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-   -   Does anyone know anything about the Rambrandt graphics card? (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=92894)

richardjdare 02 June 2018 22:34

Does anyone know anything about the Rambrandt graphics card?
 
Back in the 90s my UK newsagent used to sell the occasional American computer mag. One of these was the Amiga World Video and Animation Special issue which featured an ad for a very interesting looking graphics card; Rambrandt from Progressive Peripherals.

you can see the ad here:

On the basis of the ad, this looked like a very impressive piece of kit for the time, with what looked like a graphics processor, a maths co-processor and a 3d API.

This really got my imagination going - however, I never heard a thing about it again!

Does anyone know anything about this graphics card? It has a page on the Amiga Hardware Database, but I can't find anything else about it.

Zack 03 June 2018 09:08

When reading about PPS itself on Amiga Hardware Database, it says that a fire burned down their factory in mid 1992, and they never recovered from that http://amiga.resource.cx/company/company.pl#pps

richardjdare 03 June 2018 17:56

Ah, that's a shame. The mag is from early 1992, so I guess the fire happened just as they were in the process of releasing the card.

Foebane 12 June 2018 10:37

I suspect arson.

Gorf 13 June 2018 21:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Foebane (Post 1247951)
I suspect arson.

By Microsoft?

Retro1234 14 June 2018 13:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gorf (Post 1248249)
By Microsoft?

Bill Gates doused the factory in petrol?

Pyromania 14 June 2018 14:45

It was confirmed that M$ did it!

Gorf 14 June 2018 20:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pyromania (Post 1248349)
It was confirmed that M$ did it!

Says "Pyromania" .... nomen est omen. :D

eXeler0 19 June 2018 01:10

Some trivia about the graphics processor from Texas Instruments seen on the Rembrant card..
The TMS 34020 (and the 34010 before it) was actually a very early "APU" or combined CPU/GPU and was frquently used in arcade 3d games.
Aparently TI was even trying to convince Nintendo & SEGA to create a 3d capable console based on this chip. (Or maybe it was games for a console someone else would have built, this part is unclear to me.) Anyway it would have been interesting..
The 34010 was released in 1986 and the 34020 in 1988 so I guess Commodore could have chosen it somewhere along the road instead of developing AAA.
Would also have been interesting... ;-)

idrougge 19 June 2018 02:35

Commodore were well aware of the TMS34010. http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/a2410

Hewitson 29 July 2018 18:45

Wow... Why did they even bother with the AGA shit if that was available?

I had no idea Commodore had made graphics cards (apart from the onboard one in the A3000 obviously).

Gorf 29 July 2018 19:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hewitson (Post 1257452)
Wow... Why did they even bother with the AGA shit if that was available?

I had no idea Commodore had made graphics cards (apart from the onboard one in the A3000 obviously).

Commodore also released the "Hedley"-Controller (390562) on a card, that hat the same logic as the A2024-Monitor did internally, allowing a 1024×1024 resolution derived from OCS/ECS.
(and a mix of Hedley and Amber should have been in the A3000 to compete with other workstations from that time...)

The problem with the TMS34010 card was of course the same as with any other RTG-Card for Amigas: it was not compatible to the old gfx-modes.

So sure: they just could have stayed with ECS and build in an additional gfx-card ... but that is of course much more expensive.

kolla 29 July 2018 21:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hewitson (Post 1257452)
the onboard one in the A3000 obviously

???

Amber? It was just a flicker fixer, nothing like a "graphics card".

Foebane 29 July 2018 22:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hewitson (Post 1257452)
Wow... Why did they even bother with the AGA shit if that was available?

Are you TRYING to troll? AGA is not "shit".

kolla 29 July 2018 23:10

Wasn't AGA "the shit" :)

Foebane 29 July 2018 23:47

At least AGA was following the same design principles of the Amiga chipset, but in 32 bits instead of just 16 bits. The things that make Amiga graphics unique is the use of bitplanes, overscan, blitter, copper and HAM.

Let me ask you this question: If all of this unique hardware design is ditched in favour of something entirely different, like a 24-bit frame buffer or a chunky display... is it still an Amiga?

Not to mention that so many graphics applications would have to be either completely rewritten or use some kind of conversion (c2p, for example). If the world of personal computers was headed for byte-per-pixel chunky graphics, then at least Commodore were headed in the right direction with the Akiko chip: keep the same hardware whilst moving to a future way of utilising graphics. And even though Akiko was not readily available everywhere, there are plenty of optimised software c2p routines in use.

Gorf 30 July 2018 00:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by kolla (Post 1257490)
???

Amber? It was just a flicker fixer, nothing like a "graphics card".

well - you can call it a farmebuffer. Many gfx-cards back than did not more.

redblade 30 July 2018 02:31

I like the adverts on the previous page for the PRO-RAM 3000, 64mb ram expansion in 1992 for the Amiga 3000. No prices mentioned. I'm guessing the studios would have been buying those up.

Hewitson 30 July 2018 03:24

Yeah ok, calling Amber a "graphics card" might be a bit of a stretch.

Honestly don't see how you can say AGA isn't shit though. Painfully slow, and pathetically low resolution screenmodes (unless you like flickering).

If AGA was half as good as what the PC's had to offer back then, the Amiga would have been far more usable and may have even stood a chance.

idrougge 30 July 2018 04:21

I agree that AGA was "shit" in some sense; the A1000 chipset was ahead of its time at introduction, while AGA was trailing behind even when it was first released.

CyberGraphX proved that chunky was perfectly usable in an Amiga environment, albeit not backwards compatible. It would have been up to Commodore to solve that.


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