Another interesting question
is what role x86 is playing (and how that role is developing) in the products & services developed (and/or sold) by Reg readership.
Advances in x86 server technology have been relentless. Year-on-year improvements in price-performance and advances in power efficiency have driven down the costs of commodity-based infrastructure. At the other end of the spectrum, you can now pretty much build your own virtual supercomputer or mainframe with modern x86 clusters …
@-tim, different OS I guess? Access control is really not a function of the chip. x86 (since 386) has had memory protection and virtual memory (actually since 286, but not fully featured then.) Really that's all you need for enforced access control.
Anyway, I'm really in the category of "accumulated" hardware at home though. I have an Atom netbook, a P4-3.0, and 3 or 4 other systems, the *newest* of those has an Athlon XP 2200+. Thank goodness Ubuntu and gentoo's system requirements don't keep bloating like some systems I could name.
I suppose the "real servers" are a pretty-much known quantity, whereas all the vendors (and the industry analysts) are really interested in what's being done with x86/64 and how it's moving into new areas. After all, the x64 server market is growing whilst the UNIX server market is shrinking.
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