, later re-branded the Universal Desktop Box
, was a line of desktop computers introduced by Digital Equipment Corporation
on 7 November 1994. The line is notable in that units were offered with either an Alpha AXP
or Intel Pentium
processor as the CPU
, and most hardware other than the backplane
and CPU were interchangeable. Both the Alpha and Intel versions were intended to run Windows NT
The Multia had a compact case that left little room for expansion cards and restricted air flow, which can cause premature hardware failure due to overheating if not properly cared for. Enthusiasts remedy this by placing the Multia vertically instead of horizontally, allowing the heated air to escape via vents at the top, although this still requires preventing the Multia from overheating due to other factors, e.g. environmental.
The Alpha Multias included either an Alpha 21066
or Alpha 21066A
microprocessor running at 166 MHz or 233 MHz respectively, and came with 16 or 24 MB of RAM
as standard (expandable to 128 MB officially, but in practice 256 MB). Because the 21066 was a budget version of the Alpha 21064
processor, it had a narrower (64-bit versus 128-bit) and slower bus and thus performance was roughly equivalent to a Pentium running at 60 MHz; furthermore, the standard RAM capacity was a severe restriction on the performance of these workstations. The Alpha-based Multias came with the TGA (DEC 21030) graphics......