HP plans to initially offer its next-generation servers with its own PA-RISC architecture, principally for reasons of code compatibility with previous generations, according to Ken Kroeker, senior technical consultant at the company's Partner Support Organization, Palo Alto, Calif. However, the servers will be upgradeable to Intel Corp.'s IA-64 platform Merced or McKinley by replacing the processor add-on card, Kroeker said.
Reports indicating that HP is pushing the McKinley over the Merced are "complete hooey," Kroeker said. However, in recent HP tests, the net integer performance of a simulation of the first Merced chip was 90% of HP's current 440-MHz PA-RISC 8500, and 85% of the 8500's ability to calculate floating-point operations, according to Kroeker. The tests were conducted to eliminate factors such as bus speed, using software that would isolate the performance of the CPU. While the Merced's clock speed is faster than 440 MHz, it has not been publicly disclosed, he said. [break] En voor iets meer duidelijkheid heb je hier de opmerking die JC bij dit artikel plaatste: [/break] Interesting. Take a quick jump over to this article, in which HP claims that Merced has been estimated via simulator to have a performance 90% that of the current 440MHz PA-8500 in integer and 85% of the same chip in floating point. For reference, I'd presume that the Merced could probably be optimized further due to its software-dependent architecture (just my WAG), but the road ahead seems hard, especially since if we were to assume that these results were paralleled in spec (the actual benchmarks used were likely not spec, since they were processor level benchmarks, not system level benchmarks) we would find (according to this SI post) that its specint score would be not too much higher than the non-server 600MHz Athlon (perhaps slower than the sort-of-now-existing 650MHz Athlon). Mind you, even 85% of the 8500's specfp is still amazingly phenominal compared to any non server cpu, but general expectation is still for Merced to be at least competitive with other processors out at the time (original expectation was that it'd beat the socks off of anything else out there, but this has been lowered due to the "testbed" thing). Anyway, I'll let you know how it develops.