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Old 16 September 2019, 18:23   #1
Overmann
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What is a good accelerator for the A3000?

Hi there,

I recently got my first A3000 and while it has a couple of issues it really is a fantastic machine! It's a stock 030/25mhz with a buddha ZII IDE controller (I have a scsi-disk on the way), but I'm wondering: What is a good accelerator fit for the A3000?

I've read that there are issues using the internal SCSI with many accelerators, and that some of them will not work with the onboard RAM. I've found notes and tips written up in many different places, but it's all a bit confusing. I've ordered a new SCSI-controller chip and a buster 11, and I'm hoping to get the A3000 set up with a descent that is compatible and working.

Any thoughts and experiences are GREATLY appreciated, s well as just general advice on the A3000, if you have any

Edit:
I should add, it has the kickstart that loads kickroms off the HDD, so it dual boots 1.3 and 3.1.4 at the moment. I haven't gotten 1.3 to work yet, but I would really like to keep this feature. It's really cool to be able to dual boot so easily. I think my problem is that I'm using a FFS that is too new for 1.3 to understand or something. Either way, I've also read that some accelerators are incompatible with 1.3..

It seems to me that Blizzard 4030 might be the best option, but it also seems like a negligable upgrade and the only one i've found for sale is €400. Seems steep for a 20-30% performance increase. :P

Last edited by Overmann; 16 September 2019 at 18:39.
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Old 16 September 2019, 19:09   #2
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As an A3000 user definitely worth familiarising yourself with the work of user SpeedGeek, he's done the most work to improve the performance of stock and accelerated A3000s.

Whatever accelerator you buy, you will need to buy a new set of Kickstart ROMs. Kickstart 1.4 (which is what you have) only works with the onboard 030/25MHz. Take care to get the right ones for your Motherboard that do NOT need a ROM tower. Buy locally so you can return them because the 1st ones will be the wrong type

You probably will want to consider upgrading / refurbishing your PSU. Accelerators will take more power, it may be ok at the moment but it is 30 years old.

Physical space is an issue in the A3000 case, some legacy accelerators just don't fit and some require cutting of the metal shield. Definitely worth finding a reading reviews about the accelerator you plan to buy in a stock A3000 desktop case.

To avoid paying too much you should take a look at all the new Accelerator remakes which are coming along. The A3660 is cheap (ish) at about €450 but has no onboard Fast RAM.

I wouldn't get anything lower than an 040 if you can afford one, you can always upgrade to 060 with an adapter later if you cut the metal of your case.

If you get an A3640 remember to have it upgraded to 3.2+ for maximum A3000 backwards compatibility.

Last edited by alexh; 16 September 2019 at 19:38.
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Old 16 September 2019, 19:14   #3
trixster
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I have the INT2 mod on my 3000's motherboard. My experiences with 3000 and accelerators are:

Works fine with a rev 3.2 A3640 with 25mhz 040. SCSI works fine.
Works fine with same board with 060 adapter and custom roms. SCSI works fine.
Works fine with Cyberstorm Mk2 with 060. Mobo SCSI works fine, havent tested CSMk2 with SCSI add-on.
Works fine with a Warpengine 4040 with 040 and with 060 adapter and custom roms - doesnt physically fit with the memory in place as expected; SCSI works fine on motherboard and accelerator. Havent attached the flying lead as INT2 mod already done.
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Old 16 September 2019, 20:00   #4
TjLaZer
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What is a good accelerator for the A3000?

If you ever wanted to boot ks 1.3 you could always use the super kickstart disk that way you can play old floppy games.
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Old 16 September 2019, 21:02   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TjLaZer View Post
If you ever wanted to boot ks 1.3 you could always use the super kickstart disk that way you can play old floppy games.
Actually, I've not tried to boot from floppy yet, is that not possible on the A3000? :P
In dual boot menu when selecting Floppy instead of Hard Drive, is that how you boot from floppy or is that to boot from kickstart disk?

Man, this A3000 is a strange one. I have an A600, A500, A2000 and two A1200, and just a couple of months ago bought my first A1000. The A1000 and A3000 (my most recent purchases) are so different from the others. It's a lot of fun But I do have to admit that this whole INT-mod and case-cutting has me a bit nervous. Perhaps I should just fix the machine up (recap PSU, upgrade buster, etc) and leave it stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Whatever accelerator you buy, you will need to buy a new set of Kickstart ROMs. Kickstart 1.4 (which is what you have) only works with the onboard 030/25MHz. Take care to get the right ones for your Motherboard that do NOT need a ROM tower. Buy locally so you can return them because the 1st ones will be the wrong type
Ohh, I really like this kickstart. I wouldn't be able to dual boot with 3.1.4 roms installed would I ? I do have Kickstart 3.1.4 roms on file, and could burn them onto eproms. Would that not work 100%? Or wouldn't buying Kickstart roms for the A3000 from AmigaKit/Amigastore be guaranteed to work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
To avoid paying too much you should take a look at all the new Accelerator remakes which are coming along. The A3660 is cheap (ish) at about €450 but has no onboard Fast RAM.

I wouldn't get anything lower than an 040 if you can afford one, you can always upgrade to 060 with an adapter later if you cut the metal of your case.

If you get an A3640 remember to have it upgraded to 3.2+ for maximum A3000 backwards compatibility.
I've been looking at those. As far as I can tell they should work without too much hassle, but an 060 with all the possibilities that would bring seem a bit much for just 16mb of ram, right? ZIII ram boards would be very slow I suppose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trixster View Post
I have the INT2 mod on my 3000's motherboard. My experiences with 3000 and accelerators are:

Works fine with a rev 3.2 A3640 with 25mhz 040. SCSI works fine.
Works fine with same board with 060 adapter and custom roms. SCSI works fine.
Works fine with Cyberstorm Mk2 with 060. Mobo SCSI works fine, havent tested CSMk2 with SCSI add-on.
Works fine with a Warpengine 4040 with 040 and with 060 adapter and custom roms - doesnt physically fit with the memory in place as expected; SCSI works fine on motherboard and accelerator. Havent attached the flying lead as INT2 mod already done.
Thank you for the report! That is very interesting. I don't know what this MOD entails but I'll have to look into it.
I wonder how many A3000 users are using th onboard SCSI. It seems to be a bit finicky. How fast is it? Is it a unreliable as reports would have me believe?
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Old 16 September 2019, 21:15   #6
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I am using the motherboard scsi and my current accelerator is a WE4040 modded to become a WarpEngine 3040/060. I have used the scsi with a v5 acsi2sd and most recently with a v6 Scsi2sd. Getting it stable was a struggle with the v6 and I cannot get it reliable at anything more than about 2Mb/s. For some reason I cannot update the scsi2sd’s firmware (totally unrelated to the Amiga) so am unwilling to try and get scsi running faster. It is stable but slow, so I am satisfied to leave it at that. I do intend to switch over to the WE scsi if I can ever sort out the Scsi2sd’s firmware issue.
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Old 16 September 2019, 21:20   #7
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ZIII ram on an A3000 is approximately half the speed of motherboard ram, and 1/4 or less the speed of ram on an accelerator board
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Old 16 September 2019, 21:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trixster View Post
I am using the motherboard scsi and my current accelerator is a WE4040 modded to become a WarpEngine 3040/060. I have used the scsi with a v5 acsi2sd and most recently with a v6 Scsi2sd. Getting it stable was a struggle with the v6 and I cannot get it reliable at anything more than about 2Mb/s. For some reason I cannot update the scsi2sd’s firmware (totally unrelated to the Amiga) so am unwilling to try and get scsi running faster. It is stable but slow, so I am satisfied to leave it at that. I do intend to switch over to the WE scsi if I can ever sort out the Scsi2sd’s firmware issue.
Do you think the SCSI-issues are due to the firmware on the SCSI2DS? The Amiga Hardware database's post on the WE notes:

not expected to work with static column RAM on the motherboard

I don't know what this means. Have you had issues? The WarpEngine looks like a sweet upgrade, but difficult to find. Does it require the INT2 mod?

EDIT:
I just checked out that INT2-mod and it looks so simple that even I could do it. Nice! So that's not an issue at least
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Old 16 September 2019, 21:49   #9
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I use zip ram on the motherboard so I can’t say whether sc ram causes an issue.

I think with more up to date firmware I might be able to run the Scsi2sd sync (or async, can’t remember!) to get much faster speeds (up to 10mb/s?) with stability. I have tried running faster with my current firmware and it is not stable, so I stick to standard 2mb/s
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Old 17 September 2019, 01:19   #10
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Works fine with Cyberstorm Mk2 with 060. Mobo SCSI works fine, havent tested CSMk2 with SCSI add-on.
Not sure if it even fits in an A3000(T)? The SCSI module I mean.
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Old 17 September 2019, 09:49   #11
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I think it physically overhangs ok on the right hand side but it certainly doesn’t fit with the case lid on!
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Old 24 September 2019, 22:09   #12
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Hi,

I bought a 16mhz a3000 about 18 months ago. Here is my upgrade story. I upgraded the motherboard RAM with TC514400AZ-70 ZIP chips. This is fast page mode RAM which I believe is slower but more compatible with accelerator cards esp a3640.

I really wanted an easy way to transfer files so bought an x-surf 100 and rapidroad. I needed buster 11 for this but buster 11 needs a 25mhz clock. I bought an a3660 which supplied the external clock. It needed the customs ROMs and changing them with the ROM tower was a PITA. The a3660 was excellent and could decode MP3s and made workbench really nice to use. Unfortunately it killed my SCSI. I did a fair bit of reading on the subject and decided to take a chance and buy another DMAC chip of the same revision (02) which did indeed sort my scsi problems. It appears you do NOT need to buy the ultra-rare 04 revision as some of the DMAC-02 chips are made to higher tolerances and work fine.

I bought a zorrobigram after finding that with a graphics card (cybervision 64/3d) I quickly ran out of ram even with the full 16mb on the motherboard. This combination was very pleasant to use.

I used a SCSI2SD and with the onboard scsi got about 3-4mb/s. I used it in synchronised mode. I had to refit the onboard battery which had been removed so I could use setbatt to change the scsi settings and correct "amnesia mode". I too cannot for the life of me get the firmware to update with windows. I have just installed ubuntu to see if can do it this way but it appears I am crap at using Linux.

My current set up is a cyberstormppc 060@50mhz/604e@420mhz, acard SCSI2IDE with sataSSD, zorrobigram, toccata, x-surf 100/rapidroad and sata card and radeon 9250 via a mediator. This all works well on os4.1FE. I needed to do the INT2 mod for the cyberstorm and can confirm it was really easy. I also had to take an angle grinder to the case to give airflow for the accelerator. I am currently still using the stock PSU but it is getting pretty hot and probably needs swapped for an ATX supply.

Last edited by johnnybarker; 24 September 2019 at 22:31. Reason: Additional info
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Old 24 September 2019, 22:21   #13
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Wow congratulations on a nice machine!
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Old 24 September 2019, 22:34   #14
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Wow congratulations on a nice machine!
Thanks. I was was always my dream amiga.
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Old 25 September 2019, 16:52   #15
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FWIW, my A3000 works quite well with the SCSI2SD v6 board, though it was rather finicky to setup via Windoze (keeps losing connection to the board--you just have to keep trying).

Everything in my system (except the daughterboard) has been recapped professionally, VARTA battery replaced, etc.

It's ready for a ZZ9000 card (batch 2) and a BigRamPlus when those become available again.

Only issue I keep running into is both my Amiga 3000 and 4000 that were professionally repaired and recapped by Anthony Hoffman keep losing time. I doubt it's related to Anthony's work, and suspect it's due to changes made in 3.1.4.1's battclock, v45.1.

Last edited by gdonner; 25 September 2019 at 17:03.
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Old 25 September 2019, 17:50   #16
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Originally Posted by trixster View Post
I use zip ram on the motherboard so I can’t say whether sc ram causes an issue.

Zip is just the physical package of the ram, it can still be static column (which is what the A3000 was designed to use for best 68030 performance).
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Old 25 September 2019, 19:26   #17
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I am getting the Warp 4060 from CS Labs. http://www.amigawarp.eu/ Its a 100 mhz 060 with RTG. Dunno much about the RTG part yet. But i have the ZZ9000, so i might not need that part. No price as of yet. We will know more after Amiga34 i presume.
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Old 26 September 2019, 01:08   #18
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Good luck with your 3000D! The 3000's have always been my favorite Amiga of the lot.

This might help, I wrote it years ago but it still may provide some insight.
http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php...ster-and-Refit

Sadly all Amiga 3000 add on items have gone through the roof, so it will be pricey. My favorite is the Warp Engine 3040 (add 060 for good results) or the CS MK III. Both are the best for performance. The Warp Engines can be clocked to 100MHz which makes them insanely fast. The CS can come close to over clocking. Get something with memory.

One other piece of advice is to get a new 3000D mb and start fresh if your motherboard took battery damage. The 3000's are already past their intended life, so starting fresh will give you longer trouble free use. Lastly have the power supply rebuilt or have someone retro a atx in it for you. The power supplies are all failing now, so save some grief and fix it.

Good luck!
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Old 26 September 2019, 22:35   #19
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Re: flashing the SCSI2SD from Windows.

The embedded dfu-update didn’t work for me either, however I managed to flash my rev 6 by putting it in programming mode (close with a jumper/wire the bootldr two pins and turn on) afterwards just upload the dfu

Great A3000 config, congrats
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Old 27 September 2019, 22:20   #20
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The A3000 was also my dream Amiga and I have had mine since 1999.
When I bought it I upgraded it to Kickstart 3.1, Cyberstorm 060MkIII, Cybervision64/3D, Xsurf (10Mbit) and done the int2 mod.
It was/is the most stable Amiga I ever owned, especially so compared to the A1200/BlizzardPPC/BVision I had before it .
I use a 9Gb Quantum Atlas IV 7200rpm UW SCSI drive. That was very fast on the Cyberstorm's SCSI controller.

Unfortunately the Cyberstorm died and I am now running a 3660 (chucky's design). The Quantum is now connected to the onboard WD controller.

So, here on my side little trouble with accelerators and SCSI. Maybe I'm lucky . The Cyberstorm MKIII was a dream but it was fragile. A newly built A3660 is far more robust imho.

Question: what do you use to transfer files over the network? Samba refuses to work correctly and Windows 7/Windows 10 and I have yet to find a stable FTP server on the Amiga.

So, I have started work on a modified SCSI2SD (V4 open source version) that exactly fits the A3000 second floppy slot. It will have a modified PCB and a 3D printed enclosure tailor made for the A3000. I am also planning on modifying the firmware a bit so that the drive is configured correctly for Amiga out of the box.
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