Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Robert Maz » Wed, 11 May 2005 23:09:35


Hey guys,

I am considering a used Sun Blade 1000. I am looking for opinions of
whether I will be satisfied with this box. Yes, I know this is
subjective, but I would appreciate opinions anyway if you are willing.

The fastest Sun workstation I have previously used was an Ultra 60 with
dual 360MHz procs, a Elite3D m3 frame buffer (I think), and 1GB ram (now
retired to a utility web server). That was fine for having a browser
open, a few command line shells, etc. But the moment I opened an IDE
(Eclipse or NetBeans building web apps), it became too slow for my
taste. Sliding a window across a 1280x1024 screen resulted in staggered
frames, starting Tomcat lagged, etc.

In this environment, do you think I would experience a significant and
noticeable difference in running one of those IDE's with a box like:

Sun Blade 1000
dual 750MHz procs
1GB RAM
Expert 3D Graphics fb

I do not have access to such a box to try it out. I guess more
directly, does anyone have a similar box that they comfortably
(subjective word) use to run one of those IDE's? I am seeing many boxes
like these for around $700-$800 (US) on Ebay. I know there are more
powerful machines around for more money, but I probably would go without
a purchase for now rather than going higher on the price. Maybe my best
interest would be to wait until I am ready to spend more money?

For the past 18 months I have resorted back to a Windows machine for
development (1.4MHz, 512MB ram), but would like to move back to a
unix-flavored box and have at least the same perceived performance.

Thanks for any input.
Rob
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Rich Tee » Thu, 12 May 2005 04:05:29


UNless you're doing a lot of 3D work, I suspect you'll be happier
with a Creator 3D.


One might argue that if you do that, you'll wait for ever! That said,
I think I'd go for 900 MHz CPUs if you can stretch your budget that far.

--
Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA, OpenSolaris CAB member

President,
Rite Online Inc.

Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
URL: http://www.yqcomputer.com/

 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Stefaan A » Thu, 12 May 2005 06:53:43

On 10 May 2005 14:09:35 EDT


I ran Sun's Gnome 2.0 on a 1.75GB 2x360MHz U60 and two Elite3DM3s with
acceptable speed; jitter when sliding large windows, but pretty smooth
when dragging RealPlayer around. The box ran Mozilla with lots of tabs,
Sylpheed, SunPCI I, 10 to 12 terminal windows, StarOffice 7 and lots of
gvim windows, all without breaking a sweat. And with 8 virtual desktops
to boot.

I never used Eclipse, but Java applications such as NetBeans showed
less than stellar performance. Once they were running all was OK,
but starting them was slow.

I tried running 4 virtual desktops on a 1.4GHz WinXP box, and found
it so slow (switching back to a browser window would take 15-20
seconds of intense disk activity, even when there was no shortage
of memory) that I was never tempted to switch. Windows 2K seems to
be less swap-happy.


This should be about twice as fast as the U60, which would be
both significant and noticeable, IMHO.


I've upgraded to a 2x900MHz/Cu Blade 2000, and it flies compared to the
U60. I still use an Elite3Dm3 frame buffer (I compared the Elite3D,
Expert3D Lite, and Creator 3D series 3, and found the Elite3D to give
the best image and apparent performance). I suggest getting at least
2GB of RAM, or even 4GB.

The Blade leaves my 1.4GHz Duron (1GB RAM, Windows XP) in the dust.
I run several large Java applications at once (NetBeans, Java Studio
Creator, SMC), plus a raft of Gnome 2.8 applications such as Bluefish,
Planner, lots of terminal windows, 20-40 gvim sessions, Firefox,
Sylpheed, Sun's compilers etc. Gnome 2.8 is slower than Gnome 2.0,
mostly due to the anti-aliased fonts, but it remains very usable,
and looks far better on an LCD monitor.

Take care,

--
Stefaan
--
As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning,
and meaningful statements lose precision. -- Lotfi Zadeh
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Tim » Thu, 12 May 2005 12:27:37

Robert Mazur < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > writes:


You could run Solaris x86 on the same x86 hardware.

tim
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Robert Maz » Thu, 12 May 2005 19:55:30

Fabulous....fabulous. This was the kind of response I was looking for.
Thanks Rich, Tim, Hank, Stefaan....and anyone else who still may add a
note here (please keep'm coming). It's very helpful to hear other
experiences.

In regard to putting Solaris x86 on the 1.4GHz box.....I have put
Solaris x86 onto a different 1.7GHz Pentium box. It seems to run just
fine. But (here comes the least technical comment ever)....it just
doesn't feel right, mentally I suppose! I mean, I am no Sun expert like
many in this group. But I guess when I run Solaris it just feels like
it should be on a Sun box, though I am as intrigued as any regarding the
Opteron machines (still Sun box, with different innards).

This is obviously a completely psychological thing, rather than
practical. I agree that 1.7GHz intel box w/ Solaris x86 may solve my
issue of getting back to a unix desktop. For whatever reason a Sun
workstation running Solaris, using a Sun keyboard, Sun mouse... it feels
like a rock-solid combo. Tapping at my Dell keyboard and Logitec mouse
after seeing the Dell splash screen during startup takes away from the
Solaris experience for me.

OK, ok....I know, what's my problem? Do I want to accomplish some good
work, or do I want to just feel good doing it? Well, can't I have both?
;-p

Perhaps if it is running on a V20z where I don't see the box I wouldn't
mind so much?

Thanks again for the comments, guys.
Rob
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Robert Maz » Thu, 12 May 2005 23:07:08


Ya, I'll tell you, I have a V210 that makes a heck of a lot more noise
than I would have expected. But I guess that's why we all have server
rooms.

Speaking of which, reading through the archives of this group for SB1000
topics, I noticed at least one account of someone saying the SB1000 is
nearly silent. This can't be true, is it? I know my U60 sometime has
me looking out my window for an aircraft when I press the power button!

I would imagine the SB1000 (and SB1500, SB2000...the whole family)
aren't the quietest machines around, are they? Again, I've never been
around one.

Rob
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Rich Tee » Fri, 13 May 2005 00:47:42


I know what you mean, but you really can't beat Solaris on Opteron for
price/perfroamce. Now, if a dual 900 MHz SB1000 is "fast enough", then
that's a different story!


I use my Sun keyboard on any random x86 box I have to use. Simply het
one of those Type 5 to USB converters, and away you go!


You wouldn't see it, but odds are you'd HEAR it! :-)

--
Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA, OpenSolaris CAB member

President,
Rite Online Inc.

Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
URL: http://www.yqcomputer.com/
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Casper H.S » Fri, 13 May 2005 03:36:18

Robert Mazur < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > writes:


Both the SB1000 and more specifically the SB2000 are fairly quiet,
considerably more so than U10s or U60s; they're pretty much in line
with modern quiet PCs. Only on "take-off" the fans go full blast and
the system is extremely loud; as soon as picld starts that is history
and they're quiet.

Casper
--
Expressed in this posting are my opinions. They are in no way related
to opinions held by my employer, Sun Microsystems.
Statements on Sun products included here are not gospel and may
be fiction rather than truth.
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Rich Tee » Fri, 13 May 2005 05:12:28


So did mine until I got the noise reduction kit for it. Very worthwhile.

--
Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA, OpenSolaris CAB member

President,
Rite Online Inc.

Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
URL: http://www.yqcomputer.com/
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Coy Hil » Fri, 13 May 2005 05:57:06


What the heck is the noise reduction kit? Mine doesn't seem all that
loud, but then I don't power it off often, and it's also quite
possible that I may just be oblivious to the sound anyway, since I've
got a couple storage arrays and a netra in the room as well that don't
even phase me.


--
Coy Hile
XXXX@XXXXX.COM
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Rich Tee » Fri, 13 May 2005 06:10:24


It's a small kit that consists of an epoxy-mounted varistor that sits
between the PSU and a couple of the fans. The higher the ambient
temperature, the more juice it lets flow into the fans.

I got mine from Ebay shortly after I acquired my Ultra 60.


Yeah, that could be it!

--
Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA, OpenSolaris CAB member

President,
Rite Online Inc.

Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
URL: http://www.yqcomputer.com/
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Steven R. » Fri, 13 May 2005 08:58:21


Two ideas for your consideration.

1. I run a U60 with two 450MHz CPUs, 2GB memory with two Elite 3D-m6
frame buffers in the UPA slots with two 20" NEC LCD panels and it is a
very responsive sweet combination. The Elite 3D-m6 is at least as fast
and responsive as the Elite 3D in a PCI slot in the same machine. As
per previous post, if you don't need the 3D functions, a creator might
be about the same functionally. On Ebay and the secondary markets, an
Elite 3D-m6 is quite cheap, <$75.

2. Use common sense to maximize performance. I have several
applications that run in the background most of the time on my machine.
I renice them to priority 19 an renice the CPU intensive foreground
applications that suffer responsiveness to priority -19 when I have
problems with performance. THe difference is often quite remarkable.

If you have a problem with drag and drop, set the nice level to -19
for the Xsun process.
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by doug » Fri, 13 May 2005 09:10:19


Being the proud owner of the latest Silver SB1500, I must say it's
quiet. Too quiet. I have to power on my old Blade 150 so I can get
some sleep in my office now. ;)
D
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Robert Maz » Fri, 13 May 2005 21:26:34

Hey Gang,

Thanks for all the input. Keep it coming if you like...personally, I
love these kinds of threads. It's kind of like a tiny Sun Blade 1000
fan club.

Anyway, I just got done purchasing one.

SB 1000
Dual 750MHz
2GB RAM
Creator 3D (X3670A)
36GB hdd
I'll toss Solaris 10 on it

I got cold feet in regard to bumping up to 900MHz procs. Still, as you
might guess, I am pretty pumped to get this machine delivered. Can't
imagine how psyched I would feel if I were able to buy a SB1500 or
SB2500. I would probably need therapy (my wife would argue that I do
anyway).

Anyway, thanks for all the help and suggestions guys. This really is a
fantastic forum.

Rob Mazur
Seattle, WA
 
 
 

Sun Blade 1000 Opinions on Performance

Post by Andrew Tys » Fri, 13 May 2005 21:48:15


I am responding to this on my SB1000 - running dual 750MHz USIII, 4GB
RAM and dual 73GB FC-AL. I whacked in an additional Elite 3dm6 and run
in Xinerama mode on a couple of Samsung SyncMaster 19" 910N flat panel
displays (giving effective 2560x1024).

The machine id very usuable (especially when running Solaris 10). I have
fired up Eclipse 3.0.2 + MyEclipse plugin, and the performance is quite
acceptable. If ajnything just make sure you up your memory.

The really nice thing with SB1K is that you can upgrade the OBP/POST and
effectively make your machine an SB2K (from the perspective that it
will take 1.2 GHz USIII Cu CPUs). I might just consider that processor
upgrade in 18months to 2 years time when the prices converge with my
budget :-)

HTH,
AT