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Old 19 October 2014, 12:59   #41
Ya' like it Retr0?
Zetr0's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 43
Posts: 9,768
This is an interesting and loaded question as each experience is different for different people.

The Amiga A500

By far the cheapest (and I would say entry level) would be a 1MB CHIP A500 with Gotek Floppy Drive emulator.

With this you should be able to play 90% of Amiga Games that are available.

You would need
  • A 512KB A500
  • A 512KB RAM expansion
  • Modify the Motherboard to use the expansion as CHIP RAM (for a total of 1MB)
  • Modify the 8520 Even CIA to enable DF0 to be re-routed externally
  • A firmware flashed Gotek FDD

The Gotek uses a USB pen for storage of ADF (amiga disk files) images, you then cycle and select these with use of the boot menu and the buttons available on the device.

AmiBay will be getting a couple of these systems up and running for shows and events - mainly because it allows the use of very limited inexpensive Amiga systems with the ability to play about 90% of available software!

You should be able to source the lot for about £50 pending where you live and market saturation.

As a worthy upgrade you can buy the Kipper K508+IDE, you will need to modify the motherboard to source two signals, but it will give you 8MB of FAST RAM + an internal Compact Flash adaptor for Mass Storage for the addition of £46.


The Amiga A600

The A600 is quite a nice little machine, with lots going for it in todays market, pending your investment.

A stock A600 can do what the A500 can do, however it is harder to modify for use with a Gotek FDD as it requires cutting traces on the motherboard to use DF0: externally. Of course you can install the drive internally but its difficult to get at the buttons.

The A600 has a very cheap upgrade path compared to some, mainly the A1200 or even A500. for about £40 you can up to 8MB of FAST RAM, for a further £30 you can an additional 1MB of CHIP RAM giving you 10MB in total with 2MB of precious CHIP RAM and 8MB of FAST RAM

You would need
  • Kipper K608 8MB FAST RAM adaptor
  • 1MB CHIP RAM Upgrade
  • IDE Hard Disk Device (hard drive or CF Card)

That lot will set you back about £90 including the cost of the A600 - but prices fluctuate pending on where you are and the market saturation - not to mention lucky deals at local auctions and free adds - so look around!

The above will play a good 95% of software from hard disk as well as allow you that delightful "clunk clunk whirr whirr" of the Floppy Drive.

Additionally instead of buying a K608 upgrade for £30 you could invest a little more into the ACA620 for £80 - this little upgrade gives you a 17Mhz 020 with 9.5MB of useable FAST RAM. Takes the output from 0.7MIP's to 3.7MISP (over 5 times faster!!)

This adaptor has additional features such as MAPROM as well as loading a Kickstart image from HardDisk.


The Amiga A1200

This is quite often the most sought after platform, with 2MB of CHIP RAM, AGA Graphics and a cheap abundant upgrade path.

Chuck a Hard Disk Device on the IDE and you are arguably ready to go. There are a few small game launchers out there "Tiny Launcher" and "AGLaunch" that use a very small amount of memory to give you a list of installed WHDLoad games - making it VERY usable on a stock A1200.

But with all things, a little more money can go a long way.

I would suggest the ACA1220 accelerator. It costs about £80 but gives you a massive 128MB of FAST RAM, alongside a 50% faster CPU boost - these together take a stock A1200 from 1.1MIPS to 3.7MIPS - over 300% performance increase!

It also has a MAP ROM feature to either copy the boot Kickstart into FAST RAM or load a Kickstart from the Hard Disk Device.

With one of these you will be able to run 99% of Amiga software, including CD32 / CDTV titles - you don't even need a CDROM.
  • A1200 PAL
  • ACA1220
  • 8GB CF or 20GB 2.5" Hard Drive.

That lot is a bit of an investment, about £125 should get you that, however prices will fluctuate and depending on local markets you may get it cheaper.

I hope that helps.

Some notes to consider

Registering WHDLoad - its only £15 and really opens up a lot of choice for hard-disk-device equipped Amiga's

Kickstart 3.1
I would humbly suggest, if you are using a hard-disk-device to upgrade your chosen Amiga with the latest Kickstart 3.1

Amigakit offer a cheap upgrade for the A1200 at £14.50 or for the A500 a £13 upgrade. They also have a £13 option for the A600 as well.
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