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Old 09 September 2021, 14:12   #1
LootingLizard
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Post Some Very Newbie Hardware Questions

Hello everyone!
I'm very new to the Amiga scene and was happy to find this forum, lots of great info here. I'm currently working on a retro game project, which currently targets older versions of windows (9x mostly) and also Linux.


I started thinking implementing an AmigaOS version would be interesting, as I haven't really worked with the Amiga before. On Windows I'm currently using a Pentium 3 with the following graphics cards: Nvidia RIVA TNT2, ATI Rage 128, 3dfx Voodoo 3, Matrox G450, 3DLabs Permedia 2. My project requires OpenGL 1.1.

My first question is, do any of these cards have decent driver support - if not, what should I look for? Also, what other hardware would you recommend that would be somewhat comparable to my windows setup (not familiar with PowerPC at all)?


Thanks in advance!
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Old 09 September 2021, 14:26   #2
malko
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Welcome to the forum LootingLizard

Not sure I understand completely what you exactly want to do. Maybe you can develop a bit further ?

In the mean time, you should know that the Amiga was a different platform than the PC (understand : it uses different hardware). Thus, without finding on an internet market of by a friend a real computer, the GFX cards you listed won't be of any help.

In fact it is not completely true as you can try to setup a PC and try to run Amithlon on it, which will allow you to run all the Amiga OS-friendly applications on PC hardware. If this is the way you want to go, details and required hardware can be checked in this thread : https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=31613
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Old 09 September 2021, 14:38   #3
LootingLizard
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Originally Posted by malko View Post
Welcome to the forum LootingLizard

Not sure I understand completely what you exactly want to do. Maybe you can develop a bit further ?

In the mean time, you should know that the Amiga was a different platform than the PC (understand : it uses different hardware). Thus, without finding on an internet market of by a friend a real computer, the GFX cards you listed won't be of any help.

In fact it is not completely true as you can try to setup a PC and try to run Amithlon on it, which will allow you to run all the Amiga OS-friendly applications on PC hardware. If this is the way you want to go, details and required hardware can be checked in this thread : https://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=31613
Thanks for the fast response - let me see if I can clarify my question . I'm looking to buy / build an Amiga with similar capabilities to the retro Windows PC I'm using. In particular, hardware acceleration for OpenGL 1.1 (For Windows PCs this is mostly stuff in the late 90s). I'm actually a bit surprised there is no support for older voodoo cards at all as I saw them mentioned a few times while browsing here (figured there might be something fan made I guess ).
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Old 09 September 2021, 16:56   #4
jbenam
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If you are looking into building an Amiga with similar performances, expect to spend silly amounts of money. You will either need a 060 Accelerator (or something like the Vampire, which is not yet available for big-box Amigas), which costs a lot of money and an A3000/4000, which costs almost as much money as a 060.

You have read about Voodoos as they can be added to an Amiga using something called a Bridgeboard, which lets you use PCI cards in an Amiga to save some money, instead of purchasing re-adapted SVGA cards which were rare and expensive.

Oh, and there aren't really many games using 3D and/or SVGA (called RTG here on Amiga), so I am not sure it's worth the expense.

Most games won't see any benefit if you use more than a 030, since the Amiga as a gaming platform was dead before the 030 became commonplace.
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Old 09 September 2021, 17:23   #5
LootingLizard
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Originally Posted by jbenam View Post
If you are looking into building an Amiga with similar performances, expect to spend silly amounts of money. You will either need a 060 Accelerator (or something like the Vampire, which is not yet available for big-box Amigas), which costs a lot of money and an A3000/4000, which costs almost as much money as a 060.

You have read about Voodoos as they can be added to an Amiga using something called a Bridgeboard, which lets you use PCI cards in an Amiga to save some money, instead of purchasing re-adapted SVGA cards which were rare and expensive.

Oh, and there aren't really many games using 3D and/or SVGA (called RTG here on Amiga), so I am not sure it's worth the expense.

Most games won't see any benefit if you use more than a 030, since the Amiga as a gaming platform was dead before the 030 became commonplace.

Got it, that makes a lot of sense. I think even if I got this setup, probably not many people would be able to play the game anyway, since it seems these setups are much rarer. So it's probably not worth it. Maybe if I work on a game that doesn't require 3D acceleration at some point I can consider porting it over . Thanks a lot for the replies guys!
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Old 09 September 2021, 17:35   #6
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The Mediator has support for a range of stuff:
http://www.elbox.com/downloads_mediator.html

The Permedia 2 was part of the BlizzardVision PPC
http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/blizzardvision
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Old 09 September 2021, 18:37   #7
jbenam
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Originally Posted by LootingLizard View Post
Got it, that makes a lot of sense. I think even if I got this setup, probably not many people would be able to play the game anyway, since it seems these setups are much rarer. So it's probably not worth it. Maybe if I work on a game that doesn't require 3D acceleration at some point I can consider porting it over . Thanks a lot for the replies guys!
Ah, you were looking into the hardware because you wanted to port your game to it? I see

Then the usual target these days (in order of power) it's either stock A500, stock A1200, A1200 + 4/8MB RAM, A1200 + 030 + 4/8MB RAM.

Clearly the lower you go, the more Amigas will be able to play it. These specs pretty much exclude any kind of 3D unless you're an ASM genius

These days a bunch more people can afford 060-level performances thanks to things like the Vampire, the PiStorm and the Buffee.

Still, they won't have any kind of 3D hardware acceleration, so you will have to do everything in software.
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Old 09 September 2021, 19:47   #8
LootingLizard
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Originally Posted by jbenam View Post
Ah, you were looking into the hardware because you wanted to port your game to it? I see

Then the usual target these days (in order of power) it's either stock A500, stock A1200, A1200 + 4/8MB RAM, A1200 + 030 + 4/8MB RAM.

Clearly the lower you go, the more Amigas will be able to play it. These specs pretty much exclude any kind of 3D unless you're an ASM genius

These days a bunch more people can afford 060-level performances thanks to things like the Vampire, the PiStorm and the Buffee.

Still, they won't have any kind of 3D hardware acceleration, so you will have to do everything in software.

Really good details here - thanks for that!

I've been looking at the Vampire and it appears to be quite capable - but the real blocker for me would be the lack of 3D acceleration like you mentioned.

Writing a 3D software renderer would expand the scope a lot, and even then the performance would likely be horrible. Maybe after this project I'll develop something 2D which should be very portable to the Amiga .
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Old 14 September 2021, 14:26   #9
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Interesting.

Supposedly AROS with MESA/Gallium3D supports OpenGL 1.1.

I've yet to try Icarus Desktop on an old PC simply because I keep insisting on using them exclusively for Windows 95/98/XP.

John Carmack seems to agree with you that OpenGL 1.1 "was a joy to use".

I'm tempted to install AROS on an old PC.

Last edited by LongLifeA1200; 14 September 2021 at 15:01.
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Old 14 September 2021, 19:58   #10
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Warp3D is the defacto standard 3D API on the Amiga. It's a lower level than OpenGL, but writing a wrapper from OpenGL to Warp3D is probably a lot less work than writing a renderer from scratch. Once you have Warp3D support, you can take advantage of any of the supported 3D accelerator cards (e.g. Voodoo 3, or the Cybervision/Blizzardvision Permedia 2-based boards), or the Wazp3D software renderer. There are a few OpenGL PC ports that made it to the Amiga, and they use Warp3D. For example Descent Freespace, Wipeout 2097, GLQuake, Shogo: MAD and more. Some of them have such high CPU requirements that they're PPC only however...
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