IRIX 6.4? (was: Re: [SunRescue] SS10 SX board...curious)

Bjrn Ramqvist brt at
Mon Aug 7 10:24:50 CDT 2000

nick at wrote:
> Hehe, anything much older than an O2 won't run 6.4 in any worthwhile
> way.  I know, I've got a "speed daemon" r5k 180mhz indy running 6.4.7 (I
> think, might be 6.4.8), and it HURTS.  I've never seen a gui that slow
> since I ditched the 386 that was running xfree86.  It might work ok sorta
> mabey if you nuked all the GUI, and had a nice GIO scsi system, running
> nothing but exactly what you needed.

I believe you refer to IRIX 6.5, 6.4 were never named "6.4.x" until the
introduction of 6.5.
I run IRIX 6.5.8 on my 128MB R4600PC-100 Indy at home, and that's not
too bad IMO. I'd even prefer that over an SS2, actually. Only thing that
keeps the graphics slow is the CPU load for all 24bit->8bit conversion.

In this case, SGI has dropped support for the 32-bit platforms from IRIX
6, ie all the R3000-based machines. That includes the R3k Indigo (not
the R4k based), all the R3k based IRISes and the Chrimson. That's
perfectly understandable, since it would only be painful to keep
supporting these, as technology tends to go forward in a drastic speed.
Imagine a R3000 Indigo "maxed out" with 96MB of RAM... I see the point
in dropping those old toasters, really.

IRIX on an R5k based machine is not that painful. It's quite useful for
home use IMO, whereas at work I'd would go for atleast Indigo 2/R10k or
Octane. Keep in mind that the R5k still lives a quite happy life in an
O2, because of all it's hardware tweaks around the CPU. (Putting an R10k
into an O2 doesn't give it that performance boost you would imagine, in
all aspects)

If anyone wants to run old R3000 beasts, there's always IRIX 5.3, which
IMO is not that bad either. Lightweight and pretty solid.

	/Regards, Bjorn

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