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Comment Re:ARM is not RISC and x86-64 is not CISC (Score 4, Interesting) 403

The ARM ISA may seem "complex" when you describe it like you have, but each instruction is still a fixed size, they all follow one of only a limited number of formats (R-type, etc), and memory is only accessed by load/store instructions. That's why many prefer the term "load/store architecture". Anyway, these things really help to simplify your instruction decoder stage and keep memory accesses simple. These in turn make it easier to implement things like pipelines, out-of-order execution, branch prediction, etc. And that's only the stuff that has been implemented in ARM so far. I wonder how long until ARM develops a core with more advanced features, like register renaming and specularitive execution, and how it will perform then compared to x86 (which already has these things).

Comment Re:Era of absurdly overpriced ARM boards is ending (Score 1) 77

The ARM architecture provides a lot of integer performance, with little to no floating point performance.

That hasn't been true for a while now. Floating point support (in various versions of "VFP") have been standard since ARMv6 (e.g ARM11) and were optional in ARMv5 (e.g ARM9, ARM10, XScale). ARMv7 (e.g Cortex-A8/A9/A15...) has NEON ("advanced SIMD") as an option that most licensees also include. So ARM cores now have pretty good floating point performance too.

Comment Re:Era of absurdly overpriced ARM boards is ending (Score 1) 77

The PI board is ancient ARM11...

Oh, that's right. Hasn't Broadcom licensed any of the Cortex cores yet? No wonder they're able to make them so cheap; they're several generations behind and ARM Holdings mustn't be charging much in royalties.

How far behind? Well each of the Cortex-A9 cores in this OMAP 4-based SoC perform about 2.5 times better than ARM11 at the same clock speed. So each one could get about the same amount of work done as the 700 MHz ARM11 while puttering along at only 280 MHz. The dual-core OMAP 4460 running at 1.2 GHz has about 1200 * 2 * 2.5 / 700 = 8.57 times the processing power of the Raspberry Pi. Hmm... $25 * 8.57 = $214.29. So the $187 price of the PandaBoard ES (subsidised by TI) may be worth it!

Comment Chipset? (Score 5, Informative) 218

The secret ingredient is Nvidia's five-core Tegra 3 chipset

You really think these compact machines use sets of chips? Quite the opposite. They're systems on a chip (SoC), often even a package on a package (PoP) i.e multiple chips layered into one package. Now, don't get smart and point out that technically a PoP is a chipset - they're used for packing an SoC with DRAM and flash memory. The multiple functions of a chipset (e.g peripheral interfaces) are all on the one chip of the SoC.

Comment Re:So fail them (Score 1) 1319

The anonymous poster gave a good answer, so sorry for repeating some of what he/she said: I mean "fake" as in they did everything necessary to get the degree (exams, assignments, lab work, etc) but then publicly denounced the subject and made statements that flat out contradicts everything that they studied/said/wrote in getting the degree. An example is someone getting a degree in geology and then supporting the idea of the biblical flood as a factual event. They'll say that radiometric dating is wrong and that rocks, fossils, and geologic formations were all laid down in the flood about 6000 years ago. They'll use the authority of their degree (often from a prestigious university e.g Harvard) to give credence to all the crackpot "alternative" explanations that are necessary to support their dogmatic beliefs.

The problem is not that they don't "believe" the subject of their degree. One normally gets a degree with the intention of applying the knowledge and/or skills you've supposedly attained. Using it merely as a prop and misinforming the public is bad faith (somewhat ironically). And for the institution there is the problem of reputation - it could easily raise questions about the institution's selection and grading criteria.

Comment Re:So fail them (Score 4, Funny) 1319

Tell them the only way they'll get a degree from a respected institution is to not be an idiot.

Sadly, there are now a few creationists with degrees in things like biology or geology. They manage to fake their way through uni/college and then go on the creationist lecture tour circuit touting their degrees. It's the classic argument from authority fallacy: "I have a degree, so everything I say is factual. God did it. Really. I have a degree."

Comment Not just Intel (Score 5, Informative) 156

The architecture puts ARM into more direct competition with Intel and its 64-bit Xeon processors.

Gee, what about AMD and the AMD64 architecture that they developed? You know, the one that Intel eventually had to adopt (license?) when their 64-bit Itanium didn't quite live up to their expectations of being the next architecture that everyone moved to?

Oh, and ARM Holdings don't make chips. They design architectures and implementations that others license and put into actual chips. The summary wasn't so clear on that, and it's a point that lots of people often overlook.

Comment Re:Explains a lot about the economy (Score 3, Informative) 171

Your economy is in the crapper, Australia's isn't. We're doing pretty well, partly thanks to our mining sector selling raw materials to China. We also had a recession back in 1987 due (from what I'm hearing now) to bad assets. It had the result of (eventually) clearing out all of those bad assets and leaving our banks stronger than before. So when the GFC hit everyone, we were able to weather it rather well. You guys haven't, and you haven't gotten rid of the toxic assets that caused it in the first place! We're all in for more pain...

Comment Re:Well do you want (Score 1) 357

yea if you want the overhead of compression / decompression on top of virtual memory.

It's a pay-off. Yes, it does cost you RAM. But compressed RAM is still much faster than rotating disk, and probably SSD too (for now). So sacrifice some RAM (and CPU) and save swapping quite as much.

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