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SS10 SS20 Ultra1 comparison

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Claus Kick, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Claus Kick

    Claus Kick Guest

    hello everyone,

    i was just wondering whether to salvage the SS10, as obviously, the
    pre-owner must have buggered up a few things. also, the age of the
    machine is starting to bother me, so i thought about getting a newer
    and in general, better

    my thoughts came across SS20's and Ultra1's. i know i could use most
    parts of the SS10 as spares or and backup (At least, as far as
    sunsolve says).

    I only have some minor experience with a SparcStation Classic, said
    SS10 and the i think Ultra5 i worked on at uni, so i could need a few
    hints and pieces of advice.

    what do i want to do with the machines?

    1. play around a bit, with hardware, OBP and things.

    2. use the machine as router and http server
    (basically solely html, a few scripts, certainly no database load)

    3. have a cool looking comp below my desk ;)

    what i would like to know are a few comparisons between SS10s, SS20s
    and Ultra1's.

    1. which of them suits my purposes best, judging from availability of
    spares (in europe basically)) and the amount of money necessary to

    2. what about heat generation?

    3. what about the noise level (as an example, i know that a
    sparcstation classic is much louder than an SS10)

    4. what about hardware stability?

    5. what about actual perfomance?

    6. compatibility with pc-monitors (as i think i wont have space for a
    sun monitor, perhaps for a 15" but not for anything bigger)?
    that means, not having to look for a multisync monitor (i have a 15"
    rather-cheapo-flatscreen, that has to suffice for at least one year

    i would be very grateful for help.

    claus kick
    Claus Kick, Sep 8, 2003
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  2. There's not a lot of difference. Some newer functions are probably are
    available in the U1, but quite honestly going from an SS20 to an Ultra
    80, there is not much difference, so I don't think you will notice
    anything significant from a SS10 to a U1. Although Sun have different
    part numbers for the NVRAMs for an SS10 and 20, there are some chips
    that fit both, so the differences between the 10 and 20 are minimal,
    if not zero.
    Either SS10, 20 or U1 would do unless you have a hight bandwidth
    connection and expect a big load.
    Personally I think the SS20's look pretty cool - but then anyone who
    has read my posts knows I quite like the beasts. The SS10 is very
    similar. I find the U1 pretty ugly myself - it is much larger.
    Spares are plentiful for the SS20. There's not a lot of point getting
    an SS10, as they are much the same price (i.e. next to nothing) and
    offer poorer performance. RAM and framebuffers would be identical in
    some cases between the machines. I'm not sure if you can swap CPUs in
    a U1 or not.

    I'm not sure what disks the SS10 takes, but I think it is 50-pin ones.
    They are getting harder and harder to find now, especially in the
    larger sizes. As such, I think they might be more expensive that the
    SCA disks used in the SS20. I don't know what disks the U1 uses, but I
    suspect they are SCA.

    You can find all this information on Sunsolve, so I'm not going to
    look it up now.
    Look on Sunsolve. But an SS20 runs quite hot if there are a few CPUs
    in it. The U1 will run cooler, but that does *not* mean it generates
    less heat. The lower airflow on the SS20 might make it appears hotter,
    but generate less heat. I would not like to say on what uses generates
    the most heat. I suspect the size of the power supply is a reasonable
    indicator. My guess is a low end SS10 /20 would generate less than a
    U1, whereas one packed with SuperSPARC processors would generate more.
    But they are only guesses.
    Don't know. Never had them side by side to really listen. SS20's are
    pretty quite, as long as the disks are quite.
    I think they are all pretty good.
    That is where the U1 will win, especially one of the E models, which
    use wide SCSI. For its day the SS20 was a great machine, but the
    UltraSPARC processor of the U1 will beat it. Personally I'd go for the
    U1 if you want to use it for X and sit in front of it.
    I doubt the situation is much different. I suspect that there are
    several framebuffers which can be fitted in the U1 or SS20, so I
    suspect you have the same issues with both.
    Perhaps that is of some help. There are others on here who know a lot
    more than me, but I have owned about 6 SS20's and used a U1 quite a

    One other thing, if you ever fancy learning multi-threaded (parallel)
    programming, the SS20 would make a good choice, as you can put 4 CPUs
    in and play with multi-threaded code. You won't have that option on
    the U1.

    Dr. David Kirkby,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    Department of Medical Physics,
    University College London,
    11-20 Capper St, London, WC1E 6JA.
    Website: http://www.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/~davek
    Author of 'atlc' http://atlc.sourceforge.net/
    Dr. David Kirkby, Sep 9, 2003
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  3. Claus Kick

    Glenn Guest

    + On 08-Sep-03 10:56:02
    All of them would work..
    If you want to do routing and want 100Mbit the Ultra1 is the best
    choice, if it's a Ultra1E.. otherwise you have to get 2 NIC's
    instead of one..

    (And since all machines use sbus you cant really buy them at your
    local computershop :)
    Actually I prefere the look of the sparcstations there :)

    You dont want to buy NEW spareparts from sun as a privateperson, period..

    I would choose the ultra1 here anyway.
    Depends on the CPU's and the disk I guess.. my QuadCPU SS10 get
    EXTREMLY hot..
    Dunno really there.. depends on how much dust you have in your
    fans and wich model of harddisaks you use..
    All of theese machines are EXTREMLY stable hardwarewise.. I trust
    an old used SS10 alot more than a brand new PC..

    Lets say it this way.. my Ultra1E-170Mhz is faster than my QuadCPU SS10 on
    nearly everything..
    That would be the same for this machines I guess.. I run my Ultra1 on
    a standard 17" Ilyama monitor with a homebuilt cable.. The other
    machines dont have a monitor connected, they act as servers.. however
    one of my SS10's used to be my workstation before I got the Ultra1,
    with the same cable and the same monitor.

    ...So, if you can find an Ultra1E for a good price I would recommend that,
    it's a very nice machine and they can be found very cheap.. If you could
    find an Ultra2 thats even better, but at least here they are VERY hard to
    find for good prices..
    Glenn, Sep 9, 2003
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