A-Cloning We Will Go

Making sense of all those emerging "Amiga-compatibles"

By Manuel Veronesi, Contributing Writer, See staff list for e-mail address

There's a question in the Amigans' world that has no answer. In the Commodore times when you asked for an Amiga in a computer store they presented to you the A2000/3000/1200/1500/etc. Nowadays if you say something like "Amiga" in a computer store they just say it's dead...

All the Amigans know that the Amiga is back to live. But something is not clear: in what terms will the Amiga survive? Amiga International was explicit about that: "No, Amiga, Inc. will not be making new machines. New machines will come from other companies who have a license from Amiga International." I think that everybody knows the new A5000 and A6000 by Power Computing and DCE. A new motherboard design, AGA, Zorro II (or Zorro III on A6000).

Those two Amigas are not alone in the clones market. I tried to put together all the Amiga clones that I know: the A5000 and A6000, PIOS transAm, Nova Sector, A\Box, and BoXeR.

The A5000 and A6000

The A5000 and A6000 are two new Amiga models designed with a brand new motherboard from Power Computing and DCE obtained from the A4000 motherboard.

The A5000 presents an ATX tower case, a 50-MHz 68030 CPU, FPU socket, 2-MB AGA chipset, two SIMM sockets for a maximum 64 MB Fast RAM, a PC or Amiga keyboard connector, high-density floppy (also DD), two IDE sockets, 1.7-GB hard disk, 12X or 24X CD-ROM, Scan Doubler, MPEG level 1 supported, Zorro II (A5000) or Zorro III (A6000) slots, and Kickstart 3.1. The A6000 has a 50-MHz 68060 CPU and the fast RAM can reach 128 MB.

Both A5000 and A6000 can run all the Amiga software without any restrictions. The operating system for those new Amiga machines is AmigaOS. (also pOS from ProDAD is fully compatible with it. They are fully expandable with phase 5's PowerUp PPC boards. For more info about the A5000 and A6000 Power Computing can be reached by phone (+44(0)1234 851500) or fax (+44(0)1234 855400), and also by e-mail: sales@powerc.co.uk. The official web site is: http://www.powerc.com/.

PIOS transAm

The transAm is aimed to be the next-generation Amiga, the high-performance home-computer of the future, which the Amiga community has been waiting for. The transAm runs true multitasking, multithreading, and multimedia OS environments and features the latest modern technologies like multiprocessing and object-orientation. The transAm is based on the unique modular hardware architecture from PIOS (see separate hardware page on PIOS's site), thus providing optimal performance and upgradability... and all this for a much lower price than you might expect! Final prices are yet to be announced.

Technical Specifications


Apart from the standard configuration, the mainboard and CPU Module together with the case are also available as "bare-bones" versions. Alternate system configurations with 200-MHz or up to 300-MHz versions of the CPU Module can be obtained from our distributors.

Standard Configuration

The fully equipped transAm-200 ships with:

CPU Module and Memory

The transAm comes in an ATX miditower case with a PC-standard serial mouse and keyboard.

Additional hardware components (Ethernet, ISDN, Modems, or ZIP Drives, etc.) are available from our distributors.

For tight integration with existing Amiga hardware and smooth migration to our new platform, we are currently negotiating to include the Siamese System from HiQ and Eagle GmbH.

Actual capacities (e.g. hard disk size) may vary.


By default, the transAm shipment includes the following software packages preinstalled on hard drive and on CD:

This is the presentation of the PIOS transAm I took from the PIOS web site. Reading this, it seems to one to be a great computer, but a question should be made: How much is the PIOS an Amiga clone? Is there the AGA chipset on it? NO!!! Impossible to run our Workbench on it?

I think this is not the Amiga we want...

Anyway for more info there is a full web page: www.pios.de/uk/transAm.html.

BoXeR from Index Information

Called by some the unofficial new Amiga, this new motherboard represents a few genuine developments of the hardware and a more modern architecture. With an AT form factor board it will use industry standard casing and components, keeping the price lower. The BoXeR represents a more powerful system than the A4000 and will be the most high-specification Amiga yet made. All the Amiga-specific parts are there (not like the PIOS transAm), including the AGA chipset and 2 MB of chip RAM running about 30% faster than current designs due to an improvement in the memory interface. Fast RAM of up to 2 GB is supported and there is a reprogrammable flash ROM to allow the ROM's to be updated from Software. The BoXeR motherboard delivers a medium cost home/semi-professional multimedia computing motherboard based on the Amiga chipset and operating system. This will allow complete machines to be priced between the A1200 and the A4000, providing low purchase price and expansion options, while delivering performance in excess of the A4000.

Main features:


Key Features:

The BoXeR is developed in the UK by Index Information Ltd.

The BoXeR is distributed exclusively worldwide by Blittersoft.

You may obtain more information from Blittersoft at:

6 Drakes Mews
Crownhill Industry
Milton Keynes
MK8 0ER.
United Kingdom
Phone:  +44 (0)1908 261 466
Fax:    +44 (0)1908 261 488
WWW:    www.blittersoft.com
E-Mail: sales@blittersoft.com

Nova Sector Engineering:

Authorized Amiga clones for the USA. They are A4000 workstations built in towers with AGA chipset (68040/68060) added to a PPC 604 accelerator card from phase 5.

The future of high-performance computing rests in the PowerPC processor chip from Motorola. PowerPC 604 processors outperform even the fastest Pentium Pro chips, giving you the super-fast rendering and multitasking capabilities that today's demanding applications need.

By combining a RISC-enhanced processing kernal with the Amiga operating system, Nova Sector's systems deliver lightning-speed calculations in a compact, high-performance multitasking environment. For more specific information about prices and products, see: www.pantheonsys.com/nova/


I heard about a project from phase 5 to build their own Amiga clone. It seems they already have it in the works. It pretends to be more a graphics workstation than a economical desktop computer.

phase 5 announced a co-processor called "caipirinha" alongside the custom chipset. Caipirinha will control the memory interface in a different way to the current Amiga giving to the Amiga highly efficient access to system resources. The A\Box is a PPC-based machine so it will be incapable of running Workbench; anyway, phase 5 will therefore be making their own operating system for it which is destined to be a very AmigaOS-like system.

However, phase 5 is now concentrating on the PowerUp boards project until late 1999. In the meantime a lot can happen...

That's all the information I could get from different fronts. If you know something else about the Amiga clones I'm asking you to e-mail me (See staff list for e-mail address). Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance.

Return to the April 1998 (Volume 2 Issue 9) Main Index