Amiga 4000T: The Best Amiga in the World

Forgotten Computer
25 Nov 2022110:41

TLDRThis video explores the Amiga 4000T, known as the 'mother of all Amigas', delving into its unique characteristics and historical significance. The narrator takes us on a journey through the computer's features, its design by the original Commodore company, and its rarity as a collector's item post-Commodore's bankruptcy. We see the computer disassembled, parts examined, and upgrades applied, revealing both its complexities and capabilities. The video combines a technical deep dive with historical context, highlighting why the Amiga 4000T is celebrated as a pinnacle in Amiga's classic computer line.


  • 😀 The Amiga 4000T, also known as 4KT, is celebrated as the pinnacle of the classic Amiga line, introduced in 1994 and noted for its tower format which was a unique design factor at the time.
  • 🖥️ Despite its advanced features, only a few dozen original Commodore-made Amiga 4000T units exist, making it a rare collector's item. Most of the units seen today are manufactured by Escom.
  • 🛠️ This model was one of the last designed by the original Commodore company before it went bankrupt in 1994, which led to its assets being acquired and the brand transitioning to Amiga Technologies under German manufacturer Escom.
  • 💾 The Amiga 4000T was equipped with sophisticated features for its time, including options for dual video cards and a robust expansion capability, allowing for significant upgrades and customizations.
  • 🎚️ It featured both SCSI and IDE interfaces, which was rare for Amigas, allowing greater flexibility in storage options. This model could accommodate hard drives much larger than those originally provided by Amiga.
  • 🔧 The internal design of the Amiga 4000T was highly modular, making it possible to replace or upgrade specific components like the CPU, video, and audio modules independently.
  • 🎨 From a usability perspective, the Amiga 4000T was not just powerful but also complex, requiring careful planning and considerable time to assemble or modify due to its intricate internal structure.
  • 💰 On the market, the Amiga 4000T was priced significantly higher than other computers at the time, reflecting its advanced capabilities and positioning it as a high-end option in the Amiga line.
  • 📅 The end of the classic Amiga era was marked by the transition to PC platforms as they offered more affordable and widely supported options for consumers, leading to a decline in Amiga’s popularity.
  • 🎼 Unique to this Amiga model was its built-in speaker, which unlike other computers at the time, was connected to a sophisticated sound system, allowing it to produce a broader range of audio outputs.

Q & A

  • What is unique about the Amiga 4000T's format?

    -The Amiga 4000T, also known as A4000T, is unique due to its tower format which differed significantly from the other models in the classic Amiga line, typically housed in desktop-style cases. This tower format provided additional space for expansion, making it highly customizable.

  • How many Amiga 4000T units were estimated to have been made?

    -It is estimated that between 5,000 and 20,000 Amiga 4000T units were produced, though exact figures are hard to confirm due to the financial troubles of the manufacturers like Commodore and ESCOM around the time of its production.

  • What were the key markets for the Amiga 4000T?

    -The key markets for the Amiga 4000T were primarily the United States and Germany. These markets received the majority of the units sold, in contrast to other models like the A1200 which was more popular in the UK.

  • What happened to Commodore and how did it affect the Amiga 4000T?

    -Commodore, the original designer of the Amiga 4000T, went bankrupt in May 1994. After the bankruptcy, the rights to the Amiga line were acquired by a German company, Amiga Technologies, under ESCOM. This transition affected the production and distribution of the Amiga 4000T.

  • What are some modifications made to the Amiga 4000T by owners?

    -Owners often modified the Amiga 4000T by adding aftermarket hardware such as video cards, SCSI hard drives, and networking cards. The internal structure also allowed for modifications like removing a metal bar for better component access, reflecting its highly customizable design.

  • What is the significance of the Amiga 4000T having both IDE and SCSI interfaces?

    -The Amiga 4000T is the only model in the Amiga line that included both IDE and SCSI interfaces built-in. This feature provided flexibility in choosing storage solutions, allowing users to take advantage of both types of drives simultaneously for optimal performance and storage capacity.

  • How did the video card setup in the Amiga 4000T differ from typical computers?

    -The Amiga 4000T could support multiple video cards allowing for a multi-monitor setup. Unlike typical PCs where the desktop extends across monitors, the Amiga 4000T could display different applications on different monitors, each operating at different resolutions, enhancing productivity and display capabilities.

  • What were the retail prices for the Amiga 4000T when new, and how does that compare to today?

    -Originally, the Amiga 4000T retailed for about $2,700 USD, which translates to approximately $5,100 USD in today's money, indicating it was a high-end product aimed at professional and enthusiast markets.

  • What challenges did ESCOM face with the Amiga 4000T after acquiring Amiga Technologies?

    -After acquiring Amiga Technologies, ESCOM struggled with financial problems, impacting the production and distribution of the Amiga 4000T. This situation contributed to the rarity and collectibility of the units today.

  • Describe the internal design features that make the Amiga 4000T unique compared to other PCs of its time.

    -The Amiga 4000T featured a highly modular internal design with components like the CPU, audio-video module, and SCSI and floppy modules on separate boards. This modularity was unique, allowing easier upgrades and replacements compared to other PCs of its time, which typically integrated these functions directly onto the motherboard.



🖥️ Introduction to Amiga 4000T

The Amiga 4000T, also known as 4KT, is celebrated as the pinnacle of the classic Amiga line, introduced by Commodore in 1994. This video dives into the history and features of the Amiga 4000T, highlighting its uniqueness not just in design—being the largest compared to models like the A600—but also in its rarity and collector value. Commodore's bankruptcy in 1994 led to few units sold, with later models manufactured by Escom under the name Amiga Technologies, who also changed the logo. The segment sets the stage for an in-depth exploration of this iconic computer.


🔊 Exploring the Hardware and Noise of the Amiga 4000T

This section of the video focuses on the Amiga 4000T's hardware specifics, notably the noisy SCSI hard drive it harbors. The narrator plans to replace this noisy component with a quieter CF card, preserving the original system setup localized in German, which adds historical value. A software called TS GUI is used for cloning hard drives, ensuring the preservation of the system's integrity. The process of disassembling the machine begins, with the intent to make upgrades and thoroughly clean the internal components.


🛠️ Disassembling and Examining the Amiga 4000T

The video guides viewers through a detailed disassembly of the Amiga 4000T, revealing its internal components. This includes removing multiple video cards set up for a unique multi-monitor configuration that differs from typical PC setups. The segment emphasizes the robustness and complexity of the internal structure, including a metal bar that adds sturdiness but complicates access to internal components. The process includes removing these elements to explore further and potentially upgrade the system.


🔧 Further Disassembly and Unique Features

Continuing the disassembly, this section highlights the unique modular design of the Amiga 4000T, which is not common in other Amiga models. It details the removal of the audio and video module, the distinct placement of audio output options, and integration capabilities with other hardware like CD-ROM drives. The aim is to provide clearer access to the motherboard and other critical components, leading to a deeper understanding and eventual upgrades or repairs.


📦 Removing the Hard Drive and Exploring Expansion Capabilities

This segment focuses on the removal of the hard drive, which is mounted on sliding rails for easy removal once the front panel is taken off. Despite its expandable design, the video points out the practical difficulties in modifying the system. The narrator removes additional components, including drive cages and a power supply, to prepare the machine for thorough cleaning and to explore the motherboard and other internal components more freely.


👨‍💻 CPU Module Examination and Initial Clean-Up

The narrator examines and removes the CPU module, revealing an upgrade to a CyberStorm MK2 with a 060 CPU. This upgrade, presumably from the late '90s, adds significant value and power to the system. The segment focuses on the need for careful cleaning given the accumulated dust and potential corrosion. It sets the stage for further enhancements and a detailed inspection of the motherboard to assess its functionality and potential for further upgrades.


🔍 Detailed Motherboard Inspection and Historical Context

In this detailed exploration, the motherboard of the Amiga 4000T is closely examined, discussing its unique AT compatibility which allows it to fit into standard PC cases, a versatility unseen in other Amiga models. The historical significance of this model is also highlighted, including its use in ultrasound machines and its adaptability which saw it housing PC motherboards as the Amiga's relevance waned in the face of advancing PC technology.


🏗️ Reassembly and Final Adjustments

The video concludes with the reassembly of the Amiga 4000T, making final adjustments and upgrades. The narrator installs a new fan and finalizes settings to ensure the system operates efficiently and quietly. This section encapsulates the practical steps taken throughout the video to restore and enhance the computer, preparing it for use while preserving its historical and functional integrity.



💡Amiga 4000T

The Amiga 4000T, where 'T' stands for Tower, is depicted as the pinnacle of the Amiga computer line produced by Commodore. Launched in the mid-90s, this model was distinct in its tower format and considered the 'ultimate Amiga' within the classic series. It is characterized as a powerful, expandable, and rare machine, embodying high-end capabilities and design from that era, often described as the 'mother of all Amigas'.


Commodore was the original company behind the Amiga line of personal computers. The script notes that the Amiga 4000T was one of the last models designed by Commodore before its bankruptcy in 1994. Commodore's role in the development of early computing through the Amiga series is significant, as these computers were known for their advanced graphics and audio capabilities.

💡SCSI drive

A SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) drive mentioned in the script refers to a type of storage device used in computers. It was known for faster data transfer rates and reliability compared to other drives at the time, like IDE drives. In the Amiga 4000T, the SCSI drive is noted for its loud operation, indicating its robust performance despite the noise level.

💡Collector items

The script refers to the original Commodore-made Amiga 4000T computers as rare collector items. Due to their limited production and historical significance, these machines have become highly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors in the retro computing community, highlighting their enduring legacy and value.


In the context of the video, prototypes of the Amiga 4000T were developed and shown in 1993 by Commodore. A prototype refers to an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process. The mention of prototypes illustrates the developmental phase before the final product's release, offering insights into the design and functionality intended for the Amiga 4000T.


ESCOM was a German computer manufacturer that acquired the Amiga brand and assets after Commodore's bankruptcy. The script highlights that most Amiga 4000T units seen today are made by ESCOM, indicating their continued production under new ownership. ESCOM's involvement represented a new chapter for Amiga, albeit one that struggled financially and eventually impacted the brand's continuity.

💡Expansion slots

Expansion slots in computers allow for additional cards or boards to be added to enhance functionality. The Amiga 4000T is noted for having several types of expansion slots, including video and networking cards, which provided capabilities such as multi-monitor support. This modularity is crucial for customization and upgrading the system, reflecting the machine's adaptability and advanced design.

💡Tower format

The 'Tower' format of the Amiga 4000T refers to its physical design being a vertical cabinet or tower. This design is significant as it offers more space for internal expansions and cooling, which is beneficial for high-performance computing tasks. The tower format distinguishes this model from other desktop or compact versions, offering enhanced expandability and ease of maintenance.


Workbench in the Amiga computing environment refers to the graphical operating system interface that manages files and applications. The script discusses upgrading and utilizing the workbench software on the Amiga 4000T, indicating its role in interfacing with the hardware to manage system operations and provide user interaction with the computer's functions.

💡Copy of hard disk

The script mentions making a copy of the hard disk using TS GUI, a program used for copying partitions or entire drives on Amiga systems. This process is crucial for data preservation, especially considering the age and rarity of working parts in vintage computers like the Amiga 4000T. Copying the hard disk ensures that the original software environment, customized and localized by previous users, is not lost during hardware maintenance or upgrades.


Introduction to the Amiga 4000T, celebrating its unique position as the pinnacle of the classic Amiga line.

Detailed historical context of the Amiga 4000T's development and its release by Commodore before bankruptcy.

Exploration of the Amiga 4000T’s rare prototypes and their collector's value.

Insight into the production changes and challenges faced by Escom after acquiring Amiga Technologies.

Technical dive into the design and construction of the Amiga 4000T, highlighting its tower form factor.

Overview of the Amiga 4000T's capabilities, including its expandability with multiple video cards and SCSI options.

Detailed walkthrough of disassembling the Amiga 4000T, emphasizing the modularity and internal architecture.

Step-by-step guide on how to replace and upgrade components like the hard drive and RAM in the Amiga 4000T.

Discussion on the specific challenges and nuances of maintaining and restoring the Amiga 4000T.

Examination of the aftermarket modifications and enhancements commonly applied to the Amiga 4000T.

Highlighting the compatibility of the Amiga 4000T with both historical and modern computing environments.

Insight into the unique audio capabilities of the Amiga 4000T and its comparison with other contemporary systems.

Analysis of the legacy and impact of the Amiga 4000T on the computing landscape and its cultural significance.

Reflection on the Amiga 4000T’s status as a collector’s item and its ongoing relevance in the retro computing community.

Final thoughts on the enduring appeal of the Amiga 4000T and its place in the history of personal computing.