Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

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shelldozer
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Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby shelldozer » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:12 am

Sorry all, but some rather vague "finger in the air" questions, but it's all for a good cause...

I am looking to purchase a physically small (<10 Kg) SGI MIPS-based system for gentle IRIX command-line duties, no need for fancy graphics (will probably be using serial console), but must be able to tolerate a hot environment (don't ask). *Must* be IRIX, not any other UNIX or unix-like O/S.
Must be small and relatively lightweight due to need to ship it to a remote location.

Indy and O2 are both small enough, but I need some guidance as to configuration re reducing sensitivity to environmental heat:

Judging by the size of heatsink on R10K CPU modules for O2, an R5000SC O2 would probably be better?
As far as the Indy goes, would I be right in thinking that an R5000SC 180MHz would generally run cooler than the older R4400SC and R4000SC CPUs?

And finally, the Indy case looks *very* tight for space inside, compared to the O2 - are Indys known for heat sensitivity (eg: is HDD choice important)?

Cheers,
-- Mike
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mapesdhs
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby mapesdhs » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:03 pm

Yes, R5K should run cooler in O2, and if performance is not important then what you could do to reduce power consumption a little more is fit the R5000PC/180 which has no L2 (or for Indy, the R5000PC/150). Mind you, an R10K/R12K doesn't use as much as many might assume. See my example data here:

http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/sgipowerusage.html

Indy's main issue wrt heat is the way the (generally regarded as being more reliable) Sony PSU does not turn on its fan unless its temp sensor gets high enough, when in reality a 15K drive can easily get kinda hot. It's best to use a Sony PSU, but also best to hard wire the fan inside the PSU so that it's always on. Even then though, if the env is hot, then yes choose a disk that won't create much of its own heat.

Personally I would recommend an O2 for this (check the power consumption data above). For a start you can easily replace the fan in the PSU for something more powerful (if noise doesn't matter then shove in an 8cm Delta); normally I mod them for low-noise by replacing the stock fan with an Antec F8, but one can certainly do the opposite, fit something much faster for max cooling.

If it's going to be console-only, then you can leave out the A/V or Audio module (I did that when I was using an O2 as a gateway machine).

You could also use single-sided memory modules, fewer chips = less heat. How much RAM do you need? Fit just a single kit, and there are 256MB kits of the single-sided type, though it's easier/cheaper to get 128MB kits like this.

And of course, if it's not needed, remove the CDROM unit.

Lastly, if you do ever hit any problems, replacing the PSU in an O2 is cheap; doing that with an Indy is not.

Ian.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby uunix » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:04 pm

If I were to put money on it, I'd bet on an Indy surviving heat better. o2s can fail if you look at them in the wrong way... Indy's on the hand are rock hard when it comes to that.

I have an Indy running in a very warm room and it's never failed.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby mapesdhs » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:07 pm

There's a reason NASA chose an O2 for going into space. ;)

I've dealt with both for a long time, I'd go with O2, and it uses less power than Indy (though to be fair my table of results is for an XZ system, should really fire up an XL8, see what it does, and with the XL8 removed, though one could then do the same with the O2).

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby uunix » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:12 pm

I respect Ian's choice ten fold, but, imho o2's are like teenagers with a chip on their shoulder, they either get up in the morning or don't.. and you never know what you have done to upset them.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby mapesdhs » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:18 pm

Heh, I understand, but honestly I've seen a near equal number of abberant Indys over the years. :D

Thing is though, as I say, repairing an O2 is a lot cheaper should that ever be required.

Ian.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby uunix » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:22 pm

There is a point that I have missed here.. What IRIX version do you need? Indy up to 6.5.22, o2 up to 6.5.30.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby mapesdhs » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:29 pm

Good point! Btw, some have said 6.5.30 has issues on O2; can't say I've ever noticed this (except for the ChangeSysID prog not working), but someone mentioned it to me the other day. uunix, do you know what issues people are referring to with 6.5.30 on O2? Though of course, one can use earlier versions; my own R7K/600 system has 6.5.26.

Ian.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby uunix » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:49 pm

mapesdhs wrote:Good point! Btw, some have said 6.5.30 has issues on O2; can't say I've ever noticed this (except for the ChangeSysID prog not working), but someone mentioned it to me the other day. uunix, do you know what issues people are referring to with 6.5.30 on O2? Though of course, one can use earlier versions; my own R7K/600 system has 6.5.26.

Ian.

Apart from some n32 type dependencies with certain software, I have never come across any issues at all. I have used an o2 on off for many years, always on .30.

I do have a massive hump with the 1600sw adaptor that seems to hate me, I have 4 in my drawer.. and non work.
[EDIT... It's not really a problem with n32, I think it's always been me struggling to find the correct images]
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby Y888099 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:33 pm

mapesdhs wrote:There's a reason NASA chose an O2 for going into space


To say to collectors that ohhhh, uuuu, ahhhhhh, plastics are even more "cool" when you apply NASA-stickers on.
I suppose.


Can't believe that O2 is a robust machine. Sorry.
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mapesdhs
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby mapesdhs » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:50 pm

Whatever you might believe, O2 is the only COTS computer ever approved for use in space, though it likely used an industrial chassis rather than the usual one (same kind used for some medical systems). Robust it certainly was. O2s are still widely used in industry today, across a vast spectrum of tasks, from slaughter houses and textile companies to hospitals and airforce training sims (I deal with such places all the time). Facts don't care about your feelings. :D

Anyway, main point (back on topic) is that O2 is much cheaper to repair, easier to mod for more cooling and easier to parts-meddle to reduce the power load.

Ian.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby shelldozer » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:24 pm

Thanks for all the replies - very useful!

I'm somewhat less worried about the cramped case of the Indy now, but given the age of such systems, I guess that a cheaper-to-replace/repair PSU is a big win for the O2. Hmmm, it's a bit of a toss-up now - nice problem to have!?

In the Indy, would you expect a low-end 150MHz R5000SC to run cooler than the (older, "thicker") 150MHz R4400SC?
(Actually an 133MHz R4600SC Indy looks quite tempting for expected integer-mostly use, but those seem a little harder to find).
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby shelldozer » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:43 pm

Forgot to mention: target O/S is *any* compatible IRIX 6.X (ie: 6.2 would do fine, as would 6.5). I'm still quite fond of 5.3 on my personal Indigo R3K!
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby mapesdhs » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:47 pm

> In the Indy, would you expect a low-end 150MHz R5000SC to run cooler than the (older, "thicker") 150MHz R4400SC?

Yes, I think so, though as mentioned there's also the R5000PC for even less power usage.


> (Actually an 133MHz R4600SC Indy looks quite tempting for expected integer-mostly use, but those seem a little harder to find).

The 133SC behaves for int basically the same as an R4400SC/175. Lots of data on my site here.

Similar repair cost issue with the CPUs btw; if an SC133 or R5K in an Indy fails, that's a costly item to replace, whereas an R5K/180 for O2 costs diddly, heck I've thrown some away in the past, no demand. As for mbd cost there's somewhat more parity, though it's probably easier to bag a complete low-spec Indy on ebay (as a mbd replacement source) for not a lot compared to an O2.

Re the OS, 6.2 would certainly run better on an Indy in terms of resource usage, though I'd still run 6.5.22 if possible unless it really didn't matter. For O2 I'd always run 6.5.22 minimum.

Ian.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby josehill » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:55 pm

mapesdhs wrote:Good point! Btw, some have said 6.5.30 has issues on O2; can't say I've ever noticed this (except for the ChangeSysID prog not working), but someone mentioned it to me the other day. uunix, do you know what issues people are referring to with 6.5.30 on O2? Though of course, one can use earlier versions; my own R7K/600 system has 6.5.26.

Ian.


Usually, when people raise issues about 6.5.30 on O2s, they're talking about performance issues. There've been a few threads discussing choppy video, slower dmconvert times, and other problems with 6.5.30 on O2s, but none of the problems have been showstoppers.

On the reliability side, I never noticed any reliability differences on O2s between IRIX 6.5.21, 6.5.22 and 6.5.30, which I presume are the most popular versions on O2s. I currently run IRIX 6.5.30 on my O2, and it's fine for general workstation use.


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