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Old 04 March 2013, 16:20   #421
diskers
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Old 04 March 2013, 16:52   #422
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and the number is greater than 2
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Old 06 March 2013, 22:40   #423
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any estimated time of release of this board?
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Old 10 March 2013, 11:21   #424
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No sorrow, it will come, but it must be perfect. ;-)
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Old 12 March 2013, 14:20   #425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpiloto View Post
any estimated time of release of this board?
We don't have a fixed release schedule and we do this in our spare time, so all I can say is: "when it's done".

Anyway.. here is a work-in-progress screenshot of the card's boot menu, which is accessible when the user holds LMB during power on self test. This menu allows you to configure various features of the Zeus68k.
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Old 12 March 2013, 14:28   #426
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Excellent! Easy config setup to enable and disable features. This is how it should be done. Looks great!
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Old 12 March 2013, 14:29   #427
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I'm guessing what everyone wants to know, i mean really wants to know, is, if there is a sense of "this is getting close to being a finalized design, and ready for production." or if it's more of a "we are still years away from any first sales batches."
I realize that being a hobby project means it takes time, and for the progress shown so far, you guys have simply been pushing ahead at a amazing speed. With such a rich feature-set, it's no wonder it takes time. I'm actually not interested in owning one, i'm just here to make sure i know about it, so i know what to recommend my friends once they start looking in to reviving an Amiga.

Keep up the good work, and the information flow.
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Old 12 March 2013, 15:09   #428
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The hardware design is, as far as I can say, final. We have three boards atm and will be making three more soon. What we're working on is the software. People will expect something usable, stable. You would not want lockups here and there, data loss, or a board not working in your Amiga because it's got some fix applied or not.

When we (actually Herzi, "NewAmigaUser" on a1k.org) started, the idea was "let's make an accelerator". It became a "one device does it all"-thing. It gives you ram, it gives you roms (switches between whatever Kickstarts you have and flash into it). It gives you a NMI-button, acts as a Action Replay 3 (with blessing from the original authors btw), supports WHDLoad and the exit button, adds an HDD controller (Gayle IDE or AT-Bus 2008 if you have the rom) and it fits right into your machine so you can carry it around. There's nothing to add to your expansion port, no worries about an enclosure. Depending on the machine you want to use it in, you might have to relocate a capacitor, and the A1000 and the CDTV need an adapter cable. But these things really aren't an issue looking at what people modify to get the Amiga they dream of.

There even is a config tool on the Amiga side (CLI and GUI) which you can use to manage the system and roms once you have installed it in your computer.

The source for the FPGA will allow you to add more features and tinker with it. If you're a power user and you "break" it, connect the JTAG and revive it.

There's really loads of stuff in it, and you hopefully don't need any other device to get the functionality you are looking for. I think it's in a state where it could be sold already, but we still want to add things to release a package that is out of beta.

So, to come back to your question... it became much more than we initially planned. These things take time to do them properly. I am confident that this device will be in the hands of users in 2013.
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Old 12 March 2013, 15:38   #429
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Excellent news, keep up the great work and I look forward to getting my hands on one
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Old 12 March 2013, 17:03   #430
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.vince View Post
Text, and loads of information in it.
Wow. Thanks. I think you just made everyone who keeps asking "when" fairly happy. And yeah, i, and most likely everyone else have full understanding of the reasons for wanting to release a "ready" product, rather then rush it, and patch it later.

And so many options in the software... So much to play with. It's just great.

Last edited by prowler; 12 March 2013 at 21:47. Reason: Fixed quote.
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Old 12 March 2013, 19:16   #431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luncheon View Post
... and to improve polygon-based games (F1GP and several flight sims come to mind)...


Now, isn't the A500 the most "compatible" Amiga ever? I mean, most Amiga software was written in its heyday (87-91), but that's just me...
Regarding the poligons, it matters only if it is calculated by CPU instead of the custom chips, otherwise the framerate will be constant even with a 100MHz CPU, afaik. I always expected what you say with every CPU boards in all of my Amigas way back, then I had to realize that it will not happen as I hoped. Good (negative) example how F/A Hornet runs under ShapeShifter with 060. That's what I call framerate, and it is on a 640x480 screen. The F1GP is fast since the point when F1GPEd have been released, as the drawing routines have been replaced from blitter based onto CPU one, if I remember correctly.

BTW, have to agree, the A500 is THE AMIGA. It was, it is, it will be, at least for me
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Old 13 March 2013, 11:53   #432
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Again, great job guys !
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Old 13 March 2013, 18:30   #433
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
Regarding the poligons, it matters only if it is calculated by CPU instead of the custom chips, otherwise the framerate will be constant even with a 100MHz CPU, afaik. I always expected what you say with every CPU boards in all of my Amigas way back, then I had to realize that it will not happen as I hoped. Good (negative) example how F/A Hornet runs under ShapeShifter with 060. That's what I call framerate, and it is on a 640x480 screen. The F1GP is fast since the point when F1GPEd have been released, as the drawing routines have been replaced from blitter based onto CPU one, if I remember correctly.

BTW, have to agree, the A500 is THE AMIGA. It was, it is, it will be, at least for me
Indeed... Games fully utilizing the Blitter/Copper/etc. would not see big speedups. But F1GP (and most 3D games I think) uses the CPU for drawing polygons so with the Zeus it should be playable at a decent framerate with mid detail.

I tested WinUAE w/ a 68000 and cycle-exact 50MHz and F1GP ran fine at about 20fps. Workbench 3.1 and most apps are noticeably faster, so I think the Zeus will give a stock A3000 a run for its money.

The boot menu looks awesome IMHO. It has all it needs, no more, no less.

Quick question: the "Slow" RAM enabled thru this board should be as fast as real FastRAM right?
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Old 13 March 2013, 19:03   #434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.vince View Post
The source for the FPGA will allow you to add more features and tinker with it. If you're a power user and you "break" it, connect the JTAG and revive it.
That's sweet as hell. I've recently started learning VHDL and already have some insane ideas to prototype. Now I have Nexys3 interfaced to clockport, but having access to signals present on CPU socket will be much more fun.
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Old 14 March 2013, 01:02   #435
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luncheon View Post
Indeed... Games fully utilizing the Blitter/Copper/etc. would not see big speedups. But F1GP (and most 3D games I think) uses the CPU for drawing polygons so with the Zeus it should be playable at a decent framerate with mid detail.

I tested WinUAE w/ a 68000 and cycle-exact 50MHz and F1GP ran fine at about 20fps. Workbench 3.1 and most apps are noticeably faster, so I think the Zeus will give a stock A3000 a run for its money.
I haven't tested F1GP yet, but other games like Frontier, FA18 Interceptor and Wing Commander run very smooth on a Zeus-powered A500

Btw... you may have noticed that there are 2 CPU clock frequency settings in the boot menu. The reason for this is simple: You can connect a switch to the Zeus and choose between those 2 clock frequencies (7 and 50MHz for example) on the fly while the Amiga is running.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luncheon View Post
Quick question: the "Slow" RAM enabled thru this board should be as fast as real FastRAM right?
We have noticed timing issues with some games/demos when the Slow Mem runs at full speed, so we decided to keep the original timing in order to maximise compatibility. In short: Slow Mem is really slow mem
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Old 14 March 2013, 04:04   #436
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While I can't wait to get one of these Zeus boards, the attention to detail you guys are putting into this is making it worthwile; I'm sure the final product will be THE ultimate A500 accelerator card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrat View Post
I haven't tested F1GP yet, but other games like Frontier, FA18 Interceptor and Wing Commander run very smooth on a Zeus-powered A500

Btw... you may have noticed that there are 2 CPU clock frequency settings in the boot menu. The reason for this is simple: You can connect a switch to the Zeus and choose between those 2 clock frequencies (7 and 50MHz for example) on the fly while the Amiga is running.
Can the CPU speed be chosen as a whole number multiplier of the base 7.09MHz frequency? e.g.: 14.18MHz (2x) / 28.36MHz (4x) / 42.54MHz (6x) / 56.72MHz (8x)? Shouldn't this be a little bit more compatible than an asynchronous frequency?

(I just ask from ignorance, since I honestly don't know if this is true; my knowledge of digital electronics is quite limited, but from what I've seen from the hardware reference manual these frequencies can be easily made up from the CLK CPU pin and a few simple components).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrat View Post
We have noticed timing issues with some games/demos when the Slow Mem runs at full speed, so we decided to keep the original timing in order to maximise compatibility. In short: Slow Mem is really slow mem
Maybe this behavior can be configured by the user, so we can choose between maximum performance or maximum compatibility? I mean, I assume the 50MHz mode would already break some software so why not allow this to be changed as well...

Last edited by luncheon; 14 March 2013 at 04:15.
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Old 14 March 2013, 08:21   #437
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luncheon View Post
Can the CPU speed be chosen as a whole number multiplier of the base 7.09MHz frequency? e.g.: 14.18MHz (2x) / 28.36MHz (4x) / 42.54MHz (6x) / 56.72MHz (8x)? Shouldn't this be a little bit more compatible than an asynchronous frequency?
The current setup offers these clock frequencies: 50MHz, 25MHz, 12.5MHz and the original 7.09 MHz. Please don't ask me about details, my hardware design knowledge is very limited

Quote:
Originally Posted by luncheon View Post
Maybe this behavior can be configured by the user, so we can choose between maximum performance or maximum compatibility? I mean, I assume the 50MHz mode would already break some software so why not allow this to be changed as well...
I'm not sure if it's possible to change the Slow mem timing, but I'll ask our hardware guy
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Old 14 March 2013, 11:25   #438
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Originally Posted by Scrat View Post
The current setup offers these clock frequencies: 50MHz, 25MHz, 12.5MHz and the original 7.09 MHz. Please don't ask me about details, my hardware design knowledge is very limited
This is a really good choice. Should be enough for just about every scenario out there. Original - slightly faster - cruise speed - full throttle
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Old 14 March 2013, 11:32   #439
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We have noticed timing issues with some games/demos when the Slow Mem runs at full speed, so we decided to keep the original timing in order to maximise compatibility. In short: Slow Mem is really slow mem
I was completely wrong on this one: Fast Memory and Slow Memory run at the same speed and this can't be changed. I probably mixed this up with something else from the early development days, sorry 'bout that
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Old 14 March 2013, 13:54   #440
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrat View Post
The current setup offers these clock frequencies: 50MHz, 25MHz, 12.5MHz and the original 7.09 MHz. Please don't ask me about details, my hardware design knowledge is very limited
My question was slightly different, though: I was wondering if there was any advantages on using synchronous frequencies (such as 7.09, 14, 28 and 56 mhz) instead of asynchronous ones - however I think that the frequencies you mention cover most cases and are enough for everybody.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrat View Post
I was completely wrong on this one: Fast Memory and Slow Memory run at the same speed and this can't be changed. I probably mixed this up with something else from the early development days, sorry 'bout that
So that means you guys probably worked around the timing issues? Great!!

Last edited by luncheon; 14 March 2013 at 16:02.
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