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Old 18 March 2011, 04:13   #1
Mr B
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Hardware resourses needed for WHDload on Amiga1200?

I asked this question in the thread about the ACA 1230 accelerators, but it sorta got swallowed up, with the more important issues going on in there.

I see some places list ACA 1230 with a MMU. with respect of having it to run a WHDload system would it be any difference? I remember there being a bit of back and forth on the MMU earlier in the thread, but i cant seam to find a conclusion as to what would be best / most bang for once buck. (Ok, so most the MMU units i see are refurbs, offered at the same price as the original 28MHz units. So price seams to be of very little importance.)

The alternatives are ACA1230/28 With, or without MMU or ACA 1230/42, or even 1230/56. The later one is unlikely, since it's out of stock everywhere i look. The ONLY thing this system is going to be used for is gaming. Would a faster accelerator (42/56MHz flavors) make a noticeable difference, and the same goes for the addition of the MMU. Seeing as WHDload's are created to run on a multiple of different systems i assume more CPU never hurts, but that extra features are more or less a waste of time, and effort.

If anyone with some insight could help me out here, i'd be putting down a order for a accelerator in the next few days.
Thank you all for your time.
B!

(Oh... I hope this was the right section of the forum?)
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Old 18 March 2011, 08:57   #2
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If you look at the big picture, there are very few games that benefit much from anything over a basic A1200 - after all most were designed to run on an A500 with maybe a little extra RAM. WHDLoad however adds some overhead and having a bunch of FAST RAM is certainly good, so an accelerator such as the ACA series is a well justified purchase. An MMU is basically not needed for any gaming (I'm sure someone will point out the one or two exceptions there always are ).

Certain classic games such as Frontier, Settlers, Wing Commander, UFO: Enemy Unknown, most simulation games etc. benefit from more CPU speed and RAM over the basic A1200, so if you play a lot of these, one of the faster models might be useful.

There are of course later 3D games and demos which will benefit from everything up to an 060/PPC/RTG, but I assume these are not what you are mainly interested in?
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Old 18 March 2011, 10:38   #3
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An A1200 with a 4MB FastRAM card should be adequate for pretty much all of your WHDLoad needs. An ACA1230/28 will give you a nice performance boost and oodles of FastRAM and should handle just about anything you throw at it, unless you want to run serious productivity software or some of the later high-end Amiga games (Doom and Gloom spring to mind)

An MMU will only help you if you're planning on running Linux, using virtual memory, or doing some serious programming. Otherwise it's of no real benefit.
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Old 18 March 2011, 10:39   #4
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a basic ram expansion with 4-8mb would be fine for WHDLoad expect to pay 40-50... as ajk says game like Frontier are awesome with an accelerator, i upgraded from an 4mb expansion to a 030/50 64mb i could of saved some money by just buying the accelerator first off

my test video of Frontier played with and without acceleration
[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 18 March 2011, 12:10   #5
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So in reality the accelerator wont add, or deduct a whole lot from the WHDload experience, but the memory is needed, and "some" games, like Frontier Elite II gladly use all the CPU power you can bring it... From the start i'll probably mostly play K240, but Frontier IS on the list as one of the most played games on the Amiga, making it a slightly less choppy experience would probably prolong the usage.
The addition of a MMU does nothing, or next to nothing, and isn't worth taking in to account.
Guys, thanks a lot, you've been helpful. I'm going to shoot for a faster card, probably the /42 flavor, and hope that it provides me with all the CPU power i'll ever need. It's still a dirt cheap upgrade.
A big thank you to all of you.
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Old 18 March 2011, 12:45   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
So in reality the accelerator wont add, or deduct a whole lot from the WHDload experience
The OS interaction will be slower. Windows will take longer to draw, sluggish to move, number of colours on screen will slow down it further. Add features such as NewIcons or OS3.9 and again things get slower.

Hard drive performance for IDE is a function of CPU power so loading directories with 10's of game icons (or drawer icons) will benefit from a faster CPU.

If you've ever used a high end PC with full performance WinUAE settings (JIT etc.) to emulate AmigaOS / Workbench you have unfortunately been spoiled and will probably find the real Amiga painfully slow.
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Old 18 March 2011, 12:55   #7
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my test video of Frontier played with and without acceleration
[ Show youtube player ]
Oh wow! I never realised quite what a difference an accelerator made to Frontier. I used to play it on an A500+ and it was slow as hell. I'm sure it's not even that smooth on my stock A3000/25. Hmm, time for a strategy rethink...
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Old 18 March 2011, 13:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyLandy View Post
Oh wow! I never realised quite what a difference an accelerator made to Frontier. I used to play it on an A500+ and it was slow as hell. I'm sure it's not even that smooth on my stock A3000/25. Hmm, time for a strategy rethink...
What you need in that A3k is an A3640 and like the ones d0pefish upgraded for me and Taj - @33mhz it really does the business! (Ours are A4k's though)
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Old 18 March 2011, 13:41   #9
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Hard drive performance for IDE is a function of CPU power so loading directories with 10's of game icons (or drawer icons) will benefit from a faster CPU.
Faster CPU, faster drive access in the A1200. Ok, currently it's a 2-4GB IDE drive, i'm looking to upgrade it in due time, heading in the flash direction, but it's still a IDE device, so the same applies. It's actually a matter of controlling the IDE buss, rather then access, and bandwidth, i think? (as in issuing commands to the drive/responding to the drive)

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
If you've ever used a high end PC with full performance WinUAE settings (JIT etc.) to emulate AmigaOS / Workbench you have unfortunately been spoiled and will probably find the real Amiga painfully slow.
Never did much UAE. Used WinUAE to set up the harddrive, and transfer a bunch of files to it from the PC, other then that, not much gaming, or working on it. Finaly got my Amiga hooked to a TV that was willing to display the output yesterday, and the workbench environment wasn't painfully slow, but then, i just looked around real quick to see what was on it, and then went to play K-240.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyLandy View Post
Oh wow! I never realised quite what a difference an accelerator made to Frontier. I used to play it on an A500+ and it was slow as hell. I'm sure it's not even that smooth on my stock A3000/25. Hmm, time for a strategy rethink...
It looked neat in that youtube clip, indeed. I just have a fear that it will turn out harder to shoot down attackers due to the higher framerate. As i remeber Frontier Elite II was a lot harder on my PC then it was on the Amiga. (A1200 vs Dual Pentium 120MHz) Gameplay was a lot smoother on the PC but... I still ended up playing on the Amiga for a looooong time.

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Old 19 March 2011, 09:49   #10
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What you need in that A3k is an A3640 and like the ones d0pefish upgraded for me and Taj - @33mhz it really does the business! (Ours are A4k's though)
Hehe. It's like you've been reading my mind. I'd love to get an '040 in the A3000. An upgraded A3640 is probably exactly where I'd want to go with the thing. I'll have to count the pennies and see what I can do. :-)
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Old 19 March 2011, 14:27   #11
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Looks like i managed to track down a ACA 1230/56 from a Swiss reseller, and it's getting packed, and is shipped on monday. Guess the whole MMU or no MMU turned out to be a no brainer, i did as usual, just snagged the fastest i could... *sighs* Sometime you'd think i'd learn...
Only bad thing, i might have to pay import fee's as it's from outside EU. Makes it more expensive, i guess. I'll hope it gives good value for money. :- )

Edit
Nope, just checked. Switzerland has some economical agreement with EU, and are import tax free as well as having some other cooperative deals. Nice.
/Edit
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Old 24 March 2011, 21:00   #12
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I understand I am a bit too late, because you have already bought the 56, however I share my experience in case someone else wants to know.

I bought an ACA1230/28 with the purpose of using WHDload on my 1200. It works just fine and I am happy with it.
It takes a few seconds to plug it and so far I haven't faced any issue with it. One (small) drawback is the trap-door cover, that needs to be cutted for creating room for the new board. IMO a worth-buying card :-)
 
Old 25 March 2011, 01:33   #13
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I haven't gone cutting in to my casing yet, i'll wait for my ACA 1230 to end up here first, but it seams straightforward enough. I figured as much that the slower flavors really were enough for WHDload's but grabbed the faster one kinda on a whim, it's not going to hurt when i go to play Elite.
I have a second piece of hardware on the way, a CF adaptor, i might even hold of on splitting the Amiga open to test the ACA1230 until that one arrives.
It's not like i got any way to get WHDload's on to the system without it anyway. (I wont be pulling the harddrive out every time i want to add something, and i don't have a nic for the Amiga...)

Thank you all for the feedback.
B!
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