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You DO NOT want this to happen!!!!!!!
Authored by: digitalone on Jun 18, '03 02:53:54AM

I wont even start on the inferiority of the x86 processor. Apple knows that RISC is the way to go, they just are looking FURTHER INTO THE FUTURE than we are.

x86's are full of "warts", IC engineer's terms for older instruction sets that are rarely used, if at all. But since they are forced to more compatible with poorly designed and antiquated PC hardware (because businesses and ancient users are cheap and won't upgrade unless forced, while still costing companies a fortune in invalid support requests (20% of all of our support calls are non-serviceable, meaning that the software or hardware is so old it is outside our "scope of support"- I do PC support). These issues are caused by poor standardization, unclear doctrines caused by technology driven political postures in standardization committees, in which the proposals are not only reviewed by engineers and lawyers alike (looking for loopholes to exploit and market new technologies- see SSE and Intel.)
Apple is smart- they don't pick-up a technology until tit is mature enough. Others will release popular technologies hot with the bleeding-edge crowd, and deal with "acceptable errors, necessary for compatibility and competitiveness within the industry" (Yeah, thats a quote from an unnamed hardware engineer.)

Also, Intel virtually sets the standards for x86 based processors. They decide who gets the information necessary to design a chipset for their processors, and if you not keep up with their product lines and release new products on their product release timeframes as an Intel licensed OEM, you are heavily penalized. AMD processors still fall under the same controls and constrains, although not by AMD but by proxy, necessary to maintain compatibility. DO YOU really want to be under that kind of control by companies so close to the monopoly (Microsoft)?

Also, I should not that EVERY technology used in a Mac is identical except for the processor and the chipset, although Apple uses the terms System Controller and I/O controller. they are still on the surface similar, one incorporating memory and processor pipelines as well as AGP, the other controlling PCI, other onboard devices, and other basic motherboard functions- like the northbridge and southbridge on an x86.

The x86 is faster for one reason alone: money. If you throw billions of dollars and man-hours from some of the best (and best paid) people, you WILL get a better product. Bottom line. We have been spending far more on x86 based processors, and virtually just the processors, for a long time now, since the early 80's. The RISC has improved greatly over the years, but mostly from "peripheral" improvements in the technology- leaps in technology caused by extra-industry organizations like universities and other companies that don't make processors per se. If we spent this much money on RISC, we would be kicking Intel and Micro$oft's asses right now.

Wait until IBM gets back in the PPC game, everything will change. IBM OWNS research and development, as well as the server room, and as soon as they see the money you will see some serious returns in product line development. There is no way that Apple will be able to control distribution as close, and we will see they in low-end servers soon at least. OS X will easily be able to run on one of these, with minor modifications-drivers really. We will certainly see lower processor prices, which is the principal reason for Apple's high prices.

Sorry to rant, every time I chime in on this subject I just go on and on, but I cannot understate how strongly I feel about this issue. You really do not want this to happen. It means poorer quality, high prices (support costs will jump dramatically) and less compatibility. Microsoft will, as previously suggested, cease all development for the platform, and drivers will certainly not be made by the manufacturers, at least for a while, if at all, leaving it up to Apple (see linux).

Also, why abandon an architecture that is used in supercomputers to this day? Just because it has been neglected doesn't mean that it sucks......

Anyways, if you have read this far, thanks for reading, I feel better now. Ahhhhhhhh......



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