SGI Onyx restoration
#1
SGI Onyx restoration
So I got this Onyx VTX from a local recycling company for $300 last week, and like with the Tezro, I thought I'd document the restoration of it. I'm sure I will have plenty of questions along the way too.

When I first saw it on eBay it was in a rather sorry looking state. I wasn't even sure if it had the front door until I picked it up. 

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https://imgur.com/gallery/5l3gDEW

 But after a quick pass of dust busting and a wipedown the skins showed some promise.

[Image: wwDmddx.jpg]

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(This post was last modified: 03-16-2019, 09:58 PM by BackPlaner.)
BackPlaner
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03-16-2019, 08:32 PM
#2
SGI Onyx surprises
Now I've just finished cleaning 20 years of dust and black crumbly foam off the boards. So far seems like standard issue VTX Onyx, dual R4400s and... 
wait, is that 12 GEs? Is this a 12 GE GE12/RE2 board and not a 6GE GE10/VTX?? Hmmm... 

https://imgur.com/gallery/tvpDQXF

[Image: vCWkK05.jpg]

[Image: jqOd27G.jpg] 

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[Image: 3pTE5b2.jpg] 

Holy cats, I do believe this VTX got an upgrade at some point in the past...?

UPDATE: confirmed, it's a RE2 GE 10 with 12 geometry engines, woot!

[Image: mnTvJeq.png]
(This post was last modified: 03-17-2019, 08:09 AM by BackPlaner.)
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03-16-2019, 09:58 PM
#3
RE: SGI Onyx restoration
Very nice!

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Irinikus
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03-17-2019, 05:31 AM
#4
RE: SGI Onyx restoration
Yeah! Especially since one of my previous restorations was my Indigo 1 tower, which has Elan graphics and thus four geometry engines and an R4400@150mhz.

So, I have to confess I was a little disappointed when I found out that the Onyx was VTX, as that just put it over the Elan by a mere two GEs. 

But now! Well, suffice to say I feel a certain frisson to realize that I am virtually afloat in a veritable plethora of geometry engines!! Big Grin

[Image: guapo3B%5B1%5D.jpg]

[Image: mnTvJeq.png]
(This post was last modified: 03-17-2019, 12:07 PM by BackPlaner.)
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03-17-2019, 08:29 AM
#5
RE: SGI Onyx restoration
It'll sure be interesting to see what she's capable of once you get her up and running!

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Irinikus
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03-17-2019, 08:43 AM
#6
RE: SGI Onyx restoration
Looks like you've got 2x 150MHz R4400, 128MB RAM and an RE2. But did you try to fire it up? Does it throw any of the dreaded POK_A or POK_B errors?

Beware that the internal disks on the first SCSI channel of the Onyx are high voltage differential (HVD). The secondary SCSI channel is regular SE SCSI. Don't install SE or LVD disks on the HVD channel because magic smoke will come out of the disks or the Onyx IO board.
jan-jaap
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03-17-2019, 08:32 PM
#7
RE: SGI Onyx restoration
No I'm still a long way from firing it up. I'm only halfway through cleaning everything (seriously dirty), and I still have to order some drives and sleds (it had none) from Ian along with some more memory and a few replacement bits and bobs. I'm thinking maybe in a couple of weeks I'll finally apply the power and see what happens. But thanks for the tips JJ, I'll certainly keep them in mind!! 👍

PS: if anyone is looking for a good Onyx deskside tear-down guide, I found this one here:

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/SiliconG...down/12546

[Image: mnTvJeq.png]
(This post was last modified: 03-18-2019, 02:04 AM by BackPlaner.)
BackPlaner
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03-17-2019, 09:01 PM
#8
RE: SGI Onyx restoration
(03-17-2019, 08:29 AM)BackPlaner Wrote:  But now! Well, suffice to say I feel a certain frisson to realize that I am virtually afloat in a veritable plethora of geometry engines!! Big Grin

Oh yes. You definitely have a plethora.

That teardown guide appears to have been made by former Nekochan member Syberfreq using an R10K Onyx that I bought along with a Crimson from a surplus auction ten years ago. The machines were located halfway across the country from me in the midwest, but he lived close enough so I let him keep the Onyx in exchange for retrieving and storing the Crimson for me. He eventually sold that Onyx to another Nekochan member who is hopefully taking good care of it as it was a very nice config in great condition.

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03-19-2019, 08:12 PM
#9
RE: SGI Onyx restoration
this is awesome! congrats and good luck!
gijoe77
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03-20-2019, 10:59 PM
#10
RE: SGI Onyx restoration
Oh, this is nice.

Hope it goes well. Big Grin

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03-21-2019, 09:16 PM


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