2 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2009 3:48 PM by 807557 RSS

    Looking to get my first SPARC workstation

      Hello all! This is my first post here at Sun forums.

      First, a little about me. I'm a Freshman Computer Science major (with an emphasis on java programming), and a long time [free]bsd/linux (linux sucks :P) user. I've always wanted to get into [Open]Solaris, just whenever I tried to use it on my intel/amd machines, it never seemed to work out. :/ However, I did experience it enough to realize that Solaris is a very powerful UNIX os.

      Anyway, I'm looking at getting my next computer. However, instead of picking up the usual AMD stuff at Newegg; and after also using an iBook G4 [powerpc] for a while; I figured I'd try the next color of the rainbow: sparc. This machine would be my primary "desktop/workstation." This includes all the java programming for school/fun, all the web browsing (facebook, youtube, the usual), all the music playback/recording (I play with pianos/keyboards as my other hobby), and all the torrenting. Can these machines handle this?

      The "Sun Blade 2500" looks attractive to my untrained eye; specifically I found this one:
      [SUN BLADE 2500 RED 2x 1.28Ghz/8gb/73Gb 10k HD/XVR-1200|http://cgi.ebay.com/SUN-BLADE-2500-RED-2x-1-28Ghz-8gb-73Gb-10k-HD-XVR-1200_W0QQitemZ180343559629QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCOMP_EN_Servers?hash=item29fd5055cd#ht_2377wt_792]

      I know nothing about sparc machines, besides what reading on wikipedia (yay RISC and scalability) could tell me. Also, I'm in no hurry to buy my next machine, at this point my status is "browsing." So I'm willing to research these machines a bit (which is why I came to you guys :D)

      Now, for the questions. How do these machines perform, compared to the intel/amd stuff? I spent a while googling for benchmarks between sparc machines and intel/amd machines I couldn't find much.

      Does java run faster on sparc?

      Is it worth getting one of these to use as my primary workstation? Am I looking at the wrong series of machines? Or do I have the completely wrong idea about these machines?

      Is this thread in the wrong forum? Is there a webpage that I failed to find that covers all of this?

      Thanks for reading/responding :)

      - Jim
        • 1. Re: Looking to get my first SPARC workstation
          To be brutally honest, most Intel / AMD X86 / X86-64 machines will blow the processors off of a Sun Blade SPARC workstation. However, please don't let that discourage you as it can handle everything you have mentioned and much more. Also, if I were you, I would get the Sun Blade 2500 Silver edition with dual 1.6 ghz and no less that 4 gigs ram. This is the machine that I own and picked it up on ebay for about $600 and it's very nice. SUN workstations have a much higher quality building engineering, thus the hardware is top notch in that respect. Running Solaris 10 on this machine and you will have an EXTREMELY stable platform on which to work. I own one of these systems and run Solaris 10 and inside Solaris 10 I do Solaris 9 and Solaris 8 development / testing running each OS in its respective zone. Consider this the VM technology of SPARC Solaris. :) You're absolutely correct in that Solaris is a very powerful UNIX operating system and the integration between SPARC and Solaris is unmatched when comparing to the X86 world. The closest competitor is Apple, which are also very nice.
          In conclusion, I absolutely love my SPARC Sun Blade 2500 Silver and highly recommend any enthusiast to pick one up on ebay for cheap.

          • 2. Re: Looking to get my first SPARC workstation
            Ah thanks for the input! For now, I have one more question: what's the difference between the "red" and "silver" models?