Sun's W2100z Dual Opteron Workstation

by Kristopher Kubicki on 10/27/2004 12:05 AM EST
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  • najames - Friday, October 29, 2004 - link

    I use a Sunfire V440 daily at work. It is a 4cpu large entry level server seen here.

    http://store.sun.com/CMTemplate/CEServlet?process=...

    I program daily on mainframe, Solaris, and PC. Benchmark programs I wrote took 38cpu seconds on the mainframe, 38cpu seconds on my PIII pc, 17cpu seconds on Solaris. Four programs submitted at once on the the mainframe took 38cpu seconds but wall time was hours, the PC choked, the Solaris server still did them in 17cpu seconds each in about the same wall time. The Solaris server didn't slow down, period. We have combined large programs that individualy would sometimes crash on the mainframe and the Solaris Unix server burns through them even with temp space going over 12gigs druing processing.

    If the Sun Opteron server is anything like my little Sunny, they sould do very well.
    Reply
  • Reflex - Friday, October 29, 2004 - link

    *laff* Something tells me thats not the case.

    My curiosity is just that since these are obviously relabels, I am wondering who the original manufacturer is as the hardware is excellent and it might be nice to be able to acquire these for white box systems.
    Reply
  • morespace - Friday, October 29, 2004 - link

    Egad. You're absolutely correct. I didn't notice the daughterboard arrangement in that picture at first. It looks flat. But looking more closely at the placement of chips and capacitors on those motherboards, it's more than a family resemblance - they appear identical!

    I sense a conspiracy.

    The hard drive enclosures appear different for what it's worth. Who makes these really? Apple?
    Reply
  • Reflex - Friday, October 29, 2004 - link

    I take that back, that is the same as the one I have on my bench, however their cabling is a bit more messy.

    Look closely. Anandtech did not show a straight out picture from the same angle, but thats the same motherboard in more or less the same chassis with a few modifications. The CPU, chipset, Adaptec chip, PCI and AGP slots are all in the same places on that board, both use the daughtercard method for the CPU, etc.

    Thats why I am asking who actually makes that board and case, someone is preconfiguring the servers and Sun/IBM are labelling and reselling them.
    Reply
  • Reflex - Friday, October 29, 2004 - link

    That is not the same Intellistation that I have on my lab bench. I'll look up the model number when I go back in, but seeing as its friday night that won't be till monday. Reply
  • morespace - Friday, October 29, 2004 - link

    Reflex, what are you on about? Here's a picture of the insides of an IBM Intellistation A Pro:

    http://www.digitalcad.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp...

    Tell me, how does this look like a w2100z?
    Reply
  • Nsofang - Friday, October 29, 2004 - link

    Zealots on both sides always mess up any discussion. This is a review about the Sun WORKSTATION, yet punks bring in supercomputer arguments. WTF!! is wrong with you guys! If anything bring in arguments/discussions about comparable hardware G5's/Itaniums/NEC/SGI, something that adds to the discussion, not subtract. Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    #33: You're right, for "general purpose computing" FLOPS is a pretty bad measure, but you've just changed your argument. For "high-end workstations" (what this argument is supposedly about) FLOPS can be *very* relevant, depending on the application.

    #34: I meant "nothing special" in terms of how supercomputing clusters are normally hooked up. Just a few years ago, Gigabit Ethernet cards cost $200, and their most prominent application was in supercomputing clusters.
    Reply
  • Reflex - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    #37: Yeah, I know, I was in a mood yesterday or I wouldn't have let him get me into it. ;)

    And you just made the point I was trying to make. While price can be an issue in the corporate space, its only the deciding factor when all other factors are equal. I was not even trying to get into a Mac vs. PC debate, this really has nothing to do with Mac's.

    I do want to know who is building these workstations though, because its not Sun despite the label.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    Reflex,
    He's trying to pull you off the subject. Supercomputers are irrelevant in this discussion. The thread is about workstations. Sun markets workstations. Apple does not. I know our company doesn't care about a couple hundred or even a couple thousand dollar difference if the service is impeccable and the workstation performs the task without headaches.
    Reply
  • t - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    oh... i better clarify before i get labelled as a 'zealot' or a 'mac hater' or a 'pc lover'

    by 'cache starved' i mean that the power4 is _very_ dependent upon its cache architecture, take some of that away and u of course impact performance... a power4 and a G5 at the same clockspeed, the power4 wins. The G5 is still an impressive chip.

    t.
    Reply
  • t - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    heh...this thread is hilarious...can u ppl like talk past each other some more?

    please :)

    G5 = cut down, somewhat cache starved power4
    Blue Gene/L = power4+

    they are a fair bit different: l3, l2, altivec, dual v. single core...just for a couple.
    Reply
  • gromm - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    "and I'm sure that there's nothing special about the way the G5's were linked... "

    Actually, they have a communication network based on InfiniBand, which isn't something that you'd buy for home (especially considering how much it costs). The cards themselves are $200+ each (in quantities of 10,000 for the only price I could find for their HCA cards) and I can't even find how much the switches cost (I'm sure several thousand dollars each).
    Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Thanks for the correction, its been a while since I read up on that stuff. However you still illustrated my point that this is pretty much an irrelevant benchmark for general purpose computing. People do not simply use thier PC's for floating point performance... Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Reflex: "First off, once again, you are misunderstanding what you are looking at. Total number of CPU's is only part of the equation. There are *many* factors that go into the 'most powerful supercomputer' equation. How much memory and what type/speed? How are they linking the individual nodes? What kind of software optimizations have been done, and what software is being used to benchmark it?"

    Wrong. The top supercomputers are rated solely by FLOPS (Floating Point Operations Per Second, as I'm sure you know) as measured by the Linpack benchmark. See www.top500.org. I've never heard of memory having an impact on FLOPS; I guess it *could* if you absolutely starved the CPUs of work, but presumably all of these computers are balanced enough that the RAM can keep up with the CPUs. The nodes can be linked in any way; presumably they're linked optimally for price/performance, and I'm sure that there's nothing special about the way the G5's were linked... you don't build a supercomputing cluster and let the linking drag the performance down. As for the optimization question, I'm not sure but I'll bet Linpack is optimized for every platform/architecture.
    Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    I have not been arguing about superiority for the PC platform. My point is that they are not directly comparable as related to this particuliar review. The product being reviewed does not have an equivilent on the Mac side of things, so going on about how this article proves that the 'price' arguement is wrong is rediculous.

    My original question has not been answered, and that is that I am wondering who is building these since I have an identical workstation here on my lab bench but with an IBM label on it.
    Reply
  • karlreading - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    enuff of the mac vs. pc B$ dudes!!!
    this is a comments section about a opteron workstation, not about how a g5 spanks / get spanked by opterons ass.

    that said there is one part of this that gets me excited. Whilst coming across mac / pc arguments on forums, i have noticed one trend. AMD is now always the PC's defender. i never hear anybody citing the p4 / xeon as a mac comparison. its always opteron / a64 vs. g5. this is excellent news from AMD's standpoint, as it cements the trend that AMD is a respectable company, and also is impressive to see AMD as the lead PC saviour in the ongoing annoying "my pc's better than your mac " debate. Intel should be worried, very very worried. never thaught id see the day when my beloved AMD were championing the pc / x86 cause :)
    Reply
  • gromm - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    As far as cost, I'd like to see how much Apple (and other sponsors) subsidized X. The networking infrastructure it has alone would normally be massively expensive and I can't see how it fits into the $10M pricetag quoted by them along with all compute hardware.

    From benchmarks I have run, the G5 and the Athlon64 are neck-to-neck in performance (actually the difference is small enough to be noise) in 'normal' codes (mostly FPU) and the Athlons are a little faster in integer performance. I haven't seen what Altivec/SSE2 optimizations would do for either.

    If you want some rough estimates, go to Ars Technica and look in the Battlefront forum under the Cinebench thread. There are lots of scores under there to compare for this benchmark (includes a raytracer and some other stuff).
    Reply
  • michael2k - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    I'd like to see Anand run SpecViewPerf on his Dual G5, now :) Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    I am aware of Apple's 'server' aspirations. That does not change anything at all. They do not have the kind of corporate support Sun or other large venders provide, and as a result the Xserve is not a large player in the market. Furthermore, its only proof that your comparing the wrong product to the Sun product this review was about. Xserve was designed to compete with workstations like this, not the PowerMac which is a desktop system.

    My comment about Sun relates to the fact that for a long time they were a detriment to the industry at a whole, pushing concepts like Java PC's with no local storage, trying to keep prices very high, and generally siding with 'Big Iron' in the market rather than embracing the future. In the past year, as Microsoft/Intel/AMD have made the Sparc obsolete they have had to get with the program, choosing AMD as their partner made perfect sense as they had no motivation to improve Intel's position considering they are still competing with them in some markets.

    In summation, Sun is finally seeing the light, however their past is one of high prices, legal shennanigans(especially in Europe where price fixing has been a common charge against them), and a strategy of defining themselves as Microsoft/Intel's opposition rather than charging their own course. The future will tell where they go, and I'll cross my fingers and hope that x86 Solaris and Opteron workstations are a sign that they are finally producing products their customers demand, rather than locking them into a model and then telling them what they need...
    Reply
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Kris,

    Yeah, the list I am quoting is a year old because it has the last data for the Virginia tech cluster. There are others now in the top 10 that you mentioned. Even better that some of these are Power chips which the G5 is based on. This news story from Cnet news.com

    http://news.com.com/Virginia+Tech+beefs+up+Mac+sup...

    talks about the new Mac cluster at Virginia tech with the custom 2.3 Ghz G5 processors. They added 50 more nodes and were able to obtain 2 more teraflops. It will be included in the list to come out in a week or so.

    And, Reflex, can you comprehend this:

    http://www.apple.com/xserve/
    http://www.apple.com/xserve/raid/

    These products aren't intended for my mom to check email on. Plus the enterprise (business) apple store (oh my God did I say enterprise and Apple in the same post), sells rack enclosures for 1U systems and a Applecare service parts kit for xserve G5 and xserve raid products. Yes, Apple is a little new to this type of industry, however, Apple has had a server solution ever since the beige Powermac days ( go to www.mactracker.ca for more info). The more they get into it, the better they could get.

    I don't know how to respond to your Sun out of business desire. They help AMD and they help competition, both which are good for you and me.
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    mlittl3: Don't forget about the SGI NASA computer now ranked #1 and Blue/Gene L from IBM now #2 or 3. The SGI computer uses Itaniums, the IBM one uses Power chips.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    First off, once again, you are misunderstanding what you are looking at. Total number of CPU's is only part of the equation. There are *many* factors that go into the 'most powerful supercomputer' equation. How much memory and what type/speed? How are they linking the individual nodes? What kind of software optimizations have been done, and what software is being used to benchmark it? These rankings are more marketing than reality, and they do NOT answer the question of what the most powerful 2 cpu desktop workstation would be. In other words: Its irrelevant to the discussion at hand. My only point is that you can make a supercomputer out of anything with the right software engineering and equipment, just depends on how much money you wish to throw at the problem.

    Secondly, I do not know of Sun competing in this market, and I doubt they would care. They sell the Sun name in service, support, and hardware quality, as well as the benefits of their own OS. I am NOT a Sun fan, in fact I honestly have wanted them to die off and let the true innovators take their place. But, the point of this review, and the price on their workstation is that its about more than the hardware at this level, and that is what I am trying to get across to you when you go compare price tags. A difference of a few grand means nothing in a large corporate environment, its the service they are paying for and they know it.

    Apple has NO corporate service infrastructure at all, they will not have a replacement server or workstation to a business in a few hours after a failure, they do not have specialists who can assist in integrating their hardware into a server cluster, and they do not offer those types of services for free as part of your purchase. This is why they are NOT in competition with this product, no matter how well they perform.

    Can you comprehend this?
    Reply
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Okay, Relfex, you really haven't done your homework. The November 2003 Top 500 supercomputer list was the last time the Viginia Tech cluster was listed (they have been upgrading since then and will be in the 2004 November list). This cluster was made up of consumer level desktop computers at the time the list was compiled. Here is a duplication of the top 10.

    Earth Simulater - 5120 processors
    ASCI Q - 8192 processors
    X (Virginia Tech) - 2200 processors (2 GHz G5)
    Tungsten - 2500 processors
    Mpp2 - 1936 processors
    Lightning - 2816 processors (2 GHz opteron)
    MCR - 2304 processors
    ASCI White - 8192 processors
    Seaborg - 6656 processors
    xSeries - 1920 processors

    First off, none of the top ten are Sun systems. Second, according to your example, the cluster with the least amount of processors should be the best, highest performance processor used for high end computing needs that servers would handle. Let's see. The two least number of processor clusters were an itanium cluster (Mpp2) and a Xeon cluster (xSeries) neither of which performed better than the G5 with just 250 more processors (which was the third smallest). And if I remember correctly, the G5 cluster cost less than the rest of the top 10 (~$10 mill).

    What I really want to point out is that the 2200 G5's at 2GHz beat the 2816 Opteron's at 2 GHz. Do I need to do the math for you or can you handle it? What is even more insult to injury is that the Opteron Lightning cluster was made from high performance server/workstation computers and the G5 cluster was made from "desktop" computers as you put it.
    Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Apples Suck.

    (I'd much rather eat grapefruit)
    Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    "Well, I guess all you apple-haters' comments that x86 computers are cheaper than apple computers can eat your words."

    That is why I made a statement about Zealots, and then set out to demonstrate why you were comparing apples to oranges.

    Secondly, if you toss enough processors into an array, you can make it a top supercomputer. With enough 8088's you could even make that perform(I'd hate to see the size of that array however). Once again, the Power970 is a *nice* CPU, but that does not mean there aren't more powerful options out there, nor does it mean that it is a good option in all situations. There is an Opteron supercomputer being built that should be tops in the world, for example, but its not really an example of how powerful the Opteron is, its an example of scientists with a large budget and projects that warrant it throwing a lot of CPU's at a problem.

    And actually, my point is made with the geForce6800's. That is a consumer level card, and a video engineer will likely remove it in favor of a Quadro or something from 3DLabs or SGI. Just because something can push a lot of polys does not make it a professional level card. Go look up the card in the Sun workstation, it is NOT a consumer level card.
    Reply
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    #19, if you don't want to start a Mac/PC flame war then don't write stupid statements like

    "The problem with the recent Mac article appears to be that it has attracted the zealots to this site in force."

    If a site reviews a particular piece of hardware whether it is a Mac or Apple, then anyone interested in the hardware has a right to read it and comment on the article. If a Mac review site did a review on an x86 piece of hardware, I wouldn't bash an x86 enthusiast for reading it and commenting on it.

    It seems hardware enthusiasts are like segrecationists from the deap south back in the 50's and 60's. Statements like, "I don't like those Mac hippies hanging around our holy x86 hardware review sites and spoiling the purity of our x86 world" sounds like what you are saying, Reflex.

    Anyway, you have not commented on the fact that the Virginia Tech supercomputer cluster of G5's won the third spot on the Top 100 supercomputer lists last November or the fact that Apple G5's are sold with Geforce 6800 DDL video cards to provide enough power to light up two 30" LCD panels for high end workstation applications. Pretty high tech for just "audio/video editing".
    Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    #17: Confused is right. You seem to think that all that goes into a name brand workstation is the hardware. You buy a Sun, you are buying the name, and in Sun's case that means a LOT in the corporate market. Apple's name means nothing there and is not worth a premium over a white box IN THAT MARKET. In the home market, the digital audio/video market, and to some degree desktop publishing market the opposite is true. Its all about what a platform's strengths are.

    As for that HP vs Apple consumer system you mentioned, you forgot the part where that 2.4Ghz A64 would significantly spank the Mac you compare it to. A 1.8Ghz Mac does not compare with a 2.4Ghz A64 in performance. Granted we can't see how bad the comparison would be due to lack of optimized apps for both platforms, but I'd be shocked if it could do more than a few Photoshop renders faster on the Mac. Compare the price to a 1.8Ghz A64 and you shave a few hundred dollars off that price.

    I am not trying to start a Mac/PC flame war here, both have thier strengths and weaknesses. However comparing a *consumer* Mac(despite whether or not you can use it as a workstation) with a corporate targeted workstation is a rediculous comparison, and only demonstrates the lack of experience in the industry of those who would do such a comparison.
    Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    #15: I am very familiar with the PPC970, and I am a regular on Ars. I am NOT bashing it at all. My point is only that its difficult to get a real feel for Apple performance due to Apple's lack of cooperation with tech review sites. We don't really know what is better than what and in which situations.

    #14: You can say something 'feels' however you want. That does not change anything for a corporate IT buyer. The G5 is NOT marketed to them, the support provided is NOT what they would consider acceptable, and the Apple brand is not taken any more seriously than Packard Bell when it comes to corporate workstations and servers in that market. That is the market the Sun is designed to serve, and its competition are workstations from SGI, HP, and Dell, NOT Apple. Apple's G5 certainly can be considered a workstation if a person wishes to use it as such, however outside of the Audio/Video editing field it is likely not. I have yet to see a company with a legion of Mac's on their desktops that is not either in publishing or art. You can consider *anything* a workstation if thats how you decide to use it, even an iMac.

    Sun, however, specifically gears their hardware, software and support to this market. That is why you pay a premium for systems such as this, your paying for more than just the hardware, your paying for the guarantee that Sun offers. So comparing this to a consumer focused G5(just compare those video card choices again if you want to know what is geared to what market), with the support systems, OS options(where is Linux on the G5? How about Win2k3 Server? Yes I know it wont' run, but its an option on the Sun), and ultimatly a OS on the level of Solaris for stability and security. Its just not there.

    Macs are good for what they are. But they are not comparable to workstations in this class despite pricing themselves there. In fact, this is more an indictment of Apple than it is of Sun, after all they are selling a consumer product for the price of a corporate workstation...
    Reply
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Reflex, I can turn this "workstatin/server" as you put it into a regular desktop computer if you would like by simply taking away or substituting parts. Let's take out 3 GB of memory, subtract one of the processors and replace the remaining with a 2.4 Ghz Athlon 64, substitute a mainstream video card. This gives us a single processor, 1GB system or "desktop" as you like. I will use an HP system as an example

    HP a750e: $1500
    Apple single 1.8 GHz G5: $1645

    Wow!!! Almost the same price. Of course, Reflex, you will counter with HP sucks, buy a generic $20 case and power supply, CAS333 generic memory, the 1.8 GHz is slower than 2.4 GHz etc. etc. But as long as a pre-built x86 system (from HP, IBM, whatever) costs about the same as a Apple's computers with similar specs, then you can't complain about price.

    Anyway, the Apple dual G5 is not only for the general desktop consumer. Get another clue. Why would a desktop consumer buy a Geforce 6800 Ultra DDL that supports two 30" LCD panels to check email? The only use is for highend workstation graphics for movies, game development, etc. Plus, the desktop versions of the G5 were used in Virginia Techs supercomputer cluster before they were replaced with Xserves. What is the difference between a 1U Xserve and a desktop G5 technlogy wise? In addition, ANY computer can be a workstation or server but you would get crappy performance rendering on a celeron, 256MB computer but you could still do it (some computer companies sell regular Pentium 4 systems and call them workstations).

    Stop getting hung up on words. If you know the technology, then you know a dual 2.5 GHz G5 can be a desktop, server, workstation, etc. (Apple even gives you the option to buy OS X server with the desktop version) just like a $8000 Alienware gaming pc can be used as a server if you wanted to.

    And thank you for calling me a zealot when all I said was highend Apple computers cost the same as highend x86 desktops/workstations/servers what the f**k ever. Actually, I showed the whitebox x86 as the cheapest. I didn't say Apple is always less money or apple has better performance, etc. Please define zealot for me. I'm confused.
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    PrinceGaz: Multiple probes.

    Thanks for all the positive feedback!

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    #12, the Power Mac G5 is Apple's high-end workstation/server. The iMac is Apple's consumer-oriented product.

    I'd say that the PPC970 (G5) should be roughly comparable to an Opteron/Athlon64 at the same speeds -- at least much more comparable than a P4 at the same clock speeds. It's got a 16-stage integer pipeline, and the FPU units kick serious ass, especially with code that utilizes AltiVec (similar to SSE for x86). It's got a high-speed bus comparable to HyperTransport. AMD's integrated memory controller does give an advantage, but still I think the G5 could hang in there. Really though, any benchmark would come down to optimized code. Companies like Adobe and Apple that have the time, money, and inclination to optimize their applications for Apple hardware will see serious performance advantages over PC hardware. gcc-compiled apps, not so much, although more PPC-specific optimizations should come sooner or later.

    Arstechnica has a very lengthy article on the PPC970 architecture. Take a look, if you have the time, and I don't think you'll walk away with a bad opinion of the G5.

    BTW, I'm glad to see a Sun review here :) Interesting stuff. I would've liked to see another shot or two of the case itself, with all the components in it; plus a shot from the rear of the system. I'd like to see just how much space is in between that mezzanine card and the motherboard, and I'm kind of confused as to how the extender card fits in. It looks like it simply lies parallel with the motherboard (attaching along the bottom of the motherboard), but most of the time that there's a separate card, it is perpindicular.
    Reply
  • thesix - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    #12:

    "mlittl3 is attempting to compare a consumer product with a high end workstation/server."

    You talk like a typical marketing person.

    From pure HW design/layout point of view,
    G5 _feels_ so much better than w2100z.

    What makes me feel better with w2100z is the (new) Solairs OS and Opteron CPU.
    Plus, I want to show support for both Sun and AMD :)

    Reply
  • thesix - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    I assume AMD CPUs/systems are faster. I haven't got a chance to do any serious testing between my dual-246 w2100z and my friend's dual-2.0GHz G5.

    I guess I simply don't care that much, anything less
    than 10% of performance difference is not that significant to me. However, it's always good to know "my computer is faster than yours". :)

    Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    The problem with the recent Mac article appears to be that it has attracted the zealots to this site in force. mlittl3 is attempting to compare a consumer product with a high end workstation/server. They target different market segments and are designed for different tasks. Furthermore, the support offered for each, and the type of support is considerably different. Its Apples to Oranges.

    #11: We'll never really know how fast a G5 is in comparison, Apple does not allow independant hardware reviews, leaving it up to websites to purchase and test their own hardware. I know of no site as comprehensive as Anandtech on the Mac side of things as a result, so any claims of G5 performance are pretty much guesstimates and marketing unfortunatly. I wish this would change, it would be nice to know how Apple hardware really does perform as that would assist network admins in determining where it fits/if it fits into their current setup. Just being told by a company that "Its fast and stable" is not enough to make a corporation invest in a platform.
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Great review, the thermal graph is especially good in showing how the cooling performs. Did you attach many probes and take all the measurements in one go, or have to do it multiple times?
    ----
    The dual G5 uses some sort of liquid-cooling system inside the case I believe. That probably helps it reduce the noise.

    Is a dual 2.5GHz G5 machine as fast as a dual Opteron 250 (2.4GHz) box anyway? Results posted by Apple themselves don't count of course :)
    Reply
  • fic - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    #8 you could replace the FX3000 with a 6800 and save another $1000.

    I would like to see a comparison between the w2100z and 2nd tier companies like Boxx, XI, Aspen, etc. I have been trying to talk my company into moving to a 2x 250 system from a 2x Xeon system to ship with our product. BTW, we do digital medical imaging and need the processing power to do image processing on our 4096x5625 images.
    Reply
  • thesix - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    I am surprised to see w2100z is rated as _quiet_ here. I _personally own_ w2100z for almost 3 months now, at home. Apple G5 is _much_ quieter than w2100z. In fact, noise is my biggest complain about w2100z, and I spent lots of time trying to "fix" it. I am confused.

    http://www.pbase.com/taochen/w2100z
    Reply
  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Well, I guess all you apple-haters' comments that x86 computers are cheaper than apple computers can eat your words.

    Whitebox system $5284
    Sun w23100z $8695
    Apple Dual G5 2.5 GHz $5570
    (configed with 4 GB RAM, larger 160 GB harddrive, Geforce 6800 which spanks the FX3000's ass and combo drive)

    Oh that's right, you guys think the dual G5 system was meant for your grandmother to check email and your baby brother to play spongebob squarepants video games.

    Get a clue. Good x86 systems with dual processors from reputable companies like Sun (or even whitebox systems) and dual apple systems cost about the same. Let's end at least the price part of apple vs x86 right here and now.
    Reply
  • Araemo - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Wow.. you guys outdid yourselves, especially with the thermal graphs. I also want to say how nice it is to have a couple new reviews every week again. Keep up the good work guys. :) Reply
  • mino - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    #5 I would, putting aside the fact I could not afford one. :(

    Even despite I'm running Tyan Tiger MP on Fedora C2 ;)
    Reply
  • meatless - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Maybe it was just done for some sort of comparison baseline, but who would actually use RedHat 9 on a brand new dual Opteron workstation? Reply
  • jbond04 - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Hey Kris, great job on the review. I wanted to let you know that I was pleasantly surprised by your thermal graphs for the inside of the case. I think they're a great idea; and I've never seen them before anywhere else. Keep up the good work.

    -Scott
    Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    I notice that this system is nearly identical to the IBM Intellistation that just arrived on my test bench today. Even the motherboard is identical, as well as the case(exterier looks a bit different, but interier is the same).

    Makes me wonder if Sun and IBM are actually building these, or outsourcing them to a third party and sticking thier label on them
    Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    Just when I was complaining of no top teir dual opteron workstations. It's a shame that the way I'd like it configured costs 18,000 bones. Guess it will just be a pipe dream for a while more. God help our wallets when they release the w4100z Quad opteron workstation ;) Reply
  • Denial - Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - link

    I like to give one a test drive myself, but I'll let others be the guinea pigs. Reply
  • madeira - Thursday, August 18, 2011 - link

    good night
    Where can I find the BIOS (donwload) to update,
    The oracle - no longer provides soporte.
    I need physical BIOS or software update
    Could you help me please!
    Reply

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