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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Roy, your wrong
by stingerman on Wed 9th Jul 2003 19:28 UTC

simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) is designed to convert threading to instruction level parallelism (ILP). That is its main purpose. It does very little good on Processors that have a low degree of parallelism and whose OS's and their development frameworks do not promote asynchronous processing. Windows and COM+ are not very well threaded. Though the COM+ environment allowed better threading, it was difficult to program in the unmanaged VS 6 environment. Only with .NET has Microsoft started to emphasize delegating of threads and asynchronous programming, but it is a very large framework and will take a couple of more years to mature.

This is not the case with OS X which is a highly threaded Unix based OS and the Cocao framework is very mature being in development since NextStep in the late 80's as a truly Object Oriented Smalltalk type environment. This coupled with the fact that both IBM and Apple have a long history of developing for multiprocessing systems; as well as providing a highly parallel processor in the 970 and future 980 designs clearly shows that it is not only possible but more than likely that many operations will achieve close to 100% performance increase in IBM's implementation of SMT. SMT thrives on ILP and P4 greatly lacks ILP. That's just a fact, it is not meant as a personal insult so get your emotions out of it already. Intel may be forced to step up to the plate with a competing design, and wouldn't that be a good thing? If I were you I would be promoting competition, its healthy and will benefit the Intel Zealots in the end as well.

By the way databases and transaction based systems thrive on multi-threading. It's games that currently prefer single-threading, but that is changing as well, take a look at Quake on an SMP Mac, it rocks.