Subject: Re: Graphics boards
To: H}kan Th|rngren <>
From: Alan Bair <>
List: amiga
Date: 01/19/1995 12:51:32
On Jan 18, 15:51, H}kan Th|rngren wrote:
> Subject: Graphics boards
> Sorry to bug in, but I need some advice on which graphics board I should
> get for NetBSD.  I have used NetBSD in the past, but went back to AmigaDOS
> due to the boring X-display on 14" ECS.
> I can't stand AmigaDOS any longer so I have to switch again.
> I feel that I can get a decent 17" monitor, it can be used long after my
> A3000 is gone, but what graphics board should I get?
> I have asked this before and got the impression that Picasso II board
> was what I should get.  Unfortunately, they are as other Amiga
> graphics boards very high priced.  I can afford it, but I don't think 
> they are woth it (5000kr ~ USD670 ~ DEM1000), so I have tried to 
> locate a used graphics board, with very little success.
> I have a guy who wants to sell me a Retina Z2, but I don't know how good 
> they are.
> I want a non-interlaced display of 1152x950 (or whatever the SUN-resolution
> is), 256 colours and ~70Hz update freq or better.

I know they can all do the 1152x900, but I am not sure about the frequency.

> >From what I understand, there are 4 alternatives:
> 1. Picasso II (or Spectrum or Piccolo) using a Cirrus chip.
>    They fit into my specification?

Of these, the Picasso II is probably the better choice for no other reason than
it was the first of the Cirrus Logic based boards to be intergrated into the
NetBSD system. The code used should also work with the other two, but I have
not heard of anyone actually using those boards.

> 2. Retina Z2.  The most likely board to be found on the second hand market.
>    Can it do 1152x900 non-interlaced?   How is it compared  to a Cirrus
>    board?  Is it slow?  (There must be a reason why they made Retina Z3)

>From all the stuff I have read, primarly for ADOS, the benchmarks show the
Retina Z2 to be the slowest, while the Retina Z3 should be the fastest. The
Retina Z2 does not have a "blitter" like the Cirrus Logic based boards. The
Retina Z3 has a "blitter" which may even be better than the Cirrus Logic one,
a possible reason for its increased speed. Of course, the Retina Z2 was the
first board integrated into NetBSD and the Retina Z3 is also being supported.

> 3. Retina Z3.  1280x1024 non-interlaced and faster than Cirrus boards?

See above.

> 4. A PC-graphics board.  Can they be fit into the A3000 and used with NetBSD?

Probably the most risky route as far as getting it to work and finding support
from other users. Though if your in to kernel hacking, it could be the most
fun :-) I have no idea about cost or speed.

> All opinions are very welcome.  I do want a *good* graphics board that
> meets my needs and works with NetBSD.  It also be one of the most common
> boards used by NetBSDers so that I am not left out in the cold in the future.
> It should also be fast enough for normal use.  I don't know if this is a 
> problem for any of the graphics boards above?  
> Please enlighten me.
>         /H{\aa}kan
> --
> Use MS-Windows every morning and nothing worse will happen to you all day.
> email:
>-- End of excerpt from H}kan Th|rngren

Alan Bair             		MCTG AMCU DSCS
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