MIPS Magnum

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The MIPS magnum is largely based on the inhouse Microsoft JAZZ boards that Microsoft used to develop Windows NT.


This is a quick rundown of what I've been able to pull together of what went into a Jazz/Magnum.


The Magnum used a MIPS R4000 CPU, with 16KB of primary cache, and a clock speed of 50MHz, which the CPU internally doubled to 100MHz. The Maximum amount of memory was 256MB. The Magnum also had an EISA bus for expansion.


They were equipped with a NCR 53C94 fast/narrow scsi chipset.


A SONIC chipset was used, along with an AUI connector on the back of the chassis.


The Magnum had a simple frame buffer called the G364. It was a fixed resolution display that was configured thru the ARC. All bitdepths were 256 colours, in the following resolutions.

  • 640x480
  • 800x600
  • 1024x768
  • 1280x1024

Serial / Parallel

The Magnum had 2 RS-232 serial ports, along with an IBM compatible parallel port.


The MIPS CPU boots up in little endian mode, and then depending on the firmware will either continue booting (ARC), or would reset into big endian mode. Most of the UNIX ports used the big endian mode. The Magnum, and all RISC workstations that were supported by Windows NT all needed a FAT system partition, in which the boot loader was stored.

Operating Systems

The Magnum could run these operating systems out of the factory:

Additionally there have been ports of NetBSD, OpenBSD & Linux to the Magnum.


Qemu can emulate a Magnum, it can even run the ARC firmware. There is a custom build out there that can even run Windows NT. See Installing Windows NT 4.0 on Qemu(MIPS) for more details.