Alpha newbie needing help!

Alpha newbie needing help!

Post by Breen Ouellett » Sun, 06 Dec 1998 04:00:00



Hi,

    I'm pondering getting a PCI 64-275 mainboard.  I have no experience
with Alphas, and I'm having trouble finding information on the net.  The
thing has a 21064A processor, 2MB cache, eight 72pin SIMM sockets, built
in IDE, 4 PCI slots, and 3 ISA slots.  Unfortunately, only being
accustomed to wintel, I have a number of questions, and Compaq couldn't
answer them satisfactorily.

    Can a board like this handle PNP cards?  NT4 drivers exist for the
Diamond Fire GL1000 Pro and the SoundBlaster Live!, does this mean I
will be able to use them on this mainboard running NT4?

    Should I use the standard IDE interface or go with SCSI?  Would an
Ultra DMA PCI addon card be a possible middle ground (if I buy, it's for
personal use, and I can't afford a SCSI implementation)?  Promise has a
card called the Ultra33, but once again, it is plug and play, and I
don't know if Alpha technology supports PNP.

    The Digital/Compaq site states that the board uses parity SIMMs.
Does this mean that I can use any true parity 72pin SIMMs, or do I have
to go with the (very expensive) SIMMs listed on the Digital site?  Do
Alpha boards tend to use gold or tin leads?

    Sorry for posting this to a Linux group, but this is the only spot
on the net I've found so far with any useful amount of info about the
Alpha.  If you know of any other useful resources, please pass them on.

    -Breen

    -Breen

 
 
 

Alpha newbie needing help!

Post by jmd » Sun, 06 Dec 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

>     I'm pondering getting a PCI 64-275 mainboard.

Actually it's an Alpha PC64. Documentation is still available at
digital's web site:

http://ftp.digital.com/pub/Digital/info/semiconductor/literature/arch...
 I have no experience

Quote:> with Alphas, and I'm having trouble finding information on the net.

Something you should be aware of is: The standard AT Power Supply will
NOT work. This board (if it's an Alpha PC 64 for sure) take a P/S that
has 4 connectors...5V and 3.3V. They were still available last
September.

  The

Quote:> thing has a 21064A processor, 2MB cache, eight 72pin SIMM sockets, built
> in IDE, 4 PCI slots, and 3 ISA slots.  Unfortunately, only being
> accustomed to wintel, I have a number of questions, and Compaq couldn't
> answer them satisfactorily.

>     Can a board like this handle PNP cards?

I don't know much about PnP as I use mine mostly with Linux. You would
be wise to look at the Windows hardware compatibility list for all of
your cards. Including video. Look thru the Microsoft web sites to find
it. The problem with video cards on this board is not so much with
drivers for the OS but rather the VGA BIOS on the board. There aren't
too many supported cards. I have a Matrox Mill 8M that works fine. A
Cirrus Logic did not.

  NT4 drivers exist for the

Quote:> Diamond Fire GL1000 Pro and the SoundBlaster Live!, does this mean I
> will be able to use them on this mainboard running NT4?

>     Should I use the standard IDE interface

I hear the IDE is not EIDE so it is quite slow. But how much data are
you actually transferring across the bus? SCSI is very fast on mine. I
am using an Adaptec 2940UW. (A Diamond FirePort 40 was not recognized by
the board)

As always...YMMV

 or go with SCSI?  Would an

Quote:> Ultra DMA PCI addon card be a possible middle ground (if I buy, it's for
> personal use, and I can't afford a SCSI implementation)?  Promise has a
> card called the Ultra33,

There is a Ultra33 driver on this page along with several others

http://www.windowsnt.digital.com/support/drivers/drivers.asp

 but once again, it is plug and play, and I

Quote:> don't know if Alpha technology supports PNP.

>     The Digital/Compaq site states that the board uses parity SIMMs.
> Does this mean that I can use any true parity 72pin SIMMs,

The boards are picky but I am using good grade 4x36 SIMMS. True parity
(not logic parity) Be generous on you total M's..Alpha is a memory
hog....64 is a good start.

Any other questions should be addressed in pvt as this is a Linux group.

hope it helps
jeff