A: Amiga Forever requires Windows XP (with SP3), Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or a higher version, or an equivalent Windows Server edition. Both x86 and x64 versions of Windows are supported.
If you wish to use the emulation components on a system other than Windows, please refer to this page.
Amiga Emulation Software
The Amiga emulation requires a CPU with SSE2 instructions, as included in Pentium 4 and later CPUs and equivalent AMD CPUs since about 2001-2003.
The Windows version of the Amiga emulation software uses DirectX 9.0c. Windows 7 ships with at least DirectX 10.0, Windows Vista ships with at least DirectX 9.0, while Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 originally shipped with at least DirectX 8.1. Where the specific 9.0c version is missing, Amiga Forever can install it automatically.
A "real" Amiga is not required for the Amiga emulation software to run, since Amiga ROM ("Kickstart") and operating system (Workbench™) components are already included and conveniently preinstalled in Amiga Forever.
You can run Software Director to automatically check for upgrades to Windows components which may be required by the Amiga emulation. These are listed in the Amiga Forever section of Software Director. Right-click an item to open the download or home page of a component on the Microsoft web site.
We also recommend to frequently visit the Windows Update site and install all critical upgrades which are available for your operating system. The Windows Update site also lists new versions of DirectX and other items which are used by the Amiga emulation software. If you install either Windows Automatic Updating or Windows Critical Update Notification, whichever is available for your system, you won't have to worry about manually checking for critical updates.
On all versions of Windows it is always good to have an up-to-date version of the drivers for your display card, which is usually available for download from the web site of the manufacturer of the card. Sometimes, especially on notebook computers, display driver updates require an updated version of the computer BIOS. Please refer to the manufacturer of your computer or mainboard for BIOS and other hardware-related downloads.
When installing multiple components from the ones described here, we advise to proceed in the following order, and reboot the system after each installation to verify that each step was successful:
- Windows Update
- DirectX 9 Download
- Amiga Forever updates
- Display card driver update
- BIOS update
Amiga Forever can actually be installed in any order with respect to the other items, and it does not need to be reinstalled after other components are added. It is however a good practice to make sure that each item affecting the system was completely installed before installing a new one, and rebooting the system often remains the best way to do this. The installation of Amiga Forever does not add or modify any system files.
The Premium Edition of Amiga Forever includes high-quality video content on several DVDs. The DVDs are "Region 0" (All Regions), and the video content is in NTSC format (as in the original footage, also compatible with most PAL DVD players).
While many users are satisfied with the performance of the emulation low-end systems such as those powered by Pentium 90 to Pentium 200 CPUs, we recommend a Pentium processor running at 750 MHz as a minimum configuration. This provides a quite usable environment, roughly comparable to the speed of an Amiga 500 with a fast hard disk, inclusive of custom chips emulation. In this configuration, the emulated CPU can be several times as fast as that of an A500, while the Amiga chip set is emulated in real time in most usage scenarios (including most games).
With emulation running on Intel Pentium CPUs, the original performance of the Amiga chip set is achieved in the range between 400 MHz and 1 GHz, depending on the resources used by the software (games are the most demanding applications). In comparison the performance of CPU-intensive Amiga tasks on newer and more powerful GHz-class PCs can be defined as stunning: jobs which used to take minutes or hours on "real" Amiga systems only take seconds when run inside the emulation. Additional performance comparisons are included in the FAQ list, and in the section on Amiga emulators.
The Amiga emulation requires about as much RAM as a real Amiga, plus some memory necessary to run the emulation software itself. AGA emulation, if enabled, requires an additional 16 MB of RAM. The RAM requirements to run the emulation software are not different than those of any other Windows software. For an uncompromising use of Windows in general, we recommend a configuration with at least 512 MB of RAM. In the 1990s, both the Amiga emulation and the Amiga Explorer networking software have been successfully tested on a system with only 16 MB of RAM. Several studies have shown that the most effective way to improve the performance of an average PC usually is to add more RAM.
The Amiga Explorer data sharing software (which is not required by the emulation components of Amiga Forever) is not as demanding as the Amiga emulators, and, although designed for Pentium CPUs, should work properly on any 386, 486 or Pentium system with Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 or higher. The Amiga side of Amiga Explorer requires Workbench 1.2 or higher.
If Amiga Explorer is used to transfer data between a PC and an Amiga, then a null-modem serial cable or Bluetooth adapter or a TCP/IP connection are required. Detailed instructions on cabling and configuration are included with the software.
The Amiga Explorer software contains one Amiga executable file which must be copied to the Amiga in order for the PC-Amiga networking software to run. This means that if the software is downloaded and installed on a Windows system, then the "AExplorer" (Amiga program file) and "AExplorer.info" (Amiga icon file) must be transferred to the Amiga using either a terminal program (which works with the same null-modem cable required by Amiga Explorer), or a floppy disk (which requires a PC file system on the Amiga side). The Amiga Forever CD-ROM includes the required Amiga files on the CD-ROM. From version 3.5, Amiga Explorer includes a revolutionary self-transferring Setup function to copy the required files to an Amiga which has no internet connection, no CD-ROM drive, no PC file system for the floppy drive, no terminal software, no Amiga Basic programming language and no connection to the external world other than the Amiga floppy drive. (In such a condition the only recommended option used to be to ask a friend or a friendly dealer with the necessary tools to put those files on an Amiga floppy disk.)
For system security reasons, under Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 10 the optional installation of the Amiga Explorer networking software can only be performed by a user with administrator rights. This installation is the only part of Amiga Forever which requires a reboot (under Windows 95) or a logoff/logon (Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 10).