Falcon + CT63 + 1024x768 speed?

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Falcon + CT63 + 1024x768 speed?

Postby sylwiusz » Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:00 am

Hello,
I'm considering coming back to Atari community after roughly ten years of :-) I still yet have to decide whether to hunt for TT with VME graphics card or to buy Falcon. Obvious plus of TT setup would be greater speed of naked machine and faster graphics of good VME card as compared to Videl. Obvious Falcon advantages would be more newer games/demos working exclusively with its hardware (DSP) and possibility to add decent accelerator - CT63. If I would buy Falcon, I'd like to pair it with 15" LCD screen with native resolution of 1024x768. Here is my question to CT60/CT63 users - is 1024x768/16 colours/50 Hz resolution usable on Falcon with Screenblaster or similar resolution extender software? I mean is it fast enough for some work? 50 Hz would be stable nonetheless on LCD but would stress Falcon bus less :-)

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Postby Womble » Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:52 am

Not to be a troll but is anyone using the falcon or TT for "real work" these days? It seems that even if you can achieve the real work on that platform that you have to own a PC or Mac to interface with the rest of the world these days anyway.

Effectively you are going to limiting yourself to a 386 or low end 486 with a dial up connection (even with broadband the serial bus is going to be limiting) by sticking with this hardware - no matter how more efficient the OS is on the atari the world has moved on and sticking this far back is going to be more problematic and more expensive (ie accelator boards to make that falcon run like a $10 486 PC and yet cost $300-$400) than its actually worth. If you are intent on personal pain you are better off adding $5 to your budget and spending $15 on a mid range Pentium II and slapping Linux on it, rather than spending $500 or more to get a souped up, non X86 based system that will accomplish far less. Network connection on TT or Falcon = megabucks. Network connection on old 386/486 = $1 ISA ethernet card.

Ataris - Nice machines but not exactly useful anymore.

By the way - falcon games?? Umm no. Demos - yes a few, but dont count game as a bonus on the falcon.
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Postby christos » Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:43 pm

I haven't seen a falcon able to produce 1024x768 on a vga type monitor. 800x608 is not bad and works good. I've tried my falcon on a 17" tft and I didn't have any problem apart from the fact that pixels looked really big. 800x600 is workable. If you are thinking about a ct63 then you get speeds upto 100Mhz. This will probably be sufficient for most applications such as mp3 replaying at super quality and I believe that you can actually view divx files with aniplayer but I am not so sure about that. However Rodolphe Czuba and Didier Meguignon are working on the CTPCI that at an added cost of a hundred euros it will provide the ability to connect 3 pci devices one of which will be an ATI Radeon 7500. On another note an lcd screen is not the best choice for a falcon since most demos require 100Hz refresh rate.
Womble has a point in that the acceleration cards are very expensive (and that is the reason I don't have one) but I would never consider a 68060@100Mhz equivalent to 10$ 486 Machine. If you have the bandwidth visit the dhs site http://www.dhs.nu and download the video of their latest demo for the CT60 that will pretty easily show that a CT60 is not in that league.
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Postby Womble » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:32 pm

Well seeing as you can pick up 1Ghz P3 chip/board/ram combos second hand for about 15 to 20 quid currently, the multi hundred dollar accelerator boards for the falcon seem very poor value - yes I understand why they cost that much, economies of scale and such, but other than running a demo on its native hardware there really seems to be very little point.

Other than the aesthetics and the "being different" factor I still think a fully tricked out falcon is a very very poor substitue for a modern midspec PC.

Decent range of software - Nope (effectively demos only really)
Games - Nope
Ability to connect any form of modern peripherals (digital cameras/iPods/Scanners/headsets) - Nope
Particularly fast - Nope
Decent screen res - Nope
DVI video output - Nope
Networkability - Expensive - Almost Nope

As a machine they are nice but I dont see a fully maxed out falcon being any more useful than a bog standard stock model. Those demos work out as being very expensive pieces of software to run - just watch the MPEG version if its avail.
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Re: Falcon + CT63 + 1024x768 speed?

Postby DarkLord » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:11 pm

sylwiusz wrote:Hello,
I'm considering coming back to Atari community after roughly ten years of :-) I still yet have to decide whether to hunt for TT with VME graphics card or to buy Falcon. Obvious plus of TT setup would be greater speed of naked machine and faster graphics of good VME card as compared to Videl. Obvious Falcon advantages would be more newer games/demos working exclusively with its hardware (DSP) and possibility to add decent accelerator - CT63. If I would buy Falcon, I'd like to pair it with 15" LCD screen with native resolution of 1024x768. Here is my question to CT60/CT63 users - is 1024x768/16 colours/50 Hz resolution usable on Falcon with Screenblaster or similar resolution extender software? I mean is it fast enough for some work? 50 Hz would be stable nonetheless on LCD but would stress Falcon bus less :-)


I'd go with the Falcon. The Falcon is still drawing attention from dedicated people who want to upgrade and expand it. The TT just doesn't seem to garner the same attention at all. You've got to experience the Falcon with one of Rodophe's accelerators - it *will* put a smile on your face watching it bootup... (and running apps). :)

I can't comment on the Screenblaster, I've never had one - doing 800x600 is no problem at all here though, with no extra hardware besides the CT60 I've got.

What kind of work did you have in mind? The Falcon can do many things, very well. I use my Falcon for mostly obvious, Atari related things. Games, while few on the Falcon do offer some very nice ones. I love vegging out in front of my Falcon, with the audio system cranked up, playing demos like "Beams", etc, etc,... I can get on the 'Net with my Falcon and do e-mail, newsgroups, web browsing, etc, with the EtherNEC. I've got an order in for the EtherNAT and am looking forward to its arrival. I can even burn DVDs on my Falcon. :)

I read through some of the other replies in this message thread, and I guess I missed something, somewhere. I didn't read any request on your part as to whether or not you should get a Falcon or a cheap PC... The point was made that to do serious work you're going to have to have a modern PC anyways. Well, granted certainly that is correct. I've got a fairly modern 3 comp LAN here, running Linux, for my family. It has nothing to do with my Atari computers. They both serve different purposes. Speaking just for myself, I'd never look at buying some piece of junk 386/486 over true Atari hardware, like the Falcon, even with setting up emulation on that PC. As far as I know, and others can correct me I"m sure, you still can't really do *Falcon* emulation well on any of the emulators...

I'm not trying to start a flame war/fight whatever folks. Thats just my humble opinion.

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Postby sylwiusz » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:12 pm

Womble wrote:Not to be a troll but is anyone using the falcon or TT for "real work" these days? It seems that even if you can achieve the real work on that platform that you have to own a PC or Mac to interface with the rest of the world these days anyway.

It's a kind of hobby, it doesn't have to be rational. It's just like photography - many amateurs buy expensive DSLR bodies and top lenses althought they don't really need it nor they make money with it ;-) I want it just for sheer pleasure of having it. And speaking of real work. I used to work on Calamus and Atari TT about 10 years ago in advertising agency. We had some beefy TTs with VME graphic cards, lan cards and lots of memory (the beefiest one had 256MB of RAM! It was when RAM was about 25 Euros for 1MB...). We were doing a lot of layout work using Calamus SL and usually didn;t have any problems with deadlines. As I can see it is rather a matter of good work organisation than computer power, at least in DTP ;-) BTW - little people knows, but first two issues of Polish edition of Macworld were made entirely using Calamus, exactly in the company I've been working in, some pages were put together by me :lol: So if it was possible then, it is still possible now. I guess it would be impossible to work on Win XP on 32MB 486 machine, but it is still possible to work on Falcon/TT using the newest Freemint ;-)
For work requiring lots of processing power I have iMac G5, Atari can do some other things not requiring such a speed ;-)

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Postby sylwiusz » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:19 pm

christos wrote:I haven't seen a falcon able to produce 1024x768 on a vga type monitor. 800x608 is not bad and works good. I've tried my falcon on a 17" tft and I didn't have any problem apart from the fact that pixels looked really big. 800x600 is workable.

What horizontal refresh rate is possible at 800x600 without any additional hardware???

On another note an lcd screen is not the best choice for a falcon since most demos require 100Hz refresh rate.

Thanks! So I will rather look for a good CRT.

Womble has a point in that the acceleration cards are very expensive (and that is the reason I don't have one) but I would never consider a 68060@100Mhz equivalent to 10$ 486 Machine. If you have the bandwidth visit the dhs site http://www.dhs.nu and download the video of their latest demo for the CT60 that will pretty easily show that a CT60 is not in that league.

There are many other factors than just processor speed, I guess DSP gets some use in demos too ;-) And I would rather compare 68060 to fast Pentium I or II processors, while 68040 was a direct equivalent of 486DX2

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Re: Falcon + CT63 + 1024x768 speed?

Postby sylwiusz » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:26 pm

DarkLord wrote:I'd go with the Falcon. The Falcon is still drawing attention from dedicated people who want to upgrade and expand it. The TT just doesn't seem to garner the same attention at all. You've got to experience the Falcon with one of Rodophe's accelerators - it *will* put a smile on your face watching it bootup... (and running apps). :)

If Rodolphe will collect at least 20 orders :D If I buy F030 I will be among these 20 people ;-)

I can't comment on the Screenblaster, I've never had one - doing 800x600 is no problem at all here though, with no extra hardware besides the CT60 I've got.

At what horizontal refresh rate did you manage to get 800x600 without any additional harware? What soft did you use to achieve this?

What kind of work did you have in mind? The Falcon can do many things, very well. I use my Falcon for mostly obvious, Atari related things. Games, while few on the Falcon do offer some very nice ones. I love vegging out in front of my Falcon, with the audio system cranked up, playing demos like "Beams", etc, etc,... I can get on the 'Net with my Falcon and do e-mail, newsgroups, web browsing, etc, with the EtherNEC. I've got an order in for the EtherNAT and am looking forward to its arrival. I can even burn DVDs on my Falcon. :)

Besides old, good games I was thinking about some simple DTP and text processing ;-) I guess CT63 would be more than wnough for such a tasks. I could later add Super Videl for better video ;-)

I read through some of the other replies in this message thread, and I guess I missed something, somewhere. I didn't read any request on your part as to whether or not you should get a Falcon or a cheap PC... The point was made that to do serious work you're going to have to have a modern PC anyways. Well, granted certainly that is correct. I've got a fairly modern 3 comp LAN here, running Linux, for my family. It has nothing to do with my Atari computers. They both serve different purposes. Speaking just for myself, I'd never look at buying some piece of junk 386/486 over true Atari hardware, like the Falcon, even with setting up emulation on that PC. As far as I know, and others can correct me I"m sure, you still can't really do *Falcon* emulation well on any of the emulators...

Mark! You've got a point! I don't want to buy F030 because I need it for specific work. I want to buy it because... I want it :-)
Last edited by sylwiusz on Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Womble » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:54 pm

The fact I would have to canabalise my lovely falcon to use an external PSU puts me off. Its a thing of beauty as it is.

Would love a TT tho - actually would love to just see one - have never set eyes on such a beast - not sure they were overly numerous down under. Think their heartland was europe - germany in particular.
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Postby sylwiusz » Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:01 pm

Womble wrote:The fact I would have to canabalise my lovely falcon to use an external PSU puts me off. Its a thing of beauty as it is.

External shape of Falcon is preserved, you just have to add this external box ;-)

Would love a TT tho - actually would love to just see one - have never set eyes on such a beast - not sure they were overly numerous down under. Think their heartland was europe - germany in particular.

Yes, it was quite popular in Europe, especially in Germany. In the comapny I mentioned above we used 5 TTs, althought it was in Poland ;-)

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Postby DarkLord » Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:26 pm

Womble wrote:The fact I would have to canabalise my lovely falcon to use an external PSU puts me off. Its a thing of beauty as it is.

Would love a TT tho - actually would love to just see one - have never set eyes on such a beast - not sure they were overly numerous down under. Think their heartland was europe - germany in particular.


Yep, the "all in one case" is still attractive to me as well. I love my Wizztronics rack case though. Visit my web site sometime and see what I've done to mine (if you've not already).
I wouldn't go back for anything. 3.5" 80 gig HD, ATX power supply, DVD writer, CT60, all
in one neat case. Its a big, black tank. :)

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Postby CiH » Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:25 pm

Here is my question to CT60/CT63 users - is 1024x768/16 colours/50 Hz resolution usable on Falcon with Screenblaster or similar resolution extender software? I mean is it fast enough for some work? 50 Hz would be stable nonetheless on LCD but would stress Falcon bus less


My record, on a CT60 at 90mhz, with a boosted to 20/40mhz bus, and using Centscreen, is 928 x 672/256 colours. This was done dipping right down into refresh rate territory where my 15 inch Proview LCD normally didn't like to go, and there was a very noticeable flicker! The working speed onscreen is reasonable.

I've got a 17 inch NEC Multisynch screen, for those 100 hz demos, and that manages 928 x 672 with a much greater degree of eye comfort :-)

I think I even got to the 1028 x 768 on the Multisynch, but that is veering into migraine territory if you do so for any length of time! ;-)
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Postby jens » Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:35 am

1024x768x256 can be done with CentScreen or Videlity while a tool as Videl Indside just offers some resolutions of which 800x608x256 seems to be the best choice for me.
If I go higher the bus of my FX accelerated Falcon gets too crowded with data. :mrgreen:

I think a TT still is a decent machine for nearly everything due to the facts everything is on one bus and graphics cards can easily be fitted to use 1280x960 in up to 32bit depending on the graphics card.

Rodolphe did not let the whole Falcon bus get through on the CT60 so an Eclipse (which could still be bought new !!!) or a Nova will not work on a CT60 Falcon.
People say that an Afterburner and a Nova feel faster than a CT60 while certainly having some reasonable resolution like a TT!

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Postby jens » Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:37 am

Btw: I think that a speeder as the CT60 for the TT would push it far beyond anything a Falcon can do!
The overall design is better, and network via Ethernec is considerably faster on the TT.
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