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Old 24 July 2021, 21:52   #1
sandruzzo
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PowerPc vs Pentium

I never had the opportunity to see the PPC series into action, back in the day. Who were more powerful, PPC processors(603/604/g4/g5) or Pentium Line up?
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Old 24 July 2021, 22:03   #2
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You're comparing several generations of PPC processor with a possible range of Pentiums. It's not really an apples to apples comparison.

Performance wise, a 68060 at 50mhz usually lies somewhere between P75 to P90 depending on what it's being asked to do. The PPCs were a big jump in Mhz and a big jump in performance compared to 68k, but the early 603s weren't really that great. The G3 on the other hand was so ahead that Apple took out ads claiming the G3 was twice as fast as a P-II. Not quite true but not far from it. After the G3 things get a little bit messier because things other than raw CPU clock speed become significant performance factors, although there's probably someone who knows more that can offer some insight on the G4/G5 and beyond side.
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Old 24 July 2021, 23:07   #3
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why did the PPC seem to die/stop progressing?
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Old 25 July 2021, 09:08   #4
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why did the PPC seem to die/stop progressing?
The market was too small. There was only one major computer brand that used them (Apple) in a sort of monopoly, so there was not much competition either. So the chips were expensive, and there was no big pressure to make them faster or cheaper.
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Old 25 July 2021, 10:59   #5
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Consoles used them for a long time up untill PS3 ? PS3 was the last PPC console, They were well ahead for a long time then just seem to give up?
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Old 25 July 2021, 13:02   #6
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I've heard that Adobe flagship products, especially Photoshop were optimized to run faster on G3 / G4 compared to how they ran on PC's. This aside, I don't think PowerPC CPU's take the lead for anything from a pure raw power perspective.
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Old 25 July 2021, 14:37   #7
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The XBOX 360 & the Wii U had PowerPC processors too.

The architecture isn't dead as it was derived from IBM's Power processors which are still used today (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_POWER_microprocessors).

And i've heard it's still been used by some Amiga clones
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Old 25 July 2021, 22:47   #8
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There was a good PWRficient PPC core designed by P.A. Semi. It was a good candidate to replace G4/G5 but Apple decided to switch to Intel Core instead. P.A. Semi was bought by Apple in 2008 and stopped working on it. They were bought to help design mobile ARM cores for iPads etc.
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Old 22 August 2021, 19:43   #9
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Both IBM and Motorola were developers of PPC chips. Apple needed two sources of CPUs, for obvious reasons. Motorola lost interest because it wasn't financially viable. So IBM developed the next generation, which Apple just called he G5, although in reality it was a series of chips.

It was based on IBM's Server technology, 'Power' processors, and were unsuited to laptop use, which annoyed Apple. Despite promised speeds of over 3 GHz, IBM never got it to run over 2.7 GHz. As sole manufacturer, and Apple their only big customer for that chip, IBM couldn't take advantage of economies of scale, so the G5 was also expensive.

Apple had little choice but to change. They needed multiple sources and the extra performance that x86 offered. They had already been testing OS X on x86 for some time. PPC didn't really die out, it continues in the 'big iron' sector, in supercomputers and super clusters etc, under the IBM 'Power' moniker.
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Old 23 August 2021, 00:57   #10
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PPC huge market is embedded - automotive, space, military, networking etc
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Old 23 August 2021, 07:31   #11
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Consoles used them for a long time up untill PS3 ? PS3 was the last PPC console, They were well ahead for a long time then just seem to give up?



The last console with PPC is the Wii U https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_U
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Old 23 August 2021, 07:43   #12
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I never had the opportunity to see the PPC series into action, back in the day. Who were more powerful, PPC processors(603/604/g4/g5) or Pentium Line up?

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 23 August 2021, 09:17   #13
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Thanks for this interesting video link.
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Old 23 August 2021, 09:21   #14
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The market was too small. There was only one major computer brand that used them (Apple) in a sort of monopoly, so there was not much competition either. So the chips were expensive, and there was no big pressure to make them faster or cheaper.

This is interesting. A situation to draw a parallel between with the Amiga one.
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Old 23 August 2021, 15:46   #15
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PPC huge market is embedded - automotive, space, military, networking etc
Maybe it was huge - any "new" (done in the last 10 years or so) design would most certainly use ARM instead. Cheaper, faster and more readily available.

If PowerPC boards are still being made it most certainly is only to service (or maybe cover some very long supply contract) and replace those already in production. As soon as these products go EOL, PowerPC will be totally extinct
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Old 23 August 2021, 18:24   #16
Thomas Richter
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Currently, PPC is still important in the high-performance computing, server market. It's hard to estimate whether it will remain to be important in the future. There is certainly a strong movement to arm in this market as well. It's probably the flexibility of the platform that makes it interesting: With arm, you don't get "silicon", you get a "design" you can customize for your needs.

As Apple has shown, there is quite some power in the design. Their arm derivatives are quite powerful, probably the best "arm implementation" you can get right now.
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Old 23 August 2021, 18:28   #17
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As Apple has shown, there is quite some power in the design. Their arm derivatives are quite powerful, probably the best "arm implementation" you can get right now.
Just that you can't get that arm implementation. Not without an Apple device around it.
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Old 23 August 2021, 18:34   #18
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Originally Posted by mrsebe View Post
There was a good PWRficient PPC core designed by P.A. Semi. It was a good candidate to replace G4/G5 but Apple decided to switch to Intel Core instead. P.A. Semi was bought by Apple in 2008 and stopped working on it. They were bought to help design mobile ARM cores for iPads etc.

Thank goodness A-Eon and P.A Semi struck a deal for us AmigaONE X1000 owners as mine has been running great every day since
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