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This was moved from a bb thread on a new Mac mouse at gearslutz.com -- it was in response to another user, pendejo, who had, in a friendly way, questionned the accuracy of some of my comments which were, in themselves, out of place in that thread. Which is why it's here...

No prob, pendejo. (Last time I said that I almost got smacked upside my silly, pasty white face. ) Like I said, I was out of place bringing the whole thing up.

I completely understand your point of preferring the Mac OS. I'd never try to talk someone who did into switching. (All else being equal. Or even halfway close to equal.) I'm sure you feel about being on a Windows machine as I feel about being on a Mac.

The funny thing is, when the aforementioned G4 Powerbook dropped into my lap for a couple weeks, I was almost kind of afraid I'd fall in love with OS X. I had a really romanticized idea of what it was about. Once I started using it, that was considerably deflated. And I found OS X far, far less easy to intuit than I'd ever expected. I'm sure there are plenty of things about Windows that drive you crazy. There are a couple thad drive me crazy. Mostly organizational stuff. How can a company that thinks it's business oriented have such illogical and confusing interfaces?!? Those stupid tabbed dialogs are the bloody worst! See. I can play both sides. With conviction.

One thing, those supercomputer clusters may run Mac hardware -- but I'm 98% sure the big guns are running Linux derived cluster software. Whichever, I'm not sure that running as a node in a cluster has much in parallel with running as a server or other host for a large number of processes. (I could be wrong and if I am, hopefully, someone will chip in.)

And, on the multi-process bottleneck where Darwin meets Mach, check out this rather lengthy but very thorough exploration of comparative performance of PPC and x86 chips (Intel and AMD):


Here's the section on server use:


And here's where they try to figure out why OS X Server is such a woeful underperformer:


[Addendum: they've updated the section of the article dealing with these issues. Their analysis of the architectural interface between the Mach 3 microkernal and the Darwin layer show exactly where the problem is and does it in a way that should be understandable by non bit-twisters. Required reading for those who think they know what's up with OS X.]

Ultimately, the article suggests that, despite lagging integer operations and a somewhat sluggish memory subsystem compared to the Intel and AMD chips, the PPC in the G5 is in many ways a good chip. (Timely info, eh? Actually I first found an earlier version of this article at the time of the Apple/Intel announcement.)

They also find that that while multi-process operations make network performance "catastrophic" -- "Altivec or the velocity engine can make the G5 shine in workstation applications."

Which helps confirm just what you suggested, oh so long ago, pendejo!