bit-tech.net

Commodore USA announces the Amiga Mini

Commodore USA announces the Amiga Mini

Commodore USA's new Amiga Mini owes far more to Apple than the company's sadly departed namesake.

Commodore USA has announced that it's bringing back the Amiga brand, in the form of the small form factor Amiga Mini. Before you get too excited, however: it's an Amiga in name only.

Designed by a team at Amiga Corporation led by Jay Miner in 1982, the Amiga was originally to be a games console. The game market crash of 1983 put paid to that, with Miner revising his design to take the form of a fully-functional microcomputer.

Demonstrated to the public at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1984, the Amiga was based around the popular 32-bit Motorola 68000 processor family. Running low on funds but eager to bring the device to market, Amiga Corporation agreed to be acquired by Commodore so the Amiga could be used as a next-generation replacement for the company's own ageing Commodore 64 and 128 8-bit microcomputers.

Despite a successful run from 1985 onwards, Commodore hit financial trouble in 1994 as companies turned towards IBM-compatible PCs and away from the microcomputers that had served the market so well in previous decades. Commodore sold the brand to Escom that year, which re-released selected Amiga models and created a new model known as the A4000T. Escom itself would go bankrupt in 1997, with US PC maker Gateway 2000 picking up the rights to the brand but failing to make use of it until its sale in 2000.

Now, the naming rights belong to Amiga, Inc., a holding company which licences the brand to third-parties for exploitation. These third party companies include A-EON Technology, creator of the AmigaOne family of PowerPC-based Amiga compatibles.

Amiga, Inc. also licences the brand to Commodore USA, a PC maker which has decided to revive both brands for the modern x86 PC era. Commodore USA's first major product under the brand was the Commodore 64, a modern PC crammed into a case designed to mimic the original 8-bit Commodore 64. While a clever design, it wasn't a great commercial success, despite including a Linux-based operating system pre-loaded with a Commodore 64 emulator for compatibility with classic software.

Commodore USA's latest creation, the Amiga Mini, is a serious departure from the design of the Commodore 64. Rather than using a traditional Amiga casing, in which the guts of the computer are packed beneath the keyboard, the company has opted to create a small form factor PC which has more in common with the Apple Mac Mini than anything the original Commodore ever produced.

Inside the svelte casing is an Intel Core i7-2700K 3.5GHz quad-core processor, running on an Intel Z68 Express mini-ITX motherboard. 16GB of DDR3 RAM is included as standard, along with an Nvidia GeForce GT 430 1GB GPU. Connectivity includes 802.11n Wi-Fi and a gigabit Ethernet port, while storage is a 1TB hard drive or optional 300GB or 600GB solid-state drive. Finally, a slot-loading Blu-ray optical drive is located at the front.

As with the Commodore 64, Commodore USA's Vision OS is pre-loaded and provides an emulator for using traditional Amiga or Commodore 64 software. Unlike the AmigaOne from A-EON, however, there's no hardware compatibility: the Amiga Mini doesn't run any modern version of the modern AmigaOS.

As with its other products, Amiga USA is asking top-whack for the Amiga Mini: the barebones version costs a relatively reasonable $345 (around £218 before tax,) while the fully-specced pre-built model will set you back a whopping $2,495 (around £1,584.) More details are available on the Commodore USA website.

27 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
vampalan 22nd March 2012, 12:25 Quote
Mac Mini anyone?
XXAOSICXX 22nd March 2012, 12:28 Quote
That case is quite literally enough to put me off ever buying one...
decosse 22nd March 2012, 12:56 Quote
Hmmm, thought this case looked a little familiar:

http://www.streacom.com/products/f1c-chassis/

So, take someone else's product, whack a vintage name on it and charge a fortune.........wow, ground breaking! >.<

Nothing cheaper or worse in my mind of companies that do this......
dunx 22nd March 2012, 12:58 Quote
My B2000 is still running fine....

dunx
tonyd223 22nd March 2012, 13:47 Quote
If there was no connection to the well remembered Amiga of old (and the link is tenuous at best), would we even be interested?

It's just another box...
greypilgers 22nd March 2012, 14:02 Quote
Why would you use an i7 2700K and 16gB of RAM to run classic Amiga software?
SMIFFYDUDE 22nd March 2012, 14:09 Quote
Non story.
decosse 22nd March 2012, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyd223
If there was no connection to the well remembered Amiga of old (and the link is tenuous at best), would we even be interested?

It's just another box...

Its not just another box, its actually a re-branded case from another company called 'Streacom'

I can't put the link up as thats not allowed, but seriously, google it! All they have done is add a commodore and amiga badge to it o.O
schmidtbag 22nd March 2012, 15:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greypilgers
Why would you use an i7 2700K and 16gB of RAM to run classic Amiga software?

i was thinking the same thing. hell 8GB would be a lot. i didn't even know amiga was still a company - i thought the OS was just for enthusiasts. personally i'd rather have a slower i7 and less ram and a more powerful gpu. actually, i wasn't even aware that there was any nvidia support for amiga at all.
XXAOSICXX 22nd March 2012, 15:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
i didn't even know amiga was still a company - i thought the OS was just for enthusiasts. personally i'd rather have a slower i7 and less ram and a more powerful gpu. actually, i wasn't even aware that there was any nvidia support for amiga at all.

They aren't still a company. Commodore USA have bought a licence to use the name Amiga.

I assume you haven't done a great deal of emulating. Emulators are massively CPU intensive. Faster CPU > Faster GPU in the emulation world.

There isn't any nvidia support for the Amiga. It's running an emulator.

Did you even READ the article?
schmidtbag 22nd March 2012, 16:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXAOSICXX
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
i didn't even know amiga was still a company - i thought the OS was just for enthusiasts. personally i'd rather have a slower i7 and less ram and a more powerful gpu. actually, i wasn't even aware that there was any nvidia support for amiga at all.

They aren't still a company. Commodore USA have bought a licence to use the name Amiga.

I assume you haven't done a great deal of emulating. Emulators are massively CPU intensive. Faster CPU > Faster GPU in the emulation world.

There isn't any nvidia support for the Amiga. It's running an emulator.

Did you even READ the article?

lol actually no, i didn't really read it much. i just skimmed thru it, so i guess i deserved that haha. but as far as i'm aware, amiga isn't a very demanding OS. i have done emulation/virtualization, i've virtualized stuff like vista with stats worse than 1/4 of the Amiga Mini. as long as the emulator and the cpu support virtualization instruction sets and you're generally only doing 1 VM at a time, you don't tend to need a very powerful cpu, especially on an OS like this.
faugusztin 22nd March 2012, 16:29 Quote
So, you plan to use VT-x to virtualize Moto 68xxx CPU? Good luck :D
IvanIvanovich 22nd March 2012, 17:15 Quote
I liked the Amiga 1000x design they had before that they never made... I guess it never will be, looked like it would have been a very nice htpc case. This I do not care for. Also why do they price their products so high, then wonder why no one is buying them?
feathers 22nd March 2012, 17:54 Quote
does it boot into an emulated amiga dos? If not it's just a PC with Amiga name which is of course pointless.
XXAOSICXX 22nd March 2012, 18:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag


lol actually no, i didn't really read it much. i just skimmed thru it, so i guess i deserved that haha. but as far as i'm aware, amiga isn't a very demanding OS. i have done emulation/virtualization, i've virtualized stuff like vista with stats worse than 1/4 of the Amiga Mini. as long as the emulator and the cpu support virtualization instruction sets and you're generally only doing 1 VM at a time, you don't tend to need a very powerful cpu, especially on an OS like this.

Virtualising an OS using the same instruction set (e.g. x86) as the host OS is very different to emulating a different instruction set. Very, very different :p
Guinevere 22nd March 2012, 20:25 Quote
CGI Rendered piece of tat! Look at the design!! The fan holes!!! The badly positioned 'company' name!!!

The GPU spec!!!!

The price!!!!!

The skinned linux OS!!!!!!

Damn I think I just broke my exclamation mark...
Adnoctum 22nd March 2012, 21:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXAOSICXX

I assume you haven't done a great deal of emulating. Emulators are massively CPU intensive. Faster CPU > Faster GPU in the emulation world.

As a general statement on emulation, this is fine.

For emulation of the Amiga, what a load of BS.
Show me any case where you need a i7-2700K/Z68/16GB RAM/GT430 system to run an Amiga emulator (one where you aren't running dozens of instances simultaneously).

You can run a single instance of an Amiga emulator just fine on an Atom/945/Integrated GPU (in my instance it was an dual-core Atom 330), and I used to run an emulator way back on a Duron 700MHz/KT266/128MB RAM/ and...I want to say TNT2, but I can't be certain now.


Of course, it shouldn't need to be said amongst us enthusiasts, but if you are playing your Amiga games or whatever on an emulator you are just weak. Man up (in a ladylike manner if female) and buy yourself an A500! Preferably with a 1MB RAM upgrade, and an external FDD for fewer floppy swapping.

More problematic might be the Commodore 1084S monitor, so most Commodore monitors from the period are acceptable. Output to a TV through an RF modulator is not, so hand back your Amiga Enthusiast membership card if this is your plan. If you wish to show just how hardcore you are, output via a period multisync monitor is a good way to go (NEC is my brand of choice, naturally) especially if you are going to the A1200 later.

If you are a money-bags and like to strut around like a Massive Cock (of the avian kind), then a HDD attachment is de rigueur (extra street cred if it is the official A590, if only for the balls to actually run it. Respect).

Once you have done this, we can discuss you stepping up to an A1200, and then if you wish to rid yourself completely of sanity and outside relationships, the A3000 calls its siren cry!
XXAOSICXX 22nd March 2012, 23:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
As a general statement on emulation, this is fine.

That's precisely what it was supposed to be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Show me any case where you need a i7-2700K/Z68/16GB RAM/GT430 system to run an Amiga emulator

That was my point entirely. You don't NEED that kind of hardware spec, which is why debating "I'd rather have a better GPU etc" is redundant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Snip.

Indeed I did. A1200, NEC Monitor, Internal HDD, Squirrel/CD-ROM, Blizzard 040, Compact Flash.

Never made it to the A3000, mind...PCs got in the way of that :p
Nexxo 23rd March 2012, 07:38 Quote
I still have an A2000 in a box somewhere. I don't use it, but I can't bring myself to part with it.

Meanwhile my dual Opteron runs an Amiga emulator just fine. Just for Mindwalker.
ModSquid 23rd March 2012, 07:53 Quote
My whole family thinks I'm mad for keeping hold of my A500. Admittedly it's sitting in its box as kids/work/stuff have got in the way of me setting it up, but I draw comfort from the fact it's there, looking down on me.
sofalover 23rd March 2012, 09:23 Quote
Had to force myself this year to throw away the massive stack of ROM kernel manuals for the Amiga this year.
This is not an Amiga, just some marketing bollocks. Why would I even want to emulate an Amiga, it was great at the time...but now.
Brett89 23rd March 2012, 15:43 Quote
I must say their websites colour pallet is amazing
Jqim 23rd March 2012, 15:45 Quote
How the hell would that box be powered? The PSU must surely be an atx one wich would be as large as the case?
fluxtatic 24th March 2012, 06:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I still have an A2000 in a box somewhere. I don't use it, but I can't bring myself to part with it.

Meanwhile my dual Opteron runs an Amiga emulator just fine. Just for Mindwalker.

You run a dual-Opteron just for Mindwalker? o_O
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jqim
How the hell would that box be powered? The PSU must surely be an atx one wich would be as large as the case?

Erm, no. A DC/DC converter plugged into the ATX socket on the board, and a hefty AC/DC converter inline with the power cord. Like laptops have had for the past two decades (well, the inline converter, that is.) Heavier than what you would typically get for a laptop, of course, but you can get them to at least 200W. Between the power requirements and the heat, that's likely why it's such a weak-sauce GPU paired with a top of the line CPU. Still a bit stupid, imo. Even if the power envelope is the same, bring the CPU down a notch or three, just so I don't have to feel like a retard running a low-end GPU with a $300 CPU.
MSHunter 25th March 2012, 22:41 Quote
Guinevere 26th March 2012, 10:25 Quote
Commodore USA should stop what they are doing. Taking cheap third party cases, throwing in generic third party hardware, installing a trashy skinned linux install without even any emulators and then having the nerve to charge an insane premium price beggars belief.

They are an insult.
Nexxo 26th March 2012, 10:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofalover
Had to force myself this year to throw away the massive stack of ROM kernel manuals for the Amiga this year.
This is not an Amiga, just some marketing bollocks. Why would I even want to emulate an Amiga, it was great at the time...but now.

AmigaOS did have some cool features that Windows misses. I love the way how any newly inserted/attached medium would automatically appear on the desktop (someone wrote a little program for Windows to do the same --it's neat). The four multitasking screens that could be pulled up and down over each other like roller blinds were also rather cool.

In its time it was just an awesome machine, far ahead of the rest in terms of hardware. Unfortunately it has been overtaken by PCs and Macs, and OSs like Windows, OSX and Linux. It does not have anything different or better to offer anymore.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums