I'm very pleased to announce that I've received my card, from the first batch from majsta. I received it quickly as I'll be demonstrating it within next days in Switzerland to our local Amiga usergroup
I'll continuously be updating this thread with pictures, comments and videos.
1) Unboxing and first tests
I received it with the SILVER core, which will be the default one everyone should receive. The card was well packaged and it included two mounts. Kipper2k made a small tutorial explaning how to install them
The card :
Physical installation went fine and after some minutes my A600 (rev1.5) booted. My A600 is upgraded with A604n
, RTC clock and I'm using a RGB->VGA adapter and Rys MKII USB
adapter for my Logitech mouse
As you can see on the picture, my Amiga is showing ROM 3.1. The hardware ROM 3.1 is completely bypassed and only the dumped ROM inside Vampire is used. Why that ? It's because the Apollo team had to patch some routines to get the 128Mb fully adressed and standardize Vampire setups. It's also faster as it's acting more or less like a MapROM. Anyway, this part is not the most interesting one...
Then, I added my CF with 3.9bb2 (without ROM Update as it is known to cause problem) and it booted. After disabling FBlit which also cause graphic corruption at the moment, I then immediatly went to see my old friend Sysinfo.
I then headed to my favourite Amiga game... Simon the Sorcerer, running WHDLoad 18.2. It worked flawlessly and I even had less hickups than with my old ACA620
So... yes, it's alive, it exists and it's just the fastest Amiga accelerator I've ever had.
The magic is there...
2) Silver core - my impressions
My first impression is exactly the same as the one when I went from my A1200 '030 to my shiny A4000 '060. It boots like a rocket and workbench is snappy as it could be in WinUAE.
Only thing that was a bit hard at start was to understand that the card takes a bit more time (I mean, no more than 1-2 seconds) than with the onboard CPU to boot or reboot. So when you want to shutdown your A600 and quickly power it on back, you'll have to wait some seconds.
I've been amazed to play a MP3 on my A600, it was just impossible until now !
So, at current state, Silver Core provides the user mostly speed and horse power. In the future, we will know how to work with P96 once the licencing thing has been sorted out.
3) Beta cores
I was in discussion with the Apollo team to join the testing team because I naturally love taking risks and testing new things. I'm that kind of user that will take time to push things to get last decimal of performance... adding real-use test case to the team will be my objective as I have no ASM knowledge. Taking this route, I have been warned that it might not be the most stable one, but I'm ok with that.
As I have access to latest beta cores, I installed Quartus software and flashed my card with the latest one and an USB Blaster
. Majsta wrote a tutorial
about this. I did it installing the latest version of Quartus on a Windows 10 x64 environnment.
First thing, and not the smallest one, is that it immediatly added about 20% of performance in SysInfo.
But the big thing is this...
After some days with it and several core tested, I got OS3.9bb4 running (screenshot taken with Sgrab) :