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Ultra/Enterprise 2 question

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Paul Foerster, Jul 5, 2003.

  1. Hi Gurus, ;-)

    .... I'd be happy if you could help me out with this one:

    I just got a box that gives little indication to me what type of Sun it
    exactly is. On the front plate it says "Ultra Enterprise 2" and on the
    back there's a sticker reading "SN 945H2238" and "PN 600-6392-01".

    I have searched the net and found there are two PDF files titled "Sun
    Enterprise 2 Server Just the Facts" and "Sun Ultra 2 Workstation Just
    the Facts". I downloaded both and both machines seem to be the same or
    at least pretty similar. The welcome message says I have two 400MHz CPUs
    and 1GB of RAM (8 of the 16 RAM slots are used), both CPU slots are
    used. It's an SBUS machine. Beside these informations I have little or
    no info on the machine.

    I would be happy if someone of you gurus out there could enlighten me
    what type of machine this is (U2 workstation or E2 server?) and what the
    difference between the two machines is. The picture of the case looks
    pretty much the same in both "Just the Facts" PDFs.

    Also, is there any place where I can look up what the part number or
    product number 600-6392-01, or possibly the serial number, means? I
    searched the sun.com site but didn't find any page that lets me lookup
    such information.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much in advance. :)
    Paul Foerster, Jul 5, 2003
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  2. U2 and E2 are the same. U2:s usually came equipped with graphics and E2
    without. You probably have an E2. Pop in a framebuffer and you have an U2.
    Dual 400 MHz CPU:s makes for a pretty decent workstation. Creator and Elite
    graphic cards can be had very cheap on ebay.


    Fredrik Lundholm, Jul 5, 2003
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  3. Hi Fredrik,
    .... thanks very much for this information. In fact there's a graphics
    board installed. The machine has a 13W3 connector that I can connect my
    old Sun monitor to. Don't ask me, tho, what type of graphics board that
    is. How can I find out about this? Is there any test utility that shows
    me what type of board is installed? (I'm not exactly a Solaris expert)
    Paul Foerster, Jul 5, 2003
  4. Well, first, you did well.

    A dual processor U2/E2 with 400 MHz processors is the maxed out
    version of this chassis.

    The difference between an Ultra 2 and an Ultra Enterprise 2 is
    the graphics card and that's all. A U2 has a more capable
    Creator or Creator 3D graphics card, while the Enterprise server
    may have no graphics card (frame buffer, in Sun speak) or only a fairly
    basic model frame buffer.

    It's very easy to add or change frame buffer cards, and if you're
    interested, I have a spare Creator 3d card (with the correct
    plastic front bezel) that I'll sell for 35 bucks plus shipping.

    You're stylin' with a gig of ram, too!

    A dual 400 U2 with 1GB RAM makes a GREAT web surfing computer
    once you get it all set up. In fact, it'll do just about
    everything a PC will do, for the most part, and some things
    it won't.

    If you're a Sun newbie, the learning curve on Suns is steep
    but not particularly tall.

    I have a dual 200 U2 with a gig of ram and the Creator 3D
    card, and the only thing that's keeping me from using it is
    an apparent error in the original Solaris install, (Apparently
    a great number of files have gone missing!) and I need
    to speak to a guru to find out if it can be fixed with less
    effort than a total reinstall.

    If you lose interest in that machine, please contact me.
    I'd be interested in upgrading to dual 400's.

    The email address on THIS message is correct.

    Chris Johnson, Jul 5, 2003

  5. If the graphics board is installed in the slot nearest the power supply,
    it's a Creator or Elite graphics card. This is the UPA slot.

    It's a CG6 or other lesser card if it's in any of the four other slots.
    These are SBus slots.

    UPA slots are wider than SBus slots.

    Chris Johnson, Jul 5, 2003
  6. Hey Chris,
    .... it's definitely an SBUS card. It looks AFAIR pretty close to the one
    in my Sparc 20. The latter definitely is a CG6 type card.
    Paul Foerster, Jul 5, 2003
  7. Hi Peter,
    .... yes, my subjective impression is that this machine is pretty damn
    fast. :)
    .... thanks for the link. But the number is not 540-xxxx but rather
    501-xxxx, 5012922220816 to be precise. I entered the 501-2922 and found


    Which means it appears to be a pretty cheap max. 256 color card as far
    as I can tell.
    .... sounds promising. :)
    .... that's why I asked for the type of the machine.
    .... sounds like I shouldn't take Chris' offer of selling me one for 35
    bucks but rather have you send me one for shipping costs only? :)
    Paul Foerster, Jul 5, 2003
  8. Hey Chris,
    .... ok, can't beat that. But AFAIK the going rate for a used U2 in the
    USA is something around 1600 bucks or so. And mine was way cheaper.
    .... it's the last one in the list, ie. 501-2922. Thanks for the link.
    Paul Foerster, Jul 5, 2003
  9. Pretty fast, yeah.
    The tgx card is the standard kinda slow 8bit sbus card you'll find in
    older machines. They're worth around nothing these days.
    Yeah, they're ok. All of my U2s are serial console and servers, so I
    don't use gfx on them though.
    If I wanted to deal with shipping them then I'd sell them ;) People in
    the Boston, MA, US, area are welcome to ask me about coming and
    picking one up, though.

    So your machine has an empty horizontal UPA slot (all U2s have a UPA
    slot) and you should indeed get a UPA graphics card. The Creator 3D
    series 2 or 3 cards are slightly better than the series 1 cards (if I
    remember corrctly) and I believe the Elite 3D cards are better still,
    but probably more expensive.

    You need a horizontal UPA card (the later PCI machines take vertical
    UPA cards) from this list;


    more information about the machine and componants at;


    Peter Radcliffe, Jul 5, 2003
  10. Depends on the contents - the processors are the most expensive parts.
    I've bought dual 300MHz U2s for around $200 on ebay.

    Peter Radcliffe, Jul 5, 2003
  11. Hey Peter,
    .... thought so. Thanks for the info. :)
    .... ok, forget it. I live in Switzerland. :) I will take Chris' offer. 8)
    .... what is UPA? Is it just another bus architectire like SBus, PCI or
    .... my U2 does not have a floppy drive. Only my Blade 150 and Ultra 5
    have. I guess I cannot just put any old darn PC floppy into that beast.
    Well, that has low priority, if any at all, anyway.
    Paul Foerster, Jul 5, 2003
  12. Hi Peter,
    .... just as I said, dual-400MHz. Hmmm, please look at the following link:


    The configuration they mention there is similar to my configuration,
    only mine has 1 x 18GB Hard Disk, ie. twice as much:

    Sun Ultra 2
    2 x 400 MHz UltraSPARC II Processor, 1GB RAM,
    1 x 9.1GB Hard Disk Drive,
    with Graphics, CD-ROM and Country Kit

    And they want $1595 for a _used_ system.
    Paul Foerster, Jul 5, 2003
  13. Paul Foerster

    Peter Rohrer Guest

    I have an old, defective SS10 with nothing than some ram, PSU and a floppy
    in it, and, yes, i live in Switzerland. If the floppy works with your U2,
    you can have it for free + shipment. Not to mention that Suns are much more
    expensive in Europe than in the USA. :-(
    So the only question is: Does a floppy from a SS10 works in your U2?

    Gruss (that's German ;-) )

    Peter Rohrer, Jul 5, 2003
  14. Almost. UPA stands for "Ultra Port Architecture" and is used to connect
    processors, graphics, memory, SBus bridge, and PCI bus bridge in Sun
    Ultra systems. It is not a normal bus where all nodes on the bus share
    the same real estate, instead UPA is a cross bar switch that can link
    any node to any other node. This means that one processor can transfer
    to/from memory while the other processor transfers to a graphics board.

    Sun said this when the Ultra 1 was released:

    | Ultra Port Architecture (UPA): Supercomputer-class technology available
    | in a desktop workstation for the first time; it allows multiple
    | transfers of data, such as disk, memory, graphics or processor access
    | to happen at once, so that users experience fewer delays when
    | performing complex tasks.
    Goran Larsson, Jul 5, 2003

  15. Huh?

    My U2 has NO eject button on the floppy.

    It's controlled via the software eject command.

    Different versions, maybe?

    Chris Johnson, Jul 5, 2003
  16. Hey Chris,
    .... oh, it does not have an eject button?! Well, then that means that
    any old PC floppy drive definitely will not do because PC floppy drives
    can't just eject by themselves. I interpreted the big opening in the
    middle of the case to be the eject button. I must have gotten something
    wrong here, sorry.
    Paul Foerster, Jul 5, 2003
  17. Paul Foerster

    Peter Rohrer Guest

    I live in Aargau, near Zurich, but I plan to visit Bern in one of the next
    weekends, so we could meet there.
    If I compare with my SS2, the floppy looks the same as on your Ultra2, but
    it has a software eject, so your U2 probably also has. Have you ever used
    your other floppys (on your other suns)? Or does Sun uses floppys with
    mechanical eject in the newer Workstations?
    The drive has no eject button, so you have to use some software like "eject"
    (on linux) to eject a floppy. As I can see, there is no electrical problem
    installing a floppy from a SS10 in a SS20. But the mounting of the drive
    could be a problem. But I'm not that great sun-guru, I'm just an

    Peter Rohrer, Jul 6, 2003
  18. There are still people asking $5100+ for SS20s. Just because someone
    is asking for that much doesn't make it worth that much, it's worth what
    people will reliably pay for it.

    A quick ebay search on completed past auction turns up things like;

    (2x 400MHz, 2Gb memory, 2x 18Gb disk, cdrom, sbus ether/scsi, sold for $850)

    (2x 400MHz, 2Gb memory, 2x 18Gb disk, cdrom, sbus ether/scsi, sold for $695)



    No one in their right mind would pay over US$1000 for those machines
    anymore because you can buy faster new machines directly from Sun for

    Peter Radcliffe, Jul 6, 2003

  19. Well, just in case anyone has such a thing, I'd like to get a new
    motherboard for my U2 which is 400 MHz processor capable, and a
    pair of 400's to go with it. I'd be glad to trade in my dual 200
    motherboard and processors. (My mb is the older type, limited to 200
    MHz processors, unfortunately.)

    Chris Johnson, Jul 6, 2003
  20. Hi Peter,
    .... see email.
    .... if it fits into the U2 then everything is fine. If it uses software
    eject, that should be fine too. Both my Blade 150 and Ultra 5 have an
    eject botton.
    .... if you have the complete front plate for the floppy drive too, then
    that should not be a problem. I can make the interior fit.
    Paul Foerster, Jul 6, 2003
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