A few months ago I purchased a Quad R16k 700mhz Silicon Graphics Origin 350, while a nice boost up from my Silicon Graphics Origin 300's, especially for the integrated gigabit, I often found myself wanting a desktop that was of similar power. Unfortunately, the Silicon Graphics Fuel I received about a year ago only supported up to 900mhz R16k MIPS CPU, which for single-threaded tasks would be faster than my Origin 300 or Origin 350, but most of my IRIX tasks these days are multi-threaded.

So my quest for finding the ultimate MIPS-based Silicon Graphics desktop machine, the Silicon Graphics Tezro began. The Tezro supports up to 4 1ghz R16k cpus, 8gb of ram and has 7 PCI-X slots. The side effect, these machines are still used today and thereby very expensive even in the second hand market. Fortunately for me though there was a Dual 700mhz R16k for next to nothing a few weeks back that I guess no one else saw.

One neat element of the last generation of Silicon Graphics MIPS-based servers/desktops is that they are all based on the Origin 3000 architecture. Meaning that a lot of the components are shared between the Origin 300, Origin 350, Fuel, Tezro and Onyx 350. For instance the same DDR memory is shared between all of them, handy for me since the Tezro I got only had 4gb of ram. In addition the Origin 350, Tezro and Onyx 350 share the same node board (IP53), making swaps between the different systems pretty much drag and drop.

This lead me to pursue swapping my infrequently used Quad 700mhz Origin 350 nodeboard for the one in my newly acquired Tezro. Thankfully the steps were pretty easy and intuitive as noted by the pictures below. [caption id="attachment_1839" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Silicon Graphics Origin 350 (Inside) Silicon Graphics Origin 350 (Inside)[/caption] Thankfully, the node board is only held in by 2 different sized Torx screws, make sure to have drill bits or a Torx screw driver set handy before you do this swap. [caption id="attachment_1840" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Silicon Graphics Origin 350 Chasis without Nodeboard (IP53) Silicon Graphics Origin 350 Chasis without Nodeboard (IP53)[/caption] Luckily, the Tezro nodeboard as you might expect, has the same Torx screws, so it's just a matter of removing the same set of screws, although the Tezro's screws are shorter. [caption id="attachment_1841" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Silicon Graphics Tezro Nodeboard (IP53) Removed Silicon Graphics Tezro Nodeboard (IP53) Removed[/caption] After removing the Tezro Nodeboard, I found the connector's to be interesting. For as much data that goes between the nodeboard, the V12 and the PCI-X slots, I expected there to be more pins. [caption id="attachment_1842" align="aligncenter" width="169"]Silicon Graphics Tezro Nodeboard Connector Silicon Graphics Tezro Nodeboard Connector[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1844" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Silicon Graphics Tezro Nodeboard in place Silicon Graphics Tezro Nodeboard in place[/caption] After putting the Origin 350 nodeboard into the Tezro, all that was left was to see if IRIX would see the new nodeboard with 0 issues, sure enough: [caption id="attachment_1845" align="aligncenter" width="550"]IRIX System Manager showing the Quad 700mhz IP53 Nodeboard properly IRIX System Manager showing the Quad 700mhz IP53 Nodeboard properly[/caption]