Breaking new ground...
Picasso IV RTG Graphics Card


Picasso IV graphics card. Board Revision 1.2


High resolution graphics card for Zorro II/III
Amigas. Integrated flicker fixer, PCI bus, 4 megabytes of 45ns EDO
RAM.  Optional modules: Pablo II video encoder, MPEG-1 Decoder, 3D
module, PowerPC module, 16-bit Sound module, TV-Tuner module. Includes
Picasso 96 RTG software.


Name: Village Tronic Marketing GmbH
Address: Wellweg 95
                D-31157 Sarstedt
Telephone: +49(0)50 66 / 70 13-0
FAX: +49(0)50 66 / 70 13-49

E-mail: support@village.de
Web: http://wwwcip.rus.uni-stuttgart.de/~etk10317/etc/Picasso96.html


$439.00 US


Picasso 96 software may be used on other graphics cards. It is
available on Aminet (ftp.wustl.edu) or on the Picasso 96 home page:



Zorro II or III Amiga
Amiga OS/ROMs Version 3.1
68020 or better CPU

Also recommended:
Hard disk, extra RAM, multisync monitor



Amiga Technologies A4000T
68040 25Mhz, 18 meg ram
Kickstart 40.70, Workbench 40.42 (3.1)
1.0 Gig hard disk
Nanao T2-17TS 17" monitor (30-86Khz)
Picasso IV and Picasso 96 version 1.8


Before you install the card you must install the supplied
Picasso 96 software. (note it is recommended that you download the
latest Picasso 96 software from Aminet).  The installer program
prompts you through the installation.

Also, remove Multiscan and the dbl monitor files from
DEVS:Monitors and put them in SYS:Storage/Monitors.  Open screenmode
preferences and save your screenmode to a NTSC or PAL mode.

Open up your Amiga and install the Picasso IV into an empty
Zorro/Video slot (in-line).  A2000 users must use the supplied cables
since the video slot is not in-line on that Amiga.  You must FIRMLY
push the Picasso IV into the slot. In my A4000T I had to use almost
all my weight to get the card fully seated.

Put the case back on your Amiga, connect your monitor to the
Picasso IV's 15-pin connector, and reboot your Amiga.  All 15Khz
NTSC/PAL modes now be 30Khz due to the built in flicker fixer. Open up
screenmode preferences and you should have the Picasso IV screenmodes


The card itself is well designed - no last minute "fixes" can
be seen.  There's are lots of connectors and jumpers, but I did not
have to touch any of them.  It is packaged in a plain white box with
the big letters "Picasso IV" written on the top.  No fancy package
cover like they had for Picasso II!

The Picasso 96 software is still in beta status, but it does
work very well and is easy to use.  It includes drivers for:
ShapeShifter, AdPro, Photogenics, and XiPaint. A replacement
"picture.datatype" is included so that programs that support datatypes
can use a 16 or 24-bit display. Picasso 96 is also compatible with
programs written for CyberGraphX.  For example Photoalbum and
Cybershow will work on 16 and 24-bit screens.

So far I have tested the following software: MUI, MagicWB,
Miami, Digital Quill, Voyager, AmIRC, AmTelnet, AmFTP, Aweb, YAM,
ShapeShifter, CyberShow, Photoalbum, and Ibrowse.  All work without

I now regularly use a 1024x768x16-bit workbench - quite fast
for everyday use.  Even though I have the crippled A3640 card, the
Picasso IV is still much faster than an AGA 8-bit workbench.  Voyager
is excellent on this workbench.  Fast scrolling.  Great pictures at
16-bit.  The difference between this and an AGA Amiga is night and
day.  The Picasso IV really breathes live into the Amiga!

Graphics card speed and also CPU speed are critical factors.
If you were to put a 040 or 060 accelerator inside your Amiga it would
considerably speed up access to the Picasso IV.


Documentation is supplied via a 38 page German manual!  I have
been told that the English manual has just been completed, and this
will ship with all future Picasso IV's to all English speaking
countries.  In the mean time, there is lots of information available
via the Picasso mailing list, and the World Wide Web to help you get
started.  The English version of the manual is even available for


The Picasso IV hardware is very versatile - many optional
modules are planned.  The Picasso 96 software itself is very simple to
install and use.  In fact you hardly know it is there!  It seamlessly
integrates into the Amiga Operating system.  There is also 2 options
for screenmode configuration.  The supplied PicassoMode 96 or the
newer PicassoMode96 NG "Next Generation".  The NG version will
automatically make many of the adjustments necessary when
configuring screenmodes.

The card seems to be FAST in 16 and 24-bit modes.  I cannot
see much if any slow down from 8 to 16 to 24-bit.  Yes there is some,
but the 16 and 24-bit modes are fast enough for everyday use.  In
comparison they are about as fast as a 4 or 8 colour workbench on an
AGA Amiga!

Screen swapping is EXTREMELY fast on this card.  Just as fast
as an AGA Amiga!


The flicker fixer does not "pass-thru" Multiscan and dbl modes.
I wish Village Tronic would have allowed for this.

The card has a bandwidth limitation of 85Mhz in all 16 and
24-bit modes.  So for example a mode of 1280x1024x16-bit @ 75Hz
refresh is NOT possible. If you wish to use this mode on the Picasso
IV you would have to settle with a 46Hz refresh rate.  Interlace
modes, however, are available.

I would recommend 1024x768x16 or 24 @ 80Hz refresh.  This is a
nice size for a 17" monitor, and provides a very flicker free screen.

There is no screen dragging available in Picasso 96.
I suggest you visit the following WWW sites for some excellent
information on Picasso IV:
    http://www.vgr.com/picassoiv                    (thanks to Robert Reiswig)
    http://ftp.tu-dresden.de/~deck/pic96/index.html (thanks to Jens Langner)


I have owned the GVP Spectrum, Cybervision 64, and now the
Picasso IV.  The Picasso IV can be compared closely with the
CyberVision 64 (no longer available) from phase 5 digital products.

VS. GVP Spectrum...

The Picasso IV is much faster than the GVP spectrum in 16
24-bit modes.  Due to the 4 megabytes of EDO video memory, it can also
have 16 and 24-bit colour depths at higher resolution (for example
24-bit at 1024x768 at 80Hz refresh non-interlaced!).  In these higher
depth modes the card is still very fast.

VS. CyberVision 64...

In comparison to the original CyberVision 64, the Picasso IV
seems again to be faster in 16 and 24-bit modes.  However, the mature
CyberGraphics software seems to be more optimized in some specific
operations.  Both cards provide fast, high resolution workbenches.
The Picasso IV has a built in flicker fixer, whereas the CyberVision
64 has a "pass-thru" that leaves Amiga-generated video modes
untouched.  Both cards are excellent.  The Picasso IV should soon have
the optional modules released (Pablo II, TV-Tuner, etc...)  The
CyberVision 64 also boasted optional modules, but the support for
these was dropped by S3, so phase 5 did not release them.


Surprisingly, I did not find much in the way of bugs.  The
Picasso 96 software is extremely stable, even at this early stage.
However, it is clear the software can be optimized (for example
front/back movement of windows is slow).


I have not had to contact the vendor.


Unknown, but probably 90 days.


Excellent high resolution/colour depth card for Zorro II/III
Amigas.  If you are looking for a fast 16 or 24-bit workbench at high
resolution, expansion potential through additional modules and a built
in flicker fixer, then the Picasso IV is right for you.

One thing I find quite excellent about this board, even early
on, is the tremendous support available for it on the Internet.  There
are already several Web pages dedicated to this card.  Picasso 96
software is also frequently updated by its authors.


Copyright 1997 Darren Eveland.

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