[rescue] Follow up: Which Sun machine to keep?

Earl Baugh earl at baugh.org
Sun Dec 20 13:36:14 CST 2009

Trying to combine all the feedback... and ask another question or two....
(sorry for the slow turn around on this thread, was in the hospital for a
couple of days... bad infection and dehydration got the better of
me.....anyway, back home and getting better...)

First, for the suggestions that I go with a Ultra 60 or 80... I have a 220R
and 420R in dual and quad CPU configs respectively..and full of memory.  I
simply can't deal with heat and noise all year round (I'm in Atlanta... and
these machines are in a rack in my office...)  I can deal with a desktop
with a drive or two...(i.e. the SS10's...) on all year.

Lionel also mentioned:
> Would your current SBUS video capture cards work in an Ultra 2? ;^)
Yes, they do, but I've already gotten rid of 4 U2's that I had to make space
for the 220R and 420R.... 8-)
(and saved rack space).  The 10's handle the cards and are shorter as well..

I'm also trying to minimize any additional costs... these three boxes were
all rescued...

Even if I had the rack space, doing some basic EBay checking, it'd probably
run me about $40-$50 to get a basic U60/U80... I do have spare parts, drive
and ram wise (but I'd be using my spare parts for the 220R and 420R...) and
I don't see how they'd be a whole lot quieter than them.  If rack space
weren't an issue, and by some miracle they're a whole lot quieter than the
 220/420, might be possible. Normally wouldn't be cheaper... but given my
collection of spare parts it might be close.

Also, I have a fully enclosed rack (doors are off right this minute) which
needs to house all my machines in my office (that's partly how I control the
number of boxes I have... otherwise they'd take over).  So, normally a
vertical solution isn't usually the bit fit.   Once I retire one of the
SS10's, I'll free up about 4 U (because I have a small shoebox with an
external drive there...). I do have a D1000, but not sure about using it...
just can't figure a cost effective way to get large enough drives in it...
 and it would probably be a winter only option with all the fans in it.

So, from all the comments it looks like a SCSI controller is a reasonable
additional cost.  They all can use the same controller, so, still have some
options to try.   I'm trying to keep the storage for it internal...to keep
the rack space needs at a minimum.   Space isn't an issue, because I've been
getting by with a 9GB drive on the SS10... and I've got a bunch of SCA
drives around.. some up to 36GB.     So found one on EBay for < $20 shipped.
 That's a reasonable additional cost.

Does anyone know good ways to cable up SCA drives to fit in these boxes?
 I've got a bunch.  I didn't realize the bottom mounting screws were offset
so much differently between an IDE drive and a SCSI.  The Blade's mounting
tray doesn't seem to give any clean way to mount the drives.  The 5/10 both
have side mounting, so I see how I could mount the drive there. Though, on
the 5 case I'd have to take off the shield which is behind the door on the
front (which was, for what?  A tape drive?...I've never seen a box with
anything behind that, so never knew what was suppose to be there...)  I've
got a couple adapters for the SCA to 50 pin cabling (and a plug for power).
 Again a bit concerned how to make this fit, if I go with the blade.

RAM wise, after looking at what I had I only have 512MB for the U5 / 10, and
1GB for the Blade.   Did a little digging and found that you can use
registered 133 RAM in the blade, and it can take 4 512MB sticks.  Found a
place that had them for $6 a stick.  So for $25, could fill up the Blade
with RAM.  I found some EBay RAM for the Ultra 10, which I'm watching... if
the price stays were it is, it'd be about $20 to get 1GB for them.  I did
order the Blade RAM (I can use it in some other machines here if I don't
decide to stick with the Blade).  So, still both pretty close.

The still open question from the first mail::

> > Second, the 440 vs 500 Mhz CPUS...  the Ultra 10 IIi 440Mhz has 2MB
cache to
> > the Blade IIe 500Mhz's 256K.   Which is going to give better
> > perceived performance?  Does the 2MB more than make up for the 60Mhz
> > difference?
> More cache makes very large difference when comparing 1M versus 2M, so I
> would imagine it is even larger here.  On my Suns where I might actually
> compare 2M versus 256K, there were other differences, like one being IDE
> while the other had a SCSI card, so they probably aren't fair to judge
> on.

Has anybody got any more personal experience to share here?  I've also seen
better performance with the larger cache, but haven't been able to compare
any two systems with CPU's on similar clock speeds like these boxes are.

That's it for now!  Thanks for all the advise so far!!


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