Advice on new machine...

Advice on new machine...

Post by Matthew Johns » Sat, 26 Jul 1997 04:00:00



Hello,

I am in the market for a new workstation.  I have the option of choosing a
UltraSparc 1 with 64 mb of ram, solaris 2.5.1, 143 mhz processor, and the
turbo gx video card.  Or I could go with a dell with dule ppro 200's, 96
mb of memory, and solaris 2.5.1 x86.  Which would you go with and why?

This workstation will be used for mathematica, LaTeX, xfig, small gcc use,
personal net communications (no a big server), etc.

thanks,

matt

----
Matthew Johnson

<http://www.uiuc.edu/ph/www/mrjohns2/>

 
 
 

Advice on new machine...

Post by Pierre Merl » Sat, 26 Jul 1997 04:00:00


I'm sorry about this marketing like speech ... but maybe it can help.
Maybe It would be a good way to know about what peoples think of this
new generation sun computer.

If you're thinking buy PC maybe a good compromise between price and
performance should be the new A30 machine could please you with a
250/300 Mhz cpu on a PCI io architecture and UPA for cpu/mem
communication it's quite fast and very affordable.

Pierre

see :
http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/9707/sunflash.970715.1113.html


> Hello,

> I am in the market for a new workstation.  I have the option of choosing a
> UltraSparc 1 with 64 mb of ram, solaris 2.5.1, 143 mhz processor, and the
> turbo gx video card.  Or I could go with a dell with dule ppro 200's, 96
> mb of memory, and solaris 2.5.1 x86.  Which would you go with and why?

> This workstation will be used for mathematica, LaTeX, xfig, small gcc use,
> personal net communications (no a big server), etc.

> thanks,

> matt

> ----
> Matthew Johnson

> <http://www.uiuc.edu/ph/www/mrjohns2/>


 
 
 

Advice on new machine...

Post by Rachel Polansk » Sun, 27 Jul 1997 04:00:00




Quote:> Hello,

> I am in the market for a new workstation.  I have the option of choosing a
> UltraSparc 1 with 64 mb of ram, solaris 2.5.1, 143 mhz processor, and the
> turbo gx video card.  Or I could go with a dell with dule ppro 200's, 96
> mb of memory, and solaris 2.5.1 x86.  Which would you go with and why?

> This workstation will be used for mathematica, LaTeX, xfig, small gcc use,
> personal net communications (no a big server), etc.

Hello,
If you are using this for UNIX only, I would definitely go for the Ultra.
They are just much nicer machines than any PC, and Sun workstations
are quality products built to last.

The PPros are nice, but let`s face it - most PCs are junk after 2 years.

I am sure you will get a lot more fun out of your ultra, and besides,
it is a platform designed to run Solaris, whereas the PPro is
really better suited for running the gates virus on.

If you got a PPro, you could run other OS's besides Solaris, such as NT,
or Linux, but I think personally you are better with the Ultra.

There is built in Wide SCSI and 100Mb networking in the Ultra as well,
whereas you would have to get these as options on the PC, and find the
right device drivers as well.  X_86 Solaris does not support
a great many drivers.

Also, I am a bit prejudiced ;) - I use a SPARC IPC at home (looking for
an upgrade to SS10 soon) and an Ultra 1/200 at work.

These are really beautiful machines, and I can assure you that you
will get bored with the Ultra less quickly than an equivalent
PC offering.

Let's face it, you are paying for quality of manufacture as much
as anything.

PCs are mass produced, ands I am sure the same attention to detail does
not go into them as does a Sun Workstation.

My little IPC is many years old and still does a great job procssing
TeX, Web browsing and news/mail and other desktop jobs,
and only shows it's age a little when compiling under gcc!

I'd go for the Ultra.

rachel

--
Rachel Polanskis                 Kingswood, Greater Western Sydney, Australia


 "Yow!  Am I having fun yet?!" - John Howard^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Zippy the Pinhead

 
 
 

Advice on new machine...

Post by Richard J. Aulet » Wed, 30 Jul 1997 04:00:00




: > Hello,
: >
: > I am in the market for a new workstation.  I have the option of choosing a

: My little IPC is many years old and still does a great job procssing
: TeX, Web browsing and news/mail and other desktop jobs,
: and only shows it's age a little when compiling under gcc!

: I'd go for the Ultra.

I wish this was true - if you go with Sparc one misses out on 99% of the
world's computer applications that are only available on Wintel.

Commercial applications are heaviliy investing in porting to NT from
Solaris (look at electronic design automation - things one could not
imagine to run on Wintel even 2 years ago are being ported).

Even all the GNU stuff is there including Tex, GCC, groff etc etc. Only
the X based stuff is not moving to NT - things like xfig.

Point is - if someone buys a wintel box - dual boots NT 5.0 and x86 2.6
one will have a machine that can do just about everything.

And while *most* PCs are not even close to Sun quality - take a look
at the HP Vectra X* business machines - no more quirky than a Sun built
box. Someone once said the Mercedes of PC's.

Having been called a die-hard Unix type - the writing is on the wall.
Wintel is coming on strong - it is sad.

Compare Solaris and NT on "the network is the computer" issue and try to
setup two Solaris boxes to do PPP versus two NT 4.0 boxes. It is sad
enough make a grown man want to cry as to what Sun is doing to itself...

And once Wintel has ICA built in Wintel will have X's remote display
capability...

Ugh...but as someone said "get use to it" :) ...applications are the issue...

-Rich Auletta

 
 
 

Advice on new machine...

Post by John Loone » Thu, 31 Jul 1997 04:00:00





> > I am in the market for a new workstation.  I have the option of choosing a
> > UltraSparc 1 with 64 mb of ram, solaris 2.5.1, 143 mhz processor, and the
> > turbo gx video card.  Or I could go with a dell with dule ppro 200's, 96
> > mb of memory, and solaris 2.5.1 x86.  Which would you go with and why?

 Oooh. It's really not much of a contest. If you can afford a Sparc, go
for
it. I've got a 110Mhz Sparc 5 on my desk, and it'a gorgeous, compared to
my
Pentium 90 at home, which probably isn't that much slower, but it's so
different. Sparcs are almost hassle free. Support is excellent (guess
who
is a Sun Support tech ;), and it'll last a lot longer than a PC.

 However, the PC's do have damn good hardware. Why ? They cut corners.
In
terms of hardware quality, and more importantly, software quality. A
Dual
PPro would wipe the floor with a 143Mhz Ultra, on CPU power alone. Sun
Disks, ram etc. are more expensive than PC disk and RAM, but it'll last
longer. It will work properly, first time. You have any problems, well
you
can get considerably better support from Sun or a Sun reseller, than you
will
from Gateway, Compaq or Dell. I came across a Sun4/330 last week, that
had
been running for 24 hours a day, since it was bought, and the hard drive
failed. We replaced it, and the machine was running again inside 4
hours.
Show me a PC that will be going strong after 7 years. One thing that
still
irks be about Sun is - they still ship many desktop models as standard
with
8 bit video cards. A 16-bit turboGX would be nice....sigh.

 Also, if you are feeling adventurous, UltraPenguin (Linux) is availible
for Ultra now, and is damn fast, about 10% faster all round than
Solaris,
if still a tad unstable, compared to solaris 2.51.

Quote:> The PPros are nice, but let`s face it - most PCs are junk after 2 years.

 Indeed. And, you get all those interesting problems in the meantime.
Say "IRQ conflict" and "Plug and Pray" everybody.

Quote:> I am sure you will get a lot more fun out of your ultra, and besides,
> it is a platform designed to run Solaris, whereas the PPro is
> really better suited for running the gates virus on.

 It's a machine built by people who take pride in their work, and it
shows.

 If you aren't convinced on the Ultra, have a look at Ross technology's
web site. They built their own Sparc systems, and have everything from
hypersparcs to a Sparc that fits into the 5.25" bay of a PC !

Kate

--
 "I am Grey. I stand between the candle and the star.
    We are Grey. We stand between the darkness and the light."

Delete .nospam from my return address for a reply-to

 
 
 

Advice on new machine...

Post by Andrew Weis » Tue, 19 Aug 1997 04:00:00


Of course you could always pay me to grab a University deal :-).

What's your price range anyhow?
Clones of what I'm quoting below will cost about $9000, and full Sun's
about $11,000.  I can get this for $6050 being a student.

Sun Microsystems *real thing*
Ultra 1/170 E
128 MB RAM
Keyboard kit
20" Monitor
Creator Graphics (24-bit) Sbus
2 GB Hard-Drive
(extra $150 or so for 12 X CD-ROM)
(extra $40 or so for a floppy (Sony auto))

Then there are the hot deals of the summer at various re-sellers like
about $7990 I think for the same system minus the E designation for the
extra SBUS slot with I think a 17" monitor, and TX graphics, and
CD-ROM/floppy included, 64 MB RAM.

140's are even cheaper if you can find them... they're no longer
manufactured, but you can get refurbs, and I do believe they still make
140 clones as well.

Personally I wouldn't buy a new PC these days since like a lot of
people, my computer must last at least 3 years, and 7 is more like it.
I got by for about 5 years on an XT, 7 on a 386, and my formerly 486/66,
now 586 133 should be fine for the next couple of years.  As far as a
new computer I'd love a DEC 500 Alpha, or that Ultra 170 with both
SoftWindows and Mae on it (So I neither have to buy a new PC nor a
Macintosh), and it has practically the best UNIX system money can buy
(notice the money can buy line... heh Linux is the best free system).
And true anyone who buys a SPARC has no reason for SPARC Linux other
than development... I'd rather buy a PC...at those prices... Alpha on
the other hand is a bit iffier (much cheaper anyhow), especially with
the lack of cheaper software, which Sun does have some great deals on.
Besides my entire University is run by Sun Ultra Enterprises 5000's and
6000's, so they have a lot of site-licenses to the most popular
software.  I want a nice Ultra 170 so bad, but chances are I won't come
up with even $6000 before December of this year, and as for less, no I
wouldn't settle for a SPARC 4, 5, or 20.

$.02
Andrew

 
 
 

Advice on new machine...

Post by Gavin Maltb » Tue, 19 Aug 1997 04:00:00



> Of course you could always pay me to grab a University deal :-).

> What's your price range anyhow?
> Clones of what I'm quoting below will cost about $9000, and full Sun's
> about $11,000.  I can get this for $6050 being a student.

> Sun Microsystems *real thing*
> Ultra 1/170 E
> 128 MB RAM
> Keyboard kit
> 20" Monitor
> Creator Graphics (24-bit) Sbus
> 2 GB Hard-Drive
> (extra $150 or so for 12 X CD-ROM)
> (extra $40 or so for a floppy (Sony auto))

> Then there are the hot deals of the summer at various re-sellers like
> about $7990 I think for the same system minus the E designation for the
> extra SBUS slot with I think a 17" monitor, and TX graphics, and
> CD-ROM/floppy included, 64 MB RAM.

I'd also look at the Ultra 30 announced some weeks ago.
It has PCI slots, single 250 or 300MHz UltraSPARC II CPU,
Creator ffb version 2 graphics.  I don't know the packaging
or pricing details but I believe it would compare favourably
with the above.

We've got a 300MHz ffb II 256Mb version connected to a 24" HDTV monitor
as a lab test machine --- plays games really well!

Gavin

 
 
 

Advice on new machine...

Post by Rachel Polansk » Tue, 19 Aug 1997 04:00:00









> Well, one point to remember is that a RISC machine is going to suck down
> more memory in general than a PC.  I don't know about the Ultra, but when
> I made the move from an HP with 32MB RAM to a Pc with 32MB RAM the
> difference REALLY was noticable.  These days, more RAM is *MUCH* better --
> I have 128MB RAM and after a reboot I have about 14MB free (1MB free,
> 13MB in cache).  YMMV

Sean,
Please be careful when quoting!
None of the quotes in your message came from me,
even though my name appears in the thread.

None of the text in your previous posting was attributable to me!

rachel

--
Rachel Polanskis                 Kingswood, Greater Western Sydney, Australia


 "Yow!  Am I having fun yet?!" - John Howard^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Zippy the Pinhead

 
 
 

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