[rescue] SGI hardware (WAS hardware FS/FT)

Andrew Jones andrew at jones.ec
Thu May 19 10:03:41 CDT 2011

On 05/18/2011 10:10 PM, Scott Quinn wrote:
> Octane: Kicks Indigo2 in the lower regions. IMPACT graphics also available and
> reasonably cheap (SI=Solid IMPACT, SI+Texture= High IMPACT, SSI=Solid IMPACT
> x2 but no texturing, MXI is Max IMPACT. "E" class graphics are a geometry
> speedup). You can also get ODYSSEY graphics (VPro), they're faster and have
> better texturing but are also more expensive and the cheaper ones (V6/V8) have
> a bug that can make life difficult on certain monitors (SGI monitors ran them
> at 90-120Hz refresh rates to get around this bug. Buisiness 101: if you've
> made a mistake, don't admit it and fix it for free, just make your peripherals
> able to work around the bug and then you don't get people buying third party).
> Much more efficient memory and system layout, well-built, and cheap in the
> 300MHz and under range. You can also get a duallie if you want. Beware -
> they're heavy and shipping is expensive.
> Fuel/Tezro: last gen, faster than Octane (better system layout, faster
> processors), but more expensive and RAM has been harder to find. Takes
> standard PCI cards without an adaptor, but few supported. VPro graphics, none
> of them have the bug that afflicted V6/V8.

Cost is basically not an issue at this point.  In 2011, even loaded 
Octanes can be found in the free-to-$50 range.

The final production dates for IRIX/MIPS systems were in 2006.  The very 
last handful of support contracts will be ending in 2013, and most of 
those were on server systems.  (SGI crossed the 50% line on 
server:workstation revenue ratios back in the 90s.)

Beyond that, now that an Octane's impressive memory and I/O performance 
are being rivaled by commodity PCs, their less-than-explosive CPU power 
isn't in any great demand.

The only SGI workstations that are still serious money:
  1. Fuel/Tezro
  2. Units with Discreet licenses tied to them.

Anything else has value primarily for "rescuer" types.

I love my SGI gear, and they'll pry it from my cold, dead hands, but I 
have no illusions about its present value.

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