Acorn and RISC OS Hardware

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RISC OS Hardware

This page tries to provide a full list of Acorn and RISC OS systems that have been or are available to purchase at some time or other. That is: machines which users are likely to encounter in use or available for sale.

In addition to the systems listed, there have been many more prototypes, development systems and proof-of-concept models that have never made it to market.

Several RISC OS systems are still being developed and are available for consumers to buy new. Details of these are shown on this page, which is not intended to be a definitive list.

Acorn hardware

The following systems were produced (or developed) by Acorn between 1987 and 1998.

More information about these systems, and many other development models that never made it to the public, can be found at http://www.khantazi.org/Archives/MachineLst.html.

Archimedes series

Acorn's original RISC OS machines were sold under the Archimedes brand, and started out with the pre-RISC OS Arthur operating system.

Although many functional systems still exist, the Archimedes machines are mainly of historical interest these days as a lot of software requires more processing power, more memory or a more recent version of RISC OS than they can support.

  • A305 and A310. Can run RISC OS 2 and RISC OS 3.1.
  • A410, A420, A440. Can run RISC OS 2 and RISC OS 3.1.
  • A410/1, A420/1, A440/1. The same as the A410, A420 and A440, but fitted with the MEMC1a memory controller. Can run RISC OS 2 and RISC OS 3.1.
  • A540. Can run RISC OS 2 and RISC OS 3.1.

Acorn branded

After the release of the A540, Acorn abandoned the Archimedes branding (although it lingered on with the A3000, possibly due to customer familiarity).

Of the machines here, the RiscPC and A7000 ranges are the most practical for current use as they run the latest version of RISC OS and can be expanded to take sensible amounts of memory.

  • A4. The only Acorn portable that ran RISC OS. It came with a version of RISC OS 3.1 that had support for battery management and the LCD display.
  • A3000. The only non-Archimedes model to pre-date RISC OS 3. Can run RISC OS 2 and RISC OS 3.1.
  • A3010. Can run RISC OS 3.1.
  • A3020. Can run RISC OS 3.1.
  • A4000. Can run RISC OS 3.1.
  • A5000. The first machine to come fitted with RISC OS 3.1.
  • A5000 alpha. A faster version of the base A5000. Can run RISC OS 3.1.
  • A7000. A 'cut down RiscPC', without the expansion options. Can run RISC OS 3.6, RISC OS 3.7 and RISC OS 4.
  • A7000+. An 'improved A7000', with effectively a completely new motherboard. Can run RISC OS 3.7 and RISC OS 4.
  • RiscPC. The first of the machines to break with the ARM2 and ARM3 series of processor. Extremely expandable, using ARM610, ARM710 and StrongARM processors, and running RISC OS 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 and 4.
  • Network Computer. Can run NC OS (a derivative of RISC OS).

Third-party hardware

The following systems are ARM-based, and run RISC OS in one flavour or another, but have been produced by third-parties -- in most cases, following Acorn's withdrawal from the desktop market.

Advantage 6

An Oldham-based hardware manufacturer, whose details can be found at http://www.advantage6.com/

Castle / Iyonix Ltd

A Suffolk-based hardware manufacturer, whose details can be found at http://www.iyonix.com/

  • Kinetic RiscPC. Another processor card for the RiscPC, with a StrongARM and memory all on the same daughtercard. Can run RISC OS 4.03.
  • IYONIX pc. Based around the X-Scale processor and available in a number of standard ATX configurations. Can run RISC OS 5. Currently available to buy new, details can be found at http://www.iyonix.com/.

Microdigital

A Yorkshire-based harware manufacturer.

  • Medi.
  • Mico. Based around the ARM7500 processor. Can run RISC OS 4.03.
  • Omega. Based around the StrongARM and X-Scale processors. Can run RISC OS 4.03.

Riscstation

A Manchester-based hardware manufacturer. More details can be found at http://www.ctadirect.co.uk/riscstat/riscstat.htm

  • R7500. Based around the ARM7500 processor. Can run RISC OS 4.03.
  • Networx. Similar to the R7500, but intended for network use. Can run RISC OS 4.03.
  • Scorcher. Similar to the R7500, but with a CDRW drive fitted as standard.

Emulated systems

In addition to native ARM-based hardware, RISC OS can be run on a Windows machine using the Virtual RiscPC emulator from 3QD Developments. Although the emulator can be bought and installed on any PC, some RISC OS companies sell pre-configured systems which can save the user having to source suitable hardware and set things up.

The emulator software can simulate ARM610, ARM710 or StrongARM systems, which are generally configured to run RISC OS 4.02 or RISC OS 4.39.

Details of the Virtual RiscPC emulator itself can be found at http://www.virtualacorn.co.uk/

Advantage 6

An Oldham-based hardware supplier, whose details can be found at http://www.advantage6.com/

  • A6. A desktop Windows XP machine, running Virtual RiscPC. Currently available to buy new, details can be found at http://www.thea6.info/

R-Comp

A Cheshire-based hardware supplier, whose details can be found at http://www.rcomp.co.uk/

  • RISCube. A desktop Windows XP machine, running Virtual RiscPC. Currently available to buy new, details can be found at http://www.riscube.co.uk/
  • RISCBook. A laptop Windows XP machine, running Virtual RiscPC. Currently available to buy new, details can be found at http://www.riscbook.co.uk/
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