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.
Great Article
by stingerman on Wed 9th Jul 2003 18:57 UTC

The most accurate and sincere attempt to lay out the facts in an environment that is filled with so much fear uncertainty and doubt. I've been following the x86 processor family since the first PC was released. My first PC was a Radio Shack system, I learned to program using an IBM PC using BSD Fortran 77, then Pascal and of course I taught myself basic as well. I bought a 1984 Mac and marveled at the 68000 processor. I marveled at the 80286 and remember my excitement when I got one of the first 20 Mhz PC's, it made my dBase code smoke. I also had the privilege of working on the S/38 which eventually became the AS/400 and I marvelled as IBM converted it over to the Power platform. The 80486 was most excellent with its virtual 86 capability and of course I was thrilled when Intel finally got the Pentium done right with the Pentium III. I was disappointed with the Pentium 4 and still am because I felt that Intel sold themselves to the marketing side. We all know that the Pentium 4 was a bad deal compared to the Pentium III till it broke 2Ghz, AMD taught Intel a lesson for that blunder and took a major chunk of their marketshare with what now is the Athlon. The Itanium is also a big disappointment, and it appears that Opteron and Athlon 64 will once again get more attention that Intel. I believe this is because Intel's engineers strayed from their discipline when the compromised on the Pentium 4 and it has been a long road back to excellence.

In the meantime, Intel left the market wide open for IBM and their 970 processor is just amazing, it truly is one of the most exciting developments I have seen for some time in the desktop world. To think that we have a processor that is a superset of the Power4 core and even faster, makes me excited. I was also blown away with the G5's architecture, it really is a new generation of machine and not an incremental change.

I'm not surprised really that Intel's ICC compiler vectorizes Spec's FP intended instructions. It really is rigging to the nth degree. And, I am not surprised that journalists in general do not do their due diligence. But, you are starting to restore my trust that there are still those out there who are willing to do some research before writing an article. And, congrats to the OSnews eidtorial staff to have the courage to publish it. Great writing and looking forward to reading more from you.