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Subject: Re: Introducing "No-Moore's Law"

Author: Robert Hyatt

Date: 19:10:06 03/09/03

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On March 09, 2003 at 01:26:33, Jeremiah Penery wrote:

>On March 08, 2003 at 23:58:37, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>
>>On March 08, 2003 at 14:52:02, Jeremiah Penery wrote:
>>
>>>On March 08, 2003 at 01:37:18, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>>
>>>>Notice anything different?  Pentium 3.  Pentium 4.  They _clearly_ identify
>>>>what is "inside" is a pentium-X.  That's a bit different than just selling
>>>
>>>The AMD machines _clearly_ identified that they were, in fact, AMD machines too,
>>>so I'm not sure what you're getting at.
>>
>>And if you go back to that point in time and look at various computing
>>journals, magazines and so forth, you will clearly find ads that said
>>"Buy AMD.  Its faster than a PII, and cheaper.  Here are the benchmark
>>results that show this..."
>>
>>What should I (as a naive user) conclude from that?  That it is faster
>>and cheaper _and_ incompatible?  Then why didn't they say "it is faster
>>than a pentium II, faster than a hairdryer, and faster than a Nintendo
>>N64"???  The conclusion about "faster than a PII" certainly implies that
>>it is also _compatible_.
>
>Alpha is faster than Sparc.  Did I just imply they were compatible too?

Depends.  Did you just tell me to buy an alpha instead of a sparc, saying it
would run my sparc executables faster?  If so, then your statement was false,
yes.


>
>>>>something that is compared to the pentium II in your own ads, but which is
>>>>not quite a pentium-II in fact...
>>>
>>>By selling them side-by-side, Dell is comparing them.  But Pentium3 is not quite
>>>a Pentium4 in fact...
>>
>>And nobody assumes that.
>
>People assume P3=P4 (in terms of compatibility) just as much as they assume
>K6=P2.

Maybe some do.  But I'd suspect most don't although the assumption that
executables compiled and running on a PIII will also run on a PIV is a
good assumption.




>
>>But clearly if someone compares a chip to a PII,
>>the implication is that they are equivalent.  Otherwise the comparison is
>>not very informative.
>
>I've seen P4 compared to 486, but that doesn't mean anyone should assume they're
>totally compatible.  Just like you can compare an Alpha to a SPARC.
>
>But the P3-P4 comparison is much more relevant.  They're placed side-by-side
>_all the time_, and very clearly is it implied that they're equal except that
>the P4 is clocked much higher.  The average buyer is NOT going to know the
>difference, any more than they knew the difference between a P2 and a K6.

Did you see an advertisement where someone was trying to convince you to
buy over the other?  I doubt it.

But with the AMD vs PII, that was the case.





>
>>>>99% of crafty users don't have any idea how to compile the thing...
>>>
>>>And probably 99% of that group of people is using Windows, so they use the
>>>executable that runs on all processors.  It's a non-issue for them.
>>>
>>
>>Not when we were supplying "plain executables" and executables compiled
>>specifically for the PII.  That was my point.  The release notes used to
>>explain the different versions (SMP, non-SMP, and specific architecture
>>assumptions.)  IE Dann has executables optimized for all sorts of platforms.
>
>"Optimized for X" doesn't necessarily mean "won't run on Y or Z".  SMP release
>runs fine on uniprocessor machines.  But the P4 executable may well not work on
>a P2 OR a K6.  I don't know, because I don't know whether it uses stuff like SSE
>or not.
>
>>It was the _users_ that assumed that PII = K6 since AMD magazine publicity
>>certainly implied it if not outright claimed it.
>
>They imply that P3=P4 too, in terms of compatibility, but they're not completely
>so.


Again, it depends.  If I do a target=P3, I would expect that to run on a PIV.
And most likely if I do a target=p4 it would run on a P3 although I can
certainly think of reasons why it wouldn't.

But Intel doesn't market the P3 to be compatible with the P4.


>
>>>BTW, I'm still waiting for those SPARC/MIPS benchmark numbers, as well as the
>>>SPARC sales numbers.
>>
>>SPARC is a problem.  I have tried 3 gcc versions and all produce bad code for
>>recent versions of Crafty, reasons = unknown.  I have some very old SPARC
>>numbers but they are useless.  I have tried installing the latest 3.2 gcc
>>version, and my reliable (for Intel) 2.95.2, and 2.95.5.  If I can't get
>>good executables then I can't compare 'em.  Didn't even try the SGI (I think
>>we have two 600mhz machines here, not sure if we have anything faster as I
>
>I think 600MHz is the fastest they come.  At least that's as fast as I've been
>able to find any benchmarks for anywhere.
>
>>am not an SGI/MIPS "person".  But something is bad on the sparc.  It runs with
>>no optimization, but that's a useless comparison.  It crashes with -O or
>>anything beyond (O3, etc.)
>
>Why don't you use Sun's compiler, which is really fast for SPARC anyway?


Because we don't buy it.  It's not cheap and we have so many gcc-based machines
we felt the compatibility between compilers was better than the cost of buying
Sun's compiler.  We used to have it years ago, and yes, I found it to be a
bit better than GCC.  But eventually GCC started producing code that was as fast
as Sun's so we dropped sun's compiler.



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