A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] online

Article: A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors
By: David W. Hess (dwhess.delete@this.banishedsouls.org), July 10, 2006 3:21 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Tzvetan Mikov (tmikov@gmail.com) on 7/10/06 wrote:
---------------------------
>The table on page 2 is very interesting for me. The Pentium Pro had fewer transistors
>than the 21164, slower clock rate and yet it had a competitive specfp and higher specint (!!).
>
>What is the accepted explanation for this ? I figure it is the OoO which obviously favors integer code.
>
>However: Why did a OoO implementation of the x86 ISA need fewer transistors than
>an in-order implementation of Alpha ? Am I misreading the numbers (e.g. most of
>the transistors in teh Alpha could have been in the L3 cache, etc) ?

The listed 5.5 million transistors and 192mm2 die size for the Pentium Pro does not count the level 2 cache which was off chip but in the same ceramic package. The 256KByte cache was a custom 15.5 million transistor 202mm2 chip.

http://www.geek.com/procspec/intel/pentiump.htm
http://images.google.com/images?q=pentium%20pro

I will leave it to someone who knows more to estimate how many transistors and how much area Alpha's 96KByte level 2 cache used. The Alpha level 3 cache was off chip presumably using commodity high performance SRAM.
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TopicPosted ByDate
A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlineDavid Kanter2006/07/09 11:21 PM
  A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlinerwessel2006/07/10 02:36 AM
  A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlinePaul DeMone2006/07/10 05:12 AM
    21164David Kanter2006/07/10 07:11 PM
      21164Paul DeMone2006/07/10 07:50 PM
        21164David Kanter2006/07/10 08:35 PM
  A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlineLinus Torvalds2006/07/10 07:58 AM
    A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlinePaul2006/07/10 10:20 AM
  A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlineMichael S2006/07/10 10:53 AM
    A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlineDavid Kanter2006/07/10 11:18 AM
  A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlineTzvetan Mikov2006/07/10 02:09 PM
    On-chip L2 cacheMichael S2006/07/10 02:49 PM
    A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlineDavid W. Hess2006/07/10 03:21 PM
    A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlinePaul DeMone2006/07/10 03:26 PM
      Thanks for all responses (NT)Tzvetan Mikov2006/07/10 04:01 PM
  A Historical Look at the VAX: DEC, NVAX, Alpha and Competitors [Part II] onlinePeter Lund2006/07/11 12:46 AM
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