Apple's High-Water Mark?
Subject:   Orders of magnitude
Date:   2006-03-29 11:28:31
From:   jimothy
"Marketing talk says that PlayStation 3 will be 50 times faster than PlayStation 2. It is undoubtedly significantly faster (more likely by orders of magnitude) than Apple's new Core Duo systems."

Now that, I really doubt. You're saying that the PS3 will be at least 100 times faster than Apple's new systems (one order of magnitude is 10 times faster, two orders of magnitude is 100, etc.)? If the PS3 is 50 times faster than the PS2 (likely an exaggeration in itself), then the PS2 must be at least twice as fast as Apple's new systems. I really don't think so.

Perhaps you meant to say the PS3 will be several times faster than Apple's new Core Duo systems? Even that might be an exaggeration, but we will have to see.

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  • Orders of magnitude
    2006-03-30 17:10:02  pquam [View]

    On certain applications, its performance is astounding. Take a look at Mercury computing's promotional video about using it for radiology:

    Try doing that with a core duo mac!
  • Orders of magnitude
    2006-03-29 12:06:18  AdrienLamothe [View]

    That is what the marketing talk says. The greatest speed increase will be for video performance, which is what the Cell is optimized for.

    At this point, what seems to be hampering the Cell is unavailability of the Nvidia graphic processor. Early demos have been conducted without it (and have still been impressive). Sony funded Nvidia to develop a new graphic processor specifically for the Cell. Personally, I think IBM and Sony should have contacted two or three video card companies and used all of them as sources, to avoid putting all of their eggs in one basket. It may make sense for IBM to aquire a video company; Matrox stands out as a good candidate (Matrox's 3D stuff would need some work, but that's feasible).

    We'll just have to wait and see what happens. I'm looking forward to it. If the Cell turns out to be as fast as expected, word is that other microprocessor companies will immediately copy the architecture.

    • Orders of magnitude
      2006-03-30 18:11:04  pquam [View]

      Sun has its multiprocessing ultrasparc T1 out which was just open-sourced. It was supposed to do for servers what Cell does for multimedia, but failed to outperform Athlons in most situations. This may change though. There will probably be mainstream quad core processors before too long.
      If chip-makers were really smart, they would implement specific functions in FPGAs, and have them be reprogrammed as needed. Linked together, FPGAs can give magnitudes more processing power than etched silicon and their abilities have been doubling every year for the past five years. They are no longer limited to the embedded world.