Peter's Sun3 Zoo

What's New - chronologically sorted
History of the Sun3 Series - How it happened
The Zoo - with lots of nice pictures
Spare Parts - and even more pictures
Tips and Tricks - Docs of Hard- and Software
Location - Where is the Sun3-Zoo?
Links - Other Sun3 related stuff on the Net


History of the Sun3 Series

What is a Sun3-Computer? These are Workstations and Servers from Sun Microsystems which were manufactured between 1985 and 1990. They have Motorola 68020 and 68030 processors and use Unix as operating system. New machines costed from $10000 up to $50000, today they're old iron. But other than a PC or a Mac they are extremely reliable and performing quite good. Ok, they look quite ugly slow compared to a Pentium-III 500 MHz, but in their days they were quite fast and have a huge I/O throughput (compared with the CPU power). And many things are simple and functional, where Windows and MacOS only have colorful icons and crashes. You do not have to wait long for a keypress to echo and the reason is mainly the ingenious operating system: SunOS.

The first Sun3's were the 3/50 workstations (wide pizza box) and the 3/160 servers (12 slot chassis). The configuration of one 3/160 with several diskless 3/50 was very popular.

Later came the desktop 3/75 (wide pizza box, 2 slots), 3/140 (tower or desktop, 3 slots), 3/150 (tower, 5 slot) and 3/180 (19" rack mount, 12 slot). They were mostly combined from parts of the 3/50 and 3/160.

Next came the 3/110 (tower or desktop, 3 slot) and the 3/E (without any chassis, could be plugged in a VME bus chassis). Both machines weren't very popular so they are quite rare now.

But the next generation of Sun3's, the 3/60 (wide pizza box) and the 3/260 server (12 slot chassis) were the best selling machines. The 3/160 could be upgraded to a 3/260 by replacing CPU and memory. The 3/60 could be ordered with a color graphics card (before only the 3/110 had color graphics).

The 3/80 workstation (pizza box) wasn't actively sold by Sun anymore because Sun now started with the new Sparc series. The machine isn't any faster than the 3/60, but despite this facts the 3/80 was sold in large numbers which shows the popularity of the Sun3 series.

The last Sun3 was the 3/470 server. This machine was again considerably faster than the 3/260. The 3/260 could be upgraded to a 3/460 by replacing the CPU. But Sun's marketing acivities were already focused towoards the new Sparc generation and so the 3/470 is very rare.


Copyright 1999-2007 Peter Koch