Amiga 1200

Amiga 1200 with 2 external drives

Amiga 1200 with 2 external drives

The home computer takes several steps forward…

While the Amiga 500 plus and the Amiga 600 were largely considered to not be worth upgrading from an Amiga 500 for, the Amiga 1200 was most certainly worth considering upgrading to.  Some of the changes that had been introduced with the Amiga 600 were carried over to the new Amiga 1200, such as the PCMCIA slot and the IDE hard disk drive interface.  But the main thing that got people interested was the inclusion of the AGA chipset from the Amiga 4000.  The CPU speed was twice as fast as the Amiga 500, 2MB of chip RAM was standard, and the AGA chipset increased the colour palette from the 4096 colours of the previous OCS and ECS machines to a full 16.8 million colours.  The maximum number of colours that could be displayed also increased, using HAM8, to 262,144 colours, which may not sound that great now, but in reality, still looks quite nice indeed.  Kickstart was now up to version 3.0, and Workbench 3.0 came with the machine too, bringing further enhancements to the package.

But it wasn’t all good news.  Despite almost every other existing computing platform moving to high density drives, the Amiga 1200 still had the same old double density drive as the Amiga 1000, meaning it could not read the high density disks that were rapidly becoming so common.

Also, the sound hardware was unchanged since the previous generation, still using the Paula chip to output 4 8-bit channels of sound – 2 on the left, 2 on the right.  While this had been advanced stuff in 1985, by 1992 8-bit sound output was common, and 16-bit sound output was starting to show up on competing platforms such as the Macintosh and IBM PC Compatibles.

CPU: Motorola 68ec020 @ 14.32 MHz (NTSC)
Motorola 68ec020 @ 14.18 MHz (PAL)
Chip RAM: 2048K
Maximum resolution : 1448×482 (NTSC)
1448×556 (PAL)
Other resolutions, including 800×600,640×512, 640×480 and others, dependant on display device*
256 colour maximum in all display resolutions without using the Amigas special graphics modes
Kickstart versions: 3,0
Workbench version: 3.0
Total RAM: 2048K
Price in 1992:
(US Dollars)

Workbech 3.0 User’s Guide
Amiga 1200 System Schematics
The Complete Amiga 1200 User Guide

In the UK and Australia the Amiga 1200 was available in a bundle known as the ‘Desktop Dynamite’ Pack which contained Workbench 3.0, Deluxe Paint IV AGA, Wordworth and two games: Oscar and Dennis. There was also a Comic relief version that came bundled with the game Sleepwalker. This also came with Workbench 3.0.

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