The Silicon Graphics 320 visual workstation is a dual-processor system with a 1GB memory cap. SGI is aiming this system at many markets, including mechanical CAD (MCAD), CAD/computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), computer-aided engineering (CAE), digital content creation, architectural engineering, and desktop publishing. The version I tested came with one 500MHz Pentium III CPU; 256MB of Error-Correcting Code Synchronous DRAM (ECC SDRAM); and integrated sound, graphics, and network interface. SGI supplied a 1600SW 17.3" digital LCD flat panel display monitor and a 9.1GB SCSI disk with a 64-bit PCI Ultra 2 SCSI interface.
The three-chip Cobalt chipset, the heart of SGI's Integrated Visual Computing (IVC) architecture, manages the workstation's I/O subsystems, which include S-video, composite video, CD-ROM quality audio, and Universal Serial Bus (USB) and IEEE-1394 interfaces at the back panel. The workstation also features two 64-bit PCI buses for faster I/O bandwidth with low-to-no bus contention. By integrating the graphics and video functions within the Cobalt chipset—rather than squeezing the functions through interface cards plugged into PCI slots—SGI created a high-speed connection between the chipset's graphics and memory controller and main memory. According to SGI, this path provides a peak bandwidth of 3.2GB per second, which is higher than Intel's Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) 2X path, and even exceeds the newer AGP 4X standard.
Other Systems Related To SGI 320:
This exhibit has a reference ID of CH507. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.