Commodore Amiga 600


  • Manufacturer: Commodore
  • Type: Home computer
  • Released: March 1992
  • Discontinued: 1993
  • OS: AmigaOS 2.05 (up to 3.1 with ROM replacement)
  • CPU: Motorola 68000 @ 7.16 MHz (NTSC) 7.09 MHz (PAL)
  • Memory: 1 MB (Max 6 MB, more with unofficial expansions)
  • Predecessor: Amiga 500 Plus
  • Successor: Amiga 1200
  • ROM: 512 KB
  • Chipset: ECS (Enhanced Chip Set)
  • Palette: 4096 colors (4096 on-screen colors in "HAM" mode)
  • Screenmodes: 1504×576i 2-bpp PAL, 368×567i 6 bpp PAL
  • Built-in media: 3.5" floppy drive (880 KB)
  • Internal storage: 20 or 40 MB 2.5" hard drive (A600HD)
  • Internal expansion: 80-pin slot for 1 MB RAM and RTC
  • I/O ports: 2× Mouse/joystick ports, RS-232, Centronics, Floppy drive, 44-pin ATA controller (internal), PCMCIA slot
  • Audio: 4× 8-bit PCM channels stereo

Released 1992: The Amiga 600, also known as the A600 (codenamed “June Bug” after a B-52s song), is a home computer that was introduced at the CeBIT show in March 1992. The A600 is Commodore International’s final model based on the ECS chipset. It is essentially a redesign of the Amiga 500 Plus, with the option of an internal hard disk. A notable aspect of the A600 is its small size and lacking a numeric keypad.

Like the A500 and A500+, the A600 was aimed at the lower end of the market, with the higher end being dominated by the Amiga 3000. It was intended by Commodore to revitalize sales of the A500-related line before the introduction of the 32-bit Amiga 1200. According to Dave Haynie, the A600 “was supposed to be 50–60 US$ cheaper than the A500, but it came in at about that much more expensive than the A500.” This is supported by the fact that the A600 was originally to have been numbered the A300, positioning it as a lower-budget version of the A500+. In the event, the cost led the machine to be marketed as a replacement for the A500+, requiring a change of number. Early models feature motherboards and power supplies with the A300 designation.

Amiga 600 was an model that some Amiga enthusiasts disliked. Its lacking the “sidecar” expansion slot of the Amiga 500 and Amiga 500+, making it more difficult to expand into an really high-end Amiga, and its also missing the numeric keypad due to its small size. I thought the Amiga 600 was great even from the beginning. It came with an internal IDE (ATA) harddrive controller and harddrive as option. For my Amiga 500 at the time, I had payed a small fortune (700 USD) to expand it with an “sidecard” 52 MB SCSI harddrive (GVP Impact Series).

The A600 is the first Amiga model that was manufactured in the UK. The factory was in Irvine, Scotland, although some later examples were manufactured in Hong Kong. It was also manufactured in the Philippines. The first-ever production A600—serial number “1”—resided in the Commodore UK managing director’s office.

Amiga 600 got an internal “trap-door” expansion slot where you can add 1 MB RAM (Chip RAM) and RTC (realtime clock). It also got PCMCIA slot where you can add up to 4 MB RAM (Fast RAM), network card, CD ROM and others.

My Amiga 600 and repairs
My A600 was failing after around ten minutes in use when I first got it. I suspected bad capacitors, this is a common problem on the A600 more than other Amiga models. Because the motherboard uses SMD (Surface Mount Devices), I brought it to someone experienced to get all the capacitors replaced professionally. I don’t have the right tools or the experience to work with SMD. When this was done, the A600 worked like a charm.

Upgrades: I got an Compact Flash card adapter for the internal IDE (ATA) connector and a 32 GB CF card for hard drive. It is reliable, quiet and uses draws little current. I struggled a little setting it up , as using more than the first 4 GB requires some patching, as 4 GB is a limit in original Amiga OS 3.1. being an  32 bit OS. It now works fine. I got Cloanto’s Kickstart 3.1x ROM replacement for it as well, and a homemade 1 MB (Chip RAM) expansion for the internal trap-door expansion.

Vampire 2 FPGA accelerator
After many months of waiting, I got the amazing “Vampire 2” FPGA accelerator for it. It makes the CPU around 200 times faster than original and gives the Amiga 600 HDMI output and 128 MB additional RAM. Its really powerful. Now, the Amiga 600 really feels like the expanded Amiga 4000T/060@75 I’ve regret selling in the late 90’s.

31.o3.2018: Soldered 2 x 100 uF capacitors onto the Vampire 2 card. This made the card stable when running Gold Core 2.7, even at 12x speed. Without this modification, the Amiga 600 wouldn’t even boot with this core update.

31.o3.2018: Repaired a non-working 1 MB Chip RAM expansion for the trapdoor. This one also got RTC (real time clock) so I get the file date stamps correct. Added a coin cell battery holder on the backside of the card, due to space.

31.o3.2018: Secured the Vampire with 1.6 mm screws and nuts

31.o3.2018: Mounted HDMI connector internally. Removed the built in RF-modulator on the mainboard and attached the HDMI connector for the Vampire 2 RTG graphic output, using strips.

Amiga 600

Remi Jakobsen

I'm collecting classic computers and video games, stretching from the 70's into the 90's. Restoration, history, usage ...

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