However, in the meantime a solution has been found to enable me and all X owners to enjoy 3D hardware accelerated games right now! I have implemented this solution successfully and wanted to share some more details with you and what to expect after getting it running! The solution lies in a firmware update and Dual Display Guide published by A-Eon for registered X owners on their website.
The solution also requires buying two pieces of hardware, both inexpensive. We only plan to use the DVI out: We can install this card in the X and have dual display support and also run the 3D hardware accelerated games on the card! A-Eon has published a dual display guide for registered X owners on their website a-eon.
I won't detail the process of setting up the dual display since it is clearly covered in the step-by-step guide from A-Eon. It also needs a firmware update to enable dual display support which also has a step-by-step guide. I can confirm this all works, as you will see below! So all sounds great, right? The issue I found is that because the X already has it's two PCI slots filled with the network card and sound card, there are no free slots for the Radeon PCI card to go into without losing sound or network support!
However, a solution is at hand. So the next piece of hardware you need is: The bridge card has a molex power connection, which needs to be connected to one of the many spare molex power connectors inside the X to function. First, I attempted connecting the Radeon as it is half-height to the PCI-e bridge card but the card was too heavy and didn't sit well. As shown below So I decided not to do this, and instead to relocate the network PCI card in the X to use the bridge card, and then connect the graphics card to the PCI slot the network card was using.
Updating the firmware gives you a newer boot logo from the original logo, but obviously plenty of other behind the scenes changes - the most important addition for me is to support the dual display configuration that I am doing here.
I found that you need to use a USB stick less than 2Gb for it to update the X firmware correctly. That done, I then copied the original Warp3D. So next I powered off, opened the X case and got to work! I chose to use the second PCI-e slot from the top of the motherboard, the one closest to the Xorro Slot. So now, ready for power up.
On power on, the X boot logo now appears on the display of the PCI card, but appears in blue instead of red, as below the A-Eon guide mentions this as an effect on the card, but not a big problem in my opinion: Both cards are active in the Workbench and I can choose to use either one, as shown below in the Screenmode preferences: I found while checking this that the does have some horizontal graphic glitches that flash up on the screen from time to time not permanent , especially when moving windows around the screen.
A-Eon mentioned this in the Dual Display guide also. I minimised this issue on the X by changing the GUI preferences in the Prefs folder to use the 3D acceleration in the effects section, which couldn't be enabled on the Radeon HD card.
This is shown below: The network card worked perfectly, having moved slots. No reconfiguration was needed and I could access the internet and other computers as normal.
So now, finally, I am ready to try out some 3D hardware accelerated games on the X for the first time! Previously I couldn't run these games at all, or they run very slowly on the Wazp3D software library. So here are some screenshots of some games I tested using the card on the X and they work perfectly! Fortunately with the dual display setup I can change to using the HD card to run this game. I also tried out F1 Spirit which worked - previously I couldn't play the game as nothing came up when the main game screen at the track started I ran out of time for today though!
I look forward to AmigaOS 4. In the meantime I can now play 3D hardware accelerated games on the X and I am very happy about it!