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Old 14 November 2002, 20:26   #1
NytroX86
 
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Question Expanded CD32 vs A1200

I've got a CD32 and an Amiga 600. I thought this would be all I need, but I want to play AGA versions of floppy disk games like Theme Park, UFO and Worms. I know I can get all of these on CD32, but Theme park is apparently very rare, UFO takes up 84 save blocks and runs quite slow, and you can only get Worms Directors Cut as AGA disks. I suspect Theme Park would eat up the CD32 Flash ROM too. I also know that they all have OCS/ECS versions out but they are not as good graphically and sometimes have less features too.
This presents me with two potential choices:

1.Buy an expansion for the CD32. I would have to make do with an SX-1 as the other expansions are generally quite expensive (look at www.eyetech.co.uk), although the Promodule is quite appealing but I havent seen it for sale anywhere. The only fixed price SX-1 I have seen is 70.

Pros
- It would enable me to speed up my CD32 games, as well as giving me the ability to play all A1200 games.

Cons
- The SX-1 makes the CD32 a very awkward shape, and there are issues with some of the connections, see the first three paragraphs of this:
http://www.pwr.wroc.pl/AMIGA/AR/ar50...s/review7.html
- I would need to purchase an external floppy disk drive for the SX-1, which I was going to do anyway for my A600. (The Promodule has one built in)
- The limit for the SX-1 and ProModule is one 8Mb SIMM.

2.Buy an A1200. This would be no more than 20 for a good deal on eBay. This is without any acceleration or extra RAM.

Pros
- I would have lots more expansion options available, the simplest being a card for the trapdoor slot to get 8Mb extra RAM, which I have found for 34.
- It seems to be the cheaper option.

Cons
- My CD32 games would not benefit.
- It would take up more room (not really a big problem)

I am not sure if there are any compatibility problems with playing disk games with a CD32 expansion, other than the normal 1.3 ROM compared to 3.0/3.1 ROM problems. I don't see the point in getting a CD-ROM drive for an A1200 since I've got a CD32 and am only worried about games, so it meets my needs in that respect. The only problem is the speed of some CD32 games

I am looking for anybodys opinions on the subject, and would especially like to know from anyone who has an SX or ProModule what they think of it. I will welcome any other options, or any corrections to what I have said above.
 
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Old 14 November 2002, 20:39   #2
Akira
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The SX-1 won't speed up anything, the SX-32 does speed up things since it has an 030 inside. However this will bring incompatibilities.

I say you go for an A1200. Doesn't hurt having yet another Amiga machine, does it? Stick to playing your CD32 games on your CD32.
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Old 14 November 2002, 20:48   #3
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I meant speed up in the manner of having some Fast RAM. I read somewhere on the net (I cant remember where, some sort of Amiga games list) that having even 4Mb of Fast RAM speeds up UFO by a suprising degree, so an SX-1 would speed up the CD32 a bit if I fitted a RAM SIMM. Is this wrong?
 
Old 14 November 2002, 21:47   #4
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Some CD32 games will take advantage of Fast Ram and it might speed things up slightly.
However, take into account that most CD32 games were not designed for a system with Fast Ram available, and some will not even run (i.e. Chaos Engine, or Premiere). If you were to get an SX-1 for the cd32, you'd have to make a bootdisk that disables fastram, or unplug the sx-1. I think the promodule has a switch to disable fastram, but I'm not sure about the sx-32.

A lot of cd32 games also have harddrive installers.


btw, I don't know what kind of monster harddrives the people who write the reviews use, but I have had no power problems with my sx-1 (812meg notebook harddrive, external floppy drive, 8meg simm). After all this is hooked up, if I plug in headphones to the cd32, I get power problems. However, its fixed when you press the reset button.
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Old 14 November 2002, 21:58   #5
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Quote:
If you were to get an SX-1 for the cd32, you'd have to make a bootdisk that disables fastram, or unplug the sx-1. I think the promodule has a switch to disable fastram, but I'm not sure about the sx-32.
@Th4tguy
I had done extensive research before this post. The SX-1 does in fact have a Memory disable jumper, which I assume would mean opening it up all the time: bad. The ProModule has a Memory disable switch. The SX32 Pro has a disable switch but I'm not sure what for. I found all this out here:

http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/search.pl?amiga=cd32

And you never actually said which you think is better: getting an A1200 or an SX-1.
 
Old 14 November 2002, 22:17   #6
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I would prefer an A1200 over a SX-1 but I also would prefer a SX-32 over an A1200

Anyway, you can allways attach a switch instead of a Jumper and let it lead outside the case yourself (on the SX-1) !
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Old 14 November 2002, 22:19   #7
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The SX-1 has a jumper to disable memory, yes. But you would have to open it up, and you might as well take the simm out instead of fiddling with the jumpers. The SX-1 also has a switch on the back that disables the harddrive and the floppy drive (but not the memory! go-figure).

Personally, I prefer the cd32 + sx1 to an unmodified a1200.
Pros:
Can run os3.9
cd32 and cdtv compatibility
boot from audio cds
can use any AT keyboard
can boot vcds with mpeg decoder (haven't tested this as the mpeg decoder cards are rare and expensive)


Cons:
can't disable fast mem
weird shape
rgb cable bumps into power cable
no upgrade options


The promodule and sx32 are much better upgrade solutions for the cd32, but they cost way too much. I would reccommend an a1200 if you can't find a good price for cd32 expansion. However, if you know someone that is good at making circuit boards and do-it yourself electronics, you could always make your own floppy controller .
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Old 14 November 2002, 22:25   #8
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What do I need to open the LHA file about making a floppy controller?
 
Old 14 November 2002, 22:27   #9
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Use WinZip on PeCe (on Amiga you would use LHA ) !
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Old 14 November 2002, 22:29   #10
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Ahhh.....I haven't got Winzip on this computer yet, its fairly new and I havent had a need for it, the windows zip managing has proved adequate. I'll just transfer it on to my other PC, which has WinZip I think
 
Old 14 November 2002, 22:30   #11
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For windows, I use winrar.

It basically contains a few iff pics showing what you have to solder on the motherboard, and also a PCB layout and a bunch of text files that tell you what parts you need and how to build it. However, this document is VERY technical, and if you don't have any experience making circuit boards, I'd just leave it alone. It's way over my head anyways.
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Old 14 November 2002, 22:40   #12
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I tried loading it in Winzip, it comes up with some errors about long filenames, then it loads up the archive and there are alot of files without program icons (.info, .notes). Winzip says it needs an external LHA program, which I assume is Winrar?
 
Old 14 November 2002, 22:44   #13
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Winzip is asking for LHA.EXE which is some DOS lha unpacker.

WinRAR is a completely different program that supports ZIP, RAR, LHA, ect and it even does long filenames without any problems.

WinRAR 3.0
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Old 14 November 2002, 22:55   #14
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Thanks . I still can't look at the files in there though, except the .txt. I probably wouldn't understand anyway, but I'll keep it in case I can find someone who does.
 
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