Accelerator boards - no future? Bad business?

Jules Richardson jules.richardson99 at
Sat Apr 23 09:45:40 CDT 2016

On 04/22/2016 01:03 PM, Swift Griggs wrote:
> Remember all the accelerator boards for the Mac, Amiga, and even PCs in the
> 90's ?  I've often wished that I could get something similar on my older SGI
> systems.

Well, I seem to remember that some of the desktop SGI machines could take a 
variety of CPUs. Often though they were designed for a certain performance 
point and if you wanted more you bought the next model up - and when I 
worked with them commercially, a lot of hardware was technically under 
lease; they'd bring out a new model and throw it our way, then take the old 
one away (where I was told it got sent to the crusher).

On the server side of things, they were generally pretty expandable - if 
you wanted higher performance, you just added more CPUs / disks / 
backplanes, rather than fitting faster versions of individual components.

> So, here's the question. Is my dream likely to ever be possible enough that
> a boutique shop could pull it off and not lose their shirt on the production
> costs and R&D to do it ?

I think you'd be wasting your time, even if it could be done... for a lot 
of tasks the CPU isn't the limiting factor anyway - disk speed, bus 
bandwidth etc. all play a part, too.

Then there's the "what's the point?" angle... I mean, why take a vintage 
machine that's dog-slow in comparison to modern hardware and try to make it 
slightly less dog-slow?



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