In my conquest to continue to own more useless computers I’ve become curious about PowerPC. I’ve got a collection of G4/G5 Macs and I’ve been playing with Void Linux and the older Ubuntu releases on them. Aside from some IBM Power8 Servers I can’t find much PPC gear on eBay. Anyone have any tips? Just looking for something slightly newer without needing to make a major financial commitment to it.
The Talos machines from Raptor might fit the bill:
Edit: Just saw the phrase “without needing to make a major financial commitment”. The cheapest setup there appears to be ~$3500 :(. I also heard the Amiga X1000 was PPC based? but I don’t think that was cheap either…
Any of the ibm power systems 4 and newer will have tech not in the g5
Amigas are a fun place to see more modern stuff but just as pricey as ibm and raptor as posted above
Another place is cell/be hardware
Fixstars made a accelerator that is basically a ps3 w/o gpu with all 8 ppes active
I have that gigaaccel 180 card its fun to play with ffmpg
Youll see them go for about 150$ ish
And fixstars power station basically a non apple g5 quad 2005 but w/o the apple pcie bus vram issue you will never find one these are hyper rare and probably still in production environments for a few years
There is a open power laptop in the works i would check that out
The fixstars gigaaccel uses a 2006 version of ofw like old macs and will cause issues in a g5 system
RaptorPC’s Blackbird boards with 4 cores are cheaper, at ~$1900, but I wouldn’t consider them affordable.
There is Libre-SOC in the working to make a new CPU based on the Power ISA, but it’s nowhere near ready for mass production, so you can’t get your hands on them (and even if you could, they are currently being made and tested on an ancient 180nm node).
If OP wants alternative architectures outside the Power ISA, I’d suggest ARM stuff, like the Honeycomb LX2K workstation (~$900 motherboard), or just pure *Pi SBCs or a Pinebook Pro.
At this point, there is no affordable alternative to x86 outside of single board computers aside from maybe ARM chromebooks, which aren’t as hackable as a Pinebook Pro. But I’d say, if you manage to find a 2nd hand Power 8 RaptorPC board or system, it would be a good investment if you want to play around (IM-not-so-humble-O).