040 accelerators (was: magic for falcon)

040 accelerators (was: magic for falcon)

Post by Doug Litt » Wed, 17 May 1995 04:00:00



General! We have intercepted a coded Imperial message from the Sideras
system!


  >>
  >> There are about 150.000 Falcons around, now (German information).
  >>
  >> Divide by 10...
  >>
  >> Get real Ofir. Nobody would continue developing a computer if it
  >> only sold 15.000 in three years. That makes no sense at all. Perhaps
  >> if we asked C-Lab we would get a better picture of how big the
  >> Falcon market really is. 15.000 is way out of hand.

 HS> ISTR asking Doug Little a question about how many Falcons he thought
 HS> were in circulation - it's his market after all.  He said it was
 HS> very difficult to estimate.  When his hand was forced he guessed at
 HS> 12,000.
 HS> Was that right, Doug - coo-ee!

That was a while ago, but the figure is unlikely to have quadrupled in the
interval...

Actually, this WAS a GUESS - and nothing more. Purely based on sales
figures, mailing lists, correspondence from Atari UK & Atari US and a whole
lot of other vague stuff.

My adjusted guess would be anything between 15,000 and 30,000 in Europe
alone. And not many elsewhere (Atari never pushed them in the States or
Japan, so I wouldn't expect large numbers).

But then again, that could be rubbish.

Regards,

   Doug.

--

 
 
 

1. 040 Accelerators (Was: Magic for Falcon)


Not as expensive as it once was, surely, but the manufacture of ANY custom
circuit board or card is a costly proposition. As is so often the case, the
cost per board goes down with larger production runs. Manufacturing just a
few -is- pricey. Ask anyone that has had custom PCBs made.

What does the Barracuda 040/20 board sell for? US$599 or so? And that won't
even fit inside the case of a standard Falcon, right?

How big is 'the market' you speak of? How many of those people would buy
an accelerator and at what price? And how should the availability of the
product be advertised so as to reach the most users? Who should market it?
If sold at wholesale, you need to allow for 60%+ discounts to distributors
and 40%+ discounts to dealers. Is the potential profit worth the RISK?

I'm not familiar with the PAK68K board except by name. I'm not a hardware
guru either but I do know that the pinouts on the 040 vs 030 are not the
same and you have some electronic incompatabilities that must be dealt
with thus increasing the cost.

040's generate a lot more heat than a comparable 030. You -should- use
use a heat sink and/or cpu-mounted cooling fan. This adds to the cost
and complexity of design for the cramped quarters inside the Falcon case.

A final consideration is the cost of the 68040 chip itself. At retail,
a 25MHz 040 currently costs ~$200 and a 33MHz costs ~$300 (IIRC). Granted,
buying these units at wholesale, in quantity, and/or opting for the 'LC'
(non-fpu) versions would save money, but they are still fairly expensive.

Is it possible? Sure. Financially viable? That's another question entirely.


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