Saturday, April 28, 2012

Technical features

Processor, memory and chipset


Micrprocessor: 68060 at 50mhz
RAM: from 4MB up to 128 MB Fast RAM in four 72 pin SIMM sockets
The most unique technicality of DraCo is the absence of the Amiga custom chips. Agnus/Alice, Denise/Lisa, Paula and the others are all missing. So thus there's no need for Chip RAM as well. DraCos only kept two CIAs for its I/O ports and the Kickstart ROM for Amiga OS. Thanks to retargetable graphics, most well written Amiga software runs on it without hiccup. A curious fact is that unlike Amigas, DraCos show 4MB of graphics chip memory.



DraCos shipped with an Altais display card in one of its DraCo Bus slots. The card has the same features as the Retina BLT Z3, the screen modes are programmable through CyberGraphX from 320×240×24 to 1600×992×16.

Video and audio


When DraCo was released, the 32 bit V-Lab Motion card was not ready yet. They just put a Zorro II Vlab Motion and a Tocatta audio card in it till then.
Draco Motion combines all features of Vlab Motion and Toccata, yet it uses entirely different components. It compresses and decompresses JPEG frames off-line for rendering, with selectable ratio of 3:1 - 50:1 from MovieShop. Image quality meets CCIR 601 4:2:2 standard 720×576 (PAL).


Expansion slots


3× DraCo Bus slots
5× Zorro II slots
Using Zorro III would have either required the presence of the Amiga custom chips or the development of a custom control logic. MacroSystem chose to create a simpler 32 bit bus, essentially a buffered 68040 bus with AutoConfig support, and call it DraCo Direct Bus. The specifications have never been officially published, so there are no cards made for it by third party developers. Only two cards were available from MacroSystem (Altais and Draco Motion). The third slot was meant for a real-time rendering card with a DEC Alpha processor on it, but never finished.
The Zorro II bus of the DraCo runs at higher clock speed, giving about 1 MB/s extra over the standard Amiga Zorro II slots. It allows the 16 bit V-Lab Motion card to produce better quality video output, but makes many Zorro II expansion cards incompatible with the DraCo.


Main board:
1× serial DB25 male, RS232
1× parallel DB25 female, Centronics
1× SCSI II DB25 female
1× internal floppy 34 pin header
1× internal SCSI II 50 pin header
1× serial pc mouse DB9 male connector
1× pc keyboard, 5 pin DIN
Display card:
1× video DB15 male, analog 31Khz RGB
1× composite video, RCA jack (requires V-Code module)
1× Y/C video, 4 pin mini-DIN (requires V-Code module)
Video card:
1× Y/C in, 4 pin mini-DIN
1× Y/C out, 4 pin mini-DIN
1× YUV out, 6 pin mini-DIN (requires Component module to become active)
1× FireWire, IEEE-1394 (requires DV module)
1× composite out, RCA jack
2× stereo audio in, RCA jacks
2× stereo audio out, RCA jacks

Drive bays

1× 3.5" front bay occupied with a high density pc floppy drive
1× 5.25" front bay filled with a scsi cd-rom drive
4× 5.25" extra front bays
1× 3.5" extra front bay

 (picture credit: taken from
About two years later from its launch, a revised DraCo model was released, now called "Draco Vision", which featured a cube shaped case, support for EDO memory, and an improved power supply.

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