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  1. #1
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    PPC vs i386 Architectures

    Hi. I've always been wondering this. I know that the difference between the Intel chips and the AMD chips is that the Intel chips have longer pipelines, which allows them to brand their processors with higher frequency rates, but requires better branch prediction so it may operate slower for "on-the-fly" applications. Conversely, AMD chips use more pipelines, but shorter pipelines so that AMD chips are more ideal for video games or applications that change on the fly, at the cost of a lower frequency, even while competitive with the 3.0 GHz Pentiums. However, I know that the PPC (and the legacy 68k) architectures had the lowest frequency ratings of all, but are still considered blazingly fast and on par with the 3.0 GHz pentiums. Is this simply because PPCs have even shorter pipelines? Which I don't think is the explanation since Macs are used so much for media editing, which requires a lot of long, predictable branching to work efficiently. So what's the deal on this?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
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    Lightbulb

    What I know is that PPCs are RISC processors with simplified instruction sets, whereas intel/amd chips are CISC based
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  • #3
    Senior Coder gsnedders's Avatar
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    I think it is the fast front-side buses of the PPC architecture, as well as the processor being very powerful for the number of MHz it put's out, as I know, the early G4's were 3 times more powerful than a Pentium 3 with the same MHz (there were no Pentium 4s then).

    Quote Originally Posted by obiwanjabroni
    Which I don't think is the explanation since Macs are used so much for media editing, which requires a lot of long, predictable branching to work efficiently. So what's the deal on this?
    As I understand, it is the rareity of crashes which make Macs good for this, so they don't have to start designing the newspaper all over again, and what makes them good for film editing is the power of some of the software, which require amazingly fast processors to run on, but, the amount of time that it's suppost to save makes it worth spending the extra money for the hardware.
    Last edited by gsnedders; 07-16-2004 at 03:12 PM.

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    Hmmm, okay. Just curious as to the similarity of the processor with the i386's since in terms of the ALU and floating point processes and its pipeline architecture. I guess the video editing is attributed more to the stability of the MacOSes.

    Oh, and the speeds are relative I believe, hence the reason for so many benchmarks for on the fly processing and predictable processing, which was why I thought that maybe the PPC architecture had phenomenal branch prediction, thus allowing it to make video editing faster or something. Thanks for the responses!

  • #5
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    I think it is an imbalance in the flux-capacitors in the PPC that give it the excellent if quirky performance with the minor side-effect of overcharging of the di-lithium crystals ... in theory this could cause a nastly rip in the time-space continuum ... which perhaps explains why so many Mac users still think they are so cool

    ..& makes about as much sense to me as all the above
    resistance is...

    MVC is the current buzz in web application architectures. It comes from event-driven desktop application design and doesn't fit into web application design very well. But luckily nobody really knows what MVC means, so we can call our presentation layer separation mechanism MVC and move on. (Rasmus Lerdorf)

  • #6
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    LOL -

    1.21 JIGAWATTS!! TOM, how could I have been so foolish? Nothing can generate that kind of electricity except for, a bolt of lightning.

    Edit: I stand corrected

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    Last edited by Basscyst; 07-19-2004 at 05:24 PM.
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  • #7
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    Haha, please, layman. It's more powerful than that. 1.21 JIGAWATTS! Thanks for all the responses! :P


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