Wow! I'd keep it a secret but I'm not even gonna bother to bid; it'll go way to high. I read some info on xlr8yourmac (and no you can't put 5 in a 9600) but didn't find anything else.
Since I'm on a BeOS kick right now I'd love to know if it would run on 4 G3's!!!
Somebody out there please tell me you have one of these things and actually use it for something.
Oh, the company website is up...I tried it last night and didn't get anything. I figured they were gone. I blame the PC. Its not quite as interesting now...
they are not G4's, they are G3's. It says "PPC 750 (G4)" The G4 is the 74xx line, as the G3 is the 750 line. I don't think this guy knows what he's talking about. The second thing is that I don't think that the 7500 and up use the same proc. card bus design. you can correct me if I am wrong
EveryMac Specs Claims to be compatible across the PCI PPC line, but these cards need 64-bit slots. How many Macs had those? The B&W. Anything else?
I'm guessing that these are really made for RS/6000 boxen and other workstation/server PPC systems.
BeOS don't run on G3 processors. Sorry ::)
The cards work in either 32 or 64 bit slots. Notably, they also work in Intel-based PCs.
Anyway, I think this discussion may be slightly missing the point. This isn't a general purpose "CPU Upgrade". It's an add-on accellerator card designed for running *specially written* applications in parallel, under the control of the host machine. You can't "run BeOS" on it, because strictly speaking, these cards don't run your OS. They fill the same niche as "Transputer" cards did back in the 1980s.
When I first saw the picture I thought to myself that it looks just like a single board computer. If one googles for something like "single board computer g4" you'll get hits for a bunch of products that look just like that card. Problem is (besides being super expensive), it seems they are just for HPC or networking type custom applications. It doesn't seem like something consumers or even knowledgable hobbyists can use to get extra processors or performance.
I wonder if those CPUs are socketed ZIFs? I can't tell from the wee photo. If they are, one would get four processors out of the deal, if nothing else, and the minimum procs used in those cards are a G3 366MHZ according to the mfg. website.
I thought it just didn't run on G3 motherboards... I've seen reports of it on upgraded PCI powermacs
Anyway I didn't think I could actually run anything on that. It was just by far the coolest multi-processor card I spotted (no quint-G5 cards...).
Ok, I got one ;). No clue what I'm going to do with it.
Run muliple sessions of Seti at Home on each of the cpus? (can that be done?)
I don't know what can be done lol. I know NOTHING about programming (I wasn't even sure how to spell it). I emailed Total Impact asking for info on it but I'm not expecting much.
At the very least its got cpu coolers that will properly fit a G3. But I'm not tearing it apart until I'm sure there's no use for it!
Being that its quite impossible to run G3's in an SMB configuation I would venture to say they are G4's. Especially since the companies website states them as being 7400's.
Actually, it appears to indicate that either 750s (G3s) or 7400 (G4s) are an option.
Note that nowhere does it actually say that the CPUs use a symmetric shared-memory architecture. The card is designed to accellerate cluster-friendly applications, so it's very possible that the CPUs onboard simply divide the available memory up into isolated segments. The fact that it advertises having "1MB L2 Cache *per processor*" sort of backs up that conclusion.
Aaaaand, a bit of Googling turns this up:
Since actually winning the other card I've done some more digging.
1) That card has G3's. Look at the part number in the ad. I wish it was G4's but its not like its going to make any difference to me - I don't think they'll be doing anything for a LONG LONG time if ever. I severly doubt I'm going to remove the ZIFs (if they are ZIFs, and they look like it).
2) There actually is quite a bit about Total Impact on the web when you search for TotalImpact even though that is NOT their name! I hate when people screw up the space/no space in names, it always makes me miss things.
3) What I found was people fightng the Mac vs. PC battle with "oh, well Total Impact sells a multiprocessor G4 SO THERE!!!" What I did not find was mention of a use of a Total Impact product, mPower or briQ. A French professor posted a message back in 1997 stating his groups planned to use a multi 604e Total Imapact system to build a neural network. I couldn't log onto my fav literature index (SciFinder) so I haven't checked his papers to see if it was ever actually done. If I don't find anything I may ask him about it, but its nice to puruse his work first.
4) Also found an interesting comment from a former Total Impact employee. And got a response from the company:
That's all. Not much help there. I'd asked for some info (just a little!) that wasn't on the website.
5) I wish I had a whole stack of these to hand out to people who might write something for them! That's what it would take to get even something simple done...i've no clue lol. From the two comments I've seen I get the feeling TI is like some other companies I've dealt with that make very niche tech products - sort of ticked that job isn't done once the products developed and built.
Maybe I'll mount the board and hang it on the wall. It is nice and red. I can put my red 4 DSP Radius Photoshop accelerator card next to it (though that does do something).
Typo above: Ment to say "SMP" not "SMB"
They must treat each processor as its own seperate computer, and address them accordingly. Which woud work, but I dont see it being worth the money. Not only is the card expensive, but you have 4 processors running through a 33MHz PCI bus. Talk about bottle neck. You could most likely buy a few G3's for that cost of that card, a newer G4 that wouldent need those.
All the PCI bus connection is used for is to load data and program code into the memory on the card itself. It's not going to be a bottleneck once you've started computation. Again... compare this to having four seperate G3 machines talking to each other via Ethernet.
Whether the card was cost effective or not is another matter. It might of been five years ago.
There's some programming information here:
Or more specifically, here:
It actually looks like it's fairly easy to use, since essentially all you do is generate blocks of code at fixed addresses with the compiler, load the code and data into the card's RAM, and sic the CPUs on them individually. (The fun part would be writing the scheduler to efficiently dispatch workload across the four CPUs.)
A budding CompSci student could have loads of fun with it. Better then just hanging it on the wall. :^b
Well, its here. I knew the seller was in PA but I hadn't noticed he was about 5 miles away - could have saved on shipping.
Its big. Taller than a standard PCI card by about 1.25". The G3's are not socketed. I should have realized that while the processor cards themselves look the same as ZIF versions, 4 sockets might be too large to fit.
The chrome has come off the heatsink fans in some places and there's minor surface rust on them in those spots. The rest of the card looks fine, not abused in anyway.
I'm very open to selling it to someone who's going to promise to USE it, though price will be dependant on how much the other one goes for. It's up to $94 now with over a day left. I'm not looking to gouge anyone, but I'll get what I can within reason.
So if anyone is interested let me know. But you have to give me a good indication that you'll seriouslly attempt to use it AND inform us all if you make progress.
Under $100 is high for YOU GUYS? That's damned good price. Wish I could bid.
You'll be able to...mines going back to Ebay and I'll ship it anywhere. I'm never gonna have time to do anything with it. I'd like to start learning to program but I don't think this is the place to start.
£55 is quite alot, when you have to invest tonnes of time writing the software for it as well.
I'd like to see if one could recompile Mac-On-Linux to use this card. Then you could boot your beige PowerMac into Yellow Dog and start up Os X using 4 processors.
Oh, you have to write software for it...
Damn, missed that part.
Have either of you guys who have one of these boards tried sticking it in a PPCLinux box and seeing what happens?
Exactly the same thing that would happen if you stuck it in an x86 Linux box. The fans will start spinning, and /proc/pci will show the card as being present. You'll have to install the driver and run software written to interface with the card to have it actually *do* anything, of course.
Really, rather then speculate about magic happening by doing "X", just read the manual. In principle there's lots of interesting things you could do with it. (If you had the source code to the SETI client it'd be pretty trivial to dispatch four work units at a time to it, for instance. That's a great example of an atomic process which requires a lot of CPU time, no I/O, and is small enough to fit in the RAM on the card.) But understand: you need to *write* interesting things to do with it.
I'm a novice programmer. And I haven't done anything with something as large as Darwin. So if this is completely idiotic or masochistic, please ignore me.
But, we have the source code to Darwin. Would it be possible to somehow add multiprossesor support for this card so that darwin hands off some of the OS tasks to the card?
Perhaps via Xpostfacto?
Right now what I'd like this thing to do is crunch down uncompressed video to MPEG2 or other formants. DV to MPEG2 would also be useful. Seeing as how I don't know programming yet (but I'm not a moron) how difficult do you think it would be for me to learn to modify some Linux or MacOS utilities to use this card?
BTW, the professor I mentioned was Simon Thorpe, the same guy who did the "guest review" at xlr8yourmac. I really need to learn to pay more attention to little details like people's names! I've emailed him to see what ever became of his plans to use a these boards for neural netorks.
If you have never programmed in your life its going to take a long time to learn up to the level needed to write software to control hardware.
Heck, it took me long enough to write a C++ program to solve the quadratic equation! Even so, im crap at programming so you could learn much faster.
A good understanding of logic and math helps alot...
I may have found some local help in the programming department. I'd love to see a 9500/9600 board removed from its case holding these. They supposedly take up two PCI slots. It might be that you just cant get two of these next to each other. A card that's not very tall might or long might fit in between the TI boards. An uncompressed vid cap board with monitor support could fit in the slot next to the processor (upgraded of course) with a TI board in the next slot, skip a slot, TI board, skip a slot, and then a TI board in the last slot. I'm guessing it won't fit in the bottom slot without pulling the logicboard from the case but I haven't tried to install it anywhere yet. Try to squeeze a firewire or scsi card in there somewhere for faster disk access.
There are a total of 7 boards counting mine and the other that was purchased on Ebay already. As far as I know they are all G3 333's. There are two more boards without processors. I was exicted to hear that hoping that it could be a ZIF-socketed version but I tried to explain to the guy how he could tell and it sounds like they aren't.
After eyeing thing up it looks like nothing on it sticks out further than a standard PCI card. That means the problems all heat related. Like I said, short cards might be ok as long as they block air to the processors. I'd still pull the board and add fans in a new enclosure anyway. The motherboard out of the standard case with enough airflow might fit 6 cards plus video card. 24 G3's. Come on somebody, step up lol. There are enough available
I e-mailed Ryan Rempel of XpostFacto fame about this card. He thought it would be possible to get OS X to see and use this card for running the system.
However, he stated it would be a very large undertaking and was beyond his personal interest/time-constratints/experience.
Just wanted to see if anything has been done with this yet. I hate to something as cool as this just go by the wayside.