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SGI starts making Itanium-based workstations

Discussion in 'Intel' started by Yousuf Khan, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest


    No sooner has HP stopped making workstations than SGI has stepped in to make
    Itanium workstations. It looks like these workstations are a modification of
    their existing Itanium servers, as they are supposedly capable of being put
    together with anywhere between 2 and 512 processors! I doubt that anyone
    would put 512 processors on a workstation, but it's intriguing to think
    about it.

    Yousuf Khan
    Yousuf Khan, Oct 11, 2004
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  2. Well, the Prism is not really comparable to what one usually understands as
    a workstation. Unlike HPs cancelled desktop machines zx2000 and zx6000 the
    SGI Prism is more a visualization supercomputer than a workstation, and thus
    being the successor of the Onyx and not of SGIs desktop workstations (Fuel,

    Benjamin Gawert, Oct 11, 2004
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  3. Yousuf Khan

    Andi Kleen Guest

    Calling an Altix with graphic cards a "workstation" is quite stretching
    the term.

    Andi Kleen, Oct 11, 2004
  4. Well, I don't see the word workstation in the marketing blurb (4-8u is
    mentioned for the baby one), but having said that previous 'workstations'
    such as fuel/octane were based on Origin systems so I am not sure that I
    understand your objection to the concept?


    Martyn Foster
    Performance Libraries
    Silicon Graphics.
    Martyn Foster, Oct 12, 2004
  5. Yousuf Khan

    Alex Johnson Guest

    Odd, I encountered this story at Ars first. There the news was "up to
    16 processors" and one day in the future up to 512 processors. This
    article and the SGI tech sheet and press release don't seem to mention
    any current barrier to 512P.

    It's about time someone had some sense. All this time intel is trying
    to force a chip to a market (Itanium 2->servers) instead of forcing a
    market to move to their chip (workstation users->Itanium 2). Of course
    they have been unsuccessful. Itanium 2 is not a server, it's a workstation.

    Alex Johnson, Oct 12, 2004
  6. See http://www.sgi.com/products/visualization/prism/configs.html

    And they'll problably build an even bigger one if you ask them nicely.
    Actually, it's a processor.
    Ricardo Bugalho, Oct 12, 2004
  7. A lot of that (workstation) market relies on high-cost, complex,
    independently developed, relatively low-volume software though and the
    users can only use what's available. Many of the ISVs got burned with
    Risc/6000s, Alphas and even, to a certain extent, Suns over the past
    10years; even if the hardware system was essentially free to them, which it
    usually wasn't, they are much less likely to take on the risks of
    conversion/development and the maintenance burden a 2nd or 3rd time.

    I believe that AMD64 really has closed any window of opportunity for
    Itanium there. Intel's refusal to acknowledge the existence of Yamhill for
    the past 2(?) years... followed by the eventual announcement of EM64T,
    seems to indicate, to me anyway, that even they seem to have seen the
    light. Any residual reluctance is, of course, understandable but the
    "market" is speaking:
    http://www.ptc.com/partners/hardware/current/itanium_letter.htm (sorry if
    you've already seen that) and putting it quite bluntly too.

    Looking at the numbers, for what we paid IBM for monthly Risc/6000
    maintenance charges a few years back, we can now get/build a workstation
    class PC every 2 months or so. Hardware maintenance cost on a current
    workstation would, of course, be much less than back then but I'd think it
    would be a brave soul who would pass it up vs. how they would on a PC-based
    system. Even without the initial cost, it just doesn't add up for Itanium.

    Rgds, George Macdonald

    "Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
    George Macdonald, Oct 13, 2004
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