Rare CPU's you want to play with / discuss

Just saw this in my feed and it got me thinking about the old fabled dual core pentium 4. Theres a few out there, but really they got turned into the pentium D. I still want one though… even just for the sweg of opening CPU Z in windows 2000 and flexing 2 cores that say pentium 4 on them.

What about you guys? Any weirdo CPU’s you wanna play with?

Can I book some time with one from D-wave if you are offering?

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Somewhere in the closet I have an Alpha, and an Itanium 2. I’ve got a dual 8 core Power 9 that I’ve been having a lot of fun with. 64 threads!

Some time I’d like to add an SGI workstation with a MIPS.


Any chance I could get an SSH hookup to that itanium 2? :stuck_out_tongue:


Is a 6950X rare enough? Peeps still want $700 or so for them :cry:

Not really :U

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Well, there’s some life goals I can get behind! Shame all of those are so expensive nowadays as I kind of like RISC systems :frowning:

I’ve go a Sun Blade 100 with an UltraSPARC IIe 500Mhz (IDPROM battery died, which has been a bit of a pain) and I have a UltraSPARC T2 system I bought that hopefully will be arriving soon.

Oh, and I think I have an old Cyrix CPU (and motherboard) somewhere, at least I hope I kept that one. Not sure if (or why) anyone would want to play with that, but it makes for a nice museum piece I’d think :wink:

I always wanted an Alpha 21264

I’d also want a 68030 or 68040 (preferably in an amiga, lol).

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Oh I can think of a billion things to do with a cyrix cpu that I can’t get an intel one to do

Or get a cyrix cpu to do things that aren’t publically documented on the intel counterparts that ARE documented on the cyrix.

The Itanium 2 is a 1U case system I got off eBay. Obviously was part of someone’s compute cluster. The thing is obnoxiously loud so I don’t run it often.

I need to get one of those silenced in-office rack cabinets.

I’d love a Power9, but I can’t justify the price of a full system and the blackbird board seems a little too nerfed to really leverage the cpu properly. If you had a standard ATX, 4-channel, with dimm.2,10G with another 8x pci-e 4 slot at the same price point, that would be very interesting.

Also interested in SPARC from the ultraSPARC. Being workstation chips with actual floating point and vector functional units, rather than the 8-SMT integer only database focused chips they are now.

That’s asking a LOT

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The sfroza power9 chips have an 8 channel memory controller, and offer 48 lanes of pci-e 4.0 (as well as a handfull of 3.0 channels). It’s mainly a matter of routing them somewhere useful. And there are threadripper boards out there with a comparable feature set for half the price.

Could be tempting to get my hands on a Power9 so I could dust off some old PowerPC specific projects from the early 2000s but I think converting a MacOS(G3/G4) based application to PowerPC Linux would be too time consuming.

I wouldn’t recommend anyone wanting to track down & use an Itanium based system, unless you have software which runs natively on it & benefits from the compute side. From what I remember there were areas it was snappy vs x86/x64 but that lead was quickly shrinking by the Core era. Same can be said about the G5, if it wasn’t for Freescale thinking they had a hold on Apple when it was known there was always an x86/x64 version of Darwin/OS X… (from what I remember a dual G5 still packed a reasonable compute punch until 2nd gen Core i(aka Sandybridge)

If I had been a member on Teksyndicate back when I was slowly clearing out parts, had a “spare” Amiga 1200 board… more interesting side of “repairing” Amigas, within North America they only seemed popular within the northeast(US/CAN). Anyone I’ve met from the West Coast who had an Amiga were typically from California or Washington.

An easy way to get your hands on a Cyrix based CPU is look for early AMD Geode embedded boxes, they were still based on the Cyrix MMX clone(MediaGX). Geode embedded were common for CNC, remote desktop terminals, industrial and others.

Eh, I’d want an older chip. Stupid technical reasons.

I bought a pair of 68030’s a while back on ebay… but am I ever going to do anything with them? :pensive:

As for rare cpu’s… I sure would like a Z80000. Maybe there is a single engineering sample somewhere out there. Maybe.

Probably not a lot, anything you’d use them for probably already has a 68030 in it.

I’m actually tempted to learn 6502 assembly (does “playing with a CPU” include writing code for it via emulation?) - i dabbled with x86 assembly and spent a little time with 68hc11 and 68000 back at university.

Ideal platform is a c64 emulator for 6502 - they’re very simple machines - i miss being able to write code so close to the metal. These days you spend days figuring out how the fucking development IDE works, what libraries you need, etc.

Then again… i bought FUZE for the switch. Might play with that over christmas instead.

Oh no. No way. Only a custom made computer would do, preferably with a 68882 FPU attached.

I’d say writing assembly for a specific cpu certainly qualifies as “playing”. Personally I really prefer the Z80 over the 6502 from a programmer point of view.

Yeah, architecturally i feel the Z80 is superior, but the c64 is a platform i like for other reasons, so 6502 assembly goes hand in hand with doing things with the rest of the platform :slight_smile:

I recently sent 2 MC68012s (same die as MC68010 but outputting 30 address lines instead of 23) to someone who’s redesigned the Tiny68k board to use 1. I’m sure I’ve recently seen a photo of a Tiny68k that uses an MC68030, though I can’t find it with a hasty search.

I’d love to have a Z80000 or, better, a Z320. (I think the latter is the same die in a PLCC. I’m sceptical of its Wikipedia page’s claim that it’s a CMOS Z80000.) The Z80000 certainly went further than engineering sample. I used to have a 1983 Zilog catalogue that described it as ‘New for 1984’, though I didn’t get a call from the UK distributor that it was actually available till the end of 1985. I have a link to a company that claims to ‘have’ 116 10MHz Z320s but their minimum order is $100 and they only deal with businesses. I’m too much of a noob here to be allowed to post links, so let’s just say they’re www o2xygen com :wink: