Afterburner 040

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The Afterburner is an accelerator for the Falcon030. It consists of a Motorola 68040 CPU, two sockets for 72 pin FPM or EDO SIMMs and some chips to refresh the RAM and handle addressing. It connects to the Falcon's internal expansion port and to various points on the Falcon's motherboard via some wires. The original 68030 is disabled when the Afterburner is installed, with no option to switch back. A hack to allow the usage of the 030 do exist though.

The Afterburner is clocked by the Falcon motherboard, which means that if you accelerate the Falcon's bus the Afterburner will run faster too. However, while it's possible to clock the Falcon at 48 or even 50MHz with some tricks, the Afterburner will not work beyond 40MHz.

It also has a expansion through-port, which let you connect a graphics card or any other card designed for the Falcon's expansion port. The Nova and Eclipse graphics cards and the Exposé video digitizer are some cards that are known to work.

The Afterburner has been shipped with two different CPUs, the version with the full 68RC040 was the most popular due to it's FPU. A 68LC040 version also existed but was less popular. If you have a 68LC040 in your Falcon AND you have a socketed CPU, the 68RC040 is a direct swap.


There are two 72 pin SIMM-sockets on the Afterburner, each can be populated with up to 32Mb RAM. Both FPM and EDO SIMMs can be used. The two banks does not have to be equal.

The Afterburner expansion port

In addition to the Falcon expansion through-port, the Afterburner also have a dedicated expansion port. Unfortunately no documentation exists and AFAIK no add-ons has been made.



Unlike the popular CT-series 030 and 060 accelerators, the Afterburner does not have a dedicated ROM. This means that it boots into standard TOS, and the Afterburner must be configured by a separate program/driver. This program will set up the PMMU to map the Afterburner's RAM, set up cache-modes, copy TOS into RAM and then reboot.

There are two versions of the drivers commonly in use. 4.09 and 5.07. 4.09 is favoured by some, claiming that it works better with MagiC.

5.07 is the last version of the driver written by Doug Little. It was shipped with the Afterburner when Titan Designs/Cortex distributed it. This driver is the most popular one.

There was also an earlier driver from GE Soft.


Installing the Afterburner can be a challenge if you're not skilled with a soldering iron. The Afterburner itself slots easily into the expansion port. However, the 68030 on the Falcon motherboard must be disabled by disconnecting two legs. You must also solder 8 wires to various points on the Falcon motherboard.

DMA issues

The standard DMA patch by Atari might or might not work well with the Afterburner. An alternative patch is suggested in the installation guide, there is a good chance that this will work if you're experiencing DMA problems.


Getting an Afterburner to run stable can be a challenge, depending on your system. Like on all Falcons, DMA transfers in particular is problematic. The drivers must be set up carefully to ensure stable operation.

The falcon040 mailing list

This mailing list was dedicated to the Afterburner, and died sometime in 2001.