"In May 2003, Apple Computer launched the Power Macintosh G5 to
critical and popular acclaim. Powered by the brand-new IBM PowerPC
970 processor and Mac OS X Panther, the G5, and more recently, the
G5 Xserve, are compelling paragons of low-cost, high-performance,
64-bit computing. Indeed, the G5 is so cost-effective and capable
that 1,100 of them were purchased and assembled to form Virginia
Tech's Terascale Cluster, now the third fastest supercomputer in
the world, boasting performance of a whopping 10.28 teraflops and
built at a fraction of the price of other like configurations.
"But Mac OS X on G5 is only part--and a small part--of the
PowerPC (PPC) story. Linux runs on PPC, too, and runs very well.
Moreover, PPC cores scale down to embedded devices and up to big
iron. 64-bit Linux on Opteron and [Intel's chip] may be the next
big thing, but it's already old hat for IBM, Apple, and others.
x86? More like ex-86.