Unseen has finally released a new version of the sd2iec firmware. This new firmware version of 0.10.2 does not bring that many updates, but one that I have been waiting for; sd2iec has now support for the fastloader that has been in EasyProg since ages.
I wanted to make a little comparison of the now supported fastloader’s performance using uIEC. Which is faster, EasyProg fastloader or JiffyDOS? Will it take even less time to flash the cartridge if the cartridge image is compressed using EasySplit?
Hardware & software configuration:
- C64E (new, short board) with JiffyDOS KERNAL, switchable between standard KERNAL and JiffyDOS 6.01
- uIEC/SD v3.1 with sd2iec firmware 0.10.2
- Standard EasyFlash cartridge
- EasyProg 1.5.2
- EasySplit 1.0.0
The image I flashed several times using different configurations was Prince of Persia C64 version 1.1. It is a 513 kb cartridge image, closely half of the flash memory size of EasyFlash. When the image is compressed using EasySplit, the file size is 159 kb. In Commodore terms, the images were 2069 and 644 blocks respectively.
A nice feature of EasyProg is that it displays the time it took to flash the cartridge after the flashing is complete and successful. The times are directly from EasyProg. Each test was ran only once.
ELoad is the EasyProg fastloader.
Here are the results of my tests:
Fastloader CRT image Time none .crt 19:28 none compressed 9:53 JiffyDOS .crt 5:30 JiffyDOS compressed 6:01 ELoad .crt 5:17 ELoad compressed 5:57
Compressing this particular image roughly halved the time it took to flash the cartridge if no fastloader was being used. However, the compression rate and speed gain is dependant on the CRT image contents.
If either fastloader was used, it took more time to flash the compressed cartridge image. Depacking of the data takes its time. If sd2iec based mass storage is used to flash the EF cartridge, it makes no sense to compress the cartridge image.
ELoad is slightly faster than JiffyDOS. The difference is insignificant though, and with JiffyDOS it takes only few seconds to load the EasyProg that is needed for the flashing operation.
If both JiffyDOS and EasyProg’s fastloader are activated, the EasyProg fastloader overrides JiffyDOS, and the result is the same with ELoad only.
The flashing time is significantly reduced when using the latest version of EasyProg (1.7.0). Flashing the uncompressed Prince of Persia 1.1 image to cartridge using the same setup as mentioned above, using EasyProg 1.7.0 and ELoad, takes only 4:11 against 5:17 listed above.
Furthermore, flashing the image to EasyFlash 3 over USB connection using EasyTransfer is again faster, taking only 3:08.