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Documentation about the Vampire hardware

Vampire A1000, GOLD 3, Chip RAM, RGBpage  1 2 

Glen Loggio

Posts 9
23 Sep 2018 07:00


Hi everyone,

I'm planning on purchasing a Vampire 500 V2 for my Amiga 1000.
Other than the old rejuvenator boards, the vampire seems like the only real option for upgrading an A1000 to the greatness that it deserves.

However, i'm having trouble finding information on the vampire in general... I have a couple of questions regarding the upcoming GOLD 3 release.

1. Will GOLD 3 allow the vampire to allocate more chip ram on the A1000?

2. I want to continue to use RGB output on the amiga as i use a 1084 commodore monitor. I'm not interested in using the DIGITAL-VIDEO output on the vampire. Will AGA compatibility still work over the native RGB port?

Also, If i purchase the Vampire 500, does it come with everything needed to plug it straight into the A1000 or is there further work required?

Thanks.


Sean Sk

Posts 159
23 Sep 2018 07:31


1. Yes. It come with it's own chip RAM.
2. No. OCS Only.
 
I believe the Vampire 500 V2 plugs straight into the CPU socket on the A1000 motherboard. The edge of the Vampire sits pretty much flush with the back of the floppy drive but it is a fair bit lower than the drive itself. It does make it a little cramp to fit the floppy cable apparently.
 


Claudio Guglielmotti
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 161
23 Sep 2018 08:13


glen loggio wrote:

 
  1. Will GOLD 3 allow the vampire to allocate more chip ram on the A1000?
 
  2. I want to continue to use RGB output on the amiga as i use a 1084 commodore monitor.


1) if you choose to use the core gold3 you will have the AGA, 4mb of chipmem, RTG... but only on the DIGITAL-VIDEO output.
Your RGB will give a black screen.

2) if you choose the core 2.11 (i hope it will be released soon) you  continue to use the old OCS, so only 512Kb of chipmem. The vampire is only a cpu card and you need to use 2 monitor, one for RGB and another one for RTG-DIGITAL-VIDEO.

But don't worry because the decision is not irreversible.
You can change the configuration (switch between core 2 and core 3) also 10 times a day. So when you want to use the amiga  to play an aga game, you need only to run the flash update.
It takes only 30 seconds.


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 623
23 Sep 2018 08:42



If patienece is not an issue,
My recommendation is to wait for V4 500.

Its likely V4 cores will have both worlds integrated due to larger FPGA +easy net and USB + higher clock,cache and faster RAM.



Stewart Waller

Posts 3
23 Sep 2018 10:31


So just to confirm, there will never be more Chipram + RGB on the Vampire 500V2+ right?

If so, that is a shame as I'm not interested in DIGITAL-VIDEO/RTG as I also use an Amiga 1000 with 1084 monitor because it's so much better. More Chipram, IDE and faster CPU is probably all most A1000 users probably want, with AGA a bonus.

I think the best I can do for my A1000 will be to replace the motherboard with GBA1000 + accelerator and sell my Vampire perhaps :-(




Glen Loggio

Posts 9
23 Sep 2018 11:19


Stewart Waller wrote:

      So just to confirm, there will never be more Chipram + RGB on the Vampire 500V2+ right?
     
      If so, that is a shame as I'm not interested in DIGITAL-VIDEO/RTG as I also use an Amiga 1000 with 1084 monitor because it's so much better. More Chipram, IDE and faster CPU is probably all most A1000 users probably want, with AGA a bonus.
     
      I think the best I can do for my A1000 will be to replace the motherboard with GBA1000 + accelerator and sell my Vampire perhaps :-(
     
     
     

     
      Yeah, that's a shame. I have absolutely no intension to use hdmi with my amigas....and aga would be a bonus, but not at the sacrafice of the rgb output. I have an a1200 for that.
     
      I really thought more chip ram with rgb was just around the corner.
     
      I guess that's why I'm asking before I spend a lot of money on something that won't do what I'm hoping for.
 
  At this stage all I'll be gaining is a cf card and some ram, but without the extra chip ram I still won't be able to use whdload...
     


Stewart Waller

Posts 3
23 Sep 2018 13:07


There is a possible solution using a relatively cheap GBA8100 downscaler for converting DIGITAL-VIDEO > VGA > 15Khz RGB:
 
  EXTERNAL LINK 

  These are pretty cheap and no idea what the quality/lag would be, but I might grab one and see how it goes?
 
  The Vampire is a great piece of kit and I'd really like to keep using it with my A1000 but retain the feel of a real Amiga - ie: 15Khz on 1084 monitor ...
 


Glen Loggio

Posts 9
23 Sep 2018 13:22


Stewart Waller wrote:

There is a possible solution using a relatively cheap GBA8100 downscaler for converting DIGITAL-VIDEO > VGA > 15Khz RGB:
 
  EXTERNAL LINK   
 
  These are pretty cheap and no idea what the quality/lag would be, but I might grab one and see how it goes?
 
  The Vampire is a great piece of kit and I'd really like to keep using it with my A1000 but retain the feel of a real Amiga - ie: 15Khz on 1084 monitor ...
 

Surely we don't have to go down the path of having to add another piece of hardware to the mix in order to downscale and convert back...



Andrew Miller

Posts 104
23 Sep 2018 14:28


Thats the only way you are going to be able to get more chip RAM. Otherwise you will need to connect using digital video.


Adam Whittaker

Posts 161
24 Sep 2018 13:01


Guys you dont know what your missing - give RTG display a go and I promise you will love it... glorious Hi-res workbench with thousands of colours and plenty of video ram for all kinds of fun! seriously give it a go... you might be surprised and if not then you havnt lost anything for trying!


Roy Gillotti

Posts 211
24 Sep 2018 13:58


Adam Whittaker wrote:

Guys you dont know what your missing - give RTG display a go and I promise you will love it... glorious Hi-res workbench with thousands of colours and plenty of video ram for all kinds of fun! seriously give it a go... you might be surprised and if not then you havnt lost anything for trying!

Well it will be great once a gold 3 version has RTG in the core, but now for those with an A1000 they have to suffer with only 256k of chipram if they're using Gold 2.1x


David Wright

Posts 287
24 Sep 2018 14:32


I have prepared my 1000 with risers to accommodate the Vampire a while back. As Roy said this is unworkable with 256k so I am biding my time.

Maybe in the end it won't be workable, then on to plan B I suppose.


Glen Loggio

Posts 9
24 Sep 2018 21:32


It's not the same. You see, all I want to achieve is to have my a1000 as close to the performance of my a1200 as possible, so I can use whdload and play around with ftp and irc from time to time. It's nostalgic for me and the original monitor is part of the whole experience.  There's really not much I would get out of having rtg and hi res... No software on the amiga was built for this and nothing would benefit from it. All existing games and software are still and always will be low res.
   
  At what point is it no longer an amiga any more?
 
    If I can't use the original hardware, then I may as well just hook up a raspberry pi to a hdmi monitor running amibian and be done with it. But I don't want that


Roy Gillotti

Posts 211
24 Sep 2018 21:41


glen loggio wrote:

  It's not the same. You see, all I want to achieve is to have my a1000 as close to the performance of my a1200 as possible, so I can use whdload and play around with ftp and irc from time to time. It's nostalgic for me and the original monitor is part of the whole experience.  There's really not much I would get out of having rtg and hi res... No software on the amiga was built for this and nothing would benefit from it. All existing games and software are still and always will be low res.
     
    At what point is it no longer an amiga any more?
   
      If I can't use the original hardware, then I may as well just hook up a raspberry pi to a hdmi monitor running amibian and be done with it. But I don't want that
 

 
  Can always get an H D M I to SVideo converter, which should work well with the 1084.


Daniel Sevo

Posts 207
24 Sep 2018 21:58


glen loggio wrote:

It's not the same. You see, all I want to achieve is to have my a1000 as close to the performance of my a1200 as possible, so I can use whdload and play around with ftp and irc from time to time. It's nostalgic for me and the original monitor is part of the whole experience.  There's really not much I would get out of having rtg and hi res... No software on the amiga was built for this and nothing would benefit from it. All existing games and software are still and always will be low res.
   
  At what point is it no longer an amiga any more?
 
    If I can't use the original hardware, then I may as well just hook up a raspberry pi to a hdmi monitor running amibian and be done with it. But I don't want that

Yes, putting more and more of the Amiga functionality into the FPGA will eventually turn your original Amiga hardware into a glorified keyboard.
But please understand that part of the "magic with new screenmodes and lots of graphics memory" is  only possible because of the stuff that happens in the FPGA, basically there's a simple "graphics card functionality" integrated. It can not apply magic to the current hardware/chipset on your motherboard.. And the Vampire board it sits on outputs graphics/sound through H.D.M.I. so if that is not desired, you can ignore it - then the vampire becomes a standard CPU accelerator board + possible Wifi connector, Micro SD card storage etc. Still not a bad thing and your nice old A1000 will still do a lot of the work.



Renee Cousins

Posts 62
25 Sep 2018 02:46


AGA is not mandatory. If you want a basic accelerator with RTG and FPU, then by all means, stick with GOLD2 -- it's awesome! If you really need more chip RAM in your Amiga 1000 but want to keep all that gloriously fuzzy analog stuff, then head over to AmigaLove and help with the Rejuvenator project so we can get a 2MB Agnus.


Eric Gus

Posts 274
25 Sep 2018 07:31


glen loggio wrote:

      I may as well just hook up a raspberry pi to a hdmi monitor running amibian and be done with it. But I don't want that
     

     
    Even still your original Amiga is still servicing I/O, joystick/mouse, floppy disk, keyboard, serial, parallel .. so its not, not being used, its just of the chips functions have "moved on" to the FPGA.. For the record, to me, this is no different than people who stuff their poor amiga's to the gills with 3rd party boards, accelerators, 16 bit audio cards, flicker fixers, ram boards, IDE cards, usb clock port cards, etc.. at what point are those machines still amigas? Yet no one complains about these extreme "modded/tricked out" amigas the way they do about the vampire..
   
      The Pi uses software emulation, while a good budget solution its not the same as actual hardware .. there are a lot of subtle differences between a hardware logic clone of the original chips and software emulation, the fpga works like the original hardware, eg where all the chips are running in true parallel, software emulation has to "simulate" this by running everything is a very rapid serial fashion, and in that, you can get all the issues people complain about, lagging, audio/video anomalies etc.. FPGA / hardware will always be superior as it gives you a more realistic 1 to 1 experience, software emulation the host CPU runs far faster than the emulated machine, so it has to pause then wait, then run, then pause, run, etc.. if it didn't it wouldn't be able to match the original processor speed, so you get this real fast herky-jerky execution, hardware on the other hand runs at 1 to 1 speed so it takes the same time as the real thing to execute.


David Wright

Posts 287
25 Sep 2018 13:14


Hey. Eric, you’re preaching to the choir here.


Glen Loggio

Posts 9
25 Sep 2018 14:21


I guess the rejuvenator is the way to go after all. I'll definitely be supporting it.

As much as I want nothing more than to expand my a1000, it's crying out for a chip ram expansion... I will never be able to justify spending the all that money while having to sacrifice the native rgb output, I'd be robbing Peter to pay Paul
 
  I love the monitor just s much as the amiga. They're a pair and they belong together.
 
  Hook up a vampire, winuae or a Rpi to an lcd and play a game like beneath a steel sky...You're kidding yourself if you think that  experience is better than playing on a native resolution rgb crt monitor.


David Wright

Posts 287
25 Sep 2018 15:31


Glen, yours is a valid choice as any. Ironically, back in the day we couldn't wait to ditch the scanlines and lower resolutions, flicker etc. 
Some Amiga users are all about nostalgia and the retro feel where others want to move this forward from where it stalled out many years ago. All good.

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