[rescue] The best 'rescue' workstation

Andrew Weiss ajwdsp at cloud9.net
Sat Apr 23 11:21:22 CDT 2005

On Apr 23, 2005, at 11:43 AM, Zach Lowry wrote:
> | I dunno.  Suns are good, but the graphics sucks.  SGIs have snappy
> | graphics, but IRIX is starting to show its age, especially as more 
> and
> | more software assumes all the world is Linux on an i386.  IBMs that 
> can
> | run AIX 5.2 and later are generally REALLY expensive if you want to 
> be
> | able to put more than one framebuffer in it, and then, if you get a
> | POWER4 system, your graphics are hampered anyway.
> I figure if I got an IBM I would put Linux on it and not fool with AIX.
That would probably be a mistake with such a machine.  A huge mistake.  
The graphics adapters Jonathan talks about below would be hardly 
supported I'd think... if you wanted to do Linux on an IBM box you 
probably should make sure you're getting a PPC instead of a POWER 
box... (At least I believe so... Jonathan?)

> | Right now, my dream system would probably be an RS/6000 44P-270 (not 
> a
> | 275) with a pair of GXT4500 or GXT6500 framebuffers running AIX 5.3.
> | Those are expensive (especially with the framebuffers) but very, very
> | fast.  POWER is a great example of low clock speed having nothing at 
> all
> | to do with performance.
> Indeed. I just saw on eBay form 44P-170 400MHz machines, no RAM or
> Drives, going for $200. That's pretty tempting.
Nice... just make sure you don't get a 44P-150... which is a 604e 
instead of a POWER 3-II.  That was back in the day where PowerPC <> 
POWER at all... except for command subset.  Nowadays IBM has aimed to 
make them identical according to Jonathan so it wouldn't matter.  I of 
course would still always prefer the POWER moniker to anything PowerPC 
because it still would mean larger caches and other things.

And of course I always tout as a performance example the two things 
I've observed with the platform.

My 20 Mhz POWER 1 with GTA3 (I think) is still reasonably useable as a 
workstation running AIX 4.x.

A 166Mhz POWER2 SC easily stomps on a PIII-550 for FP... and by stomp I 
mean surpasses by a good deal.


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