The article was accurate for the level of depth it put forward. Mr. Blachford attempts to speak with authority, yet he just doesn’t seem credible, especailly compared to all the better sources out there. PS3 isn't just a PowerPC chip, it also has smaller synergistic processing elements (SPEs) connected to the main processor (PowerPC) on a ring bus. Meanwhile, the x86-dependent power base is being nibbled away by increasingly powerful phones and tablets on one side and, if Amazon and co. succeed with their ARM server developments (which mainly consists of trying to educate people that "yes, NGENIX and Node.Js have been on ARM for years"), its going to get nibbled from the other end. At the end of the day, I do appreciate that the Mac users here (and indeed the majority of posters seem to be Mac users) would like to crow about the 970, but as the recent benchmarks and more in-depth analysis has shown, it runs about 90% the actual performance of the current Athlons/P4s. This was a set of artificial benchmarks but does this translate into real life speed improvements? Yup, you are probably right. ARM’s market share in the server segment remains negligible and the ecosystem remains dominated by x86 Xeon and Opteron parts from Intel and AMD respectively. 8080 is completly hand coded while 8086 uses microcode. http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4469781,00.html, [2] SPEC benchmark results This technique provides a speed boost but at the cost of stability and security since different kernel tasks can potentially overwrite one another’s memory. The whole package was called a Cell Broadband Engine, and it was an interesting concept that flopped, hard. Despite performing better than the best existing 32 bit Athlon, the Opteron has a slower clock speed (1.8GHz Vs 2.2GHz). Things are changing, Linux and other Operating Systems are becoming increasingly popular and these are not locked into x86 or any other platform. x86 is not what it’s sold as. I'm running Alpha, UltraSPARC (sparc64) and ARM … Enhancements yield limited percentage improvements in speed, but ultimately, that is that. I second! Facts: CISC vs. RISC doesn’t matter. The CPU memory cache can alleviate this sort of problem to a degree but it’s effectiveness depends very much on the type of cache and software algorithm used. Changing the language can in fact be shown to have a much greater effect than changing the CPU [4]. In the high end markets, RISC CPUs from HP, SGI, IBM and Sun still dominate. Thank you to those who have made the very kind comments, it took a lot of time and effort and these make it worth the while. The current (non G5) PowerPC CPUs do not match up to the level of the top x86 CPUs however due to the effects of the law of diminishing returns they are not massively behind in terms of CPU power. I have no problems with AMD, and I like their x86-64 implementation. Alternatively, you can disregard out-of-spec frequencies. The nearest equivalent is the 486 launched way back in 1989. Benchmarks Is ICC really that much better than GCC? The x86 is bigger requires twice the clock speed, generates 4 times the heat do do the same amount of work as the PPC. You Wintel guys have ZERO credibility anytime you let your blatant fanboyism for an inferior system get the best of you. If so the instructions per cycle increases and the CPU gets it’s work done faster. http://meseec.ce.rit.edu/eecc722-fall2002/722-9-16-2002.pdf. If I were you I would be promoting competition, its healthy and will benefit the Intel Zealots in the end as well. …system throughput will still exhibit the combined delays of the other components.” [3]. x86 started with MMX, MMX2 then SSE and SSE2. Interested, I checked out the website of MorphOS, in a paper about MorphOS “in Detail” it said the below. This has lead them to becoming competitive with and sometimes even exceeding the performance of RISC CPUs (If you believe the benchmarks, see below). 8088 and 8086 are similar (even same on software level) but 8080 is a different beast. Intel in fact have taken to using a much lower frequency part for laptop computers than the top end Pentium 4. If you work the numbers on the Pentium 4, you’ll find that the percentage of time its execution units sit idle is approximately equal to the percentage of branch instructions in the code it is executing. He seems blatantly biased towards the G3-G5 cpu’s, but just because he’s biased doesn’t mean he’s wrong. When used it speeds up operations many times over the normal processing core. really was the furthest evolution of RISC. Arm, seems like an appropriate stand-off. They are highly efficient, and low power cpu’s. Windows and COM+ are not very well threaded. To answer critics, Jobs addressed the challenges Apple had been facing with the PowerPC… The x86 line is a 1970’s arcitecture that has been tweaked into the future. Cookies help us deliver our Services. One very big difference between PowerPC and x86 is in the area of power consumption. Next certainly has a lot of multiprocessing experience too, though I’m not sure about threads and I don’t remember seeing multiprocessor NeXT boxes. The more popular ISAs like x86 and Arm, have very large ecosystems, mature software stacks (everything from firmware and tools to operating systems and applications), and strict … 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. It doesn’t happen in design, and to be frank, it will only appear due to entire process changes to take advantage of new materials or migration to quantum computing or the like. To RISC Or Not To RISC ARM, MIPS and PowerPC have been around for ages, so I'd assume support for them would be better than for RISC-V. My next computer will be a Mac (G5 based if I can afford it at that time), not because of MacOS X, I couldn’t care less about that, but because the CPU is low heat and high power – I’m going completely insane over the immense noise levels that my current 1600+ AthlonXP is producing. Effectively both architectures have reached a point where they rely on a … http://arstechnica.com/cpu/03q1/ppc970/ppc970-0.html. Additionally the latency of memory has barely improved at all so any program which requires the CPU to access memory a lot will be effected badly by memory latency and the CPU will not reach anything near it’s true potential. 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. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not a revolution of any kind. http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?ArticleID=RWT041603000942, [6] Combined CPU Benchmarks Then, yes, there exist 3GHz P4s (which is 3*1Ghz of G4.). Intel has also invested in compiler technology which automatically uses the SSE2 unit even if the programmer hasn’t specified it boosting performance. Paul DeMone explains this much better than I can here: http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?articleid=RWT021300000000. Ultimately, you will always find that the PPC architecture will perform around 70-95% of current x86 architecture in the consumer market and this will remain the case, simply because processor design is admittedly complex and we’ve not seen massively revelatory new designs in recent years. What we need to look at is Software Operating system have become stable if not boring, Window2000/XP and Mac OS X are based on research from about late 80’s. True he may havg gotten it wrong – the x86 architecture actually goes all the way back to the 4004. A report by the publishers of Microprocessor Report indicated that Intel is expected to start hitting the heat wall in 2004. x86 CPUs generate a great deal of heat because they are pushed to give maximum performance but because of their inefficient instruction set this takes a lot of energy. Auto-vetorisation also work the other way, The PowerPCs Altivec unit is very powerful and benchmarks which are vectorised for it can show a G4 outperforming a P4 by up to 3 1/2. “The Intel 8086, a new microcomputer, extends the midrange 8080 family into the 16-bit arena.”. Why The Difference? This was the time when x86 became the only option for the masses to use and develop all their software on. Please, throw out this article and look elsewhere (Ace’s Hardware and ArsTechnica are both VERY good sites for this type of stuff). It could of course be done in parallel, guess where the instructions might be and get all possibilities, once the first is decoded you pick the right one and drop the incorrect ones. mber 86 in X86 … The x86 CPUs are faster but not by as much as you might expect [6]. as for ibm/alpha 100% SMT increase vs intels 30%. 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’m sure you also wouldn’t consider a Pentium equivalent to a Ryzen even though they are both x86. It will cost you some money, but much less than getting a new Mac. 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. I really don’t think it. First off, HT (Hyper Threading) is a form of SMT (Simultaneous MultiThreading), so stop all this nonsense of HT vs SMT! I also have a few bones to pick with the author, since he makes a lot of false claims, for example: “The amount of voltage the CPU can use restricts the power available and this effects the speed the clock can run at, x86 CPUs use relatively high voltages to allow higher clock rates, ”, This statement is so wrong, that I do not where to begin with the nitpicking! The original describes the problem in parallel computing terms however this simplified version pretty much describes the problem in terms of any modern computer system: “Each component of a computer system contributes delay to the system However RISC vendors are now becoming aware of this threat and are responding by making faster CPUs. Yes, that has been known to result in faster programs! This is how far I read the article until noticing a grave mistake: The x86 family of CPUs began life in 1978 as the 8086, an extension to the 8 bit 8080 CPU. How many people really need a computer that’s even over 1GHz? This is the first time I have read anything that even remotly understood the differences in the two different cpus. High End Desktop/Workstations/SMB Servers: Athlon 64 vs 970 (G5) vs ? Personally I liked the following comment from Slashdot which pretty much sums the situation up: CISC CPUs such as the 68040 and the Intel 80486 onwards picked up and used many of these architectural improvements. Designed from day 1 as 64 bits (The 32 bit processors are implimented as a 64 bit processor with the extra bits removed). The Pentium 4 is now at 3.2 GHz yet a 1.25 GHz Alpha can easily outgun it on floating point operations. Fact: Except Motorola and IBM, nobody produces G4 cpus. The author seems to enjoy making broad statements without providing real proof. Why is it that whenever we get an article on this site that praises PPC, Apple, Mac OS etc., that there are several which respond saying that its just a mac fanboy article… It seems that the signal to noise ration on these boards gets worse by the day. Here some of the best research on the subject. Not sure I by his ideas about this and don’t think the references where good enough to prove it. What’s the point of upgrading your computer if you’re not going to notice any difference? For you whippersnappers, Apple used PowerPC processors in all their computers until the early 2000s.PowerPC is a RISC wins out here again because of it’s larger number of registers. As such my windows fanboyness (which I don’t use and not a fan of) is a misunderstanding on your part. Comparing the heatsink on my Athlon XP to that on my friend’s G4 indicates similar levels of heat dissipation. The chip has attributes of both 8- and 16-bit processors. ” You can’t just throw a piece of entirely un-optimised code at a CPU and expect the initial response to be true of the capabilities of the chip”. Meanwhile, x86 delivers far more power and … my sister is a nun and she’d love to take a switch to you! For example, I don’t understand how you can say that G4 is purely RISC with SIMD units, as it is rather a heavy “unit” in CPU ? A long thin pipeline is very fast but also very inefficient power wise. That’s what bothers me a bit. tl;dr ARM processors are more energy efficient but slower than x86. To be frank, Mac users need to work out that their machines are more than ample for the tasks they put them to, regardless. …this is utterly a pointless argument, since it’s coming down to different interpretations of what Intel’s 1979 press release meant. Legacy Desktops, legacy servers, current notebooks: Pentium III vs. G3 vs. P4 vs. PM vs. Athlon vs. Xeon vs. Athlon MP. So to make the clock tree switching fast, a lot of power has to be pumped. Do not get me wrong – Intel has done a wonderful job at keeping the platform going – I have been declaring it dead since the 80286 came out. Let me suggest looking two words up in the dictionary: effect and affect. . Just FYI. Because of the sheer complexity of the x86 ISA and it’s limited number of architectural registers a RISC processor requires less hardware to do the same work. I’d like to see a lot more of these informational articles. By the way databases and transaction based systems thrive on multi-threading. I wonder why some basic features were not covered like Out-of-Order execution and Branch Prediction which seems to be the major items commonly found on current IA processors. This is how the infamous QDOS, MS-DOS’s ancestor, was created, and is part of why Digital Research eventually sued Microsoft: California Computer Systems (if I’m remembering the name right) ran CP/M’s 8080 code through just such a translator, and then wrote a native BDOS for their development system. If you are adopting Linux you are no longer locked into x86. This is a generational shift and right now only the Athlon 64 and 970 are in play for the next generation desktop. It is like trying to decide what is the best engine design for any application. It was a big move by Apple to switch from IBM-built PowerPC processors to x86 processors made by Intel. The Itanium is also a big disappointment, and it appears that Opteron and Athlon 64 will once again get more attention that Intel. The funny part is that everyone always predicts that linux will fragment. PC advocates will talk about how they had 64 bit first; but ignore that they did it poorly, it doesn’t effect much, and will take forever to actually gain momentum. This bridge shall be removed in subsequent processors. A personal note: I come here a lot less these days. This class lecture ( brought to you via google with “SMT DEC alpha speedup”) proves that yes, in certain cases you can get a 100% speedup using SMT. Regarding ICC, yes it is somewhat biased, however it really can auto-vectorize code, which means that its benchmarks have much highler believability than Apple’s old photoshop tests with the hand optimized assembly. Panther will greatly benefit all Mac’s with G4’s and up. 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