A3000

The A3000 was released in June 1990 and is regarded by many Amiga enthousiasts as one of the most desired Amiga models. A desktop model like its predecessors, the A2000 and the A2500, the A3000 not only packed more punch than both these units, it also featured a more compact footprint. 










History

By 1990 Commodore had released the original A1000, followed by the A500 and the A2000. The A2000 was the first desktop model that allowed for serious expansion. Various variations of the A2000 appeared which had some of the most popular expansions built-in. With the A3000 Commodore introduced the true successor to the A2000. The difference was that the A3000 had a lot of these expansions built-in on the mainboard. It featured a faster CPU (a 68030 clocked at 16MHz on early models and later at 25 MHz), the Enhanced Chip Set (ECS) which allowed for more advanced graphic modes than the Original Chip Set (OCS), a SCSI-II controller and harddisk, and most notably a built-in scandoubler which allowed the A3000 to be connected to a standard SVGA monitor. Scandoublers go for ridiculous prices these days on eBay (100+ euros).


The A3000 came with 1MB of Chip RAM and 1MB of 32-bit Fast RAM and could be expanded with a total of 16MB of Fast RAM. An interesting tidbit is that the A3000 came with two different Kickstart ROMs. The earliest A3000s had a 1.4 Kickstart ROM that did nothing more but load the Kickstart image from disk, much like the A1000 did in 1985. Later models had the new Kickstart 2.0 ROM fitted.

Collection

I have two A3000s in my collection. I haven't used them a lot and I have yet to properly record their details, but one of them features the 1.4 Kickstart ROM and the other has a 2.0 ROM. The reason why I bought them is because the A3000 is my favourite desktop Amiga model. I'm particularly pleased with the A3000's outward appearance, the built-in scan doubler and its expandability. 










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Videos

An excerpt from an episode of Computer Chronicles, featuring a short introduction of the A3000 by Hedley Davis of Commodore.



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