Core i7-powered Amiga mini is too retro for its own good


— 5:03 PM on March 21, 2012

Yes, Commodore is still around and selling computers. And believe it or not, the firm has just unveiled a small-form-factor PC that's purportedly fit for use as a home-theater system, a workstation, and a gaming machine—whatever tickles your fancy. Commodore calls the machine a "tiny powerhouse" that's "slick and eye-catching in appearance."

Now, I'm not so sure about the "eye-catching" part:

What about the "powerhouse" part? Well, the Amiga mini has a Core i7-2700K processor and 16GB of DDR3-1333 RAM, which is rather good considering the 7.8" x 7.8" x 3" enclosure. It also has a GeForce GT 430 graphics card, which is... less good. That GPU can barely sustain 30 FPS in Bulletstorm with every single detail option turned all the way down.

Not that you'll be running Bulletstorm, of course, because the Amiga mini doesn't ship with a copy of Windows. It comes pre-installed with Commodore OS Vision, a custom Linux distro that has all the grace and elegance of a freshly awoken coma patient who still thinks Reagan is president. Behold, ye mighty, and despair:

To make matters worse, Commodore charges an incredible $2495 for Amiga mini. The system does come with a slot-loading Blu-ray drive, but that's about it as far as additional luxuries go. Commodore doesn't even have the decency to include a solid-state drive by default. The standard storage option is a 1TB mechanical hard drive; you're asked to pay an extra $495 and $995, respectively, for 300GB and 600GB Intel 320 Series SSDs.

If you're inexplicably attracted to the Amiga mini's enclosure, though, there's a cheaper alternative. Commodore will sell you the case, 120W power supply, and Blu-ray drive for the low, low price of $345. You can presumably take care of the rest with a Mini-ITX motherboard (and a more reasonable assortment of hardware and software). Just be sure to order well in advance, because the quoted lead time is four to six weeks.

   
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