It's not a CISC vs RISC issue either though, the pre-PPC Motorola 68k chips had the same advantage over their contemporary x86 counterparts. The x86 instruction set is simply inefficient, that's why Intel tried to ditch it with the Itanium but they neglected to build in the old x86 instruction set for transition purposes so AMD got a chance to make sure we're stuck with that instruction set for a long time to come.
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