View Full Version : was this for an old network?

vic user
January 5th, 2006, 01:37 PM
i recently got dropped in my lap a MicroVax 3100-80, with a SCSI tape drive, and boxes and boxes of binders on Vax and stuff, and lord knows what else that goes with it.

i know nothing about Vax systems, except hearing the name a lot.

so was this an old network thing?

anybody have experience with these things?

i was planning on baterering it off to a local vintage comp. guy for some work on my mac SE30.


January 5th, 2006, 01:43 PM
Wow, for me that was a long time ago. As far as I can remember, The MicroVAX 3100-80 was a computer. Either it was a terminal, or it was a computer. I don't think it had anything to do with network infrastructure. That's all I can remember... Hope it helps you. Someone else can probably come up with more than I did....


January 5th, 2006, 01:54 PM
For a short while, we had a few VAXstation in the computer club, plus a few VAXservers that were more suitable to build a coffee table out of than use for the server capacity (with 1996-97 specs).

HP still has some support docs on VAXen (due to HP bought Compaq who already had bought Digital), but that exact model probably was retired by the end of the 1990's:


VAX typically runs (Open)VMS or Ultrix, an UN*X dialect, although there are NetBSD and a scrapped (?) Linux project. Here are some quick specs on the MicroVAX 3100 model 80 from the NetBSD page:


VUPS and TPS are ways to measure computing capacity, like MIPS or so. Our VAXstations were of this kind:


I used to know a guy (well, several guys, but one in particular) who was deeply in love with his MicroVAX and squeezed as much as he could from it.

January 5th, 2006, 01:56 PM
So yes, they are computers, or in this particular case, desktop computers even.

January 5th, 2006, 01:57 PM
I though so but I couldn't quite remember...

vic user
January 5th, 2006, 02:05 PM
thanks guys!


January 5th, 2006, 02:07 PM
Glad to help :)

January 5th, 2006, 02:27 PM
The VAX processor is sometimes referred to as ultra-CISC due to the vast amount of instructions (as opposite to RISC, which is reduced number of instructions). A classic example is that it exists a machine instruction to solve polynomials, at least on the more expensive VAX CPUs - the other would use a software emulation in the case this instruction occurred.

VUP stands for VAX Unit of Performance, and 1 VUP = ~500,000 instructions executed in one second on the 1978 VAX-11/780.

Although there are no official figures, I would estimate that MicroVAX to have an integer capacity equal to a 486DX/2 66 MHz but floating point perhaps like a Pentium-1 66 MHz. That is based on the 3100/80 makes 12 VUP, while a VAX 7160 does 35. At the same time, the 7160 was listed by Digital with SPEC92 values of int 103, fp 176. I once collected a file with some reported 92 values and a few more still online. Maybe there are some errors and bad assumptions though.

January 5th, 2006, 02:48 PM
Or maybe much less, given that SPEC92 was based on that a VAX-11/780 would have a rate of 1 in both tests, so a machine that makes 12 VUP should rate around 12, which would be more like a 486DX-33 or 68040/25 in both integer and float? Not that it matters much.