Thread: Amiga Vs ST
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Old 28 July 2009, 21:55   #156
Goldrunner
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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I can't believe this Atari ST bashing is still going after nearly 30 years. Everyone here must be in their 30's by now, but mention the Amiga Vs ST, and its smash, bang, and wallop, straight back to the schoolyard and the incredibly the petty hardware and software comparisons. Unlike most here I will not be bashing the ST, but defending it while giving credit to the superior Amiga.

The Amiga was and is an incredible computer that is most areas beats the ST. However, the ST benefited from the lower prices in the early days, which gave it the largest market share and the Amiga had to play catch-up for the rest of the 8o's. The faster CPU was another advantage, those who think the difference was nothing should talk to David Braben who said the ST version of Frontier runs 25% faster than the A500 version. The inbuilt MIDI ports meant the ST cornered the music world despite its rubbish sound chip, just like the Amiga did with video. And yes, you could buy MIDI ports for the Amiga, but the point is they where not standard.

Now we come to the so called weak graphics of the ST. Yes, it could normally only display 16 colours, although copper effects (like the Amiga's but done in software) could increase this to 32 or even more. Also, a couple of paint packages also broke this by allowing 512 colours on screen at once. Weak, yes weak against the Amiga's graphics but not against any other home computer of the time. BTW, the only way the Amiga could display 512 colours was with in HAM mode, but this caused terrible HAM artifacting and was a nightmare to use. When the ST displays 512 colours images with Spectrum 512 there is none of this artifacting, all colours live happily next to each other.

The ST did have lousy sound but this was rectified with the STE, its funny how this ST is never mentioned when ST bashing is going on! The STE also had a blitter and 4096 colours as standard. Obviously Atari where tying to catch up with Commodore by this time.

Both the Amiga and ST are great machine, if they weren't they would not have sold in the volumes they did. The only reason that ST bashing goes on is because they were based on similar technology, both have plus and minus points. I love both machines with equal measure and I think everyone here should be grateful the ST existed at all. After all in the early days it was the ST that drove the 16-bit market, and so many titles would never have appeared on the Amiga if the ST wasn't around, it would not have been profitable enough. This also hold true for the ST's later life when it was the Amiga that was profitable and the ST was fast becoming obsolete.

So, please everyone give the ST a break!
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