Sun Microsystems Inc is pitching a new high-end multiprocessor workstation and an upgraded uniprocessor directly at Silicon Graphics Inc customers who may be wavering over the company’s decision to move to Intel chips and Windows NT. A new high-end Ultra 450 quad-processor designed for compute-intensive graphics applications uses up to four Sbus-based 300MHz UltraSparc IIs […]
Sun Microsystems Inc is pitching a new high-end multiprocessor workstation and an upgraded uniprocessor directly at Silicon Graphics Inc customers who may be wavering over the company’s decision to move to Intel chips and Windows NT. A new high-end Ultra 450 quad-processor designed for compute-intensive graphics applications uses up to four Sbus-based 300MHz UltraSparc IIs with off-chip PCI I/O. It’s a workstation implementation of Sun’s E450 commercial workgroup server launched last year. It doesn’t use the 360MHz UltraSparc II, which includes the 120MHz Ultra Port Architecture used the recently-introduced U60 (CI No 3,402), because it was designed before U60. The U450 costs from $32,900 with two CPUs, Elite3D m6 graphics, 512Mb RAM and 18Gb disk. It can accommodate up to 4Gb RAM. Sun’s also upgrading its recently- introduced Ultra 10 ‘Darwin’ motherboard workstation with a 333MHz version of the UltraSparc IIi processor that includes on- board PCI. With 128Mb RAM, Elite3D m3 graphics and 4.3Gb disk it starts at $11,100 and supports 2Mb cache, up from 512Kb. It can perform 18 SPECfp95 with 2Mb cache versus the existing 300MHz model’s 12.9 SPECfp95 with 512Kb cache. The company didn’t say when it will be able to offer multiprocessing workstations with on-board PCI and says the two-way U60 remains its highest- performing graphics desktop. It claims to be taking business away from DEC, Hewlett-Packard and SGI who are abandoning Unix for NT workstations. Sun claims the new Ultra 10 offers 37% better performance at a quarter of the price of an SGI Octane MXE workstation while the four-way Ultra 450 is said to perform 39% better than a high-end SGI Onyx2 at a quarter of the price. In comparisons, Sun says an Ultra 1 with Elite3D m3 graphics, 128Mb RAM, 4Gb disk draws three million triangles per second and costs $11,645 versus the $48,000 Octane MXE which can draw 2.2 million triangles per second. The $32,900 Ultra 450 with Elite3D m6 graphics, two 300MHz CPUs, 512Mb RAM performs 128 CRDS graphics operations where the $126,700 Onyx2 with two 195MHz MIPS CPUs, Reality graphics, is rated at 92.72 CRDS. Although Sun is not offering the Ultra 450 with its highest-performing 360MHz UltraSparc II, it is making a four-way, 120MHz UPA-enabled motherboard available to Sparc- compatible system builders. Integrix Inc is offering an RS4 rackmount server with up to four 360MHz UltraSparc IIs, essentially the equivalent to Sun’s E450 Tazmo workgroup server introduced last year. Meanwhile, Tatung Science & Technology Inc is offering a compatible version of Sun’s two-way U60 as the U2360. Prices start at $25,230.