While the first generation of Itanium left many people dissapointed about its performance (mostly because people were trying to run and benchmark 32-bit code, while the CPU only shines when running native 64-bit code), it seems that Intel is back with a vengeance. The new Itanium2, ready to ship in a few months, scores some very good results in the CPU/compiler intense, industry standard benchmark, SPEC. While its integer capabilities are average to good, its floating point ones is the best thing out there today, scoring even better than the IBM Power4 (which includes a whopping 128 MB of cache). What’s very interesting in the results is that both the Power4 and the Itanium2 score poorly on MesaGL, Perl and gzip tests but they are adequate on the gcc test. This is possibly because they’re optimized for heavily streaming operations, big matrices. For a short commentary on the results check here. AMD Opteron SPEC results are not available yet.