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Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
Just popping in
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Hello to all!
Please excuse me, this topics was posted also to Hyperion forum, but it seem to be very few Micro A1-C users there. Maybe here is somebody left.

In the last year I get very nice little pet - Micro A1-C.
She was equipped with CPU 750FX v2.2, 800 MHz and U-boot 1.2.0.

I installed the system and play a lot with HW and now I have some info and questions for all A1-C users.


1. SEMI-IMPORTATNT INFO: There is a minor error in Intuition base Unofficial uA1-C Handbook: on article 4.12 Adjusting the CPU Core Voltage (VCC_CORE(V) ):
On second data line (1.39V) is written 3-4pin=CLOSED. Correct value is 3-4pin=OPEN. (CLOSED here means voltage 1.49V). Be careful, if you want to set lower voltage.

2. I succesfully overclocked my A1-C to 933MHz with voltage 1.39V. With not-original cooler it is cool, stable and faster.
This is great, because my 750FX have official limit 900MHz, and even voltage 1.39V is lower than nominal for this CPU type = 1.45V +/- 0.05.
Did someone overclocking of 750FX to 1000 or more?
Even if I have good cooler and open testbed, I don't want to test it now. Maybe later when I improve temperature measuring with better probe - there is too little space between cooler and CPU card.

3. I tried many graphic cards (PCI, AGP, PCI-e) in PCI slot, because onboard Radeon 7500 have only 32MB, and it is a big limitation.
No success. But it seems to be normal, I didn't find any succesful external graphics use on Amiga forums.

4. Use of SATA controllers.
I tested two types SiI3114 and SiI3512.
- SiI3114: is OK with U-Boot, I can boot from it. But after kickstart loading and execution of exec, there are allways r/w error on SSD, even with PIO mode. ( Note: the same SSD connected to a1ide or sii3512 works fine).
- SiI3512: not works with U-boot. It is visible here, but not possible boot from it - it has error no SLB found (SSD was the same like before). But after booting from other device and kickstart loading it works like a charm, with UDMA 133MB/s.

So my actual disc configuration is:
- a1ide.device:0 cfcard (with IDE-CF reduction), DOS7/FFS partition with /kickstart directory only (identical copy from SYS:), PIO mode
- a1ide.device:1 SATA DVD (with Axago IDE-SATA reduction), PIO mode
- Sil3512ide.device:0 SATA SSD with SFS2 partitions, System: and Work:, UDMA mode.
This configuration works great, but I have here one question:

If I set with mediatoolbox a1ide.device:0 cfcard format fo SFS2, after reboot disk under AmigaOS is unreadable, and cannot be formatted. But if I set it to DOS7, everything is OK.
My other 32GB CFcard used on Pegasos 2 have SFS format with no problem. Maybe this CF card used in A1-C is too slow? It is my spare, very old, slow and 4GB size. I don't know. I will buy new one and try it again.

5. USB2.0. I tested four USB2.0 cards, all with NEC chips, all of them works at USB2.0 speed with Sam440ep-flex and Pegasos2. But they always hangs on Micro A1-C when I copying something. I searched this on forums - there are mentioned some USB2.0 cards working at least in AmigaOne XE, but I cannot find any which works in A1-C with USB2.0 speed for sure. Someone said that have 2.0 card working on 1.0 speed, and someone said nothing about speed.
Please, can somebody have functional USB2.0 with 2.0 speed inside A1-C? And which exact type please?

6. Did somebody successfuly test 1GbE NIC inside Micro A1-C? I think only Realtek RTL8169/8110 is compatible. The one borrowed from my X1000 didn't work.
And I wonder if there is some net speed increase or not.
But yesterday I found in documentation, that Realtek devices in AmigaOS can be adjusted with ENVs - for example device ID. I will try this later.

Thank you for patience - it is qiut long article. I will be grateful for any comments or advices.

AmigaOS: Micro A1-C, AmigaOne XE, Pegasos II, Sam440ep-flex, AmigaOne X1000
MorphOS: Efika 5200b, Pegasos I, Pegasos II, Powerbook, Mac Mini, iMac, Powermac Quad
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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
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@sailor

in your place I would not have too much fun pushing the processor because it is very fragile on the micro aone. My micro Aone died without overclocking...you decide

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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
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@sinisrus
thank you, I know. You are absolutely right. This is the reason I don't want to test 1GHz without proper preparations.
I did all my overclockings with care and as much knowledge of HW as possible.
Yes, I know, it could die - it is 20 years old HW, and can die every minute even without touching anything.
But if it not die, it is joy and pride for me, and new life for old machines .

AmigaOS: Micro A1-C, AmigaOne XE, Pegasos II, Sam440ep-flex, AmigaOne X1000
MorphOS: Efika 5200b, Pegasos I, Pegasos II, Powerbook, Mac Mini, iMac, Powermac Quad
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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
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@sailor
It's good to have one more microA1 owner in here.
Unfortunately, I do not use any expansion in the PCI of my machine, so I can't help with your questions.

About overclocking, although I changed the fan a long time ago with one from Gfx cards, I did it only to make it more stable in the hot days back in Greece. Never overclocked, because they are fragile, and if it stops working I will be so sorry.

Based on my experience I have issues with SSD disks even connected to the ide. Maybe it is because of the SATA-IDE converter. A couple of days ago I received the following, which I want to try on my machine and see how well it is working.

Transcend High speed 128GB internal mSATA SSD SATA III

CY White mSATA Mini PCI eSATA SSD to 2.5" IDE 44 Pin

I am using the same ones on my Powerbook G4 and it works pretty well.

About the graphics cards, I tested a few cards some years ago but didn't make them work. If I recall right, there were some discussions that they are not working because of a limitation/bug of the BIOS. So, I do not expect to see that working at any point, which is unfortunate, because that would give such a boost to this little machine.

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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
Not too shy to talk
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@sailor

Sorry, I can’t answer your questions because I have not attempted these changes.

I purchased my system in 2004, a motherboard bundled with AmigaOS4.

Mine is a Micro A1-C with PPC 750 GX CPU.

I use the onboard a1ide interface ports …
Hard drive connected to the 40 pin connector
DVD Combo drive connected to the 44 pin connector via an adapter

I use the onboard USB ports and onboard 3COM network interface.

Since there were so many errors in the MAI documents, I left the switches at default and never attempted overclocking.

I never tried any cards in the PCI slot. Some people used SIL0680 Interface card for their disk drives. Others had success with 3114 and 3512 cards.

Presumably, there were some U-Boot changes made to allow testing of PCI graphics cards. Since this feature was never released to the public, I assume it did not work as planned. I’m not a beta tester so I don’t know the details.

—-
redfox
MicroA1 with AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 2



Edited by redfox on 2022/1/27 0:58:20
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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
Amigans Defender
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@walkero

I managed to get an SSD to work on my MicroA1, though if I recall correctly I had to considerably drop the speed in order for it to work.

A PCI graphics card into my MicroA1 - It is but a dream. To be honest, I even tried to put a USB-2 Card into it, but that didn't work. - You are stuck at the snails pace of USB1 standard. Ugh!

Overall, the MicroA1 is the Amiga equivalent of a Fiat Multipla

Mikey C

No cause is lost if there is but one fool left to fight for it.
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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
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@walkero
generally I have practically no problems to use any SATA I-III devices with AmigaNG hardware.
Allmost of them works OOTB, only exception was Kingston 120G Sata III (black), have problems with Efika. In Pegasos, Micro, etc works fine.
Mini-PCI SATA Trascend from you link is excellent - I have similar - M.2 and with 44pin ide converter works perfectly. It is now inside Efika, and I will put it also to Powerbook - to replace ols IDE.

And nice to see, that 2.5" enclosures with IDE-SATA is cheap now.

AmigaOS: Micro A1-C, AmigaOne XE, Pegasos II, Sam440ep-flex, AmigaOne X1000
MorphOS: Efika 5200b, Pegasos I, Pegasos II, Powerbook, Mac Mini, iMac, Powermac Quad
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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
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@redfox
your Micro CPU 750 GX is more modern and faster than mine - it has double L2 cache and is in general 1GHz capable (depends on exact subtype).

And yes, you are right. There are errors in documentation, not many, but they are. Is better leave default settings. Other way is to read a lot of docs - Mai, Eyetech, Terron and also IBM and Apple
One of reasons, why I don't try to overclock my 750FX to 1000MHz is, that Apple never did it. And Apple overclocks his machines over the CPU recomended limit, if it was possible.

Unfortunatelly, Apple never use 750GX models - instead switched to G4. So there are not massive stress tests for FX.


Edited by sailor on 2022/1/31 10:51:00
AmigaOS: Micro A1-C, AmigaOne XE, Pegasos II, Sam440ep-flex, AmigaOne X1000
MorphOS: Efika 5200b, Pegasos I, Pegasos II, Powerbook, Mac Mini, iMac, Powermac Quad
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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
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@Mikey_C
I know, Micro have some resources very limited.
Usb 1 speed is something, which I can live with - all big files can be transferred via network.
HDD speed can be upgraded with SATA card - on my machine there is speed increase even on original 800MHz speed. And overclocked it is even better.
CPU is powerful enough. Yes, missing Altivec, but is faster than more modern Sam440.

The only thing that in real limited us is 32MB of video RAM. But I sucseed to play Tower57 with Micro!!

AmigaOS: Micro A1-C, AmigaOne XE, Pegasos II, Sam440ep-flex, AmigaOne X1000
MorphOS: Efika 5200b, Pegasos I, Pegasos II, Powerbook, Mac Mini, iMac, Powermac Quad
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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
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@walkero

Please let us now how it works with your intended setup.
Because i have a IDE44 to SATA converted on the main IDE
interface, which gives none deterministic and random read
errors from while to while. I'm thinking about to replace
it with a Transcend PSD330, which is a SSD with PSATA (IDE
44) interface. But i think your solution could be nicer.

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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
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@Mikey_C

Because you don’t know “Fiat Duna”

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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
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@MigthyMax

When you change from ide to sata there’s a completely protocol change.
IMHO much better to use ide to cf adapter, in this case I suggest to use industrial Cf cards.
I’m waiting for this solution to came from china, I ordered it on AliExpress.
Prices are quite cheap.

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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
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@flash
I am not tested CFcards speed with Micro A1-C. I had many bad experiences with cfcards before, so now I use them only in PIO mode for booting.
For best performance we need UDMA capable adapter, which is not so common (certain pins have to be connected), or stay with cfcards in PIO mode.

It will be great, if you post some speed results and your experiences with CFcards. Maybe I used wrong types (all was not industrial, but UDMA and fast)

From my experience using IDE-SATA adapter causes no slowdown.
I tested it on Pegasos 2, G4 1GHz, and IDE HD has the same results like IDE-SATA adapter + SATA HDD.

With this Micro A1-C I tested only a1ide device with Axago IDE-SATA reduction +SSD vs SiI3512 +SSD.
SCSI speed: SiI3512 was faster in average by 15% (800MHz) or 16.5%(933MHz).
DiskSpeed: SiI3512 was faster in average by 3.5% (800MHz) or 4%(933MHz).
Not so much, but it pleases.

AmigaOS: Micro A1-C, AmigaOne XE, Pegasos II, Sam440ep-flex, AmigaOne X1000
MorphOS: Efika 5200b, Pegasos I, Pegasos II, Powerbook, Mac Mini, iMac, Powermac Quad
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Re: Micro A1-C, overclocking, PCI cards, etc..
Amigans Defender
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This may come as a stupid question.

But did anyone managed to get any graphics card to work on a MicroA1?

Mikey C

No cause is lost if there is but one fool left to fight for it.
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