SGI Indy is a perfect starters system as it is really cheap nowadays
and you can install a decent IRIX version to play with. Although
an Indy has not much graphics power, it is perfect for surfing,
webdesign or other leight-weight stuff. And you should not underestimate
an Indy with a R5000 processor!
There are plenty of CPU options available for the Indy:
When buying an Indy, you should either get a R4400SC, R4600SC
or R5000 processor. Don't buy an R4000PC or R4600PC Indy, as it
does not have an L2 cache! When buying a R5000 Indy, you should
also try to get one with L2 cache, but here it is not that important
(although it does matter a bit).
Generally the R5000 systems are a lot faster than R4x00 based
systems - the R5000 is the small brother of the big R10000 used
in Octanes and servers.
Theoretically you can also update any R4x00 Indy to a R5000 Indy,
but you need to get a new PROM first (the correct part number
of the PROM is 070-9101-011)
The Indy does not have that many graphic options as many other
SGI systems - they are exactly three, no more and not less:
You really should try to get an XL24 graphics adaptor, or if
you have a R4x00 processor even better an XZ graphics option.
But if you have a R5000 Indy, you should prefer an XL24 option
to an XZ option, as the main CPU can do the transformations much
faster than the graphics card, so an XZ option even slows
down the graphics performance of an R5000 Indy!
Note that there is no option available for the Indy with hardware
accelerated textures - if you need these, you have to get an Indigo²
with hardware texturing or an O2.
Your Indy should have at least 64MB of memory - if you want to
use IRIX 6.5 it is strongly recommended that you have 128MB.
As the Indigo
R4000 and the Indigo²,
the Indy uses standard PS/2 FPM memory with parity, so it should
not be a big deal to find some upgrades in the second hand market.
4. Disc Drives
One harddisc should be enough for your system. The size depends
on the IRIX version you plan to install. Up to Version 5.3, a
1.2GB harddisc should be enough, for IRIX 6.5 you really should
install at least a 2GB harddisc, better a 4GB harddisc. Especially
if you want to capture movies using the A/V connectors of the
Indy or install much of the freeware
available at sgi, you need at
least a 9GB drive.
There are also some Indys with a floptical drive, but normally
you won't need such a drive.
5. Power Supply
There exist two power supplies for the Indy: The older Nidec
power supply and the newer Sony power supply. The main difference
is that the Sony PSU is much more silent.
6. Other Details of Interest
There are some other items you should check before buying a specific
- What is the general cosmetic condition?
- Are keyboard and mouse included? Of course, you can also use
normal PS/2 styled keyboards and mice.
- Is IRIX installed, which version? Is it a clean install? Do
you also get the installation CDs?
- Is the famous IndyCam included? And the small microphone for