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Does the Ultra 40 motherboard look like this?

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Dave (from the UK), Mar 23, 2006.

  1. I'm trying to work out what the Ultra 40s motherboard is like. I know
    Casper has said it is a Sun model, but my gut feeling it that it is
    probably based on a Tyan model like the Ultra 20. It is hard to believe
    Sun would design it from scratch themselves.

    My guess is that the Ultra 40's board is similar to this (S2895A2NRF)

    http://www.tyan.com/products/html/thunderk8we.html

    It seems to have many features similar to the Sun Ultra 40.

    Is anyone who owns an Ultra 40 able to confirm this?

    If that board is imported from the US to the UK, it is quite reasonably
    priced - here in the UK, it is expensive.

    If not, does it look like any of these

    http://www.tyan.com/products/html/opteron.html

    and if so what one?

    The Ultra 40 is £1450 + VAT in the UK, but I reckon I can get a similar
    motherboard, but with 320 MB/s SCSI for £283 + delivery from the USA. It
    looks possible to assemble something for a hell of a lot less than the
    cost of the Ultra 40.

    Sun are charging 50% more than HP for basically the same spec machine in
    the US, then adding a bit more on for the UK. It rather makes it
    expensive for what it is.

    I wish everyone would stop charging so much more in the UK for items
    than in the US. What is it with us? I reckon I've imported enough bits
    over the years to charter my own plane (OK I exaggerate), simply because
    US prices are so much lower. I know when I bought this Ultra 80 used, it
    was about half the price in the US, even after carriage was paid.


    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.
     
    Dave (from the UK), Mar 23, 2006
    #1
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  2. Dave (from the UK)

    Wes W Guest

    That massive power supply can't be cheap. Have you priced a fully
    configured "beige box" with comparable specs? Warranty? Support?
    Known compatibility? Perhaps these are not as important for your needs.

    The Ultra 20 is quite a bit less expensive and still a very capable
    machine you could spec. w/ a U320 controller.
    Is it worth having a friend in the US receive shipment then forward to
    the UK?
     
    Wes W, Mar 23, 2006
    #2
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  3. Dave (from the UK)

    Chris Cox Guest

    No. The new boxes (unlike some of the 1st gen) are all new
    designs through and through... Andy Bechtolsheim style...
     
    Chris Cox, Mar 23, 2006
    #3
  4. No, it's not (though I have not been able to find a picture and I've
    only seen one, once).
    No: the U40 has:
    2 PCIe x16
    2 PCIe x4
    2 legacy PCI slots.

    and there was a clear Sun Silkscreen logo.

    All power and other connectors, I think, were edge connectors; i.e.,
    no wires across the board.

    I'm not sure if it is exceptional to have our own boards: the Galaxy
    systems are also designed in house as are the new Opteron blade boards.
    Perhaps someone can post a picture of an open Ultra 40?

    Casper
     
    Casper H.S. Dik, Mar 23, 2006
    #4
  5. Dave (from the UK)

    Chris Cox Guest

    Chris Cox, Mar 24, 2006
    #5
  6. FWIW I made the assumption that the Ultra 40 WAS a Tyan Thunder and
    using slightly above the best prices I could find on pricewatch.com
    worked out the cost of large & medium Ultra 40 clones. The price
    differential was ~15%. I think it's worth that to know that Sun support
    has the exact same system available when I call.

    The power supply for an Ultra 40 is a 1 kw unit which is a ~$500
    proposition.

    My conclusion was that the Ultra 40 is *very* competively priced.

    rhb
     
    Reginald Beardsley, Mar 24, 2006
    #6
  7. Dave (from the UK)

    Chris Cox Guest

    Definitely. I think when Sun did the ebay thing with the w2100z's
    they saw the kind of price that people were willing to pay and
    I'm guessing that was factored into the goals a bit for the new
    platform designs.

    Of course, I want my 4 core Ultra 40 for $2000 :)

    Not going to happen this time around.

    On the downside, the Ultra 40 is even more proprietary
    than the w2100z.... but that does make for a distictive
    look and presumably, better quality (just have to run
    to Sun and pay... and I mean PAY for upgrades... and
    of course, the platform will be arbitrarily limited
    by Sun).

    All in all, I like the new boxes from Sun. But it's not
    the free for all that happened with the original AMD
    boxes. I can't imagine owning an Ultra 40 (unless I
    can get my boss to get me one).

    I wonder if Sun would ever consider producing parts
    for custome builds? Then I might consider the
    Sun board possibly... I could build a workstation
    with hotswap bays etc....
     
    Chris Cox, Mar 24, 2006
    #7
  8. I can see your point. I am surprised the difference is so small.
    I must admit if I build a dual Opteron machine, (which seems quite
    likely), I would *not* use a 1000 W PSU.

    I don't doubt you would need that if you use a pair of really high end
    3D graphics cards and packed it with disks, but for me at least, one
    half-reasonable graphics card is all I would want.

    A large Antec Titan 550 case

    http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=91550

    complete with what I understand is a good quality 550 W PSU, is only
    $125. That I think should be capable of running a dual Opteron system
    OK. However, I have not done the sums on this, so I may be wrong. But I
    think 1000W would be excessive for *my* needs.

    In contrast, I'd rather pay the bit extra on the motherboard and get
    Ultra 320 SCSI, which the Sun Ultra 40 does not have unless you buy a
    SCSI card.
    The low-end HP is the same spec as the low-end Sun, but about 35% less.
    so I can't see how the low end Ultra 40 can be considered competitive.
    (I've not looked at the high spec ones)

    I rather thought the cheapest way to get a high spec Ultra 40 was to buy
    a low spec one and upgrade it yourself. Perhaps that is not possible, I
    don't know.

    PS.

    Anyone what any 3.06 GHz Xeon processors (they are new-in-box upgrades
    for Compaq DL380G3 servers)? If so, drop me a mail.

    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.
     
    Dave (from the UK), Mar 24, 2006
    #8
  9. Hi,
    Thats nice, I hope it is not card edge connectors though ;)


    /michael
     
    Michael Laajanen, Mar 24, 2006
    #9
  10. Hi,
    <snip>

    half-reasonable graphics card is all I would want.
    As a compute server without high end graphics it would work fine.
    Is not SAS equal to "normal" SCSI in performance and disks?

    /michael
     
    Michael Laajanen, Mar 24, 2006
    #10

  11. Ah, thanks.

    You can see how the power connectorws are all edge connectors which
    is very atypical (I have never seen that before)

    There's also room for another 4 drivers (8 total) but that requires
    an extra piece of backplane or some such (and I'm not sure whether that
    is available/supported)

    Casper
     
    Casper H.S. Dik, Mar 24, 2006
    #11
  12. I just did a few "back of the envelope" calculations of power usage for
    a dual Opteron machine, remotely similar to an Ultra 40.

    1) Modern Opterons are 95 W max each. (An old dual core one running at
    1.8 GHz is 105W, but I am not likely to use that).

    2) The entry level 3D graphics card for the Ultra 40 (the NVIDIA Quadro
    FX 540) has a maximum consumption of 35 W.

    3) I've just checked a Seagate 15,000 rpm SCSI disk and see that is 17 W
    maximum. I'll probably use a pair of disks (probably not 15k, but let's
    assume 17W).

    That gives for a dual Opteron machine, with an entry level graphics card
    and a couple of 15k rpm SCSI disks, a consumption of

    35 W (video) + 2*17W (disks) + 2*95 W (CPUs) = 259 W + other bits.

    It's less easy for me to judge the consumption of the fans, RAM,
    motherboard, CD drive etc, but I think a 1000 W PSU would be *very*
    excessive for *my* needs. (A 1 kW PSU is also likely to be pretty
    inefficient at somewhere around one third of its maximum load). As othes
    have said, they are expensive too - much more so than one at 550 to 650 W.

    Since I have a SCSI based PC which runs Solaris x86 OK, which I would no
    longer have a need for, moving some parts over would further reduce the
    cost.

    I think if the Sun was priced the same as the HP, I might well be more
    tempted when I get a job*, but at the much higher price than the HP,
    coupled with the higher UK vs US price, it is out of my price range, as
    much as I'd like one. Building a lower spec unit, which is equal in all
    the important aspects to me, would be more sensible. I realise that
    would not be the same for others, and if my employer (some hope) was
    buying this, I'd no doubt suggest justing buying one, rather than
    messing about building one.

    *Anyone around London/Essex have any Solaris work for me - even if
    poorly paid? I am not Einstein, but not exactly thick with BSc+MSc+PhD.
    You can tell what I know from posts here.

    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.
     
    Dave (from the UK), Mar 24, 2006
    #12
  13. 17Watt "operating"; I'm sure it will take 30+ when spinning up?
    6W per DIMM

    Casper
     
    Casper H.S. Dik, Mar 24, 2006
    #13
  14. Thank you, I did not consider that.
    So with 8 sockets, that is another 48 W.

    Redoing the calculation

    35 (video) + 2 * 30 (disks) + 6 * 8 (RAM) + 2*95 (CPUs) = 333 W. + DVD +
    motherboard + fans.

    The 550 W supply is the Antec case should just about be enough for me. I
    might look at a 650 W or so model.

    1000 W would be rather excessive, especially given a 1000 W supply will
    cost more than double that of a 650 W supply.

    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.
     
    Dave (from the UK), Mar 24, 2006
    #14

  15. I guess since the CPUs have a large number of connections on each side,
    you can't put them near the edge, so they must be near the centre.

    Since the CPUs consume most of the power, the I^2 R losses are reduced
    if the power enters near the CPUs (i.e near the centre).

    I suspect this is the reason for the normal layout.

    Perhaps Sun have put power on more layers, or used thicker more
    expenisve copper layers to reduce the effect of I^2 R losses. Perhaps
    the layers are gold or silver which are better conductors.

    These are only speculations, as I have no experience of laying out that
    sort of PCB. I never did enjoy PCB layout and would always get someone
    else to do it if I could!!

    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.
     
    Dave (from the UK), Mar 24, 2006
    #15
  16. I think there might be a total room for 8 disks and then we get another
    200 Watts. This pushes you to 530W (or requiring a 750W PSU assuming
    70% efficiency)

    There are now also graphics cards with 285W use and external power supplies
    in case your system is lacking.

    Casper
     
    Casper H.S. Dik, Mar 24, 2006
    #16
  17. Dave (from the UK)

    james Guest

    gold actually doesn't conduct as well as copper or silver. the primary
    reason gold it used in connectors is it's softness and low tarnishing.
    but, that's neither here, nor there...

    --
    - - james <at> hal-pc.org - -

    Life is like a jar of jalapenos.
    What you do today may burn your as_ tomorrow.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
     
    james, Mar 24, 2006
    #17
  18. Ooops, I thought it was better than copper, but I see you are correct.

    Diamond is an odd material, which has a very high thermal conductivity
    but a low electrical conductivity.

    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.
     
    Dave (from the UK), Mar 24, 2006
    #18
  19. In my experience of professional power supplies, the ratings are always
    output power. (I can't say I have ever checked for ATX power supply
    ratings). A 600 W supply should be able to deliver 600 W, and so it will
    probably consume 700 or so Watts. (It it was a linear supply it will
    probably consume quite a bit more, as they are far less efficient. But I
    have never seen a linear supply in a modern computer)

    I was saying that for me personally, a 1 kW supply would be excessive. I
    can see in a machine with 8 disks slots it would be useful, but if I
    build a dual Opteron machine, there is not much chance of me sticking 8
    disks in it.

    I guess if you have 8 disks, it would be sensible to delay the start of
    them, so they don't all consume the 30W startup power at the same time.
    Most SCSI disks support that, with a delay proportional to the SCSI ID.

    I have an IBM RS/6000 server (7025 F50) which can take 18 disks. One can
    clearly hear the delayed start on them. I don't think the PSU is as big
    as 1 kW on that, but it is quite old.

    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.
     
    Dave (from the UK), Mar 24, 2006
    #19
  20. Dave (from the UK)

    james Guest

    quartz is quite odd as well. it actually generates an electrical charge
    when compressed and released rapidly :)
     
    james, Mar 24, 2006
    #20
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