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Old 23 August 2021, 19:16   #1
YouKnowWho
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AGA or RTG

AGA. We love it, or love to say it wasn't enough, but it was the best Amiga would deliver.

This April 1994 issue of Amiga World I'm looking at has an article called "10 AGA Fixes for non-AGA owners". Oh sure, Graphic Cards and DCTV or a new 1200 motherboard in your A500 with some hacking.

One of the things I want for some reason is RTG in my 68K equipped 1200. Just feels like some type of a single slot Zorro II expansion would let me throw a graphic card into the 1200 case with maybe at most the floppy removed, no towering wanted or needed.

But then I started thinking...do I really NEED RTG on the Amiga? Painting in 256 colours is fun enough and sufficient. Maybe I'm just being silly wanting RTG and 16.7 million colours. For what? Most of the software is at best AGA, so it's really painting and other content creative applications that will only use it. There is a beauty in being restricted to colours as well. And my 24 dot-matrix colour won't output these colours anyway. So...what's the point?

And so, is my pursuit of RTG on Amiga 1200 flawed? Should we just enjoy AGA as the most Amiga offered and be happy?
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Old 23 August 2021, 19:32   #2
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AGA. We love it, or love to say it wasn't enough, but it was the best Amiga would deliver.

This April 1994 issue of Amiga World I'm looking at has an article called "10 AGA Fixes for non-AGA owners". Oh sure, Graphic Cards and DCTV or a new 1200 motherboard in your A500 with some hacking.

One of the things I want for some reason is RTG in my 68K equipped 1200. Just feels like some type of a single slot Zorro II expansion would let me throw a graphic card into the 1200 case with maybe at most the floppy removed, no towering wanted or needed.

But then I started thinking...do I really NEED RTG on the Amiga? Painting in 256 colours is fun enough and sufficient. Maybe I'm just being silly wanting RTG and 16.7 million colours. For what? Most of the software is at best AGA, so it's really painting and other content creative applications that will only use it. There is a beauty in being restricted to colours as well. And my 24 dot-matrix colour won't output these colours anyway. So...what's the point?

And so, is my pursuit of RTG on Amiga 1200 flawed? Should we just enjoy AGA as the most Amiga offered and be happy?
I thought like you once. The thing is RTG is great but you still need AGA for the gaming aspect. Sure if you want a pure Amiga experience then you can use the standard screen modes etc.. But at the cost of the ChipRAM.
You can fit a RTG solution to a desktop case but you will need to modify and make allowances for heat and extra power and the money for the setup. I’m talking about the Phase 5/DCE Blizzard 603e and 603e+ Accelerator with either 68040 or 68060 with PPC and a add-on RTG card called the Bvision which is a Permedia2 chipset graphics card. These enhance your workbench desktop experience with 24-bit colour modes and saving on the precious chip RAM in your Amiga.
What I find useful with RTG is the Amiga Online web browsing experience with IBrowse and the clearer text experience.
It’s horses for courses.
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Old 23 August 2021, 21:04   #3
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Obvious modern option is V1200 or Warp - workbench looks great in hires and many colours. Also, let's you play modern ports and use WB friendly programs in more colours and higher resolutions.

I will try and make a short video...
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Old 23 August 2021, 21:12   #4
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Obvious modern option is V1200 or Warp - workbench looks great in hires and many colours. Also, let's you play modern ports and use WB friendly programs in more colours and higher resolutions.

I will try and make a short video...
There is no doubt that Vampire is the front runner on adding RTG to an Amiga right now. Warp - I've given up on anything 1260. I've been waiting for over a year for a reply to my email asking to buy one. I think it is safe to assume that the RTG piece of that will not happen.

Better odds of waiting for someone to come up with a single slot Zorro 2 solution to go between MoBo and Accelerator card to allow add on for something like Picasso II+, etc.

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These enhance your workbench desktop experience with 24-bit colour modes and saving on the precious chip RAM in your Amiga.
What I find useful with RTG is the Amiga Online web browsing experience with IBrowse and the clearer text experience.
It’s horses for courses.
I simply will not browse on the Amiga, it's not what I want it for, but rather for productivity apps. I used to have a Retina II in my 68040 A2000 back in the day - it was a sweet setup. Indeed, AGA very important for the overall Amiga software library.

There is a Reloaded 1200 motherboard on the horizon. It is supposed to have RTG built-in apparently.
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Old 24 August 2021, 04:43   #5
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One of the things I want for some reason is RTG in my 68K equipped 1200.
What expansions do you currently have in your A1200?

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But then I started thinking...do I really NEED RTG on the Amiga? Painting in 256 colours is fun enough and sufficient. Maybe I'm just being silly wanting RTG and 16.7 million colours. For what?
Good question. What do you want it for?
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Old 24 August 2021, 08:51   #6
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Unless you are doing some form of graphics or video production, they are pretty much a non essential.
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Old 24 August 2021, 11:01   #7
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RTG is a nice to have thing (you can have an extremely fast Workbench), but definitely not essential on an Amiga. You can only use it with system friendly apps - stuff like SysInfo or X-Copy would still require you to switch to the native chipset.

And yeah, about games: unless it's an AmigaCD game (1995+) or a port, it won't use nor support RTG.
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Old 24 August 2021, 12:08   #8
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There is no doubt that Vampire is the front runner on adding RTG to an Amiga right now. Warp - I've given up on anything 1260. I've been waiting for over a year for a reply to my email asking to buy one. I think it is safe to assume that the RTG piece of that will not happen.
Sorry, but I can't read such opinion about Warp without act.

First of all, don't email them, because they are literally spammed also with many other messages (including real spam). Instead write on discussion group, there is one on Discord especially about Warp cards.

Second thing is that maybe You don't know, but there is some crisis on semiconductor industry because of covid. So i can tell You that Warps are currently not available (but still You should ask on Discord), but same could be with other cards including Vampire ones. So don't be shocked if You must wait some long time for one... maybe faster You can get some Warp.

Third, since there are not planned lags with chips delivering (see above) Warp team is working on some upgrades in Warp firmware and other things linked to Warp, including flickerfixer with scandoubler for AGA to combine signal on RTG. So Your dilemma should disappear when it'll be availabe, I'm waiting for good news about it since i have Warp 1260.
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Old 24 August 2021, 14:38   #9
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I'm a freak I guess, I'm fine with a 4 color hires Workbench on AGA

There's Indivision AGA, but for bus graphics cards I think it's a mistake to add stuff and stay in the same size case. That's mostly because most RTG cards are so big, though. Some VRAM fastmem + VGAout could fit in the internal slot, but you'd lose acceleration to drive the higher resolutions. Possibly an accelerator with on-board VRAM, or (ab)using some port on an existing acceleration, but... even now when we can replace a harddisk with MicroSD, the case size would limit what can be done.

A1200 can go 1280x512 (+overscan), and maybe there is a 21:9 display with a scaling chip that can deinterlace it correctly. There's always 800x600@73 Hz, which should work on any VGA CRT with a minimum of fuss?

Friends who have RTG have A4000, two monitors and an autoswitcher. A pretty good solution actually.

I would say native or Indivision AGA is the best way if you're determined to stay with the A1200 and see what it can do
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Old 24 August 2021, 14:46   #10
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isn't it simple. if you do not know if you need RTG answer is easy: NOPE

the number of games that uses RTG can be counted on the fingers on one hand.
Workbench is for sure MUCH nicer to work with, among with texteditors etc etc.
I do all my coding using a RTG screenmode as I want much text on the screen. (but will soon go over to crosscompiling)

RTG is a thing that is VERY nice for me. and have been a must for me since I had my Amiga as main machine (before RTG I used my A2024 monitor giving 1024x1024 resolution native)

but today? well it is nice and pretty..

so I will have 2 amiga 1200: one with my Warp1260 and RTG. one A1200 with my TF1260 that is my demo-party machine.
and my AA3000+ with ZZ9000. so RTG on all machines except one..
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Old 24 August 2021, 15:25   #11
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Everyone has different needs and wants. You seem to be entirely unsure of yours, but will nevertheless argue pointlessly with people who suggest anything contrary to your shakily held, fickle beliefs.

Personally, RTG is a massive deal, and using an Amiga limited to AGA always feels slow, cramped and clunky to me. But then, much of what I do isn't gaming, and I'm aware my use case isn't the same as everyone else's. In particular yours, which seems to be simply the opposite of what anyone else suggests, even if they themselves are opposite. In my case, my main A1200 and my A2000 both have RTG, and along with my A1, these give the nicest experience for me using system-friendly software. And while RTG games are very few in number, there are a couple of gems in there that might also run on AGA, but are far nicer on RTG.

For what it's worth, the Vampire RTG is quite limited in its capabilities; the Warp RTG is a nicer solution. Zorro-II solutions have quite low bandwidth that means some operations can be quite slow - slower than AGA even in some cases. PCI helps there, as does Zorro-III.

So, yes, you want RTG. And no, you don't want RTG. Pick whichever one you want.
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Old 24 August 2021, 16:08   #12
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Originally Posted by fxgogo View Post
Unless you are doing some form of graphics or video production, they are pretty much a non essential.
I think you're absolutely right.

I keep thinking that adding this 16.7 million colour capability will be a good thing, but in the end, AGA is just right.
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Old 24 August 2021, 16:25   #13
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Everyone has different needs and wants. You seem to be entirely unsure of yours, but will nevertheless argue pointlessly with people who suggest anything contrary to your shakily held, fickle beliefs.

Personally, RTG is a massive deal, and using an Amiga limited to AGA always feels slow, cramped and clunky to me. But then, much of what I do isn't gaming, and I'm aware my use case isn't the same as everyone else's. In particular yours, which seems to be simply the opposite of what anyone else suggests, even if they themselves are opposite. In my case, my main A1200 and my A2000 both have RTG, and along with my A1, these give the nicest experience for me using system-friendly software. And while RTG games are very few in number, there are a couple of gems in there that might also run on AGA, but are far nicer on RTG.

For what it's worth, the Vampire RTG is quite limited in its capabilities; the Warp RTG is a nicer solution. Zorro-II solutions have quite low bandwidth that means some operations can be quite slow - slower than AGA even in some cases. PCI helps there, as does Zorro-III.

So, yes, you want RTG. And no, you don't want RTG. Pick whichever one you want.
That's a lot of good info. I remember my A2000 with Retina II fondly.

Warp RTG would fit in my thinking more...68K CPU maintained. Little disappointed that there isn't a RTG solution for A1200.

But as you rightly note, I have to start using my 1200 more and then decide if it is sufficient for my needs as it is. I actually find the slowness and waiting a bit of a ZEN thing. We have grown so impatient, so demanding, the wait is part of the authentic retro computing experience.
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Old 24 August 2021, 16:46   #14
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I would say native or Indivision AGA is the best way if you're determined to stay with the A1200 and see what it can do
I'm going to go this way. The MK3 looks really impressive. It's a no brainer, it's here, it's affordable, and it's needed for use of new monitors as well.
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Old 24 August 2021, 16:56   #15
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Unless you are doing some form of graphics or video production, they are pretty much a non essential.
Well I do CODING and want RTG as I want much text on screen

(this is why I used my A2024 monitor before getting my Piccolo gfxcard)
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Old 24 August 2021, 18:30   #16
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Well I do CODING and want RTG as I want much text on screen

(this is why I used my A2024 monitor before getting my Piccolo gfxcard)

I give you that. A hires screen for coding is more than a nice to have.
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Old 24 August 2021, 18:36   #17
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I give you that. A hires screen for coding is more than a nice to have.
I tend to favour RTG now a days, especially if you have a Mediator or G-REX solution. I’m now playing around with using a Voodoo 4 Card as my main RTG and then using software called SuperTV with a PCI TV card to display Demos, Games etc via the Amigas Composite output via a windowed display on my RTG workbench. That way best of both worlds.
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Old 25 August 2021, 01:09   #18
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Everyone has different needs and wants. You seem to be entirely unsure of yours, but will nevertheless argue pointlessly with people who suggest anything contrary to your shakily held, fickle beliefs.
Indeed. Hopefully they'll mellow out over time.

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Personally, RTG is a massive deal, and using an Amiga limited to AGA always feels slow, cramped and clunky to me. But then, much of what I do isn't gaming, and I'm aware my use case isn't the same as everyone else's.
I use RTG on the 4000 and in WinUAE as those setups are mostly for productivity in 3.x. On everything else I keep it native. I don't know if there's anything resembling 1.x or 2.x RTG support but the apps tend to be designed with fixed resolutions in mind anyway.

Dan Wood did a video about his A3000 a few days back I think that struck a chord with me. He keeps his setups specific for an era rather than all the same. I think it works well.
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Old 25 August 2021, 01:17   #19
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RTG is a game changer if you want to run a high resolution workbench, true colour backdrop and have a nice large working area. If you just want to play games, AGA is enough.

In my A1200 tower I enjoy a full HD workbench from my Radeon graphics card, on my CD32 or A1200 with 8mb which I use for Whdload only this isn't necessary.

I also have a BPPC Bvision setup but this being fragile is more of a collector's piece, it's amazing to have 3D and PPC in a wedge though!


I saw you were asking about the A500+/vampire 2, I actually have this setup, it was my only Amiga when I started collecting again, aside from the lack of AGA it's a pretty complete setup.

I'm thinking of passing it on now I have the other setups and an A500 with PiStorm though. Ofc the storm isn't as fast as the Vampire but I have the performance in the other setups.
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Old 25 August 2021, 08:16   #20
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RTG is nice, but if you run lots of old software that can't be mode promoted, it's a bit painful with modern monitors and constant waiting to resync. :-(

I went almost the whole 2010s without RTG, but then caved in at some point because I got tired of watching Intuition slowly draw its ui elements onto the screen.. Now I have to wait for those resyncs.
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