Discussion:
Most usable graphics card(s) for VMS on a DS10
(too old to reply)
Rich Jordan
2020-10-06 17:09:59 UTC
Permalink
I now have a full DS10 courtesy of a work DS10 with a failed main logic board that I saved from the recycler and transplanted my DS10-L MLB into. So as long as my HPe hobbyist licenses work I'm going to get a workstation going again. HP VMS V8.4 patched up as far as HPe hobby downloads allowed.

I have the following VMS compatible video cards; all but the last were used successfully on a PWS workstation. In order of original cost and capability levels:

Elsa GLoria 8MB
PowerStorm 4D10T
Powerstorm 4D20
Powerstorm 300 PCI

Monitor will be a 1280x1024 to start (I don't think these support 1600x1200 or widescreen). I'd need a PowerStorm 350 for 1600x1200 or 1920x1200 widescreen.

Hoping for snappy scrolling, clean window moves and resizes, no lagging like the old VAXstation when it got busy, etc.

Which one (or which pair if I can do dual screen) would be best?

Thanks
Stephen Hoffman
2020-10-06 20:14:31 UTC
Permalink
I now have a full DS10...
I have the following VMS compatible video cards; all but the last were
used successfully on a PWS workstation. In order of original cost and
Elsa GLoria 8MB
PowerStorm 4D10T
Powerstorm 4D20
Powerstorm 300 PCI
...
Which one (or which pair if I can do dual screen) would be best?
Of those...

PowerStorm 300 or PowerStorm 4D20.

Those are decently fast, by OpenVMS standards. PowerStorm 300 is
somewhat newer, whether it's faster?

Not PowerStorm 4D10T / ELSA GLoria Synergy. I might use those as
text-only consoles, or maybe as doorstops. They're slow.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Simon Clubley
2020-10-07 17:27:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stephen Hoffman
I now have a full DS10...
I have the following VMS compatible video cards; all but the last were
used successfully on a PWS workstation. In order of original cost and
Elsa GLoria 8MB
PowerStorm 4D10T
Powerstorm 4D20
Powerstorm 300 PCI
...
Which one (or which pair if I can do dual screen) would be best?
Of those...
PowerStorm 300 or PowerStorm 4D20.
Those are decently fast, by OpenVMS standards. PowerStorm 300 is
somewhat newer, whether it's faster?
Not PowerStorm 4D10T / ELSA GLoria Synergy. I might use those as
text-only consoles, or maybe as doorstops. They're slow.
For those of you managing Linux and other Unix servers, how many of
you go and sit at the server console to do GUI work and how many of you
just run any needed X applications remotely over SSH from your normal
desktop machine ?

Would it make more sense to manage VMS systems in that way instead
of having to sit at the VMS console to do GUI work ?

Are there any performance or other limitations which make this approach
not practical for VMS servers ?

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Walking destinations on a map are further away than they appear.
Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2020-10-07 19:21:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Clubley
For those of you managing Linux and other Unix servers, how many of
you go and sit at the server console to do GUI work and how many of you
just run any needed X applications remotely over SSH from your normal
desktop machine ?
Would it make more sense to manage VMS systems in that way instead
of having to sit at the VMS console to do GUI work ?
You don't have to sit there; you are free to use your own emulation
stuff. But for those who learned to type, lack of a proper keyboard,
inconsistent key mapping, wrong state of the keypad, lack of perfect
terminal emulation, and so on are all a pain.
Post by Simon Clubley
Are there any performance or other limitations which make this approach
not practical for VMS servers ?
You probably just need a VT102 or better. Something like a 320 or
better makes it a bit nicer. But if you want several DECterm windows in
multiple workspaces and the only sensible pointer policy (i.e. the
window is active is the cursor is in it but not automatically on top),
then you probably need CDE and DECwindows. But that doesn't require any
particularly powerful graphics card.
Chris
2020-10-07 21:56:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Simon Clubley
For those of you managing Linux and other Unix servers, how many of
you go and sit at the server console to do GUI work and how many of you
just run any needed X applications remotely over SSH from your normal
desktop machine ?
Would it make more sense to manage VMS systems in that way instead
of having to sit at the VMS console to do GUI work ?
You don't have to sit there; you are free to use your own emulation
stuff. But for those who learned to type, lack of a proper keyboard,
inconsistent key mapping, wrong state of the keypad, lack of perfect
terminal emulation, and so on are all a pain.
Post by Simon Clubley
Are there any performance or other limitations which make this approach
not practical for VMS servers ?
You probably just need a VT102 or better. Something like a 320 or
better makes it a bit nicer. But if you want several DECterm windows in
multiple workspaces and the only sensible pointer policy (i.e. the
window is active is the cursor is in it but not automatically on top),
then you probably need CDE and DECwindows. But that doesn't require any
particularly powerful graphics card.
Yes, and in fact, some of the low end graphics cards have better 2D
X performance than the high end models, thus more appropriate for
general desktop use. Have had 4D50T, 3D30 and others in old Alpha
machines, but the 3D30 was just as fast for general use. No 3D etc,
which is what the high end cards were designed for. High end cards
are waste of money and power unless you need the 3D performance.

There are benchmarks for 2D, 3D X and other metrics online somewhere...

Chris
Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2020-10-07 22:03:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chris
Yes, and in fact, some of the low end graphics cards have better 2D
X performance than the high end models, thus more appropriate for
general desktop use. Have had 4D50T, 3D30 and others in old Alpha
machines, but the 3D30 was just as fast for general use. No 3D etc,
which is what the high end cards were designed for. High end cards
are waste of money and power unless you need the 3D performance.
I remember when I got my 255/233 and colleagues were impressed that
there was an option "show contents during move" and even more so that it
worked. :-)
Simon Clubley
2020-10-08 03:14:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Simon Clubley
For those of you managing Linux and other Unix servers, how many of
you go and sit at the server console to do GUI work and how many of you
just run any needed X applications remotely over SSH from your normal
desktop machine ?
Would it make more sense to manage VMS systems in that way instead
of having to sit at the VMS console to do GUI work ?
You don't have to sit there; you are free to use your own emulation
stuff. But for those who learned to type, lack of a proper keyboard,
inconsistent key mapping, wrong state of the keypad, lack of perfect
terminal emulation, and so on are all a pain.
Who said anything about terminal emulation ?

I was talking about running X applications either on the console or
over SSH, not terminal emulators.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Walking destinations on a map are further away than they appear.
Stephen Hoffman
2020-10-08 00:58:10 UTC
Permalink
For those of you managing Linux and other Unix servers, how many of you
go and sit at the server console to do GUI work and how many of you
just run any needed X applications remotely over SSH from your normal
desktop machine ?
I've not used remote X for any of that, with any Unix or Linux systems
I've managed.

The remote management is all web-based either directly or via REST
(Redfish / DMTF / etc), either directly or from a provisioning portal.

If it's hosted, it's all managed off the portal, at least until you can
ssh into the box "normally" for further customizations—and the portal
can usually help set up the ssh keys.

Or it's command-line, either into a running system or into iLO / DRAC / etc.

Other than some testing and target practice systems, all have remote
management hardware.
Would it make more sense to manage VMS systems in that way instead of
having to sit at the VMS console to do GUI work ?
OpenVMS doesn't have a GUI management system. Not for X. I mean, yeah,
I customized FileView too, but... It's all command line.

Options here for OpenVMS remote management have involved Argus / OMS /
Management Station, and the newly-announced WebUI web-management system
from VSI.

Or what most folks use, ssh or other command-line access via iLO / DRAC / etc.

Yes, there are probably some using the iLO web management and maybe
still using SMH with OpenVMS, but I've been very skeptical about the
security there. (Newer iLO security is better, but OpenVMS lacks that.)
Are there any performance or other limitations which make this approach
not practical for VMS servers ?
Remote X will work, but when you're tossing around remote DECterm
sessions for command-line access, it becomes more of a "why bother?"
discussion.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Simon Clubley
2020-10-08 03:23:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stephen Hoffman
For those of you managing Linux and other Unix servers, how many of you
go and sit at the server console to do GUI work and how many of you
just run any needed X applications remotely over SSH from your normal
desktop machine ?
I've not used remote X for any of that, with any Unix or Linux systems
I've managed.
I sometimes run a web browser or other GUI application on the server but
route its output over SSH. Consider when you need to access some local
service, but you don't want to make it generally available on the network.
Post by Stephen Hoffman
Are there any performance or other limitations which make this approach
not practical for VMS servers ?
Remote X will work, but when you're tossing around remote DECterm
sessions for command-line access, it becomes more of a "why bother?"
discussion.
Exactly. About the only thing people seem to use a VMS desktop for
these days is to run DECterms.

Why do you need to insert graphics cards into VMS systems for that ?

Why not just connect to the VMS machines directly via a terminal emulator
if that is all you are doing ?

What proper X applications are people running on VMS these days and
is there anything about those applications which stop their output
from simply being routed over SSH ?

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Walking destinations on a map are further away than they appear.
Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2020-10-08 15:07:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Clubley
Exactly. About the only thing people seem to use a VMS desktop for
these days is to run DECterms.
Not just that, also XDVI, Ghostview, etc.
Post by Simon Clubley
Why do you need to insert graphics cards into VMS systems for that ?
Why not just connect to the VMS machines directly via a terminal emulator
if that is all you are doing ?
Because the system on the other end doesn't have a proper keyboard.
Because then I need an ADDITIONAL system I have no other use for.
Because I like CDE. Many reasons.
Post by Simon Clubley
What proper X applications are people running on VMS these days and
is there anything about those applications which stop their output
from simply being routed over SSH ?
Yes, you can route it via SSH, but not with the same functionality.

One can export the whole CDE interface elsewhere, and I have done that,
but it is not as good, and there is still the keyboard problem.
Marc Van Dyck
2020-10-10 11:00:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Clubley
Exactly. About the only thing people seem to use a VMS desktop for
these days is to run DECterms.
Decterms, yes, but also LSE graphical interface, PSDC real time
displays, PSPA analysis tool, cockpit manager, sometimes DECscheduler
user interface, the OpenVMS debugger, ...
--
Marc Van Dyck
Rich Jordan
2020-10-14 15:02:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stephen Hoffman
I now have a full DS10...
I have the following VMS compatible video cards; all but the last were
used successfully on a PWS workstation. In order of original cost and
Elsa GLoria 8MB
PowerStorm 4D10T
Powerstorm 4D20
Powerstorm 300 PCI
...
Which one (or which pair if I can do dual screen) would be best?
Of those...
PowerStorm 300 or PowerStorm 4D20.
Those are decently fast, by OpenVMS standards. PowerStorm 300 is
somewhat newer, whether it's faster?
Not PowerStorm 4D10T / ELSA GLoria Synergy. I might use those as
text-only consoles, or maybe as doorstops. They're slow.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Thanks for replying. I think I recall that the 3D30 card was the best for 2D performance under VMS. I'll see if I can find any info on the 4D20 and the PS300 coexisting in the same system. Not sure if supported but I'd really prefer dual monitor anymore now that I've been spoiled by the very high resolution monitors on my Macs.

My only other remaining Alpha is a PWS600au; all the older systems are long gone. I may put one of the older video cards in it so its usable, but its not going to be set up full time with the DS10 available.

Thanks again

Rich
Stephen Hoffman
2020-10-14 18:39:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Jordan
Thanks for replying. I think I recall that the 3D30 card was the best
for 2D performance under VMS.
3D30 and 4D20 are basically the same controller, with the latter also
supporting 3D.

If you're opening this up to options past the original list, Radeon
7500, Radeon 7000, and Radeon 7500 AIW either work, or can all be
gotten to work.
Post by Rich Jordan
Not sure if supported but I'd really prefer dual monitor anymore now
that I've been spoiled by the very high resolution monitors on my Macs.
AFAIK, there are no graphics options available for OpenVMS that
approach modern resolutions; there's no comparison to Apple
Retina-class displays, or otherwise.

Radeon 7500 tops out at SXGA 1280x1024, the PowerStorm 300 and 350 at
UXGA 1920x1200, where a Mac routinely operates at UHD 4K ~(3840 × 2160)
or 5K ~(5120 x 2880) resolutions.

DECwindows Motif was somewhat better at multi-head. DECwindows CDE less
so. That all as implemented by OpenVMS. That was with multiple
PowerStorm 3D30 controllers in an AlphaStation DS20. Haven't tried that
with the XP900/VS10/DS10, nor DS15.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Rich Jordan
2020-10-15 14:24:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stephen Hoffman
Post by Rich Jordan
Thanks for replying. I think I recall that the 3D30 card was the best
for 2D performance under VMS.
3D30 and 4D20 are basically the same controller, with the latter also
supporting 3D.
If you're opening this up to options past the original list, Radeon
7500, Radeon 7000, and Radeon 7500 AIW either work, or can all be
gotten to work.
Post by Rich Jordan
Not sure if supported but I'd really prefer dual monitor anymore now
that I've been spoiled by the very high resolution monitors on my Macs.
AFAIK, there are no graphics options available for OpenVMS that
approach modern resolutions; there's no comparison to Apple
Retina-class displays, or otherwise.
Radeon 7500 tops out at SXGA 1280x1024, the PowerStorm 300 and 350 at
UXGA 1920x1200, where a Mac routinely operates at UHD 4K ~(3840 × 2160)
or 5K ~(5120 x 2880) resolutions.
DECwindows Motif was somewhat better at multi-head. DECwindows CDE less
so. That all as implemented by OpenVMS. That was with multiple
PowerStorm 3D30 controllers in an AlphaStation DS20. Haven't tried that
with the XP900/VS10/DS10, nor DS15.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Even 1920x1200 would be awesome to have. I had 1280x1024 on the VAXstation, the AS200, the AS600, and the PWS, then got 1600x1200 on the Mac originally. Its hard to lose resolution but a decent 1920x1200 widescreen monitor should be cheap on the used market so if the Powerstorm 300 really does that resolution, decision is made. Though i may take a look at the Radeon cards too but I have the PS300 in hand.

Thanks again for the info

Rich

David Turner
2020-10-09 00:55:18 UTC
Permalink
Use the ATi Radeon 7000 or 7500

I have them both. 64MB PCI card very quick

David
Post by Rich Jordan
I now have a full DS10 courtesy of a work DS10 with a failed main logic board that I saved from the recycler and transplanted my DS10-L MLB into. So as long as my HPe hobbyist licenses work I'm going to get a workstation going again. HP VMS V8.4 patched up as far as HPe hobby downloads allowed.
Elsa GLoria 8MB
PowerStorm 4D10T
Powerstorm 4D20
Powerstorm 300 PCI
Monitor will be a 1280x1024 to start (I don't think these support 1600x1200 or widescreen). I'd need a PowerStorm 350 for 1600x1200 or 1920x1200 widescreen.
Hoping for snappy scrolling, clean window moves and resizes, no lagging like the old VAXstation when it got busy, etc.
Which one (or which pair if I can do dual screen) would be best?
Thanks
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