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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by stingerman on Fri 11th Jul 2003 00:08 UTC

The Itanium 2 should be compared to the Power4 not the 970. The Power4 and the Itanium 2 are the natural competitors. And they have been compared and the Power4 whips the Itanium in every test. Nothing emotional here, those are just the facts. In order for the Itanium to match the Power4's performance, they require a 128-way Server against IBM's 32-way server.

Really AMD has not released a competitor for the 970 either. The Opteron competes also against the Power 4 and Itanium families. Athlon 64 is the competing product and that will not be out till mid-September, and I hope it does provide healthy competition for the 970,

Software availability is a key factor and since there is now Windows XP 64 yet and Microsoft has no plans to develop a 64-bit desktop OS, with longhorn still being 32-bit, it looks like Athlon 64 will be running some form of Linux. Even if it is capable of running a modified version of Windows XP, it will still be crippled to the IA-32 instruction set. The 970 contains a special 64-bit instruction bridge that allows OS X to access the entire 64-bit address space and all of the 970 instruction set, even the 64-bit instructions. In addition 64-bit Apps will run fine over Apple's current OS X version (10.2.7) and 10.3 (Panther).

When it comes to software OS X has an abundance of native software, and all the Unix programs you can stick a fork in, plus is compatible with OS 9 software and with a software emulator runs most Windows software. And, if the software emulator bothers you, that is exactly what Intel is doing with Itanium to run Windows 32-bit apps!.

OS X also has some of the most innovative software around today in almost every space. Apple's development frameworks have stimulated one of the most exciting development environments, popping out software faster than you can blink. Stay up with the times.