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Poll : How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
10p Excellent (Best at 2D/3D, colors, and resolution, frame rate etc.)
5p Good / better than most computer.
0p Barely hanging in there.
-5p Below average / slow but usable
-10p useless / horrible
 
PosterThread
bhabbott 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 3:49:49
#101 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 251
From: Aotearoa

@Hammer

Quote:

Hammer wrote:

For comparison, ET4000AX ISA...

...was not supplied with most PCs. Take a look at those magazine adverts touting cheap PCs - how many told you which VGA card they had in them? Very few, because most customers didn't know the difference and/or didn't care.

The most common experience I had with the ET4000 was customers complaining about 'mouse drpppings' in Windows, because the standard VGA driver didn't work properly with it. In a time before drivers could be downloaded from the internet this was quite a problem - that also affected a lot of later cards (please keep your driver disks in a safe place where they won't get lost!) .

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DiscreetFX 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 5:06:01
#102 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Feb-2003
Posts: 2343
From: Chicago, IL

@kolla

NeXT machines were nice and very high res and sharp for the time but very expensive especially if you wanted color. Now for the important question. Would you take a B&W computer over the list of computers on the link below?

https://www.cioinsight.com/innovation/quantum-computing-companies/

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 7:35:43
#103 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@bhabbott

Quote:
hat are you going on about? Amiga floppy drives don't spin at 'half' speed, and they aren't that slow. An A1200 can read from the drive as fast as it can send the data.


High Density drives on the Amiga spin at half the speed to limit read/write speed so as not to 'outrun' the poor unupgraded Paula floppy controller.

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 9:53:42
#104 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3565
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

It's difficult to judge AGA without the benefit of hindsight.

Let's be realistic though, those of us buying an A1200 in 1992 were blown away when we saw 256 colour ans HAM8 images for the first time. My recollection was that VGA was colourful but otherwise uninteresting. A year later a friend had a 486 with VGA and in 1993 we played Doom. It was a foreshadow of all that was to come but at the same time, what seemed like elementary operations to me, like horizontal scrolling, seemed clunky and poor. Showing people three different displays open at once, each a in different resolution and colour depth (protracker, deluxe paint and workbench) partially dragged down the monitor screen and all busy running made it seem like a gift from aliens by comparison to what PCs seemed to be capable of.

In hindsight, ok, it wasn't great. It would've been better if it had offered a chunky pixel mode. There are many other ways in which it could've been better. I think had I have been a power user at the time I would've been particularly disappointed going from something like the A3000 to the A4000. Except I wasn't. I went from an A600 to an A1200. And Ioved it!

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 11:25:32
#105 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Karlos

Yeah as a kid trying to get his homework done the AGA machines were great! MagicTV saved my eyes and the better productivity apps were enough for me to save meddling too much with Excel etc until university! I even have Key to Driving Theory on Amiga CD to thank for passing my driving theory test!

Did I like Doom? Yes, I went to my mates house while he had mumps just to have a go! But Alien Breed 3D was also fun and 2-player deathmatch over null modem was great! This all spurred me on to upgrade my Amiga! By the time 1998 and ADoom swung by my Amiga was actually ready for it!

Last edited by BigD on 06-Oct-2022 at 11:26 AM.

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 11:31:55
#106 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3565
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@BigD

Ah MagicTV. Even as a student (before I eventually got an RTG card), I relied on that with an autoscrolling 1280x1024 WB with a hand curated 16-colour palette. I had something that would instantly snap to each 640x512 corner of the display so I used it a bit like workspaces. By then I'd had an 040 system for some time and had every kind of fblit and gtx in fastmem hack going.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 13:23:21
#107 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Karlos

Yep, wrote my undergraduate dissertation text on AmigaWriter 2 using MagicTV on a 14" Sony Trinitron TV! I had better eyesight then but it was fine. I once took my 'miggy to my grandma's house and tried to write some coursework using the old RF socket as she didn't have a Scart socket! Now that WAS painful!

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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 14:12:43
#108 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4656
From: Australia

Quote:

bhabbott wrote:
@Hammer

Quote:

Hammer wrote:

For comparison, ET4000AX ISA...

...was not supplied with most PCs. Take a look at those magazine adverts touting cheap PCs - how many told you which VGA card they had in them? Very few, because most customers didn't know the difference and/or didn't care.

The most common experience I had with the ET4000 was customers complaining about 'mouse drpppings' in Windows, because the standard VGA driver didn't work properly with it. In a time before drivers could be downloaded from the internet this was quite a problem - that also affected a lot of later cards (please keep your driver disks in a safe place where they won't get lost!) .

Look at the mirror i.e. Amiga 1200 with 030 @ 50Mhz accelerator is a tiny minority.


https://doom.fandom.com/wiki/Sales
PC Doom sales


Based on these data, one may place the sales until 1999 in the range 1.92.1+ million for Doom (including Ultimate Doom), and 1.51.8+ million for Doom II.

Doom II has sold for over $100 million ($80 million in the United States, $20 million in Europe of which 30% in Germany). The retail version of Ultimate Doom has sold for over $20 million in the United States. (PC Data, 2000, cited in Masters of Doom, page 210)


PC has a large market size when minority gaming PCs blow away the entire Amiga AGA install base.

Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 02:15 PM.

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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 15:23:45
#109 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4656
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:
Correct. My A1200 with Blizzard 1230-IV is 20% faster than a 40MHz 386DX. It runs Doom at about the same speed.


The problem is ID Software wanted official support from the platform vendor.

----

Mehdi Ali told 3rd party developers who requested Fast Ram equipped Amiga 1200 to f**koff. These developers jumped on Sony's Playstation bandwagon.

Reference: Commodore The Inside Story: The Untold Tale of a Computer, David Pleasance.

Quote:

Prove it.

Actually don't bother. It wouldn't have mattered what chipset they put in it or how much they sold it for, no Amiga was 'competitive' with a 486DX in 1993 because the Amiga couldn't run PC software.



John Carmnark's statement about the Amiga Doom port was about the hardware install base at a certain performance level.


From: John Carmack
The amiga is not powerfull enough to run DOOM. It takes the full
speed of a 68040 to play the game properly even if you have a chunky
pixel mode in hardware. Having to convert to bit planes would kill
it even on the fastest amiga hardware, not to mention the effect it
would have on the majority of the amiga base.



John Carmnark effectively told Amiga platform holders to change the baseline Amiga hardware performance SKU.

Prove Amiga 1200 with 030 @ 50 Mhz accelerator install base are in Atari Jaguar's 150,000 unit sales range.

For comparison, Raspberry Pi Foundation is selling about 400,000 Pi units per month or about 4.8 million units per year, mostly to B2B customers.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/10/still-cant-buy-a-raspberry-pi-board-things-arent-getting-better-anytime-soon/

"Made in the UK" Raspberry Pi Foundation managed to create its ecosystem platform with a larger customer base.

Apollo-Core's and Phase 5's unit sales are inferior compared to Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Raspberry Pi Foundation is the 21st-century's Spectrum i.e. for masses, not classes.

Quote:

This wasn't going to happen no matter what Commodore did. David Pleasance might have been a good salesman, but he had no clue about hardware. He didn't even own an Amiga.


David Pleasance's push for accelerated A1200 SKUs is based on 3rd party games developer requests. David Pleasance's role includes 3rd party developer relations.


Quote:

I can't find that magazine online. Can you post a scan of that page here?

From PC World USA

https://vintageapple.org/pcworld/pdf/PC_World_9308_August_1993.pdf
Gateway Party List, Page 62 of 324

4SX-33 with 486-SX 33Mhz, 4MB RAM, 212MB HDD, Windows Video accelerator 1MB video DRAM, 14-inch monitor for $1495,

4DX-33 with 486-DX 33Mhz, 8MB RAM, 212 MB HDD, Windows Video accelerator 1MB video DRAM, 14-inch monitor for $1795,

Remember Gateway?

Page 292 of 324
From Comtrade
VESA Local Bus WinMax with 32-Bit VL-Bus Video Accelerator 1MB, 486DX2 66 Mhz, 210 MB HDD, 4MB RAM, Price: $1795



https://vintageapple.org/pcworld/pdf/PC_World_9310_October_1993.pdf
October 1993, Page 13 of 354,
ALR Inc, Model 1 has Pentium 60-based PC for $2495.



https://archive.org/details/amiga-world-1993-10/page/n7/mode/2up
Amigaworld, October 1993, Page 66 of 104
Amiga 4000/040 @ 25Mhz for $2299
Amiga 4000/030 @ 25Mhz for $1599


Page 82 of 104
M1230X's 68030 @ 50Mhz has $349
1942 Monitor has $389
A1200 with 85MB HDD has $624
A1200 with 130MB HDD has $724

The Commodore solution is beaten by the Gateway solution.


Target sales period: XMas of 1993 Q4.. 1993 XMas sales period was Commodore's last chance.



Quote:

LC040? Yuk.

Doom-type games don't use the FPU.

386DX doesn't have an FPU.
486SX doesn't have an FPU.

Sony's original PS1 is mostly an integer-based machine. LOL
Nintendo's SuperFX v2 is an integer RISC CPU with up to 20 MIPS INT16 or 10 MIPS INT32.

Quote:

You don't seem to understand. Why would anyone buy an A4000 - even for US$799 - when it can't run PC software? If they did then it would be to run Amiga software, and then what relevance does the price of some random PC have?

Amiga 4000/LC040 wasn't sold at $799 USD. Your argument setup is flawed.

Apple survived the 68K EOL phase.


Quote:

In the mid 90's PC hardware went mad, with more powerful CPUs etc. coming out monthly and prices dropping all the time. I was selling Amigas and PCs back then, and trying to keep up with the PC juggernaut was a nightmare.

On which country? New Zealand?

New Zealand is a tiny market that lacks economies of scale and has a weaker currency.

In the USA, the PC gaming revolution started earlier when compared to New Zealand.

Commodore was aware of the chunky graphics requirement since they have half-assed Akiko C2P, but sold CD32 with half of its hardware performance potential due to shared memory bus problems.

Without 32-bit Fast RAM, A1200/CD32 is half of the hardware performance potential.

I preferred the baseline A1200 with 1 MB Chip RAM, 1 MB Fast RAM, and 68EC020 @ 25 Mhz slightly overclocked to 28 Mhz (Amiga already has 28 Mhz crystal).




Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 04:02 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 03:46 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 03:41 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 03:33 PM.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 15:33:51
#110 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Hammer

What's your point‽ Last time I checked I have a PC version of The Doom Collection but have only used the WADS for ADoom! AGA was good enough for Doom!

A Doom release earlier would have forced upgrades when it mattered.

Last edited by BigD on 06-Oct-2022 at 03:43 PM.
Last edited by BigD on 06-Oct-2022 at 03:35 PM.

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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 15:42:58
#111 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4656
From: Australia

@BigD

Quote:

BigD wrote:
@Hammer

What's your point‽ Last time I checked I have a PC version of The Doom Collection but have only used the WADS for ADoom! AGA was good enough for Doom!

Reminder, this topic is a time travel What IF.


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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 15:52:04
#112 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Hammer

We got 2 versions of Wing Commander and got Doom eventually. A500 owners still didn't upgrade . Their loss! PCs were a headache until Windows XP!

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 16:06:21
#113 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Hammer

What happened in 1993 was that the hype train started and the Amiga wasn't part of it.

"Wanna play Doom? You need a new PC!"

Wanna play 3D games? You need to save up for a PlayStation! It's nearly here!"

If Doom HAD been ported it would have sold new Amiga's. Don't tell me the PC base was big enough to sell millions of copies of Doom in 1993! It was a motivating factor for the 286 users to badger their Dad for an upgrade! It just brought the A500 users with them too because ID Software didn't port it and C= didn't pay them to do it at the same time as launching a faster A1200 SKU!

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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 16:14:35
#114 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4656
From: Australia

@BigD

Quote:

BigD wrote:
@Hammer

We got 2 versions of Wing Commander and got Doom eventually. A500 owners still didn't upgrade . Their loss! PCs were a headache until Windows XP!

Reminder, AmigaOS doesn't have memory protection. Look in the mirror.

How could A500 owners upgrade when A1200's manufacturing pace was weak? Didn't you read David Pleasance's book?

I'm one of many A500 owners who move towards 386DX-33-based PCs in 1992.

Also in 1992, I have an A3000 that can play Wing Commander ECS and it was an inferior experience compared to 386DX-33-based PCs.

AGA was completed in March 1991 and should have been released in 1991 Q4. Read David Pleasance's book for manufacturing f**kup and Dave Haynie's statement on AGA delay by Bill Sydnes.


386DX-33-based PC with ET4000AX was available before limited manufacture numbers A1200's Q4 1992 release.


Owning an A3000 wasn't a "game console" experience since I would use 3rd party tools like degrader to run kick-the-OS A500 games. http://aminet.net/package/util/misc/Degrader Look in the mirror. WHDLoad arrived later.


Quote:

If Doom HAD been ported it would have sold new Amiga's. Don't tell me the PC base was big enough to sell millions of copies of Doom in 1993! It was a motivating factor for the 286 users to badger their Dad for an upgrade! It just brought the A500 users with them too because ID Software didn't port it and C= didn't pay them to do it at the same time as launching a faster A1200 SKU!

1990 Wing Commander PC moment already triggered the 386DX-25 and 386DX-33 gaming PC purchases before late 1993's Doom release.

PC SVGA upgrades are cheaper than Amigas.

https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_hqQJaNzN9IcC/page/n603/mode/2up
PC Mag 1992-08, page 604 of 664,
Diamond Speedstar 24 (ET4000AX ISA) has $169 USD.

Upgrading gaming PCs doesn't necessarily require a full PC purchase.


Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 04:37 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 04:34 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 04:32 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 04:27 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 04:22 PM.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 16:36:32
#115 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Hammer

If the PCs were 1987 tech like the A500 you can bet a complete computer purchase would be needed to play Doom! The A500 owners needed to invest in AGA, hard drives and heck even some 030 accelerators and CD-Rom drives before 1996, instead you all bought PCs!

Last edited by BigD on 06-Oct-2022 at 04:37 PM.
Last edited by BigD on 06-Oct-2022 at 04:36 PM.

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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 17:07:16
#116 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4656
From: Australia

@BigD

Quote:

If the PCs were 1987 tech like the A500 you can bet a complete computer purchase would be needed to play Doom! The A500 owners needed to invest in AGA, hard drives and heck 030 accelerators and CD-Rom drives, instead you all bought PCs!

If the said 1987 PC follows AT standards, component upgrades would be required while my entire A3000 has been dumped for a complete AGA machine.

Dave Haynie's push for A3000 AGA motherboard upgrades was rejected by Commodore's management.

My regret is when my Dad purchased an IBM PS/2 Model 55SX in the late 1980s instead of a 386 PC clone. Our attempted component upgrades for IBM PS/2 Model 55SX with higher-cost MCA cards caused my Dad to sell the IBM PS/2 Model 55SX for a 386DX-33 PC clone and it was the last IBM desktop PC in our family.

Cyrix Cx486SLC was the upgrade for 386SX.
Cyrix Cx486DLC was the upgrade for 386DX.

Our attempted component upgrades are SoundBlaster ISA and ET4000AX ISA which turns our business 386DX-33 PC into a gaming PC in early 1992. Reminder, AGA A1200 arrived in Q4 1992 in limited numbers.

Without AGA (RTG arrive later), the entire accelerated Amiga 500 ditched, the entire accelerated Amiga 2000 ditched and the entire Amiga 3000 ditched. The Amiga platform is unable to convert 32-bit accelerated Amigas into Doom-capable machines.

Dave Haynie's push for A3000 AGA motherboard upgrades was important for keeping the existing A3000 owners within the Commodore's ecosystem. Dave Haynie knows AGA must be released ASAP time frame.

Big Box Amigas lacks motherboard form factor standards.

I do support the AGA-on-ECS upgrade project. https://github.com/nonarkitten/amiga_replacement_project Effectively, AGA overdrive upgrade path for OCS/ECS Amigas.

Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 05:28 PM.
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Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 05:12 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 05:10 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 06-Oct-2022 at 05:08 PM.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 17:29:26
#117 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Hammer

The ECS machines were a joke period! What benefit does an A3000 have over an A2000 with 030 accelerator really? Obviously it had a pretty case but seriously!

All that faffing with PC upgrades sound horrific! It had nothing comparable to autoconfig and other than Doom all the 2D stuff was STILL better on the Amiga AGA in 92/93 IMHO!

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 17:35:33
#118 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3565
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@BigD

Quote:

BigD wrote:
@Hammer

The ECS machines were a joke period! What benefit does an A3000 have over an A2000 with 030 accelerator really?


Oh, I dunno...

- Designed for the 030, rather than having it retrofit
- Support for SCRAM
- 32-bit CPU slot
- Zorro3 bus
- DMA SCSI-II controller
- Integrated scan-doubler / flicker fixer

That sort of thing...

Last edited by Karlos on 06-Oct-2022 at 05:37 PM.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 18:31:41
#119 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Karlos

OK but without proper updated graphics, sound etc is it REALLY what we needed? Why was Haynie overruled with the AGA decision?

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 19:12:22
#120 ]
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Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3565
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@BigD

If you don't think the 3000 was a worthwhile upgrade over the 2000 I don't know what to say. It was more performant in every way possible. The A3000+ would've been even better, of course and had your AGA but equally a DSP for all sorts of additional fun.

Even without AGA and the DSP, the A3000 is one of, if not the best Amiga Commodore ever built. The 4000 was an MVP disaster. All it had going for it was AGA. They couldn't even solder the capacitors with the right polarity on the 3640 CPU board if you'd shelled out for the 040 version, let alone manage a respectable memory access speed.

Given who the 3000 was aimed at, I don't think they minded, but it was a shame that the A3000+ wasn't released.

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Doing stupid things for fun...

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