Powers vs intel, Apple claimed that running say photoshop on mac os on powerpc doing certain benchmarks is faster than photoshop on windows on intel, which is relevant to apple's core market. Apple didn't claim that playing a 3D FPS was faster on powerpc than on intel with 3DFX back in the day -- whether these benchmarks were fair is another issue. apple didn't claimed running linux on powerpc was faster than linux on intel.
While Photoshop was often a focus point, Apple most certainly did claim that PowerPC (not POWER, different but related CPU) was faster than x86 in general. The rigged benchmarks using GCC on G5 vs the P4 were a big example. Thing is, GCC has improved over the years for both CPUs. While the G5 has a slight IPC advantage over the P4, the P4 had such a huge clock speed advantage that it didn't matter, the P4 was the faster CPU. Apple also conveniently ignored AMD during those years when it was beating both PowerPC and Intel's x86 offerings. Apple lied outright and it wasn't just with Photoshop.
Look at the reviews of the Apple "Developer Transition Kit", which was pretty much a standard high end P4. The reviews raved about how much faster it was than the G5s out at the time.
why is Atom having such a hard time competing with ARM then? sure the decorder logic has something to do with it.
ARM and the Atom aren't really competitors (yet). For what the Atoms are used for (netbooks) their power consumption was fine so Intel didn't go lower.
Now Intel has come out with the Medfield CPUs which might actually challenge ARM seriously in the performance/watt area. While we will have to wait and see for some truly third party benchmarks to come out, Medfield seems to be doing fine despite having the "burden" of x86 decoder logic.
Don't forget that modern ARM CPUs have decoder logic too. They don't execute everything directly either.
I would think Intel and Microsoft and all publishers who also cross-publish on PC, like Call of Duty, would have some interest in making console x86 custom chips since then porting them to windows would be straight forward or more straight forward than from xbox xenon to ps3 cell to intel x86.
Most games aren't really written direct to the hardware like they were in older console generations. Porting is much easier, most of the difficulty is differing APIs not the CPU architecture. As long as the underlying CPU does the job it doesn't matter as consoles don't have the legacy issues PCs do.
running c2duo for dos for legacy seems a bit overkill since Atom could do it just the same.
The PC was from before Atoms were available.
My workplace uses Atom's extensively in "legacy" applications. While not going back to DOS, we do run some kiosks that have custom 32 bit drivers. Emulation or 64 bit only CPUs would be useless.
I know Itanium has RAS that is superior to Xeon, I wonder if they could build a Xeon from the ground up with comparable RAS as Itanium.
Do you think if Dec Alpha had continued development it would also outperform Xeon?
Alpha was an awesome architecture, but DEC didn't have the money to out engineer Intel. It may have taken longer, but x86 would have likely won in the end.
Doesn't the movement towards UEFI to replace BIOS eliminate some of that boot problems? and UEFI is 64-bit, and windows 7 and 8 also come in 64-bit, so in effect, esp when dealing with larger than 2tb, you would be in pure x64 from boot to apps.
Yes and no. If you are running a pure 64 bit OS then UEFI would be fine. However, that is very unlikely right now and it throws away backward compatibility. I'm running Win 7 64 bit on a UEFI machine and over half my processes are 32 bit. I would rather not take the performance hit from having to emulate those 32 bit instructions.
That also again ignores the huge advantage of x86, backwards compatibility. If I need to (and I have) I can run DOS on my i7-2600K. It's rare, but it is still useful. There's no point in throwing all that away unless I could get the performance of a POWER 7 at similar prices and power usage. Every other non-x86 CPU would be a step down in performance, so there is no point.
Also don't forget that Apple just loves to jettison legacy at every chance. Apple's has a very large priority on reducing power consumption for sleek industrial designs, and their OS Lion and future OS require 64-bit.
Apple isn't going to piss off all their graphic designers and other professionals who really need the performance that high end x86 offers. Running Photoshop, even if it wasn't emulated and even a quad core ARM would be brutal compared to a fast x86.
Besides, who would make all those ARM iOS apps? You can't make them on anything other than an x86 Mac.