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New Accelerator for Apple II-series soon available!

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FASTchip //e from a2heaven.com preview sample copy preview now at :

http://finapple.hho.fi/finapple/index.php/2017/06/15/im-going-fast-with-fastchip-e/

 

It's low energy consuming Accelerator card for Apple //-series with acceleration from 0 to 16.6Mhz. You can stop the CPU, or by using rotary knob, adjust the CPU to run almost any frequincy from 0 to 16.6Mhz! This is very very handy.

 

Current development version works in Apple //e but soon in Platinum //e and ][+ as well.

 

Not yet available but should be in summer-fall of 2017 for 150 dollars shipped everywhere from http://a2heaven.com

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Nice. That guy is an Apple II genius with all the hardware he cranks out.

 

I wish I understood the Apple II system design well enough to comprehend how this works. Even if the replacement CPU is capable of running 16x faster than the original, the rest of the system hardware probably isn't. So how can that work?

 

From the description it sounds like it implements some special handling for timing dependent things like audio, so maybe the accelerator is smart enough to slow itself down when it detects that it's accessing some external peripheral (disks?) that needs the stock timing.

 

The description also says it has 512KB of fast onboard memory. That makes sense, as there's not much use in a 16x faster CPU if the RAM and ROM can't work 16x faster to keep up with it. But I'm curious how that works in practice - where is the new memory mapped into the address space? If it's at a different address than the regular RAM, won't that break a lot of software that uses fixed memory address references?

Edited by bigmessowires

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HRM. I don't see any particular problems with memory mapping for that card. I'll bet the accelerator knows next to nothing about on board memory past what it needs to boot from the ROM. I'd set it up so that all memory calls would be to on board memory at 1-16MHz SRAM  response times.

 

The setup I described would be analogous to memory on my Radius Rocket's 33MHz FSB. The Rocket copies System ROM to onboard memory and never touches system memory of any kind ever again AFAIK.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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From the description it sounds like it implements some special handling for timing dependent things like audio, so maybe the accelerator is smart enough to slow itself down when it detects that it's accessing some external peripheral (disks?) that needs the stock timing.

 

The description also says it has 512KB of fast onboard memory. That makes sense, as there's not much use in a 16x faster CPU if the RAM and ROM can't work 16x faster to keep up with it. But I'm curious how that works in practice - where is the new memory mapped into the address space? If it's at a different address than the regular RAM, won't that break a lot of software that uses fixed memory address references?

 

My understanding is that in systems with memory-mapped IO, you watch the address bus for accesses that will hit an IO address, and the processor downclocks on the fly, returning to faster speeds when hitting any other addresses.  The added RAM would be mapped in place of motherboard RAM.

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Now if someone could put together a sanely priced IIGS accelerator ....

There will be FASTchip //GS "soon" as well. That i do not know when it'll be out. I'd wait till 2018.

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I'm not sure how it works entirely.  I wonder if it can go in Slot 3 because I need my Ramworks card, it has my VGA adapter on it. :(

 

The website says he tried it with a Ramworks card with VGA adapter, so I'm going to assume I can use it in slot 3 with my Ramworks in the 80 column slot.  I hope.

Edited by olePigeon

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It seems like there's been a recent run on the site, or something, as there's a lot of things out of stock. Was considering getting the 1MB RAM card/Clock card for my Apple IIc a few weeks ago and, yep, that's out too now.

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You have to check stock daily. The last batch went up a little over a week ago. I've got a 1Meg version headed my way, last reported in Queens. When this last batch (I think his third) went up there were four 512Ks and four 1Megs. The 1Megs seem to go first, but they were all sold within 3 days. There seems to be a batch every two or three weeks or so, so keep checking.

 

I've been waiting for one of the 2GS 8Meg ram cards for a couple of months now, hope he gets stock of those again at some point.

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Oh, man, it looks like the IIc RAM/clock card is back in stock. Do I order it now, or wait until I get around to doing the ROM upgrade I'd need to use it first?

I have to second those that are hoping a IIgs version of this accelerator materializes sooner or later, especially if he manages to price it in the same $150-ish ballpark. Unlike the IIe the IIgs really needs an accelerator pretty badly to show off what it's capable of, and $150 would seriously undercut the normal going rate for one.

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Nope, 2E only. And not much Basic speedup according to a current Facebook thread. ROM is still accessed at 1MHz speed. You can load ROM into RAM, but it's the same RAM Prodos uses, so it's one or the other.

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I want one! Where can I pre-order? I have an apple //gs and having a 16 Mhz CPU will give my system 6.0.4 a sweet and beautiful experience!!! Will future project have Ethernet card?

Edited by xboxown

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I want one! Where can I pre-order? I have an apple //gs and having a 16 Mhz CPU will give my system 6.0.4 a sweet and beautiful experience!!! Will future project have Ethernet card?

 

There is uthernet II card for the Apple II at -> http://a2retrosystems.comthey are producing more of them in the future so keep checking that site.

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