View Full Version : Sgi Octane

06-11-2008, 10:12 AM
I was searching some videos about the making of South Park, when I found that it was made using octane workstations.
I made a search on google and discovered that these workstations are still sold, but for (imho) insane prices.
Then I looked for their specs, which seemed to be ... poor.
Then I found this website (http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/c-ray.html). I've never heard of these machines, so I'm quite amazed!
Anyone here used one before? They seems quite...cool!

06-11-2008, 10:30 AM
Its interesting what SGI gets out of its Octane and Tezro workstations.

Tezro has a quad 800mhz r16000 MIPS procs. Seems like they could be killed by a single, say, Intel quad core extreme right? Well evidently not and I wish I could say why but I don't know enough about them to tell you.

I only know that many Tezro and Octane stations were for Flame and Smoke compositing, amongst other things, and could do realtime compositing @ film resolutions so the price looked like a deal.

SGI came out of bankruptcy in the last couple years and are now booming again but they don't really focus on the CG market and instead focus on science simulation and other serious data crunching.

I'd love to get one of their machines just cause they are like cult collectors items now.

I honestly think they could get a niche in the CG market again if they focused on multi core solutions like Boxx is doing with their 32 core Workstation apexx Which can be priced between $32,000-$80,000 depending on how much RAM, drives and memory you want in them.

06-11-2008, 10:38 AM
Don't remember all the details, but the general concept is that they specifically engineered the I/O buses and the threading of process control to be super effective, so for the same number of "revolutions " of your engine the "vehicle" gets the very best power to the "wheels" (in direct violation of the "computing to cars analogies ban") :)

Kevin L

06-11-2008, 10:41 AM
Oh I just saw that there is a quad core in the list that beats the r16000 but not by much. Still pretty amazing none the less.

06-11-2008, 10:57 AM
Every once in awhile I look on ebay for sgi computers. I see 02, Octane, and Indys for cheap. Specs are very low. I wonder if they are still useful for anything. I saw once that someone installed the front of one of the larger models on a mini-fridge, I think it was an older Indigo.

06-11-2008, 11:07 AM
This SGI box packs a wallop! Will boost YOUR processor.



06-11-2008, 11:40 AM
LOL it's been a decade since I was on an Octane. Good ole Irix and the wonderful PointBlank game that game with it!

06-11-2008, 11:51 AM
Hehe, I love that espresso machine!

06-11-2008, 12:10 PM
I own an Octane2.... the blue one...........they're so cool!!!

06-11-2008, 12:36 PM
I own an Octane2.... the blue one...........they're so cool!!!

So it's useful for what kind of task?
I mean, a q6600 is much cheaper and kicks ***: octane are worth of 2000 and more bucks?

06-11-2008, 12:47 PM
well, I've to say. I bought it just for fun. It was 100 euro's so I couldn't resist. I don't know a lot about sgi's but one thing is for sure, it is slow. You can't compare it to a modern computer. But the funny thing is that is does play full frame PAL video and has digital sound in and output. Tezro'z are still used. But these Octanes are only good for setting up a network you need for running flame and stuff. I've a R12000 400mhz with 512mb ram and V6 graphics.

06-11-2008, 12:58 PM
Then I hope this (http://www.mce.com/shop/browse?category_id=132) is an old page, very old...

06-11-2008, 01:01 PM
I've seen that one. I hope it's very old to.....or maybe not and I'm a rich man and I don't know it....

06-11-2008, 01:10 PM
.....or maybe not and I'm a rich man and I don't know it....
If it's really so...then...just ... don't forget me... :hey:

06-11-2008, 02:08 PM
hahaha I won't!!! do do you want a red yellow or a black Ferrari ? Just in case... ;)

06-11-2008, 02:30 PM
You can find these cheap on eBay now and there was an old version of LW 3D for them. Cool boxes for their time. Unix (Irix flavor) workhorses.


06-11-2008, 03:45 PM
You can find these cheap on eBay now and there was an old version of LW 3D for them. Cool boxes for their time. Unix (Irix flavor) workhorses.


there's usually a few o2's around on ebay with lightwave 5 on irix

i have a couple of windows sgi's
silicon graphics 320
sgi 230

both run still and are fun to have such cool brand names in the house..got them from ebay, they were around 100 each a few years back and were ,6000 rrp for the 320 and 3000 for the 230

06-11-2008, 04:14 PM
Your right cresshead, it's fun having a few SGI's around. We have two O2's and an Octane here. We might be picking up a Fuel soon as well.

06-11-2008, 07:18 PM
you might also consider this:


(notice the "standby" power usage)

06-11-2008, 09:46 PM
Then I looked for their specs, which seemed to be ... poor.

Of course they are old but remember to not compare specs with a common PC, they have a different arquitecture. MHz on a SGI doesn't mean the same as in a PC (RISC vs CISC), different number of operations per cycle among other things.

The Dommo
06-15-2008, 01:56 PM
I've personally been a real sucker for SGI and Silicon Graphics stuff.

I can remember reading in issue 4 of Computer Arts when the SGI O2 was unveiled, and I just thought "oh my god, that is awesome!"

Any model of machine that SGI made was very powerful for its time, not just down to the CPU architecture, but also with the way memory and buses worked. :D They also each looked very cool, workstations that you would be extremely proud to been seen operating, compared to the standard beige boxes of the day :boogiedow

My colleague and I first used SGI machines at university, where they had some O2 machines and some old Indigo 2s. On the 64 bit OS (from before 2000 when we used them), we were teaching ourselves SoftImage 3D - for those who don't know - that is the precursor to XSI. It was the software used to create effects for movies such as Jurassic Park, The Mask, and Starship Troopers. It had animation tools which still make modern 3D animation tools seem pathetic in comparison, even to this day. Polygon modlling was difficult at best, and though it ws primarily based around NURBS an b-spline modelling, it was still difficult to get a good model. Rendering was often done using an early version of Mental Ray.

Anyway, that's just me reminiscing. The point is, these machines were, for a long long time, the best of breed. Video, film and animation was all dealt with, with ease. SGI is a very important company in the field which everyone here is part of. We all owe a lot to this company which created in order to make the effects for Tron.

We bought two O2 machines off eBay recently, partly to own a piece of history, and partly to reminisce. We are setting them up to be our internet gateway machine - basically to act a bit like a firewall, and to access our workstations in other geographic locations. :)

Here's some links to some awesome SGI products:
http://halisway.hifichoice.com/o2.jpg -what we used at university
http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/article/990112/sgi.jpg - I gagged after these Windows NT machines in 1999, which were so much more advanced than their PC and Mac competitors
http://genome.ukm.my/genomicslab/images/equipment%20image/octane2x.gif - ALWAYS admired these :D
http://www.fz-juelich.de/jsc/datapool/virtualreality/DSC04192_www.jpg - supercomputer workstation !!
http://www.silicon-impact.de/pics/jpg/sgi_fuel_post.jpg - always wondered how awesome this Fuel is
http://www.sgi.com/company_info/newsroom/img_library/downloads/tezro_combo_jpg.jpg - one very whacky looking but obviously awesome machine :D

Enjoy ! :boogiedow

06-16-2008, 02:08 AM
It was the software used to create effects for movies such as Jurassic Park...

I always wandered what software did they use to make it!
Anyone knows where could I find something like "the making of", an article about Jurassic Park? But something serious, not like vids on youtube.

The Dommo
06-17-2008, 10:35 AM
I wasn't sure whether to reply as this isn't exactly LW related, directly - but it is very important in the CG industry history, so I think people should know.

Having trouble finding proper 'Making Of's for you, but here's a little bit of info

06-17-2008, 12:07 PM
Having trouble finding proper 'Making Of's for you
Thanks for links anyway!

06-17-2008, 01:15 PM
yeah i'm after a silicon graphics O2 as well...just need to find one at a reasonable price that'll ship to the uk and have around 256 or 512 ram...want to play on it with blender!

The Dommo
06-17-2008, 04:32 PM
We have 2 x O2s of different specs - when we finish setting up the one we want, we were going to have 1 left for public display. Who knows, we could sell it to you. One of the two machines we got had a dying hard drive, so that'd need replacing - should be cheap now.

Tell you what though, these O2s which came out in 1996/97 with 64bit OS IRIX were cool - so easy to access the inards - even back then, totally screwless design. They even had dual channel RAM for fast memory speeds for the time. PCs only had that in the last few years.

You have to take your hat off to SGI.

We would have bought an Octane 2 for our gateway services I mentioned earlier, but we wanted something small, and the O2 is just that. Gotta love em :D

The Dommo
06-17-2008, 04:37 PM
if you can be bothered - look here (http://eesb.blogspot.com/2007/11/eight-eyed-sea-bass-buys-sgi.html) :ohmy:

06-17-2008, 06:00 PM
Always loved the look and colour of those Indigo 2 boxes.