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Old 10 March 2017, 14:55   #1
Juz400
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Please Apollo team, a Mini PCIE slot is a MUST have for future Vampire

Hi, First post here

I think everybody will be missing a wonderful shortcut by not including a Mini PCIE slot

Someone else has done alot of the work already without even thinking of us!
I found this by accident on youtube today (10Mar17) its from 10Aug 2014!!

The Beast External Graphics card adaptor
It basically turns the mini PCIE slot inside a laptop usually used for a WiFi card into an external X16 PCIE Graphics card slot

[ Show youtube player ]
Version 8.4d 31Oct 2016
[ Show youtube player ]

Actual Source
http://www.banggood.com/Mini-PCI-E-V...p-1011222.html

Adding just the one mini PCIE port opens Apollo to a wealth of Cheap throw away graphics cards nobody wants in thier PC anymore!!!

The adaptor is around ($E)50 and just look at whats available for peanuts on ebay
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Graphics-V...p2045573.m1684

All those powefull video codecs are in the hardware ready to use, along with all that graphics power
Would we not have a 3rd Bank of RAM to build/decompress our graphics into making the precious 128MB of Apollo RAM go much further
The Apollo core would not need to break a sweat and its own compute performance be more focused

I have a fairly powerful PC (5820k with 290X) in 3Dmark Firestrike benchmark the GRAPHICS score did not go up much at all from a Xeon 5470 clocked at 4.2Ghz with the same 290X
4 cpu cores verses 6 cores with hyperthreading
The graphics card still has the same compute power no matter what CPU is running it.
Just the data flow between the CPU and GPU make the difference.

The Hardware is already just at our fingertips just that extra port could allow people to experiment with driving these little powerhouses.
Still embracing the Past (well the PC`s past) but rapidly moving Apollo/Amiga forward

Thanks for reading, Justin
Opinions Please!!!
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Old 10 March 2017, 15:42   #2
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Even if the hardware interface was added, someone would need to develop drivers for each card model before it could be used and that sounds very unrealistic to me.. There are too many models to support and Gfx drivers are complex to make unless you just want basic P96 functionality and then you might as well just use the Vampire's own HDMI output.
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Old 10 March 2017, 15:50   #3
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Are we still talking about Amiga here?
Like, what is the point of a miniPCIe slot on a Vampire? On an Amiga?
WHO will make software for whatever shit you put in it?
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Old 10 March 2017, 15:58   #4
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Also, the Vampire should be SLI capable and be able to take new Kaby Lake CPUs.
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Old 10 March 2017, 16:01   #5
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And don't forget the onboard Virtual Reality Laser Projector and the most important part. A Tea Maker!
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Old 10 March 2017, 16:16   #6
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second for a tea maker.
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Old 10 March 2017, 16:28   #7
Pat the Cat
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Obviously not the Japanese "Full Ceremony" tea maker.

Waiting 5 hours for a brew isn't accepted outside of Japan.

On topic, "shortcut" is an interesting word to use for including a completely alien bus, with no software support into an Amiga.

It translates for man-years of coding effort. By which time there is no guarantee there will be a glut of Mini PCI-E cards.

Last edited by Pat the Cat; 10 March 2017 at 16:37.
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Old 10 March 2017, 16:31   #8
matthey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juz400 View Post
Hi, First post here
Welcome to the forum, Justin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juz400 View Post
I think everybody will be missing a wonderful shortcut by not including a Mini PCIE slot

...

Adding just the one mini PCIE port opens Apollo to a wealth of Cheap throw away graphics cards nobody wants in their PC anymore!!!

PCIe and PCIe mini require a more expensive FPGA with SerDes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SerDes

Then there is the issue of increased power consumption support which adds more cost. The idea was to make the accelerator cards affordable upgrades for the masses. The Vampire accelerator HDMI with SAGA is already a big boost in gfx features and performance with little added cost. I wish my other "cheap" suggestion of ethernet could have been added to get more Amiga people online also. It would make more sense for an FPGA standalone board to add features. The more expensive FPGA with SerDes (roughly twice as expensive) and PCIe would make more sense there.

Disclosure: I was part of the Apollo group some people called a team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juz400 View Post
All those powerful video codecs are in the hardware ready to use, along with all that graphics power
Would we not have a 3rd Bank of RAM to build/decompress our graphics into making the precious 128MB of Apollo RAM go much further
The Apollo core would not need to break a sweat and its own compute performance be more focused
I have a Mediator+Voodoo4 with my Amiga and it does add some awesome features and performance even with this old '90s gfx card and through the slow bus.
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Old 10 March 2017, 16:53   #9
Juz400
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The ATI Radeon 9200 PCI appears to used in some Amiga setups, that was the RV280 chip
ATI X600 was the first PCIE card, that was the RV380 chip
Are these going to be completely different cookies? Nothing similar between them?

You can pick up those cards for the price of a Whopper and fries.

If the hardware is there somebody is going to play with it.
If its not Nobody is going to write jack shit are they.

Who wrote software(outside of amiga) before it was released?

I guess commodore made a mistake in fitting the A500/A600/A1200 with a bus connector underneath because nobody would want more than 512k/2mb

Absolutly NO ONE is going to play with and extra port if there is one?
A boy is usualy born with a penis, takes him a while to find out what its for and what fun can be had...
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Old 10 March 2017, 17:23   #10
Juz400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthey View Post
Welcome to the forum, Justin.




PCIe and PCIe mini require a more expensive FPGA with SerDes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SerDes

Then there is the issue of increased power consumption support which adds more cost. The idea was to make the accelerator cards affordable upgrades for the masses. The Vampire accelerator HDMI with SAGA is already a big boost in gfx features and performance with little added cost. I wish my other "cheap" suggestion of ethernet could have been added to get more Amiga people online also. It would make more sense for an FPGA standalone board to add features. The more expensive FPGA with SerDes (roughly twice as expensive) and PCIe would make more sense there.

Disclosure: I was part of the Apollo group some people called a team.



I have a Mediator+Voodoo4 with my Amiga and it does add some awesome features and performance even with this old '90s gfx card and through the slow bus.
Hi Matt,
Thank You for the welcome and thoughtful response.
We prob met before on the Natami forum a while back, everyone screaming we need this and this and this until it broke.
I was thinking `Future revisions` with this whole Idea, you mention cheap ethernet which is on the money too, how many little WiFi cards are there floating about for peanuts that are tiny and would disapear like a CF card inside an Amiga with a minipcie slot.
The legendary Mr Haynie kinda thought oh sod it why not use PCI when going forward. Someone else has got something good working why not just use that and save time and money
Why screen our selves off from using that abundant source of obsolete PC junk waiting to landfill.

I have really enjoyed watching Vampire grow, from the arguments(not so fun) on Natami forum to watching the videos on youtube showing what a bloody powerful piece of hardware its become.

Its absolutley something to plan ahead with now even if not implemented in hardware yet due to current BOM costs.
Im an oldie like most people here, I understand the economics of running a business with enough profit to put back into the R&D and production costs without making your product too expensive for anyone to enjoy
If Nobody can afford to enjoy it, everyone looses
Thanks Justin
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Old 10 March 2017, 18:55   #11
matthey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juz400 View Post
The ATI Radeon 9200 PCI appears to used in some Amiga setups, that was the RV280 chip
ATI X600 was the first PCIE card, that was the RV380 chip
Are these going to be completely different cookies? Nothing similar between them?
There is only a 68k 2D Radeon driver. A 2D driver is fairly straight forward but offers little benefit over SAGA. The Radeon would likely give faster 2D gfx operations but slower bitmap accesses. The 2D operations quickly reach a point of diminishing returns anyway. The 2D operations in an ASIC could be faster than the Radeon (less latency anyway). For 3D, the Radeon is going to be faster than SAGA in every case as SAGA does not have any 3D support currently. A 3D driver is much more difficult to write, the Radeon does not look like an easy chip to program and the documentation I have seen does not appear complete or easy to understand. I would expect a 3D driver to take 6 months for someone experienced in writing GPU drivers (perhaps 3 months for someone experienced in the GPU architecture) and would be expensive by a professional programmer.

It is possible to add 3D support in the FPGA. The synthesizable HDL code for a 3D GPU core can be bought (PowerVR, VideoCore IV, etc.) or a new home grown core created. An SIMD unit in the CPU can do some 3D operations providing a 50%-150% speedup while being low latency and very energy efficient. Some of the old GPUs (and probably very high efficiency GPUs) are based on SIMD units. The Amiga Hombre chipset using PA-RISC was likely primarily SIMD driven as we examined in a thread here on eab.

http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=...8&postcount=22

Yes, it was handicapped by RISC fallacies and wouldn't have been much faster than a 68060 but there wasn't much competition in 3D then. It could have run in parallel to the 68060 freeing it to do other work. The Amiga blitter could be used in parallel until the 68040 or 68060 where it became a decelerator if used. The same blitter (logic) in an FPGA today will outperform many CPUs and provide a huge speedup for 2D operations today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juz400 View Post
You can pick up those cards for the price of a Whopper and fries.

...

I guess commodore made a mistake in fitting the A500/A600/A1200 with a bus connector underneath because nobody would want more than 512k/2mb
I understand the advantages of cheap commodity hardware and expandability but tight integration and standardization may be more important as chip technology slows down and Moore's law comes to an end. Chip designers can no longer add all the bloat (transistors) they want and count on die shrinks to make it possible (efficiency matters again). Create a 64 bit CPU with 20% worse code density and you will likely end up with a couple of CPU cores (for SMP) less than a 32 bit CPU which is able to improve code density by 20%. Could the 68k improve code density by 20%? I believe ISA improvements could improve it by 10%. If loops did not need unrolling and functions did not need inlining for performance then that may improve it by 10% more (the cost may not be zero but it only needs to be very close to zero). Most of the computing world does not need 64 bit addressing and pointers (if a CPU has good code density) which is going to be some 10% slower to begin with (everything else equal). Energy efficiency is also more important now as smaller closer together transistors leak current between them. The Amiga could use this opportunity to catch up if there were any tech savvy leaders with a vision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juz400 View Post
We prob met before on the Natami forum a while back, everyone screaming we need this and this and this until it broke.
Yep. I was on the Natami forum. Good times and very educational. I can't believe how much interest the Natami generated only to be ignored. I posted this on a thread here on EAB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matthey View Post
There are many low profile and lurker Amiga users. The Natami forum shows how they can come out of the wood work even without advertising. The Natami "MX Bringup Thread" with 761487 views still amazes me and is evidence of how incompetent the current Amiga owners are to ignore and avoid the much larger Amiga market and the economies of scale which could be used to make it affordable.

http://www.natami.net/knowledge.php?b=1&note=33366
Of course the Natami forum is finally gone but that was the link with 761487 views at that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juz400 View Post
I was thinking `Future revisions` with this whole Idea, you mention cheap ethernet which is on the money too, how many little WiFi cards are there floating about for peanuts that are tiny and would disapear like a CF card inside an Amiga with a minipcie slot.
We need to get more Amiga users online one way or another (preferably without emulation) to invigorate the community. Another option is adding USB and using those cheap little wireless USB adapters. USB would be handy for other things too but the fastest way to add it would be with a USB chip which adds cost (not just the chip but larger board and layout). Oh, I suggested the cheap mini PCIe WiFi laptop cards to Gunnar at one point also. Yep, they are practically free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juz400 View Post
Its absolutely something to plan ahead with now even if not implemented in hardware yet due to current BOM costs.
Im an oldie like most people here, I understand the economics of running a business with enough profit to put back into the R&D and production costs without making your product too expensive for anyone to enjoy
If Nobody can afford to enjoy it, everyone looses
There isn't really plan ahead with Gunnar though. He likes to hyper-optimize the core for FPGA and today. The so called "team" has competent CPU designers but Gunnar doesn't always know best. I left when the research stopped and the "team" became a joke.

Last edited by matthey; 10 March 2017 at 20:06.
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Old 10 March 2017, 19:09   #12
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yeah those been out forever they are just a over glorified pci-e powered riser it just converts a mini-pcie to a electrically compatible pci-e x1 slot yes u can use a x16 card in a 1x and any other, card will just run only at that pci-e speed its on so really that device is a marketing scam as it would suck at gaming only real use is adding extra monitors or scientific studies that dont need high pci-e speed
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Old 10 March 2017, 20:13   #13
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if one were to use anything a cheap way for vamp would be to add a MXM slot on a stand alone unless they decide to make a full board of some type pci/pci-e slots
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Old 10 March 2017, 23:38   #14
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I can't believe how much interest the Natami generated only to be ignored.
i think you are wholesale leaving the human factor as entity out of the equation. im actually surprised and very pleased by the continuity of effort gunnars and majsta projects are providing. hardly anything in amiga land can concure with this. i wouldnt be able to fulfill such a duty. i admire that!

Quote:
We need to get more Amiga users online one way or another
pretty sure amiga users out there are online, one way or the other. these who are not, dont count anyway in today terms. its not a question of having means being online (with amiga hardware), but to engage with the common cause, which is a different matter to discuss.
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Old 11 March 2017, 00:18   #15
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I read threads like this and seriously ask myself if I am really an "Amiga user", by the things said in here and similar threads, it seems I am not, despite me using one regularly, plenty and making stuff with and for it.

PCI-E? Getting online? Graphic cards? None of that has any place in my Amiga usage.
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Old 11 March 2017, 02:55   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthey View Post
We need to get more Amiga users online one way or another (preferably without emulation) to invigorate the community. Another option is adding USB and using those cheap little wireless USB adapters. USB would be handy for other things too but the fastest way to add it would be with a USB chip which adds cost (not just the chip but larger board and layout).
Subtle difference between getting "Amiga users" and "Amigas" online.

I think the SPI ports in Wicher and now TerribleFire accelerators are a big help. Likewise very cheap networking cards available now, difference is there are open source C code examples to base Amiga drivers on. Plipbox does add a network capability to an A500, but some folks want to use the parallel port for other things like AMAS MP3 decoders or whatever.

I doubt a PCI-X GFX card attached to such a port is going to outrun an Indivision (it might not even outrun a basic Amiga) but I think adding ports options, and perhaps case options, might be a more innovative way to progress. USB I am not so fond of, but obviously many people do want.

It makes the Classic machines more attractive for tinkerers and innovators. Not that the Amiga ever had a shortage of such people, but "Those who would build castles in the air must keep their feet on the ground".

Last edited by Pat the Cat; 11 March 2017 at 03:02.
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Old 11 March 2017, 04:12   #17
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Well how about this, same idea basically but make it Mini-PCI slot to use as a PCI-to-PCI bridge for future Amigas.

If or when the big box version of Vampire comes out, you could use the Mini-PCI slot to plug into the bridge slot of a Mediator. Then we get the benefits of full PCI speed to the Mediator slots instead of the slow PCI->Zorro way it is now. Then we get fast-ish access to Voodoo or Radeon RAM or PCI HDD controllers or you know any of what we thought would be fast on Mediator but isn't really at all, fast that is.
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Old 11 March 2017, 13:27   #18
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Getting online? Graphic cards? None of that has any place in my Amiga usage.
I used to think similarly but you really get used to the RTG capability and online-access to aminet or media and code storage on your PC in no time at all...
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Old 11 March 2017, 14:09   #19
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Considering how the current Vampire boards look, I wouldn't trust them to put a pin header on correctly, let alone their users.
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Old 11 March 2017, 15:23   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grelbfarlk View Post
Well how about this, same idea basically but make it Mini-PCI slot to use as a PCI-to-PCI bridge for future Amigas.

If or when the big box version of Vampire comes out, you could use the Mini-PCI slot to plug into the bridge slot of a Mediator. Then we get the benefits of full PCI speed to the Mediator slots instead of the slow PCI->Zorro way it is now. Then we get fast-ish access to Voodoo or Radeon RAM or PCI HDD controllers or you know any of what we thought would be fast on Mediator but isn't really at all, fast that is.
Thank you,
the reason I started the thread is keep `sensible` ideas flowing.

Again there is a wealth of Mini-PCI laptop network cards and other bits that are landfill nowadays.
The reason I signed up with the forum(After lurking many YEARS) is that the technology is already to go with some FPGA and that the PHYSICAL size or `Real Estate` the Mini-PCIE slot will consume on the PCB is as small as possible with the MAXIMUM potential.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat the Cat View Post
It translates for man-years of coding effort. By which time there is no guarantee there will be a glut of Mini PCI-E cards.
I have worked that last 11 years in a company selling HP Servers/PC/Laptop/Procurve networking kit
In that time Ive seen the move from big 300GB 3.5" U320 SCSI hard drives to 2TB 2.5" SAS(Serial attached SCSI) hard drives
DDR>DDR2>DDR3>DDR4 RAM
Dual Core to 22 Core CPU
Big Tower to Mini Tower to Small FormFactor Smaller again and then the little boxes that fit on the back of your monitor (NUC i guess)
The Trend is to build smaller with the same or more power.
The NUC boxes have Mini-PCIE same as do the Laptops its the way of the future
We still have boxes of brand new DDR100 ram in our old/out of stock stuff!
There will be alls sorts of things still available in 10 years that is PCI-E

Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
yeah those been out forever they are just a over glorified pci-e powered riser it just converts a mini-pcie to a electrically compatible pci-e x1 slot yes u can use a x16 card in a 1x and any other, card will just run only at that pci-e speed its on so really that device is a marketing scam as it would suck at gaming only real use is adding extra monitors or scientific studies that dont need high pci-e speed
Are you missing the point?
Yes its a converter for a mini-PCIE slot to a X16 PCIE slot. Thats is the POINT as grelbfarlk mentioned its a BREAKOUT BOX/BRIDGE that is already out there in the wild that the Apollo/Vampire team DONT need to build.
The many Utube videos show that it is a proven technology that WORKS (on most laptops apparently)
Am I going to get the same performance as on my PC in GTA V with one of these? of course not!
The 68080 is awesome but its not going to shovel data into a 290X like my 5820k can!
It does prove that you can operate these cards on 1 PCI-E lane, THATS all Im asking for 1 single PCI-E lane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
I read threads like this and seriously ask myself if I am really an "Amiga user", by the things said in here and similar threads, it seems I am not, despite me using one regularly, plenty and making stuff with and for it.

PCI-E? Getting online? Graphic cards? None of that has any place in my Amiga usage.
Hey,
Im not knocking you for still using the Amiga for what it was intended

The Amiga wasnt going to be quite so Amiga when they make the move to the Hombre chipset being RISC not 68K but something improved.

The Vampire builds on the 68K Amiga leaps and bounds
The PCMCIA ports initialy put into the Amiga were a forethought to cheap PC compatable parts being usable only its wasnt the full spec as it wasnt widely supported/decided on then and limited the amount of things you can play/tinker with now.

Mini-PCIE has been decided on, approved, and shipped on THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of PC`s all over the world.

Fitting that 1 port is a little forsight that could open many doors.
PIC-E to 4x PCI Busboard perhaps?
maybe a 128GB PCI-E SSD?

Getting something working sooner rather than later is always better, when the BOM allows this to be affordable and implemented the better.
Watching Terriblefires videos over the last months shows that there are tinkerers active all over who spend thier OWN money to figure things out for themselves and share.

With a port available someone is going to tinker, they always have
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