SGI Indy

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The Indy was a low end SGI workstation. It is based on the MIPS cpu architecture.

CPUs came in R4000, R4400, R4600 and finally the R5000.

The Indy is a great machine for new users wanting to play with IRIX for the first time due to their low cost, fairly compact size, use of PC memory and reliability.

Indy with XZ graphics


PC vs SC Models

PC CPUs only include primary level 1 cache while the SC CPUs include both level 1 and level 2 cache. Where possible it is recommended to get an Indy with an SC CPU such as: R4400SC, R4600SC or R5000SC.



A CPU well balanced for both int and fp processing.

Models include:

  • R4400SC/175
  • R4400SC/200

The R4400SC/200 is a nice fast CPU and recommended if you are after more performance than a standard R4600SC/133


A CPU more focused towards int processing.

Models include:

  • R4600PC/100
  • R4600PC/133
  • R4600SC/133

Avoid both PC/100 & PC/133 due to their lack of L2 cache, performance is not great.


The R5000 CPU includes a number of new features such as MIPS IV support and extra level 1 cache.

Although the R5000 CPU includes an integrated L2 Cache controller this is not used in the Indy version of the CPU.

For SC models the existing controller from the R4600 is used.

Models include:

  • R5000PC/150
  • R5000SC/150
  • R5000SC/180


The Indy supports up to 256mb of ram over 8 memory sicks. It uses 72pin memory, the same ram found in many later model 486 and most Pentium 1 machines. It is recommended that you use ram that contains gold connectors, but this is not a requirement.

IRIX 6.5 will run with 64mb of memory but this leaves very little for other applications, therefore it is recommended that 128mb or even 256mb is used if you are planning to use this version of IRIX.

IRIX 5.3 and 6.2 both use less memory and are more suitable for machines with only 64mb ram.

Video Cards


Supports 8bit graphics (256 colours) only.




The Indy can come with one of two PSUs.

The newer model made by Sony is recommended due to its reliability and lower noise.

Recommended Specs

For a user looking to purchase their first SGI system the following specifications are the recommended minimum to enjoy IRIX.

  • R4400/150 or R4600SC/133
  • 128mb ram (although 64mb is enough for IRIX 5.3 and standard PC ram can be used)
  • 2GB HDD
  • XL-8 (XL-24 is nice but not required)
  • Sony PSU
  • IRIX 5.3+

External Links