Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

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josehill
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby josehill » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:44 pm

I agree with Ian's general advice to go with an O2 instead of an Indy for that kind of environment, for all of the reasons he shared.

If you do go with an Indy, one specific piece of advice that SGI used to give out was to avoid placing two hard drives in an Indy. The drive slots were very close together, and there was minimal clearance between the case and the drives, so overheating could be an issue. I never ran into the problem myself, but since Indys are now all 20+ years old, the old advice probably is more relevant than it used to be, even with newer, cooler running drives.

mapesdhs wrote: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.

Depending on the intended use, I've found the amount of RAM to be the main issue in choosing between IRIX 6.2 and 6.5 on an Indy. While SGI supported IRIX 6.5 on Indys with less RAM, I consider 128 MB to be the minimum amount of RAM for an acceptable IRIX 6.5 experience on an Indy, with 192 MB or 256 MB strongly preferred, especially if interactive GUI use is anticipated. Even with 128 MB of RAM, running 6.5 on an Indy leads to a lot of (slow) virtual memory use. Meanwhile, IRIX 6.2 performs quite reasonably, even on Indys with as little as 32 MB of RAM.

uunix wrote: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.

My experience with O2s is that many of them don't like to be moved, but they are solid when kept in place. I have no hard data to back this up, but my sense is that the various modules in earlier O2s are very susceptible to slipping slightly out of position, so picking up or even sliding such an O2 a few inches across a desk can lead to an inability to boot until all modules are reset into place. Our lab had all sorts of problems with this when O2s first came out, to the degree that after moving an O2, we would take out the modules and put them back in before attempting to restart the machine. Newer O2s didn't seem to have as much of an issue. Perhaps needless to say, we wouldn't even think of moving an O2 an inch while powered on.

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby Elf » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:20 pm

mapesdhs wrote:[...] slaughter houses [...]

Should I even ask?
:Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :O2: :O2: :Octane: :Octane: :Fuel: :Tezro:
:Indy: [x19] :Indigo: [x7] :O2: [x4]

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby mapesdhs » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:24 pm

josehill wrote:
> If you do go with an Indy, one specific piece of advice that SGI used to give out was to avoid placing two hard drives in an Indy. ...

Yes, definitely. Ok if one uses SSDs of course (using SCSI/SATA bridge boxes), but that's expensive. And yeah, I tested an 850 Pro 512GB in an Indy, so suck it. :D Worked fine.

What I do for dual-drive setups (common commercial request, for drive cloning/backup) is customise the sleds and fit an extra fan:

http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/misc/custom_indy_fan.jpg


> ... Meanwhile, IRIX 6.2 performs quite reasonably, even on Indys with as little as 32 MB of RAM.

Correct on all counts, though personally I wouldn't want less than 64MB for 6.2. I ran a lab of twenty Indys for several years, most of which had 32MB RAM, and it led to all sorts of problems, 32MB really wasn't enough, though this was made worse by the use of meager 549MB disks.

128MB is more than enough for pretty much any 6.2 config, while it's a sensible minimum for 6.5.x. I did do some basic tests on this way back:

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

though note the 6.5 listed refers to the original June 1998 release, I never ran these tests with any 6.5.x, so 6.5.22 would likely use more.


> My experience with O2s is that many of them don't like to be moved, ...

Can't say I've noticed that myself, but it does make me wonder whether that issue is the main reason for early mbd revision changes. It's annoying that there is no proper info about the differences between one mbd version vs. another.


Elf wrote:
> Should I even ask?

The system in question was taking data from a camera (UV IIRC) to analyse fat/muscle distribution in pig carcasses. This involved real-time image processing using ICE (custom sw); edge detection, etc. The output was used to better control the cutting machines to minimise the fat content of the cuts, and to improve payments to farmers who were paid more based on the prevalence of muscle mass rather than fat. I supplied a 10/100 card to the factory so they could remote admin the system.

There are a heck of a lot of things SGIs are used for which SGI never bothered publicising. Beats me why they ignored so many of them, it was a lot of wasted potential publicity.

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby Elf » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:57 pm

Ah, how bizarre!
:Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :O2: :O2: :Octane: :Octane: :Fuel: :Tezro:
:Indy: [x19] :Indigo: [x7] :O2: [x4]

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby diegel » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:25 am

If you don't need graphics, I suggest a Challenge S with Sony power supply. I am using a such a setup for some tasks at home for years now. The Challenge S needs less power than the Indy, produces less heat and is very reliable.

Code: Select all

Connected to challenge.
Escape character is '^]'.


IRIX (challenge)

login: root
Password:
IRIX Release 6.5 IP22 challenge
Copyright 1987-2003 Silicon Graphics, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Last login: Wed Aug 16 10:11:13 CEST 2017 by UNKNOWN@sorcerer
# hinv
CPU: MIPS R5000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.1
FPU: MIPS R5000 Floating Point Coprocessor Revision: 1.0
1 200 MHZ IP22 Processor
Main memory size: 256 Mbytes
Secondary unified instruction/data cache size: 512 Kbytes on Processor 0
Instruction cache size: 32 Kbytes
Data cache size: 32 Kbytes
Integral SCSI controller 4: Version WD33C95A, differential, revision 0
Integral SCSI controller 0: Version WD33C93B, revision D
  Disk drive: unit 1 on SCSI controller 0
On-board serial ports: 2
On-board bi-directional parallel port
Integral Ethernet: ec0, version 1
Integral Ethernet: ec3, version 1
GIO 100BaseTX Fast Ethernet: gfe0
Integral ISDN: Basic Rate Interface unit 0, revision 1.0
# uptime
 10:23am  up 268 days, 22:21,  1 user,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
:Tezro: :Fuel: :Octane2: :Octane: :Onyx2: :O2+: :O2: :Indy: :Indigo: :Cube:

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby mapesdhs » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:13 am

True, ChallengeS is reliable (I ran one for 5 years at a uni and it never crashed once; the NT server would crash sometimes as often as a dozen times a day), but it still has the issue of a costly PSU to replace. Also of course, it only has 10Mbit (at least O2 has 10/100, though the o.p. hasn't said whether networking is relevant).

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby mapesdhs » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:37 am

The Sirix networking is called Selan. I've been working with such users for a long time, many do have O2s, usually running 6.3. Ask Stoll about IRIX maintenance, they tell customers to contact me. I've done work directly for Stoll on a number of occasions.

{Content pertaining to trolling incident removed by mods. Thanks for your understanding. -josehill}

To the o.p., please feel free to email/PM/phone me direct if you want to escape the trolling, happy to help. Discount for an O2, free backup PSU/CPU, I can mod the PSU fan for you, etc.

Ian.

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby miod » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:42 am

mapesdhs wrote:I currently have a far more enjoyable tech social time posting to OCN, toms, AT, and numerous other sites about PC stuff, which given my original SGI obsession is just ridiculous.

Have you considered browsing the forum with a little filtering (http://forums.nekochan.net/ucp.php?i=zebra&mode=foes&add=Y888099)?
:Indigo:R3000 (alas, dead) :Indigo:R4000 x4 :Indigo2:R4400 :Indigo2IMP:R4400 x2 :Indigo2:R8000 :Indigo2IMP:R10000 :Indy:R4000PC :Indy:R4000SC :Indy:R4400SC :Indy:R4600 :Indy:R5000SC :O2:R5000 x3 :O2:RM7000 :Octane:2xR10000 :Octane:R12000 :O200:2xR12000 :O200: - :O200:2x2xR10000 :Fuel:R16000 :O3x0:4xR16000 :A350:
among more than 150 machines : Apollo, Data General, Digital, HP, IBM, MIPS before SGI, Motorola, NeXT, SGI, Solbourne, Sun...

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby Hakimoto » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:26 am

@Y888099: This is a warning regarding the posts made by you in viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16732196.

As a result of repeated complaints of trolling, I am publicly warning you, Carlo. One single time.

Either contribute to the topic of discussion constructively to help the OP without hijacking the thread for personal feuds or face the consequences.

Your inability to separate your personal disagreements with others from their making assistive statements towards others has rendered a number of threads on this forum completely moot. This has been pointed out before, politely but firmly, yet you remain immune to anyone explaining to you, in any way, that you might go about expressing your dissenting opinion differently without alienating your fellow users' or incurring the moderators' wrath.

You even rant at the people who try to help you make your voice heard. (Without screaming at the entire board!)

If you wish to conduct your feuds in public, then do so in separate threads in "Everything Else". At least then people can choose to ignore them. But if you wish to disagree with someone's opinion in someone else's thread, then do so a) without going OT, b) without using caustic language and c) by offering the OP an alternative view citing your own experience or other sources.

At the risk of not being clear, it is very simple: You could try to say "I don't agree with XYZ's statement. In my experience ABC works and DEF doesn't because..." for a change rather than "Garbage..." and other destructive phrasings that, repeatedly, have escalated into flamewars and gone completely OT.

This is a single warning. The next instance of such behaviour will incur a one month ban. Repeat offence will incur heavier sanctions.

Consider yourself warned. This is where I draw the line.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby pierocks » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:49 am

Getting out my popcorn...

But O/T:
I have a gaggle of O2's now, with various CPU spec, PSUs in various conditions, etc. Just one data point that I can offer is that I had a PSU that caused my r7k 350 Mhz CPU to boot infrequently, if at all, but swapping the PSU for a different one resulted in a 100% working machine. That same marginal PSU had no issues in an r5k 180 machine. I suspect that some CPUs may be more picky about voltage, and a PSU that's in-spec, but barely, used with one of those CPUs, may result in noticeable flakiness. Without more data, this is all conjecture, but it's certainly something to consider.

If reliability is prioritized over performance, it probably wouldn't hurt to go towards a low-spec r5k.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby dexter1 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:08 am

I would agree with a R5K180MHz low spec as a reliable, yet cost- (and power-) effective IRIX/MIPS machine.

I've modded both my O2's with EBM Papst and while the R12K270MHz stays are 34 degrees Celcius my R5KMHz runs happily with less that 28 degrees on the exhaust, while cutting the sound levels from the original Panaflo by 10dB.

The capacitors do wear out after prolonged heat and use and may cause certain setups to become unstable, as mentioned by Pierocks.

Finally, I trust Ian fully for his comments about usage and wear and tear of SGI machines.
:Crimson: :PI: :Indigo: :O2: :Indy: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP:

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby uunix » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:45 am

I would agree on Ian's wisdom and always normally do... BUT.. I still go INDY, but better still, Challenge.

What the OT hasn't really explained is the complete details on the environment.

The INDY/Challenge are literally solid units, whereas the o2 is modular and as I say, you look at them with a squint, and they hate you forever and day until you pull the Dallas chip and then, they forget. I'm thinking HAL.

I have an INDY up for 70 days in a hot office, I have never heard the fans come on.

Unfortunately, we will never know who is right on this, the OT will purchase one, and not the other. Someone needs to test this out.
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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby miod » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:09 pm

Another point to consider is the disk drive.

Assuming the machine is not diskless, the indy/challenge will require a narrow SCSI disk, which are hard to get by nowadays and are limited in capacity, while the O2 will use SCA disks, allowing for more modern (larger capacity, lower power consumption) disks.

Of course, one can use an SCA disk behind an adapter in an indy or challenge, but the adapter needs to fit in the chassis.
:Indigo:R3000 (alas, dead) :Indigo:R4000 x4 :Indigo2:R4400 :Indigo2IMP:R4400 x2 :Indigo2:R8000 :Indigo2IMP:R10000 :Indy:R4000PC :Indy:R4000SC :Indy:R4400SC :Indy:R4600 :Indy:R5000SC :O2:R5000 x3 :O2:RM7000 :Octane:2xR10000 :Octane:R12000 :O200:2xR12000 :O200: - :O200:2x2xR10000 :Fuel:R16000 :O3x0:4xR16000 :A350:
among more than 150 machines : Apollo, Data General, Digital, HP, IBM, MIPS before SGI, Motorola, NeXT, SGI, Solbourne, Sun...

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby josehill » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:16 pm

uunix wrote:I have an INDY up for 70 days in a hot office, I have never heard the fans come on.


If that's the case, I'd check to make sure that the fan actually works! :lol:

FWIW, my experience with Challenge S systems has been similar: rock solid reliability. I had one that worked as a corporate intranet server for years and was offline only when an OS update required a reboot.

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Re: Indy or O2 for hostile-heat environment

Unread postby uunix » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:29 pm

josehill wrote:
uunix wrote:I have an INDY up for 70 days in a hot office, I have never heard the fans come on.


If that's the case, I'd check to make sure that the fan actually works! :lol:

FWIW, my experience with Challenge S systems has been similar: rock solid reliability. I had one that worked as a corporate intranet server for years and was offline only when an OS update required a reboot.

I live in the UK, our hot is probably a very cold day where most people live. I did think maybe the fans had never worked, but at one point I had 5 INDYs running, and still no fans.
Anyone know what temp the fans cut in? I could get a heater in there and test.
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