Overclocking the Blizzard 2060

The Blizzard 2060 is a 50 MHz 68060 accelerator card for the A2000, made by Phase 5. It also contains a SCSI controller and RAM expansion. I recently had an opportunity to overclock one, at an overclocking workshop held by the Melbourne Amiga Users Group. The 2060 is reasonably easy to overclock, and is flexible regarding the type of oscillator that can be used. In addition, the SCSI controller is clocked separately from the CPU, eliminating any potential problems caused by an overclocked SCSI chip. Illustration 1, below in the top left, shows the oscillator before the modification. You can see that it is of the square 8-pin form-factor type, however a pair of extra holes are provided to suit the larger 14-pin form-factor rectangular types. Also note the position of Pin 1. It is important that the new replacement oscillator has its pin 1 positioned exactly the same. Note the dot on the case and the square corner denoting pin 1. In Illustration 2, on the top right, you can see the location of the SCSI controller oscillator. You do not need to change this.

How to do it - step by step.

1:- Carefully remove the 50MHz oscillator next to the 060 chip. Be very careful not to damage the plated through holes.

2:- Using some solder wick, remove the excess solder from all 6 holes.

3:- Using a good quality 14-pin IC socket, remove pins 2,3,5,6,9,10,12,13 so that the only pins remaining are the ones at each corner and two in the middle. Refer to illustration 3 above, showing the modified IC socket.

4:- Solder the modified socket in place, with the notch at the end facing the pin 1 end. This will assist in identifying pin 1. Note that the pin 1 position on the PCB has a square pad, while the other 5 are all round.

5:- Plug in your new oscillator, noting the orientation of pin 1 correctly. If you are using a small square type, make sure that it is to the pin 1 end of the socket, with the pins nearest to the 060 exposed. Its pretty much the same as in illustration 1, before the modification. With the larger style rectangular oscillator, all pins will be covered. Refer to illustration 4.

6:- The board was first tried with a 66MHz oscillator, however it would crash with a red screen part way through the boot process. I then tried a 64MHz oscillator, and it worked reliably for the hour or so I was testing it. In the few days since then, I have not had any distress calls from it's owner, so I suspect all is still well. Note that due to the limited time, I was unable to determine why it was crashing at 66MHz, it could be the RAM, for instance, so I suggest anyone overclocking this board should experiment with a 66MHz oscillator themselves.

7:- I recommend fitting a heatsink to the 060. A Pentium or 486 heatsink/fan is ideal. You may need to find a way to attach it to the 060 as it is of different size to the usual Pentium and 486 chips. In any case, make sure the heatsink is making good contact with the surface of the 060. In the absence of anything better, superglue would suffice.

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Introduced 8th June 1999. Updated 8th June 1999. Version 1.0