Altix 330

An early Altix 350
An early Altix 350

The SGI Altix 330, is a rack-mounted, entry level server sold by Silicon Graphics from 2005 to 2007. This system uses Itanium 2-based processors and runs RHEL or SLES Linux. The Altix 330 implements the IP5X processor, but follows the IP41 architecture from the earlier Altix 3000 systems.


Each base module has one PCI slot. Two gigabit ethernet ports, two SAS/Serial ATA drive bays, an external SAS/Serial ATA connector, and an optical drive are included on the system. USB for L1 and NUMALINK were also included.

The different configurations are:

  • Base Module
  • Compute Expansion Module
  • NUMALINK Router
  • PA Module

An Altix330 base module supports up to 16GB of RAM.


Each Altix 330 BCM will accommodate one or two Itanium 2 processors of the same type. However the 1.3 GHz processors were only offered in a single module, standalone configuration.

CPU Configurations
CPU Cache Speeds (GHz)
3MB 1.3
4MB 1.4
6MB 1.6


The Altix 330 supports registered DDR DIMMs with ECC, rated at 266MHz or faster, which are commonly referred to as PC2100, PC2700, etc. Memory throughput was claimed to peak at 10.8 GB/second.

Main memory is organized into two banks of four DIMMs each, or eight slots total, providing up to 16GB of RAM per BCM. DIMMs of 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB are officially supported; it is unclear as of this writing if 4GB parts will work.

The Altix 330 does not have a console serial port, and does not normally use an external L2 Controller. Instead, when a suitable USB-to-Ethernet adapter is connected to the L1 system controller on a Base Compute Module, that L1 controller becomes a hybrid L1/L2 controller for the system. After configuration the hybrid L1/L2 controller can be used to access the system console, or to control the system using the L3 software installed on a suitable Linux workstation.

Note that the L1 controller on Altix 330 Router Modules may also include the ability to become a virtual L2 controller when supplied with a suitable USB-to-Ethernet adapter.


The Altix 330 has an internal bay for two 3.5" drives.

Operating System Support

The system can run Microsoft Windows up to Server 2008 R2 (Itanium Edition) and GNU/Linux RHEL and SLES up to versions 5 and 9 respectively.