POWER4 and the PPC970 are based on the same processor design. The PPC version only has 1 core instead of 4 and uses smaller transister interfaces (it’s more likely to leak, but it can be run at a higher clock speed). The POWER5 is a 4 core w/HT chip. IBM has already started testing the PPC version which will be 1 core w/HT. I like IBM’s HT better then Intel’s. On the P4, HT gives anywhere from -5% to +20% performance inprovements; yes, it can really make things slower then not having it. IBM’s HT gives a 15% to 30% inprovement. 2005-03-12 4:38 am It’s not that I don’t like Apple’s products, or at least some of them, but all this excitement true fans seem to feel with every little blurb and rumor is just beyond me. I mean, just look at how many mac rumor sites there and how excited people like Ryan here get anticipating Apple to reclaim the perfomance crown. Come on, who cares? Oh, come one, go to an MSDN conference and its like those evangelical preachers dancing around on stage, the only thing missing is the crucifix – there is everything there, faith healing, marketing people speaking in ‘tougues’ claiming to have a one on one relationship with God (Bill Gates) and how, if you too become a VB lemming, you too can jump on the latest Microsoft bandwagon. Sorry, Mac community may have its fair share of hyped up freaks, but the number of over hyped Windows fanboys just is way out of propotion with the rest of the market. Just listen to some of the idiots – home user geeks boasting that they use Windows 2003, when the most they do is surf the internet and write letters for their mums PTA meetings. 2005-03-12 5:03 am …as I’m sure Apple considers this info a “trade secret”. Lawsuits may soon follow to eliminate this information until Mr. Jobs is ready for a “Grand Announcement”. 2005-03-12 5:49 am I think you’ll find Fujitsu’s SPARC64, now clocked at 2.0+ GHz, and the Sun Niagra processor, with 12-way hardware parallelism, can both beat POWER5 hands down… You can’t compare a future processor to any processor in field now. POWER5 vs. SPARC64 is a fine comparison, but Niagara vs. POWER5 isn’t. Maybe you should be comparing to POWER5+ or Eclipz. Also, if Fujitsu’s SPARC64 could beat POWER5, the numbers would be all over spec.org, and we’d all be deaf from McNealy and Schwartz screaming about it! Cell and Niagra are where I see real innovation in processor design, especially as an employee in the scientific computing field and a consumer of HPC resources… Agreed, the higher levels of integration without the primary focus on clock speed will lead to some interesting machines. If you’re going to start talking about HPC, you can’t include Niagara. Niagara was designed more for transactions processing and doesn’t have enough floating point units to support all 32 threads at once. 2005-03-12 6:22 am If want to be a dick…please do a little research before you post! The POWER4 and the PPC970 are based on the same processor design. The PPC version only has 1 core instead of 4 and uses smaller transister interfaces (it’s more likely to leak, but it can be run at a higher clock speed). In IBM’s eyes, a dual core processor is 2 cpus! There are other differences between the POWER4 and PPC970. Most notably, the cache hierarchy, the fabric controller, and alitvec. Don’t confuse the definitions of an MCM and dual core. IBM’s big MCMs have 4 physical POWER4 chips. Each chip has 2 cores for a grand total of 8 cores per MCM. IBM considers these MCMs as an 8-way system. To build its larger boxes, they connect multiple MCMs together using concentric rings. Sister processors on each MCM are connected with point-to-point buses to form these rings. Regattas can have 4 MCMs for a max of 32 cores, which is 32 cpus by IBM’s definition. The big Squadron box can have 8 MCMs. When you said 4, you should have said 2. The POWER5 is a 4 core w/HT chip. IBM has already started testing the PPC version which will be 1 core w/HT. With respect to the high level architecture, the POWER5 boxes are the same as the POWER4, except they add SMT. There is still 2 cores per physical chip, and 4 physical chips per MCM. There are 16 threads per MCM (2 threads/core * 2 cores/chip * 4 chips/MCM). The MCMs are still connected to form rings. So when you said 4 again, you have said 2. 2005-03-13 11:49 pm Ryan, I’m presumming by your comment that you’re not aware of current information. Both Intel and AMD should have their dual core 64-bit processors released far sooner than Apple. The real difference between Intel’s design and that of what AMD and Apple will be offering is that Intel’s include Hyperthreading. So a “dual core” dual Xeon processor set-up with EMT64 and Hyperthreading enabled will be recognized by the OS as 8 processors. Just as Intel’s “dual core” P4 with EMT64 and Hyperthreading will be recognized as 4 processors by the OS. Though for those needing a reality check the only people that will need such technology is digital artists (animators, compositors, etc), research facilities, etc that have software which takes advantage of multiple processors. The common user (ie: person surfing the net or playing games) won’t tap this technology…at least not yet. So there’s no need to get so worked up unless you truly have a need for it. 2005-03-14 4:09 pm I don’t care if it’s hyper threaded, pin-striped or wears a bowler hat. If Apple releases a dual-core machine that I can affort, that will be my new computer. IBM is clearly onto something good. Intel seems to be well past its prime. The greatest output of their top of the line processors seems to be excessive amounts of heat. Let’s have us a couple of those nifty dual-core machines. I’m buying.