Silicon Graphics Fuel System.

Fuel was the last MIPS based workstation made by SGI. Sometimes it is considered a successor to the O2 because it was the lowest priced SGI at it's time, but it is actually a mid-range workstation und thus a successor to the Octane.

The Fuel is based on the same technology as the high end server systems Origin 3000. It is limited to a single CPU and only 4 GB of memory. For higher workstation requirements later on the Tezro was introduced, also based on Origin 3000 technology.


2002, January
Introduction of Fuel with R14000 CPU and VPro graphics.
2002, February
New Processor available: 600 MHz R14000A
2002, July
DM6 video option announced
2004, February
800MHz Fuel announced
2006, July
End announced for this series. Last systems to be shipped until end of March 2007


CPU Board Processor Clockspeed Cache (d/i) Cache (2nd) Floating Point
IP34 (SW: IP35) R14000 500 MHz 32kb / 32kb 2MB onboard
IP34 (SW: IP35) R14000 600 MHz 32kb / 32kb 4MB onboard
IP34 (SW: IP35) R16000 700 MHz 32kb / 32kb 4MB onboard
IP34 (SW: IP35) R16000 800 MHz 32kb / 32kb 4MB onboard
IP34 (SW: IP35) R16000 900 MHz 32kb / 32kb 8MB onboard


Interior of a Fuel.

Type:                   DDR SDRAM (proprietary)
Sockets:                4 (2 * 2 sockets)

Minimum configuration:  512 MB (2 * 256 MB DIMMs)
Maximum configuration:  4096 MB (4 * 1024 MB DIMMs)^	

The following DIMM types are available:

  • 256 MB DIMM
  • 512 MB DIMM
  • 1024 MB DIMM


The Fuel is equipped with one of the VPro / Odyssey graphics options: V10 or V12. The graphis options use the same technology as the ones for the Octane, but they come in a different form factor. Details can be found on the VPro page linked above.

The V12 can be expanded with the Dual Channel Display option (2 DVI-I ports).



The Fuel is the only SGI workstation that does not come with builtin Audio capabilities. The typical solution is to install a M-Audio Revolution 7.1 PCI sound card.

Drives / SCSI

Fuel systems come with 2 integrated internal Ultra160 SCSI controllers/buses to distribute devices of different speeds/specs between them. To attach external SCSI devices a PCI option card is required. The Fuel system supports up to 3 internal harddrives and up to 2 removeable media drives (see below).


Back of a fuel system.

  • Mouse/Keyboard port
  • 2 USB-A ports (can be used for digital audio)
  • single 10Base-T/100Base-TX port
  • two serial RS232 ports (DB9)
  • single bidirectional parallel port
  • L1 diagnostic port


Expansion Slots

2x 66MHz and 2x 33MHz 64bit 3.3V PCI card slots (1 66MHz bus, 1 33MHz bus).


DM6 Video Option


  • M-Audio Revolution 7.1 PCI
  • RAD Digital Audio PCI


  • Dualport Ultra160 SCSI controller
  • 1000/100/10Base-TX networking device
  • Singleport Fibre Channel


Fuel 5.25" drives.

The Fuel chassis is the size of a large red colored bigtower.

width:     22.6 cm /  8.9"
height:    48.3 cm / 19.0"
depth:     49.3 cm / 19.4"

weight:    19 kg / 42 lbs 

The chassis has a total of 5 storage bays for drives - 2 5.25" for DVD-ROMs and such, 3 3.5" for harddisks and other devices. The 5.25" bays can be accessed behind the door.


Rugged Version

CRI, a division of RSI Inc., did build a rugged rackmount versions of this system.


Operating System

Choosing an operating system.

The Fuel is supported in IRIX 6.5 beginning with IRIX 6.5.15 up to the final release IRIX 6.5.30.

Regardless of the system configuration it is always recommended to use IRIX 6.5.30.

Powersupply failure

System won't start up. High pitched whining from PSU.

As with many other systems the Fuel powersupplies are common points of failure. In a thread on the Nekochan forum the topic of broken Fuel powersupplies id addressed. It also includes hints on replacing the original part with a stock PSU used for PCs.



Silicon Graphics Fuel System.

Fuel 5.25" drives.

Back of a fuel system.

Interior of a Fuel.