Linked by Nicholas Blachford on Wed 9th Jul 2003 16:43 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y This article started life when I was asked to write a comparison of x86 and PowerPC CPUs for work. We produce PowerPC based systems and are often asked why we use PowerPC CPUs instead of x86 so a comparison is rather useful. While I have had an interest in CPUs for quite some time but I have never explored this issue in any detail so writing the document proved an interesting exercise. I thought my conclusions would be of interest to OSNews readers so I've done more research and written this new, rather more detailed article. This article is concerned with the technical differences between the families not the market differences.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
clearly a ppc is better article...
by lamo on Wed 9th Jul 2003 17:49 UTC

Not sure I by his ideas about this and don't think the references where good enough to prove it.

Perhaps it would have been better if it where a comparison of the two architectures and not a drift off into a poorly formated discussion of many chip architectures.

It is like trying to decide what is the best engine design for any application. If their was a best for "any" it surely would not be the best for each specific application.

It also does not consider the glue. So much of how well a computer works depends on the task and the parts surrounding the cpu and the tools to do the work. There are many examples of crappy cpus being very effective because the surround kit and code solve the problem better.

Process technology and price are important when you talk about the desktop market. But so are the artificial benchmarks.

I also question how much linux is really cross platfrom. Having used both the Itanium and the Alpha versions it become pretty clear that it is a x86 os with ports that less then optomized and stable.

Compliants asside it is to bad they put altvev in and kill the double percision mult-add instructions. For spec this counts for 2 ops. So if you have to fpu that can do double percision multadd you get 4 flops per clock. Power4 and Itanium both have this and it is how the win the Flop performance benchmarks and marketeering.

If they had left it in the ppc 970 would have been the Flop lead above the power 4 and everyone else. IBM probably did not want that... But apple would have gotten a lot of HPTC customers. Again IBM would not like that. Instead they have a thing with a poorly optimized compiler that does low percision floating point ok. Probably should have gotten IBM to have ported all the compilers to OSX at the same time. That would have helped too.