The debate on what per say is a mini...

From: Carlos Murillo <>
Date: Sun Dec 17 10:36:04 2000

At 12:13 PM 12/16/00 -0700, you wrote:
>Interesting point... Workstations typically have had better than
>average video and memory capabilities than the typical PC, but
>the line has blurred quite a bit... At work I have a Compaq P3-700
>with 256MB ram (expandable to 1GB), and a Sparc Ultra 10-440(?)...
>The Compaq is ~2x the speed of the Sun, but the Sun was designed to
>use PC parts to reduce the cost, making it just another micro IMNSHO...

I once ran an interesting benchmark on a PC and a Sun Ultra II.
I plotted the mean, max and min megaflop rates as a function of problem
size for two kinds of dense and sparse linear algebra operations.
Both machines had a peak performance of about 33MFlops, but the spread
of the speeds for a given problem size were much larger on the PC
(and no, this was not a timing resolution problem), while the min and max
rate lines were almost identical on the Sun. Thus, it could be seen
that variance in performance was much higher on the PC, while it was
very smooth on the Sun. Another interesting trend appeared with
respect to problem size: as the required storage grew significantly
larger than the secondary cache, the rate on the PC degraded dramatically
to 15MFlops. Then, as swap was required to hold the problem, NT4sp4 complained
about not enough memory and froze. On the Sun, the speed degraded very
gracefully from 33 to 29 MFlops as the size of the problem grew large, then
there was a more significant drop as swap had to be used to hold the entire
problem. But Solaris kept running :-) .

The cache in the PC was 2MB I think, and 4MB on the Sun.

Received on Sun Dec 17 2000 - 10:36:04 GMT

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