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Darn. Its not a G5. The Powerbook 5,8 returns as the last 15" PowerBook Apple made. Interesting. It is a 17" model correct?

 

Now the G4 never came in a dual core model did it? Interesting. Maybe Apple was playing around with G5s and Dual G4s before switching to Intel. IBM was just having a heck of a time advancing the PowerPC as Apple would have needed. This just really proves how much the change to Intel was needed. I don't think Apple would have been able to create the Ultrabooks (MBPr and MBA) without them judging by the G5's design.

 

Well... what now?

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After the spinoff from Motorola, Freescale did release a dual-core e600 chip (basically the PowerPC 74xx line renamed,) but as far as I can tell, that didn't come out until 2006-2007, so way too late for this model.

 

My guess is that it was a dual-"socket" model with two very-low-power G4 CPUs, and that it was the "contingency" to the PowerBook G5. (From the Q51 stuff that is there, then crossed out, I'm guessing that this test chassis was originally meant to house a G5, then it got repurposed for a G4.

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[neat idea]

Do you think a clone of this logic board design could eventually be produced that would be a drop in replacement for a normal PowerBook LB?

 

It would be made in the same form factor and have a similar component arrangement as a production G4 logic board to minimize mechanical problems (such as not fitting in the case, connectors being in the wrong place, etc.) It's a monumental undertaking, but since it exists, then the possibility of reverse engineering it also exists.

 

Hypothetically, if it were built, it could be built with faster G4 CPUs (perhaps something in the 1.67-2.0 GHz range), and then it could also have a more modern video chip and SATA drive interfaces. Perhaps some software features (such as improved power management) could be backported from newer machines to allow it to be more efficient.

 

I could go on, but I think you all get the point.

 

It would then be the fastest (and quite possibly the only) complete PPC PowerBook upgrade known to exist!

 

That would be really neat!

[/neat idea]

 

Anyway, from the looks of it, G5 or no, that prototype's one of a kind!

 

It would be interesting if there ever was a prototype with a G5 in it. This one looks like it was probably a part of some sort of feasibility study, and possibly was developed in parallel with or immediately after any sort of G5 prototype would've been built. The results of this study are probably what determined the need for the Intel switch.

 

That being said, a similar prototype with G5 CPU(s) most likely exists, it's just that nobody's found it, yet.

 

c

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It would be interesting if there ever was a prototype with a G5 in it. This one looks like it was probably a part of some sort of feasibility study, and possibly was developed in parallel with or immediately after any sort of G5 prototype would've been built. The results of this study are probably what determined the need for the Intel switch.

 

That being said, a similar prototype with G5 CPU(s) most likely exists, it's just that nobody's found it, yet.

 

c

 

Schematics for the logic board for a G5-based PowerBook prototype exist, dated Feb 23, 2004. I'm just going to say they're out there if you look under Q51. Power consumption numbers can be found on the third page, and they are absurd at 113W. My guess was that they went through the trouble of designing the logic board so they'd have a design ready to go as soon as lower-power G5 chips materalized. Except, they didn't. The design is roughly similar to an iMac G5, just with laptop-specific things like CardBus, battery charging, etc.

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It is a 17" model correct? Well... what now?

 

It is indeed a 17 inch. What's next I keep looking for more crazy stuff. I'm going to see if I can figure out what's up with the Q51 sticker and where that board went }:)

 

Since we had the PowerMac G4 DP, so why not the PowerBook G4 DP. hap?

 

Well I'd assume because the power adapters fairly large as well as the engineer saying that it had stability problems. The charger is about the size of the first MagSafe charger. That was the largest they were "allowed" to build it and getting enough power to those chips with that size limitation proved very difficult. The engineers would use beefed up power bricks with adjustable voltage so they would run stable. When they were just running off the bricks it was iffy. I'd assume that was a major factor why this never made it to the market.

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makes sense… why they were so excited when the Dual core… Core DUO was available!!!!

 

they were like yeah … its INTEL bOOO… but its FAST!!! woooO!

and its dual core Wooooo!

 

and its fairly energy efficient Woooo!

 

 

But sir… we will probably piss off most of the MACHEADS going to INTEL you know…

yea… you are correct… but WE HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

lol

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I don't think Apple was ever dead set againt Intel itself (I haven't seen very much advertising though). I just think they were just trying to show consumers that (at least at the time) the PowerPC was faster then the Pentiums. The only thing that really surprised me was that the Developer Units had P4s in them.

 

What's next I keep looking for more crazy stuff.

 

:D Hopefully you'll find either the G5 board for the machine or maybe a whole another clear PowerBook Q51 with the G5 board.

 

I gotta ask, are you in the Silicon Valley? I ask because you find some the craziest and rarest prototypes no one ever thought would have existed.

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makes sense… why they were so excited when the Dual core… Core DUO was available!!!!

 

they were like yeah … its INTEL bOOO… but its FAST!!! woooO!

and its dual core Wooooo!

 

and its fairly energy efficient Woooo!

 

 

But sir… we will probably piss off most of the MACHEADS going to INTEL you know…

yea… you are correct… but WE HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

lol

 

Core Duo wasn't available until Apple used it - they were the launch customer with the first Intel iMac in January 2006! If this is from 2003-2004, this significantly pre-dates the Core Duo. If it actually dates from 2003, it even predates the Core Duo being on a roadmap, as Intel hadn't yet committed fully to increasing core count as a means of speeding up systems. And in the Intel world, dual-socket systems were still in the realm of higher-end servers and workstations, not consumer machines. Apple was basically the only company that was selling dual-CPU systems to "consumers" (albeit high end ones) with the dual-CPU G4s and G5s.

 

It wasn't until 2005 that Intel released their first dual-core CPU, and had rewritten their roadmap to be fully riding on multi-core lower-power cores as opposed to fewer higher-power cores.

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Well considering I'm best buds with the engineer who built that piece I'm not stopping until I find out more. Im gonna sit with this dude and his goody box and find something. I never walk away empty handed.

 

I mean hey I just got a DVT Quad Core G5 from him. Got all the testing stickers on it, DVT LCS, and it's a QUAD CORE! The code name for that project was DUCK. Also picked up an original iPhone prototype running skankphone that says "SkankPhone the Newton MessagePad 3000" pretty hilarious. All for the FREE99 price tag.

 

I gotta ask, are you in the Silicon Valley? I ask because you find some the craziest and rarest prototypes no one ever thought would have existed.

 

Right in the thick of it baby. I'm always up on CL, and eBay looking for stuff. Honestly you just need to know what to look for. Both of the prototype Macintosh Portables I bought were not listed as such. I just know what to look for and knew what was up. Pick em up cheap, confirm my beliefs, add a 0 and make it a part of the mini museum.

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Really cool find, hap. Please continue sharing more about that machine as you find it.

 

Given that the G5 was released as of mid 2003, I can believe that Apple had teams working both on duallie PowerBook G4s as well as a framework for a mobile G5 system. Although, at 113W, it's pretty exceedingly clear why Apple never shipped it. Haswell has some 47w mobile parts that are considered by most gadget sites and tech reviewers to be insane. (Incidentally, they're the quad core Haswell+Crystalwell chips that have IRIS Pro graphics with the 128mb on-die cache that can be used either as CPU cache or as video memory, they're also at a pretty high clock speed )

 

With that power envelope, it's not very surprising that this never showed up as a product, and my guess would be that it never really got beyond the phase of PCBs mounted on acrylic. It would be interesting to know whether or not there was a 15-inch version in the works. At 113w, it would need to be pretty fat and have a gargantuan brick to be viable.

 

yea… you are correct… but WE HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS

 

The Intel transition is super interesting. It's said to have been started pretty early on. My guess is that the folks working on the Q51 didn't know about it, but this was going on in Apple at the time.

 

I'm trying to find a reference to it, but it's said that the Intel transition kind of came together at the last minute. I can't find the article I'd originally wanted, but it suggests that Steve Jobs literally waited until the evening before WWDC to decide which of two full-length WWDC presentations to show off, one featuring a Mac platform with renewed investment in PowerPC chips and the other featuring a Mac with Intel chips. It's entirely possible that I hallucinated that thought. Although, the stuff I've come up today about the "AIM" relationship is pretty interesting. On all fronts, Apple was in both a really bad and a really good position, with PowerPC. Even though Steve Jobs liked to be different, and PowerPC helped that happen, I don't know how much life there was left in the platform, at least for desktops and especially for laptops.

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And I saved this one for last... Check out this Mac mini top cover. It's only the cover, the innards are my buddies I'm turning into another project for him since he's such a good guy. He was nice enough to give me the top case since he has no use for it. Look at that iPod mini dock connector on the back. Too bad they didn't release it with that. The story behind why the didn't was because the iPod mini team was so behind schedule they forced the Mac mini team to redesign the top without a dock since they could get it together in time. I doubt there's another.

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So the guts on the inside of the entire prototype Mac mini are for the Intel Core Duo chipset. There's a connector on the top of the bridge board on the first Intel Mac mini's that doesn't do a thing. I always wondered what it was for, now I know. The lid will fit on any 2009 or before Mac mini. It's got the CD drive but it could also fit on the "server" models with no CD drive too.

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PUCKS. These show the subtle variations that each and every device Apple creates goes through. You can see the small differences in the depth and contour of the different designs. They serve no purpose other than to show the size, weight, and form of the "final" product. These are from the iPhone 3G and I'd imagine hundreds of these exist in Apple internally, and a few with me :)

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Given that the G5 was released as of mid 2003, I can believe that Apple had teams working both on duallie PowerBook G4s as well as a framework for a mobile G5 system. Although, at 113W, it's pretty exceedingly clear why Apple never shipped it. Haswell has some 47w mobile parts that are considered by most gadget sites and tech reviewers to be insane. (Incidentally, they're the quad core Haswell+Crystalwell chips that have IRIS Pro graphics with the 128mb on-die cache that can be used either as CPU cache or as video memory, they're also at a pretty high clock speed )

 

With that power envelope, it's not very surprising that this never showed up as a product, and my guess would be that it never really got beyond the phase of PCBs mounted on acrylic. It would be interesting to know whether or not there was a 15-inch version in the works. At 113w, it would need to be pretty fat and have a gargantuan brick to be viable.

 

Comparing that power figure to anything modern is a little dirty pool. Remember that around the time the G5 was introduced "notebooks" (Luggables? Mobile workstations?) using the "Mobile Pentium 4" were the high-end of the Wintel market and some of those approached 90 watts TDP for the CPU alone. A Mac laptop based on a G5 would have been, well, no worse, than those things. Marketing might have been something of a problem given Apple's emphasis on slimness/lightness/etc. from the first titanium G4s, but by shouting "It's PROFESSIONAL" loudly enough they probably could have moved them out the door if they performed decently, which is of course the real $64,000 question. Those Mobile Pentium 4 laptops almost inevitably hit their thermal limits and were forced to throttle the CPU when continually stressed, it's very likely a G5 laptop would have the same problem unless the cooling system was positively miraculous.

 

A couple years ago someone claimed to me that they'd actually seen with their own eyes a working G5 prototype Powerbook (It belonged to an Apple engineer who was dating their ex-girlfriend or something, it's complicated), but I'm not sure how much stock I put in that report; the unit was described as looking basically like an Aluminum G4 but about twice as thick and "functional, but buggy". I suppose if that machine actually exists haplain's bound to trip over it sooner or later; I wonder if it could have actually been a dual G4 prototype after seeing the acrylic monster in this thread. Or a Sasquatch riding in a UFO with the Loch Ness monster.

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In 2003? The chips in the ThinkPad T30, as one example, were up to 35w. This is the chip in my particular T30, back when I had it: http://ark.intel.com/products/27356/Mobile-Intel-Pentium-4-Processor---M-1_80-GHz-512K-Cache-400-MHz-FSB

 

30W. I actually have more than one late Core2Duo laptop with a higher TDP. (at 35w, it's not much higher, but there you have it.) Neither of these machines throttles a lot.

 

At the time, luggables built around desktop parts were common, but true laptops, even the flagship ThinkPad and Latitude models, were using mobile parts at 30-35w. (I haven't personally used one of these luggables significantly, so I haven't seen their throttling due to thermal limits personally.)

 

For Apple to have done that, it would absolutely need to have been gargantuan. It would have been the G40 to the T30 (which itself, admittedly, was not exactly svelte, and the ultraportables in the lineup were using the Pentium IIIm until the Pentium M was available.) or the Inspiron 9100. Even more than a decade ago, Apple was not interested in building that.

 

Although, whether or not they could get the G5 down far enough in power usage and TDP for cooling and powering it in a mobile form factor to be reasonably possible at all remains kind of at large. Apple could, of course, have muddled its chart by offering uniprocessor G4 machines as portable machines and a trans-portable clamshell G5 as a sort of "mobile workstation." It wouldn't be the fist or last time Apple reneged on a stance once the technology changed or a market for something became clear. (iPad mini, bigger iPhone, Intel processors, I'm sure the list goes on and on.)

 

If Apple simply gave up on the idea that it was "portable" but rather "trans-portable" -- they could have avoided putting a battery in, thus leaving more room for computing guts and cooling, and given it a beefier, possibly built-in power supply. That would have been a hilarious, but still very interesting machine.

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If Apple simply gave up on the idea that it was "portable" but rather "trans-portable" -- they could have avoided putting a battery in, thus leaving more room for computing guts and cooling, and given it a beefier, possibly built-in power supply. That would have been a hilarious, but still very interesting machine.

 

Which they did - in the form of the iMac G5. It shrunk the iMac line from the "monitor on a stick on top of a large ball" iMac G4 to the "screen with a computer built in" that lives to this day. An iMac is a fully transportable computer for this use. They even had a 17" model as the small one. It's definitely no fun to lug around long distances, but it CAN be done.

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In 2003? The chips in the ThinkPad T30, as one example, were up to 35w. This is the chip in my particular T30, back when I had it: http://ark.intel.com/products/27356/Mobile-Intel-Pentium-4-Processor---M-1_80-GHz-512K-Cache-400-MHz-FSB

 

The "Pentium 4M" and "Mobile Pentium 4" (with 533mhz FSB) were different products. And here you go, here's the worst-case model with its 88 W TDP. Granted, that is a Prescott chip from mid/late-2004 but Norwood Mobile Pentium 4s with 70+ watt TDPs were shipping in mid-2003. And, yes, the computers based on them were horrible but people *did* buy them from outfits like Alienware for situations where the maximum portable performance humanly possible was what they were after. I totally agree that huge, brick-heavy "Lan Party" laptops aren't the sort of thing that Steve Jobs would have been thrilled with, but I suspect that *if* the G5 had really turned out to be the performance revolution they were hoping for they would have gone for it. (Undoubtedly while retaining the G4 for "slim" applications until IBM could cough up something that had a prayer of working for that.) However:

 

1: The G5 turned out to not really be all that and a side of fries; in the low-end tower configurations in particular it sometimes came off as worse than a pair of G4s but with more power draw.

 

2: Pentium M (no "4") laptops also premiered in 2003. It's too easy to forget what a revolution those machines were; a 1.4Ghz Pentium M outruns a Pentium 4M at 2.6Ghz and does it with a TDP of 22 watts vs. 35. (And as the Pentium M crept towards the 2Ghz mark it started outrunning even the best desktop P4s with, again, a much lower TDP.) With machines like that coming out a "Pregnant Guppy" mobile from Apple would have just looked stupid.

 

#2 Is undoubtedly the real reason for the Intel transition, of course. It is notable that the *very last* round of G5s from IBM could manage a 30 watt-ish TDP, and therefore could have made it into a not-horrible laptop, but that was with a 1.6 Ghz clock and everyone remembers what a dog the 1.6 Ghz G5 tower turned out to be. The writing was clearly on the wall.

 

Neither of these machines throttles a lot.

 

Most of my experience with Pentium 4M machines involved a Dell Latitude 640, and that thing was a dog. Unless you turned the power management off, then it sounded like a hair dryer and was still distinctly canine in aspect, if not actually a dog anymore. Barely faster than the Pentium III-based C610s and totally a boat-anchor compared to the D600. It was still nicer than those stupid Mobile Pentium 4 (or just straight-up desktop Pentium 4) "LAN Party" laptops, however. I have a long semi-boring/comical story about someone's bright idea to buy some of those to run a mobile training class on that I'll skip repeating. Suffice it to say that were I ever to find a laptop like that in the wild today it's one of the few pieces of technology I'd totally be up for "Office Space"-ing to death just for the cleansing joy of it.

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