"Amusement Park in a Box!"
~~ Silicon Graphics Advertising Slogan ~~
The Indy was SGI's replacement for the beloved Indigo and was placed as its low-end workstation. Released in 1993, the Indy was a light-blue with a crooked pizza box type case and was SGI's attempt to get the masses to use their workstations for all types of graphics work, be it 3D or 2D. For the time, it was an extremely feature-rich system, costing comparatively less than a similarly equiped Pentium type computer. Among the features included the famous IndyCam, optional stereo (3D) glasses and an ISDN port. Initially, the Indy ran on the MIPS R4000 with a 500 MB hard drive, 16 MB of RAM (Maximum 256 MB) and optional CD or floppy drive. Later on, the Indy used several over CPUs (Listed below), and had a larger hard drive. It appears that the Indy is blessed with the ability to use single RAM sticks instead of the set-of-four requirement found on the Indigo2 and other SGI systems (From personal experience it is extremely annoying when you have 2 sticks lying around...unusable).
Today the Indy is old, but still viable and can be found relatively cheap on eBay. They make a nice desktop if anything.
The Indy was never designed to be used for 3D graphics, I reiterate that this was SGI's attempt to attract more people to use their computers, be it 2D or 3D. As such the Indy was geared for the 2D market and had 3 types of video cards. Please note, the Indy does not support hardware texture mapping or 32-bit color! Go get an Indigo2 for that!
- 8-bit XL Graphics: Better than 256 colors as SGI used a technology called Virtual24 that employed clever dithering and hardware lookup tables to allowed multiple color maps, it's not quite 24-bit...but still better than regular VGA.
- 24-bit XL Graphics: 24-bit color @ 1280x1024, 3D graphics were as good as the 8-bit XL card.
- XZ Graphics: 24-bit color and hardware Z buffer and 128 MFLOPS of hardware geometry/lighting acceleration for 3D graphics
- CosmoCompress: For video processing, don't use with a R4600 if you plan to capture from the IndyCam or video inputs. However, a resonably configured Indy (Maybe with a R5000) can be good for a small business' video tasks.
- IndyVideo: Similar to CosmoCompress, but it tends to have features that are used more...choose wisely. The Indy can only hold one.
- R4000 (100 MHz)
- R4600 (133 MHz)
- R4400 (100 MHz, 150 MHz, 175 MHz, 200 MHz)
- R5000 (150 MHz, 180 MHz)