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Old 02 February 2020, 12:03   #1
keithshaw3
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Purchased an ACA500 (not plus) any downsides?

Hi all,

I've just mistakenly bought an ACA500 thinking it was the plus version albeit at a good price.

What are the downsides if any to using the 500 instead of the plus version?

Are updates still available ect., Can I run the most recent workbench versions??

All I want to do is run multidisc games using WHDload from a CF card, plus the odd single disc game.


I have an A500 running on a monitor with 512k expansion card, standard floppy and a Gotek.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02 February 2020, 12:39   #2
fitzsteve
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The main drawback is the lack of Ram, if you will use an ACA or Blizzard 1230 accelerator then you'll be fine otherwise you're a bit short for Whdload games. I successfully added an extra 2mb chip over ram board and this was just enough to play most games
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Old 02 February 2020, 13:04   #3
keithshaw3
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Thanks,

The ACA500 is advertised as being able to run WHDload, is the ram onboard not sufficient?

Quote from website below.

Many users will want to use the ACA500 with the popular WHDload software, which lets you install games on CF cards instead of swapping floppy disks if you want to play a different game. WHDload lists the 68010 processor as a minimum requirement for using the Quit-key and return to the Amiga's Workbench. The ACA500 has special circuitry that lets you use the WHDload quit-key at any time, although you "only" have a 68EC000 processor. This is supported by WHDload V17.2 and higher.
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Old 02 February 2020, 14:12   #4
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Unless you add one of the ACA 12×× accelerators it can be difficult to get enough free memory after loading the OS, etc. With a 1mb Amiga and 2mb from the ACA you need a very minimalist setup and some games just wont run.

Jens was of the opinion everyone would use an ACA 12xx card so kept the ram low to save on costs. But the feedback from the community was the opposite.

This is why the newer ACA500 plus has 8mb Ram so it can truly be used standalone. (8mb is often seen as the minimum reccomended amount of ram for a good Whdload experience)

My advice is do not use Maprom as it will eat up 512k of your precious Ram and try to keep your workbench basic. I would reccomend classic workbench as it has boot menus where you can run Whdload with max memory available.

Last edited by fitzsteve; 02 February 2020 at 14:17.
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Old 02 February 2020, 19:40   #5
keithshaw3
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Thanks,

Will do that
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Old 02 February 2020, 23:28   #6
turrican9
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True what fitzsteve says here. I have a regular ACA 500 and it does not have enough RAM for most whdload needs. I have paired mine with a ACA 1221 A1200 accelerator. This works really good. I think you could buy some A1200 memory expansions instead of accelerator with RAM and that could work aswell. Just make sure to research for compatability before you buy. I think I read something about some of these memory cards not working with ACA 500/500 Plus.

Also, like Fitzsteve said, if running stock ACA 500 you could try to save 512KB by not using maprom. However, if you have an Amiga 500 and would like to run classic workbench or something that needs Kickstart 3.1 then instead of loading the built in kickstart to ROM you could buy a physical Kickstart 3.1 chip to save those 512KB. This would enable you to run whdload games that uses 1 or 2 floppies I think.

I never really messed around much with the stock ACA 500. I have uses it with an ACA 1233 and ACA 1221 (not the EC version) which has been working really good.

Another option could be something like this and select the 2MB option https://amigastore.eu/en/710-amiga-5...nsion-rtc.html

I think it should work. If you pair this with a real kick 3.1 that should give you some available RAM for whdload

Actually, this A1200 8MB memory card does list A1200/ACA 500 or ACA 500 Plus under features. So should work. So this seems like a much nicer option for you VS the above mentioned https://amigastore.eu/en/698-amiga-1...expansion.html

Also, if you have A500 Rev 6A motherboard or newer, and 512KB slow RAM in the trapdoor you can select the option in the ACA 500 menu to turn trapdoor mem into chip RAM. Giving you 1MB Chip RAM which is needed for most whdload games. If you have a Rev 5 board you need a new Agnus (8372A) to take advantage of this feature. If you have Amiga 500 plus then it has 1MB chip as standard.
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Old 03 February 2020, 05:47   #7
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I didn't see the point in purchasing the ACA500 (not plus) without purchasing an A1200 accelerator card and ram. As was said, just get an ACA 1221 or 1233. You will be very glad that you did. If all you want is more than 2MB RAM and to play WHDLoad you could just get a 68010 and 8MB RAM for the 68000 socket. Or another internal RAM/CPU card.
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Old 03 February 2020, 09:43   #8
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I think ACA1221 costs nearly as much as ACA500+ so it depends on your budget. Maybe it'd be simply better to sell the 500 and get 500+.
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Old 03 February 2020, 18:29   #9
keithshaw3
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Thanks for all you help and replies.

I have manged to get a refund on the 500 and will be considering a plus in the future as it seems to do what I want out of the box..
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Old 03 February 2020, 19:19   #10
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I've only just got 500+ it a few days ago and I'm really, really impressed. It not only has amazing capabilities but is also put together like a fully professional product (from box to menus), and it has great support too. Really worth the money.
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Old 03 February 2020, 20:07   #11
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An ACA500 has many uses, and is an easy expansion to install and use! But for the specific use case of WHDLoad from clicking icons in Workbench, you would want a >0.5MB trapdoor memory expansion if supported.

Many games will run, most multidisk games will blink the screen while loading due to not enough FastRAM to cache the disk images. This will disappear with the ACA500Plus, because of the bigger onboard FastRAM. ACA500Plus also installs Workbench without Workbench disks due to a bigger Flash RAM - the Wiki pages will tell you if 3.1.4 firmware is available, otherwise the highest is 3.1 for both.

I have said it before and I will say it again - A500 is not the ideal WHDLoad machine for running A500 games. A1200/030 is. This is due to a relatively small fraction (say, 2%) of slaves not being updated to support OCS/000, or finding issue with 040/060. But if the game you love is in that small fraction, you want as close to 100% as possible.

That said, I have a ton of games that work on both. And no, I don't have an A1200/030 but an A1200/060, and sigh when the odd game doesn't work on one of my setups and select another.
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