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Old 06 July 2017, 15:15   #57
Old_Bob
BiO-sanitation Battalion

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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 46
Some things off of my Amiga "It would be nice if..." pile

1. A faster CPU.

Even in '85 when the first machine was released the 68000 was getting a bit long in the tooth. Fast forward to the release of 2000 and the 500 and it's already the thick end of 10 years old and 7mhz just isn't cutting it anymore. A 68020 might have been a bit too rich for the time but a 14mhz 68000 would have been a bit more like it and surely wouldn't have added a whole lot to cost of the BOM.

2. Fast RAM.

To go with the above, there's simply no getting around this if we want to make the best use of it. 512k of Fast RAM for the 500 certainly would have increased the price of the machine by a fair bit, but would have been worth it. Giving the thing far better general application performance as well as mitigating the downsides of chipset memory contention for games.

3. More colour registers.

This one really bugs me. We get 6 bitplanes but only enough registers for 32 colours. And even more annoyingly, they didn't even leave room in the address space to easily add more later. Which meant that we only got the poor man's option of EHB later down the line for ECS, as well as the slightly clumsy method of addressing the pallette required for AGA.

4. MS-DOS floppy disk support

Okay, we got CrossDOS later with release 2.0. But this absolutely should have been there from day one. The benefits of directly reading media from the business computer in the US market, if not the world, seem glaringly obvious now. But even back then, somebody surely would have at least mentioned it while they were all sitting round the whiteboard throwing ideas around. I guess the bean counters won that argument, even though it wouldn't, I guess, have required any changes to the hardware?

5. More sprites.

For games, more hardware sprites would have been nice. More's always better, right? However you could argue that you might never, ever, have enough sprites, regardless of how many there are. You could also argue that using blitter objects makes up for this deficiency* But, a mere 8, four colour sprites was already pretty stingy in '85 and multiplexing only gets you so much and only within certain scenarios.

6. More sound channels.

Much like the above, you could argue that you could never have enough. But only 4?!?!?

Adding that lot up gives us a machine that would have completely wiped the floor with the ST and the average IBM clone** typical of the time period and, I propose, would have been something that would have at the very least held its own against the Mega Drive and SNES in the later years even if it hadn't changed a single bit.

B

*which, it does. But only up to a point.

**even more than it did already.

Last edited by Old_Bob; 06 July 2017 at 15:22.
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