Can you identify this machine?

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Devil Master
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Can you identify this machine?

Unread postby Devil Master » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:21 pm

It's in a computer museum (together with the Octane I mentioned in my Mekton thread, which I haven't been able to try yet).
The owner of the museum calls it "an SGI system used for VR". I haven't been able to photograph the back because there are scaffolds and piles of boxes behind it. Who can tell me more about it?
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jan-jaap
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Re: Can you identify this machine?

Unread postby jan-jaap » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:09 am

That's a Professional IRIS. First of the MIPS based IRISes. 12 slot twin tower chassis.

Depending on the CPU board inside (8...12MHz) it's either a 4D/50 or a 4D/70.
With the mint green 'top hat' it's supposed to have GT graphics inside.

I've got one of those, could use some parts for it :mrgreen:
To accentuate the special identity of the IRIS 4D/70, Silicon Graphics' designers selected a new color palette. The machine's coating blends dark grey, raspberry and beige colors into a pleasing harmony. (IRIS 4D/70 Superworkstation Technical Report)

robespierre
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Re: Can you identify this machine?

Unread postby robespierre » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:24 am

The machine in the picture could be any of the Professional Series (4D/50, 60, 70, or 80).

That was the first SGI I owned. Fitting it in the trunk of a sedan was just barely possible with the drive boxes removed. The meaning of the top 'hats' wasn't fully consistent: the one I had was also cyan, but it had G graphics (and that was also printed on the main top hat). I'm not sure anyone knows, anymore, whether there was a difference between B and G. The best ever collection of information on these machines is A.J. Corda's "This Old SGI" page from 1996, but it's incomplete.

The machine you saw there has a single drive box; they could accept up to three boxes. The drive boxes stack on top of the smaller tower to the right, and can hold two 5.25"FH SCSI-1 drives each. There's also a SCSI drive bay inside the small tower itself, which usually held a 1/4" tape cartridge drive. These machines could also have SMD (great big 14" disks) or ESDI (5.25"FH disks) controllers, but only SCSI was built-in.
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jan-jaap
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Re: Can you identify this machine?

Unread postby jan-jaap » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:34 am

robespierre wrote:The meaning of the top 'hats' wasn't fully consistent: the one I had was also cyan, but it had G graphics (and that was also printed on the main top hat).

Mine has a pink/purple top hat and it came with GT graphics. There was no badge either, nor remains of glue to indicate there ever has been one.
To accentuate the special identity of the IRIS 4D/70, Silicon Graphics' designers selected a new color palette. The machine's coating blends dark grey, raspberry and beige colors into a pleasing harmony. (IRIS 4D/70 Superworkstation Technical Report)

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Devil Master
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Re: Can you identify this machine?

Unread postby Devil Master » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:12 am

Interesting. I've seen some benchmarks and compared them with those of an Amiga 3000, which was used for VR in Virtuality machines. The numbers (Professional Iris = 6.220 MIPS, Amiga 3000 = 8 MIPS) seem coherent with the same kind of flat shaded, textureless graphics the Virtuality systems displayed, but was the Professional Iris actually ever used for that?

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Re: Can you identify this machine?

Unread postby robespierre » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:46 am

3D operations rely on MFLOPS, not MIPS, and the graphics performance of an IRIS depends mostly on the graphics subsystem, not the CPU. Those machines are full of special-purpose chips that each handle specific tasks in the imaging pipeline. Here is a summary. Each Geometry Engine is capable of 20 MFLOPS, and five of them work together at the same time.
The Geometry Engines in the G graphics (which is based heavily on the IRIS 3000) are only 10 MFLOPS, but there are more of them.
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Re: Can you identify this machine?

Unread postby SPSDOD » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:52 am

For someone with tenacity and the time, a Professional Iris would be a great restoration project.
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BetXen
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Re: Can you identify this machine?

Unread postby BetXen » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:59 am

Looks like the first SGI I owned, yeeeeaaars ago. It was, as the others mentioned, a Professional Iris 4D/70 GT. I gave it to the Bolo Computer Museum, in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was heavy, loud, slow, but I miss it a bit now...
:Onyx2: : oxygen (4xR12k400) / :A3504L: :A3504L: : neon (16xI2 1.6, 9MB L2) / :O200: :O200: : beryllium (4xR12k270)
:Fuel: : nitrogen (R16k800) / :Octane2: : carbon (2xR14k600) / :Octane: : lithium (R10k400) / :Octane: : fluorine (2xR12k300) / spare 2xR12k360
:O2: : hydrogen (R10k195) / :O2: : sodium (R5k180) / :O2: : R5k180->200 MB and PM only
:Indigo2IMP: : helium (R10k195, HighImpact) / :Indigo2IMP: : boron (R4k250)/ :Indigo: : magnesium (R4k100) / :Indy: : aluminium (R5k180)
:4D70GT: 4D70GT : my very first one (now property of musée bolo and the foundation mémoires informatiques)
See the hinv/gfxinfo posts here.

Pontus
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Re: Can you identify this machine?

Unread postby Pontus » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:12 am

Nice "little" machine. Where is this museum located?
:Onyx2R: :IRIS3130: :Crimson: :4D310: :Onyx2: :O2000: :O200: :PI: :Fuel: :Indigo: :Octane: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2: :Indy: :1600SW: :320: :pdp8e:
:BA213: <- MicroVAX 3500 :BA213: <- DECsystem 5500 :BA215: <- MicroVAX 3300
Pictures of my collection: www.pdp8.se


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