This is an interesting tidbit from near the end of the Packet Pushers podcast Show 15 – Saving the Web With Dinky Putt Putt Firewalls. The conversation was about how SSL connections need to terminate before they can be processed by a WAF (Web Application Firewall), which inspects HTTP for security problems like SQL injection and cross-site scripting exploits. Much was made that if programmers did their job better these appliances wouldn't be necessary, but I digress.
To terminate SSL most shops run SSL connections into Intel based Linux boxes running Apache. This setup is convenient for developers, but it's not optimized for SSL, so it's slow and costly. Much of the capacity of these servers are unnecessarily consumed processing SSL.