Re: SGI using ATI Chips? - SGI

This is a discussion on Re: SGI using ATI Chips? - SGI ; In article , "Markus Kummerer" wrote: : Hello, : : According to Heise Online ( http://www.heise.de ), SGI´s upcoming product, : which they name "Onyx4 UlitmateVision", is going to use ATI Graphics Chips. : The site also claims, that an ...

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Thread: Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

  1. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    In article ,
    "Markus Kummerer" wrote:

    : Hello,
    :
    : According to Heise Online (http://www.heise.de), SGI´s upcoming product,
    : which they name "Onyx4 UlitmateVision", is going to use ATI Graphics Chips.
    : The site also claims, that an ATI Graphics Chip will be available for the
    : "Tezro" Visual Workstation in 2004.
    :
    : Regarding Heise Online, this site has an excellent reputation in the German
    : speaking area, so it is definitely not another "Rumors"-Site.
    :
    : IMHO an unpleasant way to start the week...

    I doubt these "ATI Graphics cards" will look much like the $200 cards you find
    in your average Dell.

    As I recall, both the R200 and R300 cores (maybe earlier cores too) have the
    (currently unused) ability to be run in parallel with a max of something like
    128 or 256 GPUs per 'pipe'.

    As for SGI GL extensions, the R300 (and in theory the R400 and beyond) are fully
    programmable (within some limits), so it should be possible to get ample feature
    coverage with a good software-side package.

    So even if SGI uses a common ATi core, they'll still be able to differentiate
    their products by a few orders of magnitude compared to the average PC.


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony "Nicoya" Mantler - Renaissance Nerd Extraordinaire - nicoya@apia.dhs.org
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/

  2. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    In news:nicoya-721616.14381214072003@news.wp.shawcable.net, Tony
    'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:

    > I doubt these "ATI Graphics cards" will look much like the $200 cards
    > you find in your average Dell.


    Why not? It appears to me that they're compositing multiple cards ala
    InfinitePerformance.

    [rhetorical]Why would SGI design their own cards as well?[/rhetorical]

    > As I recall, both the R200 and R300 cores (maybe earlier cores too)
    > have the (currently unused) ability to be run in parallel with a max
    > of something like 128 or 256 GPUs per 'pipe'.


    Various announcements and datasheets imply one GPU per pipe (occupying
    one PCI-X slot) and a graphics compositor for combining pipes (only up
    to 4 pipes?). So I don't think we're talking about a large parallel
    processing design like InfiniteReality.

    > As for SGI GL extensions, the R300 (and in theory the R400 and
    > beyond) are fully programmable (within some limits), so it should be
    > possible to get ample feature coverage with a good software-side
    > package.


    I thought that only the shaders were programable.

    > So even if SGI uses a common ATi core, they'll still be able to
    > differentiate their products by a few orders of magnitude compared to
    > the average PC.


    In their 'UltimateVision' like of products, yes, it would seem.

    In their Tezro workstations, I don't see how, alteast until there is
    more info available.

    Chris

    --
    #include
    cm007i@hotmail.com



  3. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    In article ,
    "<<>>" wrote:

    : In news:nicoya-721616.14381214072003@news.wp.shawcable.net, Tony
    : 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:
    :
    : > I doubt these "ATI Graphics cards" will look much like the $200 cards
    : > you find in your average Dell.
    :
    : Why not? It appears to me that they're compositing multiple cards ala
    : InfinitePerformance.
    :
    : [rhetorical]Why would SGI design their own cards as well?[/rhetorical]

    Video cards already need to be custom adapted to every different platform
    anyways, so they might as well make their own board. It could be identical to
    the ATI reference design, with only a specific SGI firmware/'bios', or they
    could rework it significantly to better work inside SGI boxes.

    ATI has been working a lot recently at separating their core production from
    their card production, encouraging 3rd parties to make their own boards.


    : > As I recall, both the R200 and R300 cores (maybe earlier cores too)
    : > have the (currently unused) ability to be run in parallel with a max
    : > of something like 128 or 256 GPUs per 'pipe'.
    :
    : Various announcements and datasheets imply one GPU per pipe (occupying
    : one PCI-X slot) and a graphics compositor for combining pipes (only up
    : to 4 pipes?). So I don't think we're talking about a large parallel
    : processing design like InfiniteReality.

    Well, this is just the first offering of this new architecture. There's plenty
    of headroom to work with.


    : > As for SGI GL extensions, the R300 (and in theory the R400 and
    : > beyond) are fully programmable (within some limits), so it should be
    : > possible to get ample feature coverage with a good software-side
    : > package.
    :
    : I thought that only the shaders were programable.

    "Only the shaders" covers quite a bit of the pipeline. Is there any specific GL
    extension that you think might not be able to be emulated well?


    : > So even if SGI uses a common ATi core, they'll still be able to
    : > differentiate their products by a few orders of magnitude compared to
    : > the average PC.
    :
    : In their 'UltimateVision' like of products, yes, it would seem.
    :
    : In their Tezro workstations, I don't see how, alteast until there is
    : more info available.

    More info, or future product revisions.

    Of course, that's not to say I wouldn't also welcome a 'cheapie' video card to
    cover people who don't need mind-blowing graphics performance, but want other
    SGI features in their workstation.


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony "Nicoya" Mantler - Renaissance Nerd Extraordinaire - nicoya@apia.dhs.org
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/

  4. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    <<>> wrote:
    > Various announcements and datasheets imply one GPU per pipe (occupying
    > one PCI-X slot) and a graphics compositor for combining pipes (only up
    > to 4 pipes?).


    Per compositor. SGI does plan to support compositor trees of different
    fashion.


  5. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:
    >
    > In article ,
    > "<<>>" wrote:
    >
    > :
    > : [rhetorical]Why would SGI design their own cards as well?[/rhetorical]
    >
    > Video cards already need to be custom adapted to every different platform
    > anyways, so they might as well make their own board. It could be identical to
    > the ATI reference design, with only a specific SGI firmware/'bios', or they
    > could rework it significantly to better work inside SGI boxes.


    Sounds kinda like the way a commodity QLogic or Adaptec SCSI card
    becomes a high-priced SGI SCSI card. Or network cards for your O3K
    series, or.... That sort of thing happens all the time. SGI tweaks
    commodity hardware in other areas, why not graphics cores?

  6. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    John-Paul Stewart wrote:
    >
    > Sounds kinda like the way a commodity QLogic or Adaptec SCSI card
    > becomes a high-priced SGI SCSI card. Or network cards for your O3K
    > series, or.... That sort of thing happens all the time. SGI tweaks
    > commodity hardware in other areas, why not graphics cores?


    Are you being sarcastic? I doubt network cards or SCSI cards are being
    tweaked by SGI at all. Probably more a case of SGI simply asking high prices
    for that commodity hardware...

    --
    / http://www.fishpool.com/~setok/

  7. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    setok@fishpool.com wrote:
    > John-Paul Stewart wrote:
    >
    >>Sounds kinda like the way a commodity QLogic or Adaptec SCSI card
    >>becomes a high-priced SGI SCSI card. Or network cards for your O3K
    >>series, or.... That sort of thing happens all the time. SGI tweaks
    >>commodity hardware in other areas, why not graphics cores?

    >
    >
    > Are you being sarcastic? I doubt network cards or SCSI cards are being
    > tweaked by SGI at all.


    Well, if finding bugs in hardware and firmware (and waiting for a
    rev that fixes these) is "tweaking", have no more doubts. Of course,
    these fixes do find their way into the commodity boards as well, but
    when you buy one of these from a PeeCee shop, if you get one that's
    been sitting on a shelf for long,...[has happened to me with SCSI
    cards -- which specifically do *not* have drivers that refuse to work
    with commodity cards].


  8. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    In article ,
    setok@fishpool.com writes:
    > John-Paul Stewart wrote:
    >>
    >> Sounds kinda like the way a commodity QLogic or Adaptec SCSI card
    >> becomes a high-priced SGI SCSI card. Or network cards for your O3K
    >> series, or.... That sort of thing happens all the time. SGI tweaks
    >> commodity hardware in other areas, why not graphics cores?

    >
    > Are you being sarcastic? I doubt network cards or SCSI cards are being
    > tweaked by SGI at all. Probably more a case of SGI simply asking high prices
    > for that commodity hardware...


    if that's your impression - ok. - but it's not quire right. reality is,
    that most commodity hardware cards - which seem to work fine in x86 systems,
    very often have issues when run on big-endian machines ...
    (simply because of the lower ammount of real-world testing)
    So in most cases we end up in tweaking/fixing/workarounding/optimizing
    the firmware on the cards to get it run on big-endian machines.

    wolfgang

  9. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    setok@fishpool.com wrote:
    >
    > John-Paul Stewart wrote:
    > >
    > > Sounds kinda like the way a commodity QLogic or Adaptec SCSI card
    > > becomes a high-priced SGI SCSI card. Or network cards for your O3K
    > > series, or.... That sort of thing happens all the time. SGI tweaks
    > > commodity hardware in other areas, why not graphics cores?

    >
    > Are you being sarcastic? I doubt network cards or SCSI cards are being
    > tweaked by SGI at all. Probably more a case of SGI simply asking high prices
    > for that commodity hardware...


    I've read posts in these newsgroups about SGI machines providing so much
    I/O bandwidth that it pumps data to/from the card so much faster than a
    PC could ever do that it causes problems with cards overheating, etc.

    Ian Mapelson mentions it about halfway down in the post with Message
    ID: . (The paragraph starting "I
    highly doubt it's an off the shelf card.") There he mentions that
    people at SGI have told him about the problems with trying to use an
    off-the-shelf Gbit card and needed better cooling for it, among other
    things.

    That's just one recent example of people talking about how SGI tweaks
    cards. There are other posts mentioning the same sorts of issues, too.

  10. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    Alexis Cousein wrote:
    >
    > Well, if finding bugs in hardware and firmware (and waiting for a
    > rev that fixes these) is "tweaking", have no more doubts. Of course,


    Surely finding bugs etc. is what all brand name PC vendors do?

    --
    / http://www.fishpool.com/~setok/

  11. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    setok@fishpool.com wrote:
    > Surely finding bugs etc. is what all brand name PC vendors do?


    No, that's what customers do.

    Ian.


  12. Re: SGI using ATI Chips?

    setok@fishpool.com wrote:
    > Alexis Cousein wrote:
    >
    >>Well, if finding bugs in hardware and firmware (and waiting for a
    >>rev that fixes these) is "tweaking", have no more doubts. Of course,

    >
    >
    > Surely finding bugs etc. is what all brand name PC vendors do?
    >

    ROTFL. Hardly. They qualify boards, and if they don't work, they select
    a different source. Given the volumes, Qlogic et al have a perfectly
    good reason to make the boards work with most volume PC chipsets, which
    means they'll pass qualification by the PC vendors (if they don't,
    the PC vendors just chukc them back and let Qlogics figure out).

    Nothing to do with how many bugs are still
    lurking under the surface of the entire flight envelope, though.

    Even on some no-brand PCs -- doesn't have to be an SGI IRIX machine .


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