English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Amiga scene

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 25 June 2014, 15:18   #1
Photon
Moderator
Photon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,452
Kipper2k 8MB+IDE tested

I tested Kipper2k's board and compare it to ACA500 in this article. (With review and installation.)
Photon is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
Old 25 June 2014, 15:48   #2
NovaCoder
Registered User
NovaCoder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Melbourne/Australia
Posts: 3,444
Nice article, thanx
NovaCoder is offline  
Old 25 June 2014, 19:20   #3
alexh
Thalion Webshrine
alexh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 11,941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photon
why can't it boot to the CF card with kick 1.3, like my very old harddisk expansions??
Unlike those units it has no boot ROM and hence no drivers.

You can patch the KS3.1 A600 Gayle IDE driver into your KS1.3 and burn a new EPROM. Lots of users do this

http://aminet.net/package/util/boot/kick13scsipatch
alexh is offline  
Old 25 June 2014, 19:40   #4
kipper2k
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Thunder Bay, Canada
Posts: 3,616
Nice article, a couple things i think worth mentioning, 8mb ram allows WHDLoad games to load completely into ram and allow faster access between levels etc, With an extra 512k chipmem added to the internal expansion slot you have a very nice WHDLoad machine,

The best A500 in my thoughts is the Rev8 (A500+) as you have latest Agnus and good game compatibility. On the negative side, i haven't been able to get my Action Replay III cartridge working, There's gotta be a way, just need someone smart enough to figure it out..Hint Hint!

A little background info, Apparently the AR3 cartridge reserves mem location 400000. My 8mb ram board uses a contiguous block $200000 - 9FFFFF. The CDTV PLCC reserves no memory and can be added manually using the addmem command so you would think there is a possibility to not add memory in the $400000 region but there is still crashing

Last edited by kipper2k; 25 June 2014 at 20:04.
kipper2k is offline  
Old 26 June 2014, 02:08   #5
demolition
Unregistered User
demolition's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Copenhagen / DK
Age: 37
Posts: 3,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by kipper2k View Post
A little background info, Apparently the AR3 cartridge reserves mem location 400000. My 8mb ram board uses a contiguous block $200000 - 9FFFFF. The CDTV PLCC reserves no memory and can be added manually using the addmem command so you would think there is a possibility to not add memory in the $400000 region but there is still crashing
Even if the CDTV version does not use auto config, it still has memory at that address, so it could still be conflicting with the AR if it responds to read/write commands in that region.

You could try to make a custom chip which removes memory from $400000 forwards and see if that changes anything. I don't know how big a region the AR3 uses, but probably not more than 1MB? In that case, having 4MB from $600000 to $9FFFFF might still be fine.
demolition is offline  
Old 26 June 2014, 05:39   #6
DonutKing
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 38
Quote:
Nice article, a couple things i think worth mentioning, 8mb ram allows WHDLoad games to load completely into ram and allow faster access between levels etc, With an extra 512k chipmem added to the internal expansion slot you have a very nice WHDLoad machine,
This is a good point. Having used my ACA500 with an ACA1232 for a couple of months now I have to say it is not an ideal WHDLoad machine.

The ACA500 only comes with 2MB of RAM, and you lose half of this if you use maprom to boot Kickstart 3.1.
This is not enough for most WHDload games or demos. Most fail to run, the ones that do will have a blank screen while loading.

While you can install an A1200 accelerator into the ACA500, there is a performance penalty for anything that uses the Amiga chipset extensively. Unfortunately this includes most games and demos. I have found many of these will stutter and the music will slow down when an A1200 accelerator is installed.

This isn't related to whdload, even booting the games/demos off a floppy shows the same symptoms. With the A1200 accelerator removed however, everything is normal.

For Workbench and stuff that doesn't use the chipset, my ACA500 + ACA1232 flies. For WHDload, I'm finding more and more games/demos that don't work properly unless I to disable the ACA1232, and then fight to get enough free memory to run them.

While the ACA500 does have a few nifty features - external AUX CF card slot is great for getting files onto the system, KS1.3 + 3.1 with patched IDE and FAT support, and of course the A1200 accelerator slot which was no doubt quite a technical achievement - the lack of RAM and hobbled A1200 accelerator make this a disappointing WHDLoad solution for me.

If WHDload isn't your priority then the ACA500 is probably ideal. Otherwise I'd say one of kipper2k's boards is the better solution.
DonutKing is offline  
Old 26 June 2014, 20:09   #7
Photon
Moderator
Photon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Unlike those units it has no boot ROM and hence no drivers.

You can patch the KS3.1 A600 Gayle IDE driver into your KS1.3 and burn a new EPROM. Lots of users do this

http://aminet.net/package/util/boot/kick13scsipatch
I prefer to use unmodified Commodore ROMs in my Amigas. And "lots of users" is false and completely irrelevant. Anyone who has a 16-bit ROM EPROM burner and has ordered such chips can probably make his own boards too.

The number of A500s with kick 1.3 in them is HUGE, number of Amiga EPROM burner users, maybe 50 in the world and half of them probably have no A500.

This is what makes it a bummer that he didn't add support for booting under kick 1.3. The vast majority who had an A500 and wanted to bring it out and use it with this nice upgrade, will go "bootdisk? ...really." While it's still usable, I think it's important to bring it up and give the advice to upgrade to kick 3.1 before installing the card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonutKing View Post
This is a good point. Having used my ACA500 with an ACA1232 for a couple of months now I have to say it is not an ideal WHDLoad machine.

The ACA500 only comes with 2MB of RAM, and you lose half of this if you use maprom to boot Kickstart 3.1.
This is not enough for most WHDload games or demos. Most fail to run, the ones that do will have a blank screen while loading.

While you can install an A1200 accelerator into the ACA500, there is a performance penalty for anything that uses the Amiga chipset extensively. Unfortunately this includes most games and demos. I have found many of these will stutter and the music will slow down when an A1200 accelerator is installed.

This isn't related to whdload, even booting the games/demos off a floppy shows the same symptoms. With the A1200 accelerator removed however, everything is normal.

For Workbench and stuff that doesn't use the chipset, my ACA500 + ACA1232 flies. For WHDload, I'm finding more and more games/demos that don't work properly unless I to disable the ACA1232, and then fight to get enough free memory to run them.

While the ACA500 does have a few nifty features - external AUX CF card slot is great for getting files onto the system, KS1.3 + 3.1 with patched IDE and FAT support, and of course the A1200 accelerator slot which was no doubt quite a technical achievement - the lack of RAM and hobbled A1200 accelerator make this a disappointing WHDLoad solution for me.

If WHDload isn't your priority then the ACA500 is probably ideal. Otherwise I'd say one of kipper2k's boards is the better solution.
Other way around, because WHDLoad simply isn't made for unaccelerated A500. That is to say some A500 games stutter on my A500+GVP (harddisk+RAM interface identical to Kipper2k's) and the reason I'm told is that there is some interrupt overhead for the CPU.

ACA500's CPU handles this easily, and while 512K extra from upgrading your ROM chip (which is also necessary for Kipper2k's) doesn't accommodate preload for 4-disk etc games it can make some more games preload.

Actually I'm testing a combo of these two boards in my A500 But I won't be able to test it out fully until after Sunday since I'm going away for the weekend.

Last edited by Photon; 26 June 2014 at 20:47.
Photon is offline  
Old 26 June 2014, 21:11   #8
Gunnar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Germany
Posts: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photon View Post
This is what makes it a bummer that he didn't add support for booting under kick 1.3. The vast majority who had an A500 and wanted to bring it out and use it with this nice upgrade, will go "bootdisk? ...really." While it's still usable, I think it's important to bring it up and give the advice to upgrade to kick 3.1 before installing the card.
On the other hand many people have a Kickswitcher with both 1.3 and 3.1 since the good old 90th. These people have no problem .
Gunnar is offline  
Old 26 June 2014, 22:21   #9
Photon
Moderator
Photon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,452
Users that already have 3.1 likely already have harddisk+RAM, don't you agree? (And BTW those will likely have problems with Kipper2k's card because I doubt any switch will fit under the board. (?))

I'm asking for "the guy taking his A500 from his parent's attic to start using it". The one who will go, "cool, new expansions, now I can get my Amiga going". The guy who will buy these cards.

The guy who doesn't have the knowledge we here have accumulated. These snags that we know how to fix are hurdles for him. That's why I show the two snags, soldering and the easiest way for autobooting, swapping ROM chip.
Photon is offline  
Old 26 June 2014, 22:27   #10
Gunnar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Germany
Posts: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photon View Post
Users that already have 3.1 likely already have harddisk+RAM, don't you agree?
Yes maybe some.

I've an A1000 since the beginning.
I've added a Kickswitcher in the early 90th. But never added a hardrive to it.


I think that when people take the A500 from the Attic and start using it,
then either having a rom switcher or having 3.1 roms makes sense for them.
There are quite some cool stuff which needs 3.0 and if you upgrade your A500 then upgrading it to kick 3.1 might be a good idea too, don't you think?
Gunnar is offline  
Old 26 June 2014, 23:36   #11
Photon
Moderator
Photon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,452
No, all of them. You upgrade to 3.1 to run the latest Workbench etc. Absolutely no point in upgrading from 1.3 to 3.1 if you're running off floppies. This should be obvious.

The 'cool stuff that requires 3.0' is absolutely pointless to run 'program by program' from floppies on an A500. The only reason to upgrade to 3.1 on A500 is for the whole shebang: libraries, Workbench, ClassicWB, WHDLoad, all that good stuff together!

Last edited by Photon; 26 June 2014 at 23:41.
Photon is offline  
Old 27 June 2014, 00:27   #12
DonutKing
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 38
Quote:
Other way around, because WHDLoad simply isn't made for unaccelerated A500
Be that as it may, the fact is that adding an A1200 accelerator to my ACA500 makes games and demos run worse - even without whload.

Without the accelerator you wont have enough memory to run most whdload slaves!

Maybe neither of these expansions are good whdload solutions...
DonutKing is offline  
Old 27 June 2014, 00:52   #13
alexh
Thalion Webshrine
alexh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 11,941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photon View Post
I prefer to use unmodified Commodore ROMs in my Amigas. And "lots of users" is false and completely irrelevant. The number of A500s with kick 1.3 in them is HUGE, number of Amiga EPROM burner users, maybe 50 in the world and half of them probably have no A500.
Are you ok? You're usually a very balanced intuitive guy. In this context "lots of users" did not mean A500 users but users of this IDE interface for A500 which has been around for decades. Even before Kipper2k did his board!

Quote:
This is what makes it a bummer that he didn't add support for booting under kick 1.3.
You should do your homework. This is not his design. It is a recreation of the A600 Gayle IDE done years ago. Kipper2k merged two existing boards. IDE68k by Mr.Mkl and A608 by LordV.

Stuttering on preloaded WHDload slaves on 7mhz Amiga's is usually bad slave coding and can be fixed if you bring it to the authors attention .
alexh is offline  
Old 27 June 2014, 02:42   #14
Photon
Moderator
Photon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonutKing View Post
Be that as it may, the fact is that adding an A1200 accelerator to my ACA500 makes games and demos run worse - even without whload.

Without the accelerator you wont have enough memory to run most whdload slaves!

Maybe neither of these expansions are good whdload solutions...
That's not true either. You'd be hard pressed to find an A500 game that doesn't start with 2MB fastmem. Out of all the slaves I tried with the ACA500, only one game needed more - Frontier. Most A500 games were happy with 1MB or they wouldn't get sold, the overhead for WB and WHDLoad fits in the remaining RAM. See my ACA500 video for more detail on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Are you ok? You're usually a very balanced intuitive guy. In this context "lots of users" did not mean A500 users but users of this IDE interface for A500 which has been around for decades. Even before Kipper2k did his board!


You should do your homework. This is not his design. It is a recreation of the A600 Gayle IDE done years ago. Kipper2k merged two existing boards. IDE68k by Mr.Mkl and A608 by LordV.

Stuttering on preloaded WHDload slaves on 7mhz Amiga's is usually bad slave coding and can be fixed if you bring it to the authors attention .
Yes, I remember now that that is usually the problem. Who will A500-fix the Turricans, the X/Z-out, Silkworm etc etc? With the fast ACA500 you won't have to wait for them fix the games you'd like to play.

It's not obvious two cards sold years apart are the same design. You may have followed hardware designs over the years, non hardware design buffs have not. A guy with an A500 is just wondering how he's going to give his A500 RAM+IDE, or he needs to replace his GVP - and then he'd be as surprised as I when he has to use a bootdisk. Are you saying it's impossible to add a bootrom to this design? Even if it is, you'd have to know the hardware design to know that. And just the hardware design buffs know the hardware design. See what I mean?
Photon is offline  
Old 27 June 2014, 04:48   #15
NovaCoder
Registered User
NovaCoder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Melbourne/Australia
Posts: 3,444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photon View Post
Most A500 games were happy with 1MB or they wouldn't get sold, the overhead for WB and WHDLoad fits in the remaining RAM. See my ACA500 video for more detail on that.
Kind off topic but I had to ask.

Why does WHDLOAD leave WB in FASTRAM? From what I understand WHDLOAD 'freezes' WB because it needs to take over the OS. If it's frozen then it could just be dumped to hard disk and then the FASTRAM it occupied could be used by the game (copied back to FASTRAM when you quit the game of course).

Maybe I'm missing something

Actually thinking about it, maybe they do that way in case the game crashes and you are left without an OS.

Last edited by NovaCoder; 27 June 2014 at 04:55.
NovaCoder is offline  
Old 27 June 2014, 05:49   #16
DonutKing
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photon View Post
That's not true either. You'd be hard pressed to find an A500 game that doesn't start with 2MB fastmem. Out of all the slaves I tried with the ACA500, only one game needed more - Frontier. Most A500 games were happy with 1MB or they wouldn't get sold, the overhead for WB and WHDLoad fits in the remaining RAM. See my ACA500 video for more detail on that.
I think you are just postulating here whereas I am speaking from experience.

Rev6 A500, stock except for 512kb trapdoor expansion, and ACA500.
Booting WB3.1 to run WHDLoad, you lose half a meg of fast RAM for maprom.
With this configuration there were many whdload slaves that wouldn't run, even if I booted classicWB in minimal or CLI modes. The error was 'Can't allocate ExpMem' or some variation. I've fiddled with tooltypes and various options on the ACA500, they wouldn't make the slaves work.

James Pond and Zool are good examples - they wouldn't run without the ACA1232 due to lack of RAM. With the ACA1232 they slow down and drop frames particularly when there are a lot of enemies on screen. Booting these games from a floppy (not WHDLoad) exhibits the same behaviour.

I could play Turrican without the ACA1232, but with it enabled it drops frames in busy scenes.
I've found a lot of demos that do this too.

Jens himself confirmed on these boards that chipset bandwidth suffers if you use an A1200 accelerator in your ACA500.

Now I am left wishing I hadn't forked out for the ACA1232 and instead just bought more RAM upgrades for the A500.

I really did try to give the ACA500 a chance even when many people were being negative about it - but I have to say that after using it I am a bit disappointed with it.
DonutKing is offline  
Old 27 June 2014, 12:21   #17
Photon
Moderator
Photon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,452
Other way around.

Just because you expected even faster WHDLoad performance with an accelerator and didn't get it because of how the games were coded once-upon-a-time, ACA500 is a bad WHDLoad machine? No, only with an accelerator installed. As you say yourself, you can disable it and the full-framerate games work.

However, if you try those with no CPU acceleration, you find my claim that WHDLoad wasn't made to play A500 games on A500 is true, and they start to stutter. So the only option right now is ACA500 or a vintage GVP accelerator or similar. These "tight" games are far from all the games there are, of course. All other games will run fine.

So the Kipper2k card is good but not perfect and ACA500 is good but not perfect. With the right A500(+) setup however, the ACA500 can be and the Kipper2k cannot.

As for memory size, look at my two videos (before and after the WHDLoad 17.2 update) for how to get them running with the admittedly unfortunate RAM size on the ACA500. (As in, 1M more and you could just install any WHDLoad setup and go, and my videos would be obsolete.) Now it is as it is, and so I made the how-to videos.
Photon is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A500 4/8mb with IDE board completed kipper2k Hardware mods 274 13 October 2016 15:42
SATA > IDE adapter tested alenppc support.Hardware 21 04 November 2014 04:04
Kipper2k's 8MB+IDE: make a slot for the CF card in A500? Photon Hardware mods 3 26 June 2014 19:42
kipper2k ide board and kickstart switch locnar77 support.Hardware 7 09 December 2013 04:03
No way to get over 8Mb on my IDE 80MB WD Hard Drive Foul support.Hardware 4 28 April 2010 19:13

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 13:09.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Page generated in 0.27442 seconds with 11 queries