Viva PowerPC


Welcome to Viva PowerPC!

Once upon a time there was a microprocessor architecture called PowerPC. Created in early 1990's by Apple, IBM and Motorola alliance, it was a modern 32-bit superscalar RISC CPU derived from high-end server IBM POWER processors. Many believed that PowerPC would be the future of desktop computing, but even though it performed on par or better in comparison to other desktop architectures, this future never happened.

After Apple left for Intel x86/x64 in 2006, PowerPC quickly disappeared from the mainstream desktop. At the same time seventh generation of gaming consoles entered the market and chips based on PowerPC core were used in all of them (Sony PS3, Microsoft XBox360, Nintendo Wii) as well as in various embedded devices (communications, automotive, etc.). Sadly, on both markets PowerPC lost as well - in gaming x86/64 prevailed and embedded went mostly to ARM. PowerPC was merged back with IBM Power and high-performance server market was for some time the only area where the architecture was still relevant, as most of the time three or four of ten fastest supercomputers in the famous Top500 list were Power-based.

For more than a decade PowerPC was a platform for hobbyists, trying to make their old hardware survive as long as possible. No new hardware, that appeared on market during this period, was faster than the last generation of PowerPC-based machines made by Apple. Fortunately this changed in 2017, when Talos II - a completely open Power9-based workstation - appeared on the market. Even though it's pretty costly (even the Lite variant), it's again desktop hardware on par with current x86/x64 mainstream. The future is maybe not as dark as we all thought.

The future became even brighter with arrival of Blackbird - more low-end, budget-oriented board made by Raptor CS, the same company that produces Talos II. It's more affordable and even cheaper than the last-gen PowerMac hardware, when it was new. Not bad for small scale production hardware.

But no matter if you have state-of-the-art Power9 machine or some older PowerMacintosh, this site aims to be the place you want to start on the internet to get some information.