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      /  AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
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PosterThread
T-J 
AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 15:20:22
#1 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 31-Aug-2010
Posts: 596
From: Unknown

I thought I'd make my observations on the Classic OS4.1 announcement in a new thread to move the debate out of the news thread. The news is that Hyperion have decided to keep the old machines up to date for a little while yet and announced AmigaOS 4.1 for classic Amigas.

This means that the most recent update of AmigaOS will soon be running on elderly processors clocked to around 200MHz with very limited amounts of RAM. Quite the test of just how light and efficient the system still is, I think.

However, we know AmigaKit provide 'ZorRAM' expansions, and Ben Hermans says that AmigaOS 4.1 can use them, so running out of memory shouldn't be too much of a problem anymore. According to AmigaKit's site, the upper limit is 1GB if you've got certain CPU cards from the old Commodore days, which is plenty for AmigaOS 4. The only remaining issue is a lack of processor power.

Maybe when more of the graphics system is hardware accelerated, this won't be so problematic. But of course the best solution would be to build a faster PPC accelerator. Thinking about that reminds me that Varisys have experience designing Power CPU-equipped PCI cards - maybe that could be leveraged to provide a new classic accelerator?

If Hyperion and Co. can afford the development it could be good. Unfortunately, it would raise the question of what the rest of the classic Amiga is supposed to do in that situation. The PCI card I linked to is a 1.3GHz G4 machine with 1GB of RAM onboard. An A1200 or even an A4000 would simply not bring much to the table unless the AmigaOS could use the custom chipset. Apart from the Commodore-Amiga branded and completely retro case, of course.

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HammerD 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 15:24:23
#2 ]
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Joined: 31-Oct-2003
Posts: 934
From: Ontario, Canada

@T-J

Let me just say I'm very happy Hyperion have announced Amiga OS 4.1 for Classic Amigas with PPC accelerators.

I very much hope that those with Cyberstorm and Blizzard PPC cards will support this effort and purchase OS4.1 Classic.

Regarding a new PowerPC accelerator for Classic machines...it would be awesome and I hope it will come true!

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number6 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 15:26:54
#3 ]
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Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11537
From: In the village

@T-J

Yes, but why would this not benefit OS3.x and/or perhaps a few MorphOS users as well?
I understand Hyperion's interests here, but still...is there not a wider sales potential to consider?

some reference material that might be enlightening

#6


Last edited by number6 on 24-Oct-2010 at 03:37 PM.
Last edited by number6 on 24-Oct-2010 at 03:27 PM.

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itix 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 15:39:03
#4 ]
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Joined: 22-Dec-2004
Posts: 3398
From: Freedom world

@T-J

Quote:

However, we know AmigaKit provide 'ZorRAM' expansions, and Ben Hermans says that AmigaOS 4.1 can use them, so running out of memory shouldn't be too much of a problem anymore.


This ZorRAM stuff is new to me but according to IRC reports isnt it deemed to be quite slow?

Quote:

Thinking about that reminds me that Varisys have experience designing Power CPU-equipped PCI cards - maybe that could be leveraged to provide a new classic accelerator?


Very doubtful. You dont have to mess with dual CPU designs anymore but without a gfx card it is not a upgrade at all. AGA is extremely slow chipset and most of applications these days assume hi/true colour modes are available. The price would be probably very high and such accelerator boards are at least one year away if one started designing one today.

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itix 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 15:43:29
#5 ]
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Joined: 22-Dec-2004
Posts: 3398
From: Freedom world

@number6

If you think about OS3x users the accelerator card must have 68k installed on it to run OS3. With the dual CPU approach costs skyrocket immediately.

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number6 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 15:46:56
#6 ]
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Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11537
From: In the village

@itix

Quote:
If you think about OS3x users the accelerator card must have 68k installed on it to run OS3. With the dual CPU approach costs skyrocket immediately.


Thank you. But actually having a BOM on this does make me aware of such things.
Heh.

#6

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T-J 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 15:47:08
#7 ]
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Joined: 31-Aug-2010
Posts: 596
From: Unknown

@number6

Well, I skimmed the thread you linked, and it seems that ACube were broadly in favour. And the market seems to be willing to pay 500 for old cards. I'm sure it'd be happy to pay 300 for new ones if they could be persuaded to offer G4 levels of performance.

I think Hyperion would stand to gain the most from such an accelerator, though. MorphOS and OS3 aren't actively developed for PPC accelerators anymore. I think MorphOS stopped at 1.4.x (correct me if I'm wrong there) and OS3 will be patched to run Natami properly, no PPC support needed or particularly required.

Of course, if users of those systems wanted to buy these hypothetical future accelerators anyway, great! More customers is always good.

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number6 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 15:50:25
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11537
From: In the village

@T-J

Quote:
And the market seems to be willing to pay 500 for old cards. I'm sure it'd be happy to pay 300 for new ones if they could be persuaded to offer G4 levels of performance.


Thank you for reading, but I think you also missed one of my vital points.
When Hyperion gets involved in a project and makes it known, they get high responses in polls here.
When users do a poll, the readers are usually left to wonder if it's just another "what if" thread.
What you have to understand, even given the high # of reponses in the poll I linked to is...this was only a user poll. What if someone had officially stated that this was possible? What would the totals have been?

Regarding demand. You can do some easy homework on that by going to amiga.org and searching for "accelerator". A little data compilation to do sure, but you can certainly gauge overall interest at specific points in time.

#6

Last edited by number6 on 24-Oct-2010 at 03:55 PM.
Last edited by number6 on 24-Oct-2010 at 03:54 PM.

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pavlor 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 15:53:43
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Jul-2005
Posts: 9524
From: Unknown

@itix

Quote:
If you think about OS3x users the accelerator card must have 68k installed on it to run OS3. With the dual CPU approach costs skyrocket immediately.


You don´t need 68k CPU on such accellerator. You can use 440EP with something like eyemotion (integrated GFX and USB). Old computer (A1200 or even A500) will then provide only some connectors (like serial, parallel, FDD etc). 440EP is fast enough for OCS/ECS games emulated in UAE (and integrated though eg. RunInUAE).

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T-J 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 15:55:25
#10 ]
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Joined: 31-Aug-2010
Posts: 596
From: Unknown

@itix

I don't know much about these accelerators, although for the right price it might be worth digging the A1200 out of the garage for one.

But your point about ZorRAM - slow RAM is better than no RAM.

And the need for graphics cards and 68k CPUs and stuff... I don't think OS4 would need a 68k. If I've read and understood the articles online, it seems that the 68k is actually switched off when OS4 is running on an accelerator. The classic Amiga becomes essentially a glorified keyboard and mouse hub for the Power Architecture computer that happens to be stuck to one of its expansion slots.

And graphics cards? ACube have a low-end one-chip audiovisual solution and they've integrated Radeon chips onto boards before. It is surely possible to include graphics hardware on the accelerator board itself without needing extra cards.

Now, cost is an issue, yes. I don't know how expensive all this would get. I'd imagine quite pricy, but if Hyperion et al can keep it below the average cost of old accelerators on eBay while offering greatly improved performance, I'm sure the market would bear the price.

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T-J 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 16:06:53
#11 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 31-Aug-2010
Posts: 596
From: Unknown

@number6

Just headed over to Amiga.org and did the search for 'accelerator'.

Seems they do a lot of trading, swapping, repairing and generally discussing them over there. Looks to me as if the potential market for an accelerator is larger than the true NG Amiga market, at least for now.

And if they can justify producing in large enough volume, this could actually have a relatively low cost. An entry-level machine? Or am I being too optimistic?

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number6 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 16:12:50
#12 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11537
From: In the village

@T-J

Quote:
And if they can justify producing in large enough volume, this could actually have a relatively low cost. An entry-level machine? Or am I being too optimistic?


I can't comment on that.
But if you look to the past, you'll recall that HiToro sold joysticks in Atari magazines and such to raise money, which did -not- preclude development of a computer. Doing one thing to raise capital is not mutually exclusive to development on another front towards a greater goal.

#6

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Comi 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 17:32:23
#13 ]
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Joined: 30-Jun-2003
Posts: 659
From: Zlatibor, Serbia


Shark PPC

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nubechecorre 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 17:47:28
#14 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 21-Nov-2003
Posts: 895
From: San remo -Italy-

For me, Amiga OS 4.1 on Classic is useless until it makes full use of the Mediator BusBoard..

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itix 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 18:43:05
#15 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Dec-2004
Posts: 3398
From: Freedom world

@T-J

Without the 68k CPU you can not run OS 3 on it. If you are not going to run OS3 anymore it could be better idea buy a new computer.

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Phantom 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 19:00:18
#16 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 2-Aug-2007
Posts: 2047
From: Unknown

That's really great news, but ZorRAM must be supported imho.

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nubechecorre 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 19:46:53
#17 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 21-Nov-2003
Posts: 895
From: San remo -Italy-

Does Amiga OS 4.1 Classic work with Radeon Cards?.. or shall we use still the Voodoo Cards?.. 16megabyte of Vram are fews if you want to use Compositing ..

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Akiko 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 20:01:05
#18 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 26-Mar-2004
Posts: 781
From: UK

@nubechecorre

Quote:
Does Amiga OS 4.1 Classic work with Radeon Cards?.. or shall we use still the Voodoo Cards?.. 16megabyte of Vram are fews if you want to use Composit


It hasn't been confirmed yet, although Rogue said last year it would be something he would definitely look into if OS 4.1 classic ever got the go ahead, so fingers Crossed!

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 20:07:18
#19 ]
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Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12674
From: Norway

@Akiko

I think its just crazy to spend time on it unless some he can do whit in the hour.

There are so many more important things to improve or implement, and software to be ported.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 24-Oct-2010 at 08:58 PM.

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T-J 
Re: AmigaOS4.1 on PPC-equipped Classics
Posted on 24-Oct-2010 21:54:40
#20 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 31-Aug-2010
Posts: 596
From: Unknown

@itix

Quote:

Without the 68k CPU you can not run OS 3 on it. If you are not going to run OS3 anymore it could be better idea buy a new computer.


Ah, yes. That. I presume this means that the accelerator actually physically replaces the 68k on the Classic Amiga's motherboard? Like I said, I don't know much about these accelerators.

Well, the question then would be whether it would be cheaper to use a real 68k, or an FPGA as in Minimig. I'm sure it could be done cheaper today, though, if production volumes could be higher than they currently are for the Sams or the X1000.

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