Amiga 3000.. the 'Dream Machine'

Submitted by binaryvalue on Fri, 05/27/2022 - 07:46
Amiga 3000

Released in mid-1990, the Commodore Amiga 3000 is a 32-bit high-end business machine featuring the MC68030, ECS graphics, a revision of the AmigaOS, and a standard VGA output. A3000 is fully compatible with old Amigas and can be seen as the ‘dream machine’ of every Amiga user, the only con is that it can’t run AGA software.

  • Initially, the A3000 was sold for $3,379 (around $7,500 in today’s money)
  • It is estimated that around 30,000 desktop A3000 and 8,000 A3000T (tower version) were ever produced

glanceA3000 AT A GLANCE

  • 32-bit architecture / 32-bit system memory
  • 68030 CPU and 68882 math co-processor
  • 2 MB of RAM (1 MB chip / 1 MB fast RAM)
  • 512 KB Kickstart ROM
  • Enhanced Chip Set (ECS) graphics (12-bit color palette)
  • Enhancer for direct connection to a VGA monitor
  • SCSI-II controller and hard disk drive (40, 50, or 100 MB)
  • 4 internal 32-bit Zorro III expansion slots
  • AmigaOS version 2.0 (alternatively 1.3)

 graphics Graphics & Modes

As mentioned, A3000 has a built-in "display enhancer" for use with VGA monitors (the only Amiga). The A3000 chipset offers ECS graphics (12-bit palette / 4,096 colors):

  • Up to 1,280×512 resolution with 4 on-screen colors
  • Up to 640×512 resolution with 16 on-screen colors
  • Up to 320×512 resolution with 32 colors in standard mode, and up to 4096 colors in HAM mode
  • Graphics can be upgraded with various Zorro cards (check below)
A3000 AUX
A3000UX (UNIX) -Commodore's Advertisement

 sound Sound Capabilities
The A3000 offers the same sound capabilities as all other Amigas:

  • 2 stereo channels (4 × 8-bit PCM)
  • 28 kHz DMA sampling rate, and up to 57 kHz
  • The hardware channels have independent volumes (65 levels)
  • Software controllable low-pass audio filter
  • Sound can be upgraded with various cards (check below)

 variants Related A3000 Models

A3000+ (Abandoned)

Commodore was developing an enhanced A3000 edition, the Amiga 3000+, featuring AGA 24-bit graphics and an AT&T DSP3210 (digital signal processing) chip. However, this plan was abandoned in 1991, at a prototype stage. The A3000+ was replaced with the A4000, featuring the AGA chipset, a 68030/68040 CPU, but without the digital signal processing chip.

A3000UX (UNIX)

The A3000UX is an A3000 running the UNIX System V (licensed by AT&T).

A3000T (TOWER)

A tower version of the A3000 was sold for about $5,000 (depending on the setup). The Commodore's PC-compatible line delivered the case for the prototype. Initially, the A3000T was based on the MC68030 CPU, however, later models featured a 68040 CPU, and third-party providers even added a PowerPC processor.


 ports I/O Ports

  • 2 DE-9 ports for mouse and joystick (compatible with old Amigas)
  • 25-pin Standard RS-232 serial port
  • 25-pin Centronics parallel port
  • 4 internal 32-bit Zorro III expansion slots
  • Analog RGB video out (DB-23M) compatible to old Amigas
  • Analog VGA out (DB-15F)
  • Audio out (2 × RCA)
  • Keyboard (5-pin DIN)
  • External SCSI connector (DB-25F)

 monitors Suitable Monitors

 The Amiga 3000 can be connected to RGB monitors, standard VGA monitors, or even modern HDMI monitors with the right video upscaling hardware.

  • Commodore monitors (1084, 1942, etc.)
  • Standard VGA monitors (the only Amiga) 
  • TVs via a SCART cable
  • Modern HDMI monitors (VGA to HDMI)

 upgrades A3000 Upgrades

The Amiga 3000 is a high-upgradable Amiga computer

  • 68040/68060 accelerators
  • 2 MB chip RAM and 16 MB fast RAM (onboard), and up to 2 GB RAM via Zorro III expansions
  • Graphic cards (Picasso IV, ZZ9000)
  • Internal Gotek drive
  • ZIP drive
  • Audio cards (Prisma Megamix Music Card, SunRize 1012, ZZ9000AX)
  • Network cards
  • On-board IBM-PC-compatible hardware emulation (80286/80386 or 80486)
  • The iconic Video Toaster was re-designed for A3000 (VT4000)

 

Amiga 3000

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Sources:

  • Wikipedia
  • Big Book of Amiga Hardware (bigbookofamigahardware.com)