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Old 19th May 2008
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Default News: BSD Workstation for sale

This is some pretty cool news!:

iXsystems: BSD Workstation

And, the laptop is on the way.

(p.s., Maybe there should be a "News" forum. I couldn't find a better place than here to put this.)
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Old 19th May 2008
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It's just a PC ... Nothing special about it...
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Old 19th May 2008
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its certainly got a workstation price tag.

not very competitive, for the same price i could get a Sun Ultra 24 which is a class apart.

http://shop.sun.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP..._US-SunCatalog
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Old 19th May 2008
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It is somewhat unique that they're specifically targeting BSD for desktop hardware. I'd imagine that a target market (however small) does exist for the iXsystems "BSD Workstation".

I guess we'll see.
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Old 19th May 2008
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Well, yeah, that's the news. That someone is selling a workstation with BSD pre-installed.

... And, before anyone says it, don't: I'm not pushing pre-installation, because I also prefer to do the installation myself.

But, a lot of people seem to think this is a big deal in the progression of an OS.
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Old 19th May 2008
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The pricetag is clearly outrageous for what you get... and they don't even specify the graphics card... which means it's probably on-board, and not-so-hot.

I could build/sell desktops that are less than that, and I'm just a nobody who doesn't enjoy any economies of scale.
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Old 19th May 2008
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The reason it becomes a big deal can be twofold. One was already stated, that a market, however small might exist. Such markets affect hardware and software manufacturers. It's possible that some form of support is included as well.

It also probably means that they made a point of testing all hardware with BSD.

That being said, the price is too high, so I'm not sure what their target will be.

I would think that price is going to put off a lot of people.
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Old 19th May 2008
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i believe workstations are certified for certain specific applications and that partly accounts for the price premium. ofcourse, the hardware costs more too for example ECC memory costs more.

i think ix systems are counting on dedicated BSD users to buy the systems who want a quality system that has BSD supported hardware and don't mind the price.
but are there any commercial workstation apps that run on BSD?

Last edited by ephemera; 19th May 2008 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 19th May 2008
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Right, but the applications that are certified are usually things like AutoCAD or one of the solids modelling programs. You don't really have that on BSD, but there are other compatibility issues to deal with.

As far as I could tell, the computer is a basic consumer PC -- no ECC-Reg memory, no RAID controller, no server-quality drives, and so forth. It does seem very costly for what it is.
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Old 20th May 2008
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To me a workstation is really just a 'work' station, for me that means my laptop. While she ain't super fast I do most of my work there and it's BSD powered.


I do agree though if your going to pay high prices for some kind of dedicated system it may as well be made worth while. If I had to fork over a few grand for any thing someone might call a workstation in the traditional sense. It probably would be needed for working harder at processing then me at whatever is being done!


Didn't a major part of the work station business go under from the falling prices and increasing performance of crappy consumer PCs?
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Old 20th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
Didn't a major part of the work station business go under from the falling prices and increasing performance of crappy consumer PCs?
HP, IBM, Sun and Dell all make classical workstations. Usually they are dual quad Xeons based on something like the Tyan S5397.
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Old 20th May 2008
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Truly, as a VAR, I could build a more powerful box in the $500 range, with compatible *BSD hardware and still make a small profit. Pricing is way off base on this one, and I would never limit myself to such a small market and then price myself right out if it.

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Old 20th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJ View Post
HP, IBM, Sun and Dell all make classical workstations. Usually they are dual quad Xeons based on something like the Tyan S5397.
But aren't those just regular pc's with server proc's in them?
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Old 20th May 2008
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No, not really. They use server-like boards, with ECC-Reg memory, often with more than one (good!) Ethernet port, have SAS options, and can handle huge amounts of memory. The S5397 I mentioned can take 128GB memory, for example. They have dual CPUs as a rule, and usually are huge (E-ATX form factors).

For one example, see http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en...1-3432827.html

There is only one "server" chip family that you can put in a consumer board: the 3xxx Xeon series. That is just a Q6600 relabel, and so it really does not count.

You can't put in a server processor into a consumer board. Doesn't work. Intel wants to protect their Xeon franchise, after all.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJ View Post
No, not really. They use server-like boards, with ECC-Reg memory, often with more than one (good!) Ethernet port, have SAS options, and can handle huge amounts of memory. The S5397 I mentioned can take 128GB memory, for example. They have dual CPUs as a rule, and usually are huge (E-ATX form factors).

For one example, see http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en...1-3432827.html

There is only one "server" chip family that you can put in a consumer board: the 3xxx Xeon series. That is just a Q6600 relabel, and so it really does not count.

You can't put in a server processor into a consumer board. Doesn't work. Intel wants to protect their Xeon franchise, after all.
SAS options?

and thanks for the clarification...

one more question, other than "bigger" and "faster"

What is the difference?
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Old 20th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wubrgamer View Post
SAS options?
Serial-Attached SCSI.
Quote:
other than "bigger" and "faster" What is the difference?
More reliable and expandable. They use better-quality parts as a rule, and the error-checking memory makes a big difference, particularly when you have very large amounts of memory. You don't want the bridge to fail because you had a flipped bit in memory that propogated through the rest of your calculation.

They also tend to use cards like nVidia's Quadros, which have specially-written drivers for things like AutoCAD and so forth. You can of course get these for "regular" PCs as well, but they are terribly expensive and they don't play games that well. So people don't buy them unless they use traditional engineering (like CAD/CAM/FEM) applications.
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Old 20th May 2008
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This is some strange offer, especially the dual-boot option with PC-BSD/Windows. If we buy some workstation, it's something 'special' without the usual customer hardware, something you can really use 24h with high load.
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Old 20th May 2008
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Agreed. I think the term "workstation" has been so diluted that the original meaning has been lost. That's one reason I noodled on about what a "real" workstation is.
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Old 21st May 2008
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It's tempting to ask them why it's so high priced. I wonder if it's been discussed and perhaps even answered on the PCBSD forums?

(Goes to take a very quick look.)

Nope nothing under ixsystems high prices.

It's peculiar and one does wonder why are they charging so much, especially with no explanation? One assumes they're not completely ignorant, and even fi they were, there is usually some logic behind these things.

EDIT. I just had a horrible thought--what if the PCBSD users have become like Apple users? We'll buy anything with your name on it?

Sigh, of course, this Sunday, I have to go with my wife to look at Apple computers--I wouldn't trust her on a PC and I don't have the energy to support BSD or Linux for her.
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Old 21st May 2008
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I too wonder why this priced so high. I been following ixSystem for a long while, before they were called that. I have huge respect for Matt Olander and I even considered buying one of there servers before I ended up getting my current Workstation.

I've bought Workstation for years. This seems nothing more than a PC to me. My Workstation contains Dual AMD Opteron Processor can support upto 32GB or RAM. Has Dual SCSI u320, Dual SATA2 and IDE. It can hold 12 hard drives and has 6 external 5.25" drive bays for CDs, DVDs or what have you. It also has redundant power supplies so given that is what I expect to see in a Workstation, I'm disapointed by this.
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