Apple had access to G3s at up to 700 MHz (thanks to IBM), but didn't use them because they didn't want G3 systems to have higher clock speeds than the G4 systems (which were at 500 MHz forever). Apple didn't want people passing up the G4/500 for the iMac/700. Also, Apple stopped upgrde card makers from using clock speeds faster than Apples product line (which was why you couldn't get a 600-700 MHz G3 card during the last year).
IBM has better production standards than Motorola, remember that IBM was able to make G4s rated at 550 to 600 MHz when they jumped in to help with the shortage of chips when the G4s were first released. Motorola had a hard time making chips at the 500 MHz rating at first which forced Apple to drop 50 MHz off each of the original systems (systems went from 400/450/500 to 350/400/450 because of the shortages).
I would bet that IBM has a 1 GHz G4, but without the velocity engine, it wouldn't make it to a Mac.
I'm afraid Motorola may pull an Intel and artificially increase megahertz by lengthening the command pipe. I think the PowerPC now has a 4 or 7 stage pipe while the Pentium4 has a 20 stage pipe--partly why a 1.7Ghz P4 is slower in practice than a 1.3Ghz Athlon.
"I'm afraid Motorola may pull an Intel and artificially increase megahertz by lengthening the command pipe."
I truly hope not. Velocity Engine aside, having each generation be faster than the one prior relative to clock value at least feels like we're moving in the right direction. I know the jump for the G3 over the 603/604 was mainly cache related, but it was cool to see/feel that speed increase. And even though the G4 (without VE) is about 15% faster than a G3 at the same clock speed, it is still faster.
The Pentium III was slower than the Pentium II. Pentium 4 is slower than the Pentium III. The Celerons are slower than the 386 . All because at some point clock speed became the bench mark and not actual performance (I can remember when the MHz rating was the bus clock speed and not processor clock speed).
It is funny how this has effected every area of computing. I saw an SGI Indigo II with an R8000/75 going at a great price one ebay because people didn't realize that it was as fast (if not a faster at some things) than the same system running an R5000PC/150. The thing is, most of the people out there who are MHz crazy are using their systems for MS Office only. I can hear it now: "I can type 40 words per mintute on my new P4/1.4 compared to 60 words per minute on my old PIII/900."
RacerX has hit the nail on the head here. Performance is so much more than just processor speed. I used both Macs and PCs quite heavily and I have found that I tend to use the machines for different purposes. With a Mac I do a lot more 'creative' tasks involving music, graphics and video. This tends to hammer the processor more, though if I run out of memory the HDD speed comes into play as the machine swaps heavily. Any 'real' increase in processor speed will have an increase on my productivity on my Mac.
On the other hand I tend to use PC for less onerous tasks and find that other pieces of hardware really relate to an increase in speed - RAM and HDD speed mainly. Due to the large number of temporary files created by a PC the disk fragments quickly and that is why many NT users find that their machines starts off very quick but gets slower over a couple of weeks good use. My old PC at home (pentium II 400MHz) (before I threw it out and bought Macs) used to run twice as quick as my PIII 800Mhz or so work machine doing the same tasks - the main reason being that I had forked out for a decent HDD and RAM.
I would like to see Apple increase the performance of Macs, not just add more digits to the clock speed.
LOL ... but typing has nothing to do with the computer lol it's all about the *users* ability
How many MFLOPS of GigaFLOPS is the best SGI machine anyway? It would seem logical to compare calculations per second as a performance factor.
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There's a nice study done by NASA on whether G4's should be used for scientific calculations. I found it on the Apple site somewhere buried deep. Anyhoo, the summary of it was this: The G4 was faster than the Alphas and Pentiums and <em>definitely</em> a better flop-per-dollar deal so long as their equations were coded for the AltiVec commands. Their hope was that the Fortran compilers get up to speed and start doing automatic mapping of loops and such to AltiVec sequences.
Go find the NASA report. It's very interesting. Someone give us the URL if they find it agin.
That is it! We should actually be happy because we payless for better performance thanks to the MHz impression. I know that Apple and Motorola aren't happy about it, but in the end it is usually money flowing from me to them (okay, always) and if I get more for less, I can live with that for a little while.
"How many MFLOPS of GigaFLOPS is the best SGI machine anyway?"
I'll have to look that up, I know that they handed off the Wintel workstations to Intergraph, and their first Itanium based system is Linux only. The top-end Irix workstations are using MIPS R12000A/400, but I've been playing with my mid-90's systems (the ones I can afford) so I haven't been following how the fast the newer ones are. Their Origin 3800 can use up to 512 R12000/400 processors, so I'm guessing they are faster than the average Wintel server .
Dreams and reality......the dream is quad 1Ghz by August, the reality is dual 866Mhz G4s and single 1Ghz G4s possibly as early as MacWorld July.
Motorola is working on the 1Ghz chips (7450) and will have them out this early, probably in quantity in the fall. The bad side is that they are NOT MERSI (multiprocessor standard) compliant and will only be able to work with dual processor configurations at best. Now if Mot had the MERSI stuff figured out, then Apple would be able to produce a new motherboard to handle 4 processors. That would be sweet, (4) 1Ghz G4 chips in a single Mac box!!!! That would be 4Ghz of power, sit down 1.8Ghz P4!!! Okay, okay, so the bulk of Mac users would not be able to use that power, but many graphics, 3D, video, and music apps would be able to use it, and of course OS X would just use those four processors natively.
So how soon can we expect 4 Ghz of power in a Mac? Good question. Lets speculate that Mot can get the 7450 to 1 Ghz or maybe even 1.2Ghz. If they can then get the 7460 up to snuff on the MERSI compliance, then we are looking at 4Ghz of power or more in late 2001 or even early 2002. If not, then we will have to wait for the G5.
This is somewhat bad news for us and Apple. If Mot had a MERSI compliant chips that was able to scale to 1.2-1.4Ghz, then Apple would have been able to put together a Quad 800Mhz-1Ghz G4 Tower by MacWorld NY in July and then really show off OS X. That would have been quite a MacWorld to see the new tower design, running on a new faster motherboard, with (4) G4 processors powering OS 10.1. It would have been a shot in the arm for Mac, Apple, and us. I would have been ready to plunk down and buy a new computer.......until then my Beige G3 is still the one.
Right now you can get a dual G4/500 upgrade chip, but it will cost ya $1000.
snip......The Sonnet Encore/ST G4 Duet processor upgrade card. The Encore/ST G4 Duet is 100% OS X compatible, and seamlessly integrates with your software and supports from Mac OS 8.6. No drivers needed, no updates to receivecompatibility all the way.
so, when faster G4 chips come out, faster single and dual configs will be available for the current crop of G4 towers. The only disadvantage is that you won't have the newest motherboard features that will come with the new G4 towers (as I am sure ya know).
We shouldn't for get Apple's last adventures in the upgrade market. I have an Apple PPC601 card in my Quadra 900 which was much more expensive when it was new than cards by other companies (I found it on eBay for cheep though ), but would only run at twice the original system speed (my 25 MHZ 68040 stsem has become a 50 MHz 601, I'll most likely move it to my Quadra 950 soon to get that extra 16 MHz I'm currently missing). I would much rather have Sonnet's 601/100 w/1 MB of cache than Apple's Card.