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Old 15 February 2018, 12:57   #21
Daedalus
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It's not really about the use of chip RAM as general purpose RAM - the accelerator RAM (if any) and the motherboard fast RAM will always be faster than the chip RAM. But using the CPU to do chip RAM-specific things is much faster than on the A2000. For example, transferring graphics from fast RAM to chip RAM will be much faster, as will blitting using the CPU.
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Old 15 February 2018, 13:58   #22
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Yes, but going from above entries it's only 32-bit speed when being accessed by the CPU, not the chipset, so not really different to dedicated 32-bit RAM on a separate card (although I suppose if you're short on 32-bit mem it ensures your CPU doesn't slow-down when it has to dig into the chip-mem).

As Daedalus said: this feature is not a replacement for any dedicated FastRAM, but speeds up things you NEED to do in ChipRAM with the CPU. And there are countless examples where this is the case.

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Too bad we never saw the Ranger chipset with VRAM implemented - that would have been slick (and made the A3000 truly kick-ass)!
Jay Miners „Ranger" is a totally different system. Not compatible to the OCS at all. I’d had nothing to do with the A3000 project and there was no plan to combine them in any way.

The AAA chipset-specs in the other hand also supported VRAM and were largely compatible, but even if AAA would have materializes instead of AA, it would have been to late to be in the first generation of the A3000.

Last edited by Gorf; 15 February 2018 at 16:19.
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Old 15 February 2018, 16:08   #23
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Big grin

My personal Amiga story started with an A500 which was never expanded beyond the standard extra floppy and 512kb RAM.

Then, when I had more money to spend ,I had an A1200 which I eventually upgraded to a Micronik tower with BlizzardPPC and Bvision. I also had a Blizzard1230IV for a while which was very nice (nicer than the BlizzardPPC tbh)

However I always lusted for an A3000. So, as late as 1999, I bought a nice second-hand A3000 which replaced my dear A1200.
I expanded it with a Cyberstorm060, Cybervision64/3D, X-surf, upgraded ROM's, etc, etc. I also had a SCSI scanner and CD-ROM drive attached to it.

It was the best machine I ever had until the Cyberstorm broke down in 2003 or so. Then the PC took over a my main machine.

I still have the A3000 and it still runs (on the internal 68030 that is). It is a very nice machine to look at and it is built like a tank. It feels like a serious workstation (which it is of course) and works well even after 26 years.

I will keep it as long as I can
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Old 15 February 2018, 16:14   #24
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I wanted an A3000 for years too, so I finally bought one late last year (but it might still go to my brother!) to accompany my A4000. It's now set up as a very different type of machine to the A4000 but I already love it just as much.

Buy one now if you've hankered after one, they're getting scarcer and scarcer to find and the old neglected ones are probably already knackered by battery goo.
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Old 15 February 2018, 18:18   #25
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Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Quote:
Daedalus
But using the CPU to do chip RAM-specific things is much faster than on the A2000
You meant A3000
Why should he?

It is faster (on the A3000) than on the A2000. The sentence seems correct to me.
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Old 16 February 2018, 09:55   #26
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Indeed, it's perhaps not the clearest of sentences, but the "than" is key.
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Old 16 February 2018, 13:37   #27
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Doesn't the G-Force GVP 030 allow the 2K to compete with the 3K or am I completely mistaken?
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Old 16 February 2018, 13:48   #28
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Well, you can upgrade almost any Amiga to almost any spec with enough gear.

The thing you can't really change is the basic architecture, i.e. much more capable Zorro-3 bus and chip RAM architecture.
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Old 16 February 2018, 14:10   #29
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Some Zorro III cards could work on Zorro II albeit at the reduced rate. The let down with Zorro III wasn't actually the port but the buster chip. Max transfer speeds just couldn't match later X86 PnP architecture.
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Old 16 February 2018, 14:57   #30
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Doesn't the G-Force GVP 030 allow the 2K to compete with the 3K or am I completely mistaken?
there are many accelerator cards for the A2000 that provide actually far more CPU-speed than a stock A3000.

But still these cards will not change the mainboard architecture of the A2000. So no 32bit ChipRAM and no ZorroIII an no NVRAM and no Amber, except you buy a flifix.

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Some Zorro III cards could work on Zorro II albeit at the reduced rate. The let down with Zorro III wasn't actually the port but the buster chip. Max transfer speeds just couldn't match later X86 PnP architecture.
Well - these are not pure Zorro III cards, but Zorro II/III cards, that autodetect the bus.
While the connector is exactly the same, the pins are used in a different way: address and data are multiplexed in ZorroIII, same as they would by later in the PCI bus.
But ZorroIII is asynchron transfer, while ZorroII (16bit) was synchronous and clocked at 3.5Mhz.
PCI was synchronous 32bit and clocked at 33MHz (later higher)

The SuperBuster was never cleared of all bugs, what made ZorroIII a bit of an adventure.
"In Theorie" a new FPGA-Buster or a busmastering card, could use the ZorroIII-bus-protocol and archive same or higher transfer rates than the latest 32-bit PCI-incarnation. But that would requite a hell lot of work and money, without being useful.
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Old 16 February 2018, 15:01   #31
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There was an interesting thread on here a while back discussing the pro-and-cons of developing an updated buster. worth searching for for a read.
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Old 16 February 2018, 15:55   #32
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Doesn't the G-Force GVP 030 allow the 2K to compete with the 3K or am I completely mistaken?
Nope - CPU access to CHIP RAM on A3000 is 32 bits wide where A2000 has 16 bit CHIP RAM. Large area of A3000 motherboard is used to create such functionality (6x TTL's 74646 + 4x 74245) - later incarnation of this concept is single IC used in A4000 (Bridgette).
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Old 16 February 2018, 17:08   #33
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@Gorf Interesting. Didn't the Super Buster 11 exceed the 13.5MB/s transfer of earlier systems? Also they stated Zorro III was capable of 150MB/s transfer, I take it they never got anywhere near this?

I know the Amiga 1200 Fast ATA can handle mode 5 which is about 16.6MB/s transfer. So factor in all stated, the Escom 4000T should exceed all these speeds, right?
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Old 16 February 2018, 18:32   #34
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@Gorf Interesting. Didn't the Super Buster 11 exceed the 13.5MB/s transfer of earlier systems? Also they stated Zorro III was capable of 150MB/s transfer, I take it they never got anywhere near this?

I know the Amiga 1200 Fast ATA can handle mode 5 which is about 16.6MB/s transfer. So factor in all stated, the Escom 4000T should exceed all these speeds, right?
No, I don't think they exceeded 20 or 25 MB/s even with the SRAM test board at C=. Heynie had the right idea, how to optimize ZorroIII and Buster further: the "reverse Buster". A Buster-chip that sits on a expansion board and translates the bus protocol back to the 030 bus.
There exists a prototype of a ZorroIII-card with two 68030, RAM and a Buster in reverse mode...

this way all timings and transfers could be observed on both sides the same way...

Also this would have been a great idea to built an "Amiga-Cluster" - ideal for e.g. rendering!
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Old 16 February 2018, 19:13   #35
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That sounds awesome! Shame they never finished developing the super buster. What I don't understand is why the AGA 3rd Gen CS wasn't integrated in the prototype 3K+ instead of opting to discontinue the A3K in favour of A1200 and A4K.

In fact the A3K+ never got any further than prototype before being dropped.

Perhaps the AGA was originally for the 3K+ but when Commodore realised that the AAA was far from complete, they decided to bump off the 3K+ and slam the 3rd Gen CS into 1200 and 4K. <or would that just make a good movie?
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Old 16 February 2018, 19:25   #36
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That sounds awesome! Shame they never finished developing the super buster. What I don't understand is why the AGA 3rd Gen CS wasn't integrated in the prototype 3K+ instead of opting to discontinue the A3K in favour of A1200 and A4K.

In fact the A3K+ never got any further than prototype before being dropped.

Perhaps the AGA was originally for the 3K+ but when Commodore realised that the AAA was far from complete, they decided to bump off the 3K+ and slam the 3rd Gen CS into 1200 and 4K. <or would that just make a good movie?
look for A3000+ or AA3000.
The first prototypes and the first fully working set of the PandoraCS (AA, AGA) was booting successfully on a modified A3000 in February 91 - over a year before the A4000.

A upgraded 3000 with AA in 1991 would have done no harm to the A500(+) sales, but would have given developers the chance to prepare better for the next generation.
And it would have pushed the A3000 sales....

As you ask why? because C= was stupid again....

Last edited by Gorf; 16 February 2018 at 19:31.
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Old 17 February 2018, 13:03   #37
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As you ask why? because C= was stupid again....
Nope - because they (C=) could save (or they could profit) on every A4000 more than 20 - 50$ when compared to A3000 - nowadays HW is redesigned to save fraction of $ so for even 20$ (just by placing Bridgette and IDE instead SCSI) C= could easily save 20$, by removing Amber + associated components another 20+$ + other savings... perhaps A4000 could be cheaper more than 50 - perhaps even 100$ in large scale production - multiply every saved $ by 2 (profit margin) - would you will do to gain 10k$ yearly? What C= would do to gain 10M+$ yearly? Stupidity of C= is laid somewhere else.
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Old 17 February 2018, 13:04   #38
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As you ask why? because C= was stupid again....
Typical !! It was the greedy money grabbing f*** wits that destroyed Amiga!

IMHO, I think the only aesthetic issue with the A3K has to be no space for a CDROM? I often wondered why that was, as CD/DVD drives were still in their supremacy, during the A3K production run.

In fact DVD was still 6 or so years away by the time Commodore discontinued the A3K.
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Old 17 February 2018, 14:04   #39
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At that time, CD drives were still relatively rare, although they were starting to make an appearance. The A2000 has a large drive bay that can take a CD-ROM drive, but that was actually intended for a 5.25" floppy drive, which was out of fashion by the time the A3000 came along. I guess it was in a bit of a slump as regards 5.25" drive requirements.
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Old 17 February 2018, 14:11   #40
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Typical !! It was the greedy money grabbing f*** wits that destroyed Amiga!

IMHO, I think the only aesthetic issue with the A3K has to be no space for a CDROM? I often wondered why that was, as CD/DVD drives were still in their supremacy, during the A3K production run.

In fact DVD was still 6 or so years away by the time Commodore discontinued the A3K.
The A3000 was planned/designed in 1989: there was no CD-ROM in any computer, workstation or console. The CDTV from 1991 was one of the very first mashines really using this media!

The 5.25'' was considered oldfashioned and obsolete in 89. Nobody was going to install one of these old big floppy drives anymore.
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