DEC VAX 8650

The VAX 8650, code-named "Morningstar", was introduced on 4 December 1985. It was a faster version of the VAX 8600, which was a successor to the original VAX-11/780. The VAX 8600 was the last VAX to be 100% compatible with the VAX-11/780, to have the PDP-11 compatibility mode, and to use the SBI also used by the VAX-11/78x. The CPU had a 55 ns cycle time (18.18 MHz).

This system was part of a large VAX Cluster using the DEC CI interface. The the dark octagonal spot on the right door is where the Cluster device number was. This was the primary device 1 in the cluster. This disks on this system were connected through an HSC90 cluster controller in a separate cabinet. There were other smaller VAXen and large storage devices in the Cluster.

There are two SCSI controllers in the Unibus chassis. The TD Systems VIK/UTO controller emulates the TMSC protocol so an attached SCSI tape drive would look like a DEC TU81 tape drive.

The VAX 8650 processor with the access covers closed. The black units at the top are power supplies.

Lots of boards to make a CPU!

Left to right: Memory, CPU, A Bus, I/O

The back of the 8650. The red warning labels tell you to take off your rings and watches before working in this area.

VAX 8650 I/O Cabinet

The RL02 10 MB disk drive is used by the service processor to load the microcode and boot block.

The box below the RL02 is the combination Q-Bus and Unibus I/O expansion chassis.