AlphaStation XP1000

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The Compaq AlphaStation XP1000 was the final true Alpha based workstation made by Compaq which sported a dedicated form factor and case. Every other AlphaStation thereafter was just a relabelled version of the respective AlphaServer model.

Hardware

  • Dedicated daughter board for memory and CPU
    • 500MHz EV6 or 667MHz EV67 with 4MB L2 cache
    • 8x 168 pin DIMMs, supports 256 MB to 2GB of ECC Registered RAM
    • 256-bit memory bus running at 83 MHz
  • Chipsets
    • Mainlogic: DEC Tsunami (21272)
    • Networking: Intel 21143
    • IDE: Cypress 82C693
    • USB: Cypress 82C693
    • Sound: ES1888
  • Expansion slots
    • 2x 64-bit 33MHz PCI
    • 2x 32-bit 33MHz PCI
    • 1x 32-bit PCI/ISA shared
  • Expansion bays
    • 2x internal 3.5" hard disk bays
    • 1x external 3.5" bay (occupied by floppy drive)
    • 3x external 5.25" bays (one usually occupied by optical drive)
  • External connectors
    • Dual USB 1.1
    • Dual Serial Ports
    • Single Parallel Port
    • 2x PS/2
    • Ethernet interface (RJ45)

Add-on cards and features

XP1000s were typically sold with the older Cirrus Logic graphics boards or the Permedia2 (aka glint) cards, both in PCI as the XP1000 doesn't have an AGP port. Usually, the Permedia2 is the better choice, especially if it's the variant with the larger memory. Both cards are supported by Tru64 and recent X.org releases, framebuffer support in the Linux kernel is dependant on version of the kernel, especially when cooperation with the X server is needed.

Notable issues with this machine

The onboard sound card is connected to the rest of the system via the ISA bus which results in choppy performance and even crashes when the CPU is under high load. Also, the sound card does not tolerate (un)plugging very well: sometimes, doing so will crash the card and as a result the system.

The IDE controller has very limited performance as the machines was meant to be used with a SCSI HBA. It often refuses to let drives do (U)DMA modes and even then CPU load is high. The onboard SCSI controller has ok performance considering the age of the machine, but a 53c8x5 will usually give better performance.

Sometimes, 32-bit PCI cards will not work in the 64-bit PCI slots, so card juggling might make a stubborn card work.

External Links