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Silicon Graphics 1600SW

bilbobaggins

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Dec 31, 2007
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Does anyone have any experience, or opinion about the sgi 1600SW flat panel? I've gone to cnet and zdnet to look for reviews but they're around a year old. This particular LCD is selling for $1399 with either a digital output Number Nine AGP or PCI 32MB card or a "multilink" box that will accept either digital or analog input. Tom's Hardware hasn't done any LCD reviews at all that I can see, although they do have three articles describing the technology. This is getting real close to what I can afford to spend on one, so I'd like anyone's input on that model or any other they have experience with.

Thanks
 
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I have 2 of them, as well as a viewsonic vp181. I have the grey and black SGI and the Frost colored one that was on close out. I cannot work on a crt anylonger, I had the take one to work to use it their...

There are many things to take into account when purchasing a flat panel, and in all area's but 1, the SGI wins. The one area, is you are stuck with very few choices for video cards to drive the monitor. Even with the $500 MultiLink Adapter, you only add 2 more video cards than the 2 that are available with the Monitor.

If you are not needing a high performace video card, then this monitor is a must, (high performance meaning fill rate, and gaming, or very hing end OpenGL)

It is the sharpest, brightest monitor I have ever seen!

please private me if you have any specific questions.
 
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do you have any preference in a specific video card to be used with the multilink adaptor for the sgi1600sw?. also, do you prefer using the multilink adaptor over the 3Dlabs oxygen card?
any advice would be appreciated. thank you
 
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I have used the Matrox g400, but found the price of the card did not offer a large enough improvement to warrant the price.

I am now using a nVidia Geforce 1 DVI, by Vtech, after alot of treeking, and finaly getting the drivers direct from SGI, as well as flashing the bios so it find the 1600sw, I am happy with this card.

Do not go for the GeForce2 if you are looking for a digital connect, they are not capable of driving this monitor.

The $225 surcharge for adding the OpenLVDS Connector to the Oxygen VX1 is complete BS in my opinion, the card is $175 for an AGP version, and $400.00 for a PCI version, that also negates the reason for the advanced arcitecture of the card.

Looks like they are either trying to milk SGI buyers, or the DEV cost on the connector is really that high..(unlikely)
 

bilbobaggins

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Hi, I appreciate your responses. As for video cards, I was thinking about the Matrox G400 with the daughter card add-on. Both can be had for around $200. Noticing your post about SGI helping you with the drivers, I'm wondering if should wait a month or so to see some other drivers for other cards come out. Hopefully the price of the 1600 will come down a little, also. I'm really intersted now in the ATI Radeon All in Wonder card. I hope drivers will be out for it soon.
 
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i just purchased the sgi1600sw monitor from sgi. it comes bundled with the 3DLabs Oxygen video card specific for the monitor. it is a relatively simple matter to remove the existing card from your pc and replace it with the 3DLabs card. you must first delete the drivers from your old card and download the new drivers from the 3DLabs website. follow the instructions sent with the Oxygen card and it is quite simple. the system works quite well.
 

bilbobaggins

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But isn't the Oxygen card a PCI card? The only AGP card I saw bundled with the monitor was a NumberNine, who's now defunct as a company. I'm certainly not going to buy a hardware combo where one of the company's not around.

I really wish Tom's would do a review of various flat-panels with the appropriate cards.

SGI's website shows a number of cards with drivers "pending" and a couple of those cards(Elsa and Guillemot/Hercules) are some of the more recent ones to come out.

I also have a couple of questions: did your setup come with the "multilink" box? Would I need the multilink if I got the 1600 with the Number9 AGP card and tossed the number9 and got one of the other cards with the drivers "pending"(assuming, of course, that the drivers were out when I decided to purchase)? Do you know if SGI is going to offer the 1600 without video-cards or multilink's or any other crap that I don't want? I'm guessing they will at some point, but I'd like for it to be right now. Also, where did you purchase it?

Right now I'm ready to purchase, but the two things holding me up are:
1)lack of driver support
2)and SGI forcing me to buy something I don't want or need.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by bilbobaggins on 12/15/00 08:51 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 
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Just installed the SGI 1600SW+multisinc on my
computer using the Hercules 3D Prophet II GTS
64MB video card.
Summary : display is very nice. with this card it
doesn't support very many resolutions in
digital mode.
Video card support is not sufficient. In analog
mode the display was not equiv. to a good CRT,
I was seeing some wave-banding effects which were
not satisfactory [for such an expense]. Using either
the Hercules BIOS+Drivers or the SGI BIOS+Drivers
I can only get 1024x768 on the DVI interface...
given the quality of the display and the quality
of the card I expect more...
I hope eventually the drivers will support the 1600x1024
digital resolution that this display can do....

If you are willing to wait for the drivers [which *may*
appear] then the 1600SW is worth getting. If you are
not willing to risk getting a less-than full resolution
DVI display then you should certainly wait -- wait
to see if the drivers appear or wait for improvements
in graphics cards and displays which we will no doubt
see in the next 1-2 years...

[anyway, them's my views -- anyone getting info on improved
nVidia GTS drivers which support 1600x1024 res. please
let me know (and post your info. to this site, of course)]

Scott
 

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