PA-RISC information - since 1999

HP 9000 Series 800 Nova Servers

Quick Facts
Introduced 1991-1993
Period Growth (II)
Series 800 Series
CPU 1/1-2 (x70)
32-96 MHz
Caches 96 KB-4 MB L1
RAM 128 MB (F10)
192 MB (F20/F30)
384 MB (H20/H30/G30/I30)
768 MB (x50/x60/x70)
Design Viper
Drives many
Expansion 2 HP-PB (Fx0)
6 HP-PB (Gx0/Hx0)
12 HP-PB (Ix0)
Bandwidth ?

The HP 9000 800 Nova servers of the F, G, H and I Class were second-generation HP 9000 800 PA-RISC servers from the early 1990s. They were based on 32-bit PA-7000 and PA-7100 processors, with G70/H70 and I70 servers dual-processor capable. They were often used during the 1990s as technical workplace and database servers.

HP 9000 H50 Server
© Hewlett Packard

The Nova servers were designed by HP‘s technical server division with a distinct architecture to the HP 9000 700 workstations sharing few devices and I/O systems – a similar system chipset was used with ASP and Viper, but I/O and expansion depended on server-specific HP-PB.

Billed as HP 9000 Midrange Business Server family, the Nova servers were targeted for business and transactions applications, being in a compact deskside and rack­mountable case. The servers offered many expansion possibilities, depending on the system, often used for many I/O cards and storage devices. The lower systems were often shipped with FPU, as floating-point performance was often not needed to their I/O and data-bound use cases.

The [F, G, H, I] letters in server model indicate I/O expansion options and cases, the [10, 20, … 70] denote used processors and chipsets. G, H and I class shared the same cases.

System Model number
F10 HP 9000/807
F20, H20 HP 9000/817, HP 9000/827
F30, G30/H30, I30 HP 9000/837, HP 9000/847, HP 9000/857
G40/H40, I40 HP 9000/867, HP 9000/877
G50/H50, I50 HP 9000/887, HP 9000/897
G60/H60, I60 HP 9000/887, HP 9000/897
G70/H70, I70 HP 9000/887, HP 9000/897

They were suceeded by E Class servers with PA-7100LC, which shared the F Class case and some of the proprietary I/O design. Many F, G, H and I Class became available in second-hand market in the 2000s at bargain prices, since few follow-on use cases were possible for the cumbersome machines with limited software options but stock HP-UX.

© Hewlett Packard 1997

Specific Nova servers could be upgraded to other Nova server configurations through a range of easy processor board and slot upgrades, as they had up to 10.3 x performance 'headroom' in the same chassis. There were performance upgrades on the vertical axis available and I/O slot upgrades on the horizontal axis.

System architecture


Model CPU FPU Speed L1 Cache
F10 PA-7000 optional 32 MHz 32/64 KB off-chip
F20, H20 PA-7000 optional 48 MHz 64/64 KB off-chip
F30, G30, H30, I30 PA-7000 optional 48 MHz 256/256 KB off-chip
G40, H40, I40 PA-7000 optional 64 MHz 256/256 KB off-chip
G50, H50, I50 PA-7100 integrated 96 MHz 256/256 KB off-chip
G60, H60, I60 PA-7100 integrated 96 MHz 1024/1024 KB off-chip
G70, H70, I70 1-2 PA-7100 integrated 96 MHz 2048/2048 KB off-chip


The chipset is a variant of the ASP with the Viper memory controller, interfacing the processor to memory and the HP-PB I/O bus. System I/O is implemented on so-called HP-PB Personality Boards with separate I/O devices and chips.

» View a system-level illustration (ASCII) of the 807-877 chipset.

System buses


Expansion slots


External ports

Operating systems

The only operating system for these servers was HP-UX, with all of them supported in HP-UX 10.20 for 800s servers and 11.00. First supported release was HP-UX 8.02, official support was dropped in 11.11 (11i v1).

It is unlikely there will ever be a port of an open source operating system, as not much documentation exist on the I/O and system details.


Model SPEC92, int SPEC92, fp MIPS
F10 22.0 36.6 35
x20 33.6 56.1 53
x30 37.8 62.4 53
x40 65.2 91.3 70
x50 100.0 158.5 115
x60 108.8 195.3 115
x70 108.8 195.3 115




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