Compaq Deskpro

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Compaq Deskpro
TypeDesktop computer
Release date1984 (1984)
Discontinued2002 (2002)
SuccessorCompaq Evo
Compaq Deskpro tower
Compaq Deskrpo desktop
Compaq Deskpro EP PCs from the late 1990s. The case could be converted between tower (left) and desktop form factors.
The Compaq DeskPro 386S currently on display at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, Washington. Microsoft PowerPoint is running on the computer.
Compaq Deskpro motherboard (1997) with Pentium II processor and three different slot types (AGP for graphics adapter, three PCI and three ISA slots for legacy cards)
Compaq Deskpro Evo motherboard (2001) with Pentium 4 processor (hidden by cooler fan), three DIMMs, one AGP and three PCI slots

The Compaq Deskpro is a line of business-oriented desktop computers manufactured by Compaq, then replaced by the Evo brand in 2001.[1] Models were produced containing microprocessors from the 8086 up to the x86-based Intel Pentium 4.[2]


Deskpro (8086) and Deskpro 286[edit]

The original Compaq Deskpro (released in 1984), available in several disk configurations, is an XT-class PC equipped with an 8 MHz 8086 CPU and Compaq's unique display hardware that combined Color Graphics Adapter graphics with high resolution Monochrome Display Adapter text. As a result, it was considerably faster than the original IBM PC, the XT and the AT, and had a much better quality text display compared to IBM PCs which were equipped with either the IBM Monochrome Display Adapter or Color Graphics Adapter cards.[1]

Its hardware and BIOS were claimed to be 100% compatible with the IBM PC, like the earlier Compaq Portable. This compatibility had given Compaq the lead over companies like Columbia Data Products,[3][4] Dynalogic,[5] Eagle Computer[6] and Corona Data Systems.[7] The latter two companies were threatened by IBM for BIOS copyright infringement, and settled out of court, agreeing to re-implement their BIOS.[8] Compaq used a clean room design reverse-engineered BIOS, avoiding legal jeopardy.[9][10][11]

In 1985, Compaq released the Deskpro 286, their clone of the IBM PC/AT.

Deskpro 386[edit]

In September 1986, the Deskpro 386 was announced[12] after Intel released its 80386 microprocessor, beating IBM by seven months on their comparable 386 computer, thus making a name for themselves.[13] The IBM-made 386DX machine, the IBM PS/2 Model 80, reached the market almost a year later,[14] PC Tech Journal honored the Deskpro 386 with its 1986 Product of the Year award.[15] The Deskpro 386/25 was released August, 1988 and cost $10,299.[16]


The form factor for the Compaq Deskpro is mostly the desktop model which lies upon a desk, with a monitor placed on top of it. Compaq has produced many tower upright models that have been highly successful in sales, and are usually convertible to a desktop form factor. An SFF (small form factor) desktop version was also produced during the Deskpro's lifetime. The Deskpro was replaced by the Evo in 2001.


The many different models include the:

  • Deskpro 286e
  • Deskpro 386: released as the first MS-DOS, PC-compatible 32-bit computer with 386 processor.
  • Deskpro 386S: second generation 386 introducing 16-bit bus i386SX processors
  • Deskpro XE 486 ISA and IDE
  • Deskpro XL: high-end workstation with EISA and SCSI either i486, Pentium or Pentium Pro processors
  • Deskpro M: 386, 486 and 586 early Pentium models
  • Deskpro 2000: Pentium , Pentium Pro and Pentium II
  • Deskpro 4000: Pentium MMX or Pentium II
  • Deskpro 6000: Pentium , Pentium Pro or Pentium II and SCSI
  • Deskpro DX
  • Deskpro EXD, SB, EN, ENL: Pentium III-based
  • Deskpro EVO500 series: the last of the range with Pentium 4 processors
  • Deskpro Workstation: workstation-class computers[17]


  1. ^ a b "Compaq Deskpro Model 1 - Computing History". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  2. ^ Information from "Compaq .Com - Compaq desktops". Compaq. Archived from the original on 4 June 2001.
  3. ^ "History of the Microprocessor and the Personal Computer, Part 3". TechSpot. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  4. ^ Aboard the Columbia, By Bill Machrone, Page 451, June 1983, PC Mag
  5. ^ David Thomas, Knights of the New Technology: The Inside Story of Canada's Computer Elite, Key Porter Books, 1983 ISBN 0-919493-16-5 pp. 172-179
  6. ^ Pournelle, Jerry (September 1983). "Eagles, Text Editors, New Compilers, and Much More". BYTE. p. 307. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  7. ^ "Corona advertisement". InfoWorld (Advertisement). Vol. 5, no. 29. July 18, 1983. p. 50. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Loyd Case: A Trip Down Memory Lane with Hewlett-Packard & Compaq". Archived from the original on 2008-01-20. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ Robert X. Cringely. "Real Trouble: How Reverse Engineering May Yet Kill Real Networks". PBS. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. ^ Ken Polsson. "Chronology of Personal Computers (1982)". Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. ^ "compaq deskpro 386". 7 June 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-06-11. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  13. ^ "Exhibits - Living Computer Museum". Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  14. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (1989-10-22). "THE EXECUTIVE COMPUTER; The Race to Market a 486 Machine". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  15. ^ "Deskpro 386 at 30 | OS/2 Museum". Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  16. ^ Satchell, Stephen (1 August 1988). "Speed and Quality Design Highlight New System". InfoWorld. Vol. 10, no. 31. p. 53.
  17. ^ Čtyřka od Intelu. Aktualityː hardware. Chip. Praha: Vogel Publishing, 19 December 2000, vol. 11, issue 01/01 (january 2001), p. 6. Retrieved 01 July 2023. ISSN 1210-0684. (czech)


  • Compaq Computer Corporation. Reference Guide: Compaq Deskpro 2000 Series of Personal Computers. 3rd edition, January 1998. Part Number 278019-003.
  • Compaq Computer Corporation. Reference Guide: Compaq Deskpro 4000 Series of Personal Computers/Compaq Deskpro 6000 Series of Personal Computers. 2nd edition, September 1997. Part Number 270844-002.

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