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Please fill me in....

    Date: Thu, 21 Dec 89 08:45 PST

    Maybe I'm mistaken about the general tone of this Symbolic vs.
    "Conventional" machines in the area of price/performance/environment but
    it sounds to me like some of these unix machines are now viable
    alternatives to 36xx's.

    Is this really true????

    We tried a SUN 3/260 (I think) running Lucid, packed to the gills with
    memory, and an extra disk (380 mb, I think) for gobs of paging area and
    our 3600 *still* ran circles around it (even when running Fortran!).
    And the SUN wound up costing us the same $ as our 3600!

    Are the newer SUNs (or whatever) really that much faster?  How much
    memory/disk do you realistically need?  I.e. what do these machines
    *really* cost in order to run lisp effectively?

Sun-4's (now called Sparcstations) are much faster than Sun-3's.  Our
experience is that Sun-4's are 2-3 times as fast at running Lisp (Lucid
version 3.0) than a 36xx.  Note, however, that the benchmark code (the
circuit simulation code we developed to design Connection Machines) has
lots of declarations, which are necessary to get good performance on the

    Can you buy a $5-10k workstation that will run lisp effectively?

No.  In order to run Lisp effectively, you need a decent amount of
memory (16Mb, I guess) and a local paging disk.  This would bring the
total cost of the workstation up to $15-20K.