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  1. #1
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    A4000 - i will have one next week - question

    Hi, i have a friend that will sell me a

    A4000/040 with 8Mb Ram, gemlock, Monitor Commodore 1085-S and a CDTV
    for 50 euros

    what do you thnk? nice price ha?

    For the A4000, i never played with one before, to install workbech, is it the same way as A1200?
    Do i need any special drivers to work with the 040 and the zorro slots?

    What can i plug in Zorro III? (that will not be to expansive)
    A500 - A600 - A1200 - A4000 - CDTV
    www.revistapushstart.com

  2. #2
    Average Andrew1971's Avatar
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    Hi Tiago
    50 euros sounds fine when you consider this one from the uk
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AMIGA-A400...item19cca02266
    But no spec on it.
    Many Thanks
    Andrew1971
    A600 6gig HDD, 3.1 Rom, ClassicWB GAAE, Pcmcia Adapter to cf.
    A1200 80gig HDD, 3.0 Rom ClassicWB Lite.

  3. #3
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    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
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    Very nice. The A4000/40 is worth 300-400 alone, and the CDTV easily over 50. So you have yourself a real bargain.

    When you get the A4000 the first thing to do is remove the lid and check inside. A common bad thing is battery damage with A4000's. If the battery has leaked it can really destroy a lot of the motherboard around the simm ram slots and lift tracks all around that part of the board. If the original battery is still in place remove it as soon as you can to prevent it leaking. The battery is in the front left corner of the system next to the ram simm slots.

    The next thing to do is test the audio. Another common issue with the A4000 is the 2 Caps responsible for the audio can leak and this can cause the A4000's audio to sound strange, or stop working completely.

    Other than those 2 issues, everything else should be fine.

    You mentioned it only has 8MB ram. Is that 2MB chip + 6 MB fast? The first think to do is upgrade the ram to max out the motherboards support. The simms can take 4x 4MB 72pin simms for fast ram, allowing a total of 16MB fast ram, plus the 2MB simm for the chip ram which should already be in place. If you don't have the simms to upgrade it give me a shout as I might have some spare 4MB ones you can have for the postage.

    Next, if the A4000 doesn't have a CD drive installed stick a spare one you have in there. The A4000's built in IDE port (unlike the A1200) is buffered and supports 2 devices as Master/Slave, so you can have the system HDD and a CD/DVD drive installed together. Use a standard IDE cable to connect them up, and the PSU has molex connectors so powering the drive won't be a problem. Use IDEFix'97 to setup and install the drive in Workbench to get it working. And with a CD-RW and the 040 in your A4000 you will also be able to play around with writing CDs if you fancy.

    Now to Zorro cards. The A4000 supports all Zorro 2 and Zorro 3 cards, so it can use any from an A2000 right up to the A4000. Basically anything ever released for Zorro should work. Thet are always exceptions but most will work.

    A nice addition which can normally be found cheaply is an GVP SCSI Zorro card. This will add both internal and external SCSI ports. I've got one in mine and have to date used it over the years to run external SCSI Zip drives, CD-Rom drives and other devices. You can also add an internal SCSI HDD to the card. These cards also have 1MB 30pin ram sockets allowing 8MB of fast ram. I've got mine expanded giving me a total of 24MB fast ram (combined with the main motherboard fast ram).

    The A4000 also has a dedicated graphics slot, allowing a RTG graphics card to be added, giving 24 bit display modes. The Picasso IV is the best one and comes with a built in scan doubler and flicker fixer, plus pass through so all modes including Amiga and RTG can be sent to a single monitor.

    You can also get USB, fast serial, network cards... so expanding isn't a problem for the A4000. The only limitation is money as many zorro cards are hard to find these days, so when one does appear expect to pay for it. Graphics cards to however pop up fairly often. Keep looking on Amibay if you are interested, but the best ones command high prices still.

    You can also get am A4000 version of the Individual Computers Indivision Scan doubler/flicker fixer if you didn't want to go the graphics card route. Worth considering.

    Finally the original PSU in the A4000. It is a good unit, but remember these are now over 20 years old. Mine still has the original one, but one thing I've always hated is how noisy it is. You can fairly easily replace the original PSU with a PC ATX one, either modifying it yourself, or buying the conversion kit from Amigakit to easily connect up any ATX PSU to the A4000.

    So basically, you have the best A4000 in terms of expandability and possibilities. However the A1200 is cheaper to upgrade these days due to more new hardware projects still developing new items for them. It hasn't been so popular to make new hardware for the A4000 but you can still find it.

    What else. CPU upgrades. The A4000 has a CPU daugherboard. This means that unlike most other Amiga's it is really easy to upgrade the CPU as it just involves swapping the CPU card. You have the best standard CPU filled. I also have an 040 in my A4000 and it is more than fast enough for most things. If it is the standard Commodore A3640 CPU card then take a look and if it only has the standard heatsink fitted I recommend thinking about adding a fan on top of it as the 040 can get hot and unstable under load. To see how stable the A4000 is run Frontier: Elite 2 at the title screen, and leave it looping for some time. This will stress the 040 and see how stable it is. If the A4000 crashes you know you need to add a fan, or maybe replace the heatsink with something better.

    You can also get loads of third party CPU expansions for the A4000. Right up to really complex ones that contain an 060 and a PPC processor, as well as 128MB of ram. These are very desirable and the ultimate dream for any A4000 owner. But they are expensive. Expect to pay between 400-600 for one.

    Oh, another upgrade I just remembered is the ZorRam Zorro card. This is a fast ram expansion that fits into a zorro slot and adds 128MB of fast ram to the system. These are new and cost about 99.

    For the OS, give OS3.9 a try on your new A4000. It will run it very nicely.

    I think that covers most things. Can you think of anything else?

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  4. #4
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    How, thanks for the long text.

    I didnt't saw the A4000 yet, and i dont know exactly how it is, just know that it's working fine.

    Yes it has 8Mb ram, it sholf be 2+6 . Thanks for the memory Mate, i have to check, i have more them 10 simms at home, home that i have 4x 4mb simms working.

    So, the memory slots on board are fast ram? are they the same type of A1200 chip ram (2mb)?
    If i put extra memory by expansion will it be the same type as in A1200 expansion card?

    what advantage you get my getting extra fast ram? I know it's better, sure, but will workbench use it?
    for exemple what memory will whdload use? Or does he use both fast and slow? does he use first the fast ram?

    The A4000 has 2 IDEs? or only one? I have an adapter for the A1200 that let me have more then 1 IDE working. I did the idefix, so that one i know how to do it :-)

    zip drive? that's very interesting, i have bay for it, and they are not that expansive.

    network cards, i guess a isa card should work fine... must try it.
    A500 - A600 - A1200 - A4000 - CDTV
    www.revistapushstart.com

  5. #5
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    The A4000 only has one IDE port, but it is buffered, so supports 2 drives connected to the same IDE cable (same as a PC IDE cable). You can get A4000 IDE buffered interfaces to expand this to 2 ports and therefore 4 devices, but you cannot use A1200 buffered interfaces with the A4000 as they are not compatible. For the A4000 you don't need any extra hardware, just install IDEfix and you can automatically use 2 devices such as a HDD and a CD-Rom drive, or any other IDE device such as a Zip drive, removable drive etc..

    If you want more devices I would recommend looking at Zorro IDE cards as these provide a faster IDE port compared to the built in one.

    The A4000 uses 72pin SIMMs for its ram, the same as most A1200 expansion cards. The A4000 motherboard has 5 SIMM sockets. 1 is for a 2MB SIMM that provides the Chip ram, so you have the same 2MB of chip ram as an A1200 because that is the limitation of the AGA chipset. The other 4 SIMM sockets are to provide fast ram. The advantage of fast ram is that it frees the chip ram for the custom chipset to use for graphics, sound etc, and the fast ram is only used by the CPU itself. With WHDLoad it will take advantage of all the fast ram you can provide to cache the game loading, making games load faster and play smoother. Also some larger games need at least 8MB of fast ram to just load with WHDLoad, and some of the last Amiga games released may need even more. It is definitely worth expanding the A4000's built in ram to the maximum.

    Regarding network cards, I don't know if PC ISA cards would work as I've never heard of any being used. Most A4000 network cards are Zorro based. They can be hard to find though and can therefore be expensive. And this is the disadvantage of the A4000 compared to the A1200 these days. The A1200's PCMCIA slot allows us to use cheap old PC cards to easily add network cards, and CD card readers. The A4000 doesn't have a PCMCIA slot so it is limited to Zorro and IDE only.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  6. #6
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    I was thinking that the daughter board supported ISA, but not, it just Zorro. For ISA i need something like a mediator.
    From what i see with a mediator, the next cards will be much cheaper, with a radeon 9250 at +/- 35/40 euros, a network card, even more cheaper.
    Cards for zorro, are super expensive... RTG card is very high price, and all other cards are expensive to.

    the monitor 1085-S is a cost reduction of the 1084... and it's not compatible with all AGA settings according to amigahardware.com
    For the CDTV, it can play audio CDs, CD-I what else??

    I will get the A4000 today.
    A500 - A600 - A1200 - A4000 - CDTV
    www.revistapushstart.com

  7. #7
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    The A4000 daughter board does have ISA like slots running next to the Zorro slots, but I've never seen anything use them, or any mention of anyone using one. Maybe they can be used with old PC ISA cards, it's worth investigating on case drivers do exist, but I expect if they do it would be very specific cards.

    The mediator is an interesting expansion, to add PCI slots, but they have a lot of hassles themselves as not all software will work well with a PC graphics card, just like they don't with an Amiga specific RTG card. Nediators are also quite expensive and sort after, although if you did want to add networking it is the only really realistic option as Zorro network cards are really hard to find these days.

    Regarding the 1085, it is a standard 15Hz CRT 14" monitor, so is the same resolution as a TV, but with a better picture in most cases. No standard Amiga monitor (1084, Philips 8833-II etc) will support AGA modes as they are all higher resolution modes in higher ranges and require a multisync monitor like a Microvitic or similar. But the 1084 is great for games.

    The CDTV can run audio CDs, karaoke CDs (I think). It can't run CD-I discs as that is a different system from Philips that was a competing system against Commodore at the time.

    Oh, and you asked about HDDs for the CDTV in your other thread. It doesn't have any IDE (before the time) or HDD support as standard, but there is a SCSI expansion available that adds both internal and external SCSI ports. I also think there was a community project to add IDE but can't remember who did it. There was also an official ir mouse released for the CDTV so no wires needed, and if you think about it, years ahead if wireless mice on the PC!

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  8. #8
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    the daughter board has ISA slots? if so, it is possible to have a network card without a mediator? isa netcard are cheap, i have 1 or 2 at home, i could try that.
    A500 - A600 - A1200 - A4000 - CDTV
    www.revistapushstart.com

  9. #9
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    You would need to do some research and see if drivers exist though, and also I don't know if they orientation is the same as in a PC.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  10. #10
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    Ok, i have the A4000 with me, i try it, and:
    - mouse only works the right button
    - sound is to low and not very poor quality.
    - image is ok, i was able to run WB3.1

    i open the case, and i omg.... leak everywehre.... i clean a leak before in a A501 memory card, but this is to much for me... it's a battefield...
    I took a lot of photos of the A4000 m.board plus the A3640
    check it out...
    http://lobodias.com/html/a4000_a3640_boards.html
    i will take it to a friend to chage all capacitors and try to clean the mess, but i don't know it we can recover the sound and mouse port...
    A500 - A600 - A1200 - A4000 - CDTV
    www.revistapushstart.com

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