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Thread: Hardware Pr0n III - "This Time It's AGA!": An Amiga 4000 Story

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    Default Hardware Pr0n III - "This Time It's AGA!": An Amiga 4000 Story

    Amibay is all about the pr0n, it really is. We do love it so. So, here's a photo diary of my current miggy project. As you can guess from the title, it's an A4000 this time. (And for those who missed them: Hardware Pr0n: An Amiga 2000 Story, Hardware Pr0n II: An Amiga 3000 Story)

    Part 1: Let's begin at the beginning


    We begin with a plain old A4000 motherboard. This is a Rev. C with an A3630 CPU card and 2+16MB Fast RAM. I acquired the CPU card from the rather splendid Kin Hell and the board from my good friend Chiark as faulty and dispatched it to Castellen in NZ to get it fully refurbished. Anthony worked his magic and I was returned a good-as-new A4000 board. He also de-soldered the Super Buster-9 and fitted a socket instead. You will notice that said Super Buster-9 is missing, expect it to appear soon in Hardware Pr0n thread near you!


    The lovely people at Amigakit dispatched me some goodies last week, including (amongst other things) a shiny Super Buster-11 and an IDE terminator. I haven't decided whether I'm gonna use the on-board IDE for anything, but having a terminator while testing is an absolute godsend!


    Now all it needs is a home. I had originally intended to mod an ATX tower case, but then the incredibly generous Fizzy offered up this rather spiffing Micronik A4000 aftermarket tower in the Amibay recycling bin and I just had to have it!


    POWER! I don't have an A4000 power supply, but fortunately this case allows me to fit a standard ATX supply. Once more Kin Hell comes to the rescue with an Elbox ATX-to-A4000 PSU converter. A quick mod to the power button on the front of the case to remove the latching and we have a proper ATX-esque solution to powering the old girl.


    Now these I'm proud of. I acquired a couple of Chinon FB-357A high density drives, one from Kin Hell and the other from someone on eBay. The eBay one was yellowed horribly and whilst Charlie's was beautifully clean, it sadly had a crack down the fascia. In another place and time I'd also bought a couple of NOS FB-354 drives from Jon Hare. Those drives were modded to fit in an A500 and an A3000 and are working an absolute treat, but I was left with these nifty little 5.25" mounting brackets for Chinon 30mm drives. Some further bodgery later and the two 357As are now in pristine condition and fit perfectly into a 5.25" drive bay.


    At this point, I think it's time for a test. I plug it all in, take a deep breath, hold it in and hit the 'on' button. RESULT! We do love the purple begging screen. I guess we should give it a disk...


    No hardware pr0n thread is complete without some gratuitious Sysinfo shots, and this thread is no exception. The 25MHz 68030 gives us a modest 4.38 MIPS/4204 Dhrystones, almost identical to my A3000 (4.39 MIPS/4207 Dhrystones), both of which are 10% less than the Sysinfo A3000 rating. One assumes that if there were a way to fit Static Column RAM into an A4000, you'd be able to use the CPU in burst mode for that extra 10%


    Oh, and just a quick shot of Showconf as well. AGA 030 with 2+16MB. A nice little starter A4000. I apologise for the TV shots, for ease-of-setup, I pinched the kitchen telly and plugged the miggy in via SCART. Eventually we'll have a full-on RTG/Scandoubler solution, but for testing purposes, this is the easiest way to check the old girl works!

    Part 2 will be with you shortly!
    Thinking about accelerating your A1200? Check out my buyer's guide.

    Projects past and present: Amiga 2000/030 | Amiga 3000/040 | Amiga 4000/060

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    Online Gangster Amibayer! fitzsteve's Avatar
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    Great stuff Andylandy and nice catch on the Tower

    Look forward to the updates

    Steve.
    My YouTube Channel:
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    CD32 + TF330, A500+ Vampire V2, A1200D + BPPC/BVision/SCSI2SD, A1200T Black Box + Mediator B1260 + Killer K1 PPC

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    very nice mate
    Gone but not forgotten. RIP John.

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    Looks nice mate, lots of space if you want to expand it
    Proud on the classics: A1000-A500-A2000-A600-030-A1200 PPC -A3000D(basic)-A4000D(060)
    Mac Mini 1.45 ghz 1 G RAM MORPHOS 2.6
    Pentium 3 1.4 ghz 512 sdram AROS

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    Part 2: The Acid Test!

    OK, so that's all well and good, but it's not tremendously impressive yet. Let's do something about that!


    Tower cases are great for pimping your computers to the full, not only do they provide copious places to fit disks, CD drives and other paraphernalia, they also allow you lots of room for expansion cards. Amiga-Digital supplied me with this rather impressive Zorro busboard. No less than 7 Zorro III slots, with 5 inline ISAs and 2 inline Video slots! Now, let's install it...


    Ahh, there we go. Busboard fitted and screwed into place. Now, let's find a Zorro card to test it with. I know...


    Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! Fastlane Z3 with 64MB FastRAM and a SCSI-II controller. If anything will give this baby a workout, it's this wee beastie. Well, I say 'wee beastie', the Fastlane is anything but wee as we'll see in a moment...


    WOAH! After a lot of struggling and wriggling and fiddling and prodding, the Fastlane is finally in a Zorro slot. These cards really do push the Zorro form factor and there's a knack to fitting them. The back edge is chamfered so that you can slide the back end down after you've fitted the front end. Even still, it was a right menace to fit, particularly since all the dimensions of this case have seemed 'slightly off' the whole way through. So, does it work?


    First we hit up the Early Startup Menu, your one-stop shop to see if your Zorro cards are playing ball. So far so good! It shows up as two separate Zorro devices, one is the FastRAM, the other is the SCSI.


    Showconfig gives us a nice display of what the boards are and what they're doing. You can also see all the FastRAM in the Workbench screen titlebar.


    "Can we have another Sysinfo shot?" I hear you all asking. Very well, here you go. Ooh, 4.43 MIPS/4246 Dhrystones, that's a whole 0.05 MIPS faster. Clearly the Fastlane RAM is marginally nippier than the on-board stuff, but there's not a lot in it. Still, for sheer volume, 64MB is quite tasty! Now, shall we test the SCSI?


    What have we here? 36GB Ultra 320 UW-SCSI 15,000RPM disks. Very tasty indeed! Let's wedge one onto the Fastlane and see what happens!


    WOOHOO! HDInstTools has detected it (and the CD-RW drive too, for good measure), let's partition it up and see what happens.


    Ahh, Sysinfo, you're so full of useful little features. Here's our freshly-formatted DH0: 3,375,244 Bytes/sec, or ~3.3MB/sec in real money. We like that, don't we!

    Sadly this is where Part 2 comes to an end. The SCSI isn't quite playing ball, and I'm going to need something more than plain old FFS to make use of such large disks. I'm calling it a day for now, will pick up with Part 3 when I get a chance to fully troubleshoot the SCSI issues. Thanks for reading this far!
    Thinking about accelerating your A1200? Check out my buyer's guide.

    Projects past and present: Amiga 2000/030 | Amiga 3000/040 | Amiga 4000/060

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    Nice build Andy! I hope you excuse the bitten-fruit sticker up front on that tower by setting up a ShapeShifter/Fusion installation!

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    I am watching this thread like a hawk Andy! Dying to know how you get on with setting up that SCSI drive.
    Geraldine ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by salaxi54 View Post
    Nice build Andy! I hope you excuse the bitten-fruit sticker up front on that tower by setting up a ShapeShifter/Fusion installation!
    There's an A-Max II card lying about the place and it's gonna need a home somewhere...

    Quote Originally Posted by Geraldine View Post
    I am watching this thread like a hawk Andy! Dying to know how you get on with setting up that SCSI drive.
    Haha, you and me both, I've no clue what's gonna happen with that yet, never tried anything as extreme as this before, but fingers crossed, eh?

    Thinking about accelerating your A1200? Check out my buyer's guide.

    Projects past and present: Amiga 2000/030 | Amiga 3000/040 | Amiga 4000/060

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    @AndyLandy

    If you have any problems with the Z3 Fastlane/Ram you might want to re-distribute the Simms, they like to be matching sets within each bank, i.e:

    --------------- ---------------
    Bank 1 Bank 1
    --------------- ---------------
    Bank 1 Bank 1

    --------------- ---------------
    Bank 2 Bank 2
    --------------- ---------------
    Bank 2 Bank 2

    --------------- ---------------
    Bank 3 Bank 3
    --------------- ---------------
    Bank 3 Bank 3

    --------------- ---------------
    Bank 4 Bank 4
    --------------- ---------------
    Bank 4 Bank 4



    But I guess if it ain't broke, dont....

    Keep up the great work, awesome project

    Steve.
    My YouTube Channel:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/fitzsteve

    CD32 + TF330, A500+ Vampire V2, A1200D + BPPC/BVision/SCSI2SD, A1200T Black Box + Mediator B1260 + Killer K1 PPC

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    Need more time! Amibayer! BrooksterMax's Avatar
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    I thought fitzsteve was king of boards and hardware but wow. I have never seen so many sockets and green boards! That 7 slot zorro thing looks awesome!

    Good luck with it all! Nice read as well.

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