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      /  What defines Amiga: chipset or software?
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Poll : What defines Amiga: chipset or software?
Chipset
Software
Both
Pancakes
 
PosterThread
matthey 
Re: What defines Amiga: chipset or software?
Posted on 13-Dec-2021 2:11:17
#181 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1501
From: Kansas

bison Quote:

Even if Commodore had been a better run company, I think it would have been hard to keep up with Nvidia on the hardware side past about 1998.


NVidia was not an overnight success. The first graphics chipset product, the NV1 in 1995, was lackluster and Sega dropped the chipset for the Sega Dreamcast. The 2nd RIVA 128 chipset in 1997 was more successful but it was the RIVA TNT chipset in 1998 when it became a top competitor for graphics chipsets.

1995 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NV1
1997 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIVA_128
1998 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIVA_TNT

NVidia was a late graphics chipset bloomer and once again this shows how late descent 2D+3D chipsets came to the PC clone market. Consoles were known for 3D hardware in the mid '90s before hardware 3D was popular on PC clones in the late '90s (price and power limitations required consoles to do more with less like the Amiga was originally designed to do). There were a few PC clone 3D boards in the mid '90s but a higher performance x86 CPU was more often the 3D accelerator.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: What defines Amiga: chipset or software?
Posted on 13-Dec-2021 8:24:12
#182 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12197
From: Norway

@matthey

Quote:
During the 1990s, the Matrox Millennium series of cards attracted buyers willing to pay for a higher quality and sharper display. In 1994, Matrox introduced the Matrox Impression, an add-on card that worked in conjunction with a Millennium card to provide 3D acceleration. The Impression was aimed primarily at the CAD market.


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

https://www.computer.org/publications/tech-news/chasing-pixels/matrox-mga

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 13-Dec-2021 at 10:57 AM.

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matthey 
Re: What defines Amiga: chipset or software?
Posted on 13-Dec-2021 10:56:52
#183 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1501
From: Kansas

NutsAboutAmiga Quote:

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


The 1995 S3 "3D Decelerator" and 1996 Matrox "Mystake" were two of the earliest 2D+3D chipsets but 3D only add-ons like the 3dfx Voodoo introduced in 1996 were better.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3dfx_Interactive Quote:

Towards the end of 1996, the cost of EDO DRAM dropped significantly and 3dfx was able to enter the consumer PC hardware market with aggressive pricing compared to the few previous 3D graphics solutions for computers. Prior to affordable 3D hardware, games such as Doom and Quake had compelled video game players to move from their 80386s to 80486s, and then to the Pentium.

...

By the end of 1997, the Voodoo Graphics was by far the most widely adopted 3D accelerator among both consumers and software developers. The Voodoo's primary competition was from PowerVR and Rendition. PowerVR produced a similar 3D-only add-on card with capable 3D support, although it was not comparable to Voodoo Graphics in either image quality or performance. 3dfx saw intense competition in the market from cards that offered the combination of 2D and 3D acceleration. While these cards, such as Matrox Mystique, S3 ViRGE and ATI 3D Rage, offered inferior 3D acceleration, their lower cost and simplicity often appealed to OEM system builders. Rendition's Vérité V1000 was an integrated (3D+VGA) single-chip solution, but it did not have comparable 3D performance, and its 2D capabilities were considered merely adequate relative to other 2D cards of the time.


3D hardware support in the mid 90s was mostly a novelty, except for the 3dfx Voodoo. Early 3D hardware improved performance if using a slow CPU but generally wasn't flexible and didn't look good (low resolution, no perspective correction, slow dithering and anti-aliasing if it was available at all, etc.).

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: What defines Amiga: chipset or software?
Posted on 13-Dec-2021 10:59:36
#184 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12197
From: Norway

@matthey

1994 – Matrox introduced the Matrox Impression, an AIB that worked in conjunction with a Millennium card to provide 3D acceleration.

1996 – Matrox introduced the Mystique.

1997 – Matrox introduced the MGA-based Millennium II AIB.

https://www.computer.org/publications/tech-news/chasing-pixels/matrox-mga

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agami 
Re: What defines Amiga: chipset or software?
Posted on 13-Dec-2021 11:48:46
#185 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 962
From: Melbourne, Australia

@BigD

Quote:
Otherwise for the 80s games and a cheap productivity home computer many were happy with an Atari ST

The Atari ST line did OK in Europe, and particularly in the UK. It only had middling sales, mostly with musos down here.

We could add a MIDI add-on to any Amiga, but we we didn't have Cubase.

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agami 
Re: What defines Amiga: chipset or software?
Posted on 13-Dec-2021 12:17:50
#186 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 962
From: Melbourne, Australia

@matthey

Quote:
but 3D only add-ons like the 3dfx Voodoo introduced in 1996 were better

Were they ever.

I remember the first time I fired up GLQuake on my Voodoo 1 in 1996. Holy crap!!!
It was like someone had swapped out the screen in my monitor. Buttery smooth, sharp, and clear, and translucent water.

My PC upgrade journey started then, and it continued into the present day. CPUs, single socket, dual socket, 32-bit, 64-bit, dual-core, (4, 6, 8, 12, 16) core, HT, SMT, GPUs (Nvidia, ATI, AMD), motherboards (ATX, E-ATX, micro ATX, mini ITX), AGP, PCIe (1.x, 2.x, 3.x, 4.x), RAM (SIMMs, DIMMS, SDR, DDR (1, 2, 3, 4), storage, IDE, EIDE, SCSI (II, III), SATA (1, 2, 3), mSATA, NVMe, USB 1.x, 2.0, 3.x, Firewire (400, 800), Ethernet (10Mbps, 100Mbps, GbE), Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n/a/ac), Bluetooth (1.x, 2.x, 3.x, 4.x, 5.x, EDR, Low Energy), cases, mouses, keyborads, trackballs, trackpads, gamepads (wired, wireless, RGB), monitors (CRT 15", 17", 20", LCD 17", 22", 24", 27", 34", 43") 4:3, 16:9, flat, curved, ultrawide, 1080p, 1440p, 2160p.

It...never...ends

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matthey 
Re: What defines Amiga: chipset or software?
Posted on 13-Dec-2021 23:42:16
#187 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1501
From: Kansas

NutsAboutAmiga Quote:

1994 – Matrox introduced the Matrox Impression, an AIB that worked in conjunction with a Millennium card to provide 3D acceleration.


No texture mapping support which is a basic hardware 3D feature.

NutsAboutAmiga Quote:

1996 – Matrox introduced the Mystique.


Fast but low quality hardware 3D with many missing features.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrox_Mystique Quote:

In general, compared to its peers, the Matrox Mystique was a competent board with its own set of advantages and disadvantages as was typical in this era of early 3D accelerators. It performed well for an early 2D/3D combo card, but it had questionable 3D visual quality. Its 2D support rivaled the best cards available for performance and quality, however. It was not uncommon to pair up the Mystique or another Matrox card with a 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics 3D-only board because the Voodoo cards were the fastest and most well-supported 3D accelerators at the time. Detractors, however, referred to the card as the "Matrox Mystake".


What kind of 3D card do customers use a Voodoo 3D add on board with?

NutsAboutAmiga Quote:

1997 – Matrox introduced the MGA-based Millennium II AIB.


Finally starting to get descent 3D in the late '90s.

matthey Quote:
but 3D only add-ons like the 3dfx Voodoo introduced in 1996 were better


agami Quote:

Were they ever.

I remember the first time I fired up GLQuake on my Voodoo 1 in 1996. Holy crap!!!
It was like someone had swapped out the screen in my monitor. Buttery smooth, sharp, and clear, and translucent water.


Maybe I should have used more emphasis when I said the Voodoo was better than 3D chipset PC clone predecessors. It was enough better than the competition that some people would consider it the beginning of modern 3D hardware on PC clones even though it was an add on. The first successful 2D+3D solution from 3dfx didn't come until the Banshee and Voodoo 3 cards in 1998. Despite the popularity of the 3dfx Voodoo brand, poor acquisitions, R&D problems and the fall through of the license deal for the Sega Dreamcast chipset resulted in a near bankruptcy and Nvidia acquiring 3dfx in late 2000. Had CBM survived and been unable to use Hombre for 3D, 3dfx was willing to license their technology and the the Amiga would have only needed 3D hardware support over what would likely have been AA+ by the mid '90s so licensing 3dfx Voodoo technology would have been interesting and perhaps could have increased the survivability chances of both companies. Had CBM been a well managed vertically integrated technology giant, it could have easily acquired 3dfx instead of Nvidia when they were in financial trouble. As CBM was in reality, they couldn't even close key licensing deals as exhibited by the fall through of the Amiga 3000UX license to Sun, minimal collaboration with NewTek for the Toaster, failure to license the 68k for a single chip SoC (they did license PA-RISC for Hombre but 3D wasn't as important at that point as Amiga compatibility and cost reduction while a SIMD unit could have been added to the 68k too), etc.

The Amiga gained 3D hardware support post CBM with both the 3D Virge chipset in the Cybervision 3D and Voodoo 3-5 support via Zorro to PCI bridges. I own both. The Cybervision 3D is a descent 2D Amiga graphics card even though the older Cybervision 64 is nicer with better bus throughput, Amiga chipset video passthrough and c2p/p2c hardware support. The Cybervision 3D has more memory bandwidth allowing for higher resolutions and better refresh rates. The Virge 3D hardware is pretty poor though. It offers some 3D performance for OpenGL and allows to play the game Descent on a fast clocked 68030 or slow clocked 68040 CPU. It's pretty well useless for Quake or anything newer but then the Warp3D libraries are poorly optimized too (I nearly had the Warp3D.library optimized to half the original size). The Virge 3D hardware isn't as effective with higher performance CPUs which can do software rendering with more flexibility (why Virge was nicknamed "3D decelerator"). My 68060@75MHz with Voodoo 3 or 4 is a completely different story. After the textures are done transferring through the slow bus bridge, Quake runs at about 25 fps 512x384 in 16 bit and looks nice. My nephew, who had an older XBox at the time, played it for the first time and thought it looked good and had no complaints about lack of performance. The Virge 3D hardware was better than nothing for 3D rendering but not as important as a high performance CPU while the Voodoo 3D hardware was better at 3D rendering than any CPU for several years.

Last edited by matthey on 13-Dec-2021 at 11:48 PM.

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