SGI Onynx RealityEngine Supercomputer

Back in 1993, you could have either bought a supercar for $250,000 or the SGI Onyx, a supercomputer that was used to produce software for the Nintendo 64. It was offered in two models, deskside and rackmount, with the former accepting one CPU board, and the latter variant up to six CPU boards. The Onyx initially used the RealityEngine2 or VTX graphics subsystems, and later, InfiniteReality, which was introduced in 1995. Continue reading for another video demonstration and more information.

The RealityEngine2 is the original high-end graphics subsystem for the Onyx and was produced in two models. The deskside model has one GE12 board with 12 GE (Geometry Engine) processors, up to four RM4 boards, and a DG4 board. The rackmount model differs by supporting four RM4 or RM5 boards, but is otherwise the same. The VTX graphics subsystem is a cost reduced version of the RealityEngine2, using the same hardware but in a feature reduced configuration that can not be upgraded. It consists of one GE10 board with six GE (Geometry Engine) processors, an RM4 board and a DG2 board.


A technology, gadget and video game enthusiast that loves covering the latest industry news. Favorite trade show? Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.