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Old 24 July 2022, 12:43   #1
caiusfabricius
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Advice on Amiga 500 accelerator card

Hi all!
I'm an old Amiga 500 owner (bought in far 1987).After some inactivity I would like to play again with my machine and get an accelerator.I can see there are different products so I'm looking for some advice about the solution with best price/quality ratio.Thanks in advance and long live the Amiga!

Last edited by caiusfabricius; 24 July 2022 at 22:47.
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Old 24 July 2022, 13:17   #2
alexh
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It really depends how much money you have and what compatibility you need.

PiStorm is the best bang-for-buck, not only do you get a very fast accelerator but you get 128MB FastRAM, HDMI RTG GFX card, Network Card (Wifi), AHI sound card, lots of other things I forgot, the problem is it is WIP. It's not that BAD but you might notice a difference in stability vs the other accelerators. In the works is also native video mode passthrough so soon it will be a complete HDMI solution. Can take a while to cold boot first time after power-on.

The TF536 is a good accelerator for A500. Good price. Good performance. Good availability.

The ACA500plus is not bad. Bit expensive for what it is. Average performance. Good availability. Interesting features. You don't have to unscrew your Amiga.
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Old 24 July 2022, 13:56   #3
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I always wondered about TF vs ACA. To me the latter seems a better option, seeing as it has much more features, is more flexible, and cheaper too. But admittedly I don't really know much about TF past the raw specs. It definitely seems more powerful, but is that something that's really needed on A500?

I mean, I always thought that when people use Amigas for productivity it's related to A1200 and up (but I don't know much about it really, what with being mainly a gamer).

Also curious if you can downclock that 50MHz on the TF back to normal Amiga speed, and if not, can it affect some games negatively?
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Old 24 July 2022, 15:49   #4
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The ACA500plus is the most full featured turbo, but if you don't really want all those features, there are plenty of others available too. The HC508 and Classic520 from Irixlabs are also very nice externally attached turbos.

The ACA is also excellent for people who only have an A500 and nothing else. It can get you from finding your stock A500 from your parents' cupboard to running 3.1 off a CF card very quickly, including file transfer capabilities.
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Old 24 July 2022, 17:21   #5
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The ACA500plus is very slow compared to TF536 so you have to ask do you want better overall performance or more things to fiddle with. As for do you need CPU power...? It depends what you want to do. I personally like the faster OS performance not waiting for icons to be drawn and directories to be listed but there are very few games which need faster CPU for A500 chipset. Dungeon Master 2 is about it
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Old 24 July 2022, 20:41   #6
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Yep, you'll be looking at spending more money for an a1200 turbo to plug into it if you go the ACA route. Expensive.

Hard to really recommend a do-it-all turbo. The TF536 you mentioned is quite a good choice since it has enough RAM to be usable. No fallback functionality though as far as I remember? The older TF A500 turbos are not really worth it, IMO people should not have built them for sale back then.
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Old 24 July 2022, 22:53   #7
caiusfabricius
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Thanks for a advice, guys, much appreciated.Well, I exclude the PiStorm since it's not an immediate solution (you need also a Raspberry).So the choice is between the TF536 and ACA500plus.Anyway, I must admit that I would really like to try the AGA capability in my life before it's too late My dream is to get an A1200 but they are quite expensive nowadays.I read the Vampire500 can emulate AGA chipset, is it true?
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Old 24 July 2022, 23:24   #8
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ACA500+ is not a typical "turbo" card. It is a great piece of hardware IMHO, you get a whole bunch of expansion stuff for a500, and the bang for the buck is really good, but it's not some super duper speed. 14mhz is guaranteed, and depending on luck you can overclock up to 42mhz (I'd say 28mhz is realistic, and people I know, myself included, all have 28-42mhz versions working fine), which could be a problem if you are mainly after speed and get unlucky.
All in all, it's still an OCS Amiga so yeah, you don't get pretty AGA colors, 32-bit hardware, ...
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Old 25 July 2022, 01:01   #9
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I have recently used a bit my ACA500Plus enabled A500Plus and here's what I think of it so far:
- It's the only thing (that I know of) that can downgrade A500Plus with 2MB Chip RAM into an old school A500 (that I used to have...) clocked at 7MHz with 512K Chip + 512K Slow and Kickstart 1.2... I haven't needed this yet, but it feels good to know I have the possibility
- I have Gotek as DF0 and a real external floppy as DF1 and the card enables me to hide the Gotek and boot from floppy as DF0 if needed... no need for additional drive switcher
- Sysinfo reports 3,5 MB/s for the internal Compact Flash card
- I've recently been running it clocked at 28MHz to have AmigaOS 3.2 with the new icons usable... Frontier: Elite II intro ran very smoothly too
It doesn't even get hot.
- I like the compatibility it can offer
- In practice it can offer max 7 MB Fast RAM
- It has flash memory where you can add different kickstarts, but it comes with 1.2, 1.3 and 3.1 so I just added AmigaOS 3.2.1 myself. No need for additional kickstart switcher.
- You can save different configuration combinations into it... changing the profile always requires booting into the ACA500Plus's own menu system
- No fitment issues with RGBtoHDMI adapter as it is not sitting inside the case

It has been perfectly enough for me as I am not planning to do any 3D rendering and stuff like that.

I have built a TF534 with 33MHz CPU, because that is what I wanted to go for originally... before I discovered what ACA500Plus can actually do.
I haven't used the TF534 yet so unfortunately I cannot compare it to ACA500Plus.
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Old 28 July 2022, 05:14   #10
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I like my Matze TK68030 board, I wanted the FPU.
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Old 28 July 2022, 18:57   #11
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The aca cards stick out and take up valuable desk space around an already large machine. Look into a buffee accelerator, they arent released yet but it slips into the 68k socket and boosts the machine to almost 1ghz. Shouldnt be too long before its released
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Old 28 July 2022, 20:10   #12
Anubis
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PiStorm all the way...

RAM
CPU
HD (~ 20MB / sec speed)
Internet?
Affordable

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 30 July 2022, 06:28   #13
8 Bit Dreams
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Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20220310_230145.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	345.4 KB
ID:	76166
Grab Matzes 68030TK V2, it's the fastest real 030 accelerator on the Market ATM,
it's flexible, has FPU and running on different CPU/FPU speeds up to 60MHz, has MapROM, You will never regret You got one, guaranteed...
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20220730_063108.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	985.9 KB
ID:	76167

Last edited by 8 Bit Dreams; 30 July 2022 at 06:36.
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Old 04 August 2022, 20:43   #14
Tajmaster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 Bit Dreams View Post
Attachment 76166
Grab Matzes 68030TK V2, it's the fastest real 030 accelerator on the Market ATM,
it's flexible, has FPU and running on different CPU/FPU speeds up to 60MHz, has MapROM, You will never regret You got one, guaranteed...
Attachment 76167

Where can you buy it??
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Old 06 August 2022, 03:51   #15
8 Bit Dreams
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Will put some 64 & 128MB cards on sale on AmiBay next week
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