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Sun PCI Compatibility - Sun Solaris

Hey, I'm new to sun hardware and have only played around with some older (32bit) sparcs at school I'm looking into getting an Ultra5 (at least) due to their PCI bus..software compatibilities aside, will all pci cards work in it? (specifically nic's) Or does it have to be some special-made-by-sun nic? Thanks Robert...

  1. #1

    Default Sun PCI Compatibility

    Hey, I'm new to sun hardware and have only played around with some older
    (32bit) sparcs at school

    I'm looking into getting an Ultra5 (at least) due to their PCI bus..software
    compatibilities aside, will all pci cards work in it? (specifically nic's)

    Or does it have to be some special-made-by-sun nic?

    Thanks
    Robert


    Pewter Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    On Mon, 29 Sep 2003, Pewter wrote:
     

    Avoid the Ultra 5 and Ultra 10...
     

    From an electrical point of view, they'll all work. But
    the problem is with finding drivers. If you put a PCI card
    in a Sun that you don't have drivers for, the odds of it
    doing anything useful are pretty remote.
     

    Nope - there are some 3rd party Ethernet interfaces that
    come with Solaris drivers. But you'll be safer buying
    a Sun one. But note that ALL Suns come with at least
    one Ethernet port as standard, so you might need to buy
    another one.

    --
    Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

    President,
    Rite Online Inc.

    Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
    URL: http://www.rite-online.net

    Rich Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    Why avoid the Ultra 5/10's? Is there something horrible about them that I
    don't know about?

    I considered the ultra 1/2's, but their sbus modules weren't too appealing.

    And well, another above the ultra 10 (like the 30, 60, etc) would be wayyyyy
    over my budget.



    And the software isn't an issue, I plan on running *BSD on it (undecided
    over open or free)

    Thanks,

    Robert


    "Rich Teer" <com> wrote in message
    news:.. [/ref]
    bus..software [/ref]
    nic's) 
    >
    > Nope - there are some 3rd party Ethernet interfaces that
    > come with Solaris drivers. But you'll be safer buying
    > a Sun one. But note that ALL Suns come with at least
    > one Ethernet port as standard, so you might need to buy
    > another one.
    >
    > --
    > Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA
    >
    > President,
    > Rite Online Inc.
    >
    > Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
    > URL: http://www.rite-online.net
    >[/ref]


    Pewter Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    "Pewter" <net> writes:
     

    Theres nothing wrong with them- they're a bit cheaply built relative
    to an Ultra 2/30/60/80- and definitely not as nice- but they are a lot
    less expensive than the fancy Ultras and they work fine. An Ultra 5
    at 400mhz performs quite well, and its nice and cheap.

    The Ultra 5/10 onboard video hardware is not going to impress, so if
    you care about OpenGL or other flavors of fast video, be sure to pick
    up one of the accelerated Sun video boards. The TechSource Raptor is
    also a nice pci vid card that has a driver packaged w/ Solaris. You
    can pretty easily find an Ultra 10 with some kind of interesting video
    board on ebay.

     

    The Ultra 2 is a nice machine, the dual 300 and below is a little
    pokey- which is reflected in a higher price on ebay when one with
    faster processors shows up. OTOH, sbus hardware is really cheap now,
    so you could easily add a bunch of hardware to an Ultra 2 for very
    little money. Theres nothing mysterious about sbus hardware, just
    chuck it in and away you go. If you want to play around with SMP on
    the cheap, then you can't beat an Ultra 2.

    Ultra 1's are great- but <<slow>>. Thats not to say they aren't
    useful, as soon as I get my deliverable done, I've an Ultra 1 ready to
    replace a 1.5ghz Dell thats going to go straight to the parts bin.
     

    Be sure to give Solaris a try. Doctrinal issues aside, its a good OS
    to get to know.

    Gregm
    Greg Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    On Tue, 30 Sep 2003, Pewter wrote:

    Please don't top post.
     

    I dunno about "horrible", but they wouldn't be my budget Sun
    workstation of choice (especially the early ones).
     

    Check ebay. U30s are dirt cheap - about the same price as
    an Ultra 10, maybe cheaper.
     

    Why on Earth would you do that? Use Solaris 9; it's a much
    better match.

    --
    Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

    President,
    Rite Online Inc.

    Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
    URL: http://www.rite-online.net

    Rich Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 02:46:09 +0000, Rich Teer wrote:
     
     
    >
    > Why on Earth would you do that? Use Solaris 9; it's a much
    > better match.[/ref]

    Better to just let the OP discover the miserable network performance of
    BSD on UltraSPARC. Under 3 MB/sec transfer rates on 100BaseTX F/D.

    Dave Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility


    "Rich Teer" <com> wrote in message
    news:.. [/ref]

    >
    > I dunno about "horrible", but they wouldn't be my budget Sun
    > workstation of choice (especially the early ones).
    > [/ref]
    wayyyyy 
    >
    > Check ebay. U30s are dirt cheap - about the same price as
    > an Ultra 10, maybe cheaper.
    >[/ref]

    hrm, I'll watch it for a while, but within the past week, it's seemed that
    price is related purely upon the number after "ultra"..but I'm sure there'll
    be a "diamond in the rough".... ;)
     
    >
    > Why on Earth would you do that? Use Solaris 9; it's a much
    > better match.[/ref]

    I've read Dave Uhring's reply to this... 3mb/s! Ouch!

    I'm just considering bsd only because I have the most knowledge with it...I
    guess I could look more deeply into solaris...

    Robert



    Pewter Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 03:47:59 GMT "Pewter" <net> wrote: 

    Note that Solaris is $100 for a dual processor machine like the U2.

    /fc
    Frank Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    Pewter wrote:
     

    No, indeed they are fine. They were Sun's low-end machines but besides the
    cheaper case we found them as reliable as the bigger desktop machines. Here
    at home I have an Ultra10 Creator3D with 440MHz CPU which runs very well
    under Solaris 9...

    If You want more than the slow on-Board gfx then get an U10 as it has an UPA
    slot where You can plug in a better gfx card like a Creator3D...
     

    If You want *BSD You better forget about getting a Sun and go with a PC as
    it's a much better system to run *BSD on (Dave told You already about the
    slow network performance). If You want a Sun the best OS You can run on it
    is Solaris. Period.

    Benjamin


    Benjamin Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility


    "Frank Cusack" <com> wrote in message
    news:savecore.net... [/ref]
    it...I 
    >
    > Note that Solaris is $100 for a dual processor machine like the U2.
    >
    > /fc[/ref]

    I'm a student... and so I can forgo the licensing fees..

    Robert

    PS: I just checked about issues regarding the number of processors, and I
    don't recall seeing any mention of processor restrictions in their license:
    http://wwws.sun.com/software/solaris/binaries/bcl.html but another page
    states that it's only for single processor systems:
    http://wwws.sun.com/software/solaris/binaries/index.html , so I dunno...

    PPS: it's now $125 for multiprocessors:
    http://store.sun.com/catalog/doc/BrowsePage.jhtml?PartGID=1ZZZZZU3YWWXF1UMQVZBF5K1T XZZZW00 ....$99 is only for the single processors


    Pewter Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    On Tue, 30 Sep 2003, Pewter wrote:
     

    :-) The Ultra 60 and Ultra 80 do fetch much higher prices
    than the others, but they are also better machines. Check
    the "Completed Items" prices, rather than the listed ones.
    Some clueless vendors are asking over $2K for an Ultra 60;
    obviously they don't realise that you can buy brand new
    machine for that price. (or they're just dishonest, and
    trying to rip people off...)

    One of the good things about the Ultra 30 is that it has
    2 UPA slots.
     

    Solaris is a VERY nice OS, especially on Sun hardware.

    --
    Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

    President,
    Rite Online Inc.

    Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
    URL: http://www.rite-online.net

    Rich Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 06:42:07 +0200, Benjamin Gawert wrote:
     

    Agreed, they are nice machines. But they are disk I/O limited with their
    old ATA-IDE drive interfaces. With a good HBA and some decent SCSI drives
    the situation changes.
     

    I did try NetBSD on this Ultra-1 also, and it did not have that network
    throughput problem. But it also had no suppport for the Creator3D.

    Dave Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    Dave Uhring wrote:
     
    >
    > Agreed, they are nice machines. But they are disk I/O limited with
    > their old ATA-IDE drive interfaces. With a good HBA and some decent
    > SCSI drives the situation changes.[/ref]

    I don't find the IDE drives that bad. Sure, the Sun OEM drives are slow like
    hell, but after I replaced the Sun/Seagate 20GB IDE disk in my U10 with an
    Maxtor 60GB 7200rpm disk I really can't complain about the disks being too
    slow. I also have an E250 here (1x400MHz, 512MB, Raptor GFX) that uses
    10krpm SCSI disks and it's not really faster at all...
     

    Honestly, I see absolutely no reason to run Linux or *BSD on a Sun
    workstation. Solaris is free and offers the best support for these machines,
    and for Linux and *BDS a PC would certainly be a far better choice...

    Benjamin


    Benjamin Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 18:49:42 +0200, Benjamin Gawert wrote:
     

    The Maxtors are good drives. I have a couple of them in a Solaris x86
    home server and their performance is good, but they are connected to
    ATA-100 IDE controllers and provide 35-40 MB/sec read and raw write
    speeds.
     

    Sun hardware really works best with Solaris :)

    Dave Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    Dave Uhring wrote:
     

    Well, the U5/10s don't do UDMA/100 but they still do DMA which doesn't lead
    to that bad performance numbers. With a good IDE drive these machines are
    more than useable, and not necessarily a worse choice over a much more
    expensive machine...
     
    >
    > Sun hardware really works best with Solaris :)[/ref]

    Yes, I can't imagine to torture my E3000 with *BDS ;-)

    Benjamin


    Benjamin Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    Approximately 9/30/03 12:36, Benjamin Gawert uttered for posterity:
     
    >
    > Well, the U5/10s don't do UDMA/100 but they still do DMA which doesn't lead
    > to that bad performance numbers. With a good IDE drive these machines are
    > more than useable, and not necessarily a worse choice over a much more
    > expensive machine...[/ref]

    Particularly if found used at a good price. One small oddity, I
    have personally run into 3 different U-10's that keep simply stopping
    due to memory errors. Moving their memory and even cpu into another
    machine and the other one don't fail. Moving the working machine's
    cpu and memory into the flakey one still randomly fails. Taking the
    covers off cures it, but annoying anyway.


    Lon Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    Lon Stowell <Net> writes:
     
    > >
    > > Well, the U5/10s don't do UDMA/100 but they still do DMA which doesn't lead
    > > to that bad performance numbers. With a good IDE drive these machines are
    > > more than useable, and not necessarily a worse choice over a much more
    > > expensive machine...[/ref]
    >
    > Particularly if found used at a good price. One small oddity, I
    > have personally run into 3 different U-10's that keep simply stopping
    > due to memory errors. Moving their memory and even cpu into another
    > machine and the other one don't fail. Moving the working machine's
    > cpu and memory into the flakey one still randomly fails. Taking the
    > covers off cures it, but annoying anyway.[/ref]

    I've not seen it (yet) on our 10, but I have seen a pathological case
    of something like it on an Ultra 5, the machine just locks up- no core
    dump, no nothing. There, if the temperature and humidity reach the
    edge of some envelope, the machine is hopeless- it won't even run for
    a minute at a time. Once back inside the envelope, its completely
    reliable. Its not strictly temperature or humidity- if its not humid,
    the thing works fine at 95F. But if the humidity is up and the
    temperature gets up somewhere into the mid 80's, then I might as well
    leave the system off. I know its not memory as thats been
    transplanted to a less troublesome machine...


    Gregm



    Greg Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    Greg Menke wrote: 
    >>
    >> Particularly if found used at a good price. One small oddity, I
    >> have personally run into 3 different U-10's that keep simply stopping
    >> due to memory errors. Moving their memory and even cpu into another
    >> machine and the other one don't fail. Moving the working machine's
    >> cpu and memory into the flakey one still randomly fails. Taking the
    >> covers off cures it, but annoying anyway.[/ref]
    >
    >[/ref]

    I had a PC that did this once, right down to removing the cover to cure
    the problem. The power supply was noisy (electrically), and interfered
    with the memory. The solution I did was to attach the ferrite clamps
    (same ones used for video cables) on the wires exiting the power supply.
    The problem went away

     

    Sounds like a hairline crack somewhere on the motherboard copper lands
    or solder joint.

    Paul

    Paul Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    Greg Menke wrote: 
    >>
    >> Particularly if found used at a good price. One small oddity, I
    >> have personally run into 3 different U-10's that keep simply stopping
    >> due to memory errors. Moving their memory and even cpu into another
    >> machine and the other one don't fail. Moving the working machine's
    >> cpu and memory into the flakey one still randomly fails. Taking the
    >> covers off cures it, but annoying anyway.[/ref]
    >
    >[/ref]

    I had a PC that did this once, right down to removing the cover to cure
    the problem. The power supply was noisy (electrically), and interfered
    with the memory. The solution I did was to attach the ferrite clamps
    (same ones used for video cables) on the wires exiting the power supply.
    The problem went away

     

    Sounds like a hairline crack somewhere on the motherboard copper lands
    or solder joint.

    Paul

    Paul Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Sun PCI Compatibility

    Greg Menke wrote: 
    >>
    >> Particularly if found used at a good price. One small oddity, I
    >> have personally run into 3 different U-10's that keep simply stopping
    >> due to memory errors. Moving their memory and even cpu into another
    >> machine and the other one don't fail. Moving the working machine's
    >> cpu and memory into the flakey one still randomly fails. Taking the
    >> covers off cures it, but annoying anyway.[/ref]
    >
    >[/ref]

    I had a PC that did this once, right down to removing the cover to cure
    the problem. The power supply was noisy (electrically), and interfered
    with the memory. The solution I did was to attach the ferrite clamps
    (same ones used for video cables) on the wires exiting the power supply.
    The problem went away

     

    Sounds like a hairline crack somewhere on the motherboard copper lands
    or solder joint.

    Paul

    Paul Guest

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