The "perfect" TT?

General discussions or ideas about hardware.
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IngoQ
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The "perfect" TT?

Post by IngoQ » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:32 pm

So, if I had a TT (still working on it), what would be the "perfect" setup for it? "Perfect" in this case meaning most performance, with a little realism. No point in spending insane amounts of money if you gain only a few percents...

I already did some reading, so I have a couple of ideas, but I would like to get other opinions/ideas/experiences as well. Since I would like to realize this some day, these components should be available now and hopefully still be in the near future.

So the first point would be the CPU. This seems to be pretty much the first dead end, or am I wrong? I always believed that CPU upgrades like CT60 would be available for the TT as well, but I did not find any upgrades at all, besides the Cyrel Cattamaran, which seemed to be not that good at all and is not really available anywhere, or am I wrong?

RAM-wise, I believe there is nothing better around than Storm http://wiki.newtosworld.de/index.php?ti ... sh_Version.

Next point on the list is the graphics card: Nova VME and a Mach64 ISA card seem to be the optimum, although really hard to find these days... Or are there any recommendations on better solutions?

And then comes storage. Obvious choice would be the Thunder IDE Interface http://wiki.newtosworld.de/index.php?ti ... sh_Version. But I am wondering: In earlier days the main advantage of using SCSI was not necessarily the higher transferrates, but the fewer system resources it needed (CPU, etc.). I wonder if this still is true, and how a SCSI-to-SD-Adaptor compares to Thunder with a flash storage?

Then we have networking. Hmm, NetUSBee comes to mind https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=117, or is there anything better?

When we are at connectivity, Lightning VME to have USB support surely would be nice: http://wiki.newtosworld.de/index.php?ti ... ing_VME_En

Did I forget something? Corrections, discussions and new ideas welcome :)
Ingo :geek:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Petari
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Re: The "perfect" TT?

Post by Petari » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:46 pm

IDE on TT is faster than SCSI, and nothing can change that. The reason is simply that SCSI DMA (not same as ACSI DMA, which is even slower) has it max transfer rate. With 32 MHz CPU IDE can about 6 MB/sec. Surely SCSI with its DMA will not occupy CPU 100%, but you need special SW what can benefit from that. Because TOS simply does nothing except waiting to transfer end when some disk operation is performing.
What makes me wondering: is there some modded, improved TT TOS made ever ?
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Re: The "perfect" TT?

Post by stephen_usher » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:52 pm

A bit problem with NetUSBee is that it's not compatible with a large numbers of TTs. It's very hit and miss. Not only that but it's very slow.

I've heard that Lightning + USB ethernet dongle is actually a lot faster.
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Re: The "perfect" TT?

Post by tuxie » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:02 pm

My TT

20/40 Mhz (used a modified Falcon Booster)
Nova Mach64
128MB Ram (Storm Developer board) over 24Mb/s Datatransfer
Thunder (7,4Mb/s because 20Mhz)
FastTOS (own TOS Decoder with Flash)

Think i have the Fastest TT ever ^^

But most of them is not buyable, and i also cant use Floppy or Sound, have to switch to 32Mhz.

Steve
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Re: The "perfect" TT?

Post by Steve » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:11 pm

I'm pretty happy with my setup:

TT / full PSU and motherboard recap (My TT was well cared for, previously used in publishing)
NOVA and ATI Mach64 (I got lucky finding one on ebay)
Storm RAM card, with 64mb installed
Thunder IDE
Lightning VME for USB and USB2LAN adaptor

The guys behind Thunderstorm/Lightning have been so great to me, always giving me help and support. Shoutout to Ingo and Matthias. Matthias also repaired my PSU which overheated and sent 7.5v through my TT, luckily the machine survived. Word of warning, everyone make sure that PSU has lots of air flow! I had a silent fan which was not enough, now I am using a much better fan.

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Re: The "perfect" TT?

Post by arf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:52 pm

Petari wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:46 pm
What makes me wondering: is there some modded, improved TT TOS made ever ?
Depending on what you define as improved: yes. TOS 3.06 modded for PAK68, and another TOS 3.05 modded for some other accelerator card. What has been changed is unknown to me.
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Re: The "perfect" TT?

Post by Petari » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:01 pm

arf wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:52 pm
Petari wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:46 pm
What makes me wondering: is there some modded, improved TT TOS made ever ?
Depending on what you define as improved: yes. TOS 3.06 modded for PAK68, and another TOS 3.05 modded for some other accelerator card. What has been changed is unknown to me.
Surely I did not mean as improved some TOS with added support for specific HW. Then I would call my IDE autoboot support as improved too. Even if literally it is it :-) It would be TOS what offers some general improvement(s) .
I don't know about sales - was TT sold in larger quantity than Falcon, but surely is less supported considering HW and SW.
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Re: The "perfect" TT?

Post by mikro » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:44 pm

Yes, CPU/bus boosting and a real, made for the TT network card are definitely the biggest obstacles. Who knows why nobody was really missing anything better than 32 MHz - IIRC there are 50 MHz variants of the 68030 (I think even Centek had been considering using them in their CT2 but then went for overlocked 33 MHz version because of some supply problems).

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Re: The "perfect" TT?

Post by stephen_usher » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:16 pm

You have to remember that when the TT was on the market 32MHz was considered a high clock speed.

High end PCs at the time (costing a lot more than the TT) had only just got the 80486 processor running at 33MHz. Sun UNIX workstations, costing close to 10 times the price of the TT were either 32MHz 68030 (Sun 3/80) or 20MHz SPARC (SPARCstation 1).

So, the TT was up there with the best of them.

Of course, by 1993 it was being left behind, especially on the graphical side of things as SVGA cards had arrived on the PCs and 640x480x16 colours, and unaccelerated at that, was looking old hat. Also 486 PCs had come down in price significantly.

And why the choice of VME for the expansion port? Well, it was a standard bus used in industry and VME processor cards were very often m68k based and the VME bus integrated with Motorola chips easily so it was an obvious choice at the time. Admittedly the half-width version of VME was quite rare, but you could link into a full rack with the correct cards/cables.
Intro retro computers since before they were retro...
ZX81->Spectrum->Memotech MTX->Sinclair QL->520STM->BBC Micro->TT030->PCs & Sun Workstations.
Added code to the MiNT kernel (still there the last time I checked) + put together MiNTOS.
Collection now with added Macs, Amigas, Suns and Acorns.

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Re: The "perfect" TT?

Post by IngoQ » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:04 pm

So if I understand all of this correctly and to wrap it up: CPU-wise there is no real upgrade in the sense that you cannot swap the CPU for an 68060 for example. There is an upgrade that is in the making (viewtopic.php?f=29&t=1084#p8597), but it will remain a 68030 but clocked higher.

What puzzles me is, that there were apparently no attempts in fitting a 68060 in the TT, since it would seem to be so more logically to upgrade the CPU power of an TT than that of a Falcon.

But I did a little research, and to my surprise there are several people claiming, that in some aspects the TT with a 030 is faster than a Falcon with a CT60. Anyone here having both an can tell first hand? As I understand this is basically due to the fact, that the Falcon only had 16Bit bus whereas the TT is full 32 bit, am I right?
Ingo :geek:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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