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      /  What should "entry level hardware" be like?
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Mark 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 9:34:24
#21 ]
Team Member
Joined: 12-Mar-2003
Posts: 1457
From: UK

@PhantomInterrogative

Unfortunately there is a big difference in the "coputing" market to the car market why? well here are a few reasons:

:- As you mention above there were several car amanufacturers already, not the 1 over-arching provider of cars

:- You can more or less (once you know how to drive 1 type of car) get in any car and drive it, OS4 cant be driven the same as windows and doesnt run the same software.

:- people have historically gone there own way when it comes to cars, being different is good, the majority of people dont car enough about a computer to "get something different"

Mark

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AmiGame 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 9:54:24
#22 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 23-Mar-2004
Posts: 3599
From: Peterborough, UK, Planet Earth (I think...)

@BigGun

Quote:
The PDA has no PowerPC CPU

Indeed... I was suggesting a port... That would appeal so much more to me than any x86/peg port...

Jerry

_________________
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PhantomInterrogative 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 11:48:14
#23 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2004
Posts: 742
From: The Interrogative Lair

@Mark

You have given some very good observations on the differences between the two markets; however, just as people in general like a choice of automobiles, I believe some people like a choice of ways to interact with their computers. Although market share is tight with the Windows dominated scene, many OS's are entering the arena (Zeta/BeOS and several newer Linux flavors to name just a few). Amiga has a chance to enter into the race to capture the 1% market share that Zeta and others are trying to capture. If it captures such a market, it may get a chance to expand beyond that market.

However, the original thread was dealing with "entry level hardware." If the Amiga is to capture the 1% market share, what should that hardware look like?

-The Phantom "?"

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Olecranon 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 2:04:10
#24 ]
Member
Joined: 29-Jan-2006
Posts: 28
From: Unknown

@PhantomInterrogative

Quote:
A little over ten years ago, many people thought that the automobile market in the US could not allow for anyone other than GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and Nissan. Despite such discouragement, Daihatsu, Hyundai, Kia, and Daiwoo broke into the US auto market. I haven't seen a Daihatsu or Daiwoo in a while, but Kia and Hyundai are still around. It is possible to break into a seemingly impregnable market; thus, it is not unrealistic to think that Amiga could make a comeback. A better description for the Amiga's comeback is "unlikely but possible."


The thing you need to keep in mind here is that those car companies broke into the american marketplace by being cheaper, getting better mileage, and having better warranties. I think this is pretty much what Samwel was saying. The Amiga needs to be better and cheaper for it to have a chance and I agree with that.

You have to ask yourself. Why would anyone spend $500 on a 600Mhz entry level machine running OS4 (with little to zero in software), when you can pony up $400 and buy a 2.4Ghz Dell with a flat panel monitor? If your answer is "because its an Amiga and OS4 rules", then your pretty much limiting yourself to the Amiga enthusiast as your market. Thats going to make it hard for any company to stay afloat and make profits.

In my opinion. OS4 needs to be written for X86. Have a short list of compatible, but common hardware and allow Amiga users to build there own systems like PC users. The PPC or Cell chip might be a more elegant CPU, but who cares when you can snag 3Ghz Cpus for under $100. Its takes an aweful lot of elegance and efficiency to compete with that type of raw speed.

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PhantomInterrogative 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 5:33:45
#25 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2004
Posts: 742
From: The Interrogative Lair

@Olecranon

I agree that Kia, Hyundai, et al succeeded in the ways you described. What I meant from my original automotive comparison post was the following...

Most market analysts thought it was impossible to break into the US automotive market; yet, in hindsight, it was indeed possible to break into the market. Likewise, it is indeed possible for the Amiga to break into the computer market. It is unlikely, but possible. I agree with both you and Samwel that price is indeed a factor. X86 hardware would indeed lower the price and increase performance (unless a third party floods the market with cheap PPCs). What should an inexpensive entry level X86 hardware Amiga look like specs-wise?

-The Phantom "?"

Last edited by PhantomInterrogative on 31-Jan-2006 at 06:06 AM.

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PhantomInterrogative 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 8:22:30
#26 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2004
Posts: 742
From: The Interrogative Lair

The discussion thus far has become one of price and marketability. If possible, may I redirect the discussion back to entry level specs. I compared the following from Apple and Dell.

Mac Mini
-------------
G4 1.25 GHz
512 MB DDR SDRAM
ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB of DDR SDRAM with AGP 4X support
40 GB Ultra ATA
DVD-ROM/CD-RW
One FireWire 400 port; two USB 2.0 ports; DVI output; VGA output
Built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and 56K V.92 modem2
Airport Extreme and Bluetooth available as build-to-order option
$499

Dell
------
Celeron 2.53 GHz
256 MB DDR SDRAM
40 GB Ultra ATA
48X CDRW/DVD
56K PCI Modem
10/100 Ethernet
Intel Graphics
$299

As has been argued numerous times even in this thread, using an X86 architecture gives more power for price. If we are to compete in the "entry level" market, we should at least come near the Dell $299 entry price and specs. What can an Amiga hardware manufacturer build in small quantities and sell to the end user for around $299? Is this even possible in small quantities?

-The Phantom "?"

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Samwel 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 9:56:12
#27 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Apr-2004
Posts: 3396
From: Sweden

@PhantomInterrogative

Yes, but it IS impossible to make a PPC motherboard (even the motherboard
alone) as cheap as the complete Dell PC setup.

And it is also impossble at this time to get a PPC that have the same performance
and price ratio as the cheap PC's.

It might be possible if the PPC motherboard manufacturer to sell that cheap if
they chose to sell at a loss the first year or two (like the consoles).
Who's gonna take that chance on a small userbase like AmigaOS has? And is likely
ever going to have..

The difference from the past and now is that when Commodore released the Amiga
nothing could touch it. It was absolutely the best hardware wise. At a quite cheap
price compared to PC's at the the time.
Nowadays the cheap PC motherboards sell more in a week than Amiga could hope
to sell in two years with a success. Sad but true.

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Dirk-B 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 10:02:00
#28 ]
Super Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 1180
From: Belgium

@PhantomInterrogative

Hmm, you could also look at it in this way:

mini-pc = 99% of market = 300 $
mac-mini (G4) = 99:100 = 0,9% of market = 500 $
amy05 (G4) = 99:100:100 = 0,009 of market = 700 $

So if the amy05 goes G3 for about 400 $ , that is fine for me.

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elwood 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 10:31:18
#29 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 17-Sep-2003
Posts: 3398
From: Lyon, France

@PhantomInterrogative

Quote:
What can an Amiga hardware manufacturer build in small quantities and sell to the end user for around $299?

It's easy : nothing. i.e. at this price, you cannot come close to the specs you gave.

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olegil 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 12:13:49
#30 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5887
From: Work

@elwood

Well, technically you can use an SoC on a board with no support chips (no onboard memory, sound, graphics, IDE or floppy) but with enough PCI and/or PCIe slots to fulfill most wishes with cheap off-the-shelf plugin cards (a PCI C-Media sound card costs $10, there's no reason to pick that fight) for around that price. So CPU and motherboard is possible within $300, but not if it must have a bunch of onboard support chips. Most SoCs have serial ports, memory controllers, PCI(e), GbE and bootrom interface on-chip, so that really is most of the motherboard right there.

The thing is, this won't be compatible with the old-school Amigas anyway, so there's absolutely zero "Amiga-like" nostalgia involved in any of those support chips. If we just write drivers for some common SATA(2) chipsets (technically that's a "check" already , sound cards (check), graphics cards (check), USB2 controllers (who do I need to bribe to get USB2 in OS4?), then such an SoC would be THE solution.

Do it in an ATX form factor with 6-7 PCI(e) slots, I think you'll find that the motherboard would involve very little tricky routing.

Possible SoC targets (incomplete list, but there's one from every plausible family here):
AMCC440SPe (PCIe for graphics, PCI + PCIe + PCIe for everything else)
AMCC440SP (3 x PCI)
AMCC440GX
AMCC405GP(r)
MPC8541E
MPC8548E (PCIe for graphics, dual PCI for everything else)
MPC8349E
MPC8641(D)
PA6T-1682M (PCIe all the way).
PA6T-1361E (PCIe)

I have a firm belief that someone could make a motherboard based on the AMCC440SPe with 3 PCIe slots (x16 (8 active lanes), x4, x4) and 4 PCI slots for less than $300. Including onboard GbE and serial ports (PS2 mouse/keyboard and/or serial console). Based around the MPC8548E the card would have PCIe for graphics (x8 in x16 connector) and 6 PCI slots in one or two busses.
A PA6T-1682M board would have PCIe for graphics (x16) and 6 PCIe x1 connectors for expansion cards. PA6T-1361E could have x8 + x4 + x4 (2 active lanes) + 3-4 PCI slots from a very simple PCIe to PCI bridge (PLX or TI device, $20).

The user would need external graphics, sata, usb and sound for a base system, but these can be had for a total sum significantly less than $100.

And before you start, there's NO graphics card today that wouldn't be MORE than satisfied with a x8 PCIe connection to DDR(2) SDRAM.

Tell you what, I'll even help. If someone is gutsy enough to start a project around this, I'll help both financially and on the workload.

Stop putting useless features onboard, give us more slots.

Last edited by olegil on 31-Jan-2006 at 12:16 PM.

_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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PhantomInterrogative 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 12:14:32
#31 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2004
Posts: 742
From: The Interrogative Lair

@elwood

I agree that a $299 Amiga would not come close to the specs I gave. The question was what entry level Amiga could some hardware company make that they could sell for $299? Could it be done if someone bought up a batch of older 300-600 MHz PPC chips?

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PhantomInterrogative 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 12:16:40
#32 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2004
Posts: 742
From: The Interrogative Lair

@olegil

Here is the type of technical detail I've been wanting to steer this debate towards. Thanks Olegil!

-The Phantom "?"

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olegil 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 12:18:47
#33 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5887
From: Work

@PhantomInterrogative

Why not use one of the NEW 300-600MHz chips? MPC8349E or AMCC405GPr are good candidates, they've got enough PCI channels to last most of us a lifetime, and I think both have ethernet controllers on-chip.

_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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elwood 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 15:03:01
#34 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 17-Sep-2003
Posts: 3398
From: Lyon, France

@olegil

Interesting. Now it depends on the cost of the CPU.

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olegil 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 15:14:05
#35 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5887
From: Work

@elwood

Indeed. The motherboard will have the same basic cost in all configurations, it's work hours designing it and the cost of the CPU that is different between different boards.

For the really tiny machines you want as much onboard as possible, but who here can really say they have any sort of nostalgia regarding a VIA southbridge? Not me, that's for sure.

I try to live by the slogan "simpler is better". Why make a lot of fuss when you can get straight to the point and have a working solution in a fraction of the time?

_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 15:47:34
#36 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 10736
From: Norway

@olegil

I agree I don’t really care about the names of the chips on the boards as long as it covers some basics USB2, DDR, PCIe, PCI, Ethernet, more then 800mhz (I have no use for PS/2 ports, COM ports or floppy drive controller.)

I like to see a main board whit a CELL CPU running OS4, I think the can be used in ways that can boost the multimedia experience, decoding files, and music, and for many other tasks, similar what altivec is doing right now for mplayer.

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olegil 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 15:51:57
#37 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5887
From: Work

@NutsAboutAmiga

Cell? Entry level hardware? Right

_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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Dirk-B 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 16:07:00
#38 ]
Super Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 1180
From: Belgium

@olegil

Nice ideas.

It is time to make some realy nice inovative hardware
that is cheap but good enouph for OS4. The best thing
would be to make some kernel-hardware like you said,
and then expand from there following our own needs.

The thing that i liked most with the classics was that
they where expandible (?) and you could add lots of stuff.
And all this could be done following our own budget.

We need a budget computer with a realy fun OS.

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yetihw 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 16:15:26
#39 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 1-Mar-2005
Posts: 156
From: Cleveland Ohio

Forgive me I don't wanna come across as negative its not my intention but obviously with the warning I know I am treading on shacky ground, but entry level hardware should be available for purchase from someone with an operating system to go with it. It'll be what it is because in my opinion it will be used by someone who uses computers for fun as a hobby so the specs really are a side note honestly the most cost effective means in my opinion the better and of course it needs to have the amiga flair to it.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 31-Jan-2006 16:46:40
#40 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 10736
From: Norway

@yetihw


Well AmigaOS4 have lots of Amiga flair to it. I don’t mind the classic custom chips being lost.

* Boots fast,
* Correct folder structure,
* Runs classic programs,
* Runs WarpUp programs,
* Responsive like AmigaOS should be
* AHI and real sound card makes sound crystal clear
* P96 24bit gfx makes desktop looks better and makes the OS more responsive then AGA
* Easy to monitor problems whit Snoop DOS
* Support multiple work screens
* Screen can be dragged down so they overlap

this is just what AmigaOS4 has in common whit AmigaOS3, AmigaOS4 has many improvements to it memory allocate and memory protection is enabled for new programs to use in system friendly way, improvements to the CD file system, it now supports reading mac cd’s and Juliet windows CD’s, many of the features of old patches you find in virtual prefs and MCP have found it’s way in to the system and is now system friendly implemented, the new integrated debugger has found it’s way in to the system and helps developers find and remove bugs found in there programs, lots of bugs go undetected on AmigaOS3.x and sooner or later ends up as a GURU mediation, the new debugger (GRIM) reports info on screen, can be written to reports to disk, so you can debug logs to developers, so they can fix there problems, new TCP stack has found it’s way in to the system that is faster and works better then Miami, AmigaOS4 support USB mass storage derives like cameras, memory card readers, and usb zip drives.

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