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.
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Re: Roy
Yes, the Ars articles actually provide content intead of fanboyism. They are well researched and good reads.


The author seems to enjoy making broad statements without providing real proof. The Power5 SMT vs. Pentium4 HT is particularly blatent (though I have no doubt that Power5 SMT will provide more improvement than Pentium4 SMT, I doubt it will double performance and even then it will only improve parallel stuff - much more important for servers than desktops).

IMO, SMT will not speed up servers (file, web, DB, etc) that much. The tasks that most 'servers' do is more single threaded and not prone to parraleziation in the same way that will reap the benefits of SMT. Not to say that increased resource sharing that SMT allows wills not be goot, but the 100% speedup (or more) that is possiable with SMT in certain applications will not be achieved. Video games have more potential for improvement via parrallel algorithims (graphics rendering can be highly parrallized) (sorry about the spelling).

Web serving doesn't require much CPU and the output can't normally be generated in parrallel for example. Even dynamic content can't be generated in parrallel, most of the time Google is the shining example of a parrallel algorithim though, while BBS systems like this page here really can't be generated in parrallel as you can't generate a part of the page before another, at the end of the day it's a long string of html. Also don't forget that dynamic content mostly uses integer math, and the floating point units are left doing nothing.