Specifications

HP c8000

Like nearly all my other pet computers, I purchased this from eBay. I was pleased to get the rackmount version and especially so since the auction said it included the mounting rails which are often discarded when the computer is taken out of service.

When it arrived, there were no rails. I contacted the seller, fully expecting that the auction listing had been incorrect and that I was not going to ever get what I wanted. Fortunately, the rails did actually exist and had just been misplaced. The seller said he'd ship them to me, so problem solved... until I opened the package and discovered only the inner rails (the parts that attach to the computer). I was still missing the outer rails that attach to the rack.

After a bunch of searching the internet, I discovered that some other HP systems of the era (specifically: RP3410, RP3440, ZX2000, ZX6000, but probably others as well) use the same rail kits, and there just so happened to be a set of only the outer rails for sale on eBay for $28 shipped. They were probably priced so low because obviously no one wants just the outer rails!

The datasheet says that the c8000 can have a maximum of 32GB of DDR RAM. There are eight slots, so 4GB DDR DIMMs are needed to reach full capacity. I wasn't sure 4GB DDR DIMMs had ever been produced, but in fact they had, seemingly just for systems like this.

Amazingly, I found a lot of six 4GB PC2700 DIMMs for an insanely low price on eBay. I contacted the seller and offered slightly more money for eight DIMMs and he agreed—$27 shipped!

Truthfully, 32GB is far more than I need in this system. It probably just increases how much electricity the system wastes (380W according to my Kill A Watt), but I think if you're going to put together such an absurd computer in 2017 you might as well go all out.

I was worried after reading some posts on the linux-parisc@ mailing list that I might not be able to upgrade the CPUs without an HP support contract. Fortunately this turned out to be false, and the extent of my difficulties upgrading the single low-spec PA-8800 CPU to two top-spec PA-8900s was finding appropriate tools. To install CPUs you need a T15 security torx screwdriver and a long 2.5mm allen wrench. In particular, finding a 2.5mm allen wrench that is long enough to go through the entire CPU heatsink down to the motherboard is difficult. I eventually found the Bondhus 17154 allen wrench, which is 112mm long and even it would not work if it was a millimeter shorter! An L-style torx wrench proved useful as well, as the edge of the case overhangs some of the torx screws, preventing the usage of a standard screwdriver without removing the entire motherboard from the case.

There are CPU temperature sensors exposed via IPMI. One of my CPUs stays around 63°C while the other stays at 93°C, a fact I find worrisome. I tried a variety of tests to rule out the fans, the heatsinks, the thermal paste, the voltage regulator modules, and even the CPU sockets (assuming the temperature sensor is not part of the CPU which it likely is). The only thing I can figure at this point is that the thermal epoxy between the CPU die and the heat spreader is somehow bad and insulates the die. Unfortunately my experiments trying remove the heat spreader from the PA-8800 CPU that came with the c8000 ended with half the CPU die still epoxied to a now detached heat spreader, so I'm not planning any further experiments of that sort.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased to have put together this system for less than $500.

Part Paid Date
HP c8000 $205 Jan 2017
2x 1.1GHz PA-8900 CPUs €198 ($220) March 2017
8x 4GB DIMMs $27 March 2017
Rails $28 June 2018
Information Menu: Enter command > all

   Model: hp workstation c8000 (model string 9000/785/C8000)

PROCESSOR INFORMATION

                       HVERSION  SVERSION              Processor
  Processor   Speed     Model    Model/Op  CVERSION      State
  ---------  --------  --------  --------  --------  -------------
      0      1100 MHz   0x089c    0x0491      4.1    Active               
      1      1100 MHz   0x089c    0x0491      4.1    Idle                 
      2      1100 MHz   0x089c    0x0491      4.1    Idle                 
      3      1100 MHz   0x089c    0x0491      4.1    Idle                 

  Central Bus Speed (in MHz)  :        200  
  Software ID (dec)           : -1732169109
  Software ID (hex)           : 0x98c1326b
  Software Capability         : 0x01f0


COPROCESSOR INFORMATION                                          

                    Coprocessor   Coprocessor        Coprocessor
       Processor       Model        Revision            State
      -----------   -----------   -----------     -----------------
           0        0x00000014             1        Functional   
           1        0x00000014             1        Functional   
           2        0x00000014             1        Functional   
           3        0x00000014             1        Functional   

CACHE INFORMATION

       Processor    Instruction Cache Size    Data Cache Size
      -----------   -----------------------   ---------------
           0               768 KB                 768 KB
           1               768 KB                 768 KB
           2               768 KB                 768 KB
           3               768 KB                 768 KB

       Processors   Shared I/D Cache Size
      ------------  ---------------------
          0/1               64 MB
          2/3               64 MB

MEMORY INFORMATION                                               


  MEMORY STATUS TABLE (MB) (Current Boot Status) 

Slot 0a  4096M   Active     
Slot 0b  4096M   Active     

Slot 1a  4096M   Active     
Slot 1b  4096M   Active     

Slot 2a  4096M   Active     
Slot 2b  4096M   Active     

Slot 3a  4096M   Active     
Slot 3b  4096M   Active     

Subtotal 32768M             

   TOTAL = 32768 MB
           ---------

                                                                 
                     Memory Installation Guidelines
                     ------------------------------

- For DIMMs to work, both DIMMs in a slot pair (a/b) must be the same type.
    (Same part number = same type)

- For proper cooling, install DIMMs in the following order:
    0a/b 1a/b 2a/b 3a/b.

                                                                 
   Active, Installed Memory          :      32768  MB of SDRAM
   Deallocated Pages                 :          0  Pages
                                       -----------
   Available Memory                  :      32768  MB

   Good Memory Required by OS        : Not initialized. Defaults to 32 MB. 

         Memory
   HVERSION  SVERSION
   -------- ----------
    0x0b60  0x00000900  

I/O MODULE INFORMATION                                           

                        Path   Slot                          IODC  
Type                    (dec)  Number    HVERSION  SVERSION  Vers  
----                    -----  ------    --------  --------  ----  
System bus adapter      0                0x8800    0xc10     0x0   
Local bus adapter       0/0    7         0x7830    0xa00     0x0     
Local bus adapter       0/2    56        0x7830    0xa00     0x0     
Local bus adapter       0/3    124       0x7830    0xa00     0x0     
Local bus adapter       0/4    3         0x7840    0xa00     0x0     
                                                                 
PCI DEVICE INFORMATION
                             Path      Path          Vendor  Device  Slot
Description               (mnemonic)   (dec)           Id      Id     #
---------------------     ----------   ------------- ------  ------  ----
Ethernet cntlr            lan7         0/0/1/0       0x14e4  0x1645  7   
SCSI bus cntlr            scsiA        0/2/1/0       0x1000  0x0030  core
SCSI bus cntlr            scsiB        0/2/1/1       0x1000  0x0030  core
USB                       usb0         0/3/1/0       0x1033  0x0035  core
USB                       usb1         0/3/1/1       0x1033  0x0035  core
USB                                    0/3/1/2       0x1033  0x00e0  core
IDE cntlr                 ide          0/3/2/0       0x1095  0x0680  core
Ethernet cntlr            lan          0/3/3/0       0x8086  0x100e  core
Comp. ser cntlr           serial_A     17            N/A     N/A     core
Comp. ser cntlr           serial_B     18            N/A     N/A     core

BOOT INFORMATION                                                 

   Processor           Boot ID
   ---------           -------
       0                  2  
       1                  2  
       2                  2  
       3                  2  

   Autoboot:             ON
   Autosearch:           ON
   Autostart:            ON
   Fastboot:             OFF

   Primary boot path:    scsiA.6                                 
                         0/2/1/0.6           
                         0/02/01/0.6    (hex)
   Alternate boot path:  lan.0.0.0.0
                         0/3/3/0             
                         0/03/03/0.0    (hex)
   Console path:         serial_A.643        
                         17.643              
                         11.283         (hex)
   Keyboard path:        usb0
                         0/3/1/0.0           
                         0/03/01/0.0    (hex)
   Keyboard path ignored for serial consoles.


   LAN Station Address:  001321-1a6632

   Wed Apr  5 19:09:52 GMT 2017    (20:17:04:05:19:09:52)

FIRMWARE INFORMATION                                             

   Firmware Version:           2.13
        BMC Version:          02.32

FRU INFORMATION

        Module              Revision
        ------              --------
        PA 8900  CPU Module  4.1
        PA 8900  CPU Module  4.1
        PA 8900  CPU Module  4.1
        PA 8900  CPU Module  4.1

MEMORY AND IO CHIP REVISION INFORMATION                          
---------------------------------------

   Chip                    Path      Device       Chip 
   Type                    (dec)       ID       Revision
   -------------------   -------     ------     --------
   Memory Controller         0       122b         0023 
   System Bus Adapter        0       1229         0023 
     Local Bus Adapter     0/0       122e         0032 
     Local Bus Adapter     0/2       122e         0032 
     Local Bus Adapter     0/3       122e         0032 
     Local Bus Adapter     0/4       12b4         0010 
$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
cpu family      : PA-RISC 2.0
cpu             : PA8900 (Shortfin)
cpu MHz         : 1100.000000
capabilities    : os64 iopdir_fdc needs_equivalent_aliasing (0x35)
model           : 9000/785/C8000
model name      : Crestone Peak Mako+ Fast
hversion        : 0x000089c0
sversion        : 0x00000491
I-cache         : 65536 KB
D-cache         : 65536 KB (WB, direct mapped)
ITLB entries    : 240
DTLB entries    : 240 - shared with ITLB
bogomips        : 2189.31
software id     : 6267540911694099051

processor       : 1
cpu family      : PA-RISC 2.0
cpu             : PA8900 (Shortfin)
cpu MHz         : 1100.000000
capabilities    : os64 iopdir_fdc needs_equivalent_aliasing (0x35)
model           : 9000/785/C8000
model name      : Crestone Peak Mako+ Fast
hversion        : 0x000089c0
sversion        : 0x00000491
I-cache         : 65536 KB
D-cache         : 65536 KB (WB, direct mapped)
ITLB entries    : 240
DTLB entries    : 240 - shared with ITLB
bogomips        : 2189.31
software id     : 6267540911694099051

processor       : 2
cpu family      : PA-RISC 2.0
cpu             : PA8900 (Shortfin)
cpu MHz         : 1100.000000
capabilities    : os64 iopdir_fdc needs_equivalent_aliasing (0x35)
model           : 9000/785/C8000
model name      : Crestone Peak Mako+ Fast
hversion        : 0x000089c0
sversion        : 0x00000491
I-cache         : 65536 KB
D-cache         : 65536 KB (WB, direct mapped)
ITLB entries    : 240
DTLB entries    : 240 - shared with ITLB
bogomips        : 2189.31
software id     : 6267540911694099051

processor       : 3
cpu family      : PA-RISC 2.0
cpu             : PA8900 (Shortfin)
cpu MHz         : 1100.000000
capabilities    : os64 iopdir_fdc needs_equivalent_aliasing (0x35)
model           : 9000/785/C8000
model name      : Crestone Peak Mako+ Fast
hversion        : 0x000089c0
sversion        : 0x00000491
I-cache         : 65536 KB
D-cache         : 65536 KB (WB, direct mapped)
ITLB entries    : 240
DTLB entries    : 240 - shared with ITLB
bogomips        : 2189.31
software id     : 6267540911694099051

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