SUMMARY: SunPCiIIpro Card Evaluation

From: John Rams <>
Date: Mon Feb 11 2002 - 17:37:06 EST

Have anyone used SunPCiIIpro coprocessor card to use with PCI based Sun boxes? Any feedback on how good they are and why should i recommend them to my boss who is interested in running Windows apps on SUN boxes, does the cost justifies usage? (thus saving on 2nd desktop per user)

Thanks to ltiu,Greg Polanski, Marcelino Mata, Jeff Kennedy, jim musso, Rainer Heilke , Adam and Christine Levin , Steve Camp and David.

Basically general consensus is good for few systems. Enterprise level, Citrix solution is preferred. We also use samba for SMB file sharing. Our plan is to set up few general purpose ultra 5 boxes with SunPCiII card.(may be getting from ebay)

I'm using the older type 1 card. It's worth it. In terms of space savings and extra hardware savings. 

Works Great !! I am running Windows NT, SP6 with no problems. 
Solaris 7 I can copy and paste to/from windows/sun easily. I use CDE.

I have a SunPCiII card in my Ultra 60. So far so good. I like it alot and am planning on running Win98 / Win2000, hell maybe even Linux on it. I am, unfortunately, not able to give you a blow by blow analysis 
of the card / performance / compatibility. 

However, I would like to point out that the SunPCi cards are really 
cheap on eBay: 

AMD K6-2-300Mhz < $100 
AMD K6-2-400Mhz ~ $200 

So, depending on how much oomph you need (what kind of peecee apps you 
are trying to run), and how many you are looking to purchase, this may 
be a very cost-effective option for your company. 

Other note: you can run sunpci (and, hence windows) within a CDE 
window, so you can potentially cut-and-paste between Windows and 
your Sun desktop -- sounds pretty neat. Haven't tried it yet myself. 
Running windows this way means that you do NOT hookup a second monitor 
to the SunPCI card -- you simply use your existing Sun monitor. This 
single monitor capacity is a potential savings as well. 

We have had very good success with the new 733Mhz cards. We just updated 15 Ultra 5 workstations with the new cards, Solaris 8 and Windows 2000. We use a full range of apps on the Windows side ( MS Office 2000, Lotus Notes, SAS, Wordperfect, TrendMicro Virus, Netscape, etc. ) and all seem very stable and reasonably fast. The new cards now have their own NIC so you have the option of having separate network connections which we also did; this seems to have improved network speed also. Everybody here thinks the cost is definitely justified. 
Installation was relatively straightforward; just make sure you have a 
fully patched Solaris 8 and the latest SUNWspci2 package ( download from the web rather than use the CD ).

Well, it saves desk space, as well as saving on a second monitor. 

The integration with the CDE is pretty much seamless (the only thing you 
can't do is use the mouse to cut-and-paste between the SunPCI window and 
other Unix windows, and vice versa). 

I've been using it for a few months, and so far, I love it. I installed 
Win2000 server, which is technically not supported (or at least wasn't 
when I got the card -- it's in a Sun Blade 100), and we've actually tested using the Windows side to serve Windows Media streams off the Sun's hard drive (you can have access to the Sun hard drive in Windows without going over the network, if you set it up that way). 

It's a great product, and especially for someone who works primarily on 
Sun equipment but occasionally needs a PC, it's great.

I have one on my Blade at home, and it is great. The graphics can be slow, as they are displayed through X (I only have one monitor), but otherwise, I find it very good. You can cut and paste between the X applications and the WinDoze applications--I use it to do desktop publishing, grabbing data from the Solaris side and pasting it into PageMaker. I also like being able to surf the web and do email on a system that doesn't have to worry about viruses, etc., yet still have access to all of the WinDoze software available. 
You do have to reboot it once in a while, and occasionally the whole Blade, but I think this is required less so than on a stand-alone PC.

I use the sunpci card extensively at home on my Sun axi and at work on an Ultra5, works great, and the ability to cut and paste between Solaris and windows is a real timesaver, also file transferring between the two is very easy as you can map any solaris filesystem or dir to windows, w/o samba or other tools, I without question recommend it! 

Depends on how many you plan to recommend. If you're talking an 
enterprise then I would suggest going with something like Citrix. If 
it's only a few (under 10 or so) then the PC card is great. I have an 
older one in my U5 that has run great from installation.

We have over 30 of them on Ultra10, Ultra60, Blade 100 and Blade 1000. They work great! The best thing SUN ever created for the desktop user. We run Windows NT. I have previously tried Windows 98 but found not that stable but that was 4 years ago.

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Received on Mon Feb 11 16:38:16 2002

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