Help in choosing a graphics machine.

Mike Sloderbeck sloderb at mailer.cc.fsu.edu
Mon Jul 29 14:46:39 EST 1991

In article <47036 at netnews.upenn.edu> rescorla at slack.med.upenn.edu (Rescorla) writes:
>Ok. We have a PI 4D25. As a matter of fact, that's what this is.
>It's not the fastest machine on the planet, but it's reasonable, and
>the graphics are really quite slick(24 Bit plane, Z-Buffer)...

If a 4D25 is your price range, try to get enough for the 4D35 instead.
It's not much more expensive, once you start pushing the sales folks.
The floating point performance is significantly better.

... stuff about Personal Iris that I generally agree with deleted
>The question I would ask is what IS an EVS? The SGI is a MIPS machine,
>but who makes the guts of the EVS? This would be important, for assessing
>how compatible the architecture is.

The internal architecture of the CPUs is not so significant.  The level
that programmers write for is higher.  The problem with porting code is
1) graphics calls
2) Unix (variant) calls
  Irises use the Silicon Graphics Library calls, ESV uses PEX (Phigs under X).
  PEX is a public standard, so it may win in the (very) long haul.
  SG has a huge head start, so things get written for it first,
  then ported to other stuff. (including IBM RS6000).
  Many of us thought that the fact that IBM licensed SG's graphics
  libraries would really make things easy, but the relatively small
  quantity of stuff ported from SG to RS6000 suggests that reason 2)
  above may be involved.  (I have no personal experience porting
  between this machines).

Finally be aware that SG will charge extra for things that many folks
include, such as:   FORTRAN, NFS, Administrator's manuals (which help
a lot in setting it up).

BTW the ESV uses MIPS chips.

Mike Sloderbeck,  FSU Department of Biological Science
sloderb at mailer.cc.fsu.edu

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