Feeds

SGI upgrades kit big and small

ATI meets Onyx

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

SGI has released a pair of beastly systems to shore up its stronghold in the graphics market and has turned to mainstream graphics card maker ATI to help lower the costs of its kit.

The new star in the SGI line-up is the Onyx4 Ultimate Vision system. The server stretches from a starting price of $45,000 with two R16000A processors to a 64-CPU box that goes into the millions. SGI says the system runs five times faster than old Onyx servers and at one-fifth the cost due in large part to the use of ATI workstation video cards for graphics grunt work.

Along with the new Onxy, SGI has rolled out the one to four processor Tezro workstation, which The Register uncovered last week. The Tezro system ships in a rack-mount configuration as well as a flash, purple tower config.

SGI continues to hammer away on the graphics and high performance computing markets that brought it fame. Its Irix flavor of Unix still hums away and the MIPS chips keep kicking.

When the dot-com bubble burst, SGI executives talked without shame about wanting to hold onto this segment of the server market that was left wheezing on life support. SGI had plenty of customers tied to its architecture, loads of specialised apps for its systems and hundreds of millions in revenue. Apparently, this was enough to keep the brass happy in tough times.

These days, SGI's higher ranks appear a tad more aggressive. No less than three marketeers were enlisted to tell us about the growing need for and availability of high performance systems.

The story is pretty common in the server world. Processors keep improving as components such as graphics cards drop in price while upping their power. These trends open the way for technology such as Beowulf clusters or SGI's systems to creep into the enterprise. As an example, SGI is proud to count the Pringle's potato chip design team as a customer. Don't think animated movies with hundred million dollar budgets; think junk food. The SGI customer is becoming a more common breed, we are told.

It's not clear that SGI can match the success of companies such as Dell that have ridden high-powered Xeon processor-based systems right on into the enterprise. Going the Xeon-cluster route, means customers can benefit from low-cost hardware, the free Linux operating system and ever-improving laws of supply and demand. Still, SGI may well manage to carve out a bigger chunk of the overall market with cheaper components on its side and be able to fend off increased competition from the likes of Sun Microsystems, HP and IBM.

Confidence aside, it must be disconcerting to be compared daily to DEC.

The new Onyx4 systems will ship in three basic flavors. The first model has between two and eight processors and is targeted at users that need more power than a workstation can offer. A second config will hold between eight and 16 CPUs and be aimed at handling shared workloads spread across several users. The big daddy config ships with between 16 and 64 processors and is for those with the highest of computational needs.

A reliable reader says that faster R18000 chips should arrive this fall and have close to four times the performance of the R16000 chips shipping with the new kit. SGI declined to confirm such chatter.

The Tezro workstation will ship as predicted with one, two our four processors. SGI claims it performs 3 times as well as the previous Octane2 system. A two-processor box starts around $28,000. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.