Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Analysis: x86 Vs PPC

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the stone-age-to-present dept.

Hardware 129

Gentu writes "Nicholas Blachford (engineer of the PPC-based PEGASOS Platform) wrote a long and detailed article, comparing the PPC and the x86 architectures on a number of levels: performance, Vector processing and Power Consumption differences, architectural differences, RISC Vs CISC and more. The article is up-to-date and so it takes the G5 into account too."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

PPC comes out on top! (-1, Troll)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402041)

This is really surprising to me, because I've been a big PC guy for a long time, based on my perception that Macs were slow and expensive. These benchmarks provide some hard numbers that will really open some eyes, I'll wager, even from a biased source like this one.

One question it raises in my mind, though, is why Apple started their OSX project in the first place? UNIX technology was created for the x86 architecture, how is OSX going to be able to compete on what is essentially a foreign platform?

UNIX was way before the X86: (3, Informative)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402132)

You said "UNIX technology was created for the x86 architecture"

First x86: "The 8086 blasted away at amazing speeds of 4.77 and eventually 8 MHz -- hardly a calculator by today's standards. All this started in 1978."

(check here) [216.239.57.104]

UNIX invented: "An
interactive time-sharing operating system invented in 1969
by Ken Thompson after Bell Labs left the Multics"

(click here) [reference.com]

Re:UNIX was way before the X86: (1)

uradu (10768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402283)

PhysicsGenius is a veteran troll. Just check his posting history.

Re:PPC comes out on top! (1)

Pengo (28814) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402166)


Linux might of been born around the x86 architecture, to give a Unix like OS for the rest of us. But, Unix(tm) on non-x86 is hardly a second class citizen. Take a look at Solaris or Irix, x86 on solaris is by far a stepchild over it's brother that runs on sparc CPU's. Irix doesn't even run on x86 afaik.

Re:PPC comes out on top! (1)

usotsuki (530037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405538)

But V6 UNIX [tuhs.org] does...(can't get the damn thing to compile!)

-uso.

Re:PPC comes out on top! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402204)

I believe Unix was developed long before x86 (or even 8080's) were on the market. It was developed in the 60's with "portability" in mind. Furthermore, there's been a bunch of linux ports to PPC before max OS X came around (Yellow dog comes to mind,) and I'm sure NetBSD has been ported to it a long time ago.

<speculative disclaimer="don't shoot me if I'm wrong, my memory is shakey">
I remember reading up on older versions of Mac OS - around version 6 or 7, a version based on Unix was developed, but never really took off/made it's way out of development.
</speculative>

Just my two cents

Rob Young :^)

Re:PPC comes out on top! (1)

SN74S181 (581549) | more than 11 years ago | (#6404046)

UNIX was developed on the PDP7. And everybody knows that TTL is very portable.

Yes, there was a version of UNIX from Apple targeted to run on the Mac. One can still use the A/UX disk creation utilitys to set up NetBSD on an old Mac. I ran NetBSD on an SE/30 for a little while. It was frightening running X on that tiny little screen. But the Tab Window Manager rocked.

Al Gore invented the Internet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402286)

Why did Al Gore invent Unix in the first place?

Re:PPC comes out on top! (3, Funny)

Alrescha (50745) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402334)

"UNIX technology was created for the x86 architecture"

In other news, it has been discovered that the current crop of teenagers has invented sex.

A.

dang, somebody better tell intel (3, Funny)

cheezus (95036) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402400)

um.... the PDP-11 was an x86?

Re:dang, somebody better tell intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402952)

YHBT. THen again, you are funny. I'm so confused :-S

I thought that.. (1)

gotr00t (563828) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405658)

It was a PDP-7 that they developed the first UNIX on, and the PDP-11 was the one they got later. It was so advanced that a hard disk wasn't avaliable for it until the next year, and until that time, they ran a core-only version of UNIX on it, which calculated all the knight positions on a 6x6 chessboard.

HELP ME SLASHDOT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402071)

I need synonyms for VAGINA (the more original the better) so far i have

Pussy
Cunt
Beaver
Snatch
Nappy Dugout
Stink Box
Box
Camel Toe
Poontang, Pootie, or 'tang
Hole
Clam, or Bearded Clam
Taco
Muff
Vee-Vee
Cooch
Cooze
Love Tunnel
Twat

Re:HELP ME SLASHDOT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402161)

Vertical smile
Silk igloo
Happy hut
Hair pie
Slit

Re:HELP ME SLASHDOT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402805)

  • Rob Malda
  • Linus Torvalds
  • Richard Stallman
  • Miguel de Icaza
  • Theo de Raadt
  • Eric Raymond
  • mao che minh
  • PhysicsGenius

Re:HELP ME SLASHDOT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6403366)

Growler
Shaven Haven

Re:HELP ME SLASHDOT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6405545)

Hoo-Ha Fish Taco

Re:HELP ME SLASHDOT! (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405695)

  • Tuna Taco
  • Pink Taco
  • Furburger
  • Acid Hole of Death (think kathleen fent)
  • Pink that Winks and stinks
  • Little Man in the Boat (clit, but close enough)

Eugenia = Gentu (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402097)

And the editors still accept articles from her fat nasty ass.

Fuck osnews, fuck Slashdot.

Re:Eugenia = Gentu (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402872)

God bless Google -- eugenia loli smelly whore site:slashdot.org [google.com]

You fat fucking smelly Greek whore! Do you even wash on the rare occasions when your husband wants to fuck you? I bet your arse smells like a pig farm after eating all of the fucking pork and potatoes you cook-- you do nothing but sit all day, sweating and farting. It must smell like a swamp where criminals dump bodies in the sweltering heat.

Do you even shave? You sound like a lazy fucking wart of a housewife who wouldn't even bother. I bet the place is a mess too: dishes needing done, a layer of dust over everything, and stains and spills here and there. What a fucking pig-- a hairy fucking Greek bitch-pig.

Oh yeah, and your "skills" are laughable. You can't code for shit-- there's more holes in your PHP site than in a Greek brothel. Your English is terrible, which is pathetic for an editor-in-chief of a news site that reports in the language. Your obvious biases and slants make you look even more silly and unprofessional, as well as your multi-paragraph rants and fits of rage you write in your own forums. It's no wonder no one takes you seriously.

In short, ELQ, FUCK YOU. You are a loser, a no-lifer, a wanna-be, and a fecal smear in the world of technology. You are a detriment to the community you claim you serve. I challenge you to refute one thing I have said. You can't; it's all true.

And you know it.

Article conclusion (1)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402123)

Nicholas Blachford (engineer of the PPC-based PEGASOS Platform) wrote a long and detailed article

Well, here's the conclusion (even the conclusion is long enough !!) from the article:

x86 is not what it's sold as. x86 benchmarks very well but benchmarks can and are twisted to the advantage of the manufacturer. RISC still has an advantage as the RISC cores present in x86 CPUs are only a marketing myth. An instruction converter cannot remove the inherent complexity present in the x86 instruction set and consequently x86 is large and inefficient and is going to remain so. x86 is still outgunned at the high end and perhaps surprisingly also at the low end - you can't make an x86 fast and run cool. There is a lot of marketing goes into x86 and the market -technical people included- just lap it up.

x86 has the desktop market and there are many large companies who depend on it. Indeed it has been speculated that inefficient or not, the market momentum of x86 is such that even Intel, it's creator may not be able to drag us away from it [14]. The volume of x86 production makes them very low cost and the amount of software available goes without saying. Microsoft and Intel's domination of the PC world has meant no RISC CPU has ever had success in this market aside from the PowerPCs in Apple systems and their market share is hardly huge.

In the high end markets, RISC CPUs from HP, SGI, IBM and Sun still dominate. x86 has never been able to reach these performance levels even though they are sometimes a process generation or two ahead. RISC vendors will always be able to make a faster, smaller CPUs. Intel however can make many more CPUs for less.

x86 CPUs have been getting faster and faster for the last few years, threatening even the server vendors. HP and SGI may have given up but IBM has POWER5 and POWER6 on the way and Sun is set to launch CPUs which handle up to 32 threads. Looks like the server vendors are fighting back.

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 running into problems and PowerPC looks like it is going to increasingly become a real, valid alternative to x86 CPUs both matching and exceeding the performance without the increasingly important power consumption or heat issues.

How can PPC compete? Not yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402157)

"PowerPC looks like it is going to increasingly become a real, valid alternative to x86 CPUs both matching and exceeding the performance without the increasingly important power consumption or heat issues."

It won't be an alternative until they sell then. Right now, it is much easier to buy an actual PC than a PPC machine (Apple) because of Apple's insane policy of limiting dealerships.

The PPC won't soar until someone other than Apple starts pushing it real big.

Re:Article conclusion (1)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402319)

The PPC won't soar until someone other than Apple starts pushing it real big

Well, if someone else starts selling PPC based PC's Intel might use it's muscle to dissuade them !

Re:Article conclusion (1)

SN74S181 (581549) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403977)

I am trying to imagine what software they would run on said PPC computers.

I suspect Apple would use it's muscle to dissuade them, if they tried to run MacOS, and there isn't a heck of a lot else.

And I run NetBSD-prep on an old RS/6000 and know what software there is, so please don't get all preachy.

Re:Article conclusion (1)

usotsuki (530037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405558)

Aren't there a bunch of unices on PPC? There's MkLinux, Yellow Dog Linux, NetBSD, Darwin...

-uso.

Re:Article conclusion (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405775)

I believe Apple claims MacOS X is the most popular desktop unix(tm)-like OS (maybe even the most popular). But Apple has 2-3% market share total. Let's assume 50% are pre-OS X machines -- a realistic assumption given that many macintoshes are used in schools which are strapped for cash.

Desktop linux therefore accounts for 1-1.5% of the x86 PCs. A company selling a PPC computer that runs linux/*bsd/darwin is looking at an incredibly small potential market share. Pegasos (the company behind the x86/ppc review) is probably the only non-apple, desktop PPC computer manufacturor. Have you bought a computer off them? Do you know anyone who has? See my point?

Re:Article conclusion (1)

chriso11 (254041) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403982)

Am I the only one who noticed the discrepency between:
in the high end markets, RISC CPUs from HP, SGI, IBM and Sun still dominate. x86 has never been able to reach these performance levels...
and:
x86 CPUs have been getting faster and faster for the last few years, threatening even the server vendors. HP and SGI may have given up...

Am I going to argue that the x86 is ineffecient? Hell no. But it gets the job done better than many critics anticipate. And it seems to piss them off to no end...

Re:Article conclusion (1)

Leimy (6717) | more than 11 years ago | (#6406480)

actually... I think its more about bang for the buck if you are interested in the latest and greatest hardware. For most PPC users it has been about the efficiency of the CPU [perhaps in the embedded market, where power consumption and heat dissipation are more important] or Mac users who love their OS and find the PPC is "enough" to get the job done and don't care about being "bitchin fast!" [The G5 helps narrow the speed gap however].

Ultimately I look at 3 things when I purchase a machine: 1) Price 2) performance 3) package. What am I getting for my 3000 dollars? Is it just really good hardware and no software? WIll it run the stuff I want to run [both meanings... hardware is fast enough to do what I need and can it physically run the software like Mac OS X]. The package part can be trickier. What does apple give its customers? Generally pretty damned good patching of security issues [screensaver passwords are easy.. log the hell out !</somewhat tounge-in-cheek>] Nice free software.. You also get access to a community of both geeks and artists as you become one of "the club". Its quite compelling... it doesn't have to be the fastest to feel like the best deal. And really... feeling good about your purchase is the only level of satisfaction you may need with your new machine and, for me, being able to do the things I need to get done on it is all I need to feel good.

Of course everyone's values are different and buying a PC isn't any more morally wrong than buying a Mac... its just a matter of preference.

Re:Article conclusion (1)

AssFace (118098) | more than 11 years ago | (#6407583)

that doesn't at all sound biased. not in the least.

it is good to see someone writing about it, especially when they have no reasons (not even financial) for one or the other to come out looking better in their analysis.

oops, I forgot my sarcasm tags

Re:Article conclusion (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 11 years ago | (#6408446)

My bullshit meter wiggled a bit..

He says "An instruction converter cannot remove the inherent complexity present in the x86 instruction set and consequently x86 is large and inefficient and is going to remain so"

Actually how much space on a modern die does the x86 specific parts actually take? Compare that with the level 2 caches and the other modern CPU stuff. I daresay the ugly x86 parts are become more like vestiges in an evolutionary design, and will probably end up like the leg bones of a whale.

Speaking of large and inefficient:

http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/2002-09/su nf lash.20020918.6.html
1.2 GHz Sun UltraSPARC III processor uses 53 watts peak per processor. Prev was 75 watts (more power consumption than x86 CPUs and slower). Latest is still slower than x86. So who's inefficient now? Yeah Sun blades run cool. But a PIII runs just as cool and is just as fast as a SPARC of similar power consumption, if not faster.

IBM's new POWER4 chip consumes about 35 watts at 1.2GHz. Used to consume a lot more. Haven't been able to find figures for the 1.5+GHz versions.

My conclusion - it ain't a case of RISC being better than x86. It's a case of who makes better CPUs. IBM seems to be doing better than Sun in the performance vs power consumption area. And Intel + AMD are doing better than Sun. According to him the rest have given up (pity about the Alpha).

And then he says "In the high end markets, RISC CPUs from HP, SGI, IBM and Sun still dominate. x86 has never been able to reach these performance levels "

Uh. Who is this guy again?
http://www.spec.org/cpu2000/results/cpu200 0.html

Note: IBM's high SPEC performance figures are with a 1.5MB lev 2 cache and a 128MB lev 3 cache... I'm sure that helps ;). Sure you can call the POWER4 a RISC chip but things really start to look rather blurry...

Oh yah the RISC offerings are better at many-way multiprocessor configurations.

However I think that's more due to the market. If Dell's target market ever decides that 2 or 4 CPUs aren't enough, Sun SPARC is in BIG trouble. Fujitsu may live on because they are the ones with mainframe class SPARCs - instruction retries etc.

Already the Opteron is showing signs of scaling VERY well.

I can post and no one else can (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402138)

When I think of dirty old men, I think of Ike Thomas and when I think about Ike I get a hard-on that won't quit.

Sixty years ago, I worked in what was once my Grandfather's Greenhouses. Gramps had died a year earlier and Grandma, now in her seventies had been forced to sell to the competition. I got a job with the new owners and mostly worked the range by myself. That summer, they hired a man to help me get the benches ready for the fall planting.

Ike always looked like he was three days from a shave and his whiskers were dirty white, shaded by the brim of his battered felt fedora.

He did not chew tobacco but the corners of his mouth turned down in a way that, at any moment, I expected a trickle of thin, brown juice to creep down his chin. His bushy, brown eyebrows shaded pale, gray eyes.

The old-timer extended his hand, lifted his leg like a dog about to mark a bush and let go the loudest fart I ever heard. The old fellow then winked at me, "Ike Thomas is the name and playing pecker's my game."

I thought he said, "Checkers." I was nineteen, green as grass. I said, "I was never much good at that game."

"Now me," said Ike, "I just love jumping men . . ."

"I'll bet you do."

". . . and grabbing on to their peckers," said Ike.

"I though we were talking about . . ."

"You like jumping old men's peckers?"

I shook my head.

"I reckon we'll have to remedy that." Ike lifted his right leg and let go another tremendous fart. "He said, "We best be getting to work."

That summer of 1941 was a more innocent time. I learned most of the sex I knew from those little eight pager cartoon booklets of comic-page characters going at it. Young men read them in the privacy of an outside john, played with themselves, by themselves and didn't brag about it. Sometimes, we got off with a trusted friend and helped each other out.

Under the greenhouse glass, the temperature some times climbed over the hundred degree mark. I had worked stripped to the waist since April and was as brown as a berry. On only his second day on the job and in the middle of August, Ike wore old fashioned overalls. Those and socks in his high-top work shoes was every stitch he wore. When he bent forward, the bib front billowed out and I could see the white curly hairs on his chest and belly.

"Me? I just love to eat pussy!" Ike licked his lips from corner to corner then sticking his tongue out far enough that the tip could touch the end of his nose. He said, A man's not a man till he knows first hand, the flavor of a lady's pussy."

"People do that?"

He winked. "Of course the taste of a hard cock ain't to be sneezed at neither. Now you answer me, yes or no. Does a man's cock taste salty or not?"

"I never . . ."

"Well, old Ike's willing to let you find out."

"No way."

"Just teasing," said Ike. "But don't give me no sass or I'll show you my ass." He winked. "Might show it to you anyway, if you was to ask."

"Why would I do that?"

"Curiosity, maybe. I'm guessing you never had a good piece of man ass."

"I'm no queer."

"Now don't be getting judgmental. Enjoying what's at hand ain't being queer. It's taking pleasure where you find it with anybody willing." Ike slipped a hand into the side slit of his overalls and I could tell he was fondling and straightening out his cock. "Now I admit I got me a hole that satisfied a few guys."

I swallowed, hard.

Ike winked. "Care to be asshole buddies?"

***

We worked steadily until noon. Ike drew a worn pocket watch from the bib pocket of his loose overalls and croaked, "Bean time. But first its time to reel out our limber hoses and make with the golden arches before lunch."

I followed Ike to the end of the greenhouse where he stopped at the outside wall of the potting shed. He opened his fly, fished inside, and finger-hooked a soft white penis with a pouting foreskin puckered half an inch past the hidden head.

"Yes sir," breathed Ike, "this old peter needs some draining." He exhaled a sigh as a strong, yellow stream splattered against the boards and ran down to soak into the earthen floor.

He caught me looking down at him. He winked. "Like what you're viewing, Boy?"

I looked away.

"You taking a serious interest in old Ike's pecker?"

I shook my head.

"Well you just haul out yourn and let old Ike return the compliment."

Feeling trapped and really having to go, I fumbled at my fly, turned away slightly, withdrew my penis and strained to start.

"Take your time boy. Let it all hang out. Old Ike's the first to admit that he likes looking at another man's pecker." He flicked away the last drop of urine and shook his limp penis vigorously.

I tried not to look interested.

"Yes sir, this old peepee feels so good out, I just might leave it out." He turned to give me a better view.

"What if somebody walks in?"

Ike shrugged. He looked at my strong yellow stream beating against the boards and moved a step closer. "You got a nice one,boy."

I glanced over at him. His cock was definitely larger and beginning to stick straight out. I nodded toward his crotch. "Don't you think you should put that away?"

"I got me strictly a parlor prick," said Ike. "Barely measures six inches." He grinned. "Of course it's big enough around to make a mouthful." He ran a thumb and forefinger along its length and drawing his foreskin back enough to expose the tip of the pink head. "Yersiree." He grinned, revealing nicotine stained teeth. "It sure feels good, letting the old boy breathe."

I knew I should button up and move away. I watched his fingers moving up and down the thickening column.

"You like checking out this old man's cock?"

I nodded. In spite of myself, my cock began to swell.

"Maybe we should have ourselves a little pecker pulling party." Ike slid his fingers back and forth on his expanding shaft and winked. "I may be old but I'm not against doing some little pud pulling with a friend."

I shook my head.

"Maybe I'll give my balls some air. Would you like a viewing of old Ike's hairy balls?"

I swallowed hard and moistened my dry lips.

He opened another button on his fly and pulled out his scrotum. "Good God, It feels good to set 'em free. Now let's see yours."

"Why?"

"Just to show you're neighborly," said Ike.

"I don't think so." I buttoned up and moved into the potting shed.

Ike followed, his cock and balls protruding from the front of his overalls. "Overlook my informality." Ike grinned. "As you can see I ain't bashful."

I nodded and took my sandwich from the brown paper bag.

"Yessir," said Ike. "I just might have to have myself an old fashioned peter pulling all by my lonesome. He unhooked a shoulder strap and let his overalls drop around his ankles.

I took a bite of my sandwich but my eyes remained on Ike.

"Yessiree," said Ike, "I got a good one if I do say so myself. Gets nearly as hard as when I was eighteen. You know why?"

I shook my head.

"Cause I keep exercising him. When I was younger I was pulling on it three time a day. Still like to do him every day I can."

"Some say you'll go blind if you do that too much."

"Bull-loney!" Don't you believe that shit. I been pulling my pud for close to fifty years and I didn't start till I was fifteen."

I laughed.

"You laughing at my little peter, boy?"

"Your hat." I pointed to the soiled, brown fedora cocked on his head. That and his overalls draped about his ankles were his only items of apparel. In between was a chest full of gray curly hair, two hairy legs. Smack between them stood an erect, pale white cock with a tip of foreskin still hiding the head.

"I am one hairy S.O.B.," said Ike.

"I laughed at you wearing nothing but a hat."

"Covers up my bald spot," said Ike. "I got more hair on my ass than I got on my head. Want to see?"

"Your head?"

"No, Boy, my hairy ass and around my tight, brown asshole." He turned, reached back with both hands and parted his ass cheeks to reveal the small, puckered opening. "There it is, Boy, the entrance lots of good feelings. Tell me, Boy, how would you like to put it up old Ike's ass?"

"I don't think so."

"That'd be the best damned piece you ever got."

"We shouldn't be talking like this."

"C'mon now, confess, don't this make your cock perk up a little bit?"

"I reckon," I confessed.

"You ever seen an old man's hard cock before," asked Ike.

"My grandpa's when I was twelve or thirteen."

"How'd that come about?"

He was out in the barn and didn't know I was around. He dropped his pants. It was real big he did things to it. He saw me and he turned around real fast but I saw it."

"What did your grandpa do?"

"He said I shouldn't be watching him doing that. He said something like grandma wouldn't give him some,' that morning and that I should get out of there and leave a poor man in peace to do what he had to do."

"Did you want to join him."

"I might have if he'd asked. He didn't."

"I like showing off my cock," said Ike. "A hard-on is something I always been proud of. A hard-on proves a man's a man. Makes me feel like a man that can do things." He looked up at me and winked. "You getting a hard-on from all this talk, son?"

I nodded and looked away.

"Then maybe you should pull it out and show old Ike what you got."

"We shouldn't."

"Hey. A man's not a man till he jacked off with a buddy."

I wanted to but I was as nervous as hell.

Ike grinned and fingered his pecker. "C'mon, Boy, between friends, a little cock showing is perfectly fine. Lets see what you got in the cock and balls department."

In spite of my reluctance, I felt the stirring in my crotch. I had curiosity that needed satisfying. It had been a long, long time since I had walked in on my grandfather .

"C'mon let's see it all."

I shook my head.

"You can join the party anytime, said Ike. "Just drop your pants and pump away."

I had the urge. There was a tingling in my crotch. My cock was definitely willing and I had a terrible need to adjust myself down there. But my timidity and the strangeness of it all held me back.

Hope you don't mind if I play out this hand." Ike grinned. "It feels like I got a winner."

I stared at his gnarled hand sliding up and down that pale, white column and I could not look away. I wet my lips and shook my head.

Old Ike's about to spout a geyser." Ike breathed harder as he winked. "Now if I just had a long finger up my ass. You interested, boy?"

I shook my head.

The first, translucent, white glob crested the top of his cock and and arced to the dirt floor. Ike held his cock at the base with thumb and forefinger and tightened noticeably with each throb of ejaculation until he was finished.

I could not believe any man could do what he had done in front of another human being.

Ike sighed with pleasure and licked his fingers. "A man ain't a man till he's tasted his own juices."

He squatted, turned on the faucet and picked up the connected hose. He directed the water between his legs and on to his still dripping prick and milked the few remaining drops of white, sticky stuff into the puddle forming at his feet. "Cool water sure feels good on a cock that just shot its wad," said Ike.

***

"Cock-tale telling time," said Old Ike. It was the next day and he rubbed the front of his dirty,worn overalls where his bulge made the fly expand as his fingers smoothed the denim around the outline of his expanding cock.

I wasn't sure what he had in mind but I knew it wasn't something my straight-laced Grandma would approve of.

"Don't you like taking your cock out and jacking it?" Ike licked his lips.

I shook my head in denial.

"Sure you do. A young man in his prime has got to be pulling his pud."

I stared at his calloused hand moving over the growing bulge at his crotch.

"Like I said," continued Ike, "I got me barely six inches when he's standing up." He winked at me. "How much you got, son?"

"Almost seven inches . . ." I stuttered. "Last time I measured."

"And I'm betting it feels real good with your fist wrapped around it."

"I don't do . . ."

"Everybody does it." He scratched his balls and said,"I'll show you mine if you show me yours." Then, looking me in the eye, he lifted his leg like a dog at a tree and let out a long, noisy fart.

Denying that I jacked off, I said, "I saw yours yesterday."

"A man has got to take out his pecker every once in a while." He winked and his fingers played with a button on his fly. Care to join me today?"

"I don't think so."

"What's the matter, boy? You ashamed of what's hanging 'tween your skinny legs?"

"It's not for showing off."

"That would be so with a crowd of strangers but with a friend, in a friendly showdown, where's the harm?

"It shouldn't be shown to other people. My Grandma said that a long time ago when I went to the bathroom against a tree when I was seven.

"There's nothing like a joint pulling among friends to seal a friendship," said Ike.

I don't think so." I felt very much, ill at ease.

"Then what the fuck is it for," demanded the old man. "A good man shares his cock with his friends. How old are you boy?"

"Nineteen almost twenty."

You ever fucked a woman?"

"No."

"Ever fucked a man?"

"Of course not.

"Son, you ain't never lived till you've fired your load up a man's tight ass."

"I didn't know men did that to each other."

"Men shove it up men's asses men all the time. They just don't talk about it like they do pussy."

"You've done that?"

"I admit this old pecker's been up a few manholes. More than a few hard cocks have shagged this old ass over the years." He shook his head, wistfully, "I still have a hankering for a hard one up the old dirt chute."

"I think that would hurt."

"First time, it usually does," agreed Ike. He took a bite from his sandwich.

I looked at my watch. Ten minutes of our lunch hour had already passed.

"We got time for a quickie," said Ike. "There's no one around to say, stop, if were enjoying ourselves."

He unhooked the slide off the button of one shoulder-strap, pushed the bib of his overalls down to let them fall to his feet.

"Showtime," said Ike. Between his legs, white and hairy, his semi-hard cock emerged from a tangled mass of brown and gray pubic hair. The foreskin, still puckered beyond the head of the cock, extended downward forty-five degrees from the horizontal but was definitely on the rise.

I could only stare at the man. Until the day before, I had never seen an older man with an erection besides my grandpa.

Ike moved his fingers along the stalk of his manhood until the head partially emerged, purplish and broad. He removed his hand for a moment and it bobbled obscenely in the subdued light of the potting shed. Ike leaned back against a bin of clay pots like a model on display. "Like I said, boy, it gets the job done."

I found it difficult not to watch. "You shouldn't . . ."

"C'mon, boy. Show Ike your pecker. I'm betting it's nice and hard."

I grasped my belt and tugged on the open end. I slipped the waistband button and two more before pushing down my blue jeans and shorts down in one move. My cock bounced and slapped my belly as I straightened."

"That's a beaut." Ike stroked his pale, white cock with the purplish-pink head shining. "I'm betting it'll grow some more if you stroke it."

"We really shouldn't . . ."

"Now don't tell me you never stroked your hard peter with a buddy."

"I've done that," I finally admitted,. "But he was the same age as me and it was a long time ago." I though back to the last time Chuck and me jerked each other off in the loft of our old barn. Chuck wanted more as a going away present and we had sucked each other's dicks a little bit.

"Jackin's always better when you do it with somebody," said Ike. "Then you can lend each other a helping hand."

"I don't know about that," I said.

Ike's hand continued moving on his old cock as he leaned over to inspect mine. "God Damn! Boy. That cock looks good enough to eat." Ike licked his lips. "You ever had that baby sucked?"

I shook my head as I watched the old man stroke his hard, pale cock.

"Well boy, I'd say you're packing a real mouthful for some lucky gal or guy." He grinned. "Well c'mon. Let's see you get down to some serious jacking. Old Ike's way ahead of you."

I wrapped my fist around my stiff cock and moved the foreskin up and over the head on the up stroke. On the down stroke the expanded corona of the angry, purple head stared obscenely at the naked old man.

Ike toyed with his modest six inches. "What do you think of this old man's cock?" His fist rode down to his balls and a cockhead smaller than the barrel stared back at mine.

"I guess I'm thinking this is like doing it with my grandpa."

"You ever wish you could a done this with your grandpa?"

"I thought about it a lot."

"Ever see him with a hard-on."

"I told you about that!"

"Ever think about him doing your grandma?"

"I can't imagine her ever doing anything with a man.

"Take my word for it, sonny, we know she did it or you wouldn't be here." Begrudgingly I nodded in agreement.

"Everybody fucks," said old Ike. "They fuck or they jack off."

"If you say so."

"Say sonny, your cocks getting real juicy with slickum. Want old Ike to lick some of it away?"

"You wouldn't."

Ike licked his lips as he kept his hand pistoning up and down his hard cock. "You might be surprised what old Ike might do if he was in the mood for a taste of what comes out of a hard cock."

And that is what he proceeded to do. He sucked me dry.

Then he erupted in half-a-dozen spurts shooting out and onto the dirt floor of the potting shed. He gave his cock a flip and shucked t back into his overalls. He unwrapped a sandwich from its wax paper and proceed to eat without washing his hands. He took a bite and chewed. "Nothing like it boy, a good jacking clears the cobwebs from your crotch and gives a man an appetite."

***

The following day, We skipped the preliminaries. We dropped our pants. Ike got down on his knees and sucked me until I was hard and good and wet before he stood and turned.

"C'mon boy, Shove that pretty cock up old Ike's tight, brown hole and massage old Ike's prostate.

Ike bent forward and gripped the edge of the potting bench. The lean, white cheeked buttocks parted slightly and exposed the dark brown, crinkly, puckered star of his asshole "Now you go slow and ease it along until you've got it all the way in," he cautioned. "This old ass craves your young cock but it don't want too much too soon. You've got to let this old hole stretch to accommodate you."

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Easy boy, easy," he cautioned. "You feel a lot bigger than you look. Put a little more spit in your cock."

"It's awfully tight. I don't know if it's going to go or not."

"It'll go," said Ike. "There's been bigger boys than you up the old shit chute."

I slipped in the the last few inches.. "It's all in."

"I can tell," said Ike. "Your cock hairs are tickling my ass."

"Are you ready," I asked.

"How are you liking old Ike's hairy asshole so far?"

"It's real tight."

"Tighter than your fist?"

"Might be."

"Ready to throw a fuck into a man that reminds you of your grandpa."

"I reckon."

"I want you should do old Ike one more favor."

"What?"

While you're pumpin' my ass, would you reach around and play with my dick like you would your own? Would you do that for an old man?"

I reached around and took hold of his hard cock sticking out straight in front of him. I pilled the skin back and then pulled it up and over the expanded glans. I felt my own cock expand inside him as I manipulated his staff in my fingers. I imagined that my cock extended through him and I was playing with what came out the other side of him.

"C'mon, boy, ram that big cock up the old shitter and make me know it. God Damn! tickle that old prostate and make old Ike come!"

I came. And I came. Ike's tightened up on my cock and I throbbed Roman Candle bursts into that brown hole as I pressed into him. His hairy, scrawny ass flattened against my crotch and we were joined as tightly as two humans can be.

"A man's not a man till he's cum in another man." said old Ike. "You made it, boy. But still, a man's not a man till he's had a hard cock poked up his ass at least once."

Every time I think of that scene, I get another hard-on. Then I remember the next day when old Ike returned the favor.

I never have managed to come that hard again. If only Ike were here.

Hackers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402146)

<AciD BurN> RISC is going to change *everything*
<z3r0-c00l> Yeah, RISC is good

Now you can be as smart as they were almost a decade ago.

Re:Hackers (1)

usotsuki (530037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405571)

Oh, it's not like RISC is new or anything...people say the NMOS 6502 was pretty close to RISC in the 70s...and you know, the 6502 ops drove the
  • Atari 2600
  • Apple ][
  • Commodore 64, 128, 16/Plus4
  • NES
and the 6502 was pretty damn popular too...

-uso.

Re:Hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6405787)

i've heard that said, but I've programmed the 6502 and I don't see it.

RISC:

  • Many general purpose registers (6502 has 1 accumulator, 2 index registers)
  • fixed width instruction sizes (6502 ranges from 1-3 bytes per instructon)
  • 1 memory read instruction, 1 memory write instruction (6502 most instructions have a form that can read/write memory)

These arguments are so tired (5, Insightful)

uradu (10768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402149)

This isn't the '80s anymore where performance is the most critical issue and we jump platforms every time a faster architecture comes out, since we don't have a large software base anyway. Nowaways software IS the more important aspect, and only relatively few well-heeled, game-addicted geeks are going to jump on the PPC just because it's a fews ticks faster this week, and Jobs winked at them with that very special smile. Given the way this industry goes, IBM/Motorola will sit back again, wipe the sweat off their foreheads and take a breather, and before you know it, Intel/AMD will have a faster processor again.

If you have x-platform software that will compile painlessly on either architecture, go for it, switch with each faster chip. But for most others, I doubt performance rants like these will make much of a difference. After all, how many Mac users switch to the PC just for the performance during those stretches when the PC has the upper hand?

Re:These arguments are so tired (2, Funny)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402577)

only relatively few well-heeled, game-addicted geeks are going to jump on the PPC just because it's a fews ticks faster this week
Believe me, no hard-core gamers are going to "jump on the PPC" this week or any other week. They wouldn't even consider switching until they had good reason to believe that all future games were going to have full-featured Mac versions released at the same time as other versions. I think it's very unlikely this is going to happen.

No, what this really does is give occasional gamers something to brag about to their friends with PCs. While the aforementioned friend is playing, say, Half-Life 2 and the Mac guy is burning with envy, the Mac guy can at least say "Well, my computer's faster on these benchmarks!"

Re:These arguments are so tired (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402937)

Actually, this Mac user just says, "Half Life? So what?"

Re:These arguments are so tired (1)

SewersOfRivendell (646620) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402674)

Bullshit. Speed always matters, unless all you want to do is run MSDOS 2.0 for the rest of your life. ("Wow, did you see that directory scroll by? Neither did I! This is some awesome 386 power, man!") Some of us want computers to advance, and you need speed to provide a foundation for real advancement.

(Actually, Apple makes the case that you also need a GPU, but that's a different argument.)

Re:These arguments are so tired (1)

Dark Nexus (172808) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402895)

Uh...... I highly doubt the "game-addicted geeks" will jump ship, just BECAUSE of the software issue. Frankly, games are about the only reason I still use an x86 PC instead of a PPC.

And you know what? The article made the very same point you're trying to right now (see page 4, subheading "The Future", the point marked as "3) No more need for speed" - it's near the bottom), but did it better. It doesn't limit the definition of performance to mean the speed of the processor.

Re:These arguments are so tired (2, Insightful)

AT (21754) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403158)

software IS the more important aspect

Yes, and software is becoming more and more portable.

As the article observes, Linux (and open-source software in general) is not locked into the x86 architecture like Windows is. The use of server-side Java is growing, also architecture agnostic. Additionally, the web and web-based applications have shifted much of the work custom client applications used to do into the browser. Once again, architecture is doesn't matter.

The trend is that CPU architecture as a means of lock-in is declining, due those factors and many others. At some point, the cost of moving to another architecture will decline to near-zero, and the CPU business will shift to more of a commodity market, where people will buy on merit alone.

The only question is when it will happen; people have been predicting it for years (remember when NT ran on PPC, MIPS and Alpha?).

Right now, the PPC seems to win in some areas (power consumption, die size) and, barring architectural lock-in, it would probably take a large chunk of the Intel/AMD market.

Re:These arguments are so tired (1)

uradu (10768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6404769)

> At some point, the cost of moving to another architecture will decline to near-zero

Yes, at about the same point on the graph where time approaches infinity. The thing is, it's a nice theory, but we're more than a couple of years away from that ideal. Even with Linux, you may be able to take quite a bit of software along to a new platform, but if you can't get (often closed) drivers for that sweetheart hardware you can't live without, you're stuck to the platform of choice of those hardware manufacturers anyway. I believe that's still a major issue with Linux on PPC at the moment, and I don't see it going away anytime soon.

Don't get me wrong, as a long-time 680x0 fan I was always fond of Motorola's chips, and I followed the PPC with great enthusiasm for quite a while, but at some point pragmatism got the better of me.

Re:These arguments are so tired (1)

Piquan (49943) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405825)

As the article observes, Linux (and open-source software in general) is not locked into the x86 architecture like Windows is.

While true in theory, a decent number of Linux apps assume they're on an x86. The big killer between x86 and PPC, I think, is byte order, but pointer sizes and what not may come into play as we approach the 64-bit era.

Re:These arguments are so tired (1)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 11 years ago | (#6406171)

a decent number of Linux apps assume they're on an x86

Which makes them badly written apps. The only situation where the instruction set should be a factor is if your program includes assembler for a crucial section of code. Then the commonly accepted "good practice" is to first code the section in a higher level language like C, and only build the hand crafted assembler version if the build/configuration system determines you're on a suitable platform.

The big killer between x86 and PPC, I think, is byte order

The PPC can switch between endian states.

Chris

Money crunches create platform dependencies (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6407605)

As a coder, how can I prevent myself from making a "badly written app" if I don't have enough money to buy a sample of each platform?

Re:Money crunches create platform dependencies (1)

Josh Booth (588074) | more than 11 years ago | (#6408397)

I think that if you use a portable language, it's not a big concern, as long as all your dependancies exist for the other archetecture and all your assembly code optimization has some sort of portable backup. I'm just an ameteur C coder, but I don't think there's much else. Some people put integers into pointers and vice versa under C and GLib has macros for doing this. I don't know how effective it is across archetectures, though, due to differing size pointers and int defaults.
ex.:
int a = 3, c;
void *b;

((int) b) = a;
c = (int) b;

and c should be 3.
I can't remember a time when I actually did this, but one may use it for GTK+ callbacks or something like that. There could also be memory alignment problems and stuff where people play with the stack too much. Now I down to speculating; could someone explain more?

Re:These arguments are so tired (1)

LordSah (185088) | more than 11 years ago | (#6406278)

As the article observes, Linux (and open-source software in general) is not locked into the x86 architecture like Windows is.

The Windows source is actually quite portable. You mention NT running on PPC, MIPS and Alpha. I remember reading that Microsoft had NT running on Intel's i960 during early development as well, though I cannot find a link (googling for 'i960' and 'windows' turns up hundreds of pages about RAID cards). MS currently ships Windows for Itanium, and x86-64 Windows is almost upon us.

The Windows team has worked pretty hard to maintain their platform-generic coding. That's the smart thing to do--they can quickly jump on a new architecture to make $$, or easily shift gears with the market (if everyone moves from x86).

If the Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 code tree turns out to not be portable enough, Microsoft could beef up Windows CE to a desktop operating system pretty quick. It runs on all kinds of crazy architectures :)

Microsoft *is* the market (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6407650)

[Microsoft's Windows OS unit] can quickly jump on a new architecture to make $$, or easily shift gears with the market (if everyone moves from x86).

The problem is that Microsoft's Windows OS unit defines the market. There is only one platform that could distantly compete with x86 [apple.com] under foreseeable market conditions, and its users tend to like the OS they already have [apple.com] .

Games are most often not open source (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6407627)

As the article observes, Linux (and open-source software in general) is not locked into the x86 architecture like Windows is.

Unfortunately, most games do not fall into "open-source software in general" because most artists and music composers haven't warmed up to "free as in speech" the way some programmers have.

barring architectural lock-in

In those market segments that are of apparent necessity dominated by proprietary software (such as games), architectural lock-in is the rule, not the exception.

Re:These arguments are so tired (4, Interesting)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403482)

Did you even read the article? It is not about how PPC is faster than x86. It's about how PPC is more *efficient* than x86 which leads in the long term to lower power usage, whereas x86 gets diminishing returns on ramping up their clockspeed and playing games shuffling registers, etc. He specifically mentions that CPU speed is not really as critical as the companies make it out to seem because there are diminishing returns due to other system components. He mentions that x86 is up against a thermal wall by 2004 although I don't know where he got that data (it may be in a footnote but I not going to go back just to check). Speaking as a gamer who runs a pretty loud machine that overheats in summer, I am VERY interested in chips becoming cooler, moreso than them getting faster (the hard work is typically shoved off onto a graphics card).

Re:These arguments are so tired (1)

uradu (10768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6404750)

> It is not about how PPC is faster than x86. It's about how PPC is more
> *efficient* than x86 which leads in the long term to lower power usage

Fair enough, but the same still holds. I don't see a mass shift to another platform because the chips run cooler. Think about it! CPU temperature is something most consumers aren't even aware of. And in a few years I'm sure that technologies like copper interconnect and/or asynchronously clocked subsystems, in addition to ever decreasing voltages, will find their ways into the x86 and keep it humming along acceptably, even if not on the leading edge. The thing is, you rarely find the leading technologies also leading the market. Good enough is the name of the game (unfortunately).

Faster is cooler (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6407803)

I don't see a mass shift to another platform because the chips run cooler.

If the chips run cooler, they eat less energy. Executions per kilowatt-hour is a valid benchmark unit, especially for large clusters where the cost of electric power becomes significant.

If the chips run cooler, you can safely put more of them in a box. Executions per cubic meter second is a valid benchmark unit, especially where rack space must be rented.

long and details. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6406450)

Did you even read the article?

It says "long and detailed article". In other words, i take the editors summary. 8-)

I'm just wondering... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402192)

...why someone doesn't do an analysis of Jennifer Connolly's tits instead? Complete with photos and everything!

Truly suprising colnclusion, OR NOT! (4, Insightful)

pbox (146337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402358)

Nicholas Blachford (engineer of the PPC-based PEGASOS Platform) says that the PPC is better than x86.

What an unbiased opinion. Maybe we should really hear the other side too. I like the article for the wealth of info, and we all know the shortcomings of the x86 platform, but the conclusion seems to be biased.

Or is it just me?

Re:Truly suprising colnclusion, OR NOT! (3, Insightful)

stevew (4845) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403881)

Yep, and he is still stuck back in the 80's with his RISC vs CISC arguments. He says that internally they pretty much look the same (which they do) but they're some how different because RISC is easier to make happen.

Well - today's RISC's aren't very RISCy anymore. ;-) Todays CISC's have the same aspect. The machines have all migrated to simpler cores running VERY fast, but then tagging on features like predictive branching, out-of-order execution, etc.

An example of where the guy goes wrong is in his discussion of the compilers. What he fails to understand is that one BIG reason that the Intel compiler is better than GCC is that the same kinds of compiler optimization that accounts for how the hardware schedules things work for both the PPC and the Intel architecture. This has been true since the original entry of the MIPs architecture for goodness sake. Intel KNOWS what the hardware is going to do, and built those smarts into the compiler! You can do the same thing for the PowerPC by the way..not saying you can't.

Nuff said - it was an interesting article but bowed to much towards RISC is Great - All Hail RISC bunch.

Re:Truly suprising colnclusion, OR NOT! (3, Interesting)

geirt (55254) | more than 11 years ago | (#6406285)

... but he does misses one of the major problems with RISC architectures, the fact that RISC executables are larger that CISC programs (since RISC usually have simpler instructions and fixed instruction length). Today CPUs are fast, but memory are not. Because of this modern computers have large caches, 800MHz FSB, dual DDR memory busses, etc, but still the memory is slow compared to the raw computing power of the CPUs. But since a CISC program is smaller, the memory pressure is lower on a CISC system, and that's one of the reasons way the RISCs don't have the (on paper) large advantage compared to the CISCs.

This was not true 10 years ago, since the memory timing back then was in the 25MHz range, and the CPUs where running 20MHz. Today we have 3.2GHz CPUs and memory at 800 MHz, so program size matters.

Modern ARM RISC CPUs [arm.com] have worked around this problem by adding an extra instruction set called arm thumb [arm.com] , to make the program smaller. Smaller programs = faster execution on the same memory system

Re:Truly suprising colnclusion, OR NOT! (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 11 years ago | (#6407428)

His comment:

By using GCC Apple removed the compiler from the factors effecting system speed and gave a more direct CPU to CPU comparison. This is a better comparison if you just want to compare CPUs and prevents the CPU vendor from getting inflated results due to the compiler.

shows this.

A direct CPU to CPU comparison would be hand optimized assembly to show what the CPU can really do (the most optimal). Everything else is an approximation. Do you answer what the top speed of a car is by driving it around on the Interstates in USA where your speed will not go above 100 and reporting that or do you take it to a closed race track and run it around the track with the gas fully on?

The reasons why we have portable benchmarks is so that the cost of running them are much lower than the hand tuned assembly. If every benchmark had to be hand tuned, no one would use them as they'd take person-years of work, potentially, to run.

By running the G5 and the P4 on the same compiler, supposedly to eliminate the compiler question, it isn't to isolate the compiler. It is to put restrictor plates on the carbs to slow them both down from best performance to some standard (basically like having a speed race from New York to Miami on I-95 but requiring all participants to obey all traffic speed limits). In this race, a Dodge Neon is just as likely to win the race as Ferrari 575M.

Re:Truly suprising colnclusion, OR NOT! (0, Troll)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 11 years ago | (#6406663)

Nicholas Blachford (engineer of the PPC-based PEGASOS Platform) says that the PPC is better than x86.

What an unbiased opinion. Maybe we should really hear the other side too. I like the article for the wealth of info, and we all know the shortcomings of the x86 platform, but the conclusion seems to be biased.


While I of course agree that the result isn't surprising, I think people are getting the cause-effect thing backwards. I don't think he found that PPC is better because he uses it, I think he uses it because he found it better.

Of course, I could be biased...

--Dan

"Desktop" weasel word. Where's the Opteron? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402416)

The current desktop PowerPC and x86 CPUs are the following:

x86
AMD Athlon XP
Intel Pentium 4

PowerPC
IBM 750xx (G3)
Motorola 74xx (G4)
IBM 970 (G5)
I don't care if it's marketed for servers, just look at the cost: If you can afford a P4, you can probably afford an Opteron on your desk right now. If you can afford a G5 on your desk, you can definitely afford an Opteron on your desk.

Saying the Pentium 4 and Athlon XP are the current x86 chips, is just plain wrong. Those chips are obsolete except for very low-end (i.e. under $1k) systems. If you're building a x86 machine and your budget is approximately the same as the budget of a guy building a mid-range PPC system, then you have to be crazy to not get an Opteron, desktop or not. Thus, Opteron is the chip this author should be comparing to.

how long can x86 go? (2, Insightful)

cheezus (95036) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402426)

I remember years ago there being talk of the x86 never being able to keep up because it would just get hotter and bigger.... but now they're over 3ghz... was that all just hooey, or will there be a point where the x86 is dead and the RISC processors that replace them just have a CISC compatibility later?

Re:how long can x86 go? (4, Funny)

Blob Pet (86206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402655)

Which dies first, BSD or x86?

Re:how long can x86 go? (4, Informative)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402702)

You could say that right now, "The x86 is not dead, because the RISC processors that replace them have a CISC compatibility layer".

The P4 decodes the larger, more complex x86 instructions into smaller chunks for use inside the processor, which is more or less RISC in its core. The CISC vs. RISC debate is kindof over, because both CISC and RISC chips have been adapted to gain the advantages of each others' design principles. Even the PPC 970 has to decode some of its "RISC" instructions into separate micro-instructions for execution.

The only chip design methodology that still has its original meaning is VLIW. That original meaning is "bankruptcy."

Re:how long can x86 go? (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402839)

Well, apparently the article author disagrees with me:

"The idea that x86 have RISC-like cores is a myth. They use the same techniques but the cores of x86 CPUs require a great deal more hardware to deal with the complexities of the original instruction set and architecture. "

I'm kindof curious about the 970's power consumption. Everybody seems to assume that it's relatively low (It's in blade servers.), but I've never heard a figure.

Re:how long can x86 go? (1)

nusuth (520833) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402926)

AFAICT article author doesn't know shit.That might explain the disperancy.

Re:how long can x86 go? (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403726)

The only chip design methodology that still has its original meaning is VLIW. That original meaning is "bankruptcy."

Sun's MAJC CPU is actually a dual-core VLIW chip and is used in their high-end video cards. I'm pretty sure I've seen VLIW elsewhere...perhaps DSP chips?

Hopefully one of these is a winner, even if Itanic eventually loses.

Re:how long can x86 go? (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403900)

Transmeta. Crusoe is VLIW, and they're the ones I was making fun of, mostly.

I didn't realize that Sun still had a use for the MAJC CPU, but I don't know much about it. (Somehow that didn't keep me from posting...)

Re:how long can x86 go? (1)

Mr. Piddle (567882) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405135)

I didn't realize that Sun still had a use for the MAJC CPU, but I don't know much about it.

It does number crunching on their XVR-1000 and XVR-4000 cards for the Sun Blade 2000 workstation and the Sun Fire V880z "workstation", respectively. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to use either :(

Performance-wise, I'm not sure how competitive these cards are, but Sun cards do generage very good looking displays (antialiased Pro/ENGINEER on Sun is very nice). I wouldn't mind a demonstration of the V880z, though (four UltraSPARC III CPUs and eight MAJC CPUs on two XVR-4000s...)

Re:how long can x86 go? (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405219)

Yes, DSP chips.

Take a look at the Texas Instruments TMS 67xx series of DSP's.

--jeff++

Re:how long can x86 go? (1)

bastard42 (575318) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405650)

The only chip design methodology that still has its original meaning is VLIW. That original meaning is "bankruptcy."

No, it's Intel [intel.com] / HP [hp.com] 's EPIC (.pdf) [hp.com] now. I imagine IA-64 will be around for a while :)

Here's a nice page [clemson.edu] with some history and links. Even lists the real backrupt VLIWs

. Have Fun,
chris

P.S. Isn't PlayDoh [hp.com] a way better name than IA-64?

Law of diminishing returns (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6402431)

The Law of diminishing returns is not exactly a new phenomenon, it was originally noticed in parallel computers by IBM engineer Gene Amdahl, one of creators of the IBM System 360 Architecture.

As opposed to economists, thousands of years ago.

A good OS... (5, Interesting)

svenjob (671129) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402513)

...makes all the difference. The thing that made me switch to PPC was, without an effing doubt, MacOS X. I went from an Athlon 2400+ with 768MB RAM to a home-made PowerMac 800 with 512MB RAM. I cut my processor by a 3rd and lowered my RAM. What did I gain? An amazing OS. If RISC processors continue to get more and more into the same processing spectrum as x86's, I think that OS X will help draw in the masses. Another thing that would help would be increased yields. That would lower prices and increase market share. Anyways, if x86 had OS X, I probably would have stayed with x86. But since it doesn't, I didn't.

Re:A good OS... (1)

usotsuki (530037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405595)

Clone the Aqua GUI/API on top of Darwin, presto, MacOS x86.

-uso.

huh? (1)

Blob Pet (86206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402624)

How many people really need a computer that's even over 1GHz? If your computer feels slow at that speed it's because the OS has not been optimised for responsiveness, it's not the fault of the CPU - just ask anyone using BeOS or MorphOS.

I just love blanket statements...and I was trying to remember why I avoid reading osnews.
At least the article wasn't written by Eugenia a.k.a. "It's not BeOS, so it must suck" Loli-Queru.

An interesting viewpoint (4, Informative)

downix (84795) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402662)

From my experience with RISC CPU's is that rating them by Mhz is often times the way to not understand what makes a RISC a RISC and a CISC a CISC.

Let me explain by example.

My MIPS R4400, running at around 120Mhz, I believe, runs circles around my Duron 750Mhz machine here. This is while the R4400 uses sDRAM vs DDR-RAM in the Duron, and the R4400 uses older plain-jane IDE while my Duron runs ATA-100.

I find it nice to boot up my old Indigo2 and play around, it responds so nicely, and renders quite well.

Re:An interesting viewpoint (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402833)

"I find it nice to boot up my old Indigo2 and play around, it responds so nicely, and renders quite well. "

What software, out of curiosity?

If it was something that was SGI-exclusive, that wouldn't be so surprising. SGI architecture is a different animal and fine tuned for that particular type of application.

Re:An interesting viewpoint (4, Informative)

uradu (10768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403173)

> rating them by Mhz is often times the way to
> not understand what makes a RISC a RISC

What you mean is that you can't compare RISC MHz to CISC MHz--or any design's MHz to any other design's MHz, for that matter. Your statement in fact reveals that YOU don't understand RISC, because MHz are a much more reliable metric for RISC than for CISC CPUs. That is because by the very definition RISC CPUs tend to take a constant amount of ticks per instruction, which is not the case for CISC. So yes, comparing two RISC CPUs that both execute one instruction every two cycles on a MHz basis will give you a pretty good comparison of their relative performance.

Re:An interesting viewpoint (1)

aanantha (186040) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405958)

So yes, comparing two RISC CPUs that both execute one instruction every two cycles on a MHz basis will give you a pretty good comparison of their relative performance.

That's not true. That would have been true back before there were pipelines, multiple functional units (superscalar), and branch prediction. It's no longer as simple as an Integer Addition taking 1 clock cycle. Now, 1 clock cycle is just the time it takes to complete a stage. And the number of actual stages varies greatly. There are stages for fetching the instruction, decoding the instruction, reading the registers, writing back the registers, and many stages for the actual execution in the functional unit. And because we're starting the execution of the next instruction before a current instruction completes, the pipeline may have to stall if there is a dependency between the instructions.

Even with 32 registers, you end up running out of registers. If you run out of registers, you would normally have to stall a pipeline until the previous instructions have finished using them, So processors have "renaming registers", and use them to direct results between instructions without having to compete for the same registers. Even though x86 has only 8 registers, every architecture really has around 128 registers underneath. More renaming registers would mean fewer pipeline stalls. But bigger registers sets mean slower register access. Then there's the issue of how many read ports can register sets have. Superscalar processors can have multiple instructions competing to read the same register.

Conditional branches induce long stalls in the pipeline because you won't know which instructions to pipeline until you've actually determined where you branch to. So the quality of the branch prediction can make a huge impact on performance.

Even memory access is complicated to compare because there are multiple levels of cache with different performance and sizes and load/store buffers in the processor so that instructions don't have to wait for memory operations to finish.

The fact of the matter is that MHz is not a reliable metric for either CISC or RISC. It's irrelevant whether it's CISC or RISC. What actually happens in a single clock cycle in independant of the complexity of the instruction set.

For example, the G3 processor had to run at a higher clock rate to match the performance on the 604. It's same situation between the Pentium 4 and Pentium 3. There are more pipeline stages, so the processor is doing less per clock cycle. What a lot of people don't realize is that everything Intel does to squeeze more performance out of a stagnant instruction set architecture is valid to use on any architecture. Even RISC instructions are too complex to execute in a single clock cycle.

Re:An interesting viewpoint (3, Interesting)

Octorian (14086) | more than 11 years ago | (#6406389)

Ok, that statement is just plain wrong, unless you're comparing something other than CPUs.

First, that Indigo2 is not "plain-jane IDE" (unless you're using some weird adapter board), but rather "plain-jane SCSI-2" (10MB/s).

Second, one big factor you notice when comparing CPUs, especially when some are "budget models" is that magic thing known as cache. Ever wonder what feature they're cutting to lower cost? I'll bet the R4400 has plenty of cache, while the Duron cuts cache (so does the Celeron, and some of Sun's older and slower microSPARC CPUs)

Third, even with those factors, there's no way in hell that the MIPS R4400 (at 120MHz) CPU could ever come close to touching the performance of an AMD Duron (750MHz). You have to be comparing graphics cards.

Now, one of the features of the Indigo2 that you might be using, is the "Impact" line of graphics cards. The Solid (no texturing) and High Impact (texturing) versions have about 450 MFLOPS of performance on the card itself, and the Max Impact has double that. I will believe that your Indigo2 whoops the crap out of the Duron on graphics, if you're comparing one of those fine GIO64 graphics cards to some POS card you threw in the PC.

But I will NOT believe you're comparing CPU performance.

How do I know this? Well, let's just say I've got an R10000 (195MHz) SGI Indigo2 High Impact sitting next to me.

[Q] Small & Expensive = CISCRISC? (4, Insightful)

4of12 (97621) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402901)


When Microprocessors such as x86 were first developed during the 1970s memories were very low capacity and highly expensive. Consequently keeping the size of software down was important and the instruction sets in CPUs at the time reflected this.

So I'm puzzled. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on this.

If CISC is particularly appropriate for memory that is

  1. low capacity, and
  2. highly expensive
why doesn't the same argument apply to CPU's with no main memory per se, but just a good sized L3 cache?

Modern cache memories are, guess what,

  1. low capacity, and
  2. highly expensive
so it would seem to follow that higher performance could be got by using a CISC model.

Since main memory latency and BW are pretty limiting, I half expect that there's good argument to make very high performance systems live completely inside a large cache.

Re:[Q] Small & Expensive = CISCRISC? (1)

loquacious d (635611) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403011)

I think the point is that machines with very little memory to run/store programs will naturally work well with CISC processors, because you have more instructions to choose from (means fewer lines of machine code) than RISC. Nowadays I suspect it really doesn't matter.

Re:[Q] Small & Expensive = CISCRISC? (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403281)

I wonder if there's a way to compact more than one instruction per address; less instructions means byte-long ids could fully encode the set and fit 4 per memory location. Rather than talking out of my ass I'd better download a risc instruction set manual and check but what the heck!

Re:[Q] Small & Expensive = CISCRISC? (2, Informative)

makapuf (412290) | more than 11 years ago | (#6406007)

yup, microcode, that is several processor-specific RISC instructions put into a CISC instruction.

Then, RISC perormance and CISC compactness. If you want not to use CISC "huffman compression" , well use cheap instructions.

PPC (3, Interesting)

pmz (462998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6402995)

Given that electricity is not free, the fact that a PPC-based computer (or almost any non-x86 computer, for that matter) draws significantly less electricity is, well, significant.

If a company spends extra money on a set of gorgeous G5s or whatever, a non-trivial amount of that money is made back on the utility bills for very similar performance.

Other RISC vendors can be a win, also. For example, my old UltraSPARC workstations are not the space-heaters they might be stereotyped as (USII draws less than 20W). UltraSPARC III tops out at 65 watts, which although not as good as the PPC 970 is still much better than P4 or Itanic.

Re:PPC (2, Insightful)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403160)

There are low power x86 processors. The Opteron, for example, draws around 55W for the high-end model. The Athlons aren't so bad either - around 65W depending on the model. P4 ranges from 60 to 100W, also depending on model.

Remember, electricity is pennies a KWh. Now, there are cooling considerations too, but even those are managable. In general, the highest operating expense of a company is not cooling or electricity but other factors like the facility, staff, or bandwidth.

Around here (Colorado), electricity is seven cents a kilowatt hour. Say a P4 @ 90W does the same work as a G5 @ 30W. That's a savings of 60W. Imagine the computer is on 10 hours a day, five days a week. That's a savings of 3000Whr (3KWh) or 21 cents a week. You save a total of $10.92 per year. Or, say the computers are on 24/7. That's a total of $36.69 per year.

Say an HP XW4100 system (P4 3.2CGhz) system does the same work in a CAD app as a dual 1.6GHz G5 system (remember, most CAD apps are not dual-processor optimized). The XW4100 is around $1500; the "low-end" G5 is $2000. At $36.69 per year (running 24/7), the G5 will pay for itself in 13.62 years.

Re:PPC (2, Insightful)

pmz (462998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403401)

There are low power x86 processors.

Generally, they do not perform like the POWER4, UltraSPARC III, etc., for comparable power consumption. The Opteron is the closest bet for x86.

Remember, electricity is pennies a KWh.

Although $37 looks small, the savings scales with the company and can amount to thousands of dollars saved. Imagine an 8-way server ($300/year saved) or 32-way server ($1,200/year saved) or an office with 50 workstations ($2,000/year saved). That savings just might replace a broken photocopier or other budget-constrained items.

Power costs aren't something to laugh at, and conservation should be practiced in all aspects of a company (lighting, insulation, etc.). For self-employed people, it can mean an extra week's gasoline, for a large corporation, it can mean not laying someone off. These are real tangible benefits to buying low-consumption devices.

Re:PPC (2, Interesting)

pmz (462998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403507)

At $36.69 per year (running 24/7), the G5 will pay for itself in 13.62 years.

I forgot to address this one. I think the payoff is faster than that, considering that there is added HVAC load from hotter computers, though I don't know how to estimate that.

Also, I don't mean to troll, but there is also the added savings of not dealing with Microsoft Windows every day (financial as well as psychological).

The break-even point is probably more like five or six years, which is a fair replacement interval for non-PC workstations. And after six years, the performance of a new workstation would be justified.

This means, at worst, a PowerMac G5 costs absolutely no more than a PC over time, and most likely (counting administraction costs) will be a net savings all around.

Re:PPC (3, Insightful)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403613)

I think you missed his/her point. If the cost of the more energy-efficient processor exceeds the amount of the money saved on the power bills, the company or household is worse off for buying the more efficient model. In the example, the $37 was no match for the $500 extra expense of the system.

Imagine buying a G5 iMac desktop will save me $50/year in electricity bills, but the system costs $200 more than a comparable x86 machine. Then it takes four years for the energy savings to pay for the added equipment expense. Multiplied over 50 workstations, the effect is the same, only the numbers get bigger on both sides of the equation. Just because those 50 machines will save me $2500 annually, doesn't mean they're necessarily worth $10,000 more up front.

However, the energy assumption is a difficult one to make. Energy costs are volatile, generally only increase, and are not an insignificant variable expense for most businesses-- minimizing that expense is not a bad move.

Re:PPC (1)

SN74S181 (581549) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403905)

Say an HP XW4100 system (P4 3.2CGhz) system does the same work in a CAD app as a dual 1.6GHz G5 system

*bzzt*

There aren't any significant CAD apps for the G5 processor.

There aren't really very many for the x86 either, but there are significantly fewer for the G5. Like, ummm, maybe about none.

(yes, we see you waving furiously from back there. Your wobbly MacCAD whatever from 1997 doesn't count)

Re:PPC (1)

Farley Mullet (604326) | more than 11 years ago | (#6404332)

What about this? [slashdot.org] Does it count?

Re:PPC (1)

SN74S181 (581549) | more than 11 years ago | (#6404660)

That made front page news on Slashdot, because it is such an unusual thing.

Re:PPC (3, Informative)

JaguarCro (162291) | more than 11 years ago | (#6407346)

Around here (Colorado), electricity is seven cents a kilowatt hour.


Well welcome to Northern California where our electricity is currently 24 cents per kilowatt hour! Now here we are talking ($36.69 x (24/7) or $126.14 per year per machine. Apple doesn't sell a dual 1.6 Ghz machine, but if you still use your comparison numbers and prices we get a payoff in less than 4 years. (and if you really were just doing CAD you wouldn't need to Superdrive or Modem which cuts the price difference now down to $270 or almost 2 years!!)

In otherwards, before a/c costs are taken into account the machine will pay for itself in just over 2 years and for the remaining 1 to 2 years it is used it will be saving the company even more money.

By these numbers alone, I would say that buying a PC in expensive electricty areas of the country is a short sided mistake that will hurt your company or institution.

On the Tclk myth (2, Insightful)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403388)

Let's all remember that the MHz jump by intel was quite a marketing op. Consumers need an easy metric to evaluate goods (Hp in cars... btw, I wonder why people don't use Watts; must sound dull, dimensioning a car on a lightbulb unit) and intel chose to give one. They went as far as re-designing their machines around the pre-condition of high clock freqs. Take a P4 and clock it to 300 MHz (assuming it would run at those speeds and not bleed all charge out of it's gates), I don't think it would perform anything decent.

Re:On the Tclk myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6404317)

Let's all remember that the MHz jump by intel was quite a marketing op. Consumers need an easy metric to evaluate goods [...] and intel chose to give one.

So are 1.8L car engine that revs at 7000rpm is more powerful than a 5.0L car engine that revs at 6000rpm...?

Re:On the Tclk myth (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405962)

(Hp in cars... btw, I wonder why people don't use Watts; must sound dull, dimensioning a car on a lightbulb unit)

Consumers outside the US do.

They went as far as re-designing their machines around the pre-condition of high clock freqs.

And the end result has been (drumroll) faster machines. I'd say they delivered their customers what they wanted, no ?

Take a P4 and clock it to 300 MHz (assuming it would run at those speeds and not bleed all charge out of it's gates), I don't think it would perform anything decent.

That's a pretty worthless comparison. Like saying take the Altivec trickery out of a G4 and look at how slow it is...

I find it amazing everyone attacks intel for going to clock speed route and yet no-one did the same to DEC...

Re:On the Tclk myth (2, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 11 years ago | (#6406375)

You make that sound so much worse than it actually is.

We know that as chips get more complicated they get harder to scale to faster speeds. The P4 was a chipdesign that, from the beginning, was designed to scale--huge pipelines, etc (and the pipes are getting bigger too).

Now what's wrong with making a chip that is easy to scale?

Java ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6403562)

I'm always wondering why doesn't people use Java for such large developments... If tomorrow PPC is declared illegal because of the Amazon patent on machine code (very unlikely though), you just reinstall your opcode interpreter .jar file and keep on going.

Multi-platform is an invaluable freedom on such projects where deployment and operating costs are so high
*.sig: No such file or directory

970 is a real superscaler (4, Informative)

norwoodites (226775) | more than 11 years ago | (#6403916)

the 970 can have more than 200 instructions in flight at the same time, it can finish up to 5 instructions each clock (4 if there is no branches).

low power? not even close (3, Interesting)

JohnZed (20191) | more than 11 years ago | (#6405905)

Yup, g4s and g3s use substantially less power than their x86 foes, but the g5 is a different story altogether.

Each g5 dissipates a whopping 97 watts (see http://www.eet.com/sys/news/OEG20030623S0092 [eet.com] , which is why the new powermacs have such absurd cooling systems and massive, mostly empty cases. The high-end powermacs actually come with an OUTRAGEOUS 600 watt power supply (http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Hardware /Developer_Notes/Macintosh_CPUs-G5/PowerMacG5/Powe rMacG5.pdf [apple.com] .
Let's be clear, this power supply is not for peripherals: the g5 powermac only supports 3 drive bays and 3 pci slots.

The numbers cited by the author come from an early projection of power consumption for lower-spec ppc970 processors.

Ummm, Sun? (2, Informative)

Wiz (6870) | more than 11 years ago | (#6407223)

In the high end markets, RISC CPUs from HP, SGI, IBM and Sun still dominate. x86 has never been able to reach these performance levels even though they are sometimes a process generation or two ahead. RISC vendors will always be able to make a faster, smaller CPUs. Intel however can make many more CPUs for less.
Lets see. HP and SGI have sold themselves to the Itanium 2 which is ok but is EPIC, not RISC. IBM have the Power4+ and Power5 on the way which are pretty damned good. Sun have the US3 and US3i. Sun certainly don't have a performance lead. I've benchmarked an Opteron against the US3 and US3i and it isn't pretty for Sun. The Opteron is actually MORE efficient clock for clock in 95% of tests I ran. And yes, all the tests in question were real world programs running real world data. So I disagree. Just because it is RISC, doesn't mean it is faster. Chips like the Alpha prove it is possible, but with the rate of developlment of x86 and it's compilers it is becoming more difficult for them to keep up.

G4 = G3 + Altivec (1)

SirDrinksAlot (226001) | more than 11 years ago | (#6407913)

This was added in the G4 CPUs but not to the G3s but these are now expected to get Altivec in a later revision.

The G4 is a G3 processor with altivec stuck on top.

Motorola isnt making the G3s apple uses in the ibooks these days; IBM is, they wouldtn put altivec on one. with the execption to the processor they use for the Game Cube which is an IBM PPC 750vxe (or somethign like that.) with altivec like processing units for the gamecube to utilize for games.

With the looks of it everybody is pokeing holes in this guys rambleings.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?