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Old 29 January 2016, 12:50   #1
TuKo
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[UserReview] Vampire V2-128 received and it's just pure p0rn.

Dear all,

I'm very pleased to announce that I've received my card, from the first batch from majsta. I received it quickly as I'll be demonstrating it within next days in Switzerland to our local Amiga usergroup.

I'll continuously be updating this thread with pictures, comments and videos.

1) Unboxing and first tests
I received it with the SILVER core, which will be the default one everyone should receive. The card was well packaged and it included two mounts. Kipper2k made a small tutorial explaning how to install them.

The card :




Physical installation went fine and after some minutes my A600 (rev1.5) booted. My A600 is upgraded with A604n, RTC clock and I'm using a RGB->VGA adapter and Rys MKII USB adapter for my Logitech mouse.



As you can see on the picture, my Amiga is showing ROM 3.1. The hardware ROM 3.1 is completely bypassed and only the dumped ROM inside Vampire is used. Why that ? It's because the Apollo team had to patch some routines to get the 128Mb fully adressed and standardize Vampire setups. It's also faster as it's acting more or less like a MapROM. Anyway, this part is not the most interesting one...

Then, I added my CF with 3.9bb2 (without ROM Update as it is known to cause problem) and it booted. After disabling FBlit which also cause graphic corruption at the moment, I then immediatly went to see my old friend Sysinfo.



I then headed to my favourite Amiga game... Simon the Sorcerer, running WHDLoad 18.2. It worked flawlessly and I even had less hickups than with my old ACA620.

So... yes, it's alive, it exists and it's just the fastest Amiga accelerator I've ever had.

The magic is there...


2) Silver core - my impressions

My first impression is exactly the same as the one when I went from my A1200 '030 to my shiny A4000 '060. It boots like a rocket and workbench is snappy as it could be in WinUAE.

Only thing that was a bit hard at start was to understand that the card takes a bit more time (I mean, no more than 1-2 seconds) than with the onboard CPU to boot or reboot. So when you want to shutdown your A600 and quickly power it on back, you'll have to wait some seconds.

I've been amazed to play a MP3 on my A600, it was just impossible until now !

So, at current state, Silver Core provides the user mostly speed and horse power. In the future, we will know how to work with P96 once the licencing thing has been sorted out.

3) Beta cores

I was in discussion with the Apollo team to join the testing team because I naturally love taking risks and testing new things. I'm that kind of user that will take time to push things to get last decimal of performance... adding real-use test case to the team will be my objective as I have no ASM knowledge. Taking this route, I have been warned that it might not be the most stable one, but I'm ok with that.

As I have access to latest beta cores, I installed Quartus software and flashed my card with the latest one and an USB Blaster. Majsta wrote a tutorial about this. I did it installing the latest version of Quartus on a Windows 10 x64 environnment.

First thing, and not the smallest one, is that it immediatly added about 20% of performance in SysInfo.


But the big thing is this...


After some days with it and several core tested, I got OS3.9bb4 running (screenshot taken with Sgrab) :

Last edited by TuKo; 31 January 2016 at 17:19.
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Old 29 January 2016, 14:59   #2
AMike
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Thank you for the first review - please test also some games and demos.
Edit: Test with the betacore the last Elude 060 Demos - they run also on gfxcards - perhaps they work with the picasso driver.

Last edited by AMike; 29 January 2016 at 15:14.
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Old 29 January 2016, 16:23   #3
TuKo
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I think Elude 060 demos require FPU. As the FPU part is actually not enabled, it shouldn't work.
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Old 29 January 2016, 16:32   #4
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Are you sure? MFlops shows the FPU power or am I wrong?
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Old 29 January 2016, 16:33   #5
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For me, the most interesting bit is the graphics side of things: that looks hugely impressive!

Thanks for sharing. Tempted to find a cheap 600 now and get on the list, but I'd prefer a vampire 500 ;-)
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Old 29 January 2016, 16:50   #6
TuKo
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A600 is getting a lot of attention atm, thanks to his small form factor (easy to take it to retroparties and so) and his PCMCIA port. If you can get one, jump on it before they reach sky high prices ;-)
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Old 29 January 2016, 16:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMike View Post
Are you sure? MFlops shows the FPU power or am I wrong?
Yes, I'm sure. FPU is not enabled.

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Old 29 January 2016, 17:29   #8
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Maybe WhichAmiga simply doesn't detect known FPU so result is "not available"
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Old 29 January 2016, 17:36   #9
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It's not yet enabled. That was a statement not an assumption.

Last edited by TuKo; 29 January 2016 at 17:49.
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Old 29 January 2016, 18:28   #10
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I think SysInfo always runs an FPU test when it detects an 040 even if the FPU is not there. In the case of an 68LC40 this would inevitably lead to a crash. For this reason the FPU instructions carried out by SysInfo were enabled which is also why there is a MFLOPS score. However, the FPU is not tested yet which is why it stays disabled until other more important things have been tested and completed.
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Old 29 January 2016, 18:40   #11
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@TuKo
Congratulation on receiving the Vampire 600 Now, testing, testing, testing
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Old 29 January 2016, 20:03   #12
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So, for what it's worth, I'm concerned Majsta isn't charging enough for these things. After watching the video of what he has to go through for soldering, even with all the fancy new eq, I'm convinced of it.

How many pre-orders were there, a hundred? more? The joy and novelty of bringing his amazing new child into the world will wear eventually.

At some point, he will no doubt say to himself and others, "I'm not making any more. It's just too much boring work." But what he'll really be saying is, "The labor is not is not worth what I get out of it." After all, we'd all rather not work, but we do it because the money is worth it. At $130 (or so) a pop, for the work he's doing? Unless he's a truly remarkable and unusual human being, I fear those pre-orders will also be the post-orders.

He should raise the price.

- Bo

P.S. No, I did not pre-order, and yes, I want one, so yes, I am motivated to say these things because I believe them: I don't think anyone will get one at that price beyond his initial obligation.
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Old 29 January 2016, 20:22   #13
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Igor (majsta) is a truly remarkable and unusual human being.

The price for new orders from Kipper2k is 150 Euro, so it has risen slightly because of the better and extra components used in the final design and other factors.
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Old 29 January 2016, 20:46   #14
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This really looks like p0rn

Canīt wait to get my hand on one of these .... my A600 really NEEDS THIS THINGY !!!

Great report, thx for that
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Old 29 January 2016, 21:00   #15
DutchinUSA
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Bozimmerman

http://www.kipper2k.com/accel600.html

Main page also has some updates: http://www.kipper2k.com/newwelcome.html

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Old 31 January 2016, 16:20   #16
TuKo
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Added a screenshot on post #1
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Old 01 February 2016, 08:15   #17
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Too bad it doesn't work with an Indivision ECS. Main reason I didn't get it. It got a Furia EC020 v2 instead.
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Old 01 February 2016, 12:29   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8bitbubsy View Post
Too bad it doesn't work with an Indivision ECS. Main reason I didn't get it. It got a Furia EC020 v2 instead.
What do you need an Indivision for? If it is for interfacing analogue out to a modern monitor, just buy a 30€ SCART upscaler...
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Old 01 February 2016, 12:48   #19
TuKo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8bitbubsy View Post
Too bad it doesn't work with an Indivision ECS. Main reason I didn't get it. It got a Furia EC020 v2 instead.
Indivision ECS might be useless once native Amiga resolution are sent through HDMI. Until then, I use a RGB->VGA Adapter with a Dell U2410 monitor.
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Old 01 February 2016, 14:55   #20
Davka
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Thumbs up

Mine has arrived too

Davka Blog - Vampire 2 has arrived!

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