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13 Replies Latest reply: Sep 22, 2012 2:06 AM by 963543 RSS

Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?

959751 Newbie
Currently Being Moderated
I'm getting a Sunfire V480 tomorrow, Dual 1.2 GHz with 16 gigs ram, and it lacks a graphics card. If I wanted to use a monitor instead of a terminal would I absolutely need the PGX64 card or will a generic PCI Rage XL card (or Rage128\etc) work?

I'm not trying to say that using a terminal is a bad thing, I just find it easier to show others what I'm doing when I'm not using my laptop as a terminal.

Thanks!
-Chris
  • 1. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    rukbat Guru Moderator
    Currently Being Moderated
    All you can do is try it.
    There are likely no drivers installed yet to your OS. Drivers for graphics cards are packages that are specific to each Sun-branded card and in systems of the era of your V480, those Sun-branded cards often had specific firmware on them to let the SPARC architecture recognize them at the OBP level when you did your reconfiguration reboot. Generic PeeCee cards would, generally speaking, simply be ignored as if they were not present.

    You will need to modify your OBP settings to specifically choose screen as your output-device (and if it doesn't succeed you end up mostly bricked since your would have taken your console away from the default configuration).

    Again, you are welcome to try it and then report back on your success so that others might learn from your experience. You can hope it's as straightforward as install-to-slot/reconfig OBP/reconfig reboot and you get a 640x480 generic VGA signal.
  • 2. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    959751 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I'm going to get one of the PGX64 cards then try out a plain 'ol PCI card. Reason being is with the official card if I can't end up locked out of the terminal.
  • 3. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    rukbat Guru Moderator
    Currently Being Moderated
    If you currently have one of those PeeCee cards, you can try an experiment.
    Install it and do a reconfiguration reboot.
    Just don't change your console device setting in OBP.

    If there happens to be references to it in your /dev/fbs directory or in your messages file, or maybe from a glance at the output from prtconf -F, then you're probably going to get it to work without spending more money. (Though, as I type this, eBay has a few such cards available for US$20 or less.)
  • 4. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    959751 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I'll try that when I get the server tonight.

    One more question, the person says that he has 2 of them, one uses FC-AL disks and the other SCA80 disks (Ultra160?). Would the SCA80 be an after market modification or just a rare variation since I can't find anything at all regarding SCA80\Ultra320\Ultra160\anything other than FC-AL.
  • 5. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    rukbat Guru Moderator
    Currently Being Moderated
    The UltraSPARC-III V480 and the UltraSPARC-IV V490 use FCAL disks.
    The integrated disk controller circuitry (the chipset if you wish) that "drives" them is taken from FCAL technology.

    It can be a confusing situation to anyone taking a brief initial peek at such systems, but that design was chosen for its robust capabilities. THe 40-pin connector of the FCAL drives can sometimes seem to appear as the 80-pin SCA connector.

    Have that person actually show you the disks and show you where thay might be connected.

    Here's the V480 documentation link:
    http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19095-01/sfv480.srvr/index.html
  • 6. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    959751 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    One thing interesting about this is the lack of the controller for the FC-AL disks. This one here has 2x 4-port Gigabit ethernet cards, the RAC, 2x SCSI controllers, one LVD and one SE and 2x Dual port 2Gb Fibre cards.

    I also got a D1000 array with this, so I'm wondering if it was booted from the D1000...? Also curious to know why they needed 10 ethernet ports :P.
  • 7. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    rukbat Guru Moderator
    Currently Being Moderated
    Here is a link to the V480 at a non-Oracle archive of an ancient version of the Sun System Handbook.
    One thing interesting about this is the lack of the controller for the FC-AL disks
    The controller is an integral part of the V480 system.
    The chipset is a part of the centerplane.
    You can find a layout drawing of the I/O plane of the system, where the disk cabling connects to get signalling for the onboard FCAL chipset. For example, here.
    I also got a D1000 array with this, so I'm wondering if it was booted from the D1000...?
    That FE Handbook archive also can show you information for the D1000 array. It is a JBOD array, so booting from it could be a possibility.
    The D1000 requires a LVD SCSI card in the host system and NOT a conventional SE or HVD card. Unless you have one of those (now very rare) Part No. 375-0006 SCSI cards, that array is of no more value or utility to you than a boat anchor.
    Also curious to know why they needed 10 ethernet ports :P.
    You will have to go ask the previous user/sysadmin. Perhaps it was a web server or an apps server.
  • 8. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    Nik Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Small mistake.

    D1000 - require SCSI HVD.
    375-0006 - It's correct P/N for X6541 - HVD SCSI card.

    Regards.
  • 9. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    rukbat Guru Moderator
    Currently Being Moderated
    Yes. I indeed got the types of Differential SCSI technologies reversed.
    The A1000 and the D1000 require the uncommon High Voltage Differential and not the very common Low Voltage Differential.

    Thanks for getting this accurate.
  • 10. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    959751 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    When I get home I'll check what all is in it, I know that it has what looks like a plain 'ol fashoned Adaptec Adaptec SYM22802 and another QLogic controller that I haven't found the model on yet, only "Sun Jasper" on a label on the back. I'm not at home so I'm just giving what I have in my history.
  • 11. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    959751 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Alright, I seem to have an issue-it won't power on.

    Right before I got it he showed me it worked powered on, however I can not get it to turn on, with the key on the diag or On. Reseated everything I could, removed all the expansion cards, reseated the RSC card, reseated the PCI board, reseated both of the CPU boards, reseated the power supplies and all the onboard connectors, still won't turn on. The only 2 LEDs that are lit are the lights on the centerplane saying both CPU boards are installed, the 3.3v error and 5v error LEDs are both off.

    I know that power has to be getting to the PCI board as when you first plug it in the red light around the connector for the modem (the one that goes from the modem to the RSC card with a phone jack) lights up for a few seconds. I also know that the power cords are working as I can power on the D1000. The problem seems to lie within the V480.

    Both power supplies also have the good lights. Is there any change I have a bad power switch? Not sure how likely that is, but it's about all I can think of right now.
  • 12. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    959751 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    And to solve my own problem there, I've got it running again, still trying to figure out how to connect to it via serial but I'm sure I'll figure it out. All I did was leave it plugged in for about an hour, tried again and it fired right up.

    Also installed two 4.5 gig FC-LC drives until I can get some larger ones, I'll be getting some 36 gig drives I believe soon.
  • 13. Re: Sunfire V480 Graphics, Is the PGX64 required for graphics?
    963543 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    You can look into service manual on how to connect via serial:

    http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19095-01/sfv480.srvr/816-0904-10/816-0904-10.pdf

    instructions on page 134 :)

    You can also have a look at:

    How to set up and disable the RSC console on Sun Fire[TM] 280R, V480, V490, V880, V890 and V880z servers. (Doc ID 1011888.1)

    BR

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