SGI Origin 350

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SGI Origin 350 technical server.
SGI Origin 350, 8-brick config
SGI Origin 350, 8-brick config

The SGI Origin 350 "technical server" was officially announced on Tuesday, April 15th, 2003. This system uses MIPS-based processors and offers a number of advances over the SGI Origin 300 model that preceded it. The 350 was offered in two to 32 processor configurations, at speeds ranging from 600 to 1,000MHz over the lifetime of the model. End Of Life for the Origin 350 was announced in July 2006, with last shipments up to March of 2007.

The Origin 350 is a member of the Chimera family (IP53), which includes Origin 350, SGI Onyx 350, and the SGI Tezro Rackmount. All three systems have the same basic hardware - the Origin 350 (Chimera Server) with a VPro card becomes the SGI Onyx 350 (ChiBlade), and the ChiBlade can be configured into a Chimera Rackmount Workstation (SGI Tezro Rack) using the L1's make rmws 1 command. The Chimera Rackmount Workstation cannot accept remote serial numbers, and therefore cannot be connected via NUMAlink.

Each CPU brick has four PCI slots across two PCI busses. Each CPU brick also has a SGI Fuel-style XIO slot, which can accept a DMediaPro DM3 card or a VPro graphics card. The first CPU brick in a system has a single PCI slot holding an IO9 BaseIO card with SCSI interfaces for two internal disks, an external SCSI port, audio I/O and a twisted pair Ethernet connection. Other kinds of bricks are available that are dedicated to disk storage or further PCI slots.

Different Configurations

Base Compute Module - Includes an IO9, a SCA SCSI backplane (for disks), appropriate cables for disk backplane + IDE CDROM and a daughtercard that provides PS/2 keyboard/mouse and four additional serial ports

Expansion Compute Modules - These may or may not include the IO9+backplane, but lacks the daughtercard/keyboard/mouse/extra serial ports

Memory and PCI Expansion (MPX) Modules - Lacks the IO9+backplane and daughtercard/keyboard/mouse/extra serial ports.

2UPX Module - PCI Only Expansion Module; a standard 2U Origin 350 chassis with four PCI-X and one XIO-2 slot without processor, memory or Bedrock ASIC. Because the 2UPX does not have a BedRock ASIC, it uses the external XIO port when linked to Origin 350 Compute Modules.

A word of caution:

If you manage to get hold of an O350 brick (module), check the back of the unit to verify that it has an IO9 in the lowest PCI/PCI-X slot. Without that you can't use the brick as a standalone system and you're forced to NUMAlink the brick to another brick and thus expanding an existing system. The IO9 BaseIO card is shared with the Tezro so one could still make the system a complete standalone machine, but without the SCSI backplane, disk sleds (and possibly CDROM) you can't boot the system using internal storage so you're forced to use the external SCSI port on the IO9 or use PCI cards for FibreChannel etc. --Ramq 08:50, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Memory Subsystem

Each Origin 350 compute module or MPX module incorporates eight DIMM slots, organized as four banks of two DIMMs each. This results in a memory capacity from 512 MBytes to 8 Gbytes total for each module. The DIMMS used are compatible with those used in the SGI Fuel, SGI Origin 3000, SGI Origin 300, and the SGI Tezro.

All models based on the Origin 3000 architecture use Double Data Rate (DDR) synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM), at the lowest level organized into banks of two DIMMs each - memory may only be added or removed from the system in pairs of two DIMMs. Both DIMMs within a bank must be of the same density, however two different banks may hold different density DIMMs from each other.

SGI produced DIMMs with capacities of 256MB to 1GB, using DRAM chips with densities of either 128 Mbits or 256 Mbits. All DIMMs include directory memory to support cache coherence between local and remote memory, but some parts include "premium" directory memory which is recommended for configurations with more than 128 processors. Memory was generally marketed in kits of two DIMMs, where the capacity of the kit would be given as 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB.

The following table shows the part numbers for individual DIMMs according to their capacity.

Origin 3000 Family DIMM Part Numbers
Capacity Standard Directory Premium Directory Notes
256 MB 030-1018-00x
512 MB 030-1044-00x, 030-1746-00x,

DATARAM 63610?

030-1041-00x, 030-1042-00x,

DATARAM 63673 ?

1 GB 030-1850-00x,

DATARAM 63646?


DATARAM 63674?

Multiple Bricks

Multiple bricks are co-ordinated at startup time via an L2 Controller which communicates to the bricks via USB ports. The L2 Controller is an external PowerPC Linux unit with console, USB, modem and ethernet ports.

A system consists of up to eight CPU "bricks" (2 rackmount units high each) with up to four CPUs in each brick, giving a maximum of 32 CPUs. CPU bricks are connected together via NUMAlink3 cables going to a central NUMAlink router (or NUMAlink Module) which is another 2U rackmounted unit.

Power and Environment

The Origin 350 is a server class machine and was intended to be deployed in datacenters or using appropriate packaging for studios and workspaces. It is notably quieter than the SGI Origin 300 model, but still may be louder than a hobbyist would find tolerable in a home-use environment.

Rack Mounting

Many Origin 350 servers are obtained from a seller splitting up a larger multi-brick configuration. As such some new owners may receive the machine without the hardware for proper rackmounting.

Forum member recondas examined the Origin 350 rackmount hardware he received and noted a very close visual similarity to the hardware used for Sun v20z and v40z servers, which bear Sun part numbers 370-6767 or S01854. To date nobody has reported trying to fit these to an Origin 350.

Measurements of the Origin 350 rackmount hardware are as follows:

Inner Rail, attaches to the O350: 22.5"
Outer Rail, attached to the rack: 26" closed, 41" extended
Inner and Outer Rails assembled and fully extended: 53"

This hardware was manufactured for SGI by General Devices.

Power Consumption

These values are measured using a Watt-meter off a standard 230V wall outlet:

L1 Only (machine off):	13W
Brick #1 on, idle:	215W (4x700MHz, 4GB RAM (8x512MB sticks), two SCSI harddrives, IO9 + extra GbE card)
Brick #1 on, load:	250W (4x700MHz, 4GB RAM (8x512MB sticks), two SCSI harddrives, IO9 + extra GbE card)
Brick #2 on, idle:	160W (4x700MHz, 1GB RAM (2x512MB sticks), no harddrives or PCI cards)
Brick #2 on, load:	185W (4x700MHz, 1GB RAM (2x512MB sticks), no harddrives or PCI cards)


The Origin/Onyx 350 comes with reasonably quiet fans (by server standards), but it may still be necessary to replace a failed unit. This table will try to collect information about suitable replacement fans.

Fan Bearing Type Air Flow Speed Noise MTBF Availability Confirmed? Reference Forum Thread Notes
Vantec TF6025 Thermoflow 2 ball bearing 9.9 - 24.2 CFM 1,900 - 4,200 RPM 19 - 33.5 dBA n/a 2012Q2 Yes Vantec USA April 19, 2012 by recondas 1
  1. These are variable-speed fans based on a built-in temperature sensor. They are not intended as replacements for any of the OEM fans, they were installed to provide supplemental cooling to Origin 350 systems that have had Odyssey graphics boards added. recondas reported that one fan in a 'graphics-board added' Origin 350 had to be replaced with a fixed-speed fan to avoid environmental monitoring warnings.

Hard Drive Carriers

The Origin/Onyx 350, Prism, Altix 350, and Altix 450/4x00 all use the same drive carriers. These are standard parts used by a number of manufacturers, notably Intel's SC5200, SRSH4, SR1300/2300, and SR1400/2400 and Sun's v60x and v65x servers.

The units carry "Assy A65278-00x" on a sticker, where the "-00x" may end in any digit though "-005" seems common. This assembly number can be useful when searching for parts in the Internet. According to SR1300/SR2300 support documents at, the Intel accessory part number for the drive carrier is FXX2DRVCARBLK, UPC code "7 35858 14621 0" and "MM #" 835853. However note that there is some indication that Intel may recycle these accessory part numbers in the FXX- form between different models.

As of early 2011 these drive sleds are commonly available on eBay for US$10.

Forum Threads About Origin 350 Drive Carriers

Further Reading

Wiki Articles: Chimera or IP53 family SGI Onyx 350

Forum Threads:

External References



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