Red Falcon's Retrocomputing Thread!

Discussion in 'All non-AMD/Intel CPUs' started by Red Falcon, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

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    Well, I'll be! Those A500 cases got funded on the very last day! I'll let you all know when my Vampire SE case comes in.


    In other news, here's what's happened since my last post here:

    -The Power Mac 9600 continues to be a very finicky machine. It turns out that half the reason for its instability was what I call "insidiously bad RAM", the sort that can somehow pass POST only to give you silent data corruption hell after the fact. Out of frustration, I moved the DIMMs around so it was running non-interleaved, and it wouldn't chime. Not even a Chime of Death, it just turned on and did nothing. Turns out one of the presumed-working DIMMs seems to be bad enough that it fails to let the system POST in non-interleaved mode, leaving me with only 192 MB of confirmed good RAM for this thing. Ouch.

    But if that wasn't bad enough, I tried something else: limiting it to 128 MB with known good DIMMs in interleaved mode. It was still unstable. It seems like I have to eat the performance penalty of non-interleaved RAM for reliability's sake.

    Also, because I unsoldered the cache-enable resistor jumper, I could change the G3 upgrade's cache to write-back instead of write-through, which improves performance noticeably in benchmarks. Still need to test whether it works out in practice.

    -I also dug up this little CompactFlash to IDE adapter I had lying around, with a 4 GB microdrive that I had pulled from an iPod mini that I upgraded to flash storage. Adding this on either IDE channel on the Tempo Trio causes the usual hang on startup. Yes, even the primary one that I normally have the DVD drive connected to. It's quite annoying, to say the least, since I was hoping to use it for an additional OS boot volume, but it really feels like this system wants either SCSI or SATA, not plain ol' IDE/PATA.

    -The Amiga 2000's still out of commission, even a month later. I ordered one of those CPU slot adapters meant for fitting a Vampire 500 V2+ accelerator board, which I still intend on doing later, but putting the 68000 into that still makes the system act like it's braindead, as if it's still not seeing the CPU at all. (Yes, I took note of the proper orientations!) And no, I still don't have a proper desoldering gun for removing the CPU socket... it's kind of frustrating, really, knowing this system could easily be repaired, but not having the tools (or the money for said tools) to do so.

    -The other MDD G4 I hauled from VCF initially only recognized 768 MB out of 1.25 GB that I had installed, but moving the DIMMs around a bit caused everything to show up fine. Funny how that works.

    I also dropped a typical Radeon 9000 into it, since it's cheap and OS 9-compatible. Yes, the ideal way to go for OS X (Leopard especially) would be a later card with Core Image, but I'm restoring this system with OS 9.2.2 as the priority, being one of the fastest systems that can natively boot it, and want to keep costs down.

    I just need to recap the PSU (Samsung) and replace a blown fuse. Looks easier to work on than the AcBel one that my dual 1.42 GHz MDD used to run on. Hopefully, that'll get it working again without forcing me to take more drastic measures regarding ATX PSU mods.

    -I plopped a new battery into my iBook G4 1.42 GHz. Had to reset the PMU in order to coax it into charging, but sure enough, it actually holds a good charge! I just need to think about what I'd use it for, and whether or not I feel like taking the time to tear down the entire thing just to replace the old HDD with a SSD.

    -Back to the 9600 for a bit: I was initially dismayed with its performance in Unreal Tournament being tons worse than the iMac G3 350 slot-loader, despite both running on G3s with a Rage 128 GPU. It seemed like there was more to this than just the iMac having double the bus speed (100 MHz vs. 50 MHz) and SDRAM being interleaved at the DIMM level by default, so I double-checked the renderer and realized I had it running in OpenGL the whole time rather than RAVE! A quick switch later, and it runs about as well as the iMac now, albeit with an awfully banded/16-bit look on a GPU known for having a negligible performance penalty to run in 32-bit color.

    Mind you, I wouldn't consider UT'99 performance on either machine acceptable by modern standards; it's well below constant 60 FPS. Best to break out one of the MDDs and boot OS 9 on it (the OS X port doesn't support music for some reason, which I consider unacceptable due to how much I love UMX tracker music in general), which are powerful enough to run it without a hitch (lining up with my impression that first-gen Unreal Engine really wants CPUs in the 1 to 1.5 GHz range, x86 and PowerPC alike), or just do the sensible thing and run it on any ol' modern PC with D3D10/11 and OpenAL.
     
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  2. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Oh dang, I don't know how I missed this post until now. :confused:
    That's pretty cool that those cases got funded, and I know a few people who will be interested in them in the future - quite nice to finally get a replacement for aging plastic on the originals.

    That's too bad about the memory being so far gone, though I've had other systems in the past that would pass the POST memory tests and yet would later lockup due to the bad memory IC(s).
    How frustrating, but at least for a system of that age, the 9600 will still be quite capable with 128MB, though it would be nice to get 256MB+ on it, so I hear you on that.

    Does it just take standard 168-pin SDR SDRAM PC66/PC100?
    Been a while since I last looked at one of those.

    Nice work on getting the G3 cache enabled with write-back - I didn't even know you could do that on those, how exciting! (y)
    Hopefully that Amiga 2000 will start working for you soon, it really was quite the find.

    I miss systems that could run Mac OS 9.2.2 - those were the days.
    Even my Quadra 950 only goes up to Mac OS 8.1, and it originally started with System 7.

    Eh, I'm not sure a SSD would help the iBook G4 too much since the main limitation/bottleneck, even with a far newer HDD or SSD, is definitely the CPU.
    But, if you are [H]ard like I know you are, you will do it! ;)

    16-bit color, wow, that really takes me back, and I remember having to run games in that instead or 24-bit or 32-bit color due to the performance penalties of them at the time.
    Crazy to think how trivial that is these days with modern equipment.

    I also didn't know about the RAVE! API, I will have to look into that one, thanks for mentioning it.
    Nah, if I were in your shoes, I would get it working on the MDD with OS 9.2.2, even if the fps aren't at 60 or above - sometimes the original experience is the best, even if it isn't the best looking.

    Thanks for the updates, I look forward to hearing more on your progress, and if you have a chance, please share some pics or videos of your setups, I would really like to see them!
     
  3. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

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    I forgot to check back in here, been busy, but hoo boy, do I have a lot to tell you:

    -The thing about the Power Mac 9600 and most other Macs from the pre-G3 era is that they don't take SDRAM DIMMS, and they don't take 72-pin SIMMs, either. They run on 70ns FPM or 60ns EDO DIMMs, preferably the latter, and both are generally unheard of in the IBM PC-compatible world. Apparently, it's more of a Mac/Sun/SGI thing.

    Max density on those is 128 MB per DIMM, though those get stupid expensive. 64 MB DIMMs are easier on the wallet, though twelve of those only totals up to 768 MB instead of the max 1.5 GB that the 9500/9600 can take. Then again, I don't really see the point of going beyond about 512 MB on a Classic Mac OS setup, unless you really wanted to have a huge RAM disk on it and still leave plenty of room for your apps to breathe.

    -The MDD has no problem manhandling UT'99 at a practically constant 60 FPS and above under OS 9.2.2, so long as you give it a decent GPU. The Radeon 9200/9250 is a noticeable step up from the Radeon 7000 when you start cranking up the resolution a bit to 1024x768 or more; the Radeon 8500/9100 may do even better than that, but PCI 9100s are rare beasts and 8500s are AGP-only, which makes their use undesirable in a system that I intend to dual-boot OS X Leopard on. (Leopard loves Core Image-compatible GPUs, to say the least.)

    You also wouldn't have known about QuickDraw 3D RAVE, since it's basically the Mac OS equivalent of Direct3D: proprietary to the OS. The difference is that Microsoft didn't deprecate D3D in short order and push for OpenGL as the standard API instead, which is basically what happened to RAVE.

    So on Classic Mac OS, you have RAVE, you have OpenGL, and you also have - get this - 3dfx Glide! Seriously, you can just toss in a PCI Voodoo1 or Voodoo2 without even having to flash it, and it'll work once you toss the extensions into your System Folder. Voodoo3/4/5 do require flashing, though, but that's because they're also 2D cards. I just didn't really feel like tossing a Voodoo2 into my 9600 just yet if a Rage 128 would give me roughly the same performance, but cripes, that color banding in UT'99 RAVE just looks godawful.

    Maybe I should pull the Radeon 9250 from my main MDD instead and try that for the heck of it - if the driver extensions will function properly on OS 9.1 instead of OS 9.2.2, anyway. I don't want to risk losing stable FireWire all over again, as it's so much better than USB 1.1 for file transfers to and from external drives.

    -I didn't get much progress made on my A2000 besides removing the CPU socket so I can inspect the corroded traces and vias in that area better... but that's because I got sidetracked by a total gold mine of vintage Amiga hardware from a guy I met up with recently.

    He's loaded, to say the least, and I'm cleaning, testing, and fixing up his hardware. So far, that's amounted to one A2000 that I've fixed up (battery leakage instead dripped toward an IC handling the mouse/joystick ports and killed some crucial traces/vias), one A500 that I'm currently cleaning off and is in remarkably good shape otherwise, and - get this - an A4000 that I pulled the battery from before the corrosion got too bad, then removed the leaky SMD caps with some hot tweezers I finally managed to locate at the local Micro Center and have some replacement capacitors on order from Digi-Key.

    I've gotta wait a few days for those capacitors, but I'm hoping to sort out that A4000's tendency to yellow-screen and not mount floppy disks reliably after the recap job's done. Even after it's finished, I still have two more A4000s, an A1200 and a CD32 to look into, at least going by what he's told me he owns. I figure I should recap all those too, before any electrolyte leakage kills them in much the same way the Varta NiCd barrel batteries do.

    There's also an A2500 in need of cleaning (lots of black gunk around the expansion slots somehow, though the battery remarkably hasn't leaked corrosive alkaline base all over the board), a CDTV with keyboard and a Chip RAM upgrade, and a storage area full of Commodore RGB monitors (at least two 1080s confirmed working and a Magnavox-branded 1084S with lots more in store), alongside a keyboard with NMB Hi-Tek/"Space Invaders" keyswitches, a Power Macintosh 7100 or 7200 (forgot which it was), and an indigo slot-loader iMac G3 with FireWire ports, a clear indicator that it's not a gimped 350 MHz model like mine was.

    So yeah, if you want an Amiga and maybe a monitor to match, I could get you in touch with this guy. Maybe he'll cut you a better deal than the utterly ridiculous prices I'm seeing on eBay these days, like the Picasso IV RTG card that sold for over $600 recently! Yeah, seriously, people would pay near GTX 1080 Ti money for an old big box Amiga graphics card like that, whereas the same amount could also net an A500 with a Vampire 500 V2+ accelerator, which gives you a wicked fast 68080 core and RTG over HDMI, amongst other things.
     
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  4. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Retrocomputing & Gaming Room - Updated for 2018

    1851a7f9216800a57a28f0a5b787761d-dcgomcg.png

    Here is part of the retrocomputing and gaming room, which has been updated for 2018!
    Laserdiscs, video game consoles, plushes and posters, oh my! :D

    I have to say, at the bottom-left in the middle image, the original XBox was a mod job originally done by SeattleXbox on Etsy, is of absolute superb quality.
    The guy is a total professional, and while this can technically be done by others, the HDD has an activity LED, the clear ghost case was perfect quality, and the 2TB PATA HDD was fully loaded with emulators, original games, etc. - can't recommend this guy enough.

    Normally I am all about modding things myself, but even I myself would not have been able to match that level of quality; also makes me feel incredibly old knowing that the original XBox falls into the "retro" category now... :eek:
    Not trying to endorse him or anything, just saying that for an all-in-one retrogaming unit, that console is nearly the best I have ever seen next to my own soft-modded Gamecube, and far more fully loaded.

    I really hope this inspires someone else out there, and am very much hoping to see pics of other individuals' retro setups, no matter how big or small, or professional or ghetto they might be. :sneaky:
    Stay retro! :cool:
     
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  5. defaultluser

    defaultluser I B Dum

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    That's pretty impressive!

    Eh, if we're talking about emulation, I'd rather do it myself on a PC. I've been futzing around with EmuHawk, which has excellent multi-system support. It also has pretty impressive and tweakable fast-forward and rewind stave states built-in, although it's not as seamless as others. Still a nice feature to have, even if there are occasional hitches when you have it-turned-on.

    And I love the fact that like most newer emulators, they have dedicated F-keys for all the save states. No cryptic cycling through which save state you're on with anther set of keys.

    It's all hooked up to my OLED TV screen, so it looks even better than it ever did when I was growing up :D

    The exception of "do it yourself" is my DSTWO+, because I like the old NesDS emulator (first seamless implementation of FFW/Rewind buttons I can recall), and the SNES emulator runs pretty smooth on the processor included in the cartridge. I also hate hauling around my old DS cartridges.

    The controls on the DS/3DS were made for portable emulation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  6. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Thanks, I never realized how long it takes to setup a room like this, but it was totally worth it!
    It has been a long time since I've really been into emulation, but I will have to give EmuHawk a try, especially with the F-key save states, that sounds like such a nice feature; DSTWO+ sounds awesome as well - I've really been out of the loop on some of this stuff in the last few years, wow.

    I've thought about doing something like that with x86-64 equipment and running emulators on an HD/4K screen; if you have pics, please share them if you have time!
    There is just something about running original hardware (and an emulator or two, heh) on an older CRT SDTV that gives it an old school feel and without faux scanlines or anything.

    That sounds really hipster, haha, and I do want to be clear, play whatever games/systems/software/etc. how you want to play it on the hardware you want to play it on and use what works. :)
    Not everyone can afford original hardware, which is what prompted me to go with emulation on an original XBox, mostly for arcade games.

    There are a few people I've seen start to collect original arcade JAMMA boards and use those, and while I'm all about original hardware and all, some of those boards go for $250 to $1000+ each, yikes! :greedy:
    Thanks again for the information on those emulators, I will be checking those out very soon. (y)
     
  7. defaultluser

    defaultluser I B Dum

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    Oh I know dude, but I can't deny that tech marches on and you can do just about everything with a single box.

    I understand the satisfaction of the original systems, but thirty years later I don't have the time and really can't dedicate the space. Emulation is a whole lot more accurate than it used to be, and lets you see everything at the bare pixel level. You can add whatever filters that please you do recreate that exact experience you're looking for.

    I never want to have to say "you can't play X system, it's broken." With a computer, they either all work or nothing works. Also, aside from the NES, SNES and Genesis there are very few games from other console platforms that I've fallen in love with, so PC emulation covers everything from NES up to Gamecube.

    I'm just too lazy to dig out my NES and Genesis, and the Wii broke. My Friends all stropped playing Mario Cart, and I've never been much good at fighting games (this includes smash), so I'm not really missing much. Nobody I know shares my love for Fzero GX, so I have no long-term desire to unlock all the vehicles again.

    I'm good at FPS, but my 3D control of choice is keyboard and mouse, which nukes 99% of the need to own a modern console. The 360 controller is only good for indie platformers and puzzle games, and a few RPGs. Most of those will get ported to PC anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  8. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It is nice that we have the option to run everything out of a single system now.
    I remember the first time I used NESticle back around '96 or so, and that completely blew my mind that one could play NES games on a PC.

    Crazy to think that just about any modern system can run nearly any former system up to the last generation - you are right, the emulation has improved vastly over the last 20 years.
    F-Zero GX looked like a ton of fun, and I remember MetalJesusRocks talking about it in a few of his videos - looked great and the soundtrack was awesome, and I'm only sad that I didn't know about it until very recently.

    It really is amazing that something as small as the Raspberry Pi 3 can run just about any older system fairly well, and at such a low cost.
    It will be neat to see where the technology will take us next!
     
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  9. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

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    Nice original Xbox setup! I still maintain that it's a better console in terms of exclusives than both of its successors, and for all those PS2/Xbox multiplats denied PC and GameCube releases, the Xbox version is usually miles ahead of the PS2.

    Besides, original Xbox emulation is still nonexistent in practical terms despite its PC similarities. Good thing the real console's relatively trivial to modify.

    In other news from last week:
    -I looked at a second Amiga 4000 recently. Revision B mobo again. 16 MB of 72-pin Fast RAM SIMMs that work fine, but the retainer tabs on some of the slots are busted. Leaky battery and caps, but thankfully functional with all audio channels audible - from both RCAs, suggesting my original understanding of the A4000 audio output was in error. Slimmer FZ-357A HD floppy, which is much easier to run dual in an A4000 than my taller FB-357A. Super Buster Revision 11. Video Toaster 4000. GVP Impact SCSI card with drive and 2 MB of Zorro II space (24-bit) Fast RAM. A3640 with 25 MHz 68040.

    Definitely glad that one still works, but it'll need a recap job eventually.

    -I took a lengthy (over 1 hour) drive to someone with a bunch of suitable retro PC graphics cards, a lot more modern PC parts (actually proposing a hex-core Westmere i7 or Xeon on X58 as an upgrade route for a Q6600 box), and unexpectedly, a first-gen Surface Pro 128 GB with Touch Cover and AC adapter.

    He gave me some good soldering tips and tricks, too. Turns out that it pays off to have irons/stations that can run hotter, as well as tips appropriately sized to the components. He does fine-pitch SMD IC work, even tighter than what I deal with, but also admitted that some of those A4000 caps are in very tight spaces, like "I wish I had hot air" tight.

    I'd actually been dabbling too much with the Surface Pro to get another retrogaming build going, but it's definitely still in the cards. S3 or Matrox for 2D, 3dfx for 3D, a nice Athlon or P3 in the 1 GHz range... that should make for a good 98SE setup. Only problem's that HP did the usual cheap-ass OEM thing on the next setup to be and refused to have Asus solder in the AGP slot, the jerks! How else am I going to use my Voodoo5 5500 cards?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018 at 8:38 PM
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  10. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Thanks a lot!
    That's true, most of the multi-platform games from that era really do run and tend to look better on the original Xbox.

    Interesting, I never realized that the original Xbox wasn't emulated very well - kind of surprising since it is x86-based, but I suppose the similarities with IBM-based PC equipment ends there, heh.
    I'm still blown away that you were able to find an Amiga 4000, those are such rare units, let alone be able to work on one and upgrade it with so much equipment - so lucky! (y)

    Aren't those upgradeable from the 68040 to the 68060 CPU?
    Sounds like that was a fun and productive trip, and those systems would definitely be a nice upgrade to that Q6600 - crazy to think how old that CPU and platform is now, I remember when those were bleeding edge. :eek:

    Ugh, I remember when OEMs would cheap-out and remove the AGP slot - I had a Compaq from the late 1990s and a friend with a Dell from the early 2000s that both had them removed - only option was either integrated graphics or a PCI-based GPU.
    Upgraded mine to a GeForce 2 MX 32MB PCI card, and it was a such a huge upgrade - funny to think that it didn't even have a heatsink!

    Those are really good options for a 98SE system, and it will be a fun system once you get it up and running. (pics!) :D
    Nice find on that Surface Pro as well, those are super handy systems, though the only thing I didn't care for on them was that the AC adapter provided less power than the system used when under load, so while it took a bit, I remember they would eventually run out of battery if using it for rendering or data crunching for too long of a period, though I get they weren't necessarily designed for that.

    Thanks for the update, can't wait to hear more from you, and hopefully a few pics as well! :)
     
  11. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

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    Pics, you say? I should've posted this one:
    Amiga_4000_side_by_side.jpg

    Unlike the one he left me, this one has a faceplate that thankfully isn't piss-yellow for a change (gotta learn how to retr0brite right), though I'll still have to figure out why that IDE drive isn't coming up at all.

    I may have also forgotten to mention my acquisition of an Emplant board (pictured in the top slot of the left one), which isn't strictly necessary for Mac emulation, but adds the usual RS-422 serial ports and SCSI. I figure it'll come in handy for attempting LocalTalk connectivity later with my Power Mac 9600.

    The A4000 is indeed upgradable to a 68060 with a socket adapter on the A3640 board (060s run at 3.3V, so plugging one into an 040 socket meant for 5V is a great way to fry it), or if you're downright rich, one of those rare 68060/PowerPC upgrade boards that also often come with upgraded SCSI controllers and RTG board options.

    The last few CyberGraph PPC boards I saw on eBay went for over $2,000, with the CyberVision PPC board to match adding another $500 or so to that. Factor in the usual $650-700 for the A4000 itself, and I don't think I have to get into what kind of kick-ass modern PC you can build with that kind of budget...

    However, PowerPC on a classic Amiga seems kinda pointless from a practical perspective, with the games that require such a board generally running far better on more common PC or Mac hardware. We're talking stuff like Quake, Freespace 1, Wipeout, etc. It's the games that require a fast 68060 or even the Vampire 68080 and RTG that I'd be worried about right now.

    Pics for the next Win9x build will come when I'm ready for it, but right now, it's something I haven't had enough time to really dive into, in part because I've been acquainting myself with that Surface Pro instead. Do I keep that or my usual Fujitsu T902? Only time will tell, I suppose.

    I'm thinking that no physical AGP slot will really hamstring that HP desktop I picked up, but a fast Athlon over 1 GHz coupled with 1 GB of SDRAM (for which 512 MB DIMMs aren't terribly common and made the system worth it by themselves) should work wonders on UT'99. The main thing is either soldering on an AGP slot and hoping I don't need to go flashing a replacement BIOS or anything to get it to work, or just replacing the mobo entirely with something that has AGP that'll fit a V5 5500, maybe with some ISA slots for sound cards' sake.

    Also, have a look at all these cards...
    retrocomputing_haul_7-14-2018.jpg

    Interestingly enough, the Matrox cards have DA-15s alongside the usual DE-15, perhaps to facilitate the use of older Macintosh monitors. I wonder if you can run these things in a PCI Power Mac, though I didn't get those for that purpose.

    The 7800 GS AGP, on the other hand? As soon as I can get a replacement ROM with enough capacity and the correct format soldered in, I'm benching that thing in my MDD G4, even if it's probably more deserving of a G5. I just don't have any Power Mac G5s.
     
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  12. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    There are a number of problems with XB emulation. I had a post stickied a few years back; the gist of it was there were major API problems (due to multiple revisions), as well as major problems emulating the underlying XBOX OS. By contrast, the PS3, which has much more difficult to emulate hardware, has easier to emulate software.
     
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  13. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

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    I knew the proprietary NVIDIA NV2A and lack of documentation on it would be an issue, but I wasn't expecting serious API inconsistency.

    I do know that the 1.6 Xbox revision changing to a proprietary Xcalibur encoder chip caused issues not just for homebrew, but for some retail titles. Panzer Dragoon Orta is a garbled mess in 480p mode on a 1.6 Xbox, for example.

    That point about PS3 emulation is a good one, and also ties into why Wii U emulation is surprisingly advanced right now. These consoles are modern enough that developers were generally using high-level APIs and multiplatform game engines by default, so using high-level API emulation is far more feasible, unlike the older days when hitting the bare metal was still expected to get good performance out of a console.

    That was still a thing on the PS2, now that I think about it. Whatever Project ACES was doing on Ace Combat 04/5/Zero is not easy for PCSX2 to cope with; I'm talking terrain errors with hardware rendering, missing hitboxes on enemy units, all sorts of unplayable nastiness. Even partial BC PS3s without the Emotion Engine and PS2 RAM reportedly don't run them properly.
     
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  14. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The Wii U is actually really easy to emulate; it's CPU is a direct descendant of the Wii's CPU, which itself is a direct descendant of the Gamecube's CPU.

    Certain PS2 games take advantage of various undocumented features of the HW. And because PCSX2 tends to care about the end result rather then properly emulating features, a lot of stuff gets broken when they take advantage of said undocumented features. Dolphin was a lot like this prior to 4.0, where the devs really started to focus on accurately emulating features and removing hacks from the emulator.

    As for the PS3, I question if PCs will ever be able to emulate the Cell at any degree of speed. It's hard enough to code to it directly, emulating it correctly and at a decent speed is going to be hell.
     
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  15. Red Falcon

    Red Falcon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Man, those systems are awesome, thanks for sharing and posting pics! (y)
    Even though I've never been into Amiga hardware or software, I am envious of the journey you are embarking with those systems; I just ended up going the X68000 and PC-98 path, but maybe someday...

    I kind of forgot about the yellowing on older plastics, depending on the materials and oils they were manufactured with.
    If I remember right, I thought that it was some type of fire retardant that was responsible for the yellowing when it was overly exposed to UV light, but I could be remembering wrong.

    The 8-Bit Guy has a great guide for the retrobrite process:


    Not sure if you've seen him before or not, but his channel has tons of great retrocomputing how-to content:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/adric22/videos

    Ah, that's right, I forgot the 68040 and 68060 ran at different voltages; definitely don't want to use one without the right adapter.
    You are right, those things are super expensive, and it seems that way for *any* CPU accelerator out there for nearly any system.

    The Xellent30 68030 CPU accelerator for the X68000 Expert-HD was over $650 USD, not counting shipping, and that was over two years ago (had to save up for a long time to get that) - couldn't imagine what they cost now, assuming one can even be found.
    The hyper-rare Mercury 68060 CPU accelerator can easily go for over $1500 USD for a rough-looking model, let alone a mint or unboxed unit. :eek:

    That high price tag is what mainly has kept me from entering the Amiga arena, but the fact that you have two A4000 units is just crazy - seriously nice find on those.
    As for 512MB SDR SDRAM DIMMs, yeah, those are extremely rare and costly - very nice find on those as well.

    I used to have a few 2GB DDR1 SDRAM DIMMs once, and those were highly elusive as well; seems to be that way with 8GB+ DDR2 SDRAM DIMMs, too.
    At the end of the day, one could have purchased a supercomputer for the cost of some of this equipment, but the journey and discoveries are really what make it worth it! :cool:

    That last pic is hilarious to me, mainly because at one point or another back in the 2000s, I used to have every single one of those GPUs including the sound card, though not all at the same time.
    I remember when everyone thought that 7800GS was going to be the very last card for AGP (AMD later released the HD4670 on AGP, which I believe is the very last GPU on that port) and I really yearned for one, but just couldn't afford it (was like $600 back in 2006, new) due to being in college at the time - tuition fees, ouch.

    Luckily, a friend of mine, circa 2007, ended up giving me his 'then old' BFG Tech 6800GT AGP GPU, which was broken but under warranty, which I sent back in and got a replacement 7800GS 256MB AGP 8x GPU - my dreams came true! :p
    For the time, and before NVIDIA and AMD/ATI's unified architectures were a thing, that 7800GS actually was a kickass GPU and was quite capable, with really similar performance to the 7800GT on PCI-E 16x 1.0 from Q4 2005.

    Oh man, you are bringing back some good memories!
    That GPU is more than that poor MDD G4 is going to be able to handle - be gentle with her. :ROFLMAO: