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View Full Version : New: Arcade VGA Ver.2 AGP/PCI-E



The Pinny Parlour
7th August 2006, 08:46 PM
from www.ultimarc.com

<snip>
http://ultimarc.com/avgainf.html


The Ultimate Video card for 15Khz Arcade Monitors
NOW ALSO FOR PC MONITORS!
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, RUN CLASSIC GAMES IN THEIR NATIVE RESOLUTIONS ON A PC SVGA MONITOR IN WINDOWS!
INCLUDES CRT AND LCD (DVI) DIGITAL MONITORS.
The picture quality has to be seen to be believed!
.

Connect your 15Khz arcade cabinet monitor to your PC with NO special configuration or special driver software in either DOS or Windows.
Now you can also connect an ordinary PC monitor and get all the resolutions of the 15Khz monitor plus conventional higher Windows resolutions.

* Displays all boot, DOS and Windows screens on the arcade monitor and/or PC monitor. Displays Windows desktop in a choice of resolutions including interlaced and non-interlaced.
* Connect an ordinary PC monitor, or an arcade monitor, or both at the same time
* Allows DOS MAME or MAME32 to run almost all games at their native resolutions without hardware stretching, scan converters or other degradation.
* All the native game resolutions are available on bith the arcade and the PC monitor.
* Emulates the original game board's graphics hardware closer than has ever been possible before.
* Contains 28 built-in 15Khz video graphics modes tailored specially for emulation. All of these modes also available on a PC monitor.
* All 240-line modes have an exact 60Hz vertical refresh rate for best performance in scrolling games.
* Special 300 X 256 Mode timed at 53Hz vertical for games such as Mortal Kombat .
* When used with arcade monitor, all video modes timed at 15.7 Khz horizontal frequency to eliminate picture shifting on mode changes.
* Also contains all standard VGA graphics and text modes, running at 15Khz. On arcade monitors. text screens display the full 25 lines without interlace using a special reduced-height font.
* All special modes available in Windows XP, Windows 2000 at all colour depths. NOTE Windows 98 is not supported.
* Desktop rotation supported in Windows for vertically-mounted monitors in Windows XP and 2000.
* Choice of Windows desktop resolutions including interlaced and non-interlaced modes. Can be assigned hot-keys .
* Virtual-desktop mode supported in XP and 2000, so you can run a desktop of 1024 X 768 and auto-pan.
* No MAME monitor configuration necessary, no need even to tell MAME you have an arcade monitor.
* Run any Windows application which can use 640X480 or 800X600 on your arcade monitor including 3D games.
* On PC monitors, all the native game resolutions are available, plus conventional Windows resolutions.
* All modes locked with vertical and horizontal negative sync for easy connection via a direct cable.
* Choice of available connection methods, Via J-PAC, Via Video Amp, or Direct Cable connect.
* Powerful ATI Radeon 9250 AGP or Radeon X550 PCIe chipset for great performance in 3D games as well as emulation

</snip>

elvis
8th August 2006, 10:03 AM
Does anyone know if ZiNc can be programmed to spit out 15KHz modes? That's something I've never researched. That would look really nice at 15KHz with 3D accellerated smoothness.

I'm glad Andy has updated the range now to include PCI-Express cards. PCI-Express motherboards are becoming more and more prevalent.

LOTR4U
8th August 2006, 11:29 AM
Does anyone know if ZiNc can be programmed to spit out 15KHz modes? That's something I've never researched. That would look really nice at 15KHz with 3D accellerated smoothness.

I'm glad Andy has updated the range now to include PCI-Express cards. PCI-Express motherboards are becoming more and more prevalent.

PCIE is wasted on Mame. AGP is wasted on Mame :cry

elvis
8th August 2006, 12:46 PM
PCIE is wasted on Mame. AGP is wasted on Mame :cry

Err... not exactly. MAME still needs to blit-copy the frame information directly to the frame buffer. PCI isn't the greatest for this, depending on the driver you are using. AGP is definitely recommended as a minimum, particularly if you use one of the better MAME builds like AdvanceMAME and a proper direct-hardware write driver.

And either way, ZiNc uses hardware rendering offloading for the texture rasterisation process of emulation (unlike MAME, which has it's own internal emulated rasterisor to match the original game hardware). In the case of ZiNc and playing 3D games at full speed, you'd still want AGP.

And either way AGAIN, AGP/PCI-E is preferred, as this is what modern motherboards support. It's more about being able to buy one of these and plug it into a PC than it is bandwidth performance.

DKong
8th August 2006, 04:39 PM
Does anyone know if ZiNc can be programmed to spit out 15KHz modes? That's something I've never researched. That would look really nice at 15KHz with 3D accellerated smoothness.

I'm glad Andy has updated the range now to include PCI-Express cards. PCI-Express motherboards are becoming more and more prevalent.

I have been using the an AVGA card and J-pac with a 15 khz monitor (Mortal Kombat 2) running ZiNc for a while ( Haven't all the rom's ) Xevious 3d runs fine and SFEX or whatever it's called looks great with the 3D.. Tekkan was a bit choppy but I am using a 1600 Mhz MOB. My AVGA is the 32 meg one ( the first one ) . Using MameWah as the frontend. All games installed launch fine from the frontend. It was a bit of stuffing about but it's worth it.
I think there was a plugin to add 3D rendering not sure now can check my config for Mamewah if you need it.

elvis
8th August 2006, 04:43 PM
I have been using the an AVGA card and J-pac with a 15 khz monitor (Mortal Kombat 2) running ZiNc for a while ( Haven't all the rom's ) Xevious 3d runs fine and SFEX or whatever it's called looks great with the 3D.. Tekkan was a bit choppy but I am using a 1600 Mhz MOB. My AVGA is the 32 meg one ( the first one ) . Using MameWah as the frontend. All games installed launch fine from the frontend. It was a bit of stuffing about but it's worth it.
I think there was a plugin to add 3D rendering not sure now can check my config for Mamewah if you need it.
So you were using ZiNc but not with hardware accelleration? Grab the D3D plugin and give it a whirl.

Also, did ZiNc fire up in 480i mode, or proper 240p?

DKong
8th August 2006, 05:03 PM
So you were using ZiNc but not with hardware accelleration? Grab the D3D plugin and give it a whirl.

Also, did ZiNc fire up in 480i mode, or proper 240p?

I think I did use the D3D plugin it was at least a year ago.

How do you check for 480i mode or 240p and what is this .:unsure

elvis
8th August 2006, 07:09 PM
How do you check for 480i mode or 240p and what is this .:unsure
480i means the game fires up with 480 vertical lines that are drawn interlaced to the screen. ie: 240 even lines are drawn 1/30th of a second, and 240 odd lines are drawn the next 1/30th of a second.

If you pause a game and look at the paused image, you should see no scanlines from this method. But you will see noticable flickering/jumping up and down on high contrast horizontal lines (life bars and text are a good place to look).

240p draws 240 lines every 1/60th of a second to the screen. If you pause the game you will see scanlines (ie: dark lines between every coloured line) but there will be no flickering/jumping of the picture.

480i is a common trick used by folks to get a 480-line image to a low-resolution screen. The downside is that it halves the effective framerate, and looks ****ing ugly for video games. It works fine for movies where (a) framerate doesn't matter and (b) you can sit back several feet from the screen. Arcade games that need frame-perfect reactions and where you sit only 1-2 feet from the screen look complete arse in interlaced modes.

Of note, the Sony Playstation used almost exclusively 240p modes, while the PS2 seems to use almost exclusively 480i modes. Both machines can do either, yet for some reason Sony seemed to have a giant brainfart after hte first PS and release the PS2 SDK to default to 480i. Dumbarses.

DKong
8th August 2006, 09:30 PM
480i means the game fires up with 480 vertical lines that are drawn interlaced to the screen. ie: 240 even lines are drawn 1/30th of a second, and 240 odd lines are drawn the next 1/30th of a second.

If you pause a game and look at the paused image, you should see no scanlines from this method. But you will see noticable flickering/jumping up and down on high contrast horizontal lines (life bars and text are a good place to look).

240p draws 240 lines every 1/60th of a second to the screen. If you pause the game you will see scanlines (ie: dark lines between every coloured line) but there will be no flickering/jumping of the picture.

480i is a common trick used by folks to get a 480-line image to a low-resolution screen. The downside is that it halves the effective framerate, and looks ****ing ugly for video games. It works fine for movies where (a) framerate doesn't matter and (b) you can sit back several feet from the screen. Arcade games that need frame-perfect reactions and where you sit only 1-2 feet from the screen look complete arse in interlaced modes.

Of note, the Sony Playstation used almost exclusively 240p modes, while the PS2 seems to use almost exclusively 480i modes. Both machines can do either, yet for some reason Sony seemed to have a giant brainfart after hte first PS and release the PS2 SDK to default to 480i. Dumbarses.

Sort of with you here.
1. Can't find a pause function for ZiNc so couldn't pause a game

2. I am using the D3D plugin and the games look great! They look a lot smoother than PSX.

3. With the 480i modes do you mean like when the AVGA card interlaces when it forces say 800x600 and I think 640X480 and you get that horrible flicker?

4. I may have used another plugin for the 640x288 resolution in ZiNc but I'm sure thats what its running in. Its running as smooth as MAME. Just had a quick game of SF EX2 and I would say this is now my favourite SF.

elvis
8th August 2006, 09:44 PM
3. With the 480i modes do you mean like when the AVGA card interlaces when it forces say 800x600 and I think 640X480 and you get that horrible flicker?
You got it. That's the horrid interlaced mode. Evil, evil stuff.


4. I may have used another plugin for the 640x288 resolution in ZiNc but I'm sure thats what its running in. Its running as smooth as MAME. Just had a quick game of SF EX2 and I would say this is now my favourite SF.
Well it sounds like it's possible somewhere somehow. 288 lines is definitely a progressive scan ~15KHz mode. Complete with beautiful scanlines and no screen flicker.

I've never considered building a dedicated ZiNc cabinet until recently. Could be an interesting project. But then again, I have a PSX and hundreds of import games. That could be just as easy, as the PSX spat out progressive modes mostly to.

DKong
8th August 2006, 09:55 PM
You got it. That's the horrid interlaced mode. Evil, evil stuff.


Well it sounds like it's possible somewhere somehow. 288 lines is definitely a progressive scan ~15KHz mode. Complete with beautiful scanlines and no screen flicker.

I've never considered building a dedicated ZiNc cabinet until recently. Could be an interesting project. But then again, I have a PSX and hundreds of import games. That could be just as easy, as the PSX spat out progressive modes mostly to.

There's no flicker just beautiful scanlines!:D
I think ZiNc only support about 90 games ( and not all 100%) so for volume you should probally stick to the PSX ( are you going to hook that up to a cab?)
or
You could make a dedicated fighters cabinets " The History of Fighting Games", With MAME and ZiNc

BTW the EpsxE (PSX) emulator looks better on the cab using 15khz with the renderer than PSX. All done with the Arcadevga.

I agree with you on that interlaced mode shit that can go to hell. I installed Tiger Woods 2004 or 3 thinking it would be cool with the trackball..(could only get 800x600) I thought I was going to have an epilectic fit..there is no way anyone should play any game in this mode? Yuck!

elvis
8th August 2006, 10:12 PM
BTW the EpsxE (PSX) emulator looks better on the cab using 15khz with the renderer than PSX. All done with the Arcadevga.
The PSX does not support any sort of filtering, either post-processing or at a texture level. The ZiNc plugins all allow standard texture filtering, as well as edge filtering and all that funky modern 3D stuff. That's why ePSXe looks 100 times better than a real PSX.

With that said, I'm making a PSX/PS2 -> JAMMA converter anyway to play Street Fighter III: Third Strike in a cabinet. Once that's done, it'll plug straight into my PSX and play all the games ZiNc supports, plus other cool games like Point Blank. So I don't think I'll bother with a ZiNc cab after all.


I agree with you on that interlaced mode shit that can go to hell. I installed Tiger Woods 2004 or 3 thinking it would be cool with the trackball..(could only get 800x600) I thought I was going to have an epilectic fit..there is no way anyone should play any game in this mode? Yuck!
Well, it's the standard for PS2. Try playing intense crazy japanese shooters for hours, dodging insane bullet patters while your eyeballs bleed from the interlace flickering. **** you, Sony!

DKong
8th August 2006, 10:42 PM
With that said, I'm making a PSX/PS2 -> JAMMA converter anyway to play Street Fighter III: Third Strike in a cabinet. Once that's done, it'll plug straight into my PSX and play all the games ZiNc supports, plus other cool games like Point Blank. So I don't think I'll bother with a ZiNc cab after all.


!

Point Blank was one of the games (besides pinball) that got me back into the arcade..Can you use the Namco PSX gun's with the arcade monitor I thought there was a problem there?..I saw a hack once that allowed you to play them with mame was thinking about it for Time Crisis.
I was actually waiting for the PS2 to drop enough in price to use in some sort of racing cab. they are appearing in the under $100 section now and will drop further come Nov
Hmm never played Street fighter III when was that released?
What's so special about Version 2 of ArcadeVGA anyway how many meg is it anyway based on ATI 9200 ?

BTW it will take a good MOB(1600 mhz for people in the future) to make MR Driller run full speed on Zinc..Love that game game..

elvis
9th August 2006, 09:27 AM
Point Blank was one of the games (besides pinball) that got me back into the arcade..Can you use the Namco PSX gun's with the arcade monitor I thought there was a problem there?..
It works fine. For a traditional light-gun to work you need

1) A place to tap into the sync signal going to the monitor (most SCART cables have an A/V-out where you can hijack sync for the lightguns, or failing that Sony have a special connector that sits between your console and your video cable that does the same)

2) A bright enough monitor that uses a 15KHz scanning dot (ie: any CGA monitor or TV).

The only time you will run into dramas is if you use LCD, Plasma or 31KHz VGA monitors. Standard 15KHz arcade monitors work just fine. :)


I was actually waiting for the PS2 to drop enough in price to use in some sort of racing cab. they are appearing in the under $100 section now and will drop further come Nov
I've been daydreaming about a driving cab for a while. Still don't know if I should go console or PC. I think console would be easier, as it's more "simple controls" friendly.


Hmm never played Street fighter III when was that released?
Heh. The original was relased in 97 (yes, almost 10 years old now).

Street Fighter III: Third Strike (often abbreviated to "3rd Strike" or just "3S") is the best in the SF3 series, and was released in 1999. It hit PS2 in 2004.


What's so special about Version 2 of ArcadeVGA anyway how many meg is it anyway based on ATI 9200 ?
The ArcadeVGA has always been based on ATi Radeon hardware. The first card was a PCI based Radeon VE/7500. Andy Warne (Ultimarc owner and AVGA creator) progressively changed cards as the interfaces changed. The AVGA is used by 99.99% of users as a 2D card (2D accelleration is something ATi does VERY well - not many people realise that). As the interfaces changed from PCI to AGP and then again to PCI-Express, Andy had no choice but to up the cards specs. He's not choosing cards based on their 3D power, but rather the cheapest Radeon card for a particular slot type.

There's nothing "special" about the new AVGA except for the fact that the interface has changed. This is good news if you buy a PCI-Express without AGP and want to turn it into a MAME box.


BTW it will take a good MOB(1600 mhz for people in the future) to make MR Driller run full speed on Zinc..Love that game game..
MR Driller is damned tasty fun. I've got it on Dreamcast, and play it through a 21" VGA (480p) monitor. :)

Aractus
11th August 2006, 09:44 PM
Does anyone know if the picture quality on PC monitors through the new Ver 2 card rivals real arcade monitors? I'm skeptical - but I'm interested in seeing the results...

Viper
11th August 2006, 09:53 PM
Does anyone know if the picture quality on PC monitors through the new Ver 2 card rivals real arcade monitors? I'm skeptical - but I'm interested in seeing the results...
The thing has only just been released and the previous version didn't support it so I doubt anyone other than Andy himself could tell you!

elvis
11th August 2006, 10:23 PM
Does anyone know if the picture quality on PC monitors through the new Ver 2 card rivals real arcade monitors? I'm skeptical - but I'm interested in seeing the results...
Without knowing anything about the card other than the marketing stuff, I'd say it merely double-scans the resolutions and adds in a scanline. ie: what MAME does, but in hardware (ie: no slowdown).

31KHz monitors always look "sharper" than 15KHz monitors, and to me that takes away some of the appeal. But then again, if you've ever seen an arcade board on a brand new (ie: unused, not the second hand stuff 99.99% of retailers sell in this country) arcade monitor or SCART TV, it looks "too sharp" sometimes as well. I think we all get complacent with old tubes sometimes. :)

Aractus
12th August 2006, 12:42 AM
eh, no matter... I'm sure I'll end up using an arcade monitor anyway, there's just no substitute.

elvis
12th August 2006, 12:26 PM
eh, no matter... I'm sure I'll end up using an arcade monitor anyway, there's just no substitute.
Gotta agree with you there.

90% of the time when people say MAME is "innacurate", they usually mean it looks wrong on a PC monitor. (Of course, there are still 10% of the games that MAME can't emulate properly, and in that case the comment is understood).

Aractus
12th August 2006, 04:28 PM
Yes, well I got an ex-lease computer for $350... it is adequate (computer came with 2.4GHz P4, XP Home, 17" monitor... etc)... except for the HDD size, but that's not a problem I have enough HDD's here at home anyway - I bought a 250GB HDD a while ago, which is filled with ROMS - from memory that cost $160. The empty, gutted arcade cabinet cost me $65, so in total I've now spent $575... I can possibly make some of that money back by selling my 17" monitor, the DVD drives and the 40GB HDD from the computer - if I could make back say, $125 then my expenses thus far would only amount to $450. Once I save some more money I can start building the control panel, then design and get some printed artwork and buy an ArcadeVGA and an arcade monitor. All up I reckon my project will cost $1200-$1500.

elvis
12th August 2006, 04:33 PM
Yes, well I got an ex-lease computer for $350... it is adequate (computer came with 2.4GHz P4, XP Home, 17" monitor... etc)... except for the HDD size, but that's not a problem I have enough HDD's here at home anyway - I bought a 250GB HDD a while ago, which is filled with ROMS
Zoiks. I've got a 20GB HDD in my cab and that's more than plenty.

Or are you using multiple emulators/systems?

Viper
12th August 2006, 05:52 PM
All up I reckon my project will cost $1200-$1500.

Shit that's alot of $$$'s.

Aractus
18th August 2006, 09:26 PM
Shit that's alot of $$$'s.Yeah I don't think of it like that though. What am I going to do with $1200 cash? I can't play arcade games on THAT! Oh and yeah, I will use multi system.

OzStick
23rd August 2006, 01:56 PM
Does anyone know if the picture quality on PC monitors through the new Ver 2 card rivals real arcade monitors? I'm skeptical - but I'm interested in seeing the results...

Hi Meksilon,

Sorry for not replying more quickly - we've been busy moving!

I received our first batch or the new cards just the other day, however I don't have a spare PC with AGP or PCI-E to test them with, so I can vouch for how good the image replroduction is on a PC monitor.

Having said that, I very much doubt that Andy would have released this card with this feature unless it was worthwhile. He is an engineer by profession ad simply does not settle for 'good enough'.

If you have doubts and need some 'independant' feedback, my suggestion would be to wait until someone out there does a review. I doubt you'd need to wait long, someone like Kevin Steele at www.retroblast.com will probably do one soon.

Also, keep an eye on the forums at www.arcadecontrols.com and Ultimarc to see if anyone else has tested one out.

Cheers,
Chris

Aractus
26th August 2006, 11:14 PM
I very much doubt that Andy would have released this card with this feature unless it was worthwhile. He is an engineer by profession ad simply does not settle for 'good enough'.It's not that I don't think it's a worthwhile feature, I just expect the arcade resolution to look the same as other low-resolution computer monitor displays. If I play a game in 320x200 (like Monkey Island) it is pixelated in a way which is unique to computer monitors, whereas an arcade monitor will look smother, not necessarily "better" - but certainly "different" and certainly it's what I'm after. The last thing I want it to look like is a computer monitor.

Thanks for your reply though.

The Pinny Parlour
31st January 2007, 07:22 AM
New review of the ArcadeVGA is up at RetroBlast

http://www.retroblast.com/reviews/UltimarcArcadeVGA2-1292007-01.html