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Old 10 July 2010, 20:13   #1
mjnurney
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Smile Acorn A7000 Archimedes- any good?

hi retro fans!

i have the chance to buy a cheap A7000+ with a view to playing some of the old games...but which Archimedes is the most popular or best model?

A3000
A4000
A5000

etc...
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Old 10 July 2010, 20:53   #2
prowler
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Hi mjnurney,

There is nothing wrong with buying a cheap A7000+ for playing some old games, but only if it is cheap. It is a relatively powerful machine and would usually be used for running applications rather than games.

The A3000 is perfectly adequate for playing old games, so you should really be looking at comparing what you could get an A3000 for with the price you will be paying for your A7000 before you go ahead.

Having said that, I would also concede that the A7000 is a very nice machine and would be worth paying a premium over the price of an A3000 to own one if you think you might end up putting it to better use.
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Old 10 July 2010, 23:06   #3
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Best to get an A3000 over an A3010 or A3020 as they are more expandable. Plus they have the BBC Owl on them.
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Old 11 July 2010, 13:04   #4
Tom Walker
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A7000 has a lot of compatibility problems with older games. Probably best to get an A3000 (most popular for games) or A5000 (faster but still compatible).
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Old 11 July 2010, 13:46   #5
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Agreed i really want a a3000 to have as a archimedes games machine

already bought two games lol!!
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Old 11 July 2010, 18:08   #6
prowler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Walker View Post
A7000 has a lot of compatibility problems with older games. Probably best to get an A3000 (most popular for games) or A5000 (faster but still compatible).
Thanks for that information, Tom. I have both A3000 and A5000 machines, but no A7000 (yet?).
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Old 12 July 2010, 19:08   #7
mjnurney
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thanks for the info guys....i know very little of the Acorn machines. my total experience was in about 1985 at school on the bbc b micro! and after that i was Amiga mad up to 1994 when the PC an Doom won me over!

Now im completely anti PC or more anti windows to be honest and use Apple these days, so much better than microsoft junk - the hours of my life that have been lost re-installing windows 95, 98,98se,Me,2000, xp lol !!!

Anyway i was staggered to learn the acorn machines where 3 or 4 times faster than the Amiga .....i always suspected the A500 was slow in 1987 to be honest!
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Old 12 July 2010, 19:09   #8
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i just see me buying another Amiga!!!
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Old 12 July 2010, 19:28   #9
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A 1200 is the best to upgrade and modify although i'm sure you know that lol
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Old 12 July 2010, 23:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck1200 View Post
A 1200 is the best to upgrade and modify although i'm sure you know that lol
It is also the most expensive To put things in perspective, I bought a CPU card for my Risc PC which benchmarks comparably to a 240 PPC Amiga... ... for 100...

The Risc PC cost me 40
A USB/Ethernet/Fast Ide = 100 second hand

Total - 240
--------------------------------------------------------------


My Amiga 1200 cost me 300 alone for a "bog standard" Blizzard 060. I couldn't justify nearly double that for a PPC.

030 Accelerator before the 060 - 110
A1200 - 40
Idefix Express - 47
Indivision AGA 1200 - 130

Total I've spent on "Miggy bits" - guestimate 600+

And its still not finished
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Which machine do I prefer ? The Risc PC.... I can do internet and MSN on it without my eyes bleeding and it plugs in to my 24" LCD without the need for an expensive Graphics solution. It is a more pleasant everyday experience. Plus, peripherals are cheaper because the wrong mindset prevails - ie. "Acorn = schools and must therefore be shit."

Games ? Amiga wins hands down.... BUT I was an Archie man back in the day so I'm biased

And before anyone soils themselves - I have 2 atari ST's and a Falcon as well

An arm 3 Acorn at 33 mhz is roughly equivalent to an 040 @ 40. Arc figures here: http://acorn.chriswhy.co.uk/Computers/A540.html

Zetros post : http://amibay.com/showthread.php?p=49030 -

040 @ 40= 26000 ish if Zetro is to be beleived
Arm 3 @ 33 = 24157.

Its not a bash the Amiga post, merely an attempt to get some arc "Facts" out there.... better than the usual "its slower than an A1200" argument/misconceptions that usually prevail.

No matter the "spec" of the machine, sadly it didnt have the software/marketing that the Amiga did. Schools loved them but that was about it I had one but it was expensive compared to the Amiga.

Alas I digress.... the A7000 is not a bad machine but given the choice for games I'd get an A3000 as others have said, fit it with an Arm 3 and 4 meg (or 8 if you can get it) and RO 3.1.... enjoy.

Personally I am after An A540 like the one in the link above

Being pedantic but the A540 was the last "Archimedes" - Acorn dropped the "Archimedes" name on the newer A3010/20/4000/5000 and 7000 series... although unofficially it has been kept
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Old 13 July 2010, 00:04   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asm1 View Post
An arm 3 Acorn at 33 mhz is roughly equivalent to an 040 @ 40. Arc figures here: http://acorn.chriswhy.co.uk/Computers/A540.html

Zetros post : http://amibay.com/showthread.php?p=49030 -

040 @ 40= 26000 ish if Zetro is to be beleived
Arm 3 @ 33 = 24157.
I'd take Dhrystone figures with a very large pinch of salt. Acorn machines tend to perform much better at Dhrystone than at anything else, and the Amiga version used seems to be compiled on quite a poor compiler (the comments about not performing well on 060 are a dead giveaway).

Besides, by that benchmark my 486SX/25 outperforms both at about 31000/sec.

Quote:
Its not a bash the Amiga post, merely an attempt to get some arc "Facts" out there.... better than the usual "its slower than an A1200" argument/misconceptions that usually prevail.
Depends what you're doing with it. For graphics/games stuff the A1200 will mostly be faster. Sound is better as well.
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Old 13 July 2010, 02:22   #12
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Thanks for all the info there, i also used the archimedes in school but i'll admit mainly in break times for gaming :/ really would like to learn more on risc and the a3000/a3010 though
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Old 13 July 2010, 02:26   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Walker View Post
I'd take Dhrystone figures with a very large pinch of salt. Acorn machines tend to perform much better at Dhrystone than at anything else, and the Amiga version used seems to be compiled on quite a poor compiler (the comments about not performing well on 060 are a dead giveaway).
Quote:
Besides, by that benchmark my 486SX/25 outperforms both at about 31000/sec.
PC's yeah sure, but I wasn't comparing it to a PC.... Besides if you want to be like that, my 060 gets 37000 odd Dhrystones and my Risc PC gets 422000. God knows what my current PC will do .

That tickles me it really does..... the machines we're talking about are comparable to a 486.... and yet people get so precious about their 060 miggies at 50,60 and 66 or whatever Mhz, which is low end Pentium at the very best, if that.

Quote:
Depends what you're doing with it. For graphics/games stuff the A1200 will mostly be faster. Sound is better as well.
I'm aware of how unreliable Dhrystone figures are. I'm just trying to offer an alternative view to "Its crap, get an A1200". Most 16/32 er's dont really realise how powerful the Archimedes is in comparison. Usually because they cant see beyond their beloved Amiga/Atari. I was merely trying to show how a classic Arc stacked up against a comparable Amiga.

I'm not saying its a games monster (although it did have some nice stuff, a lot of pretty identical amiga ports) You can play Doom and Quake on it (Risc PC) without the fannying around (and expense) that you have to go through now on an Amiga - they were properly ported. But hey... The Archimedes didnt have a lot going for it in terms of graphics/sound (it had an awful filter on the sound - fixable if you know how) And yet graphically the ports to it from the Amiga were..um.... identical.... I speak from experience having owned:

Lemmings
Lemmings 2
SWIV
Flashback
Syndicate
Lotus 2
Cannon Fodder
Zool/Zool 2

among others

Sure, some of the Amiga ports got lazy when it came to sound sampling, Lotus 2, for example was recorded from the line out of an Amiga.... yuck!
The Arc did what it did with raw power and IMHO did a fairly good job of it.

One thing I will say for it.... The Archimedes version of Elite > All

Like you say, it depends what you use it for

I'm just tired of people who haven't got a clue about the Arc's potential because they have NEVER used one, making assumptions/presumptions about it's inferiority. ALL machines have their pro's and cons.

No that's not an accusation levelled at you specifically Tom, more, the "retro computing world" in general.... Most people in the UK of a certain age will know who Acorn were and what they did, but sadly beyond that, there was never the market for their computers beyond UK schools, although heavily expanded Risc PC's have popped up in some unlikely places...

Would I put my Amiga online ? I do, but.. not for any extended period of time, and I can't say I particularly enjoy the experience. The RPC is slightly more bearable because I can use decent screen modes (1680x1050 on a 24" LCD, no graphics card) and the browser isn't 10+ years old (although it is still limited)

Anyhoo I know this is an Amiga forum and I cant "win" but that was never my intention. So I guess I should say "Miggys > ALL" but it is an Acorn related thread so ........

"Miggys > All..... (except my Risc PC)"

Andrew

Last edited by asm1; 13 July 2010 at 02:36.
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Old 13 July 2010, 02:35   #14
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Thanks for all the info there, i also used the archimedes in school but i'll admit mainly in break times for gaming :/ really would like to learn more on risc and the a3000/a3010 though

Shameless plug

http://grope.thruhere.net/Qube/home.html

aka

The Qube Risc OS Server

is run by a guy on here.... Charlie.... its shaping up to be a reasonable sized resource on all things Acorn. Pop over theres an FTP site with some goodies on it and forums for which you can register if you like.
http://grope.thruhere.net/Qube/home.html

/Shameless plug


No Charlie isn't paying/bribing me to plug his site but I'm spreading the word as I don't feel the Arc gets the recognition it deserves. Its rather quiet on the forums at present but feel free to stop by and say hi.

Andrew

PS I gamed on the Arc during School breaks as well
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Old 13 July 2010, 02:56   #15
ck1200
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Quote:
feel free to stop by and say hi.
Again thanks and for the links, will certainly stop by lol i have two games but no a3000 (yet)

chris
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Old 13 July 2010, 09:51   #16
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Originally Posted by asm1 View Post
I'm aware of how unreliable Dhrystone figures are. I'm just trying to offer an alternative view to "Its crap, get an A1200". Most 16/32 er's dont really realise how powerful the Archimedes is in comparison. Usually because they cant see beyond their beloved Amiga/Atari. I was merely trying to show how a classic Arc stacked up against a comparable Amiga.
At the end of the day though, all of that power was wasted if the machine didn't have the software - and the Arc never had enough. Which you presumably know anyway!

I'm not trying to put the Arc down - I'm (obviously) an Arc fan myself - but just trying to be realistic.
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Old 13 July 2010, 15:23   #17
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When I was at school many moons ago we used to have the arcamedies (after they fazed out the bbc micro's). I had a friend who had an arc and used to bring games into school for us to play (Virus, Lemmings, some dynablaster clone etc).

It was a very nice machine back in the day.

(Sorry for being slightly off topic).
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Old 13 July 2010, 18:22   #18
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E-type and Crystal hold the memories for me game wise on the Arc
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Old 14 July 2010, 02:55   #19
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At the end of the day though, all of that power was wasted if the machine didn't have the software - and the Arc never had enough. Which you presumably know anyway!

I'm not trying to put the Arc down - I'm (obviously) an Arc fan myself - but just trying to be realistic.

Oh no I completely agree with you Lack of software and a strange marketing/pricing policy from Acorn *sigh*

Subsequent events post Acorn - even less software and fragmented new hardware, not to mention the RISC OS fork and current bickering between the two parties over who "owns" what... doesn't paint a pretty picture either.
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Old 14 July 2010, 15:57   #20
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E-type and Crystal hold the memories for me game wise on the Arc
I forgot about e-type as that was another beaut I used to play while at school.
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