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Silicon Graphics

SGI 750 Itanium Server 112

foobar104 writes: "Today SGI announced their SGI 750 server, a dual-processor IA-64 system based on the W460GXBS2 motherboard from Intel. The 750 will ship with Linux (probably SGI's tweaked version of Red Hat; that's what they've used before), and they say it'll be available in July. (Usually that means first customer shipment in July, with volume shipments coming sometime after that.) The press release is here, and more technical info can be found here. In other news, HP also announced some IA-64 products today."
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SGI 750 Itanium Server

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    what kind of server is this http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem& item=1241761938 [ebay.com]

    some quad processor 486? anyone know anything abt it..i dont wanna shell out $50 on unknown stuff :(
  • by Anonymous Coward
    speaking as a minor drone: this is intended to be a developer's box..with not too many machines to be sold, primarilly to give designers a head start on developing for intel-ia64 for the soon to arrive mckinley chips..which we shoul dbe making some stunning servers for..on the lines of the origin3000. the announcement wasn't honestly intended for widespread distribution.. the box will simply be an itanium step-stool for mckinley servers to come.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    today sgi is at the same stage as dec was in early 90s. They had VMS and Ultrix and was joing band with MS on NT. Its strategy wasn't clear and I personally know many large customers who migrated to Sun (rather than adopting to Ultrix, since they didn't trust DEC). They believed that DEC would give up one or more platform in favor of the winning OS (whoever that would be). Now SGI is doing the same. Poor IRIX users aren't sure whether SGI would continue developing it, and hence many people are simply running away. They are not too sure whether SGI is serios enough for Intel-NT-Linux machines, so those buyers are not coming forward either.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As a *nix workstation company, they're not nearly as big as IBM, HP and Sun. As a result, the return on their (extremely expensive) MIPS R&D isn't that great - thus leading to overpriced workstations. In their current situation, the addition of a new commodity-cpu line is not a bad idea... the IA64/Linux line is more to attract new customers, rather than to induce their IRIX/Mips customers to switch over. Someone who is used to working with Origins isn't likely to want to switch over to a 750 if the price of a new Origin is within the budget. If it isn't, the customer could benefit from an SGI IA64/Linux simply because it's from a company they've done business with before and because it may be easier to integrate into an established SGI IRIX/Mips infrastructure.

    The reason SGI isn't porting IRIX to IA64 or any other chip is because IRIX is bound to Mips... it would probably require more effort to port IRIX than it would to integrate IRIX technologies into Linux (XFS, etc).

    Lastly, regarding the graphics side of things, it's only really the Onyx line that's still got a good lead in the industry, though there hasn't been a great deal of innovation in the graphics capabilities - they've just been throwing more GEs and texture ram at it.
    The Octane2/VPro12 isn't that much ahead of the top-of-the-line graphics in the x86 world, and the system is quite a bit more expensive. Thus it's of use only for those that NEED the best all the time, such as the military, especially since there are ruggedized versions of it.
    The O2 is a cool machine, but it's a few years old now. Even with cpu upgrades, the graphics are the same old CRM. Its only real use is MJPEG work and the occasional work with massive textures in real-time (thanks to UMA)... too bad other software never really took advantage of the graphics capabilities. Its current cost isn't justified.

    So that leaves only the absolute high-end IRIX/Mips products as unapproachable by Intel/Linux... so why not go Intel/Linux at the low-end? (if a 9,000$ box, poopy graphics and all, can be considered low-end).

    Considering the Power4 will be arriving anytime now, and the 21364 or 21464 may show up someday, Mips may not be able to compete what with the current available R&D at SGI... so why not plop IA64 into an Origin3000... after all, it's really just the I/O bandwidth that makes the Origin sexy (and the OS's capabilities, but these can be transfered to Linux). The SMP monster with obscene I/O thus becomes less unaffordable.

    okay, that's enough... ta
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I dunno about the SGI's pricing sceme but looking over at IBM I guess it will be somewhere about 16K to 20K.

    btw IBM's itanium anouncement also states that they have sold to NCSA at Urbana Champaign a new clustor of 160 "new itanium based systems."

    ibm's press release: http://www.ibm.com/news/2001/05/292.phtml
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Until recently, I worked as an admin at NASDAQ (reason for past tense same as reason for anonymity), and I can assure you that they are very Wintel-centric.

    http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=www.nasda q.com [netcraft.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm posting this anonymously since I've worked for ATI, and now work for SGI. (Although I'm not involved in the decision to ship this new workstation.) It's simple... the Rage128 was chosen by Intel to be the reference video subsystem for their IA64 systems. Remember that this happened two years ago... at the time the Rage128 was still one of top of the video boards available. Being chosen as the reference video board means that everybody who developped something for IA64 tested with and only with Rage128 (except perhaps nVidia, ATI and other video vendors). I think it made sense for SGI to ship something reliable and tested rather than compromise stability by shipping something faster but more risky. In any case, Wall street seems to agree with SGI, for once... look at the stock price.
  • While I agree with most of the stuff you write here, I've observed that you say relate the 750 to the "Desktop"..
    For me - desktop machine is something that you put to the secretary at the office, to the sales, HR, PR and non developer people, or home users...

    This machine is DEFINATELY not for them (ok, maybe to some slashdot readers who would really love to have a nice 4 way IA64 with 16GB RAM and 700GB RAID 10 array, and if you can - add dual 19" SGI's LCD screens, thank you).

    There is a total differnece between desktop - and workstation. While Linux doesn't have much desktop share (according to IDC it's now 1% - yeah, right, Sure Barur) - the Linux Workstation area - is growing. Go call Dell or read the story on ZDNN how they specifically says that the demand and selling of Linux workstation is growing - specially as a workstations for movie studios (I.L.M, LucasFilm, and all the others), and the EDA area (board designing etc) - and THAT my friend, counts.

    If those SGI sales people can sell their machines to those people mentioned above (and SGI, if you read this - PLEASE replace the crappy ATI with something better - Nvidia's Quarda could be nice) - then SGI's investors can start smiling..

    Only time will tell if those SGI sales people will "get" those sales. They have points that no other company have - they have the Linux experience and they don't just install-from-CD-good-luck-amigos type - they have developed a lot for the Linux on IA-64 - and it's time to cash those investments..

    Good Luck SGI.
  • by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @07:42AM (#190825) Homepage Journal
    ... as those "in the know" call it, "Itanic".

    --
    Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

  • Ok, maybe I didn't make that point as well as I could have. I'll try this way:

    • Sooner or later, home users will buy ia64-based machines.
    • The history of computing shows that people buy machines that have a software base.
    • Every day that Linux exists on the ia64, and Windows does not is a day in which the Linux software base can grow and be seen to have grown.
    • Corporate execs who want the flashiest, latest machine on their desks will NOT be able to choose Windows, and are most likely to go with the pre-installed OS - Linux.
    • The ratio of people running Windows to Linux in the executive market is about the same as that in the home market. People buy for image and to swap software.

    The conclusion I came to was that Linux beating Windows to the ia64 will doom Windows in the eyes of the jet-set, and this will, sooner or later, trickle down to the average home user.

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @07:39AM (#190827) Homepage Journal
    The number of "servers" is irrelevent. Whether it's a server, a workstation, or a purple dinosaur that sings is irrelevent.

    Ok, then what -is- relevent?

    What's relevent is that a big-name company is shipping Linux on an Itanium box, as a -STABLE- configuration, before Microsoft can get theirs out of beta.

    What's revelent is that this is a publicity coup for both SGI (a company that -was- supposed to be dead, by now), and Linux (some "toy OS" from a country where they all speak funny).

    What's relevent is that, when executives ask "But can we run Application XYZ, from our old 98 machine on it?", the answer is YES! (That question, and variants thereof, have made or destroyed more systems than every coder alive has had hot dinners.)

    THESE are the "details" that are relevent, because THESE are the details that could see Linux fade from view, or double its userbase, overnight. These are the details that could spell the final chapter of SGI, or mark the start of a turn-around that could yet terrify the supercomputer industry, once more.

    Yeah, sure, all of us on Slashdot (ignoring trolls) already know Linux can run WINE, is mostly (or totally) 64-bit compliant for the ia64, and we all know that the media LOVES stories of David vs Goliath. We alread know all that.

    But we're not the ones that matter, in all of this. We're already using Linux, *BSD, QNX, Exopc, BeOS, etc, or some combination of the above. The people who matter are Joe and Jane Doe, who financially advise a bunch of largish firms and who know nothing about technology apart from what the front page says.

    The people who matter are the executives, the managers, the key people who make key decisions. The moment they're Turned to the Linux Side of the Force, you're talking big numbers of desktops.

    The people who matter are the people who, when they stand up to speak, the media is there, listening. Get one of those to believe that this could bring financial propsperity, and/or a local industrial boom, and you could yet see a penguin added to the stars and stripes.

    SGI's decision is small, in and of itself. It won't make any major waves, alone. But all it takes is a tiny pebble, to create an avalance, given the right conditions. Some of those conditions exist, and the rest are not beyond the existing Linux community and some of the key Linux players (eg: SGI and IBM).

    Between now and Microsoft's true 64-bit offering, Microsoft are vulnerable to a market coup. Pull that coup off, and it won't be Microsoft with a 98% presence on the desktop. This is a potentially critical moment. Strategy and timing will be everything.

    But will it happen...?

    Tune in to next month's exciting episode of...

    Linux Trek III - In Search Of Sparc

  • Is it just me or does the new SGI and the new HP i2000 look eerily similar? The only difference in appearance is that the HP has a little colored patch near the lights. Is SGI building HPs machines? Hmmmmmmm
  • There are some SPEC benchmarks and commentary up on aceshardware.com [aceshardware.com].

    Interesting that Intel appears to have finally released a CPU with good (great, even) fp performance. Too bad it sucks for integer...


    OpenVerse Visual Chat: http://openverse.org [openverse.org]
  • just so the news here [linuxdevices.com]
    And this RedHat 7.1 with 2.4 kernel scales up to 8 itanium processor!
    --
  • Hell NASDAQ runs on DELL for most of it's operations,

    Ahem, NASDAQ *website* runs on NT but not their back-end.
    ___

  • I did check my facts. I can't currently find the article about the eventual phase-out of MIPS, but here's the ones dealing with putting Linux on an IA-64 Origin.

    http://iwsun4.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/01/0 3/ 16/010316hnorigin.xml?p=br&s=7

    http://oss.sgi.com/projects/linux-scalability/

    http://www.hoise.com/primeur/00/articles/weekly/ UH -PR-08-00-3.html

    Basically, they said they'd fill in the holes wherever Linux is lacking.
  • by johnnyb ( 4816 ) <jonathan@bartlettpublishing.com> on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @08:21AM (#190833) Homepage
    The fact is that SGI is the only ones really using the MIPS chips. So they decided to use standard parts, and do they intense customizations themselves like they've always done. The problem is that it was going to be insanely hard to port IRIX, so instead, they decided it would be easier to make Linux into IRIX than to port IRIX to a new chip. On top of that, you get the support of the free software community - and the people who will be buying SGI are those in-the-know.

    As for the Origin, they are still planning on doing the major engineering work to make it completely robust, only using the more popular Itanium chips.

    Also, IRIX is no longer needed. Why? Previously they needed an O.S. that was geared directly to their hardware. With Linux being free software, they can tailor it completely to their hardware without the problems of completely writing an operating system. They can use the standard Linux tools and configurations rather than having their own.

    I think it's a great move.

    SGI needs to get back to what it knows how to do - make kick-butt super-high-end hardware. When they went down to the midrange with their NT boxes, they found out they couldn't compete. It's still hurting them. If they can throw off all of the unnecessary junk - proprietary operating system, strange chipsets, etc., and just stick to making super-high-end graphics production boxes, they will do well.
  • But it comes with an "ATI Technologies® XPERT 2000 PROTM AGP adapter"! Arrgh.

    What's painful is that the "twin" system from HP does have [hp.com] a Quadro2. SGI is probably cutting US$600 off the price that way, but... wasn't SGI about graphics in the first place? Looks like the guy that said this is a development tool just to let people play on a SGI Itanium box before the next generation comes out is right, but what will I do with the high-end SGI system once it comes out? File serving? Pleeease!

  • This is not a cheap toy, you have to wonder what SGI has in mind for its target audience... I mean, they are bundling "NAG Libraries, Vampir, CAPTools [and] SCSL", all either math or parallel computing oriented. It's got one full gigabyte of RAM and the monitor is optional. That makes you think SGI wants to sell this thing as a node in parallel computing cluster. But then you note it's got a big fat SCSI drive with a big fat SCSI controller, neither of which have much to do in a Beo-node type of machine. So, it's a workstation. But then again, the monitor is optional and the graphic card (ATI XPERT 2000, read: Rage 128 Pro) is lame, to say the lest. If this is a workstation, why didn't they include the SGI VPro (read: GeForce)? Are they having trouble getting NVIDIA to support the IA64 architecture?

  • Why have they got 'Silicon Graphics' all over the press release and on the machine's case? I thought they decided a couple of years ago that 'SGI' was kewler.
  • Whee. There are people doing 1080i HDTV on embedded PPC 7410s, without hardware colorspace conversion.
  • If the chipset was designed at the same time as the Itanium, PC100 was probably expected to be the state-of-the-art at the time systems were available. Or it may be that Intel only intended Itanium systems to use RDRAM, and just threw in token SDRAM support. Either way, I expect that when McKinley comes out, you'll see support for faster speeds.
  • The real issue is vendor support. IBM is also moving from AIX to Linux. SGI will never convince Oracle to do an IRIX 6.5 port of their server, but SGI & IBM together can convince Oracle to do so. Same goes for other software pacakges. Sure, Maya and Alias will write their products for SGI's, but they want real commercial support.

    The other issue is that they are trying to get workstations, this is where they are really losing to Sun. A company will go to Sun and SGI and say "We want a server and a bunch of workstations" and Sun has these nice $1000 SunBlades and what does SGI have to offer? Octanes? Even if they do get the hardware, they will scare everyone off because nothing runs on IRIX.

    -Alison
  • The reason SGI isn't porting IRIX to IA64 or any other chip is because IRIX is bound to Mips... it would probably require more effort to port IRIX than it would to integrate IRIX technologies into Linux (XFS, etc).

    Ehm... The Origin 3000 series was originally designed for the IA64, but when that got delayed they had to fit it with R14K processors... You can verify, that the O3000 series have these tiny copper strips at the back for things that look like VGA-connectors...

    BUT: porting to an IA64 in a special SGI mainboard (if you can call it that anyway...) is something different from porting to an IA64 in a standard Intel mainboard...

    It just all depends ;)


    --

  • What a pity to lumber the machine with PC100 memory and not PC133 or PC150 .. Such a change can make quite a difference as most machines spend all their time shunting stuff back and forth from memory. Especially if this is meant to be a high-end workstation. My cheapo Dell desktop PC has faster memory than that.

    Plus I think PC133 is actually cheaper than PC100 these days. For 256MB DIMMS at least, $36 for PC100 and $32 for PC133. Not that it's much of a difference.. just a comment. Memory prices these days are amazing...

    I agree about the graphics card too .. I don't know what they're like but I was hoping for some beefed up SGI super-duper graphics card in there.

    --
    Delphis
  • It uses PC100 because its based on an old reference board design.

    Ah.. thanks for that info. I just posted a similar question to an earlier post as to why it was using PC100 memory when faster basic SDRAM is available (PC133 etc..)

    --
    Delphis
  • Wheee! .. break out yer raytracers!

    Maybe the itanium (in its current incarnation) will only be useful for raytracing farms etc.

    Everyone else of course can happily use their Athlons for a fraction of the price..

    --
    Delphis
  • Yea, I know they're compatible :) .. I was just wondering about the memory bus speed really.

    --
    Delphis
  • SGI see themselves primarily as a solutions/hardware company. IRIX, for all it's good points, is a cost to them in selling their hardware to high-end customers.

    By high-end, I mean mainly the government, defence, and video/film markets. There may be others, but those are the ones I've worked in.

    Linux, on the other hand, is mainly maintained for free - they get a "cool" OS (SGI's markets are very image-conscious) with minimal effort, and it works on commodity hardware to boot. (No pun intended :-)

    SGI's technical expertise lies mainly in h/w. Their graphics abilities have always been well ahead of the curve - Discreet Logic capitalised on the flexibility of the graphics array when Gary wrote 'flame'... It did all the matrix ops on the framebuffer itself, leading to realtime effects on almost every operation. Wowed everyone. With Linux, they get the flexibility to play with their hardware, and simply integrate the drivers for that hardware into the OS - no maintenance of all the surrounding tools, or management of requests for new technologies (PPP took ages to appear under IRIX) etc.

    Seems like a good move to me. What's even nicer is their apparent willingness to donate some of their s/w intellectual property to the common cause (XFS, CC-NUMA etc.) All round, I don't see we (or they) come off any worse than before, In fact I'd rate it win-win.

    Simon.

  • Got benchmarks? [intel.com] http://www.intel.com/eBusiness/products/ia64/overv iew/bm012101.htm
  • The Dell Precision 730 is the same box too. Spooooky.

    But the HP at least comes with an Nvidia Quadro 2 card. The Dell comes with a Matrox G450.
  • Back during the development trials of the Itanium, Intel distributed this machine as the "BigSur" and it was designed and manufactured by Intel. That doesn't mean that these companies aren't making their own systems with identical tooling, however. That's what Dell has been doing with it's quad and 8-way Xeons for some time. I just wonder if the system board in these beasts is still as rediculously huge as in the original BigSur. They're still using the same enormous case!
  • Yeah, I've got an Octane here that is bested in some tasks by a 1.4 Ghz P4, and the 733 Mhz G4 however if the code is optimized for the SGI's memory bus etc... the SGI is still one helluva fast box.

  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @07:20AM (#190850) Homepage Journal
    Other than its ability to run on cheap (price and often quality) hardware, I still don't understand SGI's movement to Linux. I guess that I am showing my ignorance here, but it seems to me that Apple and SGI are in similar situations right now in some respects. Both companies historically have relied on income from the hardware side of things while making a closed OS/hardware system that for each of their respective markets is very effective. The difference between Apple and SGI however is that SGI already has a UNIX OS with a GUI (however difficult it is to manage compared to OSX), and Apple is developing UNIX with a GUI (easier to manage, more powerful in some respects etc etc etc...). Both companies need major transitions to survive, but why Linux/Intel?

    IRIX is already mature, stable, fast, with great graphics capabilities and IO capabilities, so I ask again, why move to Linux and Intel? I'm not expecting anyone to defend SGI here, I just don't understand. Both SGI and Apple obviously want to benefit from the open source paradigm while still remaining in business with proprietary OS's. (I am guessing here for SGI as I assume that they will make their OS on a proprietary linux model like the Red Hat setup they have used before). The approach Apple is taking certainly makes sense to me by developing a UNIX OS that includes the opensource Darwin, but I am totally clueless as to what SGI is doing here. What makes Linux more attractive than simply continuing to develop IRIX and putting more effort into improving, simplifying some features, and pushing development for IRIX? (among other changes to their business model) Again it seems to me that SGI is making another crucial mistake here as the developers that have tapered off work for IRIX have not for the most part started developing for Linux (although I know of quite a few examples), primarily they have lost ground to Wintel. (thus SGI's misguided attempt at Wintel/SGI boxes I guess)

    In short it appears that they are trying to make Linux/Intel into what they already have in IRIX/MIPS, only with cheaper hardware which seems awfully dangerous to me for both end users and the company.
  • actually, SGI has an in house port of IRIX for intel called IRIX-LE for IRIX little endian. it boots in multiuser mode and everything.

    so, SGI could put IRIX on the Itanium, it just does not make much sense since there would not be the application capture that SGI hopes to get from Linux.

    -tduffy
  • Details here [mandrakeforum.com].
    --
  • In the first 8 posts there were 2 sigs references to Fight Club.

    I'm impressed.

    --
  • I don't know either, but basically, IMHO, SGI is getting out of the workstation business. They've been consistenly hammered in this market, they're losing, and they know it. I've seen signs of them shrinking their operations almost weekly, contracting out technology and getting rid of local offices. By workstation, btw, I mean a graphics workstation, not a server. Let's see what happens, but I predict they will end up specializing in high end medical/military simulation hardware only. They've always had a foothold there, but I think the workstation market will go away for them. We don't touch'em anymore - seriously overpriced and they have a habit of dropping support for hardware one year after release...
  • Although that does beg the question - why the hell would you use CDE when you can use 4Dwm + the SGI tools instead? CDE sucks.

  • I think it's clear that MIPS/IRIX is a thing of the past

    Yeah, on the workstation end of things maybe, becuase the combination of (Linux || NT) + (cheap 3D hardware) == death to MIPS/IRIX worstations, except for several specialized applications.

    However, for servers (O2K, O3K, etc.) IRIX will still be around for a while. They are just getting XFS for Linux to a stable situation now. How long do you think it will be before they have a version of Linux that runs (and is stable) that can do their ccNUMA multiprocessing and all the other IRIX 6.5 goodness that is required for those servers to do what they do? It won't be in the next couple of years, unless someone else besides SGI steps up with the funding to get it done.

  • Security - laughable

    I'll give you that they have had more security problems then most vendors, and the default install is very insecure. However, 6.5 has been around for a while, so this has improved.

    Ease of use - again laughable

    Ummm, what is "going on underneath" is the same as any other UNIX. And if you wanted to admin it using the GUI tools, all you need is another box running X (athough that is not very secure). 4Dwm and the SGI tools are a *lot* better then most other commercial UNIX desktops in my opinion.

    Ease of installation is hideous too

    Again, I don't know where you are getting this from. Fresh installs are very easy, and can be done remotely or via CD. You have to be careful when upgrading the OS to make sure that you can resolve dependancies for installed apps, but what O/S doesn't have that problem?

    Compatibility - ugly

    I have used external SCSI cdrom, tape and disk drives from several manufacturers. Same with internal disk drives. No problems.

    Maintainability - improving slowly

    IRIX 6.3 and 6.4 were temproary architecture-dependant releases (for the O2 and Origin2000 respectively) before 6.5 was released. Any box you have in production should have been on 6.5 for a couple of years by now.

    Support - patchy

    I can't comment on the FORTRAN compiler, and I can say that I use gcc/g++ instead of the IRIX cc/CC compliers. In general, SGI supplys reccomended patch sets, like Sun, so you can patch your system to the correct level.

    I have used and admined SGIs for years. IRIX might be more obscure then Solaris, but I wouldn't say it is much better or worse in any of your categories.

    The only beef I might have is a couple of hardware failures on an early model O2K, but SGI was very quick to get those fixed (athough we were paying through the teeth for support).

  • the memory system is two-way interleaved so it shouldn't be that bad a bottleneck.

    --
  • The fact is that SGI is the only ones really using the MIPS chips.

    Uhh... MIPS is one of the more popular embedded systems chips on the market. They are fast and run cool. What do you think is in your Nintendo 64, Playstation2, etc? An intel processor? Motorolla? Nope

    As for the Origin, they are still planning on doing the major engineering work to make it completely robust, only using the more popular Itaium chips.

    Hmm... news to me. As far as I know they are going to continue using Mips and make the ia64 interchangable or different node bricks on the 3000 series machines that will support exclusively IA64. To get the real advantage of buying a Origin 3000 system , you would want to definately run it on the MIPS C bricks w/Irix. Also, IRIX is no longer needed. Why? Previously they needed an O.S. that was geared directly to their hardware. Have you ever used Irix? The day I see a version of linux that runs well on 128 CPU's is the day that the above statement becomes valid.


    Look man, I know you mean well .. but check your facts because 99% of what you said was wrong (other than SGI is 'using' ia64 in upcomming systems.



    --------------------
    Would you like a Python based alternative to PHP/ASP/JSP?
  • ..,..?..,,.,..?.,,

    Just balancing out parent post.
  • I -HAVE- to correct this misguided fool about NASDAQ and what hardware they use:
    They -might- use Dell's on their desks. They use Compaq/Tandem, UNISys and Sun's in the backrooms.
    How do I know this? Try being in one of their data centers. There wasn't a Dell to seen. It's -literally- all high-end, backroom HW that costs millions per machine.
  • IIRC, they're planning to continue the MIPS line through the 14000 and 16000, as insurance in case Itanium is a flop, but that'll be it, in any case.
  • Hmmm.. Thats interresting (CINT=404, CFP=711). What I want to know is why they are not on the official SPEC CPU page [spec.org]. Comparing them with the PIII, P4 gives

    CINT Dell PIII 1.0ghz-418base (not bad)

    CINT Dell P4 1.7ghz-575base (oh, not looking so good)

    CFP Dell PIII 1.0ghz-292base (really nice)

    CFP Dell p4 1.7ghz-593base (nice)

    Which is pretty decent. The integer performace is about what a decent RISC processor (not Sparc crap, the bottom of the performace heap) should get at the same clock rate, while the FP performance is quite stellar! Not bad, the stream looks pretty good too, I would expect more from a brand spanking new arch, but its not bad...

  • Where are the SPEC numbers? I still haven't seen any official numbers! IBM/Intel/etc don't have the Apple excuse that the benchmark doesn't support non UNIX like OS's! So, why haven't any number been published? Is the Fortran compiler that much of a piece of crap, or does the chip just do very poorly? Along these lines where are the OS-X based spec numbers or is this another case of Apple not wanting to publish bad numbers for a benchmark designed to create an even playing field for diffrent arch,OS combinations?
  • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )
    I saw the news about Intel's 64 bit processor on CNN at 5am today, and it just now got put on slashdot. How ungeeky. Granted, CNN said that a 64 bit processor 'allows computers to process 64-bit lines of code twice as fast as a 32 bit processor', so I'm not terribly concerned about CNN taking over slashdot's territory.

    still.... the chick could have said something like, 'a 64 bit processor allows for more efficient program opperation' or something. *shrug*

    -------
    CAIMLAS

  • That's what Dell has been doing with it's quad and 8-way Xeons for some time.

    8-way, yes.
    Quad, no.
  • How many processors in that E10K?
    And what task it it that you are doing?
    Sun machines don't have great processors, but are decently fast for interger work, and have great I/O throuput. They are also easily scalable, and feature redundancy, redundancy, and redundancy.
  • Their current CEO switches between both names. Their previous CEO is the one who started using `SGI' and never used `Silicon Graphics' to describe the company ever.

    While we're on the topic of changes at SGI, I'm reminded of the old cube logo (which Slashdot still use) which (along with Suns logo) has to be one of the nicest corporate logos ever (though I'm not sure if Silicon Graphics actually invented it.

    Regardless...erm... I'd like a nice high res SGI cube to use as my wallpaper on my XFS/DevFS RH 7.1 machines. Anyone know where I can get one? :)
  • Is the L3 Cache onboard the die or off? What are L1 and L2 Cache sizes and what is the cache topogrpahy?
  • very funny. So the cache is on the die, but what about the topography (architecture) of the cache. is L1 copied in L2, etc...
  • Yes and Modular Form (I'm guessing I'm not a mathematician)
  • Ahh..my baby :) Should've gotten a better shot of the MacOS X kde theme though
  • the question is "Is intel Building everyones machine?"


    Jon
  • Easy.

    SGI knows their days are limited.

    They would rather dump their technology into the Linux and the GPL than allow Sun Microsystems to buy them and have access to it.

    Once their technologies are in Linux, and under the GPL the world can use them, and Sun can't touch them.
  • Definitely not. The best corporate logo ever is the old |d|i|g|i|t|a|l| logo. The best was the very latest: white letters over deep burgundy blocks, with that gorgeous font. Unfortunately, it went on to be replaced by perhaps the ugliest - that supid red Compaq logo. Intel's royal blue logo gets my vote as second best. Sun and SGI's logo's are pretty bland IMHO.
  • Are there benchmarks of the Itanium's performance running Linux? So far the only benchmarks I have seen involve running 32-bit programs under emulation, which does not mean much.

    -michel-

  • SARCASM
    Ok, let's buy a few of them to play Quake on! After all, if it uses Linux, how expensive can it be?
    /SARCASM
  • by Srin Tuar ( 147269 ) <zeroday26@yahoo.com> on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @07:36AM (#190878)

    Is that economies of scale trump superior hardware all day. SGI sees the inexorable creep of NT boxes slowly coring their market and they had to make a decision: Either go head to head with microsoft or take a risk in another type of market.

    The commodity software market is totally separate from the standard one. You cant really make money by selling copies, so you have to find another way. Value-added services and brand recognition are the biggest assets in this market, which is not nearly as lucrative as selling shrink-wrap.

    It is a huge risk for SGI, trying to take a growing share of a smaller market, versus a shrinking share of a larger one. It is a calculated risk though. They are not going whole-hog however: they will still ship proprietary code.

  • Fear the .sig file on the parent post
    ---
  • I don't get it either. In 1995 SGI was on top of the world with their workstations and servers. Unmatched hardware, great CPUs, ungodly graphics. The "O series" (O2/Octane/Origin/Onyx) were a bit late, but still impressive. But things haven't changed much at all since then (1996/1997). SGI has really slipped and rather than making a huge hardware comeback they seem to be reinventing themselves as a watered down Dell or VA Linux... and they're not doing a good job at it.

    I don't get it either.

    SGI's few remaining developers are scared too. Cheaper hardware means they can't sell their (expensive to develop) software at a high price anymore. Using comodity hardware and opensource software means your customers can all too easily move away overnight. Great for the users, dangerous for SGI and its developers.
  • The 750 has "entry" ATI graphics. Don't expect 98422 frames per second in quake.

    It uses PC100 because its based on an old reference board design. This is essentially the same system that SGI and HP have been demoing for the past 8 months. The really hot IA64 stuff (Infiniband, multiple channels of DDRSDRAM/RDRAM) will be out by next year.
  • SGI has offered CDE for years. It doesn't come with the standard 6.2/6.3/6.5 CD set but it is available at no additional charge. Ask your sales rep for "SC4-CDE-5.0".
  • http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=01/05/29/16321 4&cid=114
  • SGI finally managed to ship an Itanium-based workstation (at least to developers). Let's see what has happined to MIPS/IRIX since the first bits of Itanium info from Intel:

    O2 - aside from CPU upgrades, has remained unchanged since the fall of 1996

    Octane/Octane2 - aside from a very minor backplane and ram thruput tweak and a new series of (late and underpowered) gfx, has remained unchanged since the spring of 1997

    Origin 200 - aside from CPU upgrades, has remained unchanged since the spring of 1997

    All of the above machines, while featuring expansion, only have U/W 40MB/sec onboard SCSI... getting a bit old for modern 10K and 15K RPM drives.

    Origin/Onyx 3000 has been really the only MIPS/IRIX innovation since early 1997, but note that Origin 3000 will eventually be able to take Itanium CPUs (by replacing the CPU bricks) as the system was designed to be CPU agnostic.

    Regardless of what SGI has been saying on their roadmaps, I think it's clear that MIPS/IRIX is a thing of the past. (S)uddenly (G)one (I)ntel. Hello Linux and Intel.

    What's up with the new "sgi" logo??

  • SGI keeps taking about a MIPS/IRIX rebirth, but I still haven't seen a single sign of that happening. And heck, they're not even marketing what they currently have. The current MIPS/IRIX lineup is getting old, but still somewhat capable. The Octane2 with the DM2 "Snowball" can handle realtime uncompressed 1080i HDTV (250+ MB/sec) without blinking. Yet they don't even talk about it.

    I'm under the impression that SGI wants to be yet another OEM box builder.
  • Y'know... at first I didn't like the new "sgi" logo and wanted the cube back. But I'm starting to really like the new logo.

    http://www.sgi.com/o2/images/hp_o2.jpg [sgi.com]
    http://www.arsc.edu/resources/hardware/images/Octa ne.jpg [arsc.edu]
    VS.
    http://www.reputable.com/sgipix/0.jpeg [reputable.com]

    Regardless of what other people think:

    http://www.beyondboxes.net/sticker.jpg [beyondboxes.net]
    http://www.arke.de/TC/sgi-homer.gif [www.arke.de]
  • "imagine a beowulf of these"

    Well, SGI did.

    http://ssadler.phy.bnl.gov/adler/sc2k/pictures/rac kofcpu2.jpg [bnl.gov]
  • Another shot of the Itanium cluster and a neat photo of the Origin 3000:

    http://ssadler.phy.bnl.gov/adler/sc2k/pictures/rac kofcpu3.jpg [bnl.gov]

    http://ssadler.phy.bnl.gov/adler/sc2k/pictures/rac kofcpu4.jpg [bnl.gov]

  • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @07:07AM (#190889) Homepage
    That's not a server, it's a workstation (though it ships with low-end ATI graphics). The 750 has been available to "qualified developers" since early March so I doubt it will take long for the machine to ship in volume. I have no idea how it performs, the two demos of the machine I've seen (SC2000 and earlier this year at an IA64 conference) were little more than "look, KDE!... look, GNOME!". Interesting none the less.
  • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @07:25AM (#190890) Homepage
    They are the same box, built by HP. In fact, they've both been around since late 2000. If you look at photos of early Itanium clusters or even looked at the various Itanium demos at SC2000 you would notice that they all have the same case are were badged either HP or SGI. The only machines SGI builds itself are the O2/Octane/Origin/Onyx MIPS/IRIX machines. Mostly built in Chippewa Falls, WI (home of Cray) with some assembly done overseas. The MIPS R12K/R14K CPUs are fabbed by NEC and the PCBs are made by Celestica. That's just MIPS/IRIX. All of SGI's Intel-based machines (both IA-32 Pentium and IA-64 Itanium) are OEM'ed. VA Linux builds some of SGI's rackmount servers, and I'm not sure who builds their PC workstations. HP builds the 750 Itanium workstation.

    If you haven't noticed, SGI's goal is to become the next VA Linux, Penguin Computing, or Dell. And they're not even doing a good job with that!

    *sigh*
  • No kidding. And before MIPS R10K there was the beast that was the R8K *chipset*. To date I still don't think there is any CPU that was faster in fp per clock cycle than the R8K. SGI's been doing 64bit since the early 1990s.

    64-bit alone is nothing new, but I guess SGI needs all the buzz they can get. They've all but left their own MIPS/IRIX market and have entered the competitive and very non-SGI-like OEM world.

    It's sort of like a corporate version of Frogger.
  • The 750 will ship with Linux (probably SGI's tweaked version of Red Hat; that's what they've used before), and they say it'll be available in July.
    There is something called SGI Linux, which is, as you say, a tweaked version of Red Hat. However, when I worked for SGI's support organization, back in 99, they were gearing up to deal with lots of different distros.

    I think Linux technology companies are finding that can't just say, "we support distro x, and maybe y and z." That policy locks you out of whole markets -- even whole countries. And it seems to me that the issue of distro fragmentation is turning out to be that big of an issue. Support issues boil down, not to what distro you're running, but what libraries and applications you have installed. Which is exactly the same as for NT/2000.

    __

  • Well, if everything's either a server or a workstation, this is definitely a workstation. But notice the mention of clustering in the press release.

    Note that a lot of SGI graphics systems, such as the Onyx [sgi.com], actually resemble servers as much as they do workstations. SGI has created a third category in which to market these system: Visualization Systems [sgi.com]. This is how SGI copes with their loss of the workstation market to cheap generic boxes. And it makes sense, since SGI still has an edge with it comes to massively parallel technology.

    __

  • Slashdot: Product announcements for Nerds. Stuff that we can market to you.

    --

  • You can use PC133 memory in a PC100 MB - same with PC133 or PC100 in a PC66 MB, AFAIK. It has to be at least fast enough. I assume the same with PC150.

    Since PC133 is cheaper, no reason you couldn't just buy that.

  • While there are fair number of SGI folks that will likely show up and start posting, I think where they are headed is fairly clear.

    SGI, in white papers and trade shows, is pushing the statistic that "the average SGI customer is doubling storage capacity every 18 months" according to Kent Koeninger in "CXFS: A Clustered SAN Filesystem for SGI". Think about the consequences of that for a moment.

    The future does not lend itself to XFS on the server but rather CXFS [216.32.174.40]. Sure they are betting the bank on their multi-OS approach but they do have the customer data to back it up. It seems like a good bet, all things considered. XFS is a bridge to IRIX and CXFS, nothing more.

    BTW, the opening CXFS paper is here [216.32.174.40].


    Learn about the infamous Monkey-Men [broody.org]
  • how SGI is planning to stop all the red ink? Don't get me wrong, I love SGI's stuff. In fact I'm typing this from an Octane. But I just can't figure out what this company's strategy is.

    Used to be that the unix workstation market was far enough ahead and different enough that they could command large prices and have very slow product update cycles. They established a focus on graphics and everything related to it. But commodity hardware has since caught up to all but their fastest machines and their value added proposition is pretty weak. Now I can't think of a single reason to purchase a new SGI machine unless it is for a very particular piece of software or if you are already an all SGI shop.

    I'm not asking this to bash SGI, I truly wish them well, but does anyone know where the heck this company is headed?

  • I've had a complete opposite reaction with Irix.

    To be completely honest your remark on stability... well all I can say is stability normally comes from the admin. I'm not going to get into a pissing match about uptime, but neadless to say mine have been up in heavy use for a long time. I've got hundreds of SGI systems up with no problems at all.

    Having cut my teeth on a good old CRDS (Charles River Data Systems, PDP11 clone). I found moving to Irix no problem at all, easier than going from SunOS to Solaris. Yes you had to have some intelligence in admining your box, you couldn't just "point and drool"; but then again I don't know any admin that uses the gui admin apps on Irix, Sun, etc. We've stopped installing the vmsa (formerly vxvm) veritas volume manager because we do everything through a command line.

    Security... well you do have a point there, but again it's what you install. Look at a default Sun install, there's another security nightmare waiting to happen. SGI's 6.5 release years ago really cleaned up this mess, for the past 3 years they've beaten Solaris on number of security vulnerabilities (Bugtraq Vulnerability stats from securityfocus.org), and have yet to have one this year. With 6.5 they added all the nice security features, ACL's, priviliges, etc. they got their sh*t together unlike almost every other OS out there. They even have a "Improve System Security" option which does all of the normal admin hardening work for you (even get's down to who can run javascript in Netscape on the system)

    I don't know where you are coming from on the installation thing, for years Irix has had NFS, before that they had to pay royalties to Sun (which is why you had to pay for it). The dependencies thing can be kinda weird, but I'd say it's easier than anything else out there, it tells you exactly what package you need, unlike running "rpm -i" and it just spits out the file you need, no package information.

    Compatibility??? I've got an old Indigo II that I've got almost everything 3rd party: ram, all hard drives, cdrom, dat drive. The only that was gotten specific for this system was the ram, hard drive came out of an Sun system, CDROM was from a PC and the dat from a Sequent (it's a jukebox changer even). It all worked as soon as I plugged it in (except for the changer, it was unable to read some specific information about the drive so I had to tell it what it was). The only time I've had a problem was when someone handed me a differential drive in a single ended case and I plugged it in, it obviously couldn't see the drive. CDE why don't you just ask for it??? It's available, but nowadays almost everybody here uses GNOME or 4DWM which are on the CD that come with the system (along with NFS that you can't seem to find).

    Maintainability, 6.3 was meant to specifically support the O2, 6.4 came out with their Origin line to support the Origin hardware. 6.5 brought the hardware support back inline amongst all system. I'm not saying it wasn't painful but, again that was multiple years ago to support their new hardware. The splits were just to support certain NEW hardware that hadn't been around before.

    Support, I've heard both good and bad things from different people. We have excellent support, better than any other vendor (including EMC and that's their entire claim to fame). I will say this though, EVERY company I've talked to that has had both SGI & Sun have said that Sun support has seriously sucked in comparison. I'm in a much larger organization, that purchases millions of dollars of SGI equipment you tend to get a different bread of support (along with any organization)... But when I was a lone admin with 2 SGI boxes, sitting a 5 hour drive from the nearest SGI tech, I still got good service. I didn't have a SGI's ear for enhancements, etc. but I had good support.

    From what I can tell most of your pain has come from years ago, 6.5 was released 3 years ago. If you want to start comparing things that long ago, I could drag up some painful moments from using SunOS/Solaris or Ygdrassil & Slackware Linux and do some comparisons too.
  • Cool, I was a bit harch earlier and should have probably, should have replied immediately have *that* meeting I had.

    One of the better places to go if you don't have the freeware CD's is the freeware.sgi.com website. It includes gnome (albeit it can be a big old pain finding all of the damn dependencies one by one, dependencies requiring dependencies). Lots of good stuff out there (it's same that's on the freeware CD) it's for anything 6.2 onward.

    As a FYI, on the installation part, the best way I've found on dealing with it is to copy all of your 6.5 base CD's up to a nfs partition, and you can multiple CD's into the same directory. You don't have to worry about switching CD's because you can't find a component, we then have a directory for each of the overlays (6.5.1, 6.5.2). I think I know where you're coming from on your conflict pain, this is where having the nfs distribution works well, open inst with your / then do an open with / , do a "keep *" then install which ever piece of software you need, works good for me.

    I probably should have clarified what I was saying about the security thing a bit, I was making more of a point as to how things were and how things are now. On 6.5 they've introduced "privileges" which is an admin gui that allows one to give rights to specific users to do things (add printers, mount filesystems, etc.), almost a "sudo" type of a thing, works well for users who might need to bring up a nfs mount now and then, but that it. But what 6.5 really gets you is ACL's which came from their Trusted Irix software, which if you want to get nitty gritty will do some nice stuff. I think ipfilterd existed with 6.2 (I could be wrong) which is effectively a very fast in kernel network acl filter, it's not stateful, but has some very neat features.

    I understand about the availability of binaries, we've ran into it more than a couple of times on Irix (actually had people use our system to build binaries for them). SGI is using Linux as their way out on this one, people won't develop for Irix, well people are developing for Linux...
  • They learned not to support POS RAM that happened to hurt their P4 sales... Though I agree, for something like this, PC133/PC150 would be better though with those clock speeds, it proabably is on a 100 MHz bus (correct me if I'm wrong; I haven't seen the latest specs on the Itanic)

    Besides, I wouldn't pick one up today when something like a PowerPC or an Alpha is available; not like I use something stupid like M$ products ;-)

  • ...and it uses PC100 SDRAM! Maxing out the RAM shouldn't be too expensive.

    But it comes with an "ATI Technologies® XPERT 2000 PROTM AGP adapter" [sgi.com]! Arrgh.

    Any idea on the pricing for the system?
  • kids love the great taste of 64bit processing.

  • Sticking to Linux has a much better value add that selling commodity win2k servers (which killed DEC and may yet kill HP). Becoming experts in scalable Linux solutions is not a bad market. But one that has yet to mature. Anthony
  • If Dell and others can survive selling relatively low-end machines based on Intel/MS/Linux etc. Why shouldnt SGI be able to do it for the high-end ?

    There are actually customers around who love to talk to some technician if something goes wrong - rather than fiddling around with some high-end home-brew server by oneself.
  • In a word, it's called 'slaughtered'. In the market place in general, Intel and Sun own the street. Hell NASDAQ runs on DELL for most of it's operations, and DOW uses many platforms, but X86 is a good percentage there as well. SGI will get quite hurt in the marketplace in general if they don't change with the times, as will Sun. If you look Sun and SGI are very similar in the way they build hardware with their own OS, and ship it to the customer, configure it for them, etc. etc. HP used to do this as well, and they felt the burn early, and still are even today, but they strive to change with the times. Now that Intel has a 64bit Architecture that can do anything from build a 2.4.x mono kernel in less than 5 mins on a single proc to be kick-ass with SSL needing almost no acceleration at all. You can replace a lot of lowerend Sun/HP/IBM hardware with cheaper procs, less of them, and do the same or more work. I've run benchmarks against E10Ks vs Athlons vs Xeons, and there's only 1 box which is crap. Can you guess? E10Ks are good for some things, but I have a Dual Xeon box beating the crap out of it right now, doing the same thing the E10K is doing. Just watch what Intel/AMD can do.
  • I believe the SGI 230, 330, and 550 are Acer-built.
  • No disrespect intended, but do you really know what you're talking about? Several of your comments sound like they came right out of 1994.

    Ease of installation is hideous too. There's umpteen dependencies to (manually) resolve for doing the most trivial of things.

    I'm not sure what you're comparing to. RPM? Please. Granted, IRIX is a very big OS-- six CDs for the runtime only; add more for the development stuff. Dependencies across discs are inevitable. But I don't think "Package eoe.sw.foo cannot be installed because of missing prerequisites: eoe.sw.bar (1270000000-1290000000). Please insert the IRIX 6.5 Foundation 1 CD." qualifies as hideous, exactly.

    Nothing seems to come by default (including NFS)

    NFS used to be optional-- the story goes that it had to do with SGI's licensing agreement with Sun-- but has been a bundled part of the OS since the first 6.5 release two years ago.

    which compiler do I want - is it the "Ansi C compiler", the "C compiler (ANSI)" or the "C compiler".

    Once again, your complaint may have been valid many years ago, but for as long as I've been using SGIs-- since about '96-- you have exactly two choices of C compiler: the MIPSpro C compiler from SGI, and GCC, also available compiled for IRIX from SGI. What's the problem?

    I'm sure everybody who's read my comments knows I'm an SGI apologist. I won't try to tell you they're perfect, but with so much actual stuff to complain about, you've got even less excuse for complaining about problems that haven't existed for years!

  • O2 - aside from CPU upgrades, has remained unchanged since the fall of 1996

    There's been a lot of talk about this. The short version is that the people who buy O2s-- like the Weather Channel, for instance-- don't want 'em changed. They're fine the way they are. Otherwise the product would have been gone a long time ago.

    All of the above machines, while featuring expansion, only have U/W 40MB/sec onboard SCSI... getting a bit old for modern 10K and 15K RPM drives.

    Who cares? If you want performance storage on one of these machines, use Fibre Channel externally. It's far more cost-effective when you compare dollars to gigabytes-per-second. That's what everybody does.

  • You had me at hello... but you lost me at your goodbye:

    Between now and Microsoft's true 64-bit offering, Microsoft are vulnerable to a market coup. Pull that coup off, and it won't be Microsoft with a 98% presence on the desktop. This is a potentially critical moment. Strategy and timing will be everything.

    What makes you think the Average User is going to be attracted to an expensive piece of hardware running Linux?

    In other words, how on earth could THIS spell the end of Microsoft's 98% presence on the desktop?

    Oh I get it... they might have only 97% thanks to this... there ya go.
  • "Ooh, a new server from SGI that runs Linux faster than ever on an Itanium!

    "Oh yeah, HP has some Itanium servers, too. Win2K, yadda yadda, Bill Gates sucks."

  • doubt theyre two markets. its just one market with two bandwagons. and sgi just jumps from one (wintel) to the other (lintel)

    and all the while, its sgi thats the problem. i think they and the market would be better served if they believed in their own bandwagon and refined their operations to deliver. kinda like apple is doing
  • SGI has had R10000 processors for years running Irix. Is this Itanium only cool because it's Intel-Linux? I see no other great improvements... -m
  • Perhaps "making a huge hardware comeback" just doesn't fit with the realities of today's market. Take, for example, the darling of all semiconductors, the Alpha. For a good five years, the Alpha has been the reigning champion piece of silicon in existence. And yet, in some ways, it is "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

    Don't get me wrong; I think the Alpha is a truly wonderful piece of silicon, and think it's sad that the market hasn't done more with it. The day that the Apple-DEC deal fell through on the Alpha (yes, boys and girls, we had a chance to have Alpha-powered Macs, but got PPC instead) was a sad day indeed.

    I just think that the market dynamics are asserting a reality that companies are having a very hard time escaping, and this is reshaping the market into what we're seeing now.

    C//
  • So now it's actually for sale I'm assuming that the Intel NDAs people had to sign still hold for people who signed them, but new customers don't have to sign such things.

    So,... anyone got any benchmarks?

  • by rincefysh ( 309635 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2001 @07:54AM (#190922)
    It seems to me (and having read the other comments, to many others too) that SGI are really struggling. I take this announcement simply as another attempt to keep in the market.

    Contrary to popular belief they haven't ditched Irix. They plan to keep going with it, but to use Linux to increase their market share. I doubt it'll work. Linux users are likely to buy a cheaper PC anyway. They need to concentrate on making Irix actually work. I've administered Irix systems and I know just how miserable it is! I strongly disagree with the "stable" statement that someone else brought up. Stable relative to Windoze maybe, but not when compared to other unix based OSes.

    Security - laughable. SGI's notion of security is to make all sysadmin tools graphical, make then setuid root, and then ask for a password. No concept of keeping high-secure details to a nice small compact "su" program. Result - virtually EVERY sgi admin tool has been hacked, often by many means. SGI also used to ship systems with "+ +" in hosts.equiv.

    Ease of use - again laughable. It's getting better slowly, but for a long time you couldn't admin an SGI (except by knowing what goes on underneath) remotely unless you were also sat at another SGI machine. Their desktop is hideous too.

    Ease of installation is hideous too. There's umpteen dependencies to (manually) resolve for doing the most trivial of things. Nothing seems to come by default (including NFS), and example which compiler do I want - is it the "Ansi C compiler", the "C compiler (ANSI)" or the "C compiler". (Ok so that's paraphrased, but you get the picture.)

    Compatibility - ugly. We tried connecting several SCSI CDrom drives to our sgi and all failed. We couldn't load the installation CDs remotely from another system as they use an SGI specific format (non ISO-9660). They also refused to provide CDE as an optional desktop. OK so CDE is hideous, but it's almost as if they _want_ to be out on a limb!

    Maintainability - improving slowly. In the past we've had hideous problems with supporting software on multiple OS releases. They're not even concecutive with Irix 6.3 and 6.4 both being splits from 6.2, and only merged back in again at 6.5.

    Support - patchy. Sometimes it's good, but other times it is downright hideous. We found a large bug in their Fortran compiler. We provided them with a 10 line source example, but they refused to fix the compiler (or even acknowledge the bug). One year later (give or take) I mention this to a large pharma, who use many many SGIs and wanted our software to run (which it didn't acknowledge the bug). One year later (give or take) I mention this to a large pharma, who use many many SGIs and wanted our software to run (which it didn't - due to the bug). The very next day SGI release a patch. Right - so I don't count because there's only one of me, despite paying for support?

    Ahh, I feel better for that whinge!

    Anyway, as far as I'm concerned the sooner SGI curl up and die the better. It'll certainly make my life easier!

  • Benchmarks [intel.com]

    Above is a link to the benchmarks posted on Intels web page.

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