Which proves x86 is better value
IBM has made it perfectly clear - buy their x86 based servers.
DB2 is thread sensitive and you can buy 2.2 x86 threads for the same price as each Power 6 thread you purchase, essentialy geting over 1.5 times as much real world work done.
The faster things go the worse the scaling, witness the Pentium 4. Both the Power 6 and the Pentium 4 are single issue cores, starting work on one instruction each clock cycle or a 4.7 Gig raw instructions a second on Power 6.
An Opteron is a three instruction per cycle machine, but a 2.8 GHz core. for a raw instruction rate of 8.4 gig or nearly twice as many instructions as the Power 6 per core. Now the x86 instruction set is not as efficient as the Power 6 but it more than beats that 4.7 number. Add to this a 2 socket, 4 core Opteron box has nearly double the memory bandwidth of the Power 6 does with two sockets and two cores and it really gets embarassing for the Power 6.
What is worse for IBM is that the Core 2 Duo is a four instruction per cycle machine with a top speed of 3.0 GHz making for a raw instruction rate of 12.0 gig or almost three times the Power 6 number. And it is far more efficient processing x86 so the number is much closer in real terms to the Power 6. So we have a processor that is faster than the Power 6 but is licensed at half the cost. If the Core 2 Duo memory system was any good IBM would be in terrible trouble, as it is we must wait until 2008 for Intel to fix that.