Onyx4 UltimateVision wanted

Woof

New member
Aug 5, 2022
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As per the title I'll looking to buy an Onyx4 UltimateVision, and I'm open to anything from a 2-brick system to something a little bigger, whatever I can get really. I'm in Basel, Switzerland but willing to ship or freight from anywhere.

That's a big, rare system for a first-time poster, so a little background. My life with SGI hardware started in the 90s as a software dev at a video facilities house, then one day I got to take home an old Personal Iris (4D/25 IIRC), which over the next few years was traded up via various machines to a dual-head Indigo2 with granite monitors. Then, after moving house far too many times in quick succession and carrying this stuff around I went to an O2 and 1600SW. The O2 was upgraded to an R12k, and even supplanted for a brief dalliance with a VW320. Several countries later and the only thing that remains is a still-boxed 1600SW (and MLA).

Why do I want such a beast? I'm a 3D dev, worked on everything from tools to games, and currently planning what to do post-work in a couple of years. For fun at work a few years back I ported our commercial 3D engine to an old Mac G5 to prove a silly point, and once everything was running on big endian and GL2, I thought, hmm, I could get this running on SGI kit. Anyway, the seed was sown and whilst I don't want to do exactly that, I do want to add an UltimateVision to the list of esoteric hardware I'm working on for engine projects that'll eventually be open sourced.

It'll join old systems like the G5, and modern oddities such as the Talos II. Plus we've all got to do something when we too become obsolete!

It won't sit gathering dust, it'll get loved, upgraded, maintained and used.
 
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Woof

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Aug 5, 2022
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Hi! Thanks - I think I'm a few years late to the party for picking up something so rare, but one can only hope!
 
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CiaoTime

Public Enemy Number One
Jan 15, 2020
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ambitious! I personally think that my two-brick Onyx4 is my favorite IRIX rig to just sit down at and actually use: it's a tricky beast compared to the more conventional machines, but the performance you can get out of it smashes basically anything. Especially if you go doubly wild and hook it up to an IR3 or IR4!

Try sending 3ddoc on this forum a message/email, I believe he had a couple Onyx4's on deck when I last visited in 2020.
 

Woof

New member
Aug 5, 2022
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Thanks for the tip, I'll send a message later. I did contact Mashek Systems but haven't heard back yet.
 

3ddoc

Member
Jan 17, 2020
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Ambitious! I personally think that my two-brick Onyx4 is my favorite IRIX rig to just sit down at and actually use: it's a tricky beast compared to the more conventional machines, but the performance you can get out of it smashes basically anything. Especially if you go doubly wild and hook it up to an IR3 or IR4!

Try sending 3ddoc on this forum a message/email, I believe he had a couple Onyx4's on deck when I last visited in 2020.
All I have left is a couple of the graphics cards for an onyx4, bay still have the midplane to put them into a o350 and turn it into an onyx4,
the only difference between the 2
 

Woof

New member
Aug 5, 2022
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Going the Origin 350 route, if it's straightforward, might be an option. So I could pick up something like this:


Then add the graphics cards and midplane, then I'd have a working system?
 

CiaoTime

Public Enemy Number One
Jan 15, 2020
43
24
8
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Going the Origin 350 route, if it's straightforward, might be an option. So I could pick up something like this:


Then add the graphics cards and midplane, then I'd have a working system?
More or less! My Onyx4 started off as an O350 as well. You'd replace the PCI riser card on brick c02 with the AGP riser card and install the graphics cards there. Reinstalling IRIX is the simplest way to get the Radeon drivers to work, which shouldn't be too big of a deal. Especially on a fast system with a built-in DVD drive.
 
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kaigan

Member
Jul 1, 2019
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A lot of people in the community tend to be hesitant about discussing pricing for SGI machines. I'm not one of them. :D I can say that I paid somewhere around $2000 all told for my Onyx4 setup, including a complete X2GN brick from good ol' 3ddoc back when he had one, as well as parts to completely rebuild a gutted prototype Onyx350 as an Origin350 base compute module. Prices have gone up post-pandemic, although I think things are finally settling down a little, so take my number with a grain of salt.

As far as Mashek's system, that seems like a pretty solid price for a system from Doug Mashek, one of the very few people to still sell SGI computers in any commercial capacity. If you purchase it from him, you can be sure that the computer will be professionally packed, warrantied for that 90-day time period against being DoA, and that the machine will have been treated with reasonable care before being shipped to you, which is not something that can be said for all gear that shows up on eBay from all recycling centers, for example.

Given your use case and the love you'll show to the machine, I'd suggest reaching out to Mashek and seeing if he'd offer a bit of a discount on the system. He's been selling off more of his remaining inventory on eBay recently, including with price negotiations in some cases. It never hurts to ask. :)
 
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Woof

New member
Aug 5, 2022
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Thanks, that's helpful. A few folks had been in touch privately, and I'm going to mail Doug Mashek again now I know more about what I want.
 
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