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Old 29 December 2007, 01:36   #9
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Charlie's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nowhere
Age: 49
Posts: 1,792
Up and running already - great!
(Time to back-up your install, you don't want to do all that again & it's transferable between computers (mostly))

Shame your 9200 only gives 640x480 - that will be the basic VESA fall-back mode for unsupported cards...
...I haven't got the docs in front of me but I had a feeling that card was at least partially supported - ho, hum.
Have you got as far as using Gary's latest kernel + patches (having run through the Amithlon update archives first)..?
Latest Kernel + patches + GFX driver will give you selectable modes in VESA - but it will be a bit slow - you may even get proper (fast) GFX acceleration.
If the worst comes to the worst check out the line in Grub's MENU.LST file that you are using to boot. (sure you're using the best options?) One bit will say VESA 769, or something-like. If memory serves at the end of that file is a table detailing what 769 means & what the other allowed numbers are - higher resolutions.

Hmmm, hardware:
Lots of options - for an easy life with v. good performance:

CPU - AMD - Athlon XP (AFAIA: The 2500+ XP-M is the fastest / most overclockable) V. rough comparison: For every ghz of your x86 you're getting 4-500mhz of '040 under Amithlon. So your PIII450 is about equivalent to a 150-200mhz '040!!! Let's not forget your mobo's aged sub-systems are also faster than any hardware Amiga too. Intel? Fine, but Amithlon was optimised for AMD & for this generation of x86 AMD was 'better'.
Mobo - nForce2 (Ultra400) based for preference (My fav is the DFI Ultra-B, but ASUS do a very similar one). VIA KT600(a) boards are a close second (ABit is my number 1 here). Pretty much any VIA will do. AGP + PCI slots - none of this PCIe stuff!
Other chip-sets do work but your mileage may vary - it's worth keeping in mind a good quality board will be more stable and some mobo's are more Amithlon-friendly when it comes to things like built-in NIC's, sound etc. (My DFI has a supported NIC. AMIGAZ's ASUS does too)
Memory - Bandwidth is important with Amithlon so get some fast stuff: DDR500+ for preference. See how far you can ramp it up. I'm running 10x250 on 1:1 so CPU 2.5gig, memory DDR500, all in step to cut out the wait-states. Here's where you discover how good your components are. 'Hey! Isn't DDR500+ memory still expensive?' I hear you ask. Yes, but as Amithlon can't cope with more than 512mb anyway how much is a matched pair of 256mb sticks worth these days? You can use bigger sticks (finances allowing) for bloated-OS's but your 'Amiga' won't see it.
Sound - Most come with built-in Ac97 codecs - Amithlon supports some (esp with updates) but not all. If your mobo of choice has supported sound, good. If not a Creative SB128 or Live! will work & are cheap as chips. Old? Both of these cards are better than (nearly) anything made for the Amiga & produce better 'quality' than AHI is capable of outputting.
GFX - If you have to buy a card stick with nVidia! Geforce 4Ti or a proper GF5 - GF2 is fine but No 'MX' nonsense please. These are the best cards Amithlon supports. Old? Oh-yes! But again far better than anything made for a 'real' Amiga. Also both deliver more performance than any Amiga software is capable of demanding!
IGP GFX should work in theory, (for instance the core in the 6150 chipset is a GF4) but it's dicey - stay away if you want an easy life.
PSU - Quality counts, esp if you're pushing your hardware.
HDD - NO SATA!!! Turn it off on your BIOS too!

The above is a v. quick run-down for a top-spec Amithlon system. You can run more modern / exotic hardware but it is a struggle to say the least. By PC standards this is all v.v. old stuff - such a system can be put together for buttons using fleaBay. With a large lump of ram this is also still a good system for XP - In use I honestly can't tell the difference between my Amithlon box running XP & my 'proper PC' except when running the latest PC games. (which I do less & less these days)
A much lower-spec system could probably be built from the contents of an office skip & still give 'amazing' results. We are talking about an OS that will happily run on a 14mhz '020 now having 512mb of ram, a modern(ish) GFX card, and a 400++mhz '040 to play with.

Hmm, back to writing loooong posts again.

Charlie is offline  
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