Actually, rather than getting a 4D/35, why not get some of the just-announced SGI products -
We purchsed several SGI system's in December, and were unsuccessful in getting an advance trade-in
on whatever SGI was to announce this summer. Sigh. We should have waited - this is the official
press release that was posted to comp.sys.sgi last week. My impression is that these are very nice
machines, well worth looking at. Don't be scared away by the 8-bit graphics stuff - SGI is actually
handling this stuff properly - for more details, you should consult comp.sys.sgi, but on first
blush the price/performance/graphics balance is just about right for this machine.
ex-Slave to Computers
Positron Imaging Labs
McConnell Brain Imaging Center
-----------------Begin Included Message from comp.sys.sgi---------------
Subject: IRIS Indigo Press Release
Message-ID: <1991Jul24.013912.1668 at zola.esd.sgi.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 91 21:39:12 EDT
Sender: news at zola.esd.sgi.com (Net News)
Organization: Silicon Graphics Inc.
Silicon Graphics Introduces New RISC Personal Computer
IRIS Indigo Features 3D Graphics, Audio, Video and ACE
Compatibility for Less than $10,000
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (July 22, 1991) - Silicon Graphics (NYSE:SGI)
today announced IRIS Indigo(tm), the first high-performance, color
RISC personal computer. IRIS Indigo is the only system to deliver
three-dimensional graphics, DAT-quality audio, video and Advanced
Computing Environment (ACE) compatibility for under $10,000. With
IRIS Indigo, professional users can take advantage of powerful
technology previously confined to high-end computing systems.
"The PC and workstation worlds are converging. Out of this fusion a
new type of product will emerge -- the RISC personal computer. Today,
Silicon Graphics introduces the first product of this type," said
Edward R. McCracken, president and CEO of Silicon Graphics, Inc. "In
traditional SGI spirit, IRIS Indigo pushes the limits of
state-of-the-art technology, bringing together sight, sound and
performance on the professional's desktop."
RISC personal computers blend the compute performance and powerful
graphics of workstations with the standards-based, user-friendly
capabilities of traditional PCs.
The IRIS Indigo system is the foundation of Silicon Graphics' new
computing strategy that makes visualization technology accessible to a
broad range of users. Maintaining binary compatibility with the
entire IRIS 4D(tm) product family, the system runs close to 1,500
vertical and productivity software packages for the technical,
scientific and creative professional. It also supports software and
networking standards for easy integration into existing computing
environments. The IRIS Indigo system is compatible with the ACE
initiative's hardware specifications (also known as Advanced Risc
Computer, or ARC) and will be capable of running future ACE
"Compaq endorses IRIS Indigo as a key early development platform for
ACE," said Gary Stimac, senior vice president, Systems Engineering,
Compaq Computer Corporation. In accordance with the ACE initiative,
the system incorporates the MIPS(R) R3000A(tm) processor, a 101-key PC
keyboard, 8-bit graphics, 16-bit audio, Ethernet, SCSI, serial and
parallel ports and little-endian byte ordering. IRIS Indigo also
supports big-endian byte ordering.
The IRIS Indigo computer provides features not found in any other
system in this price range. The system offers dynamic 2D and 3D
graphics capabilities, texture mapping and alpha blending. Due to a
breakthrough architecture that enables a much lower price, IRIS Indigo
offers the full power of the IRIS Graphics Library(tm) (GL(tm))
application programmer's interface to a broad set of users and
In addition to leading-edge graphics, IRIS Indigo delivers real-time
audio and video capabilities on the desktop. The system ships with a
microphone, has built-in DAT-quality audio, and will offer optional
"IRIS Indigo's audio and video capabilities let software developers
add new dimensions and create richer, more intuitive solutions," said
Michael Ramsay, general manager and vice president of Silicon
Graphic's Entry Systems Division. "The explosion of new, exciting
applications will give end users innovative tools for understanding
and communicating information."
IRIS Indigo features a fast balanced 33Mhz R3000A RISC CPU, delivering
30 MIPS and 26 SPECmarks. The system can be expanded by adding
real-time color video cards, memory, I/O and storage devices. It has
five audio, one parallel, one SCSI II, one Ethernet and two serial
connections as well as a GIO Bus for additional expansion. The IRIS
Indigo computer can be expanded up to 1.3 GB of disk space and up to
96 MB of RAM.
IRIS Indigo runs a rich set of software applications, delivering
solutions to users in the following markets:
Animation Audio/Visual Authoring & Training CAD/CAM/CAE CASE Chemistry
Color Publishing EDA General Research Geosciences Life Sciences
Mathematics Scientific Visualization
In addition, a number of new productivity software packages are
available on the IRIS(R) platform. Many of these applications take
advantage of the IRIS GL interface, the emerging 3D graphics standard.
IRIS Indigo runs IRIX(tm) 4.), Silicon Graphics' enhanced version of
the UNIX(R) operating system. IRIX is POSIX, X/Open(tm) XPG3 and FIPS
151-1 compliant. In IRIX 4.0, the X Window System(tm) (X11/R4) is
merged with the IRIS GL interface and Adobe's Display PostScript(r)
for flexible rendering.
The system is intuitive and easy to use, incorporating both IRIS
WorkSpace(tm) and IRIS System Manager(tm). IRIS WorkSpace, the
graphical user interface built into the IRIX operating software,
allows easy desktop and file management. IRIS System Manager is a
graphical tool in IRIX that manages local and networked resources and
The IRIS Indigo system integrates easily into existing heterogeneous,
distributed environments, offering a broad set of networking
connections including Ethernet, TCP/IP, NFS(tm), DECnet(tm), IBM
SNA(tm) and Appletalk(R)
Pricing and Availability
The IRIS Indigo base price is $7,995, including 8 MB memory and a 16"
color monitor. Systems that add a 236MB formatted disk drive are
priced at $9,995. IRIS Indigo will be available in volume in
September 1991 through a variety of distribution channels. Silicon
Graphics channels include a worldwide direct sales force, VARs,
authorized dealers and OEMs. In addition, Silicon Graphics has a new
direct marketing organization called "SGI Express" through which
anyone can purchase an IRIS Indigo by calling 1-800-800-SGI1 (7441).
This program will complement the direct sales force and will assist
them in supporting the Silicon Graphics installed base.
Silicon Graphics, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of visual
processing computer systems. The company delivers three-dimensional
graphics, color and real-time motion technologies to the technical and
scientific computing marketplace. Silicon Graphics, Inc. has offices
worldwide and headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Silicon Graphics, the Silicon Graphics Logo and IRIS are registered
trademarks and IRIS 4D, IRIS Indigo, IRIS System Manager, IRIX,
Graphics Library, GL and IRIS WorkSpace are trademarks of Silicon
Appletalk is a registered trademark of Apple Computers, Inc.
DECnet is a trademark of Digital Equipment Corporation.
Display PostScript is a trademark of Adobe Systems, Inc.
IBM and SNA are a registered trademark of International Business
MIPS is a registered trademark and R3000A is a trademark of MIPS
Computer Systems, Inc.
NFS is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX Systems Laboratories.
X-Window System is a trademark of the Massachusetts Institute of
X/Open is a trademark of X/Open Company Ltd., in the U.K. and other
Michael Portuesi Silicon Graphics, Inc. portuesi at sgi.com
"All the way to the bottom, Maggie...you made it!"