[rescue] Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips

Skeezics Boondoggle skeezics at q7.com
Sun Jun 5 04:19:20 CDT 2005

On Sat, 04 Jun 2005, Devin L. Ganger wrote:

> on 6/4/2005 1:21 PM pat at computer-refuge.org wrote:
> > On Sat, Jun 04, 2005 at 10:00:00AM -0700, Skeezics Boondoggle wrote:
> >>The fact that Apple is profitable despite the fact that IBM/Moto can't get
> >>the PPC scaled to 3+ Ghz - YET - is quite remarkable.  Given time, I would
> >>trust that IBM can and will catch up with the x86 world in terms of clock
> >>rates (despite what bunk we here know that is, and how much Apple spent on
> >>marketing to counter the "Mhz Myth").
> > The fact that you've even mentioned it means that you must think it's
> > still a relevant measure between different processor types...
> Nothing I saw in Chris's response indicated that he thought it was a
> valid *technical* measure, and his point is valid -- Apple has done a 
> very good job of selling systems despite the fact that their systems are 
> based on a chip whose architecture is commonly perceived as vastly 
> slower *by the mass market*.

Right - I should have been more clear:  I think the 3Ghz target is mostly
important for a certain _ego_ involved... that is, Mr. Jobs rather bold
(and presumptuous?) pronouncement that the G5 would reach or surpass 3Ghz
turned out to be rather an embarassment, and I'm thinking that after being
burned by Motorola with the 500Mhz G4 debacle, and then seeing IBM fail to
deliver on his promise of faster G5s, well... I think that might be an
unspoken but very large part of whatever this rumor is about.

I don't buy into the clock rate thing at all - even Intel has shown that
between generations of their *own* chips, higher clocks != higher
performance!  But, in general, it seems to hold true for *most* chip
architectures that with each new generation and advances in clock rate the
benchmark numbers increase, so a customer looking at a 1.6Ghz G5 PowerMac
or a 2.7Ghz G5 PowerMac is gonna want the "bigger one".

As for the diversity issue, I hope Pat is right - I really do hope that at
least a couple of alternatives continue to thrive as alternatives to the
Wintel universe.  Because I can't think of any situation where one person
or company has ever held a monopoly on good ideas... and nature abhors a
monoculture.  (And, actually, in fairness to the x86, I acknowledge that
it _is_ possible to build a sane box around that chip:  NetApp's filers,
both the Alpha- and x86-based ones, are uniformly solid performers, so
they've done an excellent job of dropping in an Intel CPU without all the
brain-dead PC baggage that comes with it.  So, if NetApp can do OpenBoot
w/x86, why not anyone else?  Sigh.)

Anyway, I didn't mean to ramble on so; trying to consolidate responses.
I've been remodelling (STILL! it never freakin' ends!) and despite those
weenie respirator masks and good ventilation, I've still probably inhaled
a pound and a half of 100-year old black soot and cobwebs so my head is
stuffed up.  On the fun side, today I got to play our favorite games at
the local dump/recycling center, unloading half a ton of debris:  "Hey,
what's THAT smell!?" and "Oooh, dare even I look at what I just slipped
on... or in?"  Oh yeah.  Trips to the dump are Big Fun.  :-)


-- Chris

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