Commodore Amiga 3000
Released:June 1990
Price:US $3,379
CPU:Motorola 68030 @ 16 or 25MHz
RAM:2MB - 18MB default
Display:16 colors at 960 x 512
4096 colors at 320 X 200.
Ports:parallel, serial, floppy
RGB, VGA video, SCSI, audio
Storage:Internal 880K 3.5-inch floppy
40MB, 50MB, or 100MB SCSI HD
OS:AmigaDOS 2.04
"Workbench" GUI

The third major release in the Amiga computer family, the Amiga 3000 is a vast improvement over previous Amiga models - it offers improved speed, better graphics capabilites, and a new and improved operating system.

While the first two models, the A1000 and A2000, were similar in architecture and performance, the A3000 is a totally new, designed from the ground up as a powerful high-end graphics workstation.

The new Motorola 32-bit 68030 CPU, 68882 math co-processor, and 32-bit system memory helped increase the "integer" processing speed by a factor of 5 to 18, and the "floating point" processing speed by a factor of 7 to 200 times.

While every Amiga has always had a 32-bit pre-emptive multitasking Operating System, the new "Workbench 2.04" Operating System, seen above on the right, offers a much more professional look and feel than the older Operating System 1.3, on the left, which was included with the Amiga 1000 and 2000. Other features include easier system hook-in for programmers, as well as better and easier user interaction.

Commodore had a licensing agreement with AT&T to include a port of Unix System V (release 4), which was available with the Amiga 3000UX.

The new ECS (Enhanced Chip Set) custom graphics architecture allows previously unattainable graphics modes, such as 640x960, 1280x512, and 1008x1024 resolution, although in a limited number of colors. The A3000 graphics performance was up to 3.3 times faster than previous models.

The built-in scandoubler and de-interlacing circuit modifies the standard Amiga 15KHz video signal to 31KHz, so a common PC VGA computer monitor can be used. This circuitry functions as a "flicker-fixer", eliminating the annoying "flicker" that often occurs on interlaced video signals.

Until now, no Amiga computer had a built-in hard drive controller, and the A3000 went all-out, with a high-speed DMA SCSI controller. Up to seven internal and external SCSI devices can be attached, such as hard drives, scanners, CD-ROMs, etc.

In order to conserve space, up to four expansion cards can be installed into the A3000 horizontally, as opposed to vertically in the A2000 and most other computer systems. Three different types of expansion slots exist in the A3000 - (1) Amiga Video slot, (4) Zorro II,III, and (2) ISA slots for PC compatibility, with some slots in-line with others.

The A3000 is the only Amiga computer to use the weird ZIP DRAM chips, which are installed vertically, rather than the usual horizontal position of most IC chips.

Related Links

  • Amiga 3000 manual - pdf file format

  • Amiga Hardware Database (
  • ""
  • The Unofficial Eric Schwartz Web Site
  • Computer Chronicles
  • Amiga history guide
  • Workbench Nostalgia
  • VintageAmiga
  • Amiga auctions
  • Lemon Amiga

  • History of the Amiga Computer

    • 1982: Hi-Toro Incorporated is formed by a group of midwest investors trying to cash in on the video game craze. The name was later changed to Amiga, Incorporated after being confused with the lawn-mower manufacturer, Toro.
    • 1983: Information is leaked about an incredible computer codenamed Lorraine featuring unheard of graphics and sound capabilities, multitasking, 80 column display, 5+ megs of RAM and MORE!
    • 1984: August - Commodore purchases Amiga Corporation.
    • 1985: July - Commodore unveils the new Amiga 1000 in New York, for US$1300.
    • 1986: Commodore releases Transformer software for the Amiga, which, along with the Commodore 1020 5 1/4-inch disk drive, provides limited MS-DOS compatibility.
    • 1987: January - Commodore announces the Amiga 500.
    • 1987: January - Commodore announces the Amiga 2000.
    • 1988: December - Commodore announces the A2286D Bridgeboard for the Amiga 2000. The A2286D contains an 8-MHz Intel 80286 and a 1.2MB 5 1/4-inch disk drive.
    • 1988: Commodore introduces the Amiga 2000HD.
    • 1988: Commodore introduces the Amiga 2500.
    • 1989: January - Commodore announces that 1 million Amiga computers have been sold.
    • 1989: November - Commodore announces the Amiga 2500/30. It is essentially an Amiga 2000 with a 2630 Accelerator Board (25-MHz 68030 and 68882 math coprocessor).
    • 1990: April - Commodore offers Amiga 1000 owners US$1000 to trade in their Amiga on a new Amiga 2000.
    • 1990: June - Commodore ships the Amiga A3000 computer.
    • 1990: September - NewTek ships the Video Toaster, a hardware/software real-time video effects tool for the Amiga 2000, for US$1600.
    • 1990: Commodore announces the Amiga 3000. Prices start at US$4100 with a monitor.
    • 1991: January - Commodore releases the CDTV package. It features a CD-ROM player integrated with a 7.16-MHz 68000-based Amiga 500. List price is US$1000.
    • 1991: Commodore unveils the Amiga 3000UX. Cost is US$5000, without a monitor.
    • 1992: March - Commodore introduces the Amiga 600 for a base price of $500.
    • 1992: September - Commodore introduces the Amiga 4000.
    • 1992: December - Commodore introduces the Amiga 1200.
    • 1994: Commodore International and Commodore Electronics (two of the many international components of Commodore Business Machines) file for voluntary liquidation.
    • 1995: April - At an auction in New York, ESCOM buys all rights, properties, and technologies of Commodore.
    • 1997: Gateway buys bankrupt Amiga.
      Source: Chronology of Events in the History of Microcomputers

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