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Review: Apollo 3060
Joakim Olsen firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the first (if not the first) 68060-accelerators for a standard
desktop A3000 was the Apollo-3060, which we will take a look at in this
When I bought my card about a year ago there wasn't really much of a
choice, the only card that would phsically fit in my A3000 without having
to bring out the chainsaw was this card from ACT/Apollo. At the time, it
did cost me ~US$1500 but hey, money is just money, and I could really use
the speed. [Currently, the Apollo 3060 is significantly less expensive,
more like US$800. -Jason]
The first thing to remember when getting any 060-accelerator is that it
needs kickstart 3.1 (as of writing this, people has been telling me that
3.0 works as well), anything less will just crash because of
incompatibilities with the 68060.
The Apollo-3060 is exactly the same card as the 4060, apart from the fact
that it's only got two SIMM-slots as compared to the 4060's four. This is
because the card wouldn't fit in the A3000 otherwise. If you have an
A3000T you should go for the 4060 instead. These two SIMM-slots can handle
32Mb standard (non-EDO) 72-pin SIMM's, or, if you have a couple of
ED-SIMM's around, the card supports those as well (yes, that's ED, not
EDO). The memory is autoconfig'ed but a big drawback is that the slots end
up as separate memory chunks unless you have 32Mb SIMM's, in which case
they will be configed as a contigous 64Mb chunk. You can of course go for
one larger SIMM instead of two smaller to get around this problem, but it
really is a shame this wasn't solved in hardware. There have been some
talk about the possibility to use the MMU to map the separate chunks into
one larger, but so far I haven't seen such a 'hack'.
The card comes with a SCSI-II controler, which I haven't really tried that
much, but I can say one thing.. It's slow! I still use the internal A3000
SCSI-controler but the onboard apollo-controler might be sufficient for a
CD-ROM (which I don't have).
Before installing the card you should install the supplied software, or at
least copy the 68040.library replacement and the new 68060.library. The
software didn't come with any flashy install-program (and mine was in
german only) but it's no big deal since it's only a few files that needs to
be copied. A new CPU command supporting all the 68060-options is also in
the package, called CPU60.
Installing the card in my A3000 was the usual hassle, disassembling
virtually the whole machine to get to the CPU-slot, fitting the card and
the 'patch' needed for the card (a wire needs to be connected between the
A3000 scsi-chip and the kickstart-chips, the card comes with two sockets
with the wire between them).
Ah yes.. cooling.. my card came without a fan or heatsink, but my
retailer was kind enough to send me a set free of charge. Now, adding a
heatsink and fan is necessary, but there isn't really room for it, so
actually my card is a bit bent, but it works well even on hot summer days!
(I ran the card for about two weeks without any cooling and experienced
tons and tons of weird crashes, these all dissapeared when I added the
What can I say? It's fast, damn fast as far as Amigas go. From tests I've done
it adds up to be about the same speed as most other 060-cards. With my CV64 my
machine now feels snappier than any PC I've run into, even though the raw
CPU-power is far below that of a normal PC. There's been a *lot* of arguing
about exactly how fast the 060 really is compared to a PC, and I've seen
anything from "It's slower than a P60" to "It's at least as fast as a P133".
[The canonical Lightwave test of a year or so ago put an 060/50 and a P90
on roughly equal footing. -Jason]
I'd say it depends on what software you run, today there's not much
software that is optimized for the 060 and one has to remember that several
FPU-instructions has been removed from the 060-FPU compared to the old
68881 and has to be emulated, which can slow down programs like Imagine
etc. Despite this fact, Imagine has never been more fun to work with!
Hopefully, more 060-optimized software will come.
Well, there are a few programs that are reported not to like the
apollo-3060.. The only one I've run into myself is ShapeShifter which
crashes as soon as I try accessing the serial-port. This problem has been
known for some time but there hasn't yet been any patches neither for the
card itself or for ShapeShifter that fixes it. Early CyberStorm cards were
known to have this problem as well, but it was fixed with upgraded
68060-libraries, so hopefully a fix for this should be released in some
[Interestingly enough, Darren Eveland, who is trying to start an
information resource for the QuikPak 060 card, reports a very similar
Shapeshiter crash upon accessing the serial port with the QuikPak card, as
Another little problem I've ran across is the fact that my machine just
wont do software-initiated reboots, instead it just freezes until I hit the
magic-three. After some experimenting I was able to partly get rid of this
by removing the autoconfig jumper on the 060-card and 'manually' adding the
memory in the startup-sequence, weird.
Apart from these problems, there isn't much to say about the card, it does
what it's supposed to do, add speed to my beloved amiga, and it does it
Still, if I was going shopping for a 060-card today, I'd probably not go
for this card. The CyberStorm MK II has a much better support and is said
to be faster accessing Z-III cards, also the CS MK II has better
autoconfig-support in that it adds your valuable SIMMs as one memory-chunk
nomatter what SIMMs you throw at it.
A3000 Desktop (obviously)
4Mb ZIPP+2Mb ChipMem on the motherboard
32+8Mb SIMM on the 3060-card
CV64 gfx-card (4Mb)
Kickstart 3.1 ROM
CyberGfx V3 (b48)