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Challenge/Onyx Systems

Last Change: 12/Apr/2016

Please note that I have various parts and spares available - see the Challenge/Onyx section of the Parts/Spares page.


At present I have the following system for sale:

Onyx Image 1
  Onyx RE2 rack system
  24 CPUs (ie. 24 x R10000SC 195MHz [1MB L2], using 6 CPU boards)
  4GB RAM (using four MC3 boards, 1GB RAM on each board, 8-way interleaving, upgradeable to 8GB)
  9GB FastWide HVD (differential) system disk
  147GB option disk (80pin SCA with adapter)
  FDDI Option (not shown in hinv, drivers not yet installed)
  2X vertically-usable CDROM (*)
  RealityEngine2 Graphics (2RM4)
  Original granite SGI Onyx keyboard and mouse (with the very long cable)
  Serial cable for VT terminal included, plus some other serial cables
  and misc items. I can include a VT terminal for +75 extra, or an old PC
  with HyperTerminal installed for free.

  (*) The unit is a Toshiba XM-4101B, which is fully bootable and can be
      used vertically or even upside down. I would put in a modern 32X,
      but most modern CDROMs can't be used vertically. Alternatively,
      I can include an external 40X unit instead for no extra cost.

  21" Monitor available for +95 if required (3m 13W3 cable included
  free, or I have a 10m monitor cable for +40).

  The system is wired for a normal single-phase 240V supply, and can
  thus be driven from a normal mains 240V source. Under normal
  operation the power consumption is about 10A at full load. The
  system connection itself is via a 24A large socket - the original
  cable and custom converter cable are included, with a heavy duty
  mains plug attached for connection to a mains supply.

  All doors, panels, indicators, etc. are fully intact. Photos
  available on request.

  This unit has the maximum number of CPUs an Onyx can have, but
  there is still space for two extra graphics pipes or other options.
  The system also has the most efficient RAM kits installed (only
  64MB DIMMs have been used), ie. it can be expanded to 8GB RAM (2GB
  per MC3 board) without removing any existing RAM modules.  The system
  can have up to 16GB RAM if CPU boards are replaced with more MC3s.

  7995 UKP + shipping, or collect (truck with a tail-lift recommended).


Here are some pictures:

Onyx Image 2 Onyx Image 3 Onyx Image 4 Onyx Image 5
Onyx Image 6 Onyx Image 7 Onyx Image 8


Here is the hinv output and gfxinfo:

onyx# hinv
Processor 0: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 1: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 2: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 3: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 4: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.6
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.6
Processor 5: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.6
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.6
Processor 6: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.6
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.6
Processor 7: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.6
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.6
Processor 8: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 9: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 10: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 11: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 12: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.6
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.6
Processor 13: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.6
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.6
Processor 14: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.6
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.6
Processor 15: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.6
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.6
Processor 16: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 17: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 18: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 19: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 20: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 21: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 22: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.5
Processor 23: 194 MHZ IP25 
CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.6
FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.6
Main memory size: 4096 Mbytes, 8-way interleaved
Instruction cache size: 32 Kbytes
Data cache size: 32 Kbytes
Secondary unified instruction/data cache size: 1 Mbyte
Integral SCSI controller 0: Version WD33C95A, differential, revision 0
  Disk drive: unit 1 on SCSI controller 0
Integral SCSI controller 1: Version WD33C95A, differential, revision 0
Integral EPC serial ports: 4
Integral EPC parallel port: Ebus slot 11
RealityEngineII Graphics Pipe 0 at IO Slot 11 Physical Adapter 2 (Fchip rev 2)
Integral Ethernet controller: et0, Ebus slot 11
I/O board, Ebus slot 11: IO4 revision 1
VME bus: adapter 45
VME bus: adapter 0 mapped to adapter 45
EPC external interrupts
onyx# /usr/gfx/gfxinfo
Graphics board 0 is "RES" graphics.
        Managed (":0.0") 1280x1024 
        Display 1280x1024 @ 60Hz
        12 GE (GE10 rev. 0x7)
        2 RM4 boards
        Small pixel depth
        10-bit RGBA pixels
        Not using Multi-Channel Option


Personal collection is best, for which I would recommend the use or hire of a van with a tail lift (eg. a Ryder truck). The unit is 5' 5" (1.65m) high, about 4' (1.22m) deep and is pretty heavy, but it moves very easily on its rollers. Also note that transportation in terms of general mobility (eg. if it has to be moved up some steps) can be greatly improved by temporarily removing the door panels, side panels, fan blowers and the two power supply units - this is all very easy to do (extra weight reduction obviously possible by removing the CPU boards, but only wise to do this if the boards can be properly packed, etc.) A truck's tail lift also allows one to maneuver the system over many steps if required. If you'd like me to organise delivery, then the cost would be approx. 175 UKP + petrol costs for the destination, though this only applies to locations that are within roughly 300km of Edinburgh. For anywhere further, the buyer should organise the use of a suitable van, eg. via rental or loan (the cost is actually quite reasonable, typically 75 UKP for a 2-day hire).

The system has a full installation of IRIX 6.5.22m with lots of extras. I've basically shoved on everything I can find (about 10GB of software in total), and I'll include a free set of original IRIX CDs, my Gifts CDs, custom Neko CD split, etc., along with various other bits & pieces which may be useful - a couple of serial cables, that sort of thing.

Email/phone if interested!

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