Retro Alert: There’s A New Amiga In Town

2017 is turning out to be a bit of a busy year for hardware. Nintendo put out a new console in March and they’re releasing a mini one in September. Xbox has its new offering in November. Atari’s got its own box on the go. And to top it off, there’s a new Amiga.

The new Amiga is being produced by Apollo Accelerators, a group responsible for making souped up Amiga boards in the past. If you had an old Amiga still going, or had one lying around in the shed, you could purchase one of these accelerator boards to get some extra functionality and power out of the retro platform.

Apollo’s latest offering will be called the Vampire V4, and according to the announcement PDF it’ll be produced as an accelerator board or a standalone system. “This new Vampire V4 packs many upgraded specifications and brings Amiga Classic systems to another new performance paradigm thanks to its new Altera Cyclone 5 A5 FPGA and fast DDR3 memory,” Apollo said.

The full list of specs for the next-gen Amiga board/system is as follows:

FPGA: Altera Cyclone V A5 (77k LE, 28nm technology)

RAM: 512MB DDR3 (up to 1GB/s)

• FastIDE with 40/44-pin connectors
• Digital Video-out up to 720p@60Hz
• Dual Kickstart-flashrom (for safety)
• MicroSD Storage

A major change here is the Altera Cyclone V A5, which moves off the Motorola-based CPU cores that the original Amiga and Apollo’s previous accelerators had. For reference, the Amiga 500 had a Motorola 68000, which ran at a blistering 7.16MHz. The Cyclone V A5 is substantially quicker, which should make the Amiga OS and games a good deal snappier.

A picture of the PCB, with indicators for the ethernet port (#2), USB ports (#5 and #6), RAM, MicroUSB power and FastIDE connectors (#9, #10). A full explanation of all the parts can be found on page 4 of the announcement document.

Apollo didn’t announce how much pricing would be, but they did say the first batch of Vampire V4 standalone machines/add-in boards would be available in the final quarter of this year. They noted that retro fans should expect the Vampire V4 to be more expensive than the Vampire 600 V2 and Vampire 500 V2+ accelerators. The latter is currently going for €300 from the Apollo Accelerators website, which doesn’t include the (probably very costly) shipping. Then again, if you’re buying new Amiga kit in 2017, chances are you’re already prepared to pay a pretty penny.

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