Should I take the dive?

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foetz
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby foetz » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:54 pm

robespierre wrote:Thanks foetz, I knew you would supply lots of details in this area ;)

pleasure is all mine :D

one more thing to consider is that with late sgis the differences in speed are not that noticeable anymore. owners of machines with an r16000 in particular but running the same stuff on older ones might be a surprise in some cases i.e. one program suddenly behaves like a dead horse while the other still reacts properly. for example the workflow of wavefront on an r4400 indigo2 is way faster than maya on an r10000 o2.
a funny exception is softimage (the original one, not xsi of course). there the floating windows are always somewhat juddery no matter what machine you have :P

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby Trippynet » Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:09 am

IAMNOTDEFECTIVE wrote:
Trippynet wrote:
IAMNOTDEFECTIVE wrote:Also I noticed I derped in the original post, I forgot to mention my display is actually a Ultrawide Monitor... Whoops! XP
However, in the end I found it easier to run my SGI machines through a conventional 20" 4:3 monitor and use my 16:10 monitor for my Windows machine and my Mac Mini - means I can interact with both SGIs and my PC at the same time too.


I said I had an UltraWide monitor, IE 21:9, so that would be a problem if you had a problem getting a 16:10 display working all honky dory.


Not necessarily. Either way you have to create a custom VFO if the resolution isn't supported natively by IRIX. That's the case for a lot of 16:10 and 16:9 monitors, so the same would hold for a 21:9 screen. So long as the graphics hardware can physically handle it, creating a custom VFO should be possible.

As I said, I was able to get my O2 to run at 16:10 resolutions, but not the Indigo2. However, the Indigo2 is a much older machine. With newer systems like Fuels and Octanes with the later graphics cards (V10/V12), compiling widescreen VFOs is not too much of a problem. Hence, getting your screen working is certainly a possibility!
Systems in use:
:Indigo2IMP: - Nitrogen: R10000 195MHz CPU, 384MB RAM, SolidIMPACT Graphics, 36GB 15k HDD & 300GB 10k HDD, 100Mb/s NIC, New/quiet fans, IRIX 6.5.22
:Fuel: - Lithium: R14000 600MHz CPU, 4GB RAM, V10 Graphics, 72GB 15k HDD & 300GB 10k HDD, 1Gb/s NIC, New/quiet fans, IRIX 6.5.30
Other system in storage: :O2: R5000 200MHz, 224MB RAM, 72GB 15k HDD, PSU fan mod, IRIX 6.5.30

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby vishnu » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:13 am

Hem hem, bit of a testimonial here but in my case I've got a maxed out Octane2 and a quad 700 Tezro and I do not find their performance to be disappointing on any of the high end apps I've got (Shake, Maya, Catia, Pro/E), and I in particular do not wish to spend the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost to upgrade to their "modern" equivalents. So in summary I expect my sgi's to remain important to me for far into the foreseeable future... :P
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:59 pm

but my Dad actually has a RiscPC SA as his main workstation to get things done...


I'm impressed. Does he do this in RISC OS or something else?
smit happens.

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby IAMNOTDEFECTIVE » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:35 pm

ClassicHasClass wrote:
but my Dad actually has a RiscPC SA as his main workstation to get things done...


I'm impressed. Does he do this in RISC OS or something else?


Yep! RISC OS 4.39! :) And it's still going strong! :D

Trippynet wrote:
IAMNOTDEFECTIVE wrote:
Trippynet wrote:
IAMNOTDEFECTIVE wrote:Also I noticed I derped in the original post, I forgot to mention my display is actually a Ultrawide Monitor... Whoops! XP
However, in the end I found it easier to run my SGI machines through a conventional 20" 4:3 monitor and use my 16:10 monitor for my Windows machine and my Mac Mini - means I can interact with both SGIs and my PC at the same time too.


I said I had an UltraWide monitor, IE 21:9, so that would be a problem if you had a problem getting a 16:10 display working all honky dory.


Not necessarily. Either way you have to create a custom VFO if the resolution isn't supported natively by IRIX. That's the case for a lot of 16:10 and 16:9 monitors, so the same would hold for a 21:9 screen. So long as the graphics hardware can physically handle it, creating a custom VFO should be possible.

As I said, I was able to get my O2 to run at 16:10 resolutions, but not the Indigo2. However, the Indigo2 is a much older machine. With newer systems like Fuels and Octanes with the later graphics cards (V10/V12), compiling widescreen VFOs is not too much of a problem. Hence, getting your screen working is certainly a possibility!


I see... That'll be interesting to fiddle around with... XD
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby theinonen » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:05 am

ClassicHasClass wrote:
but my Dad actually has a RiscPC SA as his main workstation to get things done...


I'm impressed. Does he do this in RISC OS or something else?


RISC OS has plenty of good software to get things done and personally I would take RISC OS over linux any day. I am pretty much only using my Windows PC for 3d-modelling, web browsing and watching videos. Everything else is much more relaxing to do on RISC OS.

Having owned both Octane and Fuel, I must say that Octane is much cooler system as a workstation. Fuel is pretty much like a standard PC, while Octane is awesome in every way the Fuel is not. Fuel is maybe a smarter choice from the two, but then again if it would be deciding factor, you would not be lookin for a SGI system anyway.

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby vishnu » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:24 am

Octane is a freakin' marvel; a true workstation in every sense of the word, every component engineered to the nines, tight tolerance precision machined parts, giant heatsinks and fans to keep it running no matter what, zero internal cables, same HEART as used in sgi's highest-end supercomputers, who wouldn't want one? Oh wait, every member here who can't stand more than 50 decibels of fan hum... :lol:
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby uunix » Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:08 am

vishnu wrote: Oh wait, every member here who can't stand more than 50 decibels of fan hum... :lol:

:lol:
So I have 2 SGI machines on my desk that share a Keyboard & Mouse, the rest I remote to. My Octane is as you know pretty maxed out, my Fuel is decent spec (could do with a V12 if the truth be known). Each machine can do roughly what the other can do with the exception of Video and my Octane has all the bells and whistles for that task. Now, which is the first machine I turn on.. the Fuel, because it feels snappier and yes is quieter. I think the Fuel gets bad press due to the build design, the case, the crappy flappy front door and the internal cabling (which, every time I use it, I'm consistently thinking about those internal cables and sometimes it makes me so sad I just turn off everything and sulk- ;) ).

With the above in mind, which is my favourite machine.... Octane2 obviously (until I get my hands on a certain Onyx Rack).
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby IAMNOTDEFECTIVE » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:01 am

uunix wrote:With the above in mind, which is my favourite machine.... Octane2 obviously (until I get my hands on a certain Onyx Rack).


I wish you the best of luck with that! :)
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby necron2600 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:43 am

FYI, Using this monitor:
http://www.viewsonic.com/us/vx2770smh-led.html

I have had no problems with 16:10 (1920x1200 resolution), or even 16:9, on an Octane (with Vpro graphics) or a Tezro. No customization or mods, worked out of the box with IRIX.

My O2 however, could not get either type of those resolutions.

Ultra-wide resolution will be more of a challenge, if even possible (so far it seems not).

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby foetz » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:44 am

vishnu wrote:who wouldn't want one? Oh wait, every member here who can't stand more than 50 decibels of fan hum... :lol:

and don't forget the electricity counters :lol:

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby Trippynet » Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:16 pm

necron2600 wrote:My O2 however, could not get either type of those resolutions.

Ultra-wide resolution will be more of a challenge, if even possible (so far it seems not).


I did manage to get 1920x1200 working on my O2 with a custom VFO, but it was not without issues. There was some occasional graphical corruption in a few areas, and I think the resolution was simply pushing the little O2 a bit too far. Once I dropped it to 1680x1050 (another custom-made VFO), it worked without a hitch.

I think it's not so much the aspect ratio which is the issue, but the sheer number of pixels for the hardware to drive. Later graphics cards can naturally power higher resolutions. Of course, a lot depends on the native resolution of this ultrawide monitor in question...
Systems in use:
:Indigo2IMP: - Nitrogen: R10000 195MHz CPU, 384MB RAM, SolidIMPACT Graphics, 36GB 15k HDD & 300GB 10k HDD, 100Mb/s NIC, New/quiet fans, IRIX 6.5.22
:Fuel: - Lithium: R14000 600MHz CPU, 4GB RAM, V10 Graphics, 72GB 15k HDD & 300GB 10k HDD, 1Gb/s NIC, New/quiet fans, IRIX 6.5.30
Other system in storage: :O2: R5000 200MHz, 224MB RAM, 72GB 15k HDD, PSU fan mod, IRIX 6.5.30

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby GIJoe » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:58 pm

IAMNOTDEFECTIVE wrote:Hello everyone!
So I actually only found out about SGI last Saturday and I've been frantically getting all the info I need about SGI. Now before I go into the main reason of this post I want to say: Daaaamn! These machines are beautiful! 0_0


simple solution: get the prettiest machine you can find, put it on a shelf and continue to work with what you have. :) getting an sgi nowadays makes no sense beyond collecting them.

not sure anybody else has touched on this but: hardware this old is not reliable anymore. you better not bet the farm on this stuff to keep trucking along and IMO should not let it run unattended for extended periods either. lastly you need to know where to source replacement parts and how to fix small hardware issues yourself.
when i was running an octane 2 about 10 years ago and partially depending on it for work still, i had an entire replacement unit with a very similar configuration on the shelf, for those worst case scenarios.

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby foetz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:11 am

GIJoe wrote:getting an sgi nowadays makes no sense beyond collecting them.

reading some threads here should teach you otherwise

hardware this old is not reliable anymore. you better not bet the farm on this stuff to keep trucking along

quite the opposite in my experience. my sgis run; outlived all other stuff i had in between. the cheap x86 junk in particular.
also hardware quality in general went down the drain in recent years. everything got much cheaper and that comes with a price (pun intended :P )

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby jan-jaap » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:39 am

foetz wrote:
hardware this old is not reliable anymore. you better not bet the farm on this stuff to keep trucking along

quite the opposite in my experience. my sgis run; outlived all other stuff i had in between. the cheap x86 junk in particular.

The old hardware may have been constructed with a longer service life in mind than the current "cheap x86 junk", I doubt it was designed for an expected lifetime of 15 ~ 20years, the age of the average Indigo2/Octane today. Even the best elcos have a limited lifespan before they can expected to fail. The same for mechanical bits, fans, disks etc.

Also, while reliability of current hardware may be limited by the relentless pressure to keep prices down, the reliability of SGI hardware was often limited by the fact they were pushing the technological limits. Already back then the RMs of Onyxes would fail, and you were crazy to let the service contract expire if you depended on the machine. But people accepted it because the Onyx could do things no other system could. IIRC the entire first run of R10K CPUs was replaced, and the R8K wasn't all that reliable either. I think they even gave free upgrades to R10K to some customers.
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