June 23rd, 2003


(no subject)

Vaguely wondering how Apple managed to get such abysmal SPEC scores for P4s. Looks like they're only publishing GCC 3.3 base scores. I'd be interested in a full disclosure, like was IA32 SPECfp running with SSE2 instructions? Hopefully they'll be published, but Apple has a habit of not playing in public benchmarks (which is a defensible position, but unhelpful). What those figures mostly tell us is that Intel have a superb compiler team, but we knew that already. One does wonder why Apple didn't use the IBM C compiler, my suspicion is that GCC is proportionately worse for IA32 than PowerPC.

All in though, I'd expect the 970 to be pretty damn quick regardless, the POWER4 core is very nice, and has impressive FP itself, though the ones I've used all had silly amounts of cache. A 1GHz Hypertransport bus is definitely good move, as is the 400MHz memory bus, a dual 1.4GHz G4 must be incredibly crippled by the shared 166MHz bus.