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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
cdimauro 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 22:25:34
#181 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3128
From: Germany

@Gunnar

Quote:

Gunnar wrote:

For AMIGA AGA was major improvement over OCS/ECS.
The 64bit DMA fetchmode, gave the machine x4 more display bandwidth than before.

It sucked, due to the enormously increased granularity.

64-bit memory fetches are OK (required!) for packed/chunky graphics, but NOT for planar graphics (especially if you had several bitplanes).

64-bit memory fetches were so bad that when enabling the horizontal scrolling they hogged ALL sprites except the first one.

In fact, on Fightin' Spirit AGA it was needed to change the fetch mode to 32-bit on the specific raster lines to display the special "energy bubbles" of the characters.
Quote:
The color quality increased from 12bit palette to real 24bit truecolor palette.

Sure: with a HORRIBLE and SLOW patch to access / set the additional color registers sizes.
Quote:
The palette registers increased from 32 to 256

With another HORRIBLE and SLOW patch to access / set the new color registers.
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.

Yes, but not a quantum leap, since the Blitter remained the same: 16 bit and 7Mhz.

There were much more slots available for it, thanks to the bigger fetch modes, but not a game changer and carrying important issues (see above).
Quote:

Gunnar wrote:
@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.

I agree on this.

The Amiga was made for 2D games. And those games require chip ram. ONLY chip ram.

Fast ram was NOT useful neither important.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 7-Oct-2022 23:33:08
#182 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6925
From: UK

@cdimauro

Quote:
Fast ram was NOT useful neither important.


What planet are you from?! Using a standard 1MB/2MB Chip Ram, floppy only, OCS/ECS/AGA Amiga is such a depressing way to play games never mind to use a computer IMHO! Fast Ram was needed to do anything remotely fun or useful. Alien Breed 3D was very playable with a 020 and 8MB or Fast Ram but really needed a HD, 030 and 32MB of Fast Ram to be fun! Napalm needed 16MB of Fast Ram and 030, HD and a CD-Rom drive (preferably a RTG card too). Why are you still talking about playing 2D Dennis/Oscar games when talking about AGA? Those simple titles did not last beyond 1994 IMHO.

Last edited by BigD on 07-Oct-2022 at 11:35 PM.
Last edited by BigD on 07-Oct-2022 at 11:34 PM.

_________________
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bhabbott 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 3:35:27
#183 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 255
From: Aotearoa

@BigD

Quote:

BigD wrote:
@cdimauro

Quote:
Fast ram was NOT useful neither important.


What planet are you from?! Using a standard 1MB/2MB Chip Ram, floppy only, OCS/ECS/AGA Amiga is such a depressing way to play games never mind to use a computer IMHO! Fast Ram was needed to do anything remotely fun or useful.

You are both right - and wrong. Fast RAM certainly was useful, and important when you didn't want the CPU being blocked by Chip RAM DMA. But many excellent games did just fine without it.

The original Amiga chipset was designed on the principle of doing graphics operations much faster than the CPU could, so it didn't matter if those operations blocked the CPU. In comparison to machines such as the Atari ST which used the CPU for everything, the Amiga could do more. However if you add Fast RAM then the CPU can operate in parallel with the blitter and it can do even more! So whether Fast RAM is important of not depends on the title. Some might be good enough even on lesser hardware, others might need more than a stock machine can provide.

If a game could achieve the desired performance without Fast RAM then it clearly didn't need it. But some games did need more, particularly those that did a lot of calculations or graphics rendering (textured mapped 3D games are the obvious example). Another factor was 'lazy' ports from platforms that perhaps converted data on-the-fly for convenience, or had inefficient code that didn't matter with a faster CPU.

'Useful' applications sometimes also needed more CPU power, and often higher resolutions that blocked the CPU. Things like word processors, spreadsheets, CAD and paint programs were noticeably slowed down by running in Chip RAM with 16 colors in hires. The A1200 suffered much less because bitplane DMA doesn't block the CPU until you go above 256 colors in hires, and the 68020 works efficiently with 32 bit Chip RAM despite the limited bandwidth.

A stock (Chip RAM only) A1200 is over twice as fast as a stock A500 when running a 6 bitplane screen (HAM6, 8 colors hires or 64 colors lores). I wrote the code for a multimedia ttitle for the CDTV called the Connoisseur Fine Art Collection. When the CD was run on the CD32 it displayed the images twice as fast without any 'tuning' to match the CD32's capabilities. I was impressed. The extra bandwidth and CPU power made a big difference even when no specific 020 or AGA features were enabled.

But here's the thing - if we had developed this title on the CD32 originally I might not have been asked to optimize the code for best performance, and then it might have been no better on the CD32 than it was on the CDTV. We probably also would have digitized the images in HAM8 hires instead of HAM6 lores, which would have doubled the file sizes and slowed it down (the CD32's CDROM drive can be run at double speed to compensate, but this is not recommended as it is less reliable). With optimized code it could have had much clearer images and be faster, which makes AGA totally worth it even (or especially) without Fast RAM. But would we have gone to the trouble do this optimization, or would the management have been happy enough with CDTV like performance?

The problem with AGA was that some users were expecting a lot more than just better quality images and slightly faster operation, and then were bitterly disappointed when it turned out to be not that much better. This culture of dissatisfaction continues today, with gamers spending megabucks to get ludicrous frame rates and resolutions on boring 3D games that are no more enjoyable to play than decades old titles.

Quote:
Alien Breed 3D was very playable with a 020 and 8MB or Fast Ram but really needed a HD, 030 and 32MB of Fast Ram to be fun! Napalm needed 16MB of Fast Ram and 030, HD and a CD-Rom drive (preferably a RTG card too). Why are you still talking about playing 2D Dennis/Oscar games when talking about AGA? Those simple titles did not last beyond 1994 IMHO.

Alien Breed is one game. Many others worked perfectly on Chip RAM only and were plenty of fun. Some were even too fast and tripped themselves up when given Fast RAM.

As for longevity, my friends and I played games like Dune II and The Settlers way past 1994, and never bothered with boring FPS games. Today I am getting back into adventure games that I didn't have the time or patience to complete back in the day. On the PC my favorite is still Windows 3.x Solitaire - I can play that for hours!

Last edited by bhabbott on 08-Oct-2022 at 03:35 AM.

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Hypex 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 6:48:13
#184 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10975
From: Greensborough, Australia

@SHADES

Quote:
AGA was SO FRIKKEN SLOW on Workbench above 16 colours on screen


Clearly it needed a proper packed productivity mode.

Quote:
My second hate was how SLOW the HDD was and still on PIO modes.....ERGH


While useful, especially when I added a HDD to mine, that was because they used a cheap IDE interface that was even cheaper with no DMA modes and only base PIO mode. This was a real step backwards really. The Amiga had DMA on SCSI controllers AS STANDARD.

But then IDE comes along, because the drives are cheap, along with Amiga IDE cards later and DMA is lost as a feature. There are no Amiga IDE cards that even support DMA I'm aware of making them all obsolete to a basic Amiga SCSI controller with DMA.

Quote:
My 3rd hate was the stupid slow non-fifo serial port garbage.


They didn't update it. The CIA chips were just copies of the VIA chips used in the C64. They should have redesigned it to be faster and work with DMA. The design went against the Amiga. The Amiga had to use hardware interrupts to manage data. And each register in the CIA oddly took up 256 bytes in memory, 4KB for 16 registers per chip. It was an 8 bit chip, it wasn't design for a 16 bit computer.

I had a Whippet. It whipped it good. Whipped that serial into shape.

And I'll add another one. The parallel port. A lot of people say the Amiga parallel port is inferior to the PC. That's not entirely correct because they miss details when saying it. The Amiga parallel port is superior to the PC one from 1981 and roughly equivalent to the IBM PS/2 parallel port in 1987. The Amiga parallel port is bidirectional while the common PC parallel port was not. The Amiga parallel port was superior to the PC!

So the PC caught up with the Amiga in 1987. And added extra input lines. After then the Amiga could still compete as it wasn't until 1991 and 1992 that we saw EPP and ECP come to the fore. Once again Commodore had still not added DMA to hardware nor added extra lines. It fell behind.

Sidenote:
The popular laplink cable is inferior to what the Amiga can do. It hacks data to printer lines and only transmits 5 bits at a time. An Amiga variant, if anyone ever tried and should work over a standard cable, would be superior and transfer 8 bits at a time with no hacks. But could be hacked to transfer more with a hybrid design. But who wants to manage 13 bits of data at once?

Quote:
Oh and floppy disk access was still slow. Stupid slow half/spin speed.


Again, all they needed to do was engineer Paula and CIA to run at double clock. Couldn't be too hard. Instead they hack HD drives to run at half speed. I'm sure it would have been more cost effective to speed up the chips and replace the old Shugart bus connector for the now standard PC one.

Quote:
not 16 bit sound wasn't great either.


And they didn't even double the tracks to compensate.

Quote:
AGA was far too little, too late if you ask me


And all they left us with.

We deserved better. The Amiga should have got AAA in the end and died happy. I keep reading about AAA wouldn't have mattered much. Bullcrap! That's defeatist speech. That's like someone committing suicide because they found out they going to die someday and didn't see the point of living. Or an F1 racer dropping out of the race because he had competition and risked loosing by being in the race. The fact is there is always competition and any technology can have its days numbered. But you don't just give up. You keep going until the end and give it all you got. At best you beat others and become a defining standard in the industry. At worse you get to a point of can't beat 'em so join 'em. But you gotta be in the race!

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cdimauro 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 7:34:35
#185 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3128
From: Germany

@BigD

Quote:

BigD wrote:
@cdimauro

Quote:
Fast ram was NOT useful neither important.


What planet are you from?!

The real one. So, NOT your, according to what you write.
Quote:
Using a standard 1MB/2MB Chip Ram, floppy only, OCS/ECS/AGA Amiga is such a depressing way to play games never mind to use a computer IMHO!

It's not IMO, but a FACT that you don't know what you talk about.

The Amiga architecture was "good enough" (let's say this) only for 2D games. Hence, the chip ram was the most important memory type for those games.

Do you know how a 2D game works / is implemented? I think that you've NO clue. At all!
Quote:
Fast Ram was needed to do anything remotely fun or useful. Alien Breed 3D was very playable with a 020 and 8MB or Fast Ram but really needed a HD, 030 and 32MB of Fast Ram to be fun! Napalm needed 16MB of Fast Ram and 030, HD and a CD-Rom drive (preferably a RTG card too).

3D games and also RTG. It's clear that you continue to talk of things that you've no idea.
Quote:
Why are you still talking about playing 2D Dennis/Oscar games when talking about AGA? Those simple titles did not last beyond 1994 IMHO.

Why? It's simple: because Commodore machines were equipped WITHOUT fast processors NEITHER fast mem for playing 3D games.

Understood?

Then 2D was the only option for those machines.

Only adding fast mem was NOT useful for games. Either 2D or 3D games. And do you know what? Because the chipset CANNOT access such memory (as well the idiotic "slow" mem that the "smart" Amiga engineers have added: it's NOT chip mem NEITHER fast mem. It has the WORSE of both memory types!!!).


@bhabbott

Quote:

bhabbott wrote:
@BigD

Quote:

BigD wrote:
@cdimauro

What planet are you from?! Using a standard 1MB/2MB Chip Ram, floppy only, OCS/ECS/AGA Amiga is such a depressing way to play games never mind to use a computer IMHO! Fast Ram was needed to do anything remotely fun or useful.

You are both right - and wrong. Fast RAM certainly was useful, and important when you didn't want the CPU being blocked by Chip RAM DMA. But many excellent games did just fine without it.

See above my reply to BigG.

The games did fine without fast ram thanks to the chip mem. So, it was a positive thing to do NOT have fast mem.
Quote:
The original Amiga chipset was designed on the principle of doing graphics operations much faster than the CPU could, so it didn't matter if those operations blocked the CPU. In comparison to machines such as the Atari ST which used the CPU for everything, the Amiga could do more. However if you add Fast RAM then the CPU can operate in parallel with the blitter and it can do even more!

Not in the real world.

The CPU was just a driver for the chipset. So, having the possibility to do something in parallel while the Blitter was working isn't worth the case.
Quote:
So whether Fast RAM is important of not depends on the title. Some might be good enough even on lesser hardware, others might need more than a stock machine can provide.

Remember: the game market for the software houses & their developers was represented by the stock machines. At most with 512kB of expansion for the A500.
Quote:
If a game could achieve the desired performance without Fast RAM then it clearly didn't need it. But some games did need more, particularly those that did a lot of calculations or graphics rendering (textured mapped 3D games are the obvious example). Another factor was 'lazy' ports from platforms that perhaps converted data on-the-fly for convenience, or had inefficient code that didn't matter with a faster CPU.

You are talking about more modern games. Which required specs better than the stock machines.
Quote:
'Useful' applications sometimes also needed more CPU power, and often higher resolutions that blocked the CPU. Things like word processors, spreadsheets, CAD and paint programs were noticeably slowed down by running in Chip RAM with 16 colors in hires. The A1200 suffered much less because bitplane DMA doesn't block the CPU until you go above 256 colors in hires,

For applications that's fine.
Quote:
and the 68020 works efficiently with 32 bit Chip RAM despite the limited bandwidth.

Again, for applications.

For games that was useful only for filling / restoring the background. Which was good, eh! But not a game changer.
Quote:
The problem with AGA was that some users were expecting a lot more than just better quality images and slightly faster operation, and then were bitterly disappointed when it turned out to be not that much better. This culture of dissatisfaction continues today, with gamers spending megabucks to get ludicrous frame rates and resolutions on boring 3D games that are no more enjoyable to play than decades old titles.
[...]
As for longevity, my friends and I played games like Dune II and The Settlers way past 1994, and never bothered with boring FPS games.

Oh, yes. Wolfenstein 3D was "boring". And Doom even worse, right?

The fox and the grape...

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 9:19:45
#186 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3583
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

All the argument over how useful Fast RAM as an accelerator for code misses something really obvious: If all your code and non media data are in fast ram, there's more chip ram left for graphics and audio.

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cdimauro 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 9:48:09
#187 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3128
From: Germany

@Karlos

Quote:

Karlos wrote:
All the argument over how useful Fast RAM as an accelerator for code misses something really obvious: If all your code and non media data are in fast ram, there's more chip ram left for graphics and audio.

On Amigas the game's code occupied a few tens kB of space.
Used data was on a few kB of space ballpark.
The mod (not samples) to be played used a few tens kB of space.

If you move all this stuff in slow/fast ram, then you have something like 15% of space used and the remaining 75% left on that memory that you can use for nothing else, since the chipset cannot access this memory.

If you have games with maps, the data used might be more. But depends on how big is the map. I expect something on the few tens kB of space ballpark.

The exception here is represented by USA Racing, which had 4096x65536 pixels maps (with 32x32 pixels tiles), but no other game which I recall have maps even barely comparable in size.
Nevertheless, chip mem was much much much more important even for USA Racing, since it needed 400kB for its 640 32x32x32 colors tiles. Then you've to consider the space for the framebuffer, for the 48x48x16 colors vehicles, for the mod's samples...

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 11:22:50
#188 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3583
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@cdimauro

One could make the claim that if additional Fast Ram were present by default on AGA systems that larger and more complex 2D games would be possible as larger, more complex level data could reside in fast memory as well as the code and all of the chip ram could be for media assets. Games fit their non graphical data and code into tens of KB because that was their budget.

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Bosanac 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 12:51:47
#189 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 10-May-2022
Posts: 242
From: Unknown

@Karlos

Stop talking sense, its not allowed here.

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Gunnar 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 13:20:55
#190 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Sep-2022
Posts: 152
From: Unknown

The success of the A1200 was being the low cost Amiga.

The A1200 could very easily be upgraded to have fastmem and many affordable CPU cards were available for it.

The selling point of the A1200 was the low price.
IDE drives did cost significantly less than SCSI drives, therefore adding IDE port was a smart decision.
The lower price allowed more people to get an Amiga with HD.
Numbers are important for success.

Before you guys got your A1200, I got an Amiga4000/40 with 18 MB RAM.

How many games did come out designed to making best use of 18 MB?
None, because there was no market for them.
Most people were not so stupid las me spending a fortune on their computer.

In my opinion Commodore did mostly everything right with the A1200.
- it was very affordable.
- its 2 MB chipmem allowed nice shoot em ups, and nice Jump and runs.
- hard driver was affordable
- it was easy to upgrade / upgrades were not expensive

Last edited by Gunnar on 08-Oct-2022 at 01:24 PM.

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 13:24:46
#191 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3583
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@Gunnar

You would've been stupid if your only use case for a 4000/40 with 16MB of ram those days was to play games. I assume you actually used it for productivity.

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 13:27:48
#192 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3583
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

If there was an AGA machine that should have had some fast memory by default it was definitely the CD32.

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Gunnar 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 14:00:49
#193 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Sep-2022
Posts: 152
From: Unknown


Quote:

Quote:
The color quality increased from 12bit palette to real 24bit truecolor palette.

Sure: with a HORRIBLE and SLOW patch to access / set the additional color registers sizes.


I think its a clever solution. And work greats and is not slow if you load many colors.
Only if you want to change a single colors like with copper bar then yes its a bit awkward to use.
On SUPER-AGA you can do a 24bit color load with a single 32bit Copper MOVE.
This makes it more convenient.

Quote:
The palette registers increased from 32 to 256

With another HORRIBLE and SLOW patch to access / set the new color registers.
[/quote]

I think its a clever solution. And work greats and is not slow if you load many colors.
Only if you want to change a single colors then its awkward.



Quote:

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.

Yes, but not a quantum leap, since the Blitter remained the same: 16 bit and 7Mhz.


Actually the Amiga Blitter runs at 3.5 MHz.

I found the 64bit sprites very cool. One could use them very nicely for a background playfield. The show sprite twice per row feature was handy too.

An OCS game with 5 planes (32 color) had about 37% DMA available for the Blitter.
An AGA game with 8 planes (256 color) had about 75% DMA available for the Blitter. (fmode 3)
You need to blit more for 8planes but this was possible as you had more free slot.
So this worked fine.
The extra available DMA slots allowed you to do the same game with the Blitter but now in 256 colors instead 32.

I think AGA was really an improvement over OCS.

But I also think that not many games used AGA to the maximum

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Kronos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 17:26:04
#194 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 2321
From: Unknown

@bhabbott

Quote:

bhabbott wrote:


The original Amiga chipset was designed on the principle of doing graphics operations much faster than the CPU could, so it didn't matter if those operations blocked the CPU.


The original Amiga (aka everything OCS with a 68000) was designed so that the chipset could access the RAM without blocking much of the CPU access.

But the topic is AGA, were not only could the CPU access the RAM more it also ran at twice the clock of the RAM. If C= had designed the A1200 to run the 020 at 7MHz you would have hardly noticed the difference.

But even in that "really-just-7MHz"-mode the 020 could still do some GFX operations faster then the Chipset.

-> AGA was pretty much obsolete even when the 1st prototype A3000+ were build.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 19:15:43
#195 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6925
From: UK

@Kronos

It was still better than nothing. Some people here speak with nostalgia for the OCS chips even though the AGA machines brought better experiences. Heck even ECS games like Lemmings 2 and The Settlers benefitted from the 2MB Chip Ram bump. But if Turrican 2 AGA has reminded me of anything it's that AGA 256 games were great and colourful and a real boost to the platform! I love Wing Commander CD32 on a 030 with fast ram too. It so daft when Wing Commander ECS is only really playable on a stock A1200 so they should have just targetted AGA in the first place to launch the A1200!

Last edited by BigD on 08-Oct-2022 at 08:00 PM.

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 20:08:16
#196 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3583
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@BigD

It's just the side effect of 20/20 hindsight. I guarantee almost none of the critics today actually felt as negative about it at the time. Knowing what we know today, it's easy to project back onto our past selves and in doing so, disregard what we actually felt about it in favour of what we think we should have felt about it. I remember seeing super smooth gradients and (near) photorealistic images and being impressed. I'm sure others were too.

A few of the older, more well heeled professional users perhaps saw the inadequacies of the AGA chipset in 1992 and I can totally understand any A3000 owner, especially an A3000T owner wondering how the 4000D was an upgrade.

Last edited by Karlos on 08-Oct-2022 at 08:13 PM.

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kolla 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 20:19:30
#197 ]
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Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2492
From: Trondheim, Norway

@Karlos

Quote:

Karlos wrote:
@Gunnar

You would've been stupid if your only use case for a 4000/40 with 16MB of ram those days was to play games. I assume you actually used it for productivity.


Like I said, the purpose was to host build environment for game creators. Of course that was done mostly expanded A1200s eventually, but development for AGA systems had to start somewhere.

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Karlos 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 20:23:27
#198 ]
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Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3583
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@kolla

Sure, but games development is productivity, is it not?

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bhabbott 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 21:03:56
#199 ]
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Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 255
From: Aotearoa

@Hypex

Quote:

Hypex wrote:

We deserved better. The Amiga should have got AAA in the end and died happy. I keep reading about AAA wouldn't have mattered much. Bullcrap! That's defeatist speech.

But it's true. We know this because the improvements in machines released for other platforms just before expiring didn't matter much. The Apple II-GS, Amstrad CPC Plus, Atari Falcon, Commodore 65 (if it had been released) etc., all received a lackluster response from the community despite being much better than previous models. And this was not a bad thing.

Why? Because they weren't the popular machines that users knew and loved, they were effectively a new platform that could still (mostly) run the legacy software of their predecessors. But why would you embrace a new (and often more expensive) system just to run legacy software? Most wouldn't. You would buy it on the strength of what is about to be released for it - but if the platform is dying that won't be much. So the new machines became largely irrelevant because they didn't add much to the software or user base.

The Amiga was little different though because owners began enhancing it from the start. By 1986 several FastRAM expansions, hard drives and accelerator cards were being produced for the A1000. When the A2000 arrived in 1987 the possibilities for enhancement became practically unlimited. Both the A4000 and A1200 were really just attempts to bring the base level up closer to what high-end Amiga users already had. Keeping most of the design the same as OCS and not enhancing it too much for AGA eased the transition and kept the community together.

Quote:
That's like someone committing suicide because they found out they going to die someday and didn't see the point of living. Or an F1 racer dropping out of the race because he had competition and risked loosing by being in the race.

Many athletes retire from a sport when they realize they have reached their peak and can't get any better.

I have been following the progress of Formula E and Extreme E racing. Many of the drivers (including some top names) moved to electric from gas car racing even though they were 'downgrading' to less capable machines and less prestigious competition. Why? Perhaps they had reached their limit in F1, or were sick of the grind of trying to stay on top, or thought they might have a better chance in a field with less competition. Or perhaps they just wanted to have fun and didn't care that they wouldn't be driving as fast for as long.

By 1995 it was clear to most users that the Amiga could not keep up with PCs in the marketplace, and continuing to try would just be a waste of resources. It was time for Amiga fans to accept that we weren't going take over world, and would have to watch from the sidelines as everyone else embraced the PC. Not to say that we didn't continue using and improving our machines, but we no long felt the need to compete - instead we embraced the 'flaws' of our soon to become retro platform. And there was nothing wrong with that.

Today we are still enjoying using and enhancing the familiar machines we love, but no longer stressing out about the Amiga not having the latest and greatest technology (that's what PCs are for). Or at least most of us aren't. Some Amiga fans apparently never got over the hurt they felt when Commodore dashed their hopes of world domination by not making their dream machine.

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bhabbott 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 8-Oct-2022 21:20:50
#200 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 255
From: Aotearoa

@Gunnar

Quote:

Gunnar wrote:

An OCS game with 5 planes (32 color) had about 37% DMA available for the Blitter.
An AGA game with 8 planes (256 color) had about 75% DMA available for the Blitter. (fmode 3)
You need to blit more for 8planes but this was possible as you had more free slot.
So this worked fine.
The extra available DMA slots allowed you to do the same game with the Blitter but now in 256 colors instead 32.

Thanks for putting numbers on it to show that even though the blitter was still 'only' 16 bit, AGA could significantly improve its performance. I knew intuitively that this was true but didn't know just how large the difference could be. It's a pity that this fact was not made clear to users when AGA was released, as it might have changed their minds about Commodore's decision not to make the blitter 32 bit (which probably was impossible anyway with the technology and resources they had).

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