So how do you upgrade an Amiga 600?
As I already explained, the Amiga 600 is hard to upgrade. Above all
upgrading its processor is a problem because the
Amiga 600 doesn't have a processor socket and the 68000 is a SMD chip soldered on the motherboard. None of the expansion connectors of the Amiga 600 provides the necessary lines to upgrade the processor (like those of the A500 or A1200 did). But still some companies managed to upgrade the A600 by pressing a chip socket upside down on the 68000 on the
A600's motherboard, stealing the necessary lines.... yes, you've read correctly, read again if you don't believe it.
Some, or to be more precise, two accelerator card designs were made on this basis, equipped with 68020 und 68030 processors. The Apollo 630 squeezed the most out of the Amiga 600, boosting this little computer up to 50 MHz (which was a LOT at the time!), allowing for 32 MByte EDO RAM (which was even MORE at the time) and boasting a full MMU and FPU on the card. With this thing, the Amiga 600 would not only outspeed its big brother the Amiga 3000, it would also run Linux and MacOS and
speed up Amiga games to never known speeds -- if you ever got it working :-)
This shows a SysInfo speed comparison between the upgraded Amiga 600
and other Amigas:
The Apollo 630 itself is a horribly designed piece of hardware. It gets hot, most Apollos show clear traces of low quality assembly and most don't run stable. The Apollo is known to be very picky with Amiga 600 board revisions and is known to kill
its processor within minutes, if no extra cooling is provided (and of course, the Apollo's design doesn't provide for extra cooling).
This awkward device therefore seemed the perfect fit for my Amiga 600 upgrade plans -- and cost my buddy Chris quite some hair B-)
But to make the A600 a real monster, I also equipped it with a 10 GByte
2.5 inch harddrive (this reads GB not MB!) and a PCMCIA network card. Later, the 10 GByte hard drive was replaced by a 32 GByte Compact Flash card. As this is way to much for an ordinary Amiga PSU, it needed to get a
strong PC PSU connected and a lot of extra cooling. And to make things a little more ambitious, all this had to fit in the A600's tiny casing (tower cases are lame, everybody can do this in a large case).
Last but not least, we decided that the Amiga 600 should get something
really unique and outstanding and equipped the little machine with USB
ports. I still wonder how it comes that Chris still has got some hair left at all :-)
WELL, we MADE IT!!! The machine is running, it's stable, it's smooth and it's definitely a unique piece of Amiga
hardware. Unless of course some of you who read this want to do the same, unmothball the Amiga 600 in your attic and give it a big boost in its old ages. If you do, feel free
to do so. I do however have to emphasise that I will not take any liabilities for smoking A600s, near heart attacks, intense loss of hair, broken marriages or the like B-)
This shows the upgraded (and still unfinished and unstable) Amiga 600
at its first "public display" at the Image
Computer Club meeting in Nürnberg in summer 2002:
this shows the (almost) finished Amiga 600 as displayed on the
"Amiga OS 4 on Tour" roadshow on 14 June 2003: