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Old 03 November 2017, 12:39   #1
MartinW
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Setting up RTG

Hi,

I just yesterday got RTG for my GB-A1000. There is / was no choice in cards mostly down to the form factor, it was either the original PII++ from GB, or the newer FPGA based VA2000. I went with the original GBPII++. Besides, I already had it partially built.

The card is essentially a hybrid between the Picasso II+ and the Piccolo SD64. It's a PII+ with the Cirrus chip from the SD64.

Anyway, so I want to make sure I've got everything installed and up and running correctly.

So far I've installed Picasso96 v2.0 from Aminet. Then I've added the .card file and the settings file and the new modes work fine for Workbench. Well, I get corruption when moving windows in 32bit modes but frankly 32bit modes seem like overkill to me.

Next I removed FBLIT and FTEXT. Did I need to do that? Are there any other tweaks, add-ons or removals I should make for a decent workbench setup?

[EDIT] I'm on OS3.9 BB2 with CWB. I'd prefer not to completely reinstall WB if possible. I also have 060 with 132MB ram and am using Thor's MMU libs

Then onto games. I've read a lot about how disappointing Z2 RTG is for gaming. So be it, my main reason for adding RTG was to make workbench a better experience. But when I asked before there were a lot of replies saying that there were quite a few games that support RTG. So far the couple that I've looked at either won't start or crawl along slower than they did under ECS. Now a common theme I see is that they all seem to want Cybergraphics. Did I just luck out yet again here by getting a card that isn't supported by CGX or is there some compatibility layer I should be installing??

Sorry for the long post, just trying to understand and make sure things are as good asa they can be.

Oh, by the way, the games I tried so far - ScummVM RTG, Hexen, Gloom. SVM I don't really care for but I tried to fire it up and it just starts and stops without doing anything. Gloom either reboots the OS or runs a lot slower than it did under ECS depending on the mode and Hexen does similarly weird stuff running in a small window in the top left or just being a screen of fuzz if I force it full screen. I think there may have been another. I'm not too sure.

Last edited by MartinW; 03 November 2017 at 13:15. Reason: Clarified installed software.
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Old 03 November 2017, 12:49   #2
kgc210
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I have not got round to building my boards yet, but have you got the A500-Graka-2.6.zip as there are extra settings and card files in there.
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Old 03 November 2017, 12:57   #3
MartinW
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I haven't got that, no. But are you sure that is for the GBA-PII++ and not the VA2000? Only saying that as obviously the GBA-PII++ is not designed to go in an A500 so it's a bit of a strange file name. I should probably direct hardware specific questions at a1k.org

[EDIT] Sorry, I don't know why I keep mentioning the VA2000 - that's actually FPGA based, not Cirruss based. I guess the A500 one is Matze's version.
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Old 03 November 2017, 15:09   #4
kgc210
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I will send the file after work.

It's called A500 as it's optional to put a side connector on the use on an A500.
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Old 03 November 2017, 15:14   #5
McTrinsic
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The GBA-PII++ and the card from Matze are _not_ the same.
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Old 03 November 2017, 15:33   #6
MartinW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McTrinsic View Post
The GBA-PII++ and the card from Matze are _not_ the same.
Thanks for confirming. I did think this was the case because Matze has re-written the control logic and also only supports 2MB because of the difference in well, something. I forget exactly, some bus or other (not the Zorro bus)

@kgc210: You might need me to do the opposite and send you the GBAPII++ driver files! Let me know if you need them.

On a whim at lunch I just tweaked the 32bit 800x600 mode. I noticed it was at a slightly odd refresh rate like 71hz or something. I rounded it down to 70Hz and the glitching is all gone so that's good as I was a little concerned that I may have damaged the Cirrus chip somehow. While I was at it I rounded all the other modes to nice even numbers like 60, 50, etc.

So I think my card setup is fine. I'm mostly now interested in things that I should add or remove that may cause problems.

I've found 2.1b,c,d&e of P96 so I'll have a play about to see what might be updated in there tonight and I think it's going to mostly leave the gap in my knowledge on the gaming / cybergraphics side of things.

As an aside, I read a lot about how awful the P96Settings program is. I must be about the only one of the planet that found it really easy and intuitive. Maybe that's my Mac preference as Mac users are a lot more used to dragging one thing onto another to make it do stuff.
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Old 03 November 2017, 16:14   #7
McTrinsic
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It's the ISA bus of the chip and its interface design limiting to 2MB.
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Old 03 November 2017, 19:20   #8
kgc210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinW View Post
@kgc210: You might need me to do the opposite and send you the GBAPII++ driver files! Let me know if you need them.
I forgot there is also a 4BM card. I thought you were on about this one (see pic)
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Old 03 November 2017, 19:57   #9
MartinW
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Ah, no - that's Matze's later version that IS compatible with both the A500 and the GBA.

Mine is not quite the earliest GBA version that used the relays for switching between internal and external video signals, but also not the latest where the GALs had been replaced with a second CPLD. I managed to catch a run in the middle so I have the analogue switch for the signals but still have the GALs. Also, yeah, it's 4MB.
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Old 03 November 2017, 20:17   #10
nogginthenog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinW View Post
Next I removed FBLIT and FTEXT. Did I need to do that? Are there any other tweaks, add-ons or removals I should make for a decent workbench setup?
PeterK's icon.library replacement (this goes for all Amigas!).

Quote:
Now a common theme I see is that they all seem to want Cybergraphics. Did I just luck out yet again here by getting a card that isn't supported by CGX or is there some compatibility layer I should be installing??
That's odd. Cybergraphics is the de facto high colour graphics API for the Amiga. I'm 99% sure P96 provides an emulation.

Personally, I find a 16bit Workbench is good enough. 24bit is a little sluggish to me (I have a Z3 card).
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Old 04 November 2017, 10:31   #11
MartinW
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I think I agree on the 16bit WB. I don't really see any slow down at 24bit but frankly my eyes can't see any difference. All my icons are 256 colour anyway.

I started to have a play about with the different versions of Picasso last night to see if anything made much of a difference but no sooner had I started to get into it than a hot water pipe burst and there was water pouring out of every place you can imagine.

Currently without water or electric. When back to normal (whenever that might be!) Amiga stuff will resume
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Old 04 November 2017, 15:25   #12
idrougge
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Games usually have no idea whether you run CyberGraphX or Picasso96.
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Old 04 November 2017, 22:46   #13
MartinW
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Can anyone propose an RTG game that is freely available for me to grab and test this please? Thanks.
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Old 05 November 2017, 15:48   #14
MartinW
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So, I have updated Picasso96 through to the latest available. Can't say I noticed any difference apart from the PVS tool now recognises my GBA monitor device.

CGX is now working for games because I can run some stuff in a window like Hexen and Heretic, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to do that if i didn't have RTG. Performance is not really very good, around 11fps in a tiny window but not only was that to be expected from the comments on RTG cards, but it IS usable.

In terms of games, what I want to find now is something that isn't a PC port to maybe use the RTG if there is such a thing. I will search for this.

Back then to the original question. Are there any further tweaks I should be making? I have PeterK's IconLib and have had from day one. I should probably go back over the guide that comes with that to see if I need to change any options now I have RTG.

Last edited by MartinW; 05 November 2017 at 15:49. Reason: spelling
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Old 06 November 2017, 08:56   #15
PeterK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinW View Post
Then onto games. I've read a lot about how disappointing Z2 RTG is for gaming. So be it, my main reason for adding RTG was to make workbench a better experience. But when I asked before there were a lot of replies saying that there were quite a few games that support RTG. So far the couple that I've looked at either won't start or crawl along slower than they did under ECS.

Well, I get corruption when moving windows in 32bit modes but frankly 32bit modes seem like overkill to me.

All my icons are 256 colour anyway.

I have PeterK's IconLib and have had from day one. I should probably go back over the guide that comes with that to see if I need to change any options now I have RTG.
For games (which I would never play) you may try out: http://aminet.net/package/util/boot/P96EmulUpd

In PVS make sure that "Disable Amiga Blitter" and "Planes to Fast" is enabled. http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=...postcount=1980

My icon.library will always limit the number of colors per icon image to 255 + transparency. It detects RTG modes and then uses direct drawing to the gfx card instead of color mapping to the screen's palette. If you want perfect TrueColor images and alpha blending you would need AfA_OS or Scalos. But that needs 3-4 times more memory.
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Old 06 November 2017, 20:01   #16
MartinW
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Thank you for the info - that is now done
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