After the launch of GOLD 3 Alpha, which activates AGA possibilities for 68080 Vampire users. Many discusses about if it will just be AGA or not. Well. Stéphane Pitteloud wrote a very interesting post in the Commodore Amiga group on Facebook, where he describes everything as it is. I asked to use it, because I felt it was really well written.
There are many falls assumption about GOLD 3 Alpha for 68080 Vampire
Here he explains about the differences between Vampire V2 and Vampire V4 accelerator series for classic Amiga home computers:
1. Gold 3 Alpha is Another branch for testing AGA part
The FPU and the RTG are not being permanently removed. The Gold 3 Alpha is another development branch where only the AGA live. There are 3 obvious reasons to that!
First one is the room in the FPGA is too tight, each time the Apollo Team compile a core it is painful to achieve a good timing if the FPGA is almost full. There are somedays more than 10 core backed, so imagine the loss of time.
Second one is that Apollo Team wants to test the AGA itself. If we include the FPU and the RTG, how on hell can we know that the bug we track comes from the AGA and not from the other components ?
Third reason is that the mechanism letting switch on the fly between the RTG and the AGA is still do be done.
When the AGA development branch is done, we will then merge the AGA part with the rest of the core (FPU and RTG). There is no need for us to hide the RTG and the FPU, because we are pretty proud of them. For the Vampire V4, all of this can live together because we have enough room in the C5. While for the Vampire V2 cards, we will work as hard that we worked until now to provide the best solution. Apollo Team simply won’t let the Vampire V2 users on the side. If that was the case, then we wouldn’t be working on GOLD 2.10, 2.10, 2.xxx for many months.
2. Faster AGA and a much better Paula
Another misconception is that we at Apollo Team are doing incompatible stuff on purpose. The reality is that we are NOT doing a perfect Amiga Clone into a FPGA.
There are two reasons for this choice:
First reason is that because what a “true amiga” has still to be defined. Is it a Amiga 1000, a Amiga 500, a stock Amiga 1200 or an expanded Amiga 1200? With what kind of expansion? Isn’t a Blizzard PPC + a BvisionPPC taking over the Amiga 1200 in the same way that the Vampire does and converts the Amiga 1200 as a keyboard controller ? No way to tell.
Second reason is that there are already such Amiga clones in FPGA. If this is what you want, go FPGA Arcade, Mister or Minimig. No, what we do is a new Amiga following the AGA line (Amiga 1200, Amiga 4000 and Amiga CD32. We do a new computer, with new extended capabilities. We do a faster AGA, a better Paula, and by the way a far better processor, because we want to bring to life a new Amiga.
So, long story made short : the Gold 3 Alpha is not mean to replace your all day core on the vampire, it’s there to specifically test the AGA implementation itself.
Become an awesome beta tester by giving Apollo Team great bug reports back
With Stéphane from Apollo Team explaining about the differences of their GOLD releases and the fact that RTG part will be back. You now how a better choice in either getting an Vampire V2 or Vampire V4 for your Amiga. The best thing is that Apollo Team will not leave Vampire V2 users. With that commitment. They provide more power to V2 as much as they are able to do.
Remember that this GOLD 3 release is in Alpha stage. And as I wrote in the previous article. You need to prepare yourself and also be a helper by providing Apollo Team great bug reports where you state what went wrong and when. GOLD 3 Alpha is for testing and making the final GOLD 3 release perfect. The fact that Apollo Team invites the Amiga community to be part of their classic Amiga revolution. Is a revolution itself!
Thanks to Stéphane for letting us using his text and with that providing you correct information about whats correct regarding the GOLD 3 release.
Source: Apollo Team