Atari Falcon CT60

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The most powerful of my Ataris: more than 20 times the speed of a stock Falcon and 7 to 8 times the speed of my accelerated TT!

What's in the box? External setup Internal setup IDE connector ATI Radeon Software



What's in the box?
  • 68030 mode
    • CPU Motorola 68030, 32 bits, 16MHz with cache
    • ST Ram: 4MB
  • 68060 mode
    • CT60 card, CPU MC 68060 at 95MHz
    • Ram in this mode: additionnal 256MB SDRAM
    • CTPCI card bringing 4xPCI slots
    • Graphic card PCI Radeon 7000
The CPX for CT60 settings

The power of the CT60

I compared four computers with Kronos:
  • In gre the TT 48MHz with a NOVA card, 16bits and 68MB RAM
  • In blue, the stock Falcon 16MHz, 4MB, 256 colors, it is the base 100
  • In green, the Quadra 68040/33MHz running MagicMac in 16 bits
  • In red, the CT60/100MHz with 256MB Ram and the Radeon 7000 in 16bits
We can note that:
  • CT60 = 30 times the Falcon for CPU and VDI
  • CT60 = 270 to 1090 times the Falcon for FPU and OpenGL
  • CT60 = 7 to 15 times the TT/48 for CPU and VDI
  • CT60 = 18 to 29 times the TT/48 for FPU and OpenGL
Note: my Falcon doesn't have a FPU 68882.
Concerning memory, the CT60 looks a bit slow, but this test is limited to ST RAM (witch is the same in 030 or 060 mode) and the Video memory. The details show that:
  • The Quadra gets good marks with regular and powerful results.
  • The CT60 speeds up the memory accesses in ST RAM by 1,5 to 2,4 times
  • The use of the Radeon 7000 gives a high writing speed to the video ram, 10 times the ST Ram!
  • Moving blocs from screen to screen is 170 times faster than with the SR Ram!
Note: many programs use TT Ram (the 256MB of my SDRAM) with a fast 100MB per second access and won't be limited by the ST Ram that offers a 4MB per second access.


External Setup

  1. Push button ON/OFF
  2. Switch for 030/060 modes
  3. Power supply ATX
  4. Falcon Ex-PSU for the hard drive (*)
  5. IDE Maxtor 4GB hard drive (Master)
  6. ZIP IDE 100MB (Slave)
  7. flat ribbons to the CTPCI
  8. 4xPCI with graphic card Radeon 7000
  9. VGA is (for the moment) on the videl


(*) two HDD died on the ATX psu, so, I re-used the Falcon power supply to isolate this last hard drive not knowing where the problem was coming from!


Internal Setup

For installing I mostly used the pages of
Here are the cards plugged into the Falcon. The original power supply is to be removed and an ATX PSU replaces it. So you can see:
  1. The CT60 with its processor 68060 under the fan.
  2. The daughter board CTPCI with connectors to the external PCI card
  3. The two flat connectors to the PCI
  4. On signle SDRAM memory, I use a 256MB one
  5. The ATX power supply plugs here.
  6. Cables to ON/OFF and 030/060 mode switches
  7. The power connector of the Floppy drive is redirected to the CT60
  8. The IDE connector


The IDE connector

I installed a flat IDE ribbon to use two 3,5" drives. For this, I had to build an adapter to the 2,5" connector of the motherboard.
I used this cheap and easy to find 2,5" to 3,5" adapter
The white molex connector is useless and doesn't fit into the Flacon, so I cut it carefuly without cuting an IDE track.
Then it fits easely into the Falcon!
Finaly, I can plug two IDE devices: one hard drive as the Master and one ZIP as the Slave.
Note the "feet" I made with an old mouse pad to separate the drives and let some air cool them.


ATI Radeon 7000

Here is the external setup for the PCI cards. You can see:
  1. A Molex connector with +5V and +12V
  2. Another wire to bring 3,3V
  3. Flat connectors from the CTPCI
  4. Note how the cards are directed with regard to the PCI connectors
  5. VGA card ATI Radeon 7000
  6. VGA output to the monitor
At last, I installed the graphic card.

In this mode, with NVDI, the speed increases again as the Falcon don't have to access the slow ST RAM for video operations but uses instead the fast RAM integrated to the graphic card.

My programs writing directly to the video RAM still work on this config!

My settings are 800x600 with 16 bits, that's what you see on the image next.


Software



Software can encounter adaptation problems with the CT60 for various reasons: (*) To solve this problem, the CPX of the CT60 offers a mode in wich caches are disabled for 5s each time a program is run or a library is loaded through PEXEC. But this lowers the global performances!



Since December, 15th, 2007