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Old 11 March 2010, 20:21   #83
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boston USA
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Originally Posted by ImmortalA1000 View Post
Going off topic I know (because we were talking case designs) but speaking of the ST/STE lines, wouldn't the better solution for Atari after launching a weaker machine [compared to the Amiga 1000] have been to simply bolt on a 16mhz 68000 instead of forcing recoding of all games to get any improvements with an inferior 2 channel 8bit DAC and their less sophisticated blitter setup?

I say this because if the PC (spit!!) market has taught us anything, consumers like having their favourite software run miraculously faster when they eventually 'upgrade' their computer with a newer one. Had Atari done this then ALL games would instantly have improved with a 16mhz 68000 not just polygon games. The most the code would need is a little tweak for the main game engine loop timing or nothing at all. Running Gauntlet 1 on a 16mhz ST gives a very satisfying arcade conversion which is light years ahead of either Garrison or Gauntlet 2 on Amiga. Lotus II also runs almost as smooth as the Amiga version with a 16mhz 68000....sound is another issue on Lotus Luckily Gauntlet 1 is 100% software sample playback on the ST though so in that case still worked a treat.

(Gauntlet 2 was probably some of the worst coding ever on the Amiga and even inferior on the ST to its predecessor)
They did The Mega STE had a 16 mhz cpu.

The blitter keeps getting panned on the ST but it's quite nice. The only area relevant to games where it trails the Amiga is cookie cut since it requires two passes to mask. D = ~S&D ; D = S | D

Even then it's fast enough for games.

It *is* a full implementation of bitblit with extensions. It doesn't have line draw or area fill but it does have smudge (an indirect addressing mode) which can be used for fast magnification or hflipping rasters. It's also capable of blitting across the 24 bit address range. IE you can blit from ROM or hit the memory mapped IO registers with it.

Compared to the 68k it's no contest. It'll murder it for speed since shifts are free. The sound on the ste on the other hand... Grrrr...

Last edited by frank_b; 11 March 2010 at 20:48.
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