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IBM's PowerPC Motherboard Design?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the has-it-spawned-products-yet? dept.

IBM 11

bob_shoggoth asks: "A while ago IBM released a royalty-free motherboard design around their PowerPC chips. Have any computers based on this design actually been made? I would consider a PowerPC computer for running Linux if I could actually find a reasonably priced one. Since Linux (and the BSD's) have such good cross-platform support, why do I seem to be limited to just the x86 platform when there is a market that does not need binary backwards compatibility?"

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Lots of reasons (2)

Trevor Goodchild (187368) | more than 13 years ago | (#743654)

First and foremost is market acceptance. Everybody knows about Intel, and most know about AMD. The PowerPC architecture has never really become well known, mainly because at the time it was released Apple was in a tailspin. Unfortunately, because it is most associated with Apple, it got tainted by Apple's situation. It was never considered a contender, so people forgot about it.

I keep mentioning it in past tense, because that's the general opinion of the news media that reports on these things. This whole implied media image has resulted in many people just not giving much consideration to PowerPC chips, despite IBM's best efforts to change that.

Another reason is a relative lack of economies of scale. The small percentage of use due to the above hasn't created enough incentive for board manufacturers to look at it seriously. Especially now with several very popular chipsets for Intel & AMD, all of them selling far more than any PowerPC-based boards. This pushes the price of the few components available much higher than comparable x86 ones.

What it all really boils down to is profits. Abit, Asus, etc., don't give a damn about variety or what's best. Board manufacturers are not innovators, they just respond to market demands. Until a company with more market pull (like Dell or Compaq) starts selling boat loads of PowerPC based systems, availability will be scarce and prices will be high.

Can you get a PPC board at all? (1)

invisik (227250) | more than 13 years ago | (#743655)

Are they available anywhere?

Affordable PowerPC architecture PC= iMac??? (1)

Cire LePueh (26571) | more than 13 years ago | (#743657)

Seriously I've seen some of the older ones (let's see what flavor colors were those old ones?) going for a few hundred (350-500). Even modestly powered newer ones (non-DVD) can be had new for around $800. (from a quick look [warehouse.com] at MacWarehouse)Throw Yellow-Dog on there and hey it's iWhack [userfriendly.org] .


Sure it would be might be a bit cheaper to build one up yourself, but to have a one off MB made would cost a hefty premium over mass production units. I have actually been looking at maybe trying to grab an iMac used for running YellowDog, or maybe even a couple of them.

NorthBridge was never produced in Volume (3)

bstadil (7110) | more than 13 years ago | (#743658)

The IBM POP design used a NorthBridge Designed by a Non IBM company called Aleate or something. The chip had problems and could not be produced in volume. The POP design is dead but there is a few designs in the works but non in production AFAIK. You can make a PowerPC MB with mostly standard PC components except NorthBridge and cache for the PowerPC. Look at http://www.czuba-tech.com/RIORED/english/overview. htm for an open design done by SiliconFruit.

Re:NorthBridge was never produced in Volume (1)

bstadil (7110) | more than 13 years ago | (#743659)

Sorry Forgot /. need the tag's. Here is a clickable link. PowerPC Motherboard [czuba-tech.com]

Yeah, its amazing (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 12 years ago | (#743660)

It's true. The main page gets 1 - 2 million hits a day, and these other pages get like five, maybe 10 on a busy day.

But whose fault is this??? Everybody knows that these "secondary" pages exist. What's more, the're one (1) mouse click away. I mean, how much effort does it take to click your mouse once???

People bitch and moan about the shortcomings of slashdot incessantly. Some of their gripes are justified, but it isn't "their" site anyway. There are lot of secondary sites out there, and you can create your own. It's true, nobody hangs out on these other pages (just like they don't hang out on slashdot's secondary pages!).

The thing is, if you are complaining about slashdot, then you are not "in the spirit" of slashdot. You have to take it for what it is. Reactionary, biased, contentious, and often off the cuff in its' presentation. That's just what "it is". The warts are part of its appeal.

So, if you want unbiased, marketdroid canned news, there's always CNN. I often will clickaround if I want to get another "unbiased" view on a news story. I try not to be too judgemental about the zealots around on slashdot (especially if I disagree with them), because I'm probably one too.

Normally it's not too good to feed an offtopic troll like yourself, but this one is particularly cute.

Re:Lots of reasons (1)

bowb (209411) | more than 13 years ago | (#743661)

The PowerPC architecture has never really become well known, mainly because at the time it was released Apple was in a tailspin. Unfortunately, because it is most associated with Apple, it got tainted by Apple's situation. It was never considered a contender, so people forgot about it.

There's more to it than that. There used to be a few companies that made Power PC computers. Power Computing was one. They made faster and cheaper machines than Apple. This was very embarrassing for Apple, and Apple wasn't able to compete, so Steve refused to license MacOS to them. Since there was no "mainstream" OS that could run on these machines, there was very little demand for them.

Re:why would you want a Power PC board to run Linu (1)

Smitty825 (114634) | more than 13 years ago | (#743662)

There are several compelling reasons to want Linux/BSD/(insert your favorite free OS here) to run on the PowerPC platform. The strongest argument would be that the future of CPU's are cloudy. Nobody knows who is going to be the speed king in 12-18 months...The future release of the itanium and sledgehammer means that the x86 architecture will be undergoing a change, and the best price/performance chip in 12-18 months may be the PowerPC...

Why be different, if all it's buying you is software incompatibility?

There are several people who run nothing but free (as in speech) software. Most free software for Linux86 should compile nicely to PowerPC Linux/Alpha Linux/whatever Linux. For example, if you wanted to set up a webserver (running apache), if you could get a PowerPC solution that outpreformed a x86 solution for the same price, wouldn't you select that one?

most companies' commercial software, if it ever gets released for Linux, gets released for Linux x86

Finally, this situation could change if there is a significant useage of another version of Linux in common use. Before you mention the chiken & egg problem here (no (platform)linux users = no new commercial software & no software = no new (platform)linux users), remeber, that's how Linux86 started...just a few people devoted to the cause...

lithuanian clones are not good for linux (1)

monas (138265) | more than 13 years ago | (#743663)

Here at Lithuania one company produced lots of PowerPCs with help form IBM. Lots of them were put into scools. But unfortunately they have screwed something with IDE controller and therefore I know of no man who succeded to boot linux from harddrive on these beasts. Otherwise linux installs just fine.

I'm not sure we are talking about the same board.

Re:Can you get a PPC board at all? (1)

dickDragon (227357) | more than 13 years ago | (#743664)

Sony sells a PPC computer for around $200. http://64.14.40.108/index.jsp
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