The Amiga is a series of computers released by Commodore starting in 1985. It was a very powerful and capable machine for its time, featuring a Motorola 68000 and custom chips dedicated to IO, sound, graphics and more. This family of computers became quite popular, especially in Europe, spawning a huge library of games over time. Due to its superior graphics capabilities compared to its contemporaries, it was widely used in the desktop video, video production, and show control business, leading to video editing systems such as the Video Toaster. It was even used by skate companies to edit their videos.
The later Amigas failed to advance vastly on the old models, and the family lost its gain to newer video game consoles and other PC architectures. Eventually, Commodore went bankrupt, and production of Amiga hardware and games has been on the decline since. Despite this, there are still a handful of loyal Amiga users today. Software continues to be developed for the classic machines, as well as a newer line of PowerPC-based Amigas released in the 2000s and beyond.
The Amiga was a tremendously complex machine, with multiple revisions to its hardware and system software. This can make emulation quite tricky, as figuring out the requirements for any specific game can be fairly difficult.
A commercial package exists, "Amiga Forever", from Cloanto, which elides past many of the complexities of Amiga emulation. It includes fully licensed ROMs, system disks, and (for applicable machines) hard drive OS images for every model that Commodore shipped. The package itself is beffectively a very sophisticated frontend for WinUAE and WinFellow but comes with pre-configured setups for many games. If you have sufficient expertise, you can manually do everything it's doing, but it's pretty convenient even for experts. It's also the easiest way to get legal copies of the original system ROMs.
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The Amiga 1000 was released on July 23, 1985, for $1285. It had a Motorola 68000 at 7.16 MHz with 256 KBs of RAM.
The Amiga 2000 was released in March of 1987 for $1495. It has the same CPU as the 1000 but with 1 MB of RAM.
The Amiga 500 was released in April of 1987 for $699. It has the same CPU as the 1000 and 2000 but with 512 KBs of RAM.
The Amiga 2500 was released as a marketing name for the Amiga 2000 with a Motorola 68020 or 68030 CPU.
The Amiga 1500 was the Amiga 2000 for the UK market and was released in 1990 for £999 ($1675).
The Commodore CDTV was an Amiga 500 but for the console market. It was released in March of 1991 and retailed for $999.
The Amiga 3000 was released in June 1990 and retailed for $3379. It had a Motorola 68030 at 16 MHz, but it could be upgraded to 25 MHz. It had 2 MBs of RAM.
The Amiga 3000T was released in 1991 and just a 3000 but with a tower case. Hence the T in the name. It retailed for $4498.
The Amiga 3000UX was released in 1990 and was really just the 3000 but with the new Amiga Unix.
The Amiga 500+ was released in 1991 and retailed for $465.84. It had the same CPU as 1000, 2000, and 500. It had 1 MB of RAM.
The Amiga 600 was released in March 1992 and retailed for $500. It had the same specs as the 500+.
The Amiga 4000 was released in 1992 and retailed for $3699. Motorola 68EC030 or 68040 at 25 MHz with 2 MBs of RAM.
The Amiga 1200 was released on October 21, 1992, for $500. It had a Motorola 68EC020 at 14.32 MHz with 2 MBs of RAM.
The Amiga CD32 is an Amiga 1200-based console that came with a CD-ROM drive and was first released in September 1993. It could also be upgraded to mimic an Amiga 1200 PC by equipping it with third-party add-ons like a keyboard, floppy drive, hard drive, RAM, or a and mouse. A hardware MPEG decompression module for playing Video CDs was also released.
Worthwhile emulators to try for emulating Amiga CD32:
See more information about emulation of the Amiga CD32 below:
- Amiga CD32 emulation guide (thecakeisaliegaming.wordpress.com. steviegill (cakeisaliegaming) / January 29, 2016.)
- Akiko emulator (Emutopia. CD32/CDTV adapted version of the WinUAE emulator for Windows.)
- Is there a usable Amiga CD32 Emulator? (superuser.com's Q&A thread. Jul 27, 2009.)
The Amiga 4000T was released in 1994 and had a 68040 CPU at 25 MHz with 2 MBs of RAM.
Emulation of PowerPC Amiga and AmigaOS 4
PowerPC-based Amiga computers were made by a few different enterprises under the license of Commodore International after its demise. They come with a new version of AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4.x, which only runs on PowerPC-based Amiga hardware or Motorola 68K-based Amiga computers with extra PowerPC acceleration boards.
QEMU supports emulation of Sam460ex motherboard manufactured by ACube Systems, which is officially supported by AmigaOS 4.1, but usability is yet to be determined.
FS-UAE and WinUAE can emulate the PowerPC acceleration board, so it could also run AmigaOS 4.x if a compatible PowerPC acceleration board such as Blizzard PPC has been properly configured. Extra ROM files are required to emulate these acceleration boards.
68K Amiga emulation on PowerPC Amiga and AmigaOS 4
AmigaOS 4.x comes with 2 68K Amiga emulators: BlackBox and Petunia, and they will automatically start when trying to run old 68K-based Amiga programs.
BlackBox is an interpretive emulator. Thus the emulation speed is mediocre but provides lower input latency and better compatibility; Petunia uses dynamic recompilation to speed up emulation but consumes more memory and with less compatibility.
Petunia could be disabled entirely on boot to save memory or only for certain programs that are not compatible with it. Check AmigaOS 4 Documentation for more information.
AmigaOS 4.x never make use of real 68K hardware, even when running on an actual 68K-based Commodore Amiga with the PowerPC acceleration board.
On emulated PowerPC-based Amiga, both emulators run quite slow as it's running an emulator inside an emulator, causing great performance loss.
- http://www.generationamiga.com/2017/05/01/all-commodore-amiga-cd32-games-in-one-video/ (Video of almost all CD32 games. All Games. Apr 3, 2017.)