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Discussing the Open Source FPGA Amiga Project
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 Post subject: Less Chip RAM, More "other" RAM: possible at all?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:54 am
Posts: 349
Hi there, Minimig V1.1 boarders

Now I'm trying to make the most of my 4MB Minimig, so I'd like to get maximum "other" RAM for Whdload.
I know the Minimig can be configured to have 2MB Chip and 1.5MB Slow, at maximum.
However, 2MB Chip is too much for some Whdload installs wich, in the other hand, could benefit from having more "other" (let it be FAST or SLOW) RAM.
So, is it possible to allocate 1MB of ChipRAM as Fast or pseudo-Fast RAM?
Then I would have 1MB ChipRAM and 2.5MB of OTHER RAM!

That would fix some Whdload installs wich are a bit short on RAM for PRELOAD operations because they need more OTHER RAM but have, in fact, too much CHIP RAM (no OCS game I know uses 2MB Chip anyway).

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Less Chip RAM, More "other" RAM: possible at all?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:58 pm
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Location: .de
gaula92 wrote:
So, is it possible to allocate 1MB of ChipRAM as Fast or pseudo-Fast RAM?
Then I would have 1MB ChipRAM and 2.5MB of OTHER RAM!


Use of "real" Fastram starting at $200000 will require some kind of AutoConfig function or an Addmem tool because Fastram is not automatically detected by the available Kickstart version.

The changes to the FPGA core for relocating the Slowram to Fastram area would be simple but Im unable to adapt the PIC or ARM firmware for this kind of changes.

To make it simple, I suggest to use ADF version of games that have up to 4 floppy disk image.
Minimig loads a lot faster at Turbo and floppy "fast / 2x" setting than any real Amiga model. Makes the loading time almost as fast as HDD of a real A500.
Until now I did not use WHDLoad for any game, just for general testing :)

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 Post subject: Re: Less Chip RAM, More "other" RAM: possible at all?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:54 am
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Ok, thanks!
Anyway, a lot of multi-floppy disk are natively instalable, so...


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 Post subject: Re: Less Chip RAM, More "other" RAM: possible at all?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:54 am
Posts: 349
After thinking about it, I tried to use "addmem" on the Minimig today. It seems to be a nice tool, but I don't know how to use it well on the Minimig, so I need a liiiitle advice.
This is my plan:

-Configure the Minimig, from it's OSD, to have 1MB ChipRAM and 1.5MB SlowRAM
-Use "addmem" to add the remaining, unconfigured MEGABYTE as more SlowRAM :D

So, addmem requires START and TO parameters (base address, end address) for the new RAM to be added. What would these addresses be?


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 Post subject: Re: Less Chip RAM, More "other" RAM: possible at all?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:58 pm
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Location: .de
Im sorry, Slowmem already is at its maximum of 1.5MB. There is no more "free space" behind it.

Also the OSD settings activate the s-ram chips on the Minimig board and disable the address area after 1MB of chipmem setting. There is no memory available, else Kickstart would automatically add it at reset detection.

You have to relocate the slowmem or chipmem addresses to $200000 for the actually FastRAM area.
But this will require an "addmem" command. Without core adaption it will not work.
To swap unused Chipmem to $200000 would be complex due to existing DMA access for this range.

I still suggest to use WHD only if really necessary. Minimig was not designed for this program and will work better with ADF version :)

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 Post subject: Re: Less Chip RAM, More "other" RAM: possible at all?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:54 am
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Quote:
Without core adaption it will not work.

Ok then! Understood, sir!
Well, I guess I've got to get the most of the Minimig v1.1 already in terms of RAM availability.

BTW, boing4000: MOST Whdload games work perfectly on the Minimig v1.1. You're missing a lot if you use ADFs on it! No swaps at all.... with a minimal startup-sequence. I have hundreds of games in my Minimig HDF: whdload installs, and a lot of manual installs with patches and assign methods. It came from desert, Defender of the Crown, Dungeon Master, all Turricans, Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, SuperFrog.. think of a game and I'm almost sure to have it running on the Minimig V1.1 from HDD with zero loading times!
The ONLY game I'm having to run from ADF is Rocket Ranger, wich for some reason has swaps with Whdload, is impossible to install to HD manually and refuses to run from mounted ADFs with XFS.
The Minimig is VERY suitable for HDD and Whdload games, you can be sure :D


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 Post subject: Re: Less Chip RAM, More "other" RAM: possible at all?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:58 pm 
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Maybe... but I do not own a WHDLoad key so the Startup with the typing text window will slow things down and in the meantime most ADF title are already loaded ;)

I have tested some WHD title but I really miss the floppy access feeling AND the nice cracktros too much :)

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 Post subject: Re: Less Chip RAM, More "other" RAM: possible at all?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:54 am
Posts: 349
Well, I can see your point, but I prefer investing my time watching the art in the game intros themselves.. I'm sure we won't live to see another wave of creative electronic art as the Amiga era. Anything was possible, the most bizarre ideas and images were sent to our brains back then, along with the strangest games I've ever seen :D
But I don't miss the floppy access at all! It was boring to wait for something to happen in a Cinemaware game! You had just entered that building, or asked that critical question, and there you were, with the joystick in your hand, waiting, listening the clicks, rums rums and clack clack clack of the poor Chinon unit, wondering if that pirated copy would kill your only way to put games in the Amiga... Nah, I can live without that :D
Maybe if I had smoked, those waiting times would have had an use... but I was a little kid, and I hate tobacco with all my heart anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Less Chip RAM, More "other" RAM: possible at all?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:48 am 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 10:51 pm
Posts: 480
With double-floppy-speed the loading-times in 90% of the software are really not long.

I also use nearly only adf-versions on my Minimig, because often they have great cracking-intros with cool music, good trainers and the Amiga-adf-Gamebase has over 20.000 titles. With a 16GB or 32GB SD-Card, you have lots of software to discover, when having this big Gamebase on it.

WHD-Load versions until now, i only use in games, which have more then 4 disks, for example the "Monkey Island" series and so on.

But for my A600, i have ordered an A608 memory-expansion. Then i have 5MB memory in the future on this Amiga. And i have a PCMCIA-Adapter with a Compact-Flash-Card on it. Here WHD-Load really makes sense and when the A608 is here, then i will have a deeper look at WHD-Load for the first time. Because then i can put lots of WHD-Load games on my Compact-Flash for this A600 and don`t need to handle around with real disks (nevertheless i like real 3,5" disks, but they need space). For my Minimig, i stay with adf-versions. No need for me to switch here. So, everybody prefer different things. :)


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