Subject: Re: DECstation memory question
To: Chris G Demetriou <Chris_G_Demetriou@LAGAVULIN.PDL.CS.CMU.EDU>
From: Ted Lemon <>
List: port-pmax
Date: 06/02/1995 08:51:51
> I'm not _sure_, but i think that they slowly evolved from the VAX...
> (Note that the following is more speculation than "truth"


> I believe that at time's i've heard of a machine called the "pvax" --
> i think it was one of the desktop models?

The pvax was a VAX followon to the pmax, using the pmax form factor.

That was pretty self-consistent speculation, though, so I guess you
get some credit for that... :')

I refrained from answering the question last night because my history
on the name is somewhat foggy - I was hired shortly *after* the pmax
went into production.   However, my recollection is that pmax stands
for ``Performance to the Max''.

Pmin is the ``cost-reduced pmax''.  3max is the R3000-based version of
``Performance to the Max'', and was quite fast in its time.  3min was
again a low-cost 3max, which provided an upgrade path for pmax users
by using the same (cheaper) memory.  3max+ was just a
performance-enhanced 3max with the newer I/O ASICs from the 3min
project.  MAXine (formerly PCMax) was intended to hit the low-cost
workstation market with a small footprint and PC-like functionality.

The MIPSfair and MIPSfair II were developed by east-coast groups, as
were the Isis, MipsMate and so on.  I was a west-coaster, and we
didn't get along very well with the east coast people, so I don't know
much about the etymology of those machine names.  I'm not sure *who*
developed the R4000 cards - whether it was some WSE engineers who
contracted back or a completely different group somewhere...  Matt
probably knows, though, right? :')