It provides high performance floating point, much faster than the Intel IA-32 architecture, and probably better than any competing architecture. (Except that, since 2007, nobody's selling Alphas anymore, as Intel bought the technology from Compaq back in 2001.)
The availability of a 64 bit address space can also provide performance benefits for applications that can benefit from having a lot of memory.
Other notable operating systems that have run on Alpha include:
Windows NT Version 3.5 and possibly 4.0
Windows 2000 does not run on Alpha
Discussions were ongoing to run Hurd on Alpha; it never really went anywhere.
An i86 emulator for Alpha Linux
This is definitely the coolest emulation system that I have ever seen. It uses Digital's optimized "FX!86" emulator to allow Alpha Linux boxes to run Linux i86/ELF binaries. Upcoming enhancements will automagically translate references to i86 libraries to Alpha equivalents, which will allow better performance than is available now. The most notable i86 applications known to run under em86 are Netscape, ApplixWare, NExS, and Acrobat. (This of course does not mean that nothing else runs; it's merely that these are the ones that have been of particular interest, as the vendors do not sell Alpha-compatible versions...) I saw all but Acrobat up and running on demo systems at the April '97 Linux conference at the Raleigh Biotech Center.
Digital released sources for the em86 portion (not sources to FX!86) so that folks can better integrate em86 into things.
Recent efforts have resulted in a library of transcendental functions that run on the order of four times as fast as those in the regular LIBM.
Providing quite a lot of information on Multia hardware and troubleshooting
Docs on Multia
For such models as: as1000, as1000a, as2000, as2100, as2100a, as300, as400, as4100, as800, as8200, as8400, as8x00, ...
I've got a Miata...
Table 4. Status and Error Codes
|DF||Power on, SROM program entered, beginning to initialize EV5 CPU|
|DE||Initializing cpu/system interface, Sizing MemorySizing, configuring third level cache and MMB data path|
|DD||Sizing CPU speed|
|DC||Sizing and initializing the scache|
|DB||Initializing and testing the PCI bus, testing PCI bus data path|
|DA||Sizing the bcache|
|D7||Initializing memory test|
|D6||Testing bcache bits|
|D5||Testing memory bits|
|D4||Testing bcache addresses|
|D3||Testing bcache addresses|
|D2||Testing bcache cells|
|D1||Testing memory cells|
|D0||Initializing all memory|
|CF||Loading flash ROM code|
|CE||Reinitializing cpu/system interface|
|CD||Code execution complete|
|Nonfatal||Error Code Meaning|
|EE||No bcache size bits detected|
|EB||Failed to detect CPU speed|
|E9||Failed to detect real-time clock; system defaults to 300 Mhz, providing the most relaxed operating parameters|
|E4||Memory datapath error. If there is no more memory to reconfigure after the offending bank has been mapped out, error code FA will be displayed (See FATAL errors).|
|E3||Memory address line error; system maps out the offending bank and reconfigures without it. If there is no more memory to reconfigure after the offending bank has been mapped out, error code FA will be displayed (See FATAL errors).|
|E2||Bcache cell error|
|E1||Memory cell error|
|E0||ROM checksum error|
|Fatal||Error Code Meaning|
|FF||No scache bits set in sc_ctl register|
|FD||Floppy drive error|
|FC||No MMBs, or MMB mismatch *|
|FA||NO usable memory detected, or all detected memory fails the memory tests|
|F9||Sys init failure - read/write miscompare in one of the control/status registers|
|F8||PCI data path error|
|F7||pceb init failure|
|F6||System finds a bad CIA memory csr|
|F5||Bcache data path error|
|F4||Bcache address line error|
|F3||Bcache cell error|
|F1||ROM data path read error|