It may be possible, but the driver may need to be modified similarly like the Indigo2 Phobos E100 driver was for a 3Com EISA board.
thats the question.. I was hoping the driver would be as tolerant wrt. non SGI labeled cards as the qlogic driver is for example..
Unfortunately, no such luck. The IRIX QLogic Fibre Channel driver does appear to accept any and all revisions of the QLA2200, but I've been told by SGI employees that only SGI-specific revisions of Gigabit Ethernet cards will work under IRIX. Apparently SGI had to make some tweaks to the GigE cards to make them work properly.
And I can understand why, too. When SGI added gigabit interfaces to IRIX, Fibre Channel was already somewhat mature, so the FC vendors already had an idea of what they were doing. But GigE came out a few years after FC (as was also the case with FDDI vs. 100Base-TX), and was fairly new to the game.
The question is -- why? What is it about the SGI GigE cards that makes them different from the off-the-shelf cards? I forget which ones in particular are re-branded, but I've seen the boards, and there's nothing to them. Certainly there are no flash PROMs on the PCI card, and the SGI ones look just like the non-SGI ones, so the only difference I could see is what's stored in NVRAM. Certainly, that's where the PCI ID and the MAC address are stored, but there might be other tweaks stored in NVRAM, too. I suppose it's possible that the GigE ASIC is customed for SGI, but I'd doubt it. It's likely just NVRAM, so the next question is to figure out how to read the NVRAM from an SGI and drop it onto a non-SGI. Just don't ask me how...