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SubjectRe: Minutes from Feb 21 LSE Call

On Sun, 23 Feb 2003, David Mosberger wrote:
>
> But does x86 reall work so well? Itanium 2 on 0.13um performs a lot
> better than P4 on 0.13um.

On WHAT benchmark?

Itanium 2 doesn't hold a candle to a P4 on any real-world benchmarks.

As far as I know, the _only_ things Itanium 2 does better on is (a) FP
kernels, partly due to a huge cache and (b) big databases, entirely
because the P4 is crippled with lots of memory because Intel refuses to do
a 64-bit version (because they know it would totally kill ia-64).

Last I saw P4 was kicking ia-64 butt on specint and friends.

That's also ignoring the fact that ia-64 simply CANNOT DO the things a P4
does every single day. You can't put an ia-64 in a reasonable desktop
machine, partly because of pricing, but partly because it would just suck
so horribly at things people expect not to suck (games spring to mind).

And I further bet that using a native distribution (ie totally ignoring
the power and price and bad x86 performance issues), ia-64 will work a lot
worse for people simply because the binaries are bigger. That was quite
painful on alpha, and ia-64 is even worse - to offset the bigger binaries,
you need a faster disk subsystem etc just to not feel slower than a
bog-standard PC.

Code size matters. Price matters. Real world matters. And ia-64 at least
so far falls flat on its face on ALL of these.

> As far as I can guess, the only reason P4
> comes out on 0.13um (and 0.09um) before anything else is due to the
> latter part you mention: it's where the volume is today.

It's where all the money is ("ia-64: 5 billion dollars in the red and
still sinking") so of _course_ it's where the efforts get put.

Linus

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