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Gareth Knight
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A4000 Pre-production Model

Developer: Commodore
Year of Demonstration: 1992

A4000 Pre-production machine - Front

If you were lucky enough to visit any Commodore show during 1992 you would have got the chance to view an pre-production version of the A4000. The machine is seen as the missing link between the canceled A3200/3400 development and the final release model of the Amiga 4000.  This was an extremely cheap version of the standard system most likely filling the mid-range market, retailing for 500 - 700UKP.

The unit pictured above was a test unit that belonged to Commodore Switzerland. The case design is particularly interesting, as far as I am aware this was the only Amiga computer to be fitted inside a black desktop unit. The design also differs from previous models, more reminiscent of Compaq desktop computers. The familiar Amiga logo is engraved into the plastic and there are three LEDs that indicate Power, HD and Floppy access to the left of the machine. The drive bays allow the addition of 3.5-inch drives, but do not offer the facility to connect a CD-ROM or 5 1/4 inch disk drive. This was changed in the later A4000 revision.

A4000 pre-production mode- close-up of the Amiga logo

Click on the images to enlarge.

Internal Workings

The general description of the machine suggests it was an early prototype model. Many of the boards are covered by hand written revision labels. The A4000 motherboard claims to be revision 1, and the  A2400/A3400 daughter board is marked Rev. 0.0. The processor fitted on the daughter board varied between the 680EC030 and 68020 according to the show attended. Both CPU's could be fitted on the same card (obviously not at the same time), allowing the machine to be upgraded.
The final model differed from the prototype, increasing memory from one to two Megabytes. An upgraded version of the A4000 '030 specification was released in March 1993 - five months after the A4000/040.

ROM
The rom revision appears to be the only component finished. A handwritten label indicates it uses the first revision A4000 Kickstart ROM to be released- Kickstart 39.105.

Kickstart ROMs

Faults
The prototype machine displays three main faults:
The fan is fitted in the wrong direction (blowing air into the computer)
The internal IDE-controller is faulty.
The mouse port has a contact problem that results in the mouse working infrequently.

View A4000 Front (53K)
View A4000 Logo (13K)
View A4000 Motherboard Revision 1 (80.2k)

Local Links
A3000+ Prototypes
Commodore Amiga 4000

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Last Update: 14/6/2002
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