[rescue] WTB: SGI (MIPS architecture) Systems

Scott Quinn saquinn624 at aol.com
Fri May 21 21:06:16 CDT 2010

Indy is a nice, small, quiet, low-power system, but the problem is that it
doesn't have much of what makes SGIs neat to show off. A few shipped with XZ
graphics, but most were 2-D XL, and many were 8-bit at that. If you want an
SGI to show off to friends you want something with a full geometry pipeline,
one that you can fire up the demos (or other s/w) on and show what it could do
that PCs couldn't do until many years later. Indy has advantages over
contemporary PCs, sure, but they aren't as immediately obvious.

Indigo2 is a great machine for a starter system. It's a desktop and can be
moved with one person in one piece up stairs, and it runs off of ordinary 120V
outlets. With High IMPACT or Max IMPACT it supports texturing, and even with
Extreme graphics or Solid IMPACT it can do a good show with non-textured

O2 is an interesting beast. It's a great shape, but was optimized for working
with large textured objects. If you have enough RAM and get a good enough
processor (R5k/200 or better at the least, and avoid the first-gen R10ks) it
can be neat, but the Indigo2/Octane will run rings around it.

The desksides are, of course, even better - the graphics are great, the SMP
support is nice, and you get the advantage of having a computer that you turn
on with a key. You can also show off the system controller - the Everest
(Challenge/Onyx1) system controller is much more of a conversation piece than
the IP27 module system controller, even (though the MSC has certain
advantages, and the MMSC (if you have one) is pretty cool). You can also point
out that you have computational hardware whose original list price was around
$100k beside your desk, rather than the more pedestrian $15-$35k

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