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Old 27 December 2007, 17:14   #1
amigarlz
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Making a machine for amithlon

Hi all!

Im making a machine for amithlon without any os using the guide from http://www.box.net/shared/hisnu6o4lc well, but after the first install of xp and restart with freedos i cant start xfdisk, a requester says "failure reading partition table" and cant enter to c: too "invalid drive c:"

Whats going with this? how i can solve it? Thanks in advance.
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Old 27 December 2007, 17:45   #2
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I don't normally do this (make replies about stuff I know nothing about). I've never used Amithlon, didn't read the guide you linked to and I can only guess what xfdisk does... but there's a gut feeling that C: needs to be a FAT32 partition and isn't. Or the drive is too large.
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Old 27 December 2007, 19:34   #3
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Hey all! I was just given a Athlon 1000mhz, geforce 2 gts system.... Is this Amithlon suitable?
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Old 27 December 2007, 20:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDNI View Post
Hey all! I was just given a Athlon 1000mhz, geforce 2 gts system.... Is this Amithlon suitable?
Yessssss, most likely
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Old 27 December 2007, 22:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickJT View Post
I don't normally do this (make replies about stuff I know nothing about). I've never used Amithlon, didn't read the guide you linked to and I can only guess what xfdisk does... but there's a gut feeling that C: needs to be a FAT32 partition and isn't. Or the drive is too large.
Well, this error is in the "pc dos" part, in the tutorial of the link drive is in ntfs, im using a 20gb hd with two partition one of them 1,2gb formated in ntfs, rest of hd is unformated waiting for amithlon.

Still waiting for some help, thanks in advance again.
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Old 28 December 2007, 14:30   #6
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Hello peeps! (more Amithlon converts - yum, yum!)

@DDNI: The system you've been given will run Amithlon just fine (you may need a newer kernel).
1gig Athlon will do the job - GFX card also. Mobo may be the fly in your ointment depending on what you got - If it's VIA or nForce2 you'll be fine otherwise fingers crossed. Sound, NIC, USB, do depend on what chipset your mobo has - most is sortable with a few software/hardware upgrades.
You can build a MUCH faster Amithlon setup, but what you've got (+Amithlon) is already soooo much faster than any RTG 68k or PPC system out there you'll be most pleased anyway.
(FWIW: Top-spec without too much of a fight: DFI Ultra-B + Athlon XP-M2500+@2.5gig + 512mbDDR500dual-channel memory + GF4Ti or GF5 - watercool & overclock to buggery AMIGAZ is using a different mobo & CPU but with much the same spec)

@amigarlz: Bad luck - believe it or not Amithlon is well worth persisting with. I'll get the 'unhelpful' comment out of the way first:
-Apart from it being high time I updated my guide & associated files, I really must DELETE that guide based of freedos - the pretty PDF one, not my boring text file...
Why? I included it as an alternate to my guide for those who don't like my style or as an 'easy' way of setting up a fully-dedicated Amithlon box. My guide assumes you'll want to dual-boot. Trouble is the majority of calls for help are for that guide (not mine ) and as I didn't write it TBH I'm not wholly sure of its nuances...
...if you really want to use that guide give me a PM & I'll see what I can do to help.

On a (hopefully) more helpful front:
1) Download ALL the files on my Box.net account. (hope you like the included backdrops - no other b*gger has so much as mentioned them!)
2) Read MY guide through @ least once, print it out, write the Grub-install floppy image to a... ...floppy (a usb floppy drive works for me if your 'pute doesn't have one built in)
3) Have a glance through the Amithlon thread HERE on the EAB as many potential questions may already have been answered.
4) Check out the links to Gary's updated kernel site (in the guide) to make sure you have hardware that stands a chance of running Amithlon.
5) Plod through MY guide step-by-step (taking NO sneaky short-cuts) marveling @ my wonderful prose as you do...
...and you will have a lovely Amithlon system to stun & amaze you and your friends for years to come!
6) @ this point you are then allowed to curse me roundly when the light dawns that my guide has a 'hidden agenda':
-As plain + simple setup as possible (obviously)
-To lead you round the houses more than really necessary for the goal of functioning system (a learning exercise to help familiarise the 'follower' with the inner workings of Amithlon - sneaky, eh?)

P.S.
For God's sake DON'T use SATA drives!!! Use IDE. If your mobo supports SATA make sure it's disabled in the BIOS even if you don't have one plugged-in.
Amithlon regards SATA as Satan's own protocol! If it gets the merest sniff it will go all 'The Crucible' on you & set fire to the whole lot!!! You've been warned.
(a little over the top, but I hope that point has been made)
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Old 29 December 2007, 00:00   #7
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Thanks Charlie, nice work.

Im making this test with really oldschool hardware (pentium3 450mhz) but the radeon 9200 only works in 640x480 256 colors, so i want to build a nice one with "new" cheap hardware.

But what i need? mobo with nforce chipset? any nvidia agp or inboard will be fine? amd or intel? I read the links and im a bit lost with the hardware part.

Thanks again.
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Old 29 December 2007, 00:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amigarlz View Post
Thanks Charlie, nice work.

Im making this test with really oldschool hardware (pentium3 450mhz) but the radeon 9200 only works in 640x480 256 colors, so i want to build a nice one with "new" cheap hardware.

But what i need? mobo with nforce chipset? any nvidia agp or inboard will be fine? amd or intel? I read the links and im a bit lost with the hardware part.

Thanks again.
http://www.garycvl.f2s.com/amithlon.html

I have tested a Geforce 3 ,Geforce 4200 and am now using a Geforce FX 5950 Ultra on an nforce 2 mobo
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Old 29 December 2007, 01:36   #9
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Up and running already - great!
(Time to back-up your install, you don't want to do all that again & it's transferable between computers (mostly))

Shame your 9200 only gives 640x480 - that will be the basic VESA fall-back mode for unsupported cards...
...I haven't got the docs in front of me but I had a feeling that card was at least partially supported - ho, hum.
Have you got as far as using Gary's latest kernel + patches (having run through the Amithlon update archives first)..?
Latest Kernel + patches + GFX driver will give you selectable modes in VESA - but it will be a bit slow - you may even get proper (fast) GFX acceleration.
If the worst comes to the worst check out the line in Grub's MENU.LST file that you are using to boot. (sure you're using the best options?) One bit will say VESA 769, or something-like. If memory serves at the end of that file is a table detailing what 769 means & what the other allowed numbers are - higher resolutions.

Hmmm, hardware:
Lots of options - for an easy life with v. good performance:

CPU - AMD - Athlon XP (AFAIA: The 2500+ XP-M is the fastest / most overclockable) V. rough comparison: For every ghz of your x86 you're getting 4-500mhz of '040 under Amithlon. So your PIII450 is about equivalent to a 150-200mhz '040!!! Let's not forget your mobo's aged sub-systems are also faster than any hardware Amiga too. Intel? Fine, but Amithlon was optimised for AMD & for this generation of x86 AMD was 'better'.
Mobo - nForce2 (Ultra400) based for preference (My fav is the DFI Ultra-B, but ASUS do a very similar one). VIA KT600(a) boards are a close second (ABit is my number 1 here). Pretty much any VIA will do. AGP + PCI slots - none of this PCIe stuff!
Other chip-sets do work but your mileage may vary - it's worth keeping in mind a good quality board will be more stable and some mobo's are more Amithlon-friendly when it comes to things like built-in NIC's, sound etc. (My DFI has a supported NIC. AMIGAZ's ASUS does too)
Memory - Bandwidth is important with Amithlon so get some fast stuff: DDR500+ for preference. See how far you can ramp it up. I'm running 10x250 on 1:1 so CPU 2.5gig, memory DDR500, all in step to cut out the wait-states. Here's where you discover how good your components are. 'Hey! Isn't DDR500+ memory still expensive?' I hear you ask. Yes, but as Amithlon can't cope with more than 512mb anyway how much is a matched pair of 256mb sticks worth these days? You can use bigger sticks (finances allowing) for bloated-OS's but your 'Amiga' won't see it.
Sound - Most come with built-in Ac97 codecs - Amithlon supports some (esp with updates) but not all. If your mobo of choice has supported sound, good. If not a Creative SB128 or Live! will work & are cheap as chips. Old? Both of these cards are better than (nearly) anything made for the Amiga & produce better 'quality' than AHI is capable of outputting.
GFX - If you have to buy a card stick with nVidia! Geforce 4Ti or a proper GF5 - GF2 is fine but No 'MX' nonsense please. These are the best cards Amithlon supports. Old? Oh-yes! But again far better than anything made for a 'real' Amiga. Also both deliver more performance than any Amiga software is capable of demanding!
IGP GFX should work in theory, (for instance the core in the 6150 chipset is a GF4) but it's dicey - stay away if you want an easy life.
PSU - Quality counts, esp if you're pushing your hardware.
HDD - NO SATA!!! Turn it off on your BIOS too!

The above is a v. quick run-down for a top-spec Amithlon system. You can run more modern / exotic hardware but it is a struggle to say the least. By PC standards this is all v.v. old stuff - such a system can be put together for buttons using fleaBay. With a large lump of ram this is also still a good system for XP - In use I honestly can't tell the difference between my Amithlon box running XP & my 'proper PC' except when running the latest PC games. (which I do less & less these days)
A much lower-spec system could probably be built from the contents of an office skip & still give 'amazing' results. We are talking about an OS that will happily run on a 14mhz '020 now having 512mb of ram, a modern(ish) GFX card, and a 400++mhz '040 to play with.

Hmm, back to writing loooong posts again.

Regards.
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Old 29 December 2007, 01:38   #10
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Thanks AMIGAZ - a most useful link

How's the Warp3D coming on?
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Old 29 December 2007, 09:53   #11
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Ohh..man, this thread is pushing me to get my Amithlon box together again

I gave up on it after my Asus mobo didn't like the new 500mhz DDR Ram I bought for it

btw. I just got my hands on an Gainward 6800GT Golden Sample...wonder if I will get just VESA modes with Gary's new kernel?
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Old 29 December 2007, 13:20   #12
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Hi AMIGAZ:
Most unfair your RAM not working - I always thought ASUS boards were actually more tolerant of ram than DFI ones.
Questions (stuff you've probably done):
-Runing dual-channel? Tried the other pair of slots?
-Single channel mode is often more stable & isn't that much slower.
-Does it work with one stick? If so two sticks may just need the timings relaxing a bit.
-Does it work @ lower speeds? DDR400 (FSB 200) If so you're being limited by your northbridge - time to up the voltage a bit & see if your northbridge needs better cooling.
-Fast sticks occ run @ higher voltages than the bios defaults - yours?
-How overclocked is your CPU? If it's marginal for high FSB's this can show up as memory issues - The memory controller is on the CPU with AMD. This doesn't mean you have to reduce reduce FSB, raise multiplier, & then run into wait-states by changing the ram-FSB ratio to keep the ram fast. Better cooling + increasing the core voltage a bit can help. Again relaxing ram timings can help here too.
-BIOS? On my DFI different versions work better with particular brands of ram - especially the modded bios's, ASUS too?
-Watercooling will cure most of the above ills

If worst come to the worst, you can always give me your ram!

Gainward 6800GT, eh?

I have a vague feeling Gary's latest kernel does have limited support for this card. In other words it will run fine but a bit slower than your GF5!
If worst comes to the worst, using Gary's kernel + latest Amithlon GFX update you'll still have full function - just no acceleration, so it will be rather slower than you've been used to...
...having said that my 'A3000' has a VIAKT600(a) chipset, some DDR400 Corsair ram + a GF7600GT card (defiantly not supported) and all works v. well!

Why these choices? VIA + Corsair ram is more stable than nVidia in a cramped case & this system was built for RiscPC (RiscOS) emulation + a GFX card more than good enough to play Oolite.

Funny thing is the GF7800GS in my original Amithlon box won't work @ all! I should never have given my GF4600Ti away. Damn crippled 7800GS is about the same speed as the 7600GT, cost me twice as much, produces more heat, & won't overclock anywhere near as well as the GT - THANKS NVIDIA!
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Old 29 December 2007, 14:08   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Hi AMIGAZ:
Most unfair your RAM not working - I always thought ASUS boards were actually more tolerant of ram than DFI ones.
Questions (stuff you've probably done):
-Runing dual-channel? Tried the other pair of slots?
-Single channel mode is often more stable & isn't that much slower.
-Does it work with one stick? If so two sticks may just need the timings relaxing a bit.
-Does it work @ lower speeds? DDR400 (FSB 200) If so you're being limited by your northbridge - time to up the voltage a bit & see if your northbridge needs better cooling.
-Fast sticks occ run @ higher voltages than the bios defaults - yours?
-How overclocked is your CPU? If it's marginal for high FSB's this can show up as memory issues - The memory controller is on the CPU with AMD. This doesn't mean you have to reduce reduce FSB, raise multiplier, & then run into wait-states by changing the ram-FSB ratio to keep the ram fast. Better cooling + increasing the core voltage a bit can help. Again relaxing ram timings can help here too.
-BIOS? On my DFI different versions work better with particular brands of ram - especially the modded bios's, ASUS too?
-Watercooling will cure most of the above ills

If worst come to the worst, you can always give me your ram!

Gainward 6800GT, eh?

I have a vague feeling Gary's latest kernel does have limited support for this card. In other words it will run fine but a bit slower than your GF5!
If worst comes to the worst, using Gary's kernel + latest Amithlon GFX update you'll still have full function - just no acceleration, so it will be rather slower than you've been used to...
...having said that my 'A3000' has a VIAKT600(a) chipset, some DDR400 Corsair ram + a GF7600GT card (defiantly not supported) and all works v. well!

Why these choices? VIA + Corsair ram is more stable than nVidia in a cramped case & this system was built for RiscPC (RiscOS) emulation + a GFX card more than good enough to play Oolite.

Funny thing is the GF7800GS in my original Amithlon box won't work @ all! I should never have given my GF4600Ti away. Damn crippled 7800GS is about the same speed as the 7600GT, cost me twice as much, produces more heat, & won't overclock anywhere near as well as the GT - THANKS NVIDIA!
I have three ram slots and two of them or for dual channel mode, I never got my machine to boot with two of the sticks (dual channel) but with one stick I could make it boot partially
I also removed all my overclocking settings in my BIOS but still couldn't get the system to boot fully
I gave up on it then but I'm going to give it another go with more "relaxed timings" but not sure what they look like...
I remember I also tried maxing out the RAM voltage settings in the BIOS to what is recommended to the OCZ RAM I use

That GF7800 must be quite powerful....let's you run quite new game titles, right?
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Old 29 December 2007, 16:13   #14
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Can you tell be if Im Amithlon suitable my set up is something like Athlon XP Barton 2500 - Geforce Fx5200 -

Last edited by Retro1234; 29 December 2007 at 16:18.
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Old 29 December 2007, 19:57   #15
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Basically, yes.
-Have a look @ the link AMIGAZ posted further up more more info.
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Old 29 December 2007, 20:41   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIGAZ View Post
I have three ram slots and two of them or for dual channel mode, I never got my machine to boot with two of the sticks (dual channel) but with one stick I could make it boot partially
I also removed all my overclocking settings in my BIOS but still couldn't get the system to boot fully
I gave up on it then but I'm going to give it another go with more "relaxed timings" but not sure what they look like...
I remember I also tried maxing out the RAM voltage settings in the BIOS to what is recommended to the OCZ RAM I use

That GF7800 must be quite powerful....let's you run quite new game titles, right?
OCZ is a good brand - most unfair it's not working.
This article may help with the 'black art' of memory timings.
eg: If your memory timing is say: 2,3,3,8 then 'relaxing' the timings to 2.5,4,4,10 will help things run more stably.
In BIOS try changing command rate from 1T -> 2T first (gives the rams more time to do their stuff) - more stable, if slower.

The AGP GF7800GS is a good card until you realise how much better it could be if nVidia hadn't nobbled it! This is such a problem that many card manufacturers used the un-nobbled but otherwise identical core that nVidia intended for the PCIe version because there were so many complaints.
nVidia's 'excuse' was the AGP bus didn't have the bandwidth to cope - Hah! Just marketing sh*te! Even 7900GTX's don't saturate the AGP bus.

Plenty of peeps deliberately broke their GS's so they could RMA them either for a proper 7800(GT) for the same money or a 7600GT for the same performance @ half the price!

Sorry - ranting now. This kind of stunt drives me mad - any product should be as good as the manufacturer can make it for the price. Too much of this 'product placement' goes on these days.
-AGP cards deliberately nobbled to 'encourage' the belief that PCIe is better than AGP. (True, but not an issue for that generation of GPU)
-The Porsche Cayman is a better car then the 911, but as the 911 is the 'leading model' they made sure the Cayman is slower for no technological reason.
-Many supermarkets have to spend money bastardising 'own-brand' products just to make sure they are not as good as the 'branded' version...

...drives me round the twist!
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Old 30 December 2007, 15:04   #17
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I would please like to ask, if the AGP speed affects RTG games on Amithlon.

I mean is AGP x2 Amithlon's top speed for graphics? I mean Amithlon as an emulator can it take advantage of greater AGP speed?

Can it play RTG games faster with AGP X4 or AGP x8 graphic cards?

That is of course using a motherboard that can do both AGP x4 and AGP x8.
 
Old 30 December 2007, 18:21   #18
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@cyclinder:
A fair question - I've never given it much thought TBH.

My belief is that as far as AmigaOS on Amithlon is concerned > AGP 2x is most defiantly overkill. So to answer your question increasing AGP speed will make no difference - it's already going faster than AmigaOS or any 68k software can possibly drive such hardware.

Why? The 'best' GFX cards on a 'real' Amiga are based off a PCI bus of one type or another, so AGP already offers more bandwidth. Arguably the 'best' supported card on a 'real' Amiga is the Voodoo 5. The 'minimum-spec' card under Amithlon is likely to be a Geforce2 which has a much faster GPU capable of higher resolutions, etc.
Figure into this hardware that sustains much higher global throughput than any 'real' Amiga and an (emulated) '040 running between 200-1200mhz...

...This is all way in excess of anything any Amiga software was designed for, so you just can't saturate any of the buses or GPU's. Basically for any 68k software that will run under RTG you may as well use the maximum resolution your monitor supports - there won't be any slowdown!

The only fly in the ointment is that Warp3D doesn't officially support Amithlon (another A.inc fiasco) so there is no hardware 3D acceleration. As it happens a software driver exists so Warp3D software will work. Funny thing is though you'd think that would be a major handicap, a good Amithlon system has such an excess of processing clout that you're very unlikely to notice.

For any that may be wondering: The above is in no way meant to be any form of Amiga bashing. It's simply the consequence of a great OS running on more modern hardware than was ever intended.
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Old 01 January 2008, 11:39   #19
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Any way to use Geforce4 with kernel 3.10 with hardware acceleration?

There is the the p96_accell 0x00 command for startup-sequence.

This command is needed for the card to work without distorted graphics, but it automatically turns off the hardware acceleration.

Only kernel 3.10 uses hardware acceleration and I have this card. Anyone knows a way of using a Geforce4 graphics card on Amithlon with hardware acceleration?
 
Old 01 January 2008, 12:11   #20
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BTW: Welcome to the EAB & Happy New Year!

Hmmm, GF4 (Ti) should work just fine - What version have you got?

This is Gary's list for compatible GFX cards.
With luck more cards will work, but as thay say 'your milage may vary'.
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