What CPU booster combination do people want ?

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What CPU booster combination do people want ?

STFM 68000 32mhz TOS104
23
13%
STFM 020 32mhz TOS206
13
7%
MEGA 68000 32mhz TOS104
10
5%
MEGA 020 32mhz TOS206
20
11%
STE 68000 32mhz TOS206
40
22%
STE 020 32mhz TOS206
41
22%
MSTE 68000 32mhz TOS 206
11
6%
MSTE 020 32mhz TOS206
26
14%
 
Total votes: 184

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What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby exxos » Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:00 pm

With myself and Rodolphe working on various CPU boosters, its become apparent that its not going to be realistically possible to do every type of CPU upgrade for every machine. So the poll is to see what peoples general feelings are of what combination they want. While there are a lot of other machines, this poll is limited to the machines we actually have.

I personally was looking towards a 020 in a STFM. Though this requires TOS206, and to me, the 020 is better suited for STE machines as its using TOS1.6 and up anyway. TOS is a main cause of breaking software, so STE with TOS206 breaks a lot on its own without worrying about the 020 to much.

Adding 020 on the STFM, this is going to break a lot of software. My aim for the STFM was to have a compatible booster as possible without breaking things. This pretty much rules out the 020 with TOS206 on a STFM IMHO.

My feelings are that the STFM/MEGA ST should stay with the 68000 and TOS104 to keep maximum compatibility. Then the 020 with TOS206 would be better suited for the STE/MSTE type machines.

Obviously if nobody is interested in a 020 on a STFM for example, then there is no use in producing that booster for that machine. These things are really expensive to produce, so nows the time to make a vote :)
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby rpineau » Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:29 pm

Thanks for setting up the poll.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby DarkLord » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:43 am

My dream upgrade for a plain ST system (from ST through Mega ST and the STacy)
would include:

TOS v2.06 (switchable with TOS v1.04 and if not possible to have acceleration with
the lower TOS version, then a "fall back" mode where you could boot up into TOS
v1.04 and 8mhz 68000 mode like the Pak 68/3 board does so effortlessly)

4 megs of alt RAM

Acceleration - 68020 preferable but a fast 68000 mode acceptable

Mass storage - some kind of SD card reader or CF card support.

That to me would be the perfect upgrade, covering just about anything I could
ever want.

No one has been able to produce this so far. It's always the best 2 out of 3 (or
some number range like that) in various combinations.

Now I'm not criticizing mind you - watching Chris and others work on these projects
I know it's very difficult, and I for one certainly do appreciate their efforts. The above
would just be my personal "bucket list" for an ST upgrade. :)
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby exxos » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:10 am

DarkLord wrote:No one has been able to produce this so far. It's always the best 2 out of 3 (or
some number range like that) in various combinations.


This is all doable on the V3 series. The booster has a addon port, where alt-RAM and even IDE can be done. Anyone can develop anything for the V3 addon port.

The 020 has to use TOS206.. so that limits some things. 68000 TOS104/TOS206 ... 68020 TOS206 only.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby troed » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:22 am

I want the 16MHz bus (2*RAM speed) for STFM :P

(I think you'll get as many different answers to the poll as there are still active Atari users ... ;))

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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby frank.lukas » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:38 am

A MC68020 without TOS for my Atari Mega ST machine for the 68k CPU Socket with the MonSTer Card in it.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby Omikronman » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:39 am

Well back in the 1980´s/1990´s when the Atari was the only computer on the desk a speeder was very welcome, but what do I need it for today? O.o

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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby Cyprian » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:41 am

STE 68000 32mhz TOS206 sounds interesting. Would be cool to have 32MHz ALT-RAM there and possibility to switch it to stock 8MHz 1.62 configuration.
Actually 020 is out of my scope - I'm just waiting for a new PAK-68/3-030
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby frank.lukas » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:29 am

All CPU Speeder Cards make trouble in some way ...

So for me I wisk a PCB for the 8Mhz MC68020 Project -> http://fr.meric.free.fr/Articles/Classe ... Etape.html

I need that for MiNT to run 020 compiled programs at my Atari Mega ST and the 200% speed is enough for me and I have no trouble ...
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby exxos » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:30 am

Cyprian wrote:STE 68000 32mhz TOS206 sounds interesting. Would be cool to have 32MHz ALT-RAM there and possibility to switch it to stock 8MHz 1.62 configuration.
Actually 020 is out of my scope - I'm just waiting for a new PAK-68/3-030


ALT-RAM or "fast ram " as I'm calling it will run at 32mhz or whatever the top CPU speed is.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby DarkLord » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:46 pm

exxos wrote:
This is all doable on the V3 series. The booster has a addon port, where alt-RAM and even IDE can be done. Anyone can develop anything for the V3 addon port.

The 020 has to use TOS206.. so that limits some things. 68000 TOS104/TOS206 ... 68020 TOS206 only.


Well, then the V3 series sounds like a winner. I would still suggest that it has a "fall-back" mode where you could
flip a switch (hardware or software) and have it boot up into a totally stock 8mhz machine running TOS v1.04.

Thanks for all the hard work Chris! :cheers:
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby joska » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:01 pm

exxos wrote:This is all doable on the V3 series. The booster has a addon port, where alt-RAM and even IDE can be done. Anyone can develop anything for the V3 addon port.


Expansion ports are not very cost effective. An integrated solution (CPU speeder, alt-RAM and IDE) would cost less than making separate products. I must say that I see little use in a 32MHz CPU without fast RAM or atleast caches. Without this it will only be marginally faster than your 16MHz accelerator.

Back in the day it would have made sense with an expansion port, because these things were so expensive to make and the buyers had a lot less money to spend. Nowadays I think it's better to just go all the way and make a single, but compact and well-functioning product.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby exxos » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:42 pm

joska wrote:Expansion ports are not very cost effective. An integrated solution (CPU speeder, alt-RAM and IDE) would cost less than making separate products. I must say that I see little use in a 32MHz CPU without fast RAM or atleast caches. Without this it will only be marginally faster than your 16MHz accelerator.

Back in the day it would have made sense with an expansion port, because these things were so expensive to make and the buyers had a lot less money to spend. Nowadays I think it's better to just go all the way and make a single, but compact and well-functioning product.



Its unfortunately not that simple. Have you seen the size of the dev system ? even going SMT its pushed to fit in original case. Also if people don't want fast-ram then they would be paying £££ for something they don't want. No expansion port means once the board is done, thats it, for ever. I'm not going to develop another board in a years time because people want a new feature and it isn't "built in" already. Thats a terrible idea. There simply isn't room to add everything on one board either. A separate pcb is needed then it would be mounted over the top of the booster which will fit in the case.

As for 32mhz being "marginally faster" just isn't true!

16vs32mhz.jpg


That is 16mhz vs 32mhz CPU only. Once fast-TOS is added the results will be a LOT higher or there abouts. If you look back I think someone tested a machine with a cache, the booster could give a run for its money even at 16mhz. Cache is also pretty impossible and expensive now anyway. Also later ST-ram will have a boost and run double speed. Also better to have fast-ram and run software in there, then get access to 32mhz CPU & RAM speeds.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby exxos » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:47 pm

DarkLord wrote:
Well, then the V3 series sounds like a winner. I would still suggest that it has a "fall-back" mode where you could
flip a switch (hardware or software) and have it boot up into a totally stock 8mhz machine running TOS v1.04.

Thanks for all the hard work Chris! :cheers:


Yes, that is a feature which came in on the V1.5 series. 16mhz ROM & CPU , or stock speeds.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby exxos » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:45 pm

So far then, 020 on the STE looks like the popular choice. 68000 TOS104 on STFM which is also good for compatibility. So what myself and Rodolphe have planned is looking like what people are interested in.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby Marakatti » Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:53 pm

Any combination which runs games faster with as good compatibility as possible gets my vote :)
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby rpineau » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:13 pm

my opinion:
for games : 68000@32MHz with TOS 1.04 (or 1.62 on STE).
Other applications : 68020@32 + 32bits TOS 2.06.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby AlexSTE » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:40 pm

My personal opinion 68020@32MHz is best choice for general STE use, most people use 2.06 TOS anyway.
But 68000@32Mhz would be fine too.
Let me know when it will be available I will purchase it immediately. I can even pre-pay just to make sure I will get one.
Also to be able to use it with MonSTEr board would be awesome too but I am guessing space might be an issue.
As long as accelerator board could have switch to bypass it completely to fall back to 68000 then that combined with MonSTEr multi TOS rom creates perfect compatibility. Something does not run, choose different TOS fall back to 68000, everything runs. But again I am not sure if there would be enough space inside of the case to fit them both.
But if there is then that could be an ultimate STE setup.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby Atari030 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:52 pm

Chris, how does 32Mhz STE compare to a stock MegaSTE? Just curious.

I have near every machine from a 600XL to a pair of Falcons and a TT so boosting an STe personally isn't important. But, I don't mind hacking STFM's. I won't touch my MegaSTE as it is just too risky IMO but I have plenty of spare STFM's.

I gotta say I'm impressed at the work you and Rudolph have done. What I find really cool is you two are producing something so powerful and developing it yourselves while countless professional developers back in the day didn't get even close to what you are doing.

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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby rpineau » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:30 pm

A lot of this also comes down to the available technology (better and faster CPLD, coding tools, PCB tools and manufacturer) and price ( a 68020 on ebay is about $30 at 33MHz). In the "old" day it was close to $400 and a 68030 was even more expensive so the return on investment for professional developer was fairly low. If CPU had been a lot cheaper I'm sure there would have been countless accelerator with 68020 and 68030 and that even Atari would have put them in their base machines.
That being said, I'm now able to work on this thing as I know a lot more than I did in the old days. Also having access to a cheap CAD program is priceless (I use Eagle CAD with a hobbyist license so I can do 6 layers up to 160x100 mm).
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby exxos » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:35 pm

Atari030 wrote:Chris, how does 32Mhz STE compare to a stock MegaSTE? Just curious.

I don't own a MSTE personally, but Rodolphe does :)

Speed comparisons are tricky because of the cache on the MSTE. While the catch can boost some speeds up, 32mhz will most likely beat it in a lot of tests. I did compare a Falcon to 32mhz, I don't think I posted the results on there, but 32mhz pretty much equalled the falcon in a lot of tests. This is also still at the stock speed for ST-RAM. So once ST-RAM is doubled in speed, those benchmarks will greatly go up in speed.

Falcon on the left, 32mhz STE on the right.

abgdcdfe.png


I also was told my falcon had waitstates, so I removed that and the falcon got a little boost in speed. So display on both machines ended up at about 400%.

CPU figures are a little misleading as the falcon has a FPU so that is why the CPU score is so high, but if you check individual tests, its giving the falcon a run for its money. Now imagine the 020 CPU on the STE with 32bit alt-ram and ROM access, double speeds again. Plus we hope to break the 32mhz barrier on the CPU and aiming for 64mhz. Mix that in with 64mhz alt-ram and getting in the areas of giving the CT60 a run for its money :lol: Well maybe not, but you get the idea :)

Atari030 wrote:I have near every machine from a 600XL to a pair of Falcons and a TT so boosting an STe personally isn't important. But, I don't mind hacking STFM's. I won't touch my MegaSTE as it is just too risky IMO but I have plenty of spare STFM's.


Lucky you ;) The STE is going though the 020 route which Rodolphe is working on mostly. I had 32mhz working on the STE in a few hours, and I have been struggling to get 32mhz working at all on my STFM's for months. I'm not sure currently if STE ST-RAM can be boosted in speed as I have not tried it yet, but the STFM is doable, its just a total pain to work with. I wish I had started with the STE, though STE's are harder and more expensive to come by, so its why I started work on STFM's as now and then I tend to kill them :)

Atari030 wrote:I gotta say I'm impressed at the work you and Rudolph have done. What I find really cool is you two are producing something so powerful and developing it yourselves while countless professional developers back in the day didn't get even close to what you are doing.


Glad someone is enthusiastic about boosters, there doesn't seem many. As Rodolphe said above, back in the early 90s for example, CPU's were expensive, RAM was a huge cost. While there were boosters about, they were expensive. Though also as Rodolphe mentioned, it was speed aswell.

I was really struggling to get the TOS ROM's working at 32mhz with the CPU. The ROM's are 45ns, using "chip enable" but I had to run them with just "output enable" to make them run as 20ns ROM's. With the delay of the GLUE logic, this pushed it up another 10ns or there abouts. Though with the CPU running at 32mhz the time it sets /AS LO to reading DTACK is about 32ns. So the timings were extremely close and its only *just* works. 20ns ROM's are impossible to find (well they are classed as 45ns) Most of the ROMs are 55ns-100ns, They just are not fast enough.

I posted a lot of info about these problems on my site anyway.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby DarkLord » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:20 pm

So what magic did Holger and company do to get the TOS v3.06 ROMs working
with the Pak board, I wonder?
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby rpineau » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:58 pm

The TOS 3.06 that is used on the PAK board is patched (I would be interested by a patched TOS 3.06 US ... to test, if someone has that) . It also run in full 32 bit mode and there is probably some wait state on TOS access (or they managed to get the /OE working reliably with /CE permanently grounded which gives you a faster access but depending on the brand of EPROM doesn't always work as often /CE is used to reset the address latch inside the EPROM).
Most of the difficulty is in the patching.
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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby Atari030 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:41 pm

I would have thought that as demand for CPU's drops off they would become rarer and more expensive. I guess we got lucky.

On killing STFM's, exactly my point. I've had a couple of modded machines die on me. I don't think they are as robust as we thought 30 years ago. It looks like what you are doing is effectively reverse engineering the Sparrow. Could be a cool codename for an 020 STe. :D I would say the STFM may be a common platform but the STe is a cooler project.

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Re: What CPU booster combination do people want ?

Postby frank.lukas » Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:51 pm

The PAK68/3 have a MC68030 CPU with PMMU so TOS 3.06 is a must have thing ...

No need of TOS 3.06 for a MC68020 CPU, TOS 2.06 is fine. Most STs have toS 2.06 already, so a 020CPU in a normal ST is also fine. The was also a 32bit TOS 2.06 for the PAK68/2 with 020 CPU ...
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