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Old 04 December 2016, 17:49   #1
turrican9
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Mist FPGA or not?

So I'm considering the Mist FPGA as christmas gift for my self. Now, I have Amiga 1200, two 600s and six A500s. I have ACA 1233, ACA 620, ACA 500 + ACA 1221. I also have Indivision AGA MK2 and two Indivision ECS. I have Gotek floppy emulators x5, I have two BenQ BL 702A's and one BL 912.

So here are a few nice things about the Mist FPGA which I can think of

- Mist can do smooth 50Hz while at the same time have scanlines and have a few filter settings. BenQ screens can do 15KHz at 50Hz but no scanlines or other filters when connected to the RGB. Indivision ECS can do 50Hz and have scanlines but have a bug where it will forget it's settings at the next coldboot. Indivision AGA MK2 is missing Vsync and even if I make a 50Hz profile I cannot get it perfectly smooth.

- Mist can emulate 4 floppy drives

- Mist have a turbo loader function

- Mist can replicate other computers like C64, Spectrum, Amstrad and so on

- Mist have real Atari ports so no input lag?

- Mist is small and don't take up much space

- Mist is new hardware

- Mist draws almost no power

- Cores are being updated as time goes


As for disadvantages I can think of is that the Mist cannot do flickerfree High-Res laced (Amiga with scandoubler can do it. Why not implement this into the Mist FPGA?). And it will only support ADF floppy images. Not a huge issue since it can do whdload aswell. And maybe we will get support for other floppy image formats in later cores

As far as I know the Mist ECS and AGA cores have very good compatability in it's current state. Or am I missing something?

I would like more input from other people in this matter, because I'm considering ordering one later tonight.

Should I buy it or not? Are there things I should know about?

Last edited by turrican9; 04 December 2016 at 18:07.
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Old 04 December 2016, 19:39   #2
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Hello ,

i would be tempted to say buy it , as i had a minimig and the mist will do the same adding aga compatibility...

Now , to be honest you'll do less things with it than with winuae , ie : i sold my minimig and made an old pc booting directly to workbench (with winuae) and it can do everything , internet , play cdrom , whdload etc etc...and that for 0 euros!

The thing that is great with mist is that you can emulate a lot of machines so that is a +.

I hope that will help you to make your choice...
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Old 04 December 2016, 20:26   #3
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Hello ,

i would be tempted to say buy it , as i had a minimig and the mist will do the same adding aga compatibility...

Now , to be honest you'll do less things with it than with winuae , ie : i sold my minimig and made an old pc booting directly to workbench (with winuae) and it can do everything , internet , play cdrom , whdload etc etc...and that for 0 euros!

The thing that is great with mist is that you can emulate a lot of machines so that is a +.

I hope that will help you to make your choice...
Thanks for the answer. But WinUAE is a pure emulator. It will cause input lag on both the mouse and Joystick. I'm used to playing on my real Amigas and can really feel the input lag with WinUAE. Also, I don't think you can manage true 50Hz smooth scrolling with WinUAE?
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Old 04 December 2016, 20:36   #4
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Of course you can get smooth 50Hz scrolling in WinUAE. Via HDMI a lot of FullHD/HDready monitors supports 50.00 Hz (my Acer too).
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Old 04 December 2016, 20:42   #5
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Of course you can get smooth 50Hz scrolling in WinUAE. Via HDMI a lot of FullHD/HDready monitors supports 50.00 Hz (my Acer too).
I'm only interested in using my BenQ BL 702A's (only VGA), BenQ BL 912 (both VGA and DVI). These will support 50Hz. And even 15KHz. Also have a Phillips 17 inch LED which has both VGA and DVI and will support 50Hz at 31KHz. So I can connect these to a PC with VGA or DVI and sync WinUAE to 50Hz?

Also, what about input lag in WinUAE VS real Amiga? Any solution for that?
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Old 04 December 2016, 20:55   #6
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- Mist have real Atari ports so no input lag?
It does have real Atari game ports, but if memory serves they're hooked up to the microcontroller rather than directly to the FPGA, so it's still not *quite* as instantaneous as on real hardware, but should certainly be better than emulation in this regard.

Quote:
As for disadvantages I can think of is that the Mist cannot do flickerfree High-Res laced (Amiga with scandoubler can do it. Why not implement this into the Mist FPGA?).
Because deinterlacing requires enough RAM to hold an entire frame of video, whereas the current scandoubler implementation only requires enough RAM for a couple of lines.

Having said that, if memory serves correctly the AGA core can now display Multiscan Productivity mode.

Quote:
As far as I know the Mist ECS and AGA cores have very good compatability in it's current state. Or am I missing something?
ECS compatibility is very good. AGA compatibility isn't bad, but you will certainly encounter games that won't run or won't look right.

I think the MIST's a really nice piece of kit - there's plenty of room for improvement but the list of available cores is impressive.
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Old 04 December 2016, 21:07   #7
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Can't tell anything about DVI/VGA and emulation. Mostly these connections causes trouble with real 50Hz. But if your monitors really supports that (true, not internally converted from 60 -> 50Hz) it's worth a try. With HDMI there are no problems since 50/60 Hz it's in the HDMI standard.

Last edited by Retro-Nerd; 04 December 2016 at 21:26.
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Old 04 December 2016, 21:11   #8
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thanks for the answer robinsonb5.

I just tried Pinball dreams on WinUAE now and can really feel the input lag when using the keyboard. What worries me is that the Mist FPGA have to use a USB keyboard. This will probably cause the same input lag that WinUAE gives for the keyboard?

Other than that I tried Cannon Fodder and found the input lag on the mouse horrible compared to real hardware. I also have a Competition Pro USB which is also horrible wih input lag on WinUAE compared to real hardware. Over 10 years ago I ran WinUAE and didn't notice this because I had not started to use real Amigas again.

WinUAE is a no go for me after I started using real hardware. If the Mist FPGA is not almost perfect with regards to input response when compared to real hardware then I will pass on it.
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Old 04 December 2016, 21:14   #9
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I just tried Pinball dreams on WinUAE now and can really feel the input lag when using the keyboard
But it's muuuch better than years ago. With Low Latency vsync, no buffering (Video) and WASPI audio buffersize = min it's really good.
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Old 04 December 2016, 21:18   #10
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But it's muuuch better than years ago. With Low Latency vsync, no buffering (Video) and WASPI audio buffersize = min it's really good.
May be so, but compared to real hardware it feels horrible.
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Old 04 December 2016, 23:38   #11
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I just tried Pinball dreams on WinUAE now and can really feel the input lag when using the keyboard. What worries me is that the Mist FPGA have to use a USB keyboard. This will probably cause the same input lag that WinUAE gives for the keyboard?
I haven't noticed any input lag on the keyboard. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison with real hardware but I have used Minimig variants that use a PS/2 keyboard and not noticed any difference. Remember, the Amiga's own keyboard isn't lag-free either - there's a microcontroller scanning the matrix and sending the results to the CIA chip via quite a slow serial link, so there shouldn't be a difference like the one between Atari-style joysticks and USB gamepads.
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Old 05 December 2016, 09:29   #12
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Default config is rarely going to work if you want low latency, both sound and input. Default: "mostly works even if PC is not that fast".

IMHO to get best latency (~1 frame in best case):

- "Gaming grade" input devices (~1-2ms latency, even if wireless), for example Logitech G series. USB can do 1ms if hardware is good and designed to have low latency, not just cheap.
- Even better is G-Sync or FreeSync monitor and compatible GPU: VSync without usual vsync problems. Also enables instant 100% glitch free refresh rate changes with very big range, usually from 25Hz to 100Hz+.
- WinUAE: low sound buffer in WASAPI mode, double or single display buffer. DO NOT use triple buffering! D3D fullscreen. Use v3.4+ for big improvement in sound and input latency.

Pinball Dreams is also my latency test game. Too much latency = totally unplayable.
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Old 06 December 2016, 17:44   #13
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I have also a MIST since a few month and have to say it is really a fantastic product ! There is also also another advantage, not mentioned so far: the picture quality via VGA is even much better than on a real Amiga or C64 using a scart cable on a TV.
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Old 06 December 2016, 18:14   #14
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I have also a MIST since a few month and have to say it is really a fantastic product ! There is also also another advantage, not mentioned so far: the picture quality via VGA is even much better than on a real Amiga or C64 using a scart cable on a TV.
I agree, the Mist is really cool. The beauty is in the sheer number of different cores available and there's a really nice authentic feeling to them. I don't know if it's latency or the video output or maybe just the immediacy of putting in an SD card, turning it on and hey presto! you've got a BBC B.

A note about the VGA output: I can only use it on my TV in NTSC mode, otherwise the colours are messed up. Other cores have similar requirements, so it's good to have a monitor or TV that's flexible about what it accepts. I wish my TV wasn't so fussy or I'd keep the Mist in my living room.
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Old 07 December 2016, 01:26   #15
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I have also a MIST since a few month and have to say it is really a fantastic product ! There is also also another advantage, not mentioned so far: the picture quality via VGA is even much better than on a real Amiga or C64 using a scart cable on a TV.
Thanks for the input. I was actually thinking it would be a nice solution for C64 gaming as my real C64 does not output a very good picture with my current setup. My Amigas on the other hand are using RGB to VGA on BenQ BL 702A and BL 912 LED screens. And I even have Indivision ECS and AGA MK2 scandoublers. The AGA MK2 gives extremely nice picture quality via DVI.

I will not buy a Mist until I hear from someone here with regards to input lag who have compared it to their real Amigas.
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Old 07 December 2016, 13:13   #16
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Sorry to hijack, what happened with the FPGA arcade, that was looking very promising a while back. Did anyone get one of those ?
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Old 07 December 2016, 13:24   #17
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Mike is working on getting more board produced as we speak so hopefully more board will be shipped to end user quite soon.

Personally I'm using my replay as my main Amiga nowdays... The compatibility is pretty high, performance wise it's a bit faster than my 1230 and the daughter board is coming soon with the possibility to use a real 060 (+ a few additions like sd card, usb, ethernet). The RTG is working great (still a few issue with high resolution but still...), overall pretty happy with it.

Hooked to my benq through DVI it gives me the best pictures i've seen so far.

On the downside, it lacks core but hopefully that should change soon. (I haven't tested the C64 but that's one of the active core along with the Amiga one)

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Old 07 December 2016, 16:23   #18
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I have implemented a wireless system to make my classic joysticks (Comp Pro etc) work on Windows (or anything that handles USB HID) and any classic system with a 9 pin port.

I have done a lot of analysis and at most there is a 2ms lag. which is great for an Arduino project that cost less than £12. The figure of 2ms is absolutely meaningless mind when you consider that at 50fps you have 20ms per frame.
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Old 07 December 2016, 16:46   #19
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I have both MIST (with VGA to HDMI converter; neither my LCD nor my AV receiver were able to use the MIST VGA video signal), and A1200 (Indivision AGA MK2 CR, 68030 40 MHz, 68882 50 MHz, 128 MB fast RAM).

Since getting the A1200 I don't use MIST anymore. Audio & Video signal quality is superior from my A1200 and I don't suffer compatibility problems (for example, I was unable to use PFS3 on MIST).

Besides, the AGA core thread on MIST forum (http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php...7110&start=525) seems dead, last Amiga core update was in February (http://somuch.guru/minimig/minimig-mist/), and not even the GitHub repository got any commits since then
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Old 07 December 2016, 20:13   #20
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I have both MIST (with VGA to HDMI converter; neither my LCD nor my AV receiver were able to use the MIST VGA video signal), and A1200 (Indivision AGA MK2 CR, 68030 40 MHz, 68882 50 MHz, 128 MB fast RAM).

Since getting the A1200 I don't use MIST anymore. Audio & Video signal quality is superior from my A1200 and I don't suffer compatibility problems (for example, I was unable to use PFS3 on MIST).

Besides, the AGA core thread on MIST forum (http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php...7110&start=525) seems dead, last Amiga core update was in February (http://somuch.guru/minimig/minimig-mist/), and not even the GitHub repository got any commits since then
Thanks for the info. This seems very typical for the Amiga community. A project is started and alot of promises are made for future updates and then it just dies out. I have noticed that the Mist AGA core has not been updated in quite a while and had this feeling this would probably not go any further.

I also have A1200 with ACA 1233 and Indivision AGA MK2 connected to a nice 5:4 Philips 17 inch LED screen connected via DVI. Have made a nice profile for 720x576 with 50.137Hz which is almost perfectly smooth except for a small tear very rarely which is not noticable for regular gaming. Cannot beat the picture quality of this setup really. The colours just comes at you. And with scanlines at 50% the games look really good.

Have to say that my BenQ BL702A/BL 912 monitors connected to my A500s via RGB also looks really nice.

Only real benefit I would get from the mist are to run other computers like Atari ST, C64, Spectrum, Amstrad etc.. etc from it. But I guess those cores will not be developed much more either. I heard that the C64 core is not very impressive and leave alot to be desired.
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