14 Replies Latest reply: Sep 6, 2010 8:07 PM by 795491 RSS

    Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?

      Hi All,

      Coming monday I get my Ultra 20 M2 (jay!) and I was wondering what kind of things people have tried upgrading/modifying. From the customer stories at the sun page I already saw that people have had great success with various nvidia graphics cards! I am specifically curious about

      * Other AM2 CPU's, FX-62? Athlon X2 6000, Opteron 1220?
      * Nvidia 8800 series (G80 core) PCIe adapters
      * Higher wattage powersupplies (500+ watts)
      * Memory types/brands

      Let us all know! I'm sure this thread (like the tyan mainboard thread earlier this month) will get googlized pretty heavily!


        • 1. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
          I've got a 40 M2, added a 8800 Ultra and it's a blast :).
          I'm also thinking about a second (SLI), but that's a bit difficult as the system offers only two PCIe power connectors (see the other thread) and I've got to get a SLI connector from somewhere as well.

          What tyan thread are you referring to? On my motherboard there is a two-digit LCD display showing various numbers during runtime (seems to be hex) and I want to know what they mean :)
          • 2. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
            This one:


            I just got my Ultra 20 M2 in! I thought it would be monday but it's here today! As soon as I've done some research regarding the mainboard, I'll post in the aforementioned thread!
            • 3. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
              Regarding the two-digit thingie on the mainboard: that's a POST display; it shows POST codes so you know in which state a mainboard is at a given moment. It's really handy when you need to find out why you're not getting any image on your display, for example. Take a look here:


              In the Ultra 20 M2 there's a Phoenix based bios (don't know about the 40): So:


              • 4. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
                Thank you - really helpful! :)

                On monday I should get a SLI connector...
                • 5. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?

                  Today (saturday the 28th of july 2007) My other hardware stuff came in! This is just a quick status update:

                  * The AMD Athlon X2 6000+ 3ghz AM2 works! fan connectors are compatible!
                  * The Corsair TWINpair 1gb PC2-6400 (DDR2-800mhz) modules work!

                  The corsair memory I bought is rather lengthily called "Corsair 2GB XMS2-6400 DDR2 TWIN2X Matched Memory Pairs | TWIN2X2048-6400C4".

                  I now have a 3ghz 4gb ram Ultra 20 M2! OhBoyOhBoyOhBoy! ;-)

                  Now for the stuff I'm starting on now: The Antec NeoHE 550 powersupply is pin compatible (ATX2.2) and has two PCIe connectors which in turn are required for my eVGA 8800GTX EVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB HDCP PCIe P/N: 768-p2-e831-ar); Stay tuned for that one; modding required due to length.

                  • 6. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?

                    I've just finished cleaning up after heavily modifying the internals of the Sun Ultra 20 M2. At this moment I'm installing Windows XP Pro SP2 on a Sun Ultra 20 M2 with:

                    * an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (3.0Ghz),
                    * 4Gb Corsair PC2-6400 (DDR2 at 800mhz),
                    * an eVGA 8800GTX 768mb PCIe,
                    * an Antec NeoHE 550watt powersupply,
                    * and an additional SATA harddisk, a 500GB Seagate.

                    Everything is working well but I still have to do some extensive testing. We made pictures along the way and as soon as I've got them on my laptop, I'll link to them here.

                    Everything went very easily, except for the 8800GTX; it is too big. I had to remove the drive cage and SATA backplane from its original location and move it down which was hard because it was not screwed in, but bolted in! I had to use a drill to get it out ;-). Next to that, the original IDE cable that is used for the DVDrom has a too large connector which I needed to modify because else the videocard in question will not fit snugly into the PCIe 16x slot!

                    However, all that is behind me now! I must congratulate Sun on making such a well designed machine! I am very impressed with it, and really happy about the fact that, although not supported, I can do this and run a really fast system in such a beautiful case! Fantastic stuff, Sun! Great work!

                    Stay tuned for the pictures!
                    • 7. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
                      Here you can find a few preliminary pics; The quality is not too good but you'll get the idea ;-)

                      • 8. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
                        I've participated in the mod today... It was totally wicked. And it's faster than fast (atleast in my opinion). Hehehe ... when can we start modding the 2nd Ultra????
                        • 9. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
                          Your progress sounds (and looks) great!

                          On my side there is not that much joy.
                          With the SLI connector ready and the power Y-cables prepared (the Ultra 40 has only two PCIe power connectors as well) I installed my second 8800 Ultra and 'enabled' SLI in the BIOS.

                          Under Windows the device manager marks the second card with a warning, stating "This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use" - searches on the net don't reveal anything helpful.

                          Under linux I can enable SLI, got no information that it does not work, but also no indication that it does work; glxgears has no difference in fps and the SLI HUD doesn't show anything...
                          • 10. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?

                            according to the Sun system handbook, only "Unregistered ECC DDR2-667 DIMM" memory is supported. You wrote, that the Corsair memory is working fine. I guess for many Ultra 20 M2 owners it would be very interesting to know, if you got any advantage from that DDR2-800 MHz memory.

                            Does the BIOS just reads the SPD from the memory to set correct values for the memory? If you have Windows installed, maybe you can use CPU-Z to check those values:

                            - Frequency
                            - FSB:DRAM
                            - CAS# Latency
                            - RAS# to CAS# Delay
                            - RAS# Precharge
                            - Cycle Time (Tras)

                            The results of the sun delivered memory compared to those from corsair would very interesting for me.

                            Thanks in advance.
                            • 11. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
                              In the forum you mentioned that you loaded XP on a Ultra 20 M2..... I just recieved an Ultra 20 M2 that I would like to run XP on, but don't know if I need to reformat the machine, or if I can just load in the XP CD, and start installing. Please help with the XP installation proceedure, and any problems that I need to watch out for.
                              • 12. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
                                hey it looks like this thread hasnt been very active, but im about to get a ultra 20 workstation and i would like to put a athlon 64 x2 processor in it. i was wondering if the athlon x2 processors would work, and can you get sli without 2 pci express slots?
                                • 13. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
                                  What is 8800 Ultra?
                                  • 14. Re: Ultra 20 M2 modifications - Who tried what?
                                    I thought I would dredge this thread up now that oracle stopped selling workstations. Those of you lucky enough to have an ultra20m2 might like to know a couple of things and if you are interested I will put the full details. I have updated my machine to an AMD athlon x2 6000+ from my old 1.8ghz opteron and it works like a dream. It even runs quieter, not sure why but the windsor chip may have something to do with it. Ebay for 60 bucks.
                                    I updated the ram to 8 gbs and has run flawlessly for 2 years with that in there.
                                    I also put in a new video card, dual digital port sli thingy (nvidia of some kind) with tons of memory etc.

                                    Since oracle has restricted any kind of useful downloads and bios updates to 1000 dollar contracts per machine per year, I assume that the three suns I have now will be the last of the hardware I ever buy from them, but this will give me a few more years on the desktop at least.