HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

HP/DEC/Compaq workstations/servers and operating systems (HP-UX, Tru64, OpenVMS, NonStop, etc.)
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Alver
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby Alver » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:10 am

gkl wrote:
Alver wrote:Welcome to the C8000 club. Quick hint: pkgsrc on HPUX 11.11 doesn't run too bad.


I'll have to give it a try. So far I've been able to find all the software I need precompiled, although one visualization package I use for work (VMD) crashes out if I try to run it with OpenGL support. Compiling it from source did not look fun, but I believe there is a pkgsrc for it.


Can't find it, but perhaps it's known under a different name (pkgsrc sometimes places packages under a slightly changed name to avoid collisions with other packages). If you want to try pkgsrc on UX: http://vanalboom.org/node/17 :)
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby Alver » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:07 am

jpstewart wrote:
D-EJ915 wrote:
jpanchal wrote:I have a J6750, and the new HP-UX patching policy is a pain (it's as bad as the new Oracle policy for Solaris...) - just to let you know, Debian runs a dream on PA-RISC hardware thanks to the folks at ESIEE, if you ever need a backup OS. :)

It does for now (5.0) but for 6.0 hppa is dropped :(

Just FYI: Debian 6.0 (aka Squeeze) was released a week ago, on Feb. 6, 2011. But Debian 5.0 (aka Lenny) is still available.


Just FYI again: one has to be more subtle in saying that "support was dropped" - HPPA is still very alive in debian. The point is just that because of lack of dedicated developers, they have removed HPPA from the "release architecture" list, which basically means that even though HPPA will be still built as before, any bug or problem in that architecture will no longer be considered "release critical".

See also: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-an ... 00008.html

But... like I said before... if you buy a huge 18-wheeler Kenworth truck capable of pulling 80 tons of load... why would you put a 14 year old behind the wheel, and never get out of first gear? Use HPUX dammit! :P
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby gkl » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:45 am

Alver wrote:But... like I said before... if you buy a huge 18-wheeler Kenworth truck capable of pulling 80 tons of load... why would you put a 14 year old behind the wheel, and never get out of first gear? Use HPUX dammit! :P


Amen! How does that quote go? "Linux is a great way to turn a $65,000 workstation into a 200mhz Pentium."

As it turns out, I was able to find, via Google, an HP FTP site where they forgot to take down the patch sets. I downloaded all 26GB of HP-UX patches "just in case," and my HP-UX 11i MCOE seems to be running fine.
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby Dennis Nedry » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:05 pm

Amen! How does that quote go? "Linux is a great way to turn a $65,000 workstation into a 200mhz Pentium."


From the Unix Haters Handbook: "How to Make a 50-MIPS Workstation Run Like a 4.77MHz IBM PC."...

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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby R-ten-K » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:35 pm

Alver wrote:But... like I said before... if you buy a huge 18-wheeler Kenworth truck capable of pulling 80 tons of load... why would you put a 14 year old behind the wheel, and never get out of first gear? Use HPUX dammit! :P


I am trying to compute how that analogy is supposed to work, but I keep throwing an exception... :P Compared to modern processors, those PA chips are more like an old pick up truck trying to keep up with the commodity Kenworth truck ;-)

Linux in HP-PA works fine as long as you keep yourself to one PA-8800 or PA-8900 chips in your C8000. Apparently, there are no developers with access to multichip C8000s or PA Superdomes, so the main issue with Linux in this architecture is that the algorithm for SMP coherency is rather "brute force" and since the latest PAs had very large L2s (32MB and 64MB respectively) things like cache flushes can induce some serious overhead.

HP-UX is a pretty plain Sys V OS, however some of the stuff which makes it "interesting" comes in the form of add ons which require pretty penny licenses. So for people who want to have a much "nicer" experience with a Sys V, I'd recommend Solaris. But if you have access to the media, and maybe some of the layered products, HP-UX will support the HW much better than Linux obviously. HP-UX is rock solid albeit a tad old. Basically it really is a "no-frills" Unix, so probably not that "exciting" for the enthusiast. It's a pity because I thought a lot of the cool stuff from Tru64 (esp. the cluster technology) would have made it over to HP-UX. Alas...

The thing that annoyed me the most about HP-UX is that 3rd party products (esp. open source packages) are installed in individual subdirectories in /opt. I can see the original intention, but after you install a GNU tool chain for example, you end up with tens (if not well over a hundred) subdirectories under /opt which you need to add to the PATH. Ugh.
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby mattst88 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:40 pm

R-ten-K wrote:Linux in HP-PA works fine as long as you keep yourself to one PA-8800 or PA-8900 chips in your C8000. Apparently, there are no developers with access to multichip C8000s or PA Superdomes, so the main issue with Linux in this architecture is that the algorithm for SMP coherency is rather "brute force" and since the latest PAs had very large L2s (32MB and 64MB respectively) things like cache flushes can induce some serious overhead.


This is actually being worked on actively. They've made pretty good progress recently too.

There's a current thread on linux-parisc with another patch.
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby D-EJ915 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:36 pm

I just need to pick up a serial card to install lol.
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby mattst88 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:18 pm

D-EJ915 wrote:I just need to pick up a serial card to install lol.


That's actually fixed recently too. (The onboard serial port didn't work before).

I don't know exactly when, so it's probably only available in Gentoo, which I'd recommend using anyway.
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby Black Cardinal » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:24 am

gkl wrote:I just bought a HP C8000 off of ebay (for dirt cheap, and more are still listed), and thus begins my journey into the mysterious world of PA-RISC. Came with a PA-8800 1GHz, ATI FireGL X1 (256MB), and 73+146GB Ultra320 disks.

I just picked one up with identical specs, and I'm pretty sure from the same seller. I frequently used (but did not administer) HP-UX 9 and 10 back in my grad school days, and have an old 735 with 10.20 in my collection, but this is my first experience with HP-UX 11i. The CDE interface really takes me back. The FireGL X1 runs my 1600SW great at its native 1600x1024 over a DVI through the MLA.

You're right about it being quiet, I don't think I've ever run across another air-cooled tower machine as silent as this one. I've got an HP xw8200 at work (very similar case), but it's a lot louder than the C8000. This is a very nice PA-RISC workstation. I'm tempted to replace my PowerBook G4 as a file/download server with this C8000 despite its power consumption. The fact that I can't run the PowerBook with the lid closed has always irritated me, but this thing would run fine headless.

Unlike yours, my case was unlocked but didn't come with the pedestal. There are several available on Ebay, how important do you think the pedestal is? There aren't any cooling slots underneath the machine, but I find it hard to believe the pedestal is purely cosmetic.

FYI even though my case unlocked I brought home the keys to my xw8200 and they did indeed work with the lock on the C8000. My keys are labeled "301". Could be good to know if you want to pick up some keys for it.
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby gkl » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:42 am

Black Cardinal wrote:I just picked one up with identical specs, and I'm pretty sure from the same seller. I frequently used (but did not administer) HP-UX 9 and 10 back in my grad school days, and have an old 735 with 10.20 in my collection, but this is my first experience with HP-UX 11i. The CDE interface really takes me back. The FireGL X1 runs my 1600SW great at its native 1600x1024 over a DVI through the MLA.

Congrats! I wouldn't have guessed it'd be so easy to hook it up to a 1600SW, but the FireGL seems like a very solid and flexible framebuffer. Still, mixing an SGI 1600SW with a HP C8000 seems kind of naughty...

Black Cardinal wrote:Unlike yours, my case was unlocked but didn't come with the pedestal. There are several available on Ebay, how important do you think the pedestal is? There aren't any cooling slots underneath the machine, but I find it hard to believe the pedestal is purely cosmetic.

I had specifically asked if the foot was included prior to buying since my seller only used a stock photo, so maybe that's why he was sure to include it. He said this:
These stands are a necessity to the airflow of this machine. As you know they are very powerful and tend to run rather hot.

However, I have my doubts since nothing is really heat-sunk to the floor of the chassis and the large HDD fan blows intake air right over it. The bottom C-shaped "feet" probably keep it up off the floor enough if airflow is really needed; the only benefit to having the larger foot is that the tower probably will slide around since the C's don't have rubber or anything on the bottom of them.

The guy I bought it from did send me the chassis key a week later (in a very large fedex box, strangely enough), so it can't hurt to ask him if he will send/sell you the foot. It sounded like he had a few C8000's to offload.
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby Black Cardinal » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:34 pm

gkl wrote:The guy I bought it from did send me the chassis key a week later (in a very large fedex box, strangely enough), so it can't hurt to ask him if he will send/sell you the foot. It sounded like he had a few C8000's to offload.

Thought I would let you know that I followed your advice and sent the seller a message. I had already left him positive feedback, so when I didn't hear back from him I wasn't too surprised. However, today an enormous box arrived via FedEx with the missing base in it. (The box could have held two complete C8000 workstations plus bases. :lol: ) I was quite surprised and pleased! I'm definitely adding him to my favorite sellers list.
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby Alver » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:48 am

R-ten-K wrote:
Alver wrote:But... like I said before... if you buy a huge 18-wheeler Kenworth truck capable of pulling 80 tons of load... why would you put a 14 year old behind the wheel, and never get out of first gear? Use HPUX dammit! :P


I am trying to compute how that analogy is supposed to work, but I keep throwing an exception... :P Compared to modern processors, those PA chips are more like an old pick up truck trying to keep up with the commodity Kenworth truck ;-)

Sure... I wasn't talking about just this C8000 really, more about big iron in general. You really wouldn't want to run Linux on a modern Superdome 2 either. :) Also, to keep the analogy alive... an old pickup truck being driven by a trucker will STILL be better than driven by a toddler :D

Linux in HP-PA works fine as long as you keep yourself to one PA-8800 or PA-8900 chips in your C8000. Apparently, there are no developers with access to multichip C8000s or PA Superdomes, so the main issue with Linux in this architecture is that the algorithm for SMP coherency is rather "brute force" and since the latest PAs had very large L2s (32MB and 64MB respectively) things like cache flushes can induce some serious overhead.

HP-UX is a pretty plain Sys V OS, however some of the stuff which makes it "interesting" comes in the form of add ons which require pretty penny licenses. So for people who want to have a much "nicer" experience with a Sys V, I'd recommend Solaris. But if you have access to the media, and maybe some of the layered products, HP-UX will support the HW much better than Linux obviously. HP-UX is rock solid albeit a tad old. Basically it really is a "no-frills" Unix, so probably not that "exciting" for the enthusiast. It's a pity because I thought a lot of the cool stuff from Tru64 (esp. the cluster technology) would have made it over to HP-UX. Alas...

Well, at least the Tru64 I/O stack made it into HPUX. 11.31 is a fuckton better for I/O handling than the earlier versions :)

The thing that annoyed me the most about HP-UX is that 3rd party products (esp. open source packages) are installed in individual subdirectories in /opt. I can see the original intention, but after you install a GNU tool chain for example, you end up with tens (if not well over a hundred) subdirectories under /opt which you need to add to the PATH. Ugh.

True, true. You can always use pkgsrc on UX though, which doesn't have this problem - shameless plug: I posted an article on pkgsrc/UX on my site: http://vanalboom.org/node/17. :)
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby gkl » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:15 pm

Alver wrote:Are you sure it's an X1? C8000s 'officially' don't support those (or they're missing from the docs), it's usually either T2 or X3. Also, the X1 only had 128MB, afaik. :)

For what it's worth (and for future generations), it turns out that SAM reports the framebuffer as

Code: Select all

                                                   Overlay    Image
                      Config   Screen       Slot    Planes   Planes   Device File
ATI Fire GL X1(0-1)   Yes      galaxy:0.0   0            8       48   /dev/gvid0
ATI Fire GL X1(0-2)   No       Unused       0            8       48   /dev/gvid0

(under Display->X Server Configuration). Unless the X1 and X3 share the same id, it would appear that HP must've offered the X1 as the high-end graphics option, then later upgraded to the X3 and updated all the documentation to reflect that. Similarly, some documentation suggests that there was a PCI-based low-end graphics option from HP (fxe graphics?) that does not appear in the documentation that lists X3. There must have been two generations of these workstations' graphics options.
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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby D-EJ915 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:41 pm

It might have been to do with the upgrade from 8800 to 8900 CPUs.

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Re: HP C8000, PA-8800 1GHz, 4GB, FireGL X1

Unread postby ritchan » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:03 pm

So, what have you been using that monster for?
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