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Why are laptops so bling these days? - Page 4

post #46 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post
Except for the fact that RISC vs. CISC is a false dichotomy.

--Andre

From an Apple marketing standpoint, not so much, especially when you consider Apple espoused how much better RISC was compared to CISC in the 90s, and how the mighty PowerPC chip was superior to Intel's offerings, hence a jab at "the 21th century."
post #47 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roikins View Post
From an Apple marketing standpoint, not so much, especially when you consider Apple espoused how much better RISC was compared to CISC in the 90s, and how the mighty PowerPC chip was superior to Intel's offerings, hence a jab at "the 21th century."

But PowerPC was indeed better than x86 back then.

--Andre
post #48 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roikins View Post
From an Apple marketing standpoint, not so much, especially when you consider Apple espoused how much better RISC was compared to CISC in the 90s, and how the mighty PowerPC chip was superior to Intel's offerings, hence a jab at "the 21th century."

From a marketing standpoint do you think anyone has even a vague idea of what you're talking about outside of EEs and a small subset of computer geeks? I can't remember how hard they pushed this idea, but maybe that's why they failed so badly. :P
post #49 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
From a marketing standpoint do you think anyone has even a vague idea of what you're talking about outside of EEs and a small subset of computer geeks? I can't remember how hard they pushed this idea, but maybe that's why they failed so badly. :P

I think they were saying something about giving supercomputing for the masses via later PowerPCs' vector processing along with saying how much faster the PowerPC was over the x86. RISC vs. CISC was flavor of the month back then, and computer geeks were fighting over it.

When Apple made the transition to PowerPC, Intel couldn't really offer anything competitive with the PowerPC. It was only later on that Intel processors became faster as IBM couldn't keep up with Intel's processor speed and power usage advancements.

Intel processors these days are basically RISC anyway, and the PowerPC implementation of RISC would appear pretty CISCy to the classic academic (and useless) definition of RISC, as embodied by MIPS processors. As usual with many things, it's not a clear-cut black-and-white kind of division between RISC and CISC. Both have architectural design features that are really useful for solving certain problems in processor design, and the fastest and most usable CPUs have to use a blend of both.

It's also interesting that all the game consoles today use PowerPCs, which belies the notion that there is an actual RISC vs. CISC conflict The only question is whether a processor is appropriate for a particular application, regardless of its architectural lineage.

--Andre
post #50 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post
It's also interesting that all the game consoles today use PowerPCs, which belies the notion that there is an actual RISC vs. CISC conflict The only question is whether a processor is appropriate for a particular application, regardless of its architectural lineage.

I don't disagree with your central argument over the blurring of CISC vs. RISC distinctions in modern processor architecture, nor the pragmatic "choose the right tool for the right job" attitude. However, to say that all game consoles use PowerPCs I don't think is quite right. AFAIK, and I could be wrong, the XBox has always used an Intel x86-based design, some sort of multi-core Xenon in the Xbox 360. Also the Playstation 2 is MIPS-based, no? That's not quite the same as saying it runs on PowerPC. I don't know much about the Playtation 3's cell processor, but are you saying it's simply a re-branded PowerPC processor?

References to technical info is most appreciated and thanked.
post #51 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by binge View Post
I don't disagree with your central argument over the blurring of CISC vs. RISC distinctions in modern processor architecture, nor the pragmatic "choose the right tool for the right job" attitude. However, to say that all game consoles use PowerPCs I don't think is quite right. AFAIK, and I could be wrong, the XBox has always used an Intel x86-based design, some sort of multi-core Xenon in the Xbox 360. Also the Playstation 2 is MIPS-based, no? That's not quite the same as saying it runs on PowerPC. I don't know much about the Playtation 3's cell processor, but are you saying it's simply a re-branded PowerPC processor?

References to technical info is most appreciated and thanked.

Sorry, I should have said "the latest consoles all use PowerPC." Xbox 360 uses a 3-core PowerPC that's related to the PS3's CPU, PS3 uses a PowerPC 970 (the G5 in Mac parlance) with Cell processing attached to it, and Wii uses an old PowerPC 750 (G3 in Macs) basically carried over from the Gamecube. Wikipedia, Ars Technica, Anandtech, etc. should have all of this in it.

Xenon was the 360's CPU codename, but it's like a PowerPC 970. It was actually kind of a weird coincidence that MS essentially got the R&D for their CPU for free. IBM basically reused the research they had done for (and charged to) Sony to make the 360's CPU because MS came in after Sony had commissioned IBM to make the chip, but MS had a much more aggressive and earlier ship date than the PS3. There's an interesting book about the 360's development process that talks about this:

http://www.amazon.com/Race-New-Game-.../dp/0806531010

PS2 (and PS1) is indeed MIPS-based, and the original Xbox was x86-based (it was basically a PC). And for completeness, the handhelds (PSP and DS) are ARM-based.

--Andre
post #52 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by binge View Post
AFAIK, and I could be wrong, the XBox has always used an Intel x86-based design, some sort of multi-core Xenon in the Xbox 360. Also the Playstation 2 is MIPS-based, no? That's not quite the same as saying it runs on PowerPC. I don't know much about the Playtation 3's cell processor, but are you saying it's simply a re-branded PowerPC processor?

The XBox and the Playstation 2 aren't really "today's" game systems. The XBox used a P3 and the P2 used something MIPSish.

The "Xenon" (not Xeon) processor the XBox 360 uses is PowerPC. The Playstation 3 uses some sort of POWER based chip, but I'm not sure it is PowerPC.
post #53 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post
But PowerPC was indeed better than x86 back then.

--Andre


Eh, that's a push, much like the battles between video cards or AMD and Intel. Under specific circumstances, the PowerPC chip would beat an Intel chip, and under other circumstances, the Intel would beat the PowerPC chip. Or when a new Intel chip was released, it would beat the 6 month old PowerPC chip, but when a new PowerPC chip came out, it would beat the 6 month old Intel chip.

Believe me, growing up in the Bay Area, back in the 8th grade, my friend would keep going on and on about how Apple would talk about how PowerPC was the future of computing Macworld after Macworld, and how x86 architecture was a sloppy dead-end. I guess moving to over to x86 architecture was their way of "Thinking different."
post #54 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roikins View Post
how x86 architecture was a sloppy dead-end.

It's the Porsche 911 of the computer world, and the 911 is the x86 of the car world.

--Andre
post #55 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post
It's the Porsche 911 of the computer world, and the 911 is the x86 of the car world.

--Andre


Haha, in that case, I hope there's no Panamera in any pipeline.
post #56 of 64
Andre & B1FF, thanks for the info.

This certainly isn't my field of expertise (as evidenced by my ignorance) and I remembered the first-gen XBox being a Pentium-3-class chip (IIRC) and didn't read the "Xenon" vs. "Xeon" that closely and confused one for the other.

As for the rest, I either had heard, or just assumed that they were some sort of MIPS-derived cores, even dressed up in multi-core "cell" jazz. I never knew what the main differences between later-gen MIPS stuff an PowerPC anyways. I'm not that much of a hardware geek.

I do remember hacking away in 6502 assembler in the 80s and Motorola 68k assembler in the early 90s. Good times...
post #57 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by v0rtex View Post
This is also what puts me off Macs, you're paying a ton of money for a nice wrapper.

Lenovo (formerly IBM) make decent, plain-ass laptops for people who don't want to take a bedazzler to their computer. They're built like a brick too (metal hinges, replaceable parts, etc) whereas every Dell I've had fell apart after a year or two of heavy use.

Lenovo laptops are the best, but look like crap. I love a Lenovo for work.

At home, I have a small Sony VIAO with carbon fiber case. It's pretty cool, but the thing overheats badly.
post #58 of 64
I personally like the rugged industrial look of the thinkpads (without being the giant ruggederized panasonic toughbooks).

The only thing I really dislike about my eeepc 1000H is the finish. It is shiny and picks up fingerprints like nothing else (and every scratch shows like mad on the black...wish the white had come out when I bought it). The finish on the IBMs seems so resistant to looking bad with small scratches and only shows fingerprints if you have disgustingly oily fingers.
post #59 of 64
I'm all about the bling. Here's what I game on:

http://explore.toshiba.com/laptops/qosmio/X305

The sound is also damn good. Best notebook I've ever heard in fact.
post #60 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
I'm all about the bling. Here's what I game on:

http://explore.toshiba.com/laptops/qosmio/X305

The sound is also damn good. Best notebook I've ever heard in fact.

This is one of the computers I saw in the store that I was referencing with regards to the transparent plastic. It's even more hideous in person.
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