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Old 26 October 2014, 16:30   #1
Vesko
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Question A500 HDD solution

Greetings to the Amiga community

Recently I bought an Amiga 500 and I wonder whether it's worth getting a hard disk for it. I don't plan to upgrade the Kickstart ROM which is version 1.3. I've read that 1.3 can autoboot from hard disk. I considered few options:
  • ACA500 is a great device but I don't like ACA500 Configuration menu that will appear every time I turn on my A500. I think there is no way to disable it or configure it to boot directly from the CF card. Correct me if I'm wrong
  • A590 is another possibility but I've read that GVP Impact A500 HD8+ is better
  • GVP Impact A500 HD8+ is a great device and has the same shape as the Amiga. The only problem is that SCSI drives are difficult to find and quite expensive
  • Alfa Data AlfaPower AT-Bus is the one I consider buying because it uses IDE drives and they are quite easy to find and very cheap. I can also use IDE-to-CF adapter and use CF cards instead.

I have few questions regarding the mentioned devices:
  1. Which interface - IDE or SCSI - does Kickstarter/Workbench 1.3 work better with?
  2. What are the hard disk capacity limits for the different interfaces?
  3. I bought A500 for compatibility with older games which btw are not designed to work with hard disk. There are some games that support hard disk installation but most probably they will also work without problems on A1200 which I plan to buy in the future. So is it worth adding hard disk to A500 or better to save for buying A1200 which has build in hard disk support?
  4. Are there any games/ software that works only on A500 and at the same time supports/requires HDD?

Thank you for your answers.
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Old 26 October 2014, 16:40   #2
Arnie
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I don't think that there are any games for the 500 that require a HD, it's more of an option.

The A1200 can play all games that are HD Installable.
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Old 26 October 2014, 18:19   #3
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Not many games require a hard drive, but it sure makes life easier with adventure games and stuff with more than 2-3 disks (how many was Monkey Island 2, twelve?). And with pretty much anything that uses save games to be honest.

Practically all games will work on the A1200 if you use WHDLoad, so saving up for that would be a good option in my opinion. Keep the A500 for games that just have one or two floppies
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Old 26 October 2014, 19:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
The A1200 can play all games that are HD Installable.
Some A500 HD games require A1200 caches turned off or (WHDload) patches. e.g Amberstar
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Old 26 October 2014, 22:00   #5
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The A590 is actually quite good, especially if it is equipped with a Guru adapter
(requires DMAC V2). Disks > 4GB can be used.

Mine reaches 3300 KB/s in sync mode, using a Kingspec IDE SSD disk through
an Acard SCSI-IDE bridge.
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Old 27 October 2014, 00:32   #6
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Quote:
ACA500 is a great device but I don't like ACA500 Configuration menu that will appear every time I turn on my A500. I think there is no way to disable it or configure it to boot directly from the CF card. Correct me if I'm wrong
You can configure the boot menu to only appear if you hold down the mouse button while booting.
If there is no floppy disk inserted, it will boot from CF.
This is how I have mine configured - power it on, and within a few seconds it is running workbench from my CF card.
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Old 27 October 2014, 01:33   #7
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonutKing View Post
You can configure the boot menu to only appear if you hold down the mouse button while booting.
If there is no floppy disk inserted, it will boot from CF.
This is how I have mine configured - power it on, and within a few seconds it is running workbench from my CF card.
I'm glad to hear that. So it seems that ACA500 would be a better option that the old HDD controllers? Is it possible to disable the CF card and/or the extra memory if a game requires it?
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Old 27 October 2014, 09:32   #8
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It depends on your budget.

ACA500 = €80
Kipper2k A508CF = €51 (but you need to patch your KS1.3 to support booting)

Here is a review of the two:

http://coppershade.org/articles/More...DE_vs_ACA500!/

Can you switch off the 14MHz 68000 and keep the RAM and HD on the ACA500??
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Old 27 October 2014, 11:19   #9
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Hello Vesko, I have a few external drives, the A590 ( one on Ebay which I restored, upgraded the HDD and RAM, its expensive because of the time and effort put into restoring it), Rokteck, 3 GVP HD8+ (1 soon for sale) and a A530. The A590 yes, box standard are slow but it switches on and off with your computer and it gives you a little extra ram, the Rokteck has a 80MB HDD and I cant seem to upgrade it, 4MB RAM, its about the same speed as a A590 but it follows the same shape as the GVP's and the A500's. The HD8+is a good unit, the PSU can be a little week though, you have to pick wisely what HDD you install, I have put 500MB SCSI's in mine which is more than enough for what I want to use them for. The GVP A530 in my eyes is the best option as its a 40MHz accelerator as well, mine has a 2GB drive in there which is plenty. The ACA500 I hear good things about, its cheap and it allows you to add a A1200 accelerator card to it, the only down side is that it is external and looks, ugly. If you are not afraid to solder ( a very little bit) the Kipper2K does look rather attractive as it is housed all in one box

http://www.kipper2k.com/amigaforsale/

I'm not sure but I would expect the Kipper would have a upper hand on an old SCSI for acsess speeds and such.
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Old 27 October 2014, 14:10   #10
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Aca500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seblington View Post
The ACA500 I hear good things about, its cheap and it allows you to add a A1200 accelerator card to it, the only down side is that it is external and looks, ugly.
Vesalia sells Acrylic glass enclosure for the ACA-500 which looks quite good but is expensive:

http://www.vesalia.de/e_aca500enclosure.htm

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Old 27 October 2014, 15:10   #11
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If you like that case, its by far the best solution for you to buy an ACA500 as it has the advantage of 2 slots, its not externally powered like the GVP's or the A590, its already an accelerator, and though its only got 2MB on it ( Why not 8MB?) you can improve it by adding something like a ACA 1220, 1231 or 1232, the ACA1232 being the best and speeds up to 40MHz ( not sure if you could clock it), but I am not sure if it would see the 64MB on the card or just show 8MB total,
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Old 27 October 2014, 20:01   #12
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In WB 3.1 my ACA500/ACA 1231 shows the full amount of ram and the speed isn't too far off my A1200 with the same card.
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Old 28 October 2014, 03:12   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesko View Post
I'm glad to hear that. So it seems that ACA500 would be a better option that the old HDD controllers? Is it possible to disable the CF card and/or the extra memory if a game requires it?
Yes, there is a jumper on the ACA500 that disables it - I have a switch hooked up to this to easily disable it if I'm booting from a floppy. However, the 14MHz 68000 is still active - the only way to disable this is to physically unplug the ACA500 from the side connector. I haven't run into any games/demos that have a problem with this though.

What is your goal with your A500? Keep in mind that if you want to use WHDLoad, the 2MB on the ACA500 is not enough for the majority of slaves.
If you buy an A1200 accelerator to install in the ACA500, there is a hit to chipset bandwidth. Even with the faster processor and extra RAM, many games, demos and WHDLoad slaves are actually slower. It depends how hard the particular game/demo hits the chipset, some are affected more than others. I have seen this with both a 25MHz and a 40MHz ACA1232, although the effect is MUCH more noticable with the 25MHz model.
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Old 29 October 2014, 01:31   #14
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonutKing View Post
What is your goal with your A500? Keep in mind that if you want to use WHDLoad, the 2MB on the ACA500 is not enough for the majority of slaves.
If you buy an A1200 accelerator to install in the ACA500, there is a hit to chipset bandwidth. Even with the faster processor and extra RAM, many games, demos and WHDLoad slaves are actually slower. It depends how hard the particular game/demo hits the chipset, some are affected more than others. I have seen this with both a 25MHz and a 40MHz ACA1232, although the effect is MUCH more noticable with the 25MHz model.
My goal with A500 is to run older games from floppies and from HDD if they support it. I plan to buy A1200 in the future for WHDLoad.
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Old 01 November 2014, 10:10   #15
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I just spotted this on Amibay


http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php...ga-500-(faulty)

You could retrofit a ACA card into that case :-)
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