benchmark: 386/20 vs SparcStation 1

Andrew P. Mullhaupt amull at Morgan.COM
Fri Jun 8 02:21:33 AEST 1990

In article <1990Jun7.023359.12523 at>, terry at (Terry Hull) writes:
> debra at alice.UUCP (Paul De Bra) writes:
> WHile LaTeX might be a typical application to run, it is hardly a good
> indicator of raw CPU performance.  LaTeX does far too much disk
> I/O to be a CPU performance indicator.  If you want to test overall
> throughput, that is one thing, but CPU speed is another.  
> One of our faculty members just ran a spice circuit analysis and found the
> following:
> MIPS machine was 2x faster than our campus dual processor Solborne.  
> Solborne was 2x faster than SparcStation I
> SparcStation I was 4x faster than a cached 386/16 with a '386 installed.  

I should hope so. Running the benchmark without the 80386 installed
could adversely affect the CPU performance...

But seriously, folks:

	I have a 386/20 (64K cache + 80387) and an i486/25 (Cheetah Gold
	425) and I can run stuff on a lot of UNIX boxes (Sparcstation-1,
	Solbourne Series 5, Sun 3/110, etc.).

	For CPU: the Solbourne Series 5 seems about 2x the SS-1.
	The i486 is a bit quicker than the Sparcstation-1 except in case
	of floating point intensive code, in which case the Sparcstation-1
	is a bit faster. The 386/20 is about 35-40% the speed of the i486
	for CPU, and so it is in the neighborhood of 50% of the SS-1.
	For I/O: The i486 is about 1.5 x the speed of the SS-1. The
	Solbourne is usually loaded so I can't give a good number for it
	based on code I've run. The 386/20 is about 50% of the speed of
	the SS-1.

Moral of the story: the decision between the SS-1 and the i486 is
based more on what software you want to run than on performance.

The 80386/20 is a fine, but old machine. They were very well placed
for price/performance for a while, (if you got one of the faster
ones). Hardware cache (size+design) makes a big difference in the
relative performance of 80386 systems.

The ISA bus is not a millstone around the neck of a fast CPU if the
bus is used to communicate with intelligent peripheral cards like
the ESDI caching controllers, and not allowed to adversely affect
memory access. It, (or the EISA and MCA buses) allow for a wide
variety of expansion possibilities.

The Sparcstation comes with a big monitor and an ethernet connector.
This makes life simple if what you already have is a network, (e.g.
of other Sun workstations).

Andrew Mullhaupt

More information about the Comp.unix.i386 mailing list