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

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.

Comments closed
    • jss21382
    • 7 years ago

    In case you were wondering, from the C64 page…

    “This is the ultimate hackers keyboard on which to wield your key-fu.”

    On a side note, I do appreciate that they offer it with XBMC pre-installed, shame it’s 4X as much as I paid for my Zbox based XBMC setup.

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    My second PC was a Gateway 486-DX66 system with Windows 3.11 WFW that cost around $2500 – 3000 in 1994. It came with a 512M hdd, floppy drive, CD drive, 15″ monitor, 14.4k modem, and a tape backup system. It also took several weeks to arrive (but not 4 – 6 weeks). The price I paid was typical back then. I got a few extra bells and whistles (a whopping 2mg of video ram, the tape back-up), but otherwise a basic machine. The first Pentium had just come out but the 486-66 chip was still hot stuff then.

    It amazes what we used to pay for this stuff. Commodore needs to come out of its coma. Who do they think is going to pay these prices? Did someone make their millions back in the day and now sells an occasional one for fun?

    • kirk_augustin
    • 7 years ago

    The review is totally wrong. There are 4 different products, and comments were totally out of place, showing the low end Vic product as if it were the high end Amiga one.
    It is also incredibly ignorant to imply that a GeForce GT 430 graphics card would limit graphics on an Amiga. The whole point of an Amiga was that graphics were handled by an optimized OS, and that an independent graphics card is not even needed.
    For example, in 1995 I owned versions of Lucas, “Battle of Britain” on both the 7.2 mhz Amiga and a 44 mhz Pentium II with Windows 3.3.
    The game play on the Amiga was probably about twice as fast, and 4 times the smoothness, color, and resolution.
    I don’t know if this is really an Amiga or not. One certainly can not tell from this horrible review. But one should at least learn something about the Amiga and computers first.
    The Amiga was generations ahead of any current Windows machine.

      • greywire
      • 7 years ago

      >The whole point of an Amiga was that graphics were handled by an optimized OS, and that an independent graphics card is not even needed.

      What crack are you smoking? The whole point of the Amiga was that the graphics were handled by an advanced, highly integrated set of custom chips which were, at the time, way beyond what other computers had. The OS built on those chips and maximized their usefulness by enabling pre-emptive multitasking and a sort of parallel processing.

      This computer they are touting seems rediculous and totally not amiga like in any way, shape or form.

        • kirk_augustin
        • 7 years ago

        The Agnes and Denise chips were part of the whole OS, along with multi tasking and dual port memory. The point is that the graphics card did not do graphics processing on the Amiga, but was just to do that digital to analog conversion of the video signal. We don’t know from the review what this machine does. We don’t care what version GeForce signal generator it has, if that is not doing the graphics processing. The review was superficial, inaccurate, and told us nothing.

      • evik
      • 7 years ago

      Amiga did not need an independent graphics card because it had a supperior (to its time) graphics accelerator architecture. Just look up BLITTER wikipedia,
      Amiga’s builtin OCS/ECS/AGA chipsets were just like iterations in a modern GPU family.
      The OS obviously used these, but did not contain any special optimization which would make the GeForce produce higher then normal performance.

        • kirk_augustin
        • 7 years ago

        I did not say the OS optimized the GeForce card, but that the processing capabilities of the GeForce card would be irrelevant if the actual processing was done by the OS, using its own graphics processors like the Agnes and Denise chips. On the Amiga, the graphics processors are part of the OS, not separate as they are in a Windows machine. The GeForce card would just be a final video signal generator on an Amiga, but we can’t tell if this is really like an Amiga or not from this lame review.

          • d0g_p00p
          • 7 years ago

          why do you keep calling this a review? are you retarded its a news blurb

    • CB5000
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Commodore will sell you the case, 120W power supply, and Blu-ray drive for the low, low price of $345[/quote<] I made a whole HTPC system for less than that and still capable of playing 1080p videos and bluray... what a ripoff.

    • WaltC
    • 7 years ago

    This isn’t Commodore. This is a company that merely bought rights to the name. The original C= went belly up circa ~1994. RIP.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Who are you, and where is the Word Wall?

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    I love all those front facing USB ports!

    😛

    • mcnabney
    • 7 years ago

    An Amiga with piss-poor graphics? EPIC fail. And don’t get me started on the price…

    • raddude9
    • 7 years ago

    This type of brand necrophelia that CUSA practices has reached a new low. After years of dragging the Commodore name through the mud, they are now doing the same with the Amiga name. This thing has nothing to do with the old Amiga I happily used back in the day.

    For those who don’t know, AmigaOS (see [url<]http://www.amigaos.net/[/url<] and [url<]http://hyperion-entertainment.biz/),[/url<] the operating system behind the Amiga has continued to be developed all these years later (the latest update was in December 2011), And this true AmigaOS runs on a few different powerPC based machines today, most of which are much cheaper than this. This monstrosity, is just a standard case (with a "Commodore" and an "Amiga" sticker), check out [url<]http://www.streacom.com/products/f1c-chassis/)[/url<] with some ordinary but overpriced components being sold by sub-standard furniture salesmen who got lucky and ended up with a few old brand names. And the so-called CommodoreOS is just a standard linux distro with a few UI tweaks. Techreport shouldn't be giving these people the time of day.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    Umm, ya, ok……… or I can buy 4 Mac Minis.

      • shank15217
      • 7 years ago

      LoL exactly 🙂

    • sonofsanta
    • 7 years ago

    In short: play 1990s games on a 1980s brand at 2020s prices?

    • trackerben
    • 7 years ago

    It’s no Amiga without keyboard.

      • Yeats
      • 7 years ago

      My old Amiga CD32 came without a keyboard… after I added the Panavision expansion unit I used a PC keyboard.

        • trackerben
        • 7 years ago

        OH ok. Never came across that model

    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    Awww, now you went and made me double-check the date on your article.

    And it’s not even April 1st yet!

    • Grigory
    • 7 years ago

    The only Amiga about this thing is the Amiga logo. What were they thinking? At least their C64 is in a C64-like case! I wish somebody more capable would have bought the brand. This is sacrilege! Sacrilege I say!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    What folks need to understand is that the Commodore and Amiga names have been sold over and over. This isn’t Commodore of the 1980s. This is just a bunch of idiots trying to make some money on nostalgia’s busted, rotten corpse.

      • srg86
      • 7 years ago

      Indeed, not only that but the Amiga name has been separated from Commodore as well. These days, these clowns own the Commodore name, but a seperate set of clowns own the Amiga, name. In their case the OS is the PowerPC based AmigaOS 4.1. Plus the vaporware Amiga X1000 PPC based machine which is built for them.

        • raddude9
        • 7 years ago

        Not quite, but nearly.

        The rather unreputable folks at CommodoreUSA have managed to procure the Amiga Trademark for use in the USA, hence this new “Commodore Amiga” machine. Happily, these crooks have not managed to get the AmigaOS name (despite their legal shenanigans, like deliberately going bankrupt and buying themselves out again) which resides with Hyperion who continue to develop the direct descendant of the original Amiga operating system.

        The AmigaOS owners are completely different, and far from clowns in my mind, they have continued to update the Amigas operating system despite the low demand, have a history of being honest with their customers, and don’t pull the kind of legal crap that CUSA do. Also, the X1000 has been out for months now, with hundreds sold and plenty of evidence on YouTube as to it’s non-vapourware status.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    You want retro? How about we bring back beige colored cases and keyboards? After all, all the black designs are bound to look old too. And while we’re at it, how about putting LCD screens inside large chassises used for old beige CRT monitors?

      • Grigory
      • 7 years ago

      Hmm, if you put an LCD screen into a CRT monitor enclosure there all sorts of great things you could do with the space behind the LCD screen. A place to store books, a mini-fridge and so on!

        • ronch
        • 7 years ago

        New Amiga Ad: “This new revolutionary monitor even allows you to store your snacks inside its rear compartment! No more having to pause your game to go to the fridge! Note: Refrigeration unit, add $800.”

    • Yeats
    • 7 years ago

    I mean, if someone wants a little Amiga so badly, just built an ITX system and slap WinUAE on it. $2495 gives me a brain hemorrhage.

    If anyone has a hankering for the “Commodore OS Vision”, you can download it straight from the Commodore site: [url<]http://www.commodoreusa.net/CUSA_OS_Vision.aspx[/url<]

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      Wow, it’s beta software. I mean, it’s hard enough to justify Apple selling you off-the-shelf hardware at exorbitant prices, but at least they (1) look nice and (2) MacOS is a very stable, polished piece of software, along with all the other Apple apps, allowing for what Apple fans would call a seamless and trouble-free computing experience. But at $2495, Amiga is selling you the same off-the-shelf parts inside an Apple-knock off chassis and puts in a beta OS! Holy crap. Just buy an Apple.

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      Any word whether it will work on any PC too? Drivers?

        • Yeats
        • 7 years ago

        Since it’s just lipstick on Linux, I’d guess it will work on most anything.

        WinUAE works well even on P4-class machines.

    • TheEmrys
    • 7 years ago

    Man, my nostalgia is getting expensive.

      • BIF
      • 7 years ago

      Just wait until the tax bill arrives for the forthcoming bailout!

    • Starfalcon
    • 7 years ago

    Their C64 clone case is inanely expensive too…$400 for an empty case with the keyboard and a media reader….wonder how many of those they sold. The deluxe i7 version is also in the $2500 range….I was looking forward to buying one until I saw their crazy prices.

    • Rageypoo
    • 7 years ago

    If there wasn’t a reason for Commodore to go out of business, this is it.

      • xtalentx
      • 7 years ago

      Not really, in the day nothing touched the Amiga 2000 in performance and power. Man I miss having my Mac and PC friends always coming over to play games on my computer because it was so much better. Good times 🙂

      What killed Commodore was crappy advertising and not hooking the business sector except for their video toaster add on which just about every TV station in the world used to add text/graphics to news. CNN used the video toaster long after Commodore flopped it was so good and nothing could replace it.

        • srg86
        • 7 years ago

        Not only that but two of the top executives were siphoning off profits from the company for their own ends.

        BTW The video toaster was and is (in its modern form) made by Newtek. I’ve even heard they still support the old Zorro II boards!

          • xtalentx
          • 7 years ago

          I know it was made by Newtek but it’s exclusively for the Amiga… I have half a dozen working ones in the basement 🙂

          (yes I know you can get an add-on box to make it run on a Mac but that add-on box IS an Amiga..)

    • way2strong
    • 7 years ago

    No one is going to buy this ridiculously overpriced thing, but you are being way too harsh on the OS. The color choices are regrettable, but I’d say it’s a ~2008 level UI.

      • riviera74
      • 7 years ago

      I have a better idea for that new Amiga: drop the Core i7 for an i5-2500K, get at least a GTX 560 in there, ditch the mechanical HDDs for the SSD, and cut the price by about $500. Or go with a Llano (e.g. an A8-3520), keep the other changes I have mentioned and cut the price by $600.

      A 4-6 week lead time? Seriously? And Where is Windows 7?

        • d0g_p00p
        • 7 years ago

        I would not pay $1000 even with all those changes.

    • Yeats
    • 7 years ago

    This sucks.

      • vargis14
      • 7 years ago

      You can add ripoff to that statement along with What the hell does it need a 2700k for.
      Wish Commodore would die already and just be the fond memory it was:)

    • RhysAndrews
    • 7 years ago

    That’s pretty saddening. Kinda feels like a completely unlearned attempt at cloning Apple. Not just the hardware, but the whole marketing and rebirthing thing. If Commodore came back from the grave and kicked Apple’s butt with amazing new innovations, that would be extremely exciting.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    Will it play angry birds?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      yes, in chrome.

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      Yes, and Crysis too.

    • Walkintarget
    • 7 years ago

    Needs a floppy drive so I can load ‘Bards Tale’ on it.

      • vargis14
      • 7 years ago

      Great game to play on the green monochrome monitor,the pictures in the start of the game where comical and not needed.

      • nerdrage
      • 7 years ago

      LOAD”*”,8,1
      Loved that game. I think I still have the floppy for Bards Tale III.

    • egon
    • 7 years ago

    *checks date*

    Nope, bit early.

    Wow.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 7 years ago

    Yes I loved waiting for 5 min for a C64 game to load only to be greeted by “Load error”. And I loved Amiga’s firmware bug that caused it to self-reset. They were very exciting and had a personality. A moody one. Piss off Commodore.

      • deltanine
      • 7 years ago

      Guru Meditation and the red screen of death!

      • kirk_augustin
      • 7 years ago

      Don’t be silly. C64 games were easy to accelerate loading, and never had load errors. Sounds like you were still using an unmodified version with a tape drive or something. Amiga upgraded easily by replacing the boot ROM and was far more reliable than Windows ever will be. Generations ahead of what we still are stuck with now from Microsoft. Learn something about it before commenting.

    • PeterD
    • 7 years ago

    $2495 ?????????
    Nobody’s gonna buy that.

      • Grigory
      • 7 years ago

      Well, not many at least.

      • TDIdriver
      • 7 years ago

      the nouveau riche most definitely would buy it….

      as would Jon Lovitz’s character in The Benchwarmers lol

      • Anarchist
      • 7 years ago

      I think that’s the point … they don’t want to sell this as a complete PC. Rather I think they are gunning to sell the case kit for $345, which if they succeed to any degree, will still be a highway robbery.

    • PeterD
    • 7 years ago

    “Now, I’m not so sure about the “eye-catching” part:”

    Ever seen a Mac Mini?

      • Washer
      • 7 years ago

      Yes, everyone immediately saw the Mac Mini resemblance. It’s not the basic body that makes the Amgia mini ugly. First, the logos are awful. It was a terrible choice to have more than the top one. The two logos on the front are hideous. The Amgia is ugly and the Commodore looks very cheap. They shouldn’t be there. The two round buttons also make the Amgia mini look worse than the Mac Mini. Apple intentionally placed the Mini’s power button on back for looks. What finally tops it off is the black dot, which I assume is for a IR receiver (still, it’s ugly).

      I find it hilarious how much they managed to screwed up such a simple design.

        • srg86
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]The Amgia is ugly and the Commodore looks very cheap.[/quote<] Sacrilege! That Amiga logo was the classic logo that all the Amiga machines had. Still this really isn't an amiga even is spirit.

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    If it looked like the old Amiga, I might actually consider buying one.

    I sure as hell won’t buy this obscenely priced mac mini clone.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 7 years ago

    Umm, can a 120W PSU run all that? i7, ram and video card (not to mention the motherboard and optics). Maybe that is why the graphics card is such low-end, it is all the power that is available?

      • crabjokeman
      • 7 years ago

      The TDP of the CPU (95W) and GPU (~50W) exceed the power rating. WTF indeed…

        • Thatguy
        • 7 years ago

        Obviously this PSU is at least 200% efficient, duh.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        You can undervolt that i7 to run below 65W.

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          This totally legitimizes the PSU.

    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    I’d be interested in the case/PSU/drive deal as long as the case doesn’t have any of the logos on it.

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 7 years ago

      logo delete option: $395

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