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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Sun W1100z vs. G5?

Sun W1100z vs. G5?
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deminisma
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Jul 27, 2004, 07:39 AM
 
http://store.sun.com/CMTemplate/CESe...P&catid=116318

Interesting, Sun and Apple seem to in close competition here.

Sun W1100z Java Workstation

AMD Opteron Processor 1 Model 144 (@1.8GHz)
L2 Cache per Processor 1 MB
Graphics Accelerator Quadro NVS280 Graphics
Memory 512 MB (1 @ 512-MB DIMMS)
7200 RPM UltraATA Disk Drive 1 @ 80 GB
Ethernet Port 1 @ 10/100/1000
PCI-X Slot 5
DVD-ROM/CD-RW Drive 1
Operating System Supports Solaris OS & Linux (Red Hat)

List price: $1,995

Apple G5 1.8GHz

CPU Dual 1.8GHz PowerPC G5
Bus 900MHz frontside bus/processor
L2 Cache Cache512K L2 cache/processor
RAM 256MB DDR400 SDRAM (expandable to 4GB)
Hard Drive 80GB Serial ATA
Optical Drive 8x SuperDrive
PCI Slots 3
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
Operating System OS X

List price: $1,999

It would be interesting to see some benchmarks, Sun with more RAM, better video and Apple with more processing power and serial ATA as opposed to ultra. I presume it would be pretty close. Of course, there is also the issue of the Sun machine coming with RHEL 3.0 compiled specifically for 64-bit.

It also brings up the what is a workstation, what is a PC, argument. Sun calls theirs a workstation, Apple calls theirs a PC, despite both being similarly specced.

Anyway, it looks like the battle of the low-end 64-bit Unix workstations/PCs is on!
     
OreoCookie
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Jul 27, 2004, 01:09 PM
 
RAM is cheap, so you can easily expand at least the G5 to bring it on par. My guesstimate is that it will clearly beat the Sun in apps that benefit from SMP (and slightly in non-SMP aware apps, because the rest of the load is (partly) placed on the second CPU.

To be more complicated, you should state what you want to do with it, because it really depends on the application and also in which mode the CPU operates (32 bit, 64 bit).
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angelmb
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Jul 27, 2004, 05:16 PM
 
Originally posted by OreoCookie:
[B]RAM is cheap, so you can easily expand at least the G5 to bring it on par.
Totally, 256 MB RAM is anything but a real world scenario. My SGI workstation has 1 GB RAM and it does wonders. My PowerBook has only 512 MB RAM since the second 512 MB module is kinda died. I feel the need for 1 GB RAM.
     
Big Mac
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Jul 27, 2004, 06:13 PM
 
I hate to tell you this, but I don't see the worth of this particular thread.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
milhous
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Jul 27, 2004, 07:06 PM
 
I do forsee Apple competing with Sun eventually for this very space. It's just bound to happen, only a matter of time. Might as well throw in SGI as well at some point.

26 posts to go...
F = ma
     
rkadowns
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Jul 27, 2004, 07:13 PM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
I hate to tell you this, but I don't see the worth of this particular thread.
Probably nothing however have you ever had a good night BS'n with the guys downing a few beers? Worthless but fun non-the-less.

As far as the benchmarking, I don't have a lot to say about this except that the sun box doesn't run MacOS so it's useless to me although I do have to admit that OSX has made me more familiar with Unix, therefore Linux, while all the time being productive with real tools that run on a real Desktop OS. So I might give the Sun box a look if I saw it in a store somewhere and needed to run purely Unix/X11 apps for some reason and an OSX box wouldn't suffice. Hmm, can't imagine how OSX wouldn't at the moment...

Other than that, what's a uS here and there...
     
klinux
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Jul 27, 2004, 07:52 PM
 
There is usually very little impact in real-word application for PATA v. SATA.

In addition, very few applications are SMP aware.

So out-of-box, I'd imagine Sun would be a better machine due to its RAM and large L2 cache.

And for the last time, 32 vs 64 bit's impact is not in performance but in addressable memory space. It is not as if a full 64 bit iTunes on a full 64-bit OS X will suddenly convert AAC twice as fast as 32-bit iTunes on 32-bit OS X.
One iMac, iBook, one iPod, way too many PCs.
     
klinux
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Jul 27, 2004, 08:00 PM
 
Originally posted by angelmb:
Totally, 256 MB RAM is anything but a real world scenario. My SGI workstation has 1 GB RAM and it does wonders. My PowerBook has only 512 MB RAM since the second 512 MB module is kinda died. I feel the need for 1 GB RAM.
I agree. Kind of questions why Apple threw in 256MB in when prev dual 1.8ghz had 512MB.

To keep the cost down, many people would say.

BS.

If Apple really want to keep cost down it might as well have no RAM or 128 MB RAM and let user buy and install all the memory. Not realistic? Since no one here would agree that 256MB is a feasible amount of RAM to use with OS X on a dualie 1.8, users HAVE TO buy and install additional RAM anyway - so why not have no (or virtually no) RAM?

Alternatively, Apple could suck it up and put in 512MB and admit that a dualie PM is a pro machine for a $2k pro machine 256MB RAM and 80GB HD is just cheap.
One iMac, iBook, one iPod, way too many PCs.
     
chrisutley
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Jul 27, 2004, 08:35 PM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
I hate to tell you this, but I don't see the worth of this particular thread.
I hate to tell you this, but I don't see the worth of your comment. Don't like it? Skip it. You aren't obligated to comment on every thread @ MacNN.
     
VukOnCrack
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Jul 27, 2004, 08:38 PM
 
Hmm... lots to mention here:

64 bit code all across can run slower than 32 bit code: think that every pointer in the app takes twice the memory, that's half as much data that can be stored in the chip's L1 cache, etc, etc. As people have mentioned, it's all about the memory space, double-precicion floats, and the occassional need for 64-bit ints.

Having said that, I suspect that the Opteron machine will be on par or slightly quicker in general with the two machines otherwise spec'ed evenly.

SGI? Do you know how much these systems cost? Their new Terzo workstation starts at over $20,000. *Starts*. There's a reason why SGI is dying and this is part of it.

For those who cannot imagine why you would need a Solaris or IRIX workstation, there still (unfortunately) is plenty of need. Lots of technical and scientific apps don't run of Mac. I use some of these apps. Yeah, I would love to see them on the Mac, but it usually doesn't make sense for the developer to port the app when you have a small niche market which is tied into certain hardware platforms for a variety of reasons. And some of these apps simply demand a true 64-bit runtime environment which OSX will not approach until Tiger.

I'd actually like to commend Sun for putting these machines on the market. I'm tired of Spacr, MIPS, etc. and it's nice to see a robust machine at a practicle price point.
     
Makosuke
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Jul 27, 2004, 09:03 PM
 
Originally posted by klinux:
There is usually very little impact in real-word application for PATA v. SATA.

In addition, very few applications are SMP aware.

So out-of-box, I'd imagine Sun would be a better machine due to its RAM and large L2 cache.
You're right about SATA and RAM, but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the advantages of SMP; very few "desktop" applications are SMP aware, but being that you're talking workstations here, there's a MUCH better chance that the applications that actually demand that sort of power will indeed be SMP aware.

Even in cases where they're not, anything multithreaded will tend to spread the load across the processors, so situations where the user is working on one thing and leaving a second task grinding in the background (again, these are workstations, so say rendering or an intense computation) even when the heavy-duty task doesn't use SMP at all, the'll still be more power left over for the user's active task, and more power available for the background task--it should have a whole processor to itself, with the user tasks and OS using the 2nd processor.

These are standard single vs. multi processor issues, but being that the comparison in question is between workstations, I'd say the dual processors is going to be a considerably more relevent factor than in many other comparisons. Why else would Sun be offering higher end boxes with 2 and 4 Opterons?

Seems like an interesting comparison to me, and I'd like to see some real-world numbers comparing the two, but I suspect they'll perform similarly enough that the hardware specs aren't the defining factor (though again, the dual processors could really make a difference, depending on what you're doing).

In the end I'd say it has more to do with what you're running; if you're doing any desktop-type stuff outside the standardized corporate space, or are running apps only available on the Mac (FCP, etc), then the Apple has a huge advantage. If you're standardizing on a Java platform or running something that's only available on the Sun box, then that's your obvious choice.
     
deminisma  (op)
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Jul 27, 2004, 09:20 PM
 
It is, of course, worth noting that these machines can run Windows, along with Solaris and GNU/Linux. So application range isn't really so much of an issue, unlike a SPARC or MIPS-based workstation.
     
Eug Wanker
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Jul 27, 2004, 09:23 PM
 
Originally posted by deminisma:
the battle of the low-end 64-bit Unix workstations/PCs is on!
Except that Mac OS X is 32-bit, and will remain so until Tiger ships.

It is, of course, worth noting that these machines can run Windows, along with Solaris and GNU/Linux. So application range isn't really so much of an issue, unlike a SPARC or MIPS-based workstation.
Dual booting is a pain.
     
deminisma  (op)
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Jul 27, 2004, 09:31 PM
 
I wouldn't expect people to dual-boot. I was just noting that if people want Windows, they can have it.

In regard to OS X not being 64-bit, true. But I believe Gentoo and Yellow Dog Linux are.
     
solagratia1600
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Jul 27, 2004, 09:44 PM
 
Just out of curiousity,

why is apple still stuck with low level of L2 Cache where most PCs have gone up to 1MB of L2 Cache. The PC laptops have also bumped up to 2GB of L2 Cache where as the G5s and powerbooks are still at 512K.

Is L2 Cache important in improving the speed of the computing task?
     
fashizzle
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Jul 27, 2004, 09:45 PM
 
for Apple to compete with Sun, the G5 PC/workstation needs:

1) ECC RAM
2) REAL workstation-class video cards (consumer GeForce models and ATI gaming cards don't quite cut it, despite their clockspeeds and RAM alotments). we're talkin' Quadro's, Wildcats, Oxygen's, etc.
3) better, MUCH better internal expansion options, and I ain't talkin just a few PCI slots.

I think Apple could do it, but it's gonna take some staple techologies like ECC RAM to really showcase the G5 as a workstation IN COMPARISON to Sun models. try talkin to a Sun diehard about hardware comparison - as soon as you say, "we don't have ECC RAM and those higher end video cards for the Mac", the game is over.

Fashizzle
     
Eug Wanker
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Jul 27, 2004, 10:05 PM
 
Originally posted by fashizzle:
for Apple to compete with Sun, the G5 PC/workstation needs:

1) ECC RAM
2) REAL workstation-class video cards (consumer GeForce models and ATI gaming cards don't quite cut it, despite their clockspeeds and RAM alotments). we're talkin' Quadro's, Wildcats, Oxygen's, etc.
3) better, MUCH better internal expansion options, and I ain't talkin just a few PCI slots.

I think Apple could do it, but it's gonna take some staple techologies like ECC RAM to really showcase the G5 as a workstation IN COMPARISON to Sun models. try talkin to a Sun diehard about hardware comparison - as soon as you say, "we don't have ECC RAM and those higher end video cards for the Mac", the game is over.

Fashizzle
1) Does ECC really matter in a workstation? I can see in a server cluster, but not so much for a workstation. That said, it'd really be nice if Apple had that option (like they do with the Xserves), and it'd certainly make some people (like you ) feel better.

2) I guess it depends on the app, but when 3D apps exist on the Mac side, they're certified on standard Mac cards, whereas on the PC side often Quadros or whatever are required. It might have something to do with the fact that Apple writes the drivers. And what about that dual dual-link GeForce 6800 Ultra? That's basically a workstation card. Well, almost.

3) I agree, for internal hard drives. Don't forget the PCI slots are actually PCI-X though.
     
VukOnCrack
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Jul 27, 2004, 10:50 PM
 
Originally posted by Eug Wanker:
1) Does ECC really matter in a workstation? I can see in a server cluster, but not so much for a workstation. That said, it'd really be nice if Apple had that option (like they do with the Xserves), and it'd certainly make some people (like you ) feel better.

2) I guess it depends on the app, but when 3D apps exist on the Mac side, they're certified on standard Mac cards, whereas on the PC side often Quadros or whatever are required. It might have something to do with the fact that Apple writes the drivers. And what about that dual dual-link GeForce 6800 Ultra? That's basically a workstation card. Well, almost.

3) I agree, for internal hard drives. Don't forget the PCI slots are actually PCI-X though.
ECC matters when you need to be sure your calculations are correct (re: data corruption). Since most people working on workstation-class machines are doing highly-intensive work, it does matter.

Can you show me where these apps are "certified"? I've never seen this before.
The video cards are quite lacking. Yeah, the 6800 Ultra is nice but it does not have "professional" level features: genlock, hardware framelock, etc. Some of us have a need for these things for the work we do. That's why we buy Sun, SGI, or stick a $3000 Nvidia 3000G into a linux box. It matters. Apple needs to provide this for their box to be a serious consideration in a lot of markets.
     
OreoCookie
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Jul 27, 2004, 10:57 PM
 
Originally posted by klinux:
There is usually very little impact in real-word application for PATA v. SATA.

In addition, very few applications are SMP aware.

So out-of-box, I'd imagine Sun would be a better machine due to its RAM and large L2 cache.

And for the last time, 32 vs 64 bit's impact is not in performance but in addressable memory space. It is not as if a full 64 bit iTunes on a full 64-bit OS X will suddenly convert AAC twice as fast as 32-bit iTunes on 32-bit OS X.
In case of the Opteron, this is not correct. In 64 bit mode, there are additional registers available which do have an impact on performance. But unlike the G5, the Operton needs a `pure' 64 bit environment ...
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OreoCookie
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Jul 27, 2004, 11:00 PM
 
Originally posted by VukOnCrack:
Hmm... lots to mention here:

64 bit code all across can run slower than 32 bit code: think that every pointer in the app takes twice the memory, that's half as much data that can be stored in the chip's L1 cache, etc, etc. As people have mentioned, it's all about the memory space, double-precicion floats, and the occassional need for 64-bit ints.

Having said that, I suspect that the Opteron machine will be on par or slightly quicker in general with the two machines otherwise spec'ed evenly.

SGI? Do you know how much these systems cost? Their new Terzo workstation starts at over $20,000. *Starts*. There's a reason why SGI is dying and this is part of it.

For those who cannot imagine why you would need a Solaris or IRIX workstation, there still (unfortunately) is plenty of need. Lots of technical and scientific apps don't run of Mac. I use some of these apps. Yeah, I would love to see them on the Mac, but it usually doesn't make sense for the developer to port the app when you have a small niche market which is tied into certain hardware platforms for a variety of reasons. And some of these apps simply demand a true 64-bit runtime environment which OSX will not approach until Tiger.

I'd actually like to commend Sun for putting these machines on the market. I'm tired of Spacr, MIPS, etc. and it's nice to see a robust machine at a practicle price point.
Well, that depends very much on the app.
If the app works on e. g. IBM Power workstations, it is not too hard to port it to OS X, especially for console apps (for instance simulations in physics or so). The momentum behind OS X is increasing, too, as you can see from the emergence of XServe (and PowerMac) G5 clusters.
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OreoCookie
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Jul 27, 2004, 11:02 PM
 
Originally posted by Eug Wanker:
Except that Mac OS X is 32-bit, and will remain so until Tiger ships.


Dual booting is a pain.
It doesn't mention of the version of RedHat is 32 or 64 bit either.
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OreoCookie
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Jul 27, 2004, 11:03 PM
 
Originally posted by solagratia1600:
Just out of curiousity,

why is apple still stuck with low level of L2 Cache where most PCs have gone up to 1MB of L2 Cache. The PC laptops have also bumped up to 2GB of L2 Cache where as the G5s and powerbooks are still at 512K.

Is L2 Cache important in improving the speed of the computing task?
Because it is cheaper to make those G5s, the die-size is smaller.
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solagratia1600
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Jul 28, 2004, 12:00 AM
 
so the lower L2 Cache is like the ram issue, where its cheaper for apple to offer less ram?
Though, with ram customer can upgrade, not with L2 cache. What's "the die-size"?
     
Eug Wanker
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Jul 28, 2004, 12:17 AM
 
Originally posted by solagratia1600:
so the lower L2 Cache is like the ram issue, where its cheaper for apple to offer less ram?
Though, with ram customer can upgrade, not with L2 cache. What's "the die-size"?
L2 cache is built into the chip. It cannot be changed without a chip redesign. I guess IBM decided that 512 KB was the best bang for the buck at those GHz speeds.

The die size is the physical size of the core. The smaller the die size, the cheaper it is to make, IF everything is working properly and manufacturing yields are good.
     
VukOnCrack
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Jul 28, 2004, 12:19 AM
 
Originally posted by solagratia1600:
so the lower L2 Cache is like the ram issue, where its cheaper for apple to offer less ram?
Though, with ram customer can upgrade, not with L2 cache. What's "the die-size"?
Literally how big the chip is on the wafer, thus how many chips can be cut from each wafer... cost.....

As far the L2, correct me if I'm wrong but I do believe that Sun had at some point offered 8 or 16MB of L2 on some of their Sparc chips. That makes a huge difference.
     
solagratia1600
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Jul 28, 2004, 12:26 AM
 
Thanks for explaining briefly about L2 cache. I was wanting to sell my powerbook to an archtect friend, and he noted that the apple powerbook has only 512 l2 cache compared to a PC laptop he was deciding, 2mb of l2 cahce. He is convinced that the cache difference will increase the speed for his architecture work.

Does L3 cache makes any difference at all then?
     
VukOnCrack
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Jul 28, 2004, 12:34 AM
 
Originally posted by solagratia1600:
Thanks for explaining briefly about L2 cache. I was wanting to sell my powerbook to an archtect friend, and he noted that the apple powerbook has only 512 l2 cache compared to a PC laptop he was deciding, 2mb of l2 cahce. He is convinced that the cache difference will increase the speed for his architecture work.

Does L3 cache makes any difference at all then?
That's contestable. An L3 cache won't run at the same speeds as an L2, so it's benefit will not be as high. Apple felt that the G4 did not need an L3 any longer once it hit a certain clock speed; this has been contested for a while on the web. The G5, on the other hand, has a much faster interconnect to main memory so the L3 just doesn't make sense as it can get the data out of main memory just as easily.

A larger L2 can improve performance. However, in theory, properly coded and optimized apps should work sufficiently with a smaller L2.

Remember also that there are trade off for a large cache: more power and heating requirements. In a laptop this should be considered carefully.
     
solagratia1600
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Jul 28, 2004, 12:42 AM
 
Ok. This info is really useful. Thanks again for all the contribution to my question guys.
     
Eug Wanker
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Jul 28, 2004, 12:42 AM
 
Originally posted by VukOnCrack:
That's contestable. An L3 cache won't run at the same speeds as an L2, so it's benefit will not be as high. Apple felt that the G4 did not need an L3 any longer once it hit a certain clock speed; this has been contested for a while on the web. The G5, on the other hand, has a much faster interconnect to main memory so the L3 just doesn't make sense as it can get the data out of main memory just as easily.
The POWER4 has gobs of L3, and it helps tremendously. The problem is that it can get damn expensive quickly.

A larger L2 can improve performance. However, in theory, properly coded and optimized apps should work sufficiently with a smaller L2.

Remember also that there are trade off for a large cache: more power and heating requirements. In a laptop this should be considered carefully.
He's probably talking about Pentium M. It has a LOT of L2 cache, and it is very low power. And it blows current G4s out of the water in terms of raw performance.
     
angelmb
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Jul 28, 2004, 03:25 AM
 
Originally posted by VukOnCrack:
Hmm... lots to mention here:

...

SGI? Do you know how much these systems cost? Their new Terzo workstation starts at over $20,000. *Starts*. There's a reason why SGI is dying and this is part of it.

For those who cannot imagine why you would need a Solaris or IRIX workstation, there still (unfortunately) is plenty of need. Lots of technical and scientific apps don't run of Mac. I use some of these apps. Yeah, I would love to see them on the Mac, but it usually doesn't make sense for the developer to port the app when you have a small niche market which is tied into certain hardware platforms for a variety of reasons. And some of these apps simply demand a true 64-bit runtime environment which OSX will not approach until Tiger.
...
Yes, a Tezro is EXPENSIVE, I think you really know about those niche markets, a typical desktop pc does not fit there. Maybe Tezro and Fuel are the last MIPS SGI workstations, maybe there arent... All I can say is that I would like that my 17" PowerBook runs Mac OS X as good as my Octane2 runs IRIX 64 bits. Right?
     
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Jul 28, 2004, 07:11 AM
 
Originally posted by VukOnCrack:

For those who cannot imagine why you would need a Solaris or IRIX workstation, there still (unfortunately) is plenty of need. Lots of technical and scientific apps don't run of Mac. I use some of these apps. Yeah, I would love to see them on the Mac, but it usually doesn't make sense for the developer to port the app when you have a small niche market which is tied into certain hardware platforms for a variety of reasons.
For the price of many of those niche apps the developers could throw in a G5 to run it. Or 4 G5s with xgrid. They could dramatically lower the total per seat cost and give a much better bang for buck on a total solution upgrade. Compared to the cost of a new IRIX box, which is needed to replace the old end-of-useful-life IRIX box, clients would walk away with money left over. That's a deal anybody would do.
     
VukOnCrack
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Jul 28, 2004, 07:26 AM
 
Originally posted by angelmb:
Yes, a Tezro is EXPENSIVE, I think you really know about those niche markets, a typical desktop pc does not fit there. Maybe Tezro and Fuel are the last MIPS SGI workstations, maybe there arent... All I can say is that I would like that my 17" PowerBook runs Mac OS X as good as my Octane2 runs IRIX 64 bits. Right?

Hells, yeah!

The problem with the SGI price point is that the world is changing (oh, my...). Last year I needed to buy six machines at about the same time they anounced the Terzo. If the SGI option was even half as much, I probably would have done it. However, why pay $25k a seat when for the particular app these were intended for one could "get by" running linux on intel for $7-8k a seat?

This is what I commend Sun for: creating a good solution at a good price point that makes them a contender at a price point that they were not before.
     
Gavin
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Jul 28, 2004, 07:35 AM
 
Originally posted by solagratia1600:
so the lower L2 Cache is like the ram issue, where its cheaper for apple to offer less ram?
It's not about the machine being cheaper with less RAM. It's about the marginal profit on a RAM upgrade.

1 GB ram:
ramseeker: $159.00
Apple g5 upgrade: $225.00

That's an extra $66 profit on the sale if apple buys their RAM at retail. They don't, so the actual profit is higher.

If they are really only making say $300 on each computer then that's a hell of a contribution to the bottom line, even if only 1 out of 10 buy the upgrade.

So, less base RAM = higher profits. It has nothing to to with getting the cost of the machine down.
     
VukOnCrack
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Jul 28, 2004, 07:36 AM
 
Originally posted by Gavin:
For the price of many of those niche apps the developers could throw in a G5 to run it. Or 4 G5s with xgrid. They could dramatically lower the total per seat cost and give a much better bang for buck on a total solution upgrade. Compared to the cost of a new IRIX box, which is needed to replace the old end-of-useful-life IRIX box, clients would walk away with money left over. That's a deal anybody would do.
Why would they do that? Why would they draw away from their bottom line by throwing in hardware with an app and sell it at the same price that they currently sell the app alone? Why would they port to a new platform if the demand in the market is not there increasing their expenses since they cannot just abandon the old platform and now have new development, support, training issues to deal with?

We have software from a 3-man company which costs us (and we have a very good discount) $10k a year just to be in the game, and then $1k-$3k a seat depending what option we install on a particular machine. A year. I know these guys very well. They would likw to port to the Mac in concept, but they don't have the demand to tie up their development efforts with this port and all the other issues that come along with supporting a new platform. (And, even the G5, still doesn't have some of the hardware capabilities to make it a totally viable alternative. See my posts above.) This situation is very typical among ISVs of these niche Apps. This isn't Microglut we're talking about here.

And when it comes down to it, those who have bought a $25k workstation in the past usually have the pockets to do it again if the situation necessitates it. If I absolutely needed a new Terzo tomorrow in my place of business I could and would make it happen. If only my personal budget was so nice!
     
gperks
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Jul 28, 2004, 10:12 AM
 
One item gone unmentioned so far... the Sun is wrapped in a generic PC case bought on sale at CompUSA. Also, no handles :-)

The Sun Blade 1500 & 2500 are even uglier. The Sun Fire, while certainly showing no signs of restraint in physical design, does look the part!

Also of note, the link says that the 64-bit Solaris (for x86) will be available "soon". Apple could say the same of 64-bit OS X. OK maybe "soon" is a little exaggeration for Tiger. Marketing :-)
     
H *
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Jul 28, 2004, 07:13 PM
 
Originally posted by deminisma:
http://store.sun.com/CMTemplate/CESe...P&catid=116318

Interesting, Sun and Apple seem to in close competition here.

Not.
One runs OS X, the other doesn't.
     
Gavin
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Jul 29, 2004, 07:24 AM
 
Originally posted by VukOnCrack:
Why would they port to a new platform if the demand in the market is not there increasing their expenses since they cannot just abandon the old platform and now have new development, support, training issues to deal with?
it's called business. If you stand still you're dead. And we are talking about a niche app. As the abilities of PCs (macs included) catch up with the high end hardware the justification to pay for the high end hardware gets harder and the niche shrinks. Someone else will walk in with a competing product that does 80% at half the price by using the new hardware.

As you mention yourself the support and training is where the real money is. Although I don't think the upgrade training would be that big a deal as the app is the same, the only difference is in the file save dialogs, etc. that come with the new OS.

And if the app really does need something that mac hardware does not provide then that package is not a candidate.

Anyway I was not necessarily talking about rolling in the machine at the software's cost but rather having the whole package cost less than replacing the high end machine that a company would be stupid not to take the deal. A smart software provider could even raise their rates and still beat the old price on the full package.

I guess my point is that there is always another way to structure a deal and the new cheap fast hardware just adds options.

If the deal makes sense then they can raise the money it takes to pay for the 2 man years, or whatever, to do the port.
     
VukOnCrack
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Jul 29, 2004, 07:44 AM
 
Originally posted by Gavin:
it's called business. If you stand still you're dead. And we are talking about a niche app. As the abilities of PCs (macs included) catch up with the high end hardware the justification to pay for the high end hardware gets harder and the niche shrinks. Someone else will walk in with a competing product that does 80% at half the price by using the new hardware.

As you mention yourself the support and training is where the real money is. Although I don't think the upgrade training would be that big a deal as the app is the same, the only difference is in the file save dialogs, etc. that come with the new OS.

And if the app really does need something that mac hardware does not provide then that package is not a candidate.

Anyway I was not necessarily talking about rolling in the machine at the software's cost but rather having the whole package cost less than replacing the high end machine that a company would be stupid not to take the deal. A smart software provider could even raise their rates and still beat the old price on the full package.

I guess my point is that there is always another way to structure a deal and the new cheap fast hardware just adds options.

If the deal makes sense then they can raise the money it takes to pay for the 2 man years, or whatever, to do the port.

The way these decisions are usually made resemble this: A large customer will request support for another platform (linux, for example). The ISV will then ask them how many licenses they will purchase/transfer to the new platform, etc. If enough people ask for this support they likely will do it. However, if your customer base is not clamoring for the option, it makes no sense to force it on them.
     
UnixMac
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Jul 29, 2004, 10:57 AM
 
Originally posted by fashizzle:
for Apple to compete with Sun, the G5 PC/workstation needs:

1) ECC RAM
2) REAL workstation-class video cards (consumer GeForce models and ATI gaming cards don't quite cut it, despite their clockspeeds and RAM alotments). we're talkin' Quadro's, Wildcats, Oxygen's, etc.
3) better, MUCH better internal expansion options, and I ain't talkin just a few PCI slots.

I think Apple could do it, but it's gonna take some staple techologies like ECC RAM to really showcase the G5 as a workstation IN COMPARISON to Sun models. try talkin to a Sun diehard about hardware comparison - as soon as you say, "we don't have ECC RAM and those higher end video cards for the Mac", the game is over.

Fashizzle
I have to agree.... Don't know why Apple doesn't jump into this with both feet! Graphics pros are prone to like Mac, but Mac can't just be a 2D workstation for ever... 3D is modeling is critical.
Mac Pro 3.0, ATI 5770 1GB VRAM, 10GB, 2xVelociraptor boot RAID, 4.5TB RAID0 storage, 30" & 20" Apple displays.
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Apple user since 1981
     
sanity assassin
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Jul 30, 2004, 05:09 PM
 
Originally posted by VukOnCrack:
ECC matters when you need to be sure your calculations are correct (re: data corruption). Since most people working on workstation-class machines are doing highly-intensive work, it does matter.

Can you show me where these apps are "certified"? I've never seen this before.
The video cards are quite lacking. Yeah, the 6800 Ultra is nice but it does not have "professional" level features: genlock, hardware framelock, etc. Some of us have a need for these things for the work we do. That's why we buy Sun, SGI, or stick a $3000 Nvidia 3000G into a linux box. It matters. Apple needs to provide this for their box to be a serious consideration in a lot of markets.
I agree. The sheer lack of cards for the Mac is the deal-breaker for 3D, no wonder Apple can write their own drivers, they know that 3d sales are minimal, combined with a tear drop of apps, they can afford to be less than supportive. On the PC side, cards are certified for 3D apps too, but the vastness of cards on offer makes the situation a happy one.

As to SGI, Macs aren't even in the same league here. The Tezro (second lowest-end SGI machine) is tanking Linux machines for video/film composites, heck, even 3D performace (for which SGI have been slated for in recent years) is blindingly fast.

If you're a professional film grade studio, SGI is still top-notch for high-end work.
     
sanity assassin
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Jul 30, 2004, 05:13 PM
 
Originally posted by UnixMac:
I have to agree.... Don't know why Apple doesn't jump into this with both feet! Graphics pros are prone to like Mac, but Mac can't just be a 2D workstation for ever... 3D is modeling is critical.
Macs will always be second fiddle to PCs until Apple can produce a pro 3D workstation, at a cost similar to the PC side. In this business, the Apple 'brand' means nothing. Expensive, locked in solutions are the past, it's what drove SGI virtually out of the media (3D sector) market.
     
daiSho
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Jul 31, 2004, 01:13 PM
 
Originally posted by sanity assassin:
I agree. The sheer lack of cards for the Mac is the deal-breaker for 3D, no wonder Apple can write their own drivers, they know that 3d sales are minimal, combined with a tear drop of apps, they can afford to be less than supportive. On the PC side, cards are certified for 3D apps too, but the vastness of cards on offer makes the situation a happy one.

As to SGI, Macs aren't even in the same league here. The Tezro (second lowest-end SGI machine) is tanking Linux machines for video/film composites, heck, even 3D performace (for which SGI have been slated for in recent years) is blindingly fast.

If you're a professional film grade studio, SGI is still top-notch for high-end work.
thank you from an SGI/Irix engineer of almost 10 years..
     
VukOnCrack
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Jul 31, 2004, 01:45 PM
 
Originally posted by sanity assassin:
I agree. The sheer lack of cards for the Mac is the deal-breaker for 3D, no wonder Apple can write their own drivers, they know that 3d sales are minimal, combined with a tear drop of apps, they can afford to be less than supportive. On the PC side, cards are certified for 3D apps too, but the vastness of cards on offer makes the situation a happy one.

As to SGI, Macs aren't even in the same league here. The Tezro (second lowest-end SGI machine) is tanking Linux machines for video/film composites, heck, even 3D performace (for which SGI have been slated for in recent years) is blindingly fast.

If you're a professional film grade studio, SGI is still top-notch for high-end work.
I haven't seen any performance reviews of the Terzo. Can you point me to any?

I do enjoy using the SGIs at my disposal. For some things they are still irreplaceable. For others, like I said, we can "make do" with a linux box and high-end Nvidia card.

Now the cost of the service contracts... that's something alltogether different (%%#^# SGI ripping me off.... ).
     
angelmb
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Aug 1, 2004, 08:53 AM
 
Originally posted by VukOnCrack:
I haven't seen any performance reviews of the Terzo. Can you point me to any?
a time ago I had read this one about Smoke 6 on the Tezro,
link here

to mention from the article:
"Interestingly, the processors inside SGIs new Tezro workstations are slower than Intels latest, and certainly pokier than the new Mac G5 chips. Even so, heres where the power of SGI comes in. The name of the SGI game is throughput, and lots of it. With its four PCI-X busses, Tezro gives you four pipelines to the processors, and if you populate all four of those loops with fast disks, you can play back 3K frames in real time. To put this into perspective, compared to Tezros four PCI-X busses, the mighty Apple Power Mac G5 has but one. And, making up for its relatively slow processors, Tezro makes up for that deficiency with sheer numbers, sporting two or even four MIPS R16000 700 MHz processors inside, along with 128MB of graphics memory, including 104MB of texture memory. As a result, unlike PCs and Macs available at this writing, the Tezro can play back uncompressed 2K, 12-bit video in real time, in software, when its equipped with four loops of storage. The system we tested, with two loops, can play back HD frames. This kind of throughput is what convinces many high-end effects and editing houses that only SGI-based hardware will do the trick."

Tezro MIPS R16K CPUs run at 800MHz nowadays.
     
VukOnCrack
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Aug 1, 2004, 09:27 AM
 
Originally posted by angelmb:
a time ago I had read this one about Smoke 6 on the Tezro,
link here

to mention from the article:
"Interestingly, the processors inside SGIs new Tezro workstations are slower than Intels latest, and certainly pokier than the new Mac G5 chips. Even so, heres where the power of SGI comes in. The name of the SGI game is throughput, and lots of it. With its four PCI-X busses, Tezro gives you four pipelines to the processors, and if you populate all four of those loops with fast disks, you can play back 3K frames in real time. To put this into perspective, compared to Tezros four PCI-X busses, the mighty Apple Power Mac G5 has but one. And, making up for its relatively slow processors, Tezro makes up for that deficiency with sheer numbers, sporting two or even four MIPS R16000 700 MHz processors inside, along with 128MB of graphics memory, including 104MB of texture memory. As a result, unlike PCs and Macs available at this writing, the Tezro can play back uncompressed 2K, 12-bit video in real time, in software, when its equipped with four loops of storage. The system we tested, with two loops, can play back HD frames. This kind of throughput is what convinces many high-end effects and editing houses that only SGI-based hardware will do the trick."

Tezro MIPS R16K CPUs run at 800MHz nowadays.

Thanks. Shall be a fun read.

Though I still like the looks of my Onyx better.
     
   
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