MP 7,1 The new Mac Pro is just like the SGI workstations

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by juanm, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. juanm, Jun 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019

    juanm macrumors 68000

    juanm

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    #1
    Dunno anyone here remembers, but SGI used to sell IRIX-based workstations designed for media professionals back in the mid-90sto mid-2000s, to run software such as Inferno or Flame, at resolutions that then seemed amazing such as HD or even 4K later on. They used to cost $10K to $50K, but could climb much higher, IIRC.

    They were aimed not at creative professionals individuals, but at media and VFX companies, who were the only ones who could justify paying those prices for dedicated HD compositing suites.

    Sounds familiar?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

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    #2
    Man, I used to drool over those SGI workstations. I worked in a medical imaging lab, and there were dozens of these in use. Each model had a distinctive, crazy case, including a machine the size of a small fridge that was bright pink.

    The good old days!
     
  3. edgerider macrumors regular

    edgerider

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    #3
    sgi octane 2..... my dream machine when I was 15!
     
  4. skaertus macrumors 68040

    skaertus

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    #4
    I never used an SGI workstation, but I used to drool over them at conferences back in the day.

    I suppose they were far more powerful (compared to an average PC of the time, I mean) than anything Apple is willing to offer with the new Mac Pro.
     
  5. edgerider macrumors regular

    edgerider

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    #5
    ifyou have the budget to top it up, 28 cores , 1,5 TB and 4 gpu, starts to be a decent power machine....
     
  6. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

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    #6
    I had a love/hate relationship with the Octane2. Autodesk software basically required it and you basically needed support contracts just to be able to work. Crash at 3am? Call to Canada... Then they only certified specific hardware on top of it. People who think Apple is restrictive with hardware never experienced those incompatibility issues. Importing offline EDLs, conforming, mismatched tape names... I'm starting to twitch just thinking about those headaches all over again, especially when it was with the disorganized producer who labeled everything as TAPE and showed up with three crates of DigiBeta.
     
  7. skaertus macrumors 68040

    skaertus

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    #7
    Yes, the Mac Pro can be a very powerful machine. But I had the impression that an SGI workstation (at similar prices) was even more powerful (compared to average PCs) back then.
     
  8. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

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    #8
    I have an Octane on the table behind my desk that actually runs all the time. It was bought new at work and has protein modeling software on it. I know of Octane 2 and O2 in the building also running the same software. I also have an O2 that doesn't work in my office, and an Iris Indigo that I need to find a mouse for(not trivial) then install a hard drive and a copy of Irix.

    For reference, since I have this handy-prices paid

    Iris Indigo $7853 4/92

    Octane2 $6549.95 5/04

    I actually can't find the Octane on the inventory to know what was paid for it-I doubt it was under $5K(threshold for the sheet I have) so it may have been bought with other money. The O2 also isn't on there, but that MAY be because it was under $5K.
     
  9. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

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    #9
    Out in interest, what interface does the mouse use which makes it so hard to find?
     
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

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    #10
    It LOOKS like a PS/2 mouse, but is not compatible. In fact, I've been told that plugging a PS/2 mouse in will damage it.

    The interface is proprietary to the Iris Indigo-later ones used PS/2 for the mouse and keyboard both.
     
  11. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

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    #11
    There was a converter at one time. I'm not POSITIVE this is the right one. The box we had was slightly different.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SGI-Indigo-Onyx-PS-2-keyboard-mouse-converter/153170173036
     
  12. AliGT83 macrumors member

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    #12
  13. frou macrumors 6502

    frou

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    #13
    If the new MP was using in-house Apple-designed CPUs and GPUs I think this would be a better comparison.

    It's an exotic machine because of the case and cooling design but most of the fundamental components are off-the-shelf or close to it.
     
  14. th0masp macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I was also very much reminded of the SGI Octane, same focus on bandwidth and multi-processing capabilities and basically meant for video instead of 3D. You could configure them with dual CPU's and dual GPU's. I suspect once you load up the Mac Pro with those MPX multi-GPU modules and install enough RAM and SSD storage to really work with it then you're not going to be all that far from the Octane's pricing anymore.

    I sold my Octane 2 dual-600 V12 model a few years back to an enthusiast, there's apparently still a community out there for these. Disposed of my operating system CD-ROM's (over 20 discs for a single install set!) last month or so.

    I can still hear the racket the damn thing made. A computer so noisy I felt a sign of relief every time I shut it off. ;)
     
  15. juanm thread starter macrumors 68000

    juanm

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    #15
  16. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #16
    I was at the first presentation of the O2 and Octane. Very powerful at the time. SGI created their own high bandwidth unified memory architecture.
     
  17. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000

    thisisnotmyname

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    #17
    years ago I picked up a used SGI box (don't even remember what model, it was purple) for $100. It was nearly free and just fun to play with. :)
     
  18. th0masp macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Sounds like you never had much contact with 'swmgr', 'inst' and 'sash'. Behold - the terrible trinity!

    But yeah, they had a cool, stable OS with a userfriendly GUI at a time when elsewhere you had to deal with system hangs, blue screens and guru meditations.
     
  19. Dorothy Gale macrumors member

    Dorothy Gale

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    Dec 21, 2015
    #19
    By not to mention the Silicon Graphics F220 flat panel display that looks like the forefather to the 2019 Mac Pro handles. Oh, and the Tezro, one of the most striking workstations ever built. Both pictured here. Tezro F220.jpg
     
  20. JeffPerrin macrumors 6502

    JeffPerrin

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    #20
    ^^^THIS^^^
     
  21. danwells macrumors 6502

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    #21
    The world has moved to all Intel/AMD based - nobody's doing custom CPUs at the high end any more... This isn't off the shelf hardware in the sense of "related to what you can find at Best Buy" any more than a SGI is. It does use the same chip architecture in a very broad sense, but it's an exotic version of it...
     
  22. apolloa macrumors G4

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    #22
    Haha I thought and said the EXACT same thing when I saw them announce the new Mac Pro, a proper power house system..... on your desk!
    You can buy them for paunuts now and their are a bunch of SGI enthusiasts too out there! Hmm bit like Apple fans apart from the Macs cost peanuts bit haha...
     

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21 June 5, 2019