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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:30 pm 
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The Blade 150 really isn't worth anything more than $25-$50 in my opinion. Although the higher-end version has a 650MHz US IIi processor, I've found that Solaris 10 desktop performs about the same on a 650MHz Blade 150 as a 450MHz Ultra 60. The 550MHz chip (or the 500MHz in the Blade 100) are just too slow for Gnome. The extremely limited cache of the Sun Blade 100/150 processors is crippling, so although 650MHz sounds good on paper, it's not going to perform nearly as well as a US II with 4MB cache.

With that being said, the Blade 150 does have a few things going for it, and it makes a great little web server. Here are the pros/cons as I see them:

PROS
  • very low power consumption. My 650MHz pulled 42W at full load, and went down to 26W after idling for a while. A Blade 1000, by comparison, pulls 210W (single proc) or 280W (dual proc).
  • very compact, and only weighs 35lb. Blade 1000 weighs over twice as much.
  • reasonably good case design, so it's easy to upgrade/mod compared to the Ultra 10
  • very quiet, but the Blade 1000 is also quiet (if you have Solaris installed)
  • has USB and an onboard framebuffer

CONS
  • it's slow. Solaris 10 + JDS (Gnome) run, but not very well. It's much better suited to running S10 headless
  • only takes up to 2GB memory (bad for Solaris 10+ZFS), and it takes unregistered ECC RAM which is harder to come by than fully buffered, ECC
  • ATA/66 (I think) controller is slow (faster than the Ultra 10 by a lot), and it can only address 128GB of space per disk. If you are feeling adventurous, you can buy ATA/100 controllers that are Solaris compatible, but they aren't bootable.
  • its peripheral PCI bus is 32-bit, 33MHz which means you really can't upgrade storage controllers. Various Ultra3 and FC HBAs are compatible, but the underlying system architecture is just not designed for high throughput

I guess what it boils down to is remembering that the Blade 100 and 150 were cheap machines. I think there was a time when Sun priced them at sub-$1000, and people got what they paid for. They're now 7-10 year old machines, so I think paying over $100 for one is really not worth it.

That being said, I just paid $50 for a 375MHz RS/6000 43p, so it might be worth it to you.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:24 am 
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For a number of these type of systems a small server is the way to go - many of them have memory restrictions that, while reasonable for a few users, wind up not working under heavy workload (think O300's 4GB limit), or otherwise have been retired but are still working and were sold in much higher numbers then the later workstations. V210s and V240s are reasonable now, for instance.

A bit more work, but not too bad.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:19 pm 
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V210's on UK eBay sometimes fail to fetch a BIN price of $100 or so. The V240 maybe around 20% or so more. Things are getting better though as 1500/2500 Silvers are sometimes now put on by sellers with "best offers" (meaning they either have no clue of pricing or just want to shift the box).

I really like my 1500 "Red", since purchasing 8 months ago it has been on mostly 24/7, and even with 1GB, it is a nice dual 120+80GB ZFS based web development platform (with CoolStack) - and its quiet.

If anybody has the latest PROM for the Blade 1500 red I'd appreciate it. I still run with the 2003 original PROM! The new PROM would allow me to use some spare 1GB sticks I have which don't work with the old PROMS....

Their isn't a day where I don't curse Oracle believe me. Thank god I have the last Sun Internal partner edition of the System Handbook on DVD...

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Sun Blade 2500 'Silver' Workstation - Dual 1.6 USIIIi, 4GB, 146GB SCSI, Solaris 10U9
Sun V210, 2x1.33 USIIIi, 8GB, 73GB 15K, Solaris 10U9
Sun V100, USIIi 550, 1.5GB, 40GB, Debian Lenny 5.X


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:09 am 
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Although this is an old thread, things have been happening fast since last year.

V440, 480 and 490's (even those with Quad US IV) are now around $100-150 in the UK, and I see T1000's 8-core 2x73GB (20+ by one seller) on sale for around $350 with NO interest!

It seems the SPARC market has crashed somewhat with prices tumbling.

I am considering a V490 4 x 1.35Ghz USIV 16Gb Ram 1 x146Gb for less than $120, there is even another less specified for $40(!) - the postage is more - but luckily the guy is 20 minutes drive from me.

But is the noise that bad and is the power consumption huge?

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"Scud" East
Sun Blade 2500 'Silver' Workstation - Dual 1.6 USIIIi, 4GB, 146GB SCSI, Solaris 10U9
Sun V210, 2x1.33 USIIIi, 8GB, 73GB 15K, Solaris 10U9
Sun V100, USIIi 550, 1.5GB, 40GB, Debian Lenny 5.X


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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:30 am 
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Thanks.

In the end I went with a T1000. Basically V100 size, light, fast, low power with 8-core/32-thread, 8GB, 2x73GB SAS.

Cost me $300 on eBay offer (cheap for US, real cheap for UK) and will attempt to replace the V210 as my primary server.

Actually was amazed how small and light the T1000's actually are.

Really looking forward to getting it running (but NOT looking forward to jumpstart, as it has NO CD/DVD drive or USB!).

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"Scud" East
Sun Blade 2500 'Silver' Workstation - Dual 1.6 USIIIi, 4GB, 146GB SCSI, Solaris 10U9
Sun V210, 2x1.33 USIIIi, 8GB, 73GB 15K, Solaris 10U9
Sun V100, USIIi 550, 1.5GB, 40GB, Debian Lenny 5.X


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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:41 am 
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As far as I could determine, staying with SPARC I had very few choices if I required better performance than a V210.

I could have gone Quad with the V4XX route (V490, 4xUSIV, 16GB, 146GB for $100) but the huge weight, size, noise and power consumption made this box (originally I believe $90,000) not ideal for me even at $100. A Dual V490 (=4 cores) with 16GB/No Disk was $50 including shipping - basically they were giving it away.

So it was the T1000, or stay at USIIIi 1.6GHZ x 2.

I'll benchmark but my feeling from reading the web comments is that single-threaded the USIIIi will beat the T1 easily, but once the T1 multi-threads it can even beat the V490 at high loads (not sure if I can believe that though).

As a rough and ready rule I'll assume The T1 can perform similarly to a low-end Quad core Intel at best and at worse will still be better than Dual USIIIi at 1.6GHZ. That will be more than enough for me at the moment.

Also of course the T series can run Solaris 11... unlike even the USIV....

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"Scud" East
Sun Blade 2500 'Silver' Workstation - Dual 1.6 USIIIi, 4GB, 146GB SCSI, Solaris 10U9
Sun V210, 2x1.33 USIIIi, 8GB, 73GB 15K, Solaris 10U9
Sun V100, USIIi 550, 1.5GB, 40GB, Debian Lenny 5.X


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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:17 am 
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Has anyone played with vizserver on "cheap" (sub $2k) sun workstations? Is it usable?

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:50 pm 
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mia wrote:
Has anyone played with vizserver on "cheap" (sub $2k) sun workstations? Is it usable?

My max'ed out Ultra 10 would certainly have adequate hardware-accelerated graphics processing capability ― with an Elite 3D-M6 (UPA) board installed ― for anything requiring or recommending OpenGL. If I had the means to try it (i.e. having the software at my disposal), I would definitely try it. (I actually haven't used this system seriously in a while, I'm actually thinking of parting with it. Maybe some interesting software might persuade me otherwise.)

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• Offering various remaining systems and parts, several interestingly compatible with both IRIX and OpenVMS (AXP and I64);
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Last edited by Winnili on Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:52 pm 
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Winnili wrote:
mia wrote:
Has anyone played with vizserver on "cheap" (sub $2k) sun workstations? Is it usable?

My max'ed out Ultra 10 would certainly have adequate hardware-accelerated graphics processing capability ― with an Elite 3D-M6 (UPA) board installed ― for anything requiring or recommending OpenGL. If I had the means to try it (i.e. having the software at my disposal), I would definitely try it. (I haven't used this system much in a while, I'm actually thinking of parting with it. Maybe some interesting software might persuade me otherwise.)


Hm, I'm willing to give this a try, are GL libraries available in OpenSolaris?

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:52 pm 
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Solaris 9 is installed on it at the moment. (Although I was thinking of upgrading to 10.)

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:Tezro: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2:

• Offering various remaining systems and parts, several interestingly compatible with both IRIX and OpenVMS (AXP and I64);
• Looking for an SGI O3000 IP59 1-GHz MIPS R16000 quad-processor node board (for a Tezro).


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:29 pm 
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How is the noise/sound level on the t1000? I've been seeing these in ebay US for ~$200 now - have been tempted. Are they noisier than a v210? Is it possible to run inside the house in any sane way? Being 1u I am assuming the fans are quite high rpm... Is the t2000 any quieter?

I have a bunch of older sparc gear - would be nice to consolidate down to a single server - 32 threads is quite nice! :)


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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:42 pm 
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I had a T2000 so I assume it applies to the T1000 as well, the machine was definitively not suitable for home use... Unless you live right next to an airport slash jackhammer testing facility, or you have a separated room for your computers with good noise isolation. These things are loud, the fans were definitively over spec'ed.

BTW, has Oracle changed their stance regarding patches and firmware updates? It made the proposition of owning SUN HW for hobbyist purposes not very appealing.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:09 pm 
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My experience has been the opposite to yours ;-) Not every machine that makes it to private hands is up to the latest BIOS/PROM/whathaveyou version, which is what I was referring to. Plus, to me, the whole point of owning these sort of systems as a hobby is to tinker with them, and eventually things do wrong, and eventually you may need to reload something, and then... poof...

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