This page is an basic overview of the Octane / Octane 2.

The Octane2 is an Octane with a minimum level of board revisions and VPro graphics as standard.

CPU / Memory

The Octane is available as either a single cpu model or dual cpu model. The single cpu model can be upgraded to a dual cpu model by removing the single cpu module and replacing the entire module with a dual cpu module ( an extra cpu cannot be added to the single cpu module)

There are two variants of the IP30 system board which will determine the Maximum CPU / Maximum memory available, the 030-0887-xxx versions and the 030-1467-xxx. The 030-1467-xxx is used in the newest Octanes and all Octane2 machines.

Summary of differences between the 030-0887-xxx and the 030-1467-xxx

Part Num: 030-0887-xxx 030-1467-xxx
Max CPU Single R14000@600MHz (-B version)
Dual R12000@300MHz
Single R14000@600MHz
Dual R14000@600MHz
Max Mem 2GB 8GB


The Octane can take 3x 3.5inch hard drives internally using the same sled design as the Origin 200/2000 machines. The disks are SCA drives which connect to an internal 40MB/second UW-SCSI backplane, an external 68pin port provides a second UW SCSI channel giving a total SCSI bandwidth of 80MB/second as standard.


The Octane2 has VPro graphics and can take VPro V10/V12 graphics, however most older Octanes will require frontplane and power supply upgrades before the VPro V10/V12 can be used. See my Octane upgrade information for further information. The older Octanes use the Indigo2 IMPACT series graphics repackaged to fit the Octanes XIO slots; later on, the newer revision E series was produced with improved performance.

Board Name Indigo2 IMPACT equivalent
SI+Texture High IMPACT
SSI No equivalent (Maximum IMPACT - No Texture)
SSI+Texture Maximum IMPACT (i.e. MXI)

Board Name Comments
SE E series version of SI (also known as ESI)
SE+Texture E series version of SI+Texture
SSE E series version of SSI (also known as ESSI)
SSE+Texture E series version of Maximum IMPACT
MXE E series version of Maximum IMPACT (also known as EMXI)

VPro Comments
V6 Works with older Octanes, requires new PSU and new monitor
V8 Works with older Octanes, requires new PSU and new monitor
V10 Works only with newer Octanes/Octane2 - needs correct PSU,frontplane and monitor
V12 Works only with newer Octanes/Octane2 - needs correct PSU,frontplane and monitor

The VPro (Odyssey) graphics cards were released with the last Octanes and come as standard with the Octane2 machines, the original Octane machines should be able to take the VPro V6/V8 graphics card as long as the correct power supply is used, however note that the VPro graphics cards cannot be used with the older sgi monitors as the VPro cards use higher refresh rates.

Note: (I don't know too much about the VPro graphics - the following is true for IMPACT (I/E) series cards) The Octane IMPACT cards use a 13W3 connector and not the PC style 15way high density connector. The IMPACT series cards use sync-on-green and not separate sync signals like PC's, this means that if you are intending to use a non sgi monitor you will need to ensure that it is compatible, also the 13W3 connectors used by sgi have a different pinout from the sun 13W3 monitor connections which means you need to get the right type of 13W3 to 15way HD connector adaptor (I got round this by buying a sun pinout adaptor and chopping all the signal pins out of the middle of the 13W3 end, leaving just the 3 video coax connectors - probably overkill but it worked).


The Octane has onboard audio with the following ports:
1x phono pair for analog audio in
1x phono pair for analog audio out
1x 3.5mm headphone / speaker socket (a 10V power supply socket is for powered speakers)
1x 3.5mm microphone socket
1x phono digital input, 1x phono digital output
1x optical digital input (ADAT), 1x optical digital output (ADAT)



XIO provide a high bandwidth IO expansion slot, the IMPACT Octanes have four slots, at least one of which is used by the graphics card, the VPro OCTANES use a different XIO carrier mechanism and give you two slots available for expansion.

Available expansion (not definitive):
Second graphics card for multi-head or dual user with an additional keyboard/mouse
Single channel fibre channel controller
Dual channel fibre channel controller
Quad Differential UltraWide SCSI
Quad ethernet / 6 serial card

PCI ( Optional - requires a PCI card-cage)

PCI provides a lower cost IO expansion slot, there are three PCI slots available in the optional PCI card cage.

Available expansion (not definitive):
RAD Audio - multiple channels of digital audio
M-Audio Revolution 7.1 Soundcard (not supported until 6.5.21)
Fast ethernet
Fast ethernet + keyboard/mouse - used for dual user with second graphics card.
Gigabit ethernet
Single channel fibre channel controller
ISDN board
Differential UltraSCSI port
Single ended UltraSCSI port
Dual port QLogic U160 LVD SCSI

Other ports

IEEE 1284C Parallel port - the 'compact' 36 pin version, unfortunately the cables for this aren't that common.
2 x serial ports - one of which is used as a serial console port.
keyboard / mouse port
100MB/s ethernet port (full duplex capable)