SGI: Discussion

Octane > all - Page 1

Well, maybe not -- but maybe I got your attention with this shameless troll (?).

I do, however, think the Octane/Octane2 were the best *workstations* SGI ever made, on balance, all factors considered (and possibly the best UNIX workstations, ever). There are faster SGIs, smaller SGIs, quieter SGI, prettier SGIs but the Octane is the full package, the real deal. This is a man's workstation, embodying the best (and last) of the SGI design philosophy. The Fuel/Tezro, while technically superior, have too much of a commodity PC-tie in terms of design.

I've used alot of NIX workstations, took some home to keep (as you can see in my SIG), but the Octane is a hard package to beat. I'm a big NeXT head, and there are alot of design parallels between the Cube and the Octane that are hard to ignore. NeXT certainly had the prettier desktop, but SGI's awesomeness I think even eclipses that of NeXT. HP/DEC/IBM were (/are) commendable machines, but they don't have the flair of an SGI. These are something a lawyer or a very conservative business would buy, I think.

Any Opinions? Comments? Death threats?

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:Octane2: Dual [email protected], 2GB RAM, V12, 1x72GB HDD
:O2: [email protected], 512MB RAM, 1x72GB HDD
:Cube: [email protected], 128MB RAM, NeXTdimension 32MB, 2x 4.3GB HDD

...And lots of other UNIX-like systems for which there is no icon.
Nope, no opinions, no threats excpet the comment that I agree :mrgreen:


Wouldn't mind if my Fuel could transform into a dual 600MHz CPU module and one V12 for my Octane. :lol:

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Old polygon wrangler
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From the first time I saw an Octane, must have been 1999? I knew I had to get to one. It took 6 years, but I did finally get an R10k 225mhz in decent shape from Reputable Systems back in 2005.

I did love the fact I would buy a 2 CPU Module, upgradable graphics (I remember upgrading from the SSI to a V6, what a night and day difference), but lack of an internal CD/DVD rom drive and the PCI Cardcage being expensive back then kind of discouraged me from pursing it.

Now I've got a Fuel, O350, tons of O300s. While yes, the Octane still sits proudly in my collection, from a practical standpoint, using my O300s or Fuel over SSH/VNC is much more practical now with readily available LSI SATA Controllers and SSDs. But then again it really depends on what you're doing with your Octane, especially if you've got a Dual 600mhz/V12 Octane.

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:Indigo: 33mhz R3k/48mb/XS24 :Indy: 150mhz R4400/256mb/XL24 :Fuel: 600mhz R14kA/2gb/V10 Image 8x1.4ghz Itanium 2/8GB :O3x08R: 32x600mhz R14kA/24GB :Tezro: 4x700mhz R16k/8GB/V12/DCD/SAS/FC/DM5 :O3x0: 2x700mhz R16k/4GB
The "PC-ification" of the Fuel generally just extended to the case, power supply and having cabled drives. It's still very much a SGI design, and though it "only" has PCI expansion everything on Origin/Octane was PCI behind a BRIDGE anyway.

SGI can't really be blamed for the bad run of env chips either.

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Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

Systems available for remote access on request.

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)
But that's the problem with the Fuel imho. That the case feels like a PC, and if you open it up, it even looks like a PC. So If I'm gonna use a slow computer for some retro computing it better have the whole package and lineage sort of(you know what I mean). If I want the feeling of operating hardware that has the mechanical feel of a PC, why not use my main workstation that's trillions times faster anyway (and has way better case too with almost no visible cables etc. lol).

Of course, the Irix experience on the Fuel is like magic, and after awhile you forget about small niggles like build quality and using the computer as it was intended for. But for me, the build of the machine is the very reason I can't manage my self to press the start button that often, and rather power up my Octane instead. Oh, yeah, and the noise the Fuel produces with gazillons of small fans isn't making it better either. Sure the Octane may be louder, but boy, I sure take that instead of the Brainsaw noises from my Fuel.

Hmm, I think what my next mod will be. A quiet Fuel and Octane would be nice.

Silly? Oh yes :)

/Jonas

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Old polygon wrangler
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http://www.edgeloop.se
What is this hatred of cables? I don't get it. Cables make the electrons gooo! The Octane has cables, they are hidden inside the assemblies but they are there. flex cables on the frontplane and *gasp* copper wire in the power supply! That's like the audiophiliiacs who insist on their gear having only discrete transistors and no integrated op-amps... :roll: worse than the toob heads!

Quote:
There are faster SGIs, smaller SGIs, quieter SGI, prettier SGIs but the Octane is the full package, the real deal. This is a man's workstation, embodying the best (and last) of the SGI design philosophy.
Arrr, you be talking about the onyx there matey. Don't get me wrong, the octane is still my favourite but it just doesn't have the shock&awe of an onyx.

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:Onyx: (Maradona) :Octane: (DavidVilla) A1186 (Xavi)
A1370 (Messi) dp43tf (Puyol) A1387 (Abidal) A1408 (Guardiola)

"InfiniteReality Graphics - Power Through Complexity"
Quote:
Arrr, you be talking about the onyx there matey. Don't get me wrong, the octane is still my favourite but it just doesn't have the shock&awe of an onyx.


+1. That's certainly valid. Mainly, I'm comparing UNIX machines that can be (practically) placed on a desk. Unfortunately, the "workstation" distinction gets really blurry in the case of the Onyx or some of the RS/6Ks.

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:Octane2: Dual [email protected], 2GB RAM, V12, 1x72GB HDD
:O2: [email protected], 512MB RAM, 1x72GB HDD
:Cube: [email protected], 128MB RAM, NeXTdimension 32MB, 2x 4.3GB HDD

...And lots of other UNIX-like systems for which there is no icon.
Quote:
everything on Origin/Octane was PCI behind a BRIDGE anyway.


I've often wondered about this -- I'd be shocked if the graphics were behind a PCI bridge.

Quote:
The Octane has cables, they are hidden inside the assemblies but they are there.


Well, there's some *wires*, for two of the fans. The Fuel/Tezro is a rat's nest in comparison. I don't think wires inside of a (modular) power supply count. ;)

The inside of the Fuel looks like some overclocker PeeCee.

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:Octane2: Dual [email protected], 2GB RAM, V12, 1x72GB HDD
:O2: [email protected], 512MB RAM, 1x72GB HDD
:Cube: [email protected], 128MB RAM, NeXTdimension 32MB, 2x 4.3GB HDD

...And lots of other UNIX-like systems for which there is no icon.
Axatax wrote:
Quote:
everything on Origin/Octane was PCI behind a BRIDGE anyway.


I've often wondered about this -- I'd be shocked if the graphics were behind a PCI bridge.

I could have sworn Octane's graphics was on it's own XIO 1.6gb/sec channel.

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:Indigo: 33mhz R3k/48mb/XS24 :Indy: 150mhz R4400/256mb/XL24 :Fuel: 600mhz R14kA/2gb/V10 Image 8x1.4ghz Itanium 2/8GB :O3x08R: 32x600mhz R14kA/24GB :Tezro: 4x700mhz R16k/8GB/V12/DCD/SAS/FC/DM5 :O3x0: 2x700mhz R16k/4GB
Adrenaline wrote:
I could have sworn Octane's graphics was on it's own XIO 1.6gb/sec channel.
It is; I think SAQ might have meant "Origin/Altix"... :?:

I love my Octane (2x600MHz/V12/8 gigs) but the faster disk transfer rate of the Fuel is nice and cables or not I'd trade my kingdom for a quad 1GHz Tezro... :shock:

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Choosing stones, big enough to drag me down...
vishnu wrote:
Adrenaline wrote:
I could have sworn Octane's graphics was on it's own XIO 1.6gb/sec channel.
It is; I think SAQ might have meant "Origin/Altix"... :?:


Noticeable oversimplification in the initial post. Graphics were the only non-BRIDGE XIO widgets in NUMAboxes (XBRIDGE counts as bridge here, and I'm not counting the HEART/HUB/BEDROCK which were also widgets but tying the computer to the I/O equipment). Given that graphics in IP35 machines are still XIO (though a different form factor), the only difference is the other I/O options - which aren't that different because they're still PCI behind BRIDGE on either architecture. IP35 merely puts the BRIDGE on the system board rather than the option board (or carrier).

_________________
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

Systems available for remote access on request.

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)
guardian452 wrote:
What is this hatred of cables? I don't get it. Cables make the electrons gooo! The Octane has cables, they are hidden inside the assemblies but they are there. flex cables on the frontplane and *gasp* copper wire in the power supply! That's like the audiophiliiacs who insist on their gear having only discrete transistors and no integrated op-amps... :roll: worse than the toob heads!


Nothing wrong with cables in them self as a technical solution, but they are ugly (well, in general, there are nice looking cables too). And I do prefer a modular system like the Octane. Same with lose cables laying around on the floor at home. Brrrrrrr... Ugly. Be gone you ugly mess. If your going to use cables, atleast put them in an orderly fashion so you have some harmony atleast.

So, nothing more special than that, no hidden agenda or beliefs in some holy magics. It's simply in aesthetics and mechanical excellence :P

And yes, I agree, it's silly, but whatever floats your boat, right? :)

/Jonas

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Old polygon wrangler
___________________
http://www.edgeloop.se
Axatax wrote:
Quote:
Arrr, you be talking about the onyx there matey. Don't get me wrong, the octane is still my favourite but it just doesn't have the shock&awe of an onyx.


+1. That's certainly valid. Mainly, I'm comparing UNIX machines that can be (practically) placed on a desk. Unfortunately, the "workstation" distinction gets really blurry in the case of the Onyx or some of the RS/6Ks.

+2 for the (deskside) Onyx. And the Power Challenge, for that matter. There's something deeply satisfying about hardware with an 'ignition key', and the hum of that big blower 8-)

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Currently in commercial service: Image :Onyx2: (2x) :O3x02L:
In the museum : almost every MIPS/IRIX system.
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sgtprobe wrote:
Nothing wrong with cables in them self as a technical solution ...

There can be ... the one in the Fuel -- my Fuel, anyway -- dropped the disk every so often. The first time that happened I about crapped my Calvin Klein jeans. Then I learned to just move the disk to a different header on the cable and it would come back. The cable in the Fuel is a cheap piece of junk and the fargin' barstadges insisted on using a non-standard connector to the mainboard.

The Fuel is a bunch faster but it's nowhere near as nice as an Octane. I wish they'd just designed a new mainboard with the faster memory and disk system and stuck them into purple Octane3 cases.

Octane is more versatile, too. Try to put two V12's into a Tezro ...
I'm currently sitting in front of mine just to upload these vfo's :-)
now watching some Star Trek AVIs via mplayer - all smooth

I will never give my Octane away

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SGI - the legend will never die!!
jan-jaap wrote:
Axatax wrote:
Quote:
Arrr, you be talking about the onyx there matey. Don't get me wrong, the octane is still my favourite but it just doesn't have the shock&awe of an onyx.


+1. That's certainly valid. Mainly, I'm comparing UNIX machines that can be (practically) placed on a desk. Unfortunately, the "workstation" distinction gets really blurry in the case of the Onyx or some of the RS/6Ks.

+2 for the (deskside) Onyx. And the Power Challenge, for that matter. There's something deeply satisfying about hardware with an 'ignition key', and the hum of that big blower 8-)


The Everest system controller also has a very nice feel. The LEGO MMSC and PowerSeries Power Meter have better long distance flash, but the MSC just feels chintzy after using an Everest SC.

_________________
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

Systems available for remote access on request.

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)
hamei wrote:
sgtprobe wrote:
Nothing wrong with cables in them self as a technical solution ...

There can be ... the one in the Fuel -- my Fuel, anyway -- dropped the disk every so often. The first time that happened I about crapped my Calvin Klein jeans.


I could say the same about the octane compression connectors :shock:

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:Onyx: (Maradona) :Octane: (DavidVilla) A1186 (Xavi)
A1370 (Messi) dp43tf (Puyol) A1387 (Abidal) A1408 (Guardiola)

"InfiniteReality Graphics - Power Through Complexity"
hamei wrote:
Octane is more versatile, too. Try to put two V12's into a Tezro ...


Like this?

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:Onyx: (Maradona) :Octane: (DavidVilla) A1186 (Xavi)
A1370 (Messi) dp43tf (Puyol) A1387 (Abidal) A1408 (Guardiola)

"InfiniteReality Graphics - Power Through Complexity"
^ Very pretty :) Alfa-Romeo did something like that in the thirties by putting two four-cylinder blocks end-to-end. Then they put a blower on the whole thing (driven off the middle) and won a lot of races. It was a very pretty car.

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A guy in England made copies of the road-going version a few decades ago and now the copies are worth* $750,000.

Hmm. Here's another variation on the theme ...

http://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/ca ... ight_8.htm

*("Worth" is in the eye of the beholder. That's what they sell for, anyhow.)
Well that is impressive but how about this; from the US Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center (named for General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, once parodied in The Simpsons as Colonel Leslie "Hap" Hapablap):

"This test program marked the first-time AEDC on-line use of the new Silicon Graphics workstation. It was used during testing to compare engine math models to on-line test data. This assured proper data validity and prevented a loss of air time for repetition of test cases," the Rolls-Royce F402-RR-408 Pegasus (since guardian452's engine posted above is an airplane engine, I hasten to point out):

Image

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Choosing stones, big enough to drag me down...