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Sun Blade 1000/2000 and video HW

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by hackr_d, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. hackr_d

    hackr_d Guest

    Is it possible to install a PCI video card into a Blade 1000? I was
    looking into one of these on eBay, and wanted to be prepared in case
    the video card would not be so great. I do have a Creator 3D
    framebuffer, which I installed into my Ultra 2. I understand that the
    those Blades have a UPA slot so I can possibly install that Creator
    from the U2. Then I realized that the Creator cards have different
    revisions, so that could be an issue.

    Well, if the Blades have PCI slots, then it should be possible to
    install a "regular" PCI PC video card in them, as long as the OS
    supports them. For example:

    VisionTek - ATI RADEON HD2400 Pro

    Thanks for your help.

    hackr_d, Jun 18, 2008
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  2. hackr_d

    Rich Teer Guest

    Probably possible, but not very desirable, due to PCI bus bandwidth
    Alas, you won't be able to use the CReator from your U2 in your SB 1000.
    The Ultra 2 uses the horizontal format frame buffers, wheres the SB1000
    uses the verticle ones.

    Rich Teer, SCSA, SCNA, SCSECA

    My Online Home Inventory

    URLs: http://www.rite-group.com/rich
    Rich Teer, Jun 18, 2008
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  3. * :
    Yes, it is.
    Forget it! The gfx card needs OpenFirmware-compatible Firmware (what an
    expression), which cards like the Sun XVR-100 have. Generic PC gfx cards
    have a x86 BIOS which is somewhat useless on SPARC.

    Benjamin Gawert, Jun 18, 2008
  4. My Sun Balde 2000/1000s came with Sun XVR-500 64-bit PCI cards.

    Elite-3D cards as from an Ultra-60 will work in the UPA slots too, if you
    need the 13W3 connectors for some
    Gerry Sinkiewicz, Jun 19, 2008
  5. hackr_d

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    It certainly is -- a very different physical shape. The one in
    the U2 is somewhat like an sBus card, except for a different connector.

    The one for the SB-[12]000 (as well as the Ultra 60 and some
    others) is more like a long PCI card -- except that the connector is
    much more distant from the bracket.

    There are slots for two Creator-3d (or other UPA cards), and
    four PCI slots, of which one is 66 MHz bus and the other three are 33
    MHz. I am currently using a PCI bus framebuffer -- which came with my
    SB-1000, and my wife is using a different one. Right now, I would have
    to bring the system down and check the card to be sure what it is.
    Obviously, the odds of supporting a generic PCI card are greater with
    linux, since the card could run with the same code used in the Intel
    boxes -- as long as the card is not one of those which requires a "blob"
    (manufacturer's supplied code block which you have to wrap in a driver
    for the OS -- and which is not going to work in a non-Intel system.
    Yes -- *if* the OS supports them. I don't know what Solaris 10
    supports -- but certainly everything which is listed in Sun's list of
    acceptable parts for the system.

    I'm considering pulling the PCI card and poping in a pair of
    Creator-3D cards to run double-headed. (IIRC, there is a card which
    will let you run double-headed on a single card, but I don't have that.

    Good Luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Jun 19, 2008
  6. hackr_d

    hackr_d Guest

    Yeah, Linux support is usually very very good for Sun video HW. On my
    Creator 3D/Ultra 2 workstation, the Gentoo LiveCD booted up with
    virtual consoles and everything. It was amazing to see, VC's on a
    Sparc. And they were all black backgrounds, just like on the pc.
    That was in 2004. I can try a PCI ATI card I've had for a while, but
    I may not need to. The seller said he'd install an Elite 3D for $5
    extra. Not a bad deal.

    If I could get that PCI card working, that would be cool. It would be
    pretty cool to have a TV tuner working on a SPARC. I was never sold
    on crap like TV tuners for PC's -- they never worked the way I wanted

    OpenBSD seems to support Sun HW very well too. FreeBSD might not even
    like the Blade 1000/2000.

    BTW, is it possible to use a standard PC USB keyboard and mouse?
    There would be the "Stop-A" whatnot functionality missing.

    Thanks for your responses.

    hackr_d, Jun 19, 2008
  7. hackr_d

    Rich Teer Guest

    Good idea. Get the Series 3 Creator 3D; they're the fastest and capable
    of the highest resolution.

    Re: the dual-head on one card thing: I think you might be thinking of
    some of the Creator's ability to drive two monitors for stereoscopic
    3D work.

    Rich Teer, SCSA, SCNA, SCSECA

    My Online Home Inventory

    URLs: http://www.rite-group.com/rich
    Rich Teer, Jun 19, 2008
  8. * DoN. Nichols:
    That's nonsense. There are more differences between Solaris/SPARC and
    Solaris/x86 than just a few letters. And no, the gfx hardware does not
    "run with the same code used in the Intel boxes", the drivers are
    different as is the CPU architecture (SPARC doesn't run x86 code).
    Which cards should that be? The only card that requires something what
    you call "blob" (which is nothing more than the cards' firmware in a
    file) is the Elite 3D series on SPARC. There is no such thing in intel-land.
    Well, in this case Suns engineers must be fucking idiots because they
    developed a special firmware for the XVR-100 gfx card which is nothing
    more than an ATI Radeon PCI when as you say all that's needed is OS
    support. But I gather the chances that the Sun engineers knew what they
    were doing and that you just don't know what you're talking about are
    much higher. FYI: a gfx card needs to get initialized and assigned
    system ressources. This is not done by a miracle but on SPARC is done by
    the system firmware (OpenFirmware, quite similar to a BIOS in x86). This
    firmware of course does know shit about the bulk of generic PCI gfx
    cards, that's why these cards need to come with OpenFirmware-compatible
    firmware. If by some miracle ATI (or now AMD) doesn't develop
    OpenFirmware-compatible firmware for the Radeon HD2400 Pro then it won't
    get recognized by the OpenFirmware of the Blade1000/2000 and thus won't
    get initialized or ressources assigned to it.

    Benjamin Gawert, Jun 19, 2008
  9. No reason why the Sun-supported PCI framebuffer cards won't work fine in a
    Blade 1000.
    Kralizec Craig, Jul 4, 2008
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