[OS X TeX] PPC, x86, Linux performence

Rene Borgella macmechanic at fastmail.fm
Thu Jun 9 17:07:20 CEST 2005

No more mysteries: Apple's G5 versus x86, Mac OS X versus Linux
< http://anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2436 >

I am not qualified to understand, let alone comment, on much of what 
the article said.  This, however, caught my eye:

'Let us summarize: in theory, the PowerPc 970FX is a very wide, 
deeply pipelined superscalar monster chip, with excellent Branch 
prediction and fantastic features for streaming applications. And let 
us not forget the two parallel FPUs and the SIMD Altivec unit, which 
can process up to 4 calculations per clock cycle.

The disadvantages are the rather coarse way that the 970FX handles 
the instruction flow and the high latency to the RAM.'

and, later:

'Mac OS X is incredibly slow, between 2 and 5 times slower, in 
creating new threads, as it doesn't use kernel threads, and has to go 
through extra layers (wrappers).

Not saying it's true, but I wonder if there was some limitations of 
the PPC chip, power needed, heat output, and these all added up to no 
G5 3GHz processors and no Powerbook anytime soon.  Jobs may have 
simply been pissed at IBM because Apple couldn't deliver on its 
promise of a 3GHz G5 in the time frame that Jobs promised.  Result: a 
pissed off Jobs likes to see heads roll (remember ATI?). Others have 
speculated that being that Sony and Microsoft are using PPC chips in 
their upcoming products, Apple saw the writing on the wall and 
realized that IBM would have their attention spread out too thin for 

Who knows, but the fact that OS X has been ported to both 
architectures from its inception, suggests to me that this switch 
isn't something that came up "all of the sudden".  Indeed, Intel has 
been attempting to woo Apple several years now.


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