If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby Intuition » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:03 pm

pentium wrote:I seem to recall that years ago someone here made a post talking about how they had saved up for an O2 and he went to SGI, was rather warmingly welcomed considering he was walking in off the street to buy a machine. They gave him coffee and doughnuts and a small tour and when they finally sat down to order the machine he asked what speck of a machine he could get for $5000.
He went home empty handed.


Yes, that was me. It was an Octane having seen the Octanes running softimage at Siggraph. They did tell me to visit their office from the siggraph floor showroom.

I had like $8k saved actually but.... of course some of this would have to be software but figured "what could it cost?". I had no idea what the machines cost at the time.

I went to Siggraph 95 but ended up at SGI on Olympic and Bundy after Siggraph 97. The Octanes where the big hubbub. So I had them kit out an Octane with two CPUS and RAM and Softimage. It was going to be $32k to 50k depending on all the options I wanted hardware and software wise. When I saw this price I was defeated.

They did have some Indys and other stations that I could probably grab but there was no hope considering that Softimage was about $20k with all options.

So of course there was the O2 systems that they would give me a deal on with low options and no Softimage. I almost went ahead on the idea I would piece the system together buying more ram and eventually Softimage.....(or upcoming Maya) .... but.....I left empty handed.


Overall... on the topic itself....

I often wonder why there isn't more prosumer offerings for Maya, 3DsMax, Houdini, etc regarding workstations.

For the most part yes... you can get a good prosumer workstation for between $2k and up most pricing around $4k-$8k.

I have setup Linux workstations to be optimized for 3dfx workflows.

Worked at Digital Domain for five years. We used debian and later centOS. These systems were setup using Quadro cards so we could display nice CAD models in the GL viewports and of course we had multicore CPUs for having multiple threads for rendering.

Somehow I think if it was done right a company could create a prosumer, ready for networking, satellite rendering, linux 3D workstation.

Yet, I see Boxx and I do not get inspired to buy them at all. I always feel like I can assemble a higher end machine (and have three times) than what they offer from Boxx at the same price.

Probably due to the niche market and the fact that it is already hard to make a profit at that level.

Somehow though. I think that it could be possible for someone to create something really unique like a modern day equivalent to the old SGI machines of the 90s.

From case design to graphics card/hard drive/cpu options etc there might be an innovative way to create a new prosumer creating desktop/workstation. A real modular workstation that would let you work as you like.

There are these hybrid setups where you have linux 3d stations running windows emulation in wine so you can still do Photoshop, Zbrush and 3dsMax.

Softimage, Maya, Houdini, mudbox, Modo and a few others have Linux versions. As well as Renderman, Arnold, and Vray being choice render engines for Linux based workstations and render farms.
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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby pentium » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:49 am

I noticed that pretty much all the 3D suites got bitten by the Windows API bug and the incentive to switch was overwhelming. You went from selling licenses for very expensive machines not many could afford to a platform that was running on a massive number of machines already and where through the 90's the advancements in PC graphics meant that at least for previews low poly modes were useable.
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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby ledzep » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:22 pm

I'm not sure why the need or stipulation that it be a non-x86 CPU other than to not be Intel (like the old SGIs). If they came up with some new smokin' hardware that would be great but for me I never really cared what the workstations were using (I used Impact2s back in the early DD/Disney days of CG), I was in love with IRIX. I did really like the superior graphics but that is everywhere now.

I suppose that this hypothetical idea wouldn't need an entire new CPU/motherboard, I would think that it would be enough for SGI to announce that they had developed some killer super GPU card(s) and that they were going to market them for 3D software and, while we're at it, an updated IRIX (and 4DWM) will be ported to Intel CPUs and the 2 halves will combine to become the greatest, most powerful workstations ever. That I would certainly want to buy.

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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby Shiunbird » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:53 am

+1 for the operating system point.

I don't care so much about the underlying hardware, as long as there's massive bandwidth and enough processing power is there. As a hobbyist, I would care more about bandwidth and how fast the machine feels, since things can render overnight.

What matters is the OS. I don't know much SGI yet (still trying to get a machine), but on my AIX machine, I just love the fact that, after installing the OS, NOTHING works.

And for me, it's a good thing. There's no NTP server, no DHCP settings, the interfaces don't come up until you tell them to do so, etc.. So you know what your computer is doing, and if something goes wrong and crashes you can find out what the issue is. I don't want a Bluetooth driver and subsystem to be running, I don't want Wi-Fi support if I don't need it.

Yes, it takes longer to get the machine up and running as you wish, but once you are there it's rock solid and stable. I droll over what you guys get done with IRIX and how reliable your machines seem to be as a tool. My company issues us ThinkPads, and the amount of time some background security whatever slows the computer down and the eventual blue screen drive me crazy.

I guess certified workstations from Dell and Lenovo fare better, but still...
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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby cinenate35 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:22 am

If it were still under the old SGI flag, yes probably. I would rather have a real system designed for performance than X86 commodity hardware. The problem lies in SGI itself. I don't think it would "feel" like a real SGI machine. The new SGI is just made to look like the old SGI. The same tastes are not there, the same design sence is not there. It is just too different of a company, and the emotion is a really big part of the sales process. The amazing people that made the Octanes and O2s are long gone.
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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby Dodoid » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:49 am

cinenate35 wrote:If it were still under the old SGI flag, yes probably. I would rather have a real system designed for performance than X86 commodity hardware. The problem lies in SGI itself. I don't think it would "feel" like a real SGI machine. The new SGI is just made to look like the old SGI. The same tastes are not there, the same design sence is not there. It is just too different of a company, and the emotion is a really big part of the sales process. The amazing people that made the Octanes and O2s are long gone.


I think SGI realizes this. If you search for #WeAreSGI on Twitter you will find a lot of tweets from @sgi_corp showing Onyxes and Octanes and so on. I think they're trying to sell their new products by trying to make people nostalgic for their old ones.
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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby cinenate35 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:02 am

Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:If it were still under the old SGI flag, yes probably. I would rather have a real system designed for performance than X86 commodity hardware. The problem lies in SGI itself. I don't think it would "feel" like a real SGI machine. The new SGI is just made to look like the old SGI. The same tastes are not there, the same design sence is not there. It is just too different of a company, and the emotion is a really big part of the sales process. The amazing people that made the Octanes and O2s are long gone.


I think SGI realizes this. If you search for #WeAreSGI on Twitter you will find a lot of tweets from @sgi_corp showing Onyxes and Octanes and so on. I think they're trying to sell their new products by trying to make people nostalgic for their old ones.


That was clear when they announced the "Octane 3" right after the buyout. That was just embarrassing. If it was a workstation that would have been one thing.....but it was not.
Nate


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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby Dodoid » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:15 am

cinenate35 wrote:
Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:If it were still under the old SGI flag, yes probably. I would rather have a real system designed for performance than X86 commodity hardware. The problem lies in SGI itself. I don't think it would "feel" like a real SGI machine. The new SGI is just made to look like the old SGI. The same tastes are not there, the same design sence is not there. It is just too different of a company, and the emotion is a really big part of the sales process. The amazing people that made the Octanes and O2s are long gone.


I think SGI realizes this. If you search for #WeAreSGI on Twitter you will find a lot of tweets from @sgi_corp showing Onyxes and Octanes and so on. I think they're trying to sell their new products by trying to make people nostalgic for their old ones.


That was clear when they announced the "Octane 3" right after the buyout. That was just embarrassing. If it was a workstation that would have been one thing.....but it was not.


Octane 3: The latest in fancy looking box of Xeons technology!
Also, InfiniteStorage. INFINITE. STORAGE. InfiniteReality much?
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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby cinenate35 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:47 am

Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:
Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:If it were still under the old SGI flag, yes probably. I would rather have a real system designed for performance than X86 commodity hardware. The problem lies in SGI itself. I don't think it would "feel" like a real SGI machine. The new SGI is just made to look like the old SGI. The same tastes are not there, the same design sence is not there. It is just too different of a company, and the emotion is a really big part of the sales process. The amazing people that made the Octanes and O2s are long gone.


I think SGI realizes this. If you search for #WeAreSGI on Twitter you will find a lot of tweets from @sgi_corp showing Onyxes and Octanes and so on. I think they're trying to sell their new products by trying to make people nostalgic for their old ones.


That was clear when they announced the "Octane 3" right after the buyout. That was just embarrassing. If it was a workstation that would have been one thing.....but it was not.


Octane 3: The latest in fancy looking box of Xeons technology!
Also, InfiniteStorage. INFINITE. STORAGE. InfiniteReality much?

LOL. Yup!

What drives me nuts...they have no issues stealing the names and pretending they are the old SGI.....but they changed the logo font. If there was one thing you needed to keep the image alive, it was the SGI font. The new logo and font looks like crap. And the green website is awful. You want to be SGI you need blue, teal or purple...not green....green does not work.
Nate


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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby Dodoid » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:09 am

cinenate35 wrote:
Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:
Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:If it were still under the old SGI flag, yes probably. I would rather have a real system designed for performance than X86 commodity hardware. The problem lies in SGI itself. I don't think it would "feel" like a real SGI machine. The new SGI is just made to look like the old SGI. The same tastes are not there, the same design sence is not there. It is just too different of a company, and the emotion is a really big part of the sales process. The amazing people that made the Octanes and O2s are long gone.


I think SGI realizes this. If you search for #WeAreSGI on Twitter you will find a lot of tweets from @sgi_corp showing Onyxes and Octanes and so on. I think they're trying to sell their new products by trying to make people nostalgic for their old ones.


That was clear when they announced the "Octane 3" right after the buyout. That was just embarrassing. If it was a workstation that would have been one thing.....but it was not.


Octane 3: The latest in fancy looking box of Xeons technology!
Also, InfiniteStorage. INFINITE. STORAGE. InfiniteReality much?

LOL. Yup!

What drives me nuts...they have no issues stealing the names and pretending they are the old SGI.....but they changed the logo font. If there was one thing you needed to keep the image alive, it was the SGI font. The new logo and font looks like crap. And the green website is awful. You want to be SGI you need blue, teal or purple...not green....green does not work.


OK, on the topic of the Octane 3. Why Octane? OK, this is a large, mainly CPU system. You could have called it an Origin. You could have called it a Challenge, I mean the Indy-based challenge didn't have graphics. Oh, one Octane 3 has a bunch of NVIDIA cards in it? Why not call it the Onyx 5? And why Octane and Onyx? Weren't the Tezro and Prism the respective systems by then? Calling it the Octane 3 is like Apple calling a desktop a "PowerBook i7". You skipped the MacBook Pro, and it's not even a laptop. And it's not like they were afraid to go from architecture to architecture, I mean the Octane is MIPS and the Octane 3 is X86, so why not go from Itanium to X86 and call it the Prism 2? Heck, if you're going with old names why not go all the way back and call it an IRIS 4000. Still a better description than "Octane 3".

Octane 3 is a terrible name in every possible way.
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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby cinenate35 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:46 pm

Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:
Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:
Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:If it were still under the old SGI flag, yes probably. I would rather have a real system designed for performance than X86 commodity hardware. The problem lies in SGI itself. I don't think it would "feel" like a real SGI machine. The new SGI is just made to look like the old SGI. The same tastes are not there, the same design sence is not there. It is just too different of a company, and the emotion is a really big part of the sales process. The amazing people that made the Octanes and O2s are long gone.


I think SGI realizes this. If you search for #WeAreSGI on Twitter you will find a lot of tweets from @sgi_corp showing Onyxes and Octanes and so on. I think they're trying to sell their new products by trying to make people nostalgic for their old ones.


That was clear when they announced the "Octane 3" right after the buyout. That was just embarrassing. If it was a workstation that would have been one thing.....but it was not.


Octane 3: The latest in fancy looking box of Xeons technology!
Also, InfiniteStorage. INFINITE. STORAGE. InfiniteReality much?

LOL. Yup!

What drives me nuts...they have no issues stealing the names and pretending they are the old SGI.....but they changed the logo font. If there was one thing you needed to keep the image alive, it was the SGI font. The new logo and font looks like crap. And the green website is awful. You want to be SGI you need blue, teal or purple...not green....green does not work.


OK, on the topic of the Octane 3. Why Octane? OK, this is a large, mainly CPU system. You could have called it an Origin. You could have called it a Challenge, I mean the Indy-based challenge didn't have graphics. Oh, one Octane 3 has a bunch of NVIDIA cards in it? Why not call it the Onyx 5? And why Octane and Onyx? Weren't the Tezro and Prism the respective systems by then? Calling it the Octane 3 is like Apple calling a desktop a "PowerBook i7". You skipped the MacBook Pro, and it's not even a laptop. And it's not like they were afraid to go from architecture to architecture, I mean the Octane is MIPS and the Octane 3 is X86, so why not go from Itanium to X86 and call it the Prism 2? Heck, if you're going with old names why not go all the way back and call it an IRIS 4000. Still a better description than "Octane 3".

Octane 3 is a terrible name in every possible way.


Agreed! Onyx makes the most sense. Onyx 3. Could have made a nice case for it with a translucent panel to give heritage to the Onyx 2. But it still would have looked like commodity hardware shoved into a rushed chassis. Rackable just doesn't have any good industrial design capabilities. SGI made amazing workstations from an industrial design perspective. They are all works of art. The Rackable stuff is just uninspired rubbish. They are still using old designs just slightly tweaked by someone from marketing (it looks like). Anyone who would approve that logo just doesn't have any taste.

Just let SGI rest in peace. Do right by the name or don't use it.
Nate


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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby Krokodil » Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:14 pm

The new stuff is SGI in name only. Their current products look pretty boring.
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Re: If SGI announced a non-x86 graphics workstation similar to their 90s machines today, would you buy it?

Unread postby Dodoid » Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:54 pm

cinenate35 wrote:
Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:
Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:
Dodoid wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:If it were still under the old SGI flag, yes probably. I would rather have a real system designed for performance than X86 commodity hardware. The problem lies in SGI itself. I don't think it would "feel" like a real SGI machine. The new SGI is just made to look like the old SGI. The same tastes are not there, the same design sence is not there. It is just too different of a company, and the emotion is a really big part of the sales process. The amazing people that made the Octanes and O2s are long gone.


I think SGI realizes this. If you search for #WeAreSGI on Twitter you will find a lot of tweets from @sgi_corp showing Onyxes and Octanes and so on. I think they're trying to sell their new products by trying to make people nostalgic for their old ones.


That was clear when they announced the "Octane 3" right after the buyout. That was just embarrassing. If it was a workstation that would have been one thing.....but it was not.


Octane 3: The latest in fancy looking box of Xeons technology!
Also, InfiniteStorage. INFINITE. STORAGE. InfiniteReality much?

LOL. Yup!

What drives me nuts...they have no issues stealing the names and pretending they are the old SGI.....but they changed the logo font. If there was one thing you needed to keep the image alive, it was the SGI font. The new logo and font looks like crap. And the green website is awful. You want to be SGI you need blue, teal or purple...not green....green does not work.


OK, on the topic of the Octane 3. Why Octane? OK, this is a large, mainly CPU system. You could have called it an Origin. You could have called it a Challenge, I mean the Indy-based challenge didn't have graphics. Oh, one Octane 3 has a bunch of NVIDIA cards in it? Why not call it the Onyx 5? And why Octane and Onyx? Weren't the Tezro and Prism the respective systems by then? Calling it the Octane 3 is like Apple calling a desktop a "PowerBook i7". You skipped the MacBook Pro, and it's not even a laptop. And it's not like they were afraid to go from architecture to architecture, I mean the Octane is MIPS and the Octane 3 is X86, so why not go from Itanium to X86 and call it the Prism 2? Heck, if you're going with old names why not go all the way back and call it an IRIS 4000. Still a better description than "Octane 3".

Octane 3 is a terrible name in every possible way.


Agreed! Onyx makes the most sense. Onyx 3. Could have made a nice case for it with a translucent panel to give heritage to the Onyx 2. But it still would have looked like commodity hardware shoved into a rushed chassis. Rackable just doesn't have any good industrial design capabilities. SGI made amazing workstations from an industrial design perspective. They are all works of art. The Rackable stuff is just uninspired rubbish. They are still using old designs just slightly tweaked by someone from marketing (it looks like). Anyone who would approve that logo just doesn't have any taste.

Just let SGI rest in peace. Do right by the name or don't use it.


Well calling it an Onyx 3 would be a bit odd seeing as they had an Onyx 4 before they were bought out (not much info, I guess they sold badly, but here's an article: http://www.geek.com/games/sgi-introduces-the-onyx-4-graphics-supercomputer-552357/), that's why I suggested Onyx 5.
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