New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Open discussion on or around SGI; software/hardware related posts should go in the appropriate subforum.
Forum rules
Any posts concerning pirated software or offering to buy/sell/trade commercial software are subject to removal.
JacquesT
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:50 am
Location: Bristol. UK

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby JacquesT » Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:22 pm

mapesdhs wrote:Meanwhile, I have one price so far for a VS100, and it isn't pretty:

Code: Select all

Dual-XEON quad-core 2.8GHz, 12MB L2, 1600 FSB
4GB DDR2/800 (4 x 1GB)
Quadro FX5600
160GB SATA
IB on-board
Redundant PSU
3 Year SLES OS with SGI ProPack
3 Year Scali Manage Cluster Software

$12,046



Ian,

Don't know if you had a look, but the VS100 looks very similar to the 3DBOXX 8400 series...I config'ed a similar system as the one above and came to $9,250...Hmmm...Can SGI sell the PSU, ProPack and Cluster Software for $3K???

edit: Me thinks the same system will sell for £7K in the UK!?!?

-Jacques.
No SGI box currently...Snif!

User avatar
mapesdhs
Posts: 2496
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2003 4:17 pm
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Contact:

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby mapesdhs » Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:04 pm

JacquesT writes:
> Don't know if you had a look, but the VS100 looks very similar to the 3DBOXX 8400 series...

Yes, I think I noticed that last week.


> I config'ed a similar system as the one above and came to $9,250...Hmmm...

What URL has the pricing configurator?


> Can SGI sell the PSU, ProPack and Cluster Software for $3K???

Even $9.2K seems a bit steep compared to the Mac Pro price. It should be possible to buy one
of these things without the extra PSU and without the cluster sw, indeed without any OS at all,
and the ProPack should just be on support.sgi.com for free download. But no, I expect SGI will
tie the product line up in knots just like they did with the 320/540 - can't get the info, pricing
is daft, support eventually fractures.


> edit: Me thinks the same system will sell for £7K in the UK!?!?

Well, it'll probably be priced like that, but if so then it doesn't deserve to sell.

It should be obvious I'm annoyed about this. After all that's been said by so many about where
SGI went wrong years ago, it seems nothing has been learned at all. The marketing and sales
model still sucks.

Ian.
I'm working on a charitable PC build for the Learn Engineering YouTube channel. Please PM/email/call if you'd like to contribute!
Donations of any kind of item I can sell to provide funds are also most welcome.
mapesdhs@yahoo.com
+44 (0)7434 635 121

User avatar
Arie van Schutterhoef
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 9:58 am
Location: Over the Rainbow
Contact:

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby Arie van Schutterhoef » Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:23 pm

>ProPack should just be on support.sgi.com for free download
-That was possible with SGI ProPack 3, but not with the current vs.5.

I am interested to see whether it is speciific SGI-hardware with which it works (like REACT previously), or with wider ranges of hardware under Linux. Although I can understand it needs to follow standards in order to do so.

AvS

User avatar
R-ten-K
Posts: 1889
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 10:36 pm
Location: Nor Cal

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby R-ten-K » Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:07 pm

mapesdhs wrote:It should be obvious I'm annoyed about this. After all that's been said by so many about where
SGI went wrong years ago, it seems nothing has been learned at all. The marketing and sales
model still sucks.

Ian.


The problem is that in the high end PeeCee segment, either you have some real value proposition, or no one will buy those overpriced rebadged systems. The motherboards are 3rd party, the GFX are 3rd party, and no... an obnoxious 3 letter logo is not worth $3K extra. The SGI name lost its value long ago, in fact... around the valley, SGI is a liability naming-wise if you ask around.

Last year we requested quotes (SGI was supposed to have those BOXX systems out and about last year BTW) and dealing with their sales people was like pulling teeth. Ordering from SUN and apple was a breeze, and we had new SUN and MacPros under our desks by the time the 1st SGI sales droid even replied to our quote request.


i guess 32 desktops in a single order was not a big enough commission... SGI needs to get in their heads that beggars can't be choosers.
"Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a
pyramid with thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?"

JacquesT
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:50 am
Location: Bristol. UK

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby JacquesT » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:30 am

mapesdhs wrote:> I config'ed a similar system as the one above and came to $9,250...Hmmm...

What URL has the pricing configurator?



Try this...http://www.boxxtech.com/products/cf_step2.asp?ModelInstanceID=850
No SGI box currently...Snif!

User avatar
rothers
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:08 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby rothers » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:58 am

LOL, I just configured a lowly BOXX 4600 to be same spec as my HP xw4400 (core2duo/SATA/2GB/FX1700)

BOXX 4600 - $3400
HP XW4400 - $1500

What are these guys on ?

User avatar
mapesdhs
Posts: 2496
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2003 4:17 pm
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Contact:

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby mapesdhs » Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:22 pm

rothers writes:
> BOXX 4600 - $3400
> HP XW4400 - $1500

Hehe, I see what you mean. Mind you, I gather that BOXX systems are rather well designed,
eays to replace parts, etc. compared to normal systems, probably better quality components
too (something SGI did with their x86 range, though never fully explained in the PR).

Well, a lady at SGI UK called me today. Had a long chat, explained all the issues, some of
which she was already aware of. It seems there is still an element within SGI management
that believes in the old ways - keeping tech info hidden/minimal, little performance data,
private pricing, etc. But apparently there are also plenty of people in SGI now who don't
agree with this old style, and so things are slowly changing (watch this space, she said;
possible online pricing?). Meanwhile, she's going to get some prices for me for VS100, etc.
I gave her the details of the comparable Apple, HP and Dell systems. One interesting thing
she said: any comments people may have about these issues (serious ones that is, ie.
constructive) are certainly welcome, to help convince PR/marketing to change their ways.


In an earlier post I referred to a movie company I know of which has nearly 900 Dell PowerEdge
1950s (> 7000 cores total, each system dual-XEON/3.2GHz, 32GB RAM) as their renderfarm.
When I said that the new SGIs were rebadged BOXX systems, the reply was most interesting;
the guy said they already use BOXX systems almost exclusively for film work (several hundred
of them), along with various HP xw9400/8600 systems. No way would SGI secure sales to such
places if their prices have daft markups compared to buying direct or equivalent hw from elsewhere.
Must confess I was surprised though - I wasn't aware that BOXX systems had become so widely
used in the film industry, though with SGI not making modern desktops that can compete I suppose
it makes perfect sense given the spec they offer, the quality of the design, etc.

Anyway, more later when I get some UK pricing. I doubt there's any chance of my borrowing a
system to test out and run benchmarks, but the SGI lady said she'd pass on my comments about
how important such info is now.

Ian.

User avatar
cybercow
Posts: 559
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:07 pm
Location: Europe

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby cybercow » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:14 pm


2ndadamdick
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:14 pm

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby 2ndadamdick » Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:48 am

mapesdhs wrote:zizban writes:
> Also puts the Sillyexpensive back into "SGI":

Actually no, that's quite competitive as far as I can tell. Try pricing up an HP xw8600 with the same
spec, or a Dell Precision T7400. Dell doesn't even list the FX5600; HP does, but the pricing is not
available online. Thus, even with the much lesser FX4600, the price for the HP here is 4117 UKP.
From online pricing elsewhere, I reckon the HP with an FX5600 and the same CPUs/RAM would be
about 5000 UKP, ie. slightly more than SGI's list. And SGI is offering them with XP 32/64bit aswell as
their usual Linux options, which some potential customers would find attractive (just pointing out
realities here, not an endorsement of winblows).

Plus, I think you may have missed a couple of important/interesting points: the systems are scalable
to 8 GPUs with Quadro Plex, there are configurations with up to 8 x quad-core Opterons available,
and the InfiniBand option is a smart move.

Much as it's been fashionable to moan about SGI in recent years, these do look like pretty decent
systems. The bigger question is: can they market and sell them in a sensible way? ie. in a proper
non-ripoff manner. The lack of an online price-configurator is still a glaring omission. Beats me
why they're sticking with the 3rd-party sales rep model as IMO that helped kill their old product
lines.

Still, there's not that much detailed info on sgi.com. On paper they look pretty decent, but it's a shame
they haven't announced them with a plethora of 'record-busting' Viewperf results, etc. I can't see
them doing that well without some decent hard performance numbers to backup the PR. Come on SGI,
start submitting results!


> Cool systems, though.

At least they're using the good cards from NVIDIA, which they should have done ages ago with Prism.
What I'd like to know is if these systems can be tied into an Atlix setup at all, ie. the option of a large
shared-memory system with a bunch of FX5600s running in parallel. That would be interesting.


D-EJ915 writes:
> The 5600 is around $3k by itself to be fair.

Here in the UK it's more like $4K (eg. 2139 UKP, or approx. $4300, from http://www.misco.co.uk).

Ian.


The "G-Sync" option is pretty neat - very DPLEX-eqse. You can sync the cards from different machines together and they can all handle rendering the same frame - however there's no mention of the software support need on this machines - maybe this are giant display's with each computer handling there own little 'window' and then hitting the display with one dual-link-DVI or something. That would simply the implemenation allot and if the software support is slick having a PC-lock would nessescarly mean the whole image is lots.

Everybody seems to confuse this cards with the older Quardra (is the spelling of those slightly different) and then figure there FX6800 will kick it's ass. Kind of an odd name convention for the product line that Nvidia used - certainly does breed allot of misunderstanders for the newbies to there full product line. The old Quad(ro?/a?) scam was a pretty big mistake for nvidia though - they we're also playing catch up with their drivers when people would hack the them to turn all the OpenGL advanced features and drivers that NVIDIA only allowed if the card was blessed with the right ID (same hardware between the normal GeForce 2/3/4 cards and the one that cost 2x as much - the more pricey one just returned a different PCI id through the Windows driver calls - it didn't take long for geeks to catch onto that)

ATI also *always* seemed to suck badly for drivers - when they where one of the few innovators and had advanced hardware (first consumer card with DCT - I believe) that made up for outsourcing the drivers. It also seemed like a giant brain dead think todo. Now days everything is some intergrated and complex that not having the same team work on the silicon and the interface to the card killed them. The tight intergration between Nvidia designers and programmers seems to give them a edge up. I don't think any hardware designer, and software designer can now get away with (and should never of been able) to ignore the other because they didn't want to put in a little but more effort and work with other key people and consider valid points from anybody outside their group. Having one egomaniac doing the software and running it like his kingdom, and then the same happening for hardware often ends up with terrible - or at best barely passable results. Still however Nvidia was often (still is ????) slower porting all the advanced features from their Windows drivers to Linux - I forget what feature but in the UT days when comparing 'ultra high res' (for those days) 1280x1024 would hurt the Linux machine with a fairly noticable performance gap - for an application that could/should be preforming slightly better on Linux

Even after they're busted they buns to get their drivers to at least an acceptable level is disaster - they still suck

Did SGI give on on the royalty issues with the GFX card vendors, or are they still getting a chunk of change from every card sale ??

Kind of odd that they would jump into a product line with Nvidia considering what happened when they licensed 3d-PC cards (coughcough ....). Eh. Anyway Nvidia Quadro PLEX line seemed to directly target the Onyx2+ line of Vis servers. Although without the tight intergration that SGI was known for - they had the same kind of killer performance for those willing to pay. I guess now that SGI no longer has the will or ability to be a leader in 3D Vis in their own right and create solutions in house from the ground up , they have to partner with others. Still if things play out they way they have Nvidia will rip the tech and intergrate into their next product and pusher cheaper, and directly to customers and cut SGI right out of the loop

However it would be soooooooooooooooooooooo cool to see large one of a kind solutions again that are simply best in class and nothing can compete with for the next 5-10 years (although with the pace now I guess they'ld be lucky to eck out a 3-5 year lead)

SGI has struck through hardtimes and have managed to keep there core HPC talent pool more or less intact it seems - really makes me wonder what could of been if SGI had world class management to go along with their world tech

I guess their RASC is kicking some major ass too - kind of neat to here about it. I wonder why none of the DI-production never took use of any of the RASC-ish emerging tech from SGI when it was still around. I've heard about the few deep pocket post houses that commissioned custom FGPA-style acceleration for the Fire Onyx servers - I wonder why this never made it into the open market - it would be a killer app for sure. I know O2's needed all the help they could get - but it's seems like a curious gap in the product to have accelerated (Vice,Octane Compress, I2 compression) low to medium end products and then drop it totally for HD/DM series and never even think about it for the Onyx's (I suppose the only exception would be the DVCPRO/RICE compression hardware/cards in the DIVO options for the OctaneX/Onyx2-3/O2-3K)

Does anybody know the reasoning behind accelerate SD video but then dropped it for HD ?? (I mean even a lossless HD codec in hardware would make a fairly large difference). Was the feeling that hardware had become fast enough for uncompressed SD & HD by the time HD came out ??

I'm babbeling. Sorry if this message has lost of errors - trying to proof is much hardware at almost 5AM (at least for me - need sleeeeeeppppp)

2ndadamdick
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:14 pm

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby 2ndadamdick » Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:51 am

Oh yeah on the subject of Nvidia going after the Onyx2+ market for Cave's and special VIS apps checkout this webpage http://www.nvidia.com/page/quadroplex.html

They even state you can get these 'Plex''s in either 3U or DESKSIDE !!!!!

2ndadamdick
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:14 pm

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby 2ndadamdick » Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:31 am

Crap now I can't sleep

Anyway, sort of OT - but ...

Has anybody checked out the CUDA IDE from NVIDIA and most of all there new Telsa card

It .512 TFLOPS of peak performance (but you can have two cards) with 1.5GB of 800Mhz 386Bit RAM. It sucks down 170Watss but has 128 'streaming processors' (simple, no hardware contexts, interrupt service, hardware protection etc .....). It's pretty amazing there are allot of ideas that have been tested and apps that are running http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_showcase.html#apps

This is a brand new card that their offering as a promo for $650 (normally over $1,000 "MRSP"). Makes me wish I had money ... sigh


Anyway the cool thing is that the some of newer 8800 series of processors (As well as the Quardo Fx4X00/5X00) support CUDA and give you direct access to all the processor units and the flat memory of the card. The only bummer is that the 8800 cards can be pricey and if you have a GUI (IE: only one card) you apps can only run for upto _5 SECS_ ! at a time before it blows up the envioirment (sic - spelling checker is crappy) (Windows) and timeout/crash out of CUDA. So if your using a normal-ish 8800GTX card or something less exotic then the data-only Telsa series for hardcore crypto-work or protein folding for the worlds next version of *CRACK* that can be made from suger, urine and toothpaste - you'll need a second identical 8800 series video card that's no connected to a monitor

The CUDA IDE compiles modified C-ish code and runs on Linux/MaxOS-X and Windoze

I wonder how this would give RASC a run for the money ???. RASC has far far far larger internal flat memory, but less processors (but more advanced). I'm still sitting on the edge of which is cooler. Those Nvidia Quadra Plex's are *pricey* you pay $10,000-$20,000 (depending on the model) for a box which basic has either two 4600 or two 5600 Quadro video cards in a box. These are both on a bridged PCI-Express bus that connects to a special 'interface' card that would plugin to where the normal 16x (or with a optional 8x interface card - 8x) PEG video card would be. So that's $10,000-$20,000 for something that's not even a computer. Kind a large premium for what they're givin you - I guess it appeals to allot of ISV and VAR's like line getting them pre-order and a nice, neat, clean box which a large margin for profit. It would make more performance sense to get a real dual 16x (allot of cheap/early SLI motherboard go into dual 8x mode then two video cards are present) motherboard and give each card it's own dedicated 16x PEG pathway - 2x the video bandwidth and cheaper too !. It's kind neat how flexible PEG is though (well not compared to NUMAFlex - but for PeeCee stuff at least) - the neatest thing about PEG is that for a 16x (or Xx) times bus you have 16x1 fast differential serial busses that are buffered and reconstructed out the bridge. The two biggest problems with fast PCI (and fast parallel bus in general) is a:) noise from non-deferential-mode connections b:)Errors induced by clock skew which has make the signal dirty and generally trash it some times. Gotta hand it to SGI - both we're done in there hardware long before PEG

the one thing that pops into my mind is huge amounts of highly clocked, non-ECC data. The entire arch/platform has been built from the ground up for speed speed speed. In the past having a few trashed bits meant artifacts on the screen (or possibly a crashed shader routine - hey does anybody know what happens then ???? ) but using it for real data - like designing a new drug seems kind of scarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry

User avatar
bjames
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:09 am
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby bjames » Thu May 01, 2008 1:14 pm

I am still waiting for a call back from SGI to get an accurate quote. I am courious if the entry price of 10K includes the high end Nvidia or low end. If its the low end then I think the system would be way over priced. You can get a nice Sun Ultra 24 with the Intel Quad Extreme proc for as little as $2300, with 2 gig ram, Quatro 370 (entry level) gfx.

I am currently looking for a new workstation and would like to compare this modle to other offerings such as Sun and Hp.
:O2: :Octane: :1600SW:

User avatar
bjames
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:09 am
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby bjames » Thu May 01, 2008 3:31 pm

bjames wrote:I am still waiting for a call back from SGI to get an accurate quote. I am courious if the entry price of 10K includes the high end Nvidia or low end. If its the low end then I think the system would be way over priced. You can get a nice Sun Ultra 24 with the Intel Quad Extreme proc for as little as $2300, with 2 gig ram, Quatro 370 (entry level) gfx.

I am currently looking for a new workstation and would like to compare this modle to other offerings such as Sun and Hp.


OOPS just realized that you guys were talking about the VN200 being $10K, The system Im looking at is the VS100 that gives you a range of GFX cards to choose from. I am hoping that this system is competitive with HP & SUN. Just waiting for a call back from SGI.
:O2: :Octane: :1600SW:

User avatar
mapesdhs
Posts: 2496
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2003 4:17 pm
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Contact:

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby mapesdhs » Thu May 01, 2008 5:46 pm

bjames writes:
> I am still waiting for a call back from SGI to get an accurate quote. ...

So am I.


> ... I am courious if the entry price of 10K includes the high end Nvidia or low end. ...

High-end. The PR quote is, "$10,575 for a Virtu VN200 node with two Intel® Xeon® E5420 processors,
8GB of memory, and an NVIDIA Quadro FX5600". Whether or not this translates into real final quotes
though has yet to be seen, though so far the signs are not good, eg. the VS100 quote I mentioned
earlier which was $12K.+ but with only 4GB RAM.


> I am currently looking for a new workstation and would like to compare this modle to other offerings such as Sun and Hp.

Don't forget the Dell T7400 and the Mac Pro. They're all offering more or less the same basic hardware set - XEON
CPUs, FX Quadro range, etc. They do differ with respect to max RAM though. Pricing up systems online, the Dell
and HP are pretty close.

Ian.

User avatar
bjames
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:09 am
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Re: New SGI systems with NVIDIA gfx...

Unread postby bjames » Fri May 02, 2008 10:35 am

mapesdhs wrote:bjames writes:
>
though has yet to be seen, though so far the signs are not good, eg. the VS100 quote I mentioned
earlier which was $12K.+ but with only 4GB RAM.


> I am currently looking for a new workstation and would like to compare this modle to other offerings such as Sun and Hp.

Don't forget the Dell T7400 and the Mac Pro. They're all offering more or less the same basic hardware set - XEON
CPUs, FX Quadro range, etc. They do differ with respect to max RAM though. Pricing up systems online, the Dell
and HP are pretty close.

Ian.


12K for the VS100? I hope not. I still havent received the quote, Im beginning to think either there isnt many people left at SGI to service customers or they dont think they can take their time. A year ago when you called the toll free number you always got a customer service rep, now whne I call either the US toll free or Canadian toll free numbers I get someones personal message box. Does that mean they only have one customer service rep in each country?

I consider myself very loyal to the whole SGI thing and would really like to support them by purchasing one of these workstation, BUT not if the price is out of line.
:O2: :Octane: :1600SW:


Return to “SGI: Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest