Chapter 7. Site Preparation for Onyx2 Graphics Insert Modules

The Onyx2 product line includes a rack version. The rack systems use one or more SGI 2000-series base modules (see “SGI 2000-Series Base Module Site Requirements” in Chapter 6) and one or more Onyx2 graphics insert modules (described in this chapter).

The Onyx2 graphics insert module (GIM), unlike the SGI 2000-series modules, may be used only in a rack chassis.

Selecting a Location for an Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module

The Onyx2 graphics insert module is always mounted in a rack alone, with another Onyx2 graphics insert module, or with an SGI 2000-series base module.

Figure 7-1 shows a rear view of an Onyx2 graphics insert module.

Figure 7-1. Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module, Rear View

Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module, Rear View

Airflow in Onyx2 Graphics Insert Modules

Position the Onyx2 graphics insert module so that it receives proper air circulation. The airflow is in at the top of the chassis and out the fan at the bottom rear of the chassis, as shown in Figure 7-2. It is important that nothing block the areas shown by arrows. Onyx2 graphics insert modules are always installed in rack chassis. To see the airflow in an Onyx2 rack chassis, refer to Figure 8-6.

Onyx2 graphics insert modules are designed for use in typical office computing environments: The air temperature should not fluctuate dramatically, air should circulate freely, and the location should be relatively dust free.

Figure 7-2. Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module Airflow

Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module Airflow

Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module Site Requirements

The Onyx2 graphics insert module is an insert chassis that is used only in rack systems. An Onyx2 graphics insert module may share a rack with another Onyx2 graphics insert module or with an SGI 2000-series base module, or may be alone in a rack.

For information about selecting a physical location for a rack system containing an Onyx2 graphics insert module, see “Selecting a Location for an SGI 2000-Series, Origin Peripherals, or Onyx2 Rack System” in Chapter 8.

Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module Specifications

Table 7-1 lists the physical specifications of the Onyx2 graphics insert module.

Table 7-1. Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module Physical Specifications






19.9” (50.5 cm)
17.4” (44.2 cm)
26” (66 cm)



30.9” (80 cm)
25.8” (61 cm)
42.5” (104.1 cm)


shipping (max.)

125 lbs (56.7 kg)
175 lbs (79.4 kg)
195 lbs (88.5 kg)

Air Temperature




0-5,000 ft
5,000-10,000 ft

41° to 95° F (5° to 35° C)
41° to 86° F (5° to 30° C)



-4° to 140° F (-20° to 60° C)

Thermal Gradient:


18° F (10° C) per hour



10,000 ft (3,048 m) MSL, maximum
40,000 ft (12,192 m) MSL, maximum

Relative Humidity:


10-90% (non-condensing)
10-95% (non-condensing)

Humidity Gradient:


10% relative humidity per hour



65 dBa

Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module Power and Cooling Requirements

Onyx2 graphics insert modules require 208 volt power (see “Voltage Requirements” in Chapter 2) and have a fixed power cable that plugs directly into wall power, rather than plugging into the rack PDU. This is different from Onyx2 and Origin2000 modules, which plug into the rack PDU.

Warning: Any difference in ground potential greater than 500 millivolts (0.5 volts) between two chassis connected with CrayLink or XTown cables can cause a range of problems, from poor system operation to severe equipment damage. See “Chassis Branch Circuit Grounding” in Appendix B for further information.

Table 7-2 provides power consumption and required cooling capacity information for the Onyx2 graphics insert modules. For formulas, descriptions, and general information about power and cooling, refer to “ Electrical Requirements” in Chapter 2 and “ Thermal Requirements” in Chapter 2.

Caution: Onyx2 systems are highly configurable, and therefore have a wide range of power and cooling requirements. It is very rare for an Onyx2 graphics insert module to reach the “maximum” power and cooling requirements listed in Table 7-2. Ask your SGI representative about particular configurations.

Table 7-2. Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module Power and Cooling Specifications



200-240 volts AC, 1-phase

Watts (from the wall):


1,200 watts
2,000 watts (see “Caution,” above)

Power Factor:



Total Harmonic Dist.:



Inrush Current:


80 amps



47-53 Hertz
57-63 Hertz

Cooling Requirements:
(Also see “Caution” in
“Calculating Thermal Load” in Chapter 2)


4,092 Btu/hr (0.34-ton AC load)
6,820 Btu/hr (0.57-ton AC load) (see “Caution,” above)

Airflow Volume:


400 cfm (0.188 m3/s)

See Appendix B, “Site Power and Power Cables”, for information about graphics insert module site-wiring and power cables.

Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module External Peripherals

Onyx2 graphics insert modules are typically connected to one or more monitors. See “Monitors” in Appendix A for more information.

Onyx2 Graphics Insert Module Cabling Issues

Besides power cables, Onyx2 graphics insert modules have one or two XTown cables connecting them to one or two SGI 2000-series base modules, either in the same rack or in one or two nearby racks.