Were AGA ugrades really unrealistic?

Jumping Anaconda

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I remember when the AGA machines came out and there were a lot of A500 owners writing into the magazines complaining that their machines were going to be rendered obsolete, and were angry that there was no AGA upgrade option. A lot of the magazines argued that upgrading A500s to A1200 AGA specs was architecturally impossible. I was wondering if this was really the case.

We know that the A500 was based on a 32bit processor and architecture which was actually quite functionally similar to the A1200, and that it was easy enough to stick a 020 or faster processor in there. So really, was it that unrealistic to think that Commodore might have been able to create drop in replacement AGA chipsets and ROMs in the right packages for A500s and other machines that would give AGA compatibility? I don't know if there was a fundamental restriction of the A500's design in terms of available data lines or whatever which makes this an impossible...
 

Kin Hell

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It was all down to accessing Chip Ram afair things....

The newer AGA chipset could, where as the ECS couldn't, until some time after.... :dry:

Despite this, AGA should really have been AAA, but C= were sat on their A$$es too long, reaping the rewards of their Gaming machine A500 pinacle @ the time....

They did offer compatibility by offering the 3.1 ROM across all platforms. The only limitation was the Chipset using the 3.1 ROM. ;)

Kin
 

Jumping Anaconda

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But was there anything technical stopping them producing versions of the AGA chipset that could be dropped into the A500s (and maybe A2000s), replacing the OCS or ECS chips and offering the AGA screenmodes and functions?
 

Kin Hell

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Aside from the board architecture, no, but equally due to new custom chip access, yes. :whistle:

Kin
 

tokyoracer

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Actually there was a piece of hardware that enabled a 500 to become an AGA machine, apparently it actually worked. A picture of the exact card was on the A.org website.
 

Kin Hell

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Now now tokyoracer, you should know better....

/....not wanting to pass up on a baiting opporunity too discreetly....

....Got a link!? :p

Kin
 

keropi

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I have seen it too... this was a phase5 prototype board . It was essentially a clip-on A1200 for the A500 , not commercially viable BUT it was a proof-of-concept and a statement: YEAH, PHASE5 OWNS YER AMIGA, WE CAN DO WHATEVER THE H*LL WE WANT WITH IT!

...and they did with their csppc/bppc/g-rex boards and all their top quality products :D
 

ddni

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1_2381.jpg
 

Kin Hell

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Okay ddni, ....but some more info would be appreciated. ;)

Kin
 

keropi

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LOOOOOLLLL

AFAIK that is a clip-on addon that offers AGA, 2MB CHIP, a 020 and a fully functional A1200 cpu slot... everything else are just guesses from the pic...
 

Lugosi

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It says on the note on the A500 board:
"Amiga 500 PPC / The first PPC card with AGA for the A500 / Design Study 1998"
I can't really read the small print below that, maybe if the pic was any better ;)
 

Zetr0

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@JumpingAnaconda

The A500 is infact 16bit, the CPU is 16/32bit which although it can handle 32bit data its delt with in 16bit chunks (for the most part)

The A500 motherboard only has 16bit pathways, (with exception to the CPU Expansion bus).

Although it would be possible to upgrade an A500/A500+ to be capable of 24bit AGA the price would be so high, it would be cheaper to purchase a couple or more A1200's and or an A4000!!!

by far a better pennies spent in upgrading to a graphics card on the CPU bus expansion port...

If there ever was an idea, a custom SCSI/CPU/MEMORY/Graphics and Network all in one board would be awesome!!!

if you wanna push that envelope then add 16bit full-duplexing sound and an mp3 offload engine =D
 

rkauer

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I just wonder how they disabled the redundant custom chips on the 500 mobo to use the advanced (for that time) AGA chips.

Denise is not Lisa, Agnus is not Alice.

So, HOW?????????
 

Kin Hell

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^^^^^^

My friend, that will cost you $64000 & an Amiga One T shirt.... :LOL:

Kin
 
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