Amiga, demoscene, 3D graphics, ...

Amiga goes PowerPC PCI – part7 [EN]

Finally Jack is back. I mean I am happy I finally managed to get a new toy instead of my broken Sonnet. Yes, my Sonnet got broken and I was more then year without a PowerPC toys. So whats this article is gonna be about? Did I got a new Sonnet, did I got a better one? You could have noticed, I didnt use Sonnet Crescendo PowerPC in the articles name, that surely means I am back with a different PowerPC card. Its a Bigfoot Networks Killer M1. This is originally a PCI NIC (network card) which should manage the networking packets in a smarter way and bla bla bla I dont care. For PC purposes its an old 2006 PCI NIC. But what matters for us Amiga enthusiasts is the hardware equipment of the card.

box1 box2

IMG_1772 IMG_1774

Except some USB and ethernet port the Killer contains a Motorola PowerPC CPU called PowerQUICC II Pro and 64 MB DDR2 (PC2100 266 MHz) onboard. PowerQUICC II Pro is nothing then enhanced good old 603e which we know for its usage in Blizzard PPC cards. MPC8343E is the complete name of the CPU which runs either 400 MHz for M1 version of the Killer or 333 MHz for K1 version. My 400 MHz M1 is cooled by a massive passive ;o) For more detailed review check THIS article.

OK so we have an enhanced 603e clocked at 400 MHz with 64 MB onboard DDR2 running in a Mediator 3V. Hedeon the developer of the project included support of K1 and M1 cards as an WarpOS accelerators and this finally brings an cheaper alternative of the rare and expensive Sonnet Crescendo cards.

In the previous article I compared G3 and G4 Sonnet Crescendo cards. I will use the G3/500 results and compare Killer M1 to it. I used latest PCI.library from Elbox v13.6 and latest Hedeons powerpc.library build 410. Testing machine for this article was following:

Amiga 4000, Cyberstorm MK1 040/40 MHz, 128 MB, Mediator 4000Di MK3, Deneb, Voodoo3 3000

IMG_1786 IMG_1787

Lets first compare the accelerators parameters…

Sonnet Crescendo 7200 G3 Bigfoot Networks Killer M1
CPU used MPC750 MPC8343E
CPU speed 500 MHz 400 MHz
Backside BUS speed 66 MHz 266 MHz
L1 Cache (Data/Instruction) 32k/32k 32k/32k
L2 Cache 1024k None
Max RAM 192 MB 64 MB

Killer looks like outsider in this comparism, less memory, less CPU frequency and missing L2 cache. But how is it in a real usage? Lets begin with math calculation benchmarks.


UltimatePPC (smaller = better)

Sonnet Crescendo 7200 G3 / 500 MHz Bigfoot Networks Killer M1 / 400MHz
50M Add 55 82
50M Multiply 69 99
20M Sqrt() 270 425
20M Rnd() 277 497
20M Sin() 217 361
20M Log() 238 388
50M Bounds 70 113
10M Pov() 171 272

Result: G3/500 absolutely wins, its simply more faster processor for math.



Sonnet Crescendo 7200 G3 / 500 MHz Bigfoot Networks Killer M1 / 400MHz
MIPS 566,33 491,67
MFLOPS 466,21 287,09
Readb 148,23 306,75
Readh 125,11 306,40
Readw 110,17 266,42
Writeb 76,15 285,46
Writeh 62,42 285,28
Writew 58,54 226,73
Copyb 39,95 75,85
Copyh 38,24 108,12
Copyw 36,75 118,10

Result: Sonnet due to faster CPU wins at MIPS and MFLOPS, but Killer M1 rules in the memory tests thanks to his DDR2. Who could expect that?


Voxelspace (highest settings)

Sonnet Crescendo 7200 G3 / 500 MHz Bigfoot Networks Killer M1 / 400MHz
Resolution 320×240, TurboGFX, Columns 320, PixDepth 256) 36,8 fps 37,1 fps
Resolution 640×480, TurboGFX, Columns 640, PixDepth 256) 21,6 fps 16,3 fps

Result: I would say same persormance at 320×240, but Sonnet works better in higher resolution. This is surprise for me, I expected software rendering will be much more easy for Sonnet.



Sonnet Crescendo 7200 G3 / 500 MHz Bigfoot Networks Killer M1 / 400MHz
Silver (num key 1) 85,0 fps 66,7 fps
Gold (num key 2) 92,4 fps 72,5 fps
Both (num key 3) 50,2 fps 38,3 fps

Result: Sonnet wins, but Killer M1 isnt bad at all.


FroggerNG (Mpeg4 360p, depth 24, fps 25)

Sonnet Crescendo 7200 G3 / 500 MHz Bigfoot Networks Killer M1 / 400MHz
Mpeg4 360p 589/2001 frames skipped (29%) 436/2001 frames skipped (21%)

Result: Surprisingly Killer skipped less frames which means it played the 360p xvid more smootly then Sonnet.


Quake (timedemo demo1)

Sonnet Crescendo 7200 G3 / 500 MHz Bigfoot Networks Killer M1 / 400MHz
640×480 SW1 22,6 fps 23,8 fps
640×480 HW2 44,8 fps 37,7 fps

SW1 = Quake WOS software rendering

HW2 = Blitzquake v5.7 minigl rendering

Result: Killer M1 slightly better in software rendered Quake, but Sonnet runs faster in MiniGL version.


Quake 2 (timedemo 1, demomap demo1.dm2)

Sonnet Crescendo 7200 G3 / 500 MHz Bigfoot Networks Killer M1 / 400MHz
640×480 Software 15,3 fps  11,8 fps
640×480 MiniGL 47,2 fps  40,4 fps

Result: Sonnet is clear winner for Quake2.

What is the conclusion of the Killer M1 accelerator? Let me describe PROS and CONS.


  • Still good price, I would say the cheapest Amiga PowerPC accelerator right now
  • Availability is higher then of Sonnet cards
  • “Massive passive” keeps the card and few chip underneath very cool, which is good especially for A3000 and A4000 claustrophobic desktops
  • very fast DDR2 RAM onboard
  • Compact size, it is one slot PCI card (the Sonnet requires at least two PCI space because of high RAM modules)


  • 64 MB RAM and no possibility of extension (unfortunately not enough for some games)
  • No L2 cache


Conclusion can be following. First of all it is worthy to mention Sonnet and Killer PPC cards are now supported by all Mediator 3V busboards including A1200, A3000 and A4000. So if you have Mediator 3V model and you have one PCI slot empty, its maybe a good time to search for Killer card as they are still available on the market for a good price. Because most probably sooner or later we can expect price raise as the Amiga community did for Sonnets (cards before Sonnet project were worthy 40 USD, after two year of the project price raised to 500 USD).

You can easily play MP3s, MPEGs, plenty of good old WarpOS demos and PC conversion games like Quakes, Dooms, Duke, etc… Card would be perfect if it is equipped by 128 or rather 256 MB of RAM, but who knows, maybe some hack will be discovered. Or be just happy some clever Amiga guy called Hedeon hacked an ordinary PC ethernet adapter to run WarpOS games instead of calculating network packets. Isnt that genious?

I am happy Killer owner and I am finally back after year of silence. And when I mentioned silence, I made a first “english” commented video for you. Enjoy…

Updated: 2019-02-10 — 15:45


Add a Comment
  1. Good job Jack3D, very nice review!

  2. Paráda ! Akorát trošku smutný že přiblblá síťovka je dneska nejvýkonnější CPU pro Amigu :-(

  3. Áchjo – když to vidím jak ti to maká na té 4K…já snad opravdu dovybavím tu mojí 4K Mediátorem, vyndám K1 z A1200 a picnu jí tam =)..beztak v A1200 jsem jí nerozjel ani v jednom slotu..takže je asi vadná. Jdu zkoušet do PC, ale to má Win10 64bit, takže asi taky nepojede =)..Ale každopádně super recenze =)..a díky ještě jednou za rady a pokec.

  4. Beru z5!! Problém je zřejmě ve spojení BPPC a Mediátor. Budu muset rozjet BPPC s MMU library! Pokud totiž jen tak zkusím starší sonet library a spustit PPC přes initsonet, zahlásí to něco o nedostupném mapování RAM PCI a VGA…
    Zkusil jsem si pozměnit knihovny v Warp3D za MMU verze a zapnout pro Mediator MMU atd ale potom se mi to sekne při inicializaci c:loadmondrvs – někde mám něco špatně nastavené =o/. Pokračování zítra =D.

  5. Huhuu,tak Killer funguje – zatím v PC =)..
    KillerNIC K1 LLR Acceleration is Globally Enabled
    You are Currently running in Game Mode.
    Windows10 64bit (driver for Vista64bit). Takže karta je v pořádku =).

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