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Hardware News   Hardware News : New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
   posted by DJS on 22-Feb-2008 19:15:44 (7799 reads)
Elbox Computer, the company that introduced the PCI standard to Amiga, is pleased to announce the latest Mediator model -- MEDIATOR PCI 1200 TX -- the successor of the MEDIATOR PCI 1200 SX.

New firmware embedded in CPLDs of MEDIATOR 1200 TX allows significant speed-up of graphic card operations when hardware 2D and 3D acceleration is used in single-processor systems (68k or PPC). The new firmware operation modes are supported by the new Mediator OS3.x System Files provided on the enclosed MM CD. Native PowerPC support will be provided in the upcoming update of AmigaOS 4.0.


MEDIATOR PCI 1200 TX, like its predecessor, has 6 PCI slots, busmastering in all PCI slots, Power Management Interface, ATX and AT power connectors, and provides 3.3V auxiliary supply to all PCI slots.

MEDIATOR PCI 1200 TX is dedicated for A1200 in D-BOX 1200, Mirage 1200, E/BOX 1200 (Power, Winner), EZ-Z4 and Infinitiv tower cases.

Included with the MEDIATOR PCI 1200 TX is the Mediator Multimedia CD with new versions of drivers for Sound, TV tuner, Ethernet 10Mbps, Fast Ethernet 100Mbps and Graphic PCI cards.

For the list of currently supported PCI cards see Mediator Driver Guide.
For more info, see Mediator PCI 1200 TX website.



Pricing and availability

The Mediator PCI TX will be on sale from 27th February 2008 with suggested retail price EUR 195.95 (plus local taxes and shipping costs).

To locate an authorized distributor or purchase product in Elbox Online Store visit website.


Upgrading Mediator 1200 SX to the new Mediator 1200 TX will be possible. The TX Upgrade program for Mediator 1200 SX users will be announced at a later time.
    

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PosterThread
Framiga 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 7:56:57
#21 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 5-Jul-2003
Posts: 2212
From: Unknown

Congratulation Elbox! i was 100% sure that you were working on something delivering products without "babbling" as others do.

Thank you very much! (even if i'm not personally interested in the A1200 line, i'm proud of your work)


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pavlor 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 8:58:59
#22 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Jul-2005
Posts: 9081
From: Unknown

Nice!

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Cyborg 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 9:25:44
#23 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 26-Nov-2003
Posts: 422
From: Germany

@ wegster
Quote:
Followed by:
- where is Shark?


On the Elbox product site, "Hardware Requirements":

Quote:

The recommended configuration is: Amiga 1200 in the E/BOX tower case, any 68060 (or PPC with 68060) turbo card with 64MB RAM, a SharkPPC G3/G4 card with 256MB SDRAM, a Voodoo4 graphic card.


Seems Elbox still thinks about producing the Shark or they just did a copy&paste from an old product site and don't care about it


Last edited by Cyborg on 23-Feb-2008 at 09:27 AM.
Last edited by Cyborg on 23-Feb-2008 at 09:26 AM.


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PulsatingQuasar 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 9:29:12
#24 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 550
From: The Netherlands, Europe

I'm looking forward to a comparing review!

I have a 1200 SX and if the speed is a lot better I wouldn't mind upgrading it to the TX.


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A4000 PPC
A1200 PPC

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 10:30:24
#25 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11209
From: Norway

@stokey

Quote:
The product is out of production

It was never in productions.

Quote:
wouldn't meet ROHS specs.

So you know that the old components do not have RoHS counterparts, we are not talking about large motherboard her just simple PCI card, so even if has some RoHS components it's not that hard to redesign it.


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Turrican3 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 11:02:00
#26 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2003
Posts: 331
From: Italy

Great news.

Not only for the board itself, but hey, this might be (somewhat) a sign that there's still some hope for the SharkPPC to be released at last...

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Comi 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 13:21:06
#27 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2003
Posts: 631
From: Zlatibor, Serbia

Support from Hyperion is allready there! Great!


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stokey 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 14:19:48
#28 ]
Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2007
Posts: 56
From: Unknown

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
It was never in productions.


Yes it was, the Shark was a Sonnet Crescendo/7200 Mac processor upgrade card with a new heatsink.

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Rob 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 16:00:45
#29 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 5849
From: S.Wales

@olegil

Quote:
I would have thought that the cards could have done DMA to chip mem, at least. Since chip mem isn't in use for graphics at that point, using it for ethernet, USB and sound might kinda almost make sense.


Could that be done by linking the Mediator up to the A1200 clock port as well as the usual method.

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Rob 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 16:16:09
#30 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 5849
From: S.Wales

@stokey

Quote:
Yes it was, the Shark was a Sonnet Crescendo/7200 Mac processor upgrade card with a new heatsink.


Was that just for illustration purposes though.

Does a company that has made accelerator boards, fast ATA adapters, PCI bus boards and a whole load of mem cards and other interfaces really need to rely a third party PPC card for PCI slot.

As history has shown, it would have been a mistake if Elbox had designed and built the SharkPPC back when it was first announced.

Apparently the Crescendo design is very easy to do for a company like ELbox.

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xeron 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 16:31:03
#31 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Jun-2003
Posts: 2440
From: Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England, UK, Europe, Earth, The Milky Way, The Universe

Quote:
Could that be done by linking the Mediator up to the A1200 clock port as well as the usual method.


No, you can't do DMA over the clock port.

DMA to chipmem would be a waste of time anyway; its all kinds of extra super slow. Using chipmem as a DMA buffer would be even slower than just not doing DMA, i reckon.


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stokey 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 17:04:10
#32 ]
Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2007
Posts: 56
From: Unknown

@Rob

Quote:
Was that just for illustration purposes though.


Maybe, but why? Who can't imagine a PCI card? Also, why not just mock up something based on their own design concepts?

Quote:
Does a company that has made accelerator boards, fast ATA adapters, PCI bus boards and a whole load of mem cards and other interfaces really need to rely a third party PPC card for PCI slot.


They did it with the Spider, why would this be any different?

Quote:
Apparently the Crescendo design is very easy to do for a company like ELbox.


Not as easy as sticking a new label on someone else' product. Which they have been known to do.

Also, how come they have never shown a prototype, even if it only ran Linux? The Dragon was demonstrated publicly, why not the Shark?

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Rob 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 18:43:44
#33 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 5849
From: S.Wales

@stokey

Quote:
Quote:
Was that just for illustration purposes though.


Maybe, but why? Who can't imagine a PCI card? Also, why not just mock up something based on their own design concepts?


Obviously the SharkPPC only existed on paper at that time but people like to see pics.
Think about which is cheaper, making a one off prototype or buying someone elses product that looks very similar what your proposed product.

Quote:
Quote:
Does a company that has made accelerator boards, fast ATA adapters, PCI bus boards and a whole load of mem cards and other interfaces really need to rely a third party PPC card for PCI slot.


They did it with the Spider, why would this be any different?


The Spider was flashed and re-badged for two reasons. The first is to make sure that people actually paid for the drivers and the second was to get Elbox a larger slice of the harware sales.
I don't no why people begrudge the idea of an Amiga related company making some profit and staying around in the long-term.

Quote:
Quote:
Apparently the Crescendo design is very easy to do for a company like ELbox.


Not as easy as sticking a new label on someone else' product. Which they have been known to do.

Also, how come they have never shown a prototype, even if it only ran Linux? The Dragon was demonstrated publicly, why not the Shark?


A prototype has probably never been shown because they hav'nt built one to date. Also why go to the trouble of building and then porting linux to a product which is only intended for the Amiga community.
Sam440 and AmigaOne are different because they were not supposed to be limited to the Amiga community.

I doubt we will see or hear anything of the SharkPPC from Elbox until they and Hyperion have everything ready, just like this latest bit of news.

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TiredofLife 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 19:15:27
#34 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Jul-2005
Posts: 1648
From: Here

Great news.
It's good to see hardware still being developed and produced for the Amiga.
If there is a decent upgrade in speed, I will upgrade.


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stokey 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 19:26:41
#35 ]
Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2007
Posts: 56
From: Unknown

@Rob

It's been over 6 years since the Shark was announced, and no evidence of it's existence has been shown in that time. A product like this doesn't go straight from paper to production line, prototypes get made for testing and evaluation. Also, the Shark product page states that it will go into production when OS4 Final is released. That requires that they have a design and material list that has passed the test phases.

As for the Spider, I don't care if someone else made it, i'm just saying that rebadging someone else' product is something they have been known to do.

Quote:
A prototype has probably never been shown because they hav'nt built one to date. Also why go to the trouble of building and then porting linux to a product which is only intended for the Amiga community.


Again, 6 years and still no prototype? Porting Linux for PowerMac would be a relatively minor task, and would have had some benefit in the testing stages. It may have even helped to generate some sales. It would not have been a pointless exercise.

Quote:
Sam440 and AmigaOne are different


No, not different, irrelevant.

Quote:
I doubt we will see or hear anything of the SharkPPC


That sentence is now correct.

Look, I'd love to have a newer, faster PPC in my Amiga, but it won't happen now. The market is too small, the technology is too old.

Last edited by stokey on 23-Feb-2008 at 07:30 PM.

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Rob 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 20:21:58
#36 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 5849
From: S.Wales

@stokey

Quote:
Again, 6 years and still no prototype? Porting Linux for PowerMac would be a relatively minor task, and would have had some benefit in the testing stages. It may have even helped to generate some sales. It would not have been a pointless exercise.


Many years ago when people first asked about a Mediator version of Linux, Elbox said they had no interest in having it run on their hardware, and that they were only interested in producing harware for Amiga OS.

They can chose when and whether they sell whatever hardware to whatever market. It is there business, and the model they have used seems to have worked well so far.

Quote:
Look, I'd love to have a newer, faster PPC in my Amiga, but it won't happen now. The market is too small, the technology is too old.


Is the market too small for them to release a new revisision of the Mediator 1200? Elbox certainly don't think so and with the ammount Mediators already out there, the SharkPPC will more likely sell in higher quantities than the TX.

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d0c 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 23-Feb-2008 22:02:36
#37 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 8-Sep-2004
Posts: 896
From: UK

If you compare the picture of the TX in the shop, and the picture of the SX model (removed from the shop, but still available on other sites) you will see that even the silkscreen print on the top board side is the same, watch left side with the "MEDIATOR 1200 SX" line - a "TX" would look like different. Even the component placement is the same...

So IMHO it is a nice marketing gag: you fix some parts of your programmable logic code for the CPLDs, make some speedups, announce this as a new product and charge 20EUR more for the physically same boards which you have (even after several "free shipment" events) plenty on stock.


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stokey 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 24-Feb-2008 0:06:17
#38 ]
Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2007
Posts: 56
From: Unknown

Quote:
Many years ago when people first asked about a Mediator version of Linux, Elbox said they had no interest in having it run on their hardware


Forget Linux. I only mentioned it to illustrate how the hardware could have been made ready without OS4 Final. I wasn't suggesting that they release Linux for Mediator, just that they could have used it to demonstrate the Shark.

Quote:
Is the market too small for them to release a new revisision of the Mediator 1200? Elbox certainly don't think so and with the ammount Mediators already out there, the SharkPPC will more likely sell in higher quantities than the TX.


It's definitely too small for anyone to consider developing a new processor card, otherwise we would have had them by now. The fact that there have been no new cards since DCE did their last production run is a clear indicator that the market isn't profitable enough.

Shark is vapour, nothing more than announcements. How come when any other company misses a deadline by even a week they get called frauds, yet even after half a decade some people still believe the Shark will appear?

Whatever, I'm going to stop banging my head against the wall. You sit in your corner, muttering "It will come, I will get a Shark.." all day if you want to, I have other things to do.

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Amiboy 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 24-Feb-2008 8:34:27
#39 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Dec-2003
Posts: 1035
From: At home (probably)

If the speed increase is true then I think I will upgrade! Does anyone know if updated drivers have been released to current Mediator & MMCd users? (I havent recieved an email yet).


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A1200, Power Tower, OS3.9 BB2, HD-Floppy, Mediator PCI, Voodoo 3 3000, Soundblaster 4.1, TV Card, 100MBit Ethernet & 060 66MHz 64MB, 9.5Gig HD, 52xCDRom.

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Rob 
Re: New PCI board for A1200: Mediator 1200 TX
Posted on 24-Feb-2008 14:15:23
#40 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 5849
From: S.Wales

@stokey

Quote:
Whatever, I'm going to stop banging my head against the wall. You sit in your corner, muttering "It will come, I will get a Shark.." all day if you want to, I have other things to do.


Or perhaps you'll sit in your corner muttering in a negative manner, while I carry using OS4 on my AmigaOne.

Hope your head doesn't hurt too much now.

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