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Old 15 January 2019, 16:04   #1
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noob question Amiga 500 extensions

Hi Guys,

Searching on this question on the net didn't provide me with practical answers. I was hoping someone on the amiga board could explain it to me.

My question, what is the practical use for a acceleration card on an amiga 500, that gives the machine 5 times it's processor speed and many times the original RAM? I see people are interested in these cards on the net, paying 200 or more. I would like to understand it.
Personally for me an Amiga is gaming nostalgica only. I can understand some people like to read there email on it or use the internet which would require more ram and speed, why not, but I don't think the amiga 500 has any ability to do that, since there is no pcmcia socket on it to add a network card.

Yes, you can run whdload with a bit of extra ram, if you accept amiga 500 architecture limitations for games. yes, you can have faster video for modern monitors. But is that a practical benefit it your depending on the same software that was developed for original amiga 500's ?
Amiga 500 is an OCS amiga as far as I know, not AGA. Which means, you can't run the later developed AGA games, no matter how much processor speed or memory you possibly add to it.

And there is the basic idea of my question today. Why would anyone buy a expensive modern acceleration card for amiga 500, if there is no software or practical use for it? why invest in lots of capacity if there is no software that uses it?

Surfing the net I read texts like" "The more the better" etc. on the subject.
What do people do then on amiga 500 to use 128 mb internal memory and a cpu with 5 * the original speed?
All respect for the developers of these cards taken in care.

Isn't a compact flash drive simulator the best expansion for a A500 if you accept OCS games only?

I don't get it.

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Old 15 January 2019, 16:36   #2
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Well the main thing is to gain access to WHDLoad. You don't necessarily need a super fast accelerator to use it, but you do need at least some extra RAM. It's just that with todays technology you can almost as easily make a super powerful accelerator as you could a more modest one, so why not have e.g. 128MB of RAM even if there's not much use for it?

There are lots of games that have 4+ floppies (adventure games can have more than 10) and it's way more comfortable to play them from a hard drive without disk swapping. WHDLoad also gets around copy protection schemes in a clean fashion (no random cracktro screens and things, although not everyone minds those of course).

There are also lots of games that benefit from extra speed and/or RAM, without requiring AGA. Some of my favorites include The Settlers (larger maps, smoother gameplay), Frontier (way smoother on an 030 or higher), Wing Commander (complete slideshow on a slow system) and many others.
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Old 15 January 2019, 16:52   #3
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The main benefit for me (I have Aca 500 plus) is having HD on A500.
I'll ask you a question, that should give you an answer to your initial question.

Ok, I got Amiga 500 from Ebay, Joystick, mouse...
How can I play games? What are my options?
How can I transfer games from PC?
Very very hard.
These new cards makes that very very easy.
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Old 18 January 2019, 13:08   #4
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d4rk3lf, Still I wouldn't spent 400 euro for one of those.Would you? Check it out, even the seller thinks it's pure madness.

What about about this? saves a lot of good money?:


If I would update an original amiga 500 i would go for a Gotek or another drive emulator.
Even if that means I need to wait longer to boot games or software.
Costs around 40. What is the point in investing 400 EU for frankensteining an amiga 500 if the result has nothing to do with commodore Amiga? If you go that road, better do it good and buy a raspberry pi for a few pennies.
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Old 20 January 2019, 16:49   #5
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I have used the raspberry pi implementation that is above but most of my AMIGA time is on my Macs however none of these solutions is like the real thing. Yes you can quote outrageous accelerator prices (and its questionable as to if the current vampire is still Amiga) or you can embrace the communities open source projects which are a fraction of the cost. The 500+ was probably the best of the bunch and with the number of projects for it is what I would personally start with. There were comparatively few AGA games, the Amiga was already half dead when these hit the mainstream.
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Old 20 January 2019, 16:59   #6
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The cheapest and probably easiest of all is to get a Gotek or HxC floppy drive emulator. You can then just load the games onto usb and play as you would if you put disk in. You may be better in spending money on memory upgrades as faster processor for gaming is not really necessary for majority of the games.

If you decide on taking things further then most of the peripherals will effectively try to make your Amiga into a PC like device.
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Old 26 January 2019, 22:48   #7
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Originally Posted by leeuwtje View Post
d4rk3lf, Still I wouldn't spent 400 euro for one of those.Would you?
Sorry for a little late reply, but here it goes.

First of all, I am using Aca 500+ that is 130 euros.
Second, I thought we are talking about A500 expansions (the real hardware).

Yes, Rospery Pi is very cool and cheap solution, but you can also get some old cheap laptop, and with Winuae make it more powerful then any Amiga.
Or you can just use your everyday PC/Mac and Uae, and experience Amiga with that way, with no investment at all. Some people do it, and I totally get it, that's enough for them.

However, for some people (including me), a real hardware have some special joy of using, and no emulators would compensate this (even I use Winuae almost every day).
That being said, I never liked Gotek, because, what's the joy of using the real Amiga without Workbench? It's like turning your Amiga into some console, and for me, that's not an Amiga experience.
So, for Amiga 500 only modern accelerators can make our life easy, and we don't need to be engineers to attach CF card as HD to our Amiga 500, and it's best option if you want a real thing.
For A1200 is even simpler, because you don't even need accelerators, and you can simply add CF card as HD.

Oh.. and about vampire accelerators.
I also don't understand why would someone wants to run 3D fast games on Amiga 500, but I am very happy that those people also have an option with vampire. I can totally understand someone thinks it's cool running Quake on A500, although, I have not same interest. I don't want to browse on Internet with my Amiga 500 too... but it's not only what I want I totally think it's cool if somebody looking youtube on Amiga.

Last edited by d4rk3lf; 26 January 2019 at 22:56.
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