Monday, 2 July 2012

Classic Amiga Emulation on X1000

Today I wanted to review how things run on the X1000 when emulating Classic Amiga hardware. By no means is this an exhaustive list - but I wanted to give a general feeling as to what to expect, especially from demos as little coverage to date has been given to demo performance on the X1000, and it is something close to my heart!

For all Amiga fans out there, I am sure you all have fantastic memories of using your Classic Amigas, whether they were Amiga 1000, 500, 1500/2000, 3000(T), 4000(T), 1200(T) or even CDTV and CD32 or even one of the Checkmate/Draco Amiga clones...

For me, the Classic Amiga era was wonderful - so many great games and applications, a great graphical OS which was so much fun to tinker with, and a computer that was the envy of all my friends in an era in the late 1980's and early to mid 1990's were PC's were DOS based with CGA/EGA (4 or 16 colours) or Windows For Workgroups 3.1x based, and Mac's were expensive, not good for gaming and mainly found in schools.

Of course, for most of my audience I am sure you already know all this!

One of my key goals when buying the AmigaOne X1000 was to replicate that experience and feeling I had with the classic Amigas on modern AmigaOS 4 based hardware. This included the migration of all the data from my various Classic Amigas to the X1000 to make it the complete Amiga.

Fortunately, with the X1000 I could get a long way towards this goal, although it is not a complete replacement for all the Classic Amigas, especially running high end 68060 programs like the AGA demos and games released after 1995 to today. This was disappointing for me, but perfects the 3D drivers support in the future will allow greater rendering speed for the emulator, and a smoothed appearance too, as per the emulators on PC and Mac.

I transferred the hard disks from my Amiga 2000, Amiga 1200 and Amiga 4000 some years ago to my current Amiga 4000T by removing and mounting each of the SCSI/IDE hard disks on the Amiga 4000T and copying the data across. The 4000T has SCSI and IDE which made it the perfect machine for this. I then used the Deneb USB card in my A4000T to connect a FAT32 USB hard disk which I used to copy all the data to a disk I could easily use to transfer to PC/MAC for WinUAE/E-UAE/Amiga Forever 2012, and also now for AmigaOS4!

After some configuration of multiple instances of RunInUae on the X1000 I can now run the following Classic Amiga configurations (I will explain the configs used later on):


  • Emulate my Amiga 2000HD AmigaOS v1.3 hard disk with original setup in 1990-1996! (In case you are wondering, this really is v1.3 - I am using a program called SimGen to display a 4 colour picture in the background and I changed the default font and drawers used in v1.3 as well):




  • Emulate my Amiga 1200T AmigaOS 3.1 hard disk with setup from 1996-2001 (Newicons, MagicWB icons - so many different icon formats back then!) :

















  • Emulate my Amiga 4000D AmigaOS 3.9 hard disk with setup from 2001-2010 (Minus Picasso IV and PCI Graphics Card support unfortunately which means I can't use the current 2010-present A4000T setup which is much better!):




  • Run all my CD32 games converted to ISO/CCD files via RunInUAE, built in to AmigaOS4 on X1000
  • Run all my Amiga ECS/OCS/AGA Games via ADF and WHDLoad using RunInUAE. Just double click on the ADF or WHDLoad icon for the game/demo to load. Use CTRL-Amiga-Q to Quit when ready to go back to the OS:

Some games I ran when trying this out on the X1000, which run perfectly (with screenshots below running on the X1000 in testing) are: 

Shadow Of The Beast:




Rainbow Islands:


Speedball 2:


SWIV:


Populous (Still a big favourite of mine):


Indy Heat:


New Zealand Story:


Lemmings:


Pinball Fantasies:


XP8 (AGA):


Aladdin (AGA):



If you don't feel like running one of these games after seeing it I would be surprised!

  • Run all my Amiga ECS/OCS demos via ADF using RunInUAE (this is a big improvement on the SAM440ep I had which could not do this at full speed):


         ECS demos run at full speed, which I was very relieved about. Here are some classic demos I ran which work perfectly on the X1000:


Lemon - Rink A Pink:


Mad Elks - Technological Death:


Red Sector - CeBit 90:



Silents - Hardwired:



RSI Megademo:





Of course there are many more ECS/OCS demos to watch and enjoy, Spaceballs State Of The Art, Nine Fingers, Virtual Dreams 242, Andromeda's Sequential, Anarchy's Digital Innovation, Scoopex's Mental Hangover, Sanity's Arte and many more classics!

  • Run Amiga AGA demos that require 68020 or less using RunInUAE under AmigaOS4 or within the A1200/A4000 emulation itself. Essentially this means AGA demos written from 1993 to 1995 only will work at normal speed. Some examples I tested that work well (amongst others) include:

TRSI/Alcatraz - Cyberlogik (AGA):




Juliet And Case - CCCP (AGA - first showing the RunInUAE prompt when double clicking the program in AmigaOS4): 





Not being able to run AGA demos after 1995 to present at full speed (even with dropping frames to 8 in the emulation!) was VERY disappointing. To be honest the X1000 hardware should be fast enough, so something else is going on to stop it running the demos at full speed - I suspect it may be graphic driver related. I will revisit this again when the 3D graphics drivers for the X1000 are finally released. For now I need to keep my A4000T or if it fails then to use my Mac/PC with Amiga emulation to run the latest AGA demos. I hope this is fixed soon.

So what do the RunInUAE configs look like for Amiga 2000, Amiga 1200 and Amiga 4000 systems to run in E-UAE on the X1000? To keep things simple I copied the RunInUAE folder into three subfolders for each system with shortcuts to the dock, to avoid affecting the default operation of RunInUAE running ADF and other running Classic Amiga WHDLoad programs in RunInUAE under AmigaOS4.

In addition the emulated Amiga OS 1.3, 3.1 and 3.9 systems were copied to directories on the X1000 Hard disk, fully browsable from within AmigaOS4 and easy to add to the RunInUAE config. I was particularly pleased that the icon support works so well for the icons from the A2000, A1200 and A4000 eras, as shown below (Click to expand to see this and the sub folders of RunInUAE):


It is necessary to modify the .uaerc file in each Amiga computer sub-folder for the emulation. I removed the annoying floppy drive sounds in these files as the sounds are enabled by default. Here is the config file I used for the A2000 emulation, which is based on ECS 68000 hardware and a v1.3 Rom. I have 1MB Chip and 3MB Bogo(Slow) RAM. I use mono sound to avoid the left/right sound syndrome when using headphones:



The filesystem2=rw,DH0:Apps:Work:Amiga2000,1 line specifies the mapping of an Amiga Hard disk within the emulation to folder on the X1000 hard disk. Specifically, rw (Read/write), DH0: (Device Name), Apps: (Hard Disk Label), Work:Amiga2000 (X1000 Hard disk folder location), and 1 (Priority for booting in AmigaOS). Because work: is already used on the X1000, it is necessary to map the X1000 Work: drive in the emulation as work_: (or some other name) to avoid conflicts. Using -1 as priority prevents it from being used to boot the Amiga in the emulator. ro (Read Only) stops changes being made to the drive from within the emulator.

You can use a HDF (Hard Disk File) in the emulator as well if you want it to be a single file, but I prefer the folder setup as it gives greater flexibility to copy files to/from the various emulated systems on the X1000.

Next up is the .uaerc config file for the Amiga 1200 AGA setup, based on 68020 CPU with 68881 FPU and v3.1 ROM. I use 4MB Chip to ensure I can run anything from the workbench without having to Boot No Startup due to lack of Chip RAM (a common problem on AGA machines). I have 64MB z3 Fast RAM and max CPU speed set. I use mono sound to avoid the left/right sound syndrome when using headphones. I dropped the frame speed to 2 to try to get some AGA demos to run better:



And finally, here is the A4000D system .uaerc config file, based on 68040 CPU (as the 68060 CPU support is not complete in E-UAE, which is the Amiga emulation run on the X1000). I dropped the frame speed to 2 to try to get some AGA demos to run better. I use 4MB Chip to ensure I can run anything from the workbench without having to Boot No Startup due to lack of Chip RAM (a common problem on AGA machines). I have 64MB z3 Fast RAM and max CPU speed set. I use mono sound to avoid the left/right sound syndrome when using headphones. I specified the graphic card support on and size to 32MB, etc, but that doesn't work in E-UAE on X1000 as yet. If someone has got it working please tell me how you did it!:




You will note that I always mapped the Work: drive into all .uaerc configs - this was to make it easier to  access shared files like music modules, pictures, file downloads, etc from within each emulated system without having multiple copies of the same data in each system using up unnecessary space.

And yes, I had a lot of fun playing the game and emulated systems while writing this blog entry. :-)

Along the way I also found that I can run delitracker via my Amiga 1200/4000 emulated systems in the background on the X1000 to play all my module formats. It is a way around the limitations of running Delitracker under AmigaOS4 natively which I discussed in a previous post. So I am very happy with that too!

So now I can have some fun with playing the Classic Amiga systems and the latest AmigaOS4 version too, all on the X1000!

2 comments:

  1. Love to see Classic emulation gone easy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. [quote]
    but perfects the 3D drivers support in the future will allow greater rendering speed for the emulator, and a smoothed appearance too, as per the emulators on PC and Mac.
    [/quote]

    Rendering speed of EUAE based on raw CPU power only and 3D drivers can't help with speed of EUAE, but [url=http://euaejit.blogspot.com/]JIT for EUAE[/url] can. It's still unfinished, but when it will, EUAE games/demos will works faster on ~50%

    ReplyDelete