Which SGI to max out?

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hamei
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby hamei » Mon May 14, 2012 7:46 pm

josehill wrote:Since multithreading has a major impact on browser performance (for example, with loading multiple images and other page elements at the same time), I am curious about how a 2x600 Octane would stack up against a 700 MHz or faster Fuel in browsing, though it's possible that the older browsers aren't optimized enough for multithreading to have a big impact. Likewise, for people who leave JavaScript turned on, the available JS interpreters are so un-optimized that the Fuel's faster cpu speed might be more important than having more than one processor.

That's why I brought up the O300. I bought a 4p 500 a while back (just sitting here now tho), it is surprisingly fast and they are cheap since they are not convenient for a desktop. But put the O300 down in the basement and X-Window thru an O2 ... If I didn't have this monitor that's what I'd do. The flop seems to run just as well on a 4p-500 O300 as it does on a much faster 1p Fuel.

Your points are good in reference to other apps but in the case of the browser, Fireflop is so poorly written that it doesn't make as much difference as you would think. It does run as well on a quad 500 as it does on a much faster singleton. But the design is so poor that slow-loading pages still hang the entire application. Tabs should not be threads, they should be independent processes. And the stoopid thing needs to have a listener thread at the top of the food chain, with priority over everything else. All youse guys with T1 lines think the 'flop is great because you don't have slow connection problems but it ain't great. It's shit. Try for yourself - stick a 10-bit hub between your computer and the main line. Load about five tabs at once. The thing will lock up and ignore you, no matter if it's v2 on Irix or version 11 on Windows. Bad design. Stupid people who could care less about working together to keep the web open, public and accessible to all.*

pants_on_fire.jpg


Anyway, yeah ... between the dual cpu Octane and a faster single cpu Fuel, it would be something of a tossup. That decision depends on the person using it. The Octane really is more impressive looking and better built and more reliable. But for me the quietness, the firewire attachment (it's even faster for me to read an SD card than the Assist can on Windows) and the SATA disk thing makes the Fuel more reasonable for a daily driver. And the dual 600 pimm still ain't cheap. You could get an entire O300 4p computer for less than just that pimm.

But if I were just using it at home to do foolaround stuff, I'd take the Octane. It's a neater computer. And if my goal weren't four V12's to drive this monitor, I'd seriously consider the O2 on the desk with an O300 down the hall, too.


* For all = those who use Windows 7 or newer with an Intel processor >3 ghz on a 2 gbit connection or faster. Everyone else can go suck donkey balls. "Why should we care about that old junk ? If you want it to work, do it yourself !" Mozilla makes George Wallace look like a nigra-luvin' peacenik.

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sgifanatic
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby sgifanatic » Mon May 14, 2012 8:01 pm

Thanks everyone - great points - several I hadn't considered, including easy to replace PSUs in the Fuel.

Any idea what a dual display V12 upgrade, plus 8GB RAM and a dual 600 proc for the Octane would cost in the US? If it tallies up to an astronomical sum, the decision might be made!
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby hamei » Mon May 14, 2012 8:06 pm

sgifanatic wrote: ... plus 8GB RAM ...

Unless you are doing FEA, you don't need 8 gigs of RAM. Seriously. I have four and never see more than 2/3 of it used. Never.

About the power supply, I wouldn't worry too much. There's a gazillion Octane power supplies and every single one of them is better built than any cots ATX power supply. Better cheaper faster my ass. It's great that kubatyszko figured out how to replace them but If the Fuel power supply weren't so crappy we wouldn't have to be worrying about it :)
Last edited by hamei on Mon May 14, 2012 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby sgifanatic » Mon May 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Adrenaline wrote:Thanks to diegel for getting back to me with some results:

Single Theaded 2x600mhz Octane 2 vs. 1x600mhz Fuel:
Integer - Fuel by 3%
Floating Point - Fuel by 1.2%

Multi-Threaded 2x600mhz Octane 2 vs. 1x600mhz Fuel:
Integer - Octane by 71%
Floating Point - Octane by 74%

And just for kicks:
Single Theaded 2x600mhz Octane 2 vs. 1x900mhz Fuel:
Integer - Fuel by 24%
Floating Point - Fuel by 32%

Multi-Threaded 2x600mhz Octane 2 vs. 1x900mhz Fuel:
Integer - Octane by 66%
Floating Point - Octane by 64%

By no means is this an end-all answer and in fact the multi-threaded test is a best case scenario. But it's pretty clear if you're running multi-threaded applications the Dual Octane would win out, but if you're running single-threaded tasks a higher end single CPU would be better.


Thank you! The most common everyday app would be Firefox. Does the current latest ver available for IRIX make use of the dual procs? Those test results comparing Fuel and Octane2 would be super useful.
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diegel
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby diegel » Mon May 14, 2012 11:07 pm

sgifanatic wrote:The most common everyday app would be Firefox. Does the current latest ver available for IRIX make use of the dual procs? Those test results comparing Fuel and Octane2 would be super useful.

Firefox 2 doesn't use more than one cpu, but it produces much work for Xsgi, in result there is an advantage when you have more than one cpu. The slowest part of Irix Firefox is javascript, but there is no advantage for that.
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby hamei » Tue May 15, 2012 5:20 am

diegel wrote:Firefox 2 doesn't use more than one cpu, but it produces much work for Xsgi, in result there is an advantage when you have more than one cpu. The slowest part of Irix Firefox is javascript, but there is no advantage for that.

I could be more than mistaken but it was my understanding that any multi-threaded application in an SMP system will see the benefits of more than one processor. The system scheduler is supposed to assign threads to whichever processor is available, hence any application which is multi-threaded will see improvements without any real effort on the application programmer's part. That's one of the beauties of multi-threaded apps, the most difficult part is done by the operating system so the application can run without changes on anything from a 1p to a multi-multi p system without changes. Whether it actually gets any benefit over a certain point is a different question :)

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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby jan-jaap » Tue May 15, 2012 6:14 am

hamei wrote:I could be more than mistaken but it was my understanding that any multi-threaded application in an SMP system will see the benefits of more than one processor. The system scheduler is supposed to assign threads to whichever processor is available, hence any application which is multi-threaded will see improvements without any real effort on the application programmer's part. That's one of the beauties of multi-threaded apps, the most difficult part is done by the operating system so the application can run without changes on anything from a 1p to a multi-multi p system without changes. Whether it actually gets any benefit over a certain point is a different question :)

This is only true if an application has work for all it's threads.

Often, threads are used to improve latency, responsiveness or simply to make an application more modular. In that case it's very will possible that all but one thread are sitting there, waiting for something to happen. Then there's a brief burst of activity, and they go back to waiting.
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby recondas » Tue May 15, 2012 6:22 am

sgifanatic wrote:Any idea what a dual display V12 upgrade, plus 8GB RAM and a dual 600 proc for the Octane would cost in the US?

'Bout the same as a dual 700 Tezro...

....which will give you dual processors *and* all of the newer/faster bits from the Fuel. Stuff that does make a difference to your seat-of-the-pants experience but probably aren't well accounted for in a processor benchmark.
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby hamei » Tue May 15, 2012 6:44 am

jan-jaap wrote:This is only true if an application has work for all it's threads.

Often, threads are used to improve latency, responsiveness or simply to make an application more modular. In that case it's very will possible that all but one thread are sitting there, waiting for something to happen. Then there's a brief burst of activity, and they go back to waiting.

Ah, but if you get a burst of activity with work for six threads and you have four available processors, then the work will be accomplished almost four times faster than if you only have one processor, dui bu dui ? My point was that the system scheduler will automatically take care of thread handling for a multi-threaded application. It doesn't have to be specifically written to use more than one processor.

Now, in the case of Fireflop, god only knows how it is structured. But I can certainly see how it could be threaded to do several things simultaneously, which would speed it up automatically on a multi-p machine. If it were written by people with a brain, that is :D

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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby Adrenaline » Tue May 15, 2012 7:12 am

jan-jaap wrote:
hamei wrote:I could be more than mistaken but it was my understanding that any multi-threaded application in an SMP system will see the benefits of more than one processor. The system scheduler is supposed to assign threads to whichever processor is available, hence any application which is multi-threaded will see improvements without any real effort on the application programmer's part. That's one of the beauties of multi-threaded apps, the most difficult part is done by the operating system so the application can run without changes on anything from a 1p to a multi-multi p system without changes. Whether it actually gets any benefit over a certain point is a different question :)

This is only true if an application has work for all it's threads.

Often, threads are used to improve latency, responsiveness or simply to make an application more modular. In that case it's very will possible that all but one thread are sitting there, waiting for something to happen. Then there's a brief burst of activity, and they go back to waiting.


You could actually hinder performance by implementing a poorly written multi-threaded application (especially when limited to Hard Drive I/O like loading).

Take this for example:

Code: Select all

Parallel.Invoke(() =>
    {
        LoadBookmarks();
        LoadPreferences();
    },

    () => {
        LoadCookies();
        LoadSessions();
    },
   
    () => {
        LoadTabs();
        LoadTheme();
        LoadPlugins();
    }
);


This kicks off 3 threads simultaneously, on a lower performing hard drive doing 3X the File I/O would actually hinder performance (I realized this when doing a Windows App on the lowest end HP Mini Netbook (Original Intel Atom) a few years back, only got 20mb/sec sustained on the hard drive they put in it). I actually have 2 code paths now (since some prefer the older HPs over the new i3 Acers). Now my company started buying AMD E-350 (2x1.6ghz) HP netbooks which have a higher end single threaded performance than the 1ghz i3s, but lower multi-threaded performance (HyperThreading comes into play for the i3), adding more complication to the mix to ensure multi-threaded performance remains perfect across the 3 platforms we use my app on :)
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby sgifanatic » Tue May 15, 2012 7:27 am

recondas wrote:
sgifanatic wrote:Any idea what a dual display V12 upgrade, plus 8GB RAM and a dual 600 proc for the Octane would cost in the US?

'Bout the same as a dual 700 Tezro...

....which will give you dual processors *and* all of the newer/faster bits from the Fuel. Stuff that does make a difference to your seat-of-the-pants experience but probably aren't well accounted for in a processor benchmark.


Wow. Time to convince my wife I need a Tezro :-)

Are we talking thousands of dollars here as per ebay, or are there reasonable deals to be had? If someone can share price experiences I would appreciate it. If you don't want to publish them here, please PM me.
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby kubatyszko » Tue May 15, 2012 7:43 am

I'm not following prices that much, but for example Octane 2 with dual 600 and a V12 would go for some 600-700$ (likely with 4G of RAM),
Tezro's seem to go in the range of 1500-2000$ depending on the internals as well (but that's mostly for the quad versions), there was one in Japan which ended up at 209000 JPY (that's some 2500$).
Fuel, hard to say, basic with 600 MHz would cost you somewhere around $200, then I'd say 100-200 and up for each 100Mhz of a CPU, with an exception of the 900Mhz which is extremely rare and may rob you of $1000 just for the CPU...
All prices are just from what I've been seeing and may have nothing to do with reality, your experience will vary...
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sgifanatic
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby sgifanatic » Tue May 15, 2012 8:18 am

My wise friend [[C]-[E]] once told me that the key to a good SGI purchase is patience. Very Zen :-) $2K is a bit much to spend on a novelty desktop for me at least. I'll keep my eyes open and see if there's ever a good opportunity to pick up a Tezro. Till then, my 700Mhz Fuel will have to do. I've already got audio in it. Maybe I can look at SSDs or a cheaper upgrade like an extra 2GB RAM to give it a little bit more oomph.
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recondas
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby recondas » Tue May 15, 2012 12:47 pm

kubatyszko wrote:I'm not following prices that much, but for example Octane 2 with dual 600 and a V12 would go for some 600-700$.....
Tezro's seem to go in the range of 1500-2000$ depending on the internals as well (but that's mostly for the quad versions),

Unless the buyer gets lucky, I'd expect an Octane2 with an original factory dual V12 set up, dual 600MHz processors and 8GB of RAM (so pretty much the mack-daddy Octane2 config, give or take a DCD or two) to bring a noticeable premium over other dual 600 configurations, especially if other buyers are offered the chance to bid on their once-in-lifetime-mack-daddy dream machine

With a little luck and/or patience, I think a dual 700 Tezro could be had for not much more. If sgifanatic is willing to consider an dual-processor O350 (and add V10 Graphics), with an equal amount of luck or patience I think he's even more likely to come in under the cost of a mack-daddy Octane2. Fairly recently a dual 700Mhz O(nyx)350 with V12 graphics sold on eBay for $810 (the fact that it was mis-labeled as an "O350 expansion unit" and the missing/souvenir'd Onyx350 label probably helped keep the price down): http://www.ebay.com/itm/290693614448?
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Re: Which SGI to max out?

Unread postby diegel » Tue May 15, 2012 1:52 pm

sgifanatic wrote:My wise friend [[C]-[E]] once told me that the key to a good SGI purchase is patience.
Thats absolutely right, patience and I would add luck. I get my maxed out Octane2 from a very poor described Ebay auction for a price less than Euro 300. Currently I am testing my mozilla builds on different platforms and I am surprised how fast the dual 600 mhz Octane is. Running firefox is not a big difference to my Fuels or the ghz Tezro. Be patient and wait for your occasion.
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