SGI - Microsoft

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hamei
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Re: SGI - Microsoft

Unread postby hamei » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:29 am

bjames wrote:... what separates that from a great workstation is putting together the 'right' assortmant of high quality parts, maybe develope a better gfx card in cooperation with invidia and have specially written drivers, design a proprietary mother board with improved architecture ect... as a result you may have a "PC" that is clearly different from the rest - Im sure some people would pay extra for that.

Not a problem. IBM Intellistation. Power 5 processors, AIX, everything you could want in a real workstation, starting at $ 8,000.

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zolotroph
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Re: SGI - Microsoft

Unread postby zolotroph » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:46 pm

Alien wrote:Anyone ever seen a VWS 540 with Cube logo? In the flesh, I mean, they're all over the brochures, but I can't recall ever having seen one IRL.


I've seen exactly ONE 540 ever with the cube logo, and it was on eBay. I can't even be sure it wasn't a demo unit or a pre-relesae prototype. In any case, they're VERY rare.

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sfpeter1
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Re: SGI - Microsoft

Unread postby sfpeter1 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:22 am

The first question to ask might be what would you do with such a beast? The era of $30,000 workstations is largely over, and there's a couple of reasons I could think of why.

The first is convergence of the hardware, as computers that were originally far different from your standard PC started to use more PC components or be compatible with them, such as monitors, keyboards, memory, and power supplies. Processors, especially different architectures such as Mips and Motorola's G3/G4 that may have in some ways been better than X86, found themselves outstripped by sheer brute force. PC's became cheaper and more interoperable, so a vendor offering their proprietary hardware that reqiured a specialized monitor or ram was finding themselves out in the cold.

The second is software. where a specialized OS running only on a particular vendor's hardware stays there, and without enough marketshare developers aren't going to code good apps for it. Without apps, the platform dies. SGI once had very powerful patents in software (some of which were sold to Microsoft) and in the early days were the best game in town to do 3D. Today, I can buy professional 3D apps for Windows/Linux/OSX.

The rules are completely different for servers/renderfarms, where distributed speed and interconnects rule the day, and where SGI may largely have it's future.

SGI tried to meet the tide of PC's before, using both strategies of very cheap PC's on a common OS (the 230/330/550, standard PC's on Linux), and specialized hardware (the 320/540 with Windows), and failed. Largely this was because of cost, but also nothing was really unique enough to justify them. If Irix had been ported for x86 on the 320/540 that may have opened some possibilities, but again the cost would have kept most people away.

At this point in time, to make a super workstation would be almost pointless, it would cost too much for the market, and if it was based on x86 people could probably build their own. A new set of specialized workstation apps that offered something wholly unique and ran on Linux would be a possibility, but I don't know at this point what would be important enough for people to beat a path to their door. Experts on SGI please feel free to disagree.
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clavileno
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Re: SGI - Microsoft

Unread postby clavileno » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:15 pm

squeen wrote:
clavileno wrote:Desktop graphics are no longer tough problems for most applications.


We could use about a 50x speed up for our real-time hardware-in-the-loop development.


I'm sure you could, and I can think of a couple of applications I've been involved with over the years which would similarly benefit, but still we're nowhere near the market size needed for anyone to seriously tool up to do it.

What's the constraint on your problem? Frame rate? Dataset size? Something else?

clavileno
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Re: SGI - Microsoft

Unread postby clavileno » Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:30 pm

squeen wrote:
clavileno wrote:Desktop graphics are no longer tough problems for most applications.


We could use about a 50x speed up for our real-time hardware-in-the-loop development.


Out of interest, since I believe you did some testing / using, how did the Prism deskside compare with other systems we might have heard of?

Also might something like an Orion help you?

Edited to add: re the Prism, I was talking only about system performance, not about any issues with, say, the graphics drivers ;)


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