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Is a MiST worth it?

FPGA MiST Amiga

71 replies to this topic

#51 derFunkenstein OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:14 PM

Good bumps. Since I play strictly on HD displays now, the Mister seems like the better way to go for me. The more frequent active development for it helps too.

 

I either need to get off my duff and read up on MiSTer. It really seems like the best thing out there for the systems I really love (and some I don't) if you're not interested in using real cartridges. 



#52 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:43 PM

Good bumps. Since I play strictly on HD displays now, the Mister seems like the better way to go for me. The more frequent active development for it helps too.

 

The MiSTer is a bargain at the price and has some really solid cores.  Hell, the SNES functionality alone, now with added expansion chip support - is worth the price right there!  :)



#53 derFunkenstein OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:13 PM

 

The MiSTer is a bargain at the price and has some really solid cores.  Hell, the SNES functionality alone, now with added expansion chip support - is worth the price right there!  :)

 

 

It's basically the functionality of a Super Nt + SD2SNES, right? That's $400 (roughly) so yeah, definitely. Looks like the whole MiSTer setup would run around half that. 

 

Is HDMI output basically as lag-free as the Analog consoles or an OSSC setup? I would still need to keep my OSSC/RetroTink setups for my Dreamcast, Sega CD, Saturn, PS1 and PS2, but it'd eliminate the need for an RGB modded NES, SNES, and my second Genesis. Also, I need to know about controller options.


Edited by derFunkenstein, Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:13 PM.


#54 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:14 PM

It's basically the functionality of a Super Nt + SD2SNES, right? That's $400 (roughly) so yeah, definitely. Looks like the whole MiSTer setup would run around half that. 

If you count the other cores, it is like a Super NT plus an NT Mini. :)

Is HDMI output basically as lag-free as the Analog consoles or an OSSC setup? I would still need to keep my OSSC/RetroTink setups for my Dreamcast, Sega CD, Saturn, PS1 and PS2, but it'd eliminate the need for an RGB modded NES, SNES, and my second Genesis.

The built-in HDMI upscaler is like an XRGB Mini with a framebuffer. That has up to one frame of lag (which for me is acceptable, but I know some balk at the thought).

If you want guaranteed zero lag, you can use the RGB out via the (optional) I/O board and route it through your OSSC for upscaling. There is also a "low latency" mode for
upscaling that avoids the framebuffer but uses non standard HDMI refresh rates, so not all displays are able to take it.

Also, I need to know about controller options.

Pretty much any USB HID device will work, and you can use PS3, PS4, and Switch controllers via the 8BitDo USB dongle. You can search their forums, there is a thread about controllers.

Edited by Newsdee, Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:16 PM.


#55 youxia OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:43 AM

I can share my setup for the MiST and MiSter, albeit it can be a matter of taste.

 

I appreciate your help and exhaustive answers to questions regarding these devices. I might eventually get one not because I really need it but because the price is very reasonable and the open-core scene quite exciting...but it won't be any time soon, maybe next Xmas present?

 

What's the availability of a board+add ons handling all the cores anyway? Do you have to join some waiting lists or is it just a matter of placing an order?



#56 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:56 AM

I got into these devices early on, but I was exactly in the same spot as you trying to get info about what was available and possible. So I'm just paying it forward :) My advice though is to wait that you have a clear picture and decide if it's for you. There are Youtube videos of recent cores running which can give you an idea of how it performs. I do think it's great, but I also think the results will speak for themselves.

What's the availability of a board+add ons handling all the cores anyway? Do you have to join some waiting lists or is it just a matter of placing an order?

The DE10-Nano board is available on Terasic's website and other resellers. There is plenty of stock since it's aimed at students and FPGA developers. Us retro geeks are a drop in the ocean compared to that crowd :)

The add-on boards that turn the Terasic board into a "proper MiSTer" are completely open hardware, i.e. you are free to download the schematics and build your own. Or get a friend to do them for you if (like me) you don't know SMD soldering. There is also a list of people selling expansion boards from various countries in the MiSTer forums:
http://www.atari-for...59418c6b7dbd78a

If you don't care about VGA out then the SDRAM board is all you need to run all cores. You can always buy the rest if you are happy with it and want to expand.

Also worth mentioning that a handful of cores run without the SDRAM (including the Genesis) so you can always get a DE10 first if you want.

Edited by Newsdee, Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:59 AM.


#57 zetastrike OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:12 AM

Did you ever buy the Mister, Zetastrike? 

I did. I got it set up for a handful of systems and I really liked it. In the process of moving last June, the DE-10 board got tossed out in the trash accidentally :(

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J727AZ using Tapatalk

#58 derFunkenstein OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:24 AM

If you count the other cores, it is like a Super NT plus an NT Mini. :)

The built-in HDMI upscaler is like an XRGB Mini with a framebuffer. That has up to one frame of lag (which for me is acceptable, but I know some balk at the thought).

If you want guaranteed zero lag, you can use the RGB out via the (optional) I/O board and route it through your OSSC for upscaling. There is also a "low latency" mode for
upscaling that avoids the framebuffer but uses non standard HDMI refresh rates, so not all displays are able to take it.

Pretty much any USB HID device will work, and you can use PS3, PS4, and Switch controllers via the 8BitDo USB dongle. You can search their forums, there is a thread about controllers.

 

This is all excellent news. I already own 8bitdo controllers, and the optional I/O board isn't expensive. Even then 1 frame isn't enough for me to notice. 

 

Edit: if the DE10-Nano can run the SNES along with whatever requisite accelerator chip is required (and also, apparently, Neo Geo), is there any chance someone's working on a Sega CD core? That'd be amazing. 


Edited by derFunkenstein, Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:30 AM.


#59 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:39 AM

Is there any chance someone's working on a Sega CD core? That'd be amazing. 

Each core is technically an independent open source project so there is not a specific timeline or "roadmap".

That said, the hardware can handle it and there is somebody already looking at PC Engine / TG16 CD support. As far as I know it's still on very early stages, probably even at "exploratory" phase, from comments from that developer on the Discord chat. He may get it eventually or another person may do it instead.

My advice would be to get one only if you are happy with the current state. Then everything that comes after will be a bonus :)

Edited by Newsdee, Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:43 AM.


#60 derFunkenstein OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:11 AM

My advice would be to get one only if you are happy with the current state. Then everything that comes after will be a bonus :)

 

Yeah I'm definitely happy with the current state, just based on what I've read. It wouldn't replace my consoles, it'd just give me access to games in a different room, and access to systems I don't own.


Edited by derFunkenstein, Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:11 AM.


#61 haightc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:39 PM

If you are going to use a 15 kHz monitor check the wiki / Google doc first. Some cores either output incompatible resolution, non original or not even at all over the analog video port. Also the primary developer can be open hostile at times to non HDMI users. Bost the MiST and MiSTer still are interesting platforms and worth the investment.

#62 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:55 PM

I've got a MiST. It's great for plugging into a CRT to play games at native res/refresh, and a lot of the cores for the home computers are fantastic.  It's definitely more of a "computer FPGA" (Atari 8-bit, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST, Amiga) than a "console FPGA," though it does have some nice console cores.

 

I use mine as an Amiga, basically, as I didn't want to deal with the high prices and headaches from Ebay to get a working 500 or 600.  It even supports hard drive images, so you can get Workbench installed complete with WHDload games.

 

It's also nice that it's basically a plug and play solution (some minor tweaking required for native res output over RGB SCART).


Edited by newtmonkey, Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:03 PM.


#63 youxia OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:23 PM

If you are going to use a 15 kHz monitor check the wiki / Google doc first. Some cores either output incompatible resolution, non original or not even at all over the analog video port. Also the primary developer can be open hostile at times to non HDMI users. Bost the MiST and MiSTer still are interesting platforms and worth the investment.

 

Sigh....that's hugely disappointing to hear because I only use CRTs with retro stuff  (and the fact that main dev is a dumbass is not helping either). That's als owhat I meant earlier by lack of info and/or conflicting one - since some people say it works fine.

 

I skimmed the wiki but couldn't see anything about CRT issues. A google doc?



#64 haightc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:02 PM

If you go to the IO page on the wiki. There is a link to fallow, you can also select. I haven't updated the wiki page in a little bit, but it'll give you and idea or what does and doesn't work. There is also a shared Google doc link around that another user is maintaining. With MiSTer you can't trust a 100% the video info dialog box. Everything I put up came straight from an oscilloscope as there are a couple core that output crazy frequencies over the video port.

#65 haightc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:19 AM

.
direct wiki link: https://github.com/M...t-compatibility
 
We must be fair to alexey, he has put in a lot of effort but analog video is many ways harder to properly reproduce.   So as a hobby developer it's very frustrating when people spend a lot of time complaining about something you as a individuale don't care about.   Fully supporting a properly 1:1 core implementation with proper video out all the time is actually a huge under taking.    I've been considering taking on fix the core's here a there perhaps over the summer when I can but like many people time is for such a thing is hard. 

Heck we are still waiting for the freaking DAC from analogue that they promised us a year ago.   I probably would have not purchase a SuperNT if it was not for that promise.     They teased it again with the MegaSG but again silence, if it's no out out by the time the MegaSG is in my hands I'll probably sell it.    I have also strongly considering trying to cancel my preorder.     No analog video is the sole reason I am not buying a colecovision phoenix, when I talked to them at PRGE they said they plan to add it later as an add-on but I don't really believe it now until I see it.



#66 youxia OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:48 AM

.
direct wiki link: https://github.com/M...t-compatibility
 
We must be fair to alexey, he has put in a lot of effort but analog video is many ways harder to properly reproduce.   So as a hobby developer it's very frustrating when people spend a lot of time complaining about something you as a individuale don't care about. 

 

It may be frustrating but there's no reason to be hostile about it, plus he should understand why for some people it's a deal breaker, even if he does not care about it. FPGA boards such as MiSTer are niche, enthusiast-driven projects and are supposed to cater to the "hardcore", and that includes the CRT people - even if we're a niche within that niche.

 

I get it that some people may come across as entitled/demanding, perhaps even hostile too, but it should be dealt with on case-by-case basis.

 

Anyway, thanks for the info/links. Seems like you put a lot of work into that wiki section! I'm not sure how to read it though...do these frequencies match the "native resolutions" or are they native too? The table seems pretty comprehensive. What would you say is the general compatibility?



#67 haightc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:46 AM

So frequencies and timing often don't exactly match original hardware and some cores don't reproduce original resolutions.   You'll be able to use almost all the arcade core and most of console cores via CRT, however some people have had issues on their specific monitors.



#68 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:39 AM

Heck we are still waiting for the freaking DAC from analogue that they promised us a year ago.


How Analogue has treated analog video after the Nt Mini is why I have yet to buy from them and am reading this thread. I pretty much gave up hope on waiting for them to restock the Nt Mini and release the DAC when I saw the Super Nt has a version in white for $60 more than other colors instead of an edition with the DAC and/or the DAC sold by itself. It just seems like they went too far into Mike Kennedy Land for me by putting console shell colors as a higher priority.

#69 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:42 AM

You'll be able to use almost all the arcade core and most of console cores via CRT, however some people have had issues on their specific monitors.

Can you be more specific? You make it sound like there is a serious issue with CRTs, but in my experience with my PVM most cores run fine except the Apple II, and that was fixed recently (it lacked a 15khz mode).

In my experience CRTs are more lenient with video timings, but not VGA. Are you referring to VGA monitors perhaps?

Some original machines had no actual external TV output e.g. Gameboy, Altair, and Vectrex so I wouldn't expect these to work on a CRT put of the box.

In any case this is more a matter of core maturity than the platform as a whole. You can check with individual core authors about tweaking the output. Sooner or later somebody might do it since it's open source.

Edited by Newsdee, Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:50 AM.


#70 haightc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:51 PM

My monitor I used primarily at home is a NEC XM2950, so I can display all but two cores over VGA.    You can't really say CRTs are really more lenient, I have some flat panels that are considerable more tolerant than most CRTs.  Now if you were just to buy a TV of the shelf that's a different story purely because the manufacture doesn't want to put in the effort to support a niche audience.   If you fallowing the MiSTer groups you would see many people struggle with getting core to work on their CRT monitor.    Frequencies and timings also change over a cores life as well, some have clear mistakes that in h blank are not tolerated by consumer and some professional monitor that don't automatically compensate.   My point is some authors will care a lot about timing and analog video, some will not car at all.      If you have a favorite core and you are considering purchasing MiSTer don't be surprised if you have to do some adjustment/processing or you'll need to wait for someoone that does care to actually put the the time investiment to fix it.    MiST is still getting cores here in there so both I think aren't a bad investment and neither are perfect.   I was was hoping to see something more come of the FPGAreplay2 but the page seems to dead.    Some MiSTer cores still need a lot of work and maybe more enjoyable via software emulation, there are a few that have surpassed the software emulated counterparts.       I have 23 consoles hooked up, I am not willing to venture into arcade land.    So I personally and only going to ever play arcade titles via FPGA or software emulation.   Hopefully MiSTer or someother FPGA console will get to a point to where I can store away many of these classic console but no system is there yet.



#71 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2019 11:27 AM

In general HDMI works well, modern TVs i.e. LCDs can be picky but there are options to make the signal more stable, like using a framebuffer.

#72 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:02 AM

Great news, the SNES core now supports SA-1 on top of Super FX. It now has most accelerator chips, with the exception of thr Stellaview (BS-X), MSU-1, and the rarer ones that only support one or two games (e.g. the Shougi games that use a complex ARM CPU for AI).

Edited by Newsdee, Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:03 AM.






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