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The Commodore Amiga A1200




These pages are intended to cover the options and enhancements that I have installed, or plan to install, in my Amiga A1200, other than the occasional passing reference, there will be few details of the vast range of Amiga options that were produced by Commodore and other companies.

A comprehensive list of Amiga hardware, including expansion options, can be found at


My Model A1200

The original A1200 is an all-in-one design, which has the CPU, ROMs, 2MB RAM and disk drive(s) installed in a single, wedge shaped, case. The basic A1200 has a 3.5" floppy drive installed, with disk access from the right hand side, and the option to install an internal 2.5" ATA hard disk. External drives can be attached via the PCMCIA, ATA and floppy drive expansion ports.


The 2MB RAM on the basic A1200 was more than adequate to run the majority of software when the machine was first released.



Why 2MB RAM is not enough

When the A1200 first released, much of the Amiga software was designed to run only from floppy disk, but nowadays, it is much more convenient and practical to run the software from either a real hard disk or a Compact Flash ATA "disk".

In addition, in an attempt to get the maximum performance from a given system, games programmers often directly wrote to the hardware, rather than using Operating System (OS) calls, meaning that some Amiga software designed to be run on specific hardware would fail when trying to load it onto a later, ostensibly compatible, Amiga.

Nowadays, a Shareware program called WHDLoad is available to cater for these scenarios, it allows for easy installation of floppy disk software onto hard disk as a disk image image and controls execution of the image and interaction with the Amiga hardware. Even though it is Shareware, the download version of WHDLoad does not appear to be crippled in any way, but registering will get rid of the opening "nag" screen and support the release of additional game installs. However, since WHDLoad is integrated with the OS and in fact, takes over the entire system, it requires memory to run.


The other significant advantage of additional RAM is the ability to use higher resolution Workbench screens. The examples below are from the Classic Workbench site, from where you can download a range of Workbench configurations optimised for a an A1200 with Workbench 3.0/3.1 and a range of RAM and CPU upgrades fitted.



Standard A1200 with 2MB RAM A1200 With Memory Expansion and Accelerator
Classic Workbench Lite

16 Colours, 640 x 256 Display

Classic Workbench ADVSP

16 Colours, 640 x 512 Display



An unexpanded A1200 barely has enough memory to run more than a limited number of games under WHDLoad and has a relatively small workbench area, so a RAM upgrade is more or less essential.


However, leaving aside any potential game compatibility issues, it is also possible to run games from mass storage media using emulated floppy drives - see the "Storage" page for details.


The upgrades that I am planning to fit to my Amiga are described on these pages :-





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