[FINISHED] Amiga500 on steroids

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[FINISHED] Amiga500 on steroids

Postby brostenen » 2018-12-14 @ 12:59

Hi all...
I want to share my Amiga500 upgrade result so far, and a bit of background information on this machine. The basic machine is the model Commodore released during the half year, in wich they also sold the Amiga500 Plus. That is why the PCB has A500+ silkscreened, and is basically a 500+ that they downgraded because they ran out of standard non-plus boards and still sold the normal old 500 model. And this is why my model has the full ECS chipset. What they did, was to sell with 512k ram, no clock circuit, no barrel battery and with kickrom 1.3. Other than that, it is a genuine 500+ machine. The revision of this board is "Rev. 8a.1", and to my knowledge, almost every single 500-Plus models have Rev 8a and not 8a.1 (Pretty rare board I guess....)

Now...
I have done a lot of upgrades on this baby, making it pretty snappy. It boot to full workbench in some 17/18 seconds. And benchmarks show that it is nearly 8 times faster than an stock Amiga1200, 18 times faster than an Amiga600 and 2 times faster than an Amiga3000 with 68030 25mhz CPU. Not bad at all, and I am happy.... Yay.


Parts that I used for the upgrade:

The big boy in this case... TerribleFire TF-530, and it gives 2mb FastRam:
I have it installed with an 68030 40mhz CPU and 40mhz FPU, that are both overclocked to 50mhz. They are low energy consumption CPU and are running cool enough for overclocking by 20%. Then I have a 4gb CF card in the adaptor, and boots to workbench really snappy. As well as transfering between 1.8 and 2.3 MB/s, depending the type of card and partition size.
http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?89651-Say-hello-to-the-brand-new-Amiga-A500-accelerator-card-the-TF530-(Terrible-Fire-530

Scandoubler, for 50hz smooth scrolling:
I decided to install a scandoubler in my 500. Real CRT monitors have become rare, too unreliable and too expensive. TV's do not give a picture that I want, though they can be used for simple gaming. Just not for work that need concentration. And as mint-condition 15khz CRT monitors cost more than this scandoubler, in most cases, then I went for internal scandoubler. This exact scandoubler, combined with an Sony LCD monitor, gives the image quality of WinUAE emulator. Crisp, clear and perfect horisontal and vertical scrolling. Only issue, is that it can not output 62 to 68 HZ refresh rate like the IndevisionECS scandoubler. Anyway... I have a monitor that can sync to 50.
https://www.amedia-computer.com/en/accueil/296-scanplus-ecs-video-adapter-for-a500-2000.html

Ram upgrade:
This one upgrades to 1mb ChipRam and 1.5mb SlowRam. The kit has an Gary adaptor, and I had to solder in a jumper wire on JP2 jumper pad. The process was removing the blob of solder, and solder the wire to the middle pad. Then simply connect the wire to the trapdoor memory module.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2MB-RAM-upgrade-KIT-Commodore-Amiga-500-500-trapdoor-memory/273319974886?hash=item3fa323d7e6:g:5tsAAOSwDZ1bLAKM:rk:2:pf:0

Floppy cable:
This is a special mod-cable for the floppy drive. This allow me to use any standard PC drive, as they were genuine Amiga drives. The PCB on the cable gives all the correct signals (Drive ready and Disk insert). This is cool, as there are more PC drives out there than genuine working Amiga drives....
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Amiga-internal-drive-adapter-cable-for-connecting-3-5-PC-floppy-disk-drive/272354375049?hash=item3f6995f589:g:ZvsAAOSwp-Ragyil:rk:2:pf:0

The machine is working now, and I had trouble finding room for this two in one 1.3/3.1 kickstart rom switcher. So I need to find a real switcher and have genuine 1.3 and 3.1 kickroms in this. Or I might just find a 3.1 rom and use the Relokick 1.3 floppy diskette, if I need to play a game that requires 1.3 rom. And the last upgrade that I need to make in the future, are a BootSelector switch. That way I can have external Gotek drive and boot it as it was an internal solution.....


And now..... A few pictures of the machine, as it is now. I will be making a blog post, once I have this machine fully upgraded to what is my dream Amiga500.

Finished-01.jpg

Finished-02.jpg

Finished-03.jpg
Last edited by brostenen on 2019-3-14 @ 21:19, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby BinaryDemon » 2018-12-14 @ 14:14

I never had any exposure to Amiga PC’s but I did enjoy the details of your upgrade account.
Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby Baoran » 2018-12-14 @ 14:15

Amiga isn't a PC :P
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby Nprod » 2018-12-14 @ 14:20

Baoran wrote:Amiga isn't a PC :P


Ayckchyually it is, just not an IBM-PC (or compatible)
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby Baoran » 2018-12-14 @ 14:33

Nprod wrote:
Baoran wrote:Amiga isn't a PC :P


Ayckchyually it is, just not an IBM-PC (or compatible)


PC means "personal computer" and you could argue that all of the computers that people have are personal computers, but generally PC means IBM pc compatibles and amiga is just called amiga to differentiate what you are talking about.
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby brostenen » 2018-12-14 @ 14:34

BinaryDemon wrote:I never had any exposure to Amiga PC’s but I did enjoy the details of your upgrade account.


Thanks... Yeah... I was born in 1976, so I was a young teenager when Amiga was a machine that young gamers used. So I have experienced the entire Amiga culture and how people were social with this platform. It began to fade in 1993, as IBM compatible PC's began to take over.

Baoran wrote:Amiga isn't a PC :P

Technically... Yes it is. Though it reqires some explanation. The term "PC", is actually short for PersonalComputer. The platform we think of, when we are talking about PC, is actually short for "IBM Personal computer and compatibles" and if you look at old C16, C64 and Amiga boxing's, then you will find at least a couple of boxes from different time periods and regions, were the box say "Personal Computer" on the front. Yet... If the rule is that "PC" have to be a pure "IBM personal computer" or "IBM Compatible Computer", then you are right, that an Amiga is not a PC. It all depends on how you think of the term. You can say that "Amiga-PC" is in some way correctly described.

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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby brostenen » 2018-12-14 @ 14:40

Baoran wrote:
Nprod wrote:
Baoran wrote:Amiga isn't a PC :P


Ayckchyually it is, just not an IBM-PC (or compatible)


PC means "personal computer" and you could argue that all of the computers that people have are personal computers, but generally PC means IBM pc compatibles and amiga is just called amiga to differentiate what you are talking about.


If it is your machine, and it is the one that you are using. Then it is a computer that are personal. :-D
An x86, running Apache Webserver, is not really that personal anyway. It can be described as a "Social/public Computer"...

(Or something, whatever)
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby Munx » 2018-12-14 @ 14:52

I've never seen an Amiga in person, however as time goes by I keep getting more fascinated by them.

It's really cool how much a basic A500 can be expanded like this.

One question remains - can it now run Doom? :lol:
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby brostenen » 2018-12-14 @ 15:14

Munx wrote:I've never seen an Amiga in person, however as time goes by I keep getting more fascinated by them.

It's really cool how much a basic A500 can be expanded like this.

One question remains - can it now run Doom? :lol:


I have seen examples of Doom, running on a 68030 50mhz, that ran as if it was an 486sx25. That was however on an Amiga1200.
So I will guess this 500 is somewere around that of an 386-30mhz/40mhz. I have added a picture of the benchmark I ran with all caches on. On the bottom, below the graph, you can see that it gives just under 10mips.

IMG_20181025_010734988.jpg
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby brostenen » 2018-12-14 @ 15:24

Digging a bit further.... It might be a bit faster than an 386dx40. A bit like an 386dx clocked at 45 to 50.
I guess it is in theory, possible to run Doom of some sort (aDoom or something) on this a500.
And then again. I think Wolf3D (if a port exist), will be the limit in smooth 3D gaming.

http://www.roylongbottom.org.uk/mips.htm
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby Scali » 2018-12-14 @ 15:35

Here is an Amiga 500 running DOOM with the Vampire accelerator card:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4gkxtiKQCE
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby Munx » 2018-12-14 @ 15:41

If I understand that list correctly, it also takes into account the FPU, which Doom ignores, so it does seem lilke Wolf3D-like games are the limit.
Scali wrote:Here is an Amiga 500 running DOOM with the Vampire accelerator card:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4gkxtiKQCE

Neat! Though personally I prefer limited, but authentic hardware/architecture.
Last edited by Munx on 2018-12-14 @ 16:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby Scali » 2018-12-14 @ 15:56

Munx wrote:If I understand that list correctly, it also takes into account the FPU, which Doom ignores, so it does seem lilke Wolf3D-like games are the limit.


What do you mean?
The 68040 and 68060 have an integrated FPU, and quite a decent one at that. For lower models, an optional FPU is available.
In the demoscene there's quite a few demos with full 3d engines making use of the FPU, targeting 040 and 060 CPUs.
Here's some of my favourites:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7dcsKqLYm4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LzXy-cRCnQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F4Gu1CZsFM

Quake certainly is possible.
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby brostenen » 2018-12-14 @ 15:57

Scali wrote:Here is an Amiga 500 running DOOM with the Vampire accelerator card:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4gkxtiKQCE


The Vampire V2 is awesomme. It just costs too much for my wallet. Yet I really want that VampireV4. It can be used as a standalone machine. :-P
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby Munx » 2018-12-14 @ 16:04

Scali wrote:Quake certainly is possible.

This was about Doom on a 68030, though :P
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby Scali » 2018-12-14 @ 16:08

Munx wrote:
Scali wrote:Quake certainly is possible.

This was about Doom on a 68030, though :P


Well, DOOM is possible, Quake as well if you add an FPU I suppose.
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby 386SX » 2018-12-14 @ 17:13

It'd interesting to test and explain how and which applications, to use it as "modern pc", it can run with these expansions.
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby brostenen » 2018-12-14 @ 17:22

Scali wrote:
Munx wrote:
Scali wrote:Quake certainly is possible.

This was about Doom on a 68030, though :P


Well, DOOM is possible, Quake as well if you add an FPU I suppose.


Modern type applications? Hmmm.... Like standard photo editing, email and text editors? Then a network card is the first thing to look for.

Like:
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F223244057146
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby BloodyCactus » 2018-12-14 @ 17:50

nice miggy to run WHDLoad on! Now you just need to upgrade to the mewly released Amiga OS 3.1.4 :)
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Re: Amiga500 on steroids

Postby brostenen » 2018-12-14 @ 18:49

BloodyCactus wrote:nice miggy to run WHDLoad on! Now you just need to upgrade to the mewly released Amiga OS 3.1.4 :)


Thanks...
Waiting for 3.1.4 KickStart to be avaliable as a ready-to-buy IC. Then I will most likely buy the complete 3.1.4 pack. As for WHDLoader, then I am not going into that solution before my disks are all dead. I have 6 boxes with some 100 to 120 disks in each. And the machine just got a PC floppy drive that is from 2006 and nearly unused. So it will take a long time before I resort to WHDLoader. If I will at all. With a boot selector and an external Gotek drive, I might not need to use it at all.
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