ZorRAM 128/256 MB memory expansion for Amiga systems with Zorro3 bus

ZorRAM 128/256 MB memory expansion for Amiga systems with Zorro3 bus

Typically I do not promote products I do not own and having not made up my mind yet if I should add one of these memory expansions to my Amiga 4000 it would be dangerous for me to write about it without be tempted to purchase a card in the future even though my A4000 is already packing 128MB fast mem.

 I think it would be nice to inform Amiga public of these ZorRAM memory expansion boards since AmigaKit probably took a big risk in producing them and if they turn out to be a big success we can only guess what is next in the pipeline from AmigaKit (yes, I know you all are waiting for new run of PPC cards clocked at 600MHz+).

Anyway, back to the ZorRam Amiga memory expansion. If you want to add more memory on your big box Amiga traditionally you had to do that on the CPU-board.  The CyberStorm boards can take up to 128MB while Apollo can take between 32-64MB RAM. If you wanted more than that you had to have a Zorro 3 machine in order to use a Zorro 3 memory expansion board.

Zorro 3 have a memory window of 8 MB, but Zorro 3 is not as limited so that is why you cannot run ZorRAM (and other memory expansions over 8MB on the Amiga 2000 so the only option there is to populate memory on the CPU board).

So if you had a Zorro 3 machine, which in 99% of case would mean either an Amiga 3000(T) or 4000(T) now all you needed to do was to go hunting for a memory card, either the DKB 3128 or the Phase 5 Fastlane. None of these cards where particularly easy to get hold of after 98/99 which means they are popular on auction places and fetches quite a lot of money even to this day (more than what the ZorRAM is selling for at the moment, yes, not kidding).

It seems as if Phase 5 Fastlane is the more popular RAM-expansion card in Europe, I have never seen a DKB 3128 offered for sale here in Sweden or elsewhere in Europe. The Fastlane is not only a memory expansion but a SCSI controller too. While the Fastlane on paper seems fine and in reality looks totally bad ass with its 16 30-pin SIMM-slots lined up in two columns (just think how brutal it will look with all of those SIMM-slots filled up) the fact it uses 30-pin SIMM modules is also its weakness. Just think of the nightmare of finding 16 4MB 30-pin SIMM today in 2010. Also, in order to get full 256MB you need to not only find 30-pin SIMM modules but 16MB variants of those (good luck, and I really mean it) plus there is all kind of trickery to get it working then it seems.

On the other hand, the DKB 3128 seems like a nice solid option of having 128MB fast memory on the Zorro3 bus, I can understand people still want this card if they have four 32MB 72-pin memory modules burning a hole in their pocket. I can also totally understand people shell out 200+ euros for it to admire its “gorgeus” boxart, best Amiga boxart ever! 🙂

I should also mention that it is possible to use memory on the Radeon PCI graphics card if you are using a Mediator, but since my experience with the Mediator system from 3 years ago was one of the worst, if not the worst I have ever experienced on the Amiga I will just leave it there for yourself to Google, viva Zorro 3 graphics cards, there I said it 🙂

The ZorRAM is a new developed product available with either 128 or 256 MB memory (you can run more than one card in your system). On a basic A4000 with the original Commodore 030 CPU board memory is limited to 16MB fast memory, in that scenario the ZorRAM makes sense since 16 MB is a bit too little in a classic Amiga environment IMHO. If you already have a PPC or CyberStorm you probably already have 128MB mounted on that board, adding a ZorRAM will increase your amount of fast RAM (but memory will not be as fast as the memory on your CPU-board however I guess the speed difference will not be noticeable without a timer, or timer-app on your portable telephone with the successor to the OsX).

Something about the design of the ZorRAM to. Yes, totally unnecessary since it will not matter, but the ZorRAM card is tiny, it is about the same size as the Deneb which IMHO is great. Less space means more place for air to flow around your machine, I have already emptied my Amiga 4000 as much as I can and not having to mount a big full size Zorro card is a real big selling point in comparison with the 10-15 year older versions mentioned above IMHO.

I should close down this free commercial with the intent of the product, surely there must be a meaning to design and create this product for the Amiga other than to make a few dineros.

Yes I actually believe there is. Unlike modern computers the classic Amiga system is very conservative with its memory needs (take notice I mean 68k Amiga systems not next gen Amiga systems) there is however definitely situations where having more than 4 MB fast memory can be a good thing.

I should probably type down a long list, but the no 1 situation I can come up with is if you want to play Quake from the RAM-disk, which may or may not have sold you on the ZorRAM. Having a large RAM-disk can be a great thing, especially when using it as a file dump but there are many other situations such as playing big modules and doing other things simultaneously, yeah, I think it was called multitasking? (something portable telephones which are running a new kind of programs called ‘apps’ are now learning to do, I also heard on the Internet that “apps” may arrive on the Amiga soon, wow!).

Anyway, help me out here, post in what way your big boxx Amiga will roxxor your soxxor with the ZorRAM!

Add 128 or 256 MB to your Amiga 3000 or Amiga 4000 on AmigaKit here!