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Old 16 December 2014, 23:20   #1
BarryB
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Apollo 1260 or Blizzard 1260?

Seeing as I've resurrected the carcass of my A1200 desktop with a 1D4 board after the original board was put in my tower, now looking to beef it up a bit more as after upgrading my M1230XA to 50MHz CPU/FPU it's not stable with 128mb RAM so thought an 060 with SCSI would be a better upgrade.

So, which is the better 060 accelerator, the Apollo or Blizzard? Is there any benefit of one over the other and any pitfalls or things to avoid? Will be using it for WHDLoad and mainly running WB friendly programs.
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Old 16 December 2014, 23:48   #2
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Oh good question, I've had both so I can answer with some first-hand knowledge.

For a start, are you sure you really need an 060? You can run 95% of the games without one, you just need a fast 030 (don't buy an 040 though!).

If you go for a Blizzard 030 you can also use the SCSI kit.

For SCSI you'd have to recommend the Blizzard over the Apollo.

Without using SCSI they are a lot closer, some people say that the Apollo is an unreliable card but from my experience they are 100% stable. Performance between the cards is very similar.

With the Apollo it will max out at 64 MB (a modification is required for desktops), the Blizzard can go up to 256 MB if you use the SCSI kit but you don't actually need more than 64 MB most of the time so it's not a big deal.

A quick word about overclocking, if you are using a SCSI kit you won't be able to go beyond about 64 Mhz (it varies). If you aren't using SCSI then all Apollo's can go up to at least 80 Mhz (with good memory and cooling) whereas only a very few Blizzard's can get to 80 Mhz.



Basically they are both fantastic cards

Last edited by NovaCoder; 16 December 2014 at 23:53.
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Old 17 December 2014, 01:03   #3
BarryB
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Cheers, looks like a Blizzard then Nova me old mate!

Oh, I'm sure i'm sure I want an 060, couldn't be more sure If i'm going to get something, I usually want the best that's available! The Blizzard would be the best mainly for the 128mb ram and SCSI (with the bump to 256mb) as I still want a CD/DVD on my 1200. So SCSI looks to be as good a solution as IDE as getting an IDE-Fix Express is extremely difficult and a FastATA won't fit with the Indi AGA I bought!

So that leaves a tiny little problem then, finding one
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Old 17 December 2014, 01:38   #4
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Keep a close eye on AmiBay and you might get lucky, they come up every once in awhile.
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Old 17 December 2014, 02:08   #5
BarryB
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Saw an Apollo 060 32mb + SCSI on there today which prompted the question, but I can wait, took me years to get a towered A1200 and a BPPC so can wait for a Blizzard, unless it gets much colder then I might be in one!!
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Old 17 December 2014, 08:30   #6
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If you're not going to be running demos then there's really not much point wasting your money on it.
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Old 17 December 2014, 08:48   #7
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Have also had both, Nova is spot on.

The Blizzard is overall a better rounded product. The Apollo is faster when it comes to accessing the Amiga's bus, so the card is ideal for demos, and in some (very few) cases performs better with WHDLoad games that load in chipram. IMO the Apollo is slightly better for WHDLoad. (Though a good '030 card is better than either.) The tradeoff for this particular type of performance is that Apollos are known to have timing issues with certain motherboards (easily rectified really), where the Blizzard generally runs flawless with any board revision.

When it comes to overclocking, all bets are off. I believe the Blizzard will surpass the Apollo in (onboard) memory performance since it's clocked 1:1 with the CPU. The Apollo's memory frequency is halved, but will still retain its edge reading/writing to chipram. (Things might even out in that regard at 80MHz, Nova would know.)

Unless you want SCSI, I don't think you can go wrong either way. I have had a few of both boards (still have one Apollo) and they were all flawless.
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Old 17 December 2014, 12:00   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damion View Post
When it comes to overclocking, all bets are off. I believe the Blizzard will surpass the Apollo in (onboard) memory performance since it's clocked 1:1 with the CPU. The Apollo's memory frequency is halved, but will still retain its edge reading/writing to chipram. (Things might even out in that regard at 80MHz, Nova would know.)
SysSpeed Module - Apollo_1260_80Mhz_AGA.zip

SysSpeed Module - Blizzard_1260_80Mhz_AGA.zip

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Old 17 December 2014, 14:08   #9
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You can go BlizzardPPC+ way, expensive but definitely the king and you get an option of 3D RTG video card too.

The other issue with Apollo if I remember correct it splits ram in to small blocks and you can't use all mem as one chunk, in emulation like mac you might end up with half avail ram only.

The other thing to note is to get an 060 with A suffix, colder running and overclocks better, but these are ever rarer.
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Old 17 December 2014, 15:39   #10
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I believe the Blizzard will surpass the Apollo in (onboard) memory performance since it's clocked 1:1 with the CPU. The Apollo's memory frequency is halved, but will still retain its edge reading/writing to chipram.
Are you sure? Apollo 1240/40 has a 80MHz oszi and it only halve (40MHz) for CPU and/or bus but I`m not sure.
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Old 17 December 2014, 15:49   #11
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I've got a Towered A1200 with BPPC and RTG so just looking to get this desktop A1200 beefed up with an 060 + SCSI. If I was concerned about wasting money I wouldn't be faffing about with ancient Amiga stuff, life's short enough so enjoy the little Amiga hobby

The slow chipram access in WHDLoad is noticeable on Jens ACA1232 product. I bought one of those for use on my A500 + ACA500 but tried it in my A1200 to see how it performed and my Microbotics 030 loads games much faster than the ACA1232, but the Microbotics 030 is not very compatible with WHDLoad so another reason for me looking I'll have to compare loading times in WHDLoad on the BBPC and Microbotics now!
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Old 17 December 2014, 15:52   #12
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Since you already have a kickass Tower just get a B1230MkIV for your A1200D and be happy

Then you can still add the SCSI if you want it too

(Really though Motherboard IDE is fast enough with a 1230, you don't need FastATA/IDEFix Express/SCSI unless you want to use extra storage like CDROM, etc.)
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Old 17 December 2014, 17:55   #13
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Well, it's whatever pops up first on the 2 bays Steve and the price
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Old 17 December 2014, 18:27   #14
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Are you sure? Apollo 1240/40 has a 80MHz oszi and it only halve (40MHz) for CPU and/or bus but I`m not sure.

its true what damion is saying the memory bus is halved,but its on 1260 boards mainly over 50mhz,the option jumper is on the underside of the cpu.
memory bus on these cards cant run in sync with the cpu 1:1 much over 50mhz cpu speed.
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Old 17 December 2014, 18:32   #15
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Ive used Apollo, Blizzard and ACA, the ACA1230/56 was great, did everything I needed except play complex music files. My A4000 had a A4040/4060 card in it which turned out to be incompatible with certain hardware and when I looked into getting an A1260, I read there were issues with the Apollo and certain sound cards. Inspired by the fact the PPC card could have a graphics card, I went for one of those. I noticed a big difference in the computers performance, it didn't slow down as much with 256 colours ( Yep still looking for a GFX card), folders with lots of icons loaded quick and it plays certain animations better, the biggest thing I noticed was I could play 32 track music modules at 16KHz 14BIT on the Paula chip ( Got a Prelude but isn't installed yet). If it wasn't for the fact I wanted to listen to the complex music files, the 030 did everything else, the card cost me an absolute fortune too,
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Old 17 December 2014, 18:33   #16
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The other issue with Apollo if I remember correct it splits ram in to small blocks and you can't use all mem as one chunk, in emulation like mac you might end up with half avail ram only.

i dont think thats true.
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Old 17 December 2014, 21:09   #17
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@daxb

Yes, but like Roy mentioned only when you overclock above 50MHz (that is, 50MHz is CPU/RAM at 50MHz, 80MHz is 80MHz CPU, 40MHz RAM).

There are some bustest numbers in this thread.
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Old 17 December 2014, 22:05   #18
BarryB
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I posted some bustests of all 3 accelerators I have HERE and also found that not using the MMU gains some speed in WHDLoad, looks like revisiting Turrican again!
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Old 18 December 2014, 11:22   #19
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The blizzard 1260 is far better than the apollo 1260, allows more memory etc
The blizzard 1260 can be disconnected on the fly pressing 2 key for max compatibility , you return to the 020, you can play all those games from floppy 060 incompatible
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Old 18 December 2014, 14:25   #20
BarryB
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The blizzard 1260 is far better than the apollo 1260, allows more memory etc
The blizzard 1260 can be disconnected on the fly pressing 2 key for max compatibility , you return to the 020, you can play all those games from floppy 060 incompatible
Well having already had a BBPC in a desktop 1200 i'm partial to the Blizzards, so having read the pros/cons and peoples experiences i'll be looking for a Blizzard 060 with the possibility of adding SCSI and Bvision later if not sold with the card!
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