The ACA500plus by Individual computers is a fantastic companion for your Amiga 500, which features an MC68EC000 processor, 8MBytes RAM, 8MBytes Flash, two CF card slots, and an Action Replay-compatible freezer. It also has the options of further expansion via expansion ports on the board, including further acceleration and networking.
Main Menu at power up:
This features a beautiful installer where they have Workbench 3.1 files all prepared to transfer over to your CF card.
Installer to create fully functioning CF cards:
Using their installer and a plugged in CF card, in a matter of minutes you have a functioning AmigaOS 3.1 with a kickstart 3.1 all supplied by the ACA500plus. From there, you can start your personal touches and software package installs to make it your own.
Desktop 3.2.2 running on ACA500plus with their pre-installed kickstart 3.1 (and my own workbench touches for icons & backdrop):
Processor Speed using 3.2.2 workbench & Kickstart 3.1 (running at 14Khz):
And running off a 4GB CF card, System drive:
and work drive:
There is also an option to start up in AmigaOS 1.3 to have your A500 in its most popular state for most of the games that are available for the A500.
Best of all, you can also run your own custom builds and combinations, including your own kickstart on your motherboard. You can save a multitude of configuration profiles on the ACA500plus, which allows you to select what profile to use on power-up. Below is an AmigaOS2.1 build I created on a CF card using WinUAE, and then just plugged the CF card and set my user profile to use my onboard Kickstart 2.04.
Desktop 2.1 with my mainboard Kickstart 2.0.4 on ACA500plus:
Our speed in this configuration (running again at 14Khz):
And using a 512MB CF card in this configuration, our System disk:
and Work disk:
Drive speed is definitely pleasant!
I love the ease and use of the ACA500plus and what it does for my Amiga 500. The user interface is excellent, their online help files leave no unanswered questions in order to get things moving along, support is great, and it is priced reasonably for all that you get.
I should point out that this card can not be used in conjunction with a pistorm-equipped Amiga. You must remove your precious pi and replace the original 68000 back in place prior to using the ACA500plus. That said, I’ve come to prefer the ACA500+ over the pistorm, as I can boot easily in a stock Amiga 500 configuration as needed for those games that are sticklers for the actual 68000.
If you are concerned about aesthetics, you can find nice cases out there for the ACA500plus to make the overall look more appealing. I have yet to delve into one of those.