Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Discussion and advice about emulating the QL on other machines.
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XorA
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Re: Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Postby XorA » Thu May 10, 2018 11:16 pm

and I guess if SMSQmulator is running faster than the 2nd fastest QL type machine ever made, is there a point investing a lot of time into uQlx running SMSQ/e?


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Re: Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Postby Dave » Fri May 11, 2018 1:11 am

XorA wrote:and I guess if SMSQmulator is running faster than the 2nd fastest QL type machine ever made, is there a point investing a lot of time into uQlx running SMSQ/e?


The second fastest *released* machine.

uQLx is about 2x faster than SMSQEmulator. It's up there in Q60 territory.


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Re: Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Postby duncan » Fri May 11, 2018 7:30 am

uQLx is about 2x faster than SMSQEmulator. It's up there in Q60 territory.


Its not, its not as fast as a Q40. If speed were everything everyone would have a Q60 or run an emulation of their choice on a fast core i7 PC. As for smsqmulator performace stats on an RPi don't forget that the quad core RPi 3 runs at 1.2GHz before over clocking.


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Re: Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Postby Dave » Fri May 11, 2018 5:17 pm

duncan wrote:
uQLx is about 2x faster than SMSQEmulator. It's up there in Q60 territory.


Its not, its not as fast as a Q40. If speed were everything everyone would have a Q60 or run an emulation of their choice on a fast core i7 PC. As for smsqmulator performace stats on an RPi don't forget that the quad core RPi 3 runs at 1.2GHz before over clocking.


By my math, the Q40/40 is 3-4x faster than the SGC, and the Q60/66 is about 2x faster than the Q40.

Results I got, compared to results found on web. If anyone has any blanks or corrections they could fill in, it might make an interesting table.

BBQL - 0.81
GC - 2
SGC - 5
Q68 - ?
SMSQEmulator on Pi3 - 12.5
uQLx on Pi2 - 20.3333
Q40/40 - 26.7
Q60/66 - 130

So, no, the Q68 isn't in Q60 territory. I was wrong. It's in almost Q40 territory.

I don't know if SMSQEmulator or uQLx are written to take advantage of multiple cores/threads, but it does seem that if they do and video output was managed on a separate core, performance would increase substantially.

If uQLx were truly optimized for the Broadcom quadcore at 1.2GHz or more (eg: using a cooled CM3 to increase CPU and SDRAM speed and reduce Mali speed....) I think it's within the realm of realistic possibilities for the Pi3 to come in between the Q40 and Q60.


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Re: Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Postby duncan » Fri May 11, 2018 7:33 pm

I don't know if SMSQEmulator or uQLx are written to take advantage of multiple cores/threads, but it does seem that if they do and video output was managed on a separate core, performance would increase substantially.

If uQLx were truly optimized for the Broadcom quadcore at 1.2GHz or more (eg: using a cooled CM3 to increase CPU and SDRAM speed and reduce Mali speed....) I think it's within the realm of realistic possibilities for the Pi3 to come in between the Q40 and Q60.


Don't forget that Raspbian is compiled to use the quad cores and so the emulators will take advantage of their hosts' advantages, if any, and especially the JAVA based emulation. If uQLx were rewritten to step outside linux and directly use the potential of the Broadcom processor it might well out perform any QL hardware in bogomips and QTOP index or any other speed measurement process but what would the user get - uQLx at bottom is a fast minerva emulation for linux. Its not smsq/e, the emulation would sacrifice all the user gains with smsqe, including colours etc, to bogomips etc. what is the point?


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Re: Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Postby Dave » Fri May 11, 2018 9:59 pm

Well, that's pessimistic.

I think the Pi is useful - it gets updated every 18-24 months with noticeable performance gains. It has tremendous flexibility. It's not going away any time soon.

Also, where else can you get anything that'll let you program in SBASIC with that level of performance for £25?

As always, it's just a case of trying to convince a bunch of skeptics that it's worth the effort.

Which is more fruitful - new hardware or improved emulators that can run on tiny/light/cheap commodity hardware and still be highly useful?

Especially with the higher screen modes, where emulation pulls out a much bigger lead due to much, much higher memory bandwidth.


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Re: Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Postby XorA » Fri May 11, 2018 10:11 pm



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Re: Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Postby Dave » Fri May 11, 2018 10:27 pm

The Armiga project is closed - I contacted them. They're no longer making the floppy interface and won't share their PIC code. Once they sell through what they have in stock, I think they'll just fade away.

Which is a shame.


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Re: Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Postby swensont » Fri May 11, 2018 10:29 pm

I've always thought that the right response to the phrase "Why doesn't someone..." is "Yes, why don't you".

I don't have a Pi and would not get one as I already have a couple of laptops that probably run much faster than a Pi, so it will run SMSQmulator and uQLx much faster than a Pi. All that for no effort.

If those that maintain either SMSQmulator or uQLx want to work on optimizing it for the Pi, then great. I don't know the number of QLers that have a Pi, so it is hard to say if there is bang for the buck.

Tim


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Re: Raspberry Pi emulator state of play...

Postby Dave » Sat May 12, 2018 9:36 am

On the other hand, I recently paid nearly $300 for a Q68, and my Raspberry Pi running an emulator is quicker, for $35. If you put an RPi in a case like the Q68, it has more interfaces, is more flexible. Looks like it costs about the same to make, too.



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