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      /  How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
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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
kolla 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 9-Dec-2021 0:42:02
#61 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2212
From: Trondheim, Norway

@NutsAboutAmiga

A 386SX with PCI bus would be a very rare creature, as PCI didn't really gain a foothold in the "mainstream" PCs until late 486/early 586 era... so 1994/95-ish. More likely, the 386SX had EISA.

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agami 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 9-Dec-2021 2:30:57
#62 ]
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Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1036
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Troels

Quote:
The A1200 was simply to little to late, even though it was nice design IMO it should have been launched with an 030 and fastmem as well as EASY expansion for a standard 3.5 HD (not voiding warranty installing a HD).

I wonder how much an 030 and some more memory would have added to the cost, maybe a socket for that ram.

There in lies the rub.

Commodore should've tried to keep to a 2-year new release cadence. Then we might've seen something like this play out:
- 1985 A1000 (OCS) + OS 1.x
- 1987 A2000 / A500 (OCS) + OS 1.x
- 1989 A3000 030 / A600 020 (ECS) + OS 2.x
- 1991 A4000 040/25 / A1200 EC030/25 (AGA) + OS 2.5.x
- 1993 A5000 040/50 / A? EC040/25 (AA+) + OS 3.x
- 1995 A6000 060 / A? 040 (AAA) + OS 3.5.x
- 1997 Big box / small box (no more wedge keyboard case). CPU? (Age of Hombre) + OS 4.x

Also, rather then try to hit a price point e.g. $599 USD for A1200, deliver the tech as per release cadence and set the price accordingly.
In such a case, the '91 A1200 EC030/25 2MB+4MB + 20MB 3.5" HDD would be $949 USD.

To cover other price points, in the in-between (even) years they could've released Plus versions of the main SKUs, e.g. A2500, A3000T.
Then with our A1200 example above, in 1992 they could've reduced the price of the '91 A1200 to $699 when they introduced the A1200+ or A1200CD, or
They could mix technologies and introduce an A600+ with AGA in '92 at $599 USD.

FYI, here is some historical tech price info:
Memory prices from 1957 onward
Hard disk prices from 1955 onward

Also, in 1990 Motorola had a major price cut for the 68030

Last edited by agami on 09-Dec-2021 at 02:34 AM.
Last edited by agami on 09-Dec-2021 at 02:32 AM.
Last edited by agami on 09-Dec-2021 at 02:32 AM.
Last edited by agami on 09-Dec-2021 at 02:31 AM.

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Troels 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 9-Dec-2021 13:00:18
#63 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 2004
From: Unknown

@agami

I paid less than USD 550 (todays rate) for my A1200 at launch in DK. I had waited for it for a month as I had sold my A500 to help finance the purchase.
I was 15 yo at the time had a job 10 hrs a week and could have justified something at twice the cost, but could not opt for the much more expensive A4000.

Someting that was like 900 USD would have suited me perfect instead of the substandard release the A1200 was. It did not take long before I had bought an 040 card memory and hacked in a 3.5 HD, something that made the total price to high compared to a pc.

Guess it all comes down to the lack of funding for RD at Commodore

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pavlor 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 9-Dec-2021 13:22:11
#64 ]
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Joined: 10-Jul-2005
Posts: 9373
From: Unknown

@kolla

Quote:
More likely, the 386SX had EISA.


I don´t think so. 386SX back then (1992/1993) was intended for low cost PCs (under 1500 USD), so EISA is out of question for such purpose - most PCs in this price range had a mere ISA expansion. Later (mid 1990s), 486/VLB/ISA combination was more common even in low cost PCs.

Edit: some 386 PCs had proprietary 32 bit expansion slot (probably not used for GFX).

Last edited by pavlor on 09-Dec-2021 at 01:25 PM.

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bison 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 9-Dec-2021 14:52:42
#65 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 2088
From: N-Space

@pavlor

I was working for a PC manufacture at that time, and the 386SX system you describe is almost exactly what we sold. We had a high-end motherboard with EISA, but it never really caught on. Our mainstream systems transitioned directly from ISA to ISA/VLB, with a Tseng Labs ET4000 graphics card.

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agami 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 9-Dec-2021 23:32:24
#66 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1036
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Troels

Quote:
Guess it all comes down to the lack of funding for RD at Commodore

Yep. People go on about Commodore's lack of marketing, and that did play a minor role. But all the Madison Ave. geniuses can't help you when the tech you're pushing is increasingly out of sync with what the market is asking for.

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OneTimer1 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 0:12:10
#67 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 764
From: Unknown

@Thread

There are 4 things on the AGA chipset that where bad:

1. In 8 bit mode the video DMA slowed down the already slow CPU even more.
2. A chunky would have sped up pixel manipulations by the CPU (Akiko was a 3rd class replacement)
3. The Blitter should have line modes for chunky GFX and maybe other improvements
4. Floppy DMA speed was still limited to 880 KB


Remember how advanced OCS/ECS was to PCs when the A500 became available, AGA was not better than PCs.

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agami 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 1:13:04
#68 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1036
From: Melbourne, Australia

@OneTimer1

Quote:
There are 4 things on the AGA chipset that where bad:

Things appear very clear from our 2021 vantage point and having 20/20 hindsight.

The question isn't: How would you have improved the AGA chipset, knowing what you know now?

With what level of certainty can you honestly claim, that you would've pointed those four things out as part of the Commodore engineering team in 1990? Having Commodore management to report to, and only the knowledge available at that time.

Last edited by agami on 10-Dec-2021 at 01:14 AM.

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kolla 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 2:01:01
#69 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2212
From: Trondheim, Norway

So what if AGA had a 320x240/320x256 8-bit chunky modes, and ID had made Wolfenstein 3D and Doom for Amiga as well - would that really have changed history much?

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agami 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 3:58:14
#70 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1036
From: Melbourne, Australia

@kolla

Quote:
So what if AGA had a 320x240/320x256 8-bit chunky modes, and ID had made Wolfenstein 3D and Doom for Amiga as well - would that really have changed history much?

Not much, if at all.

In the US, the computer retailers would still be stocking mostly IBM-compatibles, and in a few cases some Macs.
The CD32 patent thing for the US market would still be an issue.
Commodore would still have issues generating enough sales to save them from bankruptcy.

Last edited by agami on 10-Dec-2021 at 03:58 AM.

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pavlor 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 5:27:17
#71 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Jul-2005
Posts: 9373
From: Unknown

@agami

Quote:
Things appear very clear from our 2021 vantage point and having 20/20 hindsight.


I watched (on one of the Amiga Forever DVDs) Jay Miner giving presentation back in 1989 which emphasized the need for hardware 3D graphics support. And that was from the standpoint of someone, who always saw Amiga as a real computer, not a toy (in the very same presentation, he was quite embarrassed by the new A500 advert targeting children).

So, you only need a man with a vision to know what should be done.

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ppcamiga1 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 6:34:06
#72 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Aug-2015
Posts: 448
From: Unknown

@kolla

Yes, chunky pixel and DOOM on Amiga back in 1993 may change history.


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agami 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 9:26:39
#73 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1036
From: Melbourne, Australia

@pavlor

Quote:
So, you only need a man with a vision to know what should be done.

And someone who is going to fund the vision to become reality.

That’s why I stipulated “having Commodore to report to”. They did after all bankroll Jay’s vision.
I’m not saying that no one could conceive of better technology at that time, or indeed any time. The challenge is to make things happen working with the constraints of the time and place.

Jay, and many other engineers at Commodore had vision and wanted to build awesome tech, but there’s only so much they could do with the budget Commodore allocated.

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bison 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 16:14:28
#74 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 2088
From: N-Space

@kolla

Quote:
So what if AGA had a 320x240/320x256 8-bit chunky modes, and ID had made Wolfenstein 3D and Doom for Amiga as well - would that really have changed history much?

It might have done, if we further imagine that Commodore had got its act together in other areas as well. I have to agree with @agami, though -- the probability seems low.

Last edited by bison on 10-Dec-2021 at 04:16 PM.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 19:31:05
#75 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12286
From: Norway

@bison

I think MacOS marketing was excellent, think different, Steve Jobs was magic individual, a MacOS Jesus.

Not sure PC has same, well I guess Bill Gates was, Microsoft was growing into so many spaces. Almost Impossible to not talk about Microsoft if was networking, or servers, workstations or pc’s, office or the internet.

Business is war, and countries are the market segments.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 10-Dec-2021 at 07:33 PM.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 19:40:31
#76 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6480
From: UK

@NutsAboutAmiga

There was nothing nice about Steve Jobs and nothing evil about Bill Gates. However, Jay Miner was the perfect evangelist for a platform; mild mannered, well reasoned with no reality distortion field who didn't deny his own daughter for the majority of her early life like some other 'false messiahs'!

Last edited by BigD on 10-Dec-2021 at 07:44 PM.

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DiscreetFX 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 19:51:00
#77 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Feb-2003
Posts: 2209
From: Chicago, IL

@NutsAboutAmiga

Steve Jobs successfully convinced people to buy a black and white computer for years so he was a marketing genus. I’ll never understand why people bought B&W computers when plenty of color ones were available.

Last edited by DiscreetFX on 10-Dec-2021 at 07:52 PM.

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pavlor 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 20:23:29
#78 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Jul-2005
Posts: 9373
From: Unknown

@DiscreetFX

Quote:
when plenty of color ones were available.


For productive work (office, DTP etc.) high quality high resolution monochrome display is far superior over low quality low resolution colour display... and even cheaper.

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DiscreetFX 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 21:03:24
#79 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Feb-2003
Posts: 2209
From: Chicago, IL

@pavlor

I guess so but what if you were laying out a color publication.

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pavlor 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 21:14:06
#80 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Jul-2005
Posts: 9373
From: Unknown

@DiscreetFX

Quote:
I guess so but what if you were laying out a color publication.


Then you would certainly not use a low cost personal computer back in the 80s.

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