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Ian's SGI Depot: FOR SALE! SGI Systems, Parts, Spares and Upgrades

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After this brochure was published, faster R4400 CPUs at 200MHz and 250MHz were released, the R8000 chip set at 75MHz and 90MHz, the R10000 CPU, InfiniteReality graphics, etc. See the main SGI index for details of these later CPUs and graphics subsystems, eg. the InfiniteReality Technical Report covers the use of IR in Onyx systems.

SGI Corporate Logo

Onyx Graphics Supercomputers

[Click to download larger version]

Onyx graphics supercomputers are a unique blend of symmetric multi-processing and the world's most advanced graphics architecture.

[Click to download larger version]

Implementing parallelism in every aspect of both the graphics and CPU subsystems, Onyx offers unmatched performance in scalable, upgradeable and expandable deskside and rack systems.

Onyx is a no-compromise machine; a new realm of computing that is the culmination of breakthroughs in CPU, bus and graphics system design.

[Click to download larger version] For compute performance, Onyx uses up to twenty four 150MHz MIPS R4400 processors in a single enclosure to provide the industry's fastest graphics and compute platform. Because Onyx features a 1.2GB/second system bus, linear scaling of performance and throughput is available throughout the product line. The I/O bus supports HiPPI, ethernet, FDDI, fast/wide SCSI 2, VME64 and RAID, as well as multiple graphics pipelines. Onyx rack enclosures are capable of multiple 320MB/second I/O sub-systems, while the deskside systems support one I/O bus.

[Volume rendering and Image Processing with Onyx] Onyx systems are available with either VTX or RealityEngine2 graphics subsystems - the world's fastest graphics. RealityEngine2 is an enhanced version of the industry-leading RealityEngine graphics subsystem. Featuring performance of up to 2 million t-mesh polygons and 320M textured, anti-aliased pixels a second, RealityEngine2 provides graphics velocity and quality beyond any other graphics system available today. Real-time multi-sample anti-aliasing, advanced stereo capabilities, 96-bit color, volume rendering and 32-bit Z-buffer are just a few of the many features shared by both the VTX and RealityEngine2 graphics subsystems.

[Image Processing with Onyx] Every Onyx graphics supercomputer offers a flexible frame-buffer architecture that allows for software-selection of display resolutions and even multiple outputs from a single RealityEngine2 or VTX graphics pipeline. When used with the Multi Channel Option RealityEngine2-equipped systems can support dual high-resolution screens, or up to six 640 x 480 outputs. Both graphics subsystems support resolutions from VGA up to 1280 x 1024 timings, while RealityEngine2 subsystems (with the optional Raster Manager board) are capable of 1600 x 1200, 1920 x 1035, 1920 x 1152 and other high resolution formats. Onyx systems include composite video output and genlock, so an area of interest from the high resolution monitor can be output to a standard NTSC or PAL VCR.

Onyx systems offer parallel processing of ImageVision Library routines in the graphics pipeline. This hardware acceleration of ImageVision Library functions greatly speeds many operations, including warps, convolves, continuous zoom and rotations. The result is a multi-purpose graphics platform that can outperform dedicated image processing hardware.

Design professionals can take advantage of both the compute and graphics power of Onyx systems. Models can be interactively rendered in the graphics, or in the CPUs, providing the ultimate in flexibility in an industry-standard software environment. High Definition display, environment mapping and real-time anti-aliasing of points, lines and polygons are just a few of the advantages of Onyx systems.

[High quality renderings and real-time modelling with Onyx]

Onyx systems provide the industry's most complete platform for digital film and video production. 3D animation, color correction, editing, compositing, effects and digital paint are just a few of the applications for Onyx systems. For the first time, a single multi-purpose computer can outperform dedicated hardware for production and post-production tasks.

[Click to download larger version] For visual simulation, entertainment systems and other real-time graphics applications, Onyx graphics supercomputers offer the highest level of realism and a standards-based development environment. Onyx systems offer integration and flexibility not commonly associated with supercomputing systems. Onyx is software compatible with other Silicon Graphics computers, including Indigo power desktop systems and Crimson deskside workstations [and later models]. Digital Media, CASE tools, productivity software and specialized applications are all within easy reach of the technical computing professional in the Onyx environment.

Onyx Specifications

Processor Data

Microprocessor        MIPS R4400SC 64-bit RISC CPU
Processors            2 to 24
Clock frequency       100MHz / 150MHz
Primary caches        16K / 16K on-chip I/D cache,
Secondary cache       1MB combined L2 cache per CPU



  2M t-mesh triangles/second
  930K textured t-mesh triangles/second
  80/160/320M textured, anti-aliased pixels/second
  Hardware texture mapping
  Real-time anti-aliasing
  VGA up to 1600x1200 and HDTV display
  Advanced stereo modes
  Hardware image processing acceleration
  48-bit RGBA color, quad-buffered (192 bits total)
  256 to 1024 bits per pixel
  40 to 160MB frame buffer
  NTSC/PAL/S-Video output


  1M t-mesh triangles/second
  450K textured t-mesh triangles/second
  80M textured, anti-aliased pixels/second
  Hardware texture mapping
  Real-time anti-aliasing
  VGA up to 1280 x 1024 display
  Advanced stereo modes
  Hardware image processing acceleration
  48-bit RGBA color, quad-buffered (192 bits total)
  256 bits per pixel
  40MB frame buffer
  NTSC/PAL/S-Video output

System Bus

Bandwidth         1.2 GB/sec, parity protected
Size              256-bit wide data path
                  40-bit wide physical address path

Memory subsystem

Physical memory   64MB to 16GB, ECC protected
Interleaving      1, 2, 4 or 8-way

High-Speed I/O Subsystem

Bus type          SGI HIO bus
Bandwidth         320 MB/sec per HIO bus
No. of buses      1 to 4
No. of slots      1 to 8

Industry Standard I/O Subsystem

Bus type          VME64 bus
Bandwidth         50MB/sec per VME64 bus
No. of buses      1 to 5
No. of slots      3 to 24

Mass Storage

Interfaces        Up to 32 SCSI-2 channels
Protocols         SCSI-2, fast and wide, single-ended or differential
Max. bandwidth    20 MB/sec per channel
Device capacity   2GB, formatted [and later, larger sizes]

Removable Media

SCSI devises      CDROM, DAT, 8mm tape drive, 1/4" cartridge tape


Integrated serial I/O      Up to 16 serial ports, Ethernet, SCSI-2
Integrated parallel I/O    Up to 4 parallel ports
VME controllers            Ethernet, FDDI
SGI HIO controllers        FDDI, HiPPI, SCSI-2

Dimensions & Weights

Base Unit Dimensions       Height: 62.3"
                           Width: 27"
                           Depth: 48"
Net weight                 400lbs (181kg)

Environmental (Non-Operating)

Temperature       -20 to +60 C
Humidity          10% to 95% non-condensing
Altitude          40,000 MSL

Environmental (Operating)

Temperature       +5 to +35 C
Humidity          10% to 80% non-condensing
Altitude          10,000 MSL
Noise             65dBA

Electrical & Power

Voltage - standard      208-230 VAC 1 Phase
Voltage - optional      208 VAC 3 Phase US
Voltage - optional      400 VAC 3 Phase Europe
Frequency               50/60 Hz
Heat dissipation        16,000 BTU/hr, max (1 Phase)
                        24,000 BTU/hr max (3 Phase)
Electrical service      208 VAC @ 30A (1 Phase)
                        208 VAC @ 30A (3 Phase, 4 wire)
                        400 VAC @ 15A (3 Phase, 5 wire)
Service type            IEC-309


System Software         IRIX 5.0, IEEE POSIX 1003.1, FIPS 151-1,
                        UNIX System V, 4.3 BSD enhancements,
                        SVID Issue 3, X11 R5 Window System,
                        Motif Window Manager 1.2, IRISGL,
                        IRIS Showcase, IRIS Explorer (optional)
Compilers               ANSI C, C++, Fortran77, Ada, Pascal,
                        Power C  Accelerator (PCA),
                        Power Fortran Accelerator (PFA)
Programming env.        CASEVision / Workshop
Graphics                OpenGL, IRIS GL
Networking              TCP/IP, NFS, DECnet, LAT, IBM 3270, SNA3270,
                        SNA3770, SNA LU6.2, NetVisualyzer,
                        Spectrum SNMP management SNMP MIB

for more information please call

U.S. 1(800) 800-7441
Europe (41) 22-798.75.25
North Pacific (81) 3-5420.71.10

South Pacific (61) 2-879.95.00
Latin America 1(415) 390.58.28
Canada 1(416) 674.5300

Corporate Office
2011 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA 94043

SGI Corporate Logo

Copyright 1993 Silicon Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved. Specifications are subject to change without notice. Silicon Graphics, the Silicon Graphics logo, and IRIS are registered trademarks, and Crimson, Indigo, Indigo2, IRIS Graphics Library, IRIS GL, Open GL, ImageVision Library, CASEVision, IRIX, Reality Engine, Reality Engine2, IRIS Showcase, IRIX Explorer, NetVisualyzer, Onyx are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc. MIPS and R3000 are registered trademarks, and R4000 and R4400, are trademarks of MIPS Technologies, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. DECnet is a trademark of Digital Electronics Corp. Motif is a trademark of Open System Foundation.

Specifications are subject to change without notice.

Images courtesy of: Salt Dome Model: Image provided courtesy of Dynamic Graphics, Inc. Alameda, CA. Acura: Alias Studio rendering of Acura NSX by Honda R&D Co. Ltd., Walkman: Sony Corporation/Alias Studio,3 Cars: Gingko Design/Alias Studio, Medical: Johns Hopkins University, Bunker courtesy E-Systems.

Design: Silicon Graphics Creative Group.

Typed up by Ian Mapleson (mapleson@gamers.org) on 22/Nov/98
Original Document Code: OX-BRO-DS (1/93)

Ian's SGI Depot: FOR SALE! SGI Systems, Parts, Spares and Upgrades

(check my current auctions!)
[WhatsNew] [P.I.] [Indigo] [Indy] [O2] [Indigo2] [Crimson] [Challenge] [Onyx] [Octane] [Origin] [Onyx2]
[Future Technology Research Index] [SGI Tech/Advice Index] [Nintendo64 Tech Info Index]