EBAY US - What's this? Infinite Performance

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gijoe77
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Re: EBAY US - What's this? Infinite Performance

Unread postby gijoe77 » Tue May 16, 2017 7:50 am

@spiroyster
Thank you for all the insight you have given on this topic - but in all honestly the technical details about graphics and what this compositor is capable of are slightly above my head, but I hope someone else was able to take it all in.

**BUT** let me not give up so easily. Let me ask in terms I understand, and let me know if you can answer them.

So lets say I have two *pipes* - I always kind of thought of that as two "screens" - lets say on one screen/pipe I have a OpenGL fullscreen 1920x1200 app running that shows the "atlantis" demo. on the second screen I have the "swarm" OGL screensaver demo running at 1920x1200. Would the compositor combine both screens to be a composite of both running at 1920x1200?

2nd example:
lets say I have "atlantis" running on one screen at 1920x1200 and "atlantis" running on the other screen at 1920x1200 - will the end result (using the AA software/extension, and whatever else) give me a "nicer" looking "atlantis" @1920x1200 out of the compositer?

sorry if these seem very newb and dumb

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Re: EBAY US - What's this? Infinite Performance

Unread postby xiri » Tue May 16, 2017 1:07 pm

The compositor for sale on Ebay is the original device released in 2002. A year later in 2003 SGI released a revised version (rev b)
which features support for a multi-compositor setup which does not exist on the first compositor.

https://techpubs.jurassic.nl/library/ma ... 02-001.pdf
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Re: EBAY US - What's this? Infinite Performance

Unread postby spiroyster » Tue May 16, 2017 1:27 pm

gijoe77 wrote:@spiroyster
Thank you for all the insight you have given on this topic - but in all honestly the technical details about graphics and what this compositor is capable of are slightly above my head, but I hope someone else was able to take it all in.

**BUT** let me not give up so easily. Let me ask in terms I understand, and let me know if you can answer them.

So lets say I have two *pipes* - I always kind of thought of that as two "screens" - lets say on one screen/pipe I have a OpenGL fullscreen 1920x1200 app running that shows the "atlantis" demo. on the second screen I have the "swarm" OGL screensaver demo running at 1920x1200. Would the compositor combine both screens to be a composite of both running at 1920x1200?

2nd example:
lets say I have "atlantis" running on one screen at 1920x1200 and "atlantis" running on the other screen at 1920x1200 - will the end result (using the AA software/extension, and whatever else) give me a "nicer" looking "atlantis" @1920x1200 out of the compositer?

sorry if these seem very newb and dumb

Yes that’s effectively what a 'graphics pipe' is by my understanding, and while the term is loosely used, it is distinctively different from 'graphics pipeline' (which can use multiple pipes o.0) which refers to the entire backend process done via OpenGL api. Graphics 'pipe' usually refers to a subsystem which can process data for an output (So it tends to have its own frame buffer, video memory and glorified matrix calculator...GE & DM, or multiple GE's and DM's configured to work as one pipe).

In both examples, two screens are used, so the overall screen real-estate up for grabs is 3840x1200. The compositor handles max 1920x1200. Rather than thinking of the configuration outputting to two different screens, think of them outputting the same signal to both screens. Pointless in most cases, and pointless to output to the compositor since in 'Pixel Average' mode both signals would average to the same image o.0. However, with two pipes, the same frame can be rendered by each pipe at a slightly different time slice between frames, while this isn't the same as jittering the frustum and accumulating, ftp://ftp.sgi.com/opengl/contrib/blythe ... de124.html. which must be done by the program (and requires rendering via an accumulation buffer)… it means all programs can be aliased through careful manipulation of the graphics pipes (time slices, and swap rates) and accumulation done by the compositor, rather than the accumulation buffer on a single pipe (a single pipe would require a frame to rendered 4 times, the compositor can accumulate the render of 4 different pipes). This means no extra knowledge is required by the program, so it doesn't need to implement the AA which is done automatically by the 'graphics pipeline'. It knows nothing...

So in your example, a single instance of Atlantis would be run on a configuration of say 4 x VPro (configured as a single 'hyperpipe'). The configuration implements the 'graphics pipeline' (Atlantis uses OpenGL api, which is effectively a blackbox from the point of view of the Atlantis application which simply passes the vertices and texture data through the OpenGL api), the configuration will tell all of its pipes in the 'hyperpipe' configuration to render each part of the frame at different time slices, producing 4 slightly different images, which compositor then accumulates together and displays at the required frame rate. Producing a lovely AA image. This is configured using the sgicombine utility and 'Pixel Average' mode.

The other modes divide the output of the screen as desired (quadrants) or into vertical/horizontal regions. How it does this, idk, but can take a wild guess and say 1/4 of the screen requires 1/4 of the bandwidth since the culling will eliminate most of the vertices form the scene except for the ones needed to be drawn by the pipe. This means it can fill at 4 x the speed, which means 4 of them can scale to produce the single image at either 4 x the frame rate, or the same frame rate as a single pipe, but with 4 x the amount of complexity since it can shove 4 x the number of vertices through the same pipe (because the scene its drawing is 1/4 of the size). Of course this is all theoretical, other factors will come into play such as some regions having far more vertices then others, meaning there won't be a linear scale, but certainly an improvement. AA seems the best use of this thing, unsure if the end effect warrants the amount of hardware required to achieve it, but none the less an interesting setup imo :D

anyone who tinkers with sgi's isn't dumb in my book ;)

xiri wrote:The compositor for sale on Ebay is the original device released in 2002. A year later in 2003 SGI released a revised version (rev b)
which features support for a multi-compositor setup which does not exist on the first compositor.

https://techpubs.jurassic.nl/library/ma ... 02-001.pdf

I can't see anything about combining 2 compsitors, it does seem to be able to take 4 x pipes provided by O350's rather than 4 x pipes provided by 2 x V-bricks? And it mentions being able to use 3 x pipes o.0

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Re: EBAY US - What's this? Infinite Performance

Unread postby xiri » Tue May 16, 2017 1:53 pm

spiroyster wrote:
I can't see anything about combining 2 compsitors, it does seem to be able to take 4 x pipes provided by O350's rather than 4 x pipes provided by 2 x V-bricks? And it mentions being able to use 3 x pipes o.0


On page 11 where the connectors are described it says the following for USB DOWN:
"These four USB (type A) DOWN connectors are used to connect the compositor to other compositors downstream."

I could not find the compositor on the 2006 pricelist, so it was rather not one of their bestsellers.
No surprise since it was lacking application support.
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Re: EBAY US - What's this? Infinite Performance

Unread postby spiroyster » Wed May 17, 2017 2:28 am

xiri wrote:
spiroyster wrote:
I can't see anything about combining 2 compsitors, it does seem to be able to take 4 x pipes provided by O350's rather than 4 x pipes provided by 2 x V-bricks? And it mentions being able to use 3 x pipes o.0


On page 11 where the connectors are described it says the following for USB DOWN:
"These four USB (type A) DOWN connectors are used to connect the compositor to other compositors downstream."

I could not find the compositor on the 2006 pricelist, so it was rather not one of their bestsellers.
No surprise since it was lacking application support.

Ah yes, Good spot!... No other manuals leave bread crumbs alluding to possible functionality quite like sgi ones do :)

Given this detail is not expanded upon, I wonder if that actually happened? You could scale to any number of pipes (since RevB appears to accept odd number of pipes), but ultimately you would be feeding through a final 1920x1200 compositor (to your display) o.0

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Re: EBAY US - What's this? Infinite Performance

Unread postby recondas » Wed May 17, 2017 2:46 pm

I have one of the second generation SGI Graphics Compositors (with USB ports). When connected it announces its presence in a gfxinfo run as a "cbob":

Code: Select all

        USB Compositor -1 port 0 attached to channel 0 nic 0x1004a768
         CMP:  NIC #:      4e52.5631.3539 (family: ff)
               Serial #:   NRV159
               Part #:     030_1857_002
               rev_code:   0000
               grp_code:   0xff
               capability: "0000"
               variety:    0xff
               name:       cbob   

Ran it for a while connected to this Onyx350 IP system. There are a few photos of the front panel, rear bulkhead and interior of the USB version of the Compositor in the same thread.

While it was connected did some superficial testing with some of the OpenGL Performer demos, and as I recall there were some significant improvements in performance compared to similar runs done when that system had a single V12.
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gijoe77
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Re: EBAY US - What's this? Infinite Performance

Unread postby gijoe77 » Fri May 19, 2017 5:46 am

recondas wrote:While it was connected did some superficial testing with some of the OpenGL Performer demos, and as I recall there were some significant improvements in performance compared to similar runs done when that system had a single V12.


Do you recall if you ever performed any application testing (Maya, Alias, etc)? I'm also curious why you got rid of that setup if it was boosting performance?

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Re: EBAY US - What's this? Infinite Performance

Unread postby recondas » Sat May 20, 2017 5:23 pm

gijoe77 wrote:Do you recall if you ever performed any application testing (Maya, Alias, etc)? I'm also curious why you got rid of that setup if it was boosting performance?
While I occasionally played with Maya and a few of the other classic SGI graphics apps that might benefit from the Compositor, my usage style was most comfortable with *lots* of desktop space. The Graphics Compositor wasn't a planned purchase, when it happened along it was the first I'd seen, which was the primary reason I acquired it. After trying it out I went ahead with the original plan, which was to use OpenGL MultiPipe to create a desktop that spans four monitors.
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Re: EBAY US - What's this? Infinite Performance

Unread postby dhjj » Sun May 21, 2017 3:25 pm

Someone must want this?
Make me an offer!
I have an onyx4 available too


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