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Depending on what you mean by architecture, there probably aren't many. Maybe reliability and decimal floating point. But IBM's Power server processors tend to be bigger and higher performance than Intel's; e.g. Power8 has four times the threads, four times the cache, and twice the memory bandwidth as Ivy Bridge-EP.

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Sure, the article itself can explain it: "But analysts say the embrace of Power has two crucial advantages for Google. First, the Internet giant builds its own data centers and tweaks the technology in its server computers, and the licensing regime in the Power foundation is hacker-friendly in a way Intel’s handling of its intellectual property is not. The second advantage for Google is negotiating power..."

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protomyth 7 hours ago | link

I read the article and didn't find their little explanation to be that good, that's why I asked. Why PowerPC? Why not SPARC or ARM? What got them this involved?

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erikj 11 minutes ago | link

PowerPC and POWER are different architectures.

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wmf 5 hours ago | link

Power8 has equal or better performance than Intel; ARM isn't even close.

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ternaryoperator 5 hours ago | link

Given the hatred between Google and Oracle, I expect that even if SPARC were a better solution, Google would look everywhere else first.

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In that case you should probably avoid the Open Compute Project, too.

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mindcrime 13 hours ago | link

I don't really understand this comment. OCP, from what I've seen, is mostly dealing with designs for servers built using x86 and/or ARM processors, of which there are plenty of off the shelf motherboards already available. If people are building (or start building) OCP spec motherboards, so much the better. But with POWER, it's always been just short of impossible to buy an "off the shelf" motherboard with a normal form-factor, that uses normal RAM, etc., and put a box together.

And, IMO, when an architecture is that inaccessible to the hobbyists and experimenters and tinkerers, it really hinders it. I know it definitely diminishes my personal interest, and I want to be an IBM fan in many ways.

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wmf 12 hours ago | link

I get the impression that you can buy 1,000 OCP servers but you can't buy one; I wouldn't be surprised if OpenPower is the same way. But if you want one Power8 maybe you can just buy a server from IBM.

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mindcrime 12 hours ago | link

I get the impression that you can buy 1,000 OCP servers but you can't buy one;

Ah, gotcha. Yeah, that's kind of a bummer if that is actually the case. I haven't really looked into buying any OCP servers, so I wasn't aware of that situation.

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It's been varying degrees of open all along; there was AIM and Exponential in the 90s and then PA Semi and AMCC ten years ago. But marketing/branding/strategy people need to stay employed.

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The eternal answers from every mining thread: if you need crowdfunding to pay for your NRE or if you would prefer to have USD instead of BTC or if you would prefer to have a certain amount of money now rather than an uncertain amount later, etc.

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Even if Go is completely controlled by Google today, there are enough companies using it that they can fork if Google turns evil.

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Is Google Fiber actually cheap or is it just passing on their regulatory savings to customers?

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dm2 2 days ago | link

Google charges a $300 one-time install fee for the free 5 Mbps internet and $70 a month for the 1 Gbit internet (install fee waived). Many people have calculated that they are making up the costs in just a couple of years.

I haven't seen it but I'd be willing to bet that the Google TV experience is far superior to what Time Warner and AT&T offer, which is horrible. They've been selling TV service for a long time and still have laggy and unintuitive on-screen menus and guides.

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AT&T's door-to-door salespeople told me that my 30-year-old single-family house in Austin will be eligible for GigaPower in the summer, so maybe it's not quite as bad as the article says.

Charging $30/month to not spy on me is bullshit, though.

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fsckin 2 days ago | link

I would happily move to get faster internet speeds, but all of the neighborhoods AT&T are targeting seemed to be expensive when I checked them out.

This jives w/ what the article says:

>>What's actually happening is that AT&T is upgrading a few

>>high-end developments where fiber was already in the ground

>>(these users were previously capped at DSL speeds) and

>>pretending it's a serious expansion of fixed-line broadband.

On the other hand, Google Fiber seems to be planning connectivity all over the place, since they're tasked w/ providing free service to various community hubs selected by the city which are widely spread out.

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The technical aspects don't matter. (Although ObjC is getting significant benefit from 64-bit pointer tricks.) Now that 64-bit exists, many customers demand 64-bit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAOtC9QfXac

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Be sure to normalize the TDP when looking at Nvidia SoCs; it's not fair to compare a 10W chip against a 2W chip.

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