Sunfire v880 with XVR-4000

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Irinikus
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Sunfire v880 with XVR-4000

Unread postby Irinikus » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:00 pm

I am about to acquire one of these machines with the following specs:

Sun Fire V880 New Open Box
8x 1.2GHz CPUs
16GB RAM
1x 73GB
3x PSUs
Deskside unit

I just want to know whether they are cool machines to play around with?

I have no experience with SUN Microsystems and no experience with servers so this will definitely be a learning experience for me.

There is a really mean graphics card that can be installed: The XVR-4000, which takes up one of the processor slots, therefore only allowing for a max CPU count of 6 CPU's with one fitted. This should be a rather interesting piece of hardware to play with, should I be able to source one.
Last edited by Irinikus on Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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escimo
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby escimo » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:23 pm

S*** - the Mate tea keeps me awake...

The Sun Fire V880(z) is a nice system but not "really" intended to be used next to the desk or at least for many hours.
If you don't plan to use it with earflaps or in another room, then better be prepared! ;)

As you already stated, the XVR-4000 graphics options fitting directly into one of the four Fireplane Interconnect slots.
The XVR-4000 is equipped with four MAJC-5200 (Cafe multithreading cores) and generous amount of supporing graphics memory (256 MiB - 1 GiB depending on AA sampling) but you loose one CMM. Up to two can be installed into the v880(z). The smaller XVR-1000 version has only 25% of the resources and fitting into the UPA slot of the Ultra workstations U30/60/80/1k/2k.

The question is, what do you want to install in all the remaining PCI-slots on the other side? ;D
Maybe it's easier to acquire four XVR-1200 than one XVR-4000.

And as always: without apropriate software it's near to useless. But your board is compatible and accelerated by Sun's OpenGL implementation.

Some docs:
XVR-4000
https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19088-01/v8 ... index.html

V880
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19095-01/sfv ... index.html
http://web.anl.gov/ECT/djs/green-networ ... rvArch.pdf

V880z and XVR-4000
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19088-01/v88 ... 400-10.pdf

If you find a XVR-4000, don't foget to show some pics, please!

So enough, have to go to bed...
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby johnnym » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:13 am

Irinikus wrote:I am about to acquire one of these machines with the following specs:

Sun Fire V880 New Open Box
8x 1.2GHz CPUs
16GB RAM
1x 73GB
3x PSUs
Deskside unit
[...]
There is a really mean graphics card that can be installed: The XVR-4000, which takes up one of the processor slots, therefore only allowing for a max CPU count of 6 CPU's with one fitted. This should be a rather interesting piece of hardware to play with, should I be able to source one.

I see, so that's the difference between a V880 and a V880z. I wasn't aware of that "feature", i.e. adding a graphics card via a CPU module slot. The Ultra 450 and also the E450 IIRC have two dedicated UPA slots for graphics.

  • I'm unsure if you can upgrade a V880 to UltraSPARC IV CPUs, if not, the V890 doubles the maximum number of CPU cores and memory compared to the V880. Just if there's one available for a little more money, you should take this into account.
  • The disk backplanes are FC-AL based, so for internal expansion apart from the 5.25" "slots" (from which I don't know if there is a narrow or wide SCSI cable available) you need FC disks.
  • According to the Sun System Handbook it draws a maximum of more than 2800 Watts with the mentioned CPUs and it weighs between 88 kg and 131 kg.
  • It should be supported by NetBSD (V880 only or UltraSPARC III only), OpenBSD (V880, V890), Debian GNU/Linux (sparc64 port), possibly Gentoo Linux (at least in the past) and maybe others.

escimo wrote:The question is, what do you want to install in all the remaining PCI-slots on the other side? ;D

Maybe an Intel 10 Gb PCI-X NIC for a start? ;)

I'd love to have such a machine. :D Would make a nice addition to my other Sun machines and also makes a nice moveable table just like the Enterprise 450.

EDIT:
Overlooked "Sun Fire V880 New Open Box" - so this machine is in NOS condition? Awesome! 8-)
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Irinikus
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby Irinikus » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:11 am

escimo wrote:
If you find a XVR-4000, don't foget to show some pics, please!

So enough, have to go to bed...


I have managed to secure an XVR-4000, I will get it next month.
But this has delayed my acquisition of the V880 due to the cost of the card.
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby Irinikus » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:27 am

johnnym wrote:[*] According to the Sun System Handbook it draws a maximum of more than 2800 Watts with the mentioned CPUs and it weighs between 88 kg and 131 kg.


I have been told that the shipping weight gof the system is going to be 150kg.

johnnym wrote:escimo wrote:
The question is, what do you want to install in all the remaining PCI-slots on the other side? ;D

Maybe an Intel 10 Gb PCI-X NIC for a start? ;)


It seems that there are many options here and I can't wait to play around with this aspect of the machine!

johnnym wrote:Overlooked "Sun Fire V880 New Open Box" - so this machine is in NOS condition? Awesome! 8-)


This is one of the best parts of it, as these machines are usually quite beat up due to their size and weight!

Because I am now going to have the XVR-4000 fitted into the machine, It will only have 6 CPU's, however I can't wait to compare the XVR-4000 to the V12, if that's even possible!
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby Irinikus » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:20 am

escimo wrote:
Some docs:
XVR-4000
https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19088-01/v8 ... index.html

V880
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19095-01/sfv ... index.html
http://web.anl.gov/ECT/djs/green-networ ... rvArch.pdf

V880z and XVR-4000
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19088-01/v88 ... 400-10.pdf

If you find a XVR-4000, don't foget to show some pics, please!

So enough, have to go to bed...


Thanks very much for the links :D
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby jan-jaap » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:37 am

You might want to check this page out: http://www.michaelfrankdeering.com/Proj ... /Zulu.html
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby Irinikus » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:47 am

jan-jaap wrote:You might want to check this page out: http://www.michaelfrankdeering.com/Proj ... /Zulu.html


Thanks very much for sharing the link!

That was extremely interesting! It certainly looks like this was one hell of a graphics card back in the day!
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby vishnu » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:02 pm

I've got an XVR-2500 in my Sun Blade 2500 and I like it a lot, it holds up really well in 3D performance compared to the V12s in my Octane2 and Tezro but it's a little bit slower at scrolling 2D in really busy pages, for example a complicated Rose model. Basically it lags a bit more than the V12, but nowhere near enough to make it intolerable...
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby Irinikus » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:15 pm

It will be extremely interesting to see how the XVR-4000 compares to the V12.

I haven't done any research yet as to how the XVR-4000 differs from the XVR-2500 in terms of architecture. It seems that one of the main the focuses for the XVR-4000 was extremely good realtime antialiasing capabilities and to produce that best quality output possible compared to leading software renderers.

So besides 3D performance, it would be very interesting to see how the XVR-4000 and the V12 compare in terms of the visual quality of their rendered output.
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby Irinikus » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:51 am

vishnu wrote:I've got an XVR-2500 in my Sun Blade 2500 and I like it a lot, it holds up really well in 3D performance compared to the V12s in my Octane2 and Tezro but it's a little bit slower at scrolling 2D in really busy pages, for example a complicated Rose model. Basically it lags a bit more than the V12, but nowhere near enough to make it intolerable...


Just confirm that the Sun Blade 2500 has a PCI-express slot, as the only model of the XVR-2500 that I could find is the PCI-express type?

https://www.cnet.com/products/sun-xvr-2500-graphics-card-256-mb-series/

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but is the XVR-1200 not the largest graphics that card you can fit into a Sun Blade 2500?

SunBlade2500-Silver-1xVXR1200JPG.jpeg
Last edited by Irinikus on Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby escimo » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:26 am

vishnu wrote:I've got an XVR-2500 in my Sun Blade 2500
As Irinikus wrote already, you're talking about the XVR-1200. ;-)
The XVR-2500 is an PCI-express (PCIe) board for Ultra 25/45 workstations. In basic the XVR-2500 is a 3Dlabs Wildcat Realizm 500.
The Blade 1500/2500 are equipped with PCI-X, so the best official option was the XVR-1200, I think it was 3Dlabs WildCat III 6210.
The XVR-1000/4000 were Sun's own development (link to architecture "zulu" already given)

XVR-1200
3Dlabs Wildcat III 6210
3Dlabs Wildcat 4 7210 looks similar in comparison to Wildcat III 6210
XVR-2500 alias 3Dlabs Wildcat Realizm 500

If you're able to patch the Firmware, maybe also other PCI-X cards are possible. Somewhere I read about it, don't remember...
Last edited by escimo on Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby vishnu » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:28 am

escimo wrote:
vishnu wrote:I've got an XVR-2500 in my Sun Blade 2500
As Irinikus wrote already, you're talking about the XVR-1200. ;-)


Yup! My bad, I just checked and the one in mine is an XVR-1200... :|
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby escimo » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:26 am

vishnu wrote:Yup! My bad, I just checked and the one in mine is an XVR-1200... :|
Maybe you're dreaming of an XVR-2500 within your Blade 2.5k. ;-)
But this was the best with Sun and graphics: in sum all manageable. :D
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Re: Sunfire v880

Unread postby vishnu » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:48 pm

escimo wrote:
vishnu wrote:Yup! My bad, I just checked and the one in mine is an XVR-1200... :|
Maybe you're dreaming of an XVR-2500 within your Blade 2.5k. ;-)
But this was the best with Sun and graphics: in sum all manageable. :D

What's really embarrassing is that I actually bought that XVR-1200 off the bay, when I first got my Blade it it had an XVR-600. Which is available BTW, if anyone wants it. :D
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