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Old 19 September 2014, 03:41   #1
dave4shmups
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Is the A1200 compatible with the same games as the A500?...

I want to get either an A500 or an A1200 (I live in the USA) for gaming, but I don't know if both computers work with the same games. Or, for that matter, if you can attach an Amiga CD-ROM drive to either.
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Old 19 September 2014, 06:56   #2
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For games running off floppy disks, there are many games that will not work on the 1200. The 1200 can run almost all games, but it has to be WHDLoad versions which run off the HDD. To make that work properly, you need an accelerator and a HDD.

You can get CD-ROM interfaces for both the 1200 and the 500, however if you just want games, I do not see much point in having a CD-ROM drive. Only reason could be if you want to run CD32 games on the 1200 (although many of them can also be found in WHDLoad versions).
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Old 19 September 2014, 10:44   #3
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All other things being equal, the A1200 will allow you to run AGA games, which the A500 will not do, no matter how you expand it. However there aren't that many AGA games so it might not matter too much.

The A1200 is also more readily expandable if you want to play games that need (or at least benefit from) a hard drive and extra RAM and such, even if they don't particularly require AGA.

If you mainly want to play older games that come on one or two floppies, an A500 and a floppy drive emulator (so you can run the games from a memory card of some sort) is probably the most cost-effective option.

Generally speaking, apart from the AGA/OCS divide, any Amiga can run any game as long as other requirements are met. And as demolition already mentioned WHDLoad is a great way to smooth out any differences.
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Old 19 September 2014, 15:22   #4
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A1200 + basic fast RAM expansion + 2x CF card + CF -> IDE adapter and CF -> PCMCIA adapter running fully licensed WHDLOAD is probably the best Amiga gaming experience, and the cheapest using 'real' Hardware.

Virtually all games have been WHDLoadified, and I can no longer think of a single one whether OCS, ECS or AGA that doesn't work even with an 060 expansion.

Get a 4GB CF card to act as your HDD with the CF -> IDE adapter and another CF card to use with a PCMCIA adapter to transfer files to and from your Amiga, from your PC/Mac etc.

You can also add at least partial CD32 support by adding a PCMCIA CD Rom solution eg. Squirrel SCSI or similar.
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Old 21 September 2014, 00:34   #5
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All other things being equal, the A1200 will allow you to run AGA games, which the A500 will not do, no matter how you expand it. However there aren't that many AGA games so it might not matter too much.

The A1200 is also more readily expandable if you want to play games that need (or at least benefit from) a hard drive and extra RAM and such, even if they don't particularly require AGA.

If you mainly want to play older games that come on one or two floppies, an A500 and a floppy drive emulator (so you can run the games from a memory card of some sort) is probably the most cost-effective option.

Generally speaking, apart from the AGA/OCS divide, any Amiga can run any game as long as other requirements are met. And as demolition already mentioned WHDLoad is a great way to smooth out any differences.
Thanks for the advice! What about a game that has 3 disks? I'm mostly interested in games like Fire and Ice, Arabian Nights, the Rick Dangerous games, and Test Drive II: The Duel, although that's not a comprehensive list.

I think it would be REALLY cool to own an Amiga 4000! But they are so rare here in the USA. I only know of one guy that owns one.
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Old 21 September 2014, 10:11   #6
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@dave

3 disks, 4 disks, anything works of course, it just gets increasingly more tedious to swap between them If you can, aim for a hard drive (= often a Compact Flash or other memory card in an adapter these days) and WHDLoad capability - but if not, get something like a GoTek, HXC or other floppy emulator.

Only if you are a very determined retro enthusiast would I recommend using actual physical floppy disks. Original ones are starting to wear out and they are difficult to duplicate on a PC or any other system without special hardware.

With an A1200 a hard drive is easy, with the A500 not so much since it doesn't have an on-board controller for one. See OldBoy's suggestions above.

An A4000 works great too but you wouldn't be using much of the expansion potential on it just for a few games, so only get one if you can do so at a very good price. The A4000 should not be that rare in the US, it was extensively used for video editing back in the 90's. Just need to know where to look I suppose

Here is my expanded A500 project thread. Unfortunately finding a Viper or any A500 accelerator isn't that easy these days, but there are lots of cool small scale projects around, that would at least allow you to have a hard disk and more memory.
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Old 22 September 2014, 05:30   #7
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That's right, it was widely used for video editing over here, I forgot about that.
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Old 29 September 2014, 04:41   #8
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What about the A1000? How does it compare, in terms of gaming, to the A500?
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Old 29 September 2014, 05:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave4shmups View Post
What about the A1000? How does it compare, in terms of gaming, to the A500?
The A1000 will be hardwired to run either PAL or NTSC graphics and can't be software changed to run the other one. Since most games require PAL, any NTSC model A1000s will not be useful for playing games. Since 1084 series monitors are aging and going out of commission, as both of mine have, they are getting hard to find. Thus trying to find a 50Hz display of any sort is very difficult here in the USA. Also, scan-doublers and flicker-fixers are hard to use with the A1000 due to their older version of OCS.

Long story short, an A500 or A1200 with a scan-doubler (or other multiple) will allow you to hook your computer to some modern TVs or VGA monitors. There are very few scan-doublers that will work on an A1000 though.

Edit:
If you choose the A500, getting an Indivision ECS will add 256-color chunky display modes to the A500, making it run most of the software that has been ported to the A1200 from the PC anyway, if that floats your boat. The Indivision AGA Mk 2 for the A1200 doesn't have that feature.

Also, the Vampire 500 accelerator will soon add a flash memory controller compatible with the hard drive controller of the A600, as well as a fast FPGA-based processor emulation. Once that is done, work will commence on a built-in display controller for the FPGA.

Last edited by Samurai_Crow; 29 September 2014 at 05:17. Reason: More info
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Old 29 September 2014, 05:21   #10
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Originally Posted by Samurai_Crow View Post
The A1000 will be hardwired to run either PAL or NTSC graphics and can't be software changed to run the other one. Since most games require PAL, any NTSC model A1000s will not be useful for playing games. Since 1084 series monitors are aging and going out of commission, as both of mine have, they are getting hard to find. Thus trying to find a 50Hz display of any sort is very difficult here in the USA. Also, scan-doublers and flicker-fixers are hard to use with the A1000 due to their older version of OCS.

Long story short, an A500 or A1200 with a scan-doubler (or other multiple) will allow you to hook your computer to some modern TVs or VGA monitors. There are very few scan-doublers that will work on an A1000 though.

Edit:
If you choose the A500, getting an Indivision ECS will add 256-color chunky display modes to the A500, making it run most of the software that has been ported to the A1200 from the PC anyway, if that floats your boat. The Indivision AGA Mk 2 for the A1200 doesn't have that feature.

Also, the Vampire 500 accelerator will soon add a flash memory controller compatible with the hard drive controller of the A600, as well as a fast FPGA-based processor emulation. Once that is done, work will commence on a built-in display controller for the FPGA.
So with an A1000, I would have to have an Amiga monitor?
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Old 29 September 2014, 05:40   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave4shmups View Post
So with an A1000, I would have to have an Amiga monitor?
...and a European A1000 since an American model would be an NTSC signal standard.
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Old 29 September 2014, 06:27   #12
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[ Show youtube player ] That guy has an NTSC Amiga 1000 and an NTSC Commodore monitor, and he lives in America, like me.
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Old 29 September 2014, 07:15   #13
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It's not that the computer won't work, it's that most of the games won't work. I've got my NTSC A1200 hooked up to a 720p TV right now here in Loveland, Colorado. Most of the games won't work unless they are specifically designed to work on a 60 Hz scan rate. They run too fast and have almost 20% of the bottom of the screen cut off.
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Old 29 September 2014, 12:23   #14
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@dave4smups

y'know, I was thinking the other as to what a friend of mine (r0jaws on AmiBay) once said to me.

Long gone are the days of a cheap Amiga experience, and you know I believe he is right to a degree. So with your question I had some serious thought on what would be the cheapest / cost effective I would suggest today to get into.

I would suggest the following two options -

A500+ (A five hundred plus) with the additional of
1MB CHIP RAM
Kipper's K508 8MB FAST + CF adaptor
8GB CF Card
Kickstart 3.1
WHDLoad

You could probably get that lot around the $100 - $150, but this is a cracking system, you would have and be able to run 90% of Amiga games software, with a large storge and good amount of RAM to make it happen.


A1200 2MB CHIP
ACA1220 020@20MHz + 128MBFAST
8GB CF Card
Kickstart 3.1
WHDLoad


This set up will set you back about $150 - $200 if you are frugal you might get it a bit cheaper. This system is roughly 6 times faster than the previous mentioned A500+ and for the most part play 98% of the games released for the Amiga, some older A500 games are not compatible, some other games require more processing power and or an RTG graphics card

but thats about the long and short of it
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Old 29 September 2014, 14:09   #15
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Agree with Zetr0 and I'd go for the 1200 myself if I was primarily going for a gaming machine.

An alternative could be:
A600
ACA620 with 16MHz 020 and ~11MB fast RAM
1MB chip
8GB CF card

Kickstart can be loaded from HDD here using ACAtune, but that can also be done with the 500+ using skick (although using fast mem). Pricewise I would think it lies between the other two. Due to the 020 CPU, it should run a few more games than the 500+ setup.
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Old 29 September 2014, 14:50   #16
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Deuteros doesn't work on a A1200 but does on an A500 ( original floppy ver )
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Old 29 September 2014, 17:36   #17
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Some old games runs on A500, and not on A500+
Long life to Whdload.
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Old 01 October 2014, 06:13   #18
dave4shmups
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai_Crow View Post
It's not that the computer won't work, it's that most of the games won't work. I've got my NTSC A1200 hooked up to a 720p TV right now here in Loveland, Colorado. Most of the games won't work unless they are specifically designed to work on a 60 Hz scan rate. They run too fast and have almost 20% of the bottom of the screen cut off.
Are you talking about PAL Amiga games? (I live in Colorado too!)
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Old 01 October 2014, 06:29   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave4shmups View Post
Are you talking about PAL Amiga games? (I live in Colorado too!)
Yeah. Trying to find versions of games that are NTSC friendly is difficult sometimes.
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Old 01 October 2014, 06:48   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetr0 View Post
@dave4smups

y'know, I was thinking the other as to what a friend of mine (r0jaws on AmiBay) once said to me.

Long gone are the days of a cheap Amiga experience, and you know I believe he is right to a degree. So with your question I had some serious thought on what would be the cheapest / cost effective I would suggest today to get into.

I would suggest the following two options -

A500+ (A five hundred plus) with the additional of
1MB CHIP RAM
Kipper's K508 8MB FAST + CF adaptor
8GB CF Card
Kickstart 3.1
WHDLoad

You could probably get that lot around the $100 - $150, but this is a cracking system, you would have and be able to run 90% of Amiga games software, with a large storge and good amount of RAM to make it happen.


A1200 2MB CHIP
ACA1220 020@20MHz + 128MBFAST
8GB CF Card
Kickstart 3.1
WHDLoad


This set up will set you back about $150 - $200 if you are frugal you might get it a bit cheaper. This system is roughly 6 times faster than the previous mentioned A500+ and for the most part play 98% of the games released for the Amiga, some older A500 games are not compatible, some other games require more processing power and or an RTG graphics card

but thats about the long and short of it
In the UK or Europe, that kind of setup might be that cheap, but not here in the USA. Commodore computers always did better in Britain and Europe then they did here, and finding any NTSC model of Amiga computer for under $200.00 is impossible. There are less then a handful of NTSC Amiga computers on Ebay at any given time, and I know of no USA-based stores, online or otherwise, that specialize in selling old Amigas.
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