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dushkin
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:50 am    Post subject: Advantage of PPC over x86 Reply with quote

This question was disturbing me for a while, so I'll ask you, PPC pros - what is the advantage of PPCs over x86s?

Also, do I have to buy an Apple to get a PPC? You know, they're not cheap.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to go into the PPC vs x86 debate again, since it usually ends up in a flamewar. But you can get PPC boards from Pegasos ( http://www.pegasosppc.com/ ), which support both G3's and G4's (no G5 boards that I know of yet). Or, if you have the money, you could get an iSeries from IBM.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dushkin,

PowerPC and x86 (32 bit and 64 bit) are different approaches to solving the same problem. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

PowerPC is often used in an embedded environment, its a lot easier to cool. (lower power) You don't have to buy an Apple. You could get an industrial VME based system but thats probably more expensive.

In the home, x86 probably has the edge. It tends to be the lead architeture for development. Things get ported to PowerPC later.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tested Linux (SuSE 7.3) first time in august 2002 on a Mac G4 350 MHz and loved it. I stoped use Mac OS.
In januari 2003 I bought a PC becuase I feelt for a new faster computer and I fought it was waste of money to run Linux on a expensive Mac. And I have not regret it. The only thing that distubes me is that the PC is louder - the fans and possibly 2 faster harddisks- than may old Mac.
Now you may wonder that I'm doing here in your PPC thread. The anser is simple. I have tried to install a working Gentoo system on the old Mac and I must say that it has been a real hell to do it compared to install it on the PC. I suppose that becuase there are fewer PPC users than PC user there are more unnown bugs in the PPC version than in the PC version.
The problems started already with the bootstraping then the version of an app - IBMJava2-JRE-141.ppc.tgz resp. IBMJava2-JRE-142.ppc.tgz - emerge tried to download from a mirror wasn't there. Now the only thing I got left to do - after lots of struggle who in some case can be explaned by my nowledge the differense between the PC way to do things and the PPC way- is to make the internal modem to work with Wvdial. And Wvdial isn't in the portage tree for PPC.
That's my thoughts!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 2.2Ghz PC emerged KDE in 23.5 Hrs
My 2.0Ghz G5 emerged KDE in < 10 hrs
Case and point ^_~
If you're gonna just use linux, X86 will have more support, but I LOVE having my dual boot mac, whereas my x86 box will get thrown in the trash before i let windows touch it again.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

12" Ibook G4 ~1200 €
show me a better deal for a new 12" x86 Notebook with 5 hours battery uptime - and its fun to run a gentoo ibook too!
I dont use OSX at all, I just prefer my faster Gnome 2.6 Openoffice for daily work.

forgot to mention: gentoo ibook raises alot of interest in Free Software
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Advantage of PPC over x86 Reply with quote

dushkin wrote:
This question was disturbing me for a while, so I'll ask you, PPC pros - what is the advantage of PPCs over x86s?


Hi,

Performance-wise, PowerPC processors have a higher performance per power consumption ratio.
(Note: I don't know however how the new Centrino thing compares on that side with PowerPCs)

For example, my iBook (G3 700MHz) consumes 14-17watts of power. Ok, my battery kind of died... but I used to have 3.5 hours of work on the iBook. Also, the fan is almost never working, so its a silent computer :)

The 2nd advantage is at the design level. For example, PCs uses the BIOS that is 20 years old. Whereas, PowerPC machines (Mac, Pegasos and probably others) uses the OpenFirmware. Someone with one partition with Windows would not really care. But I really like to be able to have up to 32 equivalent partitions (no extended/logical hack...) and you want to play with them, you will soon find that the BIOS really sucks... The same way I found that Win95 sucks after starting using Unix systems.

At the processor levels, the PowerPC instruction set is "simpler". Actually, a better word would probably be "cleaner". Some constructs are more difficult if you code in assembly, CISC are
designed for compilers not humans. :)

If you take the x86 and even the AMD64, you have 16-bit instruction even if nowadays no-one probably uses 16-bit apps. Why? The BIOS code is written in 16-bit.... :)

dushkin wrote:

Also, do I have to buy an Apple to get a PPC? You know, they're not cheap.


Apple tends to be the less expensive ones... Last time I checked I found that for example Pegasos motherboards where as expensive (or almost) as buying a Mac.

Me also, I would like some manufacturer to produce boards at a reasonable price (I don't care if its more than x86 but should be reasonable) for my next PowerPC.

In addition to Pegasos, there is terrasoft that does a board (mini-computer) that can fit in a PC cd-rom drive bay.

Note: That the iBook G4 starts at 1400$CAN
The Pegasos G4 board from a Canadian supplier is 1015$CAN.
Decrease the price of both for US$.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are advantages, but in practice, they aren't exploited by software or VAR's. The one absolute advantage of PPC over x86 is that the root exploits out there assume you have x86. The other advantages are outweighed by the disadvantages of the platform, like lack of industry support.

If you're building a software platform from the ground up, e.g. an appliance or a gaming system like the XBOX, the disadvantages of non-x86 processors and nonstandard architecture disappear or are outweighed by the need to save money.

But I really do think, especially after getting hosed yet again by a poorly thought out upgrade to my PPC Linux distro (Gentoo), that PPC on the desktop is highly overrated. You're going to get much better support and much better price-performance on x86.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:50 am    Post subject: PPC - technically better. x86 - really better. Reply with quote

The PPC platform is often described as being technically superior to x86 by "Industry experts" but the x86 platform has been so successful and had so much money thrown at it, that it still comes off as seeming better in real world experience. Not everyone is in complete support of ppc however. Remember this Linus Torvalds quote:

Quote:
The memory management on the PowerPC can be used to frighten small children.


I love using Gentoo on my Powerbook G4, but my 802.11G wireless built-in card is not supported, with no plans to support it in sight - really infuriating.

For the longest time PPC has been boasted to have better power/performance ratio, but I really think Centrino has changed all that. Witness the fact that there is no G5-powered laptop, whereas you can get VERY powerful Centrino laptops, AND Compaq has the blazing powerful AMD64 laptop - the R3000 Series. Early reports from the Cell Processor effort (running around 3.2GHz) are that it also is a major power hog. So I think the whole power/performance arguments are now old. GentooAMD64 on the Compaq R3000 outperforms Gentoo on the Powerbook G4 in my tests by at least a factor of 4. (linpack benchmarks and setiathome scores)

Personally I run PPC to "buck the trend". The x86/x86_64 has left so many dead bodies in its wake (alpha, mips, and now the itanium) while the ppc seems to be the only one still surviving and fighting hard. I'm inspired to have one just to see what the other side is like. Also, OpenFirmware is nice too.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nesnimda wrote:
My 2.2Ghz PC emerged KDE in 23.5 Hrs
My 2.0Ghz G5 emerged KDE in < 10 hrs
Case and point ^_~

I don't think this is a good comparison. PPC has always used less mhz than x86 processors. Mhz is probably the worse way to test a processors speed. The G5 probably came out 2 years after the 2.2 Ghz chip you are talking about. I bet new x86 chips would also be much faster than the 2.2 Ghz chip.

I have a P4 desktop (2.4 Ghz) that is two years old and a brand new iBook G4 (1.2 Ghz). My P4 is still 'feels' faster, or at most 'feels' about the same (I say 'feels' since I've never done any real benchmarks).

BTW - If you want to measure a chips speed you need to look at either the MIPS or FLOPS ratings of the chips. PPC, I believe, has historically has better performance on FLOPS than x86.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PPC is good, mac are nice, but actually they aren't as fast as an actual x86.
Buy a mac if you like it, don't buy a mac if you want the best.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if your statement is true, this includes also all x86 machines, since if you want the best you are wrong there too ...
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread was started long before Apple announced it was converting to x86. Mac fans have since then been forced to swallow their misguided praise of PPC(64) over x86(-64)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2005 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nesnimda wrote:
My 2.2Ghz PC emerged KDE in 23.5 Hrs
My 2.0Ghz G5 emerged KDE in < 10 hrs
Case and point ^_~
If you're gonna just use linux, X86 will have more support, but I LOVE having my dual boot mac, whereas my x86 box will get thrown in the trash before i let windows touch it again.


What 2.2ghz PC processor did you use? If it was on a 2.2ghz Athlon XP, then that would be nowhere near a good comparision, due to age and architecture. I have a AMD 64 3700+ REV E. OC'sd to 2.51ghz and emerge KDE finished in ~5hrs 30mins (ran 'time emerge kde'). At it's stock of 2.2 it probably wouldn't do much over 6hrs.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh x86 is like a honda from the early 80s that's been pimped pimped out and made to last way too long. By maintaining their bottom->up compatibilty they've really made the architecture grim to work with. I'd rather write PowerPC (or any RISC for that matter) code before getting anywhere near an x86 machine. The only real solution to their problems is to crank the clockspeed up which they've been doing for the past 10 years. Hate to break the news to you x86 lackeys but that isn't going to work forever. Heh plus pipelining and all of those other beautiful hacks thrown on the x86 were originally developed for risc processors. Of course it's sad to see Apple buy into the x86 nonsense. I don't blame IBM for really carrying about them though, now that the three new console systems are going to be using POWER chips they'll sell more in one day than Apple would have sold all year.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:20 pm    Post subject: IBM didn´t carry Apple out... Reply with quote

Apple uses Intel Processors because they are cheap and they can´t compte with Cell or other PPC based technologies...
I think Apple is very interested in Centrino for Laptops,Table PC´s and Multimedia TV Sets.. think about it ,wouldnt it be great if you have Mac OS X in your living room... its not hoax becaused apple has plans with sony on digital broadcasting TV based upon H.264 Codec.. I think podcasting is an example how Apple sees the future you will have ipods for music an big HD-Screen connected to an Intel Centrino based Apple device to watch th newest films on Mac OS X via Quicktime by the way you could store to your mac and everything is wireless via airport... Computerbased home entertainment is their big market for the future and they could not compete with Microsoft and Sony in this market because they have more money... example if apple would sell cell based devices for multimedia the ps3 would everytime be cheaper or sony would upgrade it...but Apple has Mac OS X and that´s a big advantage over the others and with cheap processors they could produce well priced products for an bigger market...
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Pegasos board sitting here and wanted to put Gentoo on it. Is there a dedicated How-To? What gfx card should I get, how much memory, which hard disks are best, (it does have ethernet I believe), which cd-rom drive? I plan on running it headless as a server with massive disk space, that's all.

Any hints, pointers, dos and don'ts?

Thanks heaps,
Jens
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have a Pegasos board sitting here and wanted to put Gentoo on it.

You can use the standard PPC installation instructions here.

Quote:
What gfx card should I get

I have a Raedon 9000 in mine, but most people seem to use the 9200's (not SE). Keep in mind you'll be stuck with the OS drivers, as ATI has not released their drivers for PPC.

nVidia cards will also work, but you won't get any kind of 3D acceleration with those.

Quote:
how much memory

I recommend at least 512M. That is how much I have and I rarely go into swap space.

Quote:
which hard disks are best, (it does have ethernet I believe), which cd-rom drive?

Hard disks and CD-ROM drives are really personal preference items. Just make sure you use 80-wire IDE cables (UDMA).

Yes, the Peg has a 1 gigabit ethernet port and a 100 megabit port.

All internal hardware for the Pegasos is supported under the 2.6.12 kernels. When you configure your kernel, turn SMP on if you want to use the pre-emptible option.

There is website that is primarily for Pegasos support at PPCZone.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AaronPPC wrote:
Quote:
What gfx card should I get

I have a Raedon 9000 in mine, but most people seem to use the 9200's (not SE). Keep in mind you'll be stuck with the OS drivers, as ATI has not released their drivers for PPC.

nVidia cards will also work, but you won't get any kind of 3D acceleration with those.


Well, I'm using Gentoo on my Apple TiBook which uses the OS drivers for the Radeon and I am very happy with it. I'm glad to hear it's standard procedure, so I'll go ahead an build my server then!

Jens
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As someone who has acctualy really worked with x86 mmu code:
Those guys from AMD make miracles!!!
It is simply amazing those people can make faster and cheaper processors than IBM can.

Yes! x86 is a hell!
But, if you are a end user or highlevel programmer, you shouldnt bother how your achitecture is: Even if you write C code.
Only the guys from operating systems and compilers development should have the right to complain.

These guys who only know java are sissies.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomasino wrote:
PPC is good, mac are nice, but actually they aren't as fast as an actual x86.
Buy a mac if you like it, don't buy a mac if you want the best.


Buy a Mac if you want a really cool piece of hardware but avoid OS-X. I am very happy having my TiBook and soon a Pegasos server and, frankly, I don't need high performance anyway to do the things I do. I get to work a lot with both architectures on a fairly low level and IMHO PowerPC is much cleaner, performant, and well designed than an x86 based architecture. (Of course it is, it's like, what, 20 years younger?)

I guess in the end it comes down to what you want to do, and how you want it to be done. If you need computational power, pick the machine that delivers that. If you need fast graphics, pick the right GPU and plug it into the machine that can handle it. If you don't care (like I do in most cases) pick the machine that makes you happy. People always seem to be eager to find an absolute measurement, the perfect scale which finally declares x86 as shit and PowerPC as the solution to all questions (or vice versa). I don't think it works this way...
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BUY a ppc machine.. installing Gentoo is my last ditch attempt to get enough usefull purpose out of this one to keep it around! and it has been nothing short of a nitemare all the way!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Advantage of PPC over x86 Reply with quote

I think you're mistaken about the purpose of RISC:
dushkin wrote:
At the processor levels, the PowerPC instruction set is "simpler". Actually, a better word would probably be "cleaner". Some constructs are more difficult if you code in assembly, CISC are designed for compilers not humans.


Read up in the Wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risc

In summery: RISC CPUs were designed to be more compiler friendly. Where CISC CPUs were designed for assumbly language programmers (i.e. humans).
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomasino wrote:
PPC is good, mac are nice, but actually they aren't as fast as an actual x86.
Buy a mac if you like it, don't buy a mac if you want the best.


That's is just bs, the 686 is not best CPU out there in any way.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Advantage of PPC over x86 Reply with quote

duanecu wrote:
I think you're mistaken about the purpose of RISC:
dushkin wrote:
At the processor levels, the PowerPC instruction set is "simpler". Actually, a better word would probably be "cleaner". Some constructs are more difficult if you code in assembly, CISC are designed for compilers not humans.


Read up in the Wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risc

In summery: RISC CPUs were designed to be more compiler friendly. Where CISC CPUs were designed for assumbly language programmers (i.e. humans).


yes, this is correct.

PowerPC however is not so bad for assembly programming to achieve correctness compared to other RISC arch that have things like:
- branch delay slots
- "do not use your result after x cycles after the load"

To achieve performance - still need to use a compiler. Register allocation and instruction scheduling are a little bit difficult to figure out in your head. :)

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