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[News] Predator updateANN.lu
Posted on 15-Sep-2000 18:52 GMT by Teemu I. Yliselä33 comments
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Eyetech have a large update on the Predator expansion board, outlining amongst other things the technical merits of the product's chosen solutions. They say, "The Predator will be available in two different form factor designs, one for the A4000 desktop and one for the A1200. The A1200 form factor version will come with 3xPCI and 1 x AGP simultaneously usable slots and will fit in any tower capable of taking a Z4 busboard. The A4000 desktop form factor version will come with 2xPCI and one AGP slots plus one shared PCI and regular, Video Toaster-compatible A4000 video/Zorro3 slot (making 4 simultaneously usable slots altogether). Both form factor versions will also have provision for a G3/G4 PPC & SDRAM slot. Each form factor design will be available in two versions, the Predator-SE and the Predator-Plus. The Predator-SE will be a low cost version supporting PCI cards only, albeit over the high speed PPC local bus connector (see below). The Predator-Plus will be the fully featured version with AGP, G3/G4 and SDRAM slots activated. A trade-in/upgrade option will be available for purchasers of the Predator-SE who subsequently wish to add Predator-Plus facilities." The SE versions are planned to be released in November (A4000 version) and December (A1200 version) with the Plus versions following in early 2001.

Predator update : Comment 1 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Yurdaer Dönmez on 14-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
I'm very excited about this news.But I wanna ask this:
How will predator include the g3/g4 chips?As a direct chip
mounting to the board?Or as an expansion card?
Thanks...
Predator update : Comment 2 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Remco Komduur on 14-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
This is absolutely cool news. It makes my BlizzardPPC a very good investment with much faster bus speeds then the Mediator. I have all the confidence in Eyetech bringing this thing to the Amiga users.
It seems that this thing won't be vaporware but real hardware. Amiga users have no excuse anymore with the Mediator and the Predator.
I expect that in about a year everyone will have one of those things. You would be stupid if you didn't. Or you must like complaining very much.
Amiga also got a mention on the PC oriented www.3dchipset.com
Predator update : Comment 3 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Abigail Xartrapas on 14-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
blahblahblah..
those guys don't show anything while they promise a lot.
currently they're just 'predating' the market of mediator.
Predator update : Comment 4 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 15-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (Abigail Xartrapas):
exactly... hype... hype... where are the pictures like mediator???
so when are we expecting this card? 12 months from now, 2 years, 3 years???
never.. another vaporware like boxer????
Predator update : Comment 5 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Michael Jantzen on 15-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
Nothing for the A3000? <sob sob>.
Michael Jantzen ^_^
Predator update : Comment 6 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Keith Blakemore-Noble on 15-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 2 (Remco Komduur):
If they do come out with these (and they have given dates for release which are not exactly far away now), then this is indeed EXCELLENT news!
I can't wait to buy one, that's for sure! I'd buy a second one if they work with the A3000 too (I don't see why they shouldn't, apart from physical space constraints, but hey, that's nothing you can't solve with a tower case, a hacksaw and some bolts <g>)
Predator update : Comment 7 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Keith Blakemore-Noble on 15-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 5 (Michael Jantzen):
Erm, if you follow the link and read the full story on Eyetech's website, then you'll see that they are askingpeople to let them know if they want a version for the A3000.
Go read the site and let them know!
Predator update : Comment 8 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 15-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
Knowing that Eyetech is very much interested in the VP/SDK "New" Amiga, it seems almost as if this Predator project is a hoax to obstruct the market for the Mediator and kill the Classic Amiga-market. If the Predator is not a hoax, I would still recommend everybody to buy the Mediator since waiting for the Predator is almost like waiting for the AmiJoe cards instead of buying a phase5/DCE PPC board.
Predator update : Comment 9 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 15-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (Anonymous):
They don't promise to bring the AmiJoe to the market a month after, like this Predator... BTW, why would Eyetech want to undermine the Classic market? Bill McEwen clearly said there will be a special version for the (PPC+GFX card equipped) Classics of AMI: "...if there is hardware available, we will utilize the hardware directly...", ["...and if we can catch it that way, otherwise if it's not available we will do it in software."] And so, probably Classic verion of AMI will solely be supplied by Amiga-distributors like Eyetech. (While other versions will be also marketed by independent parties.)
Predator update : Comment 10 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 15-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 9 (Anonymous):
Oops, not entirely correct, after I read the interview again I think he talked about CPU-registers here. But, anyway, he said also above "...you'll be able to run your Amiga Classic on the new system!" OK, it's misunderstandable a bit, but in the given text-environment it should have meant "you'll be able to run the new system on the Classic."
Predator update : Comment 11 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by ehaines on 15-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (Anonymous):
Why does everyone seem to think the Predator and Mediator are direct
competetitors...the Mediator is for A1200's, the Predator is for PPC
cards. There's some overlap of course, but really you can't "kill"
the Mediator with the Predator. Despite the name.
Predator update : Comment 12 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by StormLord on 15-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
We better be patient , after all is one of the things we have learned in the past 5 years.
And don't confuse mediator with predator .
REMEMBER Mediator doesn't EXIST either.
Lets give both of 2 products the time they asked for them to show us what is vaporware and what is not (I hope none of them!!)
Predator update : Comment 13 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by raist on 15-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (StormLord):
Mediator do exists. There was a demo in England one week ago.
And hyperion got one :)
It's not because it's not shipped yet that it do not exists.
But IMHO, predator Plus is a commercial issue.
It's dumb.
What do we have here ???
A G3/G4 board that plugs on the predator+ that plugs on the ppc card that plugs on the amiga !!!!!!!
I can't imagine why they're doing it !
Why don't they make a ppc card ???
I'll tell you.
So that everyone who do not have ppc technology yet have to buy OLD ppc card AND the predator.
Kill'em
Predator update : Comment 14 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Very Confused on 16-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
Something about this doesn't make sense. They state that there will be
two version one for the A1200 which uses the BlizzardPPC exclusively,
and a version for the A4000 and a CyberStormPPC.
Well the same CyberStormPPC for an A4000 is the very same CyberStormPPC
that fits in an A3000, an A3000T and an A4000T. So if they have a card
that hooks to a CyberStormPPC, again there is only one, not one for the
A4000 exclusively, the someone please tell me why the cards would not
work in an A3000T or an A4000T. Perhaps the A3000 might be too small
or something, but I see no reason whatsoever that would prevent these
cards from working with the A3000T and the A4000T,
Can someone PLEASE explain that to me. I wrote Eyetech and they just
repeated a model for the A1200 with a BlizzardPPC or an A4000 with
a CyberStormPPC. Again that same CyberStormPPC will also work in
the A3000, the A3000T and the A4000T. It just doesn't make sense
that it will not work with these other machines. :/
Predator update : Comment 15 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 16-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 14 (Very Confused):
This is a physical issue. They have to make cards that fitts exactly into the given machine, I mean, with massive fixing. Also the cards plugged in. Not mentioning these have to join to card-slits. In this respect there are significant differences between the different Amiga models.
Predator update : Comment 16 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 16-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 15 (Anonymous):
Ok...then if that is the case, then it is understandable.
It seems that Eyetech could have managed that simple explanation
themselves. I could not understand whatsoever why the cards would
not work on other machines with the same identical CyberStormPPC. :/
Shit...
Predator update : Comment 17 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 17-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
I dont understand some of you, who say that the Predator is only released to kill sales of the Mediator. If that were the case, dont you think Eyetech would have made an announcement in which the Predator connects to the Amiga trapdoor expansion slot. Obviously it's real because they're only targetting the users that use PPC cards. Also, Eyetech have said they may be stocking the Mediator themselves anyway.
Predator update : Comment 18 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Nozaj on 17-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
Guys, don't worry!
Look at it like this. The mediator or pred board will alow you to buy and use PCI cards now, that can be used on your NG Amigas.
If I had the money for an NG graphics card like Geforce 2, I would buy the pred.
Sadly I am poor, so I will buy mediator now, get a sound blaster platinum and Riva TNT 2, Maybe even a DVD decoder.
When the Amiga one comes out, or AMI I will build my new Amiga useing the old parts from my classic and buy a Matrox 800:)
In the mean time I get 16 bit sound and a halfway decent graphics card.
One more point for PPC users. Getting a PCI board and a new graphics card will
mean getting rid of our slow, overheating crash causing Permedias!
Predator update : Comment 19 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Neo on 17-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 13 (raist):
Ummmh - perhaps the solution is a little bit simpler. It is a lot easier, cheaper and quicker
to design a busboard (the Predator is not much more than that, as well as the Mediator)
which connects to an available processor card than to design a completely new processor
card in 6x-multilayer (it was very difficult for phase5 to find a company which could produce
those basic boards within Europe because of the 6x multilayer - there was exactly one!) with
a completely new kernel and the whole surroundings.
You could also ask "Why didn't Elbox do a new motherboard instead of using the ancient
A1200 boards?". It's a question of price/time/performance ratio. If they had chosen to do
a complete new busboard, it would have been ready by about 2002 and would have cost even more
than the available PowerUP-Boards. And then again some people would have criticized about
too late, too expensive...
So in the end it is indeed an economical question, but IMHO the decision has totally different
reasons compared to your speculation (which might have influenced the decision by a few
percent - but hey: There is no other processor card available (especially with available docs)
which could have served as alternative basis, simply because PPC-based cards are probably the boards
that have the highest number of installed units in the remaining Amiga market.
Predator update : Comment 20 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Hans-Jörg Frieden on 17-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 18 (Nozaj):
You can plug every PCI graphics card in it, but its the question if you will get the
required drivers for that. I am not talking about 3D drivers only, but also 2D
drivers must be written.
Predator update : Comment 21 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by nozaj on 17-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
Of course drivers will be needed. I hope that the cyber graphics team will create 2D drivers and the Warp 3d team will do the 3d stuff. The Riva cards are cheap now and drivers should be created...
The trick is to make drivers for the few cards that we want. 3DFX, Riva TNT, Matrox and maybe ATI. I'm sure it will sort it self out eventually.
Predator update : Comment 22 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by DanDude on 18-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
That G3/G4 upgrade will be a positive feature for all Amiga fans, especially
those who still own 4000/4000T/3000 machines as well as 1200s.
Predator update : Comment 23 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Michael Jantzen on 18-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 21 (nozaj):
Gee - there's only like 32+ AGP/PCI 3d video cards for the PC. Thats a lot of work for the Cybervision people :).
Predator update : Comment 24 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Neodym on 18-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 23 (Michael Jantzen):
Not necessarily. Just take a look for which cards there are docs and specs for
prgramming available. Sort out all those that don't fullfil this criterium.
Then take the remaining few and choose the 2 or 3 most popular cards
(lowcost and middle) that are available literally in the supermarket just around
the corner for a few bucks. Perhaps add one highend card.
Eventually the task starts to look possible :)
Predator update : Comment 25 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by nozaj on 18-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
The thing we have to do is to decide which 3d cards we want. Personally, I'd go for TNT 2. Where I work, nobody buys voodoo 3 anymore (16 bit rendering). All seem to buy either NG cards or Riva TNT2.
Lets hope the most popular drivers emerge first, fowlowed by drivers that people will eventually want.
Predator update : Comment 26 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Ralph Schmidt on 18-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 25 (nozaj):
NVidia doesn't release HW specs so it`s highly unlikely you will see
a driver for them.
Predator update : Comment 27 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Bill Toner on 18-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 25 (nozaj):
Well, hopefully the predator will be made for the A4000T. I'm interested in
trying to write a driver for a graphics card. I too am concerned with Voodoo3's
16-bit rendering, and would rather get something better. Do ATI tend to make
specs available for writing drivers? I'm curious to know if it would be possible
to get specs onthe Radeon cards and look into a driver for that... I really
hope Eyetech and friends do make an A4000T version of Predator, as otherwise
I'm limited to the best that Paraglide will (hopefully) someday give me.
Predator update : Comment 28 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Amifan on 18-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 27 (Bill Toner):
gee.... what's wrong with 16bit??? You ever seen 32bit on the amiga???
Voodoo 3 does 32bit 2D and 16bit 3D. HereticII runs 16bit only, quake1 runs 8bit, Sin 16 bit, shogo ?
We got cheap fast card now (almost) and suddenly ppl start to complain about 32bit???
I just brought a voodoo3 3000 for my miggy. I placed in my dad's peecee and ran a cracked (hey I don't care about peecee's) version of hereticII AND sin.
The image quality is much better then the permediaII.
Several speed tests show that the TNT2 ULTRA is only faster then the voodoo3 when you have a very fast (PIII450+) an use very high resolution.
The normal TNT2 (is there a PCI ultra version??) is always slower then the voodoo3 3000
Remember 32bit color 3D is a feature not a requerement.
Another minus: 32bit high resolution modes are (extremely) slow on a TNT2.
Any other card? as far as i know, only the the ATI RADEON and TNT utra and the Geforce serie are faster then a voodoo3
If you want 32bit? then buy a voodoo4 or 5.
THERE WILL BE NO NVIDIA BASED 3D CARD DRIVERS FOR THE MEDIATOR OR PREDATOR SINCE YOU NEED THE SPECS TO CREATE A DRIVER.
Predator update : Comment 29 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Ralph Schmidt on 18-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 28 (Amifan):
Are you sure that you will even see a Voodoo3 driver for the mediator
as the bank switching is a ***serious*** problem:-)
Predator update : Comment 30 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by nozaj on 19-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
Sure there is nothing wrong with voodoo 3 and 16 bit rendering. Don't forget that lots of people will take these graphics cards over to their new NG Amigas.
Then 32 bit rendering will be wanted. Trust me, 32 bit rendering makes a hell of a difference. Why settle for seconed best here?
Its a shame nvidia won't release docs on their cards, looks like an ATI card instead!
Predator update : Comment 31 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Tony Gore on 19-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 30 (nozaj):
What about the Diamond Savage 2000? It is a 32MB AGP card (not sure if there is a PCI version) And it does 32-bit 3D. When the S3TC texture compression was activated, it kicks my Voodoo3 3000's butt. I can crank it all the way up on resolution and features (shadows, etc) and it just breezes right along. Not slow at all, plus the graphics are alot cleaner looking than the Voodoo3.
Predator update : Comment 32 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by Bill Toner on 19-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 28 (Amifan):
>gee.... what's wrong with 16bit??? You ever seen 32bit on the amiga???
Being "limited" to 16bit is not the end of the world. I'm just thinking that
if ATI does release specs for others to write their own drivers, then we may
have Radeon support at some point, which I would prefer. I'm not even concerned
about Nvidia chipsets, so I'm not sure where that part of your argument came from.
I just think it's odd that everyone is so happy to want yet another technology
(Voodoo3 in this case) that the PC world has already passed by as now being old.
It'll be great to use Voodoo3 while people work on drivers for Radeon, Matrox,
maybe Voodoo4, or whatever that do offer more than Voodoo3 does. I'm willing to
try making a Radeon driver, if the Predator or Mediator are made for the A4000T
so I can plug the PCI/AGP cards in. If A4000T isn't supported by either bus expansion,
them I'm stuck with the Paraglide Voodoo-1, which people are laughing at for similar
reasons that I'd rather not have a Voodoo3. The picassoIV and Paraglide provide most
of the requirements that the Voodoo3 provides to meet 3d software needs. The extra
3d rendering speeds and lighting methods are also what you refer to as "features" and not
"requirements" where you compare 32bit to 16bit. Should we all shun Voodoo3?
Of course not. It'll likely be the most affordable PCI card supported. But should
this prevent some of us from saving more pennies and getting a higher-end card?
I don't think so. That's the whole point of having PCI slots available, to finally give
us some real options...
If we didn't have any right to want more than Voodoo3, then we'd all likely be
extatically happy to stick with Permedia2 or Virge and have no desire for a PCI bus.
Voodoo3 is perfectly good enough for what software is available to us now, probably
even better than "just good enough". But I'd rather go as far beyond the
"just good enough" mark as possible, beyond the "rather nice" mark,
and get something as high end as possible. I like "features".
Predator update : Comment 33 of 33ANN.lu
Posted by S. Hakim Hamdani on 21-Sep-2000 22:00 GMT
I think this is really great news given they actually come out with the boards. I have always hesiteated to buy a Cyberstorm PPC board since it does not have a G4 but given Predator this will be different.
Please people, go to their site and let them know that you are interested and what type of tower system you have. I run my original 4000T board in an Eagle tower and would love to see something designed to also fit into my tower.
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