SGI Fuel

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An SGI Fuel

General information

The Silicon Graphics Fuel, introduced in 2002, was intended to be a single-CPU midrange solution for those customers who did not need multiple-CPU capability, thus offering a much cheaper system compared to a baseline Tezro or top-spec single-CPU Octane2.

Contrary to popular belief, Fuel was not a successor to O2. SGI never made a follow-on to O2; a new system was designed (internally known as the Banana2000 or b2k) but was never evolved beyond a prototype.

System architecture

Fuel shares the IP35-architecture with Origin 300, Origin 3000, Onyx 3000 and Tezro systems.

CPU options

Memory subsystem

512 MBytes to 4 Gbytes total system memory using up to four DDR SDRAM DIMMs

On introduction SGI claimed an industry-leading 3.2 GByte-per-second processor to memory bandwidth, and half that to the graphics subsystem. The Double Data Rate (DDR) DIMMS used are compatible with those used in the Origin 3000, Origin 300, and Origin 350. There are a total of four slots, organized into two banks of two slots. Each bank must contain parts of the same size, but each bank can vary in size.

I/O subsystem

  • PS2 Mouse/Keyboard ports
  • One 10BaseT/100BaseT Ethernet
  • Two serial RS232 ports (DB9)
  • One bidirectional parallel port
  • Two USB ports
  • 4 PCI slots: 2x 66MHz and 2x 33MHz 64bit
  • 2 Internal SCSI Controllers QL12160

Graphics subsystem

The VPro graphics chipset that SGI started for the Octane2 was also used for this system.

  • VPro10 32 MegaBytes RAM
  • VPro12 128 MegaBytes RAM
  • for V12: Dual Channel Display option (2 DVI-I ports)


Fuel comes with no sound option installed, however the system can be expanded with PCI or USB soundcards (see "Add-on options")

Add-on options

Digital Media

  • DM3 High-Definition and Standard-Definition Digital I/O
  • DM5 High-Definition and Standard-Definition Graphics-to-Video Output
  • DM6 Standard-Definition Digital I/O
  • DM8 Audio Card
  • DM10 1394 (FireWire) Card. 400 Mbps

Audio PCI Cards

  • M-audio Revolution 7.1 PCI card
  • RAD Digital Audio PCI card 3.3 volt cards only! SGI Part # 030-1441-001 & SGI Part # 030-1649-001
  • Creative Soundblaster Audigy2 ZS


  • SGI 2-Port PCIX Ultra320 SCSI LVD/SE HBA - SGI Part # PCIX-SCSI-U4-2P
  • Qlogic QLA-1080
  • Qlogic QLA-1280
  • Qlogic QLA-10160
  • Qlogic QLA-12160

Fibre Channel:

  • Qlogic QLA-2200

Gigabit Ethernet PCI Cards:

  • Alteon ACEnic 10/100/1000*
  • Compaq NC7770 Gigabit Server Adapter* (Tigon3 chipset)
  • 3Com 3C996 10/100/1000 PCI-X Server Network Interface Card* (Tigon3 chipset)
* see here for hacking instructions

USB Devices

  • Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer USB
  • Apple Mighty Mouse
  • Apple Pro-Keyboard
  • IBM Preferred USB Keyboard
  • Griffin iMic and iMic2
  • Telex USB audio device
  • Apple iMac Graphite USB keyboard
  • Logitech TrackMan Wheel USB mouse (scroll supported) - on O3200, should work on Fuel too?
  • Sony VAIO USB mouse
* See here for info on setting ioconfig.conf. Use man usbinput.

Serial Devices

Firewire (IEEE1394) Devices thru DM10 Digital Media Option

  • Any Oxford 911 chipset firewire hard drive interface including the Maxtor One-Touch and Lacie "Designed by FA Porsche" external drives
  • Microtech Cameramate CF card interface

IRIX support

IRIX Versions from 6.5.17 up to the latest overlay (6.5.30 at this time) are supported on this machine. Firewire support became functional around 6.5.27

IRIX and hardware bugs

xfs_fsr locks up the system while running against the file system on any firewire drive. This has been a problem for over two years now with no repair in sight.

Temperature sensing on early Fuel mainboards is notoriously prone to failure, rendering the computer inoperable if environment monitoring is left on. Amateur repairs are possible, see here : [1]

Further reading

SGIstuff: Hardware: Machines: Fuel

Fuel overview at

Fuel documents at

Wikipedia page

IP35 at

Fuel Hardware Aggregator at