Sega Model 3

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Model3 fullboard.jpg

Fast Facts on the Sega Model 3

Made by: Sega, Lockheed Martin

Release Date RRP Code
Arcade World 1996  ?

The Sega Model 3 is an arcade platform produced by Sega in partnership with Lockheed Martin. It is a successor to the Sega Model 2 platform, and was released in 1996.

The Model 3 hardware is very different to the Model 1 and Model 2 boards which preceeded it. It was desinged with one purpose in mind - to push as many textured polygons as possible for as least money as possible. Upon release, the Model 3 board was more powerful than any other arcade platform on the market, as well as any home console or computer.

The Model 3 board went through a series of delays which frustrated Sega. Despite success with the previous generations of arcade harwdare, Lockheed Martin, mainly responsible for the graphics processors, were unable to finalise the specifications of the board until mid-way into 1996 - Sega had planned to release the board in late 1995 along with three games, one of which, Indy 500, was reportedly downgraded to Model 2 hardware thanks to the troubles. Scud Race and Virtua Fighter 3 debuted as the first two Model 3 games, and the board was officially supported until 1999 to make room for the Sega NAOMI and its successors.

From the early 1970s arcade had been at the forefront of graphical technology in video games, but the Model 3 hardware as well as competitors from this era stand as the last generation of arcade boards to lead the industry from a graphical perspective. PCs would begin to benefit from hardware accelerated graphics towards the end of the decade, and beginning with the Sega Dreamcast, consoles would become the basis for arcade systems, rather than the reverse as it had been up until this point. Today arcade games are built primarily around controls and the experience one gets from a game as opposed to graphics potential. Complex motion cabinets, and large, unique forms of control unsuitable for households is what drives the arcade industry in the present day.

The Model 3 went through a number of revisions (steps) in which improvements were made the system and board architecture was changed. Though there was much talk of Model 3 games being ported to the Sega Saturn, all home ports of Model 3 games were seen on the Sega Dreamcast, including the likes of Sega Rally 2, Virtua Fighter 3tb, Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram and Virtua Striker 2.


  • Main CPU: 32bits RISC PowerPC 603 66Mhz
  • Graphics chip: 2 x Lockheed Martin Real3D/PRO-1000
  • Sound CPU: 16bits 68EC000 11.3Mhz
  • Sound chip: Yamaha SCSP/YMF-292F/"LAKE" FH1 128-step DSP x 2, MIDI interface, 16 bits 64 voices 4 channel, maximum of 16.5 Mbytes ROM, 64 PCM channels
  • Audio RAM: 1meg (8 megabits, 512K per SCSP chip)
  • Main memory: 8 Mbytes 66mhz Ram, graphic ROM maximum of 64 Mbytes, backup RAM 64 Kbytes
  • Video resolution: 24KHz 496(H)x384(V) one or two plane
  • Scroll Window: two plane (24KHz/two plane mode), 16 colors/32,768 1024 palette x 2 bank, 256/32,768 64 palette x 2 bank
  • Geometrizer: 1,000,100 polygons/s for square polys, 2,000,200 for triangle polys
  • Renderer: 60,000,000 pixels/s
  • Video: Full color texture mapping, tri-linear interpolation, micro texture, shading high-specula gouraud shading , fix shading, flat shading, texture & edge multi layered anti-aliasing, lighting effects, parallel light, 4 spot light, pin spot light, special effect zoning-fog, 32 levels of translucency.
  • Board composition: CPU + VIDEO + ROM boards
  • Others: 10mbs connection, calendar IC

Hardware Images

List of Games

Step 1.0

Step 1.5

Step 2.0

Step 2.1

Sega Arcade Boards
Originating in Arcades
8080/Z80-based Sega Blockade hardware | Sega VIC Dual | Sega G80 | VCO Object | Sega Zaxxon hardware | Sega Laserdisc hardware | Sega System 1 | Sega Appoooh hardware | Sega System 2 | Sega System E | Sega Gigas hardware | Sega Sharp Shooter hardware | Sega Space Position hardware
Sega Shooting Zone System (MAME alias for Sega Sharp Shooter Hardware; which name is correct?)
Custom Z80 boards (TODO the only one left is Bank Panic which needs to be handled differently; it's by Sanritsu and runs on the same hardware as Combat Hawk)
68000-based Pre-System 16 hardware | Sega Hang-On hardware | Sega OutRun hardware | Sega System 16 | Sega X Board | Sega System 24 | Sega Y Board | Sega System 18
NEC V60/V70-based Sega System 32 | Sega Model 1
Intel i960-based Sega Model 2
PowerPC-based Sega Model 3
SuperH-based Sega Hikaru
Based on Home Hardware
SG-1000-based SG-1000-based Arcade Hardware
Mega Drive-based Mega-Tech | Sega System C/C2 | Mega Play | High Seas Havoc special board
Saturn-based Sega Titan Video (ST-V)
Dreamcast-based Sega NAOMI | Sega NAOMI 2 | Sega Aurora | Sammy Atomiswave
Xbox-based Sega Chihiro
GameCube-based Triforce
PC-based Sega Lindbergh | Sega Europa-R | Sega RingEdge | Sega RingWide | Sega RingEdge 2 | Nu