Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

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Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby Cyprian » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:50 pm

I moved post from other topic:

EvilFranky wrote:It would have been nice I admit if it was running with a full 32-bit BUS

32bit is not always better than 16 bit :P
A good example is Amiga 1200. It has 32bit bus, but CPU has very slow access to it - every 8th clock, in case of Falcon it is 16bit bus with 4th clock CPU access. Due to Falcon's main clock - 16Mhz (vs 14Mhz in A1200) bus performance should be 12% better.
But there is something else - size of manipulated data vs memory size/access time. Lets try to read e.g. 10 Longwords/Words/Bytes from memory:
* A1200 32bit bus, 8 cycles per access:
- 10 Long words - 10 memory cycles - 80 CPU cycles;
- 10 Words - 10 memory cycles - 80 CPU cycles;
- 10 Bytes - 10 memory cycles - 80 CPU cycles;
* Falcon 16bit bus 4 cycles per access:
- 10 Long words - 20 memory cycles - 80 CPU cycles;
- 10 Words - 10 memory cycles - 40 CPU cycles;
- 10 Bytes - 10 memory cycles - 40 CPU cycles;

Now lets try to set one pixel on the screen in 8 bit plane mode:
- A1200 line organization - 1 memory access per plane x8 planes x8 cycles per access = 64 CPU cycles;
- Falcon interleave planar organization - 1 memory access per plane x8 planes x4 cycles per access = 32 CPU cycles;
In this case Falcon should be more than twice faster than A1200.

Of course there are only my theoretical reflections :)
Last edited by Cyprian on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby Frank B » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:28 pm

Cyprian wrote:nothing yet here (need to move some posts from other opic)


I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to raster test. My 1200 like all my other retro kit is out of commission at the moment.

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby Cyprian » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:54 pm

Frank B wrote:I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to raster test. My 1200 like all my other retro kit is out of commission at the moment.

that would be cool to do such a test.
I have also an idea to run the same test application on both machines. There is the EmuTOS for Amiga, therefore it would be possible to run the ST application which intensively use memory like LZH/RAR and measure packing/depacking time.



Some memory benchmarks below:
Amiga 1200

Code: Select all

 BusSpeedTest 0.19 (mlelstv)   Buffer:     262144 Bytes, Alignment: 32768
  ========================================================================
  memtype   addr       op         cycle     calib         bandwidth
  chip      $000B0000  readw    1052.4 ns   normal       1.9 * 10^6 byte/s
  chip      $000B0000  readl    1051.8 ns   normal       3.8 * 10^6 byte/s
  chip      $000B0000  readm    1052.2 ns   normal       3.8 * 10^6 byte/


Falcon:

Code: Select all

    NemBench v2.1 - precision CPU/FPU profiler.

    Linear 32bit read (ST-Ram)   -> 5.475 MByte/sec (~103%)
    Linear 32bit write (ST-Ram)  -> 6.660 MByte/sec (~103%)
    Linear 32bit copy (ST-Ram)   -> 3.336 MByte/sec (~103%)
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:28 pm

But what about Amiga Fast RAM speed ? I guess that it is much faster - likely 2x . Of course it can not hold screen, but still can make many things faster.
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby Cyprian » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:13 pm

good question, worth to check that. unfortunately I don't know anybody who would have Falcon with Fast-ram.

I only guess that A1200 should have better figures in case of LongWord memory test, but a bit worst in case of Byte and Word memory test.
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby EvilFranky » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:44 pm

The Falcon can only have FASTRAM if coupled with a CPU accelerator card as far as I know.

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby jens » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:29 pm

According to Uwe Schneider a Magnum Falcon provides a Falcon with eight megs of Fast-RAM.
The Magnum comes without accelerator card.
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby Cyprian » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:48 pm

I heard about that fast ram couple years ago

there is a circuit diagramfor that card: "Magnum Falcon circuit diagram"
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby EvilFranky » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:59 pm

It's only considered 'FASTRAM' as it is addressed above the normal 14MB of STRAM...I think?

It will only be getting accessed via the 16-bit expansion BUS, so it's not really FASTRAM in the true sense of the word.

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby Cyprian » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:02 pm

Falcon has two expansion ports, one for Simm card (ST-Ram) and other for CPU.
Magnum is connected to that second one. BTW ST-Ram expansion port is full 32bit.
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby EvilFranky » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:06 pm

Yes the CPU expansion port is only 16-bit.

I don't really consider the memory port a normal expansion port as it HAS to contain RAM otherwise the Falcon wouldn't boot :wink:

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby Cyprian » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:11 pm

sorry EvilFranky, I've just edited my previous post. I posted it to fast and wasn't enough relevant
---EDITED--- restored the previous content


EvilFranky wrote:It will only be getting accessed via the 16-bit expansion BUS, so it's not really FASTRAM in the true sense of the word.

fast doesn't means "bitness" 16 vs 32 but rather its performance
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby EvilFranky » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:22 pm

Hmm, well FASTRAM is considered 32-bit accessible to the CPU on both Atari and Amiga...

If it's no faster than normal ST-RAM then I can't see it being considered FAST :mrgreen:

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby Cyprian » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:50 pm

EvilFranky wrote:Hmm, well FASTRAM is considered 32-bit accessible to the CPU on both Atari and Amiga...

If it's no faster than normal ST-RAM then I can't see it being considered FAST :mrgreen:


as I mentioned CPU has "limited" access to ST-Ram, it can access it only every 4th clock, also some additional cycles are stolen by DMA (Videl/Sound/HDD). Falcon's Fast-Ram has not those limitations, therefore should be much faster than ST-Ram. It should works with full 68030 bus speed but limited to 16bit data.
As we can see from memory benchmarks, Falcon's 16bit ST-Ram has better performance that Amiga's 32bit Chip-Ram, the question is the same rule valid also for Fast Ram?
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby EvilFranky » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:12 pm

Well someone with a FASTRAM only card which plugs into the Falcon CPU expansion port needs to run some benchmarks.

I have no technical understanding of how the Falcon CPU accesses this port or how fast it can be, but I doubt it will be much faster than ST-RAM since the only difference will be is that system components won't 'steal' a small amount of cycles from the CPU expansion BUS.

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby EvilFranky » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:18 pm

Cyprian wrote:As we can see from memory benchmarks, Falcon's 16bit ST-Ram has better performance that Amiga's 32bit Chip-Ram, the question is the same rule valid also for Fast Ram?


Of course it won't be. A1200 will access FASTRAM (true FASTRAM) over a 32-bit BUS @ 14.**MHz.

The Falcon will access it over a 16-bit BUS @ 16Mhz.

This is why I don't consider RAM on the Falcon CPU expansion BUS true FASTRAM, it will be barely any quicker than ST-RAM. It is only being called FASTRAM as it is addressed as TT-RAM in the system.

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:11 am

It is FAST RAM because is not slowed down by video (+ little by some others). By Falcon RAM access, so CPU speed is slower in higher video modes.
You will see not difference in some ST video mode, but in True color mode yes. Of course, name FAST RAM is little misleading.
On Amiga it is same case in fact. Regardless from bus width.
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby calimero » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:53 pm

perfectly clear now!

thanx everybody for explanation! (and call it as you like :) we could open a poll ;))

btw is there any Falcon speed except CT2, CT6x and AB40 that use true - 32bit - fastram?
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby christos » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:39 pm

The Mighty Sonic accelerators had Fast RAM.
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby EvilFranky » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:03 am

There are no other Falcon accelerators other than CT2, CT60 & AB040 that include a CPU.

So no.

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby calimero » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:43 am

But what about Mighty Sonic that Christos mentioned one post above?
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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby EvilFranky » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:18 am

According to the wiki page this requires the removal of the 030 from the Falcon motherboard and placed on the accelerator board.

So I suspect this will be true FASTRAM. But have no real idea about this card.

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby jvas » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:39 am

EvilFranky wrote:According to the wiki page this requires the removal of the 030 from the Falcon motherboard and placed on the accelerator board.

So I suspect this will be true FASTRAM. But have no real idea about this card.

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According to this: http://ragnar76.taurus.uberspace.de/doi ... 0b0102.htm only two pins of it must be desoldered.
The accelerator has its own CPU.

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby EvilFranky » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:55 am

I guess the wiki needs updating :smile:

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Re: Falcon's 16bit bus myth - 32bit vs 16bit war

Postby qq1975b » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:07 am

I have a Falcon with a 8MB Magnum card besides the 4 MB ST ram. If it is ok for the purpose I can do the tests you tell me (I will need the prgs).

ST Ram + Magnum has to be < 16 MB or bombs are showed. So is not possible to connect the 14 MB ST RAM card plus de Magnum ( I have tried and it crashes).
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