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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
agami 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 10-Dec-2021 22:49:47
#81 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1679
From: Melbourne, Australia

@DiscreetFX

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

You printed your greyscale work onto colored paper

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Zeus 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 11-Dec-2021 2:18:10
#82 ]
New Member
Joined: 4-Dec-2021
Posts: 8
From: Unknown

@pavlor

>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.

Yes, of course! I remember back in 1992 I much preferred using the 9" monochrome 512X384 that most Mac users had over my 17" color multi-scan at 800X600 that I was using on my A1200.

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agami 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 11-Dec-2021 4:13:25
#83 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1679
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Zeus

Quote:
… my 17" color multi-scan at 800X600 that I was using on my A1200.


Ooph, too rich for my blood.
I didn’t use a 17” monitor on my Amiga 1200 until 1996 when it was in a tower and I was using a Blizzard PPC + BVisionPPC GPU. Before then, the best my A1200 had was the 14” NEC 3D MultiSync, 640x480/640x512.

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kolla 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 11-Dec-2021 5:01:35
#84 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2952
From: Trondheim, Norway

@DiscreetFX

Quote:

DiscreetFX wrote:
@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.


I happily take monochrome postscript display NeXT machine over any "colourful" Windows or "classic" Apple any day, thank you very much.

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pixie 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 11-Dec-2021 10:00:07
#85 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 3165
From: Figueira da Foz - Portugal

@agami
amazing setup, I had the same system!

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Zeus 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 11-Dec-2021 10:21:35
#86 ]
New Member
Joined: 4-Dec-2021
Posts: 8
From: Unknown

@agami


I got lucky, I actually paid $0 for my 17". We received a load of "defective" monitors for disposal at my work. Back in the late 80's and early 90's we were so wasteful. Returned product that was perfectly fine was routinely sent off to the landfill. As you said 17" monitors were very expensive back then. I believe I paid $799 just for the Amiga 1084 monitor in 1991.

I went through and found that many of monitors were perfectly fine except they weren't in the original packing. Imagine my happiness when I found not only a working 17" but one that was multi-sync. I also recovered a couple of 15" multi-sync. I used these monitors for years on my Amiga computers but my pride and joy which I still have today is the 20" Toshiba Timm monitor that I purchased on close out in the late 90's.

The largest CRT monitor that I ever saw that could multi-sync was the Mitsubishi 42" TV/monitor. It was a massive beast, I can't remember the weight but it had to be in excess of 200 lbs. My aunt actually had one that she purchased to use just as a TV. Later when she retired and sold her house she offered it to me but when I checked it out it was beginning to fail. That and the fact that I had no way to move it except for renting a truck meant I passed on it. One of her coworkers took it and had it repaired so I'm glad that it didn't immediately end up in a landfill.

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OneTimer1 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 11-Dec-2021 22:32:01
#87 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 995
From: Unknown

@agami

Quote:


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


C= knew about the downside of the existing chipset:
-There was the 'A2024 Hedley Monitor' with a built in frame buffer for hi res GFX
-There was Amber (A3000 Customchip) and the 'A2320 Flicker Fixer' making interlaces modes usable
-There was the A2410 a GFX card from Commodore.

They knew exactly what was missing for a 'professional' Amiga but they rarely added expansions to the default chipset.

And Commodore even made a special hack so their floppy drives where able to use HD Floppies without Paula modification and even AGA was a hack for easier game porting to the low cost machines.

Commodore should've used a 2-year new release cadence for the chipsets but this is what we got:
- 1985 OCS
- 1989 ECS
- 1991 AGA
- 1994 bankruptcy

And those steps from OCS to ECS to AGA where only small and tiny steps losing the advantages over PCs that existed in 1985

Last edited by OneTimer1 on 11-Dec-2021 at 10:46 PM.
Last edited by OneTimer1 on 11-Dec-2021 at 10:46 PM.

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BigD 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 12-Dec-2021 0:47:43
#88 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7329
From: UK

@OneTimer1

Quote:
Commodore should've used a 2-year new release cadence for the chipsets but this is what we got:

- 1985 OCS
- 1989 ECS
- 1991 AGA
- 1994 bankruptcy

And those steps from OCS to ECS to AGA where only small and tiny steps losing the advantages over PCs that existed in 1985


Considering the pitiful Amiga R&D budget and the $3million salaries paid to Irving Gould and Mehdi Ali in the 90s it was a miracle that they progressed beyond the 68000 CPU, OCS and the failure that was the CDTV. If it was left solely to the upper management and even most mid grade engineering managers brought in from a PC background I would think that they would have happily become a 100% PC clone manufacturer around 1991!

Last edited by BigD on 12-Dec-2021 at 12:51 AM.
Last edited by BigD on 12-Dec-2021 at 12:48 AM.

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spudmiga 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 12-Dec-2021 1:47:34
#89 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 12-Dec-2002
Posts: 855
From: England, United Kingdom

@agami

Quote:

agami wrote:


- 1997 Big box / small box (no more wedge keyboard case). CPU? (Age of Hombre) + OS 4.x


Noooo!

Wedge cases forever!!

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agami 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 12-Dec-2021 2:38:45
#90 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1679
From: Melbourne, Australia

@OneTimer1

Quote:
C= knew about the downside of the existing chipset

I'm sure certain people at Commodore knew, beyond that I'm no willing to make any wholesale assumptions regarding what the entire company knew.
Looking back, it seems that they were very focused on the bottom line, and were mostly reacting to consumer sentiment.

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matthey 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 12-Dec-2021 18:40:56
#91 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 2067
From: Kansas

BigD Quote:

Considering the pitiful Amiga R&D budget and the $3million salaries paid to Irving Gould and Mehdi Ali in the 90s it was a miracle that they progressed beyond the 68000 CPU, OCS and the failure that was the CDTV. If it was left solely to the upper management and even most mid grade engineering managers brought in from a PC background I would think that they would have happily become a 100% PC clone manufacturer around 1991!


I suspect that Mehdi Ali wanted to transition away from the Amiga and to PC clones which is why he hired Bill Sydnes the guy behind the PCjr disaster at IBM. Amiga budgets were cut which was a major reason why AGA was late and ECS Amigas were still being developed in the '90s. Of course the PC clone market competition predictably picked up and CBM was unable to make a profit on their clones. Dave Haynie stated CBM was selling PC clones at a price lower than they could buy them so CBM was forced to pivot back to the still profitable Amiga. It helps to have a product which can differentiate itself in the market and Amiga software compatibility had become important to some customers even as the hardware had now fallen further behind because of upper management delays during the attempt to kill off the Amiga. Like the PCjr, customers didn't want a cut down ECS Amiga but rather a full featured enhanced and compatible Amiga at a reasonable price.

agami Quote:

I'm sure certain people at Commodore knew, beyond that I'm no willing to make any wholesale assumptions regarding what the entire company knew.
Looking back, it seems that they were very focused on the bottom line, and were mostly reacting to consumer sentiment.


Yes, CBM was reactive becoming an industry follower instead of industry leader. Moore's law kicking in to high gear in the '90s made this painfully obvious.

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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 4-Oct-2022 14:53:39
#92 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 5371
From: Australia

@matthey

Quote:

The Amiga 1200 had easy ram expansion through the PCMCIA slot but it was bottlenecked and more expensive.

16-bit PCMCIA as a CPU RAM has half of the benefit of 32-bit Fast RAM.

32-bit Fast RAM equipped Amiga A1200 should be compared to 386DX with 32-bit System RAM.


Quote:

low: Amiga 1200
mid: Amiga 3000+
high: Amiga 4000T
console: Amiga CD32


For CBM's last critical Xmas sales in H2 In 1993, Amiga 4000/030 wasn't price competitive when compared to $1000 USD 486DX25 or 486SX33 based PC with SVGA chipset.


For volume sales, Ex-MD Commodore UK's David Pleasance wanted out-of-the-box accelerated Amiga 1200 SKUs to compete against 386DX and low-end 486SX-based PCs and it was rejected by Commodore International.


For 1993, Commodore is missing gaming Amiga SKU between $499 to $1000.

In 1993, Amiga 4000/040's asking price was about Pentium PC level, hence Amiga 4000 didn't price competitive.


According to Amiga Computing Issue 062 Jul 93, page 3 of 164, page 4 of 164
Amiga 1200 Comic pack with 60 MB HDD is £539
Amiga 1200 Comic pack with 120 MB HDD is £679

M1230XA with 68030 at 50Mhz and 4MB RAM is £499
Total price:
£1038 for 60 MB HDD
£1,178 for 120 MB HDD


According to Amiga Format Issue 052, Nov 1993, page 2,
A1200/020 at 14Mhz with 2MB RAM has £295
A4000/030 at 25Mhz with 80MB HDD + 2MB RAM has £979 (hahaha, stupid)
A4000/030 at 25Mhz with 80MB HDD + 4MB RAM has £1129
A4000/040 at 25Mhz with 120MB HDD + 6MB RAM has £2329

VS

PC Format Nov 1993, page 120 of 166.
486SX25 with 4MB RAM + Cirrus Logic SVGA 1MB + 130MB HDD reached £999.
486DX33 with 4MB RAM + Cirrus Logic SVGA 1MB + 130MB HDD reached £1249.

PC Mag 1992-08, page 604 of 664,
Diamond Speedstar 24 (ET4000AX ISA) has $169 USD!

In 1993, "writing is on the wall" for Commodore's uncompetitive offerings at the £599 to £1500 range.

Due to Harvard pipeline design, 80486DX ~= 68040, not 68030.


Amiga World Magazine (November 1993), page 58 of 100,
A1200 price $379
A3000 5MB, 105HD, price $899
A3000T/030, 5MB, 200MB HDD, price $1199
A3000T/040, 5MB, 200MB HDD, price $1599
Cost for 040 card = $400

Cost estimate for 68040 card, $1599 - $1199, cost for 040 card = $400

A1200's $379 + 040 card's $400 = $779.

Commodore could have pre-configured A1200 with 68LC040 @ 25Mhz SKU for slightly above $779 (i.e. add 4MB fast ram, HDD) which could compete against $1000 486SX @ 33 Mhz based PC.


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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 4-Oct-2022 14:59:46
#93 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 5371
From: Australia

@OneTimer1

Quote:

OneTimer1 wrote:
@agami

Quote:


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


C= knew about the downside of the existing chipset:
-There was the 'A2024 Hedley Monitor' with a built in frame buffer for hi res GFX
-There was Amber (A3000 Customchip) and the 'A2320 Flicker Fixer' making interlaces modes usable
-There was the A2410 a GFX card from Commodore.

They knew exactly what was missing for a 'professional' Amiga but they rarely added expansions to the default chipset.

And Commodore even made a special hack so their floppy drives where able to use HD Floppies without Paula modification and even AGA was a hack for easier game porting to the low cost machines.

Commodore should've used a 2-year new release cadence for the chipsets but this is what we got:
- 1985 OCS
- 1989 ECS
- 1991 AGA
- 1994 bankruptcy

And those steps from OCS to ECS to AGA where only small and tiny steps losing the advantages over PCs that existed in 1985


AAA chipset wouldn't resolve the 1993 Doom problem since 68020 @ 14 Mhz with 32-bit Fast RAM is not sufficient.

What's needed is math compute power.

A4000 wasn't built like a lower-cost optimized A1200.

A4000 has many chips when compared to the 1993-era PC with integrated south and north bridge chip layout.

A3000's Amber has a frame buffer RAM for the flicker fixer feature. LOL

Commodore's A2410 is based on PC world's TIGA chipset.

Last edited by Hammer on 04-Oct-2022 at 03:06 PM.

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agami 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 5-Oct-2022 2:37:21
#94 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1679
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Hammer

Quote:
In 1993, "writing is on the wall" for Commodore's uncompetitive offerings

Absolutely. In 1993 they were nearing the event horizon and only a miracle (somebody buying the company) could've saved them from bankruptcy.
The miracle never came. Probably because anyone who might have been interested thought that it would be cheaper to just buy the bits and pieces at the liquidator's auction.

From a zeitgeist perspective, the AGA (stop gap) was likely an agreeable step when the engineers first started working on it. Acceleration in general computing tech development + project delays, is a disastrous combination.

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SHADES 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 5-Oct-2022 2:58:03
#95 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 13-Nov-2003
Posts: 865
From: Melbourne

@Thread

I'm going to say barely hanging in there and why.

I remember having a really nice NEC Multiscan 3D and still have the buffered VGA adaptor but AGA was SO FRIKKEN SLOW on Workbench above 16 colours on screen with any decent resolution (Certainly not the horrible 320x512 or whatever SD garbage was. Frick I hated TV resolutions back then. It seems like consumer display tech took an eternity to get better back then.
My second hate was how SLOW the HDD was and still on PIO modes.....ERGH
My 3rd hate was the stupid slow non-fifo serial port garbage. Sure, the stupid thing could connect at 115200 but transfer speed??? HELL NO. Any 16550 serial PC at the time would show it waiting for data from the AMIGA. Assembly coded artserial.device and others, still couldn't fix it, neither did real fast ram or 040 upgrade cards.
The only fix for me here was SurfSqurrel on the A1200 PCMCIA slot. Still, dial-up 57k compression only helped when the data wasn't already compressed but this 3rd party device did fix my issues on serial. So, it Sucked.
Oh and floppy disk access was still slow. Stupid slow half/spin speed.

not 16 bit sound wasn't great either.

Nope. I was hanging out for AAA and it got cancelled for AGA at last minute and I was so disappointed at that time after reading it the mags and on BBS mail.

AGA was far too little, too late if you ask me. Dave Haynie should have got his way, I can only imagine how frustrated he got with it all. He has spoken about AAA a lot in the past.
This was the end of Amiga for me, how I saw it anyway. Wasn't far off the mark.

Last edited by SHADES on 05-Oct-2022 at 02:59 AM.

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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 5-Oct-2022 3:11:03
#96 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 5371
From: Australia

@agami

Quote:

agami wrote:
@Hammer

Quote:
In 1993, "writing is on the wall" for Commodore's uncompetitive offerings

Absolutely. In 1993 they were nearing the event horizon and only a miracle (somebody buying the company) could've saved them from bankruptcy.
The miracle never came. Probably because anyone who might have been interested thought that it would be cheaper to just buy the bits and pieces at the liquidator's auction.

From a zeitgeist perspective, the AGA (stop gap) was likely an agreeable step when the engineers first started working on it. Acceleration in general computing tech development + project delays, is a disastrous combination.


FYI, the sales fraud and corruption that occurred in Commodore Germany, Commodore Netherlands, and Poland has caused multi-million dollar losses.

Europe was Amiga's core revenue market and there was no corporate discipline in the mentioned Commodore divisions.


Last edited by Hammer on 05-Oct-2022 at 03:12 AM.

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Hammer 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 5-Oct-2022 3:55:36
#97 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 5371
From: Australia

@SHADES

For the stock Amiga 1200, AGA has half of its potential due to the shared memory bus situation and
Commodore designed AGA with 150 ns Chip RAM.

AGA's productivity mode degrades 2D performance due to memory bandwidth issues.

My Amiga 3000 was factory configured as 1 MB Chip RAM and 1 MB Fast RAM configured.

A stock A1200 was configured as 2 MB Chip RAM, hence shared bus issues.

PC with SVGA cards with discrete video ram is equivalent to Amigas with Fast RAM since PC has two discrete memory buses.

For comparison, ET4000AX ISA (16 bit, 1989 released) has its video memory configured to 70 ns or 80 ns with RAMDAC Speed: 66 MHz, 80 MHz, 110 MHz.

For Doom, 386DX-33 with ET4000AX equipped PC is roughly equivalent to Amiga 1200 with 68030 @ 50Mhz and AGA.

Without platform vendor support like Nintendo support for SuperFX 2 add-on and Doom bundle or H2 1993 era Apple's price-competitive $1000 68LC040-based e.g. Macintosh Quadra 605 with 68LC040 was priced at $1000 USD in October 1993.

Amiga 4000/030 wasn't price competitive when compared to Macintosh Quadra 605's 68LC040.

PC games (386DX-33 with ET4000AX) and Amiga 3000 pretending to be a Macintosh kept our family off the Macintosh switch. Early PowerMac's 68K performance wasn't competitive when compared to Pentium-boosted PC gaming.

From https://thandor.net/benchmark/32/ Doom benchmarks
AGA's Doom results were upper mid-range among ISA VGA chipset clones and losing to 16-bit ET4000AX.

---------------
My view on Commodore's corporate governance issues is based on David Pleasance's The Inside Story: The Untold Tale of a Computer book.

Last edited by Hammer on 05-Oct-2022 at 04:02 AM.

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SHADES 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 5-Oct-2022 4:14:27
#98 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 13-Nov-2003
Posts: 865
From: Melbourne

@Hammer

Quote:
AGA's productivity mode degrades 2D performance due to memory bandwidth issues. My Amiga 3000 was factory configured as 1 MB Chip RAM and 1 MB Fast RAM configured.

Fair point.
It wasn't just graphics for me, my 1200 had/has an 030 with fast RAM but, the I/O was just shockingly slow. Surf Squirrel at least fixed my online/transfer headaches.
Graphics was still nasty though. ET4000 was great but expensive.

Last edited by SHADES on 05-Oct-2022 at 04:16 AM.
Last edited by SHADES on 05-Oct-2022 at 04:15 AM.

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bhabbott 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 1:32:48
#99 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 347
From: Aotearoa

@Hammer

Quote:

Hammer wrote:

16-bit PCMCIA as a CPU RAM has half of the benefit of 32-bit Fast RAM.

And nobody expected the PCMCIA slot to be used for RAM expansion.

Quote:
32-bit Fast RAM equipped Amiga A1200 should be compared to 386DX with 32-bit System RAM.

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

Quote:
For CBM's last critical Xmas sales in H2 In 1993, Amiga 4000/030 wasn't price competitive when compared to $1000 USD 486DX25 or 486SX33 based PC with SVGA chipset.

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.

Quote:
For volume sales, Ex-MD Commodore UK's David Pleasance wanted out-of-the-box accelerated Amiga 1200 SKUs to compete against 386DX and low-end 486SX-based PCs and it was rejected by Commodore International.

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.

Quote:
In 1993, Amiga 4000/040's asking price was about Pentium PC level, hence Amiga 4000 didn't price competitive.

Whatever price they sold it for wouldn't have mattered. In 1993 everybody wanted a PC because that's where all the action was.

Quote:
PC Format Nov 1993, page 120 of 166.
486SX25 with 4MB RAM + Cirrus Logic SVGA 1MB + 130MB HDD reached £999.

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

Quote:
Commodore could have pre-configured A1200 with 68LC040 @ 25Mhz SKU for slightly above $779 (i.e. add 4MB fast ram, HDD) which could compete against $1000 486SX @ 33 Mhz based PC.

LC040? Yuk.

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?

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. Dare not have inventory on stock for long or the price would become uncompetitive. The only good news was that suppliers were constantly dumping old stock, so I was able to snap up 2.5" hard drives, RAM and PCMCIA network cards etc. at great prices for my Amiga customers. Then after Commodore went down A1200 accelerator cards were dumped at bargain prices. Good times!

Most A1200s were sold stock, without even a hard drive let alone a RAM expansion etc. A lot of gamers were happy with that setup, but those who weren't actually saved money by buying the base machine and doing upgrades later. The way hardware prices were coming down it paid to wait.

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bhabbott 
Re: How good or bad was the AGA chipset in 1992/1993.
Posted on 6-Oct-2022 3:31:17
#100 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 347
From: Aotearoa

@SHADES

Quote:

SHADES wrote:
@Thread

I'm going to say barely hanging in there and why.

I remember having a really nice NEC Multiscan 3D and still have the buffered VGA adaptor but AGA was SO FRIKKEN SLOW on Workbench above 16 colours on screen with any decent resolution (Certainly not the horrible 320x512 or whatever SD garbage was. Frick I hated TV resolutions back then. It seems like consumer display tech took an eternity to get better back then.

I still run my A1200 on a TV in composite today. On a 32" screen I can read 8 point text without needing glasses. I only run 8 colors because more isn't necessary (actually 4 is enough, but 8 looks prettier).

'Back in the day' I had an A1200 with 40MHz 030 set up in the shop on a multisync monitor running Workbench in Double PAL 640x480, and it was great for word processing etc. We also used that machine for faxes and for scanning and printing photos. HAM8 was much better than typical PCs that only had 256 colors, and in Windows were stuck in that mode so desktop operation was sluggish.

We also had a Commodore 386SX-16 system set up beside the Amiga for comparison. This sold for the same price as an A1200 with 40MB hard drive and 1084 monitor. It had 2MB of RAM, 80MB hard drive, a so-so VGA monitor and Windows 3.1, but no sound card. Even stock A1200s put it to shame in the games department, but business users preferred it for obvious reasons.

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

A good hard drive does over 2MB/sec on the A1200 IDE port. That's plenty fast enough for a machine that only has 2MB RAM. However most hard drives back then were much slower. The Seagate 40MB supplied with HD A1200s was OK, but the 120MB that came later was much slower! This was the fault of the hard drive, not the Amiga. I have an Archimedes A3000 with internal hard drive interface and a Seagate 2.5" drive. It's a dog! I also have an Amstrad PC2086 with Western Digital XT-IDE drive. It's worse! (5 times slower than the same drive in an A590).

Of course in the 90's IDE interfaces got faster and faster with each PIO mode, and as the drive capacities got bigger they got faster too. But only an Amiga fan consumed by PC envy was concerned about not getting the most out of them. The rest us were happy enough having a storage device with much greater speed and capacity than floppies. We bought a cheap machine and weren't expecting bleeding edge performance.

Quote:
My 3rd hate was the stupid slow non-fifo serial port garbage. Sure, the stupid thing could connect at 115200 but transfer speed??? HELL NO. Any 16550 serial PC at the time would show it waiting for data **from the AMIGA**.

The Amiga can easily transmit 115200bd at full speed with the right software. Many PCs didn't have a buffered serial port either, but this didn't matter for programs like LapLink, which took over the machine and accessed the serial port directly.

Quote:
The only fix for me here was SurfSqurrel on the A1200 PCMCIA slot.

Still, dial-up 57k compression only helped when the data wasn't already compressed but this 3rd party device did fix my issues on serial. So, it Sucked.

56k wasn't standardized until 1998. Before then not many people were using it because the MODEMs were expensive and there were two incompatible implementations - one from USRobotics and another from Rockwell.

Of course, as you say, solutions for the Amiga existed. There was the Surf Squirrel and clockport serial boards for the A1200, and various I/O cards for the A2000 etc. Many of us didn't bother though because 28k8 and slower was fine, and we had already bought these MODEMs and didn't feel we needed to 'upgrade'.

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

What 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.

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

I sense PC envy. In 1992 most PC's (that had a sound card at all) had 8 bit cards (the Sound Blaster 16 was released in June 1992). But 'budget' PCs back then usually came with no sound card, and adding a good one could cost US$300 or more.

Quote:
Nope. I was hanging out for AAA and it got cancelled for AGA at last minute and I was so disappointed at that time after reading it the mags and on BBS mail.

Yeah, that was disappointing - but not surprising that the rumors were false.

It's not so much that AAA got cancelled 'at the last minute' as that they weren't making the progress required to get it out on time. Also it would have been expensive. They probably would have debuted it on an A3000 class machine at a ridiculous price.

Quote:
AGA was far too little, too late if you ask me. Dave Haynie should have got his way, I can only imagine how frustrated he got with it all.

Dave Haynie should have set his sights a little lower and produced a design that could have been put in low-end Amigas earlier - preferably around 1990. But Commodore, being a US company, focused too much on the high end, and didn't reign in its engineers' fantasies.

The truth is, AAA would have solved nothing. Trying to compete head-to-head with PCs was bound to fail. By 1995 the Amiga had lost its last advantage over PCs in the 'serious' market, and was being swamped by them in the high-end gaming market. Its only hope was as a low-end hobbyist computer and gaming console.

Last edited by bhabbott on 06-Oct-2022 at 03:36 AM.
Last edited by bhabbott on 06-Oct-2022 at 03:35 AM.

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