For many years it was known that Jens, king of Individual Computers, had a proto of a 030 CPU turbo card for the Amiga 600 running. Some peoples head exploded, they wanted to preorder two or three of them, most other only wanted one card but disaster struck – Jens took back the card from the market before it even entered it and destroyed it!

Years went by and the legend spread around the Amiga community. The proto he built was made of Apollo schematics,  Apollo turbo boards where all kinds of crap in one package that was the most unfriendly turbo ever made if you actually wanted to run it in your Amiga instead of flashing it on your Amiga hardware blog. There is actually a rumor out there that is confirmed, no guarantee that IC products will be working with Apollo cards.

Wow, how nice it feels Indivision AGA A1200 works with my Apollo 1260 @ 50MHz card :)

During fall of 2010 it was rumored a new Amiga 600 turbo card was being made by IC, a new modern design that was 100% tested to run fine. About 6 months after these rumors I have this card in my own hands and the feeling is totally awesome.

Before we begin to look closer at the card I may need to tell you that this card is sold in a short batch, which means if you want a modern Amiga 600 turbo card you should take a break from reading and order one now. If you are one of those people who expect the price of Apollo 630 cards to fall down once this card now hit the market I doubt it because soon these cards will be sold out and then all Amiga 600 turbo board prices will rise again.

If you think the price is high, think again, if the price of ACA 630 follows the market, it will be twice as worth in 5 years (or more).

Problems with the Apollo 630 turbo boards

Previous accelerators for the Amiga 600 had some big problems. These CPU boards snapped on top of the surface mounted 68000 CPU of the A600 and relied on this connection which was not too secure. Another issue was heat, crashes was not uncommon, adding a fan solved the problem.

Looking at the Amiga 600 ACA630 accelerator

First thing you notice of the ACA630 is the massive heatsink made of aluminium that has been black anodized. You can be sure this card will not probably need additional cooling. The heatsink is very professionally made I think, but it is a funny shape as is the ACA630 card.

The heatsink is completely flat on top so you can mount a Compact Flash adapter here. There is no access to memory or CPU unless you remove the heatsink. But keep in mind that you should not remove the heatsink, the whole package is designed to tight tolerances and if you remove the cooler you f*ck up the fragtape between the CPU and cooler. In a typical scenario you will never have to access CPU or memory anyways because memory is soldered on the board, say goodbye to 72-pin SIMM. Thank you very much!

32MB memory might seem low but for me it is enough even for a system not only aimed as a WHDLoad station. The CPU is a 030 clocked at 25MHz.

If you are familiar with this blog I have always claimed you should go for 060 if you can since it will speed up your system. A 030 is in my humble opinion a big step backwards, but I know that CPU-boards for A600 do not grow on trees and I have also been one of those Blizzard 1230IV users who thought WB was so much faster with the 030 back in the day, off course if you do not go berserk with your WorkBench a 030 card will deliver a very noticeable performance boost, especially over a silly 68000 CPU.

Unlike the Apollo A630 you can mount the Individual Computers ACA630 Amiga 600 accelerator with two screws that secures the CPU-card to the A600 motherboard. This is a bit of an homemade solution, but a very nice alternative to previous ways of securing the system so read the manual before using your electrical power screw driver before tightening these screws down.

On the board there are a couple of pin headers, I am glad we got an on/off header, I wanted this one myself. Just so you can shut off the card and have a stock A600 if you like. There is also pin headers so you can disable internal floppy to speed up booting without one or to shuffle internal floppy to the external DF1-port on the back of the Amiga 600. Running without a floppy drive is good thing to do if you want to run internal Indivision in the Amiga 600, then you need to say goodbye to the floppy drive. It is also a good idea if you want to improve cooling.

The Stealth version

Just for future reference I am going to mention the Stealth version of the ACA630. It was a super-short batch of special cards with a 30MHz CPU and 64MB RAM, they sold out in the span of an evening I think and was a bit more expensive than the ordinary version I am looking at here.

Conclusion

I am still on the lookout for an Amiga 600 so I have yet to be able to try the card out. But I am sure it will kick all kinds of asses when it is up and running crushing bytes in the Amiga 600. Be sure to find a follow up when I have my Amiga 600 up and running with the cards, I promise it will be so bad ass everyone head will explode watching the pictures!

Mind blown, from no A600 turbo to having it in your hands in 5 months!