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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
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Posted Thu May 14, 2020 7:48 pm

First, there's the Warp1260 for the Amiga 1200.

It's a new 68060 accelerator, and is not ready for pre-order but is a few completed boards are being shipped out to beta testers (one of which is MVG who is eagerly planning a full review).

Warp 1260 Specs:
  • CPU 68060 50MHz Support up to 105MHz
  • 256 MB of DDR3 RAM
  • Fast IDE port with a nice compatible Compact Flash adapter
  • ARM processor for 1080p Display and MP3 Music without CPU load
  • Wi-Fi Support
  • USB ports
  • HDMI video output
  • Amiga 1200 Backplate for all Warp 1260 connections
  • Warp 1260 cooler for faster 68060

There's no price or word of a goal for a ship date.

However, that's not all. There's also a nearly identical card for the A500 being created, too!

It's called the Warp560. And it is offering a monster 060 from 50Mhz up to a ridiculous 105Mhz! And RTG for the A500!
It is the exact same accelerator as Warp 1260, just without IDE Pins (that are replaced with an onboard Compact Flash Memcard) and support for AGA.
Warp560 Specs:
  • CPU 68060 50MHz Support up to 105MHz
  • 256 MB of DDR3 RAM
  • Compact Flash Connector built-in
  • ARM processor for 1080p Display and MP3 Music without CPU load
  • Wi-Fi Support
  • USB ports
  • HDMI video output
  • Warp 560 cooler for faster 68060
The only real downside that I can see with any of this is you have to source the 060 CPU on your own. Then, you have to ship it to the Warp team to install for you.

That is going to be a major bottleneck in making this card rocket into the stratosphere. But for the lucky few that jump through all of the hoops to get one? Holy smoke. What a fun opportunity for a lot of people. I really like the fact that the 500 is getting this attention for a change.

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nonarkitten

Posted Thu May 14, 2020 7:54 pm

You can buy 100% genuine, new 68060's from DigiKey and/or Rochester.

75MHz is $756.07 (https://www.digikey.com/short/z4h40v)
66MHz is $362.80 (https://www.digikey.com/short/z4h4vt)
50MHz is $168.98 (https://www.digikey.com/short/z4h40p)

They have plenty of stock and no need to second guess if it's a fake. Keep in mind these are LC and EC variants, so you'll have to mind also having the same limitation of the Vampire -- no MMU and/or FPU.

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Thu May 14, 2020 8:26 pm

I just bought one (as a future investment? I dunno) from a seller I was told was reliable - and it was his last from a stash of 397 - for $118. It was the "best" chip the Warp folk recommend.

If these cards get good reviews, these chips are going to be super hard to come by, I reckon.

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nonarkitten

Posted Thu May 14, 2020 8:32 pm

intric8 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 8:26 pm
I just bought one (as a future investment? I dunno) from a seller I was told was reliable - and it was his last from a stash of 397 - for $118. It was the "best" chip the Warp folk recommend.

If these cards get good reviews, these chips are going to be super hard to come by, I reckon.
This is the biggest reason the Apollo Team went with FPGA.

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Thu May 14, 2020 8:45 pm

The funny thing about ALL of this stuff, though, is that as much as I find the development very exciting, I really do believe most times less is more.

My most stable systems, and most compatible systems, are the ones that have been tinkered with the least and point to the time-frame between 1985-1990. Mild upgrades here and there are fine - especially ones that are period correct or new versions of old. But once you go "all in" on total monster machines? It's as if the best one can do is marvel at our glorious Workbench and icons, and that's about it. Look at that resolution and all that real estate! Then, you launch a game and c-r-a-s-h!

From a good friend of mine with the most insane A3000 I've ever seen in my life: he can't play virtually any games on it at all.
060 def causes pains. I’ve also heard the rapid road does. And 3.1.4. And now you tell me p96. No wonder no games work.
I discovered that after installing P96 fresh on my second A3000's I'm building out that Dungeon Master 2 would crash within 60 seconds of launch. My first A3000 (16Mhz) that is mostly stock, running 1.4 ROMs (1.3 and 2.0)? It plays it perfectly - at least as perfectly as that slow-assed game will allow. In other words, it plays it as one would expect and ever so slightly better than my A2000 with an 030 @40Mhz. But the P96 machine? Nope. You have to disable P96, reboot, then play.

No one said progress was easy, right? It all depends on how you want to use the machines. For me, a lot of times it's about looking back and firing up what works well. And that means realizing that the upgrade train is taking me where I probably won't want to visit for very long. But it'll be a fun ride. <3

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nonarkitten

Posted Thu May 14, 2020 8:52 pm

If all you want is the most stable and compatible Amiga games machines, that's probably a stock A1200 with 3.1 and a trapdoor memory expansion with at least 2MB. For best performance, try digging up a real sub 4GB HDD from the mid 90's to install inside. That will run better than SD or CF.

There's no need for a 68882. A real time clock is nice though and Ethernet or Gotek might make transferring files around easier, but beyond that, everything else is, as you say, just a Workbench Prettyfier.

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McTrinsic

Posted Thu May 14, 2020 11:46 pm

What you are describing is a bit black and whitte, added with some conspiracy theories ;) .

If I may quote:
[...] causes pains.I’ve also heard the rapid road does. And 3.1.4.
I apologize for the tone, but thats just utter nonsense. Especially wording it like a rumor where someone seems to be enlightened by more knowledge than others. Seriosuly, that sounds like "5G is causing Corona and Bill Gates is meant to take over the world.". Could you please elaborate on what exactly 3.1.4 does to "cause pain"? Providing a solution for the 4GB limit our of the box is a bad thing now? There is one issue that has been reported in the field after release which has to do with some scripting. For that, we have the 3.1.4.1 bugfix. 3.1.4 is much better resolving certain issues that 3.9. It is, indeed, a continued development of 3.1, so you dont have all the nice add-ons of 3. or especially 3.9. Being developed accoring to the OS guidelines, this may result in certain incompatibilites with other software. These are rare. Or it may render other hacks useless. I'm open to collect issues and feed them in the bugtracker of the devs.

If whoever told you this is able to base this on facts please let me know, give him my email and let him conatct me. I am in contact with the developers. We are still working on a 3.2 release and would be really grateful to hear about any unresolved issue.

Similar with the RapidRoad. Its working great. This one itself doesn't have issues. It does, however, point towards the issue of old technology. The Amigas are from the 80ies. Even the 3000 is, and being the small upgarde that AGA is, I think we can say that the 1200 and 4000 almost also count as 80ies tech. That ca. 35 years old stuff. Including the PSUs. So yes it may happen that the specific combination may not work. or that an ageing PSU may fry your RapidRoad. Does it cause pain?? I am happy to have USB for my Amiga. Thats joy not pain.

Again, any specific issues can be handed over to me. I'll see what I can do.

Also for P96. The developers have used the last two years for bugfixing. Ever since the new owner has taken over, they provided a legal way to add new cards (the VA2000 and the ZZ9000) and worked on bugfixes. So instead of complaining that it "causes pain" what about submitting a bug description to the devs? Maybe it you would have to admit that not P96 is the issue but a specific application?

Where I do wholeheartedly agree is that you can go overboard. I am convinced, however, that there is a "sweet spot". Yes, an A500 with one floppy will work almost always and do what you expact. It can be painfully slow in that. A super-beefed 060/PPC/RTG/SCSI... Amiga may have issues. Thats because everything after the 040 is basically a hack for the OS. YMMV.

My personal impression is that with a 68030 at 25-50 MHz and the respective machine you are in the sweet spot I mentioned earlier. My Phoenix-Amiga was built over years. It had severe issues in different stages of built-out. For example, I didnt get a Deneb to work with it. The Phoenix itself is a hack :). Thats why I looked around and watrched where others have issues. Too often I was thinking "its only my everyone else has rock stable system :D". My takeaway is that an A2000 with some expansions and 030/50 or an A3000 with a simple 030 will be hard to crash and provide a significant added bonus in usability. I couldnt get back and load all games from floppy any more. i have WHDLoad. Heck, I even paid for it :D . To be fair and honest, I gladly admit it is a nice cozy feeling loading games from FDD every once in a while.

On the discussion of these 560/1260 boards, my main concern are the drivers. The developer of the VA2000 and the ZZ9000 shared some insights during the development of the driver and it took quite some time. The drivers still have minor glitches. For the Warp expansions, with that number of expansions on board you are destined to summon trouble. It might take years to get this stable - it's a part time project, isn't it?

But each to his own.

The tech in itself is impressive.
Who could have thought abouth something like this back then when the A500 came out.
None of us would have believed that this is possible :D.

Let's enjoy the new tech and see what it can do.

Cheers,
McT

P.S.: On a side note: did you try the WHDLoad-version of Dungeon Master 2? From the WHDLOad slave info: "Access fault removed in intro". Maybe it isnt P96 but DM2? ;)
intric8 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 8:45 pm
The funny thing about ALL of this stuff, though, is that as much as I find the development very exciting, I really do believe most times less is more.

My most stable systems, and most compatible systems, are the ones that have been tinkered with the least and point to the time-frame between 1985-1990. Mild upgrades here and there are fine - especially ones that are period correct or new versions of old. But once you go "all in" on total monster machines? It's as if the best one can do is marvel at our glorious Workbench and icons, and that's about it. Look at that resolution and all that real estate! Then, you launch a game and c-r-a-s-h!

From a good friend of mine with the most insane A3000 I've ever seen in my life: he can't play virtually any games on it at all.
060 def causes pains. I’ve also heard the rapid road does. And 3.1.4. And now you tell me p96. No wonder no games work.
I discovered that after installing P96 fresh on my second A3000's I'm building out that Dungeon Master 2 would crash within 60 seconds of launch. My first A3000 (16Mhz) that is mostly stock, running 1.4 ROMs (1.3 and 2.0)? It plays it perfectly - at least as perfectly as that slow-assed game will allow. In other words, it plays it as one would expect and ever so slightly better than my A2000 with an 030 @40Mhz. But the P96 machine? Nope. You have to disable P96, reboot, then play.

No one said progress was easy, right? It all depends on how you want to use the machines. For me, a lot of times it's about looking back and firing up what works well. And that means realizing that the upgrade train is taking me where I probably won't want to visit for very long. But it'll be a fun ride. <3

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Fri May 15, 2020 7:59 am

You raise a lot of great points, McTrinsic, and I kinda hate to step in the middle of this and try and guess what's causing my friend's issues. If I were to guess, though, I'd probably think it was the 060 at the start, but it is likely a combination of things.
Could you please elaborate on what exactly 3.1.4 does to "cause pain"?
I think what he was trying to say here - in a general sense - was ever since he installed 2.0 way back when the compatibility issues started. He still loves 3.1.4 and couldn't wait to install it and use it to the fullest. He thought I was crazy when I put 3.1 ROMs in my 3000 a couple weeks ago and didn't invest in 3.1.4. I'm just taking my time, one step at a time.

DM2 is a weird one. I have 2 A3000s. One is mostly stock. The other I'm building out like "one of the cool kids" to see what all the fuss is about. I installed 3.1 and tested DM2. It was fine. Not only that, in a side-by-side comparison, I could see the 3.1 3000 had more Drystones than the 1.3 (by a couple hundred points) and the consensus was that 3.1 mapped the memory more efficiently.

So I added a few more upgrades, as well as the zz9000.

I realized early on DM2 had a problem and would crash on every attempt - which didn't happen before the upgrades - so I started over to learn where it was coming from. So I formatted the drive and reinstalled 3.1 and DM2. All good.

I then installed BetterWB and tested DM2. It was still fine.

I then installed the P96 libraries - nothing activated them nor used them yet. It was fine. Not an entirely fair test since they were just files on a drive, but as someone who has helped test software it was still a valid test.

Then I installed the zz9000 drivers to use the card fully. Note: I was using the zz9000 in a default native modes at first (NTSC Hires, iirc). Before installing P96 and zz9000 drivers. The card still works without them via HDMI - you just can't really experience it like one should until you do.

In fact, in the very beginning, with only 3.1 installed, my 3000 booted so fast (7 seconds) it booted before the zz9000 even initialized! I worked with Lukas for a workaround, but ultimately another friend of mine had a better idea. Add "C:WAIT 1" to my startup sequence before the bind drivers. It worked!

Forcing the Amiga to slow down gave the zz9000 the time it needed to get ready on a cold boot. It probably was a matter of milliseconds, but still kind of fascinating to me at the time. Slow the machine down a second to make it better. It was worth it, 100%.

After installing the zz9000 to use the P96 libraries, what happens is you can launch the game. 9 times out of 10 you can get past the intro screens no problem and start a game, too. On a very rare occasion, it will freeze when the lightening is drawing the logo. That's not really the issue I'm talking about.

You're down in the underground dungeon where you walk around and awaken the characters you want to use. It's down there, as you open and close cryo chamber doors, where the game will crash your machine every single time.

I've played DM2 on my A2000 and gotten all the way to the final boss. The issue I always had was the game ran so painfully slowly in that battle, seriously like 1 frame per second, that I always dreamed a much faster Amiga could maybe give me more speed to actually play that final scene and beat it. At 1 frame a second, for me it is impossible. So when I saw this new 3000's stats I thought, "Oh! Maybe this will be just good enough!"

I've explained all of this to a close friend of mine here in Seattle, Christian (I think you may know him on A1K?) and he's written a small script for me that will disable P96 on reboot to use games/programs that have issues with it. This is the first RTG card I've ever had, and I've asked a very small handful of folks about their personal experiences with them. One, 10Marc (Doug), says he has a dedicated machine just for RTG because it can't play hardly any games at all, or at least it's so shaky he doesn't bother with it anymore. But the machine is great for what it does - mainly Workbench stuff, graphics apps, etc. And he's fine with keeping it a dedicated machine like that.

I never meant to step on anyone's toes. I applaud all the efforts being made on all the various teams - I find it fascinating and inspirational. But I do know I'll only be having all this fun with the one machine and likely leaving all the rest of mine as they are for the most part. And I don't intend to ask Lukas to get DM2 to work with his card, or then walk over to Jens and see if maybe he could investigate, too. Nah.

I think what I'd rather do is use Christian's script (and I bet a lot of others would like to use it, too). It'll be like a really, really old game where you have to disable fast RAM to get it to work before you play something. No big deal if it works.

Anyway I bought a RapidRoad a week ago for my current build, which is en-route and should be here in the next 10 days or so, if not sooner. I'm looking forward to it. Why? Because the USB on the zz9000 really isn't ready to go today except for cold-booting a thumb drive. And everyone knows it. And I would like to have a real USB option on the "new" 3000, even though I don't really need it. But to easily hot-swap a thumb drive to move files around? That sounds heavenly. Maybe using an optical mouse, too? Well dang!

Last bit on this from me. I know this is a wall of text (I just woke up) :).

Even with this amazing graphics card - and it is amazing - I bought a brand new professional 4:3 monitor that has a native resolution of 1024x768. Once you go off the native resolutions of a monitor, you get what I call LCD blurriness, which I really don't like. At a native resolution, though - good god, the zz9000 is so crisp, so sharp, it's jaw dropping. And if I go to a higher res, frankly the text is just too small for me to be enjoyable anymore without reading glasses. So, I got a small monitor at that modest resolution because it looks kick ass and I can actually see it comfortably.

Everyone's different with different tastes and abilities. I'm not an engineer, so when things go wrong I start to undo things and work my way back. Could DM2 run on this machine with WHDLoad? I don't know. I'd need more RAM than I currently have to even find out. The BetterWB and other upgrades have eaten 3MB of the 8 currently installed as it is. I ordered a BigRAM, too.... and another 8 zips for the MB.

But, honestly, I don't believe I should have to run WHDLoad to play this game. I never have before, and only after installing ... all this... has that been floated as an option.

Final Notes
I wish 3.1 had been created similarly (hear me out) like Windows 3.1. A lot of stuff just worked in Windows, but a lot of stuff also only worked in DOS. So you'd open a shell and go to DOS and do that stuff. It would have been cool if 1.3 could "live inside" 3.1 in a dedicated manner sometimes like that, I think. But, that's what ROM switchers are for, etc. etc.

Wall of text is done! Happy Friday, everyone.

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nonarkitten

Posted Fri May 15, 2020 9:14 am

Back on topic...

The STM32H7 is a 480MHz 32-bit CPU that so grossly eclipses the power of the 68060 that it's not funny, and if it's easy to leverage it as a coprocessor, then yes, the Warp boards are absolutely a Vampire Killer. But leaning on the ARM too much feel like it's less "Amiga". At least the Cortex-M7 can run in big-endian mode, so there's no byte swapping all the time.

Although, if were up to me, I would have rather included a DSP56xxx on there -- that just feels "more Amiga" to me. These have comparable performance to the STM32H7 but actually has existing M68K code to use it, including the mind blowing Quake 2 engine. The stock Atari Falcon with a 16MHz 68030 and 68882 FPU combined with a 32MHz DSP could do a decent Quake 2. Under 10 fps and 1/4 screen resolution, sure, but what would a dual core 250MHz DSP do united with a 105MHz 68060?

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McTrinsic

Posted Fri May 15, 2020 12:02 pm

Heh may I did - overshoot.
A little 😆

Let me go through this. And digest over the weekend. 😉

In any case - be aware of the fact that 3.1.4(.1) usually would be best set up from scratch.

The ZZ9000 is still a work in progress. Please let the developer know of any issues. He is very supportive and will follow up.

The USB is bit of a letdown. It’s still an impressive device, overall. Experimentally, he has a Linux running in that ARM processor and lets e.g. a browser (Firefox) run in a window that is overlaid over an AmigaOS window.

Have a great weekend!!





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