Please consider a donation to the Higher Intellect project. See or the Donate to Higher Intellect page for more info.

SGI Origin 300

From Higher Intellect Vintage Wiki
Revision as of 13:48, 26 July 2019 by Netfreak (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
SGI Origin 300 technical server.
SGI Origin 300, internal view
SGI Origin 300, 4 bricks with PCI-brick, rackmounted

The Silicon Graphics Origin 300 was released October 9, 2001 as a mid-range server for technical computing and media applications. An Origin 300 compute node consists of a 2U chassis containing a sysem board with 2 or 4 64-bit MIPS microprocessors and up to 4GB of local memory, PCI expansion slots, and up to two hard drives. An Origin 300 system consists of 1 to 8 compute nodes with between 2 and 32 processors and 512MB to 32GB of shared memory using cache-coherent NUMA technology and appearing as a single system image.

The Onyx 300 Graphics System was created by combining Origin 300 compute nodes with an Infinite Reality graphics module and other NUMAlinked components.

System Architecture

Each 2U Origin 300 server uses an IP45 mainboard supporting the following components:

  • 2 or 4 MIPS Microprocessors (with independent secondary cache)
  • Four Dual inline memory module (DIMM) slots organized in banks of two
  • The Xbridge ASIC that interfaces between the Bedrock ASIC and PCI slots
  • The Bedrock hub carrying traffic between the processors, memory and I/O devices
  • EEPROM containing the system's Serial ID
  • L1 Controller
  • Five Voltage Regulation Modules
  • Two NUMAlink 3 LEDs and four CPU "hearbeat" LEDs
  • One NUMAlink "Link" port supporting 3.2 GB/s (bi-directional) for system expansion
  • One Crosstown2 XIO port supporting 1.6 GB/s (bi-directional)

Note that the Origin 300's IP45 mainboard is software-compatible with the IP35, and may be reported as such in hinv(1m), et cetera. See this page for more information.

One Origin 300 can be used as a stand-alone server. Two Origin 300 servers can be directly connected using a NUMAlink cable, yielding a system with up to 8 CPUs and 8GB of shared memory. Larger configurations are possible; see "Larger Configurations" below.



Quad 600Mhz, Quad 500MHz and Dual 500MHz models

  • VRM 1 part number: SGI P/N 060-128-001
  • VRM 2 part number: SGI P/N 060-128-001
  • VRM 3 part number: SGI P/N 060-128-001
  • VRM 4 part number: SGI P/N 060-126-001
  • VRM 5 part number: SGI P/N 060-127-001

The DET numbers appear to be serial numbers.

Processors overview

The Origin 300 was available with 2 or 4 64-bit R14000 processors per compute node in either 500MHz or 600MHz clock speeds.

Memory subsystem

Memory in the Origin 300 is organized into two banks of two DIMMs each, resulting in a memory capacity from 512 MBytes to 4 Gbytes total for each brick. The DIMMS used are compatible with those used in the SGI Fuel, SGI Origin 3000, SGI Origin 350, 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?

I/O subsystem

The Origin 300 contains an I/O-8 board assembly consisting of an I/O-8 mainboard, an I/O-8 daughterboard and a PCI riser card. The assembly provides I/O interface functions, the I/O connectors to the system backpanel, and the L1 controller functions.

The I/O-8 board assembly presents the following at the rear of a compute node:

  • One 68-pin VHDCI external SCSI connector
  • One 10BaseT/100BaseT auto-selecting Ethernet connector
  • One DB9 RS-232 L1 console connector
  • Two 4-pin USB ports
  • One 4-pin USB L1 port
  • Two RS-232 or RS-422 115.2 Kbaud-capable DB9 async ports with modem control
  • One real-time (RT) interrupt output port
  • One RT interrupt input port

The PCI riser board provides a connection to the I/O-8 assembly as well as two 66MHz/64-bit PCI slots.

The SCSI backplane also connects directly to the I/O-8 assembly and provides two Ultra3 SCSI hard disks operating at a peak transfer rate of 160MB/s.

Larger Configurations

Between 3 and 8 Origin 300 modules can be connected to a NUMAlink module, similar to the R-brick in SGI Origin 3000 systems, that acts as a router between these and possibly other modules. (An R-brick can be used for this purpose in the absence of an Origin 300 NUMAlink module; see this entry)

An Origin 300 system can include the following modules in addition to Origin 300 servers:

  • An L2 Controller that coordinates the various modules, particularly during power-up/-down.
  • An L3 Controller, which is a Linux workstation acting as a management system and front-end to the entire Origin 300 system.
  • PCI Module (provides 12 PCI slots organized into 2 busses).
  • NUMAlink Module acting as a crossbar switch between up to 8 other modules.
  • A power module or power distribution unit (PDU - does not require a NUMAlink connection).

The Crosstown2 XIO port can be used to connect to an Infinite Reality graphics sub-system. When a graphics sub-system is present, such a system is referred to as an SGI Onyx 300.

Onyx 300 Graphics System

The Onyx 300 was created by combining Origin 300 compute modules with Infinite Reality graphics systems connected to the XIO port on the compute module. The base configuration for an Onyx 300 was as follows:

  • One or two Onyx 300 compute modules (2, 4, 6, or 8 processors)
  • One Infinite Reality graphics module with one or two graphics pipes
  • One L2 controller module
  • One or more TP900 storage modules (optional)
  • One PCI expansion module (optional)
  • One power distribution unit (PDU)
  • One power bay (required when a PCI expansion module is present)

Larger configurations are possible through the use of a NUMAlink module, just as with the Origin 300. The maximum standard configuration included 8 compute modules and 8 Infinite Reality modules with 8 graphics pipes.

Hard Drive Carriers


These drive carriers are standard off-the-shelf parts used by a number of high-volume server manufacturers, but were apparently only used by Silicon Graphics on the Origin and SGI Onyx 300 models.

Often SGI Origin 300 systems will be split up and the individual bricks sold to different buyers. While many of these bricks never had hard drives installed, SGI did install drive carriers with baffles to maintain airflow. This is good news for buyers, as the plastic baffles can be removed and hard drives installed in their place.

The units typically have a sticker on the front of the carrier showing the identifier "Assy A06447-00x" where the "-00x" may end in any digit. The second line of the label includes what may be an additional part number ("203368", as seen in the thumbnail image to the right) and a manufacturing code of some kind. It is unclear whether the manufacturing code indicates time of production, plant, batch run, or something else entirely.

However the assembly number from SGI units has not always been useful when searching for replacement parts in the Internet. It was suggested that Intel part number 746797-001 may be the same OEM part. smj has since ordered a carrier with this part number from an auction site that was purported to come from a Gateway server, and it fits the O300 well.

The 746797-001 part number is referenced in some sources as being used on Intel's SR1200/2200 and ISP2150G servers (black bezel). However images from some eBay auctions appear more similar to the Origin 350-style drive sled, and indeed the Intel product guide for the SR1200 has diagrams showing a unit more similar to that used in the Origin 350.

As of mid-2011 one UK seller had the Intel 746797-001 carriers available on eBay for UK£10, and several US sellers offered Intel carriers purportedly with that part number for US$10. smj purchased one for about $12 shipped within the US in early 2012.) A recent (1Q2012) online auction of "GATEWAY Hard Drive Blank Caddy 741202-001" had photos of drive carriers that looked identical to O300 carriers, so this may be an additional OEM part number to check for.

Additional Images

Power and Cooling

Each Origin 300 server uses a single, non-redundant WTX power supply operating at 110/220Vac and outputting a maximum of 460W. The PSU is manufactured by Delta Electronics, model DPS 460 AB C (Rev S2 on 4 x600MHz but Rev 00 on dual 500MHz)

Cooling is provided by three system cooling fans and two power supply fans in an N+1 configuration. The Origin 300 uses a "standard" front-to-back airflow pattern.

Fan Replacement

As more of these machines reach enthusiasts, more of them wind up being operated outside of machine-room environments. While this is usually not a problem for the Origin 300, the noise from all the cooling air moving through the system can be a challenge for anybody trying to work nearby. As a result several Nekochan members have replaced the stock cooling fans with quieter aftermarket units, including:

Fan Bearing Type Air Flow Speed Noise MTBF Availability Confirmed? Reference Forum Thread Notes
Cooler Master SAF-B82-E1 2 ball bearing 34.23 CFM 2,400 RPM 25.9 dBA 50-70,000 hours 2012Q2 Yes Cooler Master USA April 19, 2012 by Adrenaline
Scythe / NMB 3110KL-04W-B39-E51 2 ball bearing 31.8 CFM 2,700 RPM 28.0 dBA 160,000 2008 Yes Scythe USA May 23, 2008 by jan-jaap
Scythe S-FLEX SFF80D Fluid Dynamic 40.2 CFM 2,800 RPM 32.4 dBA 150,000 hours 2010Q2 No Scythe USA Mar 3, 2010 by jan-jaap
Vantec TF8025 Thermoflow 2 ball bearing 23.8 - 41.6 CFM 1,950 - 3,400 RPM 25.5 - 37.5 dBA n/a 2012Q2 No Vantec USA April 19, 2012 by recondas 1, 2
  1. These are variable-speed fans based on a built-in temperature sensor. recondas reported that one fan in his Origin 350 had to be replaced with a fixed-speed fan to avoid an environmental monitoring warnings.
  2. These 80mm parts are sugested based on reports by recondas of success using 60mm versions in an Origin 350.

Fan Connectors

SGI did not use the standard fan connectors seen on commodity PCs. Forum member pierocks confirmed the color coding and located what may be a suitable connector in this thread - Molex part number 14-56-2034.

Fan-Related Forum Threads

Fan Replacement:

Fan Connectors:

External Links