SuperVidel

News, Support and Development discussions relating to SuperVidel.

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samf
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SuperVidel

Postby samf » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:42 pm

Just wondering how many Atari Falcon users in the U.S.A. plan on
buying the SuperVidel.

I was planning to until I went to xe.com and found out that 300 euro
(apprx price) comes out to nearly $450.00.
That's a bit rich for me. Can't even consider the Firebee, close to a
grand USD.

I've upgraded one of my Falcons with the CT60 and the Ethernat, that's
about as much as I can afford....considering the U.S. economy these
days.

Definitely not bashing the developers...I hope they keep on keepin' on!
Hopefully some new peeps will enter our Atari world and give all the hardware
developers reason to continue making their products and producing new ones!

Thanks!
Atari Computer Nut
Virginia U.S.A.
C-Lab/CT060 Falcon,
256mb TT Ram, 14mb ST Ram,
4Gig hdd, IDE DVD Drive

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Re: SuperVidel

Postby wongck » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:34 pm

samf wrote:I was planning to until I went to xe.com and found out that 300 euro
(apprx price) comes out to nearly $450.00.
That's a bit rich for me. Can't even consider the Firebee, close to a
grand USD.


Yes, exchange rate on US dollars now aren't the best now.
Compared to last Sept, if I went on vacation to US now I would have saved 10% as that is the amount the exchange rate changed in 6 months. :roll:

I got myself a CTPCI as the initial specs mentioned that it will take USB & networking as well.
It was the biggest bang for the buck some 2 years ago. USB & network PCI are like less than US$5 a piece and that ATI was like US$20.
But of course, it's not as nice as a complete inside original case look.
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63/CTPCI+ATI+RTL8139+USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
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Re: SuperVidel

Postby samf » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:12 am

I'm not worried about original case look as both of my Falcons have been re-cased. :D

My one Falcon was in a tall tower case, but had to send the sysboard, with ct60, to Wizztronics for repair.....it's been out for quite awhile now.
My second Falcon is in a Desktopper case.

Makes the various upgrades a bit easier as I don't have to worry about space! :)
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C-Lab/CT060 Falcon,

256mb TT Ram, 14mb ST Ram,

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Re: SuperVidel

Postby wongck » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:56 am

samf wrote:My one Falcon was in a tall tower case, but had to send the sysboard, with ct60, to Wizztronics for repair.....it's been out for quite awhile now.
My second Falcon is in a Desktopper case.


Oh, a tower unit. I was looking at possibly of using a tower for my CTPCI but gave up the idea as it seems there a need to saw off some parts to fit all together.
Anyway, my current Falcon with the CTPCI is looking something like this http://gtello.pagesperso-orange.fr/falcon_e.htm
The PSU & CTPCI dangling out, a out of bounds area for my kids :lol:
Mine has a CF reader instead of the ZIP drive and my HDD is still internal.
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63/CTPCI+ATI+RTL8139+USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
Shared SCSI Bus:ScsiLink ethernet, 9GB HDD,SD-reader @ http://phsw.atari.org
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Re: SuperVidel

Postby wongck » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:18 am

samf wrote:Makes the various upgrades a bit easier as I don't have to worry about space!


You ought to consider the CTPCI. Is cheaper and gets almost the same thing as he SV.
But be warned that the USB & Networking are not working yet as there seems to be some firmware needing some fixes.

Hopefully Czuba is able to do it sometime this year, then it will be running USB & networking.
Once it is fixed, there are lots of potential for the PCI cards. I was looking at some code from Linux for several PCI cards.
They have all sorts there, so should be able to port them using existing API and using Didier's code as a reference.
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63/CTPCI+ATI+RTL8139+USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
Shared SCSI Bus:ScsiLink ethernet, 9GB HDD,SD-reader @ http://phsw.atari.org
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Re: SuperVidel

Postby MadMax2023 » Mon May 16, 2011 9:12 am

And there are some drivers for pci cards coming from Milan and Hadès computer that could be adapted to the CTPCI.
Network, Tv card, sound card,..

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Re: SuperVidel

Postby wongck » Mon May 16, 2011 11:20 am

MadMax2023 wrote:And there are some drivers for pci cards coming from Milan and Hadès computer that could be adapted to the CTPCI.
Network, Tv card, sound card,..


That's the theory but now only Video cards are out.
Seem like a hardware bug is stopping others drivers from running.
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63/CTPCI+ATI+RTL8139+USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
Shared SCSI Bus:ScsiLink ethernet, 9GB HDD,SD-reader @ http://phsw.atari.org
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Re: SuperVidel

Postby shoggoth » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:14 am

wongck wrote:You ought to consider the CTPCI. Is cheaper and gets almost the same thing as he SV.


They are both graphics cards, but the similarities ends there.

The CTPCI uses fVDI, and a heavily modified VDI. The XBIOS also heavily modified, and is modelled after the Milan XBIOS (which is very different from that of the Falcon XBIOS). It can use NVDI only if you disable the actual NVDI screen drivers (i.e. use fVDI as a back-end, just as one would do on Nova - except that NovaVDI has tons of more functionality compared to fVDI, e.g. offscreen bitmap support).

The SuperVidel uses the built-in VDI (accelerated through an XBIOS driver), and NVDI (with native *real* accelerated NVDI drivers), and as a proof of the level of compatibility level you can even use half-nasty hacks such as ENHANCER.PRG (which adds offscreen bitmaps to the standard VDI). Just like you would do if you didn't have a graphics card. On the SuperVidel, the VDI is actually 100% untouched and unmodified. Everything is implemented on the XBIOS layer, which is modelled exactly after how the original TOS4 XBIOS works.

On the hardware level, the SuperVidel is an extension to how the original hardware works; screens can (optionally) be located within ST-RAM, raster effects are possible, hardware banging works as usual (screen swapping and setting custom VIDEL resolutions works), for VIDEL-screens it uses the very same interrupt mechanisms as the standard system.

The CTPCI on the other hand is a PC graphics forced into an Atari box. It can't even do the same pixel formats as the VIDEL. Interrupts works differently, and will never reflect the state of the Radeon display. If you bang the VIDEL directly, it affects the VIDEL port, but not the Radeon output. It doesn't do proper dual screen modes. Screens can't be located in STRAM (exception is STHIGH, which supposedly is available through a hack which constantly copies the picture to radeon framebuffer).

In short - the SuperVidel is the modern equivalent to Atari hardware, while the CTPCI/Radeon is a PC graphics card. Don't get me wrong; Didiers achievements (and Czubas - although he hasn't finished the hardware) are huge and great, but it doesn't change the fact that it's a PC graphics card forced into an Atari context. The differences between these systems cannot be compensated through software alone. Look at the CTPCI TOS sources and you'll get the idea, the number of modifications required to get this thing up and running is astounding.

Now, which one should you chose? Here's my suggestion:
- if you're satisfied with a clone system and just want speed and high resolution - get a CTPCI
- if you want your system to be as "untouched" as possible, just faster and with higher screen resolutions - get a SuperVidel
- if you want ethernet in the future when there is peace on earth and we are all ruled by giant Teletubbies - get a CTPCI
- if you want ethernet - get a SuperVidel (via the Svethlana board)
- if you want to watch demos and game ports (i.e. if compatibility is important for you) - get a SuperVidel
- if you don't care about compatibility at all - get a CTPCI

Now, naturally I'm biased as hell, since I'm developing the drivers for the SuperVidel. But I do own a CTPCI, I had the intention of using it, but right now it's just a very expensive paper weight. It's unfinished, and I'm freaked out by the idea that we're all forced to use a heavily modified TOS, maintained by a single person.
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Re: SuperVidel

Postby shoggoth » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:20 am

It should also be noted that the development- and manufacturing costs are huge for a project such as the SuperVidel. It's low volume hardware, and the component price is for natural reasons much higher than that of a simple bridge such as the CTPCI.

Nature should be happy if they reach break-even.

EDIT: Typo.
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Re: SuperVidel

Postby wongck » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:01 pm

Excellent review of an "insider" view of the SV. :thumbs:
Just wished that such great insider information was available couple years ago before putting the bet on the horses. !!
But may be one should bet on both horses :wink:
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63/CTPCI+ATI+RTL8139+USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
Shared SCSI Bus:ScsiLink ethernet, 9GB HDD,SD-reader @ http://phsw.atari.org
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Re: SuperVidel

Postby shoggoth » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:28 pm

wongck wrote:Excellent review of an "insider" view of the SV. :thumbs:
Just wished that such great insider information was available couple years ago before putting the bet on the horses. !!
But may be one should bet on both horses :wink:


Well, I wouldn't call it a review, because I merely stated the technical actual facts about these architectures (albeit with some personal opinions).

I think both solutions are useful, but they're not equally suited for all kinds of users. Like I hinted, for some users there is a point in having real Atari hardware (or something that behaves like it) in the machine. Then again, some users don't even now why that makes a difference, and either get a very ugly surprise when they start using their CTPCI, or doesn't care at all because they only use GEM stuff which doesn't rely on the features missing from fVDI.
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Re: SuperVidel

Postby Dal » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:25 am

Looks like Nature are edging a lot closer to a release:
http://nature.atari.org/
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Re: SuperVidel

Postby Beetle » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:07 am

Dal wrote:Looks like Nature are edging a lot closer to a release:
http://nature.atari.org/


Yeah, these are great and exiting news. Looking forward to own a SuperVidel.

I'd like to point out that these days Rodolphe does a lot of good work in hunting the remaining
bugs out of CTPCI, so its likely to have USB and Ethernet cards running on PCI bus soon.

Also, on Outline party 2011 (Netherlands) i had the oppurtunity to try a SuperVidel prototype
in my Falcon. I put it on top of my CTPCI upgrade and after editing the xaaes.cnf for a proper
modecode and install the SV NVDI driver, it was working flawless, with an 060 clock of full 100 MHz.

Thats right folks, you can use both at the same time, CTPCI and SuperVidel. Of course Radeon GFX
have to leave PCI bus in case you want to use SV.

Having compatible graphic solution AND USB ports/fast Ethernet will make both upgrades,
CTPCI and SuperVidel more than worth to own. If you can afford both, i'd suggest go for them.

Beetle
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Re: SuperVidel

Postby instream » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:22 am

samf wrote:Just wondering how many Atari Falcon users in the U.S.A. plan on
buying the SuperVidel.

I was planning to until I went to xe.com and found out that 300 euro
(apprx price) comes out to nearly $450.00.
That's a bit rich for me. Can't even consider the Firebee, close to a
grand USD.

I've upgraded one of my Falcons with the CT60 and the Ethernat, that's
about as much as I can afford....considering the U.S. economy these
days.

Definitely not bashing the developers...I hope they keep on keepin' on!
Hopefully some new peeps will enter our Atari world and give all the hardware
developers reason to continue making their products and producing new ones!

Thanks!

I'm a bit late here I see, but I just wanted to point out that since your outside the EU you don't need to pay Swedish VAT. So the price for you is 248 EUR. See our homepage for more details. BTW the prepayment period has started :)

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Re: SuperVidel

Postby instream » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:26 am

wongck wrote:Excellent review of an "insider" view of the SV. :thumbs:
Just wished that such great insider information was available couple years ago before putting the bet on the horses. !!
But may be one should bet on both horses :wink:

I'm sorry that the information and news on nature.atari.org seems to have not reflected 100% what the SuperVidel actually can do. We who are developing it are perhaps so blinded by the true specs so we forget to write it all down for others to see... :(


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