[Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

HxC Floppy Emulator on Atari ST support
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tzok
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[Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by tzok » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:43 am

I've seen you've made some effort to improve ST support, and I've decided to give HxC one more chance, sooner than I thought.

1) It is slightly slower than a real FDD (and than ff):
Real FDD (80TRK/9SEC):
READ: 0:34
FMT+WRITE: 1:06

ST Image (80TRK/9SEC):
READ: 0:40
FMT+WRITE: 1:38

HFE Image (80TRK/9SEC):
READ: 0:33
FMT+WRITE: 1:41

Real FDD (80TRK/11SEC):
READ: 1:12
FMT+WRITE: 2:10

ST Image (80TRK/11SEC):
READ: 1:14
FMT+WRITE: 2:27

a) Real FDD, b) .ST Image, c) .HFE Image
Image Image Image

2) There is no step sound on .ST images when going from track 1 to track 0.

3) On the display it always shows 81 tracks for my test .ST images generated using STeEM. I may format it to 84 tracks and the display still shows 81 tracks. On the other hand, when reading an 80 track image, last display is 79/81, on an 84 tracks image it ends at 83/81?!?
Image Image

4) Could you add a function in normal mode to go back to '..' on both buttons pressed? I've got used to this on ff.
Attachments
80_09.zip
(1.09 KiB) Downloaded 135 times

Jeff
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Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by Jeff » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:18 am

It seems that you are using FastCopy III to format the disk. This software make a non-standard track layout which change the read/write speed.
The *.ST emulation in the HxC use the TOS track standard.

Here is the read speed difference between these 2 layout formats with a real floppy disk :

Read test with FastCopy III:

With a floppy disk formatted with the TOS :
READ Time : 40s
(Exactly as the ST HXC emulation)

With a floppy disk formatted with FCIII :
READ Time : 34s

And that's why the HFE emulation read speed is seems faster : It just use the format sent by FC III during your previous test.
If you reformat this same HFE image with the TOS, you will have a read speed of 40s in FCIII too.

I can of course adjust the ST emulation to the FC III track layout but i am definitively not a big fan of this solution since the FCIII layout seems to be more an hack than anything else.

For the write speed this is more or less the same, plus the USB write latency :
Write test with FastCopy III (9sec/track - Copy only - no format):

-> To Floppy (FCIII Formatted) : 34s

-> To Floppy (TOS Formatted) : 40s

-> To HxC ST (TOS Formatted) : 46s

-> To HxC HFE (FCIII Formatted) : 59s

The problem with HFE is the memory size inside the Gotek: One track doesn't fit the Gotek internal memory and i can't write back the whole track to the USB stick with a single write command.
But anyway i still have some room to optimize the write speed. :)

EDIT :
tzok wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:43 am

1) It is slightly slower than a real FDD
Real FDD (80TRK/9SEC):
READ: 0:34
FMT+WRITE: 1:06

ST Image (80TRK/9SEC):
READ: 0:40
FMT+WRITE: 1:38

HFE Image (80TRK/9SEC):
READ: 0:33
FMT+WRITE: 1:41
Your FDD time is interesting : I have done the time measurement with an STE Machine + a Chinon FZ354 disk drive and i got something slightly slower :

Real FDD (80TRK/9SEC):
READ: 0:34
FMT+WRITE: 1:22

Test done twice times...

Jeff
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Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by Jeff » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:42 am

tzok wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:43 am

3) On the display it always shows 81 tracks for my test .ST images generated using STeEM. I may format it to 84 tracks and the display still shows 81 tracks. On the other hand, when reading an 80 track image, last display is 79/81, on an 84 tracks image it ends at 83/81?!?
Image Image
acknowledged ! Will check this point !

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Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by Jeff » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:55 am

tzok wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:43 am
4) Could you add a function in normal mode to go back to '..' on both buttons pressed?
The both buttons function is currently used to eject the disk. I will see what could be done.

tzok
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:52 pm

Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by tzok » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:02 pm

Jeff wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:55 am
tzok wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:43 am
4) Could you add a function in normal mode to go back to '..' on both buttons pressed?
The both buttons function is currently used to eject the disk. I will see what could be done.
What is the purpose of "ejecting" the disk in a floppy emulator? I just change to another image. Why I would need to have an empty floppy drive?

BTW it would be nice to have a CFG editor for PC, with all the Gotek-specific functions.

tzok
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:52 pm

Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by tzok » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:13 pm

Jeff wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:18 am
The problem with HFE is the memory size inside the Gotek: One track doesn't fit the Gotek internal memory and i can't write back the whole track to the USB stick with a single write command.
Gotek PCB has an unpopulated pads for SPI serial Flash. Maybe it could be populated with some SPI SRAM chip instead (eg. 23LC512 = 64kB). Have you considered such solution? I'm aware, that you'd need to have a kind of framebuffer in MCU internal RAM anyway, but I think this could help a lot. It had to be an option (another firmware version?), not a requirement.

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Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by Jeff » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:49 pm

tzok wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:02 pm
Jeff wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:55 am
tzok wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:43 am
4) Could you add a function in normal mode to go back to '..' on both buttons pressed?
The both buttons function is currently used to eject the disk. I will see what could be done.
What is the purpose of "ejecting" the disk in a floppy emulator? I just change to another image. Why I would need to have an empty floppy drive?

BTW it would be nice to have a CFG editor for PC, with all the Gotek-specific functions.
This was requested by some users more than a year ago having an harddisk into their machine. This allows to boot from the harddisk without having to eject/remove the usb stick.

For the cfg files the HxC Floppy software have a setting window for the config file. But i am currently planning something else/new for the config files.

Jeff
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Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by Jeff » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:54 pm

tzok wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:13 pm
Jeff wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:18 am
The problem with HFE is the memory size inside the Gotek: One track doesn't fit the Gotek internal memory and i can't write back the whole track to the USB stick with a single write command.
Gotek PCB has an unpopulated pads for SPI serial Flash. Maybe it could be populated with some SPI SRAM chip instead (eg. 23LC512 = 64kB). Have you considered such solution? I'm aware, that you'd need to have a kind of framebuffer in MCU internal RAM anyway, but I think this could help a lot. It had to be an option (another firmware version?), not a requirement.
Yes this is what is used on the SD HxC emulators.
But i will try to improve the write latency without this ram extension.
A real time write speed is possible for the raw images. I am not too far :)

tzok
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:52 pm

Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by tzok » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:55 pm

Jeff wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:49 pm
This was requested by some users more than a year ago having an harddisk into their machine. This allows to boot from the harddisk without having to eject/remove the usb stick.
Atari ST will boot from HDD if it is connected and inserted floppy doesn't have an executable bootsector (eg. it will boot autoboot.hfe). Actually it is a problem to force ST to boot (execute AUTO folder and load ACCs) from FDD when HDD is present. In ff dual button press function is user configurable (zero/eject/none). In autoboot mode it goes to slot 000, which is autoboot itself, which also is very useful.

Jeff
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Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by Jeff » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:39 pm

tzok wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:55 pm
Jeff wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:49 pm
This was requested by some users more than a year ago having an harddisk into their machine. This allows to boot from the harddisk without having to eject/remove the usb stick.
Atari ST will boot from HDD if it is connected and inserted floppy doesn't have an executable bootsector (eg. it will boot autoboot.hfe). Actually it is a problem to force ST to boot (execute AUTO folder and load ACCs) from FDD when HDD is present. In ff dual button press function is user configurable (zero/eject/none). In autoboot mode it goes to slot 000, which is autoboot itself, which also is very useful.
In fact in autoboot mode, you have the both function enabled in the hxc firmware : short press of both buttons jump to 000, long press insert/eject the disk.
I can do the same in normal mode since the usage is quite similar.

Jeff
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Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by Jeff » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:29 am

New experimental firmware : Now really take advantage of the cache system i wrote 6 months ago.
There is now virtually no more dead time during writing (almost :wink: )

ST Files :
Read Time : 40 S
Write Time : 41.5 S

:D
20180206_001949_small.jpg
20180206_001949_small.jpg (168.49 KiB) Viewed 2634 times
(Read Data line & Write Gate signal)

If you want try it:
http://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_driv ... rmware.zip

tzok
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:52 pm

Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by tzok » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:34 pm

I'll try, but no sooner than by the end of this week.

Jeff
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Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by Jeff » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:10 am

tzok wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:34 pm
I'll try, but no sooner than by the end of this week.
No problem ! I will probably release some more firmwares version before the week-end. :D

tzok
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:52 pm

Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by tzok » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:46 am

I've tested the most recent firmware (v3.1.10.1a) and really see no change. Read/write times has not changed. Track count on above posted 80_09.ST file is still wrong.

P.S.
My "real floppy drive" is an Epson SMD-380.

https://youtu.be/H-gkq-VzfTE

Jeff
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Re: [Gotek] Slow read/write on ST and other issues.

Post by Jeff » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:51 am

tzok wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:46 am
I've tested the most recent firmware (v3.1.10.1a) and really see no change. Read/write times has not changed. Track count on above posted 80_09.ST file is still wrong.

P.S.
My "real floppy drive" is an Epson SMD-380.

https://youtu.be/H-gkq-VzfTE
Yes normal, you still compare a FCIII formatted disk with an TOS formated disk (== The USB HxC).
(see http://torlus.com/floppy/forum/viewtopi ... 277#p17372 )

There is for sure a big change with the most important stuff : the write sector latency ! (This is not the format process !)

Format your floppy disk with TOS then write this disk with FCIII with the "Fast format dest" option unchecked.
Try the same thing with the Gotek HxC and compare the read/write time.
You should have something very similar.

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