The Sun Fire V880Z

Irinikus

Active member
Dec 16, 2019
277
183
43
South Africa
www.youtube.com
This is the largest machine I currently have in my collection! (All 157kg of it!!!)

I received this little monster brand new in box!!! (So I've been lucky enough to experience the unboxing of such a piece of equipment!)

It has the following spec: 6x UltraSPARC III Cu 1.2GHz, XVR-4000, 48GB of RAM (It's at max spec)

Here are some pictures of the machine to show it's expandability:









Here are some pics of the XVR-4000: (This is an extremely rare graphics card!)







Here's the splash screen for the XVR-4000 as it boots:



Here are some details concerning the XVR-4000:









Here is a publication by Michael Frank Deering, the man who created this monstrous graphics card:




It's about three times as powerful as an SGI V12 and has nine times the geometry performance of an SGI Infinite Reality III sytem.

According to Michael Frank Deering (it's creator), "This product still has by far the highest final antialiased pixel quality of any real-time machine ever built."
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Elf and rbz

Elf

Storybook
Feb 4, 2019
588
161
43
Interesting, I never knew Sun had such powerful graphics cards! I'd never seen them in use in the market segments that would be interested in such a thing, but clearly someone was buying these :)
 

imking12

New member
Oct 26, 2021
3
2
3
Cool man!

I've recently got a XVR-4000 graphic board too. It seemed so rare, especially in China. Unfortunately I have no place to store the entire Sun Fire V880z system. Thus, I just retain the graphic board.

Here are some pictures:

Board Overview
XVR-4000.jpg

Air Cover removed
Cover Removed.jpg

Texture Pipelines sperated from Base Board
Texture Units Seperated.jpg

Texture Pipeline (With FBC3 Chip umasked) x2
Texture Units (With FBC3 chip unmasked).jpg

Video Output Board
Video Output Board.jpg

Base Board
Base Board.jpg

Base Board (shot from another angel)
Base Board (Another Angle).jpg

Voltage Regulator (one of the six)
Voltage Regulator Module.jpg

Bootup Info
Boot Info.jpg

A lot of detailed technical infos needed for this board. For example core operating frequency, numbers of pixel units / vertex units / TMUs / ROPs, etc.

After reading the 'Sun XVR-4000 Graphics Accelerator / Sun Fire V880z Visualiaztion System: Just the Facts' document. I've got a rough idea that this board works at 341MHz for its MAJC processor, 166MHz for all of the onboard RAMs, but frequency of other ASICs (Such as FBC3 / Master / Sched / Route / Convolve Chip) are still unknown.

Also after looking at the block diagram posted, I think this board may have 4 pixel units / 8 vertex units (as MAJC processor is dual core) / 4 TMUs / 4 ROPs in total. Not sure if I were right or not.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Elf and Irinikus

Irinikus

Active member
Dec 16, 2019
277
183
43
South Africa
www.youtube.com
Very cool pics! Thanks very much for sharing! :)

It's very interesting to see that the XVR-4000 makes use of a form of compression connector to connect its daughter boards to the main board!



I've only seen such connectors used in the SGI Octane and Onyx2 systems!

A V880 doesn't really take up that much floor space, especially if you stack your other systems on-top of it!

 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Elf

imking12

New member
Oct 26, 2021
3
2
3
Very cool pics! Thanks very much for sharing! :)

It's very interesting to see that the XVR-4000 makes use of a form of compression connector to connect its daughter boards to the main board!



I've only seen such connectors used in the SGI Octane and Onyx2 systems!

A V880 doesn't really take up that much floor space, especially if you stack your other systems on-top of it!

Thanks bro! This is currently the biggest and heaviest graphic board I've ever got, 3 times bigger than my Nvidia Quadro FX4500 x2.
The V880z system was left at the reseller's site, as my room is small, I just pick up the graphic board.

Also envy for your RISC system collections, especially the SGI Indigo2 with Maximum Impact Graphics.
In China there are not so many old system left. I've seen disassembled XZ Graphics / Extreme Graphics / Solid Impact board for Indigo2 before, but never found a Maximum Impact board here. 😭

By the way, I've watch your youtube post of playing ioquake3 on XVR-4000, wondering how much FPS would it be if you play under 1280 x 1024 with GL Extensions off, Lighting set to Lightmap, Texture Filter set to Trillinear and other settings the same as those in your video.
 
Last edited:

Irinikus

Active member
Dec 16, 2019
277
183
43
South Africa
www.youtube.com
I've tried it with all the different settings in Quake 3, and it doesn't really make a huge difference!

One thing to note though is that the XVR-4000 always has fullscreen antialiasing engaged, whereas the SGI V12 doesn't offer antialiasing when running Quake 3. So this could definitely be the reason for the low frame rate on the XVR-4000!

The XVR-4000's architecture is optimised for the rendering of spheres, and is thus good for molecular modelling.

Here's a comparison of the VMD output quality of the Tezro VS the V880Z!

Tezro:



V880Z:



The V880Z definitely produces a cleaner image! (And also maintains a higher frame-rate!)
 
Last edited:

imking12

New member
Oct 26, 2021
3
2
3
I've tried it with all the different settings in Quake 3, and it doesn't really make a huge difference!

One thing to note though is that the XVR-4000 always has fullscreen antialiasing engaged, whereas the SGI V12 doesn't offer antialiasing when running Quake 3. So this could definitely be the reason for the low frame rate on the XVR-4000!

The XVR-4000's architecture is optimised for the rendering of spheres, and is thus good for molecular modelling.

Here's a comparison of the VMD output quality of the Tezro VS the V880Z!

Tezro:



V880Z:



The V880Z definitely produces a cleaner image! (And also maintains a higher frame-rate!)
Thanks for your sharing!
Another question wondering: How much FPS gain may it be in Quake 3 if Full-screen Anti-aliasing is disabled for XVR-4000?
 

About us

  • Silicon Graphics User Group (SGUG) is a community for users, developers, and admirers of Silicon Graphics (SGI) products. We aim to be a friendly hobbyist community for discussing all aspects of SGIs, including use, software development, the IRIX Operating System, and troubleshooting, as well as facilitating hardware exchange.

User Menu