TDI Pinnacle - "fastest micro in the world"

Oh, advertising copywriters, how could you say this? It’s the “accessible peak of performance” and it’s built on a 12MHz 68000, serving “up to 7” users with a UCSD p-system. Certainly it got great results on Basic benchmarks.

The new TDI Pinnacle — the fastest micro in the world.

Running at 12 MHz, the new TDI Pinnacle will take your
breath away!

It can execute a staggering 3 million instructions per second and service 7 users as fast as most personal computers service one.

If you’re a Programmer, you’ll be delighted that the compiler can handle 3,000 lines per minute.

If you’re in Business, Finance, Education or Industry, you can harness TDI Pinnacle’s immense speed to the task with a mountainous range of existing software.

One thing’s for sure, other micros are having an uphill struggle competing with it.

A little after this advert in May 1985, in October the same year, TDI launched an upgrade, running at 16MHz and with a second 68000 to handle I/O, which could apparently support 16 users.

However, it seems the p-system only gave each process 64k to work with. We learn this on a page about Sage computers, designed in Nevada, also p-system machines based on 68k, and at an earlier date resold by TDI, from their premises in Clifton, Bristol.

After Sage became Stride Computer, they introduced a model called the Stride 440; it was an evolution of the Sage IV. The 8 MHz 68000 was replaced with a 10 MHz 68010, and much more DRAM (e.g. 8 MB) was on hand. This extra power was not of much use for people who used the UCSD p-System OS since individual users were still limited to 64 KB code and 64 KB data. Apparently most users of this machine switched to using A Unix variant or even CP/M-68K.


quick update via a tip from @Revaldinho - the TDI Pinnacle is probably a rebadge - there was a USA Pinnacle who made a 12MHz 68000 system. Snippets from Google Books searches showing 1984 dates:

68000 MICROCOMPUTER The Pinnacle is a 12 MHz 68000 microcomputer which executes three million instructions/sec.

Pinnacle Systems, Inc. has PINNACLE 12 MHz 68000 microcomputer .

Microcomputer with abundant speed and memory Pinnacle Systems, Dallas, TX, is offering a 4-page, 4-color brochure describing the Model 68000 12 - MHz microcomputer .

Pinnacle Computer announced a special introductory offer of its Pinnacle computer for $2495 (floppy system … Systems include 12 MHz 68000 processor with no memory wait states, 512K RAM Mitsubishi floppies, p-System, seven serial ports,

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For an interesting read on Pinnacle and Sage, see


That article is really, really good. I highly recommend it to all comers. He claims it’s biased and not so much a history as a recollection, but a fair amount of it is verifiable, and even the bias is understandable.


Oh, yes indeed, a very good read, thanks @rwiker! A roller coaster. Some good comments there too, some from people involved in the adventure.

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