970 Could Trounce Itanium With a Release This Year.

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by conceptdev, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #1
    In this interview
    Linus Torvalds spells out the problems with Intels new 64bit architecture, if Apple manages to migrate it's pro platform over to a 64 bit processor this year and consumer next year it could really beat intel in the processor marathon - not the processor sprint.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #2
    The 970 is not even supposed to compete with the Itanium, which is being aimed at the server rather than desktop markets.
    Itanium’s competition will come from IBM’s POWER series. Another thing to remember is that the Itanium IA-64 instruction set is also RISC. The only 64-bit offering for x86 will be AMD’s new x86-64 processor (set to be released around September i think).

    So by the end of the year, We aught to see the Itanium2, the POWER 4 from IBM and whatever Suns’s SPARC offering is, in the server market, and the 970, the AMD x86-64 chip and the P4/ on the desktop/ (oh and the G4, hopefully only in Apple’s consumer range). Interestingly, (assuming that the G4 has been largely retired by this stage) the P4 will be the only 32-bit chip in the high-end desktop range. Cant wait to see the marketing wars on this one.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jaykay

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Location:
    Ireland
    #3
    Now thats a comprehensive answer, but who do you think will have their 64bit processor out first and what will be the time difference....?
     
  4. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #4
    Well, some of those processors are already out. For example the 64-bit Sun SPARC processor is in it's third generation already. The UltraSPARC 3 has been out for a couple of years. The UltraSPARC 64-bit processor was first introduced in late 1995 or early 1996.

    And of course there was the DEC Alpha CPU (remember DEC?) which is a 64-bit processor and it came out in 1992. And MIPS Co. has had a 64-bit processor for a while.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #5
    I think that both chips should enter fabrication in or around September. There probably won't be a huge time difference.

    AMD was planning an earlier release, but this has been postponed (I don’t know the timescales as I haven't been following this). IBM is planning to start production of the 970 in the second half of this year, so I don’t think September is an unreasonable estimate for its release.

    Personally I hope that IBM is the first out of the door. Though it would be interesting if both chips were released at about the same time. The market would be full of stuff on the move to 64-bit (both for and against) and Intel would be left without a 64-bit consumer offering. Though, in their marketing, Intel will probably still be pushing the clock speed of their chips, which would be higher than the 64-bit chips, even though the SPECInt and SPECfp ratings of the 64-bit chips would be as good, (and hopefully better than) those of the P4

    On an aside; once the 970 is released, it would be very interesting to see how lower clocked 970s compare with the Centrino (Intel’s new mobile chip range) both in terms of performance, battery life and heat dissipation.

    Sorry about the length of the responses :D
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Location:
    NY
    #6
    Actually the Itanium is not RISC, it has some RISC features, but it is actually VLISW, something like that, like Torovolds said, the chip is great in theroy, but theory is not real world. Intel sunk a lot of money into this chip, and they are not going to let it go, but Torvolds saying it basically sucks, is not a good sign, this could be a major downfall for Intel in the server area.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Thanks for the correction, i probably read 'RISC-like' as 'RISC' somewhere along the line. :) Itanium's IA-64 is indeed a VLIW-RISC hybrid. Intel and HP are using the term EPIC (Explicit Parallel Instruction Computing) to describe the architecture.

    Interesting that after almost a decade they still havent gotten it quite right. 'Itanic' may end up being a good moniker after all :)

    It would also be interesting to know what Linus's opinions on the powerpc are, especially given his affinity for the x86 design.
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    Intel's 64 bit chip strategy is crazy. I can't figure out what they're thinking. Itanic is clearly not going to be a good desktop chip until .065 micron (probably even smaller than that), and before then, they're going to NEED to address more than 32 bits. Unless their "Tejas" processor is a lot more than it seems, AMD's going to make a killing, and Apple shouldn't do to badly either. Itanic is fast, but it's fast because it has a huge budget and several thousand dollars worth of on chip cache (I've heard that over 90% of its die is cache). The Pentium 4 squishes it in SPECint, and the POWER4+ and Alpha EV7 give it a lot of competition in SPECfp.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    macphoria

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2002
    #9
    Maybe Intel will keep pushing the processor speed and market that. That way even though Macs will have advanced 64bit chip that runs at 1.8 Ghz, Intel could have 32bit P4 that runs around 4Ghz. Most consumers will think P4 is faster simply because of its raw speed. This will probably be easier and more economic for Intel.

    What I'm curious about is how PC application developers will react when AMD introduces 64bit chip and Intel does not. How will they make their applications? 32bit only? 64bit only? Probably 32bit only, since AMD 64bit chip is supposed to be backwards compatible? That would make AMD's effort to bring 64bit chip total waste of time.
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    They WILL do that, but it won't matter. When one machine is 3-4GHz with 8GB of ram, and the other is 4-6GHz with 4GB of ram, guess which one wins? Pretty soon we'll be getting ram totals high enough to load an entire OS install plus apps into ram, while Intel will still be stuck with 4GB, except on their Xeons, which use a slow kludge to support more.
     

Share This Page