- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Added chapter 4 to the Indigo2 Technical
- Added a page for Indigo2 IMPACT
- Added a page on Indigo2 IMPACT
Video; found a picture of the Cray
- Added a page for the Indigo machine.
- Added a page on the 150MHz R4400
- 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
- Added more Indigo2 application briefs (Asset Management, Digital Prepress, Visual
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Description of what the ICE ASIC in O2
is used for, what it isn't used for and suggestions for future