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Old 08-27-2006, 08:27 AM   #1
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Default Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Hello. I'm looking to buy the A1000 or the A500 and cannot decide which. I had an Amiga 1000 as a kid, and like it for the nostalgia, but aside from the collectors standpoint, I'd like it to be functional as well. I know some will recommend the A1200, but I'm set on the latter two models.

Are there any major differences aside from the OS Kickstart being on the A500's board and the increase in RAM? I'm assuming that I can always upgrade the A1000 RAM if needed.

Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

I think you'll find more practical use in an A500. The ROM based kickstart means you can upgrade it to OS 3.1, and even OS3.9 if you can find an accelerator. It also can use a 1MB Agnus chip, which, in addition to providing more Chip RAM, allows to to display both PAL and NTSC screenmodes - important for compatability with the widest range of software. It can even be brought up to the 2MB Agnus chip with the approprite upgrade (fairly pricey, but still somewhat available).

Expansions for both of these machines are pretty rare these days, so it may be a while before you can get it up to the spec you want. Good luck, and enjoy!
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Hi!

Strictly comparing the 2 models, the A1000 is much harder to upgrade. The A500 had many more model specific hardware upgrades than the A1000 too. The expansion slot while supposedly technically compatible, are on opposite ends of the computer and upside down(?) on the A1000. Meaning, realistically you can't use most expansions from the A500 on the A1000.

IMO what is an important question is, what do you want to do with it? Both models have their strong points, but the A1000s is mainly nostalgia value and looks.
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Design-wise the A1000 is a neat machine. Most, if not all, custom-chips on it should be replaceable by A500 versions making it as good / bad as the A500. However, it seems that for the A500 more expansions have been designed and sold. Also getting spares is easier: just buy a functional A500 for a box of beer and off you go.

That was how I thought about it until a few weeks ago. Right now, if money would be no object, I'd consider the A1000 route with a little extra in the shape of Phoenix.
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Old 08-27-2006, 09:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Well.. I can quickly think two good sides for A1000. Composite signal is color and it has separate keyboard

A500 is much more compatible for games and demos and is more easily upgradeable. It also has more memory by default.
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Old 08-27-2006, 10:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

@cmvsm,

As a collector of everything Amiga, I suggest you go with the A500. It is harder and more expensive to find working expansion parts for the A1000. If money is not an object and you can accept having only 512k Chip RAM and what ever FAST RAM expansion you are able to find working, then the A1000 is a more elegant design, and as you said, is more nostalgic. (finding an A1000 with a Phoenix board is another possibility, but very rare)
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Quote:
redrumloa wrote:
The expansion slot while supposedly technically compatible, are on opposite ends of the computer and upside down(?) on the A1000.
No!

Opposite end, same side up! A500 expansions sit with their rear end towards the user when in an A1000, but never upside down.
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

for nastolgic reasons (my first, and second) i would recomend the 1000. having a detached keyboard can be a really good thing.
also many if not all of the expansions that plug into the cpu socket for a 500 and 2000 will work for the 1000
these include accelerators (14mhz 68000, 68020, and even a 68030 irrc) also adeide and adscsi allow ide and scsi expansions too.
with my amiga 1000s the color composite was great, it is clear and then you dont have the 520 hanging off the back of the 500.
cpu socket stuff might need a socket extender and rom switchers might need some othe hacking to work so you can use roms
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

oh btw some (very few) a1000s dont have half bright mode. changing one denise can fix that though. again iirc
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Old 08-27-2006, 03:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

@KThunder
I thought that half bright was only available on ECS?

@cmvsm
Anyway, If you are considering getting an a500 have you considered an a2000? They are basically an a500 in a big box case and with zorro slots. AFAIK they are just as compatible as an a500 and much easier to expand as zorro cards are still on retail sale and the accelerators (if you want one) are more common.
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Old 08-27-2006, 03:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

@pedro7
the only thing ecs added was productivity modes
the early rev. a1000's didnt have hb both of mine had it
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Old 08-27-2006, 03:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Thanks for the multiple responses guys. Seems as if half say the A1000 and the other half the A500. So I suppose perhaps the nostalgia facet of it all will tip the scales towards the A1000 side.

If I were to get an A1000, what upgrades would be a "must have" to get the machine to "respectable" standards. I will mainly use it for games and such. I'd like to give myself the time to explore the rest of the machine's capabilities as I didn't give it much of a chance in my younger years.

What significant capabilities, if any, would the A500 have over the A1000?

Thanks again for all of the input! :-D
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Old 08-28-2006, 02:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Hi,
- mainly the frontal 256kb expansion if it's not yet in.
- a FastRam expension such as Comspec Ax1000 (1mb) or Ax2000 (2mb).
- maybe a cpu expansion or a 68010 ;-)
- maybe the big A1010 external drive
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Old 08-28-2006, 08:03 AM   #14
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Quote:
amiga_3k wrote:
Design-wise the A1000 is a neat machine. Most, if not all, custom-chips on it should be replaceable by A500 versions making it as good / bad as the A500.
The A1000 uses the DIP version of the Agnus chip. It's not compatible with the PLCC version in the 500/2000. unless you find one of those phoenix boards. :-)

I've got a ROM board in my 1000, that's a handy thing to have.... autoboots from an external HD, so I don't have to worry about the broken internal floppy.
:-)
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Old 08-28-2006, 08:35 AM   #15
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Yes, if you can find a Phoenix board for it, the 1000 will be a pretty amazing little box! Details.
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:00 AM   #16
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Hi cmvsm,

While fitting things like a 1 or 2mb agnus and denise should help an A1000, changing or accelerating the cpu risks losing compatibility with games and demos. You then have to ask yourself, is the A1000 going to be a work system or not.

I would just stick with an A500 for all your nostalgic delight!
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:34 PM   #17
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Quote:
cmvsm wrote:

If I were to get an A1000, what upgrades would be a "must have" to get the machine to "respectable" standards. I will mainly use it for games and such. I'd like to give myself the time to explore the rest of the machine's capabilities as I didn't give it much of a chance in my younger years.

* There really are NOT any upgrades you will find these days, unless you use A500 expansion boxes.


What significant capabilities, if any, would the A500 have over the A1000?

* The A500 has newer chip versions, a ROM based OS, can house much more RAM, and there are upgrades that can still be found!
I have both machines (along with A2000, A3000, A4000T and A1200). If I had to have just one of the early Amiga, it would be the A500!
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Kickstarting the 1000 is a very nostalgic thing to do - but very annoying if you happen to add a hard drive. Furthermore, Kickstart 2+ is out of reach without a ROM board. Nostalgic.

I'd rather go with a 1200 - faster out of the box, 2 MB RAM (even chip RAM), and the cheapest and most easily available expansions.
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

[quote]
Zac67 wrote:
Furthermore, Kickstart 2+ is out of reach without a ROM board. Nostalgic.
[quote]
I believe there's a hack on Aminet to add a ROM to the 1000.
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Amiga 1000 versus Amiga 500

Quote:
Yes, if you can find a Phoenix board for it, the 1000 will be a pretty amazing little box!
Bah! The Phoenix board is a whole replacement motherboard, not just an add-on card. That sounds like a cheat to me. You pull all the guts out of your A1000 (except the power supply and floppy drive) so you just have the empty case, then put in the replacement. Why not just put in a Mac motherboard? ..or a PC motherboard? (yuck!)

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