The Amiga wiki last edited by DeliciousBees on 05/25/14 10:23PM View full history

Overview

The first Amiga computer model, the A1000, was released in 1985 by Commodore Inc.

The design team was headed up by Jay Miner and development of the system began in 1982 under the Amiga Corporation company. Commodore acquired Amiga Corporation in the summer of 1984, snatching the Amiga chipset from under the nose of Atari, who originally funded the project. Commodore filed for bankruptcy in 1994, despite the success of the A1200 and CD32.

Hardware

The Amiga range was based on the Motorola 68000 chipset, but made use of proprietary graphics and sound co-processors (codenamed Denise and Paula respectively), which took the load off of the CPU and allowed the Amiga to process more than just gaming graphics extremely efficiently. The Amiga revolutionized video production, providing an affordable CG solution with the Newtek Video Toaster (which later evolved into the Newtek TriCaster, the core of Giant Bomb's video production). It was the first consumer grade computer to be able to sample and record stereo audio in 44.1khz (CD quality) at the time. Over the lifetime of the computer, three graphics and sound chipsets were used: OCS (Original ChipSet), ECS (Enhanced ChipSet) and AGA (Advanced Graphics Architecture).

Models

ReleasedModelCodenameChipsetMemoryKickstarterVariantsColours
1985Amiga 1000LorraineOCS256k onboard, upgradable to 512kv1.0-v1.3, on floppy disc

32 on screen,

4096 palette

1987Amiga 500Rock LobsterOCS512k onboard, upgradable to 1MBv1.2 or v1.3, in ROM

A500+ - ECS variant

A600 - v2.05 variant (codename "Junebug")

A600HD - includes hard drive

CDTV - Hi-fi case and CD-ROM A500+ variant

64 on screen,

4096 palette

1987Amiga 2000The BossOCS1MB onboard, upgradable to 8MBv1.3 or v2.0, in ROM

A1500 - UK only, second floppy instead of hard drive

A2000C - ECS variant

A2500 - Pro variant with 68030 CPU "accelerator"

64 on screen,

4096 palette

1990Amiga 3000B2ECS2MB onboard, upgradable to 16MBv1.3 or v2.0, in ROM

A3000UX - bundled with Unix

A3000T - tower variant

256 on screen,

4096 palette

1992Amiga 1200Channel ZAGA2MB onboard, upgradable to 8MBv3.0, in ROMCD32 - CD-ROM + no keyboard variant, not RAM upgradable (codename "Spellbound")

4096 on screen,

262,144 palette

1993Amiga 4000PandoraAGA2MB onboard, upgradable to 16MBv3.0, in ROMA4000T - Tower case, 68040 CPU

4096 on screen,

262,144 palette

Operating System

AmigaOS

The AmigaOS originally was split into two parts, the Kickstarter and the Workbench.

The Amiga 1000 required a Kickstarter disc to boot before any other disc could be loaded. The benefits of this were easy OS upgrades (v1.0-1.3), however it also provided an easy vector for the first Amiga viruses to spread. The Amiga 500 onwards stored the Kickstarter (v1.2+) in ROM, thereby eliminating the need for an initial disc boot.

The Workbench was an optional windowing system and file manager, similar to Mac OS or Windows. Unlike those systems, games could launch at boot instead of the Workbench in order to give them larger access to system resources.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.