SUMMARY: Sun RAM purchasing for SPARC 5
Thanks to all who replied:
I have decided to throw out the SPARC 5… its not worth my time fixing it… I
am just changing the PO and buying the ULTRA 5 instead. It’s a shame that
this kind of system will end up in the can because it’s almost impossible to
clear all equipment out of the corporate world. Thanks to all the people
that send their thoughts and recommendations.
One thing that did catch my attention was Mark Olson’s statement about using
a “cheap Symbios UW SCSI controller, about $85, and will even boot from that
with no special driver software. “ I have some Adaptec PCI 2940W/UW cards
that I’ll be trying out on an ULTRA 5 in my lab. If that works, then the
total price of the ULTRA 5 is more attractive (since I’ll have a cheap SCSI
I did notice that Bruce recommended the Kinston Memory whereas Otto
recommends against it because “The SS5 is very picky about timing on the 32s
for some reason there are references in sunsolve regarding them. We had
about 60 machines that we put Viking RAM in and had to turn around and
replace it all because of the async faults we were getting. Viking wouldn't
take the RAM back because it ‘tested good.’”
Going forward I am going to look into purchasing RAM from third party
vendors… its going to be hard, because this place has a SUN Enterprise
Platinum Support Agreement. It might be virtually impossible to legally put
someone else’s RAM on our supported workstations… As much as I like SUN
sometimes they make decisions that make no technical sense, like the January
2000 decision not to support EMC disks on their systems, specially on their
Cluster 2.2 Configurations.
Wesley Suess <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When you talk to your Sun parts vendor,, make sure they
understand you want SPARCStation5 RAM and not Sun UltraSPARC 5 RAM. If they
don't know the difference, tell them that the SPARCStation5 is the one that
was discontinued in December 1998, shortly after the UltraSPARC line of
machines came out. My previous employer had 80 SPARCStations and we ordered
anouther 75 when Sun told us they were discontinuing the SPARCStation5 line
in favor of the Ultra5 line.
The RAM from an Ultra5 will NOT work in a SPARCStation5. The SPARCStation5
is a slower machine than the Utlra5. Mostly because of the new processor
architecture than the bus...
If you really need the parts:I have a spare SBUS TGX card (Frame
Buffer I also have the 13W3-HD15 adapter if you have a SVGA monitor to
connect to it) and 2-32MB DIMMS for a SPARC5 (I have a Sparc5 myself) which
I will part with for $600 (o.b.o.)...
"Otto, Doug" <email@example.com>
Check out DataRAM. It's Sun supported and costs considerably
less. If you buy 32meg sticks from other vendors be careful. The SS5 is
very picky about timing on the 32s for some reason there are references in
sunsolve regarding them. We had about 60 machines that we put Viking RAM in
and had to turn around and replace it all because of the async faults we
were getting. Viking wouldn't take the RAM back because it "tested good."
Wendy Fong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ou probably have your own sources, but try here for comparison:
Solar Systems and Peripherals
8134 304th Ave S.E.
Preston, WA 98050
Phone: (800) 253-5764
Phone: (425) 222-7588
Fax: (425) 222-7388
Mark Olson <email@example.com>
Ultra 5 memory != Sparc 5 memory.
http://www.memoryx.com has good prices on Sparc 5 memory, I have
bought from them and was treated well. NO ONE in the world would buy
memory for a Sparc 5 from Sun. Ultra 5s can use a very cheap Symbios UW SCSI
controller, about $85, and will even boot from that with no special driver
software. Hopefully someone else will suggest that too, along with the
proper model number.
For all its faults, an Ultra 5 will blow the doors off any Sparc
5. We have both, and while the Sparc 5 is a much higher quality
machine, the speed of the Ultra 5, even with the slow IDE drive, is
undebateable compared to a Sparc 5. Cheers,
Go with the Ultra 5 - you'll obviously get much more bang for
Michael J. Connolly
"Caparrosso, Nelson T."
try using non-SUN memory first... was once successful with using
PC DIMM memory (forgot specs...) on a Sparcserver 5 and served me well
for years... paying for 1000 bucks for 64MB RAM is ridiculous... yeah you
can still use the old sparc by configuring it as a network client....
"Bruce R. Zimmer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Try Kingston memory, it is guarenteed for life and is much
cheeper than SUN
Kingston #: KTS32000/S5
Mfr Equiv #: X132M
Description: 32MB Module
Form Factor: DIMM
"Bill Casti, CQA" <email@example.com>
"Krongard, Aaron" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The SS5 is a great machine but I wouldn't make that kind of investment. If
you really want to resurrect the system I would suggest you look for memory
from DataRam or surplus. There should be plenty around in the aftermarket.
By the way, the original memory for the system was part X108M (8MB) and
X132M (32MB) and listed for about $250 and $650 respectively in 1996. those
part numbers are no longer available and I do not know if the Ultra 5 memory
will work in a Sparc 5 but I doubt it. Also, the list price for the X7036A
memory is $225 and includes 2 32MB DIMMS.
Sun is raping you on the memory cost. Give this Chris Cleveland at Memory
Card Technology a call and he will give you a MUCH better price. Tell him
that you were referred by me, Brent Killion.
Inside Sales Manager
Memory Card Technology
Joe Muldoon <email@example.com>
I would avoid buy the memory directly from Sun, maybe try
www.kingston.com for an alternative. It seems you can get a 32mb
dimm w/ lifetime warranty for about $143.
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