SGI 320 Visual Workstation Dual 1000Mhz Upgrade (updated 12/30/2001)

I have successfully upgraded my SGI 320 to a dual 1000Mhz.  I've created this page to share my excitement in getting this setup working and in hopes of extending the shelf-life of the 320.  They are unique machines in there own way.  Please read all of the "What you need" section before you email me questions. Thanks.

NEWS: This site is no longer being updated. I've since retired my SGI 320.

What you need:

Here is proof that I have a Dual 1000Mhz SGI 320! (running Windows 2000 Professional) - (another user send me an image of their desktop).    I'm running a dual boot, so I also have Windows NT 4.0 running off this machine.  My older SGI 320 went bad (power supply/motherboard) so I inherited another SGI 320 (a bit newer).  On my old 320 I tried getting a dual 800 Mhz setup running on its 007 rev B motherboard but had no luck.  I only tested a dual 500Mhz and a single 800Mhz CPU configuration. The jumper settings for the CPU speed do not matter for PIII CPUs; I have the PIII 600Mhz jumper settings for my dual 1000Mhz setup.  The jumper settings were for the old PII CPUs.   I found out that any jumper settings works for dual 1000mhz.

Where do you get a PIII-1000Mhz 100FSB  Slot 1 CPU?  You want to get the retail box with part #: BX80526H1000256.  There are really hard to find. Intel does not sell them anymore. Try looking on ebay.   Make sure they are the same stepping value!  I have found that if you usually buy two processors together, they are most likely the same stepping value.  These PIII CPUs only have 256K cache.

Intel says PIII-1000Mhz 100FSB - Slot 1 - has only been tests and validated with Intel Server Board L440GX+ (order code: BOXL440GXG) and Intel SR2000 Server Chassis, or Intel SC5000 Server Chassis.  But they work just fine on my SGI 320. 

Disclaimer: I recently got this dual 1000Mhz configuration up and running.  So far it's been very stable, no crashes or lockups.  Just be aware no extensive tests have been made.  Update - it's been several months and I have had no problems.

Current SGI 320 Specs:

Between the cpu upgrade, more memory, and faster hard drive you can really notice the difference in performance. I upgraded the sound card because it contains a MIDI port and has hardware accelerated sound in DirectX on Win2K. 

Some Benchmarks (how much faster?)

Below are some benchmarks.  I used SPECviewperf 6.1.1 (not 6.1.2) just because I had done some early benchmarks tests with it and 6.1.2 is different.  I wanted to compare the numbers, before and after. Below are some benchmarks for CPUmark99 (compare other results) - CPUmark99 only tests one CPU, so these numbers are for one CPU.

CPUmark99 - Pentium III 500 Mhz = 37.1
CPUmark99 - Pentium III 800 Mhz = 65.2
CPUmark99 - Pentium III 1000 Mhz = 77.4

There's a 75% increase in performance from 500Mhz to 800Mhz and a 109% increase from 500Mhz to 1000Mhz.  The dual 1000Mhz completes one unit of SETI (version 3.03) in about 11 hours.  Compare that figure with your system.  

Below I ran before and after benchmarks running the SPECviewperf 6.1.1 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Test case #1, #2, #3 uses the Alias|Wavefront Maya Profile w/32-bit

#1: Dual Pentium III 500 Mhz under WinNT 4.0, running @ 1600x1024-32 bit 
#2: Single Pentium III 800 Mhz under WinNT 4.0, running @ 1600x1024-32 bit
#3: Dual Pentium III 1000 Mhz under WinNT 4.0, running @ 1280x1024-32 bit 
#4: Same as above but with Viewperf 6.1 Graphics Profile - 16-bit

AWadvs-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 22.95
AWadvs-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 36.04
AWadvs-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 36.69  (60% increase)
AWadvs-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 49.50

DRV-06 Weighted Geometric Mean = 13.32
DRV-06 Weighted Geometric Mean = 13.82
DRV-06 Weighted Geometric Mean = 17.16  (29% increase)
DRV-06 Weighted Geometric Mean = 18.22

DX-05 Weighted Geometric Mean = 21.76
DX-05 Weighted Geometric Mean = 27.57
DX-05 Weighted Geometric Mean = 28.22  (30% increase)
DX-05 Weighted Geometric Mean = 35.52

Light-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 2.323
Light-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 3.209
Light-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 3.842  (65% increase)
Light-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 4.033

ProCDRS-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 14.58
ProCDRS-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 15.67
ProCDRS-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 18.03  (24% increase)
ProCDRS-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 22.88

As you can see, in some tests you really do get a performance boost in upgrading to a 1000Mhz (maybe due to the geometry setup), for instance Light-03 set is more CPU intensive that other tests so you get the largest increase.  In some tests it really doesn't make a difference (the bottle neck is more on the Cobalt graphics chipset), ProCDRS-02 set which is pushing high polygon counts.  

When you look at the numbers, the SGI 320 still fairs pretty well vs. current nVidia cards for higher end 3D graphics work.  I have yet to do some benchmarks on 3D renderings in 3D Studio Max.  Early indications show some great performance increases in rendering times, due to the dual 1Ghz number crunching power.

.INF Monitor Profile for SGI 1600SW  (*** NOT RUNNING FROM MY SGI 320 ***) (12-27-2001):  

This file was downloaded a while back from the number9 website which is no longer up.  So I'm providing this file for all those users that have the SGI 1600SW flat panel monitor.  It runs fine on Windows XP Pro. DOWNLOAD .INF HERE.

Wireless PCI card working on SGI320 (12-30-2001): According to a SGI 320 user on the comp.sys.sgi.hardware newsgroup, the DLink (part number DWL-520) wireless PCI card works.  He has tried different USB solutions and has failed.  The card is working on Windows 2000.

Other Links:

SGI 320 Support Website: http://support.sgi.com/nt
SGI Legacy Site:http://www.sgi.com/products/legacy/intel.html
GREAT SGI 320 information site: http://www.btinternet.com/~sgi320
Firewire on the SGI 320: http://home.earthlink.net/~taturley/SGI_320_Firewire.htm
Another user in Korea got a 1Ghz CPU working on SGI320. 


Page was last updated on 12/30/2001