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A500plus

From Academic Kids

The Commodore Amiga 500 Plus, (A500+) is a enhanced version of the original Amiga 500.

The A500+ featured:

  • 1MB of Chip RAM
  • Kickstart 2.04 (v37.175)
  • Workbench 37.67 (release 2.04)
  • Built in battery backed RTC (Real Time Clock) (lacking in the A500)
  • Full ECS Chipset including new version of the Agnus chip and Denise chip.

The A500+ was officially introduced in 1992, however the plus was released in near secrecy, masquerading as A500 units in late 1991. It has been speculated that Commodore had already sold out the remaining stocks of A500s, before the run up to the profitable Christmas sales period. In order to make enough A500's before Christmas, Commodore used stocks of the new 8A revision motherboards destined for the A500+. Many users were unaware that they were purchasing anything other than a standard A500. Although the A500+ was an improvement to the A500, it was minor, making it the shortest lived Amiga model. It was discontinued and replaced by the Amiga 600 in summer 1992.

Commodore created the A500+ for a couple of reasons. The first was cost reduction; minor changes were made to the motherboard to make it cheaper to produce. It was also so that Commodore could introduce the new version of the Amiga Operating system, 2.04.

Due to the new Kickstart, quite a few popular games failed to work on the A500+, and a lot of people took them back to dealers demanding an original Kickstart 1.3 A500. This problem was solved by third-parties who produced Kickstart ROM switching boards, that could allow the A500+ to be downgraded to Kickstart 1.2 or 1.3. It also encouraged game developers into better programming habits, something that was essential as when the A500+ was launched, Commodore already had plans for the introduction of the next-generation A1200 computer.


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