Subject: Re: Sun Ultra 5 UltraSPARC systems for $1,995
To: None <port-sparc@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Greg Earle <earle@isolar.DynDNS.ORG>
List: port-sparc
Date: 10/06/1999 14:24:54
Pat Lashley (hi Pat!) wrote:
> On  6-Oct-99 at 13:50, Greg Earle (earle@isolar.DynDNS.ORG) wrote:
>> Um.  The 360 MHz UltraSPARC IIi Ultra 5's were already $1,795.
>> The $1,995 systems are the 333 MHz UltraSPARC IIi-based Ultra 5+'s.
>> (They're the ones with 2 MB of Level-2 cache, vs. 256 Kb in the 360 MHz
>> boxes.) 
> Are you sure?  I just ran through the configurator; and it looks like
> the low end are the 360MHz boxes with 64Mb RAM and no CD-rom.  (With
> the $75 Solaris7 RTU, it comes to $2020.)

Well, the price drop was from $2495, so I made the tacit assumption it was
the 333 MHz boxes.  I could be wrong, of course.

>> They now come with PGX24 graphics, so I'm not sure why
>> says "256 color display", nor why Greywolf says "Default framebuffer
>> appears to be the equivalent of a 1280x1024 cgsix."
> With only 4Mb of video RAM, it looks like it can't support 24-bit depth
> at 1280x1024; only at 1152x900.

Yes, I should have mentioned that.  Although being someone who used 1152x900
for almost 15 years, dot dot dot ...  :-)

>> From a NetBSD perspective, buying solid hardware with good bang for the
>> buck and with good OS support seems key.  If I want bang for the buck, I'd
>> go with a PC.  If I want good hardware, I get a Blue&White G3 Mac with more
>> bang for the buck (or a G4/400 at $1499, if NetBSD/MacPPC supported it) than
>> a SPARCstation or Ultra.  The fact is, PCs and Macs caught up to Sun
>> desktops and passed them already.  Sad but true.
> Is this really true for Sun's high-end desktops, or just for the low-end
> PCI/IDE-based ones?

Well, obviously that depends on the criteria.  If we're talking raw horsepower
then the 16.2 SPECint95 Ultra II 450 MHz machines don't look too great against
a 23.5 SPECint95 PowerMac G4/500 or a 27 SPECint95 PC with an AMD Althon 600,
does it?  :-)   (see ... 

P.S. Go see for a $159 FireWire/USB
     PCI bus card.  (Then write a driver so it can be used in an Ultra 5+ ... )

I still think, overall, that this machine is only interesting if one of the
sparc64 port developers could afford to get one to make sure it ran on this
platform  :-)

	- Greg