In 1992 Commodore launched the most advanced Amiga yet. The A4000 used the AGA chipset to allow it to show 256,000 colours on screen from a palette of 16.8 million, as well as the new Workbench 3 that introduced the concept of among other things, datatypes. The Amiga 4000 is one of the most powerful Amigas ever made.
As a replacement for the A3000 & A3000T, the A4000 was a combination of the A2000 (big box), A3000 (vertical slots (integrated hard drive controller) and A1200 (AGA chips). As standard it allows memory expansion for up to 18Mb RAM on the motherboard. It shipped with either a 25 MHz 68030/68882 or 25 MHz 68040 CPU. The A4000 was never intended for release, but was a prototype for a system known as the A3000 Plus which was a considerably better machine. The machine was eventually cancelled and the A4000 drafted for release due to the low cost of development.
Like the Amiga 3000, the 4000 has 2 MB of chip RAM (reserved for its coprocessors) and 4 MB of fast RAM (used directly by the 68040).
The Amiga 4000 mainboard was planned to use the AAA chip (the video custom chip designed to replace the AGA chip), the AAA chip was theoretically designed to use 8 MB FastRAM (see the "Chip RAM : ON=2MB, OFF=8MB" jumper on the motherboard), unfortunately, Commodore didn't use this chip, so this jumper is absolutely useless.
There's an internal 120 MB IDE hard disk and 4 expansion slots: three ISA slots (for PC compatible cards) and one dedicated 32 bit video slot used for graphics cards.
The Amiga 4000 works under WorKBench 3.0, a very powerful and flexible multitasking system which looks like UNIX, it can read & write directly to DOS 1.44 Mb floppy disks.
The Amiga 4000 was mainly used for video production but was in direct competition with the PC compatibles when most of its major products (ImageIn, Real 3D, & Lightwave, to name a few) were adapted for Windows.
There were in fact two models of Amiga 4000 :
- the A4000-040 released in September 92 with a Motorola 68040 Processor, 6 Mb RAM, internal 3.5" 1.76 Mb Floppy Drive and 120 Mb IDE Hard Drive,
- and the A4000-030 released March 93, with Motorola 25MHz 68030EC processor, 4Mb RAM (2Mb Chip, 2Mb Fast), 3.5" FDD, 120Mb hard disk, etc.
There was even a more powerful successor called Amiga 4000T ("T" stands for Tower). The A4000T is basically an A4000 in a full tower case with IDE & SCSI-2 Fast controllers integrated as well as 2 video slots and shipped with a 25MHz 68040 processor.
A lot of expansion hardware has been developed for the 4000/1200 : Video cards (2000 x 1500 in 24 bit), 3D cards, Wide SCSI controllers and PowerPC 604e/233 MHz accelerator cards.
The Amiga scene is still very active and great software is still being developed.
Todd Deery reports:
There was at least one other version of the Amiga 4000 available (at least in Canada) -- the Amiga 4000LC. This version contained the 25Mhz LC version of the 68040, which lacked a math coprocessor.
from Chris Coulson:
Here in the UK, the 4000-030 (not sure if this is true for the -040 as well) was also available with an 80MB HD in place of the 120MB drive.
Amiga 4000/040 was the last Amiga I owned. It was rather expensive compared to other Amigas in Sweden about 20000 kr 1993 (about 3000$) Before that I had A500, A500+ And A1200. Amigas was great machines and I miss the good old Amiga Times. I rebuilt my Amiga 4000 to a Tower-model and equipped it whith a PPC accelerator (200MHZ) and 256 meg memory, made by germain company Phase5 in 1998. I used it for many purposes and got a new interest in 3D graphics using the 3D programs like lightwawe and Tornado3D. No other computer from those years was close to making such stunning fotorealistic 3D images. It also had great wideocapabilities and I bought a Genlock to mix video/computergraphics and a wideograbber called vlabmotion to computerize analogue video. Me and a friend made a cd-rom (HTML-based) about car-repair and car/mc technology in the end of the 90-ties. This CD-rom consisted of videos and 3D graphics and other stuff and was all made by 2 A4000. In 2005 i sold my A4000 something I regret today. But I still like 3D graphics working with it om my uptodate PC (that has about 1000 times faster clockspeed and 40 times bigger memory) but the PC feels like about the same speed as the A4000. So for me its hard to understand that Amiga run out of buisiness as the OS is far superior to PC and Mac. But still I can run AmigaOS om my PS thanx to Amigaforever emulation made by Italian company Cloanto. But maybe I will by another used A4000 again, I still have my videograbber and genlock. Many Amigans like me was waiting for new models in many years but unfortunately they never came on the market (exept the AmigaOne that had a short lifetime on the market as there were few programs developed for that computer.)
Thursday 9th February 2012
Lars Lindström (Sweden)
Some of the information in the main text body is incorrect, in addition to 3 ISA slots and 1 AGA video slot, there are also 4 Zorro III slots for cards designed specifically for Amigas. The ISA slots are not active, in their factory configuration they only provide power lines. You need a bridgeboard that connects to both a Zorro and an ISA slot to make them active. The Zorro III slots are also backwards compatible with Zorro II cards, such as cards designed for the Amiga 2000.
Sunday 11th September 2011
Conrad (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
Software hut is still selling most versions of the amigas there web site address is http://www.softhut.com/cgi-bin/test/Web_store/web_store.cgi
Monday 5th September 2011
detachable full-stroke keyboard with 10 function keys and cursor keys and separate numeric keypad
Motorola MC68EC030 (Eco version of the 68030) or MC68040
Alice (Blitter and Memory Manager), Lisa (Video chip)
2Mb CHIP RAM + 2Mb or 4Mb Fast RAM (up to 16 Mb, and theorically to 4 Gb)
60 x 32 / 80 x 32
from 320 x 200 to 800 x 600 or 1280 x 400 and more with overscan
16.8 millions colors 2 to 256,000 user-definable colours displayable on screen
Four channel stereo sound, 8 bits D/A converters
SIZE / WEIGHT
15 1/4'' deep x 15'' wide x 5'' high / 20 pounds
Centronics, RS232c, internal and external disk-drive ports, internal AT IDE port, keyboard, audio stereo output, mouse/joysticks (2), RGB,optional SCSI adapter, Four 16/32-bit Zorro III expansion slots, Three PC AT slots, Video slot
BUILT IN MEDIA
3.5-inch high density disk drive (880 KB/1.76 MB formatted) and 120Mb hard-drive