Sun Microsystems Inc is today scheduled to make its Big Bang announcement, bringing out the Sparcstation 5 Aurora and Sparcstation 20 Kodiak mcahines to claims that it is shattering the workstation price model. The Sparcstation 5 will start at $4,000 and the 20 at $12,200. Making room for the new families, Sun will cut the […]
Sun Microsystems Inc is today scheduled to make its Big Bang announcement, bringing out the Sparcstation 5 Aurora and Sparcstation 20 Kodiak mcahines to claims that it is shattering the workstation price model. The Sparcstation 5 will start at $4,000 and the 20 at $12,200. Making room for the new families, Sun will cut the price of its existing entry-level SparcClassic to $3,000, reckoning that that will make it the lowest-cost fully configured colour workstation on the market, at least for the time being. Sun will also claim to set new performance levels. With its new 70MHz and 85MHz MicroSparc II processors, the Sparcstation 5 is said to offer double the application performance of its predecessor, the Sparcstation LX, at a lower price. The new workstation is rated at 64 SPECint92 and 54.6 SPECfp92 for the 85MHz model and 57 SPECint92 and 47 SPECfp92 for the 70MHz model. Both machines share the pizza box packaging of the Sparcstation 1000 and the 5 will go up to 256Mb main memory and up to 2Gb of internal disk, supporting up to 40Gb external. It has three SBus slots, an optional slim-line CD-ROM drive, optional internal 3.5 floppy drive and high-quality audio. Users can upgrade to the 20 with a board swap. It can also accommodate the company’s two- and three-dimensional accelerators. The entry-level price buys a 16Mb processor with 15 monitor and 535Mb disk. The 85MHz unit starts at $11,400 and includes a 20 screen, 32Mb memory, 1Gb of storage and the TurboGX accelerator. The Sparcstation 20 will now be Sun’s flagship workstation, coming in uniprocessor and four-way multiprocessor configurations, and claiming a 75% price-performance improvement over the 10. It uses either 50MHz or 60MHz SuperSparcs, the latter being the first use of the 60MHz. The 20 includes as standard 24-bit true colour and other graphics capabilities, and is claimed to be the fastest two-dimensional workstation in its class, the fastest three-dimensional station for under $25,000 and the fastest three-dimensional station at any price with available options. Memory goes to 512Mb, internal storage to 2Gb and it can hold four SBus boards. The 20 comes in six versions with entry-level performance rated at 69 SPECint92 and 78 SPECfp92; it tops out with the four-way model delivering 6,034 SPECrate int92, 6,752 SPECrate fp92. There are also Sparcserver 5 and Sparcserver 20 systems: a 5 costs $9,000 for 32Mb memory and 1Gb disk and a 20 for $13,000 for 32Mb of memory, 1Gb of disk and CD-ROM. Sun also has multimedia versions of workstations.