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Old 14 March 2013, 01:12   #23
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 475
A quick rundown of the amiga I think might be useful for you here.

Im over simplifying things here, but given what you've asked this should hopefully tell you what youre wanting to know:

Firstly, and a500 and a2000 are actually pretty similar. Both use whats known as the ocs (or ecs) chipset, which deals with graphics and sound. This chipset is 16bit and has a palette of 4096 colors, of which up to 32 colors can be displayed simultaneously (or64/4096 with special ehb and ham modes (both of which has special characteristics in regards to color use)). The standard cpu in these machines is a motorolla 68000 running at 7.14mhz.
The a2000 however also has expansion slots, allowing a person to add all sorts of upgrades, ranging from graphics cards (faster and more colors/higher resolutions, etc.), sound cards (for improved fidelity and bitrates vs. the inbuilt (Paula) audio), network cards, and a whole range of others. A harddrive is also more easily fitted than it is in an a500.
To run a game like Doom you'll need to upgrade the processor and ram beyond the default specifications of either machine, much the same as you wouldnt be able to run doom on a 7mhz pc with 1 meg ram. There's a variety of cpu/ram upgrade options available for both. Something like a 25mhz 68020 or 68030 cpu is probably bare minimum for Doom, inline with required specs on other platforms. There are a few more simplicstic clones that have lower required specs though.

An a1200 could be looked at as a 32bit replacement for the a500. It supports a 14.28mhz 68020 cpu by default and has the AGA chipset, which provides a moderately upgraded graphics display, allowing for up to 256 colors to be displayed simultaneously (or 262,144 colors with a special HAM8 mode), and at higher resolutions than the OCS chipset. Given that you'll be getting an a500 or a2000 this isnt overly important, but I thought I should mention it for sake of clarity.

In regards to the Operating system the 680x0 series of cpus can only run up to OS3.9, but for a machine with a 68000 cpu you're more or less restricted to OS3.1. While this may initially seem not favorable, bare in mind that there's no major differences between between even OS3.0 with assorted updates and enhancements, etc. applied vs OS3.9.

Both can infact be made to look and behave a lot more like the newer versions of amiga os (and its clones) than the default OS3.9 installation. I wont go into enhancing OS3.x here though as its a topic that needs its own thread.

So yes, an amiga 500 or amiga 2000 can do things like playing Doom, getting online, playing music, etc. but they'll need a few upgrades to do it in the way the youtube vids it sounds like youve been watching demonstrate.
Having said that though, given some time and effort I think you might be surprised what you can do on even a default specced a500/a2000.
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