sgi 1600sw dvi to openldi solution

One of the bonuses I collected while working at a former employer was SGI‘s 1600SW flat-panel display. It’s a beautiful piece of hardware, with a 1600×1024 resolution, a really fine dot-pitch, and a decent refresh rate. The only problem with it is that SGI decided to bank on National Semiconductor’s OpenLDI specification, which got laughed off the planet by DVI.

The panels came with a PCI graphics card, a Number 9 Revolution IV with a DB-15 and OpenLDI connector (SGI really knew how to pick winners, didn’t they?). The card had decent 2D performance, and ass-licking 3D performance, which became moot (for me) about 18 months ago when it failed. SGI had released an adapter which allowed you to use VGA or DVI connections with the monitor, and I was always tempted. Unfortunately, the adapter ran for $500USD and continued to run that high on eBay for used product. No thanks, too rich for my blood.

Every so often I check eBay to see if the demand has gone down, and today I discovered something new – an aftermarket DVI-OpenLDI adapter for the 1600SW. From the site it’s $300USD, but they run eBay auctions for their “pro” version (includes a DVI cable) for $249.99USD. Now I’m really tempted, as I’d like to use the monitor somewhere. Too bad my Ti is an early model without DVI, or I probably would have ordered it already.

In any event, if you have a 1600SW kicking around (a surprising number of folks do), check this out.