How would you "pimp' an Amiga 3000D

bjavor

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Back in the day I used to envy my friends who had A3000's. I think it is probably the sexiest Amiga ever made. A few years back I've finally bought one. However as it turned out I never use it for anything... Back then they represented power. And like everybody else I wanted to play with 3D graphics. But today I have Lightwave 2015 on my PC for that and nostalgy or not I'm not a masochist to use an Amiga for that anymore... So these days when I feel like using an Amiga, I'll go for my beloved A500's or A1200's. So I started thinking about selling my A3000 again. However before I go down that route, I'm courious what else I could do to make it a more interesting...

According to you what are the most useful upgrades for a A3000 as of today?
(Currently I have an Indivision ECS in it as well as a SCSI-ATA bridge with CF card.)

In particular:
- Is the SCSI-ATA bridge still the best way to have a non-spinning HD replacement?
- Is there a recommended fan to replace the stock one on the power supply? (Or any other way to make it silent?)
- With the multitude of RAM options already on board and potentially on turbo cards is there a use for a BigRamPlus?
- Are X-Surf and USB cards truely useful for anything?

And of course any other ideas you can think of...

Many thanks in advance!
 

stachu100

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1) What is your budget? No joke here - set-up your budget first and stick to that no matter what.
2) Are you looking for visual/mechanical or performance modifications/upgrades? First ones are much cheaper.
3) Hard but true - stock A3000 is underpowered. Look for turbo card with its own FAST RAM plus any graphic card. This is minimum in my opinion to feel the difference.
 

User2921

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My ideal A3000 setup so far was a pretty awesome computer which I'm sorry to have sold :( It had a slightly overclocked a3640 running @33MHz, AD516 sound card, Ariadne II ethernet, Thylacine USB, and a CyberVision 64 (NOT the 3D, one with a passthru). Out of curiosity, why the Indi? It has the built in hardware for that, doesn't it? Also I maxed out the mobo RAM.

I'm contemplating building another, but this time I'll want an Apollo 4040 modified to fit (so less RAM but it's got plenty), another CV64 (definitely perfect A3000 video card IMO), another AD516, another Ariadne II ethernet, and a DENEB USB. Thylacine worked fine though so not such a big problem :)
 

bjavor

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1) What is your budget? No joke here - set-up your budget first and stick to that no matter what.
2) Are you looking for visual/mechanical or performance modifications/upgrades? First ones are much cheaper.
3) Hard but true - stock A3000 is underpowered. Look for turbo card with its own FAST RAM plus any graphic card. This is minimum in my opinion to feel the difference.

Budget is not so important. It should be but sadly when it comes to Commodore stuff I can never resist buying things once I have set my mind on something...

I'm not really looking for visual mods. I'm not sure what you understand under mechanical mods. I'd be interested in anything that can make it last longer. And more silent...
And while I must admit I'm not really certain myself what I was really looking for when I started the topic (other than a reason to convince myself to keep the machine) I guess I was just curious of how other people's "ultimate" A3000 setup may look like these days given what's available in both old and new hardware...

I do have a Cyberstorm MKII 060/50 lying around that I bought here a while ago and haven't tried yet.

As for the Indy, I've decided to use that instead of the internal flicker fixer as the Indy can also upconvert to 60Hz for standard VGA monitor support, plus I think it supports more resolutions (not sure though)...
 
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fgh

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Have a look at this post by Matt3k.

A Warp Engine is a very good match for the A3000 with fast RAM and SCSI2.
Warp Engine 3025/3033/3040 fits the a3k, and a 4025/33/40 can be modified to fit (stripped of two RAM sockets).
CS MK2 is a very nice card, you should install it immediately! You will not be able to fit the SCSI module in the A3000 though. And check the serial number for use in A3000.
(SCSI-2 cards or IDE/ATA cards are options for faster disk access, although the onboard SCSI is also not bad.)
The CS MK3 and PPC fit and are of course very nice and fast.

I'd also go for a gfx card. The CV64 is a good match with its passthrough feature.

I recently put a Noctua NF-A8 FLX fan into my A3000D, it's nice and quiet.

By the way, if you're into games, stuff like ScummVM and Shapeshifter work well with RTG instead of AGA. I recently discovered that even lots of AGA demos work with RTG cards on the A3000.

Very happy with my A3000D with CS MK3, CV64, AD516 and Ariadne.
Still not using it enough though :)

Cheers,
Frode
 

cugar124

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Iv the gvp 4040 in mine with gotek tandem ide and picollo will zorro ram and a fast ide for the cf card boot. My perfect 3000 would be this but a cyberstorm mrk 3 and cv64 3d.
 

matt3k

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Great questions...

I would recommend you keep your 3k. You just might regret selling it.

To answer your questions:
- Go with SCSi 50 to SATA adapters. SATA SSD's are dirt cheap and will last forever on the Amiga.
- No don't replace the power supply, but I would replace the fan. With and SSD and silent fan, the 3k will be silent. The stock power supply has ample power.
- Don't go for ram cards. Keep the memory on the accelerator or on the MB if no accelerator. I tend to go for the fastest routes for performance and zorro memory is slower...
- X-Surf 100 is a great card. If you have a NAS or other SMB shares the cards is really fast and it is handy for backing up and accessing music, etc. I am in the minority here, I have never found a reason to add USB to the 3k...


* I would add a CV64, they are one of the best zorro video cards for the 3k.
* Find a decent accelerator like a CS or WE 3040. They provide local memory and faster cpu.
* One idea I don't have the time to go to down the road for, is PCI. They have a real nice daughter board to drop right in a 3k that will give you lots of new options for cards and provide more modern DVI out for better quality displays. Cards all become cheaper.
* Find a Prelude with Mpegit or a Delfina Plus and play MP3's.

I really enjoy using my 3k for most of my computing still, decked out she is quite usable. The 500 and 1200 will be better game machines than the 3k, but the 3k will be a better productivity/entertainment offering. The other nice thing (again not many agree with me on this either) the 3k is much better/stable to max out than a 1200. Zorro cards are you friends and will work easier than hacking the 1200. I enjoyed my 1200 stock, once I went down the route of expansion it was a royal pain in my backside. The 3k expands so much easier and just works...

Hope that helps...
 

Paul_s

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If anything just (please) don't 'pimp' the case or chassis i.e. don't cut or modify something you can't change at a later date! (pretty much sacrilege and throwing to the lions type offence).
 
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trixster

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I’ve pimped my 3000 with the following:

Warp Engine with 060 at 66mhz
SCSI2SD V6 on the WE’s scsi
Matze daughterboard
CyberVision 64
Deneb
Zorram 256mb
GoldenGate 486SXLC2 50mhz
Soundblaster AWE64
ATI Mach64
USB Ethernet NIC
HD Amiga and PC floppy drives

Its a nice bigbox Amiga / Dos PC :)
 

fitzsteve

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Warp engine, CV64, Toccata sound Card, debeb USB. Classic Workbench 3.9 enjoy.
 

KBQ

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Well if you look at what a 3000 is, a low end 030 system with scsi and a flicker fixer, in a compact case. A faster A500 with better ergonomics, then it makes sense. Lots of software from that time period that loves living in 640x256, looks great with the scanlines removed, and anything that needs square pixels is fine too. Most people think of 030s at 40-50Mhz but honestly 25Mhz ones are already streets ahead of what most software expects. So there's not really much to do to the thing out of the box, I think.

What I would do with one is fairly simple. Replace the hard drive with an SCSI SD card reader (or CF, whatever they make these days), replace the fan with a modern quiet one, max out the ram to the full 16+2. Find an appropriately sized VGA CRT and plonk it on top. For my own personal taste I'd also put a network card in it, because I've got a home server.

Superduper RTG/060/PPC systems are interesting for the novelty of seeing how far you can push such an old computer, but if you're into high end then a second hand draco is cheaper.
 
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thebajaguy

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Network (X-Surf 10/100 is nice, but 10mbit is still better than sneakernet or PLiP) with the Roadshow stack, an RTG that incorporates A3000 RGB pass through, a CPU card with 32-bit FastRAM, flash-media-based storage (SSD is best) with an adapter to SCSI - these are your main performance wants. The audio card is optional based on what you do (the other machines you mention don't have the option). The 10/100 network card also has a stacked USB option, so may be of interest anyway.

Buster 11, replace the motherboard PALs for GALs (run cooler), 33C93A-08 SCSI chip, fill the mobo out with native memory - these are the recommended items for maintenance.

3.1.4 with 3.9 components over the top can make for a nice system with the added power.

If you don't use a Gotek, that's fine, but if you want, look into an external unit to replace the mechanical guts in. There are a few options some have tried on the A3000 internally, but the case presents challenges, and modifying it isn't what most consider a good choice.
 
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