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: Mission critical
by drsmithy on Wed 9th Jul 2003 22:48 UTC

Actually, the space shuttle computers use old x86 technology. We all know how that story ends. Maybe its time they update.
Maybe you should tell NASA about your theory the last shuttle crash was because of x86 processors and not a chunk of foam smashing a hole in the wing...
Great article BTW. Thats the kind of stuff I like to read at OSNews. The horrid power consumption of x86 processors is really starting to make more people aware of some of the shortcomings.
The power consumption argument is bogus.
In environments where power consumption is a critical issue, neither the PPC 970 _or_ a plain P4 are going to be used.
In average environments, the additional electricity costs will be dwarfed by the higher hardware costs.
Added to that, there are intel CPUs that have low power consumption, for applications that demand it (like laptops). A Pentium M @ 1.6Ghz requires less than 25W. For comparison, IBM says a 1.8Ghz 970 requires about 42W (1Ghz G4 = 30W, 2.8Ghz P4 = 68W).