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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
Gunnar 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 10:08:43
#161 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Sep-2022
Posts: 152
From: Unknown

@SHADES

Quote:

Atari did release the Falcon. Was it better than the AMIGA? what we had at the time? Yes. It was.


While the Falcon was better in regards it was also worse in others.
I think there is no clear winner.

The Amiga 1200 has 24bit color register, the Falcon only 18bit.
The Amiga had therefore real 256 gray tones.
While the Falcon could only show 64 shades of gray

I think the Falcon also not supported Chunky for 8bit, Am I right?
I think 8bit what most games used at that time.
Doom, Quake, etc was also PLANAR on the Falcon.
The falcon has this cool 16bit hicolor mode, but it lacked bandwidth to use in higher resolutions.
And how much did the Falcon cost?

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SHADES 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 10:11:22
#162 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 13-Nov-2003
Posts: 853
From: Melbourne

@Karlos

Quote:
It had a 16MHz 030 attached to a 16 bit data bus, halving the maximum transfer rate to the rest of the entire system


How fast was it at shunting the data around?
Was it faster than AMIGA?
Did it have buffered serial ports?
Colour increase?
Chunky 16-bit truecolor mode?
VGA 30Hz?
16-bit audio input and output up to 50 kHz - 8 stereo channels
3D ability?
1.44 MB 3.5 inch PC-compatible floppy disk - internal (HD @ full speed)
DSP port with IS buses for external expansions as ADCs/DACs, S/PDIF or ADAT interfaces
Atari IDE adapter should have about 6 MB/sec. Way above 2 MB/sec
You could even playback .mp3

16 bit BUS was a bummer though.

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SHADES 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 10:14:03
#163 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 13-Nov-2003
Posts: 853
From: Melbourne

@Gunnar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Falcon

Says it all.

IF AAA had come out.....well now, that's a very different thing.

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 10:22:50
#164 ]
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Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3565
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@SHADES

My point is, it wasn't perfect. I didn't say it wasn't a great machine. The Falcon was the first Atari I genuinely considered buying, but in the end, upgraded my A1200 instead.

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SHADES 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 10:27:59
#165 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 13-Nov-2003
Posts: 853
From: Melbourne

@Karlos

Atari Falcon was a really good machine with a very crappy OS.
True, it was not perfect.
If AAA had come out, this thread would have a very different response from me.
I have not forgiven Commodore to this day for the let-down.
AGA was too little, way too late.

Last edited by SHADES on 07-Oct-2022 at 10:29 AM.

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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 11:21:41
#166 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4656
From: Australia

@agami

Quote:

All it's good for on Amiga A1200 with AGA is to look at slowly rendered static pictures. Can it render a folder icon in HAM8 while dragging it from one folder to another? Can it run Amiga version of Wing Commander in HAM8?
Nobody was interested in holding and modifying. Since the beginning of the affordable game-busting VGA-driven DOS/Windows PC revolution in US and western Europe in 1987, everyone knew that packed pixels (chunky) was superior. No one understands why Commodore, Atari, Nintendo, Sega, EGA, etc used planar graphics.

There's no point in applying HAM8 on Wing Commander when the original artwork has a 256-color VGA design target.

IBM VGA is very slow and wasn't a good showing for the PC.

https://youtu.be/k4Tm2Mrh5g0?t=235
PS/2 Model 25 286 with IBM VGA and Kingston SX-NOW! 386SX-20 CPU upgrade, Doom is very slow... slower than Amiga 1200's stock 68EC020 @ 14 Mhz with Fast RAM playing Doom.

IBM VGA is rubbish.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 11:33:41
#167 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Gunnar

Quote:
Nevertheless AGA did increase the Amiga power in many ways.
The majority of popular Amiga games are 2D= Turrican, Rtype, Giana Sisters, Hybris, you name them.
And with AGA the coders could make much nicer looking 2D games than with OCS.


As proved with the homebrew Turrican 2 AGA project! Gorgeous recreation of the game for AGA using the DOS versions graphical assets! 3 Worlds already done! Shame I nearly destroyed my 3rd SCSI hard drive in 6 years trying to install it! Fully backed up now but a bit hairy for a while! Probably need a second SCSI2SD V6 as a backup drive!

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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 11:42:29
#168 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4656
From: Australia

@Gunnar

From https://temlib.org/AtariForumWiki/index.php/Atari_Falcon
In 1993, Falcon 1MB has $799 list price.


From USA's Amiga World Magazine (November 1993), page 58 of 100,
Price listed in USD in November 1993

A1200/020, 2MB, price $379


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

David Pleasance wanted CPU-accelerated A1200 bundled SKUs.

For example, Commodore UK's proposed A1200/030 @ 28 Mhz to 50 Mhz SKU would have stepped on Commodore Germany's A4000/030 @ 25 Mhz business model. Company internal politics can be a factor.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 11:44:49
#169 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Thread

...or at least another SD card to back up the ailing hard drive in the meantime! It's good to talk things through!

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 12:13:49
#170 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3565
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

Again, it's hard to judge AGA objectively with the benefit of hindsight. Objectively in 1992, AGA wasn't bad, especially at the A1200 price point. It just could've been better.

Even with C2P it's not the huge, all consuming bottleneck people automatically assume once you have a fast enough CPU and you begin to approach the "copyspeed" limit. I had no issues at all playing Doom and Doom 2 on AGA with my 25MHz Apollo 1240, which was one of the earliest revisions of one of the earliest 040 cards for the machine. It had plenty of other issues (that were fixable with patches of various kinds).

When I got the BlizzPPC, I could play PPC Quake on AGA at 320x400 (interlaced) at acceptable frame rates and at 320x200 it was fluid, in the days when context switching overhead for PowerUp v WarpOS was the hot debate.

Where it really failed for me was for productivity work. With RTG, that issue was gone. I could even use two displays at a time (native on one, RTG on the other), which was interesting. Later I decided to make use of 56kHz audio modes under CGX RTG which made the native display unusable, but allowed OMSS and various AHI applications to use 44kHz mixing rates on Paula.

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 12:23:40
#171 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3565
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@agami

Acknowledging the parody post, but I wouldn't be doing my inner nerd any justice without commenting on this

Quote:
PC with VGA had just as many colours as AGA


Not sure this is correct, though I suppose it depends on how you count colours. I believe the VGA standard only requires 6 bits per gun resolution at a minimum and while many systems used 24-bit colour, 18-bit was a thing. In fact, the initial CGX drivers for my Permedia2 were configured for 256 of 262144, which was updated to 24 bit in CGX4, IIRC.

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Bosanac 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 14:38:57
#172 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-May-2022
Posts: 242
From: Unknown

@SHADES

Someone should port AROS to the Falcon.

Then it would be the Amiga we wanted back then. Well, other than the gimped 16bit bus, but still an awesome machine.

One of the Haiku devs started a port for the Falcon years ago, but it never progressed anywhere sadly.

A proper memory protected OS (Amiga done right!) on 68030 with AROS hosted running on that for system friendly Amiga apps and UAE for the hardware banging stuff.

Dream machine, especially on one upgraded to an 060 with an ATI GPU. 😁

edit:NSFW Total pr0n!
https://youtu.be/9jeKYpqGVBA

Last edited by Bosanac on 07-Oct-2022 at 03:29 PM.

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Bosanac 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 15:23:02
#173 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-May-2022
Posts: 242
From: Unknown

@Hammer

1MB Chip/1MB Fast RAM would have been better than 2MB Chip in a stock A1200 IMNSHO.

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Gunnar 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 16:09:06
#174 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Sep-2022
Posts: 152
From: Unknown

@Bosanac

Quote:

Bosanac wrote:
@Hammer

1MB Chip/1MB Fast RAM would have been better than 2MB Chip in a stock A1200 IMNSHO.


For some applications but not for the average Amiga 2D game.
The 2MB chip memory are really needed for making AGA 2D games.
You need chip memory for Screenbuffer, for Sprites, for Audio, for GFX ...
To make "normal" 2D Games like Turrican you not any need fastmem for this.
The 68020 is fast enough for these games also with program in chipmem.


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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 18:14:51
#175 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@Thead

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times!"

We got the much delayed AA chipset though AAA and Hombre were stillborn.

It was like an encore for the Amiga fans at the end of a concert! Was it still the farewell tour? Probably, yes, but it was worth something and the A1200 lived way beyond C= and Tramiel's/Gould's evil empire!

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 20:08:09
#176 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3565
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@BigD

It was the blurst of times...

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matthey 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 20:09:05
#177 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1684
From: Kansas

BigD Quote:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times!"

We got the much delayed AA chipset though AAA and Hombre were stillborn.


AAA was always too big/expensive, exotic/experimental and incompatible for the Amiga. Even in 1994, AAA was impractical while the practical AA+ spec cost too much for CBM by that time.

ECS - 3 chips 60,000 transistors
AGA - 3 chips ? transistors (Lisa 80,000 transistors, Alice 80,000 transistors)
AA+ - 2 chips 200,000 transistors
AAA 32 bit - 4 chips 750,000 transistors
AAA 64 bit - 6 chips 1,000,000 transistors

The AA+ spec is what AGA should have been if CBM developers had sat down years earlier and been realistic. Instead, they continued developing an impractical AAA too long necessitating the hurried and deficient AGA chipset. The AA+ spec likely could have been cheaper, higher performance and lower power than AGA and could have been available earlier with proper planning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_AA+_Chipset

CBM development and integration was too slow for 2D while 3D was more demanding in these areas. The Amiga chipset was mostly using 5000nm NMOS technology up until CBM had HP produce the AGA Lisa using a 1500nm CMOS process (despite MOS vertical integration). VLSI is what made the Amiga possible for the masses but CBM failed to continue integrating it. Hombre would have required more expensive integration. CBM managed to license PA-RISC and develop it for Hombre but it is all for not if they couldn't integrate the 3D technology. The more practical move would have been to license the 68k from Motorola for a more compatible single chip Amiga 68k SoC but even that fails without better integration than CBM accomplished. They could always license a 3D core later if they didn't want to take the big risk of massively integrating 3D technology to bring it to market as a pioneer.

BigD Quote:

It was like an encore for the Amiga fans at the end of a concert! Was it still the farewell tour? Probably, yes, but it was worth something and the A1200 lived way beyond C= and Tramiel's/Gould's evil empire!


CBM an "evil empire"? There was corruption and incompetence from upper management but it's not like they murdered or even stole from people. It's more like a good relationship turned bad due to other people's flaws and there isn't much we can do about it. Very frustrating.

Last edited by matthey on 12-Oct-2022 at 07:00 PM.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 20:41:23
#178 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6915
From: UK

@matthey

Jack fell out with Irving, Irving fired Rattigan (the less meddling Head Honcho), and then the PC executives arrived and got rid of the Amiga engineers! Hardly sounds like the best place of work! Maybe not evil but the company serviced Irving Gould by the end, not the shareholders, not the customers and definitely not the hard working engineers that actuay created things to sell! Deeply deeply self-serving people that couldn't care less about the legacy they could have had!

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matthey 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 21:39:40
#179 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1684
From: Kansas

BigD Quote:

Jack fell out with Irving, Irving fired Rattigan (the less meddling Head Honcho), and then the PC executives arrived and got rid of the Amiga engineers! Hardly sounds like the best place of work! Maybe not evil but the company serviced Irving Gould by the end, not the shareholders, not the customers and definitely not the hard working engineers that actually created things to sell! Deeply deeply self-serving people that couldn't care less about the legacy they could have had!


Jack and Irving were both head strong and eccentric. They are not the personality types that share power well or like to be told what to do. It's no surprise they had a falling out. Irving firing Thomas Rattigan after turning the company around is puzzling though. Thomas seemed professional and maybe thought he had earned enough respect to ask Irving to be more professional too. Irving was arrogant though and arrogance often comes before a fall. Medhi Ali is a number cruncher and didn't try to understand his business products like Thomas had setting the stage for the pasture is greener on the other side of the fence PC transition and Bill Sydnes. I believe Bill brought in a bunch of PC cronies which increased the PC engineering count more than Amiga engineers were fired. From Dave Haynie remarks, it sounds like there were always few Amiga engineers and low Amiga development/R&D budgets after the original Los Gatos developers were let go. That is my perspective anyway and it would be interesting to hear more about it from David Pleasance. The 40 PC engineers claim is a lot of payroll alone if David is not exaggerating.

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cdimauro 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 22:09:23
#180 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3104
From: Germany

@Hammer

Quote:

Hammer wrote:
@cdimauro

For 1993 Doom, using AGA as a dumb frame buffer is a good enough approximation against VGA "Mode Y" performance with ET4000AX class SVGA ISA cards. Mode Y is a variant of Mode 13h.

It was Mode X.

Mode Y is something like from 320x400 to 400x600 which wasn't that used, since the aspect ratio was too (vertically) elongated.

However I think that it was still very useful and deserved to be used, at least for some type of games (adventures, primarily).


@agami

Quote:

agami wrote:

If you didn't have enough money, then you only had an A1200 with AGA. In the US and western Europe, the DOS/Windows PC revolution started with the release of VGA in 1987. Everyone who had enough money ran out and bought a VGA card, even if they didn't have a PC. They knew that they eventually would.

This...

@Karlos

Quote:

Karlos wrote:
Again, it's hard to judge AGA objectively with the benefit of hindsight. Objectively in 1992, AGA wasn't bad, especially at the A1200 price point. It just could've been better.

...and this.

The Amiga 1200 was a quite affordable machine and had good features for its price.

I loved my A1200.

But that's what I was able to get at the time for that price (BTW, I gave my Amiga 2000 + 2MB expansion card for it).

The dream was the A4000, but it was super-expensive. And the hardware not competitive (especially the chipset) with PCs of similar prices.

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