Best workstation to start with?

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Krokodil
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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby Krokodil » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:28 pm

You don't want to start with an Indy. Too underpowered in most cases. High speced ones will cost you and you can get something better for your money anyways.

Sometimes you can find O2's on Ebay for practically nothing, but beware, the exterior plastic is really as fragile as people here say. Sometimes I find pieces of blue plastic from the inside on my floor after moving it around.

There are also lots of Octane 1's rolling around for various prices. They usually have acceptable power. But make sure you know what you're buying. I've seen people listing stuff inaccurately on Ebay, either out of ignorance, or on purpose.

Also consider the fact that you may have to spend more money, once you get the machine, to fix things, or upgrade to better specs.
:Octane2: - :O2: - :Octane: - :Indigo2IMP:

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby Trippynet » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:36 am

uunix wrote:Here's the problem with owning any old hardware let alone SGI stuff.

So you get a machine, you are faced firstly with things not working or things required to use it and the over priced prices ebay sellers on a whole are asking, and secondly, the addiction of upgrading, and the over priced prices ebay sellers on a whole are asking....

So whatever machine you get, you will, at the end fork out a lot of money in the long run.


It's one of the reasons I bought my Indigo2 from Ian. I think it cost just shy of £300, but meant I could get all the bits I wanted straight off (including the 100Mb NIC) - and good skins. I added an extra hard drive myself, plus 128MB of RAM out of the Indy I think I gave to you. Not the cheapest, but probably cheaper overall than buying a battered one from eBay then having to buy a different HDD, skins, NIC and other bits separately.
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: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby necron2600 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:27 pm

I have gone through a lot of SGI systems in an attempt to find a good daily driver (still in 2017).
The best all-around I have found is an Octane2 with Vpro (even the lowest Vpro 6 is fine) so you can get 1920x1200 resolution (versus an SGI O2 stuck at a lower res). Power consumption is not too bad either.
400mhz single CPU seemed usable to me.. but you may want to upgrade to 600mhz eventually if you plan to use it daily.

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby mopar5150 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:13 pm

Although the rack systems have zero cool factor, you get quad 700Mhz, 2 drive bays, DVD drive, a couple PCI slots and V10 for about what an Octane costs. O350 parts are still cheap as well. If you stand it on it's side next to your desk the noise isn't bad at all. This is what my primary SGI system is.
If the thing isn't on fire it's a software problem.

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby SiliconClassics » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:46 pm

I'll repeat what I've always said: IMHO, the O2 is the most convenient introduction to the SGI platform. It has drawbacks - delicate skins, flaky CD-ROM drives and memory, and pedestrian performance. But those are far outweighed by the fact that you can use it with a thrift store kbd/mouse/monitor, it has a built-in optical drive, and it's relatively light, small, and quiet. A base model O2 is within the ballpark of your budget and since you're new to the platform performance should not be your primary concern. Your focus should instead be on cost, convenience, and versatility.

As others have said, costs can add up when you start shopping for IRIX installation media, memory, CPU upgrades, expansion cards, etc. Those costs are relatively reasonable for O2 components. Convenience and versatility comes in the form of the O2's built-in VGA, 10/100 ethernet, and A/V. You could literally plug in just a cheap keyboard, mouse, and monitor and have a complete working system, no need for external speakers or optical drives as with an Octane.

Forget about using any IRIX workstation as a primary desktop today, they're just too limited by a lack of modern software, at least within the confines of your intended use. Old IRIX workstations are like MG roadsters that should be kept in a garage and used only on weekends.
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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby uunix » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:55 pm

SiliconClassics wrote:I'll repeat what I've always said: IMHO, the O2 is the most convenient introduction to the SGI platform. It has drawbacks - delicate skins, flaky CD-ROM drives and memory, and pedestrian performance. But those are far outweighed by the fact that you can use it with a thrift store kbd/mouse/monitor, it has a built-in optical drive, and it's relatively light, small, and quiet. A base model O2 is within the ballpark of your budget and since you're new to the platform performance should not be your primary concern. Your focus should instead be on cost, convenience, and versatility.

As others have said, costs can add up when you start shopping for IRIX installation media, memory, CPU upgrades, expansion cards, etc. Those costs are relatively reasonable for O2 components. Convenience and versatility comes in the form of the O2's built-in VGA, 10/100 ethernet, and A/V. You could literally plug in just a cheap keyboard, mouse, and monitor and have a complete working system, no need for external speakers or optical drives as with an Octane.

Forget about using any IRIX workstation as a primary desktop today, they're just too limited by a lack of modern software, at least within the confines of your intended use. Old IRIX workstations are like MG roadsters that should be kept in a garage and used only on weekends.

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby Irinikus » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:53 pm

I realize that an R12K 400MHZ O2 is probably not really applicable for most as a first SGI machine, but this machine is surprisingly fast!

I would therefore recommend starting with an R10K model so that it can be upgraded to the R12K 400MHz model at a later stage. :D

Here are some screenshots for m Ian Mapleson's website showing the relative performance of SGI's, I have marked the lists in the regions where the O2 R12K 400MHZ and the indigo 2 R10k fall with red boxes for reference :

Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 5.07.02 AM.png


Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 5.13.09 AM.png


Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 5.17.34 AM.png


Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 5.19.54 AM.png


These are not all of the possible comparisons, but they do show the R12K 400MHz O2 to perform relatively well.
:Onyx2:Quad R14K 500MHz, IR3, DG5-8 :Tezro:Quad R16K 700MHz, 8MB, V12, DCD, DM3 :Octane2:Dual R14K 600MHz, PCI Card Cage, V12 :320:Dual 1GHz PIII
:O2:R12K 400MHz, DCD :Indigo:R4400SC 150MHz, ELAN :Indigo2:R4400SC 200MHz, Extreme :Indy:R4400SC 200MHz, XZ :Indy:R5000SC 150MHz, 24Bit XL.
SUN: JavaStation-10 (Krups), XVR-4000.
DEC: AlphaStation 255/300MHz.
Cray: Cray1: Memory Module, Cray2: Memory Module (complete stack of eight boards) and a power supply module, Cray3: ECL Module.
Apple: G3 Clamshell, G4 Sawtooth, G4 Quicksilver, G4 Mirror Doors, G5, Mac Pro 2013 (Trash can), 27 inch Cinema Display.
IBM: 486 DX-4 100MHz, 32Mb RAM, Creative Soundblaster 16-Bit, 1.44 Mb Disk drive, Creative 4X CD-ROM, 520Mb HDD.
Alienware: Aurora 7500.
Gaming Rig: Coolermaster Cosmos II, Coolermaster Ultimate 1100W Power supply, Asus Rampage III extreme, I7 980X, Corsair H100, 24Gb Corsair Dominator DDR3, EVGA GTX Titan X Super Clocked Edition, OCZ revodrive 3 x2 240gb, Velociraptor 600GB, Corsair 128GB SSD, Creative X-fi Fatality Pro.

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby Str1kernaut » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:05 am

So, in general the O2 is the best to start, but if we consider the price a starter Octane is a better option
An italian guy years ago (2011) sold for 50€ (i don't know the price of the delivery) a SGI O2 (R12000 400mhz, 512mb, 20gb drive, A/V module) with the 1600SW monitor, original software disks, keybard and mouse
(Now the nickname it's correct)
I'm an ICT student (2° year at ITIS Scano). Since i was 8 years old i've got an interest for ICT, and since i was 2 years old i've got an interest for technology (I've got a photo when i was 2 years old with a pair of headphones).
I built my first gaming pc with new parts at July 2017: Ryzen 5 1400, 2x4GB Corsair 3000mhz, R7 360 2GB (bought from a friend), Corsair CX 450M, AsRock AB350M Pro4.
In these months i developed an interest for workstations, in particular SGI (thanks Dodoid, you channel is awesome :D)

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby guardian452 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:01 pm

Irinikus wrote:I realize that an R12K 400MHZ O2 is probably not really applicable for most as a first SGI machine...

Disagree... it's a great cute little box. It's not the fastest Irix box but the fastest you can get is pretty pathetic so what's the point :) Also it has regular PS/2 and HD15 KDM ports, and a built in CD drive. Important if it's your first.

But I would still pick the octane2.

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby hamei » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:57 pm

Irinikus wrote:These are not all of the possible comparisons, but they do show the R12K 400MHz O2 to perform relatively well.

No. O2's are shit. They are the most unreliable piece of crap on the planet. My Westinghouse was more trustworthy and it was bit-sliced, with core. Here we have a case of people who have never owned or run any of this stuff giving advice. Great.

O2's are good for looking at but don't touch the thing or it will fall apart. Ask Jim Clark how dependable they are, when he was stranded 2,000 miles out in the ocean anad had to call the Coast Guard.

The nice thing about nekochan was that the people there used to know what they were talking about. Note the verb tense.
Last edited by hamei on Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:58 pm

Although the rack systems have zero cool factor


Oh, I beg to differ. They're so cool they're hot :P
smit happens.

:Fuel: bigred, 900MHz R16K, 4GB RAM, V12 DCD, 6.5.30
:Indy: indy, 150MHz R4400SC, 256MB RAM, XL24, 6.5.10
:Indigo2IMP: purplehaze, 175MHz R10000, Solid IMPACT
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plus IBM POWER6 p520 * Apple Network Server 500 * RDI PrecisionBook * BeBox * Solbourne S3000 * Commodore 128 * many more...

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby Irinikus » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:16 pm

guardian452 wrote:
Irinikus wrote:I realize that an R12K 400MHZ O2 is probably not really applicable for most as a first SGI machine...

Disagree... it's a great cute little box. It's not the fastest Irix box but the fastest you can get is pretty pathetic so what's the point :) Also it has regular PS/2 and HD15 KDM ports, and a built in CD drive. Important if it's your first.

But I would still pick the octane2.


I would rather go for a Quad 1GHz Tezro myself, but here we're talking about a first machine for someone on tight budget! :D
Last edited by Irinikus on Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:08 pm, edited 5 times in total.
:Onyx2:Quad R14K 500MHz, IR3, DG5-8 :Tezro:Quad R16K 700MHz, 8MB, V12, DCD, DM3 :Octane2:Dual R14K 600MHz, PCI Card Cage, V12 :320:Dual 1GHz PIII
:O2:R12K 400MHz, DCD :Indigo:R4400SC 150MHz, ELAN :Indigo2:R4400SC 200MHz, Extreme :Indy:R4400SC 200MHz, XZ :Indy:R5000SC 150MHz, 24Bit XL.
SUN: JavaStation-10 (Krups), XVR-4000.
DEC: AlphaStation 255/300MHz.
Cray: Cray1: Memory Module, Cray2: Memory Module (complete stack of eight boards) and a power supply module, Cray3: ECL Module.
Apple: G3 Clamshell, G4 Sawtooth, G4 Quicksilver, G4 Mirror Doors, G5, Mac Pro 2013 (Trash can), 27 inch Cinema Display.
IBM: 486 DX-4 100MHz, 32Mb RAM, Creative Soundblaster 16-Bit, 1.44 Mb Disk drive, Creative 4X CD-ROM, 520Mb HDD.
Alienware: Aurora 7500.
Gaming Rig: Coolermaster Cosmos II, Coolermaster Ultimate 1100W Power supply, Asus Rampage III extreme, I7 980X, Corsair H100, 24Gb Corsair Dominator DDR3, EVGA GTX Titan X Super Clocked Edition, OCZ revodrive 3 x2 240gb, Velociraptor 600GB, Corsair 128GB SSD, Creative X-fi Fatality Pro.

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby Irinikus » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:26 pm

hamei wrote:The nice thing about nekochan was that the people there used to know what they were talking about. Note the verb tense.


I have the right to my opinion regarding this!

The O2 might be a flimsy, little machine with little to no use today, but it certainly is an interesting little project to build up a machine that's physically perfect and in good working order! (It teaches you a few things along the way)

All of these machines are pretty useless by todays standards, but that's not the point is it!
:Onyx2:Quad R14K 500MHz, IR3, DG5-8 :Tezro:Quad R16K 700MHz, 8MB, V12, DCD, DM3 :Octane2:Dual R14K 600MHz, PCI Card Cage, V12 :320:Dual 1GHz PIII
:O2:R12K 400MHz, DCD :Indigo:R4400SC 150MHz, ELAN :Indigo2:R4400SC 200MHz, Extreme :Indy:R4400SC 200MHz, XZ :Indy:R5000SC 150MHz, 24Bit XL.
SUN: JavaStation-10 (Krups), XVR-4000.
DEC: AlphaStation 255/300MHz.
Cray: Cray1: Memory Module, Cray2: Memory Module (complete stack of eight boards) and a power supply module, Cray3: ECL Module.
Apple: G3 Clamshell, G4 Sawtooth, G4 Quicksilver, G4 Mirror Doors, G5, Mac Pro 2013 (Trash can), 27 inch Cinema Display.
IBM: 486 DX-4 100MHz, 32Mb RAM, Creative Soundblaster 16-Bit, 1.44 Mb Disk drive, Creative 4X CD-ROM, 520Mb HDD.
Alienware: Aurora 7500.
Gaming Rig: Coolermaster Cosmos II, Coolermaster Ultimate 1100W Power supply, Asus Rampage III extreme, I7 980X, Corsair H100, 24Gb Corsair Dominator DDR3, EVGA GTX Titan X Super Clocked Edition, OCZ revodrive 3 x2 240gb, Velociraptor 600GB, Corsair 128GB SSD, Creative X-fi Fatality Pro.

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby Irinikus » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:40 pm

hamei wrote: Here we have a case of people who have never owned or run any of this stuff giving advice. Great.


Now that we're entering into a mud-slinging contest due to your snide remarks!

My SGI machines are probably better examples than yours are physically speaking, and it's taken a great deal of effort from my side to get them that way, especially if you consider my location!

So I do have a reasonable degree of experience when it comes to these machines.

So wind your neck in!
:Onyx2:Quad R14K 500MHz, IR3, DG5-8 :Tezro:Quad R16K 700MHz, 8MB, V12, DCD, DM3 :Octane2:Dual R14K 600MHz, PCI Card Cage, V12 :320:Dual 1GHz PIII
:O2:R12K 400MHz, DCD :Indigo:R4400SC 150MHz, ELAN :Indigo2:R4400SC 200MHz, Extreme :Indy:R4400SC 200MHz, XZ :Indy:R5000SC 150MHz, 24Bit XL.
SUN: JavaStation-10 (Krups), XVR-4000.
DEC: AlphaStation 255/300MHz.
Cray: Cray1: Memory Module, Cray2: Memory Module (complete stack of eight boards) and a power supply module, Cray3: ECL Module.
Apple: G3 Clamshell, G4 Sawtooth, G4 Quicksilver, G4 Mirror Doors, G5, Mac Pro 2013 (Trash can), 27 inch Cinema Display.
IBM: 486 DX-4 100MHz, 32Mb RAM, Creative Soundblaster 16-Bit, 1.44 Mb Disk drive, Creative 4X CD-ROM, 520Mb HDD.
Alienware: Aurora 7500.
Gaming Rig: Coolermaster Cosmos II, Coolermaster Ultimate 1100W Power supply, Asus Rampage III extreme, I7 980X, Corsair H100, 24Gb Corsair Dominator DDR3, EVGA GTX Titan X Super Clocked Edition, OCZ revodrive 3 x2 240gb, Velociraptor 600GB, Corsair 128GB SSD, Creative X-fi Fatality Pro.

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Re: Best workstation to start with?

Unread postby tomvos » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:23 am

Hey dudes, countenance please. I think we all agree more than we disagree. The age of the hardware is a problem. Whether it results in broken plastics or dried out capacitors, most likely one or another part of your favourite kind of machine will make an early exit sooner or later. The only difference is your own experience.

Personally, while I never had an issue with my O2s besides the brittle plastics, my Octane2 is another story. Turned out, the power supply was slowly dying and gave me a unstable system for more than two years. This is quite the opposite to what is generally known said about these two systems.

So everybody has his personal favourite and that's fine. It's only about sharing your experience, not about making your personal experience the general consensus of this thread. ;)
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