SUMMARY: Can I use IPI drives with my Sun 4/300 series machines?

From: Scott Paisley (
Date: Mon Jan 14 1991 - 08:58:35 CST

Well, I got the response I needed, and I'm going to be ordering some
3rd party IPI drives. My original question was if I could use IPI
drives on some upgrade 3/180's, which will become 4/3x0's. I haven't
received the spec sheets for the disks yet, but one of my vendors
warned me that that the Sabre 1.2 Gig IPI drives only handle 3.0 Megs
per second transfer rate. I don't know if that is true, so don't
panic, just be sure you check the specs on IPI drives before ordering.
Apparently not all IPI drives don't sport the 6.0 Meg/sec transfer

Thanks to: (Curt Freeland) (Kevin W. Thomas)

Scott Paisley ..!uunet!cme-durer!paisley

From: (Curt Freeland)
Subject: IPI on 4/300
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 91 13:26:46 -0500

We have upgraded 6 3/X80 chassis to 4/300 systems. Five of these
systems are using Sun IPI controllers, and 1.2G IPI drives on them.
We use the IPI drives for the boot device, root, swap, client roots and
swaps, and some user files. So far, no problems at all.

I have one of the 2.5G sabres on order. I have heard through the grapevine
that you had to have a certain revision of firmware on the CPU, and the
IPI controller (Sun controller) to run the 2.5G drives. I just got the
latest firmware for both my CPU and IPI controller, and anxiously await the
drive to test it all out.


From: (Kevin W. Thomas)
Subject: Re: Can I use IPI drives with my Sun 4/300 series machines?
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 91 12:51:08 CST

I would say no. According to the price list book I have, it says for the
Sun 3/180 upgrade:

"For Sun-3/180 upgrades to SPARCsystem 300, the upgrade is in the existing
76-inch rack and does not support IPI disks".

We recently upgraded a 3/280, and the net result was a 4/380, which I suspect
is what you will end up with. According to my sales rep, a 4/380 is the same
as a 4/370, except that it is installed in the 76" cabinet.

Now, as to *why* it won't work, I don't now, as all of the 4/300 series uses
the same cpu board. Of course "not supported" doesn't guarantee it won't work.
It just means that Sun won't help you make it work.

You'll really like the increase in speed.

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