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Old What's New? (for 1998 and 1997)

Site additions made during 1998 and 1997 (earliest-last):


Added new Octane and Onyx2 performance data to the SGI Graphics Performance Tables page (Viewperf, graphics primitives and graphics memory). The data comes from Octane (October 1998) and Onyx2 (August 1998) glossy brochures.


Added an Onyx2 R10K/195 result to INTEGER TEST 8 (Compiling Lynx v2.7.1) to the SGI General Performance Comparisons page.

Sorry for the lack of recent updates. Been a bit busy at work. Note that I'm away on holiday from 17/Dec/98 to 03/Jan/99, so there won't be any updates during that time.


Reorganised the SGI index page slightly. Added over a dozen new application and product briefs (ie. online copies of original glossy SGI brochures), mostly concerning RealityEngine, RealityEngine2 and Onyx, but also information on Elan/XS24 graphics, Reality Station, Performer, VTX, various market segments, etc.


Added Indy R4400SC/200 XL24 results to GRAPHICS TEST 1 on the SGI Performance Comparisons page. Also updated the ICE page to reflect changes introduced in IRIX 6.5, and rewrote/updated many sections of the O2 Architecture page.


Added Indy and Indigo2 data Also added a screenshots page to go with the performance comparisons; so far, this includes screenshots for all the tests used in GRAPHICS TEST 1. Plus, most of the test objects can now be downloaded from the screenshots page, should you wish to test your own system.


Added further data to the SGI Performance Comparisons page (GRAPHICS TEST 1, CDROM TEST 3, INT TEST 3).


Added 3D graphics tests to the SGI Performance Comparisons page. Also added the last of the Lynx-compilation and CDROM-TEST-3 results (those done on my Indigo2 R4400SC/250).


Obtained all results for AUDIO TEST 1 (parametric equalization and normalization of a 50MByte stereo music track) in the SGI Performance Comparisons page. Also added further results to CDROM TEST 3 (copying many small files from CDROM to disk) and INTEGER TEST 8 (compiling Lynx V2.7.1).


Updated the SGI Performance Comparisons page; added tests for copying lots of small files from a CDROM, and time taken to compile Lynx V2.7.1. Also corrected a few typos, etc.


It's ready at last! My SGI Performance Comparisons information bonanza! I've spent 4 weeks conducting dozens of tests, and the results are now ready. There's a huge amount of practical performance comparison information available, comparing O2, Indy and Indigo2. I also tested CDROM and DAT performance - nobody has ever done this before.

But that's not all! Also now completed is my help page on Installing IRIX 6.5 - like my page on installing IRIX 6.2 (or earlier OS versions), this new page should be of great help if you want to install 6.5 but don't know what to do.


Added header and footer links to all my SGI pages. As explained in the 22/Oct/98 update below, anyone finding one of my pages via a web search (which happens quite often) will now see links back to the main indices.


I noticed that a great proportion of people visiting my site were finding my pages as a result of web searches on places such as AltaVista, HotBot, etc. But most pages don't have reverse links back to the main index pages, so many visitors would never realise there was much more available than just the single page they found. Thus, I have added header and footer links to all FutureTech and N64 pages. I'll do the same to the SGI pages over the weekend (it will take longer as the SGI section has many more files). Anyway, this change should mean that visitors from search engines will discover much more than before.

NB: I'm currently working on a page about installing IRIX 6.5 and its performance on Indy, O2 and Indigo2 (lots of integer/fp tests), and an extensive page comparing the performance of Indy with different CPUs (4 weeks' work so far). I'm also testing application performance (eg. how long it takes to run up Netscape, CosmoWorlds, etc.), memory usage (6.2 vs. 6.5 in different systems) and peripheral speed (CDROM/DAT) - did you know peripheral performance depends on CPU speed? Throughput with a DDS3 DAT can vary by as much as a factor of 5 from best to worst, depending on the main CPU present in the system (this applies to Indy, Indigo2, and all older systems) - this kind of data is not available anywhere else on the WWW! Naturally, I'm running these tests for IRIX 6.2 as well. All this and more coming soon! 8)


Made a minor change to the Disks/Files page (it seems one shouldn't NFS mount /usr/lib32 under IRIX 6.5).


Added Onyx2 performance data to the O2 performance tests page. Hey, why not? :)


Updated the Disks and Filesystem Administration page. Also added a new page on Miscellaneous System Problems - the topics covered are those that I've had to deal with as a typical administrator of a moderate SGI system (20 machines).


Added a new section on backing up a system to the Disks and Filesystems Administration page.


Updated all of the graphics function description pages: Z Buffering, Texture Mapping, Gouraud Shading, Flat Shading, etc., Anti-aliasing, Trilinear Mipmapped Interpolation (TLMMI), Perspective Correction, Environment Mapping, Depth Cueing (fog, mist, haze, murky water, etc.), Alpha (transparency) Effects, Load Management (Detail Management), and Spotlights, Pointlights, Directional Lights, etc.


Added an Indigo GR2-XS24 (with Z-buffer) result to the HolliDance Benchmark page.


Replaced the 3D diagrams on the Origin200 SPECfp95 Performance Comparison page with new versions (the titles were wrong in the old versions).


Added an Origin2000 Single-CPU SPEC95 Performance Comparison page (single vs. multi-CPU comparison coming soon).

I also altered all the SPEC comparison pages so that the inline images are all stored in the spec95 subdirectory. Feel free to browse! Because web browsers display files alphabetically, the subdirectory listing makes it easy to search for files of interest and to grab files for quick reference.


Updated the 3D diagrams for the Origin200 SPECfp95 page (the diagram titles were too vague).

Began changing the file locations so that all SPEC95-related diagrams and images will be in a single subdirectory called spec95 (this will allow people to browse more easily).


Added an Origin200 SPECfp95 Performance Comparison page.


Another Indigo result has been supplied for the HolliDance Benchmark page. The numbers are somewhat different from the first Indigo submission. I notice quite a few people have accessed the HD page, but not many are submitting results, so get those results in pronto! Btw, I don't mind if the fps rates are submitted first and the gr_osview data supplied later.


Added a SPEC95 performance comparison page for O2, looking at various R5000 and R10000 CPUs. I wrote a C++ Inventor program over the weekend to automate the generation of the 3D graphs, so it's now much easier for me to create these comparison pages. As a result, I'll soon be adding further comparison pages, eg. different single-CPUs in Origin, single vs. various multiple CPU configurations in Origin, Indy performance, etc. The Inventor program, which I'll make available for download at some point, has nothing in it specific to SPEC (in terms of annotated titles, etc.) so it will also allow me to create graphs for other metrics besides SPEC95, eg. SPECweb96, STREAM, graphics primitives, etc. I want to finish the SPEC95 studies first though.

So, keep checking back!


Uploaded new 2D and 3D diagrams for SPECint95 to the R10K/250 performance comparison page. Added 33MHz R3000 Indigo and 195MHz R10000 Onyx RealityStation results to the HolliDance Benchmark page. Updated the page on double-buffering with further information from Allan Schaffer of SGI.


Added R10K/250 O2 data to the R10K/250 performance comparison page. Added lots of new info to the R10K/195 performance comparison page (my thanks to John McCalpin for his comments).

Although not in the SGI section, please note that I've updated the FutureTech Reference List and other aspects of that section. See my FutureTech page for full info.


Added a series of links to various graphics-related pages in my N64 section to the 'Miscellaneous' section of the SGI index (explanations of graphics terms, MIPS/MFLOPS, frame rates, polygon rates, and screen resolutions/video formats); it suddenly occured to me yesterday that these pages are just as relevant to people learning the basics of graphics, etc. from an SGI-user point of view as is it is to an N64-owner who wants to learn more about the technical aspects of the machine they use. The information on frame rates, for example, is quite extensive.

Added Chapter 9 (MIPSpro Compiler Technology) to the Indigo2 and POWER Indigo2 Technical Report.


I've closed my Geocities site! For full details, see the notice I've put on my Geocities account. My site here at WebGuide is now the main place to go for my SGI, Future Technology and N64 pages. Full forwarding links have been put in place on the old Geocities site so people won't become lost (ie. all html pages have been changed, while almost all jpeg, gif and other files have been removed). Please update your links, bookmarks, inform colleagues, etc. as appropriate.


Added Chapter 8 (The IRIX 6.0.1 Operating System) to the Indigo2 Technical Report.

If you've found the online Indigo2 report useful, please let me know. The feedback allows me to focus my time more efficiently (eg. I'm assuming people would want me to do the Indy report next, but without feedback I cannot tell for sure).


Added Chapter 6 (Software Environment), Chapter 7 (R8000 POWER Indigo2), and an introductory note to the Indigo2 Technical Report. Also reorganised the HolliDance Benchmark table slightly to make it more readable.


Massively updated the O2 Architecture page (added info relating to geometry/lighting issues, the effects of display resoution and complexity, and a very detailed O2 architecture diagram that I've obtained) and updated the HolliDance Benchmark page.


Updated the XZ/XL performance jump for Indigo2 page (new info that partly solves the mystery). Rewrote the O2/Indigo2 Comparison page (updated older info, added some new info, etc.) Added a link to the Byte article on the R12000 (see main index).


Added HolliDance benchmark results for Indy R4600PC/133 XL and Indy R4600PC/100 XL.


Added various links to the SGI-related web links section. Corrected a minor error on the HolliBench page (one can't have a dual K6-2 yet apparently; my thanks to Bill Broadley for pointing that out).


Constructed a proper results table for the HolliDance Benchmark page, added an analysis section, discussion, conclusions and other info. If you've not done so already, submit results for your SGI system now! (see the page for further info). Also added the IRIS 2000/3000 FAQ, by Paul Southworth.


Added an Indy 200MHz R4400SC 24bit XL result to the HolliDance Benchmark page.


Updated and formatted the HolliDance benchmark comparison page. Submit your own results!


Added a benchmark comparison page for the HolliDance program. Also now available! Expanded mirror site in Europe! (hosted by WebGuide in the Netherlands).


Added chapter 5 to the Indigo2 Technical Report and some extra data for Octane and Onyx2 to the Viewperf section of the graphics performance tables.


Added chapter 4 to the Indigo2 Technical Report.


Added a page for Indigo2 IMPACT Compression.


Added a page on Indigo2 IMPACT Video; found a picture of the Cray 1.


Added a page for the Indigo machine.


Added a page on the 150MHz R4400 CPU Upgrade.


Added the Indy Video and Indigo2 Video product brief. Improved two of the images in the manufacturing application brief (title image and VR HMD picture).


Added two more I2 app briefs (Game Authoring and Medical Visualization)


Added more Indigo2 application briefs (Asset Management, Digital Prepress, Visual Simulation).


Updated the Indigo2 molecular modeling brief. Added Indigo2 IMPACT application briefs for post-production, manufacturing and AEC. Also revamped the SGI index to include an initial summary index, merged a coupla sections together, and made some other minor changes.


Done chapters 1 to 3 of the Indigo2 and POWER Indigo2 Technical Report. Slight messup on the OCR side, so chapters 4 to 9 will come later...


Redid some of the images on the R10K performance pages. A few were originally made with a 24bit XL Indy, but Indy has lower visuals (depth) compared to O2 (the images have a slightly horizontal-dithered appearance) - I found that resnapshotting the images on an O2 halved the size of the final GIF images. The space savings should mean I'll have enough room to upload the Indigo2 and PowerIndigo2 Technical report! (coming soon)


Added a comparison page for SPECfp95 on dual-CPU Octane. Some good info on this one!


Updated the R10K/250 comparison page and redid the various 3D diagrams (I constructed the scene graphs in a different way, making it much easier to alter them to create new graphs. The images were recaptured using an O2 instead of an Indy, making the visuals better and resulting in a 50% decrease in image file size). Also added a SPEC95 comparison page for single-CPU Octane. And updated a few links to SGI's web site.


Updated various pages: Octane architecture, O2/Indigo2 comparison and Indigo2/Octane comparison.


Remember the Cray 1? Cray's first big machine? Well, here's an article written about it in 1982. Rated at 100MIPS, the Cray 1 cost ten million dollars! These days, you'll get up to ten times that performance out of a typical low-end workstation.

19/May/98 (happy birthday to me! :)

Added an O2 performance comparison page, comparing run times for simple application tests on R5K/180 and R5K/200 models.


Typed up the entire RealityEngine in Visual Simulation technical report, all 31 pages of it! Including diagrams! I'm rather proud of this one...


Added lots of graphics performance data for Indy, Indigo, Indigo2, Octane and Onyx to the performance comparison tables. Finished the R10K/250 page.


Created a page for IRIS Crimson. Also added Crimson info to the graphics tables page.


Added SPECfp95 data for R10K/250. The beginnings of the R10K/250 page.


Added SPECint95 data to the R10K performance comparison page, including individual bar graphs just as for the fp tests. Also added WWW links to original source documents. Reorganised the page layout and included a simple index.


Added O2 R10000 performance information to the R10000 performance page. Also added new diagrams for each SPECfp95 test.


More accurate information about the use of ICE in O2 included on the ICE page.


Updated various pages to take account of R10K/250 in Octane/MXE, split the too-large graphics performance table into three separate tables for easier reading and added MXE info to the tables.


Added Indigo XS24 and Indigo Elan graphics performance info to the main graphics performance table.


Added the disksfiles.html page. I actually wrote the page ages ago and included a link, but forgot to upload it. Sorry if this inconvenienced anyone.


Completely revamped the R10000 performance page. Origin2000 figures updated, Octane figures added, new 3D diagrams made, extra information about the way R10000 operates in different SGI systems, a description of cache issues and a revised page on 'performance difference profiling'.


Updated the O2 and ICE pages. Added Octane performance figures to the O2/Indigo2 comparison page for reference..


Added more useful links, such as Frank G. Fiamingo's UNIX System Administration Manual. Check them out!


The links to older systems on www.sgi.com still exist. If you want info on such older SGI systems (Indy, Indigo2, etc.) then my index will show you where to go - the info is still on www.sgi.com even though you won't find many links to them on their server any more.


There are so many SGI-related WWW sites out there. It's time to create a good index. In time, this section will grow so much it'll need its own page. Until then, the list will be a part of the main index.


Description of what the ICE ASIC in O2 is used for, what it isn't used for and suggestions for future improvements.

[WhatsNew] [P.I.] [Indigo] [Indy] [O2] [Indigo2] [Crimson] [Challenge] [Onyx] [Octane] [Origin] [Onyx2]
[WhatsNew] [Intro] [Sys Desc] [PR] [CPU] [RCP] [GFX] [Polygons] [MIPS/MFLOPS] [Res/Video] [FPS]
[WhatsNew] [Intro] [Latest NewSci] [Headlines] [FT Ref List] [Links] [My Future Games] [Extreme Tech]
[Future Technology Research Index] [SGI Tech Advice Index] [Nintendo64 Tech Info Index]