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:
:PI: :Indigo: :Indigo: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Octane: :Octane2: :O2: :O2+: Image :Fuel: :Tezro: :4D70G: :Skywriter: :PWRSeries: :Crimson: :ChallengeL: :Onyx: :O200: :Onyx2: :O3x02L:
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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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.
:PI: :Indigo: :Indigo: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Octane: :Octane2: :O2: :O2+: Image :Fuel: :Tezro: :4D70G: :Skywriter: :PWRSeries: :Crimson: :ChallengeL: :Onyx: :O200: :Onyx2: :O3x02L:
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.
Image Image

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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.

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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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