I got a very minty Commodore Amiga A590 side-expansion for it, packed with 2MB of RAM (I think). Horrifically, yet all too common an occurrence, the seller simply put it in a box with almost zero padding. As such, it came to me with a stomach-churning BRAND NEW unnecessary divot on its front face, where the case plastic was mashed into a bead of sorts from some sharp angled brute force jostling.
Regardless, it's still a beautiful specimen.
In fact, I can't look at the thing and not see the lines of an Original Star Trek shuttlecraft. Take a look.
The A590 sidecar provides the following:
- Both SCSI and XT IDE hard drive controller modes, which can work simultaneously
- autoboot ROM - autobooting requires at least Kickstart 1.3
- autoboot disable switch
- time-out switch for drives which spin up slower than 30 seconds
- 50 pin internal SCSI header
- internal 40 pin XT IDE header (8 bit only). BBoAH: "The XT Controller is the very old 8 bit IDE standard (not to be confused with ST506, or the 16-bit AT/IDE type). Whilst it uses the same 40pin IDE cable that more modern 16-bit IDE controllers use, you cannot use modern IDE drives with the XT controller because they are 16 bit. You must use XT hard drives. These were only ever made up to about 80MB in size."
- DB25 external SCSI connector
- Supported by Linux (!)
- A-Max II driver (scsi.amhd)
While the A590 is massive, it actually has an external "brick" PSU, too, that is essentially the same thing as the Commodore 1541-II floppy disk drive's. Thus, it's possible to get a more modern, smaller footprint these days relatively easily.
The only real complaint from a design perspective is the A590 doesn't match the A500 case's downward sloping angles. Also:
And then there is the offering from GVP, simply one of the greatest third-party hardware manufactures for Amiga computers ever. That being said, their naming convention could be a bit wordy at times.There are several versions of the ROMs for the A590, Version 6 ROMs only allow hard drives up to 512MB in capacity. Version 6.6 and 7.0 ROMs have been reported to work successfully with drive sizes up to 9GB but you will need at least OS3.5 or Amiga OS 3.1.4 to use drives over 4GB.
Presenting [deep breath] the IMPACT Series II A500-HD8+.
And I just acquired one, boxed and complete. Check it out.
The HD8+ provides the following:
- SCSI 2 DMA controller
- 3.58 MB/s transfer speed
- FaaasT ROM SCSI driver (gvpscsi.device) - autobooting requires at least Kickstart 1.3
- 50 pin internal header
- DB25 external connector
- supported by Linux (!)
- A-Max II driver (gvpscsi.amhd)
Also, it can go all the way to a staggering 8MB of RAM. For the 1990 timeframe, 8MB for an Amiga HDD expansion option was fan-freaking-tastic. The A2000 had some GVP products that provided more, but most folks never tapped into those godly RAM numbers even if they had it all. 8MB, even in 2020, is the sweet spot for the vast majority of Amigas still in commission, let's be honest.
Anyhoo, I plan on testing them both out here in the near future with my Chickenlips A500. Which one is your favorite (if you ever owned one, or both)? They both look great, although the GVP option almost looks more Commodore-y to me than the Commodore option. It certainly pays deeper respect to the case angles. I do like the look of both, though, while the 8MB siren call of the HD8+ is very strong and hard to ignore.
The hardest part of all of this today is just figuring out the desk logistics, ya know?