Differences in A1200 accelerators?

Khyron

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Hi All,

Have no clue when it comes to A1200 accelerators, and it seems like some models are avoided by people like the plague, but I can't seem to figure out why.. so I'd just like to get some idea as what would be worth buying..

Here some that seem to be avaliable to buy.. what would be the good/bad points of each, or is there some other model I should be looking for?

E-Matrix 1230
Blizzard 1230 MK3
Blizzard 1230 MK4
Apollo 1230 MK3

And is a FPU and NON EC cpu really needed for gaming?

Thanks!
 

AndyLandy

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Amiga Resource has a list of most A1200 accelerators:

http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/a1200proc

The E-Matrix and the Blizz IV will support up to 128MB FastRAM on the cards, the Apollo and the Blizz III will support up to 32MB. 32 is probably plenty, but if you think you'll want more in future, get a card that'll support more.

I don't know much about the E-Matrix card, but the general consensus around these parts is that Blizzard cards are pretty reliable and Apollo cards perhaps a little less-so.

There are some things out there that take advantage of the FPU and will get a bit of a boost from having one, but it's far from essential. The MMU (on non-EC chips) is barely used at all in Amiga OS. See this thread for more details.

So, final answer is they're all pretty similar, to be honest. The Blizzard IV is probably the most-desirable of the bunch, but there's not that much in it.
 

Justin

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tbh, if you just want to play games (not 3d games) then any 030 card with some fast mem should do you proud

cheers, JuvUK
 

matt020

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I read somewhere in another post recently, that the minimum spec for today's demo's is an 030... or was it an 040?
 

Zetr0

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Hello there,

Welcome to AmiBay =)

Have no clue when it comes to A1200 accelerators, and it seems like some models are avoided by people like the plague, but I can't seem to figure out why.. so I'd just like to get some idea as what would be worth buying..

Indeed, there are many accelerators out there and some are quite poor in features when compaired to others. It can be quite confusing even for the most knowledgable.

Here some that seem to be avaliable to buy.. what would be the good/bad points of each, or is there some other model I should be looking for?

E-Matrix 1230
Blizzard 1230 MK3
Blizzard 1230 MK4
Apollo 1230 MK3

All the models you list here are good cards, they all have subtle differences as my friend AndyLandy points out, although I do submit that insofar as 030 cards go I say that Apollo are as good as Blizzard cards, since I have had a handfull of both in a range of A1200 boards I can state this as my most humble opinion.

Infact MHz for MHz the Apollo is slightly faster (5-10%) in two key aspects

These particular areas affect gaming the most
  • FAST RAM to CHIP RAM
    • (copying memory from the card to the custom chip memory)
  • CHIP RAM to FAST RAM
    • (copying / moving memory from CHIP RAM to the card)
  • FAST RAM to FAST RAM
    • (moving / accessing memory around in fast ram)


Again IMHO, although blizzard cards are good, they are more a fashion item - they are most certainly the most prettiest cards that one cannot deny, however they are older designs than the Apollo, as such their logic is just that little bit slower.

In any case, should that you be just playing games - Then any of the above accelerators that you listed will provide MUCH gaming happyness. To be honest most games (95% of them) dont need anything more than a 14mhz 020 and a smidge of FAST RAM - however an accelerator improves all aspects of the Amiga, right down to loading speed from harddrive.

IMHO an 030 equiped A1200 with 32MB FAST ram is the perfect WHDLoad machine.

It is inportant to note that the E-Matrix (Viper) 030 is equipped with a SCSI 2 controller, although this is not DMA (PIO like the native IDE) it is still subsequently faster than the native IDE on the board. This is due to the fact the CPU doens't have to wait for its turn while the custom-chips are talking before it instructs the SCSI.

Essentially your choice should come down to Cost V's Performance - ascertain your need, and work to it, ask yourself -

do I need 128MB of RAM or will 32MB be enough ?
do I need SCSI2 down the line?
howmuch do I spend on this?

And is a FPU and NON EC cpu really needed for gaming?


As stated by JuvUK, most games dont use an FPU, although only a handful do, it will always be one of those nagging things in the back of your mind, even though for 95% of the software your run you wont need it and for that other 5% there are interger based versions of the game, (that have a minor performance hit)

With this in mind, should that you plumb for a card without an FPU I would suggest getting one with a PLCC based (not PGA) FPU socket, as these are much easier (and generally cheaper) to come by.

In regards to an MMU, have a look at the linkie that AndyLandy posted, unless you are running a version of Linux then you really wont need it.
 

Khyron

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Thank you all for such really great answers! It's very much apreciated!

Now the hard part.. tying to decide what to buy w/o having "big eyes" & "empty stomach" syndrome.. :)
 

Justin

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i know what you mean, i play games on my miggy, a few demos and that's about it, i went and bought an Apollo 1260, not good for me as i didn't use ANY of the power it had, an 030 with 32mb is plenty enough for my usage.

cheers, JuvUK
 

Jumping Anaconda

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As stated by JuvUK, most games dont use an FPU, although only a handful do...

Is there a list anywhere of games that do use it? I had a ram expansions with an FPU I bought primarily to use in fractal and render programmes like Lypunovia and Vistapro Lite. I do not think I actually used it in any other applications. I suppose it might have been handy for some 3d games?
 

Zetr0

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there was that Voxal Engine thingy, Gloom? DooM has an FPU and an Interger version -

It would be awesome to compile a list...
 
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