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Old 15 June 2016, 06:02   #1
Tempest 2084
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Amiga 3000 Questions

I'm about to get my hands on a very nice looking A3000. I comes with one disk drive, 2MB of Chip RAM and 4 MB Fast RAM. I have a few questions though:

1. Is 4MB of Fast RAM enough for WDLoad or should I aim for 8MB?

2. Can I use a 8MB SCSI/RAM card from my A2000 in the A3000 to get 12MB of Fast RAM or does the A3000 not work that way?

3. How hard is it to find RAM for the A3000 motherboard? What are the specs? I think I read that it can do either zip or dip ram. Not sure which is easier to find.

4. I have and Indivision ECS board that I can take out of my 2000. Is there any point in putting it in the 3000 or does the built in chip do a good enough job?

5. How hard is it to find a spare disk drive? Can I use a drive from another Amiga (500? 2000?) if I get that special eject button (I think they sell 3D printed ones now).
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Old 15 June 2016, 08:33   #2
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1. 8MB atleast would be recommended:

2. Zorro2 memory works, but in practice slows the 030 down as its much slower then mainboard memory.

3. ZIP RAM pops up on ebay from time to time, the other option is a ZIP-to-SIMM adapter, they might be harder to find though.... with DIP RAM i think you are limited to only 2MB Fast

4. The Indivision can create higher res output modes and pixel double, personally i would just save yourself money and use the onboard VGA output it works pretty fine.

5. lookup the SCSI2SD, thats the way to go for storage solution imho, silent, dont have to rely on 20 year old harddrives, and the speed is fast enough for nowadays Amiga uses.
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Old 15 June 2016, 10:03   #3
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Go for the full 16MB the motherboard can take. DIP RAM is only for the first meg of fast and the 2MB of chip. You can't mix DIP and ZIP packages.

An A500 drive will fit directly. If you get a tall chinon, then you can swap an a3000 eject button in.
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Old 15 June 2016, 16:41   #4
Tempest 2084
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1. All ZIP ram would be ideal, but I don't have it. Until I can find some am I better off staying with 4MB or doing the combination of the 4MB + slower 8MB?

What are the needed specs for the ZIP RAM?

5. So the disk drive has to be a specific model (tall chinon version)? Is there a way to tell from pictures?


New question: Turns out this model has a 16MHz 030 not the 25MHz. Is it possible to upgrade the 030 and if it is, is it worth bothering with?
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Old 15 June 2016, 18:03   #5
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1. The slower Zorro II RAM doesn't slow you down until you run out of 32-bit motherboard memory.

6. The CPU is soldered down, so you can't easily change it out. I don't know what's involved in an overclock, or if it's possible, but in my experience 16 MHz is still plenty fast for day-to-day activities.
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Old 15 June 2016, 18:09   #6
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Ah ok. I was hoping that all I had to do was pop in a cpu card from an A4000 or something. Should have known it wasn't that easy.

Well since I'm going to be using this system for WHDLoad gaming, I should be good with what I have then. I'll scour ebay for ZIP ram if I can find it (still need to know what I'm looking for though), but the extra 8MB from my card should do for now. Do many games need more than 4MB of fast ram?

I believe this system also has KS 3.0 roms in it (he's running WB 3.1 but never upgraded anything so I doubt he has KS 3.1). Is it worth the $21 or so to upgrade?
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Old 15 June 2016, 18:10   #7
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It will probably overclock just fine, also the A3000 design is more stable at 25MHz, so if your particular CPU can handle it, then it might be a good idea. :-)

A tall A500 chinon is easy to distinguish, it has a rectangular cutout in the top front of the case.

The one in the picture will not take an A3000 eject button, though. As you can see, there is only enough metal near the eject button to take the narrow A500/A2000/A4000 style eject button. A tall A2000 or A4000 Chinon is easy enough to modify by removing the face plate and cutting out a similar rectangle from the case.

It probably does not have physical 3.0 ROMs unless someone had friends in high places. 3.1 was released for the A3000 though.

Does the machine say anything about loading Kickstart 2.x during bootup?
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Last edited by Jope; 15 June 2016 at 18:27.
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Old 15 June 2016, 18:16   #8
idrougge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest 2084 View Post
Ah ok. I was hoping that all I had to do was pop in a cpu card from an A4000 or something. Should have known it wasn't that easy.
I didn't interpret your question that way, since CPU cards are more expensive than an A3000 itself. They should work, though I seem to recall reading that some are incompatible with 16 MHz models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest 2084
Well since I'm going to be using this system for WHDLoad gaming, I should be good with what I have then. I'll scour ebay for ZIP ram if I can find it (still need to know what I'm looking for though), but the extra 8MB from my card should do for now. Do many games need more than 4MB of fast ram?
4 MB should suffice for the vast majority of games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest 2084
I believe this system also has KS 3.0 roms in it (he's running WB 3.1 but never upgraded anything so I doubt he has KS 3.1). Is it worth the $21 or so to upgrade?
Can't be 3.0 ROMs; they're for AGA systems only. You should be able to check the ROM version easily from the Workbench->About menu.
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Old 15 June 2016, 18:58   #9
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I'll have him check what version it is then.

He has a dead A4000 with a cpu daughter card. That's what I was wondering if I could stick in this A3000. Then again, I'm looking for maximum game/WHDLoad compatibility so maybe I should just stick with the 16MHZ instead?
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Old 15 June 2016, 19:03   #10
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I think this RAM will work:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/TC514400A...8AAOSwPhdVDEKO
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Old 15 June 2016, 19:21   #11
Tempest 2084
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So how do these work then? I currently have 4MB of RAM (I assume ZIP not DIP, he's going to check on that). If I want to go up to 16MB (why not?) how many of these would I need? I need 12MB worth I guess.
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Old 15 June 2016, 19:23   #12
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If you want a 25Mhz 030, the Comodore 3630 card comes up on e-bay quite often for around 80 - 90 pounds. It was the default option in the Amiga 4000/030, but will work fine in the CPU slot on the A3000.
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Old 15 June 2016, 19:38   #13
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If you want a 25Mhz 030, the Comodore 3630 card comes up on e-bay quite often for around 80 - 90 pounds. It was the default option in the Amiga 4000/030, but will work fine in the CPU slot on the A3000.
Meh, I'll see if I even need it. Like I said, this is going a WHDload game machine. Most of those worked fine on my 68000 A2000, so I'm guessing I really dont need the 25MHz 030.
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Old 15 June 2016, 19:43   #14
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Just overclock the 3000.. :-P

Have your friend also check what type RAM chips are in there if he can. It's best not to wiggle them around, in case some of the chips develop a bad connection with the sockets.

The A3000 can take two sizes. 256kbitx4 and 1Mbitx4. This is selected with jumpers. The 514400 chips in the eBay link above are 1Mx4. RAM chip sizes are reported in bits, not bytes. There are eight bits per byte, but as you see, not all RAM chips are eight bits wide.

Both chips are four bits wide, and the A3000 has a 32 bit wide data bus, so you need to add both type of chip in sets of eight so that there is a full 32 bits worth of RAM in each bank. The A3000 has 32 ZIP sockets, meaning four banks of eight chips.

Eight 256kbitx4 chips result in 1024kByte of RAM, thus you can fit up to 4MB with the smaller chips.

Eight 1Mbitx4 chips result in 4MByte of RAM, thus you can fit a total of 16MB in there.

Last edited by Jope; 15 June 2016 at 19:54.
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Old 15 June 2016, 20:02   #15
Tempest 2084
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Eight 1Mbitx4 chips result in 4MByte of RAM, thus you can fit a total of 16MB in there.
So to get a full 16MB you need 32 1Mbitx4 chips?

I'll have to see what's already in there (if they're the 256K or 1M versions).
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Old 15 June 2016, 20:05   #16
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Quote:
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So to get a full 16MB you need 32 1Mbitx4 chips?

I'll have to see what's already in there (if they're the 256K or 1M versions).
Yes. If you already have the larger chips, you can just buy the missing ones. If they're the smaller kind, you will need to replace them all to get more RAM.
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Old 15 June 2016, 20:15   #17
Tempest 2084
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Yes. If you already have the larger chips, you can just buy the missing ones. If they're the smaller kind, you will need to replace them all to get more RAM.
Thanks, I'll have him check what's already in there. 16MB of RAM seems a bit ridiculous for my uses, but it for $55 or so, why not?


I think the disk drive is going to be the hard thing to come by oddly enough.
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Old 15 June 2016, 20:43   #18
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Hey @Tempest_2084,

To this day my favorite Amiga I've ever owned was an A3000D. It had 16 megs of RAM, a 3640 overclocked to 30mhz, a SCSI to IDE to CF adapter, ariadne2 zorro ethernet, SunRize AD516 zorro sound card, and a Cybervision64 (NOT a 3D model) graphics card with passthrough. For the ultimate A3000 this is my recommendation
 
Old 15 June 2016, 20:59   #19
Tempest 2084
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Hey @Tempest_2084,

To this day my favorite Amiga I've ever owned was an A3000D. It had 16 megs of RAM, a 3640 overclocked to 30mhz, a SCSI to IDE to CF adapter, ariadne2 zorro ethernet, SunRize AD516 zorro sound card, and a Cybervision64 (NOT a 3D model) graphics card with passthrough. For the ultimate A3000 this is my recommendation
That's a little more Amiga than I need I think.
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Old 15 June 2016, 21:14   #20
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The 3000@16 MHz is considered to be a collectors item nowadays. Do not overclock it.

@Jope: cutting the faceplate of that model to fit something as unnecessary as a 2nd floppy? Are you serious?
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