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"Sun Blade 2000" vs. "Sun Blade 1000" (And did you ever see an oysterwalk upstairs?)

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Martin Bochnig, May 28, 2005.

  1. All those systems' Motherboards (Sun Blade 1000, Sun Blade 2000, Sun
    Fire 280R, Netra 20) curiously link to one sole URL, the VERY SAME, the
    following one:


    Furthermore your claim (I heard that very often) concerning possible
    incompatibilities due to different Revisions CANNOT be true, as there


    from December of 2001 to July of 2003.
    The later SunBlade 1000's, that timeframe's SF280R and N20 AND ALL
    SunBlade 2000's manufactured prior to summer 2003 have been delivered
    with EXACTLY that System Board and revision (the SB2000 was released in
    March of 2002 !!!)

    Still, even harder - not to believe but true: The SunBlade 2000 doesn't
    only list the later SunBlade*1*000 System board Revisions as [F] = Field
    Replaceable Unit (FRU), but also the very first Blade 1000 parts from
    Y2K and 2001. Designed and produced when actually nobody could know
    about any so called "Blade 2000": 501-4143 and 501-5938.

    So there IS NO DIFFERENCE between sb1k and sb2k. NO ONE other than the
    color and '2' instead of '1'.
    The x7310a / 1.2GHz USIII+/Cu modules will even work on a SunBlade 1000
    box purchased in 2000. All you have to do is flashing the latest PROM
    (the very same file for sb1k/sb2k/sf280r/n20).
    Strange thing, isn't it ;)

    SB1k and SB2k run EXACTLY the same CPU's. That also means that a Blade
    2000 will support older NON-Cu USIII modules in 900MHz, 750MHz and
    *** Please tell me: How should the 501-6230 know if it sits in a Blade
    1000 or Blade 2000? *lol* ***

    I'm currently writing this on a SunBlade 2000 using the old x7000a - a
    NON-Cu 900MHz UltraSPARC III module, which is listed as "not
    compatible". That Blade 2000 is brom September of 2002 and has a
    501-6230 inside.
    On the other hand I have a customer who has 30 old Blade 1000's running
    (purchased in October of 2001 / old System Board 501-5938). However - he
    IS USING x7310a 1.2GHz as well as X7017A 1050MHz Cu parts. That's the
    If you still don't believe me, just feel free to visit the following


    There are several similar examples to mention:
    SunPCi2 vs. SunPCi2pro
    SunBlade 100 vs. SunBlade 150
    Ultra5 vs. Ultra10 (Why the hell does the U10 support 1024MB, but the U5
    which is using exactly the same board, just 512MB. Just the same applies
    to SunPCi2 vs 2pro. Another question: Why does the U10 support
    440MHz/2MB cpu's, but the U5 doesn't [official maximum is listed as
    SB1500 vs. SB1500 Silver
    SB2500 vs. SB2500 Silver
    I don't know about SunPCi3 vs 3pro.
    And so on

    Just think ...

    .... and always VERIFY anything for yourself before believing it.

    Martin Bochnig

    p.s. I really *love* my two SB2000's!
    I'm afraid we won't see anything comparable in terms of quality / "class
    of itself" anymore.
    And yes: I like the minor cosmetic changes making the SB2000 different
    from the SB1000.
    That's just why I replaced my two sb1k's with sb2k's.
    Martin Bochnig, May 28, 2005
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    The whole thing reminds me of stories like "M$-Windows 4.00 and 4.10
    (9x/SE/ME) does NOT depend on ANY DOS.
    Or - years later - then: "OK, it actually does. But it needs to be
    genuine MS-DOS 7.00A or higher.

    Caldera proved the total opposite in 1999.

    " We also studied the ways in which the Windows 4.x components of
    Windows 95 and Windows 98 are tied to the MS-DOS 7.x components, while
    engineers at Caldera were working on a demo program called "WinBolt"
    (see Seattle Weekly, Sept. 17, 1998) that allowed the Windows 4.x
    components to run on DR DOS instead of MS-DOS."


    Martin Bochnig, May 28, 2005
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  3. Martin Bochnig wrote:
    <Casper's comments deleted>
    I thought this had to do with the DIMM height - on the U5 weren't the
    larger density DIMMs too tall to fit under the floppy drive cage? I
    think I remember getting some lower profile DIMMs from Kingston or
    similar to get around this. But afaik, this was one of the reasons for
    the difference (other than Sun's attempt to artifically diferentiate the
    two models).

    Other than that, I feel your frustration regarding the "truth" about the
    SB1000/2000. It was to me a rather feeble and desperate marketing move
    at the time to "create" a new workstation when all that really happened
    was the launch of a rather normal CPU Mhz speed bump.

    We were quite big fans of of the Blade 1000s w/Expert3D cards when they
    replaced our SGI Octanes. I was a little disappointed when I learned
    that the 64bit/66Mhz Expert3D was only supported in a 33Mhz PCI slot on
    the Blade 1000 (never did get a good explanation for what the defect was
    there... again perhaps a problem when running under load?). I was
    certain that the "new" Blade 2000 would correct this... and disappointed
    yet again when the tech notes said to avoid using our Expert3D cards in
    a 66Mhz slot on the 2000s as well.

    Oh well... about that time we switched to HP x86 workstations running
    nVidia gfx cards for 4X the performance at less than half the price. Now
    Sun has finally come around to the same (w2100z).

    Colin Stuckless, May 29, 2005
  4. Ok, thanks for correcting me.
    The same applies to the UPA boards which weren't supported on the U5 just
    due to its physical limitations.
    But what about MaxCpu == 400MHz (U5) vs. 440MHz (U10).
    And what about MaxRAM == 512MB (SunPCiII) vs. 1024MB (SunPCiIIpro)?
    Why is it required to give a workstation a new name just when they added
    (or rather removed) some screws?
    Let's take the SB100 vs. SB150: Oh, great: They really managed to
    "speedbump" the IIe cpu Ecache size from 256KB to 512KB and the internal
    clock from 500MHz to 550/650MHz.
    Wow, then they took a bigger 40GB ide disk and called that SB100 "SunBlade
    DVD? No. A DVD-Rom has remained an extra option until December of 2003. At
    an additional EUR 395,- plus 16% VAT here in the E.U.
    Yes, the faster IIe cpu's at 550MHz and 650MHz (renamed back to "IIi") also
    do run in any old SB100 with updated OBP.
    The SB100 vs. SB150 System boards do even have minor differences (i.e. in
    the layout). Then the cpu cooler is different.
    See http://www.memoryx.net/sunblad10055.html and
    http://www.memoryx.net/sunblade.html .

    However - SB1000 vs. SB2000 is 100.000000000% the same (except cosmetics).
    Furthermore any SB2000 will identify itself as "Sun Blade 1000" ('uname
    Even the default OBP banner-name is 'SUNW,Sun-Blade-1000'.
    Do you have a SF280R available? If so, perform the following simple
    experiment: Just temporarily disconnect the RSC. Then power the box back on
    and OBP will tell you "Blade 1000" instead of SF280R !
    By means of RSC available or not the Blade 1000 boards are able to "know"
    if they sit in a server or in a workstation.
    However - they don't have any means to determine whether they sit in a
    SB1000 A28 or in a SB2000 A29 chassis (which for themselvesare almost the

    SB100 vs. SB150 related there really exist some slight differences.
    Nevertheless: Any SB150 will identify itself as "Sun Blade 100".

    Or just take a look at '/platform' on my SB2000 Sol10 FCS host:

    bash-3.00$ uname -i
    bash-3.00$ ls -al /platform
    total 108
    drwxr-xr-x 46 root sys 1536 Feb 27 12:43 .
    drwxr-xr-x 57 root root 1536 May 21 00:50 ..
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 5 Feb 27 12:34 FJSV,GPUU -> sun4u
    drwxr-xr-x 3 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:43 FJSV,GPUZC-L
    drwxr-xr-x 3 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:43 FJSV,GPUZC-M
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 18 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Netra-240 ->
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 18 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Netra-440 ->
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Netra-CP2300
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Netra-T12
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Netra-T4
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Serverblade1
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Sun-Blade-100
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Sun-Blade-1000
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Sun-Blade-1500
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Sun-Blade-2500
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root sys 512 Feb 27 12:34 SUNW,Sun-Fire

    So where are 'SUNW,Sun-Blade-2000' or 'SUNW,Sun-Blade-150'???
    Well, in any case it was an overdue and good decision !
    That beast is really attempting.
    However - just as Rich does: I love SPARC ,
    most of all I love my SunBlade 2000's :))

    Best regards

    Martin Bochnig

    Sun Certified System Administrator for Solaris 8
    Sun Certified System Administrator for Solaris 9
    Sun Certified Network Administrator for Solaris 8
    Sun Certified Network Administrator for Solaris 9
    Sun Certified Security Administrator
    Student of Maths
    Martin Bochnig, May 29, 2005
  5. Yep, similar with UPA graphics support; the card just didn't fit in
    the U5 case. There was a picture floating around of someone's U5
    with a hole cut in the top to accommodate the UPA card.
    That's certainly what seems to have happened. The difference certainly
    is smaller than the SS10/SS20 bump (where the looks didn't change
    but all that happened was a speed bump)
    Since other systems require additional cooling (in the E450, a fan board
    needs to be installed for each Expert3D), this may well be a airflow/cooling
    issue and not something fixable with a board revision.

    Casper H.S. Dik, May 29, 2005
  6. The internal handbook describes the differences as "tested speeds";
    the 440MHz modules were never tested in the U5.

    There are more differences between the U5/U10: different power supplies,
    different fan assemblies.
    They're different boards, there are many cases of PC boards where
    some systems support more RAM in certain slots than others; may
    depend on the number of traces in the motherboard.
    It's not required; ultimately it's up to our marketing department how
    boxes are labeled; surely that's there prerogative?
    So that's what they did between the SS10/SS20.
    They shipped with different motherboard revisions, even though there is
    some overlap and they all mechanically fit.
    So? A different banner means that we would have needed to rev the
    Yes; that's what the OBP notes say; if it can't probe the RSC or the
    Alarm, it will power up as a Blade 1000.

    Note also that the 1200MHz CPU requires a later different OBP because
    the system may fail to detect certain overheating conditions.

    Ultimately it's the label on the system which determines what it's being
    sold at.

    Remember that we used to sell "SPARCserver 20"s and "SPARCstation 20"s
    and "Ultra 2" workstations and servers.

    Identical hardware, except that the server had no graphics and was *much*
    more expensive.

    Casper H.S. Dik, May 29, 2005
  7. Funny. (no comment)
    Ok, point for you.
    I think they aren't different boards (no prove here, however: They do have the
    same internal code name called "Chimera").
    They seem to have the same PCB and the same chipsets installed.
    Just another preinstalled cpu (Celeron2 733MHz vs. 600MHz) and 128MB memory
    preinstalled instead of 64MB. Both of them also take any 100MHz FSB Coppermine
    Pentium3's up to 1100MHz (with additional cooling required / 1100MHz part may
    be unstable).
    Of course, I agree.
    But never forget that most of your dissatisfied customers won't call your
    hotline in order to complain.
    They just won't buy any of your products anymore.
    That is what I'm afraid of :-(
    "Some overlap", please don't make me angry again:



    in other words 501-6230 and 501-6560 did ship both in SB1000 *and* in
    "SB2000" at the very same time!!!
    Together 501-6230 and 501-6560 were the "current" SB1000/2000 boards from
    December 2001 (release of 501-6230) until the appearance of the 501-6768
    in August 2004.
    The "SB2000" 's lifetime was March 2002 to July 2004. So what do you want?
    Is there any difference between the SB1000 and the "SB2000" products other
    than their color/logo ?
    If so, what? The price ;)

    Well, there are also two older SB1000 boards: 501-4143 and 501-5938.
    But that doesn't mean anything here (even if they weren't listed as SB2000
    FRU, but they are).
    The real problem I see is, that SUNW used IDENTICAL boards in SB1000 and so
    called "SB2000" from December 2001 till Summer 2004 while marketing them as
    two completely different products {to make things clear: I don't claim
    501-6230 and 501-6560 are identical, but ([501-6230 in SB1000] ==
    [501-6230 in "SB2000"]) and ([501-6560 in SB1000] == [501-6560 in
    "SB2000"]) }
    They even offered an "Upgrade Path" from SB1000 up to SB2000 (can you
    actually upgrade something to the very same thing?).

    One is losing customers that way.
    Not to mention the brain-dead "pricing model".
    Where did SUNW's execs get their MBA, if any?
    True, didn't I allude that. Just as Andrew Tyson as well as other posters did !

    Well, it's a matter of 5 minutes.
    Moreover newer Solaris revs. are required for the faster processors to operate
    Indeed, that seems to be a general rule.
    Just compare the former prices of Sun Fire 280R vs. basically identical
    (Nowadays the prices of used/refurbished sf280r vs. sb1k still reflect that.)

    Martin Bochnig, May 29, 2005
  8. there really was more difference between the SS10 and the SS20.
    The 10 only had external speakers while the 20 had those crappy
    internal ones standard. The 20 had a faster Mbus (maybe sbus too?)
    and of course the 20 lacked the ISDN ports although the chip
    is still there because it also does the audio part. Also the 20
    always had the option for the onboard SX framebuffer, that was
    only available in the special 10SX.

    However, I don't really understand the problem with all this.
    Essentially relabing the same technology as a new or another
    product has happened before:
    Sun 3/160 = 3/180
    SPARCstation LX = SPARCclassic (the latter lacked the ISDN part)
    Ultra 1 = E150
    Ultra 60 = E220R = Netra 1125/1120
    And this is just a list of Suns that come to my mind at the
    moment. You can find a lot more if you look at other vendors too.
    Maybe the final point of difference is simply a "we don't
    support this", but then it's the choice of the company anyway.
    You probably can put the 1.2GHz CPUs in a Blade 1000, but
    then it will be unsupported like putting the fast SuperSPARC II
    or HyperSPARC CPUs in a SPARCstation 10. Sure, it works, but
    noone will guarantee that the system won't overheat or have
    other problems.
    There are really other things about Suns product policy
    to complain about like charging money for any kind of service.
    The systems handbook or Solaris 10 patches come to my
    mind quickly. I think they will lose more customers
    because of that, rather than because of relabeling some
    product. Of course that's just my 0.02 EURO.

    Dennis Grevenstein, May 29, 2005
  9. Martin Bochnig

    Josh McKee Guest

    The Sparc 20 had a 50MHz Mbus compared with the Sparc 10's 40MHz Mbus.
    Since the Sbus is derived from the Mbus the Sparc 20 had a faster Sbus
    too (25MHz versus 20MHz).

    Josh McKee, May 29, 2005
  10. [...]

    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by
    incompetence." -- Napoleon

    When I think back on the number of comments made as to how incompetent
    Sun's marketing is, I see no need for a conspiracy theory here.
    Richard L. Hamilton, May 30, 2005
  11. Well, the progress was really from SS10 -> SS10SX -> SS20.
    The SS10SX and SS20 only differed in the Sbus/Mbus speed, AFAIK.
    And the 3/140 and 3/110 were also pretty much the same (different
    number of VME slots)

    Casper H.S. Dik, May 30, 2005
  12. |Why is it required to give a workstation a new name just when they added
    |(or rather removed) some screws?

    So you prefer the Sun Blade 1500/2500 naming, where they didn't change the
    name, just the bezel colors for the new models?

    At least it hasn't descended to the insanity that happens in the PC
    market, where some vendors sell boards like network cards with the same
    names/model numbers for a variety of hardware, so you can't tell until
    you plug it in which chipset is in use or driver you'll need to use.
    (Of course, if you use Windows, you just use the included driver - it's
    only a nightmare for people who use other OS'es.)
    Alan Coopersmith, May 30, 2005
  13. Martin Bochnig

    Tim Bradshaw Guest

    We have loads of IBM blades, all called HS20s. They differ quite
    noticably. It's a *real* pain.
    Tim Bradshaw, May 31, 2005
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