Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th May 2007 21:03 UTC
Amiga & AROS ACK Controls has released the specifications of the upcoming high-end Amiga system. As already known, it will use the P.A. Semi PWRficient PA6T-1682M dual core 64 bit CPUs clocked at 2GHz, the ATX form factor, PCI Express slots, and will have a retail price of USD 1498. The machine will supposedly be available this summer.
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Cool.
by meianoite on Mon 7th May 2007 21:21 UTC
meianoite
Member since:
2006-04-05

Cool. If the specs are open (especially the U-boot firmware; is this the same as DENX U-Boot or something else?), this might become a really attractive alternative platform for alternative OSs in general, not only Amiga.

Polaris, Haiku PPC, FreeBSD-PPC, here we go ;)

Edited 2007-05-07 21:22

Reply Score: 3

RE: Cool.
by dagw on Mon 7th May 2007 21:57 UTC in reply to "Cool."
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

My thought exactly. If this thing runs Linux or FreeBSD I might actually buy one. First of all to try the new Amiga OS, but safe in the knowledge that if that doesn't work out I'm not stuck with a $1500 paperweight.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Cool.
by rhyder on Tue 8th May 2007 04:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Cool."
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

This isn't a criticism but I am genuinely curious: why buy such a machine? Once Linux has booted, in use, what is the difference between Linux on this platform and on X86 other than slower performance, more expense and less choice?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Cool.
by rayiner on Tue 8th May 2007 08:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cool."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

There isn't one. It's just PPC holdouts who don't realize it is really and truely dead on the desktop.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think unpopularity is a reason to avoid a platform (hey I use Lisp). However, unpopularity combined with any lack of performance or price or quality advantage...

Edited 2007-05-08 08:54

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Cool.
by w-ber on Tue 8th May 2007 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cool."
w-ber Member since:
2005-08-21

Actually, there is some merit in running software on a truly different hardware platform and architecture: malware and viruses written for x86 systems will simply not work.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Cool.
by rayiner on Tue 8th May 2007 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Cool."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

How much malware works portably across operating systems? If anything, I'd guess that it'd be easier to write malware that exploited security holes in both OS X PPC and OS X x86 than to write one that exploited security holes in both OS X PPC and Linux PPC.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Cool.
by dagw on Tue 8th May 2007 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cool."
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

This isn't a criticism but I am genuinely curious: why buy such a machine?

If I end up buying one it will be because I think the new Amiga OS sounds interesting and useful enough to want to try. The Linux thing would be more of an insurance policy against ending up with an expensive doorstop.

But really, if I'm to be honest with myself, the truth of the matter is that this thing interests me because I'm a hopeless computer geek with more disposable income than common sense.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Cool.
by gdanko on Wed 9th May 2007 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cool."
gdanko Member since:
2005-07-15

But really, if I'm to be honest with myself, the truth of the matter is that this thing interests me because I'm a hopeless computer geek with more disposable income than common sense.

I was too until I got married ;) Truth be told I can afford one but I want to see how they sell, see what the look like, etc.. I want to see if OS5 will be in development, etc.. Lots of wait and sees.

Reply Score: 1

New Hope....one more time
by erebos on Mon 7th May 2007 21:23 UTC
erebos
Member since:
2006-02-09

I think it's really good specs, a little bit odd concerning no audio integration but still good.
Highest PPC'ish platform...hope it will really materialize.
Just one problem here, how will they deal with the fact that AOS4 is neither SMP capable nor 64bits ?? Maybe they won't and the only OS capable to handle full power will be Linux.

It's just a little too late, just when major distro like Ubuntu drops PPC support...what a pity.

Reply Score: 3

Is this a PA-Semi Development board?
by mbpark on Mon 7th May 2007 21:43 UTC
mbpark
Member since:
2005-11-17

I remember reading on Amiga.org that this may be the development board for PA-SEMI chips. That's probably why it has no onboard audio (and you can easily fix that with a PCI card, there are PCI audio drivers for AmigaOS4).

Apparently, the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit PPC isn't that huge.

The big issue, however, is any code that assumes a pointer is 32-bit. Since AmigaOS has been 32-bit for 20+ years, there's a lot of code that's going to have to be rewritten, just like there was for x86 operating systems, and Mac OS X (remember, the Finder and GUI apps are still 32-bit even on 64-bit OS X).

The next big issue is going to be SMP for AmigaOS. Even though the primitives are supposedly there, having them there and having them working well are two separate things.

Unless there's some way of running 32-bit apps in their own 32-bit virtual machines with protected memory spaces, and using one processor core, you're going to be running a 32-bit OS on 64-bit hardware with one effective processor core, just like the Windows users who run XP Home Edition on their newer Intel or AMD chips ;) .

This is not a bad thing, or a knock on any party involved. It's very difficult to get from 32-bit to 64-bit, and even more difficult to get from single-processor to SMP. It's a statement of fact. AmigaOS has come a long way in 5 years. For it to fully utilize that hardware will take a few more.

Hopefully, this motherboard won't have the bugs that plagued the AmigaOne.

Reply Score: 3

Wes Felter Member since:
2005-11-15

If you want to run a 32-bit OS, just run in 32-bit mode. You only need to port to 64-bit if you actually want to use more than 4GB of RAM.

Reply Score: 2

mbpark Member since:
2005-11-17

Wes,

I said that ;) .

However, to this end, I don't think he's fabbing or designing the board. At the most, I think he's rebadging the PA-Semi development boards, integrating them with a PCI soundcard and PCI Express video card, and possibly assisting with writing/porting drivers for the hardware (I wouldn't be surprised if Amiga Inc. attempted to contact Bill Toner, who apparently wrote the Radeon drivers for OS4, to do what he does for PCI Express Radeon x1300 or higher cards).

Hopefully this board will have more mainstream Linux support, and will be able to dual-boot.

Reply Score: 1

rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

That was going to be my question, do these chips have a 32bit mode? If so, a similar situation existed with RISC OS workstations: they required a 26 bit program counter register. All of the true 32 bit ARM chips supported a 26 bit PC fallback mode upto and including the Strong ARM.

Quite honestly, if the other parts of this project work out, is not running in 64 bit mode really going to be a big setback for the Amiga?

Reply Score: 1

SamuraiCrow Member since:
2005-11-19

That was going to be my question, do these chips have a 32bit mode? If so, a similar situation existed with RISC OS workstations: they required a 26 bit program counter register. All of the true 32 bit ARM chips supported a 26 bit PC fallback mode upto and including the Strong ARM.

Quite honestly, if the other parts of this project work out, is not running in 64 bit mode really going to be a big setback for the Amiga?


I think that after http://www.amiga.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6955 (the previous 20 questions interview with Bill McEwen) Amiga, Inc. is planning on releasing AmigaOS 5 and, as planned in advance, they are going to try to release AmigaOS 4 in sandbox mode (hence the PowerPC hardware).

Reply Score: 1

Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

The big issue, however, is any code that assumes a pointer is 32-bit. Since AmigaOS has been 32-bit for 20+ years, there's a lot of code that's going to have to be rewritten, just like there was for x86 operating systems, and Mac OS X (remember, the Finder and GUI apps are still 32-bit even on 64-bit OS X).


Couldn't you design the OS in such a way that 32-bit apps ran in a compatibility mode? Pointers being redirected in such a way as they still think they're working in a 32-bit environment?

On the other hand, I severely doubt that this switch from 32 to 64 bit Amiga will have very negative reprocussions. Amiga has been off the market for years; if any time is a good time to switch architectures, now is that time, and not after they start getting supported again.

Reply Score: 1

SamuraiCrow Member since:
2005-11-19

Couldn't you design the OS in such a way that 32-bit apps ran in a compatibility mode? Pointers being redirected in such a way as they still think they're working in a 32-bit environment?


That was the plan for AmigaOS version 5.0 . It was supposed to run OS 4.x code in a sandbox and its own software natively. AmigaOS 5 was also supposed to be hardware-agnostic. We'll see if they manage to shoehorn Amiga-Anywhere(TM) into it and make it run on anything it wants to.

As for why it is PPC vs. x86, it's probably for backward compatibility to AmigaOS 4 .

Edited 2007-05-08 18:05

Reply Score: 1

w-ber Member since:
2005-08-21

No onboard audio is actually a feature in my eyes. I have had quite a few bad integrated audio hardware experiences, ranging from absolutely horrible microphone input (due to bad or inadequate capacitors) to humming white noise in the background. Certainly, the latter is not as audible if you use poor speakers or headphones, but that's not what I want to do.

Reply Score: 2

Crazy expensive
by Wes Felter on Mon 7th May 2007 22:34 UTC
Wes Felter
Member since:
2005-11-15

This hardware is worth maybe $800; is AmigaOS so great that people will pay $1,500 for this machine?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Crazy expensive
by erebos on Mon 7th May 2007 22:45 UTC in reply to "Crazy expensive"
erebos Member since:
2006-02-09

The Question is: How many are you ready to pay to REALLY have fun with you computer ?

Amiga, bring the fun back ! ....And some new up to date applications software.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Crazy expensive
by rayiner on Tue 8th May 2007 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Crazy expensive"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

I have a ton of fun with my MacBook, and for $1500 I got a full machine with a ton of RAM that's faster than this PPC machine to boot. Oh, and OS X actually lets me write 64-bit applications that take advantage of SMP!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Crazy expensive
by Bobthearch on Tue 8th May 2007 03:30 UTC in reply to "Crazy expensive"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

It's not a bad price if the $1500 buys a complete system with quality components like sound card, graphics card, hard drive(s), optical drives, and plenty of RAM. Maybe not the greatest deal on the market, but unlike the low-end spec machine at least you get something for your money.

-Bob

Reply Score: 2

ACKs reputation
by -ujb- on Mon 7th May 2007 22:47 UTC
-ujb-
Member since:
2005-10-21

Well, ACK misses something: And that is good reputation. They (better: he (one guy)) announced a lot during the last years. But nothing matrerilized ever.
He claimed to have products in production already, only manuals were missing. It was a blatant lie as was unveiled later. He had *nothing*.
And still he annouces again and again. He wasn't even able to deliver photos yet.

Of course he gets a 2nd chance, but he doesn't get any credit in advance any more. Now it is up to him to actually *earn* credibility.
If he fails again, he will be the all time master of vapor and will even rule out the Escena or Boxer guys.

I wish him luck, but I doubt he will succeed.

His first promise on the high end maschine he broke already: He promised a design faster than all ppc Apple designs - well I doubt that this PA6T 1682 2 GHz is faster than 2x ibm 970MP @ 2.5 GHz (The Quad Apple Powermac that is).

Reply Score: 5

RE: ACKs reputation
by broken_symlink on Tue 8th May 2007 01:52 UTC in reply to "ACKs reputation"
broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06

yes, well it doesn't actually say how many cpus the system has. it just says "Based on the P.A. Semi PWRficient PA6T-1682M dual core 64 bit CPUs clocked at 2GHz."maybe the plan on using 4 of them. or maybe by the time the system ships the cpu will have had a revision and bump in speed. i couldn't care less what happens, but it will be interesting to watch.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ACKs reputation
by rayiner on Tue 8th May 2007 01:55 UTC in reply to "ACKs reputation"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not necessarily sure that this machine will be slower than the PowerMac. The PA6T will do much better than the 970MP on some single-threaded codes, because of the vastly better memory subsystem. On the other hand, it'll also do worse on some codes because of the simpler core with fewer resources.

Reply Score: 2

If....
by DFergATL on Tue 8th May 2007 00:26 UTC
DFergATL
Member since:
2006-02-09

If this actually happens then I will buy one. I loved the Amiga but it will only come back if people take a chance. Grant you the amount of Drama in the Amiga camp is rather high. But, I loved my Amiga and would love to see it make a comeback.

Edited 2007-05-08 00:27

Reply Score: 2

Let's just hope something ships
by ronaldst on Tue 8th May 2007 00:35 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

to Amigans. I'd rather have a 99$US EFIKA with AmigaOS4 but nitpicking about price and features is pretty useless at this time. Most people can afford a 1500$US PC.

Reality is that EFIKA still doesn't have it's own MorphOS port. And AROS is shugging alone... Very slowly.

Reply Score: 1

Definiately not cool
by Radek on Tue 8th May 2007 08:06 UTC
Radek
Member since:
2007-05-08

Face it - it's just dual core 2GHz machine with average peripherals. Nothing you couldn't get with cheap ass mainboard from say Asrock and X2 or C2D cpu.

And that's for 1.5K $?

Where is the functional difference then? To pay so much more because there will be the Amiga sticker on it?

You know why those old home computers like Amiga or Ataris were so fun? Because they were quick to work and play with. You got a contained baseline system what was useful immediately without too much fuss.

Where are build in quality audio/video peripherals in those specs? I give a *uck about expandability because it's exactly for what PC is and that's available for much less. And because it's ATX it will be an another PC like box - let me guess those 1.5K $ will be just for the mainboard?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Definiately not cool
by msundman on Tue 8th May 2007 08:53 UTC in reply to "Definiately not cool"
msundman Member since:
2005-07-06

> let me guess those 1.5K $ will be just for the mainboard?

Uh.. Maybe you could read the article. The 2nd sentence in the actual announcement says: "This new system will be offered at a suggested retail price of $ 1498.00 and be a complete offering excluding monitor in a finished design that will provide customers with everything they need to get started."

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Definiately not cool
by Radek on Tue 8th May 2007 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Definiately not cool"
Radek Member since:
2007-05-08

> Uh.. Maybe you could read the article. The 2nd sentence > in the actual announcement says: "This new system will
> be offered at a suggested retail price of $ 1498.00 and
> be a complete offering excluding monitor in a finished
> design that will provide customers with everything they > need to get started."

Indeed but isn't it still a bit expensive?
But wait... isn't it an offering specifically for very niche kind of consumers?

> You get what you pay for, here you have a relatively
> fast motherboard with an extremely fast OS... it's
> quite a plus against those x86 motherboards run by the
> monster of OS

If you had Vista (or even MacOS) in a mind then yes. But frankly there other OS available for x86 and consider that this "extremely fast OS" doesn't have any comparable 3rd party software support. Running an OS just for sake of it is pointless, isn't it?

Sure it will make few very happy but besides that what?

Software and hardware are commodity things today. Those new Amiga machines aren't anything like it was those 20 years ago. Everything changed since then.

Of course it's absolutely ok to sell for niche markets and it will be even more impressive to make a profit from it. However it's hardly exciting in today computer environment.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Definiately not cool
by Pixie on Tue 8th May 2007 13:09 UTC in reply to "Definiately not cool"
Pixie Member since:
2005-09-30

Face it - it's just dual core 2GHz machine with average peripherals. Nothing you couldn't get with cheap ass mainboard from say Asrock and X2 or C2D cpu.
You get what you pay for, here you have a relatively fast motherboard with an extremely fast OS... it's quite a plus against those x86 motherboards run by the monster of OS

Reply Score: 3

nice
by Andre4s on Tue 8th May 2007 09:16 UTC
Andre4s
Member since:
2006-02-10

This is good shit! ... but as always when we talk Amiga, this will never happend.

Reply Score: 1

1.5K $?
by Andre4s on Tue 8th May 2007 09:17 UTC
Andre4s
Member since:
2006-02-10

We talk a complete computer right?

Reply Score: 2

Reputation...
by Leo43 on Tue 8th May 2007 11:28 UTC
Leo43
Member since:
2006-06-26

>Well, ACK misses something: And that is good reputation. They (better: he (one guy)) announced a lot during the last years. But nothing matrerilized ever.
He claimed to have products in production already, only manuals were missing. It was a blatant lie as was unveiled later. He had *nothing*.
And still he annouces again and again. He wasn't even able to deliver photos yet.

Maybe he would stop making anouncements if people would stoping listening and what he says ? ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Reputation...
by viton on Tue 8th May 2007 11:37 UTC in reply to "Reputation..."
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Maybe he would stop making anouncements if people would stoping listening and what he says ? ;)
flamewar caused by an anouncement can be more interesting than the product itself (if it ever get released) ;)

Edited 2007-05-08 11:38

Reply Score: 1

yeha
by gelosilente on Tue 8th May 2007 14:08 UTC
gelosilente
Member since:
2006-08-13

well, these spec are interesting, very.
i hope to see it soon: bye bye apple!

Reply Score: 2