PA-RISC information - since 1999

HP 9000/T500, T520, T600 and 890

Quick Facts
Introduced 1993, 95, 97
Period Maturity (III)
Series Mainframe
1-12 PA-7100
1-14 PA-7150
1-12 PA-8000
60-180 MHz
Caches 2-4 MB L1
(8 MB L2)
RAM 2-3.75 GB
Design Viper
Drives external
Expansion VSC
Bandwidth CPU 240 MB/s per CPU
890 sys: 240 MB/s
T5x0 sys: 480 MB/s
T600: 960 MB/s
I/O: ≤240 MB/s

The HP 9000 T-Class were PA-RISC high-end, datacenter-class servers from the 1990s, built with modular system cards for processors, memory or I/O devices. The 890, T500 and T520 used 32-bit PA-RISC architecture, while the design later on moved to 64-bit PA-RISC 2.0 with the T600.

© Hewlett Packard 1997

The T-Class were marketed as Corporate Business Servers that offer most capable and expandable UNIX-based systems with high-end performance scalability to meet growing business needs. There were aimed for business Unix applications and the corporate processing market of the 1990s. They had for the time massive expansion options, including a great many expansion cards for I/O, communications and such.

The T500, T520, T600 and 890 share closely similar system architecture that different in specific processors and options. The main system backplane features sixteen slots, eight of which can be used for memory or processor boards, and the other eight for I/O boards and converters. These boards plug into the main system VSC bus at 60 MHz.

The HP 9000/890 was an early iteration of the architecture, based on the earlier HP 9000 870 server and apparently using PA-RISC 1.0 PCX CPUs. The later T500/T600 were updated sucessors with newer technology and hardware. After the 64-bit T600, the T-Class design for mainframes was discontinued in favor of the more flexible Cell-based Superdome systems.

Apparently 890 and T500 were board-upgradable to T520, with another board-upgrade path to PA-8000 processors as well.

System Model number Introduced Price
890 HP 9000/890 1992 $340,000
T500 HP 9000/891 1993/1994 $165,000 uni
$660,000 12-way
T520 HP 9000/892 1995 $145,000 uni
$520,000 14-way
T600 HP 9000/893 1997

System architecture


  1. The 890 CPU is probably a PCX, other sources indicate a PA-7000
  2. The off-chip caches of the CPUs are rather large, especially on 890
  3. The T600 was apparently the only system with a PA-8000 processor with L2 cache, not mentioned in the PA-8000 documentation
Model CPU Speed L1 Cache L2 Cache
890 1-4 PCX1 60 MHz 4 MB off-chip2
T500 1-12 PA-7100 90 MHz 2 MB off-chip
T520 1-14 PA-7150 120 MHz 2 MB off-chip
T600 1-12 PA-8000 180 MHz 2 MB off-chip 8 MB off-chip L23


The processor cards attach the processors and support chips to the main system bus via slots for processors, memory and I/O cards. The 890 and the T-Class have slighly different architecture.

© Hewlett Packard 1997


The chip configuration looks like a PCX processor and the 890 is described as having a PA-RISC 1.0 processor. Some other parameters contradict this however, including the main memory, clock speed, bus interfaces.

T500, T520 and T600


The chipsets depend the plug-in I/O cards and ordered options.

System buses


Expansion slots


External ports

Operating systems


Model SPEC92
rate, int
rate, fp
SPEC95, int SPEC95, fp SPEC95
rate, int
rate, fp
890 1-CPU: 1215
2-CPU: 2253
3-CPU: 3306
4-CPU: 4301
1-CPU: 1180
2-CPU: 2360
3-CPU: 3529
4-CPU: 4685
T520 5.2 1-CPU: 47.2
2-CPU: 93.8
4-CPU: 186
8-CPU: 363
12-CPU: 531
T600 11.8 14.9 1-CPU: 106
2-CPU: 211
4-CPU: 418
6-CPU: 617
8-CPU: 814
10-CPU: 1003
12-CPU: 1192
1-CPU: 134
2-CPU: 263
4-CPU: 510
6-CPU: 735
8-CPU: 915
10-CPU: 1043
12-CPU: 1151


Height Width Depth Weight
1620mm 750mm 905mm 360kg




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