IBM strikes again


It is well known that I do not hold Apple Inc. in very high regards. Ever since the switch to Intel, human enhancement
I have not withheld my view that the switch was not for performance reasons, it was because of economics. The claim that IBM was unable to provide powerful enough chips was just a front. Steve Jobs realized that people who bought Apple were no longer buying the computers for their performance; they were buying them for the aesthetics. Apple decided to hop on the Intel bandwagon to save money. Macs were marketed as easy enough to use by novices, same novices who wouldn’t care about PowerPC v.s. x86. Apple has even branched out into the “enterprise” sector lately with sub-par hardware. Our 3.5TB raid system crashed this week, two months after installation, due to a faulty DeskStar drive. One drive crashed and trashed the rest of the Raid5 system corrupting it beyond the repair-ability of the operating system tools. The Apple premium support gurus told me to “try DiskWarrior, a 3rd party product” to rescue the sinking ship. As you can tell, I am not a fan.

Meanwhile, IBM is undeterred by its breakup with Apple and continues to forge ahead with progress. They designed the XBOX360 Xenon CPU (3-way PowerPC), the PS3 Cell Processor (PowerPC with eight symmetric processing engines) and the Nintendo Broadway (PowerPC based, single core). The PS3 and the XBOX360, which has already sold ten million units, give the latest Core 2 Duo chips a run for their money in certain fields. The Broadway, the lowest end chip of the bunch, was offered to Apple as a high performance laptop chip. This is to put things in perspective. Today EETimes posted an article that IBM is in the debug phase of their new Power6 architecture: a dual core 64 bit system with a hard-wired control unit running at a native 4-5GHz clock speed. Not to mention that IBM has been using dual core technology since the Power4 series, compare that to the latest microcode based Intel chips topping out at 3GHz for the dual core units. I guess this is enough for this whiny rant, but then again, everyone has an opinion.

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