16 Bit Computers
Model: Amiga 500
Info: The Amiga 500 or A500 was the first low-end Commodore Amiga 16/32-bit multimedia home computer. On release the A500 had a retail price of USD $699 or GBP £499. The A500 proved to be Commodore’s best-selling Amiga model especially in Europe. Although popular with hobbyist, it was mostly used as a gaming machine where its advanced graphics and sound were of significant benefit.
Info: One of the later models in the Acorn Archimedes series, the A3000 released using an 8MHz ARM2 processor and was supplied with only 1MB of RAM. Unlike previous models, the A3000 came in a single part case similar to the BBC Micro and also the Amiga 500 computers and also came with an integrated keyboard. Because of the size of the Acorn machines, Acorn tried to overcome the size of it by offering a monitor stand that attached to the base unit.
Model: 1040 ST
Info: The Atari 1040 ST was the first home computer to ship with 1MB of RAM in the base configuration. It was also the first with a cost-per-megabyte of less than USD $1000. Being part of the 16/32 bit generation of home computers, the Atari ST is based on the Motorola 68000CPU which normally had 512KB of RAM or more, a graphical user interface and a 3½” microfloppy disks as storage. The Atari ST was similar to the Apple Macintosh and its simple design allowed the ST to precede the Commodore Amiga’s commercial release by almost 2 months.
Model: Mega PC
Released: Europe 1993
Info: Manufactured and released by Amstrad in 1993 under licence from Sega, the Mega PC was a standard PC system with Sega Mega Drive hardware bundled inside. The system was wired to share the dual-sync monitor and speakers with the Mega Drive on a separate board. Even though it was only released in Europe and Australia 1993, the Mega PC had a short-life due to its very high retail price of £999.99 which was then later reduced to £599.99. The CPU was also outdated by the time the system was released which also did not help with the Mega PC’s life span.
Released: 1987 (Japan Only)
Info: The first model of the X68000 features a 10MHz Motorola 68000CPU hence the name, 1MB of RAM and no hard drive. The last model was released in 1993 with a 25MHz Motorola 68030 CPU, 4MB of RAM and an optional 80MB SCSI Hard Drive. The RAM in these systems was expandable to 12MB though most games and applications do not require more than two.
Model: GS II
Info: The IIGS is the fifth and most powerful model in the Apple II series of home computers which were produced by Apple Computer. The GS stands for Graphics and Sound. This is referring to its enhanced multimedia capabilities especially its state of the art sound and music synthesis which is greatly surpassed previous models of the line and most contemporary machines like the Macintosh and IBM PC.
Info: The Sinclair Quantum Leap (or QL as it’s more referred to) is a home computer launched by Sinclair Research in 1984. It is an upper end counterpart to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. The QL was aimed at serious home users, professionals and executive users markets from small to large businesses and higher educational establishments but sadly failed to achieve commercial success. The Sinclair QL had an introductory retail price of £399.99.