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Old 13 February 2019, 12:49   #1
rincewinda
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Benefits of an Accelerator for Gaming?

Could someone give me an insight into what benefits I might get from having an accelator such as "Blizzard 1230 Mk IV" in a stock Amiga 1200 that I was planning to just use for playing games?

Would I be better off saving money and getting a ram expansion instead?

When I was a kid my Amiga 1200 was just stock no accelator, no ram expansion, no extra disk drives, and no hard drive and used a TV.
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Old 13 February 2019, 13:14   #2
Torti-the-Smurf
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A Turbocard like the Blizzard 1230 will give you far more than just "a faster and sweeter amiga".

1) Such cards come always with extra Ram; that is a HUGE plus for things like WHDLoad (and other thins)

2) Some games benefit from a faster CPU, especially "doom clones" on the A1200, even some older OCS/ECS software.

3) if you like Party Demos, a Faster CPU and extra Ram is almost a must for alot of AGA Demos.

4) you dont need a stronger Cpu BUT you will need the extra RAM. So, if you can get the Blizzard 1230 for cheap, go for it, its my favorite turbocard for the amiga (and i had 40 and 60er cards), BUT i if its to expensive for you (and i wouldnt blame you ) , just go for some extra ram.

I hope that helps a little bit to decide. Smurf greetings
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Old 13 February 2019, 13:15   #3
Gordon
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Always a matter of opinion. As just a gamer like yourself, I have always been happy with just ram alongside a standard 020 as I find all games run as they should do. I think it also depends on what type of games you are into? If you like 3D games like frontier or processor hungry footbball games you will benefit from an accelarator. But for some of the older games, you may find they run too fast.
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Old 13 February 2019, 13:23   #4
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There are some games that benefit from the additional horsepower an accelerator offers over a RAM-only expansion, but most arcade-style games are designed to run at full speed on a stock machine so you won't really see the benefit. Either extra RAM or an accelerator will let you run the games from a hard drive (or CF card or similar), without having the slow loading times you will have had when loading from floppy.

It all depends on the type of games you play. If it's an arcade-type game that runs smoothly on a stock machine, there's very little difference. But if it's a 3D-type game or there's a lot of stuff going on, it will benefit from as much speed as you can give it.

3D examples include: Frontier, Birds of Prey, F/A18 (and pretty much any other flight sim), F1GP (with patches for framerate), Wing Commander and so on.

Busy games that will also benefit when a lot is happening (or has moments where a lot can happen) include: Theme Park, Syndicate, Dune II, UFO: Enemy Unknown, Sim City 2000, Settlers and similar.

Even a RAM expansion will give you a modest speed increase, but for CPU-intensive games, an accelerator is a good thing.
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Old 13 February 2019, 14:34   #5
BrooksterMax
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I don't know if there is much of a real cost saving to be made by getting a RAM only expansion versus an accelerator with RAM. I think some 030 accelerators (like my ACA) were not much more than a just a RAM expansion - at least when I got mine but not checked the market recently - something to check on.

I do know that it is not recommended on A1200 to use PCMCIA sram expansion cards as these actually slow the machine down. So watch out for that. Although I think finding those are quite hard and expensive too.
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Old 13 February 2019, 14:46   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
Either extra RAM or an accelerator will let you run the games from a hard drive (or CF card or similar), without having the slow loading times you will have had when loading from floppy.
The biggest benefit of extra RAM in my Amiga was the bigger RAM Disk:

There were time almost all the games were running mostly from the RAM disk and the hard drives were only for storage (or occasional hi-score save) if I needed it.
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Old 13 February 2019, 15:47   #7
Lord Aga
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As a rule of thumb: If you don't know whether you need something or not - you don't need it

Go for a RAM card. Invest the rest of your money in a CF card, good joysticks, quality video output/screen, good speakers. That'll make a nice compact system. Then down the road you'll figure it out if you want to go the power route and get more upgrades.
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Old 13 February 2019, 16:25   #8
rincewinda
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Thank you all very much for the informative and well thought out responses to my queries.
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Old 13 February 2019, 16:37   #9
watman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
Busy games that will also benefit when a lot is happening (or has moments where a lot can happen) include: Theme Park, Syndicate, Dune II, UFO: Enemy Unknown, Sim City 2000, Settlers and similar.
Just a thought - would all the games that calculate a lot between turns (UFO, Civilization, even SWOS in career mode) benefit from the faster CPU or just Fast RAM?
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Old 13 February 2019, 16:55   #10
Aladin
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Better GFX
example: Ambermoon
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Old 13 February 2019, 17:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watman View Post
Just a thought - would all the games that calculate a lot between turns (UFO, Civilization, even SWOS in career mode) benefit from the faster CPU or just Fast RAM?
They'll benefit from both - fast RAM allows the existing A1200 CPU to work a bit faster so the turn calculations will be quicker. An accelerator will make these calculations even quicker again.
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Old 13 February 2019, 21:05   #12
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One benefit of an accelerator is that most of them will support 32-bit address space for RAM expansion, letting you have more than 8M of fast RAM. Now, no game aside from a modern port will actually require that much RAM, but it DOES let you cache the largest floppy games, and even many CD games entirely in RAM. 128M of RAM is dirt cheap these days, and the talkie version of Beneath a Steel Sky fits nicely in it for instant loading of the speech. =)

The other benefit of an accelerator is just day to day quality of life tasks in Workbench or Directory Opus will be snappier when you're managing your WHDload installs and what not. It's definitely noticeable between a 50Mhz 68030 vs. a 14Mhz 68020. Once you get used to it you won't want to go back. (Once you get used to a 68060 the 030 starts to feel pokey!)

Compatibility on 68030 is great as it's mostly identical to an 020, just with a data cache added. That said, Budgie is bad at asynchronous bus arbitration and some of the old cheap A1200 accelerators (looking at you Apollo) had especially bad CHIP access speeds, avoid those. The better accelerators had buffered interfaces that somewhat compensated for Budgie's poor performance.
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Old 17 February 2019, 16:16   #13
rincewinda
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So I've jumped in with both feet and bought a "Blizzard 1230 Mk IV with 32MB ram" as I don't really know much about these things I have just found out it doesn't have an FPU fitted, from information obtained from here https://www.vesalia.de/e_1230iv.htm.

What are those for? I read that they are usually for demos?

I just found this thread now also, some on there say I won't need one, is this still the case today?

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=48749

If I did need/want one would this be the correct one that fits? https://www.ebay.com/itm/292485639873
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Old 17 February 2019, 17:31   #14
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FPUs are mostly useful for maths-intensive application software (like 3D rendering suites and such). I don't think you'll be missing one much for any other purpose.
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Old 17 February 2019, 19:33   #15
rincewinda
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FPUs are mostly useful for maths-intensive application software (like 3D rendering suites and such). I don't think you'll be missing one much for any other purpose.
Ok that's all I needed to hear thank you very much!
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Old 17 February 2019, 22:13   #16
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Basically if you play any 3D games most will be faster. Now games that scroll wont have much if any difference (only a few have any speed difference) now the reason for this is that 3D games are normally bound by the speed of the CPU and that's all which is why most 3D games on an ST vs A500 are a couple of frames faster 8MHz>7MHz. But games that scroll are bound by a few considerations, mostly being screen updates and synchronization if you played a game that the scrolling and or sprites get faster or slower depending whats going on then the faster CPU may help but probably not much. Remember that an accelerator doesn't speed up the chipset only how quickly the the CPU can respond.
Here are some of my favorite Amiga games that are improved enormously by a faster CPU - Captive 2, Frontier, Gloom, Gunship 2000, Birds of Prey, Harrier AV8B, Midwinter II, Cybercon III, Wing Commander and the list goes on, but know that there is a long list of games that your accelerator will be improving.
FPU and gaming not worth it as it requires separate programming. It's more of a rendering thing, which I love to do.
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Old 18 February 2019, 10:44   #17
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Of course if You plan to play Wing Commander, search for AGA/CD32 version (with "No Akiko" patch or WHDLoad version).

Other games that have benefits from faster processor are:
Legends of Valour, Ambermoon, Citadel, Trapped, Trapped 2, and many Doom clones.

You can also play in games, which requires min. 68030 and/or more FastRAM:
Napalm, Exodus, Tales from Heaven, Payback, Bubble Heroes, Shadow of the Third Moon and other similar games.
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Old 18 February 2019, 20:34   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daishi View Post
Basically if you play any 3D games most will be faster.
Were there any 3D games that took advantage if the FPU? I don't think so.
It would be interesting to find out.

One of my Amigas is a '030 based A4000. I added a FPU because I saw one cheap on ebay.
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Old 18 February 2019, 22:32   #19
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Quake.
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Old 18 February 2019, 23:02   #20
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a lot of aminet games need 030
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