A1200 Reloaded vs. Vampire V4

Until yesterday, I ignored the Vampire line of accelerator / expansion cards for classic Amiga computers because they had no offering for my Amiga 1200. But yesterday the Apollo Team announced the Vampire V4. And this new model will also be available for the Amiga 1200. So here are my thoughts on the Vampire V4.

While the Vampire V4 for Amiga 1200, just like the previous Vampire products for other classic Amiga computers before it, is a card that is put into a classic Amiga 1200 it does not really do what such cards normally do. Instead of just putting a more powerful CPU (along with more RAM) onto the computer’s bus it basically replaces most (if not all) of the computer’s hardware.

Using FPGA chip(s), the Vampire V4 implements a Motorola 68000 family CPU, the 68080, that never existed as well as a graphics chipset named SAGA that is compatible with AGA. As far as I understand, when a Vampire board is used then basically no original chip is used. Against this background, it should come as no surprise that a standalone version of Vampire V4 will be offered that requires neither an original mainboard nor original chips.

The approach taken by Jens Schönfeld for the Commodore A1200 Reloaded makes more sense to me. I already wrote about this project earlier, for instance here and here. The Commodore A1200 Reloaded will be a state-of-the-art mainboard for the classic Amiga 1200 hardware with a couple of useful enhancements such as modern connectors and support for RTG.