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Old 07 March 2005, 05:25   #1
buckrogers
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A1200: to TOWER or not to tower - that is the question

Given the threads I have read, towering an A1200 seems mandatory for gaming use. Is this the case?

I guess it depends on budget, usage and issues of maintenance. In my case, which is probably typical of most new or returning Amiga users:


CURRENT Setup: Bog standard 1200/40 with 40 meg internal and a beefy A500 PSU, 3.1 roms, 3.1 WB.

USAGE: I want to run OCS/ECS/AGA games using WHDload, have a go at AMOS and Blitz basic 2 programming, and making a WHD patch for a couple of games.

PLANNED UPGRADES:

1. Blizzard 1230IV (I believe the Blizzards are more compatible with ECS/OCS games than other brands).
2. A switch to 3.0 roms and 3.0WB for increased compatibility/stability, wiht lots of apps to make WB look presentable.
3. Blizzard SCSI add-on and a SCSI HD and CD-Rom - OR should I stick with IDE?

I could keep the 1200 casing, replace the yellowed keys with newies, run an external SCSI CD-rom to be plugged up on the rare occassion I need to use it, with a larger internal 3.5/2.5" HD and not bother with towering.

However, I worry about overheating and underpowering. And one my infant childering pouring fluids into the keyboard. Hence my choice of towering. Although I'd much rather save the money if it is not really necessary.
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Old 07 March 2005, 06:39   #2
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Well, for the things that your're doing/want to do, towering is not essential in any way. Except of the SCSI module, which i don't think that it will fit on the Amiga 1200. I'm not 100% sure, though.
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Old 07 March 2005, 07:38   #3
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If you really want to make WB/OS3,x usable, you must get a graphics card.... on the stock amiga1200 this can only be done with a PPC accel. and the BVision... but if you tower the amiga, you could add a zorroII or PCI bus and use a graphics card there... Since you want to do some "serious" work on your amiga, I suggest you tower it... then you will be able to use normal cheap 3,5" HD's, cdroms and add a graphics card.
I really cannot see why you need to install a switch to revert to 3.0 roms... whdload takes care of that in software...
But it all depends on the money you want to spent... towering can be expensive...

I almost forgot: 1st thing to do is get a scandoubler/flickerfixer and use a normal VGA monitor...
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Old 07 March 2005, 07:49   #4
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Keropi, I know where you are coming from, but the average Amiga gaming enthusiast does not need a PPC - I do not need one to play OCS/ECS games, and I have no interest in playing the newer processing hungry AGA games (i.e., FPS). If anything a PPC may result in compatibility issues with the older software I want to run. I do not want to do any serious multimedia stuff, and have no need for PCI slots. I have a 28" RGB video wall monitor and a 19" sony RGB pro monitor that kill any VGA display for gaming.

I am trying to put together a Miggy that best suits my purposes. I mention downgrading to 3.0 roms and 3.0 WB since some users (e.g., Bloodwych) feel that it results in a more suitable config. for running WHDload games.

My main query is whether a "mildly" upgraded 1200 needs towering or not from the perspective of over heating/power supply issues.
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Old 07 March 2005, 08:45   #5
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well, if u only plan to play games, you don't need any tower... a 030 accelerator is OK with a desktop case, you could also leave the trapdoor open to avoid heating of the 030... just get a A500 PSU if you plan to use also a cdrom, as these psu's are stronger than the a1200 stock ones...
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Old 07 March 2005, 12:25   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keropi
well, if u only plan to play games, you don't need any tower... a 030 accelerator is OK with a desktop case, you could also leave the trapdoor open to avoid heating of the 030... just get a A500 PSU if you plan to use also a cdrom, as these psu's are stronger than the a1200 stock ones...
Or just drill some big holes in the trapdoor cover which I did when I had my Blizzard 1230 MKIV.
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Old 07 March 2005, 12:54   #7
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OK. How about HD size? Is it best to stick with a 2.5" drive? Does a 3.5" result in more heat?
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Old 07 March 2005, 13:19   #8
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you cannot fit a 3,5" HD inside a desktop a1200. You can use only a 2,5" ... You should consider bying a 4x IDE BUFFERED adapter, as it will provide about 3times the stock speed, and you could with a little case-moding install an external CD drive... the only case you might not want one, is to have a pcmcia Lan Card...
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Old 07 March 2005, 13:20   #9
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A 3.5" in a non-towered A1200 is a tight fit.
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Old 07 March 2005, 14:04   #10
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I'm thinking, since winUAE has CD-rom support, I could dump contents of any amiga CD on a HD via UAE, transplant the HD into the 1200 and never have the need for a CD rom. That way I keep the 1200 original casing, use a 2.5" 4gig notebook HD, add the 1230IV, and not worry about the hassle and expense of towering.

For my purposes, I cannot see how this wouldn't work, with the exception of the inconvenience of swapping in and out a HD between the 1200 and PC every once in a while.
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Old 07 March 2005, 15:01   #11
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My setup consists of an A1200 with an 030 accelerator 50Mhz, 32MB of FAST RAM in it, a 1GB HD, and not much else. This setup is *PERFECT* for the use you want and fits nicely in the classic Desktop case. You dont need to leave the trapdoor open, the accelerator doesnt heat up that much, at least not an 030.

If you get a blizzard and a SCSI addon, the addon goes in the place below the diskdrive, you see a little door thing on the back of the Amiga? Well it goes out through there, so no external fiddling needed, again, it all fits in the desktop case. These expansions were MADE FOR fitting inside the classic case.

To me towering an Amiga takes away a lot of its spirit. I love how it's all inside my "keyboard" and I dont need an ugly PC-like tower . My SCSI devices (if any) are all external so they can be left aside without doing a mess. If you get the SCSI addon for the Blizzy it would be the same.

PPC is NOT NEEDED for your usage, and I would strongly recommend against it anyway for lack of interesting stuff that justifies the extremely expensive costs. OS3.9 is not needed either and OS3.1 is *perfectly usable*. The "serious work" you can do on PPC only ends up costing a whackload of unjustified money. Yes you are really hardcore but your software is incompatible with industry standards and you just spent a whack of dosh on an unsuported, obsolete, hacked to the max system. Not my cup of tea.

You can fit a 3.5" hard drive inside an A1200 but it will be a tight fit only if it is of the superslim type. Normal drives just will fuck it all up, and not fit, though people seem to have fitted them somehow I wouldn't recommend it.

Personally I use an A500 PSU to power my system but it would be best if you mod a PC AT PSU for more power, or buy one of those heavy duty Amiga PSUs if you are going to bolt on lots of stuff to the system. That way you can also connect CDROMs and shit to the same PSU.

I would advise the purchase of a scandoubler but if you have a hugeass TV you preffer to use I wouldn't mind. Personally I preffer a monitor since my work requies it and looks better in a monitor.

Good luck. Don't tower
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Old 07 March 2005, 16:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keropi
you cannot fit a 3,5" HD inside a desktop a1200. You can use only a 2,5" ... You should consider bying a 4x IDE BUFFERED adapter, as it will provide about 3times the stock speed, and you could with a little case-moding install an external CD drive... the only case you might not want one, is to have a pcmcia Lan Card...
I disagree! Everyone I knew when Ami HDs were first getting big (400meg = 300!! argh!) got 3.5" hd's stuffed into their 1200s. I drove all the way to Trilogic (Leeds somewhere? can't remember!) to get mine fitted! Involves sticky pads and some crowbarring, but it's not that bad!
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Old 07 March 2005, 17:21   #13
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As previously mentioned towering your Amiga is far from essential if you plan to play games and do some basic programming. The main issue here seems to be cosmetic convience, if you are using a 3.5 drive outside of the A1200 and are also attaching an external IDE CD-Rom then your table is going to be look a little messy although perfectly useable; just make sure it is stable - i've lost some parts from collapsing worktops!. As you state it is now quite straight-forward to place an Amiga 2,5 HD in your pc and transfer using WinUAE so there really isn't any need to have a CD-Rom anyway.

Certainly if you want to expand the Amiga to its full potential and make full use of OS3.9 and related apps then Towering may be the way forward but you will lose the cosmetic experience of having a classic desktop A1200 in front of you, it depends whether you regard the Amiga's 'spirit' as being the physical look of the machine or its actual use as a computer.
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Old 07 March 2005, 23:55   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tin
I drove all the way to Trilogic (Leeds somewhere? can't remember!)
Yup twas in Leeds. Only ever went there once though. First Computers was better.
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Old 08 March 2005, 00:55   #15
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No PPC for me. The idea is to pimp-up my amiga without having to become a pimp to afford it .

Thanks, Akira. Just what a neewb needs to know. I'll go with the '30, stick with a 2.5" ide, and may run an external scsi CD-rom when needed. Not sure about the PSU. Will see if the A500 PSU holds up, assuming there is no danger of underpowering and blowing the '30.

Its very easy to get the impression from reading the threads that you need a seriously upgraded Amiga just to play games off HD. I almost was nto going to bother due to the cost. Not having to go hardcore makes the return to a real amiga an affordable reality.

Last edited by buckrogers; 08 March 2005 at 08:13. Reason: grammar!
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Old 08 March 2005, 04:21   #16
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2.5 wtf? 3.5 fits easy as
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Old 08 March 2005, 11:57   #17
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although all that said, such is the PC world now that people with crappy 1, 2, 3 gig HDs in their lappys are either chucking them or upgrading to bigger disks = more HDs for us to pilfer that sit nicely in the mig without crowbarrage. Only trouble now is how to get decent 2.5" -> 2.5" cables for a reasonable price!
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Old 08 March 2005, 12:58   #18
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I have a 2-3GB 2.5" that I picked up from someone upgrading... for nothing (it was no use to them!)
Just sitting around waiting for if/when I get an A1200 or SX32...
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Old 08 March 2005, 13:39   #19
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On the topic of PSU's, can anyone confirm whether an A500 4.3A PSU will provide anough juice for a 1200 with '30? I've read that you run the risk of underpowering and subsequently frying the m/board and accelerator, while others say that have no problems with a 500 PSU. What's the deal?
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Old 08 March 2005, 13:52   #20
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I used to have this with an a500 PSU, and never had any probs:
030/28 + 68882/33 + 8MB Fast accel.
IDE 4x VOB adapter
External 3,5" HD 20GB @5400rpm
External IDE CD-ROM
Internal DCE scandoubler/flickerfixer
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