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MEGA_RJ_MICAL 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 31-Jul-2022 1:28:32
#61 ]
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Hammer 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 31-Jul-2022 15:09:33
#62 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:

OTOH Doom was ported to the SNES, even though it didn't have a suitable graphics mode (most modes use bitplane graphics, and while mode 7 does have 256 color 'chunky' pixels there are only enough tiles for a 128x128 pixel bitmap). The solution on the SNES was a special cartridge with it's own graphics processor and RAM, and custom rendering code.

SNES Doom, SuperFX 2 RISC CPU can do about 20 MIPS INT16 or 10 MIPS INT32 (with two INT16s).

68030 @ 50Mhz has about 10 MIPS and has fused instructions via CISC.

Quote:

So the Amiga 500 could have had Doom if someone was willing to make the effort, and anyone was willing to pay for it. But of course they weren't. If a stock A500 or A1200 couldn't do it (which would be the case even if they did have chunky mode), we weren't going to get it.


A1200's Doom card would be 4MB 32-bit Fast RAM, 68030/68EC030 @ 40 Mhz/50Mhz or 68LC040.
A small hard disk is recommended.


Quote:

For comparison, here are some results of running Quake on a PC with Athlon XP 2200+ CPU and various graphics cards:-

Quake 1 software rendering 320x240

Trident TVGA8800C (8 bit ISA bus) 8.7 fps
Trident TVGA9000i (16 bit ISA bus) 13.6 fps
ATI Rage 128 Pro (AGP4x) 205.6 fps

Trident TVGA8900CL-C (16-bit ISA bus) 36 fps

Quake was released in 1996 and it recommended a Pentium class CPU that includes a PCI chipset.

With Quake, CPU's FSB has an extra FPU workload which doesn't exist with Doom.

-----
https://thandor.net/benchmark/32/
Doom benchmarks.
ET4000AX 1MB ISA with P100 CPU scored 32 fps.

Trident TVGA 8900C 1MB ISA with P100 CPU scored 15.9 fps.

Last edited by Hammer on 31-Jul-2022 at 03:20 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 31-Jul-2022 at 03:17 PM.

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Hammer 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 31-Jul-2022 15:44:56
#63 ]
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Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:

An A1200 with 8MB FastRAM and a hard drive can run Doom. Not very well, but at least playable in a smaller windows size - similar to a 386SX-16. My A1200 with 50MHz 030 runs it quite well. An A4000-40 is more than capable. Even though the recommended setup for Doom was a 486, many 386SX owners also tried it out on their machines - because they could.

Amiga 4000/040 playing Doom is suboptimal since it's gimped by the slower 68030 bus.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyQjMze4fGs
Amiga 4000/040 @ 25Mhz playing Doom.


https://youtu.be/fl-gYdkIXCk
Amiga 1200 with Apollo 68040 @ 40 MHz with 32-bit local Fast RAM playing Doom.

FPU-less 68LC040 @ 40 Mhz or 68LC040 @ 33 Mhz would do the job. This is the ideal out-of-the-box SKU for the Amiga Doom bundle for 1993.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdsPgyZdCoc
Doom Timedemo on 486DX2 @ 66 MHz


Commodore International vetoed Commodore UK's Amiga1200 SKUs with an out-of-the-box CPU accelerator SKU proposal.

In 1993, I haven't seen preconfigured A1200 with a CPU accelerator.



Last edited by Hammer on 31-Jul-2022 at 03:49 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 31-Jul-2022 at 03:48 PM.

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Karlos 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 31-Jul-2022 19:20:08
#64 ]
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Posts: 3144
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@Hammer

DoomAttack 020+ version was playable on my A1200 with BlizzPPC 68040/25MHz on AGA. I'd go so far as to say it ran better than many Amiga doom clones. With CGX on the BVPPC the performance was, of course, even better. The same binary, running on the 603e and the same GFX board under OS4 was playable at 640x400. If you can forgive the terrible quality early cameraphone footage, I attach proof https://youtu.be/AQ1t5q3xmYk

Last edited by Karlos on 31-Jul-2022 at 09:27 PM.

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Hammer 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 1-Aug-2022 5:02:42
#65 ]
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Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@Karlos

I'm aware of Phase 5 products i.e. they are the main reason why I sold my Amiga 3000 (030/882 @ 25Mhz, 4MB Fast, 2MB Chip) in 1996 to fund Pentium 150+S3 Trio 64UV-based PC.

In 1996, I have evaluated Phase 5's CyberStorm 060@ 50 Mhz / CyberVision 64(S3 Trio 64) upgrades for my Amiga 3000 vs new build Pentium 150+S3 Trio 64UV-based PC. Quake's performance doomed Amiga 3000/ CyberStorm 060/ CyberVision 64 on cost-effective and performance grounds.


BlizzardVision PPC has Permedia 2 and I have physical access to PC's Permedia 2 vs NVIDIA's RIVA 128 since my university has fleets of them.


Blizzard PPC was a 1998 product, but Commodore was bankrupt in April 1994.
By 1998, Doom was old hat and replaced by Quake and Quake II.


https://www.anandtech.com/show/6/9
In 1997, Quake 2 640 x 480 OpenGL demo1 benchmarks

Creative Labs GB EXXTREM with 3DLabs Permedia 2 has 15.0 fps.
ATI Xpert @ Work has 24.4 fps.
Diamond Viper V330 with nVIDIA Riva 128 AGP has 37.3 fps.
Diamond Viper V330 with nVIDIA Riva 128 PCI has 36.1 fps.


In 1998, my PC has Celeron 300A and was later upgraded with TNT2 M64 1999.

In 2016, I later received Slot 1 Pentium II PCs that were decommissioned from work that was in storage for a long time. Slot 1 Pentium II motherboard prices are getting crazy due to the retro computer market.

I have little interest in PowerPC despite I purchased AF2016 with an AmigaOS 4.1 FE license. I have set up WinUAE's AmigaOS 4.1 FE with emulated A4000, Cyberstorm PPC, and 3DFX Voodoo card.


I have access to Pentium II/NVIDIA RIVA128/Windows NT 4.0 setup vs the proposed A3000/Cyberstorm PPC/CyberVision 3D (S3 ViRGE).


Amiga's PowerPC adventure was a lost cause when it didn't change the baseline install base i.e. Phase 5's products are not cost-effective. PowerPC's 68K legacy support is dependent on PowerPC AmigaOS 4.x.

In 2020, I purchased a low-cost A1200 Rev 1D1 being offered for sale as "for parts, not working" and it's actually working.

I preferred Pi-Storm/Pi 3A (for my Amiga 500) due to the transparent 68K CPU replacement method and low cost. Hyperion has my money for 68K AmigaOS 3.1.4 and 3.2.x.

In 1993, 68040/68LC040 CPUs are available for sale and Commodore didn't change the baseline Amigas for Doom.

Last edited by Hammer on 03-Aug-2022 at 05:59 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 01-Aug-2022 at 05:32 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 01-Aug-2022 at 05:29 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 01-Aug-2022 at 05:27 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 01-Aug-2022 at 05:14 AM.

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bhabbott 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 1-Aug-2022 8:29:27
#66 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 229
From: Aotearoa

@Hammer

Quote:

Hammer wrote:

Amiga 4000/040 playing Doom is suboptimal since it's gimped by the slower 68030 bus.

Many PCs were 'suboptimal' too. Here's a 386DX-40 with the best ISA VGA card you could buy (ET4000) compared to an A1200 with 50MHz 030. This PC is only slightly faster than the A1200. A typical 386DX with cheap VGA card wouldn't be this fast, and the majority of installed PCs in 1993 (386SX) were much slower.

https://youtu.be/1B1jKjrRUmk


Quote:
Amiga 4000/040 @ 25Mhz playing Doom.

Looks good to me!

You see, games like this don't have to be 'optimal' to be enjoyable. But they do have to run on your machine. In 1993 most PC owners had lower spec machines that didn't run Doom well, but they did run it (which Doom accommodated with variable window size and a low detail option). That gave those PC users an incentive to upgrade if they thought it was worth it, or not if they didn't. But Amiga users didn't have a choice because ID wouldn't port Doom to the Amiga.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/fl-gYdkIXCk
Amiga 1200 with Apollo 68040 @ 40 MHz with 32-bit local Fast RAM playing Doom.

Yes a faster 040 card with local bus RAM is better, as expected. By 1994 several cards were available with faster 040 and onboard RAM. Some could be purchased without a CPU so you could use your existing 25MHz 040.

Quote:
In 1993, I haven't seen preconfigured A1200 with a CPU accelerator.

The A1200 was designed to be sold at a low price but be expandable, like the A500. Nothing prevented retailers from bundling a RAM board or accelerator card with it, and some of us did. But we didn't want Commodore to do it for the reason you illustrated above - 3rd party manufacturers like GVP had more experience producing 'optimized' hardware using the latest technology. This is where Commodore got it right with the A1200. Don't put Fast RAM and a cheap 030 on the motherboard, where it will just be deadweight when technology improves and people want more.

Amiga fans were generally more discerning than PC users, so they were more inclined to buy a base model and upgrade it themselves than just go with what the vendor provided. If you look at PC adverts from that time you will see that most didn't even state the brand and model of video card installed - because most of their customers didn't care. This is still true today - only hard-core gamers care about graphic card performance, the rest of us simply assume it will be good enough.

But this is all off topic. The question we are supposed to be answering is how much slower would planar be vs chunky on hardware that is otherwise identical.

A stock A4000-40 has slow ChipRAM access, it's true. This would not be any different if the AGA chipset had a 'chunky' mode. But cleverly written C2P routines can get many 'free' cycles in between memory accesses to speed up the conversion. With a fast CPU and RAM this can result in the C2P operation being close to copy speed, and then planar vs chunky becomes irrelevant - at least for games like Doom where the entire screen must be continuously redrawn one pixel at a time.

But how much better might chunky be for 2D games and other applications? To answer that question we need code!

Last edited by bhabbott on 01-Aug-2022 at 08:29 AM.

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Karlos 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 1-Aug-2022 8:54:29
#67 ]
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Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3144
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@Hammer

I didn't have that hardware configuration to play Doom or Quake, I had it because I was an Amiga enthusiast that wanted to run Amiga software, predominantly productivity and a few games. Which I did, exclusively, until about 2000, when I built my first Frankenstein PC out of spares I'd accumulated building and upgrading for other people.

Since you mention quake, I did run it and it was very playable on that hardware. Eventually the GL version too.

The first PC I actually built new, just for me, was in 2007/2008. The goal was that it should "run crysis", which it did (Q9450, X48, GTX 260). With a GPU upgrade in 2014 (GTX 780Ti), the same machine also runs Doom. The 2016 reboot, at 1080p, 60fps, with the occasional dips to 45. It did run Eternal, briefly, until required driver update versions locked it out (Nvidia dropped support for Kepler).

It's laughably out of date now, as vintage in PC terms as the Amiga was when I built it. I don't get much time to play games and when I do, it's more likely to be Fallout NV or similar, which of course runs extremely well.

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Karlos 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 1-Aug-2022 11:57:42
#68 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3144
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@bhabbott

Quote:
But this is all off topic. The question we are supposed to be answering is how much slower would planar be vs chunky on hardware that is otherwise identical.


True. More specifically it's about testing the hypothesis that packed pixels allow for a more performant implementation (both rendering and displaying) even in odd bit depths and even when your access to memory is still in common word sizes. We'll never know for sure since we only had planar hardware. I'm sure everyone agrees that packed access for "regular" word sizes, e.g. 8, 16, 32 bits allow for a simple implementation and simple software access for a given overall bus bandwidth and it's easy to extrapolate this to basically any power of two, e.g. 1, 2 and 4 bits.

Odd bits per pixel, without leaving gaps, requires the same sort of shifting and masking, but you have the added complication (at least from software) of making access performant at fixed bus sizes. We've talked about approaches to that earlier in the thread.

It's my contention, that ultimately, for bitplane based planar, the performance is only better when you don't have to modify every plane. It's also my contention that it's essentially worse in every other aspect. On a hypothetical 32-bit system, for some simple horizontal span fills it will be "as good" as packed when entire words can be written. For example, you fill 32 consecutive 8-bit pixels in 8 writes of 32-bits. The fact you have to write non consecutive addresses may or may not matter depending on the cache access semantics. For packed pixels, the same 32 pixels involve 8 32-bit writes too, but to consecutive addresses.

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Hypex 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 1-Aug-2022 13:11:30
#69 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10830
From: Greensborough, Australia

@Karlos

In the distance would need less detail than close up. I just noticed games tended to have a scrolling mountain range in the background. That did move enough. But I wanted to have something that stood out as an effect and even include shadows.

A lot of early PlayStation games had 2d backgrounds. A few cars games had really fake 2d crowds I thought looked lame. So thought it would be cool to simulate a 3d scrolling background that looked more sophisticated.

Fighting games tended to have rotating floors. That would be harder and I looked into using copper. Hardest is zooming. Without a scaling blitter it comes back to bitmap flipping.

However, a 3d scrolling stonebrick wall seen in a few fighting game is fairly trivial. It's more memory intensive since subtle differences are stored over realtime rendering. But copper bitmap flipping comes cheap. It would match well with the 3d copper floors Amiga games had.

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Karlos 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 1-Aug-2022 14:45:24
#70 ]
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Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3144
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@Hypex

Are you talking about 3D "effect", or actual texture mapped 3D?

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Trekiej 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 2-Aug-2022 0:09:22
#71 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 17-Oct-2006
Posts: 890
From: Unknown

@Karlos

How does one go about understanding the flexibility of a planar system?

How would a planar system work with a pipeline that is on today's 3D cards?
I guess that my be beyond this post.

Do planar systems go well with a Transputer architecture?

Cheers.

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Hammer 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 2-Aug-2022 4:37:37
#72 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:

Many PCs were 'suboptimal' too. Here's a 386DX-40 with the best ISA VGA card you could buy (ET4000) compared to an A1200 with 50MHz 030. This PC is only slightly faster than the A1200. A typical 386DX with cheap VGA card wouldn't be this fast, and the majority of installed PCs in 1993 (386SX) were much slower.

https://youtu.be/1B1jKjrRUmk

Minority gaming PCs still outnumber the entire Amiga hardware install base.

386DX-40 is AMD's 386 variant that is effectively overclocked. Intel didn't release 40Mhz 386DX.

A1200/CD32 didn't reach 1 million units like A500. A3000/A4000's install base is even worst than A1200's.

The best-selling Amiga model is still A500.

Intel reaches past $4.5 billion in revenues while Commodore reached its $1 billion dollar mark. Intel X86 has a unified desktop PC platform while the 68K market has fragmented platforms.


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

Any 386 PCs with a 16bit ISA slot can upgrade towards ET4000AX ISA. This is why my Dad sold our IBM PS/2 Model 55SX (with MCA slots) for a generic 386DX PC clone (with 16-bit ISA slots).

For the cost-effective context, IBM PS/2 Model 55SX with MCA slots was a dead end.

The generic 386DX PC clone can be upgraded into "486" from multiple x86 CPU vendors, lower-cost 16bit audio add-on cards, and lower-cost 3.5-inch HDDs.

A600/A1200 has support for PC laptops' 2.5inch HDDs that has a higher cost than desktop PC's 3.5-inch HDDs.

PS;
In Q4 1991, our purchased IBM PS/2 Model 55SX was a decommissioned workstation from work. Paid $200 for it. This machine was later traded for a generic 386DX-33 PC clone in Q1 1993. ISA ET4000AX and SB16 OPL3 clones were later added.

In Q4 1992, our purchased Amiga 3000 (AmigaOS 2.04, 68030/68882 @ 25Mhz, 1MB Chip RAM, 1MB Fast RAM) was a decommissioned workstation from work, and paid $800 for it. A500 (Rev6, 1MB RAM) was sold to fund it. Amiga 3000 was later upgraded with 4MB Fast RAM.

Around the early 1990s, I received my second A500 (Rev 5) from my school friend since it was defective. A500 (Rev 5) was later gutted for Rev 6A rebuild in the year 2020 and the defective PSU was replaced. I'm older at this point and I can diagnose faulty PSU.

Quote:

Looks good to me!

You see, games like this don't have to be 'optimal' to be enjoyable. But they do have to run on your machine. In 1993 most PC owners had lower spec machines that didn't run Doom well, but they did run it (which Doom accommodated with variable window size and a low detail option). That gave those PC users an incentive to upgrade if they thought it was worth it, or not if they didn't. But Amiga users didn't have a choice because ID wouldn't port Doom to the Amiga.

Minority gaming PCs still outnumber the entire Amiga hardware install base.

John Carmack's argument includes install-base context.

For SNES, Nintendo supported Doom with a mass-produced SuperFX2 bundle deal.

Where's Commodore's SuperFX2/Doom-like bundle deal for A500/A1200?


Last edited by Hammer on 02-Aug-2022 at 05:08 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 02-Aug-2022 at 05:05 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 02-Aug-2022 at 05:00 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 02-Aug-2022 at 04:46 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 02-Aug-2022 at 04:44 AM.

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Hammer 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 2-Aug-2022 5:26:03
#73 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:

The A1200 was designed to be sold at a low price but be expandable, like the A500.

My A1200 Rev 1D1 has the timing bugs with Amikit's 8 MB/FPU expansion and TF1260 cards, that needs to be corrected.

My A1200 locks up with these mentioned expansion cards. Phase 5's solution has workarounds against this hardware flaw that adds additional cost.

My older self can fix these timing bugs, but my younger self is unable to fix them.

A1200's internal expansion bus is similar to A500's external side expansion bus.

With the timing bugs in certain A1200 batches, Commodore wasn't serious about A1200 being expandable.


Quote:

Nothing prevented retailers from bundling a RAM board or accelerator card with it, and some of us did. But we didn't want Commodore to do it for the reason you illustrated above - 3rd party manufacturers like GVP had more experience producing 'optimized' hardware using the latest technology. This is where Commodore got it right with the A1200. Don't put Fast RAM and a cheap 030 on the motherboard, where it will just be deadweight when technology improves and people want more.

For the Amiga market, the customized 3rd party addons are unable to reach economies of scale.

Commodore can produce 68040 A3640 cards for about $400 (the price difference between A3000T/030 vs A3000T/040) while $400 is about 68030 type 3rd party CPU accelerator for the A1200.

Commodore has "economies of scale" superiority over customized 3rd party CPU accelerator vendors.

For A500, GVP A530 is not cost-effective when compared to 386 CPU upgrades.

Amiga platform couldn't redefine hardware install base to replace A500 and A1200.

In Q3 1993, Apple released Quadra 605 with 68LC040 for about $1000 USD, hence Apple has "zero-summed" the 486SX-25 PC cloners. Apple Mac 68K has the official Doom port.

With Commodore, $750 to $800 A1200 with 68LC040 CPU accelerator could be produced.

You're not factoring "economies of scale".

Last edited by Hammer on 02-Aug-2022 at 05:54 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 02-Aug-2022 at 05:44 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 02-Aug-2022 at 05:40 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 02-Aug-2022 at 05:29 AM.

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Karlos 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 2-Aug-2022 6:47:54
#74 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3144
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@Trekiej

Today's GPUs are massive arrays of simple scalar processors. A scalar processor, (as distinct from a vector unit) operates on a single element of a large data set, executing code in lockstep with thousands of other identical units each operating on a different element of the dataset. This approach, which nvidia calls SIMT (single instruction multiple threads) is easier to scale up and keep busy with work than more traditional vector solutions.

One of the critical aspects of such a design is ensuring you have the highest possible memory bandwidth. The units spend most of their time working on floating point data and sometimes on integer data. It's only in the final writes to framebuffer memory where actual pixels become relevant and by then you just want to package your frame as quickly as possible for the display controller. It's not an environment or workflow that seems particularly suited to bitplanes

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bhabbott 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 2-Aug-2022 8:43:25
#75 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 229
From: Aotearoa

@Hammer

Quote:

Hammer wrote:

Minority gaming PCs still outnumber the entire Amiga hardware install base.

You are absolutely right. As I have said many times, the numbers were always against the Amiga no matter what hardware it had.

Quote:
386DX-40 is AMD's 386 variant that is effectively overclocked. Intel didn't release 40Mhz 386DX.

Correct. The Intel 386DX only went up to 33MHz. It was introduced in 1985, but machines using it were very expensive. AMD released their 386DX-40 in 1991, becoming quite popular as a cheaper alternative to a 25MHz 486 with 'almost' the same performance. Ironically Intel sold more 386SXs (which were cut down to 16 bits to work on cheaper 286 motherboards) in this period, because they also had 386 protected mode but were much cheaper. As usual, being able to run the software that needed it at all was more important than how fast it ran. 386 protected mode was a big deal for games as well as for Windows.

When I opened my computer shop in 1991 I bought a variety of PC clones for display, including one 486SX with 8 MB RAM. At the time this was very expensive with a retail price of over NZ$5000. It took 2 years to sell that machine at a discount price, because in 1991 nobody thought they needed such power (a 'high end' 386DX came with 4 MB, and 386SXs had 1 or 2 MB). Then Windows 95 came out and...


Quote:
A1200/CD32 didn't reach 1 million units like A500. A3000/A4000's install base is even worst than A1200's.

The best-selling Amiga model is still A500.

Again you are correct. The A3000 was very expensive and didn't live up to its promise. I ordered one when it was announced, and received it in mid 1991. I justified the price because it was the same as a similarly equipped Compaq 386DX-25. By 1992 they were being dumped for less than half what I paid.

In hindsight I probably should have bought an A2000 and put an accelerator card in it (that's what several of my friends had). In New Zealand you could buy an A2000 base unit with a single floppy drive for not much more than an A500 bundle. It was 100% compatible with the A500 (unlike the A3000), but also very expandable. Only downside was the huge case.

The A1200 actually sold so well that Commodore had trouble making enough of them, and the CD32 would have sold a lot more if Commodore hadn't gone bankrupt. The problem was the US market. Commodore couldn't sell CD32s in the US because they refused to pay the XOR patent troll - a big mistake (sometimes you have to pay the Dane). The A4000 was mostly sold bundled with Newtek's Video toaster, though a few richer Amiga fans also got them (two friends of mine had one).

Introducing a new model with enhanced features was always a problem for popular home computers, because until a large enough installed base built up most titles would still be produced for the older models. Owners of the new machine would then become annoyed that their machines weren't being fully utilized. In many cases later models suffered poor sales because the platform as a whole was considered outdated, despite the improvements made.

I knew this would be a problem for the A1200 because we had already seen Amiga fans get upset about minor differences in new models. However Commodore did go to some effort to maintain hardware compatibility, and by this time people were starting to accept that not every game in their collection would work on the new model. Considering market conditions, sales of the A1200 and CD32 were not bad, though they were of course not nearly enough to attract the attention of most PC game producers. However Amiga developers jumped at the chance to make use of the AGA chipset and faster CPU.

Had Commodore survived for few more years they could have sold a lot more A1200s and CD32s. If they had introduced AGA 2 years earlier instead of trying (and failing) to make an even more advanced chipset, they could have sold several million. But in 1990 the A1200 and CD32 were not even a dream. If they had got AGA out earlier we might have seen quite different models, which would be a pity because I really love the design of the A1200 (much nicer than the 'pizza boxes' that other manufacturers were making).


Quote:
Intel reaches past $4.5 billion in revenues while Commodore reached its $1 billion dollar mark.

True. But Intel was a chip manufacturer making a lot more than just CPUs. They also sold a lot of microcontrollers and other chips. A fairer comparison would be between Intel and Motorola, which had revenue of US$10.5 billion in 1990, or Commodore compared to some other computer manufacturer.

Not that it is relevant anyway - who cares what Commodore's sales figures were, so long they got nice machines out that we could buy and and enjoy using? The truth is that Commodore sold more home computers than any other manufacturer catering for that market, and those machines have survived better than most. All Amiga models are highly prized today, while PC clones of that era are meh (and strangely the better they are the less they are desired. Original IBM 5150s go for silly prices considering their horrible design and poor performance).

Quote:
Intel X86 has a unified desktop PC platform while the 68K market has fragmented platforms.

Ha ha. X86 is deprecated today. I am using Linux right now because Windows on X86 cannot run the latest web browsers and other software. I managed to get Firefox onto it, but until a few days ago it would randomly crash on some content - very annoying. Seems the latest update has fixed that (touch wood...).

Back in the early 90's it was even worse, particularly for games. If you had an Amiga or an ST you could just shove the disk in and it would work - not with a PC. You had to carefully read the 'system requirements' to make sure your machine complied, then it was often a struggle to configure it for your game. Most business PCs didn't have a sound card, joystick port or mouse, and many only had monochrome graphics. You might have to spend hundreds of dollars just to get a game to run properly, or even buy a new machine - despite your current one being "fully IBM compatible".

So yeah, on 68k you had to choose the version for your platform, but after that it was plain sailing. Not a big deal as far as market share was concerned either, since by then the ST's popularity was waning and the Mac served a different market. If it wasn't for the saturation of PCs this 'fragmentation' (which had existed for a decade) would not have been an issue.

Quote:
Minority gaming PCs still outnumber the entire Amiga hardware install base.

John Carmack's argument includes install-base context.

Yes, I have already stated elsewhere that this was probably a large factor in Carmack's decision, though he didn't argue it. Interestingly Carmack was originally keen on the Amiga, but when a PC came his way he started coding for that instead. Perhaps he might have thought differently if he had an Amiga?

Quote:
For SNES, Nintendo supported Doom with a mass-produced SuperFX2 bundle deal.

Which did a poor job. But SNES owners were happy to get 'Doom' on their consoles even if it was severely compromised to fit. The promise of huge sales volume made it worth porting to, though it got poor reviews and didn't sell that well.

Quote:
Where's Commodore's SuperFX2/Doom-like bundle deal for A500/A1200?

A stupid question. Cartridge games could have been produced for the A500, but the price would be far too high. Console gamers had to put up with it because they couldn't be pirated, while Amiga owners were used to cheaper games (much cheaper when pirated). I doubt that Amiga fans would be very impressed by a game coming with a $100 dongle that is only good for that one title - especially if it is as poor as SNES Doom.

In case you didn't read the above, I agree with you that the vastly greater number of PCs sold put the Amiga at a huge disadvantage. I don't know why you keep harping on about it. It's not 1995 anymore, and butt-hurt Amiga fans should have gotten over their PC envy by now. Other retro platforms don't have this problem. Fans appreciate their machine for what it is without having to constantly compare it to the various PCs of the day - and revel in finding it wanting.

Can we get back to doing some coding now?




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Hammer 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 3-Aug-2022 4:23:03
#76 ]
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Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:

Correct. The Intel 386DX only went up to 33MHz. It was introduced in 1985, but machines using it were very expensive. AMD released their 386DX-40 in 1991, becoming quite popular as a cheaper alternative to a 25MHz 486 with 'almost' the same performance. Ironically Intel sold more 386SXs (which were cut down to 16 bits to work on cheaper 286 motherboards) in this period, because they also had 386 protected mode but were much cheaper. As usual, being able to run the software that needed it at all was more important than how fast it ran. 386 protected mode was a big deal for games as well as for Windows.

When I opened my computer shop in 1991 I bought a variety of PC clones for display, including one 486SX with 8 MB RAM. At the time this was very expensive with a retail price of over NZ$5000. It took 2 years to sell that machine at a discount price, because in 1991 nobody thought they needed such power (a 'high end' 386DX came with 4 MB, and 386SXs had 1 or 2 MB). Then Windows 95 came out and...

Commodore reached its $1 billion dollar revenues mark around 1991. 1990-to-1991 was Commodore's golden era.


For the Australian context, my Dad had about $1,400 AUD to spend on computers in 1989, hence A500 (Rev 6A, KS 1.3) + C= 1084S monitor was selected from Norman Ross. In 1990, a 512 KB expansion card was purchased for our A500. A500 starter pack was about $1000 AUD.


From https://archive.org/details/pc_world_australia-1991_05/page/6/mode/1up

[img]https://ia801901.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/9/items/pc_world_australia-1991_05/pc_world_australia-1991_05_jp2.zip&file=pc_world_australia-1991_05_jp2/pc_world_australia-1991_05_0072.jp2&id=pc_world_australia-1991_05&scale=2&rotate=0[/img]

PC World Australia May 1991
From OCT Computers

OCT386-25 has $1,845 AUD for 386DX-25 based PC. (this is reaching my Dad's computer spending price range).

OCT386SX-16 has $1,296 AUD for 386SX-16-based PC.

Another spending spree occurred in early 1992 for ex-corporate Amiga 3000 and I did't ask for this machine. My Dad unexpectedly sold A500 and paid about $900 AUD for the second-hand A3000.

Also in 1992, a secondhand 1987-era IBM PS/2 Model 55SX "hot potato" was dumped when my Dad's friend upgraded to 486 based PC. My Dad paid about $200 for the "hot potato".

Both I and my Dad were unaware of Q4 1992 A1200's release.

In Q1 1993, IBM PS/2 Model 55SX was sold to fund 386DX-33+ET4000 based PC when it annoyed my Dad about non-cost effective MCA vs 16 bit ISA add-on cards.

386DX-33/ET4000-based PC has served like the A1200 and it was Doom ready.

Commodore went bankrupt in April 1994 after they wreaked their 1993 Xmas sales.

Windows 95 was released on the 24th of August 1995. Our 386DX-33/ET4000-based PC can run Windows 95 and it was slow.

This topic context is about Doom and the 1993 time period.

Xmas 1993 sales were the last chance for C= Commodore.

Quote:

The A1200 actually sold so well that Commodore had trouble making enough of them, and the CD32 would have sold a lot more if Commodore hadn't gone bankrupt. The problem was the US market. Commodore couldn't sell CD32s in the US because they refused to pay the XOR patent troll - a big mistake (sometimes you have to pay the Dane). The A4000 was mostly sold bundled with Newtek's Video toaster, though a few richer Amiga fans also got them (two friends of mine had one).

Ex-MD Commodore UK David Pleasance has the story on the year 1992 A1200 and year 1993 CD32 supply issues.

Besides the US-only XOR patent issue, CBM has "A1000jr" with ECS time wasting, HK to PH factory move and US EPA long arm into PH warehouse lockup. Amiga's core market is the EU market, hence US-only XOR patent issue is irrelevant to the EU.

DaveH claims AGA chipset were competed in March 1991.

Both A1200 and CD32 couldn't replace A500's 1 million units per year sales.



Canceling A500 was stupid.

Last edited by Hammer on 03-Aug-2022 at 05:51 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 03-Aug-2022 at 05:27 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 03-Aug-2022 at 05:25 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 03-Aug-2022 at 04:23 AM.

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Hammer 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 3-Aug-2022 5:20:12
#77 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:

True. But Intel was a chip manufacturer making a lot more than just CPUs. They also sold a lot of microcontrollers and other chips. A fairer comparison would be between Intel and Motorola, which had revenue of US$10.5 billion in 1990, or Commodore compared to some other computer manufacturer.

The difference is Intel has a unified X86 PC platform with economies of scale. Motorola has fragmented customer platforms.

X86 CPU market has clones such as AMD, Cyrix, and 'etc' targeting the unified X86 PC platform.

Compaq reached its $1 billion dollar mark in 1987 and reached the $2 billion mark in 1988.
Compaq is one of many X86 PC clone vendors.

Quote:

Not that it is relevant anyway - who cares what Commodore's sales figures were, so long they got nice machines out that we could buy and and enjoy using? The truth is that Commodore sold more home computers than any other manufacturer catering for that market, and those machines have survived better than most. All Amiga models are highly prized today, while PC clones of that era are meh (and strangely the better they are the less they are desired. Original IBM 5150s go for silly prices considering their horrible design and poor performance).

IBM didn't survive the X86 PC clone war.

From eBay retro market,
The 486DX2 capable motherboard with an SIS chipset is $200 AUD.

I can buy Amiga 500 Rev 6 motherboard for $65 AUD (+ $70 postage) from Germany.

Amiga 500 Rev 6 motherboard can evolve with PiStorm+Pi3a (Emu68's 800 MIPS) that blows away Pentium Overdrive with 486DX2 motherboard combination.

Quote:

X86 is deprecated today. I am using Linux right now because Windows on X86 cannot run the latest web browsers and other software. I managed to get Firefox onto it, but until a few days ago it would randomly crash on some content - very annoying. Seems the latest update has fixed that (touch wood...).

X86 has evolved into X86-64. All X86-64 CPUs can support legacy X86.

My old 2008-era Core 2 laptop (Sony Vaio) can run Windows 10 and works best with SSD.

Windows XP has problems with modern web browsers. Windows XP has Firefox 52.9 ESR.

Quote:

Back in the early 90's it was even worse, particularly for games. If you had an Amiga or an ST you could just shove the disk in and it would work - not with a PC. You had to carefully read the 'system requirements' to make sure your machine complied, then it was often a struggle to configure it for your game.

Following X86 PC's "system requirements" is easier than modifying and recompiling Linux.

Game consoles has their place in relation to appliance-type usability.

DOS games with DOS extenders have reduced the need for MS-DOS startup sequence 640K management.

Amiga 500's advantage with kick-the OS game disk has its downside when scaling the game beyond one to two disks. The first public release of WHDLoad was on September 5, 1996.


Quote:

Most business PCs didn't have a sound card, joystick port or mouse, and many only had monochrome graphics. You might have to spend hundreds of dollars just to get a game to run properly, or even buy a new machine - despite your current one being "fully IBM compatible".

Multimedia PC (MPC) Level 1 standard was set in 1991. The MPMC comprised companies including Microsoft, Creative Labs, Dell, Gateway, and Fujitsu. Wing Commander was released in 1990 and triggered PC game-related hardware upgrades. Wing Commander was PC's "Defender of the Crown" moment.

Multimedia PC (MPC) Level 2 standard was set in 1993. Refer to Doom.

Multimedia PC (MPC) Level 3 standard was set in 1996. Refer to Quake.

Again, minority gaming PC still exceeds the entire A500/A1200 install base.

Quote:

So yeah, on 68k you had to choose the version for your platform, but after that it was plain sailing. Not a big deal as far as market share was concerned either, since by then the ST's popularity was waning and the Mac served a different market. If it wasn't for the saturation of PCs this 'fragmentation' (which had existed for a decade) would not have been an issue.

Why do many "design in Germany" Amiga-related add-on vendors use the "lacking economies of scale" excuse when they answer questions about less cost-effective add-ons?

Wake me up when the Amiga platform delivers 1 million 68030 @ 50 Mhz or 68LC040 level install base.

Quote:

Which did a poor job. But SNES owners were happy to get 'Doom' on their consoles even if it was severely compromised to fit. The promise of huge sales volume made it worth porting to, though it got poor reviews and didn't sell that well.

The higher risk is on Nintendo, not on ID software. 1995 Doom release on SNES is mostly for #metoo PR until N64's 1996 release.

Unlike Commodore, Nintendo has very strong 1st party titles that are only available on Nintendo's platform and this factor alone enabled Nintendo's weaker hardware releases to survive to this day.

Quote:

A stupid question. Cartridge games could have been produced for the A500, but the price would be far too high. Console gamers had to put up with it because they couldn't be pirated, while Amiga owners were used to cheaper games (much cheaper when pirated). I doubt that Amiga fans would be very impressed by a game coming with a $100 dongle that is only good for that one title - especially if it is as poor as SNES Doom.


For magnitude context from https://doom.fandom.com/wiki/Sales

A list by now-defunct research firm PC Data for January 1993ľApril 1998 puts the sales for Doom II at 1,815,882 and Doom at 1,361,943,


Again, wake me up when the Amiga platform has a 2 million install base with 4MB Fast RAM.

Quote:

Can we get back to doing some coding now?

The context of this topic was about Doom and the year 1993. You shifted your argument towards 1991.

Packed vs Planar wouldn't be a major issue with sufficient 68K CPU power and install base.

Last edited by Hammer on 04-Aug-2022 at 03:54 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 04-Aug-2022 at 03:06 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 03-Aug-2022 at 05:55 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 03-Aug-2022 at 05:46 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 03-Aug-2022 at 05:42 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 03-Aug-2022 at 05:22 AM.

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Karlos 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 3-Aug-2022 9:36:21
#78 ]
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Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3144
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@Hammer

Quote:
Packed vs Planar wouldn't be a major issue with sufficient 68K CPU power and install base.


Well I suppose the fact that quake runs comfortably on AGA with a fast enough CPU demonstrates this to a point. I could even play it at 320*512 interlace on PPC at a playable frame rate. However, if the most popular Amiga was the A500, then there's no chance. While games like Dread show what is possible now, 1993 was 1993.

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Trekiej 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 4-Aug-2022 2:58:26
#79 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 17-Oct-2006
Posts: 890
From: Unknown

@Karlos

It looks like the Amiga does a Chunky to Planar to Chunky conversion.
The magic happens in the Planar portion, I believe.

I appears to me that an Engineer would use Chunky these days.
It looks to be straight forward, faster, and simpler.

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MEGA_RJ_MICAL 
Re: Packed Versus Planar: FIGHT
Posted on 4-Aug-2022 3:20:37
#80 ]
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Joined: 13-Dec-2019
Posts: 1200
From: AMIGAWORLD.NET WAS ORIGINALLY FOUNDED BY DAVID DOYLE

PLANAR PADDING

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