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REVIEW: CYBERVISION 64
John Paden firstname.lastname@example.org
CyberVision64 64 bit graphic card
64 bit graphics card using the Trio64 graphics chip set which uses a
graphics processor, a 64 bit wide blitter, and a special 24 bit D/A
converter. It also has a Planer to Chunky chip(Roxxler). I will go over
installation, bugs, compatibility, and speed.
Name: phase5 Digital Products
Address: Homburger Landstrasse 412
I bought this from Select Solutions of Campaign-Urbana Ohio. It appears as
though they have moved... I've tried calling them...Softwood didn't get
back to me(they are USA distrubuters for Phase 5).
I paid $600 for the 4 Meg version.
SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS
An 040 would definetly be nice... this would allow the computer to keep up
with the graphics board. A nice monitor is very important because of
bandwidth and resolution. 4 Megs of RAM suddenly doesn't seem quite as
endless when you deal with normal applications. I've found that the 8 megs
I got have come in very handy. Photogenics(my most used program) and a
virtual screen(what I use when programming) tend to zap the fast memory as
well(nearly 3 megs in 24 bit color in photogenics just to run).
2.04 or above. I recommend OS 3.1(cause its better) and also because you
get to use all the features, like 256 colors in Workbench.
MACHINE USED FOR TESTING
Amiga 3000/16, 8 MB Fast RAM onboard, 2 MB Chip RAM.
1 internal 1660K floppy.
SCSI rev 8 chip
Quantum 50 MB hard drive SCSI
Seagate 100 MB hard drive SCSI
Developers AmigaDOS 3.1, Kickstart 40.68 and WB 40.42.
Cybervision 64 with 4 MB RAM
The installation was simple and very straight forward. The manuals really
are bad except perhaps in the installation part which they do a good job.
Using the CVMODE preferences(screen settings) I found that it was much
better (at least for me at the time) to just use the defaults that are
given when you select a khz. They have a test screen if you want to try to
optimize the screen settings. The other thing is that the card is full
length and you'll probably have to take the card holder on the front end if
you have an Amiga 3000, this is not a problem since it is plastic and snaps
The CYBERVISION64 has an expansion bus through which additional cards such
as JPEG or MPEG cards can directly access the fast video memory. Note
these aren't available at the time... 2GO is what they are working on
currently. Includes a DSP and some other features for rendering pictures
faster. I'm afraid this will be limited to programs that specifically use
Once I had it installed I started changing preferences and such in my
applications to use the cybervision when I wanted. A note: The cybervision
screens reside in cybervision memory and all other Amiga screens in computer
memory so when you drag down screens you can only see screens in your
memory section, however flipping screens works fast and doesn't make a
clicking noise or anything annoying like that.
One thing I really like was loading up a large 256 color gif or iff and
then scrolling around in it on the 256 color screens... it was like an
animation because of the updating!
More information in the bug section about how programs work.
Speed, speed, speed, and compatiblity... I will probably get one of
their expansion modules depending on what it does (MPEG and JPEG sound
DISLIKES AND SUGGESTIONS
The documentation is pretty lean, but it suffices because
everything is really easy.
These may be due to my 15-31khz monitor - Also they have only to do with
cybervision screen modes except for one. One, when scrolling around in a
large virtual screen it some times jumps back (like when you click on the
right mouse button) when you move it into a certain position. This is no
problem if all you're doing is moving the mouse around, but if you are
using the LAmiga-Left Mouse Button drag(or whatever you have it set to) or
you've grabbed the menu bar it will.
Sometimes I will lose a screen and it will go completely grey(happens to
NTSC screens-this does not happen when I use the 1960 monitor, but does
when I use the ACER(small bandwidth). It will flicker occasionally when
I'm moving the screen up and down.
Some demos and games don't like to run from a cybervision screen(like
CyberSphere or Lemon), actually I have found that almost no games work if
you run them from a cybervision screen. When painting in hicolor,
truecolor screens the pointer has a shadow about 80 pixels beneath it. You
can not show two hicolor or true color screen in front/back of each other,
although you can still flip through them easily.
Wordworth - Works great only that they use a crappy palette. This is only
a concern for text effects when your doing shading from the first to last
letter or first to last shadow (which looks quite nice). You can I think
load an image which forces the palette map to change (At least it seems
that way as loading several images looks nice).
ProCalc 2.0, Final Writer 3, PageStream 3.0, Multiview, Prowrite, Term,
Twist 2, and just about any other program that I run works perfect work
Personal Paint 6.1 crashes anytime I try to change the mode to ANYTHING
else. 6.3 I suppose fixes all this and even allows you to paint in
Cybervision mode. I figured out what you have to do. Personal Paint has a
RTG setting when changing screen modes... makes sure this is set to "Yes"
and not "No" or "Auto".
Amiga Vision Pro is NTSC or PAL only. Although NewMode will allow you to
work in more colors there isn't any point and you can't preview anything
since it doesn't understand cybergraphics.
Scala MM300 is NTSC or PAL only. Newmode will promote this to, but is
rather buggy when you do.
Photogenics Lite 1.2 sometimes crashes, but I use it whenever I can cause I
like painting in 24 bit a lot more than having to save the image all the
time when I use Photogenics 1.0.
Photogenics 1.25 crashes only when I run in cybergraphics mode. Hicolor
and Truecolor screens tend to have a problem with freeing used memory (This
could still be photogenics fault, maybe cybergraphics mode implemented
wrong. This is hard to tell since its the only program that runs
completely in cybergraphics).
OpalPaint doesn't work anymore... oh yea we took the board out, but I will
soon be sticking it back in to test the pass through capabilities of the
Brilliance does not allow you to use cybervision screens since it does some
hard ware hacking to the chip ram
Deluxe Paint does not animate and you have to manually refresh the brush,
solid fill, and anything else that is more than one pixel wide.
Adpro will not show more than 256 color screens(from the screen mode
requester), but you can see in 24 bit I'm pretty sure using the saver.
WBscreen can run in 24 bit, but intuition does not use more than 256 colors
so special programs like CyberWindow (which is fast, supports lots of
formats as well as datatypes, and allows windows to be opened on the
WBScreen) must be used to exploit the 24 bit display.
I use these: QMouse, ToolsDeamon, ToolsPref, CycleToMenu, PowerSnap, and
Click to Front. Power Snap is the only one I've had problems with and ONLY
when I run a hicolor to truecolor screen mode(256 colors is fine). I use
Iconify as well and it works fine to.
I want to call them and ask them about any known bugs and stuff like that
and speed tests, but they live too many time zones away and I always seem
to not be home when I could call (I'm afraid I work and play too much).
Select Solutions were really nice (but they didn't make the board though).
[Note-phase5 allegedly has e-mail set up @phase5.de, but no replies have
come back. -Jason]
phase5 gives a warranty of 12 months against manufacturing defects.
I love this board compared to the ECS chip set... which of course I
can still use.
Installation 5 out of 5
Documentation 4 out of 5
Photogenics-Lite Demo 4 out of 5 (few crashing problems)
Speed 5(6 if I could) out of 5
Compatiblity 4.5 out of 5 (the most compatible I've encountered, but still
a few general bugs they can fix that don't have to do with other
This review is (c) by John Paden and freely distributable.
You can reach me at:
2901 Stratford Road
Lawrence, Kansas 66049