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The default speed of the Mega65

  • Yes, that's a really cool thing!


    But on the other hand, wouldn't it make sense to say the MEGA65 as a completion of the C65 has 3.5 MHz of speed, as it was intended, but for those beginners who just like to have the "BASIC machine of their dreams", where they can achieve nice and fast-running results with a beginner's language, is some kind of bonus feature?


    It's all a matter of perspective :)

    For those "BASIC machine of their dreams" there exists -> Color Maximite. Is cheaper and a damned fast BASIC machine.

  • You don't "have" to switch to assembler anymore if you want to write a halfway "playable" game (you could, but not have to). With pure BASIC 65 many things are possible and realizable, where one did not get far with the C64 BASIC.

    Paul still needs to fix this sprite collision detection in VHDL. Without it, games useing sprites would be hard to handle. The command is fully implemented by Bitshifter, but some internal doesn‘t work for quite some time.. :(

    https://github.com/MEGA65/mega65-user-guide/issues/210

  • Freddy

    I thought the same.

    The Color Maximite II is the modern interpretation of all 8bit machines of the 80s.

    Without all the 8 Bit limitations.

    Modern devices like Mouse, Keyboard, Nunchuk Controller, SD Card, 40-Pin Arduino connector, etc.

    Insanely fast compared to the old machines and even to the Mega65.

    (250.000 Basic Commands per Second).

    And incredible cheap (<150€ or <200€ for deluxe version)

    (https://sklep.pslabs.pl/Colour-Maximite-2-GEN2-p172)

    (https://geoffg.net/maximite.html)


    I don‘t own one yet.

    But for simple Basic programming I‘d prefer the Color Maximite II.

  • The Commodore 64 runs at 1 MHz.

    The Commodore 65 runs at... wait. The C65 runs at nothing, because it doesn't exist as a product. There are several unfinished prototypes and those had a clockspeed of 3.5 MHz. But those also had an unfinished BASIC and a 50 pin expansion port (not compatible to the C64 cartridges). That's not the Mega65.


    The Mega65 incorporates the 1 MHz of the C64, the 3.5 MHz of the unfinished C65 and it's own 40 MHz and VIC-IV.


    So why should it default to 3.5 MHz? It isn't a C65, it is a "finished C65", it is a Mega65.


    Let's face it: The Mega65 even with 40 MHz is heavily constrained compared to todays standards. So it is still a challenge to code, paint and compose on it. And that's a good thing. That's what we want.


    But there is simply no reason to default it to 3.5 MHz since there isn't even (real) software out there which requires the lower clockspeed. As most people said before: This computer is NOT a C65, it is the Mega65. Which of course is inspired by the C65, but which is also a finished version minus all the wrong choices Commodore made for its prototypes (like the wrong expansion port). The faster clock speed is necessary because the suggested 3.5 MHz of the C65 prototypes would have underpowered the machine considerably.

  • Short version: I prefer 40MHz because it’s a MEGA65 and not a C65.


    I really don’t understand why it should use the C65 mode as default. Just to run properly some tech demos, which were written to show the capabilities of the C65? In my opinion the MEGA65 is a more advanced computer with the genes of a C65. Therefore it should use the 40MHz as default speed.


    When the MEGA65 should behave like a C65 for the good old times then it can switch the frequency down to 3.5MHz.

    What is the point of the Mega65, if not the good old times?

    Why do people code for the C64? Because it is fun to explore what the machines were capable of back in the day.

    Why would people presumably code for the C65/Mega65? Because it is fun to explore what the machine would have been capable of, if Commodore had had proper funding and been able to release a decent version of it back then.


    What is the point of 40MHz? I honestly don't know, other than to explore what happens if I supercharge it? If I don't want the restrictions of old computers, why would I use this one in the first place? Wouldn't it be far more convenient to use a 16bit computer, which doesn't give one headaches about addressing the memory, and for which 40MHz would feel more natural?

    It just feels very arbitrary to me to crank up the processor frequency to the max, while leaving all the other restrictions of 8 bit computers in place.

  • Still, throwing 40 MHz at it instead of 3.5 is nothing Commodore could have done back then in order to "complete it". They could have finished the BASIC, or use a better expansion port, or add some more graphic modes to the VIC, but in no way they would have been able to use a 40 MHz 8-bit CPU at that time; that's why this "completing what Commodore started" narrative seems a bit strange in the 40 MHz regard.

  • I think you have to distinguish here the question, if the 40 MHz in the MEGA65 were/are "useful" and which speed is preset when starting the MEGA65.


    The first part can be discussed, only it has been decided long ago: The MEGA65 can do 40 MHz.


    The second part does not matter much, because the setting of the CPU speed is exactly one BASIC instruction. Whether you use it to switch to 40 MHz or to 3.5 MHz or 1 MHz is not important. Either way, you won't "magic away" the 40 MHz. They are and remain in the MEGA65. :)

  • Yes, but we still can discuss which one should be considered the "default" speed ;)


    And no matter if you can simply switch it with a BASIC command, it still has a certain meaning and significance which one is considered default, otherwise we wouldn't even have such a discussion/poll here ;)

  • I think he (or somebody else) already mentioned that in the Discord chat - a selectable speed option in the "BIOS".


    But that doesn't solve the "problem". Of course anyone can choose his preferred speed, but that doesn't change the fact that one speed will be considered "DEFAULT" and the other one will be either considered "TURBO" or "LEGACY C65 COMPATIBILITY", depending on how the decision will be made. That might sound meaningless to some, but it will have its impact nonetheless.


    EDIT: Just think of the fact that McDonald's at some point changed their menu choices from "standard or maxi" to "standard or small". THINK ABOUT IT!

  • But that doesn't solve the "problem". Of course anyone can choose his preferred speed, but that doesn't change the fact that one speed will be considered "DEFAULT" and the other one will be either considered "TURBO" or "LEGACY C65 COMPATIBILITY", depending on how the decision will be made. That might sound meaningless to some, but it will have its impact nonetheless.

    Then it is a purely linguistic matter whether you call a speed "standard" or "turbo". You could just as well call it "worm", "snail" and "squirrel" speeds, what should the designation change about the fact that so far all (99%) BASIC programs for the MEGA65 use the 40 MHz? This has been the "standard" for the MEGA65 for months and in all likelihood will not change, even if it were now called "Turbo". This discussion comes at least a few years too late. ;)

  • It is not purely linguistic (or a matter of denomination)! It's hard to explain, and I tried it a few times already, but I'm 100% sure that this would NOT be a just a matter of how to call something. Words play a role in our thinking, and the word "default" has a very strong meaning too. I'm not educated in psychology or something like that, but I would BET for sure that a decision like that has an impact.


    EDIT: Re-read my McDonald's example if you missed it (it was an EDIT, just like this). There's other examples as well. Think of the already mentioned "turbo" key on 486s, which was actually a "slowdown" key. Think of the Amiga 600, which was about to be named "Amiga 300" due to its form factor, but then got named 600 because it might sound as if it can do less than a A500.

  • so far all (99%) BASIC programs for the MEGA65 use the 40 MHz

    This argument has been brought up a lot by you. But how many BASIC programs exist, so far? 5? Do you know how the MEGA65 will be used in the future, exactly? Yes, it might be tempting to use 40 MHz for BASIC, but we were also talking about restrictions already, and restrictions are often considered a good thing, and people are very sportive about restrictions - so restricting to the "base line" of 3.5 MHz would be a reason for some eager coders to show their skills. If the "base line" is already 40 MHz, I'd bet that less people would consider coding something for 3.5 MHz mode than if it was the other way round.

  • so far all (99%) BASIC programs for the MEGA65 use the 40 MHz

    This argument has been brought up a lot by you. But how many BASIC programs exist, so far? 5?

    He! At least 6 of them ... :D


    There are quite some programs in the file hoster if you want to take a look at. There was even a BASIC competion which results in a diskimage with BASIC games. I'm not sure if it is available for free download or only for MEGA65 owners.


    Of course I don't know what people will do with their MEGA65 in the future. It could even happen that all MEGA65 owner will program with BASIC 2 in the 1 MHz C64 mode. :D


    But as much as I had heared and read, the very most used speed so long with BASIC 65 was 40 Mhz and I see no reason why this should change in the future.


    The good thing with the MEGA65 is, you can use the speed you want to use. As I wrote I use a lots of time playing with the "old C65" (ROM or xc65 emulator) even many guys can not understand that. ;)