digital Personal Workstation

 General Information


The digital Personal Workstation (codename Miata) is a really nice and fast Alpha based machine that is also very affordable in the second-hand market.

The CPUs

The digital Personal Workstations all use the same 21164A EV56 CPU type but at different clock speeds ranging from 433 MHz to 600 MHz. There is also a 2MB cache modul available that is plugged onto the mainboard - not all Personal Workstations do have this cache, so pay attention to the output of "show config" at the SRM console

The Mainboard

Like the Alphaserver 1000, there are also different mainboard revisions (Miata and MiataGL) of the digital Workstation. The newer revision also has USB onboard and a 100MBit network interface instead of a slower 10MBit interface. Plus the newer revision has a Qlogic UW SCSI 1040 Controller on board. Due to the fact that all these differences can easily be compensated by adding some PCI cards, it is not that important (in my opinion) which mainboard a machine has, although it is of course nice to have the newer one.

The Memory

The digital Personal Workstation uses a 128bit memory bus and has three banks of memory, each of them taking two standard 168pin ECC memory modules, so it is rather easy to get some more memory for your machine. You can install up to 1,5GB.


The Personal Workstation has two 64-bit PCI slots, three 32-bit PCI slots (behind a DEC PCI-PCI bridge chip) plus three ISA slots (physically shared with the 32 bit PCI slots, via an Intel 82378IB PCI to ISA bridge chip).

I/O Connectors

  • On-board Fast Ethernet 21142 (Miata) or 21143 (MiataGL) Ethernet chip, dependent on the version of the PCI riser card. The bulkhead can be 10/100 Mbit UTP, or 10 Mbit UTP/BNC
  • On-board [E]IDE disk interfaces, based on the CMD646 (Miata) or the Cypress 82C693 (MiataGL)
  • Two 16550A serial ports
  • One parallel port
  • PS/2 keyboard & mouse port
  • USB interface (MiataGL only)
  • Embedded sound based on an ESS1888 chip

My Machine

Have a look at the pictures of my machine.