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Old 08 August 2022, 23:06   #1
NunoUFO
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Question A4000 Picasso RTG vs Mediator PCI with graphics card

Hi fellow amigans,

Quick question, with probably not so quick answer, about how to get better graphics on an Amiga 4000 and potentially using a modern LCD monitor:

Given that the Picasso's are quite rare and expensive, would it be best for me to get a Mediator card and then a PCI graphics card?
The latter setup is cheaper, but will it give me better results?

Finally, is there any third option or alternative solutions I might be able to look into.

Thanks ?
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Old 08 August 2022, 23:37   #2
Pyromania
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Vampire V4 card when it’s released for the A4000. It would give you better audio as well.
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Old 08 August 2022, 23:43   #3
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Vampire V4 card when it’s released for the A4000. It would give you better audio as well.
If you want to buy an illegal card Bromigo!

I take it you haven’t been keeping up with the old Apollo saga lately then?

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=107430
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Old 08 August 2022, 23:50   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NunoUFO View Post
Hi fellow amigans,

Quick question, with probably not so quick answer, about how to get better graphics on an Amiga 4000 and potentially using a modern LCD monitor:

Given that the Picasso's are quite rare and expensive, would it be best for me to get a Mediator card and then a PCI graphics card?
The latter setup is cheaper, but will it give me better results?

Finally, is there any third option or alternative solutions I might be able to look into.

Thanks ?
Yep it’s a good option. I went that route when I got a A4K. Then bought some cards.
The Mediator is ideal as it supports both PCI and Zorro-III cards.

I went with the following;

Radeon PCI 9200/9250 128MB graphics for RTG
X-surf 100 Network plus RapidRoad USB (Zorro III)
Soundblaster CT4810 Audio (PCI)
Icomp 256MB Big RAM+ (Zorro-III)

Just bare in mind you need to have a Super Buster 11 chip on the A4K motherboard.

Remember to check out Elbox compatibility page for supported PCI cards Bromigo!
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Old 08 August 2022, 23:50   #5
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I try to avoid the drama. I own most of the NG solutions for Amiga and like all of them. I enjoy my V4 stand alone and hope to add one to my Amiga 3000 that sees little use of late. I use MorphOS, the V4, AmigaOS 4.1 and even CDTV more than the A3000.
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Old 08 August 2022, 23:52   #6
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I try to avoid the drama. I own most of the NG solutions for Amiga and like all of them. I enjoy my V4 stand alone and hope to add one to my Amiga 3000 that sees little use of late. I use MorphOS, the V4, AmigaOS 4.1 and even CDTV more than the A3000.
Fair enough Mang! Just giving the Op food for thought
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Old 08 August 2022, 23:57   #7
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Sad about AmigaOS 4.1 as of late. It sees very few updates. MorphOS, Vampire V4 and even classic AmigaOS 3.2 see frequent updates. Have you tried AOS 3.2 with the Mediator? No issues with the new OS?
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Old 09 August 2022, 00:04   #8
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There is also the new ZZ9000 RTG card from MNT Germany. I use with brand new 27" 1080p Dell monitors via the cards HDMI output and it will pass though the Amigas native modes to the RTG card.

https://mntre.com/media/ZZ9000_info_...resources.html
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Old 09 August 2022, 00:28   #9
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There is also the new ZZ9000 RTG card from MNT Germany. I use with brand new 27" 1080p Dell monitors via the cards HDMI output and it will pass though the Amigas native modes to the RTG card.

https://mntre.com/media/ZZ9000_info_...resources.html
I've seen then, the issue is the higher price and no availability....but then I do like the 128MB RAM.... darn!
When you say it's displays native amiga modes, does that mean that if I go with a Mediator and a PCI graphics card native modes will not work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon Besson View Post
Yep it’s a good option. I went that route when I got a A4K. Then bought some cards.
The Mediator is ideal as it supports both PCI and Zorro-III cards.

I went with the following;

Radeon PCI 9200/9250 128MB graphics for RTG
X-surf 100 Network plus RapidRoad USB (Zorro III)
Soundblaster CT4810 Audio (PCI)
Icomp 256MB Big RAM+ (Zorro-III)

Just bare in mind you need to have a Super Buster 11 chip on the A4K motherboard.

Remember to check out Elbox compatibility page for supported PCI cards Bromigo!
It does have the Super Buster! And yes it would appear I have all I need to get one!
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Old 09 August 2022, 02:01   #10
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If you go the mediator route and use a PCI graphics card for RTG workbench, then no the standard PCI card will not give you native Amiga video modes, you will need to still use the RGB output and either have a switch box with 1 monitor or a TV/Monitor with multiple inputs to switch over.

If you stay on the standard Daughterboard and ZZ9000, the I believe this can mix native Amiga graphics with RTG modes.
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Old 09 August 2022, 02:04   #11
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Sad about AmigaOS 4.1 as of late. It sees very few updates. MorphOS, Vampire V4 and even classic AmigaOS 3.2 see frequent updates. Have you tried AOS 3.2 with the Mediator? No issues with the new OS?
Have used 4.1FE classic on my A4K with Cyberstorm PPC. Not used a mediator with 3.2 or 3.2.1. Does work well with 3.1, 3.9 and 3.1.4 ROMs
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Old 09 August 2022, 10:42   #12
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Thank you for the info and help.

I found this card which is supposed to be a modern Picasso card:

GBAPII ++ RTG card



Will this give me the Amiga and RTG on the same output and is it any good?

Thank you!
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Old 09 August 2022, 10:45   #13
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The Amiga video is looped into the other VGA connector and then the card switches between the two based on what your RTG software tells it to do.

You also need to add a scandoubler or a flickerfixer if your monitor cannot natively sync down to PAL/NTSC frequencies.
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Old 09 August 2022, 11:02   #14
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For a mediator setup the ‘ideal’ solution is an internal ‘ratte’ switch which with software detects when the Amiga changes from an rtg screenmode to a native screenmode and automatically switches output. As Jope said, you’d still need some form of scandoubler if your monitor cannot handle 15khz. An internal solution such as an indivision makes things nice and tidy. Obviously these two items add to the cost significantly, and the ratte switch seems quite rare these days unless you can find someone to build one (or so it yourself!)
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Old 09 August 2022, 11:35   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NunoUFO View Post
Thank you for the info and help.

I found this card which is supposed to be a modern Picasso card:

GBAPII ++ RTG card



Will this give me the Amiga and RTG on the same output and is it any good?

Thank you!
I've built and running two of these, one in an A2000 with the output from a scandoubler plugged into the external port , The other with anA500++ in a Checkmate case with the Zorro expander card and the scandoubled signal from an Indivision ECS connected to the internal header..
It's a decent card but with limitations.
First of all it's Zorro-II so while it will work in an A4000 it won't take advantage of the faster bus speeds.
Second is that the memory size is pretty small, only 2Mb so you won't get high resolutions on it.

The best feature I find for it is the switch between Native (scandoubled) graphics and RTG, but as others have said you need a scandoubler for it. You can either connect the scandoubled signal through the external VGA connector or to an internal header which works nicely with the Indivision scandoublers.
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Old 09 August 2022, 11:38   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NunoUFO View Post
I found this card which is supposed to be a modern Picasso card: GBAPII ++ RTG card
That is a remake of the Picasso II with integrated monitor switching. I it doesn't have an integrated AGA scandoubler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NunoUFO View Post
Will this give me the Amiga and RTG on the same output
Not without a multi-sync monitor or an AGA scandoubler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NunoUFO View Post
is it any good?
Not for an Amiga 4000. It is Zorro II (not Zorro III), only has 2MB RAM and it doesn't have integrated AGA scandoubler.

For what you want you you should consider pre-ordering a ZZ9000 in the next batch.

Last edited by alexh; 09 August 2022 at 11:59.
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Old 09 August 2022, 14:32   #17
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I had a Picasso II in my A4000 and ended selling it since it wasn't fast enough to keep up with the rest of the system. If only I knew that I would end up scoring an A2000 some years later

Anyway, the Mediator is a time-tested (and time-consuming!) solution. But if you're not interested in Warp3D and/or the PowerPC PCI accelerators (which all cost inane amounts of money these days), I would probably just go for the ZZ9000.
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Old 09 August 2022, 14:36   #18
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okay, thank you all for your help.
I found another one
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/334470227182

Questions:

- Does this one support AGA graphics?
- Would I need a Multisync LCD
- Its says its 92% faster than the Picasso II, is it still slow on an A4000 060?

Finally, I really just want it to run some Workbench desktop apps at good enough resolution on a regular LCD and then effortlessly when I want to just play a game or two - AGA games too

Thank you!
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Old 09 August 2022, 14:42   #19
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Nice find, I’ve never seen one of those. I hope someone can answer your questions about it.
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Old 09 August 2022, 14:53   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NunoUFO View Post
okay, thank you all for your help.
I found another one
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/334470227182

Questions:

- Does this one support AGA graphics?
- Would I need a Multisync LCD
- Its says its 92% faster than the Picasso II, is it still slow on an A4000 060?

Finally, I really just want it to run some Workbench desktop apps at good enough resolution on a regular LCD and then effortlessly when I want to just play a game or two - AGA games too

Thank you!
That is the same RTG card (GBAPII+) That you asked about earlier, so it's not going to be any faster
This appears to come with the scandoubler card which takes the native RGB output, doubles the 15Khz scanrate used by the Amiga to the 31Khz that VGA uses.

How it is set up is that you plug the scandoubler into one of the Video slots in the A4000 and the GBAP card into one of the Zorro slots. Run a VGA cable from the scandoubler to the input of the GBAP card, then another VGA cable from the GBAP to the monitor.

The GBAP card will automatically switch between native Amiga output and RTG output So you vcan seamlessly switch between a (relativeley) high resolution desktop via RTG to native OC/ECS/AGA screenmodes.

AGA graphics comes exclusively from the flicker fixer/scandoubler so technically any scandoubler will handle AGA graphics.
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