[rescue] RE: SGI vs. Sun

Janet L. Campbell janet at foonly.com
Thu Jan 13 14:09:09 CST 2005

On Thu, 13 Jan 2005, Joshua Boyd wrote:

> Err, what workstations did Sun offer near the time the I2 was released
> that could do a full 100mbit? I think the SS10s came out a year earlier,
> but would they really be able to saturate 100mbit ethernet?  The year

The SS10 had no problem saturating 100mbps ethernet with a hme and SM41 
(SM20 or SM30 might have been close).  The I2 was a nice system when 
introduced, but by the time the R10k came out, the I/O bus had become a 
serious bottleneck.

> after the I2 I guess the SS20 came out.  I have trouble pictureing a
> SS20 really outperforming a r4.4k I2 for any tasks, but I haven't set
> down and actually tried the assorted posibilities.

The I2 easily outclassed the SS20 in graphics options, which gave quite a 
perceived speed boost for interactive use.  I2 IMPACT beat out pretty much 
everything Sun had in graphics, the ZX/TZX just didn't hold up by 
comparison.  The use of commodity 72-pin RAM was very nice.

On the other hand, the SS20 had the I2 pretty well beat for I/O
expandability and throughput, and CPU power was comparable...a 200MHz 
R4400 was about on par with a SS20/71.  By the time SGI came out with the 
R10k's, you could get roughly comparable CPU power with multiple 
HyperSparcs, but only if your job could parallelize well.  Neither one was 
really "better".

We had a dual SM81 SS20 here for a while, in aggregate CPU power it was 
comparable to an Indigo2 R10k/200MHz, and more capable I/O-wise (4 FWD 
SCSI channels, hme, and 4MB of PrestoServe at its peak).


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