SUMMARY: Choosing btwn a Solbourne S4000 and Sun IPC

From: Mike Jipping (
Date: Wed Nov 28 1990 - 11:49:28 CST

About two weeks ago (sorry for the delay...), I asked for advice about
choosing between a Solbourne S4000 and a Sun IPC. I got many replies
(thanks, see below) and some good advice:

   * Eduardo Krell pointed out I should not be looking at MIPS, but
     at SPECmarks, for performance comparison. In this case, it makes a
     big difference.
   * Ruth Milner made a point about the upgradability of an IPC --
     now that a SPARCstation 2 is out, Sun has announced an upgrade
     path only for the SS1/SS1+ models.
   * There were some folks that spoke up for Solbourne because they
     liked the company -- and some because they did not like Sun.

Some people asked for comparison data. So here's a set configurations
to compare (I chose a configuration at random...):

  Sun IPC: 15.8 MIPS, 10 SPECmarks, 25 MHz clock
           8MB RAM, diskless, 16" color monitor

  Solbourne S4000: 25.5 MIPS, 12 SPECmarks, 33 MHz clock
                   8MB RAM, diskless, 16" color monitor

Solbourne will give 30% discount for educational folks like us, Sun will
give up to 40% (and perhaps higher?).

Some people said I should be comparing the S4000 to a SPARCstation 2.
But the SPARC 2 is at 28.5 MIPS and 21 SPECmarks -- and seems to blow
away the S4000 - but it is $14,995 at its base price (mono monitor,
207 MB disk).

Anyway, at $1,500 for 2 SPECmarks (more of a difference at our discount),
we're going with the IPC.

Thanks goes to the respondents (in random order):
   George Planansky <>
   Jeff Nieusma <nieusma@eclipse.Colorado.EDU>
   Yuval Tamir <tamir@CS.UCLA.EDU>
   Eduardo Krell <>
   Bill Selig <>
   Bill Krauss <>
   M.W. Goheen <>
   Mark Morrissey <bit!markm>
   Gene Rockow (?) <>
   Gene Saunders <Gene.Saunders@West.Sun.COM>
   Jordan Hayes <jordan@Morgan.COM>
   Ruth Milner <rmilner@zia.AOC.NRAO.EDU>

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

      "Anatidaephobia: The fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck
       is watching you."
                                               -- Gary Larson

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