SUMMARY: Upgrading Memory on a 3/160 -> 4/300 Upgrade

From: Mike Jipping (
Date: Fri Apr 12 1991 - 12:16:53 CDT

Wow! 24 messages in 24 hours! Thanks everyone.

Here's the original question:

> We are upgrading a 3/160 to a 4/300. This amounts to a board swap + a
> power supply change (we are keeping our SMD drives on the unit). I have
> some questions about the upgrade.
> (1) Sun wants $7500 for a 32 MB version vs the 8MB version of the
> upgrade. Naturally, I scream "3RD PARTY" and figure out that I can
> get 32MB on 8 4MB SIMMs for ~$2000 -- and can put 8 1MB SIMMs in
> other machines. Is that all it is? Is there something tricky
> going on here?
> (2) Are there any gotchas in doing this upgrade? Anything I should be
> looking out for? We're going to hang a 688 MB SMD drive from the
> SMD board we have in the 3/160 plus a CD-ROM and an Exabyte off the
> SCSI port. Anything wrong with this?

Answer to (1): Yes, that's all there is! Nothing tricky! To quote Curt

> To use 8 4x9 SIMMS you also have to install jumper J1900 on the CPU
> board. It is next to the SIMM sockets. ... Dataram sells a 24 Meg
> add-in board for $2500 (or thereabouts). I have been pulling the 1x9
> SIMMS out of the CPU board, and replacing them with the 4x9 SIMMS. Then
> I put the 1x9 SIMMS on the Dataram board, and make a 64 Meg system.

People pointed out that you have to fully populate the SIMM sockets --
all with the same size SIMMs. So far, I've got a $1920 price for 8 4x9
MB SIMMs ($240/SIMM) -- but I'll keep trying (pointers, anyone?).

As for (2): That configuration was fine -- no problems.

A few interesting notes from users of the upgraded 4300 CPU:

  * Everyone was very happy with the upgrade.

  * The 4/300 CPU board has 4 serial ports -- but only ttya is 25 pin.
    The other 3 are 15 pin. An external (50 pin mini-D) SCSI connector
    is on the board.

  * Using the SMD drives off of the 7053 controller is no problem.

  * Kerien Fitzpatrick had a very interesting alternative to upgrading
    to a 4/300:

> Purchase a SPARCengine 2 (CPU board from a SPARCstation 2).
> Purchase a Solflower wrap-around board that allows you to install the
> new board into your existing 3/160 cage. You could then sell/retain
> your 3/160 CPU. Memory addition to 64Mb is cheap...just add 4Mb SIMMs
> to the SPARCengine 2.
> Cost of the SPARCengine 2 is $10K list. The Solflower board goes for
> somewhere under $3K. The SPARC 2 outperforms the 4/300 significantly.
> You also have Sbus slots available.

    He has done this and is very happy! All VME devices are very

Many thanks to all who replied:

chinson@CS.UCLA.EDU (Curt Freeland)
Tim Morgan <morgan@ICS.UCI.EDU>
John Valdes <> (Leonardo C. Topa)
tres@roke.rap.ucar.EDU (Tres Hofmeister)
Kerien Fitzpatrick <> (Mike Walker)
John Valdes <>
thor@thor.atd.ucar.EDU (Leonardo C. Topa)
"Anthony A. Datri" <> (Tilman Sporkert x2068)
Michael Wagner <>
eplrx7!mcneill@uunet.UU.NET (Keith McNeill)
attain! (Jim Hickstein)
david@elroy.Jpl.Nasa.Gov (David Robinson)
Kanthan Pillay <svpillay@Princeton.EDU>

      Mike Jipping
      Hope College Department of Computer Science (BITNET: JIPPING@HOPE)

      "If is was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be.
       But as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."
                                              -- Lewis Carroll

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