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Old 21 January 2018, 05:57   #1
Narf the Mouse
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What is "x86 Bridgeboard VGA", and how does it work?

What is "x86 Bridgeboard VGA", and how does it work? Most of the sites I found weren't in English.
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Old 21 January 2018, 08:27   #2
Noth
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It's a display option for the x86 Bridgeboards, so you're not stuck in the horrible world of CGA.
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Old 21 January 2018, 11:11   #3
Toni Wilen
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Yeah, it emulates "generic" Cirrus Logic chipset based ISA VGA display card.
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Old 21 January 2018, 12:06   #4
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In Expansions are x86 bridgeboards. x86 bridgeboard VGA will work only with expansions on x86 bridgeboards list.
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Old 22 January 2018, 02:40   #5
Narf the Mouse
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Thank you. Unfortunately, I'm still a bit confused.

Can you expand on that for someone who only had an A500 back in the day, and marvelled at it more than I understood it?

Because I wasn't even 10 when the A500 came out. I understand it now far better than I ever did then, but...

Now, what I'm gathering is that it's a Zorro card that you can use to bridge to a VGA card, so you can use VGA graphics. That part seems fairly comprehensible.

I guess my remaining questions, then, are in the areas of:

1) What software/files do you need to get it working?
2) What benefits does it provide over the default Amiga graphics. I know VGA had more colours (256) by that time; does it allow for 16-bit colour? 24-bit? Is it faster? Does it use your graphics card, or?
3) What I understand for Amiga graphics re: external graphics cards is that:
3a) Some games use OCS/ECS. These games cannot use external graphics.
3b) Some games use AGA. Some of these games can use external graphics.

For that matter, what benefit does using a virtual external graphics card provide over the emulated, internal graphics? On hardware, an external graphics card would be faster; I don't know if that holds up to emulation.
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Old 22 January 2018, 06:41   #6
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I was ten when they released the A500, took another 5 years for me to get one. And I never had the money to expand it beyond the extra 512k of Slow RAM and the extra floppy drive. I did devour the magazines of the day though, so was aware of some of the things the Amiga could do.

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Originally Posted by Narf the Mouse View Post

1) What software/files do you need to get it working?
Commodore provided the necessary software on floppies for the various iterations of cards, that went from the 8088 to the 80386 (check here : http://www.bigbookofamigahardware.co...ist.aspx?id=12. Worked on the A1000 & A500 for the first box, then A2000/A3000/A4000 for the later cards. Vortex also produced the GoldenGate cards with 80386 & 80486. Even GVP provided a small 80286 card for its sidecar disk+ram+cpu extensions for the A500.

The required software was in the Zone for a while, dunno about now. Be warned that it's a bit convoluted to setup, you're building a separate computer here. Also, you're not limited to MSDOS as the OS for the x86 side of things.

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2) What benefits does it provide over the default Amiga graphics. I know VGA had more colours (256) by that time; does it allow for 16-bit colour? 24-bit? Is it faster? Does it use your graphics card, or?
These cards only work in the PC emulation. They're completely separate from what happens on your Amiga screen, because they require a VGA screen. Back in the day if you had a multimode screen like the M1942 you could switch from one to the other with a box that took both outputs and allowed you to set which one you wanted. Or just have two screens on your desk. The benefit is having 256 colour 320x256 graphics, which for gaming was much nicer than the CGA you got out of the native Amiga chips (with OCS/ECS). No 16bit or 24bit, that'd be SVGA level. It doesn't use the RTG card if configured. You can have the VGA card for the Bridgeboard, and the RTG card for the Amiga.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narf the Mouse View Post
3) What I understand for Amiga graphics re: external graphics cards is that:
3a) Some games use OCS/ECS. These games cannot use external graphics.
Correct.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narf the Mouse View Post
3b) Some games use AGA. Some of these games can use external graphics
Correct. I haven't heard of any games using the RTG cards via Picasso96 or EGS but then I've not paid attention to Amiga gaming since the late 90s. Certainly the productivity software released after 93ish seems to be able to make use of the much better resolutions & colour levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narf the Mouse View Post
For that matter, what benefit does using a virtual external graphics card provide over the emulated, internal graphics? On hardware, an external graphics card would be faster; I don't know if that holds up to emulation.
Don't think in 2018 it makes any difference speedwise. Just allows for better resolutions for the x86 side.

PS: software for running the cards is here: http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/a2386sx

Last edited by Noth; 22 January 2018 at 08:44. Reason: adding link
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Old 22 January 2018, 12:36   #7
Narf the Mouse
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Thank you.
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Old 22 January 2018, 15:17   #8
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I still miss the Ad-Lib/Sound Blaster card emulation for the x86 Bridgeboard.
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