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Silicon Graphics 1600sw
Graphics/Video Cards

Will I need to buy a video card to go along with my 1600SW?
The 1600SW comes bundled with either a digital video card or the MultiLink Adapter.

The bundled digital video cards are engineered specifically for the 1600SW with an LVDS digital output-the interface utilized by the Silicon Graphics 1600SW flat panel display. MultiLink enables the 1600SW to accept both analog and DFP or DVI digital signals by converting them to the display,s native LVDS digital interface. This allows users to connect the 1600SW to most standard video cards.

For the best possible picture quality, however, SGI recommends that you pair the MultiLink adapter with a "SuperWideTM savvy" graphics card. SuperWide savvy cards support the 1600SW display's native 1600x1024 resolution and will provide the ultimate image quality. More information on SuperWide Savvy cards and latest drivers.

What is the difference between the AGP and the PCI video card?
A brief review of interface slots may help illustrate interface lineage and history.

In order of first to last, as they relate to video cards:

InterfaceKey Features
ISA 8 bitFirst version of interface slots on motherboards. Limited bandwidth and 8 MHz clock speed.
ISA 16 bitSecond version of interface slots. Wider data path, slightly faster clock speed at 16 MHz.
VESA Local BusAdded 32-bit data path and faster clock speeds.
PCI32-bit data path and increased 33 MHz clock speed.
AGPAccelerated graphics port, new dedicated PC standard for 3D graphics. High bandwidth, 66 MHz clock rate.

Today, there are three main contenders for video card interfaces:

InterfaceBandwidthClock speed
PCI133MB/s33 MHz
AGP 2x533MB/s66 MHz
AGP 4x1GB/s133 MHz

According to the above table, AGP has a higher theoretical bandwidth than PCI. Does this mean that AGP is better than PCI? Not necessarily. In general, actual performance of your AGP and PCI cards will depend upon many factors, including video card chipset, processor speed, cache installed, RAM type and amount installed, video mode, and operating system, just to name a few. However, comparing two otherwise identical video cards and systems, you can pretty much expect better performance out of AGP cards and systems.

The photo below shows AGP, PCI, and ISA slots:

AGP, PCI, and ISA slots

Does the 1600SW support DVI?
Yes. With the MultiLink Adapter, you can connect the 1600SW to DVI or DFP digital video cards, as well as VGA analog.

Will the 1600SW run on my [fill in your favorite video card]?
The new MultiLink Adapter accepts any VGA analog, DVI, or DFP signaling, enabling compatibility with virtually any video card. The MultiLink Adapter supports standard VESA modes at 60 Hz in addition to the SuperWide modes. For the best possible picture quality, SGI recommends that you pair the MultiLink adapter with a "SuperWide savvy" graphics card. SuperWide savvy cards support the 1600SW display's native 1600x1024 resolution, and provide the ultimate image quality.

Is the Mac PCI card different from the PC PCI card?
Yes, it is. The Mac PCI card has a different BIOS (basic input output system) than the PC PCI card. You may not substitute one card for the other.

What is happening with Number Nine-are Number Nine cards still available?
SGI is aware that Number Nine Visual Technology has been purchased S3 Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of interactive multimedia products.

SGI is committed to continue selling and supporting the digital graphics cards that are bundled with the Silicon Graphics 1600SW flat panel display. Production of the Number Nine cards for SGI continues uninterrupted, and the card will remain part of the 1600SW digital flat panel solution.

SGI stands behind the 1600SW and Number Nine Revolution IV card solution pack and will ensure service and support for current and future customers. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available about Number Nine.

Why isn't the Number Nine PCI card for Mac offered anymore?
The 1600SW with Formac ProFormance 3 replaces the previous Mac bundle, which included a Mac version of Number Nine Revolution IV card. The ProFormance 3 is a higher performance card than the Mac version of the Number Nine card. For more information on SGI"s new Mac bundle, see Formac.



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