CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

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CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby VampireFrost » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:43 pm

I keep seeing mods or upgrades for the Amiga systems and I have not seen any for the Atari.
The Amiga has several mods that replace the 68k processor like the Apollo Vampire 2 that can outperform the 68060.
Is anyone working on something like this for the Atari Systems?

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby DarkLord » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:03 am

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby Atarieterno » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:44 am

The worst blind man is the one who does not want to see.
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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby alexh » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:20 am

The Apollo team are supposed to be working with an Atari owner to make Vampire 500 work in ST(fm). Also the TF530 is being developed to work on Atari ST(fm).

The ST must have a socketted DIL 68000

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby DarkLord » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:02 am

Hey Alex - that's great news if its true. Look forward to any reports about it.
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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby Atarieterno » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:22 pm

Yes, I think that Amiga's stores are building the "Turkish Bath" model accelerator for Atari ST.

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby tuxie » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:23 pm

Me and two others Talked already to the Apollo Team, we get Vampires to bring it to work on Atari.. but still in preparation, will announce more Infos when we have more Infos for you all.

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby Foxie » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:24 pm

alexh wrote:The Apollo team are supposed to be working with an Atari owner to make Vampire 500 work in ST(fm). Also the TF530 is being developed to work on Atari ST(fm).

The ST must have a socketted DIL 68000



I've seen a picture of a Vampire installed in an STFM, but I've no idea if it was actually functional. There was some kind of bodge needed to raise it up above the shifter can.

Is there anyone thinking of writing a VDI driver for SAGA?

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I really wish those accelerators would include a little bit of fast RAM too. It would surely be quite easy to connect 1MB of fast SRAM to the same bus as the fast TOS chips? That could make such a big difference to performance even if it's only 1MB. I have several 512KB fast SRAM chips in my parts bin, and they're through-hole.

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby joska » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:47 pm

Foxie wrote:I really wish those accelerators would include a little bit of fast RAM too.


After having used various accelerators for the ST I can rank them by usefulness/speed in this order:

1. Overclocked 68000 with fast-RAM. This is by far the most useful type of accelerator (for my use!). Not only is it fast, but it adds RAM beyond 4Mb which is *very* useful especially with a multitasking OS.
2. Overclocked CPU and overclocked ST-RAM. Fast, good option if you want to accelerate games. Not many types of games for the ST where this makes sense though. Also, such an accelerator is complicated to install and speed increase is limited compared to (1) as you can't overclock the ST bus nearly as much as dedicated fast-RAM.
3. Overclocked 68000 with cache. Fast, but not as fast as (1) or (2). Today it makes no sense at all to develop an accelerator with cache.
4. Overclocked 68000 without cache. Very limited use, speed increase almost not noticeable in real life. I removed mine, because it caused timing problems with other hardware expansions (MonSTer and Reflex graphics card) which wasn't worth the modest speed increase.

There are other accelerators with faster CPU's (020 and 030), I have no real experience with them. However, it's clear that compatibility suffers compared to a 68000 accelerator, unless there's a possibility to fall back to the original CPU. No problem if you don't play games though. If you're a "serious" user then these types of accelerators are probably the best choice. The Vampire - if it ever arrives for an Atari - would fall into this category.
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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby tuxie » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:50 pm

Again!!! We are working on it !!!!

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby troed » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:05 pm

joska wrote:2. Overclocked CPU and overclocked ST-RAM. Fast, good option if you want to accelerate games. Not many types of games for the ST where this makes sense though. Also, such an accelerator is complicated to install and speed increase is limited compared to (1) as you can't overclock the ST bus nearly as much as dedicated fast-RAM.


Since I've recently done this, I can add a bit more detail:

1) Can only be done on ST, not STE (overclocking only the "MMU part" but not the "GLUE" of the combined GSTMCU is not possible).
2) Requires new RAM, new TOS, new CPU ... and a complicated switcher between modes that I still haven't built, only designed.

My main reason was to enable new overclocked video modes as well, but the switch above is intended to allow me to go back to regular ST modes. The benchmark values should then pretty much exactly hit 200%.

https://blog.troed.se/projects/atari-st ... deo-modes/

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby Foxie » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:43 pm

troed wrote:Since I've recently done this, I can add a bit more detail:


I might consider doing this to my Mega, especially if I can't get my paws on a MegaSTE. But 16MHz is only barely enough, I'd really prefer to go to 32. I'd need an accelerator with fast RAM.

I wonder if Exxos' accelerators can be modded to install some SRAM alongside the TOS? The address decoding might need changing. I don't think very much fast RAM is needed. Even less than 1MB would hold a lot of software (though since I have 512K 8 bit SRAM chips sitting around, I may as well use a couple of those)

Any idea if ISA video cards will continue to work after the Mega is overclocked to 16MHz? If they can handle 16MHz, that could provide a useful screen redraw speed boost!

The main headache with overclocking my Mega would be removing the 8MHz CPU. I don't have a proper desoldering pump, only one of those nasty hand held suckers. The RAM upgrade is already done with SIMMs so easily upgraded to faster memory. I suppose I could clip the 68000 out pin by pin, then desolder the remaining bits of the legs. But it feels completely wrong to injure a real 68000!

I also wonder if anyone has designed a modern accelerator based around the 25MHz 68EC030 seeing as they still make them and they're available cheaply.

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby rpineau » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:02 pm

Foxie wrote:I also wonder if anyone has designed a modern accelerator based around the 25MHz 68EC030 seeing as they still make them and they're available cheaply.


Are you sure about this as I haven't found any source for 68030 or 68EC030. NXP marked all of these as no longer manufactured.
If you have a source that would be interesting.
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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby matej » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm

Buy Amiga 500 turbocard Terrible Firre 530 put one wire on Glue chip.Buy FPU.You will have 40mhz 68030+FPU...2MB ram.When someone will adapt IDE so IDE too.

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby Foxie » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:00 am

rpineau wrote:Are you sure about this as I haven't found any source for 68030 or 68EC030. NXP marked all of these as no longer manufactured.


That might have changed recently? I think it might have been a year or two since I last looked - they were still available from retailers then. But I suppose it could have been old stock.

I can't check one of my usual sources at the moment since the site seems to be down.

matej wrote:Buy Amiga 500 turbocard Terrible Firre 530 put one wire on Glue chip.Buy FPU.You will have 40mhz 68030+FPU...2MB ram.When someone will adapt IDE so IDE too.


How much does a preassembled board cost? Or can it be built without tiny SMD work?

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby rpineau » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:12 am

it was probably old sock or refurbished cpu as the 68030 (and EC) have been retired and out of production since end of 1998 for the RC package (official last ship date from Motorola/Freescale/NXP ), 2001 for the RP package
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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby matej » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:37 am

TerribleFire530 cost 100-200Euro on Amiga forums/AmiBay...Its OpenSource but you need microscope to build it (very tiny smd parts).
I will have one for sale on Amibay soon with FPU.

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby joska » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:46 am

troed wrote:2) Requires new RAM, new TOS, new CPU ...


That is true if you go for 16MHz. But you can speed up the bus to 12MHz without changing anything (except the ROMs mayb), atleast on some ST's. This was a rather popular modification in the German speaking market in the 90's, you can find a description of it in C't (IIRC). I did a variant of this on my Stacy in 2000 and 12Mhz was no problem. Such a modification is a lot faster than a simple CPU overclock.

Foxie wrote:I wonder if Exxos' accelerators can be modded to install some SRAM alongside the TOS? The address decoding might need changing.


He talked about accessing the ROM's at full speed (like the ADSpeed16 does), if he managed to implement that it should be trivial to expand the address range to include alt-RAM too. But you would have to talk to exxos about that. Or - if he's using the ROM signals to detect ROM access - make your own address decoder for alt-RAM to replace the ROM access signal to the speeder.

Foxie wrote:I don't think very much fast RAM is needed. Even less than 1MB would hold a lot of software (though since I have 512K 8 bit SRAM chips sitting around, I may as well use a couple of those)


You would soon regret adding so little extra RAM. Go for 8Mb right away, price is not bad at all.

rpineau wrote:Any idea if ISA video cards will continue to work after the Mega is overclocked to 16MHz? If they can handle 16MHz, that could provide a useful screen redraw speed boost!


They do, atleast the ET4000 I have tested. The increase in redraw speed is minimal. And yes, the ET4000 was accessed at double speed.
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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby Foxie » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:29 am

matej wrote:TerribleFire530 cost 100-200Euro on Amiga forums/AmiBay...Its OpenSource but you need microscope to build it (very tiny smd parts).


I think I'd need one pre-built because I can't work with tiny SMD stuff. I can do down to about 0.8mm, nothing smaller.

Will it work on the STE also? I wondered since you mentioned soldering stuff to the GLUE.


joska wrote:You would soon regret adding so little extra RAM. Go for 8Mb right away, price is not bad at all.


It looks like the largest DIP SRAMs I can get are 512Kbyte, so I'd need 16 of those to get to 8MB. Wouldn't that require a bus buffer like the 245?

There are some 5V 1MB SRAM chips available, but by the time you get over 1MB they're pretty much all 3.3V. Probably a headache to deal with shifting levels at 32MHz.


rpineau wrote:They do, atleast the ET4000 I have tested. The increase in redraw speed is minimal. And yes, the ET4000 was accessed at double speed.


That's strange, I wonder why it wasn't 2x the speed? Is there some bottleneck in TOS/GEM which ties redraws to the vertical blank or similar?

One bottleneck that's always annoyed me in GEM is the interface often sits around waiting for a double click before responding. Most noticeable on the scroll bars. It makes the system feel far slower than it really is. I've thought about trying to patch that.

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby christos » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:11 am

joska wrote:
Foxie wrote:I really wish those accelerators would include a little bit of fast RAM too.



4. Overclocked 68000 without cache. Very limited use, speed increase almost not noticeable in real life. I removed mine, because it caused timing problems with other hardware expansions (MonSTer and Reflex graphics card) which wasn't worth the modest speed increase.



I am not sure this is quite true. My MSTE's caches don't work (the system hangs everytime I turn them on) but the speed increase is very noticeable when I turn the 16MHz on. The whole system sees much more responsive and games show big improvement (much less slowdown etc).

Of course having cache or faster bus will increase speed by a lot.
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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby joska » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:50 pm

Foxie wrote:That's strange, I wonder why it wasn't 2x the speed? Is there some bottleneck in TOS/GEM which ties redraws to the vertical blank or similar?


My guess is that the ET4000's DRAMs simply doesn't have the bandwidth to take advantage of the faster bus. I've had a TT with ET4000 in the past, and screen redraws were not impressive at all.
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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby joska » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:51 pm

christos wrote:Of course having cache or faster bus will increase speed by a lot.


Exactly. Speed increase with just an overclocked CPU is very modest compared to an overclocked CPU with cache or fast-RAM.
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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby DarkLord » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:37 pm

joska wrote:
There are other accelerators with faster CPU's (020 and 030), I have no real experience with them. However, it's clear that compatibility suffers compared to a 68000 accelerator, unless there's a possibility to fall back to the original CPU. No problem if you don't play games though. If you're a "serious" user then these types of accelerators are probably the best choice. The Vampire - if it ever arrives for an Atari - would fall into this category.


Surprisingly, I've found very few compatibility issues with the Pak 68/3 board installed in my STacy. Probably that's because
we've seen so many games "adapted" for hard drive use and more. Using these, I've found only a handful that would not work.

PPera's, Klaz, and Dbug's hard work have really paid off for me in these areas. Can't thank them enough. :cheers:

This is TOS v3.06, 4 megs of ST RAM, 40mhz 68030 and a 40mhz 68882.

Productivity software suffers even less, of course.

The Pak board does have a "fall back" option though, just in case. I hardwired a toggle switch to it, putting inside the former
battery compartment. If something does fail to work, restart and you have a base TOS 1.4 equipped STacy again.

Just my opinion, but I think every accelerator setup should have an option to allow the ST to act like a base model again.
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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby matej » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:55 pm

TF530 - will not work on STE... (TF530 dont like blitter) so -> STFM (OK) or ???STF (should be OK)
Glue no need to solder. There are special cables with connectors on pins... Ask in hobby electronics store.

STFM (or STF) -> I only tested on STFM
INT2 ---> GLUE
TOS 2.6

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Re: CPU/Processor Upgrade for the Atart ST

Postby joska » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:44 pm

DarkLord wrote:Surprisingly, I've found very few compatibility issues with the Pak 68/3 board installed in my STacy. Probably that's because
we've seen so many games "adapted" for hard drive use and more. Using these, I've found only a handful that would not work.


Yes, with patched games there is little incompatibility. But forget anything with syncscrolling or border removal unless you have a real 8MHz 68000 available.

DarkLord wrote:Just my opinion, but I think every accelerator setup should have an option to allow the ST to act like a base model again.


Absolutely.
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