Home > Oracle and SUN > Sun Debutes Ultra 3 Sun Debutes Ultra 3 Thom Holwerda 2005-07-01 Oracle and SUN 26 Comments Shortly after the introduction of the Ultra 20, Sun has introduced their first mobile workstation, the Ultra 3. The Ultra 3 mobile Workstation features an UltraSPARC IIi or IIIi processor (550-1200Mhz) and up to 2 GB of RAM. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 26 Comments 2005-07-01 12:16 pm I talked to one of Naturetech’s salesmen yesterday here in Taipei. I’m looking at the SPARC Powerbook 888P. Sweet! http://www.naturetech.com.tw/_products/_888P.html 2005-07-01 12:46 pm http://www.tadpolecomputer.com/html/ has been making sparc based laptops for years. 2005-07-01 1:22 pm I can’t believe Sun is still selling those UltraSPARC IIi prcoessors. They’re the same processors that were in the Ultra 5’s (that came out in 1998), albiet with slightly faster clockspeeds (my Ultra 5, purchased in ’99, is 333 MHz UltraSPARC IIi [I think with more cache too than current IIi’s]), in 2005, they’re still selling 550 and 650 MHz UltraSPARC IIis). If you check out SPEC CPU2000 results (http://spec.org), the 650 MHz is pretty slow compared to even a Pentium III. If the $3400 starting price is for a 550 MHz UltraSPARC IIi, then it’s kind of a ripoff. If it’s for the UltraSPARC IIIi, then it’s not so bad. 2005-07-01 2:11 pm I have several customers with PIII-500’s still in production. If it works, why throw it away. Admittedly they are low use servers, but they get the job done and the cost is right — fully depreciated. With the US-IIi notebooks, it’s all about compatibility and low power. I don’t do SPARC, but I see the niche. Many of these notebook systems are likely command line or CDE use boxes, so a low speed chip isn’t that much of a problem — especially if it’s used as a portable maintenance console or something like that. Apple sells a lot of ‘old chips’ in notebooks — and they sell well. I can’t wait until Sun does the AMD64 notebooks — now that will be one to buy. I think it interesting that Sun now has low end workststions and laptops for sale — and they said at the conference, more to come. 2005-07-01 3:11 pm I went through all the steps, and along the way read that it would be billed in three annual installments in the fine print. On the final checkout age they want a CC# and 1275.65 with no mention of how it will be billed etc. How is this $29.95 a month? It is confusing to say the least, is it 36 monthly payments, 3 annual payments ot 1 lump sum? If you call Sun and get to the sales dept. they say there is a special group that deals with the offer and they cannot transfer you to anyone in that group (and of course they cant help you). I would really like to get this system, OS and dev. tools but cant get anyone to help/answer questions. 2005-07-01 3:48 pm Hi folks, I’ve just seen this link http://www.naturetech.com.tw/_products/_888P.html saying it’s got an ATI Radeon Chip onboard with this notebook. Has anyone already tried to stick one of this Radeons to a SPARC Blade unit? If so, I would get one so I can be able to get rid of the ATI-XL onboard.. (I believe the firmware on those Radeon’s cards are written for x86 code but..) 2005-07-01 4:13 pm Well I for one am diappointed that the laptop only comes with 2 GB of RAM. If it’s a 64-bit OS, why not 4 GB? Why not 16 GB? Sheesh. 😉 2005-07-01 4:31 pm Bill Bradford (http://weblog.mrbill.net/) got the “fine print” on the Ultra 20 deal from Sun, it is 3 payments of $359.40 over the three years to purchase the minimally equipped Ultra 20. The interesting thing is the cost of the software, Sun Studio 10 is $2995.00 and Java Studio Enterprise is $1895.00 (license cost), the media is $40.00. My take is this promotion is for “qualified customers” who already have the software and would be buying additional support. 2005-07-01 4:53 pm In this offer the development software is included: http://www.sun.com/emrkt/freeopteronworkstation/index.html This offer looks like one of the least expensive ways to get Enterprise software and Solarix X preloaded. I’d buy this but I have a laptop and no independent monitor. I’ve got a Powerbook so I’m looking to by an Apple 20% first. 2005-07-01 4:54 pm http://www.naturetech.com.tw/_products/_Meso999.html IF only money grew on trees… 2005-07-01 5:11 pm Yes, it is slow, but it is also low power and highly integrated (on board cache, memory controller, etc.). It is also a design that has been around for basically forever in computing terms, so it is also proven (perhaps why telco blades still use them). My fastest PC is a Celeron under 1GHz. It serve me well, although it is lacking in playing movies. That’s about it, as it is great for running OpenOffice and Firefox. Modern 3+GHz PCs are really good only for ego trips outside of specific industries that need them or gamers with more money than sense. I’d rather have a PC with a 20 watt CPU than a faster one with a 120 watt CPU, as electricity costs money, too. 2005-07-01 5:37 pm I’d be interested in getting Solaris laptop, loaded with all of the Java, Gnome, and Solaris goodies, with all hardware working out of the box, if the price for performance ration was good. If I could get at least PIII type performance for around $700, I’d consider it. But Sun wants $3000 for apparently PIII type performance (on those Sparc processors). No thanks. This once again proves that Sun is very capable of making great technology (Java, Solaris, great big iron servers, etc), but has it’s head up it’s rear-end in terms of business sense. It’s quite sad that such a great technology company is on an endless course to sink itself. 2005-07-01 5:52 pm Yeah, well you’re not their target market. Even if they could produce these things cheap enough to sell for less than $1000, only about 20 hard-core Solaris geeks worldwide would buy them for home use. They can’t compete with Dell in the consumer market and there’s not much point in trying. They’re selling these things to companies (and the military) that NEED sparc compatibility on the road and are willing and able to pay big bucks for the privilege. I noticed several SparcLE 550 and 650Mhz laptops on sale on ebay over the last year or so. I came close to buying one a couple of times but kept talking myself out of it. They sell for anywhere from $1500-$2500 from time to time, but I haven’t noticed anyone selling one in the last 4 or 5 months. 2005-07-01 7:18 pm “They can’t compete with Dell in the consumer market and there’s not much point in trying.” They just aren’t competing in the _laptop_ market. Sun’s desktops, like the Ultra 20, _are_ competitively priced, even against Dell (apples to apples, people!). 2005-07-01 7:54 pm i will buy one when it comes with an UltraSPARC llli+ 2005-07-01 7:55 pm sun should make a SPARC equivilant of the Ultra 20 2005-07-01 7:58 pm I have been a fan of Sun for a long time. I have two Sun boxes and plan on purchasing a referbed Sunblade 2000. I have a 170MHz Sparcserver 5 that has been used as a mail server and low end workstation. This thing “just works” and has never given me any problems, plus I like the cool low profile look of this machine. The other I have is a Ultra 2 with dual 400’s, while not the big speed demon itself it sill pumps out SETI work units seconds behind my dual 1GHz PIII. I for one will be looking at Sun for my hardware, I have just about all I can take from Wintel/Lintel boxen. 2005-07-01 8:38 pm I have several customers with PIII-500’s still in production. If it works, why throw it away. Admittedly they are low use servers, but they get the job done and the cost is right — fully depreciated. I have several PIII systems myself, including a dual PIII 1U. They’re great. But they’re a hell of a lot cheaper than $3,400. I’m not knocking older hardware, just older chips that are sold in new hardware at new hardware-prices. With the US-IIi notebooks, it’s all about compatibility and low power. I don’t do SPARC, but I see the niche. Many of these notebook systems are likely command line or CDE use boxes, so a low speed chip isn’t that much of a problem — especially if it’s used as a portable maintenance console or something like that. I’m not knocking on SPARC, just Sun’s wisdom in selling such an underpowered, old chip in a brand new system for that high of a price. Price/performance is *terrible* for fun Sun’s low-end SPARCs. They still sell those 550 and 650 MHz UltraSPARC IIis in their lower end workstations and 1U servers, too. Apple sells a lot of ‘old chips’ in notebooks — and they sell well. The G4’s in the Powerbooks aren’t that old, and they’re a lot faster than the UltraSPARC IIi’s, and most of Apple’s offerings are also a lot cheaper. Again, I’m not knocking the SPARC architecture or Sun itself, just their idea of low-end SPARC processors are so under-powered and over-priced it’s rediculous. 2005-07-02 4:52 am e-mail an exec. like schwartz and yell at them about it. He will personally take care of it for you.. but the guy who helps you will probably bitch about why you shouldnt have talked to schwartz 2005-07-02 6:58 am I can’t believe Sun is still selling those UltraSPARC IIi prcoessors. They’re the same processors that were in the Ultra 5’s (that came out in 1998), albiet with slightly faster clockspeeds (my Ultra 5, purchased in ’99, is 333 MHz UltraSPARC IIi [I think with more cache too than current IIi’s]), in 2005, they’re still selling 550 and 650 MHz UltraSPARC IIis). Not true. The current chip has an on-die PC-133 controller and on-die cache and dates to about 2001. The Ultra 5 CPU had off-chip cache, a different memory controller, and was in a bigger semiconductor process, among other things. Now I wouldn’t argue that the US IIi is slow; it is definitely PIII class (wrt power consumption as well). But it is not the same chip which was used in the Ultra 5. 2005-07-02 10:07 am Personally the hardware geek in me lusts after a SPARC64 notebook. Mmmm, a 1.6Ghz SPARC 64 V with 3MB of L2 cache and 256 KB of L1… Does anybody here know why the Fujitsu SPARC 64 V chips aren’t used in notebook solutions? Does it have such a poor powerconsumption, ie high, that it’s a no go for laptop use, or is a compatabillity issue? 2005-07-02 12:49 pm for that price you can buy an ferrari laptop from acer Yah is a 64bit cpu and i think acer sells laptops without windows preinstalled , Install ubuntu/debian 64 on it and voila cheaper and better looking 64bit mobile desktop http://global.acer.com/products/notebook/fr3400.htm 2005-07-02 1:33 pm Does anybody here know why the Fujitsu SPARC 64 V chips aren’t used in notebook solutions? Does it have such a poor powerconsumption, ie high, that it’s a no go for laptop use, or is a compatabillity issue? Realisticly, just because Fujitsu only addresses the (large) server market these days. But technically, the SPARC64 in 130 nm and 90 nm both are in approximately the 45-55 watt per core range, ie, same as USIIIi. Personally, an imaginary SPARC64 workstation or a real HP C8000 would be at the top of my list for expensive toys. 2005-07-02 10:51 pm i got a ultra spark laptop, i live in malaysia, i had a brand new laptop , i bought it with great desire of learnign but now i was more in to cisco ,if any one interested mail me firstname.lastname@example.org 0060176079689 thanx , 2005-07-03 3:09 pm It should also be noted that Sun has sold those exact 550 and 650 MHz UltraSPARC IIis in low-end SPARC workstations and servers since 2002, without update. 3 years is a little long on the tooth. 2005-07-04 7:34 am Sun will field an amazing laptop next year that is all AMD. This laptop is merely a placeholder so that people get used to Sun offering laptops. Everyone at Sun knows SPARC is due to retire soon.