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Old 26 November 2009, 21:21   #1
squidbass
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A4000D upgrade options

Howdy folks,

I've recently acquired an A4000D EC68030 unit. MB not so bad but RTC battery needs attention! You know the score. I'm used to my A1200s and A600 since the 90's but I have little experience of the A4000. I'm wondering what upgrade options I have...for example, should I go down the mediator route? I've read that the subway USB unit can go in an A4000 with the addition of a compatible clock port. So I'm looking for ideas as I'd like to make this my main box. I'm currently on an A1200 with Apollo 1240 and Individion AGA so obvioously this rig is faster. So all you A4000 folk...give me some ideas!


Squid

P.S. Regarding the battery replacement should I go for a coin type battery with socket?
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Old 26 November 2009, 21:35   #2
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You'd be mad to buy a subway when you can get a Deneb.

The first upgrade should be RAM, get it upto 18Mbytes as soon as possible.

Next upgrade is hard drive, get yourself a nice hard drive and a panel IDE->CF adapter so you can rapidly transfer files from the PC to the Amiga.

Then perhaps a Kickstart 3.1 chip (or even better a home-made KS3.9).

Then a CPU upgrade, perhaps an A3640 as they are ultra cheap at about £30 or go for something more substantial, one with RAM.

Then you've got the decision : Scandoubler or Gfx card. The Indivision A4000 is good, but so is a PicassoIV gfx card.

I wouldn't bother replacing the battery at all but you could replace it with a coin battery if you like, depending on which motherboard version you have there is a set of pins for connecting such things.
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Old 26 November 2009, 21:59   #3
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Hi alexh,

So the DENEB is the way to go for USB...? I should have mentioned that there's 16MB of RAM and an eyetech scandoubler too - yeh!

There's a 4Gb HD but I have a spare CF adaptor but no spare card they're all in my 1200s but that is an option for the future...

I'm totally clueless about CPU upgrades though and I'm perhaps more interested in a gfx card (I have an Indivision AGA for my A1200/40 and it certainly impresses through my 4:3 LCD panel I got from a local bank's skip!)

Truth is I've never owned a 4000 before it's always been 1200s but I'd like to pimp this one up and preserve it...cpu and ram upgrades are my priority...make it my main squeeze as it were (god i'm sad)

It's a 1B mobo which i believe is the most common - the battery needs out as it's furring up and I don't want any of that on the nearby chips etc.

What is an A3640 ? An accelerator with cpu and where can these be got/seen???

Oh yes I like the panel IDE-CF adaptor idea....

squid

Last edited by squidbass; 26 November 2009 at 22:04.
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Old 26 November 2009, 22:03   #4
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Where can I see an A3640 ? Is this a CPU board?
Here.
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Old 26 November 2009, 22:22   #5
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flip...in at the deep end! EAB never ceases to amaze me. The quality of info/advice/friendliness always impresses me!

How about networking. Is it still possible to get compatible network cards?


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Old 26 November 2009, 23:01   #6
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If you get a Deneb you'll be able to use an uber cheap PC USB network adapter card.

But you really don't need USB or a network card to get everything you could want from a classic Amiga.

While the panel adapter IDE->CF is not hot-swap it makes it so much easier to get data from the PC. Plus if you have a hard drive installed in your A4000 with the FAT95 filesystem drivers then you can use a FAT32 formatted card making it even easier to transfer files between the two systems.

Last edited by alexh; 26 November 2009 at 23:11.
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Old 26 November 2009, 23:27   #7
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...the CF card route is definately a priority. The A4000 has a CDwriter too but I prefer CF cards for the convenience as I use them with my 2 1200s...

one of my main reasons for going usb is to use an optical mouse...but it's nice to know there's other options.

More RAM would be nice too!

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Old 27 November 2009, 00:16   #8
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You cannot use USB mice (or keyboards) in games. Only workbench. This means you need to have an Amiga mouse on standby.

You'd be much better off buying a (or if you are into DIY perhaps even making your own) PS/2 mouse adapter which enables you to use optical PS/2 compatible mice with the standard Amiga mouse port. That way it will be 100% compatible.

Ok so £28 for a Cocolino at Amigakit is a lot of money... actually it is almost offensive so I'd consider making my own.

http://ps2m.sotchenko.ru/
http://atariamiga.free.fr/sourisps2_e.php
http://www.students.tut.fi/~leinone3/ps2mhiiri627/

Last edited by alexh; 27 November 2009 at 00:26.
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Old 27 November 2009, 15:19   #9
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I know a lot of people use CF cards for transfer, but personally I wouldn't want to be without a network card. Grabbing stuff straight from Aminet or my Mac's download directory is extremely convenient, and there's no need to shut down the Amiga

X-Surfs are available new, and I've seen a few Zorro network cards pass through AmiBay, so they're easy to find.

If you're going to use it as your main machine I also recommend a SCSI controller - it makes the whole machine a LOT faster.
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Old 27 November 2009, 17:39   #10
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X-Surfs are available new, and I've seen a few Zorro network cards pass through AmiBay, so they're easy to find.
Easy to find yes, easy to justify cost, no. Why pay £87 when you can pay £2.50?

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If you're going to use it as your main machine I also recommend a SCSI controller - it makes the whole machine a LOT faster.
I disagree. I would recommend only considering a SCSI controller if it comes built into an accelerator. I've got an old A2091 SCSI controller in mine and it does not not make the machine feel any faster for transfers to that drive. In fact it is sometimes slower due to Zorro II bandwidth limitations.

What will make the machine feel faster will be to use an updated file system such as SFS or PFS3 and an asynchronous workbench replacement.

Last edited by alexh; 27 November 2009 at 17:54.
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Old 28 November 2009, 00:24   #11
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Easy to find yes, easy to justify cost, no. Why pay £87 when you can pay £2.50?
In my case it's easy, as the time I can spend on the Amiga is very limited. Convenience and ease of use is worth a lot to me. Obviously not everyone is going to value it as much. And yeah, I'd recommend trying to find a cheap network card on AmiBay first, they show up occasionally.

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I disagree. I would recommend only considering a SCSI controller if it comes built into an accelerator. I've got an old A2091 SCSI controller in mine and it does not not make the machine feel any faster for transfers to that drive. In fact it is sometimes slower due to Zorro II bandwidth limitations.
Maybe I should have been clearer - I meant a *fast* SCSI controller such as the Fastlane, 4091, or on your accelerator. Z2 SCSI cards are indeed a waste of power and slots...

For me moving from internal IDE to a Fastlane card slashed application launch time to a third. Of course, YMMV.

Quote:
What will make the machine feel faster will be to use an updated file system such as SFS or PFS3 and an asynchronous workbench replacement.
Also excellent suggestions.
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Old 29 November 2009, 20:36   #12
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Lots of good advice here...

I've managed to locate an A3640 from one of our friends in Hungary! I've also ordered one of the IDE to CF panels...I'm not bothered about scsi but as I use CF extensively with my 1200 I'll stick with CF. I'm also tempted to get an Indivision AGA4000 as the Eyetech scandoubler makes my eyes tired :-) - no flickerfix!

The RTC battery has some furring so I'm going to replace it but the mobo is really clean otherwise...

There's some yellowing to the front facia panel as well as the keys on the keyboard but I can probably live with it for now.


Rgds,
Squid
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Old 29 November 2009, 20:51   #13
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I'm also tempted to get an Indivision AGA4000 as the Eyetech scandoubler makes my eyes tired :-) - no flickerfix!
You could probably sell it and halve the cost of the Indivision 4000.

I'd still consider getting a PicassoIV. They retail about £150 second hand which is more than Indivision AGA 4000 and the scandoubler is not as flexible but it's capabilities are better (i.e. it is an RTG gfx card).
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Old 29 November 2009, 22:31   #14
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I'll keep my eye out for one but I can't recall seeing one recently, my guess is they've gone up in value...


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