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racoontje
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 9:54 pm    Post subject: Total SPARC noob here... Reply with quote

Well, I always wanted to toy with something new, and SPARC looks like a great architecture if I want to toy with RISC. Unless someone would like to reccomend Alpha?

Anyway, for day to day desktop performance, what do you think would be a decent price for a SPARC? What kind of SPARC would I be looking at?
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papal_authority
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SPARCstations and UltraSPARCs can be had for sub $100USD on eBay if you're willing to wait.
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racoontje
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! What sort of performance does this thing have when compared to CISC-processors like Intel Pentiums or AMD K7/K8's?

EDIT: What about a Sun Ultra 5?
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papal_authority
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always run Solaris on SPARCs but I did try SuSE with KDE on an Ultra 10 once (I think it was a IIi chip) and it ran at a decent clip.
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racoontje
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why Solaris?
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rsborn
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait for an Ultra Sparc and don't pay over 100-120 bucks, you just have to be patient. If you really want a fair performance test, stick with a SCSI based SPARC. The Ultra5/10 are PCI based IDE bus machines and from what I have read, are not as fast as something like an Ultra2 which is still SCSI based drives. I will say that I run 2 Ultra 10's and seem very quick to me but my previous machines were SPARC 10's.

I have done no real performance testing but just from using it I can say that Gentoo on a 440Mhz Ultra10 is every bit as fast as my Compaq 1Ghz laptop.

Just my 2 cents,
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Sugarat
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why am I the only one who seems to think that SPARC's a terribly slow compared to x86 type stuff?

Thats not to say I don't love my collection of SPARC boxes... they're just... very slow.
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rsborn
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You probably just have newer x86 harware than me, the Compaq laptop (1ghz) is as fast as I've got

Other than that,

Do you use KDE, my first Linux install on a SPARC used KDE and I found it almost unusable, I switched to Gnome and never looked back. This was a looong time ago (Redhat 6 for sparc). I have seen some recent posts that indicate that KDE is actually faster than gnome now but I haven't taken the plungew again

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Toady
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ultra 5 / 10 is very handy for cheap hardware.. they use IDE disks, and you can add standard PCI hardware with little problems.

I run an Ultra 10 (333 MHz 512 Mb RAM and 2x 40Gb IDE disks) the main let down is the disk performance, it sucks.. SCSI would be a much better option (as soon as I can find a controller)

Other than that either an Ultra 2 (worth waiting for as you can run dual CPU) since they are full scsi machines but have no PCI, so you need SUN SBUS hardware (not expensive but harder to find)

Unless you are going to spend some money I dont feel that old cheap sun hardware cuts the mustard for a workstation, but then I have never tried to use one as anything other than a text only server..
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Mark Clegg
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run KDE on my Ultra 5. It's quite useable, the only downside is the time it takes to compile it all when updates get released.

Toady: - I've got an Adaptec 2940UW installed, which works fine, but you still have to boot from IDE.
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GenTimJS
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you get a sun, do yourself a favour .... get as much ram as you can get your hands on!!!

I have an ultra5, and in testing I have done going from 128 to 256 megs of ram cut compile times by huge margins, and made the gui (kde and fluxbox) seem much more responsive.

If you want speed, save up and get a dual proc ultra60 or get a dual proc ultra2 but load it with half a gig of ram (dont waste time with procs slower than 300mhz in an ultra2 ....)

just my 2 cents, but for the record the machine mentioned in my sig blows the socks off of any X86 i have ever used except my 2.8ghz athlon64 ....
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chance2105
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm currently scanning ebay for Sun deals. I think I'm going to spring for a Sun Ultra 80. Something about four processors, each processor having four MB of cache thrills me.

My only concern is that, after reading what literature I've read from Sun, I've noticed that Sun sold Ultra 80's with three different model numbers .. each model number denoting a different number of CPUs. Now, all Ultra 80's can be upgraded to use four ultrasparc processors, yes? They all have what looks to be the CPU mounting chassis ...

Another concern for me is noting whether or not my current monitor can deal with the converted Sun video output. I've read that SVGA monitors have to have a specific ability to use that output.. ?

chance
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i-right-i
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:19 pm    Post subject: Ultra 10 Here Reply with quote

I am actually using an Ultra 10 PCI Based, running blackbox. KDE performance was quite useable, but the kicker keep crashing. Got sick of futzing with it, so just sticking with black box.

My Ultra 10 is 333mhz with 512MB of ram, I use it as a workstation, and surfing sometimes. Like right now as a matter of fact.

Run very acceptable I think.

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psimsit
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 2 Ultra 80s both with Quad 450s, and 2GB of ram. I haven't had any real issues. Just with the keyboard I was using.= (type 6 non-usb) I switched to a Type 5 and haven't had any problems since.
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