Coding Horror

programming and human factors

x86 Uber Alles

I guess John Gruber isn't as savvy as he thought he was:

Apple Announces Switch to Intel Chips

After seeing NT slowly shed its MIPS, Alpha, and PPC versions, you have to wonder: will our children be using architectures that emulate some form of x86?

Even with a flash new CPU powering it, Apple's OSX has some performance issues of its own to resolve. A recent AnandTech article by Johan De Galas documents OSX running Apache and MySQL 5-10 times slower than Linux on the same hardware. This is evidently due to a bizarre "worst of both worlds" kernel architecture where applications have no access to the kernel-level threads commonly used for performance reasons on Windows and Linux:

The server performance of the Apple platform is, however, catastrophic. When we asked Apple for a reaction, they told us that some database vendors, Sybase and Oracle, have found a way around the threading problems. We'll try Sybase later, but frankly, we are very sceptical. The whole "multi-threaded Mach microkernel trapped inside a monolithic FreeBSD cocoon with several threading wrappers and coarse-grained threading access to the kernel", with a "backwards compatibility" millstone around its neck sounds like a bad fusion recipe for performance.

Written by Jeff Atwood

Indoor enthusiast. Co-founder of Stack Exchange and Discourse. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. Find me here: