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Old 03 August 2016, 11:11   #5
Zetr0
Ya' like it Retr0?
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 42
Posts: 9,769
@TroyWilkins

There was a time where the little Amiga A600 was shunned with only a dearth of options ( i.e. very little ) - initially the only real upgrade for the Amiga A600 came in the form of the Apollo 620, 630 and the E-Matrix 630 - all produced in very limited numbers between 1995 and 1997.

Obtaining one of these was an utter nightmare in terms of finding one for sale, finding one that works, and appeasing the relationship with one's significant other, generally after your wallet up and leaves home after the abusing it had taken to buy it!

And this was the state of play for upgrading the A600 for over a decade!

Fortunately today, in fact only over the last handful of years this has changed drastically, now you can buy FAST RAM adaptors and CPU accelerators that don't break the bank, threatens one's marriage or harmonious coupling

So where do we start with the A600?

KickROM
Yes its wise to update this, I would suggest Kickstart 3.1, which can be obtained from AmigaKit.com for about 10 + postage if you don't know how to make one yourself. This will allow you to use the native IDE to the fullest as earlier KS 2.05 has some bugs in it.

CHIP RAM
As you have already isolate the need for additional CHIP memory for use with WHDLoad - with 2MB of CHIP there are some things you can do - have a look at the AGL project - you can get the additional 1MB CHIP RAM adaptor from either Amigakit the IC 604n for 27 or from Kipper2k the 1MB Chip expansion for about $29 US

FAST RAM
Here you have a couple of options - you could hunt the interwebs for a 4MB PCMCIA compatible SRAM card - as it says this will give you 4MB of FAST RAM - which will take your 0.5 MIPS right up to 0.9 MIPS - this is quite noticeable on the system. Finding these is quite time consuming, finding them for a reasonable price is even more difficult. Personally I would look to one of Kippers K608's which clip onto the internal CPU and add 8MB of FAST RAM for as little as $49 US, or $39 US for the 4MB version - The 8MB version is also configurable for 1.5MB, 4MB and 5.5MB FAST RAM, so a great option for an additional $10 IMHO, this especially if you want to keep the PCMCIA port in use for something else, i.e. network card or removable mass storage.

CPU ACCELERATION
There are a few out there now, but for the price I would humbly recommend two CPU accelerators that are on the market, the ACA620 and obviously the Vampire 2 ( with the A'080 Core ).

ACA620
First up is the ACA620 which gives you an 020@16.7 MHz of processing power taking your stock 0.54 MIPS all the way up to 3.5 MIPS combined with up to 10.5MB of FAST RAM - it has some nice features including MAP ROM, allowing you to load a KickROM from the hard disk device and configurable FAST memory to allow the use of the PCMCIA port for use with either removable mass storage or networking card. You can get these for about 80 including postage new from Amigakit.com and Vesalia.de

These cards can also be over-clocked to 25Mhz without to much fuss - this will give you about 4.5 MIPS - you will obviously need some cooling solution for the CPU (which is inversely mounted), supporting chips will also need some form of heat sink and it will invalidate your warranty.

Vampire V2
Wow, what can be said about this that hasn't already been, very little I am afraid, with over 113 MIPS of processing power, 128MB of RAM, a 64bit 68k binary compatible CPU combined with the fastest 2D RTG graphics card - kinda says it all really - sadly getting one of these seems like trying to win a lottery - is it worth the wait - hell yes it is. I have seen this card do things that neither my over clocked 80Mhz Apollo 060 or my Cyberstorm 060 @66MHz can do and all for 150 Euros - Amazing!

The real beauty here is the fact it constantly get improved with additional features added - its an evolving product that at its base is great value for money.

MASS STORAGE
There are plenty of options out there, from 2.5" Hard disks to Compact Flash cards - I would look for something in the 8GB or larger range to get the most out of your system - Personally I have been playing about with mSATA SSD technology and craming it on the end of the Amiga's native IDE - for about 10 you can get a 16GB SSD solution which is blisteringly fast on the Amiga - click here to find out more

CLOSING THOUGHTS
Personally I would suggest both an ACA620 and the Vampire - the ACA620 you can get today and enjoy right out of the box and will be a true delight, being over twice as fast as a stock A1200 - combine this with an 604n CHIP RAM upgrade will give you plenty of hours of fun - put your order in for the Vampire V2 - while you wait you can crack on with some A600 fun with your ACA set up!

I suspect that you will find, like I did, that both the ACA620 and Vampire V2 offer a unique enough experience to justify having both set ups -

I hope that ramble helps.

Last edited by Zetr0; 03 August 2016 at 15:40.
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