The A600 Super Computer

A quick look at a remarkable product for the Amiga they said would never be accelerated

By Jerimy Lee Campbell, Contributing Writer,

The A600 has always been known as the unexpandable Amiga; this is no longer so. My good friend John Goodie (co-founder of the Cecil Amiga Users Group) and I had been discussing for some time his upgrade options. I recommended that he get an A1200, but he wasn't quite ready to shell out the dough. So he and I both began a small endeavor to find out what other options he had for his A600. I searched on the Web and he began calling dealers. I found a Web page that advertised an Apollo accelerator for the A600, so he notified the dealer from which he had already ordered his 3.1 OS upgrade kit about this accelerator. To make a long story short, the day after he received and installed his 3.1 OS upgrade, he also received his Apollo accelerator. I was privileged to be present and assist in the installation of this amazing device.

Although adding the 3.1 OS to the A600 is an improvement, you don't really reap the benefits until the accelerator is also added. John bought the accelerator for his A600 from Software Hut for $189.00; it is a 25mhz 68020 with a 68882 math co-processor, and can house up to an 8mb SIMM memory module. This gives his A600 a total of 10mb of memory: 2mb chip and 8mb fast ram. This is more than he will probably ever need. The installation was rather easy; the most difficult task was removing the metal shielding because of the uncooperative tabs. Once the shielding is removed, it's a breeze because the accelerator simply snaps over the top of the existing 68000 CPU, and it's a good snug fit. The only thing you must be sure of is that you get a SIMM module that is petite, meaning one that the board on which the actual memory chips are located is no larger than the chips themselves. If you do not get a very small SIMM, the accelerator will not fit.

The accelerator claims to increase the performance of the A600 7 to 8 times and I believe it. After installing the Apollo in John's A600, I felt as though I was sitting in front of my 40mhz A1200, no kidding. The only problem we came across was whenever you interrupted the normal bootup such as using the Amiga early startup control or using a pal boot disk the fast ram was not recognized. I do not know if this was a problem with the simm or with the Apollo; nevertheless it's a small price to pay for the increase in performance. Overall I'd say the accelerator is well worth the money and if I had to rate it between 1 to 10 I'd give it a 9. If you have an A600, get it.