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August 02, 2005

Ultra 5 vs Ultra 10

Q: When I run some programs, that identify my computer as an Ultra5/10. What is the difference between an Ultra 5 and an Ultra 10?

A: The case. One lies flat on the desk, the other stands upright. The motherboards are identical but the shape of the case limits the use of certain configurations. The Ultra 5 cannot be used with a high end graphics card, and one PCI slot is obscured. You can see the full hardware manual for the Ultra 10 online.

To further complicate things, Sun did not sell all configurations of CPU and memory in both boxes. This attempt to clarify matters (i.e. if you get a 440MHz machine it must be an Ultra 10) did not work as it was fairly trivial to either swap motherboards around or use Ultra 10 upgrade kits in an Ultra 5 (and vice versa).

Both the Ultra 5 and the Ultra 10 can run Solaris 10 but the are constrained in performance by the internal IDE disk controller and very very very slow disks (5400 rpm).

Posted by Ozguru at August 2, 2005 06:00 AM