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Alive 11
CTCM and Rev 6 060
                            CT60 Turbo-charged!
                     CTCM and revision 6 considered

              or CiH and gwEm write in a Chaos Manor style!

Bless  Didier and his restless mind.  He's always trying something new.  The
CTCM  seemed  like a good idea even before Rodolphe got his hands on  a  new
supplier for the revision 6 100mhz capable 68060. The original attraction of
the  CTCM was that it allowed for detuning,  especially if you felt you were
running  right  on  the  limit.  Also it is good to have  the  option  as  a
safeguard  in hot weather.  You will recall from previous articles how I got
round  the problem with extra cooling.  The CTCM would add an extra layer of
insurance.  Shortly after, Rodolphe came up with the new batch of revision 6
cpu's, so the possibilities then became very exciting.

For those people not following the CT60 story too closely, the CTCM replaces
the  fixed frequency oscillator clock,  allowing you to adjust the speed  of
the  '060 cpu on the fly in tiny increments.  I doubt if you can do with too
many other systems, Atari and Non-Atari computers alike. Traditional peecees
were limited to the either/or crudity of the misnamed 'turbo' button,  but I
doubt if there is any call for a 8mhz MS-DOS 8086 mode anymore!

The CTCM is controlled from the CT60 config cpx, with a slider bar adjusting
the  processor megahertz.  You can have a huge range of options from 33.3mhz
as  an  extreme 'safe mode' operation,  all the way to 110mhz for  the  most
robust  revision 6.  In practice,  those people still living with revision 1
processors,  are  rather unlikely to reach the top end figure.  Those people
who invested in the upgraded rev 6 cpu have more scope to experiment.

The  benefits  are virtually self explanatory.  Every Falcon and  CT60  have
their  own  individual tolerance limits and quirks.  The CTCM allows you  to
find your own safe limit for processor speed,  specific to your set-up.  The
revision  6  benefit needs even less explanation,  effectively  providing  a
hefty  leg-up  from  a not unacceptable 66.7mhz anything  up  to  the  magic
100mhz. So I didn't find it too hard to say yes to Rodolphe's offer.

Presently these arrived, the rev 6 with a heatsink and low profile 40mm fan.
There was a minor glitch when the heatsink and fan didn't arrive in the same
package as the cpu, but Rodolphe soon sent these, with some heatsink glue to
attach it all together.

The fan bolts directly into the heatsink,  and can be swapped out if needed.
The  rev  6 did not look pristinely new.  I guess these were extracted  from
some  obsolete formerly high-end boxes,  but thoroughly tested to make  sure
they were okay by Rodolphe of course :-) The CTCM was more of a  revelation,
being a tiny half-inch circuit board,  almost overwhelmed by the polystyrene
block in which it was embedded.

                      Yes this is it! The CTCM close up.

It  wasn't  quite  a  case of 'plug and play',  as there were  a  couple  of
additional wires to be soldered on the underside of the CT60, and of course,
the  desocketing  of the existing rev 1 cpu.  Happily,  this coincided  with
Gareth 'gwEm' Morris getting a CT63,  and needing a cpu to go with it. So we
arranged  for  a  visit  to gwEm ghq in deepest  London  to  sort  out  both
requirements, him to grab my old cpu and me for fitting the new one, for one
fine and sunny Sunday morning.

Apart from when I drove through what looked like a CSI style crime scene  in
a narrow alley-like street in central London,  the journey was trouble-free,
and  I got to gwEm's studio flat in Shoreditch.  Only pausing for croissants
(thank  you  Manou!) and also to wonder at what looked like a  "Dance  dance
revolution"  inflatable piano keyboard rolled out on the floor,  we got down
to work.

The  changeover  was  straightforward beyond belief.  This was  the  easiest
upgrade  that  I  have ever had.  Firstly gwEm extracted the  old  cpu,  and
replaced  it  with  the rev 6.  We managed to lever it out without  the  cpu
removal  tool,  and  had to re-align the heatsink fan as I had stuck on  the
heatsink  with the wires slightly away from the connecter.  Apart from  that
there were no problems.  The CT60 with its newly acquired revision 6 cpu was
then booted up.  The boot-up info duly told me that there was now a rev 6 in
there,  still  clocked  at 66.7mhz,  but of course there was still some more
work to be done.

Then  the  heartstopping  moment comes,  as gwEm carries out  the  requisite
under-board  soldering  to allow the CT60 to recognise the  CTCM.  Not  long
after  that,  the  newly  altered  board  is back in  my  machine.  We  were
exceedingly lucky, as the fitting instructions I obtained in a hurry, didn't
include  a photo of how the CTCM should be mounted on the  CT60.  Apparently
doing this wrongly has nasty consequences for the CTCM! However, we did have
gwEm's CT63 with its CTCM already installed, as a useful reference tool.

Once it is all back in place, we switch on again, and we're off! Well, apart
from  the  small matter of flashing the most up to date CT60 TOS  file,  and
replacing  the  CT60 config CPX with the latest version.  A  further  reboot
later revealed a new start-up sequence,  with a choice of o/s (TOS, Magic or
Linux),  then  the normal boot-up sequence took over.  The next logical step
was to explore a radically altered CT60 config cpx. A slider bar for the cpu
was found under the memory options menu, and with some excitement we started
to  play  with it.  I opted for a 'safe' 90mhz,  after saving this  setting,
rebooted again, and immediately, I got 89.9mhz for the processor speed. Also
the ram access speed had increased dramatically to some 93-94 mb/sec in line
with  the processor boost.  We also got the data transfer speed of the  hard
drive reported to us which is around 4.4mb/sec.

I  left this sitting quietly,  after the obligatory playing around with  the
small  catalogue  of  CT60 demos for a while,  and it just  minded  its  own
business,  without  a hint of falling over.  this hardly constituted a major
test, but was an encouraging sign. gwEm was fitting his CT63 whilst this was
going on,  and he was a bit less lucky there, as it booted, but proved to be
massively unstable afterwards.  This was fixed a couple of days later, after
an  exchange  of  emails with Rodolphe Czuba cured a  clash  with  the  pre-
existing  Centurbo  1  card  in there.  Now they are  both  running  happily
together, father and baby are doing well!

Whilst my machine was opened,  we also sorted out another longstanding issue
with  the 3.5mm headphone audio/out jack.  Mr Pink will recall this one well
from  the last Outline party!  This had never easily given its optimum sound
quality  since  day one,  so I decided to get it replaced.  gwEm had sourced
replacements,  but it seems that there was a badly done solder which was the
cause  of  the problem all along.  We replaced it anyway,  and that has been
fine since then.

I  tweaked  the speed a bit further at home to 96mhz,  I'm waiting for  that
special occasion to go all the way to 100mhz!  UPDATE! - It does not seem to
like 100mhz,  as it crashes as soon as it boots up. It was also not too easy
to  get  it back from there.  After ten scary minutes,  I found out that the
CT60 conf CPX works as well in '030 mode,  and I was able to adjust the CTCM
slider  bar  back  to a safer limit from there,  save the new  setting  then
switch  back  to  CT60 mode.  There were sighs of relief all round  when  it
started working again! It should be possible to get closer than 96mhz, Maybe
97  or 98mhz is possible,  but I'm waiting for the day when I'm brave enough
to try!

There is some debate on the CT60 bbs about this topic. It seems that not all
machines effortlessly get to 100mhz.   Some have problems with different ram
cards,  there  is some debate but no consensus over whether there could be a
problem with cooling on some systems. Others suggest the CT60 ram controller
as a potential culprit,  or some other feature of the CT60 design, or even a
combination  of  all of the above.  There is even a school of  thought  that
argues  a replacement power supply can help,  by replacing a worn one with a
new one to improve stability.

On reflection,  96mhz works for on mine for a substained period,  but with a
slightly  higher risk of some more fragile software crashing than  would  be
the  case at 90mhz?  I've got to double check this,  but the GemAce replayer
seems to be a good 'control' for this sort of test.

With  what is effectively a new machine,  by the time the firmware has  been
updated,  there are some new bugs and quirks to get used to.  For example, I
need  to remember to set up the boot screen if changing from a VGA to  a  TV
screen.  When it first boots up, there is also a mysterious keyboard failure
message right at the start (which didn't affect anything subsequently.) Also
when  transferring  back to my LCD monitor using  Centscreen,  the  extended
screen  mode needed redoing,  as this displayed slightly 'differently'  from
before.  The  top part of the screen was creeping in at the bottom!  After a
little fiddling on the margins of its vertical hz tolerances,  I was able to
get the display back to how it was before.

The  operating  temperature  for the new cpu ranges from 37  to  41  degrees
celcius, depending on ambient room conditions, and using the same casing and
cooling  arrangements from before.  Continual running tests seem to indicate
no  problems  with  stability.  An extended test at 90mhz and Magic  6  with
various  apps  tried,  at  a warm ambient room temp  showed  continual  safe
operation  at  41 degrees c.  This is the point at which my Magic 6  desktop
used to fall over on my old cpu.

Also there is a boost to the MIPs figures, showing 180.15 mips at 90mhz, The
Zbench  performance  increase for the cpu is in line with  the  speed  boost
provided,  that  is  a  40 to 50% over what came before.  There are  greatly
improved figures for the graphics and VDI, over 50% in some cases, but using
a  dissimilar  display  from before.  In this case,  an RGB screen  set  for
truecolour mode. Particularly impressive is what happens on the realtime SDL
raytracing, as this is now displaying completely smoothly in realtime.

What  use is it apart from having the wow factor of a faster machine?  There
is some benefit in the multimedia area.  I managed to get better playback on
movies,  with  320 x 240 mpeg and Quicktime just about there.  Again a large
part of this is due to a favourable RGB and truecolour mode.

With that, the improvement is better than 50% from before. It looks like bus
speed  and the Falcon videl is even more of a factor than realised.  When  I
switched  back  to an Svga screen,  much of this improvement was  lost.  One
Quicktime  movie running at 112% in 256 colours showed no  improvement  even
when  going  to 90mhz!  Even on Truecolour mode,  video screen size makes  a
difference,  with  the same movie playing back anywhere between 65% and  87%
for  340 x 480 and 640 x 480 mode respectively.  It is increasingly apparent
that a graphics booster is moving rapidly up the things to do list!

It's a minor detail,  but there is some small improvement on streaming audio
with a 128 kb/sec mp3 file,  down to around 60% cpu use with no dsp and with
Aniplayer  set to good quality mode.  The equivalent mp3 replay with the dsp
running, was typically around 5% of cpu time.

I  tried out Didier Mequignon's port of Mplayer.  That is the subject of its
own  review in this issue.  In brief,  even a boosted CT60 isn't really fast
enough for this unoptimised straight Linux portover.

The  snazzy image gallery browser zView,  in it's 6th beta came along at the
right  time.  With  an  RGB  display,  it shows an impressive  speed-up  for
thumbnail generation,  and loading times in general, over how it was before.
Again,  with Svga and 256 colours,  much of the speedup is lost! It is still
quicker  than before.  As with the media players,  it will be interesting to
see  how this type of application will benefit from a graphics card  in  the

And  we're not forgetting those SDL games which have been ported by  Patrice

Doom  was  playable,  not too bad for speed,  but no faster than when I last
played it on the CT2.  I think bus speed is an issue here as well,  with the
CT2's 25/50mhz bus proving superior in that respect.

Hexen was playable, but not really a speed freak.

I  finally got around to sussing out the Doug Little 'DougQuake' engine.  At
90mhz, it runs at anything from 6 to 20-odd frames per second, depending on
how busy the screen is. A typical average would be in the order of
12-13 fps. DougQuake feels perfectly playable on here.

The  'Yeti  3D' Amiga ported Quake style engine from Gildor,  is  definitely
improved from before.  The 240 x 180 mode is practically 50 frames a second,
whilst the 320 x 240 mode whilst not inadequate before, was quicker as well.

Whilst  considering what Gildor did for the rest of us,  I also played  with
the SDL Wolfenstein.  This was always fine before,  now it was creamy smooth
and lightning fast.  I can personally tell if the 3D is too quick,  as early
symptoms of motion sickness, recalled from early PC Doom deathmatches, start
to appear!

The  demos made to date all worked.  I didn't notice too much difference for
the  most  part,  but Deez's 96ktro 'Dazed' seemed to have faster  and  more
fluid  generation and dispersal on the bubble stream screen.  I also  played
with a few non-CT60 demos.  There were various outcomes,  usually good.  But
the  T.O.Y.S 'Wait' demo tends to break with the extra speed!  The parts  of
'Revert' that chose to run were finally at their proper speed!

There  was one application of potential interest.  This is the  multi-arcade
emulator  Xmame.  Probably the most ambitious thing that Patrice Mandin  has
ported so far.  Evil stepped in to do some beta-testing,  and described this
as  unplayable  even on a CT60!  He suggests that XMame was no use  on  sub-
500mhz  machines,  which would limit it to Aranym and higher end X86 running
JIT  routines.  At  the  same time,  I seem to remember something like  Mame
running  higher end arcade games quite well on Wiztom's Pentium  II  Peecee,
back in 1998?  Is this a bloatware syndrome,  even getting into freeware and
open  source?  Or  more prosaically,  a question of native intel code simply
working better?

The news was better on the other emulations which work on the CT60. Both the
Gnuboy  and  Atari 800 emulators clearly benefited,  with the  GNGB  running
decently. And I had the heartening experience of getting the awesome 'Numen'
demo from Taquart to run through without any problems. So that makes this 8-
bit demo the most asskicking thing about the CT60 at the moment! Now there's
a challenge to beat!

Conclusion  - Most trouble-free upgrade I've had.  Full benefits still await
further add-ons, such as the EtherNat, Supervidel, and CTPCI.

                           CTCM - rev1 68060
                               gwEm's Bit!

A CTCM module is by default fitted to all CT63 boards,  including  mine.  To
reduce  costs I opted to order my CT63 without a CPU,  and sourced my  68060
myself. CiH offered my a good deal on his old rev 1 060, I'm not sure if out
of charity or as a motivation for me todo something with it :) Anyway,cheers
mate,  maxYMiser is now CT60 friendly and I did some music for a  CT60 demo,
so hopefully this is some recompense for the nice price.

The  rev1  68060 was mainly reliable at the default 66MHz but  after  a  few
hours it would become unstable,  and I generally got the impression, as  did
CiH,  that  this  particular 060 would be happier at a slightly lower  clock
rate. This part of the review focuses on my experience with CTCM and a rev 1

The  current  version of CT60 TOS does supports rev 1 060  very  badly  with
CTCM,  but  CT60 TOS maintainer Didier kindly sent me a preview of the  next
version which is significantly better,  and this review is carried out using
this up coming version.

The  supplied  CTCM module offers two clock ranges for rev 1 CPUs  -  66  to
75MHz and 33 to 66MHz. Thoughtfully the CT60 configuration CPX detects a rev
1 060 and restricts the upper CTCM range to a safe 75MHz.

Sadly  the  programmable clock generator in the CTCM does not allow  a  more
useful 50 to 75MHz range, which would be ideal for a rev 1 processor.

Working  in  the  upper  range I managed  to  achieve  a  relatively  stable
overclock  to  68MHz,  however this was simply a fun exploration and I  knew
that  something  like  a  60MHz  clock would  be  more  appropriate  to  the

Cutting  a trace on the CTCM simply and easily switched to the  lower  clock
frequency range. However, my machine operates with a speeded F030  bus, and
refused  to boot.  A discussion with Didier revealed that for the lower CTCM
frequency   range  and  a  speeded  Falcon  bus  there  are   some   special

At boot up the machine boots with the default CTCM frequency (either  33  or
66MHz  depending on the range).  The CT60 TOS boot then reprograms the  CTCM
for  the requested frequency in the CT60 configurator.  This is done  before
the CT60 super speeder graphics appear. The CT60 will not work if 68060 freq
< 2*F030 freq.  So for the lower range, and a speeded Falcon bus the default
CTCM frequency must be changed to ever get to the CT60 super speeder screen.

Luckily, the CT60 configurator provides this option by 'hidden' double click
option on 'save' button. This is simple to setup, and is no hassle at all.

Using a default CTCM frequency of 55MHz, and a usual CTCM frequency of 66MHz
the machine booted as expected even with the speeded bus.

Bizarrely,  reducing my 060 frequency to much below 64MHz with the F030  bus
speeded resulted in error  ridden  IDE transfers.  I suppose I  am the first
user to try this, and I obtained special permission from Rodolphe to replace
the CTCM with a fixed oscillator.  There was no improvement,  so this is not
a problem with the CTCM, and so I am now running my machine at 64MHz.

The CTCM seems not quite so useful or essential for rev 1 '060  as it is for
rev6,  but it  remains a  very worthwhile addition to the CT60.  Unlike  the
upper  limits  of  the  rev 6 '060  overclock  range, a  few  fixed  crystal
oscillator  modules  are available  suitable  for  rev 1  overclocking.  The
frequency  ranges  of the  CTCM are also not completely ideal for rev 1 060.
Together these things reduce the percentage slightly.

A  special mention has to go to Didier for his fantastic  support  regarding
the CTCM software side.

Overall - '060 Rev 1 rating = 15% less than Rev 6!
A joint CiH/gwEm production, for Alive! Mag,Nov '05
Alive 11