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Silicon graphics Fuel

Overview and Architecture

Last Change: 07/Jul/2016

By Ian Mapleson

Fuel Image Introduction

After releasing the Origin3000 series in July 2000, it was expected that at some point SGI would produce a workstation based on the O3K architecture. Sure enough, in January 2002 the Fuel workstation was announced, offering 500MHz and 600MHz CPU options at launch.

Fuel is a effectively a single-CPU Origin3000 with VPro graphics - the same graphics technology used in Octane2, though Fuel's faster architecture can get more out of the graphics subsystem just as the later multi-CPU O3K-based Tezro workstation can. For background information on how Fuel works, see my Origin3000 guide.

When Fuel launched, some assumed it was to be regarded as a new low-end desktop to replace O2, but that was not what SGI had in mind at all (SGI never released a new low-end desktop after O2). Instead, I was told, many customers wanted a performance desktop solution that did not require them to pay for the expense of having multi-CPU support which they didn't need. Fuel plugged this gap and was thus 35% cheaper than Octane at launch.

Alas, SGI did make some mistakes, some of which can be debated but others are certain. Fuel's maximum RAM is 4GB, which is not really high enough for some tasks. Customers who would have been happy with a single-CPU system nevertheless often needed a lot of RAM, eg. processing with ANSYS, or as an entry Flame/Smoke system. Fuel should have supported 8GB or preferably 16GB. Likewise, the lack of built-in Gbit ethernet and audio was an odd decision.

However, Fuel did sell quite well; today it is one of the most popular hobbyist choices due to it's more expansive support of DVD, USB and Firewire devices compared to O2 or Octane, the fact that it's a much faster system in many ways (all the speed advantages over Octane described here also apply to Tezro of course) and its lower cost compared to an Octane with the nearest equivalent CPU/gfx options. Fuel has 4X faster SCSI than Octane (U160 instead of UW, with U320 optional via LSI PCI cards), 2X faster 66MHz PCI (4 slots on 2 buses built-in as standard!), 2X faster RAM, 2X faster system/RAM bandwidth, better RAM latency (ie. faster access time) and produces less noise.


Here are the available CPU options for Fuel:

Most 2nd-hand Fuels have an R14K/500 or R14K/600. 700MHz and 800MHz units are not excessively hard to find (dealers will have them) but are a lot more expensive due to much higher demand from commercial buyers. The best possible CPU is R16K/900MHz with 8MB L2, but this is extremely rare (I managed to get one by swapping two complete 700/V12 systems for a 900/V10 and an Onyx2).

A slight claim to fame btw - it was my moaning to the admin of sgi.com and his help in nagging SGI PR that in May 2006 led to the SGI marketing department finally allowing the web site to mention both the 1GHz CPU for Tezro and the 900MHz CPU for Fuel, though some of the PDFs have still not been updated. For reasons unknown, SGI never publicised these CPU options. My thanks to David Kascht at SGI for his assistance.


Fuel has four DIMM slots (2 banks of 2 slots each), minimum 512MB, maximum 4GB, using the same DIMMs found in Tezro and Origin300/3000. Most Fuels on the 2nd-hand market have 1GB RAM using one bank. There is a price premium for 2GB kits, but it's usually not too bad.


Audio is not included as standard in Fuel. An M-Audio Revolution 7.1 PCI card is the best audio board to look for, though this card is expensive even 2nd-hand. A cheaper alternative is the SoundBlaster Audigy2 ZS; the quality is not as good, but it does the job.

Unlike Octane, Fuel supports Firewire and USB to some extent, so one can use a USB device (Griffin imic or Telex USB audio device) to provide audio if the PCI options are not available. A more recent version of IRIX is essential though for using USB devices (I recommend 6.5.28 or later; 6.5.17 was the first IRIX version for Fuel, but that is far too old to properly support USB/Firewire devices).

For professional audio, one can use the RAD Audio PCI card which provides eight ADAT optical audio channels, but it must be the 3.3V version of the card (SGI PN 030-1441-001 or 030-1649-001), as opposed to the 5V version for Octane which is PN 030-0950-002 (make sure you find the right model).

Fuel Image Internal Storage/Media Expansion

DVD devices work better with Fuel than Octane. Fuel has two internal 5.25" bays included, with a DVDROM typically already installed in most systems (usually a Toshiba SD-M1401, though the SD-M1711 is better if you can find one), but not always. A CDRW or CDROM is also possible, or a DAT drive (Sony SDT11000 DDS4 works very nicely, though older models will work fine aswell). Here is a speed comparison of the 1401 vs the 1711, copying a single 1GB file to disk from a DVDR, and copying a CD with 667MB of data (1207 files) to disk:

                     DVDR Copy     CD Copy
                      m:ss.ss      m:ss.ss

Toshiba SD-M1711:     4:49.23      3:07.02
Toshiba SD-M1401:     6:25.09      3:15.17

Various models of IDE DVDRW drives also work ok when connected via a Yamaha SCSI/IDE adapter (full details at the excellent Fuel Hardware Aggregator on Nekochan), but again this does require a recent version of IRIX and up-to-date Nekoware apps for best usage. The system has space for three internal 3.5" disks, though one could always employ the 5.25" bays aswell if required.

Fuel can also use various FibreChannel (FC) and certain SAS/SATA PCI cards, so one could use FC, SAS or SATA drives aswell, though the PCI cards are not visible to the PROM during power-on so such devices could not be used as a system disk. However, a setup such as a 147GB 15K system disk plus a 1TB SATA option disk is perfectly possible.

Here is an example diskperf result on a 36GB 15K disk in a 600MHz Fuel:

# req_size  fwd_wt  fwd_rd  bwd_wt  bwd_rd  rnd_wt  rnd_rd
#  (bytes)  (MB/s)  (MB/s)  (MB/s)  (MB/s)  (MB/s)  (MB/s)
     16384   52.24   59.79   44.27   22.78    7.83    4.33
     32768   71.53   83.55   63.22   29.89   15.99    8.23
     65536   85.37   97.17   72.86   33.94   25.94   14.63
    131072   90.45   97.41   76.38   39.27   36.07   24.34
    262144   93.92   97.67   73.13   53.03   49.27   38.13
    524288   93.84   52.34   81.29   53.06   60.66   52.60
   1048576   93.99   66.18   84.41   68.87   69.63   64.74
   2097152   94.12   78.18   79.26   78.20   77.12   74.34
   4194304   94.33   85.46   86.43   85.77   85.41   83.87

Easily 3X faster than the typical speeds possible with Octane's internal UW bus. Octane can have faster speeds, via the use of a suitable SCSI option card in a PCI cage or XTalk, but this can be expensive to setup.

Even a 10K drive runs faster in Fuel compared to Octane though, eg. here is a diskperf test on a 36GB 10K:

# req_size  fwd_wt  fwd_rd  bwd_wt  bwd_rd  rnd_wt  rnd_rd
#  (bytes)  (MB/s)  (MB/s)  (MB/s)  (MB/s)  (MB/s)  (MB/s)
     16384   53.74   53.95   13.43    2.87    5.62    3.12
     32768   54.51   54.27   19.85    6.06   10.37    5.71
     65536   54.52   54.27   27.68   13.49   16.69   10.29
    131072   54.11   54.02   36.31   27.07   24.59   17.19
    262144   54.45   54.30   41.11   36.48   33.27   25.76
    524288   54.26   54.02   40.06   36.57   38.50   34.58
   1048576   54.23   54.27   46.33   41.72   43.23   39.56
   2097152   54.09   54.35   47.77   46.30   48.43   44.55
   4194304   54.07   53.77   52.20   49.66   51.13   48.35

Where Fuel really shines is access time, benefiting greatly from the 15K rpm disk speed. Octane does benefit aswell from a 15K drive, but not as much as Fuel can. For example, I tested how fast a 500MHz Fuel is able to search all of /usr/share for a deliberately non-existent file, thus forcing the search to examine the whole of /usr/share, some 715MB of data (more than 54000 files):

           Search Time

36GB 15K:     11.08
36GB 10K:     18.32

ie. about 40% faster. I find these shorter search times especially useful as I often have to hunt for something in my email archive.

Note that I do have various 15K drives available, discount for Neko members! Email for details.

PCI Options

Fuel has four PCI64 slots: two at 66MHz and two at 33MHz (the faster slots are nearer the base of the system). PCI with Octane requires either the expensive PCI cage or an XTalk adapter, so Fuel has a major advantage here. My own Fuel has an LSI U320 dual-channel card, QLA12160/66 card, SGI Gbit card and a Revolution 7.1 audio card. Octane does have one small advantage in that in theory it can hold up to six PCI cards (five for systems with VPro gfx), but Octane loses on speed since Fuel can drive two of its PCI slots at 66MHz, vs. 33MHz for all possible Octane PCI configurations.

Fuel supports a wide range of PCI option cards, including QLOGIC and LSI U160/U320 cards, an LSI SAS/SATA card, various FC cards, Gbit Ethernet, audio, serial, USB and firewire options. Here is a list, courtesy of the the Nekochan hardware summary and my own information. Each line has an identifier name to denote the type of card. Any item that is suspected to work but not yet confirmed is shown in italics.

NETWORK:    SGI Copper Gbit 10/100/100 PCIX Ethernet, SGI PN 9470434
NETWORK:    SGI Copper Gbit 10/100/100 PCIX Ethernet, SGI PN 9210289 (3Com 3C996B-T board, chipset)
NETWORK:    SGI Optical Gbit 1000-Base-SX PCIX Ethernet, SGI PN 9210129
NETWORK:    3Com 3C996 10/100/1000 PCIX Server Adapter, Hacking Instructions
NETWORK:    Alteon ACEnic 10/100/1000 PCIX Server Adapter, Hacking Instructions
NETWORK:    Compaq NC7770 Gigabit Server Adapter, Hacking Instructions
SCSI:       QLOGIC QLA12160/33 Dual-Channel U160 33MHz PCI64 SCSI LVD/SE, two external VHDCI connectors
SCSI:       QLOGIC QLA12160/66 Dual-Channel U160 66MHz PCI64 SCSI LVD/SE, two external VHDCI connectors
SCSI:       QLOGIC QLA10160/33 Single-Channel U160 33MHz PCI64 SCSI LVD/SE, one external HD68 connector
SCSI:       QLOGIC QLA1280 Dual-Channel U2W 33MHz PCI64 SCSI LVD/SE (PN QLA1280), two external VHDCI connectors
SCSI:       QLOGIC QLA1080 Single-Channel U2W 33MHz PCI64 SCSI LVD/SE (PN QLA1080), one external VHDCI connector, image
SCSI:       QLOGIC QLA1040B Single-Channel UW 33MHz PCI64 SCSI SE, one external HD68 connector
SCSI:       QLOGIC QLA1040B Single-Channel UW 33MHz PCI64 SCSI HVD, SGI PN 9980984
SCSI:       SGI Dual-Channel U320 PCIX SCSI LVD/SE, PN PCIX-SCSI-U4-2P
SCSI:       LSI 21320-IS U320 PCIX SCSI LVD/SE, one external HD68 port (OEM version of the above SGI card)
SCSI:       LSI 22320-IS U320 PCIX SCSI LVD/SE, two external VHDCI connectors
SAS/SATA:   LSI SAS3041XL-S Internal 4-port SAS/SATA 133MHz PCIX [ref]
SAS/SATA:   LSI SAS3041X-R 133MHz PCIX, 4 ports; all internal via individual SATA connectors [ref]
SAS/SATA:   LSI SAS3442X(-R) 133MHz PCIX, 8 ports; 4 external via one 4x multilane SFF8470; 4 internal via one 4x multilane SFF8484 [ref]
SAS/SATA:   LSI SAS3080X-R 133MHz PCIX, 8 ports; all internal via two 4x multilane SFF8484 [ref]
SAS/SATA:   LSI SAS3800X 133MHz PCIX, 8 ports; all external via two 4x multilane SFF8470 (PDF) [ref]
SAS/SATA:   LSI SAS3801X 133MHz PCIX, 8 ports; all external via two 4x multilane SFF8088 [ref]
SAS/SATA:   HP 8 Internal port SAS HBA with RAID (PN 347786-B21) 133MHz PCIX; 8 internal SAS/SATA ports (based on the LSI 1068), OEM version of the LSI SAS3080X-R
FWIRE:      Adaptec 4300 (Red PCB) Firewire PCI32, PN AFW-4300B
FWIRE:      Belkin F5U503Vea1 Firewire PCI (Blue PCB)
USB/FWIRE:  Adaptec UAU 3020 rev B Firewire/USB Combo card (blue PCB). See this Neko thread for details.
USB:        Belkin N10117 4-port USB 2.0 PCI32 (Blue PCB), PN F5U220
FIBRECH:    QLOGIC QLA2200 66MHz PCI64 Single-port Copper 1Gbit FibreChannel, SGI PN 9210190
FIBRECH:    QLOGIC QLA2200F 66MHz PCI64 Single-port Optical 1Gbit FibreChannel, PN FC0310406-15
FIBRECH:    QLOGIC QLA2310 66MHz PCIX Single-port Copper 2Gbit FibreChannel. Needs IRIX 6.5.18 or later.
FIBRECH:    QLOGIC QLA2310F 66MHz PCIX Single-port Optical 2Gbit FibreChannel. Needs IRIX 6.5.18 or later.
FIBRECH:    QLOGIC QLA2340 133MHz PCIX Single-port Optical 2Gbit FibreChannel. Needs IRIX 6.5.18 or later.
FIBRECH:    QLOGIC QLA2342 133MHz PCIX Dual-port Optical 2Gbit FibreChannel. Needs IRIX 6.5.18 or later.
FIBRECH:    QLOGIC QLA2344 133MHz PCIX Quad-port Optical 2Gbit FibreChannel. Needs IRIX 6.5.18 or later.
FIBRECH:    LSI LSI7104XP-LC 133MHz PCIX Single-port 4Gbit FibreChannel. Needs IRIX 6.5.28 or later. Tech Info.
FIBRECH:    LSI LSI7204XP-LC 133MHz PCIX Dual-port 4GBit FibreChannel. Needs IRIX 6.5.28 or later. Tech Info.
AUDIO:      RAD Digital Audio PCI card, 3.3V version only (SGI PN 030-1441-001 or 030-1649-001)
AUDIO:      M-Audio Revolution 7.1 PCI card
AUDIO:      Creative Soundblaster Audigy2 ZS
MISC:       CAD Duo PCI card (extra keyboard/mouse/Ethernet ports), PN 030-1155-002
MISC:       Dual-port Serial I/O PCI (UFC), SGI PN 030-1657-003

Notes: LSI SAS/SATA cards that should or do work are those based on the LSI SAS1064/1068 chipsets.

IDE/SATA Adapters known to work:

  RXD639 (SATALink SPIF223A chipset), needs a right-angled SATA cable.
Here's a picture of my system's PCI slots, fitted with (from top to bottom) an M-Audio Revoluion 7.1, SGI Copper Gbit Ethernet, QLA12160/66 and LSI 22320 U320.

Fuel does not support any XIO options.


The only available options are V10 and V12 - the same VPro technology as used in Octane2, but they use a physically different form factor. The connector is DVI, as opposed to 13W3 on Octane. One can use a DVI/VGA adapter or cable to connect to a monitor or flat panel. For connection to an older monitor with a 13W3 socket, DVI/13W3 cables do exist but they are hard to find - it's easier to use a VGA/13W3 adapter and then either a VGA/DVI cable or VGA cable + VGA/DVI adapter.

V10 has 32MB combined RAM, V12 has 128MB. I've often seen it said that V10 allows up to 8MB for textures while V12 can have up to 108MB for textures, but this is not true. If one uses 1280x1024 with 8 bytes per pixel, then V10 provides 20MB for textures and V12 offers 120MB. Both options are the same speed, but V12 supports a much wider range of display resolutions (hobbyists have created numerous extra video format files to support LCD/TFT displays, eg. 1680x1050 @ 60Hz).

One can use a dual-channel display card to drive two monitors or LCD/displays.


The DMediaPro DM6 supports uncompressed standard definition serial digital video in both PAL and NTSC formats. Sadly this PCI-based option board is hard to find.

Environmental Factors

Fuel makes less noise than Octane, which is good, but even so there are those who replace the fans with modern low-noise versions to reduce the noise level even further.

Under load, a typical Fuel uses about 200, with a higher spec model draining around 230W. My Fuel, which is utterly maxed-out, uses 281W under load, 259W idle.

One issue with Fuel that has plagued some people is dealing with earlier revisions of the motherboard which have bad environmental monitoring ICs. Turning the monitoring off is one solution, but see the Nekochan thread for full details on this issue and how to replace the ICs if required. In general, later models of Fuel will not suffer from this problem.

Fuel Front View Build Style and Appearance

Fuel resembles a PC-style tower unit, with a removeable side panel for access to all internal components. A front flap opens to reveal the two internal 5.25" bays, power button and recessed reset button (these pics are of my own system, showing a Yamaha 16/10/40 CDRW and Toshiba SD-M1711 DVDROM). As with any PC-type tower unit, the rear of the unit presents the keyboard/mouse ports, serial ports, parallel, ethernet, USB, monitor output and PCI slots. Here is a close-up of the PCI slots of my own system, taken at a point before my scanner was connected to the remaining U160 SCSI port.

The cage for holding two internal disks rotates outwards (this image shows my system's 147GB 15K system disk and 300GB 10K data disk), while the large blue cover over the motherboard/fan lifts up easily to give access to the RAM slots. The front panal is removed by gently lifting the tabs on the left side of the panel while pulling the panel away from the chassis. Internal 5.25" devices are attached to rail guides, allowing them to slide out for removal. A bracing bar across the system adds strength, but is easily removed by extracting a single screw (swapping out the motherboard is not particularly difficult).

Fuel was SGI's first desktop system with any significant degree of internal cabling, quite unlike Octane which has almost no cables inside at all. As a result, some hobbyists are not that keen on Fuel's design, but they forget that this deliberately lower-cost build is partly why Fuel was so much cheaper than Octane when first launched. Besides, the flat top of the unit is definitely useful for positioning external devices, and I personally do like the fact that removing the side panel is much less likely to cause any accidental damage to internal parts - contrast this with Octane, where removing the motherboard or gfx assembly can all too easily lead to problems with dust getting on the XIO connector, etc. Swapping the motherboard in Octane is certainly easy, but risky if not done correctly. Likewise, a Fuel graphics board has an edge connector that is more like a PCI card and so is far less likely to come to harm during handling.

General Performance

For raw speed, a 500MHz Fuel can be 40% faster than a 400MHz Octane2 with a good disk, ie. a better speed increase than is implied merely by the 25% higher clock speed, eg. application startup times for Firefox, OpenOffice, etc. are much better. Fuel can take good advantage of a 15K rpm drive since it has U160 SCSI, eg. 98MB/sec is possible with a nice 15K, more if using XLV stripes, etc.

Although the graphics option can only be a single V10 or V12 VPro, Fuel can get more out of them compared to the same options in Octane, though one would probably only notice this if working with more dynamic datasets or other complex models. Overall, for any basic single-CPU/gfx combination, Fuel is better value for money than Octane2; in other words (for example), a 600MHz Fuel V10 is cheaper than a 600MHz Octane2 V10. Lower-spec Octanes are cheaper, eg. 400/V6, but V6/V8 have resolution restrictions which are absent on V10/V12. I used a 550MHz Octane2 as my main desktop for a long time, but finally switched to Fuel because of the extra responsiveness for heavy applications like Firefox, and the ability to do things like search my email archive at much greater speeds than is possible with Octane.

If you can make good use of dual-CPUs, then Octane2 may be a better though more expensive choice, eg. for use with Blender, Maya, Alias, SoftImage, or other professional applications, but Fuel quickly displays an advantage as the task becomes more complex, eg. my tests show that, for rendering complex scenes in Alias, a 600MHz Fuel is only a little slower than a dual-400 Octane, though it depends on the scene complexity. For a simple Maya scene rendered via mentalray, a dual-CPU Octane scales perfectly, ie. no real gain from the faster O3K architecture in Fuel (thus, a dual-R10K/250 Octane is a good low-cost solution). Likewise, a dual-600 Origin300 is about the same as a dual-600 Octane for simple scenes, but is significantly faster for complex scenes. Given Fuel's low cost though, animation rendering under IRIX is probably best served via multiple 500MHz or 600MHz Fuels or Origin300s instead of expensive dual-CPU Octanes, the exception being dual-250 Octanes for strictly simple scenes. For interactive work, Fuel's faster SCSI means better loading and saving times for large files aswell. See my disks benchmarks page for example performance comparisons between a range of SCSI, SATA, SAS and FC drives.

Thus, if single-threaded speed is more important (ie. running applications such as OpenOffice or Firefox), then a 500MHz or 600MHz Fuel with a 15K disk is a good system (I recommend the Maxtor Atlas 15K II), though it's wise to get a system with audio if possible since Fuel does not have built-in audio.

I was once asked about what the best choice was for a performance IRIX solution for animation modelling and rendering. Due to the high cost of good dual-CPU options for Octane, and the similar high cost of 700MHz or higher CPUs for Fuel, I recommended a combination of a Fuel for modelling and an Origin300 for rendering; this would be cheaper, faster and more flexible than a dual-600 Octane2 V12.

The faster SCSI subsystem has one other useful consequence, namely better network transfer speeds when using Gbit connections. My Fuel is able to sustain more than 75MB/sec when transfering files via ftp to/from another Gbit-equipped system such as Tezro or my PC. By contrast, unless a better SCSI system is added via a PCI cage or XTalk adapter, Octane cannot sustain more than about 37MB/sec across a Gbit link because of the limit of the UW SCSI bus. Octane can of course use FC cards, including a dual-port copper XIO FC card, but FC is somewhat more complex to deal with than SCSI, and Fuel has an advantage here anyway since Fuel's faster PCI means it can properly exploit higher bandwidth FC options such as the QLA2342.

General Information Sources

Technical Notes

How to turn off environmental monitoring

From a runing IRIX:

   l1cmd --scdev /hw/module/001c01/L1/controller env off

From the l1 prompt:

   env off

How to re-enable a disabled RAM bank in the PROM

Courtesy of Reinhard Wolf, just enter the following in the PROM Command Monitor:


According to Reinhard, a disabled 2nd bank should always allow for booting provided the first bank is populated. If a node exception occurs though, then the PIMM is probably bad.

DIMM Slot Organisation

Fuel RAM Slots

Fuel fan replacement information, by Schleusel (from the Nekochan Fuel page)

Original:                                                                size(mm)      RPM       CFM    m^3/h   dBA

EXHAUST    Delta        AFB1212LE         DC12V 0.30A     3pin Molex    120x120x38     2000     84.76    144     34
DISK       Delta        AFB0612M          DC12V 0.12A     3pin Molex     60x60x25      3600     19.78    33.6    31
PCI        Delta        AFB0812L          DC12V 0.12A                    80x80x25      2400     27.9     47.4    25
XIO        Delta        AFB0612M          DC12V 0.12A                    60x60x25      3600     19.78    33.6    31
PSU        Minebea      3110Kl-04W-B60    DC12V 0.34A     2pin Molex     80x80x25      3400     42       71.35   35

Replacement:                                                             size(mm)      RPM       CFM    m^3/h   dBA

EXHAUST    Titan        TFD-12025M12B      DC12V 0.28A    3pin Molex    120x120x25     2000     79.14    134.5   36
DISK       YS-TECH      FD126025LB-N(2A5)  DC12V 0.12A    3pin Molex     60x60x25      2600     17.1      29     25.5
PCI        YS-TECH      FD1281253B-2A      DC12V 0.10A    3pin Molex     80x80x25      2000     30.0      51     23
XIO        YS-TECH      FD126025MB         DC12V 0.12A    3pin Molex     60x60x25      3700     20.0      34     28
PSU        PAPST        8412 N/2GME        DC12V 0.10A    3pin Molex     80x80x25      2600     34.12     58     26

Schleusel's comments on the fan replacements:

"I mostly went with YS-TECH as those are relatively cheap and very quiet for the amount of air they move - i'm pretty happy with that choice so far. Especially replacing the two small XIO fans was really worth it.

Initially I had no intention to replace the large Exhaust fan as it was barely running at half speed most of the time - but as soon as I had replaced the rest I realised the very annoying clatter it produced. If your's is quiet - don't replace it.

The Titan fan I now have in there isn't really optimal as it is only a 25mm thick model. It needs a higher rpm to move the same amount of air (currently its running at ~1500 rpm compared to the ~1200 rpm the original was mostly running at) but its still a lot more pleasent than the old one. It seems to be pretty hard to find 120x120x38mm fans these days.. well, apart from some 30 EUR+ PAPST models.

A note on the PSU fan:

I have the first generation 430W PSU so I can't comment on the newer 480W ones. The PSU fan was by far the noisiest part in the system. Noname thing running at 3400rpm and no rpm sensor (two pin only). The L1 controller does somehow manage to "guess" its rpm but it isn't really controlled. A few minutes after the machine is powered on it just keeps running at peak rpm. Initially I replaced it with a YS-TECH at 3000 rpm that actually moved more air than the original one - and was almost as annoying As the PSU is hardly running at 50% load and barely got hot I decided to try the PAPST I currently have in there. 19% less throughput at 2600 rpm - a lot better. Some Silent PC junkie would probably still run away but I don't really dare to go even lower.

It needed a little software hack though: When initially powered on, the PAPST is running below the warning rpm of the L1 environmental monitoring. So with the monitoring running the L1 would just switch off the machine 60 seconds after power on. To work arount that I wrote an init script that switches off the env monitoring during system shutdown and switches it on again 5 minutes after the system is booted. At that time the PAPST is already running at full rpm and the L1 is happy - very ugly but works.

Anyway, a newer PSU is still quite high on my wishlist. Several l1cmd env outputs of machines with 480W PSU show the stock fan running way slower than my original one.. and hopefully with proper rpm sensor as the rest of the fans too."

SGI Fuel Part/Assembly Numbers List (non-SGI cards not included)

Nowhere near a complete list yet - I will add more entries as and when I can.

SGI Part Number(s)              Item Description               Notes

030-2023-001                    R16000 900MHz (8MB L2) CPU     Cache speed = 450MHz
030-1932-001                    R16000 800MHz (4MB L2) CPU     Cache speed = 400MHz
030-1891-001                    R16000 700MHz (4MB L2) CPU     Cache speed = 350MHz
030-1730-002                    R14000 600MHz (4MB L2) CPU     Cache speed = 300MHz
030-1730-001                    R14000 600MHz (4MB L2) CPU     Cache speed = 300MHz
030-1708-003                    R14000 500MHz (2MB L2) CPU     Cache speed = 250MHz
030-1060-004 or HU-F-MEM2GB     1GB DIMM                       Two of these form a 2GB kit
030-1060-003 or HU-F-MEM2GB     1GB DIMM                       Two of these form a 2GB kit
030-1060-002 or HU-F-MEM2GB     1GB DIMM                       Two of these form a 2GB kit
030-1044-001 or HU-F-MEM1GB     512MB DIMM                     Two of these form a 1GB kit
030-1042-003 or HU-F-MEM1GB     512MB DIMM                     Two of these form a 1GB kit
030-1746-001                    512MB DIMM                     Two of these form a 1GB kit
030-1746-002                    256MB DIMM                     Two of these form a 512MB kit
030-1746-003                    256MB DIMM                     Two of these form a 512MB kit
060-0210-001                    PSU 460W
060-0140-007                    PSU 460W
060-0140-006                    PSU 460W
060-0140-005                    PSU 430W
060-0140-004                    PSU 430W
030-1707-005                    IP35 Motherboard
030-1707-004                    IP35 Motherboard
030-1707-003                    IP35 Motherboard
013-4160-001                    V12 Graphics Board with DCD fitted (unknown 030 PNs atm)
013-3416-007                    V12 Graphics Board with DCD fitted (most likely consists of 030-1726-006 V12 and 030-1731-002 DCD, not sure yet)
013-3416-006                    V12 Graphics Board with DCD fitted (confirmed combination of 030-1726-005 V12 and 030-1731-001 DCD)
013-3416-005                    V12 Graphics Board with DCD fitted (unknown 030 PNs atm)
013-3416-004                    V12 Graphics Board with DCD fitted (unknown 030 PNs atm)
013-3416-003                    V12 Graphics Board with DCD fitted (unknown 030 PNs atm)
030-1726-006                    V12 Graphics Board
030-1726-005                    V12 Graphics Board
030-1726-004                    V12 Graphics Board
030-1726-003                    V12 Graphics Board
013-3513-002                    V10 Graphics Board
030-1826-003                    V10 Graphics Board
030-1826-002                    V10 Graphics Board
030-1826-001                    V10 Graphics Board
030-1725-001                    V10 Graphics Board

Recommended CRT Monitor List

Not directly related to Fuel, but I thought I would include here the results of my search for monitors that support up to 2048 x 1536, the same max resolution of the SGI GDM5411. My 5411 died, so I replaced it with a Dell P1130. I was very pleased with the P1130 and so I then replaced my two ageing GDM20E21s with two HP P1130s. The P1130 is an excellent monitor, highly recommended.

Dell P1130 22"
HP P1130 22"
HP P1230 22"
Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2070SB
SGI C220-A
Compaq P1220 22"
Sony G550
NEC MultiSync FP1375X 22"
ViewSonic G810

Some of these monitors use exactly the same tube, just with different case colours, styles and control button locations.

Feedback on this page is most welcome! :)

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