The 2017 AmigaOS Graphics Card Survey
As an AmigaOS graphics driver developer I'm always interested in knowing what graphics hardware people are actually using. This year I've got the most accurate picture yet, with over 3x the submissions of last year's survey! Many thanks to the 348 people who took part.
So, what does the AmigaOS 4 graphics landscape look like? Well, the trend toward Southern Islands (SI) cards has continued, with just under 40% of users saying that their primary card is a Radeon HD 7xxx or Radeon RX XXX. About 27% are still using old Radeon 7xxx-9xxx cards; no doubt, they're keeping their older PCI generation Amigas running. Just over 8% said they were still using CyberVision/BlizzardVision cards on their old classic Amigas.
Here's the data in visual form:
Over half of AmigaOS 4.x users said that they had more than one graphics card (just under 60%). Secondary graphics card usage is much more spread out, as can be seen in the graph below. Interestingly, just over half of those using an SI card (Radeon HD 7xxx/Radeon Rx xxx) as their secondary card, also use an SI card as their primary card.
What's in "Other?"
There were a number of people using Picasso IV cards, and several who listed UAEGFX/WinUAE as their card. So those are classic and emulation users.
What's a little confusing is a number of people claiming to use nVidia cards. Unless I missed a huge announcement, no nVidia driver exists for AmigaOS 4.x. I don't know if these people are joking, confused, or are listing the card in the PC that they run the WinUAE emulator on. Maybe next year I'll add a WinUAE/UAE category to avoid this confusion.
One person also listed having an Amiga Vampire card as extra graphics card. Interesting, although I'm not sure how that would be used with AmigaOS 4.x. Last I checked, the Vampire board is a 68K accelerator, and AmigaOS 4.x requires a PowerPC CPU.
I'm happy to see a good number of people using the latest Southern Islands graphics cards (just under 40%). This card series is Warp3D Nova capable. I've put a lot of work into delivering modern shader based graphics via Warp3D Nova, and want to see it being used as much as possible. The more people have these cards, the greater the motivation is for developers to take advantage of Warp3D Nova.
Seeing people use older hardware is nice, especially those keeping their PowerPC accelerated classic Amigas running. That said, I hope we can convince them to upgrade to a new PCI-Express motherboard. We're working hard to push AmigaOS forward, and it would be great to have you all along for the ride. Maybe A-EON's low-cost Tabor (A1222) board will help, or maybe we need more software that takes advantage of newer hardware. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts (post them below in the comments section).
Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the survey.
Got any thoughts? Post them below.
Nicsoft 03/06/2017 10:06am (6 years ago)
Thank you very much for the explanation.
I have also tried some Warp3D games and they work very well on the HD 7750...
Your Radeon HD drivers have been working flawlessly to, so keep up the good work. I really appreciate it. :-)
Hans de Ruiter 03/06/2017 9:32am (6 years ago)
MiniGL is slow for several reasons, a big one is that it uses Warp3D which has no hardware accelerated Transformation, Clipping, & LIghting (TCL). So that's done in software, and it looks like the implementation doesn't make the best use of CPU caches. Anyway, work is being done to improve this:
Wow 03/06/2017 6:57am (6 years ago)
Nicsoft 02/06/2017 9:53pm (6 years ago)
It's a SAPPHIRE HD 7750 1GB Low profile and works with Warp3D and Warp3D Nova..! :-)
(Bought it second hand in mint condition, for half it's original price)
But testing MiniGL using the examples in Hollywood, are slower than on a Wintel-machine with an equivalent graphics card. Could MiniGL be better optimized on AmigaOS 4.1 or what's the cause?
outrun1978 02/06/2017 6:05pm (6 years ago)
GS 02/06/2017 3:48pm (6 years ago)
Hans de Ruiter 02/06/2017 1:20pm (6 years ago)
I'm pretty sure that GL Galore uses the old MiniGL. Daniel is working on a Warp3D Nova version of MiniGL, so it will eventually get a speed boost. However, it won't be able to use shaders (unless GL Galore gets an update).
As for tools, I've written both a Warp3D Nova getting started tutorial, and an OpenGL ES 3 (GLES3) one. The GLES3 one is Windows-centric, but uses cross-platform libraries. I just need to create a tutorial for using SDL2 & GLES3 on AmigaOS. Anyway, here are the links:
AmigaDave 02/06/2017 8:47am (6 years ago)
Thanks again for all of your great work on these drivers.