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Karlos 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 15-Jun-2022 21:10:28
#321 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3142
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@bhabbott

The arguments over supported resolution are a bit moot in my opinion seeing as you could get graphics cards for productivity usage. Whatever limitations of the chipset has don't have to be a limitation for the system.

I recall as an 18 year old as university with my A1200 running workbench, protracker and deluxe paint at the same time, with each display, in its own resolution and colour depth, partially dragged down with the protracker copper VU bars banging away wowing my PC owning friends at the time, one of whom became a "convert" in part on the strength of that demonstration alone.

And not long later, the converse was true when I saw Doom running on a 486. It was clear that 3D was going to be the next big thing and all the cool scrolling 2D that was the mainstay of the Amigas native graphics suddenly seemed a bit dated.

I still love it, though.

_________________
Doing stupid things for fun...

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cdimauro 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 15-Jun-2022 22:02:33
#322 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3084
From: Germany

@bhabbott

Quote:

bhabbott wrote:
@cdimauro

Quote:

cdimauro wrote:

BTW, the topic was already derailed long time ago. And other threads as well. But you only care about this one: guess why...

I don't own a PPC card or Next Gen 'Amiga', so OS 4 itself is of little interest to me. That's why you won't see me posting in most threads here. However I am interested in Amiga stuff in general, including the idea of a 'modern' Amiga-like OS for x86.

Try again: you contributed on other threads as well, which... derailed!
Quote:
In the usual wallowing negativity of Amiga 'fans', there has been some discussion about 'flaws' in Amiga OS that supposedly make this impossible. I was hoping that this time it might be different and we could have a technical discussion on how these 'flaws' could be addressed. However some people just want to pointlessly rant about how (in their opinion) the Amiga is and always was no good.

Trying to change the cards on the table doesn't work (at least with me).

Your problem is that, as an Amiga fanatic, you don't accept critics, even when they have a (strong) technical base.
Quote:
Quote:

Otherwise you could show me how to use the File Manager (see 4:50 on the video that I've posted) on a 320x200 display (which means... 40 columns!).

40 columns? Windows has variable width and proportional fonts. It doesn't use text mode!

Yes, but the used space is on that ballpark.

Care to show me how you could fit the text shown on File Explorer? On a 320x200 resolution, of course.
Quote:
Sure the MCGA 320x200 256 color driver was only meant for 'multimedia' (games etc.), but you didn't say anything about the desktop.

I've clearly written Windows. NOT Windows games.
Quote:
The point is that Windows 3.x is not limited to any particular resolution, it just needs a driver for the screen mode you want. Did you know there was no official 8086 compatible driver for VGA? This is an issue for me because I have an Amstrad PC2086 (which has VGA on-board) complete with Windows 3.1 manuals, but can't even run it in the standard VGA resolution of 640x480 with 16 colors.

I know how Windows worked, and its drivers as well. Strange that there was no VGA driver for 8086.
Quote:
Quote:
Have you tried 640x480 with 256 colors without interlace on your Amiga 1200?

Yes. But I don't run that resolution on my current setup because my TV can't handle it on the composite input.

So your real answer is NO, and certainly not yes...
Quote:
And I don't need it, because the TV does an excellent job of displaying interlace WITHOUT flicker.

If your TV is using a deinterlacer you can still see artifacts.

And, even more important, your real refresh rate is 30 (NTSC, SECAM) or 25 (PAL) FPS. So, below the minimum of 60 FPS/Hz of PC's video cards.
Quote:
IBrowse works well in 640x512. The only issue is that most websites are encrypted now, which makes large images very slow to load even with a 50MHz 030. Therefore I usually run IBrowse in 8 colors with images off for speed. This isn't a big deal for me because I use the Web on my A1200 to get information and download stuff, not for eye candy.

Ah, yes. 8 colors is great for web browsing.

It reminds me The Fox and the Grapes...
Quote:
Quote:
Maybe the problem is that you never used this machine. But it's your problem. And you're spreading false statements!

Again you assume wrong. I had a 512k Mac back in the 90's, and it was a pain just getting the OS installed on the hard drive (luckily my Amiga was able to help there). I eventually dismantled it because it was too limited and frustrating to use. I had so many old computers back then that were worthless to me - wish I had kept them though because anything retro is worth heaps now!

As for false statements, perhaps you should read some of the press around the time of the Mac's launch.

I don't need a press, since I've USED such Mac and, as I've already said, it was productive.
Quote:
Quote:
I quote YOURSELF:

"The Mac had a very nicely done monochrome GUI, but was let down by the tiny screen."

So, YOU were off topic!

Er, excuse me. I was responding to you dragging Macintosh into the conversation,

You need to read again the discussion, because you lost it. In fact, I was NOT the one which talked about Macs...
Quote:
apparently for the sole purpose of 'proving' that the Amiga was inferior to it.

In your distorted view.
Quote:
Of course in 1984 it was, since the Amiga didn't exist. In 1985 however...

What happened in 1985? Did the Amiga had a 512x342 flicker-free display? An 8Mhz CPU?
Quote:
Quote:
It's quite clear that you do NOT like critics to Amigas, and you react this way: trying to change the discussion. A very common logical fallacy.

In case you didn't notice, this website is called Amigaworld, and the thread title is about AmigaOS. So yeah, I don't like someone coming in here just to trash it.

So reporting FACTs became "trashing", in your religious mind.
Quote:
Do you do that on other forums too? "Oh the C64 / Amstrad CPC / ZX Spectrum is so crap it can't even do 640x480 in 256 colors WITHOUT interlace!".

Who's derailing the discussion now? Isn't it an Amiga forum, as YOU stated? In fact, and maybe you didn't noticed, I'm talking about... Amigas!
Quote:
You are not adding anything useful to the conversation, just derailing it with your anti-Amiga fandom.

LOL. You confirmed what I've already said: you don't like critics!

If someone makes critics, then FOR YOU (and other zealots like you) he becomes an anti-Amiga. Perfect "logic".
Quote:
There's a word that describes a person who does that - troll.

You also need to read again the definition of troll. So, you don't luck only logic: vocabulary isn't your friend, as well...
Quote:
Quote:
As I've already said several times, logic is lacking on the Amiga land...

You are right. So many butt-hurt ex Amiga fans complaining about it not fulfilling their fantasies.

I don't talk about fantasies: I reported FACTs. CONCRETE data and statements. TECHNICAL stuff.

Again, you show to don't read and/or don't understand what I'm writing.
Quote:
In Spanish, Amiga means 'girlfriend'. Which is oddly appropriate because some 'fans' seem to treat the Amiga like an ex that they broke up with after realizing she wasn't 'perfect', and now have to constantly trash to her friends at every opportunity. And just like in the social scene it gets tired quickly.

The example if perfect, because it shows how you behave.

You look like a caveman that is still in love with his cavegirl (the Amiga), and which hasn't exited from the cave.

So, you continue to see it as a beautiful girl, because it's dark on your cave and you cannot see her defects. And you continue to live this way, in your ideal world (the cave).

I, on the other hand, had the chance to exit from the cave, see how the world was outside, see all characteristics of the Amiga at the sun light, compared her with what I saw outside of the cave, make my analysis, and draw my conclusions (so, getting real and fair PROs and CONs).

You're still madly felt in love with your Amiga and you see any critic like an attack to her: to YOUR faith. Because you're still a blind fanatic, of the religion that you've built and follow.

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bhabbott 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 16-Jun-2022 6:30:06
#323 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 229
From: Aotearoa

@Karlos

Quote:

Karlos wrote:

The arguments over supported resolution are a bit moot in my opinion seeing as you could get graphics cards for productivity usage. Whatever limitations of the chipset has don't have to be a limitation for the system.

Indeed. The highest native resolution of the original Amigas was 'only' 640x512, but back then that was considered plenty enough. And while it was flickering interlace (required for TV and 15kHz monitor compatibility) it did work without needing a special monitor, and you could easily add a 'flicker fixer ' to produce non-interlace on a VGA monitor if you were one of the few that needed it (several of my friends had them in their in their A2000s).

In 1991 I bought an A3000 which had the scan converter built in. Later I got an RTG card with passthrough so all video went to the VGA monitor. I cannot recall any programs not working with this setup, though of course a lot of games broke due to the 030 (and even more broke when I got an 060). Today many apps and games are being released that are RTG aware or even require it, so we are way beyond being limited by the original Amiga chipset.

Quote:
I recall as an 18 year old as university with my A1200 running workbench, protracker and deluxe paint at the same time, with each display, in its own resolution and colour depth, partially dragged down with the protracker copper VU bars banging away wowing my PC owning friends at the time, one of whom became a "convert" in part on the strength of that demonstration alone.

Yes, it was a brilliant idea that complemented the multitasking OS. Unlike systems where every app had to share a common screen or take over the display completely, Amiga apps could each have their very own screen to themselves and let you see what each one was doing. This made efficient use of the limited screen space, memory and processing power etc., and gave the user a better feel for what was going inside the computer. It was like each app had its own CPU, screen and monitor to itself, with the user controlling how much of each was visible on the actual screen.

Today we have ultra-high resolution monitors with huge screens, yet people still often have a 2nd or 3rd monitor so they can run apps full screen without having to play with their windows all the time. Since I have gotten back to using the A1200 I miss not having screen dragging on my PC.

BTW I vaguely recall some weirdness when running games in Windows, so I tried a little experiment on my XP machine. I set up Tomb Raider to run in 320x200, ran the game and then hit ctrl-alt-del. It switched back to the desktop to show the usual dialog, still in 320x200 mode! Only unlike the Amiga I couldn't scroll the screen when moving the mouse pointer to the edges, suggesting that it wasn't a view inside a larger screen. It really did switch the desktop into 320x200 mode in order to run the game!

In Windows 95 (and 98?) this could be really annoying because if a game dropped back to the desktop in a lower resolution the system would rearrange the icons to fit in the smaller screen, and fix them there permanently! All your carefully arranged icons crowded into one corner of the screen. Another thing Windows 98 used to do was corrupt the icon cache when it got to a certain size, causing all your icons to change to some random default image. AFAIK they never fixed that bug.

Quote:
And not long later, the converse was true when I saw Doom running on a 486. It was clear that 3D was going to be the next big thing and all the cool scrolling 2D that was the mainstay of the Amigas native graphics suddenly seemed a bit dated.

I still love it, though.

I love it too. As I get older the attraction of high resolution gets less. I have to wear glasses just to see the fine detail, whereas the Amiga with its bigger pixels running on a medium sized LCD TV is no problem. I actually like the bold and somewhat gritty graphics, compared to modern PCs with their 'flat' look of spindly lines and barely discernible shades.

That's not to say a modern PC with hires display isn't miles ahead of the Amiga for stuff like CAD and watching videos, because it obviously is - and I certainly use it for that stuff. But when doing Amiga stuff I often prefer my A1200 in standard resolutions on my TV to the A600 with Vampire running 1024 x 768 in 32 bit color, even though the Vampire is technically far superior. For example on the A1200 I might be writing code for a game or app with the editor in its own screen, the debugger in another screen, and the program being debugged opening its own custom screen - all in nice bold easy to see screen modes. On the A600 I am squinting trying to read stuff or constantly rearranging windows, and can't see the app's screen and debugger screen at the same time. If I never had an Amiga this might not bother me, but since I do and am used to working that way...

Last edited by bhabbott on 16-Jun-2022 at 06:33 AM.

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cdimauro 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 16-Jun-2022 7:51:28
#324 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3084
From: Germany

@bhabbott, quoting YOURSELF (with a single word changed):

"In case you didn't notice, this website is called Amigaworld, and the thread title is about AmigaOS. So yeah, I don't like someone coming in here just to trash it.

[...]
You are not adding anything useful to the conversation, just derailing it with your anti-PC fandom. There's a word that describes a person who does that - troll."


Coherence: something which isn't found on your vocabulary...

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Hypex 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 24-Jun-2022 15:25:57
#325 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10827
From: Greensborough, Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:
'Certain' games perhaps, but for most the problem was moving large objects around quickly - and nobody was thinking about doing that 1 pixel at a time.


Don't know where now but I found this old texture map demo on Aminet. It was scrolling some type of 3d road. I recall looking at the code and wondering what it was doing. It had this strange routine converting all this data. Later on I discovered it was a packed to planar routine.

Same thing for Legends of Valour. For some reason I spent time playing games then disassembling then and running them through a debugger. I found this quirky routine in the game as well. Again, it a 3d routine. Then a packed to planar converter.

Quote:
An ISA CGA, EGA or VGA card can easily be interfaced to the A500, but the idea never caught on - perhaps because there were plenty of awesome games for the A500 that didn't need any extra hardware. Games like Doom that could have benefited from it also needed a much faster CPU, a hard drive, and lots more RAM.


Most games were 2d so didn't need fast pixels. The rest tended to use the blitter for 3d. Others like above were mostly the exception rather than the rule early on. Things like 3d star fields tended to be fine as they were mostly single colour. An X-GA was mated to the Amiga 2000 in early 90's in the form of graphic cards.

Quote:
This has nothing to do with using planar graphics.


The Workbench screen was 2 bits depth so window layers had to be bliited twice per place.

Quote:
Ever tried using a 16MHz 386-SX with 256 colors in Windows? Dog slow doesn't begin to describe it.


No, I've never seen that configuration. Windows 3.1? But that's way more colours.

Quote:
I use 8 colors on my A1200 because it's plenty enough and saves precious ChipRAM. Anything that needs more colors opens its own screen where it has full control over the palette and doesn't have to compete with other apps for screen space.


That's about as much as OS3.1 uses. But I wanted to have backdrops.

Quote:
There is a demo of text mode using the copper that works only in QL DOS. I never got it to work because setting up the QL emulation was too much hassle.


Sounds interesting. I've had a similar idea of using the copper to map 8x8 colour blocks. Not exactly text but being able efficiently simulate back and fore colours. At least that's how I would have coded an 8 bit emulator. But I found that most are line emulators that execute a lines worth of code then perform a chunky to planar routine!

Quote:
On an AGA machine text display is fast enough anyway so it doesn't matter. If you are running an A500 in WB1.x then Fastfonts makes the rendering of 8 point text fonts much faster. It does this by using the CPU instead of the Blitter! When using the OS to print text most of the overhead is in the translation. CED displays text very fast on a 4 color screen using its own custom rendering code.


Yes, my first Amiga was an A500 with Enhancer package and FastFonts. I can imagine why it was faster. It was likely almost as many writes setting up the blitter as it was actually writing it to the bitmap. The blitter was useful for large blocks at random locations but strings would be written letter by letter.

Quote:
The Mac had a very nicely done monochrome GUI, but was let down by the tiny screen. The Amiga could also have used monochrome like the Mac and C64 (GEOS) but I'm glad they didn't. Those 2 extra colors (plus another 3 for the mouse pointer) made it look more exciting without taxing the machine too much.


And more suitable for TV sets with the garish colour scheme.

Quote:
It could have, but didn't because most users were happy enough with what they had - which mostly meant a machine that could run all those awesome pirated games. But few were willing to spend more than the price of a blank disk, (or maybe a trapdoor RAM expansion) to do it.


Only the pros with the big box Amigas. Than then needed pirate copied of that awesome Amiga software. Because the hardware cost a small fortune.

Quote:
Imagine if Doom was released for the Amiga in 1993, complete with a video port dongle that did 256 chunky colors. Amiga fans would buy it in droves - not. The only reason Doom was so popular in the first place was that it was shareware, so you could try it out for free and then upgrade your machine if you wanted a better experience. Having to buy the dongle first was a non-starter for miserly Amiga fans. Most couldn't run it anyway. Hell, many PC users couldn't run Doom when it first came out, because the average PC back then didn't have enough memory. It also needed 24MB of hard drive space to install the full game.


That's an interesting concept. I would say it would be best to target the A1200 even if it was new. Mostly because it was faster, more suited to the time and the big clincher--it could been produced as a plug in cartridge in the underused card slot. I'm not aware of any games that plugged in to the card slot. This could have allowed a fast boot ROM and/or a built in video port. After it got popular elsewhere Amiga people would have wanted it!

Quote:
But this is all off topic. We are supposed to be talking about porting AmigaOS 4 to x86. Modern PC hardware is so powerful that we have nothing to worry about when it comes to supporting legacy Amiga programs that work with bitplanes. Adding support in the OS for chunky bitmaps etc. shouldn't be hard.


Well, we were. Chunky is supported as it is in 68K as RTG. But, translating bitplanes to chunky is another matter. Screens are in in CLUT just like all Amiga modes. HAM is harder as it needs hi colour minimum. But the hardest I would say is how and when to translate bitplane writes.

Quote:
The answer is simple. Provide a means for legacy code to think it's doing it, but in reality is being sandboxed.


Given OS3 and OS4 are on almost equal standing I think this would be needed eventually. But, this would be an extensive work. A new OS framework would need to be built then a legacy sandbox created inside it.

Quote:
I have never been a fan of forbid/permit, and only use them where absolutely necessary. Similarly I avoid playing with system structures. But all this is pretty irrelevant when the code needs to be recompiled anyway. While you are doing that you will of course make the few changes necessary to suit the new platform.


I'm the same way with my code.

Quote:
am not an OS 4 user so I have to ask all of you - what exactly would you want to preserve when porting it to x86, that would be a problem? Seem to me the only real impediment is that the source code is proprietary.


I think core modules like Workbench, DOS and Intuition but modernised. Workbench needs... err.. some work and a bit of it. DOS did use TRIPOS and not the CAOS it should have but I like how it works and would prefer the same design and updated so scripting is easier. Intuition went OOP but was hacked to do so in standard C so actually using a proper OOP language would be a must. Most other things where the outward appearance can be familiar but internally lots of changes are in place. And of course transparent support of 68K and PPC.

That's software but what about hardware? I don't think we could expect it to work on any PC board. More likely than not a board would need to be designed or one chosen as compatible and then firmware adapted to run it.

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bhabbott 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 24-Jun-2022 23:30:12
#326 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 229
From: Aotearoa

@Hypex

Quote:

Hypex wrote:
@bhabbott

Quote:
'Certain' games perhaps, but for most the problem was moving large objects around quickly - and nobody was thinking about doing that 1 pixel at a time.


Don't know where now but I found this old texture map demo on Aminet. It was scrolling some type of 3d road. I recall looking at the code and wondering what it was doing. It had this strange routine converting all this data. Later on I discovered it was a packed to planar routine.

I remember a few texture map demos too - not the kind of stuff you would want in a 2d game.

Quote:
Same thing for Legends of Valour. For some reason I spent time playing games then disassembling then and running them through a debugger. I found this quirky routine in the game as well. Again, it a 3d routine. Then a packed to planar converter.

Hardly surprising considering it was originally produced for the PC. But...

Legends of Valour
Quote:
Legends was first developed on PC using texture mapping, but this could not be directly ported to the Amiga version, as "on the Amiga each pixel is represented by a number of bits scattered over several bytes...

"We did the Amiga first as a texture-mapped polygon game like the PC but it was so slow because the maths is a nightmare ... So what we're now doing is ray-tracing the player's view, which is a scheme Ian came up with for the PC but we never had time to do." Programmers for the Amiga port, Graham Lilley and Paul Woakes, implemented ray tracing for the Amiga version to help the game run better, "and solved any problems there were" with it.[5] The One's interviewer notes that ray tracing the 3D scenes is more complicated mathematically, to which Bulmer responds that "It is and it should be incredibly slow ... But it isn't. Now we know why it works but we're not telling anybody else! Theoretically the Amiga version should be playing on an 8MHz 286 PC but using this technique we've developed it's more like playing on 16MHz 386. It's given us a huge increase in performance. In fact, we want to take it back over to the PC for the sequel when we get time."


Quote:
The Workbench screen was 2 bits depth so window layers had to be bliited twice per place.

Yes, but the amount blitted is about the same whether packed or planar. Small blits are less efficient, but inherently fast so it doesn't matter. Large blits are where you would notice a slowdown more, but here the setup overhead is small.

Quote:
Quote:
Ever tried using a 16MHz 386-SX with 256 colors in Windows? Dog slow doesn't begin to describe it.


No, I've never seen that configuration. Windows 3.1? But that's way more colours.

Maybe you never saw it because nobody used it because it was too slow. But most 386-SX PCs had that screen mode, just like the A1200 does. Difference is PC users weren't masochists.

Quote:
Quote:
I use 8 colors on my A1200 because it's plenty enough and saves precious ChipRAM. Anything that needs more colors opens its own screen where it has full control over the palette and doesn't have to compete with other apps for screen space.


That's about as much as OS3.1 uses. But I wanted to have backdrops.

I have a backdrop too.

Quote:
I found that most are line emulators that execute a lines worth of code then perform a chunky to planar routine!

Most 'modern' emulators do that because it's easier to get accurate rendering, but it uses a lot of CPU cycles which isn't good for low powered machines. Some video game emulators are even worse - they simulate the physical circuit including any analog parts, which is incredibly time consuming.

Quote:
Yes, my first Amiga was an A500 with Enhancer package and FastFonts. I can imagine why it was faster. It was likely almost as many writes setting up the blitter as it was actually writing it to the bitmap. The blitter was useful for large blocks at random locations but strings would be written letter by letter.

To be fair, other machines of the time like the PC also had very slow text rendering when going through the BIOS one character at a time. At least on the Amiga you could render a whole line at once, and the blitter worked in parallel with the CPU so it could be doing other stuff at the same time.

Quote:
That's an interesting concept. I would say it would be best to target the A1200 even if it was new. Mostly because it was faster, more suited to the time and the big clincher--it could been produced as a plug in cartridge in the underused card slot. I'm not aware of any games that plugged in to the card slot. This could have allowed a fast boot ROM and/or a built in video port. After it got popular elsewhere Amiga people would have wanted it!

Commodore imagined that cartridge games would be developed for the PCMCIA slot. But it wasn't to be because the production cost was too high (ie. more then the price of a blank disk). Cartridges on other computer platforms suffered a similar fate.

But a graphics card in the PCMCIA slot could be interesting. I am thinking of making a PCMCIA to ISA bus adapter so I can play with PC card cards on my A600 or A1200.

Quote:
Chunky is supported as it is in 68K as RTG. But, translating bitplanes to chunky is another matter. Screens are in in CLUT just like all Amiga modes. HAM is harder as it needs hi colour minimum. But the hardest I would say is how and when to translate bitplane writes.

I don't see a problem. Modern PCs regularly translate graphics formats for rendering and have plenty of CPU power to do it.

Quote:
Given OS3 and OS4 are on almost equal standing I think this would be needed eventually. But, this would be an extensive work. A new OS framework would need to be built then a legacy sandbox created inside it.

I don't think anybody thought it would just be a matter of changing a few #defines and recompiling on the new platform, so yeah - it will be a lot of work. But hey, that's the fun part!

Quote:
That's software but what about hardware? I don't think we could expect it to work on any PC board. More likely than not a board would need to be designed or one chosen as compatible and then firmware adapted to run it.

And then we are back to square one. The whole reason for going x86 is to use standard PC hardware!

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Karlos 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 25-Jun-2022 13:16:35
#327 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3142
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@bhabbott

If I was calculating some form of per pixel effect, that doesn't have any dependency on being able to read previous or neighbouring pixels, I'd probably do it into a tiny buffer of 32 pixels at a fixed location and then c2p that buffer directly to a span of 8 bit planar pixels. If I was doing it for an 040+, I might even go larger, depending on whether or not there's a speed advantage to being able to do the c2p in a cache buffer and move16 to the planes.

_________________
Doing stupid things for fun...

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Hypex 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 5-Jul-2022 13:40:06
#328 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10827
From: Greensborough, Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:
I remember a few texture map demos too - not the kind of stuff you would want in a 2d game.


No but in the 90's the game market wanted to move to 3d. One late one I recall was TextEngine. Ran rather well on my 030 and showed promise. Strange name thought. Looked more exciting than a text editing engine.

Quote:
Hardly surprising considering it was originally produced for the PC. But...


That's interesting. It explains a lot. I like how a lot of these Wikipedia articles actually mention the Amiga with more of a mention.

Quote:
Yes, but the amount blitted is about the same whether packed or planar. Small blits are less efficient, but inherently fast so it doesn't matter. Large blits are where you would notice a slowdown more, but here the setup overhead is small.


The amount is the same but the problem is needing to divide the blit into two operations. So with resetting blitter registers there is extra overhead. Had the bitmap been interleaved with the ability to blit extra planes through longer lines, it would have alleviated the blitting operation.

Quote:
Maybe you never saw it because nobody used it because it was too slow. But most 386-SX PCs had that screen mode, just like the A1200 does. Difference is PC users weren't masochists.


Lol. Most 386 PCs I saw were running Doom. The rest were running Windows 3.1 with all the windows in different colours.

Quote:
I have a backdrop too.


Mine looked a bit too dithered. I would have liked a ham-drop.

Quote:
Most 'modern' emulators do that because it's easier to get accurate rendering, but it uses a lot of CPU cycles which isn't good for low powered machines. Some video game emulators are even worse - they simulate the physical circuit including any analog parts, which is incredibly time consuming.


Sounds better for an FGPA for accuracy. But I was thinking about C64 emulators running on Amiga. And in particular Flamingo Plus/4 emulator where I asked the author how he coded it. He told me it was a line emulator so it executes a lines worth of clock cycles then renders the bitmap. That would explain why an A500, said to be more powerful and running on a CPU clocked 7 times faster, would struggle to emulate a C64. However, a C16 is simpler, and I would have coded the copper to simulate the text background as that is how I imagine it.

Quote:
To be fair, other machines of the time like the PC also had very slow text rendering when going through the BIOS one character at a time. At least on the Amiga you could render a whole line at once, and the blitter worked in parallel with the CPU so it could be doing other stuff at the same time.


The PC also had text matrix modes which would speed up text as well. But text is one of those annoying things. It has to be done one character at a time.

Quote:
Commodore imagined that cartridge games would be developed for the PCMCIA slot. But it wasn't to be because the production cost was too high (ie. more then the price of a blank disk). Cartridges on other computer platforms suffered a similar fate.


That's the thing. Floppies were cheap. The LCD. But, if they produced game cards, that already sound cool, gamers would need to buy a real game and it would have ruined piracy. But, it would have been hard to pirate, so companies may have sold as many games anyway. Still, would have been cool, instant boot!

Quote:
But a graphics card in the PCMCIA slot could be interesting. I am thinking of making a PCMCIA to ISA bus adapter so I can play with PC card cards on my A600 or A1200.


That would be cool. There were sound cards for the card slot. But single channel stereo 12 bit audio above the 4 track mono 8 bit wasn't that exciting. Could play half a module in slightly better quality at one frequency.

Might as well put a 32 channel FM synth in such a tight space. They were around the previous decade. Not real sounds but 32 channels surely makes up for that.

Quote:
I don't see a problem. Modern PCs regularly translate graphics formats for rendering and have plenty of CPU power to do it.


Power isn't the problem. I am talking about an AmigaOne as well. The problem I mean is how and when to do the conversion. So the software writes to the bitplanes or uses blit functions to write it. But when to update the display? It would be inefficient to convert on every write but doing it on demand could work better. . It also needs to be detected. MMU can help as it was used in old days for exact same type of thing. Likely it needs doing in screen refresh where it checks and converts it but it may be inefficient also compared with on demand.

Quote:
I don't think anybody thought it would just be a matter of changing a few #defines and recompiling on the new platform, so yeah - it will be a lot of work. But hey, that's the fun part!


It's happened before.

Quote:
And then we are back to square one. The whole reason for going x86 is to use standard PC hardware!


Technically it would be standard PC hardware. But I think they would need to procure a run of boards with compatible chips. AmigaOne/XE had a lot of generic chips, apart from the AticiaS, and they didn't have full documentation for it like the VIA chips resulting in hardware hacks. The X1000 has unsupported hardware to this day yet it woks on Linux. So, even if they picked a board and didn't design it, they still need it work well and work today. They can't do that with the ever changing PC market. Which would work against it. We only have to look at AROS to see what would be needed.

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Hammer 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 27-Jul-2022 5:33:21
#329 ]
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Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:

Ever tried using a 16MHz 386-SX with 256 colors in Windows? Dog slow doesn't begin to describe it.

From https://youtu.be/octArwHpaiY
Quake 1 on 1st VGA card by IBM

IBM VGA is slow regardless of the CPU.

Results of time demo were:
320x200 - 8,6FPS

Tested on K7 Athlon XP 2200+, Soltek SL75-KAV (Via KT133A), 512MB SDR CL3.

My Pentium 150 with S3 Trio 64-based PC has smooth Quake 1 frame rates.

Using 1989-era ET4000AX improves the situation.

https://youtu.be/5o9yOBBWPgM
PC 286 16Mhz with fast VGA playing Pinball Fantasies like A500.


My Dad has IBM PS/2 Model 55SX with 386SX-16 and IBM VGA from work... it was slow with Pinball Fantasies. It was replaced by 386DX-33 with an ET4000AX-based PC.

Last edited by Hammer on 27-Jul-2022 at 05:39 AM.

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bhabbott 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 27-Jul-2022 8:12:32
#330 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 229
From: Aotearoa

@Hammer

Quote:

Hammer wrote:
@bhabbott

Quote:

Ever tried using a 16MHz 386-SX with 256 colors in Windows? Dog slow doesn't begin to describe it.

From https://youtu.be/octArwHpaiY
Quake 1 on 1st VGA card by IBM

IBM VGA is slow regardless of the CPU.

Results of time demo were:
320x200 - 8,6FPS

Tested on K7 Athlon XP 2200+, Soltek SL75-KAV (Via KT133A), 512MB SDR CL3.

Very interesting.

For comparison, here's Quake running on an A1200 with 80MHz 060 - 15.5fps

https://youtu.be/9N4VjFMs9x8

Looks smooth enough to me. I had a Picasso II card in my A3000 with 66MHz (overclocked) 060 and it was annoyingly slower than this (even worse at 50MHz).

What does this prove? For true 3D games - which the Amiga was supposed to be no good for because it didn't have chunky graphics - you need both a fast CPU and fast graphics bus for best performance. The overhead of converting chunky to planar is only an issue on slower machines, which aren't fast enough for this kind of game anyway.

So all the talk of Commodore making the wrong choice in graphics architecture is off the mark. Using bitplanes made the hardware easier to implement, minimized precious RAM usage, and worked well with the relatively slow 68000 in earlier Amigas. Many fans also fault AGA for sticking with bitplanes, but it was a logical extension to OCS which was also easy to implement, maintained good compatibility and didn't require major changes to the OS. And where it really mattered (texture mapped 3D games) it wasn't the real bottleneck.


Quote:
My Pentium 150 with S3 Trio 64-based PC has smooth Quake 1 frame rates.

Using 1989-era ET4000AX improves the situation.

The ET4000AX was an exceptional ISA bus VGA card. Most PC clones of that era came with cheap cards such as the Trident TVGA (bad) or OAK OTIVGA (worse). This rarely if ever gets mentioned by fans comparing the Amiga to contemporary PCs.


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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 27-Jul-2022 9:10:09
#331 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12344
From: Norway

@bhabbott

Quote:
And where it really mattered (texture mapped 3D games) it wasn't the real bottleneck.


Are you kidding most 3D games on Amga had like 4x4 pixel, because 68020 can't push pixel on to the screen: C2P did takes a lot of CPU power to convert chunky 2 panar, something the 486's/386's did not need to do, the std CPUs did not have the speed to do it! Sure, the C2P routines got better by time, but did take a lot of years. Breathless was exception to slow rendering but was relased late 1996, even that game need a 68060 run well.

The games that came after 1994 did not save Commodore.
in 1993 when DOOM was relased, Amiga was lagging behind.

I'm pritty sure Blizzard 68060 was also made around 1996, too late..

Most Amiga users had Amiga500 or Amiga1200, big box Amigas like the A2000,A3000,A4000 computers where not common. Almost no one had upgraded to a better graphic card that can supported true colors (chunky). no space, no place to put inside the Amiga1200. Technical knowledge about how piggy back or hack things in did not exist, the A1200 has outlived its normal operational life time, because no replacement to A1200 ever came to market.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 27-Jul-2022 at 09:46 AM.
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Karlos 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 27-Jul-2022 22:31:43
#332 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 3142
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@NutsAboutAmiga

Earlier 3D games had extremely blocky displays because they relied on various copper effects to simulate chunky pixels and most of those techniques placed hard limits on the effective resolution.

As soon as you got on a fast enough 030 or above, the overhead of c2p relative to just "copying" data to chip ram got less and less. As you say, the techniques also took time to be refined. Have you seen Dread by KK/Altair? That achieves playable speed on A500 spec and it's pretty clear that even on an A1200 + fastmem it's going to be very playable. In the end, doom style games were possible on lower spec machines but it's taken this long to figure it out.

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Hammer 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 28-Jul-2022 3:24:15
#333 ]
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Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:

Very interesting.

For comparison, here's Quake running on an A1200 with 80MHz 060 - 15.5fps

https://youtu.be/9N4VjFMs9x8

Looks smooth enough to me. I had a Picasso II card in my A3000 with 66MHz (overclocked) 060 and it was annoyingly slower than this (even worse at 50MHz).

FYI, I have A1200 with TF1260 (68060 Rev 1 @ 62.5Mhz) with Indivision AGA MK3 (for Graffiti RTG).

I'm waiting for PiStorm32.

https://youtu.be/yfBOmXOKnKU?t=94
Graffiti RTG with 68030 @ 50 Mhz (Ventisca 1230 III) running Doom.

Quote:

What does this prove? For true 3D games - which the Amiga was supposed to be no good for because it didn't have chunky graphics - you need both a fast CPU and fast graphics bus for best performance. The overhead of converting chunky to planar is only an issue on slower machines, which aren't fast enough for this kind of game anyway.

For a dumb frame buffer, AGA is superior when compared to IBM VGA.

Quote:

So all the talk of Commodore making the wrong choice in graphics architecture is off the mark. Using bitplanes made the hardware easier to implement, minimized precious RAM usage, and worked well with the relatively slow 68000 in earlier Amigas. Many fans also fault AGA for sticking with bitplanes, but it was a logical extension to OCS which was also easy to implement, maintained good compatibility and didn't require major changes to the OS. And where it really mattered (texture mapped 3D games) it wasn't the real bottleneck.


AGA can play full-motion videos @ 320x200 HAM8 (8 bits data) resolution. As long the CPU is fast enough to generate procedural full-motion videos (aka 3D games), AGA can play these games at a reasonable frame rate.

Commodore International vetoed David Pleasance's out-of-the-box Amiga 1200 with faster CPU accelerator SKUs push. David Pleasance has Nintendo SuperFX bundle marketing-like deals.

Quote:

The ET4000AX was an exceptional ISA bus VGA card. Most PC clones of that era came with cheap cards such as the Trident TVGA (bad) or OAK OTIVGA (worse). This rarely if ever gets mentioned by fans comparing the Amiga to contemporary PCs.

From PC Mag 1992-08, page 604 of 664,
Diamond Speedstar 24 (ET4000AX ISA) has $169 USD (ref 1).

ET4000AX comes in 16-bit VRAM and 32-bit DRAM configurations.

Gaming PC minority is larger than the entire Amiga 500/1200 install base.

Amiga's add-on SVGA-based cards are relatively expensive when compared PC counterparts.

I sold my Amiga 3000 in 1996 when Phase 5 Cyberstorm 060 @ 50 Mhz/ CyberGraphics 64 (S3 Trio 64) is not cost-effective when compared to classic Pentium 150/S3 Trio 64/Yamaha Sonata 16-bit OPL3/Windows 95 equipped based PC.

With Quake, Pentium 150/S3 Trio 64 combo murders Phase 5 Cyberstorm 060 @ 50 Mhz/ CyberGraphics 64 combo.


Reference
1. https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_hqQJaNzN9IcC/page/n603/mode/2up

Last edited by Hammer on 28-Jul-2022 at 04:15 AM.
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Hammer 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 28-Jul-2022 3:37:27
#334 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:

NutsAboutAmiga wrote:
@bhabbott

Quote:
And where it really mattered (texture mapped 3D games) it wasn't the real bottleneck.


Are you kidding most 3D games on Amga had like 4x4 pixel, because 68020 can't push pixel on to the screen: C2P did takes a lot of CPU power to convert chunky 2 panar, something the 486's/386's did not need to do, the std CPUs did not have the speed to do it! Sure, the C2P routines got better by time, but did take a lot of years. Breathless was exception to slow rendering but was relased late 1996, even that game need a 68060 run well.

The games that came after 1994 did not save Commodore.
in 1993 when DOOM was relased, Amiga was lagging behind.

I'm pritty sure Blizzard 68060 was also made around 1996, too late..

Most Amiga users had Amiga500 or Amiga1200, big box Amigas like the A2000,A3000,A4000 computers where not common. Almost no one had upgraded to a better graphic card that can supported true colors (chunky). no space, no place to put inside the Amiga1200. Technical knowledge about how piggy back or hack things in did not exist, the A1200 has outlived its normal operational life time, because no replacement to A1200 ever came to market.

Amiga 500 already has the hardware for C2P i.e. use the hardware Blitter.

For Amiga 500, Dread C2P uses the hardware Blitter to lessen the workload for the CPU.

Commodore lacks 1st party game developers to exploit Amiga hardware strengths. Microsoft Xbox Team has recognized the need for 1st party game developers to support Xbox and Windows gaming platforms. Both Microsoft and Sony followed the "Nintendo 1st party gaming" business model.

For SNES, Nintendo adapted with SuperFX 2 Doom bundle deal.

Commodore International vetoed David Pleasance's out-of-the-box CPU accelerated Amiga 1200 SKUs.

Commodore (during Bill Sydnes) hiring ~40 ex-IBM personnel is wasteful.

Last edited by Hammer on 28-Jul-2022 at 03:43 AM.

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Hammer 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 28-Jul-2022 4:29:11
#335 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:

To be fair, other machines of the time like the PC also had very slow text rendering when going through the BIOS one character at a time.

Refer to the "Shadow BIOS" feature.

https://www.dosdays.co.uk/topics/get_a_286_running_like_a_386_pt3.php
This 286-based PC has the Shadow BIOS feature.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 28-Jul-2022 9:14:49
#336 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12344
From: Norway

@Hammer

Quote:
Amiga 500 already has the hardware for C2P i.e. use the hardware Blitter.


the bitter cant shuffle bits, or do memory lookups tables, if the bitter is used, then it has to be some kind of pre-scaled graphics, it does do some masking operations I believe. Of course, it can do some scaling in the Y direction. But it only works in the chip memory.

Technical it wont be Chunky to Planar conversion, it just copy vertical strips from a source planar image.

The bitter cannot be compared to the Akiko chipset in the CD32.

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bhabbott 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 28-Jul-2022 12:16:50
#337 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 229
From: Aotearoa

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:

NutsAboutAmiga wrote:
@bhabbott

Quote:
And where it really mattered (texture mapped 3D games) it wasn't the real bottleneck.


Are you kidding most 3D games on Amga had like 4x4 pixel, because 68020 can't push pixel on to the screen: C2P did takes a lot of CPU power to convert chunky 2 panar, something the 486's/386's did not need to do, the std CPUs did not have the speed to do it!

That's right, std 68000 and 68020 did not have the power to do it. But they also didn't have the power to calculate those pixels either. That's my point.

The first stock Amiga which had the required graphics resolution (the A4000) also had the required CPU power (25MHz 040), and cost about the same as a similarly equipped name-brand PC. C2P overhead on the A4000-40 is low enough that it hardly affects the frame rate on games like Doom, and the performance is very satisfactory.

In the mid 90's reasonably priced accelerator cards for the A1200 also became available. The 50MHz Blizzard 1230-IV in my A1200 runs Doom at around 8-10fps with c2p overhead of about 25%. This is fast enough to be enjoyable, and from memory about the same speed as the 40MHz 386-DX that I had back then - which makes perfect sense because 50MHz is 25% faster than 40MHz.

Quote:
Sure, the C2P routines got better by time, but did take a lot of years. Breathless was exception to slow rendering but was relased late 1996, even that game need a 68060 run well.

I wouldn't say it was a lot of years.

Breathless runs quite well on my A1200, so I bet it would be sweet on an A4000-40 (released in 1993). So why did we not see games that took advantage of the A4000's power earlier? Simply because most Amiga fans were cheapskates. They could justify the much lower expense of an A500 (or possibly an A1200) as it unlocked the door to a vast collection of 'free' (pirated) games. But the A4000 was a serious investment - which meant PC, not Amiga. Also a lot of Amiga fans had thrashed their stock A500s to death playing all those pirated games, and were hankering for something completely 'new' and different - ie. a PC.

The real issue with 3D games on the Amiga was developers feeling they had to target lesser machines because that's where the perceived market was. So we got a number of so-so 3D games made to run on a stock A500 or A1200, using tricks to increase the frame rate that didn't work well or look good, combined with poor gameplay and level design. Early PC 3D games followed a similar development path, until powerful enough PCs became popular enough to justify putting a lot of development effort into them. Of course with PCs outnumbering Amigas by 10:1 or more it didn't take so long to get there.

John Carmack complained about the Amiga's not having chunky graphics making it unsuitable for Doom, which is understandable since he put a lot of effort into getting the best performance out of PC VGA. But what he really meant was that there simply weren't enough 'high end' Amigas out there to justify porting it to the Amiga. That's why other less capable platforms got Doom while the Amiga had to wait until it was open-sourced in late 1997.

Quote:
The games that came after 1994 did not save Commodore.
Obviously, since Commodore did not exist after 1994.

Quote:
in 1993 when DOOM was relased, Amiga was lagging behind.

If you mean in hardware capability, not really. The A4000 was equal to or better than the majority of PCs being sold an 1993 (I should know, since I was selling both at that time). But PCs always vastly outsold Amigas, while 'high end' Amigas like the A4000 were mostly used in video production and related operations, not as gaming platforms. Of course PC's did get a lot better after that, and continued getting better at a dizzying pace - but that was after Commodore was gone and development of the Amiga architecture ceased.

Quote:
I'm pritty sure Blizzard 68060 was also made around 1996, too late..

Wasn't too late for some of us. My Blizzard 060 was still doing the job in 2001 when I sold it. The reason I sold it wasn't lack of performance but lack of Amiga software - specifically a web browser compatible with the latest PC browsers. Perhaps if I was more into 3D games like Doom I might have kept it.

Quote:
Most Amiga users had Amiga500 or Amiga1200, big box Amigas like the A2000,A3000,A4000 computers where not common. Almost no one had upgraded to a better graphic card that can supported true colors (chunky). no space, no place to put inside the Amiga1200.

Graffiti existed. Graphics cards for 'big box' Amigas existed. Not in sufficient number it's true, but even if every A1200 came with chunky graphics it wouldn't have helped. The CPU wasn't powerful enough, and the users not committed enough to upgrade it. Millions of ex A500 owners plonked their money down on a 486 PC instead because that's what the latest games were made for, and because you could justify spending the money on a PC.

Quote:
Technical knowledge about how piggy back or hack things in did not exist, the A1200 has outlived its normal operational life time, because no replacement to A1200 ever came to market.

Not exactly true. Technical information was available and it didn't take long for 3rd parties to make all kinds of hardware for the A1200. GVP's 40MHz 030 board and Phase 5's Blizzard 1230 were both released in 1993. Phase 5 continued developing faster accelerators up to 040/060 in 1995 and PPC in 1998. So by 1995 you could have had an A1200 with plenty enough CPU power for Doom or even Quake.

Many A1200 owners put their machines into a PC 'tower' case in order to expand them further, and several bus boards were developed for this purpose - some of which permitted the use of Amiga RTG or PC graphics cards as well as an accelerator card. They were not cheap, but if you really wanted to extend your A1200's lifetime and money wasn't an issue then it was certainly possible.


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Hammer 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 28-Jul-2022 15:51:42
#338 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:

NutsAboutAmiga wrote:
@Hammer

Quote:
Amiga 500 already has the hardware for C2P i.e. use the hardware Blitter.


the bitter cant shuffle bits, or do memory lookups tables, if the bitter is used, then it has to be some kind of pre-scaled graphics, it does do some masking operations I believe. Of course, it can do some scaling in the Y direction. But it only works in the chip memory.

Technical it wont be Chunky to Planar conversion, it just copy vertical strips from a source planar image.

The bitter cannot be compared to the Akiko chipset in the CD32.

KK explains how Dread works: https://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=1505462&postcount=1064

KK/Altair: All the stuff is done on the CPU while Blitter does chunky 2 planar in the background (interrupts!)


https://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=1505484&postcount=1067

KK/Altair: On Amiga, C2P is done purely on Blitter. Blitter does two full passes extracting bit groups from chunky and putting them together for planar. In each step bits from two sources are mixed and interleaved.


Question: But somewhere I read that on Amiga you use all 8bit per chunky pixel. Is it true?
Does it mean you translate that 8bit pixel with the blitter into 4 bitplanes? All this in these two passes?


KK/Altair: Yes, exactly that. The format of a logical pixel is 'aabbccdd'. Chunky buffer is made of interleaved columns, so next byte is already 8 screen pixels to the right. That's 4 screen pixels already in the correct position. And each pass doubles that number.


Last edited by Hammer on 28-Jul-2022 at 04:07 PM.
Last edited by Hammer on 28-Jul-2022 at 03:57 PM.
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Hammer 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 28-Jul-2022 16:48:31
#339 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott


Quote:

That's right, std 68000 and 68020 did not have the power to do it. But they also didn't have the power to calculate those pixels either. That's my point.

68020's instruction per clock is similar to 68030, 68020 @ 25Mhz overclocked to 28 Mhz would be sufficient for SNES-SuperFX-2 Doom port with the missing ceiling and floor textures.

The recent Dread game is missing ceiling and floor textures.

Gloom didn't capture the "Doom feel" when compared to Dread.

Quote:

Breathless runs quite well on my A1200, so I bet it would be sweet on an A4000-40 (released in 1993). So why did we not see games that took advantage of the A4000's power earlier? Simply because most Amiga fans were cheapskates.

...
If you mean in hardware capability, not really. The A4000 was equal to or better than the majority of PCs being sold an 1993 (I should know, since I was selling both at that time). But PCs always vastly outsold Amigas, while 'high end' Amigas like the A4000 were mostly used in video production and related operations, not as gaming platforms. Of course PC's did get a lot better after that, and continued getting better at a dizzying pace - but that was after Commodore was gone and development of the Amiga architecture ceased.


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

A4000 wasn't built like a lower-cost optimized A1200/CD32.

A4000 has a motherboard + daughter board with slots while the 486 PC competition has a single motherboard with slots.

When using SVGA chipsets for Amiga's RTG vs PC,

A4000 has a motherboard + daughter board with slots + SVGA RTG card.

VS

486 PC has a single motherboard with slots + SVGA card.

A4000 is already at a disadvantage in BOM cost when compared to a mini-tower PC clone.


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
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


For Doom performance, the mentioned 486SX25-based PCs will beat A4000/030 at 25Mhz with 80MB HDD + 4MB RAM (1129 asking price).

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

UK-based PC prices were expensive but in the year 1993, in California, USA the situation was quite different.


https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1993-12-23-fi-4940-story.html
The year 1993, 486 at 33Mhz PC price in California, USA
Article date: DEC. 23, 1993
A year ago, a San Francisco-area PC clone dealer known for its low prices was advertising a fully equipped 33 Mhz 486 PC for $1,388. Today, that same machine costs about $1,000

A500's October 1987 introductory price is $699 USD. Note that $1000 USD 486 33Mhz based PC in December 1993 is approaching A500's October 1987 introductory price range.

The year 1993 marks the major rise in PC gaming.

No 3rd party Amiga CPU accelerator will match Commodore's economics of scale.

For 1993, the uncompetitive nature with 68K can also stem from Motorola not just from Commodore. Commodore is just of many 68K platform vendors who jumped ship away from 68K e.g. PA-RISC 7150-based Amiga Hombre.



From USA's Amiga World Magazine (November 1993), page 58 of 100,
Price listed in USD in November 1993

A1200/020, 2MB, price $379
A3000/030 at 25Mhz, 5MB, 105HD, price $899
A3000T/030 at 25Mhz, 5MB, 200MB HDD, price $1199
A3000T/040 at 25Mhz, 5MB, 200MB HDD, price $1599
A3000s are missing AGA chipset.

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

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

Commodore could have an out-of-the-box configured A1200 with 68040 at 25Mhz for slightly above $779 (i.e. add 4MB fast ram, small HDD) which could compete against $1000 out-of-the-box 486 33Mhz based PC.


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

For playing Doom-type games in 1993 and a similar price range, 486DX-33 PC with ET4000 will beat Amiga 4000/030 @ 25Mhz and Amiga 4000/040!

Amiga 4000's 68040 CPU gimped with a slow 68030 memory bus.

For 1993, 386DX-33 with ET4000AX PC is the low-cost Doom machine.

My Dad has a 386DX-33 / ET4000AX-based PC (purchased in Q4 1992) and Amiga 3000/030@ 25Mhz (traded the A500, purchased in Q1 1992).

In 1992, my school friend abandoned A500 Rev 5 with a faulty PSU and told me to keep it when his parents purchased his 486-based PC. The same friend also owned an A1000, hence able to play Amiga games.

In 2019, the abandoned A500 Rev 5 was gutted and rebuilt with an empty Rev 6A motherboard.


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_________________
Ryzen 9 7950X, DDR5-6000 64 GB RAM, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Ryzen 9 7900X, DDR5-5600 32 GB RAM, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Amiga 1200 (rev 1D1, KS 3.2, TF1260, 68060 @ 63 Mhz, 128 MB)
Amiga 500 (rev 6A, KS 3.2, PiStorm/RPi3a/Emu68)

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Hammer 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 28-Jul-2022 17:58:27
#340 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 4600
From: Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:

Wasn't too late for some of us. My Blizzard 060 was still doing the job in 2001 when I sold it. The reason I sold it wasn't lack of performance but lack of Amiga software - specifically a web browser compatible with the latest PC browsers. Perhaps if I was more into 3D games like Doom I might have kept it.

Later in life, I purchased A1200 and TF1260. 68060 @ 62 Mhz A1200 configuration is like an early Pentium 60-based PC and would be beaten by my 1996-era Pentium 150/S3 Trio 64-based PC.

In 1996, it was Quake and I sold my Amiga 3000 for Pentium 150/S3 Trio 64-based PC since Phase 5 Cyberstorm 060 @ 50Mhz and CyberGraphics 64 (S3 Trio 64) upgrades weren't cost-effective.
Pentium 150 was overclocked to 166 Mhz with a simple 60-to-66 Mhz FSB jumper.

Pentium 150/S3 Trio 64-based PC was replaced by Celeron 300A-based PC, then Celeron 533/TNT-based PC, then K7 Athlon TBird 1133Mhz/GeForce 2 MX-based PC.

PowerPC upgrades for the Amiga weren't transparent and low-cost like PiStorm/Pi 3a.

Quote:

Graffiti existed. Graphics cards for 'big box' Amigas existed. Not in sufficient number it's true, but even if every A1200 came with chunky graphics it wouldn't have helped. The CPU wasn't powerful enough, and the users not committed enough to upgrade it. Millions of ex A500 owners plonked their money down on a 486 PC instead because that's what the latest games were made for, and because you could justify spending the money on a PC.

There is no out-of-the-box A1200 with faster CPU card SKUs from Commodore.

Commodore UK Ex-MD David Pleasance has a story about Commodore International's rejecting out-of-the-box A1200 with faster CPU accelerator SKUs.

My A1200 Rev 1D1 has a timing bug with trap door expansions, hence it needs to be corrected.

With 32-bit Fast RAM, A1200's 68EC020 14Mhz is nearly twice as fast. 68020 @ 25Mhz can be overclocked to 28 Mhz. 68020 has a similar IPC to 68030.

Commodore should have shipped an official out-of-the-box A1200 with accelerator card SKUs.

A1200 with 68030 @ 50Mhz SKU would have stepped on A4000/030 @ 25 Mhz.




Last edited by Hammer on 29-Jul-2022 at 03:27 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 28-Jul-2022 at 05:59 PM.

_________________
Ryzen 9 7950X, DDR5-6000 64 GB RAM, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Ryzen 9 7900X, DDR5-5600 32 GB RAM, GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Amiga 1200 (rev 1D1, KS 3.2, TF1260, 68060 @ 63 Mhz, 128 MB)
Amiga 500 (rev 6A, KS 3.2, PiStorm/RPi3a/Emu68)

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