To all that don't understand the difference it is as simple as this -
So you can see it is all a philosophical point of view.
Some notes on these differences
Intel CAN compensate for the inferior design philosophy by just pouring more money into design (to a point). But the yield per dollar is still better for RISC. Intel has been putting more money into design - the question is have they been putting in enough more to compensate for the difference.
Intel can NOT break their CISC based legacy instruction set - so they are saddled with their legacy. Since RISC processors are new lighter designs, and are fast enough to emulate the older processors (at the same or higher speeds) the migration was pretty painless to go to RISC when Apple did. It will be more painful for Wintel. Intel is going to try to solve their problem with Hardware emulation (instead of software like Apple). Which means better initial emulated performance, but higher costs, lots of extra gates being wasted, and slower adoption. (The less dramatic difference between old and new performance the less "forced" they are to adopt the new - and the slower they will do so). Intel is going to have to drag old instructions around even longer AFTER they start to adopt a new design. That wasted space equals cost, heat and performance penalties -- there is no getting around that.
CISC can be fast, or CISC can be power-efficient - but it is hard to do both with CISC (compared to RISC). CISC machines just flat out require more gates to get the same work done - that means more heat/power. RISC is better for laptops and low end consumer machines where power consumption matters. (Why almost all PDA's and home appliance computers are RISC).
CISC vs RISC -- recent history
RISC has been winning most of the time. Look at the history.
Macs made the jump in '94 about the same time as the pentiums started coming out. The pentiums were expensive and used lots of power (were hot and temperamental) - the Macs had lots of emulated apps - but the critical apps were quickly native. Pentiums had a bug (History of PentiumBug) that was found out a year later and took a lot of time and money to replace (for both Intel and its users). Then they found another one in the PentiumPro's and PentiumII's. Then there are the multiple bugs with Intel Chip sets that are needed to support the Pentiums (on a computer). The complexity of CISC increases the likelihood for these errors and costs to the consumers.
PPC's have not only been faster at the same MHz (speed) but have been available at faster speeds.
Finally after about 1 1/2 years (after the PPC) and Intel just getting whooped in performance, Intel responded and announced the P6's (PentiumPro's). But they were not widely available (but highly publicized) - they only ran 32 bit Software well (or about 5% of the software out there) - and most of the early motherboard had serious design flaws (the Orion chip set). About 6 months after the P6's were available the PPC's had already surpassed them in MHz (and more in performance) and have been hovering at a fraction (usually 1/2) of the cost -- but people bought the hype of Intel over the fact of PPC.
Intel has been hyping MMX, but the results are in, and MMX just catches up to the last generation of PPC's in DSP/NSP functions -- the current generation often outperforms MMX in MMX specific functions (which are only a fraction of what a computer has to do).
PPC's are still available in much higher MHz --
And all that isn't taking into account superior performance at the same speed. The Exponential Chip (a fast PowerPC derivative) at 500MHz couldn't keep up with 300MHz G3's or 350MHz 604e's in the real world (but blew away Everything in the PC camp) -- but in the Mac camp, it was a failure (and died). If the Mac market was like the PC market, those things would be flying off the shelf because they sound faster.
Pentium Chips are almost always behind schedule (P55's and Klamath have both been delayed, P55's are about 4 months late (but finally shipping) and Klamath was about the same). PowerPC's have been exceeding expectations -- both in delivery schedule, MHz, and performance (overall and per/cycle).
So out of the last 3 years (since PPC's were on the scene) it has varied from PPC's being way ahead, to PPC's being a little ahead. PPC's are the leader for 2 1/2 years - with CISC/Intel squeaking ahead for a few (say 6) months for a small sub-set of machines and applications. Then the PPC's once again flew ahead -- and Intel won't have anything to respond with until late '98 or '99 when they go to RISC in their next chip (called Merced). Of course the PPC's are expected to go to their next generation (the G4) as early as spring of '98 -- which is faster, true 64bit, a up to 4 processors on a single chip. Also PPC's are able to use newer manufacturing processes (like .2 micron or less, copper fabrication, etc.) to make it MORE cost effective, and faster.
And all during this time, the PPC's have been getting dramatically better in the low power consumption areas (portable, embedded controllers, etc.) and are drying up the market for Intel down there.
Even Intel has finally admitted that the Merced will be even MORE RISC-like to try to emulate the success of the PPC's. So you can buy the sizzle (and get an Intel inside), or you can buy the steak -- and get a PowerPC!