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Amiga 4000 vs 1200


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#1 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 6, 2010 11:58 AM

Odd question, but is there any reason to go with an Amiga 4000 over a 1200 other than easier expandability? I have an accelerated 1200, but I've seen several nice looking 4000s pop up lately. I'm mostly a gamer so graphics stuff (like the video toaster) don't mean anything to me. Truth be told, I like the boxy look of the 4000, the 1200 looks like an over glorified keyboard!

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#2 98PaceCar OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 6, 2010 12:23 PM

It's easier to set up a cd rom in a 4000 than on a 1200. Not really a compelling reason to choose it over a 1200 though. I have both and tend to use the 1200 more just out of convenience.

#3 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 6, 2010 2:06 PM

The 1200 has a 16-bit expansion bus.

They both tend to have leaky capacitors which can ruin the motherboard. I'll bet you're a virtuoso soldering man who can replace those surface-mount suckers quickly though.

The 4000 has a battery that can leak and ruin the motherboard too, which the 1200 doesn't.

#4 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 6, 2010 3:51 PM

Wasnt' the a4000 just a 1200 in a proper case but with more mem and a better proccy (i.e like a modern pc thing)

#5 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 6, 2010 4:01 PM

4000 and 1200 share the same 32-bit bus, but the 4000 has Zorro II and III expansion capability. Your A1200 could too if you get a Mediator and stuff it into a case. Not wise economically to do so, but there it is. No reason to get a 4000 if you have an accelerated A1200. 4000 is ugly too IMO, but I love the keyboard. Sexiest Amiga's are the 1000 and 3000.

Since you're just a casual gamer, the A1200 is perfectly fine. Money out the window maintaining a 4000 methinks. A3000 at least has a built in FF/SD, but no AGA. I don't miss not having an AGA compatible machine to tell you the truth.

If you're wanting to get a little more serious with Amiga computing, then by all means, snag a 4000 and a Deneb USB card. Only if you have $400-$500 to spare though. You're A1200 is worth $200-$300 all_day_long though - so you could always sell that and put toward a more easily expandable A4000. But again, only recommended if you're going to want to do stuff other than game.

Edited by save2600, Tue Jul 6, 2010 4:03 PM.


#6 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 6, 2010 4:55 PM

I'd love a 1000 since it looks so nice, but it's a bit limited. I know there are ways to expand it into something more (I think you can get ECS graphics on it with one mod) but it can only go so far. AGA graphics are too nice not to have, otherwise I probably would have a 1000. That's why I was looking at the 4000, I think it looks more like what a computer should. Big and boxy.

My 1200 has a Cobra accelerator in it (030) and 64 MB of RAM. I also have a Indivision board so I can use any monitor I want with it (of course now that I have a 1080 I probably wouldn't need that anymore). My main complaint so far about Amiga gaming is the stupid accelerator. Some games run too fast with it, but you need it to run others. It's a big pain in the ass!

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#7 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 6, 2010 5:36 PM

Check out Degrader from Aminet... that'll solve most all your gaming issues. So will WHDLoad. Most games are geared to run at a certain speed on this platform. I've never heard anyone complain about games running "too fast". Which ones are you experiencing problems with?

Here's a couple "degraders" that'll solve 99.99999999% of any issues you might run into:

http://aminet.net/pa...l/misc/Degrader

http://aminet.net/pa.../util/misc/TUDE

...oh and the most "limiting" factor to owning an A1000 is the fact that you cannot switch between PAL/NTSC modes fully. You either have a Pal or NTSC A1000 - unlike the other Amigas which are capable of using the Fatter Agnus. A1000 cannot use that chip without something called a Rejuvenator or Phoenix board. You can however, install an ECS Denise chip in an A1000, but there's little point. So no, A1000's are pretty much OCS all_day_long. Which is absolutely fine for at least 98% of the software out there :)

Edited by save2600, Tue Jul 6, 2010 5:39 PM.


#8 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 6, 2010 7:43 PM

Oh? So an ECS equipped 1000 still can't play ECS games?

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#9 OldSchoolRetroGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 6, 2010 7:53 PM

Oh? So an ECS equipped 1000 still can't play ECS games?

Tempest


I found THIS info on the "ECS" equipted A1000 (because I did not believe it) but it seems to be a 3rd party total replacement, just does not seem practical:



Here is the info:

Case Type: Uses original A1000 desktop
Processor: 68000@7.14Mhz
MMU: None
FPU: Yes, optional 68881 or 68882@20Mhz
Chipset: ECS
Kickstarts: V1.3 (on ROM)
V2.04
Note: Actually supports multiple kickstarts being fitted, with the optional switch
Bus Controller: Unknown
Expansion Slots: 1 x 100pin Zorro II slot
1 x OCS/ECS Video Slot
Standard CHIP RAM: Available with 1MB and 2MB
RAM sockets: DRAM Chip Sockets
Hard Drive Controllers: Optional SCSI-II Controller (AMD 5380)
Drive Bays: 1 x Floppy Drive Bay
Expansion Ports: 1 x 25pin Serial
1 x 25pin Parallel
1 x 23pin RGB Video
1 x 23pin External Floppy
2 x 9pin Joystick/Mouse
2 x RCA Audio (Left/Right)
1 x RJ10 Keyboard Connector
Floppy Drive: Uses original A1000 drive
Motherboard Revisions: Unknown
Battery Backed Up Clock: Yes, uses "coin" shaped batteries

The A1000 phoenix was a subscription funded replacement motherboard for the A1000, ie a totally new 3rd party motherboard which was designed to fit into the A1000 case. It was designed and manufactured by Phoenix Microtechnologies in South Australia (circa 1991). It was a totally enhanced A1000 motherboard. It came with the ECS chipset, Kickstart 1.3 (on ROM) and 2MB of RAM. Depending on your configuration preference, the RAM was either configured as 1MB Chip and 1MB Fast or as 2MB Chip. It also had an optional SCSI-II controller on the motherboard. Every motherboard has the SCSI header present, but it was optional because it required the purchase of the SCSI PAL Chip and EPROM. The A1000 phoenix also had a single Zorro II slot, but because of the limitations of the A1000 case, any Zorro II cards needed to be mounted in an external unit. An a2000 video slot was also added to the motherboard as well as a battery backed-up clock. The motherboard could either be installed manually by the user, which required the retention of some chips from the original motherboard (Paula, Denise, CPU), for installation on the new motherboard or users which lived near the manufacturing facility could have their motherboard replaced by Phoenix Microtechnologies themselves. There is estimated to have been between 500 and 1000 production units of the A1000 phoenix made.

An optional memory and IDE controller was planned which could support up to 8MB of RAM, however it is not certain if it was ever released.

Edited by OldSchoolRetroGamer, Tue Jul 6, 2010 7:57 PM.


#10 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 6, 2010 9:22 PM

Oh? So an ECS equipped 1000 still can't play ECS games?

Tempest

I'll condense what OldSchoolGamer wrote. To make an Amiga computer ECS compliant, it must have:

a) Fatter 1mb Agnus and at least 1MB Chip RAM

b) Kickstart 2.x or higher

c) Super Denise Chip (8373)

...without a Rejuvenator or Phoenix board, you cannot have more than 512k Chip RAM, nor can you install the square PLCC 1MB or better Agnus Chip. So in a nutshell, there is no such thing as an "ECS" Amiga 1000 unless someone went out of their way (and expense) to replace either the Daughterboard and/or entire mainboard with one of the aforementioned 3rd party replacement boards. Good luck finding either one of those boards. In 23 years of dealing with Amiga stuff, I have only seen a couple of each of these fabled beasts.

Easier, quicker and cheaper to stick an A1200 mainboard into an A1000 than to find someone willing to part with a Rejuvenator or Phoenix mobo. :lol:

Edited by save2600, Tue Jul 6, 2010 9:28 PM.


#11 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 7, 2010 7:26 AM

Well yeah I knew you needed the special board to get it to ECS, I thought you guys were saying that even with the board it didn't work right.

Easier, quicker and cheaper to stick an A1200 mainboard into an A1000 than to find someone willing to part with a Rejuvenator or Phoenix mobo. :lol:

I wish that were possible actually. It's not, is it? :)

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#12 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 7, 2010 7:37 AM

I wish that were possible actually. It's not, is it? :)

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Sure.... why not? You just need to hack your own power supply into her (or leave it external), mod the rear or completely remove the rear peripheral panel and build an A1200<>A1000 keyboard adapter is all :)


I have heard of people stuffing A600 mobo's in an A1000, but if you're going to go through all that trouble, may as well make it an A1200... lol

#13 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 7, 2010 8:05 AM

For just pure game playing, which is the best Amiga? I assume it's the 1200 since it has AGA.

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#14 98PaceCar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 7, 2010 8:49 AM

For just pure game playing, which is the best Amiga? I assume it's the 1200 since it has AGA.

Tempest


Depends on what you want to play. Some older games have issues with the AGA chipset/faster processor of the 1200/4000. The degraders mentioned above can help, but not always.

To be fully covered, a 500 and 1200 would serve you well, but it's also a hassle to swap them out. In all the years I ran Amiga exclusively, there was very little I wanted to play that required the AGA and most AGA games had an ECS/OCS version as well.

#15 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 7, 2010 3:58 PM

In all the years I ran Amiga exclusively, there was very little I wanted to play that required the AGA and most AGA games had an ECS/OCS version as well.

Quite right. A3000 is my favorite all around Miggy. Only an A1000 with that Phoenix replacement mobo, an 030 accelerator and built in HD could top it :)

AGA is overrated from a gaming sense. Conundrum here is that the power of the AGA graphics lie in the productivity modes. But if you have a big box Amiga, may as well slap an accelerated RTG video card in and call it a day. Blows away AGA as it's MUCH faster.

Your A1200 is just fine. Let us know when/if you ever have a problem getting any game to work on it. Between WHDLoad (which can require independent game tweaking), Early Startup Options (holding down both mouse buttons on startup) and the Degraders, I suspect you're going to be hard pressed finding something that doesn't work.

#16 icbrkr OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 8, 2010 6:22 AM

I think everyone here has pretty much summed it up.

If you're up for game playing, an A1200 with an 030 and expanded RAM is just about perfect. Most games will work with WHDLOAD or some sort of degrader. On the argument of AGA, it is a good one, that most games have ECS versions as well but the big difference is the basic CPU in the system. An ECS game on an A1200 may (I said may) run smoother due to increased CPU speed over a basic 500. I noticed then back in the day when I had a 600 and my friends had 1200s. The framerate was slower in some action games (Road Rash) or during an RTS (Dune 2). I didn't see if you had some sort of scandoubler, but that's about all you have left to pick up if you don't have it already so you can use a modern monitor for all graphics modes.

The A4000 is great if you're up for expansion. Mine is loaded with a graphics cards lots of RAM, CDROM drive, hard drives, etc. It's not practical really but it's something I wanted to do. You can do that with an A1200 but it may require case mods or just a lot of external peripherals.

Edited by icbrkr, Thu Jul 8, 2010 6:25 AM.


#17 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 8, 2010 8:47 AM

An Amiga 1000 case mod would be cool, but I'd hate to sacrifice my 1200 for it (an a 1000 for that matter). Maybe some day.

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#18 soviet conscript OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:12 PM

I'd love a 1000 since it looks so nice, but it's a bit limited. I know there are ways to expand it into something more (I think you can get ECS graphics on it with one mod) but it can only go so far. AGA graphics are too nice not to have, otherwise I probably would have a 1000. That's why I was looking at the 4000, I think it looks more like what a computer should. Big and boxy.

My 1200 has a Cobra accelerator in it (030) and 64 MB of RAM. I also have a Indivision board so I can use any monitor I want with it (of course now that I have a 1080 I probably wouldn't need that anymore). My main complaint so far about Amiga gaming is the stupid accelerator. Some games run too fast with it, but you need it to run others. It's a big pain in the ass!

Tempest


i have the same issue with my accelerated 1200T even useing WHDload. will running PAL games on a NTSC system cause speed issues? it was easier to just find the disk images then mess around with the disks i have but it seems most of the images out there are PAL versions.

#19 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:04 AM

i have the same issue with my accelerated 1200T even useing WHDload. will running PAL games on a NTSC system cause speed issues?

Yes. Using Degrader or some other program that forces full PAL (50hz) mode will solve those speed issues. Most games are geared to run at a certain speed, so simply having an accelerator in your Amiga will usually NOT cause a program to increase its speed. It's almost always a PAL/NTSC issue.

Check out Aminet.net for the Degrader or TUDE program. They're great.




#20 soviet conscript OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:04 PM


i have the same issue with my accelerated 1200T even useing WHDload. will running PAL games on a NTSC system cause speed issues?

Yes. Using Degrader or some other program that forces full PAL (50hz) mode will solve those speed issues. Most games are geared to run at a certain speed, so simply having an accelerator in your Amiga will usually NOT cause a program to increase its speed. It's almost always a PAL/NTSC issue.

Check out Aminet.net for the Degrader or TUDE program. They're great.


blah, downloaded a degrader. pretty neat except it didn't fix my speed issue. i have no idea. i tried forceing 50hz, nocache, slowing the cpu, disableing fastram. nothing. barbarian II still acts like its running on crack....well parts of it. the intro music is to fast and the skeleton hand only gets out "follow" before it skips ahead and then "insert".

#21 Tempest ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 8, 2011 8:52 AM

Just thought I'd bump this because just the other day I found myself pining for a 'big box' amiga. My 1200 is great and it's pretty decked out (CF card for the HD, 030 accelerator with lots of memory, PCMCIA to CF Card adapter, ClassicWB, etc), but it still looks 'cheap'. Since a 4000 is probably out of the question (hard to find and a bit buggy), and the 3000 doesn't really offer that much and they tend to be hard to find, I'm back to either a 1000 or 2000. Like I said earlier, the 1000 is my dream Amiga, but it's so limited so I guess that leaves me looking for a 2000. I'm not getting rid of my 1200 because WHDLoad is great, but I'm thinking that a 2000 would be a nice addition to my collection (it's a bit big for my tastes though).

Is a 2000 a good choice for a classic expandable Amiga?
What should I look for when buying one?
What's the average cost of a 2000?
Should I look for a 3000 instead?

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#22 FastRobPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 9, 2011 2:54 AM

Just thought I'd bump this because just the other day I found myself pining for a 'big box' amiga. My 1200 is great and it's pretty decked out (CF card for the HD, 030 accelerator with lots of memory, PCMCIA to CF Card adapter, ClassicWB, etc), but it still looks 'cheap'. Since a 4000 is probably out of the question (hard to find and a bit buggy), and the 3000 doesn't really offer that much and they tend to be hard to find, I'm back to either a 1000 or 2000. Like I said earlier, the 1000 is my dream Amiga, but it's so limited so I guess that leaves me looking for a 2000. I'm not getting rid of my 1200 because WHDLoad is great, but I'm thinking that a 2000 would be a nice addition to my collection (it's a bit big for my tastes though).

Is a 2000 a good choice for a classic expandable Amiga?
What should I look for when buying one?
What's the average cost of a 2000?
Should I look for a 3000 instead?

Tempest


I like the 2000, and the battery damage is normally less invasive than you find on the 3000.
In the A3K, the Amber scan doubler can get zapped by the battery acid...
The 3000 is also pricier, has less expansion space, suffers heat build up when fully loaded, uses a harder to replace/find floppy drives, has an anemic PSU that is turned on by a rube-goldberg'esque stick (look in the case!), and uses oddball DIP chip RAM you can never find.

So my advice? Get the 3000.

Because all of the above is moot when you see how nice the 3000 looks and feels in person. It was the last good thing C= ever produced. The 1200 and 4000 were more capable, but were also-ran toys by the time they were released. The 3000 was the 2nd most powerful PC in the world at the time of its release (beneath the Mac II x) and was half the price. Byte magazine praised the computer as the best price to power machine they'd seen, even while warning that it needed a stronger parent company to have a hope of success.

#23 FastRobPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 9, 2011 2:58 AM


In all the years I ran Amiga exclusively, there was very little I wanted to play that required the AGA and most AGA games had an ECS/OCS version as well.

Quite right. A3000 is my favorite all around Miggy. Only an A1000 with that Phoenix replacement mobo, an 030 accelerator and built in HD could top it :)


Ah, the fully upgraded Phoenix/Rejuvenator 1000... A holy grail of Amiga collecting. Almost as rare as the 800XL compatable Atari 800.

#24 NightSprinter OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 9, 2011 2:06 PM

Yeah, I've been trying to price out some hardware for my 1200. Two of my major problems lie in the facts that 1.) the motherboard is PAL (hence no color output in NTSC mode), and 2.) my 1084-S D2's caps are going bad. Well, three I guess if you count the limited space I have in my room. :P

#25 FastRobPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:30 AM

If you hold down both mouse buttons as you boot, can you select NTSC as the boot up video mode?




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