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-   -   ACA500 plus? (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=79303)

demolition 30 December 2016 19:35

Chipmem is slower than fastmem. Trapdoor mem in an A500 is also known as ranger memory and it runs at the same slow speed as chipmem although it cannot be used as such. There should be no difference in memory speed whether the memory is remapped by the ACA500plus or not.

Schoenfeld 30 December 2016 23:00

demolition is right: Trapdoor mem is always slow. However, the $c0 memory chunk that the ACA500plus gives you is real fastmem, so if you run the ACA500plus at 14MHz or more, you have the full advantage of real fastmem.

Only in 7MHz syncronous mode, the speed of this 512k chunk (and only that!) is slowed down to ranger-mem speed. The ACA500plus sniffs the bus of the A500 while the actual access is happening to external fastmem. It will then insert wait-states until the chip bus is marked "free". So if the ACA500plus is run at 7MHz, it will work cycle-exact (did I mention that I'm quite proud of that?).

Jens

E-Penguin 02 January 2017 12:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schoenfeld (Post 1131019)
2M Chipram configurations work, no matter what board revision. Confirmed by multiple customers. You can't switch on the "ChipMap" feature with such a configuration, as the menu system will tell you that the feature is not available.

My aca500plus is in the post, as is a MegAChip off ebay - can I use the chip map feature and the 2mb expansion together without performing the motherboard mods, or do I not get out of trace cutting so easily?

appiah4 02 January 2017 13:48

Kind of confused about this board, but considering placing a preorder. Would be very happy if someone could fill me in with some answers:

1. A500 Rev6 with 512m slow mem, with ACA500plus added - I guess I can turn the slow mem to chipram? What is the advantage of this, and does it consume any of the 8MB ACA500plus comes with? Will I effectively have 8mb fastram and 1mb chipram this way?
2. Also, I understand 512k (or 1MB?) of the onboard 8MB onboard RAM is used by the Kickstart if I use ACA500plus to boot with KS3.1, is this correct?
3. The board says it comes with WB3.1; are these preinstalled on the board in some way (flash rom?), or do they ship with real diskettes?
4. How easy is it to set up a hard drive with this? Is it a simple case of plug in CF, load WB, format, install?
5. I never before used a HD on an Amiga; will I have to use WHDLoad with this to play games? How hard is it?
6. Can someone give me an idea about how fast this is? I understand 2MB ram was ACA500's biggest weakness.. is the 14MHz 68EC00+8MB terrible compared to say Vampire V500?
7. I guess this thing can be overclocked? How is that done, and does it require heatsinks etc to be added?
8. I read somewhere that network and USB modules will be developed for the ACA500 at some point.. Will these be part of a revised board, or will they be addons to the accelerator?
9. Unlike the Vampire, the ACA500plus has no additional output options (HDMI etc..) any chance that this kind of functionality may be added with an addon card or something or is it simply not within the scope of the ACA500plus?

I know it's plenty but all answers are welcome. Sorry if any questions sound stupid, I'm pretty enthusiastic but also rather dumb about Amiga stuff other than playing games.. Planning on ordering in a few days :)

E-Penguin 02 January 2017 14:10

I've not got mine yet, but my understanding is :
1) trapdoor memory added as chip, so 8mb fast + 1mb chip
2) 1mb fast ram used if using MapRom feature
3) not sure but I think in the flash rom
4) yes, although I intend to set up the CF in winuae first, to install classicwb, whdload, etc
5) use of whdload is pretty straightforward although not obligatory - some games come with proper HD installers but most don't
6) about the same as a stock a1200 I think. Fast enough - you can always add an accelerator card if you need more speed / memory. Vampire 500 is much faster but more expensive and probably less compatible as it is a custom processor core still in development.
7) it supports overclocking but stability might be an issue at the higher settings. Maybe active cooling helps.
8) addons using the clock port. USB is already available, from another supplier, Google for subway
9) get an indivisionECS

E-Penguin 02 January 2017 14:12

I'm doing a series of tumblr blogs on bringing an A500, A600 and A1200 up to date, and will cover a lot of the above things. Am I allowed to mention the link here?

Toni Wilen 02 January 2017 14:26

ACA500plus maprom is 512k (It also supports 1M if using compatible ACA12xx accelerator) Maprom is never available as a normal RAM. Fast RAM contiguous size is slightly under 7M, 512k is located at $c0 space (and 512k "lost" in maprom)

WB disks are in flash and automount/boot as virtual floppy disks.

Overclocking (and everything else) is fully boot menu software controlled.

Note that ACA500plus is also designed to be fully compatible with programs that only work with 7MHz A500 without expansions (Can software switch between 0.5M only or 0.5M+0.5M or 1M chip, any KS ROM you want and optional freezer cartridge). Original ACA500 could not be "degraded" to unexpanded ~7MHz A500 without unplugging. This is my favorite option, not everyone wants speed only!

btw, latest updated added user flashable rom image support, supports multiple images, all usual sizes (256k, 512k and 1M) supported.

eXeler0 02 January 2017 14:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by appiah4 (Post 1131736)
Kind of confused about this board, but considering placing a preorder. Would be very happy if someone could fill me in with some answers:

1. A500 Rev6 with 512m slow mem, with ACA500plus added - I guess I can turn the slow mem to chipram? What is the advantage of this, and does it consume any of the 8MB ACA500plus comes with? Will I effectively have 8mb fastram and 1mb chipram this way?
2. Also, I understand 512k (or 1MB?) of the onboard 8MB onboard RAM is used by the Kickstart if I use ACA500plus to boot with KS3.1, is this correct?
3. The board says it comes with WB3.1; are these preinstalled on the board in some way (flash rom?), or do they ship with real diskettes?
4. How easy is it to set up a hard drive with this? Is it a simple case of plug in CF, load WB, format, install?
5. I never before used a HD on an Amiga; will I have to use WHDLoad with this to play games? How hard is it?
6. Can someone give me an idea about how fast this is? I understand 2MB ram was ACA500's biggest weakness.. is the 14MHz 68EC00+8MB terrible compared to say Vampire V500?
7. I guess this thing can be overclocked? How is that done, and does it require heatsinks etc to be added?
8. I read somewhere that network and USB modules will be developed for the ACA500 at some point.. Will these be part of a revised board, or will they be addons to the accelerator?
9. Unlike the Vampire, the ACA500plus has no additional output options (HDMI etc..) any chance that this kind of functionality may be added with an addon card or something or is it simply not within the scope of the ACA500plus?

I know it's plenty but all answers are welcome. Sorry if any questions sound stupid, I'm pretty enthusiastic but also rather dumb about Amiga stuff other than playing games.. Planning on ordering in a few days :)

5. Using a hard drive on Amiga was never particularly hard. With ROM 3.1 its easy as pie. You don't *have* to use WHDLoad.. As long as you still have your floppy the ACA500+ can run in "slow mode" for compatibility with old games. Lots of other games are also harddrive installable even without WHDLoad although admittedly, this part was always a mess in the old days with everyone creating their own installers.

6. Dont go there ;-) These two products are designed with very different design goals. The "out-of-the-box" ACA 500+ is a very convenient way to make your A500 useful again. The Vampire 500 V2+ is designed to make your A500 "the worlds fastest Amiga". That being said, the ACA can be paired with some A1200 accelerators. The Vampire is probably 100x times faster than the default ACA500+

8. ACA500plus has 3 expansion connectors: A1200-compatible clockport, local 16-bit expansion port, A1200 CPU card connector

9. The creator of ACA500plus already sells "Indivision ECS" for the A500.
It will give you flicker fixed screenmodes and DVI connector and can probably be hooked up via HDMI through simple adapter.
So no, the ACA500plus will not get such stuff. It does not touch the graphic chips in your Amiga.
There is a theoretical possibility that you will be able to connect a Vampire V1200 to the ACA500's A1200 connector, but "Don't hold your breath" if you know what I mean.. :D

Toni Wilen 02 January 2017 14:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by eXeler0 (Post 1131749)
There is a theoretical possibility that you will be able to connect a Vampire V1200 to the ACA500's A1200 connector, but "Don't hold your breath" if you know what I mean.. :D

That would be quite nice combination if V1200 would also support software disable (like ACA1233n or Blizzards) so you can have fastest ever A500 that still can be made plain unexpanded fully compatible A500 when needed just by selecting boot menu option, without ever needing to remove or re-connect any hardware.

E-Penguin 02 January 2017 14:55

Toni how much, if any, are these accelerators supported by WinUAE? Adding CF cards as hard disks and increasing clock speed to 200% is fairly straightforward but what about the memory mapping stuff? I assume the Vampire cards are well out of scope.

can I just take a second to say your work on winuae is incredible!

Marlon_ 02 January 2017 15:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by Toni Wilen (Post 1131753)
That would be quite nice combination if V1200 would also support software disable (like ACA1233n or Blizzards) so you can have fastest ever A500 that still can be made plain unexpanded fully compatible A500 when needed just by selecting boot menu option, without ever needing to remove or re-connect any hardware.

The Vampire will have this functionality in the next core update as far as I know. They call it turtle mode.

appiah4 02 January 2017 15:41

Thanks for all the replies very much appreciated. The ecs flicker fixer is impressive but boy is it expensive.. I may try ordering some rgb scart cables online, my homemade cables dont work with any of my lcd or plasma tvs and the monitor takes up too much space.. Otherwise Im convinced that this is the most hasslefree accelerator for a noob like myself. I just wish it was 68020... and would be gutted if a revision came along a few years later with say the 68ec20..

I kind of tried to emulate the aca500p on fs-uae with a 14mhz 68ec00 8mb fast ram and 1mb chipram. I was impressed..

Im interested in preparing the cf hard drive under emulation thing. Would love to have it ready by the time my aca arrives. My preferred emulator is fs-uae.. is this possible?

E-Penguin 02 January 2017 15:46

It's certainly possible on winuae, I don't know fs-use but if you can directly mount a CF card then yes. There are various guides dotted about the Internet. <self promotion> I'll be writing one too </self promotion>

Schoenfeld 02 January 2017 16:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by appiah4 (Post 1131766)
Im interested in preparing the cf hard drive under emulation thing. Would love to have it ready by the time my aca arrives. My preferred emulator is fs-uae.. is this possible?

Possible, yes, but IMHO it's pointless.

Partitioning and installing OS3.1 with the ACA500plus is completed within less than 5 minutes. Way faster than using a real floppy drive or an emulator.

Jens

eXeler0 02 January 2017 17:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by appiah4 (Post 1131766)
----><8
I just wish it was 68020... and would be gutted if a revision came along a few years later with say the 68ec20..

As the 68000 on the ACA500+ gives you several overclocking options you dont need a 020.
But if you feel you *must* have one, simple get an ACA1221 and plug it in the 1200 expansion slot.
See the ACA is meant to give you most stuff you need to get going out of the box, but beyond a certain point it at least leaves you with options to upgrade further.

Skickat från min LG-H850 via Tapatalk

demolition 02 January 2017 18:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by appiah4 (Post 1131766)
I just wish it was 68020... and would be gutted if a revision came along a few years later with say the 68ec20..

An 020 would not only make it more expensive but also less compatible with old floppy games, so sticking with an overclocked 68000 that can be set to 7MHz mode is a good solution in my book as it will provide close to 100% compatibility. As eXeler0 writes, just get an ACA1221ec if you feel you really need an 020.

appiah4 02 January 2017 18:28

Alright then, sold. Preordering it tomorrow :)

E-Penguin 02 January 2017 18:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schoenfeld (Post 1131774)
Possible, yes, but IMHO it's pointless.

Partitioning and installing OS3.1 with the ACA500plus is completed within less than 5 minutes. Way faster than using a real floppy drive or an emulator.

Jens

How does it handle CFs bigger than 4Gb? Is there a patched scsi.device? I'd like to use pfs3-aio, I guess I'll still need to do some work to install that in the RDB and format accordingly (FFS can't handle partitions >4Gb, right?)

demolition 02 January 2017 19:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by E-Penguin (Post 1131823)
How does it handle CFs bigger than 4Gb? Is there a patched scsi.device? I'd like to use pfs3-aio, I guess I'll still need to do some work to install that in the RDB and format accordingly (FFS can't handle partitions >4Gb, right?)

The ACA500 will boot straight off a CF card with MBR and FAT32. Very convenient when you want to move the card from the PC to the Amiga, so there is little reason to use PFS3/SFS/etc.

E-Penguin 02 January 2017 19:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by demolition (Post 1131825)
there is little reason to use PFS3/SFS/etc.

There is little reason to use a twenty year old computer ;) but that is good to know. I'll need to decide whether I want an easier life or a more authentic set up. I'll try both (PFS3 vs FAT32) and do some speed tests.

If Deutsche Post are to be believed I'll get the card tomorrow.


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