Apu's Hardware heeft een interessant interview afgenomen met Sean Stanek, voormalig code optimalisatie goeroe bij AMD en verantwoordelijk voor de Athlon-optimized RC5 core. Sean ventileert zijn mening over het gebrek aan goede x86 compilers en spreekt over de voordelen van 'post-RISC' processors zoals de Athlon tegenover pure CISC en RISC CPU's. Dit keer geen standaard gekanker op de zogenaamde superieuriteit van RISC:
What do you see as the major bottleneck in computers today?
A combination of memory speed and poor compilers makes up the largest bottleneck. For things like high-speed graphics, the AGP bus did wonders for speeding up memory, and since graphics need a lot of memory, speeding up the memory helps to eliminate one bottleneck. And compilers for the x86 instruction set are generally very poor. Having a CISC instruction set is wonderful to write in, and you can do many RISC operations in just a single CISC operation. And because processor like the Athlon can execute several CISC instructions in a single clock, they can run several times faster than RISC processors. However, compilers understand RISC far better than CISC, and so compilers aren't very good, even hand-coded x86 assembly really isn't very hard to write (despite all criticism), and, at least for me, it's far easier to use than languages like C/C++. Either a good compiler is needed, or else more good assembly programmers should be introduced into the programming community. Well written assembly code can be anywhere from 10% to 500% faster than C/C++ compiled code. In fact, in real-world applications, I've *never* seen C/C++ code outperform well-written assembly code.
So, you're saying a CISC architecture is far superior to RISC?
A combination of a CISC instruction set and a post-RISC CPU core is better than both CISC and RISC. CISC is a bit large to put in all silicon, and RISC cannot scale very far because you'd have to be supplying the instruction decoders with a large number of instructions every clock. The Athlon and most x86 CPUs from the Pentium onward use the best of both worlds to create a superior CPU.