PA-RISC information - since 1999

HP Visualize C160, C180

Quick Facts
Introduced 1996
Period Maturity (III)
Series Visualize
CPU 1 PA-8000
160-180 MHz
Cache 1-2 MB L1
Design UTurn
Drives 3 SCSI
1 FD
Expansion 1 GSC/PCI
Bandwidth CPU/Mem 960 MB/s
I/O 10E
2 serial
2 PS/2

The HP Visualize C160 and C180 workstations were graphics workstations equipped with 64-bit PA-8000 processors, introduced in 1996. They were higher-end offerings with faster CPUs and better configurations compared to older HP Visualize C100, C110, or lower-cost C132L, C160L.

© Hewlett Packard 1999

The case is similar to that of the HP 9000/735 workstation with interlocking modules. These machines were aimed at CAD/CAM/3D modelling and were succeeded by the powerful C200 and C240.

The C160 and C180 were the first smaller 64-bit PA-RISC workstations for graphics applications and were positioned by HP against Sun Ultra 2 and Silicon Graphics Indigo2 workstations for Unix technical computing. HP marketed them for MDA, EDA, Exploration and Production, GIS, and Medical Imaging as well as fluid dynamics and structural analysis as they had outstanding floating point and graphics performance.

Model Number Introduced Price
C160 9000/780 1996 $24,000
9000/780 1996 $50,000

The C180 was also sometimes referred to as C180-XP if a Visualize XP graphics adapter was included. The 32-bit C100 and C110 were board-upgradable to C160 and C180.

System architecture


Model CPU Speed L1 Cache
C160 PA-8000 160 MHz 512/512 KB off-chip
C180 PA-8000 180 MHz 1/1 MB off-chip


» View a system-level ASCII-illustration of the system architecture.

System buses


Expansion slots


The disk-slider can accomodate up to three SCSI drives and one floppy drive simultaneously, the internal cabling (usually) includes one Wide-SCSI cable with three 68-pin connectors and a HVD-terminator at the end, one Narrow-SCSI with one 50-pin connector and one cable for the floppy.

The Narrow-SCSI cable is normally used for the external-accessible half-height 5.25″ CD/DAT drive, although it is of course also possible to connect a 50-pin SE hard drive. The cable can also be easily replaced with a variant with more connectors to use up to three 50-pin SE hard drives. The PDC can boot off these SE drives.

The Wide-SCSI cable is normally used for the internal 3.5″ 68-pin Fast-Wide high-voltage differential system drives. Up to three hard drives can be installed in the cage, which leaves no room for an external-accessible CD/DAT drive though. The Fast-Wide drives are also bootable from the PDC.

A standard configuration could look like this:

External ports

Operating systems


Model SPEC95, int SPEC95, fp SPEC95
rate, int
rate, fp
C160 10.40 16.30 93.6 147
C180 11.80 18.70 107 169


Height Width Depth Weight
138mm 539mm 447mm 21kg


ROM update

There is a firmware update available for the C160 and C180, which contains the latest version (6.2).

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