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Old 25 August 2014, 11:26   #21
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Hi

I'm new to this forum and I'm interested in buying an Amiga computer. I will use it for playing retro games. And because I will have to buy it from abroad, I'm looking at the "low-end" models 500/600/1200 so I won't pay much for shipping. Of the three models 1200 seems the best choice but is it compatible with most of the classic games? Is 600 compatible with more classic games than 1200? Do many good games need the numeric keyboard?
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Doesn't matter, whichever one you get first, soon you will feel the need to have one of each, at least.

But yes, for a little more money the most painless solution for retro gaming will be A1200 + CF card + WHDload + PCMCIA adaptor (for file transfer), and preferably something in the trapdoor, (WHDload works best with at least a slice of extra RAM).
^ This is basically it. With WHDLoad you can load games from "harddisk" (most use CF cards now) from a menu, just pick one and it loads quickly! Very nice. You need some time to setup the CF card with WB and games on a PC, but there are also illegally setup CF cards to buy from ePay. You *will* need extra Fast RAM to run WHDLoad properly, period. In total it will probably cost you ~ 180-220 EUR+shipping(s).

But it sounds like you want to run the old games from floppy. For this, you'll need an Amiga setup compatible with all games. In this case, only an A500 or A500+ with the normal slowmem (trapdoor) 512K expansion is un-frustrating enough. This will cost ~ 50 EUR+shipping. Of course you'd have to solve the floppy-making problem, but a 20 EUR Gotek USB floppy emulator is a good and cheap replacement for the internal drive. It can load any .ADF (disk image file) on demand.
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Old 25 August 2014, 14:05   #22
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Question

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^ This is basically it. With WHDLoad you can load games from "harddisk" (most use CF cards now) from a menu, just pick one and it loads quickly! Very nice. You need some time to setup the CF card with WB and games on a PC, but there are also illegally setup CF cards to buy from ePay. You *will* need extra Fast RAM to run WHDLoad properly, period. In total it will probably cost you ~ 180-220 EUR+shipping(s).

But it sounds like you want to run the old games from floppy. For this, you'll need an Amiga setup compatible with all games. In this case, only an A500 or A500+ with the normal slowmem (trapdoor) 512K expansion is un-frustrating enough. This will cost ~ 50 EUR+shipping. Of course you'd have to solve the floppy-making problem, but a 20 EUR Gotek USB floppy emulator is a good and cheap replacement for the internal drive. It can load any .ADF (disk image file) on demand.
Yes exactly. So what I learnt so far is that I would need an A500 with 512K expansion for old floppy based games and an A1200 for everything else. And here is my next question: In Wikipedia it's written that A500+ has compatibility problems with some games and somewhere I read that they can be solved with changing the Kickstart ROM back to 1.3. So which one is better - A500 or A500+ or not a big difference - whichever is cheaper/in better condition?
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Old 25 August 2014, 14:17   #23
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Originally Posted by Vesko View Post
Yes exactly. So what I learnt so far is that I would need an A500 with 512K expansion for old floppy based games and an A1200 for everything else. And here is my next question: In Wikipedia it's written that A500+ has compatibility problems with some games and somewhere I read that they can be solved with changing the Kickstart ROM back to 1.3. So which one is better - A500 or A500+ or not a big difference - whichever is cheaper/in better condition?
I'd say go for a plain A500. The 500+ does not provide any ranger/slow mem which is a requirement for several older games and demos designed to work on a A500 with a 512kB trapdoor memory expansion. On the 500+, the trapdoor provides chip mem instead of ranger memory.
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Old 26 August 2014, 17:51   #24
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Although the idea of playing Amiga games "like it's 1989" may seem romantic to start with, I think you will soon get bored of:

- disk errors
- loading time
- swapping disks
- incompatibility
- the noise of floppy disks loading or the clicking the drive makes when empty

I was an 'authentic' Amiga user back then, but I don't miss floppy disks one bit. WHDLoad has basically eradicated all of the above. The games themselves are the important bit, not the media they are on. IMO an A1200 with WHDLoad is the way to go - many of my favourite games are AGA only, and WHDLoad removes 99%+ of A500 compatibility problems.
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Old 26 August 2014, 19:31   #25
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Originally Posted by Vesko View Post
Yes exactly. So what I learnt so far is that I would need an A500 with 512K expansion for old floppy based games and an A1200 for everything else. And here is my next question: In Wikipedia it's written that A500+ has compatibility problems with some games and somewhere I read that they can be solved with changing the Kickstart ROM back to 1.3. So which one is better - A500 or A500+ or not a big difference - whichever is cheaper/in better condition?
A500 with 512K "slowmem" and A500+ are usually the same price (around 50-60 EUR for a complete tested system). But the first is best for your usage. It could also be that you'd find an A500 with kick 1.3 already, but for A500+ you'd have to buy a kick 1.3 and replace it, and likely also buy a 512K slowmem expansion.
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Old 26 August 2014, 21:46   #26
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Originally Posted by Photon View Post
A500 with 512K "slowmem" and A500+ are usually the same price (around 50-60 EUR for a complete tested system). But the first is best for your usage. It could also be that you'd find an A500 with kick 1.3 already, but for A500+ you'd have to buy a kick 1.3 and replace it, and likely also buy a 512K slowmem expansion.
Notice that if you put a 512k 'slowmem' expansion inside a 500+, it will become chipmem, so you end up with 1.5MB chip. This is the main reason compatibility with the 500+ is not as good.
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Old 26 August 2014, 21:51   #27
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There are programs that can take chipmem and turn it into fastmem if compatibility is an issue.
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Old 26 August 2014, 21:59   #28
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There are programs that can take chipmem and turn it into fastmem if compatibility is an issue.
Don't think that would work with most games which disables the system and are hard coded to use memory at $c00000.
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Old 27 August 2014, 03:23   #29
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Which accelerator do you refer to? Would it be available for the 500 or 2000 as well?
The mooted apollo board from gunnar for a500,a600, a1000 and cdtv.
If it happens the a500 will be very useable again.

060+ in fpga, hdmi, ethernet, 128 meg ram and other stuff.
Hope it happens.
Aga via fpga on an a500 is just talk atm but apparently possible.
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Old 27 August 2014, 17:43   #30
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An A600, A604, Indi ECS plus an ACA620 makes for a perfect little OCS/ECS Whdload machine!

Or an A1200 plus an 030 accelerator with fast ram and the IndiMK2 makes for the perfect AGA Whdload machine.

Then just add in a CF card etc.

There pretty much the same Amiga's i have here as you will note in my Sig!

If wanting something cheaper, maybe a 1mb A500 plus a HXC Floppy emulator would be the go!

The A500 plus ACA500 just seems a really clumsy way to go about it.
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Old 30 August 2014, 16:10   #31
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An A600, A604, Indi ECS plus an ACA620 makes for a perfect little OCS/ECS Whdload machine!

Or an A1200 plus an 030 accelerator with fast ram and the IndiMK2 makes for the perfect AGA Whdload machine.

Then just add in a CF card etc.

There pretty much the same Amiga's i have here as you will note in my Sig!

If wanting something cheaper, maybe a 1mb A500 plus a HXC Floppy emulator would be the go!

The A500 plus ACA500 just seems a really clumsy way to go about it.
"Or an A1200 plus an 030 accelerator with fast ram and the IndiMK2 makes for the perfect AGA Whdload machine."

This is indeed a very good option but the cost raises up to 300€ just with the Indi and the 030 card. Does it deserve so much money? I have my doubts.

A500 or A1200 with a Gotek floppy emulator cost one third of the price and probably can cope with almost every game avalaible if Im not wrong.

Cheers.
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Old 31 August 2014, 08:39   #32
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This should help..
[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 01 September 2014, 23:33   #33
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This should help..
[ Show youtube player ]
Nice video, I think the conclusions are very instructive though the 500 model expanded to 1MB and a Gotek floppy emulator look like the perfect pair for classic Amiga gaming
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Old 02 September 2014, 00:59   #34
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Yeah, basically you want a 512k/512k kick 1.3 Amiga if you're going for floppy games (whether actual disks or .adfs). Didn't see him mention compatibility issues if the Amiga deviates from that config? (Basically all the way up to a WHDLoad machine.)

Good that he had a pic of the battery issue in the A500+, maybe he should have stressed more that one that isn't actually checked could be a real headache. Don't even buy tested units until the seller says he's checked or fixed it.
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Old 02 September 2014, 11:23   #35
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The Commodore A500 trapdoor RAM module has an RTC with battery in it also so beware that can leak. I took the shield off of mine and replaced the battery ages ago with a coin type.

Anyway I started off with the A500 Kickstart 1.3, 512K trapdoor RAM, and external floppy when I got the Amiga gaming bug over a decade ago. For most people this is a good starting point since they don't get into that many old games and flipping a few floppies isn't an issue and its CHEAP. If you really get into the old games then the A1200 + 030 comes in handy, or an A4000 030. Whdload is a good investment if you have an 030 + some RAM and HD. The A500 is kind of expensive to get a decent HD for, then again so are 030 Amigas anyway these days.
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Old 02 September 2014, 13:57   #36
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Yeah, basically you want a 512k/512k kick 1.3 Amiga if you're going for floppy games (whether actual disks or .adfs). Didn't see him mention compatibility issues if the Amiga deviates from that config? (Basically all the way up to a WHDLoad machine.)

Good that he had a pic of the battery issue in the A500+, maybe he should have stressed more that one that isn't actually checked could be a real headache. Don't even buy tested units until the seller says he's checked or fixed it.
Ive had to cope with leaked batteries in other hardware (NeoGeo) and they can be a real pain in the ass. If you are unlucky the acid can damage the motherboard so badly.

Quote:
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The Commodore A500 trapdoor RAM module has an RTC with battery in it also so beware that can leak. I took the shield off of mine and replaced the battery ages ago with a coin type.

[...]
Thats useful info if youre planning to buy a 500s memory expansion or an Amiga 500+, by the way.
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Old 19 October 2014, 02:17   #37
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My first Amiga arrived few weeks ago - it's A500 with 1.3 Kickstarter, I also got 0.5M upgrade with coin battery.

Now I'm looking for cheap hard drive - the cheapest I could find is AlfaPower. Its advantage is that it uses easy to find IDE HDD (not SCSI) or I can fit IDE to CF adapter. I wonder whether I will be able to use it with Kickstarter/Workbench 1.3.

My next question is whether to buy Amiga 600. Are there any games that run only on this model? I'm planning to get Amiga 1200 in the future so will I still need A600?
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Old 19 October 2014, 10:39   #38
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A1200 - you can attach hdd and cd-rom and with pcmcia use a cheap network connection. The 68020 with 2MB is quite powerful and a good beginning for whdload.
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Old 19 October 2014, 10:50   #39
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The A600 is an A500+ with an IDE and PCMCIA interface. No games rely directly on either of those.

Amigas are computers with a shared architecture, not consoles where each successive model may be completely different in hardware.

The only real divide between Amiga models is the graphics chipset (ie. OCS/ECS or AGA). Everything else can be obtained as peripherals.

Any non-AGA game will run on any Amiga and all games will run on an A1200 or A4000 (some patches may be needed to smooth out minor incompatibilities, this is where WHDLoad excels). Of course you need to have the required amount of memory and CPU power etc. that the game is designed for, but that is not specific to a particular Amiga model.
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Old 19 October 2014, 11:14   #40
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Skip the A600 and get an A1200 you wont regret it.

If you get bored later the A600 makes a nice little side project but it only useful for taking to events, etc due to it's size. (If you have an A1200)
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