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Old 10 April 2009, 17:44   #1
mfletcher
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What is the best Acorn Archimedes Model

Hola,

Back in the day, way before I owned an Amiga, I had an A3000. Loved it. Eventually moved to the A1200, even though the A3000 was a better machine, at least I was able to trade software with the other kids at school

Anyhow, Im looking at getting back into owning an Archie, but I was wondering what is the best model to buy these days? Which model allows me to run a more recent version of RiscOS, yet maintain backwards compatibility with older software and games? For example, Elite, Zarch, Conqueror, Chocks Away?
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Old 21 April 2009, 23:42   #2
Methanoid
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A3020 IMHO, but it could be I say that cos I just bought one Not fun running on 110V though
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Old 21 April 2009, 23:48   #3
prowler
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A3020 IMHO, but it could be I say that cos I just bought one Not fun running on 110V though
Hi Methaniod,

You need to get another one. Then you could run two in series.

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Old 22 April 2009, 01:31   #4
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Hi Methaniod,

You need to get another one. Then you could run two in series.

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Old 22 April 2009, 01:48   #5
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Good plan
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Old 22 April 2009, 01:56   #6
killergorilla
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even though the A3000 was a better machine,
Entirely depends on your view of "better".

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Old 22 April 2009, 02:41   #7
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Entirely depends on your view of "better".

Quite.

I loved the A3010 (I had one) In terms of expandability I reckon the best of the "one box" Acorn Archimedes was the A3000 (you could put an Arm 3 in it. Not possible with the A3010/20/4000 (although some 3010's had Arm 2's which could be upgraded) There was also a Floppy drive upgrade which would give you a 1.6MB drive like the newer machines. You could also put 8MB on the A3000... the others could only handle a max of 4MB.

Best Non -Risc PC is probably the A5000 if you can cope with the 3 box design... Again 8MB, 25 or 33Mhz (in later machines) Arm 3....

Rarity is the A540, which can be upgraded to the same (or better? not sure) spec as a 5000, its an older machine but was probably as good or better than the early A5000's ....advantage is more memory (up to 16 MB) and a few other bits. Although only initially a Risc OS 2 machine, it could be upgraded like all the others.

Risc PC... well its the most advanced but might gripe at some of the older games unless you get patched versions (Particularly if you have a Strongarm Risc PC)

bleh my 2p worth

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Old 22 April 2009, 10:50   #8
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@asm1:
I'd go with that...

@mfletcher:
If you see something you like the look of feel free to give me a PM & I'll gladly give some comments...

...Just for now, I see you live in the US:
Watch out with the A3010, A3020 & to a lesser extent the A4000 - all very good computers but they come with non-110v friendly PSU's & in the case of the A30*0's the PSU is integrated into to mobo making changes a bit tricky.
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Old 22 April 2009, 11:16   #9
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IMO it really depends on what you want it for.

A StrongARM RiscPC was the most powerful.

A3020 is good because it has internal IDE but at the penalty of the Joystick ports.

A3010 is perhaps better, it has the joystick ports, it's easy to add IDE through the expansion. Also if you get a very early one you can replace the Adelaide CPU board with a superfast ARM3
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Old 22 April 2009, 11:37   #10
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You certainly know your stuff! I really must dig out my arch and see if it still boots up! Here's hoping!
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Old 22 April 2009, 11:53   #11
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@alexh

Wasn't the protoyped PCB affair ARM250 nicknamed Mezanine,

The A3010's that had this board fitted instead of the IC packaged ARM250 had the luxury of being able to replace the CPU with an ARM3

Aside from that really that's why the A3000 is more popular with Hackers's

My fave model is the A3020 mainly due to the IDE being on board, this allows me to use the expansion port for a network card

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Old 22 April 2009, 12:05   #12
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Wasn't the protoyped PCB affair ARM250 nicknamed Mezanine,
Mezanine was the code name of the ARM250 SoC, one chip containing an ARM2, MEMC1(Anna), VIDC1(Arabella), IOC (Albion).

Adelaide is the name of the PCB which used separate chips when the ARM250 was late.

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My fave model is the A3020 mainly due to the IDE being on board, this allows me to use the expansion port for a network card
You can hack in the joystick ports easily?
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Old 22 April 2009, 12:33   #13
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Cheers for that Alex,

I knew I had heard the term somewhere before, you learn something everyday.

Hope you are well fella

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Old 22 April 2009, 13:14   #14
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Ooo, all the Acorn 'nuts' are comming out of the woodwork now!

Yes,
it's a tricky choice between the A3010 & the A3020 - joyport vs HDD without having to take up that precious podule slot for the one you haven't got...

...I was wondering:
Can anybody do a 'to scale' piccie of the A3020's mobo..?
Why?
My A3000's got a little hack to use it's serial port as a joyport - it plugs into the (unpopulated) sockets for said serial port...
...assuming the later computers use much the same setup this could be a way to solve this dilema.
Get an A3020 & convert the serial port to a joyport...
..um, the A3020 does have a serial port? I can't remember.
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Old 22 April 2009, 13:25   #15
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..um, the A3020 does have a serial port? I can't remember.
Yes. Unlike A3000 I think it is always populated though.

Last edited by alexh; 22 April 2009 at 13:52.
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Old 22 April 2009, 13:54   #16
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D*mn!
Just had a look @ the A3020 mobo, the deign for the serial port is totally different - the hack I'm thinking of probably isn't going to work.
Ho-hum, another idea bits the dust...

...Did I mention that while the A3000 is a lower-specced computer and is these days a swine to upgrade you can do more with it...
...or have done & get an A5000.
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Old 22 April 2009, 14:09   #17
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Did I mention that while the A3000 is a lower-specced computer and is these days a swine to upgrade you can do more with it...
Like what?

The only PLUS for an A3000 I can think of is the retro BBC owl on the case

IIRC It has a stoopid mouseport akin to AtariST?
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Old 22 April 2009, 14:41   #18
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In the end I picked up an A3000 with HD. Also managed to pick up a Risc PC for 30 quid, so I guess Ive addressed both ends of the spectrum!
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Old 22 April 2009, 15:33   #19
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In the end I picked up an A3000 with HD. Also managed to pick up a Risc PC for 30 quid, so I guess Ive addressed both ends of the spectrum!
That should do it.
BTW: let's not talk of Spectrums, eh?

@alexh
Hey, that owl's important! The devil's in the detail don't you know?
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Old 22 April 2009, 16:46   #20
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Funnily enough, I picked up a 3020 last week too

Just need a mouse, unfortunately... Anyone know a cheap source?
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