My Computer Collection
DECstation 3100

Photo of DECstation 3100
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The DECstation 3100 belongs to the first generation of Mips-based DEC machines, before DEC introduced the Turbochannel with the 5000-series models. Since the machine is entirely busless, there are few changeable options: The onboard graphics adaptor could be either color or mono (selected by a larger or smaller VRAM SIMM), and of course you can have different amounts of memory. Though the memory modules look like ordinary PS/2 simms, they are entirely DEC-proprietary: They have 80 contacts instead of 72 and are organized as 1Mx18 (i.e. a bank consists of two SIMMs).

About the pricing: DEC's original price for a DS3100 with 8 Mbytes, 332 Mbytes disk and a 19 inch color monitor was about 60,000DEM in Germany. DEC claims it was the world's fastest workstation when it was introduced. The price I paid for this one (without disk or monitor, but with 16 Meg RAM) was on a per-kilogram basis, so it looks like quite a bargain ;-) It is sitting now on a desk at the place where I work (look at the monitor's logo for my employer!) and I make extensive use of it whenever I am fed up with the NT box next to it...

Mips R2000, 16.67 MHz
Mips R2010, 16.67 MHz
64 Kbytes Code, 64 Kbytes Data
Integer Performance:
12 VAX-Mips, roughly like a 486DX/33
24 Mbytes (options range from 4M to 24M)
Interfaces (onboard):
  • Mouse, Keyboard
  • 2 x Serial
  • SCSI (narrow)
  • 10 Mbps Ethernet (AUI+BNC)
  • 1024x864 Video, either 1bpp or 8bpp
Add-on cards:
busless machine
Operating System(s):
  • NetBSD 1.3.2

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©1998 Alfred Arnold,