• A500 versus A500+

    From Ginger1@39:136/3 to All on Sun Aug 15 19:47:18 2021
    I'm considering buying either an Amiga 500 or A500+. I'm an ex-1200 owner (+4 meg ram expansion, internal hard drive - such a nice usable machine back in the mid-nineties), current MorphOS user, but now want to get back into owning some real classic Amiga hardware. I was leaning more toward the A500s because they seem to suffer less from capacitor issues, and they are also decidedly cheaper than A1200s and beyond.

    Originally, I was looking at the A500+ - my thinking being they are more recent machines, and more importantly they have the ECS chipset. My interest in the ECS chipset is I want to use it for productivity applications primarily, not games; when I owned the a1200, I used to use the multiscan productivty screenmode and that gave me a nice large screen to do real work on, and no graphics cards in sight. I think I read somewhere that the ECS+Workbench 2 machines have a productivity screenmode, so I was hoping this would give an equivalent Workbench desktop(?) when used with a mutliscan montior (well, an LCD TV now).

    With the A500+ though, they have the issue of the on-board battery backed clock - which often means leakage it seems. The A500 then suddenly looks more tempting, hopefully being free of trace-destroying battery acid. I know I can upgrade the Kickstart ROMS (maybe just to 3.1) but can I also upgrade the A500 to give me an equivalent productivity mode?

    Are there any other things I should be aware of in the A500 versus A500+ face off?

    Many thanks all.
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  • From Roc Valles@39:902/505 to Ginger1 on Sun Oct 31 19:38:06 2021
    Re: A500 versus A500+
    By: Ginger1 to All on Sun Aug 15 2021 19:47:18

    Are there any other things I should be aware of in the A500 versus A500+ face off?

    You're already aware of the batt issue. You should ensure the seller has removed it, or that there's no damage (and then remove it yourself).

    I own A500 r6 and A500+. I really am fond of these. I'd personally get the A500+, if anything because having 2M CHIP RAM is nice.

    If getting an A500, there's no telling (unless the seller knows, and then it's probably gonna cost you more...) which version you're getting, with which chips
    in the chipset.

    Old 512K Agnus has blitter size limitations, and afaik won't work with ECS denise. New 1M Agnus is ECS, and will. I did the denise upgrade on my old A500.

    Getting an ECS Denise today for the upgrade is probably going to cost you quite
    a bit, so if you care I'd suggest going straight for A500+.

    The new Denise will allow video mode flexibility (AmigaOS 2+ "monitors" will work, other than PAL, NTSC and A2024 that is), and have a higher pixel clock mode that gives you productivity and super hires.

    Super hires is 1280 wide, whereas hires and lores are 640 and 320 respectively.

    Productivity will give you the old interlaced modes but in progressive (480 or 512 lines), or double of that interlaced. Progressive is very nice for working with the Amiga. Real space w/o the interlace. I wish I had that back in highschool. I used lace a lot.

    They come with the restriction that DAC will have 2 bits per channel rather than 4, so you only get to pick from 64 colors. And you can only have 2 bitplanes (as that uses full DMA). So it is nothing like AGA, which has dramatically higher bandwidth.

    The CPU will be completely hosed by the DMA unless you've got FAST RAM. The SpitFire 500 got you covered, while also giving you 14MHz (switchable) and IDE.

    mkick (with v34 on socket) or skick (with v37 on socket) will handle your softkicking needs. I personally like Amiga to boot to original kickstart, then load v40 or whatever should I need it.
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