SAQ wrote:" We're definitely seeing the triumph of mediocrity (at least AMD finally got a decent number of registers into x86 with x86_64), but So It Goes. The new Macs are fast and cheap, and for Apple's market that's what counts.
If architectural registers were a metric for excellence, then I am afraid Itanium would be at the top of the heap
x86s have had a decent number of registers for a long time now. Out-of-order architectures have made the # of registers irrelevant for a long time, maybe in the 80s people still cared about registers as it was thought that compilers would have an easier time scheduling instructions.
Interestingly enough, the power6 is an in-order architecture, which means that an in-order machine has been at the top of SPECint for the first time in over a decade
Which is fairly impressive.
As for pricing issues, from the pricelist in an earlier post shows that what apple's considers to be the high-end of their offerings (pricewise) is basically the low-end of the p-series for IBM.
Apple and IBM target somewhat markets with their xservers and the p-series respectively.
No one was really saying that the P6 won't make an appearance on the technical desktop or the "low" end server segments. It is just that those machines from IBM will be much comparable to the top-end offerings of apple, which means that apple would have to still worry about the mid and low-range price/performance offerings, in which the PPC was going nowhere.