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Old 13 June 2016, 22:37   #1
vroom6sri
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Time for some more A1200 enhancements?

When I reach a "significant" birthday next month I'm being urged by my family to treat myself for a change so I was wondering what I should consider buying for my A1200.

I've already got an ACA 1230/56 and CF card and that gives some pretty nice results but I was thinking should I buy an Indivision card and/or consider replacing my ACA 1230/56 with the ACA 1233/55 with MMU as this reads on Jens' website as now being his fastest (dare I say best) accelerator. Whilst I am likely to get a nice chunk of cash I can't justify spending silly money on the all-singing 1260 accelerators even if I could source a decent one.

I guess I might only see a minor improvement with that accelerator upgrade but do you guys have any suggestions please? And is the Indivision card just a pretty-things-up kind of deal or is it a significant enhancement would you say?
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Old 13 June 2016, 23:41   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vroom6sri View Post
When I reach a "significant" birthday next month I'm being urged by my family to treat myself for a change so I was wondering what I should consider buying for my A1200.

I've already got an ACA 1230/56 and CF card and that gives some pretty nice results but I was thinking should I buy an Indivision card and/or consider replacing my ACA 1230/56 with the ACA 1233/55 with MMU as this reads on Jens' website as now being his fastest (dare I say best) accelerator. Whilst I am likely to get a nice chunk of cash I can't justify spending silly money on the all-singing 1260 accelerators even if I could source a decent one.

I guess I might only see a minor improvement with that accelerator upgrade but do you guys have any suggestions please? And is the Indivision card just a pretty-things-up kind of deal or is it a significant enhancement would you say?
Not sure buying a slightly different 030 will be that noticable?
1240 Accelerators are not *that* bad price wise, but it all depends on what you do or want to be able to do that you couldn't do before.
There sure are a bunch of games and demos that will run faster but you may encounter some new issues too..

Indivision surely gives you new screen-connectivity options so if you value that part and it will make your life easier then maybe that's a good thing to buy.
IMO its a pricey piece of equipment for what it does. (Same price as a Vampire V2, no?)
Personally, I have an LCD monitor that can natively sync to 15kHz (BenQ BL702A) but, ye, then Im stuck on 17" but it only costs ~£85 on Amazon . (Theres a 19" model too)


Anyhoo, maybe instead of just focusing at a couple of items, you should ask yourself if there's something new you want to do with your 1200, somehting that will extend your experience with it.
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Old 13 June 2016, 23:52   #3
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Personally I would keep the 030 and look for adding a CDrom or USB.
Do you use floppies much? An HXC is a nice bit of kit for using adf's instead.
Internal PicoPsu; upgrade the A1200's power supply, get rid of the brick and use a laptop power supply instead.
Add Rhys mk2 usb adapters to the mouse/joystick ports. Use wireless usb mice and gamepads.

At the end of the day it's really up to you, it's your 1200
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Old 14 June 2016, 22:02   #4
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Thanks for the info and advice, guys.

The Rhys mk2 looks like a great little present idea for myself. I will look into that some more.

I can't see many 1240 cards for sale but I see there was one recently sold on Amibay that was up for around £230 which seemed reasonable for the performance - 26MIPS compared to around (I think) 12MIPS of the ACA 1230/56. I like those numbers!

Arnie - Just curious as to what the attraction of having a CDROM on the A1200 is from your point of view. Is it just nice having a more expanded system?
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Old 14 June 2016, 22:16   #5
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Your system sounds great. Just get a floppy emulator and yeah, definitely a picoPSU internal setup, and the usb adapter sounds nice, actually my Amiga mouse is in such shitty state, I should change it for something like that, too.
Anything else sounds preposterous and entering that slippery slope of "turning my Amiga into a Windows 98 PC"
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Old 14 June 2016, 23:15   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vroom6sri View Post
Arnie - Just curious as to what the attraction of having a CDROM on the A1200 is from your point of view. Is it just nice having a more expanded system?
No attraction for me, but some people like to use them for Magazine CD's, CD32 emulation.
The last time I suggested that there was little use for them I got shot down in flames then machine gunned as I parachuted down
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Old 15 June 2016, 09:27   #7
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Hmmmmm this is an interesting query indeed.

While an 040 is generally twice the speed of the 030 I found them a little less compatible with some WHDLoad titles compared to an 030 (or 060) based adaptor, one could argue it might be library based, yet here is the list of 040's I have tried (extensively)
A1200 - Apollo 040@25
A1200 - Falcon 040@25
A1200 - BPPC 603e@200 / 040 @25
A2000 - GVP Combo 040@33
A4000 - CBM A3640 @ 33Mhz
The thing with an 040 is that once you have it... you will want an 060.... If I could offer anything in terms of advice at this level it would be to either save for an 060 based Apollo / Blizzard or purchase an upgradeable 040 to 060 based accelerator - such like a Blizzard 040 or an Apollo 040 with the 131 MACH chip.

Arguably you might save yourself a cool £100 off established prices if you go the upgrade route.

Accelerator's aside - here would be my top recommendations for your current system
  • PCMCIA WIFI / Ethernet (Cheap as chips!)
  • FAST ATA ( look on www.amigakit.com )
  • USB ( look on www.amigakit.com )
  • MAS player (MP3 off load engine)
  • Indivision AGA Mk1 (if you can find 'em)


At this point it would be wrong of me not to mention the Mediator PCI solution as you can achieve quite a lot after the initial investment with next to nothing expense of PC PCI cards - including USB 2, RTG Graphics, Fast IDE, 16bit Sound. However - this would need a PC case (modified or bought as) - unless you use nothing short of witchcraft and or sorcery to get it in an A1200 case

What would I do, well I will be honest - either look to getting an 060 or Build a Tower / Desktop PCI based Amiga - and then go for an 060 =)


You can get a 6x PCI Mediator for your A1200 for £215 from Amigakit (you might get a cheaper one second hand if you put up a wanted advert on www.amibay.com)

With that PCI network and sound cards are pennies (if that) compared to Amiga Zorro based hardware. You may have to put in a good £10 for a 256MB Graphics card though - with a bit of jiggery-pokery a USB2.0 PCI card can be made to work - that maybe will cost you a £5 - bang on an IDE card and TV card - you have an Amazing system.

Sadly this needs a PC Tower / Modified Desktop chassis and keyboard adaptor.


My primary A1200 is in a custom desktop chassis with -
  • ZIV Zorro Board
  • ZIV Fast ATA (Thanks to a PPC powered old sprite!)
  • PCMCIA WIFI NIC,
  • ZIV PCI Mediator
  • PCI Vodoo 5500
  • PCI Radeon 9200
  • PCI Spider USB2.0
  • PCI SoundBlaster

With this setup it has 64MB on the Apollo 060@80 and a further 128MB from the Radeon GFX Card.


If you can live with a modified PC tower or Desktop chassis - then I would humbly recommend an 040 upgrade and PCI mediator solution which with a little bit of shrewishness you could achieve under £500 - you wont be disappointed
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Old 15 June 2016, 13:57   #8
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The last time I suggested that there was little use for them I got shot down in flames then machine gunned as I parachuted down
That made me chuckle.
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Old 15 June 2016, 14:09   #9
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Thanks again, all.

Some real meaty info for me to deliberate over although, after the first read through, I am thinking I only need gear that'll (simply) enhance the quality of games and demos. The Rys mk2 is pretty much a certainty, the PicoPSU is a distinct possibility and, depending on the availability and the price, an 040 (with upgrade option for 060) is a strong possibility. On that note, is Amibay the best/only place for me to track one down?
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Old 15 June 2016, 20:48   #10
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I would post here on eab as well as AmiBay - keep an eye out for 040 accelerator on eBay
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Old 15 June 2016, 22:23   #11
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Selling your 030, finding and buying a blizzard 040 and then upgrading it to an 060 is definitely the most cost effective way to get 060 power (until vampire1200 is released).
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Old 15 June 2016, 22:59   #12
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Selling your 030, finding and buying a blizzard 040 and then upgrading it to an 060 is definitely the most cost effective way to get 060 power (until vampire1200 is released).
But power to do what?
I wouldn't get an 060 to watch the 1? 2? 060 demos that are released every year, if any at all.
Also, classic games will mostly not be improved by an 060. Not even the 3D ones.

The OP has a perfect system for gaming and demo watching that can be slightly improved for his use wihtout him having to rob a bank to afford an accelerator he will hardly use.
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Old 15 June 2016, 23:05   #13
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I think a fast OS is worth it alone when going 060 but maybe people these days use a frontend for games and not the system anymore.
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Old 16 June 2016, 02:54   #14
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My OS is fast enough with the 50 Mhz 030, at least for game loading and stuff.
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Old 16 June 2016, 05:40   #15
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My little advice (which I'm also following myself):

Save your money for the Vampire1200 which will hopefully be released by the end of the year.
That, IMO, is the best treat one can give to an A1200
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Old 16 June 2016, 11:01   #16
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But power to do what?
I wouldn't get an 060 to watch the 1? 2? 060 demos that are released every year, if any at all.
Also, classic games will mostly not be improved by an 060. Not even the 3D ones.

The OP has a perfect system for gaming and demo watching that can be slightly improved for his use wihtout him having to rob a bank to afford an accelerator he will hardly use.
He mentioned an 060 in his original post so he's clearly thought about one but said he didn't want to spend silly money. So I offered a route to the most cost effective way I can see to getting an 060 if he still wanted to.

I made no mention of whether he should or not, as that's an entirely different matter.

I personally could not go back to less than 060 speed, but maybe that's just me.
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Old 16 June 2016, 13:50   #17
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I made no mention of whether he should or not, as that's an entirely different matter.

I personally could not go back to less than 060 speed, but maybe that's just me.
I was doing 3d rendering on Amiga back in the mid 90s so I was an early adopter and grabbed one of earliest Blizzard 1260s released. After that, 030 felt ridiculously under-powered.
However , these days, I doubt anyone does actual heavy work on 20+ year old hardware, so for most games a fast 030 will go a long way, so it all boils down to what the OP wants to do..
The 040/060 sure gives nice speed boost, but if he's not going to utilize it then it might be misplaced investment...

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Old 16 June 2016, 18:25   #18
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060 for rendering makes sense, as there's a lot of number crunching there.
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Old 16 June 2016, 21:00   #19
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060 is pointless if he isn't going to make use of the extra power. A 1230 is fine (as long as you haven't used a 1260 - after that it is a little bit harder to go back)
I still can't make myself trade down despite me having no call for a 1260.

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Old 16 June 2016, 22:44   #20
vroom6sri
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Thanks for all the info, well made points and suggestions.

I am very pleased with my current setup. It makes me proud of my A1200 that I've owned for around 20yrs. Back in the day I couldn't afford any upgrades and got the A1200 second hand in the first place. Money isn't such a worry nowadays but I am still a stickler for value for money and being sensible with my treats. An 040 based accelerator that can be upgraded to an 060 is very appealing but I wasn't aware of this Vampire looming on the horizon. Methinks I'll wait a bit unless a well priced 040 comes along��.

Sorry but another question about the Rys USB adapters - do they fit side by side in the back of an A1200 and do they work with joystick/mouse extender cables?
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