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FPGA systems and emulation?


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#1 haightc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:13 AM

How well do FPGA solutions like MIST(er) standup versus original hardware?

What about WinUAE, is it similar accuracy as FPGA solutions?

 

I used to have a Amiga 500, but was destroyed in a storm when stored at my parent's house.  

I've tried WinUAE several years back but found the experience somewhat lacking.   

Are emulators advanced enough now that it could feel enough like the real deal or real enough?

Is it worth it to buy one of the FPGA machines?   



#2 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:31 PM

WinUAE is greatly improved. Emulation is great for an Amiga like experience. Also, DamienD's winUAE collection is perfect for gaming only.
There are solutions for Raspberry Pi that work great, either with the retro pi (if you're only into gaming) or Amibian if you want something as Amiga like as you can get.
You can find A500 Amigas all over eBay right now depending on your budget.
FS-UAE has really come a long way if you like linux based emulation - Amilator is the best option now in my opinion.

If you're looking for an FPGA solution, you may want to wait until Vampire v4 is available. It looks to be the best as far as speed, compatibility and features.

You can google any of the above for more information. 


Edited by Sinphaltimus, Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:31 PM.


#3 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:37 PM

How well do FPGA solutions like MIST(er) standup versus original hardware?

What about WinUAE, is it similar accuracy as FPGA solutions?

 

I used to have a Amiga 500, but was destroyed in a storm when stored at my parent's house.  

I've tried WinUAE several years back but found the experience somewhat lacking.   

Are emulators advanced enough now that it could feel enough like the real deal or real enough?

Is it worth it to buy one of the FPGA machines?   

Actual hardware, FPGAs, can reproduce exact timing better than software can, but that depends on how well the FPGA is programmed, and they can only simulate analog hardware without external hardware.  This is the case with things like SID chip emulation.
So from the standpoint of running old software, I think FPGAs have the advantage.
But a lot of stuff runs fine with emulators these days, and if you want a faster Amiga, then running emulation on a Raspberry Pi seems to be the least expensive route.
Either way, it doesn't quite feel like the actual hardware.  You won't be using an actual Amiga keyboard or mouse.
It might be worth trying out the latest emulation before spending a bunch of money on an FPGA box that still won't quite feel like an Amiga.



#4 c0op3r OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:15 PM

I have a MIST 1.3 and I am amazed at how well it works, as a matter of fact I use it more that the real hardware.  One little box powered but a wall wart to Micro USB, with an SD card, wireless mouse & keyboard combo, VGA 4:3 monitor, set of speakers and a real 9 pin joystick.  It runs pretty much ever game including AGA / 1200 games with no issue.

 

Total investment $350US$ and all the items are NEW.

 

Cooper



#5 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:39 PM

Software Emulation has improved greatly in the past 3 or so years. And it continues to improve. And most all of it is free. So it's a great place to start at and build your virtual Amiga.

 

SE has all sorts of amenities and little extras and trinkets that FPGAs don't support. This ranges from savestates, to faster (or original) speed floppy simulation, to several variants of the 68000 or the chipset like AGA/OCS. Not forgetting the vast resources a PC offers for file management either.

 

To directly answer your question as to whether SE has advanced enough for you? Just try it out and see for yourself. If it doesn't meet your expectations, then you can either replace your A500 that got blown away or get started with an FPGA box.


Edited by Keatah, Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:41 PM.


#6 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:35 PM

I owned the MiST as well, and I can say that it feels just like a real Amiga...its that good. While I still consider it emulation (hardware emulating hardware) I am not about to get into any argument about that again. But that said, it is pretty spot on. It is so spot in in fact that the VGA output is still 15kHz which I found quite annoying. He needs to update this with modern HDMI out (or displayport) and then I would love enough to buy it again :)



#7 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:22 AM

...... He needs to update this with modern HDMI out (or displayport) and then I would love enough to buy it again :)


That won't happen.MiST is closing up shop and clearing out stock. They folded due to cheaper clones ie MiSTer.

http://atari-forum.c...pic.php?t=32998



#8 c0op3r OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:22 PM

I owned the MiST as well, and I can say that it feels just like a real Amiga...its that good. While I still consider it emulation (hardware emulating hardware) I am not about to get into any argument about that again. But that said, it is pretty spot on. It is so spot in in fact that the VGA output is still 15kHz which I found quite annoying. He needs to update this with modern HDMI out (or displayport) and then I would love enough to buy it again :)

 

Mine is not at 15khz I have it connected to a NEW Dell VGA monitor and it works perfect.  I will post photos tomorrow.



#9 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:29 PM

It might be limited to the core. But I can tell you that the very last MiST unit I owned would not display with the Amiga core on any of the four VGA LCD displays I have (Dell Ultrasharps, Samsung Syncmaster, BenQ) but would display fine on an old large Sony Trinitron CRT. On the others the signal was out of range.



#10 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:11 AM

Yes. I don't know all the specifics of MiST or details of the revisions of hardware and cores. I don't own one. But generically speaking of the big picture.. As new hardware comes online, new 4k and 8k displays, new interface standards.. We're going to have to be more creative with scaling and output options and rates and be prepared to leave the older standards behind.

 

We're going to have to have the emulation/simulation/whatever be ready to paint the image on whatever displays are currently available and through whatever interfaces (currently HDMI) are available. After all, that's a key goal of emulation/simulation, to get the old systems running on new & contemporary hardware!

 

I don't think we're going to achieve that unless we leave the old specification behind. As long as we output to old specification we're going to have issues that may require old hardware to remedy. And that goes against the key goal. Displays, scaling, and refresh rates have always been a tedious thorn. Unfortunately I see it taking another 2 or 3 years before emulation/simulation authors fully and completely address this.

 

PCs are making some headway with LCDs that offer programmable refresh rates down to the fraction of a second. It's all new and still costly "because gamers". Anything "gamer" is an excuse to artificially raise prices.


Edited by Keatah, Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:17 AM.


#11 Wayneb123 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:41 PM

I had problems with mine when I first got it with one of the Amiga cores on some monitors but the AGA core always worked for me, I have a BENQ 702A and an old Samsung Syncmaster 914V. i also had issues with some other non Amiga cores, Atari ST and Mac core work fine although I sometimes have to adjust screen positions when changing cores. I bought my MiST a couple of years ago and I am not sure what the newer version differences are.

I have a Raspberry Pi 3 setup with Ambian and while it is impressive for a $35 computer, it doesnt feel like real hardware to me, the MiST does seem almost like a real classic computer to me. I also have the FPGA Arcade board, it does RTG graphics but it is seriously lacking in cores compared to the MiST.

#12 haightc OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:00 PM

I prefer to use professional monitors, so systems than the core outputs 15 kHz is ideal for me.     I actually didn't know there were MIST clones, is Lotherek the only official supplier?    With the exchange rate and shipping a MIST system would cost me about $500 which is getting close to the going rate of a Amiga 600.    I hadn't heard the FPGA arcade board until actually reading the MIST discontinuation post.     This board looks kind of interesting for the arcade emulation and the fact that is supposed to have a full 68060 add on daughter board.   I wasn't able to find anything really about the new standalone vampire computer but it sound like it's a long ways away.     Given the fact they have being accelerators for the Amiga for some time I would suspect such a system would have a high degree of accuracy.



#13 c0op3r OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:21 PM

Im sad to see that MIST is closing up, it is the first bit of 'emulation' that I really like as good as the original hardware (in my case Amiga) and I actually use it more than the real Amiga.  If you ever thought about getting one I would say do it its worth every penny.

 

As too it costing so much I only paid about 200 for mine from http://amigastore.eu...a-computer.html

 

and it has the MIDI ports (which I will never use, but nice to have 'incase'.



#14 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:53 PM

It's 227 EURO, or $280. I dunno but I don't find that affordable. Maybe its just me. Not saying it isn't a cool device, but I would personally be investing that into something that can do more. When I purchased mine it was (to me) a tough purchase to swallow on a modern FPGA machine. That can go for a pretty nice Amiga setup and a Gotek...and you'd have the real thing. And the real thing has better resell value should your interests "shift".



#15 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:28 PM

When it comes to classic computers real hardware in combination with an individual stand-alone software emulatior seems to be the best. And this is because they are complimentary. You'll have maximum versatility and practicality when working with disk images and file manipulation. And more peripherals and expansion options are available.

 

FPGA is simply too limiting and narrow. It's like consuming your hobby through a straw. Cores are never developed to their full potential. And there is little or nothing of an OS to support your activities.



#16 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:36 PM

When it comes to classic computers real hardware in combination with an individual stand-alone software emulatior seems to be the best. And this is because they are complimentary. You'll have maximum versatility and practicality when working with disk images and file manipulation. And more peripherals and expansion options are available.

 

FPGA is simply too limiting and narrow. It's like consuming your hobby through a straw. Cores are never developed to their full potential. And there is little or nothing of an OS to support your activities.

 

 

These are the primary reasons the current stand alone FPGA solutions cannot fulfill my personal needs. I could not have said it better myself.



#17 Wayneb123 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:31 AM

It's 227 EURO, or $280. I dunno but I don't find that affordable. Maybe its just me. Not saying it isn't a cool device, but I would personally be investing that into something that can do more. When I purchased mine it was (to me) a tough purchase to swallow on a modern FPGA machine. That can go for a pretty nice Amiga setup and a Gotek...and you'd have the real thing. And the real thing has better resell value should your interests "shift".


I believe you are seeing prices with VAT added for Europe, when I log in it shows a price of $231.23 U.S. dollars. I believe my mist was $192 back when I bought it with about $30 more for shipping.

Edited by Wayneb123, Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:34 AM.


#18 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:55 AM

 

 

These are the primary reasons the current stand alone FPGA solutions cannot fulfill my personal needs. I could not have said it better myself.


Give yourself about an hour to watch this...



#19 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:44 PM

Yeah, nice guy but those videos are just overkill with the length. I've seen this one before. But my statement was really geared toward the MiST or Vampire standalone, not really the Vampire card for the amiga.

#20 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:02 PM

That video was just uploaded this morning for the first time. He covers a lot of info and demos a lot of things along with the capabilities. But yeah, that's the add-on version.



#21 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:24 PM

That video was just uploaded this morning for the first time. He covers a lot of info and demos a lot of things along with the capabilities. But yeah, that's the add-on version.

 

 

Ohh, they I will have to watch (skim) through it! It looked like the start of one of his other videos ;)



#22 haightc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 1, 2018 5:14 PM

My first re-introduction to Amiga I set up a MiSTer, I was able to plays some floppies images.    MiSTer core only works with ADF files which seem to no longer be envouge.    Last time I looked at emulation that was the only file format, I actually had to look around to find some.    I later then ended up purchasing Amiga Forever, so I now have a legal copy of the kickstart and workbench disks.  I still haven't got around to setting up a hd file and instaling workbench on to it for amiga.   I did try to play a couple CDTV and CD32 games through AF/UAE but it didn't seem to work that well.    I didn't try this on thie MiSTer as the support isn't really there yet.



#23 mattsoft OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:48 PM

MiSTer also supports IDE with up to 4 devices. I mine setup with a "drive" for just games and use WHDLoad. The core is pretty solid and plays most games great.






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