Nice to see you finally here talk about Vampire. When I did that 3 years ago here, after Apollo team requested support from Atari community to get support to get that baby running in an ST, many here called me more or less an idiot.
So now here an idiots opinion and comments:
ST/STE demos rely often on undocumented tricks for digital sound on Yamaha, overscan, more than 16 colors, copper effectes and stuff like that. These tricks are very very timing dependend. That means, you need to do the right thing at the right moment, like switching 50/60/70Hz tricks for overscan. So that code is very hand optimized to switch registers at the right moment. 68000 CPU has instructions with different durations, one clock, two clocks, three clocks, etc. This behaviour is used to archive this exact timing, for example by filling time"gaps" with NOP instructions.
Apollo processor is superscalar, has two instuction pipelines, executes every clock one instruction (bam bam bam ...), or even two instructions per cycle, and the clock is more than 10 times faster than 68000 clock in ST/STE. That means, timing of above demo code can not be held, it's running too fast. Apollo has "snail mode" where it can be clocked downto 8 Mhz in many steps, but one instruction follows still another instruction one clock after the other clock. So timing of that kind of software can not be kept, even not in snail mode.
Amiga is more flat. Every effect you can see and hear on Amiga demo is officially supported by hardware. They don't need undocmented tricks, they just use the capabbilities of the chipset which are there to produce these fantastic effects, so even legacy code can benefit from faster CPU. Totally different from advanced ST/STE demo effects.
Having a 100 Mhz CPU with a 320x200 16 color screen is like a joke, isn't it? What would you do with it? Demos and games for ST/STE will have above timing problems, your enemies in a shooter game will be toooooo fast to hit them. Tooo fast, no fun. (try to play "Alley Cat" or "Xenon" MS-DOS game made for original IBM PC on a 486DX-4-100, it's the same, too fast, no fun). So ST video modes are not that important, just for initial boot.
So better forget for Apollo machine with ST/STE games and demos, that is bullshit idea.
Apollo makes only sense with applications/game working with a lot of data, timing independent, the faster it can handle the data, grahics, database, website, the better... So an vampirized ST or standalone needs high resolition graphics card. That is there, up to FullHD, called SAGA, and there is SAGA driver for EmuTOS / MiNT. So that's nice for Calamus, Netsurf, Troll, Photoline, ...
Above someone misses PMMU in Apollo core. They have something similar, even more powerfull in Apollo for virtual memory management and physical adress mapping compared to 68K PMMU. It even would be possible to support that adavnced MMU function into MiNT, there was discussion about that in Apollo-forum, vincent riviere, mfro and czietz talked about that with them. But Apollo team was not able to finalize the specification and documentation for that and so nobody does it. My personal experience with PMMU enabled on TT and ct60 is, that with that enabled, more software to crash than without. So PMMU support sounds a nice freature, but I idiot think, that many people will be unhappy enabling that memory protection feature in MiNT, when their favourite legacy GEM application then crashes.
With GEM we don't have problem to support high resolutions and many colors in any clean programmed application, just a VDI driver required, SAGA-VDI is there. Where we have problem, is with sound. Most applications which use sound, accesses directly Yamaha, STE-DMA-Sound, FSound. On Vampire standalone there is no Yamaha, STE-DMA-Sound, FSound. But there is "Paula" (the Amiga sound chip), they already implemented that in Apollo - with HDMI audio output, but no existing ATARI software can talk to and use Paula. Will you rewrite all software? Some software after 1992, after release of Falcon, can use XBIOS sound function from TOS 4.0x. But this is only a little number of software. And EmuTOS/MinT does not have an implementatuion of XBIOS sound, no function that can talk to Paula.
So Vampire Standalone with (Emu)TOS/MinT has no sound. It also has no Midi, so no use for Midi music software.
You miss DSP on Apollo desgn. I idiot think now, after discussion 3 years with them, with you all intelligent guys, that they never will implement 56k as they have AMMX. AMMX is based on Intel Pentium 166/200/233-MMX. AMMX multimedia SIMD instruction set is very sinuilar to MMX - I was told, I can pickup intel MMX assembler manual and learn AMMX programming with it. (SIMD == Singe Instruction, Multiple Data) With MMX code they can do finally the same powerfull things that DSP could do as well, so they don't see sense of implementing DSP. Also in PC, MMX, later 3DNow! and SSE were used for the things, what Falcon can do with DSP. They don't have the manpower to support two solutions which can be used for the same application things. (And the question is, if they have enough space in their FPGA to store the 56K logics functions besides all the other stuff)
Ok, we can have Vampire plugged into ST board, power up, and it boots. Would be nice, that was my dream 3 years ago. Making a 260ST into something which outperforms TT, Falcon, ct60, Hades, Milan, Eagle, Firebee. But those Apollo guys have initially designed the thing beeing still incompatoble to ST. There are several factors: Amiga does not use some signals on 68000 pinout, so they originally did not implemented. Amiga does not use Bus-Error and 2-3 other signal of the 68000 pinout for things getting done with the chipset. Atari uses Bus-Error signal like hardware detection, this is the way, how TOS detects memory size, availability of Blitter, ... Amiga also uses different interrupt handling. Only after I idiot, and after convincing them to try it - it took me more than a year - Tuxie, Gaga, Pakman and other Atari-intelligence talked to them, they tryed to implement or fix that, but until now they failed, it's not working properly. My impression is that they gave up, the mentioned Atari intelligence, and the Apollo gods. And I think, they (Apollo team) are afraid after implementing that ST/Mac compatible 68000 bus protocol Vampire might fail to start in Amiga... But that's their prority. Amiga. Amiga. Amiga. Sad, 3 years ago they were very motivated, very interested in ST. But our side took toooooo long to understand that they meant serious.
Now they go to finalize Vampire for trapdoor of Amiga 1200. When A1200 runs, they will prefer to have support for A3000, A4000, that's my impression. That's their prio, that are the machines they know. No ST, no STE, no TT, no Falcon support, until you collect some 3-5000 eurodollars and pay them - or we Atari idiots pay to licence the Apollo core and try to fix it. My impression is that they are just happy to run clean GEM applications with EmuTOS/MiNT, faster than any other ATARI(-Clone) ever did (even firebee struggels here, and Coldfire additionally struggles over some 68k instructions what makes it a bit incompatible...), finally having some professional applications which do not need sound, that's enough for them. Finally being able to run Calamus... No sound. No Midi. (ST demo/game is impossible, keep your grey computer for that!)
Good night, the idiot goes to sleep now. So late, already. So late for Vampire.
Ps: Just install Hatari, Aranym and UAE on a 8core Xenon/Core i7 and above and you're faster than any TOS/AmigaOS 68K machine and still compatible.
Power without the Price. It's not a bug. It's a feature. _/|\_ATARI
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