Amiga 1500

Amiga 1500

Commodore Amiga 2000
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Type Personal computer
Release date 1987
Discontinued 1991
Operating system Amiga OS 1.2/1.3 or 2.0
CPU Motorola 68000 @ 7.16 MHz (NTSC) 7.09 MHz (PAL)
Memory 1 MB (9 MB maximum)
Predecessor Amiga 1000
Successor Amiga 3000

The Amiga 2000, or A2000, is a personal computer released by Commodore in March 1987.[1][2][3] It was introduced as a "big box" expandable variant of the Amiga 1000 but quickly redesigned to share most of its electronic components with the contemporary Amiga 500 for cost reduction. Expansions include internal floppy and harddisk drives and numerous expansion cards.


Aimed at the high-end market, the original Europe-only model adds a Zorro II backplane, implemented in programmable logic, to the custom Amiga chipset used in the Amiga 1000. Later improved models have redesigned hardware using the more highly integrated A500 chipset, with the addition of a gate-array called "Buster", which integrates the Zorro subsystem.[4] This also enabled handoff of the system control to a coprocessor slot device, and implemented the full video slot for add-on video devices.

Like the earlier Amiga 1000 and most IBM PC compatibles of the era, and unlike the Amiga 500, the A2000 came in a desktop case with a separate keyboard. The case was taller than the A1000 to accommodate expansion cards, two 3.5" and one 5.25" drive bays. The A2000's case lacks the "keyboard garage" of the Amiga 1000 but has space for five Zorro II expansion slots, two 16-bit and two 8-bit ISA slots, a CPU upgrade slot and a video slot. Unlike the A1000, the A2000's motherboard includes a battery-backed real-time clock.[5]

The Amiga 2000 offered graphics capabilities exceeded among its contemporaries only by the Macintosh II, a system which sold for about twice the Amiga's price.[6] Also like the A1000, the A2000 was sold only by specialty computer dealers. It was originally announced at a price of $1495[7]

The A2000 was largely succeeded by the Amiga 3000 in 1990.


The Amiga 2000 was always designed as a system platform. Commodore's engineers knew that Commodore would be unsuccessful in matching the rate of system obsolesce and replacement then practiced by the PC industry, with new models every year or so. Commodore's approach was to build a single system architecture that could span different models. Commodore was so successful at this that Info magazine judged that the A2000 would not become obsolete "until well after the turn of the century"

This architecture was subject to major revisions. The "B2000-CR" motherboard was the most common, showing up as the first major revision. It was designed by Dave Haynie and Terry Fisher (whose names are printed on the board) and, while an A2000 variant, was a redesign of the Amiga 1000 motherboard incorporating some Amiga 500 technological advances to achieve the "CR": Cost Reduction.

The original Amiga 2000 shipped with just a single floppy drive for storage. This was followed up fairly early by the Amiga 2000/HD, which bundled an Amiga 2090 hard drive controller and a SCSI-based hard drive. In 1988, Commodore shipped the Amiga 2500/20, which added the Amiga 2620 CPU card to the CPU slot, a 14.3 MHz 68020, a 68881 FPU, and a 68851 MMU to the A2000, along with 2MB of 32-bit-wide memory. In 1989, this model was replaced by the Amiga 2500/30, which added an Amiga 2630 CPU card: 25 MHz 68030 and the 68882 FPU with up to 4MB of 32-bit memory. The A2630 card could also take a memory expansion daughter card, capable of supporting up to 64MB of additional memory. Commodore built an in-house prototype of this, but never released one.

Amiga 1500

In 1990, Commodore UK sold a variant of the A2000, the A1500, for £999. The model designation was not officially sanctioned by Commodore International. The A1500 shipped with dual floppy drives, and 1 MB of RAM as standard, along with the ECS chipset and AmigaOS 2.04. The second floppy drive replaced the hard disk drive. The A1500 had no hard disk drive as standard.

A1500s were easily convertible into A2000s by addition of a hard disk controller (and associated drive), and then simply peeling off the A1500 label revealing the A2000 label beneath.

The reason for the UK-only release may have been the existence of a desktop upgrade kit for the Amiga 500 made by Checkmate Digital and also called A1500,[8] and Commodore trying to keep the name for themselves.

Amiga 2500

The Amiga 2500, also known as the A2500, was not a distinct model, but simply a marketing name for an Amiga 2000 bundled with a Motorola 68020 or 68030-based accelerator card.[9] The accelerator cards used by the A2500 (the A2620 and A2630) were also available separately as upgrades for the A2000. 68030 versions were referred to as A2500/30.[10]

Because the A2500 had a Motorola 68000 on the motherboard that went unused, the design was not very cost-effective. A project to replace it with a 68020 on-board began, intending to be a Zorro-II based 68020 machine, but the project eventually became the Amiga 3000 when Dave Haynie sought to include his new Zorro-III bus.

The A2500 remained in production after the release of the A3000, primarily because the original Video Toaster would not fit in an unmodified A3000 case. Until the release of the Video Toaster 4000, the A2500 was the fastest computer available for use with the Toaster.

Technical information

The majority of A2000 systems shipped with Commodore's Original Chip Set and 1 MB of RAM (512 kB of "chip" RAM and 512 kB additional RAM) and either AmigaOS 1.2 or 1.3. Later revisions shipped with the improved Enhanced Chip Set, 1 MB "chip" RAM and AmigaOS 2.0.[11]

The A2000 shipped with a Motorola 68000 CPU, running at 7.16 MHz (NTSC) or 7.09 MHz (PAL). The CPU can be upgraded to a 68010 by direct replacement. Official and third-party expansion boards, which fit in the CPU expansion slot, feature 68020, 68030, 68040 or 68060 microprocessors. Such upgrades may also accommodate additional RAM, FPUs, MMUs and even SCSI controllers.

Memory capacity varies according to the hardware revision. Certain revisions of the A2000 can be upgraded to accommodate 1 MB of chip RAM by installing an 8732A Agnus chip. Likewise, 2 MB can be accommodated by fitting an 8372B Agnus chip and adding extra memory. There is a practical limit of 8 MB of additional RAM without the use of a CPU expansion card, due to the 68000's 24-bit address bus.

The A2000 brought a new capability to the Amiga line, the Zorro II bus. This expansion bus allows installation of compatible hardware through the AutoConfig standard, such as, graphic, sound and network cards and Parallel ATA, SCSI and USB controllers.

The ISA slots can be activated by use of a "bridgeboard", which connects the Zorro II and ISA buses. Such bridgeboards typically feature on-board IBM PC Compatible hardware, including Intel 80286, 80386 or 80486 microprocessors allowing emulation of an entire IBM-PC system in hardware. The remaining ISA slots allow can then be used with industry standard hardware of the era, such as, network cards, graphics cards and hard drive controllers. In some A2000 models, the two 8-bit ISA slots can also be upgraded to 16-bit by fitting extension edge connectors.

The video slot presented clocks, all 12-bits of digital video, Genlock signals, and some control lines for use to add-on cards. This allowed use of dedicated genlocks, display de-interlacers, and video switching and effects systems such as NewTek's Video Toaster.


Attribute Specification[4]
Processor Motorola 68000 at 7.16 MHz (NTSC) or 7.09 MHz (PAL)

1 MB consisting of either:

Upgradeable to 2 MB "chip" RAM (some models require hardware modification)
Upgradeable by further 8 MB without CPU upgrade or up to 128 MB with CPU upgrade

ROM 256 or 512 kB Kickstart ROM
Chipset Original Chip Set (OCS)[A][B] or Enhanced Chip Set (ECS)[C]
Video 12-bit color palette (4096 colors)

Graphic modes with up to 32, 64 (EHB mode) or 4096 (HAM mode) on-screen colors:

  • 320×200 to 320×400i (NTSC)
  • 320×256 to 320×512i (PAL)

Graphic modes with up to 16 on-screen colors:

  • 640×200 to 640×400i (NTSC)
  • 640×256 to 640×512i (PAL)

ECS only graphic modes:

  • 1280×200 to 1280×512i and 640×480p60 (VGA) with up to 4 on-screen colors
  • 800×600i60 (Super72) with 2 on-screen colors
Audio 4 × 8-bit PCM channels (2 stereo channels)

28 kHz maximum DMA sampling rate
70 dB S/N ratio

Internal storage 3.5" SCSI hard disk drive (A2000HD only)
Removable storage 3.5" DD floppy disk drive (880 kB capacity)
Audio/video ports Analog RGB video out (DB-23M)

Monochrome composite video out (RCA)[B][C]
Audio out (2 × RCA)
Genlock slot (internal)[A]
Video slot (internal)[B][C]

Input/output ports Keyboard port (5 pin DIN)

2 × Mouse/Gamepad ports (DE9)
RS-232 serial port (DB-25M)
Centronics style parallel port (DB-25F)
Floppy disk drive port (DB-23F)

Expansion slots 5 × 100-pin 16-bit Zorro II slots (AutoConfig)

2 × 16-bit ISA slots (requires bridgeboard to activate)
2 × 8-bit ISA slots (requires bridgeboard to activate)
1 × 86-pin CPU/MMU expansion slot

Operating system AmigaOS 1.2/1.3 (Kickstart 1.2/1.3 and Workbench 1.2/1.3) or
AmigaOS 2.0 (Kickstart 2.04 and Workbench 2.04)[C]
Other 2 × front accessible 3.5" drive bays

1 × front accessible 5.25" drive bay
Battery-backed real-time clock


  1. ^ Model A (revision 3.0-4.0), 1986
  2. ^ Model B (revision 4.1-5.0), 1986
  3. ^ Model C (revision 6.0-6.5), 1991

See also


External links

  • – History of the Amiga 2000.
  • Info magazine preview of the A2000 and A500