I have to admit, I’m blown by Loriano Pagni’s project. Inspired by classic Amiga 500 form factor he spent last 7 years working on X500 Plus custom case. During this time he hand crafted 5 different prototypes as project evolved.
Designed mainly with AmigaNG and Classic hardware requirements in mind, X500 Plus is surprisingly versatile. If you’re planning retrocomputing project, crave PowerPC goodness in your desktop, need compact FPGA platform or just want to have unique PC to remind you of days long gone, X500 Plus is for you.
It is well thought out and carefully planned construction that goes far beyond novelty factor or nostalgia appeal. It offers more than enough expansion and customisation options to make your dream keyboard computer come true.
Although all-in-one design comes with constraints and limitations, you will be surprised how spacious is this little beast. Capable of accommodating low-profile PCI-Express card, DVD Drive, 3.5″ bay and multiple hard drives X500 Plus outfeatures his main competitors. Most importantly, reliance on industrial standarts like mini-itx and pico-ATX means you’re not tied to proprietary solutions.
Thankfully with recent crop of boards you have plenty of options for your computer. With some forethought you can even build system snappy enough to play Mass Effect 3. Current prototype is equipped pretty well, according to it’s designer Loriano Pagani:
Right now the X500 PLUS shown in the video has an Intel i3 cpu running at 2.5GHz on a gigabyte motherboard with 8GB DDR3 RAM (16GB supported), onboard Intel HD 2000/3000 graphic chip, USB3.0, HDMI ports, VGA and a x16 PCI-Express slot, here I have connected an ATI Radeon HD 6570 2GB graphics card. This is one of the most powerful low profile cards you can get and it does get hot but it runs games such as Mass Effect 3 really well. My set up also has a 150W picoPSU with external 150W brick.
6-core beast it ain’t, but setup like that guarantees at least few years of comfortable and stylish computing. Below is video demoing latest prototype and taking closer look inside the case:
Here are specs for reference:
- Mini-ITX and flex-ATX compliant (might need riser to utilise both PCI slots)
- PicoPSU 80, 90, 120, 150, 160W
- 1x PCI-Express, Low Profile, One slot wide, 170mm long
- 2-3 x 2.5″ HDD Slots (depending on other devices, SSDs recommended)
- 1x Optical Drive Slot, Laptop Drives
- 1x 3.5″ multi-card reader
- Custom LED window with swappable diods (3mm LEDs)
- 40mm fan vents
- Emprex 6310U chiclet keyboard fitted, either white or black, only U.K. layout available currently
- 2x USB and sound I/O
List of compatible non-PC motherboards:
Please keep in mind that X500 Plus project is still at the prototype stage, so if you are missing feature, feel free to contact its’ creator. Initial run is estimated at 50 units and price is still to be determined at this point. If you are interested in the project, be sure to bookmark Loriano Pagni’s Website or join others in comment section below X500 Plus Article on amigaworld.net
There’s more resources on the Interwebs for you:
- Official X500Plus project page
- Updates and lots of info in AmigaWorld.Net news section
- Welcome to the X500 PLUS project (prototype stage) followed by
- Prototype Gallery