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Old 16 August 2021, 19:45   #1
YouKnowWho
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PiStorm kills Vampire?

I'm been looking more and more into the PiStorm, and it seems to me that this is the product that will easily take away 80-90% of Vampire potential customers.

Why would you get the Vampire over PiStorm?

Is there a killer app on the Vampire over PiStorm?

Not crapying on Vampire - it has done a lot for Amiga. However, there is no choice but to say PiStorm puts huge pressure on Vampire from the bottom due to cost and features.
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Old 16 August 2021, 21:18   #2
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They're completely different product ranges targeting completely different people at completely different ends of the market. To suggest it'd easily take away 80-90% of Vampire potential customers misjudges the market and positioning of both.

People who want a vampire want breakneck speed Amiga compatibles and features like video playing, emulators etc. - it's like chucking a PPC in without the associated issues (but other ones instead). The new vampires come in around 450 Euro. That's 9 Pistorms.

People who want a PiStorm want various upgrades at reasonable prices. I would expect the PiStorm to challenge the lower TF range more than a Vampire.
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Old 16 August 2021, 23:30   #3
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I'm been looking more and more into the PiStorm, and it seems to me that this is the product that will easily take away 80-90% of Vampire potential customers.

Where is youir research evidence?
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Old 16 August 2021, 23:34   #4
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No doubt, vampire aims at higher-end, but not that high end.

I agree with you completely that it is a threat for accelerators as well. Even all the way to the 1260 products really.

You'd have to draw these as circles for segments of the market.

I feel that most Vampire buyers want more speed, and so primary function is acceleration. At 9x PiStorm as you note, it's too tempting to save the money and just accept the performance PiStorm delivers. I saw the A1000 video with it, and clearly you'd be nuts not to keep the A1000 alive with this little tidy upgrade. Complete no-brainer.

I stick to my view that 80% of the PiStorm circle overlaps the Vampire.

I also feel like DE10 FPGA overlaps the Vampire to a degree, simply with what it delivers at half the price - AGA included. But to be fair, that's more of an attack on the Vampire standalone circle.

And without doubt, 80% of the "accelerator" market is now covered by the PiStorm circle as well.

I wonder how many purists like myself are out there who will not put either an FPGA or PiStorm into their machines? Very few I bet. And even I would have no reservations of putting the PiStorm into the A1000.

No PiStorm for 1200 yet, right?
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Old 16 August 2021, 23:38   #5
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Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
I'm been looking more and more into the PiStorm, and it seems to me that this is the product that will easily take away 80-90% of Vampire potential customers.

Why would you get the Vampire over PiStorm?

Is there a killer app on the Vampire over PiStorm?

Not crapying on Vampire - it has done a lot for Amiga. However, there is no choice but to say PiStorm puts huge pressure on Vampire from the bottom due to cost and features.
Plenty of reasons to get one over the other depending on what makes your boat float :-)
PiStorm is software emulation packed into hardware that's hidden inside the Amiga. It is also affordable and potentially it will get faster as support for faster Raspberry Pi's is added. It gives you a lot for the money.. But this means you're fine with software emulation, at which point people will ask you why pay any money at all and just run WinUAE on any competent PC.

The Vampire might look like its "doing the same thing" but it's on a different path. Its NOT software emulation, and for some people that is important.. ESSENTIAL even.
Also, the Vampire is sort of a reborn Amiga as if it would have been further developed back in the mid 90s. Its adding new things not found in WinUAE, but IMO in a Amiga architecture-respectful way. (Others might think otherwise..) Eventually they will probably customize AROS to make use of the improved hardware which might make it interesting for a certain category of people..

So the answer is, no, PiStorm wont kill the Vampire. Will it grab a bunch of the market? Sure it will. Will it divide the community? Probably not at all..
Most of us have more than one Amiga, right? You put a Blizzard into one, a TF into another, maybe a PiStorm in one and why not a Vampire..
It might look scattered, but generally (and for the most part) having multiple choices is a luxory, not a problem. ;-)

Cheers
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Old 16 August 2021, 23:55   #6
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Making an FPGA-based complete CPU is a mistake even in this day and age as an end-user platform. It's just too easy to pass with emulation. The Amiga chipset is another matter because it works so differently from a modern GPU but a CPU? No chance for a CPU.

Personally, I think an FPGA can supplement an ARM SoC for better chipset emulation by rendering MiniMig graphics to a texture map so the RTG core can put it in a window.
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Old 17 August 2021, 09:59   #7
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It will certainly take some interest away from the Vampire, same as MiSTer, Buffy and the rPi4 but I doubt it will kill it off entirely.

Personally if we are talking about an 'Amiga' I would prefer to only use the FPGA to recreate the custom chips and use a real 68K CPU to cycle.
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Old 17 August 2021, 10:58   #8
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Boot times for the Pi before it actually starts emulating a CPU break the deal for me. And the fact that I already have a v1200 and a V4...
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Old 17 August 2021, 15:39   #9
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No doubt, vampire aims at higher-end, but not that high end.
I don't understand what you mean by "not that high end". The vampire is the fastest thing you can put in an Amiga to run 68k code, at least till Buffee comes out. The only thing it has in common with the PiStorm is that it too is good value for money (for people ok with it's constraints).

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I feel that most Vampire buyers want more speed, and so primary function is acceleration. At 9x PiStorm as you note, it's too tempting to save the money and just accept the performance PiStorm delivers.
If someone's happy dropping 450 Euro on a Vampire, 90% cost savings for lesser performance aren't going to matter. If someone's looking at dropping 50 Euro on a PiStorm then the Vampire will look very expensive in comparison and probably not provide sufficient bang for buck. Like the PiStorm, the Vampire is far more than just an accelerator. Speed is a factor but not the only one.

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I saw the A1000 video with it, and clearly you'd be nuts not to keep the A1000 alive with this little tidy upgrade. Complete no-brainer.
For some (me included) you'd be nuts to put a PiStorm in an A1000. The A1000 is a very specific system with very specific differences to most Amigas. Putting a PiStorm in turns that machine into a very expensive slightly worse A500 with extra bits.

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I stick to my view that 80% of the PiStorm circle overlaps the Vampire.
I don't know (nor care really) what that means but it's your view and your entitled to it. But unless you have anything to back that up it's an opinion, nothing more.

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And without doubt, 80% of the "accelerator" market is now covered by the PiStorm circle as well.
No, not without doubt at all. People buy accelerators for different systems for different reasons. Just because this seems like the best thing since sliced bread for you does not make it so for everyone else. I can put a PiStorm in my CDTV, but I lose bootable CD support and can't close the lid without major structural changes to the CDTV or PiStorm. I wouldn't put a PiStorm in my A4000 (should it become available), nor would I put a PiStorm in something that I planned to put an 060 in.

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I wonder how many purists like myself are out there who will not put either an FPGA or PiStorm into their machines? Very few I bet. And even I would have no reservations of putting the PiStorm into the A1000.
Having no reservations around putting a pistorm in an A1000 would preclude someone from being a purist. A PiStorm is fine for people who want good bang for buck and don't mind emulation (and other limitations). There are plenty of reasons a PiStorm isn't suitable for some people/systems.
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Old 17 August 2021, 16:01   #10
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what???

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Originally Posted by Samurai_Crow View Post
Making an FPGA-based complete CPU is a mistake even in this day and age as an end-user platform. It's just too easy to pass with emulation. The Amiga chipset is another matter because it works so differently from a modern GPU but a CPU? No chance for a CPU.

Personally, I think an FPGA can supplement an ARM SoC for better chipset emulation by rendering MiniMig graphics to a texture map so the RTG core can put it in a window.
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Old 17 August 2021, 16:19   #11
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It will certainly take some interest away from the Vampire, same as MiSTer, Buffy and the rPi4 but I doubt it will kill it off entirely.

Personally if we are talking about an 'Amiga' I would prefer to only use the FPGA to recreate the custom chips and use a real 68K CPU to cycle.
I agree with you fully. My 1200s run on 68K CPUs only and always. 1200 is really my go-to system. I have a MiSTer and UnAmiga.

I look at 1000/500/2000 fondly, but the areas where they lack are hard to overcome vs. and AGA system. Vampire gave them a lot of what they lack back, but PiStorm delivers those features well in term of cost for these older less valuable systems...well, perhaps 1000 excluded from that less valuable comment since it has been fetching a pretty dollar over the past year.
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Old 17 August 2021, 16:26   #12
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To me that whole "emulation vs simulation" quagmire regarding claims that the latter is somehow more "real" when they are made just on a principle, is a little bit weird. Only observable things which affect the experience should matter here. So, for example, I keep hearing that (standalone) Vampire is not quite compatible with older Amiga models. If that's also true for V-accelerators, then it renders the whole "FPGA=real" thing moot.

Of course, PiStorm booting for 30 secs while displaying Linux/RPi stuff can also put a damper on the "reality" of this experience, because it's a very tangible thing. But I guess they make less claims to being "real" than the FPGA side (or do they?).

That's not to say people shouldn't use one or the other solution, it's just that that "the real Amiga" trope seems redundant when applied in comparisons between them.
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Old 17 August 2021, 16:49   #13
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Buffee was brought into this, I think it is a lovely solution, but will only deliver a CPU speedup, yes? Significant one, but just CPU. This is enough in an AGA machine like a 1200 with better graphics and IDE but it is not enough for a 68000K machine. We demand more on those systems, do we not?

It is fascinating that the Buffee and PiStorm are not available as solution for the 1200. I think the feeling there is that these machines just don't need it. There won't be as much demand for them on that platform, because it is already quite complete.
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Old 17 August 2021, 16:55   #14
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what???
I was a Vampire nut for a while but not any more.
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Old 17 August 2021, 17:01   #15
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To me that whole "emulation vs simulation" quagmire regarding claims that the latter is somehow more "real" when they are made just on a principle, is a little bit weird. Only observable things which affect the experience should matter here. So, for example, I keep hearing that (standalone) Vampire is not quite compatible with older Amiga models. If that's also true for V-accelerators, then it renders the whole "FPGA=real" thing moot.

Of course, PiStorm booting for 30 secs while displaying Linux/RPi stuff can also put a damper on the "reality" of this experience, because it's a very tangible thing. But I guess they make less claims to being "real" than the FPGA side (or do they?).

That's not to say people shouldn't use one or the other solution, it's just that that "the real Amiga" trope seems redundant when applied in comparisons between them.
I have been thinking about this for some time - the question of WHAT IS THE PERFECT AMIGA? By default you have to put the AGA systems up there on top of the mountain. They are the last produced, most capable, most feature packed. In my view it is the 1200 because of the value proposition vs. the Zorro slots on the 4000 that few if any use. Really only a graphic card can be put in a 4000 and not in a 1200.

And so, with the conclusion that the mountain belongs to the 1200, what can dethrone it? By no means is the 1200 the perfect Amiga, but I don't feel any other Amiga can dethrone it. It has what is needed. Throw in some RAM or even a slightly faster 68020 and it's quite up to the task, and a joy to use. I feel I figured out a way to make the 1200 a more perfect machine - something no one appears to have done yet, but that's for another time.

I'm with you on the purity point. I feel it needs to be the chipset. It needs to be original. It needs to be Commodore's product.

Right behind that is the FPGA. It's really amazing what it can do, and how well it can do it. Is it an Amiga? Pretty darn decent simulation of one.

And then you have the PiStorm. Indeed, not ideal experience...but the cost! My goodness, a lot of value there. On the other hand, beside having the original ports why not just use the Pi by itself? I use the ports for a dot matrix printer and external floppy, so if I had a PiStorm I still could, but even those ports being used, is for retro purity fun.

I think all of this is quite interesting actually. You have actual Amiga hardware on one end and emulation on the other. All these new options are wedging themselves in between the two to muddy the works and give more options. It is fascinating how much passion and effort is going into it. A lot of it is impressive. But in the end, someone has to ask about form and function and how they fit in.
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Old 17 August 2021, 17:21   #16
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I'm with you on the purity point. I feel it needs to be the chipset. It needs to be original. It needs to be Commodore's product.
That wasn't exactly my point, since I believe that this is all extremely subjective. Anybody should decide what is "real", and how much of a need it is for themselves, otherwise you can end up in a really deep rabbit hole. I guess the original HW is the baseline, and anything above is some sort of solution.


So my point was mostly in regard to comparisons, and some folks perhaps choosing FPGA only because it's more "real" thanks to that thing with replicating the OG HW logic and so on. But in reality even the Minimig core is not 1:1 representation of the OG HW, there are some approximations and shortcuts too (at least to my understanding).


I do agree it's all rather interesting to think about, but perhaps from more philosophical point of view than a pure geek-hardware one
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Old 17 August 2021, 18:33   #17
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Anybody should decide what is "real", and how much of a need it is for themselves, otherwise you can end up in a really deep rabbit hole.
I hear what you're saying. But if "anybody" can decide what is "real"...

I'm all for each of us being free to make our own reality, but as far as definition of what is widely accepted as real, I feel there are clear and obvious lines around that as far as Amiga is concerned. Original physical chipset as Commodore designed it must be present. Original 68K CPU as well.

This is where perhaps an expensive option like 1260s have an advantage. Although not offered by Commodore, clearly hardware wise in the spirit and in my view 68060 is the final CPU that makes the cutoff for what is a real Amiga. Anything after that is a deviation/simulation/emulation.

Then the question in my view is - is the value proposition worth it? And as per original post, even though PiStorm is simulation, the value and feature set overlap Vampire sufficiently to surely significantly erode the desire of 80% of the potential buyers.

I mean, let's be honest, why doesn't EVERYONE have a Vampire? I'm sure we all agree it's a nice piece of kit. It's only the cost that makes most not get it. PiStorm overcomes that barrier of cost. I guess one could argue that if cost was a barrier, then those users weren't going to be Vampire users anyway. Fair point. However, perhaps the would eventually come around to justify the purchase. Now with PiStorm standing in the way of that path, I think fewer will pull the trigger on the Vampire. And as I note, I think those who were going to drop the money on the Vampire are likely to try and satisfy their needs with the PiStorm first and the very comparable feature set it offers.

Last edited by YouKnowWho; 17 August 2021 at 18:40.
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Old 17 August 2021, 18:54   #18
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I have to disagree with the OP in his claims. As already mentioned, the Vampire experience is not only about acceleration (although the Vamp is unbelievably fast!), but about improving/enhancing the Amiga experience in ways that the original Amigas could not deliver.

So, although I was quasi-impressed by the PiStorm, I wouldn't put one of these things in my Amiga. I love the Pi, but I prefer using it as a standalone emulation thingamajig.
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Old 17 August 2021, 18:59   #19
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I mean, let's be honest, why doesn't EVERYONE have a Vampire? I'm sure we all agree it's a nice piece of kit. It's only the cost that makes most not get it.
Lack of supply is another big factor why not more Amigans have Vampires. The Apollo Team is out to fix that by means of the new cards that are to be manufactured in a German factory.
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Old 17 August 2021, 19:21   #20
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...but about improving/enhancing the Amiga experience in ways that the original Amigas could not deliver.
I guess one could take a Honda Civid and turn it into a 4x4 Jeep like thing with NOS and other hotrod things. Is that what the Amiga was intended to do?

Maybe the original Amigas could not deliver these things, because they were not the tool intended to deliver it?

I find it fascinating that so much effort is being put in to make Amiga surf the net, or play MP3s...when these things are better done by a modern device. Forcing it to do these things is not what we remember it for.
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