Originally Posted by Jope
My eyes started glazing over when I read PCI slots. How about just making a bugfixed buster that runs Zorro3 as fast as it can be run?
Jens on a1k.org and alexh here are saying there isn't much "compatible" speed to be gained over a Buster 11. A new Zorro standard could be created which could negotiate faster speeds if the existing hardware could handle it but there would still be few new boards using it. Dave Haynie has said several times that he would use good existing standards like PCI which he has specifically mentioned. PCI or PCIe would open up a whole world of cheap PC hardware. I bought a PCI ethernet card for my Mediator for $5. PCI (32 bit 66MHz) has a bandwidth of 266MB/s where ZIII realistically has a bandwidth of about 15MB/s (ZIII was designed to do 150MB/s but it would take some magic in the old hardware to make that happen). Even if Dave could pull out a miracle and double the current ZIII speed on some old hardware which could handle it, it would still be a fraction of the speed of PCI. A bug fixed Buster would be neat in theory but even fixing bugs can cause incompatibilities in some cases.
A Buster card is probably not as easy and simple as many people think. You need the FPGA, voltage regulator (FPGAs run at <5V), flash memory to load the FPGA code (FPGAs turn on with no code loaded) and a port to update the FPGA code for bug fixes and enhancements. Then you have to figure out how to make it work reliably with socket and surface mount Busters. I would expect the price to be not more than 50% over a partially bug fixed Buster 11 to sell well. If Dave wants to do this project for fun and can work some miracles then maybe he could come close to this target. IMO, his name and expertise would be wasted on a project with a very small benefit to less than half of existing Amiga users (only big box Amiga users). Keeping the classic Amiga alive requires more modernization. Adding PCI is probably one the cheapest ways to enhance existing classic Amigas. Some kind of PCIe+SATA stand alone board might appeal to people outside the Amiga community (bringing in new Amiga users) if the price was low enough. Besides faster I/O and custom chipset (with bug fixes), a faster 68k CPU is also needed to improve and modernize the Amiga experience. I own a CSMK3 68060@75MHz with Mediator providing Voodoo 4+ethernet+USB. This hardware setup makes a great semi-modern Amiga but new software is lacking because there isn't enough of this hardware. I can see the potential as more speed, less bottlenecks and better integration of hardware is possible with today's technology. A Buster only upgrade doesn't do much to help, IMO.