PS/2 Model 80 (with CORE International ESDI Disk Subsystem)

IBM PS/2 Model 80 with Core ESDI Disk Controller A look at the insides of the 8580 (click for a bigger picture)

I have a couple of different PS/2 Model 80 systems, but this one may be one of the most unusually equipped. Many PS/2 Model 80 systems feature either IBM ESDI drives, with later models using an IBM SCSI controller and drives.

This particular system is a little different. Instead of the original IBM controller and drives, someone installed two CORE International 700MB ESDI hard disks and a matching controller. These are the largest (capacity wise) ESDI hard drives I've ever seen. I have never seen another system equipped this way, probably due to the expense of the drives and the fact that faster, smaller and cooler running drives were coming to market quickly when these drives were on the market.

CORE International was later swallowed up by Aiwa. Yes, that is the same Aiwa that has made audio equipment for some time. You can read a more complete version of CORE International's history (and obtain the supporting files for the Core MCK adapter if you have one) by clicking here.

This particular system is equipped as follows:

80386DX-25 processor with 80387DX Math Co-Processor
1.44 MB Floppy Drive
IBM XGA-2 Video Card
Kingston KTM-16000/386 memory expansion board (16MB total RAM--8 on the planar, and 8 on this card)
STB Systems Dual Serial Port adapter

DOS 6.22 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11 are the operating systems of choice.

To this day, the CORE International drives still work perfectly. (In this era of ever quieter hard drives with such fancy things as fluid dynamic bearings, there is something to be said for the way this system's hard drives let you know they are spinning up. Not only do you hear the spindle motors come up, but each drive also emits a very distinct "snap" of a relay closing somewhere.) I actually use this system pretty regularly to keep the CMOS battery up and the drives working well.

Of course, a system with big disks also deserves a big monitor. I have an IBM 8507 monochrome display attached to this system. It is a big beast of a thing with a 19" picture tube size. I'd actually been looking for such a display for a very long time. I found this one on eBay and it came to me in the original IBM 8507 box. The 8507 is an "8514 compatible" monitor, meaning that it will sync up at VGA and 8514 (1024x768 at 43Hz interlaced vertical scan) modes only. The XGA-2 adapter in the system runs this monitor well and is much faster than the 8514/A video card that would normally be used. You can click the picture of the 8507 below to see what it looks like in operation.

IBM 8507 Monochrome CRT

Go Back>

Copyright 2007 by William R. Walsh. All Rights Reserved. Please check the master index page for the complete terms and conditions of use for this material.