Architosh's PowerPC page will enlighten you to the advantages of RISC microprocessors and the particular advantages of the PowerPC line of chips by the AIM Alliance.
- What is PowerPC?
- The PowerPC name applies to microprocessors that currently power all Apple computers and existent Mac OS clones machines as well as UNIX machines from IBM and Motorola's Computer Group. A RISC chip, the PowerPC architecture was Co-designed by members of the AIM Alliance (Apple, IBM, Motorola) in an effort to compete with Intel's x86 and other microprocessor architectures.
The currently shipping Apple Macintosh computers use both PowerPC G3 and G4 processors (G is for generation of architectural changes). Unlike the Pentium line, the PowerPC 601, 603, 604, 750/74, and 7400/7410 are all architecturally different enough to constitute different generations. The current forth generation G4 line will move into its second version with the highly anticipated V'Ger chip. The V'Ger G4 processor will include not one, but two AltiVec (vector) processing units.
Traditionally distinguishing factors in the PowerPC lines superiority over Pentiums have included items like larger (usually twice as large) primary and secondary caches and much lower power consumption. Also, the PowerPC 604 chip brought multiprocessing to an easy-to-use GUI operating system with up to four processors. Such Mac stalwarts as Adobe Photoshop and Strata's StrataVision and many other programs have taken advantage of multiple processors providing industry leading performance for these applications on an pro-sumer operating system.
- The G4 Processor is a Supercomputer
- Motorola's revolutionary AltiVec vector processing units give the G4 processor gigaflops performance and the G4 Power Mac supercomputer status by the US government. The G4 processor is capable of sustaining over 1 gigaflops or one billion floating-point operations per second. In fact the G4 is powerful enough to reach a theoretical 3.6 gigaflops, and in a double processor version can reach over 7 gigaflops.
At the heart of the G4's AltiVec engine is a 128-bit vector processing unit, capable of processing code in 128-bit wide chunks compared to the 32 or 64-bit chunks in traditional Pentium computers. That means the G4 processes more instruction code in a single cycle than any Pentium chip on the planet. For more information and technical data on the G4 visit Apple's G4 page.
- What is so great about the PowerPC?
- These links to resources below should help you understand the benefits of the PowerPC microprocessor
- Learning about microprocessors can be fun and will give you an understanding of what to look for in your next computer, how to evaluate processor upgrades and how to evaluate speed benchmark test scores by various manufactures and magazines.
The following sites are of interest to those wishing to learn about microprocessors.
According to the IBM PowerPC Newsletter for December 2000, IBM will be showcasing new IBM PowerPC processors running in the latest Apple products. Their booth number is 411. IBM Software will also be showing their latest ViaVoice technology.