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Commodore Amiga 500 -- The Commodore Amiga and the Atari ST were the best gaming computers during the late 1980's.  I owned an Atari ST, mostly because it came out slightly before the Amiga.  However, I had friends with Amigas, and I was always impressed by the machines' superior graphics and sound.  If you wanted the best gaming computer of the 1980's it was the Commodore Amiga...hands down.  In my opinion, the Atari ST was a better computer for tasks such as word processing, desktop publishing and professional music production, which is why I never switched.   The early Amiga models also had stability and flickering display problems.   However, in low-res color modes, the Amiga had far superior graphics capabilities and therefore had better gaming and professional video production potential.   A company called CINEMAWARE produced some of the earliest benchmark games for the Amiga, including one of my favorites, Defender of the Crown.  Seeing ports of CINEMAWARE games on other platforms really showed the discrepancy between the Amiga and its contemporaries.

There were as many flavors of Amigas as their were Atari STs (although there was no portable Amiga).  The two companies competed fiercely into the early 90's when they were both killed off by the Intel-based machines.  The Amiga lasted slightly longer in the U.S., but both machines enjoyed greater success and longevity in Europe, where Intel-based machines didn't have such a stranglehold on the market.

GOTCHA currently has an Amiga 500 and Commodore Monitor, acquired in 1998.   Although I vividly remember how incredible the graphics and sound were on the Amiga, it's amazing how poorly the graphics compare to today's standards.  Ahhhh, the power of memories.

CPU: Motorola MC 68000, 7.14 MHz
Coprocessors: Agnus, Denise, Paula
RAM: 512 Kb
ROM: 256 Kb (DOS 1.2)
Text mode: 60 x 32 / 80 x 32 (font dependent)
Graphic modes:

For the NTSC-based Amigas:

320 x 200 in 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 colors
320 x 400 in 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 colors
640 x 200 in 2, 4, 8, or 16 colors
640 x 400 in 2, 4, 8, or 16 colors

For the PAL-based Amigas:

320 x 256 in 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 colors
320 x 512 in 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 colors
640 x 256 in 2, 4, 8, or 16 colors
640 x 512 in 2, 4, 8, or 16 colors
Sound: 4 voice 8 bit PCM
I/O Ports: Floppy, Centronics, RS232, Mouse, Joystick, RGB, Composite, Audio, Bus
Storage devices: one 3.5" disk unit (880 Kb)
Introduced: 1986

Jump to the Amiga games page


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Last modified: August 24, 2002
Copyright 1998 - 2004 Hugh Falk International Interactive Enterprises Industries Incorporated Limited Etceteras.  All rights reserved.