Sunday, December 18, 2011

A4000: Setting up my newly acquired Grex 4000

Hi peepz,

Recently I managed to get a Grex 4000 from Amibay. That was a dream come true since I always wanted to find one, but sadly these boards are REALLY rare and really expensive if they show up!

Ok enough with the long talk...
Board arrived safely with it's original CD that you can see just fine below



Of course... I didn't know if the board was working since the seller sold it AS-IS since he didn't have the equipment to test it.
I tend to have an optimistic mood with Amiga Hardware as most of times tend to be very resilient :)

Here are two more shots comparing it with the original daughterboard...

 


Isn't it a beauty? :D Pretty funny is the extra wire put at some pins. It's on all Grex pictures I found over BBOAH and my friend Leo (Keropi) assured me that it was on his former Grex as well.

My RTG card will be nothing more than the known and awesome 3DFX Voodoo3 2000 that I hacked with the help of Cosmos's blog putting an onboard fan as it tends to be ULTRA hot!




Just to be sure, I followed all the required steps after downloading all the drivers from DJBase's website here: http://grex.amigaworld.de/index.php?lang=en

  • Updated CSPPC to latest version (firmware 45.71) that includes as well a PCI menu under CSPPC setup menu (via ESC key on boot).
  • Updated 68040.library and  68060.library with the latest versions (46.5/46.15)
  • After taking a backup from my previous system, I formatted my Hard Drive and started from scratch with a CF ClassicWB 3.9 BB2 installation.
You can see the new menu in the following pictures




[off topic]
I always had some parity problems with my Hard Drive having from-time-to-time Parity Error requesters. After a lot of frustration and headbanging turned out that I found a thread over A.org with exactly my symptoms. Since I downgraded my ACard some time ago with an earlier firmware I have these issues so some point today or in the future I will update it again with latest firmware and be done with it :)
Till then... I putted manually 8-bit in the controller settings under SCSI Menu of CSPPC and never had issues again.
[/off topic]


Ok time for more info now about installation. The steps I followed were:
  • Installing Grex's CGX4 version from Grex CD
  • Updated CGX4 to version 4.3 again from Grex CD (CGX4 CD required)
  • Updated CGX4 to latest version 4.6 (CGX4 CD required)
  • Copied my old Env-Archive variables from my previous installation including my Monitor-Mode file.
...and that was about it :)

Booting for first time after installation gave me the well known "Light my Fire" PPC logo and that was what I wanted to see to understand that my Grex was working as intended!!!



I went straight ahead to SYS:Prefs/CGXMode to check/setup my Monitor installation.
Just to help some of you that asked me in the past, I'm presenting from my previous setup my CGXMode monitor installation settings for 1280x1024 and the Widescreen 1360x768 that newly HD Ready LCD/TV's have.

These are the 1280x1024 settings for my Dell 17" monitor



...and these are the 1360x768 settings for for my Samsung 24" LCD/TV.



So... after using these old but trusted settings I was seeing RTG finally on my Grex Setup :)
As you can see from the photo, "God of War" 1280x1024 wallpaper and WhichAmiga running just fine under my setup.



And a close-up of WhichAmiga for the fun part :)
Haha Voodoo3 is presented as Inferno (I think they must have given that codename based on it's temperature LOL)



Just for closing this brief article (soon will follow for sure) I'm presenting a photo from the side where Grex with the following is mounted and working:
  • Voodoo3 2000 Graphics adapter (PCI)
  • ESS-Solo-1 Sound adapter (PCI)
  • ZorRAM 256MB Fast RAM adapter (Zorro)
  • Deneb USB2.0 adapter (Zorro)
 


Stay tuned :)

No comments: