[rescue] replacing an Ultra2

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Tue Apr 17 19:30:01 CDT 2007

Mon, 16 Apr 2007 @ 19:33 -0400, Steve Sandau said:

> Yes, that was my point. I suppose I can live with x86/64 limitations, 
> but not sub-standard parts. 

Sun and Apple have good motherboards and cases, and they pick decent
parts for the rest.

You should be happy with either.

I didn't get a U20 because I wasn't happy with some of the other parts.

I wouldn't rule it for the future though.

> I also want to avoid Pentium 4s. I have worked with a bunch, have one
> as a desktop at work and am not impressed at all. (They are Dells.)
> Using dd to copy a CD means that you can't do anything else until it's
> done.

Quite a few early P4s have severe bandwidth problems. Later ones are OK.
The P4 series in general was flawed. That's when AMD took the lead from

The problem above sounds like motherboard I/O issues.

Some motherboards have horrible I/O chipsets, even some new ones.

For example, the nForce 4 chipset works like a crossbar, letting all
the busses talk at once, and it has tons of internal bandwidth. You can
thank SGI for that.

By comparison your vanilla office PC doesn't have near as much
bandwidth, and the design requires the busses to compete for it.

Few people think about that when they buy a PC, and a lot of vendors
won't even tell you what the specs on their hardware really are.

> One of the best machines I have had in terms of good components was a
> Gateway 2000 486 from the late 80s.  The internals were generally
> better than they needed to be and handled upgrades quite well. For
> example, it had PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors--not unheard of,
> but certainly not low-end.

In the early days, I liked Gateway, but over the years I started to find
them suspect.

Did you really have a 486 in the late 80s?  Intel released the CPU in
1989, so you must have paid a pretty penny for it back then.

I didn't get a 486 until something like 1994, and it was a clone.

There were so many companies back then, and some of them really made
great machines, but almost none survived.

Does anyone remember the PC company that made the machines that were
built like little fortresses, and had modular motherboards where you
could mix and match I/O systems, CPU, and bus modules?

> I wish I had a local Sun store to head down to. ;-)

Yeah, well... in my perfect world computers stores would be quite
different than they are now.

The only way I got to see a U20 was by being lucky enough to attend a
meeting where one was on display.

> Thanks again for all the advice. For now I have decided to buy more 
> memory for the machines I have. I also have an offer to buy a Sun Blade 
> 2000 with 2G, 2x900MHz and 2x72G HDD for a little over $400.

That's a decent machine.  I wish more machine would use layouts like

It would be nice to see that setup, but with SATA drives.

shannon           | The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the
                  | most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of
                  | mankind.  
                  |        -- Thomas Paine

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