IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

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IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby hamei » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:43 am

Moderator Note: Split from the Fuel (IP35) Hardware Aggregator after the appropriate content was aggregated. <recondas>

Don't see a Monitors section on here yet, might as well be the first :

IBM T221 will work at full resolution on a Fuel or other VPro-equipped machine. In fact, that dual-v12, dual-dcd Octane might work even better.

It will work at 1920 x 1200 @50 or 60 hz refresh with a V10, a single DVI link, 8 bit color and no accumulation buffer.

V12, obviously same except 16 bit color and hardware accumulation buffer.

With a single input cable the monitor does scaling for almost any resolution you can imagine up to the 1920 x 1200 single-cable max. If you've ever run a fixed frequency monitor on Windows 3.1 then you know how nice it is to see all the bootup messages and so on.

That's as far as I tried with a V10.

V12, failed at 3840 x 2400 @ 12.7 hz on a single cable ... didn't exactly fail but it was about as stable as my friend's now-deceased psychologist mom. The slightest wrong move and kerblooey, bouncing off the walls.

That should be possible tho. If so, it would mean you could normally run at 1920 x 1200 then kick down to 3840 x 2400 for the occasional graphics use. That could be a nice setup if someone can conquer the vfo problems.

V12 with DCD, using two DVI cables and the stock 2@1920x1200_50 vfo that comes with Irix produces a 3840 x 1200 stripe across the niddle of the monitor. Interesting. The manual does not say that's possible. Maybe they never tried.

With a single V12 and dcd and custom vfo of 2 @ 1920 x 2400 24 hz refresh, the monitor runs at full res. The refresh rate is not a problem. The cursor is so small you can't zoom around with the mouse anyhow. Move too fast and the damned thing disappears :) Movies are also fine with one exception (and this is a clue to how the dcd works) - if you display the movie across the center line of the screen, you can see where the two outputs from the dcd alternate. This is not apparent at all in any other operation and I'd bet that if you spread a movie over two monitors you wouldn't be aware of it because the bezels would mask that action. It's just that with the two sections directly adjacent, with motion across the full screen you can see the alternating refreshes.

Desktop icons and most fonts are no problem, 4Dwm deals with them fine. It took me five minutes to get the desktop usable. Eat your heart out, Windows. Dream your little dreams of world domination, Loonix :) Individual applications need some .Xdefault tweaking. Either that or buy a magnifying glass :)

Still very early in the process but :

Photographs look very good. Models in Pro/E look much better. (I'd assume in any other modelling application as well.) It's a very nice display. The refresh rate is nothing to be concerned about. Even at 24 hz it's fine for 98% of anything I can imagine doing.

Is it worth it ? If this is a hobby and you have a chance to grab a T221, a DCD and a V12 for cheap, then may be. If you aren't serious about graphics tho, it's most likely not worth the trouble. Think SW1600 fonts divided by two. The color is better, the sharpness is about the same (if your eyes are as bad as mine, anyhow), the font size is even worse and it's even more hassle to get all the stuff you need to run it.

But them photos sure look pretty :)

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Re: The Fuel (IP35) Hardware Aggregator

Unread postby mia » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:48 am

I have a g-brick with 2 firegl cards, would this work better with such display?
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Re: The Fuel (IP35) Hardware Aggregator

Unread postby recondas » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:08 pm

mia wrote:I have a g2-brick with 2 firegl cards, would this work better with such display?
SGI entered into an agreement to market the ViewSonic clone of the T221 with certain V12-equipped rack-mount Tezro Workstations *and* the FireGL-equipped Onyx4, so I'm not sure which would be a better platform. On the surface it might appear to be the ATI/FireGL equipped Onyx4, largely because SGI did publicly post instructions on how to configure SGI's custom-ported-to-IRIX version of xFree86 to work with the T221 (though that advantage might be at least slightly diminished by the Onyx4's not so sterling reputation for graphics related issues.)

Not that the Tezro/T221 combination doesn't have it's share of problems. SGI never made public mention of how to configure the Tezro's V12-based graphics to work with the T221, and to my knowledge never publicly provided any of the microcode/.vfo files needed to drive the higher resolutions the T221 is capable of.

Up until this point that lack of 3840x2400 display formats has been a show-stopper for the Tezro (and other V12-equipped systems). That issue is further complicated because a DCD is needed to drive the T221 at 3840x2400, and SGI hasn't provided any documentation on how to compile microcode/vfo files for DCD-equipped VPro Graphics. There's not a single mention of creating dual-channel formats in the Video Format Compiler manual or TechPubs. I'm fairly certain the xFree86 modelines SGI provided for the Onyx4 (linked above) were used to create the 2@3840x2400_24 format hamei mentioned in his post. Since both are based on the same modeline(s), the V12/DCD combination should present a 3840x2400_24 display format reasonably similar to that used by the Onyx4.

With the no available display format problem resolved for the V12, the issue of which is better may no longer be as clear cut.
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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby mia » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:56 pm

Wow, thank you, I had no idea that my graphic pipe, which I've never used to be honest, could drive 3840x2400 on a single display. Assuming I can make it work (and it seems relatively straightforward on the Onyx 4), would it be a fairly usable setup?
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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby recondas » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:06 pm

mia wrote:Wow, thank you, I had no idea that my graphic pipe, which I've never used to be honest, could drive 3840x2400 on a single display. Assuming I can make it work (and it seems relatively straightforward on the Onyx 4), would it be a fairly usable setup?
Do you have a G2 or a G2N Brick? The G2 doesn't include a processor/memory/bedrock complex, the G2N does. In either case you'll need another (compute) module that includes I/O functionality, something even the processor-containing G2N lacks. The G2 and G2N don't have PCI slots. Instead they have AGP slots for the FireGL boards. So neither have any provision for an IO9, which means no I/O controller.

To do it as SGI intended, at a minimum you'll need an Origin 350 compute module equipped with an IO9, and a NUMAlink cable.

If you're willing to fore go the as-sgi-intended path you should be able to use an Origin 300 as the base compute module.
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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby mia » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:14 pm

Do you have a G2 or a G2N Brick?


No idea which one it is.

The G2 doesn't include a processor/memory/bedrock complex, the G2N does.


That'd be a G2 then; hooked up to an Onyx350.
The G2 and G2N don't have PCI slots. Instead they have AGP slots for the FireGL boards. So neither have any provision for an IO9, which means no I/O controller.


I knew that, they're numalinked to a few onyx 350, one of them has an IO9, which is the one I use for compute these days; I never bother powering up the G2.

Based on this, I'm good to go? Here's the hinv; since they, I'm just added some memory, nothing else has changed.

The G2 has a pair of ATI 7900, each one on "agp pro" connector.

Code: Select all

System  SGI-IP35
8 600 MHz IP35 Processors
Main memory size: 7168 Mbytes
PCI VGA Graphics Processor
PCI VGA Graphics Processor
PCI IOC4: in slot 1, (adapter 0)
USB (OHCI interface)
USB (OHCI interface)
PCI Gigabit Ethernet (tigon3) Controller 1
Integral SCSI controller 2: Version IOC4 ATA
    CDROM: unit 0 on SCSI Controller 2, (cdrom(2,0,7))
Integral SCSI controller 0: Version Qlogic 12160
Integral SCSI controller 1: Version Qlogic 12160
>> hinv -v
IP35 Node Board, Module 001c01
    ASIC BEDROCK Rev 2, 200 MHz, (nasid 0)
    Processor A: 600 MHz R16000 Rev 2.1
          Secondary Cache 4MB 300MHz Tap 0xc , (cpu 0)
      R16010FPC Rev 2.1
    Processor B: 600 MHz R16000 Rev 2.1
          Secondary Cache 4MB 300MHz Tap 0xc , (cpu 1)
      R16010FPC Rev 2.1
    Processor C: 600 MHz R16000 Rev 2.1
          Secondary Cache 4MB 300MHz Tap 0xc , (cpu 2)
      R16010FPC Rev 2.1
    Processor D: 600 MHz R16000 Rev 2.1
          Secondary Cache 4MB 300MHz Tap 0xc , (cpu 3)
      R16010FPC Rev 2.1
    Memory on board, 5120 MBytes (Standard)
      Bank 0, 512 MBytes (Standard)  <-- (Software Bank 0)
      Bank 1, 512 MBytes (Standard)
      Bank 2, 512 MBytes (Standard)
      Bank 3, 512 MBytes (Standard)
      Bank 4, 512 MBytes (Standard)
      Bank 5, 512 MBytes (Premium)
      Bank 6, 1024 MBytes (Premium)
      Bank 7, 1024 MBytes (Premium)
IP35 Node Board, Module 001c02
    ASIC BEDROCK Rev 2, 200 MHz, (nasid 1)
    Processor A: 600 MHz R16000 Rev 2.1
          Secondary Cache 4MB 300MHz Tap 0xc , (cpu 4)
      R16010FPC Rev 2.1
    Processor B: 600 MHz R16000 Rev 2.1
          Secondary Cache 4MB 300MHz Tap 0xc , (cpu 5)
      R16010FPC Rev 2.1
    Processor C: 600 MHz R16000 Rev 2.1
          Secondary Cache 4MB 300MHz Tap 0xc , (cpu 6)
      R16010FPC Rev 2.1
    Processor D: 600 MHz R16000 Rev 2.1
          Secondary Cache 4MB 300MHz Tap 0xc , (cpu 7)
      R16010FPC Rev 2.1
    Memory on board, 2048 MBytes (Standard)
      Bank 0, 512 MBytes (Standard)  <-- (Software Bank 0)
      Bank 1, 512 MBytes (Standard)
      Bank 2, 512 MBytes (Standard)
      Bank 3, 512 MBytes (Standard)
CGBRICK Bridge, Module 001c01
    ASIC BRIDGE Rev 3, (widget 10)
    adapter PCI VGA Graphics
          (pci id 1 function 0)
PCI Graphics Processor
    adapter ID (Vendor 1002 Device 4e47 class 3 subclass 3)
          (pci id 1 function 1)
CGBRICK Bridge, Module 001c01
    ASIC BRIDGE Rev 3, (widget 10)
    adapter PCI VGA Graphics
          (pci id 1 function 0)
PCI Graphics Processor
    adapter ID (Vendor 1002 Device 4e47 class 3 subclass 3)
          (pci id 1 function 1)
IXBRICK Bridge, Module 001c01
    ASIC BRIDGE Rev 3, (widget 15)
    adapter IOC4 Rev 4f
          (pci id 1)
    adapter IOC4-ATA Rev 4f
          (pci id 1)
        peripheral CDROM, BUS 0, ID 0, MATSHITA DVD-ROM SR-8177
    adapter PCI (SCSI interface) Rev 6
          (pci id 3)
    adapter GigE Rev 15
          (pci id 4)
IXBRICK Bridge, Module 001c01
    ASIC BRIDGE Rev 3, (widget 15)
    adapter USB (OHCI interface)
          (pci id 1 function 0)
    adapter USB (OHCI interface)
          (pci id 1 function 1)
    adapter ID (Vendor 10a9 Device 9 class 2 subclass 2)
          (pci id 2)
IXBRICK Bridge, Module 001c02
    ASIC BRIDGE Rev 3, (widget 15)
IXBRICK Bridge, Module 001c02
    ASIC BRIDGE Rev 3, (widget 15)
ASIC XBOW Rev 3, on CBrick, Module 001c01
ASIC XBOW Rev 3, on CBrick, Module 001c02
:Onyx2:

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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby recondas » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:29 pm

If you haven't already BTDT, TechPubs has the official take on Setting Up Your Onyx4 System.
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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby mia » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:36 pm

recondas wrote:If you haven't already BTDT, TechPubs has the official take on Setting Up Your Onyx4 System.


This is cool, I never used the G2-brick, I might give it a shot after all.
I just do my work with ssh+emacs really, I never needed a video output, but I'm not against the idea to try.

Question: With a T221, would this be (my system) a fairly acceptable solution or, it's really unpractical for common use? What I really do is not really graphical per nature, but I could use such screen's real estate for certain. Therefore, one could say it would be only for 2D use, with this in mind, would this be acceptable or not (flickering, unstable, whatever).
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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby hamei » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:53 pm

mia wrote:This is cool, I never used the G2-brick, I might give it a shot after all.

To answer your earlier question (above), the ATi graphics in the Onyx 4 should be better. The V12 is kind of at the limits of its abilities.

But is it better ? SGI never finished the job. They just sold the stuff with big promises then disappeared into the night. Business Logic, you know ? Take the money then disappear. I am soooo sick of this shit. If I were God it would be legal to shoot lying CEO's. In fact, put a bounty on them. Life would improve dramatically.

I just do my work with ssh+emacs really, I never needed a video output, but I'm not against the idea to try.

Question: With a T221, would this be (my system) a fairly acceptable solution or, it's really unpractical for common use? What I really do is not really graphical per nature, but I could use such screen's real estate for certain. Therefore, one could say it would be only for 2D use, with this in mind, would this be acceptable or not (flickering, unstable, whatever).

I can't speak for the ATi graphics - they may be better if you can get it running. In fact they should be better and since you say you are mostly interested in text the OpenGL problems may not affect you.

With the V12, it is not unstable except due to my beginner errors. You know how computers train us to not do the things that make them crash ? I'm not trained yet.

But the display is fine at 24 hz. Absolutely fine, no problems, no feeling of "uh-oh, I'm using a crappy shaky unfocused too-low-refresh crt." People need to get over this refresh rate stuff when talking about flat panels. If you concentrate on it, the mouse is not Casanova-smooth. But if you just use the computer, it's not noticeable even at 24 hz. I'm going to try later on to get up to 31 hz, that should be possible and should totally eliminate any mouse jerkiness even if I really try to find something to complain about.

One thing you're not going to get away from is a byproduct of the way the DCD works. The DCD refreshes the two screens alternately. I couldn't tell at all until I watched a movie that crossed over the center abutment. If there is motion, then you can see the dividing line of the two halves of the display. That's not the T221 halves, that's the alternating refreshing from the DCD.

After seeing it in movies, I also noticed it in text widows when I was scrolling text. Not other times. So the only time you notice this is when there is motion, you can detect an oscillation between the two halves right at the joint. As I mentioned, if this were two separate monitors (like the DCD was designed for) then you'd never be aware of the effect.

As to the real estate question, yes it sure does give you real estate. It's four 1920 x 1200 monitors in a 22" housing. But you better have some damned good eyes ! Have you used an SW 1600 ? Same feeling, very sharp but very small fonts. You can upsize the fonts but there goes the real estate gain :( Or you could use those drop-down binocular enlarging glasses that old guys used to wear :)

You might look into the 30" Eizo that uses a similar two-inputs scheme. That would also give you massive real estate plus should be easier to get running. Expensive, but if my time were worth anything this would not have been cheap either. I think the T221 is better for graphics because the pixels are so dense but you said you were mostly interested in text ...

From your description of what you want to do, I'm not sure T221 is the best solution. If you come across one at a decent price, then go for it. For graphics they are really really good. But for text, unless you have 20/10 vision, it may not make you happy. Or it might - you have to see one in real life to make your own decision. But it is a very peculiar monitor and takes some hassle to get running. I'd say this is one of those cases where the people who have them and like them, really like them. But 95% of the world couldn't stand to own the thing. But they are definitely not flaky - this monitor is smarter than my computer.

Oh. For SGI use, no need to dismiss the DG-3. 41 hz refresh is plenty, we don't have dual-link dvi anyhow, and the earlier model should be less expensive. So look for the DG-5 but don't turn up your nose at a DG-3.

Re-reading your post, if you can find a T221 to borrow it should just plug in with your setup. Whether the font size is usable for you is another question :) In the US they seem to go for around a thousand dollars so I am not sure I'd rush out to buy one without taking a real-world look first. Let's just say that people here are laughing at me for using a magnifying glass to do my emails ...

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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby mia » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:21 pm

Dully noted, this is seriously good stuff, and I do appreciate the insight. It seems that the T221 are discontinued (well, so are the Onyx4, sadly), I'm surprised this thing never took off, maybe it was a little too ahead of its time. I'll follow your progress and if I see one for the right price, I might try to get it and use it with the G2 brick. While the fonts will be tiny, it might still be good for coding.
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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby hamei » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:19 pm

Code: Select all

urchin 1% /usr/gfx/gfxinfo
Graphics board 0 is "ODYSSEY" graphics.
        Managed (":0.0") 3840x2400
        BUZZ version B.2
        PB&J version 1
        128MB memory
                Banks: 4, CAS latency: 3
         Monitor 0 type: Unknown
        Dual Channel Display option
         Monitor 1 type: IBM 9503        Monitor 2 type: IBM 9503
        Channel 0:
         Origin = (0,0)
         Video Output: 1920 pixels, 2400 lines, 24.00Hz (2@1920x2400_24)
        Channel 1:
         Origin = (1920,0)
         Video Output: 1920 pixels, 2400 lines, 24.00Hz (2@1920x2400_24)

Kind of interesting that the primary connector which you aren't supposed to use (and it's blocked off on an Octane with DCD) is Monitor 0, while the DCD ports are Monitor 1 and Monitor 2. I guess that makes sense if you want to be consistent, but in a way if it's not to be used, then it shouldn't be inventoried ?

BTW, eat your heart out, retina-display fanboyz. 2003 technology, babe :P

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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby mia » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:36 pm

Another question(s).

I do also have a few tezros along with the Onyx4, would they provide a "better" (more stable, usable, less flickery, blah) output than the G2-brick or it's really comparable for 2D work? (should I really say, non openGL work, not even movies or anything high framerate really).

My understanding is that with the G2-brick I can use 4 pipes, while with the tezro I can use only 2, what does this translates to for the final user? Higher framerate or else?

Finally, my desk is about 40-ft from the SGIs, would there be a lot of signal loss if I were to get some 40-ft dvi cables? I believe those, from not being analog by nature should be okay, but I would like to make sure.

I've never even thought about connecting anything to the G2 brick or Tezro, they just crush numbers all day long, that's what they do, and for that, they don't really need an output, but now that you got my interest, I'm thinking I could nicely display the results using such setup, and use this same display for coding.
:Onyx2:

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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby zuluchas » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:09 pm

having fun with a little linux-irix hybrid on a t221 -- 1920x2400 for each @41Hz, seems to key off the primary display inputs. boring pci-e gfx card on left (primary) via two SL-DVI cables and octane2 VPro V12 DCD 2x SL-DVI on the right. irix is using the stock 2@1920x1200_60p VFO. haven't quite figured out how to set the channel rectangle properly on the irix side so the two parts of the right screen are logically next to each other horizontally according to irix. a little xli / .backgrounds magic (in need of gamma correction) has the image laid out across both systems seamlessly, and x2x over ssh works great. seems like a good fit for my desktop needs.
Attachments
IMG_20120830_234702.jpg
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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby hamei » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:30 am

zuluchas wrote:having fun with a little linux-irix hybrid on a t221 ... seems like a good fit for my desktop needs.

You could do four separate computers ... or three workstations and a porn channel. Or three porn channels and a workstation :)

Are you using Teleffect or its ill-begotten foss replacement across your two halves of the drainpipe ?

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Re: IBM T221 Monitor - VPro Graphics - 3840x2400 Resolution

Unread postby zuluchas » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:26 am

Just using x2x over ssh at the moment, but I've had good luck with synergy on irix before - there's a page on here somewhere which walks you through the setup and allows you to control both the pre-login screen (which isn't working now with x2x) and obviously the logged in desktop.
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