Amiga 3000
Amiga 3000 Front
TypePersonal computer
Release dateJune 1990 (1990-06)
Introductory priceUS$3,379 (equivalent to $7,900 in 2023)
Units sold14,380 units in Germany (including Amiga 3000T sales)
Operating systemKickstart 1.3 or 2.x,
Unix SVR4
CPUMotorola 68030 @ 16 or 25 MHz
Memory2 MB[1]
PredecessorAmiga 2000, Amiga 2500
SuccessorAmiga 4000

The Amiga 3000, or A3000, is a personal computer released by Commodore in June 1990. It is the successor to the Amiga 2000 and its upgraded model Amiga 2500 with more processing speed, improved graphics, and a new revision of the operating system.

Its predecessors, the Amiga 500, 1000 and 2000, share the same fundamental system architecture and consequently perform without much variation in processing speed despite considerable variation in purchase price. The A3000 however, was entirely reworked and rethought as a high-end workstation. The new Motorola 32-bit 68030 CPU, 68882 math co-processor, and 32-bit system memory 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. The new 32-bit Zorro III expansion slots provide for faster and more powerful expansion capabilities.[2]

In common with earlier Amigas the 3000 runs a 32-bit operating system called AmigaOS. Version 2.0 is generally considered to have a more ergonomic and attractive interface than previous versions, which were designed with television sets as a lowest common denominator display. Access for application developers was simplified.

The A3000UX is an A3000 variant bundled with the UNIX System V operating system. Commodore had a licensing agreement with AT&T to include a port of Unix System V (release 4). Commodore also sold a tower variant called the A3000T.

An enhanced version, the Amiga 3000+, with the AGA chipset and an AT&T DSP3210 signal processing chip was produced to prototype stage in 1991. Although this system was never released, Commodore's negotiations with AT&T over the proper way to bundle their VCOS/VCAS operating system software in a personal computer environment helped Apple Computer deliver their Quadra 660 and Quadra 840 AV-series Macintosh systems, two years later.[3] Instead of the Amiga 3000+, Commodore replaced the A3000 six months behind schedule, in the fall of 1992, with the A4000.

The machine is reported to have sold 14,380 units in Germany (including Amiga 3000T sales).[4]

Technical information

The Amiga 3000 shipped with a Motorola 68030 at either 16 or 25 MHz and 2 MB[1] of RAM. It includes the Enhanced Chip Set (ECS), a display enhancer for use with a VGA monitor, and a DMA SCSI-II controller and hard disk drive.[5]

"Fast RAM" can be increased by fitting DIP (up to 4 MB) or ZIP DRAM chips (up to 16 MB) available in two varieties, Page Mode or Static Column.[1]

The A3000, unlike most Amiga models, supports both ROM-based Kickstarts and disk-based Kickstarts (the early "SuperKickstart" model), although not simultaneously. Kickstart V1.4 is actually a beta version of Kickstart which is loaded from disk. 68040 microprocessors require at least 2.0 ROMs.

The A3000 has a number of Amiga-specific connectors including two DE-9 ports for joysticks, mice, and light pens, a standard 25-pin RS-232 serial port and a 25-pin Centronics parallel port. As a result, at launch the A3000 was compatible with many existing Amiga peripherals, such as MIDI devices, serial modems, and sound samplers.[5]

The A3000 has four internal 32-bit Zorro III expansion slots. This expansion bus allows the use of devices which comply with the AutoConfig standard, such as graphic cards, audio cards, network cards, and later even USB controllers.[2]

The two passive ISA slots can be activated by use of a bridgeboard, which connects the Zorro and ISA buses. Such bridgeboards typically feature on-board IBM-PC-compatible hardware, including Intel 80286, 80386 or 80486 microprocessors allowing emulation of an entire IBM PC system in hardware. A compatible ISA card may then be installed in the remaining ISA slot.[5]


Attribute Specification[5]
Processor Motorola 68030 at 16 or 25 MHz
FPU 68881 (16 MHz) or 68882 (25 MHz)
RAM MB (configured as 1 MB "chip" and 1 MB "fast" RAM)

Maximum 2 MB 32-bit[a] chip RAM and 16 MB fast RAM on-board
Upgradable by further 128 MB via the CPU slot and 2 GB by Zorro III expansions[1]

ROM 512 KB[1] Kickstart ROM[b]
Chipset Enhanced Chip Set (ECS)
Video 12-bit color palette (4096 colors)

Graphic modes from:

  • 320×200 to 320×512 with 32, 64 (EHB mode) or 4096 (HAM mode) on-screen colors
  • 640×200 to 640×512 with 16 on-screen colors
  • 1280×200 to 1280×512 with 4 on-screen colors

Horizontal scan rates of 15.60-31.44 kHz
Vertical scan rates of 50–72 Hz
Built-in "display enhancer" (scan-doubler and de-interlacer) for use with VGA monitor

Audio 4 × 8-bit PCM channels (2 stereo channels)

28–56 kHz maximum DMA sampling rate (dependent on video mode in use)

Internal storage 40, 50 or 100 MB 3.5-inch SCSI hard disk drive (upgradable)
Removable storage 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, double density (880 kB capacity) or high density (1760 kB capacity)
Input/output ports Analog RGB video out (DB-23M)

Analog VGA out (DB-15F)
Audio out (2 × RCA)
Keyboard (5-pin DIN)
2 × Mouse/Gamepad ports (DE9)
RS-232 serial port (DB-25M)
Centronics style parallel port (DB-25F)
Floppy disk drive port (DB-23F)
50-pin internal SCSI connector
External SCSI connector (DB-25F)

Expansion slots 4 × 100pin 32-bit Zorro III slots

1 × video slot (inline with Zorro slot)
2 × passive 16-bit ISA slots (requires bridgeboard to activate)
1 × 200-pin CPU expansion slot
8 × 30-pin DIP slots
32 × ZIP slots

Operating system AmigaOS 1.3 (Kickstart 1.3/Workbench 1.3) or AmigaOS 2.0 (Kickstart 2.04/Workbench 2.04)
Other 2 × front-accessible 3.5-inch drive bays

1 × internal 3.5-inch drive mounting
Battery backed real-time clock

See also


  1. ^ Chip RAM is 32-bit for CPU access only
  2. ^ Early models came with a 1.4 beta Kickstart for selectively booting 1.3 or 2.0 from disk, later models used a real 2.0 Kickstart ROM


  1. ^ a b c d e Here, K, M, G, or T refer to the binary prefixes based on powers of 1024.
  2. ^ a b Haynie, Dave (20 March 1991), The Zorro III Bus Specification (PDF), Commodore-Amiga, Inc., archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2012, retrieved 2 September 2011
  3. ^ Haynie, Dave (17 July 1991), The Amiga 3000+ System Specification (PDF), Commodore-Amiga, Inc., archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2012, retrieved 7 September 2011
  4. ^ Bergseth, M. (November 25, 2014). "AMIGA SOLD IN UNITS BY COMMODORE IN GERMANY REVEALED". Distrita - Where to Go. Archived from the original on July 13, 2017. Retrieved May 15, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ a b c d Introducing the Commodore Amiga 3000 (PDF), Commodore-Amiga, Inc., 1991