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Old 03 May 2018, 17:01   #1
Glen M
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Vampire V2+ or wait for V4

I've decided I need a new piece of hardware and despite my previous winging about it, it is really hard to look past the Vampire. The main question is do I jump on the waiting list now or do I wait for more info on the V4 and for that matter the vampire 1200?

The time has come for me that I want to use the Amiga in a more modern light. I'm sick of squinting at a blurry workbench image and while I could just use UAE or just use windows for that matter I really feel the need to scratch this itch with a Vampire bite!

Considering the V4 was ear marked for a release Q4 2017 I don't see much in the way of an update on this. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been following the threads to closely but is there any more info out there on a timeline. It just seems odd to me that any interviews or news articles I can find all point to Q4 2017 but we are now Q2 2018 with little update unless I've missed something which to be honest I hope I have so please feel free to point out the obvious.

For reference my current desktop Amiga setup is my A1200 with ACA1233N 40mhz, 80gb HDD connected to a flat screen 17" 4:3 LCD with an RGB to scart cable. I have my CD32 with its TF328 and CF card connected to the living room TV for gaming and my A500 lives in its box.

In addition to the above could I get some quick clarification as to if games now displayed over the HDMI port and if there is any news on AGA. The fair share of games I play are AGA and I would miss this.
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Old 03 May 2018, 19:22   #2
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Well, if you are a patient person, you have an A1200. There is currently no Vampire for the A1200. I believe they are planning to work on one *AFTER* V4 is released. If you want to get a V4, it would need to be the standalone version when it's available. Or get the V4 for the A500 when it's available.

If you must have something now, you can go with the V500V2+ for your A500. The current core (Gold 2.9) has mostly hardware FPU and RTG over HDMI but anything that relies on native screen modes will still come out of the RGB port. There is no AGA implementation although there is talk about it and internal testing currently happening.
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Old 03 May 2018, 20:01   #3
Glen M
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Is there any revised programme for bringing the v4 and subsequent 1200 model to market. If we are talking 6 months to a year I'll wait. If it's more likely to be over a year I'd be more tempted to jump on now.
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Old 03 May 2018, 20:14   #4
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I don't know. The "buzz" going around IRC would indicate V4 this year for certain with no indication as to when. V4 A500 first, then V4 stand-alone I believe someone mentioned at least. #Apollo-Team on freenode IRC is a great place to hang out if you're sitting at a computer for any length of time. It's OK to ask whatever ya want but I wouldn't go betting on any time frames since those are unknown at the moment. BigGun might be able to give some indication of Q3 or Q4 for the V4.
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Old 03 May 2018, 20:17   #5
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Is there any revised programme for bringing the v4 and subsequent 1200 model to market.
From what I can gather, the Vampire operation is kinda like a mom & pop shop or less. Don't expect it to be like this was some mass-produced commercial thing (which this sentence makes me feel like). It's an indie development where anyone interested in it should be lucky if it ever comes out.

Personally I am only mildly interested in a standalone V4 and have all the time in the world to wait and see what happens. I don't know how far into dev they are but units have been shown around so I would guess sometime this or maybe next year they should be ready if nothing goes awry. What does feel odd is that development of the V2 core is far from complete, so why/how embark on making a new version of it all? I always doubt projects being spun off from other incomplete projects.

At the very least a standalone cannot be possible until they emulate the full AGA chipset, I would guess.
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Old 03 May 2018, 20:38   #6
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What does feel odd is that development of the V2 core is far from complete, so why/how embark on making a new version of it all? I always doubt projects being spun off from other incomplete projects.

At the very least a standalone cannot be possible until they emulate the full AGA chipset, I would guess.
You make it out that the release of v4 would halt development of cores for v2.
Which part is incomplete to you? The CPU part? The FPU part? The SAGA part?

Even if there's no room to add new stuff to v2 because of FPGA size, the CPU part could still be updated to fix issues.
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Old 03 May 2018, 20:46   #7
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You make it out that the release of v4 would halt development of cores for v2.
No, that's not at all what I said.
I said it feels weird to release a new iteration of a thing that is incomplete. It's not like V4 is a from the ground up new development, it is based on whatever is being worked on with V2, right?

In my view I'd wait until the V2 is complete before making a new version. But I am not making Vampire.

Quote:
Which part is incomplete to you? The CPU part? The FPU part? The SAGA part?
All those? That's not the problem, as I said above.
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Old 03 May 2018, 21:15   #8
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My comment relating to programme wasn't so much an assumption that this is a mass production item but rather a genuine ask of is there a timeline for this? I totally appreciate it's a small group of tallentated enthusiasts but regardless, if it were me, there should be a plan. Any project needs a plan of attack or it will tend to go off in a tangent.

Anyway. I've put my name down on the list for a v2. It's not that it's a commitment to buy but at least it gets my name in the pile for when my turn comes around. In the mean time if any more news is forthcoming I'll use that to guide a decision.
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Old 03 May 2018, 21:26   #9
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No, that's not at all what I said.
I said it feels weird to release a new iteration of a thing that is incomplete. It's not like V4 is a from the ground up new development, it is based on whatever is being worked on with V2, right?

In my view I'd wait until the V2 is complete before making a new version. But I am not making Vampire.


All those? That's not the problem, as I said above.
The work is in parallell. The work on the core benefits both. It's not like any effort is taken away from either project. The main benefit is that v4 has bigger FPGA and more memory. I understand what you're getting at though, the v4 announcement was a bit premature.

But at some point they can't add more to the v2, the only thing added then are bug fixes. So the AGA and Paula stuff should be put on halt until all 68080 CPU/FPU bugs are sorted? Perhaps it should, but I believe that wouldn't benefit the project as a whole.
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Old 04 May 2018, 10:19   #10
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I don't expect the V4 will ever be available until it actually is. Like with most other retro-projects, there is no major investor behind it so the team could be hit with all sorts of problems that they might find it hard to recover from, i.e. being unable to source the FPGA at a reasonable price, or disagreements within the team causing them to split up etc etc. I am not saying I expect this will happen since they have proven a good track record so far, but these things do happen so don't take it for granted that the V4 will be available any time soon. The same thing can be said for expectations of new features in future V2+ cores. Only buy it for what it can do now and not for what you expect it could do in the future.

So if you want something to play with soon, get the V500 version which is available now and then you can always sell it and buy a V4 when it is ready if you like. I'm sure the value of the V2+ boards will not drop significantly since the V4 is in a higher price range and will not cater to all the V2+ buyers who might already be stretching their budgets for that.
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Old 04 May 2018, 11:06   #11
Glen M
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Well as I say my names in the list now so time to play the waiting game, can't find hungry hungry hippos (Simpsons reference haha)

I also need to do some reading about how setup and make best use of RTG mode and likewise suitable application. I think I seen a youtube video that mentioned a pre-configured workbench like classicWB but setup for vampire?

Most of my Amiga life has been spent with a stock A1200 and stock CD32 that I got for Christmas 93 and 95 I believe. Its only in the past few years that I've started expanding them and it is addictive.
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Old 04 May 2018, 11:11   #12
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I also need to do some reading about how setup and make best use of RTG mode and likewise suitable application. I think I seen a youtube video that mentioned a pre-configured workbench like classicWB but setup for vampire?
I know about ApolloOS / coffin. It is the easiest way to get started with the Vampire. Just download the image and write it to a 32GB CF card and you're good to go with RTG, games and all the bells and whistles.
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Old 04 May 2018, 14:31   #13
Glen M
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Question and most likely a really daft one but nevertheless.....

Is there any minimum specification of A500 required for the vampire? By that I mean my A500 is stock with a 512k trap door expansion? I was going to do the 1mb chip ram mod (I have the 8372A). Is this worth doing?
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Old 04 May 2018, 14:36   #14
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The Vampire doesn't as such need any specific amount of chip mem, however you will probably get into some problems running stuff if you only have 512k chip. I'd say 1MB is minimum for a resonable system, particularly if you want to be able to run stuff like WHDLoad.
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Old 04 May 2018, 15:27   #15
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I said it feels weird to release a new iteration of a thing that is incomplete. It's not like V4 is a from the ground up new development, it is based on whatever is being worked on with V2, right?

In my view I'd wait until the V2 is complete before making a new version. But I am not making Vampire.
This is what puzzles me about the Vampire too. Will it ever be complete? What is complete? I guess it's all written down on some website or forum posting, but I haven't been following closely enough to know.
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Old 04 May 2018, 15:43   #16
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This is what puzzles me about the Vampire too. Will it ever be complete? What is complete? I guess it's all written down on some website or forum posting, but I haven't been following closely enough to know.
It is a moving target so it will never be complete. They have always said that you should only buy it for what it can do now so it can be seen as complete as it is. It might get more features in the future, but that is a bonus.
It is not like they initially outlined a path and a feature list for the complete product as they saw it and then followed that 100%. They had a pretty good idea of what they wanted it to become in the end, but they learned stuff along the way so they changed the feature list. For example, I don't think that Atari support was considered when they started the project but they found that there was a demand for it and it was maybe simple enough to add so they decided to go in that direction.
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Old 05 May 2018, 00:12   #17
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particularly if you want to be able to run stuff like WHDLoad.
There are cheaper and better ways to run WHDLoad than spending 370 euros on a Vampire V2

The "buy it for what it can do now" would only work if they kept maintaining and bug fixing old cores, something they are not.
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Old 05 May 2018, 01:16   #18
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There are cheaper and better ways to run WHDLoad than spending 370 euros on a Vampire V2

The "buy it for what it can do now" would only work if they kept maintaining and bug fixing old cores, something they are not.
The new cores are sort of bug fixes, even though they may introduce new bugs.
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Old 05 May 2018, 02:44   #19
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There are cheaper and better ways to run WHDLoad than spending 370 euros on a Vampire V2

The "buy it for what it can do now" would only work if they kept maintaining and bug fixing old cores, something they are not.
Yes, one should not get a Vampire just to run WHDLoad, but most people would still like to be able to run WHDLoad stuff with it. I wouldn't want to replace the Vampire with another accelerator every time I wanted to play a game.. If I had a Ferrari, I would like it to be able to go through city traffic and take me to work although that is not what its main purpose is.

And for your last comment - that makes no sense. How does 'buy it for what it can do now' require releases of new cores even if they were only to fix bugs and not introduce new features? With 'what it can do now' I mean warts and all. Don't expect any new features and don't expect any bugs to be fixed.
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Old 05 May 2018, 09:15   #20
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Then how is one supposed to know "what it can do now"?

When I bought mines, they were with core 2.0, which has its set of bugs and issues, none of these were listed anywhere.
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