Should I take the dive?

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IAMNOTDEFECTIVE
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby IAMNOTDEFECTIVE » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:37 am

So basically the facts I'm getting is:
If I do get a SGI Workstation, I should consider getting the Fuel if I want less sound emitting from the unit (as well as to not have it dramatise the electricity bills ;)), These things are old (which I already knew) and I should seriously consider not using one as a daily driver, I should feel right at home with the Maya 6.5 interface and finally I would need to do some tweaking if I want to try to get the native aspect ratio of my display to work properly

Very interesting... :)
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby GIJoe » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:56 am

yes, but:
- the fuel in decent configurations isn't cheap nor common, replacement parts may not be so easy to find either
- it's also not exactly known as a trouble free machine, plenty of evidence on this forum
- it may be more silent than an octane (that's easy, really) but it will be like a really noisy PC ;)

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby BetXen » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:52 am

Fuels are indeed noisier than a stanard PC, but doesn't the sgi factor compensate that ?
Having both a fuel and some octanes (2), I confess I use the fuel more often, due to the noise. On the other hand I prefer the dual CPU responsivity of the Octane...

It is right decent fuels are not cheap, but luckily you live in the same country as Ian (from whom I got mine), so that finding good parts and replacement ones (if one should fail) wouldn't be so difficult. Finally, even if modelling on a sgi is definitely a good experience, you should export your scenes to a modern computer to render them.
:Onyx2: : oxygen (4xR12k400) / :A3504L: :A3504L: : neon (16xI2 1.6, 9MB L2) / :O200: :O200: : beryllium (4xR12k270)
:Fuel: : nitrogen (R16k800) / :Octane2: : carbon (2xR14k600) / :Octane: : lithium (R10k400) / :Octane: : fluorine (2xR12k300) / spare 2xR12k360
:O2: : hydrogen (R10k195) / :O2: : sodium (R5k180) / :O2: : R5k180->200 MB and PM only
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby foetz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:01 pm

jan-jaap wrote: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.

of course they're not immortal. yet as mentioned as far as my stuff is concerned so far it has proven to be significantly more reliable than commodity stuff. to underline that, this very post is sent through the proxy running on my server-octane which has a 4gb system disk from 1998.

IAMNOTDEFECTIVE wrote:I should consider getting the Fuel if I want less sound emitting from the unit (as well as to not have it dramatise the electricity bills ;))

unfortunately, thinking of what's been posted here over the years, the fuel seems to be quite a troublesome machine in comparison to other sgi models.
however you have to decide what you actually want. if noise and power comsumption are major factors for you then an sgi or any other "real" workstation (or even bigger) is just not the right thing for you.

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby Trippynet » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:08 pm

GIJoe wrote:- it may be more silent than an octane (that's easy, really) but it will be like a really noisy PC


It can be easily fixed. My Fuel has a new PSU fan, new hard drive cage fans, and new graphics board fans. Basically the only fan I didn't change is the stonking huge 14cm one at the back. And now? It's as quiet as my PC.

Note of course that if you use older/hotter hard drives, live in a hot country, use a V12 etc. then you may need noisier fans with higher airflow. However, it's quite possible to make a Fuel much more silent than it is in stock configuration, without too much trouble. Personally, I found that the PSU fan was by FAR the loudest one in my Fuel. Replacing just that one with a modern and quieter fan made a huge difference, and the airflow out the back is still respectable and not concerningly warm.
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 IAMNOTDEFECTIVE » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:58 pm

foetz wrote:if noise and power comsumption are major factors for you then an sgi or any other "real" workstation (or even bigger) is just not the right thing for you.


I cannot argue with that logic! XD
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby uunix » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:07 pm

foetz wrote:unfortunately, thinking of what's been posted here over the years, the fuel seems to be quite a troublesome machine in comparison to other sgi models

I do seem to be defending the Fuel somewhat here, which isn't my intention since I have a wonderful Octane2, but no SGI is reliable if you turn them off, I'm sure I've posted many times Russian Roulette type posts on here before. The only one that NEVER fails is the Indy..

Anyway, putting that aside, I thought about speeds etc and rendering.

Using maya is pretty much the same on my Octane2 as it is with the fuel, both machines can handle the slow speed I actually do things, but what about the rendering.. you possibly would render on something else, but tonight I thought I do a render test on exactly the project.. A simple Rocket.

The Fuel is a 1x800Mhz R16000 with 4GB Ram V10 Vs The Octane2 2x600MHz R14000 with 4GB Ram V12..

Source, a 700 frame maya project of a rocket (unfinished and un-moving).

Fuel
Total time For Render 00:10:51
Total Elapsed 00:10:57
mental ray wallclock 0:10:53.84
mental ray CPU user 0:09:52.26

Octane2
Total time For Render 00:09:13
Total Elapsed 00:09:23
mental ray wallclock 0:09:17.08
mental ray CPU user 0:01:53.80 <----- WTF? (Is this caused by swapping CPU's during render)?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey Ho! Pip & Dandy!
:Octane2: :O2: :Indigo: :Indy:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:36 pm

Never found my Fuel particularly noisy, but then it's next to a Power Mac G4 MDD and a Quad G5, both of which are quite noisy when they're under load, so maybe it's all relative.
smit happens.

:Fuel: bigred, 900MHz R16K, 4GB RAM, V12 DCD, 6.5.30
:Indy: indy, 150MHz R4400SC, 256MB RAM, XL24, 6.5.10
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby foetz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:21 pm

uunix wrote:The Fuel is a 1x800Mhz R16000 with 4GB Ram V10 Vs The Octane2 2x600MHz R14000 with 4GB Ram V12..

Source, a 700 frame maya project of a rocket (unfinished and un-moving).

Fuel
Total time For Render 00:10:51

Octane2
Total time For Render 00:09:13

a dual 600 just about 10% faster than a single 800? there's something wrong

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby GIJoe » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:00 pm

OP: what you should probably do is try and hook up with someone from on here who lives halfway close to you to have a look at an actual sgi up and running - preferably with maya - before buying anything. because it sounds like you've never seen them working in the flesh?

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby GIJoe » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:31 am

Trippynet wrote:
GIJoe wrote:- it may be more silent than an octane (that's easy, really) but it will be like a really noisy PC


It can be easily fixed. My Fuel has a new PSU fan, new hard drive cage fans, and new graphics board fans. Basically the only fan I didn't change is the stonking huge 14cm one at the back. And now? It's as quiet as my PC.


then we'd need to know what kind of PC we're comparing to here. :)
at all the places i worked in the last 10+ years and for my own machines at home those 'silent'-cases, -power supplies and big fat CPU cooler blocks like the noctua's were used. you can reduce a full blown 3D-workstation to something that barely emits any noise even when rendering on the CPU and is completely unnoticable in an office with a few people. only the GPU under load can make the thing a bit louder.

my guess is the fuel will be in line with an early-2000's high end PC? i used to run an intellistation z-pro or whatever they were called. server-room-ready fan configuration. boy.... :lol: i went out and bought a noise-proofed cabinet to house it (and the octane). i preferred cooking the computers as opposed to ruining my hearing. :oops:

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby Trippynet » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:59 am

My PC is almost silent when under no load, but when doing something intensive, the CPU fan does become audible (CPU is overclocked from 2.6GHz to 3.2GHz), although it's still pretty quiet. My Fuel on the other hand is also near silent, even after it's been running for an hour or two. You need to put your head under the desk to really hear it.

Of course, using very quiet hard drives also helps. Never underestimate the racket that some SCSI hard drives can produce.

Despite also having had a fan swap, and only having 3 fans in it in total (it's about 6 or 7 in the Fuel) my Indigo2 is a far noisier system.
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 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:31 pm

I honestly don't find the fans in my unmodified octane2 to be that loud, though it's entirely possible that the reason why is that my hearing has been irrevocably damaged by my lifelong loud rock 'n roll obsession... :)
Project:
Temporarily lost at sea...
Plan:
World domination! Or something...

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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby uunix » Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:20 am

vishnu wrote:I honestly don't find the fans in my unmodified octane2 to be that loud, though it's entirely possible that the reason why is that my hearing has been irrevocably damaged by my lifelong loud rock 'n roll obsession... :)

Or slot C is empty ? ;)
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:Octane2: :O2: :Indigo: :Indy:
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Re: Should I take the dive?

Unread postby vishnu » Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:35 pm

uunix wrote:
vishnu wrote:I honestly don't find the fans in my unmodified octane2 to be that loud, though it's entirely possible that the reason why is that my hearing has been irrevocably damaged by my lifelong loud rock 'n roll obsession... :)

Or slot C is empty ? ;)

Always and forever... :mrgreen:
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Project:
Temporarily lost at sea...
Plan:
World domination! Or something...

:Tezro: :Octane2:


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