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Documentation about the Vampire hardware

V500 / V600 Gold 3 AGApage  1 2 3 4 

Manuel Jesus

Posts 146
18 Aug 2020 22:41


Gold 3 For Vampire 2 Status
Officially on Hold
ďEveryone wants to work on FPGA cores until itís time to do FPGA shit!Ē
-Gunnar
For many years now we have mentioned and made it clear buy the Vampire for the features it has now. One of the Vampire fan favorite features has been AGA on the V500 and V600 Vampire cards.
A big part of this task has been improving Gold 3 behavior on V4. We previewed the alpha Gold 3 core on V500 a couple of years ago. Since then we took a year to rewrite AGA to fix DMA timing and precision. Data fetching and timing were improved to correct sprite and copper behavior. Finally, we are very close to perfection.
The IDEA today must be to get V4 implementation of Gold 3 100% accurate before any translations to the V2 range of accelerators. The problem is our AGA is so big it will not fit unless we remove features from the current V2 accelerator cores. Even then there is no guarantee it will fit on the V2 range. Understand the V4 core is almost full so it is hard to adjust it and condense its logic for V2 in a quick and easy way.
There are a couple of solutions we could offer.
In lieu of developing a V500/ V600 GOLD AGA core we could add as many rich V4 RTG based features as possible to the V2 range. Picture in Picture would be one of these features.
But in speaking to our users, part of the desire for Gold V3 on the V2 range is a unified Vampire and Amiga RGB video output from the Vampire HD video port. Another desire is turning their V500 / V600 into an A1200 AGA machine for games. Realistically we cannot create a V500 / V600 Gold 3 core with the same scope of features as seen in the Vampire 4, our flagship product.
Another solution would be to offer a compromise in the form of a Gold 3 core with the following features:
V500 / V600 Gold 3:
68080 CPU with AMMX (NO FPU)
AGA CHIPSET (NO RTG)

Remember our cores can be re-flashed so you can flash an AGA core to play some AGA games, Demos, or DPaint as you would on an A1200 with an accelerator then flash back to the RTG core for other tasks. This worked quite well for testers using the USB Blaster during Gold 3 testing.
This scenario would not happen in 2020. At the earliest it would be late 2021 before we could start such a task. We felt it important to offer an honest feature assessment now for our dedicated V500 / V600 Gold 3 Alpha fans. Thank you for making Vampire a product range we all love to create.

Take a moment to review the GOLD Core 3 Poll on the Facebook Vampire Accelerators Users Group and vote on what options yo would like to see.


Adam A

Posts 106
19 Aug 2020 02:10


I would go with this solution:

V500 / V600 Gold 3:
68080 CPU with AMMX (NO FPU)
AGA CHIPSET (NO RTG)

I'll be using ZZ9000 for missing features

 


Lord Aga
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 111
19 Aug 2020 06:37


Yup, that seems to be the best way to go.


Eric Gus

Posts 429
19 Aug 2020 08:14


I agree with Adam.. for me the biggest issue is lack of chip ram on my mobo and secondly the inability of my Agnus to do anything other than NTSC .. so having those features moved into the FPGA and having now access to 2+mb chip would go a LONG LONG way to improving the usability of my early A500 (and I presume A1000s, 2000's and other machines in similar situations) .. While FPU and RTG are "nice" they are not "killer" features by any means.. and like Adam said you can always add an RTG card with a bus connector ..
 
  The vampire has the biggest potential impact on the least capable Amigas..
 
  It should really look to bringing up ALL Amigas to a better lower common denominator .. i.e. fast cpu, 128mb ram, AGA, 2+mb chip ram, IDE .. I think those things would benefit the larger Amiga community on a whole.. later amigas do not have these issues .. having them in the vampire would level the playing field across many more machines.
 
  For example with only 256 or 512kb of chip ram, its very hard to run WHDLOAD if not impossible and many Amiga games require at least 1mb chip for the best experience (if not 2mb).. I would think that this would be one of the minimum requirements the vampire should provide along with the faster cpu, fast ram and IDE.


Rollef 2000

Posts 13
19 Aug 2020 08:30


But Gold2 is still being developed and made available?
The features of Gold2 are exactly what I need.



Sean Sk

Posts 379
19 Aug 2020 09:23


Yeah have to agree with Adam and Eric. These definitely sound like good options.

Dumb question: Would removing the Atari TOS features free up any space or do they only take up a very small slice of the FPGA?

rollef 2000 wrote:

But Gold2 is still being developed and made available?

 
Yes it is. GOLD 3 will not replace GOLD 2, but will complement each other instead and give the user the freedom to choose.
 
Good times ahead!


Master APEX

Posts 36
19 Aug 2020 09:48


No need for AGA on a not AGA machine!



Mallagan Bellator

Posts 392
19 Aug 2020 10:07


Master aPEX wrote:

No need for AGA on a not AGA machine!
 

Some people want it for AGA games and such



Mallagan Bellator

Posts 392
19 Aug 2020 10:10


sean sk wrote:

  Dumb question: Would removing the Atari TOS features free up any space or do they only take up a very small slice of the FPGA?


Thatís not a dumb question at all, itís quite legit.
If thereís Atari stuff in the core, and one wouldnít care for it, maybe it could be removed to free up some space


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1716
19 Aug 2020 10:24


Mallagan Bellator wrote:

    Thatís not a dumb question at all, itís quite legit.
    If thereís Atari stuff in the core, and one wouldnít care for it, maybe it could be removed to free up some space
 

 
  Overall, great news for V2 users, even it means waiting for late 2021. I wonder how faster SAGA will be on A1200 vs native AGA :)
 
  "Atari parts" Are there any? Video mode support comes via EmuTOS I believe and none of Atari chipset is emulated (yet) - FreeMINT uses "pure" 68k CPU, video driver is just piece of software.
 


Leigh Russ

Posts 150
19 Aug 2020 12:04


Personally I don't care for AGA. There's only a handful of AGA games anyway and find RTG much more useful. The benefits of RTG seriously outweigh the number of AGA titles (most of which people probably rarely play anyway).

It seems that most people just want all video to be output via DIGITAL-VIDEO. The poll on Facebook has about 5 times more votes for this option than the others. Most of the comments on all the posts there also highlight this as being the main request.

Maybe its worth bringing back the Parasite hardware as this would solve that issue. I have asked about Parasite before and was told it was cancelled as not needed with Gold3. Seems that with not Gold3/AGA then there really is a call for this.

If you want AGA, just get an A1200.


Mallagan Bellator

Posts 392
19 Aug 2020 12:23


Leigh Russ wrote:

  If you want AGA, just get an A1200.

Of course! Why didnít I think of this before?!
Everybody who doesnít have an A1200, go with Leigh Russ, he will show you all to the A1200 tree where A1200s grow. You just pick one, right out of the tree where they all grew in the first place.
Problem solved


Leigh Russ

Posts 150
19 Aug 2020 12:40


You know they aren't really all that rare right? If you are willing to spend the money then they are pretty easy to come by. Plenty on eBay, and the various selling forums or Facebook groups.

So, as I said, if you want AGA that much.... Go and buy one.

Maybe worth checking the Facebook poll as more people use the group there than this forum. Current total of votes for AGA is 38. Votes for hardware solution for all video over AGA is 169.

AGA in the earlier models really isn't as wanted as people think it is.




Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1716
19 Aug 2020 12:57


I dont use Facebook any more.
 
  If I get this correctly:
 
  a) V2 core feats and All DIGITAL-VIDEO out (OCS ECS and RGB) and PiP
  b) 020 and AGA level maybe FPU no RTG
  c) 080 and AGA no FPU no RTG
 
  If possible, it would be best to have a) and c) cores separated, Blasted on user needs. That would satisfy most of users. There are people that would die to see AGA title on A500 or A600 and that would be "killer feature" to show.
 
  I suppose in modern day time 1084S are hard to come by, Commodore multisync even more, that is why unified DIGITAL-VIDEO gets so many votes. I would vote the same - good RTG outpout, even unified sound would be preferred in day to day use.


Leigh Russ

Posts 150
19 Aug 2020 13:08


Vojin Vidanovic wrote:

I dont use Facebook any more.
 
  If I get this correctly:
 
  a) V2 core feats and All DIGITAL-VIDEO out (OCS ECS and RGB) and PiP
  b) 020 and AGA level maybe FPU no RTG
  c) 080 and AGA no FPU no RTG

The Facebook poll options are:

- Hardware based solution for RGB and RTG video out over DIGITAL-VIDEO. (I read this to be a hardware device such as the Parasite add-on that was announced ages ago and then scrapped)

- Apollo Core 3 Arcade - 080 AMMX CPU without FPU, AGA, and Pamela audio (if space allows)

- Apollo Core 3 Pro - 080 AMMX CPU with FPU, RTG enhanced with PiP




David Wright

Posts 356
19 Aug 2020 14:10


After a couple of years developing work arounds such as scart to hdmi I find most of this doesnít matter. If I voted probably all digital video would be my choice.

Aga not so much. For the longest time I would check this site to see the status of core 3. I was always under the impression that was at least months away.
Again for me not a big deal anymore but a little gas lighting has been going on for a while on this. 


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1716
19 Aug 2020 14:26


Leigh Russ wrote:

  - Apollo Core 3 Arcade - 080 AMMX CPU without FPU, AGA, and Pamela audio (if space allows)

Option 1 is nice since it benefits all v2 users without much hussle.

So we pick AGA and 16-bit sound no FPU no RTG (no DIGITAL Video out?)
vs 080 AMMX with FPU and RTG plus PiP, I suppose with Digital video out for OCS ECS but no AGA and no Pamela?

I suppose in last one FPU is more real hw FPU of 8882 level (not 80-bit precision like V4, but more then current  v2)

Hmmm ... Sounds like current v3 alpha cannot be expanded with both Digital video and AGA kept even with no RTG and no FPU



Tim Trepanier

Posts 107
19 Aug 2020 15:19


Manuel Jesus wrote:

Take a moment to review the GOLD Core 3 Poll on the Facebook Vampire Accelerators Users Group and vote on what options yo would like to see.

Could someone post a link to the facebook pole. I'd like to vote.


Red Bug

Posts 13
19 Aug 2020 16:51


Personally, I'm very happy with the 2.x core as it is - no need for AGA. No need for PAMELA instead of Paula neither. For me, my A600 is an OCS/ECS machine and that's fine. If I want to play one of the rare (!) AGA-titles (many of which came out as OCS/ECS-versions also) I can use my A1200, my V4SA - or even an emulator. Features that are nice to have in V2 are for me: RTG and FPU. AMMX would be a plus (but not 100% necessary). What I most appreciate in the 2.x core (compared to V4SA-core) is that it is much more stable especially for WHDLoad (many titles work that don't work or crash on V4SA). Another problem I see is fragmentation of Vampire boards and cores: I don't know how the Apollo Team will be able to maintain so many variants of Vampires and cores ... Maybe it would be better to focus on most important variants (which would be 2.x cores for V2 and a fully featured core for V4SA).


Leigh Russ

Posts 150
19 Aug 2020 20:27


Tim Trepanier wrote:

Manuel Jesus wrote:

  Take a moment to review the GOLD Core 3 Poll on the Facebook Vampire Accelerators Users Group and vote on what options yo would like to see.
 

 
  Could someone post a link to the facebook pole. I'd like to vote.

EXTERNAL LINK

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