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Re: (Fwd) Re: Apple vs IBM

On Sat, 12 Jul 2003, Jeroen Roovers wrote:

> On 12 Jul 2003 at 21:06, debian@computerdatasafe.com.a wrote:
> > I have here a PowerMac 7300/200. It's CPU is, according to the kernel, a
> > PPC 604e at 200 Mhz.
> > 
> > It's CPU performance is nothing flash, my Athlon beats it hands down as
> > I'd expect.
> > 
> > Then I see this:
> > http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/pseries/hardware/workstations/
> > 
> > 	
> > RS/6000 43P Model 150 
> > from $8,805.00 IBM Web price*
> > Monitor not included
> > Power, performance and expandability to fit your budget.
> > · Choice of 250 or 375MHz PowerPC 604e
> > processors
> > · Starting with 128MB and growing to 1GB of
> > memory
> > · Ultra2 SCSI disk support/SSA RAID disk support
> > · Supports GXT135P and GXT4500P graphics
> > 
> > 
> > Now, 250 Mhz isn't a lot more than 200 Mhz. Sure its disk is faster, and
> > its a more-nicely specced machine, but it still has basically the same
> > CPU as is in my six-year-old Powermac. about the same age as my Pentium
> > II-233 system.
> > 
> > What's special about this IBM kit to justify its price?
> Say you have a ginormous rig standing in a clean room, that is 
> business critical, runs a handful or even several dozens of 
> (clustered) 604e processors. Say you want to develop and test new 

This is not such a box. It's a desktop/deskside unit, a workstation. The
604e-based server is somewhat cheaper at $3599 and for that you get one
CPU and, as far as I can tell, no ability to add a second.

> software for that system. In that case, you need a system that runs 
> the same software on the same hardware. The rig cost your company 
> several 100,000 dollars to deploy, and at some point you need an 
> extra or replacement workstation to develop and test your software 
> on. O, and besides that, you as the developer are payed a yearly sum 
> that could buy your company several dozen high-end Athlon 
> workstations. Does a 8,000 dollar strike you as odd under those 
> conditions? Remember that this workstation isn't just cheap hardware; 
> it's cheap hardware for which IBM will supply you with expensive 
> spare parts for years and years to come.

RS/6000 43P Model 150 is not that kind of box, it's a workstation, has
good graphics.

People who want lots of CPU power tend to go for IA32 and run Linux.
That's how Shrek was rendered. The Dreamworks folk also usded SGI
workstations running IRIX, but now they're using Linux for everything.

IBM also has the S/390 and zSeries. The zBox is its high-end server, and
the cheap "workstation" version of that is the now-defunct P390 card
(and reportedly it was very slow) that plugs into an Intel box running -
wait for it - OS/2.

The "unix" software for the zBox is not AIX, it's Linux, and I can run
it right here under Hercules.

The zBox can sit beside the desk.

> To be true, the regular Unix workstation price is abnormally high, 
> but in this niche market, anything goes; usually the annual bill to 
> run the highly available server makes the workstation bill of 
> marginal importance, and you can trust IBM to keep the server and the 
> workstation running for years to come.
> (I am not marketing for IBM here; Sun Solaris or HP/UX or SGI 
> workstations with relatively ancient hardware usually cost about ten 
> grand as well; small change if you already can cough up the cost of 
> running the server. Getting spare memory or disks or other small 
> parts cost hilariously large sums of money as well.)
>    Jeroen


John Summerfield

Please, no off-list mail at all at all. This address accepts mail only
from Debian addresses.

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