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Old 24 March 2012, 17:08   #1
BarryB
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Advice for Towerizing my A1200!!

So, I've pre-ordered the Indivision AGA MKII for my A1200 and now think my A1200 won't be able to cope with really high Workbench resolutions and will be painfully slow!! So, I want to build an A1200 Tower but want to know the best way to go about it regards what extra hardware I'll need plus which case is best?

Any help on this appreciated as I just don't know enough about putting an A1200 in a tower!!

Stuff I'd like to put in is a decent gfx card, a DVD-RW +R/-R and fast HDD (SATA if possible), USB slots, decent PSU, PCMCIA on front, network card, existing floppy drive. Did I miss anything
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Old 24 March 2012, 17:16   #2
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hi

first of all do you have a cpu/ram upgrade as this is needed first http://www.vesalia.de/e_aca1231-42.htm

you can put it into a tower http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/...roducts_id=700

a mediator busboard for graphics card sound card network card usb

http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/...roducts_id=789


but you can fit a cdrom via pmcia slot on the side
the AGA MKII is like a graphics expansion for normal games via lcd monitor

also you may want to put up a wanted thread on http://www.amibay.com/index.php for theses parts
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Old 24 March 2012, 18:56   #3
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Cheers johnim, I have a Microbotics M1230 XA accelerator (68030@40MHz with 32mb) but would I need something more powerful?

The PCMCIA was not for a CD/DVD, just to make it more accessible. As for the case, wanted something more like the White Amiga X1000 case Also forgot the soundcard, can't have a miggy without sound

I have some spare PC bits which I'd like to know if I can use:

120GB IDE Seagate Barracuda
NEC ND-3500A IDE DVD-RW +R/-R
Generic 4 port USB 2.0 PCI card with internal USB for a front panel (VIA VT6212L)
D-Link DFE-528TX (This is compatible with Mediator)

I'd guess the IDE stuff should just work or is it not that cut and dried?
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Old 24 March 2012, 19:09   #4
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the harddrive yes
the dvd drive yes
dont know about the generic pci usb card maybe someone else can tell you(id be interested myself)
the d-link dfe-528tx well the one i had dident work,but you could always try it wont hurt

as for the 1230 thats up you really, it wont speed up aga modes anymore than it is now,but rtg will be faster then just fastram on its own.

Last edited by roy bates; 24 March 2012 at 19:23.
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Old 24 March 2012, 19:30   #5
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Microbotics M1230 XA accelerator (68030@40MHz with 32mb) - great for whdload games

The PCMCIA was not for a CD/DVD, just to make it more accessible. i said this if staying with desktop

White Amiga X1000 case - this needs a modified backplate to use a 1200

soundcard, sb128 for mediator
gpu, voodoo3 300 or radeon 9200/9250


I have some spare PC bits which I'd like to know if I can use:

120GB IDE Seagate Barracuda ok but needs a filesystem like sfs software to use full amount or fastatta below
NEC ND-3500A IDE DVD-RW +R/-R ok needs ide spitter
Generic 4 port USB 2.0 PCI card with internal USB for a front panel (VIA VT6212L) the only pci usb is called a spider or use a subway which connects to internal clockport
D-Link DFE-528TX (This is compatible with Mediator) maybe

I'd guess the IDE stuff should just work or is it not that cut and dried? you need some sort of ide splitter eg fastata http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/...oducts_id=1052

you may need 3.1 roms

Last edited by johnim; 24 March 2012 at 19:37.
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Old 24 March 2012, 23:29   #6
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OK guys, looks like building on the cheap and posting in the wanted forum This is getting VERY expensive if bought new, but maybe Amigakit could do me a discount if I bought everything I need in a bundle, nudge nudge

@roy: Good to know the IDE stuff should be OK, the 3500A was my first DVD-RW and was a rock solid performer for me!! The D-Link is listed as 'tested' on the Elbox site http://www.elbox.com/mediator_driver_guide.html so assumed it would work!! The USB card will probably not work as johnim has shown only the Spider USB works so will probably end up buying that!!

@johnim: I already have 3.1 ROMS as I have OS3.9 installed on 4GB flashcard. Looks like the SB128 is a given for sound but which is the best/fastest gfx card for high res Workbench? Looks like I don't have much choice with the Case/USB does it!!

On Amigakits site there is a shedload of 'extras' for the EZ Z4 Tower, do I really need them? I want to use a proper Amiga compatible Keyboard so would the Amiga ONE USB keyboard be OK or are there alternatives? I assume the EZ Z4's 250w PSU be enough for powering all this kit? I'll also be needing a 4:3 LCD monitor, but pretty much any one would do as long as I get one with a DVI connector to make it easier to connect to the Indi MKII DVI port. I also 'assume' that if using the AGA MKII with an LCD I can just play games as normal? By that I mean pop a disk in the drive and load it then play it, same with HD installed games? Don't want to loose ability to play games!!

Hopefully this is going to be a fun, and probably expensive, upgrade
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Old 25 March 2012, 11:11   #7
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Workbench is totally usable and responsive in 1024x768 and 1280x720 through the IndivisionAGA, I use an A1200 with a 030 accelerator and Indivision as my daily computer, so does a friend of mine. Perhaps you should at least try the Indivision on its own first before shelling out for expensive expansions.
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Old 25 March 2012, 13:57   #8
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Rebel, think that's a good idea. Some of the stuff is not in stock at Amigakit anyway so by the time I get the Indi MKII + Monitor and tested it they may have the stuff in stock!!

Ultimately I want to Towerize it so I can free desk space up as I have an external CD-ROM, 2 external drives, power brick and CM883-II monitor taking up desk space so once the CD, floppy drives and brick are absorbed into a tower there'll be space on my desk again. Which brings up another question of how do I integrate 3 floppy drives in a tower and power them?
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Old 25 March 2012, 14:27   #9
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you can have 2 floppys on the internal header but you only need 1 and use whdload for loading games
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Old 26 March 2012, 15:56   #10
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I still need disk 2 disk copying, Xcopy/Cyclone backups, and found some copies only work when copied from DF1: or DF2: so having 2 external drives is preferable. Looks like using 2 floppies off the internal header then and 1 off the floppy on the actual A1200 board and routing it back inside the case and using a 5 1/4" bay.

OR... just daisychain them from the A1200 external floppy connector and fit them in the 3.5" and 5 1/4" bays provided the cables are long enough
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Old 26 March 2012, 17:13   #11
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rtg on amigas are way way faster than scandoublers of any kind as johnim has said(but its nice to have both) theres the voodoo 3 3000 a bit hard to get sometimes,but well supported
and theres the radion 9200 and 9250 very easy to get just make sure its a 5 volt model for 5 volt mediators.(ive found the radion 9250 sapphire 128-256mb cards works first time out the box)

there are others that work,i have a virge based card as well.but in general the two above are the best ones to get.

dont forget some cards wont work without a gfx card being in the system such as some ethernet 10/100 cards tv cards etc.so plan before you buy.
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Old 26 March 2012, 19:35   #12
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The A1200 internal floppy header will not support a second drive. You will need to make a circuit similar to what is found in external floppy drives and tap DS1 off the CIA or from the external floppy port.
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Old 26 March 2012, 23:50   #13
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@Roy: Think I've confused myself utterly, how does RTG work on an A1200? Never read anything about it as I've never had a reason to, but know I think I need to know. So how does RTG and a scandoubler work in the same system with the same LCD screen?

@Jope: Thanks, will use the external floppy connector and daisychain the drives as one of my external drives has a 26" long floppy cable making it easy to fit both drives inside the case, then I can rig some power to them from the PSU.
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Old 27 March 2012, 09:41   #14
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well thats a bit of a conundrum,you will need some sort of vga switch if you have an indi and rtg on the same monitor(vga/lcd or led on the vga port)on a mediator anyway.

a 2 port vga kvm is a good cheap option with this.then you just press a switch when your using the native aga modes and press again when youve changed to rtg modes.

if you just have the scart on the tv and rtg the you probably stuck with a remote(one on the vga port and one on scart)
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Old 27 March 2012, 11:26   #15
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@Roy: I obviously wasn't thinking clearly when I decided to do this, forgot that the A1200 and RTG have separate outputs to the monitor so will need to 'switch' them, will also be buying a 4:3 LCD monitor preferably with built in speakers!! Also, I don't think you can play games through an RTG card can you? Probably why you need to switch back to the A1200 for games and RTG for Workbench work?

Is it worth getting the Mediator straight away though? I know it has advantages like using RTG so you can have a bigger workbench and more colour depth (and I spend more time using workbench than gaming sometimes) and can use a 10/100 NIC but is the expense worth it? Would my 40MHz 030 + 32mb be enough to run high res workbench as Rebel-CD32 pointed out his is useable upto 1280 res with an 030 + Indi AGA.

Would the best idea be to buy the tower case, then fit the AGA MKII along with a FastATA so I can use the IDE HDD + DVD, get a keyboard adapter + keyboard and see what it runs like at 1024 and 1280 resolutions?
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Old 27 March 2012, 12:08   #16
roy bates
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Quote:
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@Roy: I obviously wasn't thinking clearly when I decided to do this, forgot that the A1200 and RTG have separate outputs to the monitor so will need to 'switch' them, will also be buying a 4:3 LCD monitor preferably with built in speakers!! Also, I don't think you can play games through an RTG card can you? Probably why you need to switch back to the A1200 for games and RTG for Workbench work?



there are games that support rtg,but they mainly require more umf like 040 or 060.

if you have whdload all/most of them use native amiga modes,so yes you would need a switch.


Is it worth getting the Mediator straight away though? I know it has advantages like using RTG so you can have a bigger workbench and more colour depth (and I spend more time using workbench than gaming sometimes) and can use a 10/100 NIC but is the expense worth it? Would my 40MHz 030 + 32mb be enough to run high res workbench as Rebel-CD32 pointed out his is useable upto 1280 res with an 030 + Indi AGA.


thats totally up to you,you dont really need it if you dont want to.
i use rtg and for me anyway it is worth it in my case.
the point im making(if any)is that a scandoubler(indi) doesent speed up the workbench any it is the same speed as you have now through scart,rtg is alot faster in refresh rates becuase you wouldent be using the customs chips for display.
for me 1280 is usable(native mode),but uses alot of chipram to genarate the screen so its alot slower.
all of this will of course be personal prefrence,and at the end of the day it should be you who makes that coice in the end.




Would the best idea be to buy the tower case, then fit the AGA MKII along with a FastATA so I can use the IDE HDD + DVD, get a keyboard adapter + keyboard and see what it runs like at 1024 and 1280 resolutions?



yes,thats a good idea theres no real rush to get it all in one go.

as for the keyboard adaptor,if you choose to use a real amiga keyboard(i like this aproach)then you wiil have to get one that works with an amiga keyboard,amigakit sell them.
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Old 27 March 2012, 12:24   #17
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Thanks Roy, that's made my mind up, now I can get a list of stuff to order,
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Old 27 March 2012, 12:52   #18
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no probs,what ever you do discide to do in the end.it'll still be a fun system to use.


i had a think about the internal floppy question and i think that a catweasal would be a good option,the drives are cheaper and its a bit easer/neater to install inside the tower.
but its probably a good idea to do this at a later date as you can just use a couple of external drives anyway.
just saying this for an option for a later date.

Last edited by roy bates; 27 March 2012 at 13:01.
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Old 27 March 2012, 14:53   #19
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I've just emailed Amigakit with what I want to do so will wait their reply.

I thought about the floppy drives as well and think the best way is to use the longest cable on my external drive (26") to route from rear floppy port to front drive bays then use 2 molex to floppy connectors to power both drives, will need a 5 1/4" to 3.5" mounting bracket for one of the drives too which I think I have knocking about. I've asked Amigakit how many molex/floppy connectors the PSU in the EZ Z4 has just so i can plan for all the kit.

Also realised after reading the Indi AGA MKII thread i'll need some ROM Risers for the FastATA if using the AGA MK II, Amigakit stock these though so put that in the email as well. Also want it all putting on one order and shipping when everything is in stock so I can have a fun filled day putting it all together
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Old 27 March 2012, 14:57   #20
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hi stedy has made some adapters to use standard pc floppys see here

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?...ighlight=stedy
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