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Old 05 February 2020, 09:02   #1
spudje
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My eternal quest for a stable A4000 PPC Mediator Voodoo setup

After letting it rest for a year or 2 I wanted to try again.

My Setup:
- A4000 desktop, recapped
- 3.1.4 ROMs
- ATX Chucky (R) adapted PSU
- 2MB Chip, 16 MB Fast RAM
- Cyberstorm PPC with 128 MB
- Mediator PCI 4000 Di MkIII
- Voodoo 3 3000
- Realtek 10Mbit ethernet card
Master: closed
Winsize: open
Swapconfig: closed
- Soundblaster 128
- BigRamPlus 256
- Highway USB
- AOS 3.1.4.1 + BestWB 1.3
- Mediator MM CD 2.6
- Latest WarpUp & Warp3D
- Latest iComp Picasso96
- AHI (I think 4.1.8 ) that came with BestWB 1.3
- Currently no MMUlib installed and also the Highway USB has not been configured yet (No Poseidon running)

PCI card order:
0: Mediator Logic board
1: Nothing
2: Soundblaster
3: Ethernet
4. Voodoo

PPC/3D Games/Tools I have issues with:
- GearsPPC mostly runs fine, but I have seen it crash from time to time, mostly when A4000 has been running for a while
- Wipeout: crashes after a couple of seconds to a few minutes (everytime)
- Quake 1 and/or 2, haven't tried this on my 3.1.4 setup, but I had already similar issues when trying with AOS 3.9 a year or two ago

- Additional issue: Wipeout has crackling audio with AHI, no matter what (working) AHI device I pick (SB128: stereo, hifi, ++, SB128_1:,...), but the type of crackling can vary with the type of AHI device. AmigaAMP with WarpUP engine works fine with AHI using soundblaster, no sound issues whatsoever. But my AHI knowledge is limited. I don't know which device should be best for Wipeout, and what I should configure it in terms of samplerate, channels, etc.

I also tried many other combinations in the past, e.g. a Sonnet PCI card, a different A4000 mainboard. Only the voodoo inserted All had the same issues.

So I think it's either:
- Heat: but that seems odd, since the case is still open and there's a fan sucking the air over the PCI cards.
- PPC, but this seems weird too, as I had very similar issues with the Sonnet.
- Voodoo: I doubt this, I tried with 3 different Voodoo cards, all have same issues.
- Power: I doubt it, since I have confidence in Chucky However I can still try with the original power supply (If I haven't tried that already in the past, can't remember)
- Mediator. The MkIII is infamous for having issues. I have mine returned once already, since it simply disappeared from auto config after a reboot.

Any help would be appreciated, also with the AHI stuff.

So what I still would like to try is use a Mediator PCI 4000Di MkII 5V, to compare with. If anyone has 1 on offer (or for lend).

Another thing, how realistic would a setup be with a stock daughter board, ZZ9000 and Wazp3D and run Wipeout in AOS 3.1.4?

Last edited by spudje; 05 February 2020 at 09:56.
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Old 05 February 2020, 09:43   #2
trixster
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You say the logic board has gone back to elbox for a fix, but are you certain that’s now 100% stable? Are you able to send it to someone to give an independent check? I’d be happy to test it for you.

The reason I ask is because Wrangler and I recently discovered that his logic board is faulty and is the cause of random instabilities he’s been seeing.

Other than that, my only advice is to strip the machine right down and go to basics with a bog-standard os3.9 bb1/2 or 3.1 setup- check that the 68k is 100% stable first, then the csppc, then add in the mediator, then the sonnet

In my experience power and heat both could be factors, but are more likely to be red herrings until you’re 100% sure the mediator itself is stable

Last edited by trixster; 05 February 2020 at 09:49.
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Old 05 February 2020, 09:51   #3
trixster
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Also, what sort of crashes are you experiencing? Total machine lockups / black screens, or 68k gurus with error codes?
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Old 05 February 2020, 09:53   #4
spudje
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Yes that's what I indeed doubt, the Mediator's functioning. The "not showing up after reboot" has been fixed when I got the mediator back, but maybe indeed it's still troublesome. So either I want to compare with a Mkii mediator someone wants to sell/lend me? Or I could take up your offer and send my mediator your way.

I did the gradual troubleshooting already, some time ago. I now redid it with 3.1.4 ROMs and OS. Although the rest felt all more stable etc. as soon as I tried Wipeout again, same issues returned.

I sold my Sonnet some time ago (So I have no need for a 3V mediator), so just wanting to stay with CSPPC for now.

Added my mediator jumper settings:
Master: closed
Winsize: open
Swapconfig: closed

Type of crashes:
Most of the time it's a straight freeze, screen halts. Sometimes it reboots after it.
Sometimes it crashes to desktop, with some wait for disk activity to finish error.

Last edited by spudje; 05 February 2020 at 09:58.
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Old 05 February 2020, 15:25   #5
DarrenHD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spudje View Post
Yes that's what I indeed doubt, the Mediator's functioning. The "not showing up after reboot" has been fixed when I got the mediator back, but maybe indeed it's still troublesome. So either I want to compare with a Mkii mediator someone wants to sell/lend me? Or I could take up your offer and send my mediator your way.

I did the gradual troubleshooting already, some time ago. I now redid it with 3.1.4 ROMs and OS. Although the rest felt all more stable etc. as soon as I tried Wipeout again, same issues returned.

I sold my Sonnet some time ago (So I have no need for a 3V mediator), so just wanting to stay with CSPPC for now.

Added my mediator jumper settings:
Master: closed
Winsize: open
Swapconfig: closed

Type of crashes:
Most of the time it's a straight freeze, screen halts. Sometimes it reboots after it.
Sometimes it crashes to desktop, with some wait for disk activity to finish error.
I have a MK-II mediator I could send you, but I probably should test it first. (I currently have a similar setup to you), latest V3 Mediator, Voodoo card, but I have Cyberstorm MK2 and a Sonnet. My card order is different than yours:

0: Logic Board
1: empty (planning to install my spider USB there
2) Voodoo 4
3) Sonnet
4) Realtek network card 10Mbit

BTW, even on my system it's not 100% stable. Sometimes the mediator doesn't detect the pcidma memory or VGA card. *Most* of the time it works, but i get the occasional odd lockup. However, it does seem to be a bit more stable with AmigaOS 3.1.4.

Last edited by DarrenHD; 05 February 2020 at 15:35.
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Old 05 February 2020, 16:26   #6
spudje
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Thanks DarrenHD, I keep your offer in the back of my mind. I'll do some more troubleshooting first.

I remember from my AOS3.9 setup, that Warp3D and 68k stuff worked fine (Quake, Gears). It is only the combination of PPC & Warp3D that is troublesome. But it was as troublesome with the CSPPC as it was with the Sonnet (I don't have anymore).

BTW is there any PPC non Warp3D program that I can run continuously to verify it's the 3D part that locks up and not the PPC part?

Last edited by spudje; 05 February 2020 at 17:06.
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Old 05 February 2020, 18:25   #7
DarrenHD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spudje View Post
Thanks DarrenHD, I keep your offer in the back of my mind. I'll do some more troubleshooting first.

I remember from my AOS3.9 setup, that Warp3D and 68k stuff worked fine (Quake, Gears). It is only the combination of PPC & Warp3D that is troublesome. But it was as troublesome with the CSPPC as it was with the Sonnet (I don't have anymore).

BTW is there any PPC non Warp3D program that I can run continuously to verify it's the 3D part that locks up and not the PPC part?
You could try this:

http://http.distributed.net/pub/dcti...os-ppc-wos.lha

Although I haven't tried it myself to see if it even works on the Sonnet.
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Old 05 February 2020, 23:26   #8
grelbfarlk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarrenHD View Post
You could try this:

http://http.distributed.net/pub/dcti...os-ppc-wos.lha

Although I haven't tried it myself to see if it even works on the Sonnet.
It does indeed work on the Sonnet, you can find benchmarks for it in the Sonnet thread, also benchmarks for the Altivec enabled version Hedeon built on Rapture.
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Old 06 February 2020, 08:30   #9
spudje
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Just to be clear here, I don't have the Sonnet anymore. I thought originally that caused the issues, so I sold it. Apparently it didn't.

Next thing I'm gonna try, test the CSPPC RAM. Mot sure whether that can cause the freezes, but it should be a component that is shared in both my past (CSPPC, only using the 060 and RAM + Sonnet for the PPC) and current test setup (CSPPC for 060, PPC & RAM). Am I correct it requires at least 2 RAM sticks? Which sockets?
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Old 06 February 2020, 12:56   #10
trixster
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Do the freezes/crashes occur if you take out the mediator?
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Old 06 February 2020, 13:50   #11
spudje
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No, they only happen in Warp 3D software using PPC. Now and in my previous attempt with the CSPPC and in my previous attempt also with the Sonnet PPC.

At least my previous attempt showed that gears 68k and Quake 68k worked fine with Warp3D. I haven't checked that now, but the behaviour is so similar I assume it will still be.

Last edited by spudje; 06 February 2020 at 13:55.
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Old 08 February 2020, 00:54   #12
spudje
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So, did more extensive testing.

Ruled out CSPPC RAM, tried the 4 RAM sticks pair wise in bank 0 only, same freezing behaviour.
Tried my 2 other Voodoo 3 cards. While the time it took to crash varied, they all freezed.
I ran GPMark_WOS around 10 times, in an RTG 640x480 full screen screenmode. This freezed once and crashed once to desktop with a guru (which is a 68k error, correct?). Most of the time this ran fine. Had it run for 5 or 6 time consecutively without crashing.

Then I thought, why not let me use the original PSU (which still smells a bit of smoke from the previous owner, therefor I replaced it with an ATX modded PSU), and then I was shocked...

All 3D stuff all of a sudden seemed to work much better. I played Wipeout, all 6 circuits, then let Gears PPC run for at least 15 minutes. Repeated these things and only encountered one freeze+reboot.

I went back to Chucky's PSU, while, for some strange reason, running fine for quite some time, more than it did before the PSU swaps, Wipeout still freezed in the end, when in my 4th race.

Then back to original PSU, and after 15 mins Wipeout, no freezes.

So, sorry Chucky, it seems your modded ATX PSU is the culprit...
I assume 3D and PPC together just draw too much power for it?

Guess I should go look for a refurbished (recapped and silent fan fitted) original A4000 PSU instead of an ATX modded one... Anyone has one on offer?

Something else I noticed is that the 15 MB from the Voodoo exposed as FastRAM is gone after running 3D stuff and coming back to Workbench. Is that normal?
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Old 08 February 2020, 01:18   #13
grelbfarlk
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I would suggest just finding one of the good ATX power supplies that are known to work in a loaded Mediator+Sonnet (I know you don't have it anymore) system. I'm sure Chucky tested the ATX power supply and measured voltages and all that with the CPU pegged but unless you sent the whole system to him built-as-is-now how could he know whether it's stable in your exact configuration?
I wouldn't necessarily look for an original A4000 power supply either, even after capacitors are replaced, really loaded up A4000s are more stable with a good modern ATX power supply in my experience, not that I have much experience on the topic. And yes a CSPPC+Voodoo is a pretty loaded system.
But it's good that you've narrowed it down to power, that is relatively easy to diagnose and fix.
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Old 08 February 2020, 10:29   #14
spudje
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Can you give me specs or brand/type of such an ATX PSU? And I'm not blaming Chucky whatsover. He did a nice and clean job. I was even so confident in his work I didn't think to try a different PSU Iirc I didn't have the plan yet to turn it into a PPC - Mediator system back then.
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Old 08 February 2020, 17:39   #15
spudje
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Another day, another drama. The setup that seemed almost totally stable, is freezing up on me now as well. It takes a bit longer bit it does freeze Why did I like playing with Amigas again?
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