Re: So no news is good news?

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ TI-99 Emulator Forum ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Tursi on December 03, 1999 at 15:12:35:

In Reply to: So no news is good news? posted by Tursi on December 01, 1999 at 19:20:14:

I think the only thing you guys haven't told me, and forgive me if you have, is what your machines have for CPU and RAM?

Stiletto - it has nothing to do with your hard drive partitions. Hm.. but it MIGHT have to do with the only 20mb free! Windows does not like to be low on space... It's disk swapping, which also sounds to me like low RAM. I haven't tried it on less RAM than 96mb yet, and if the Win95 machine at work hadn't blown up, I would... For both of you, that would explain the slow startup and massive disk access.

I don't actually know how much RAM Ami99 uses.. let me look...

Well... on my work PC, the debug build under Windows 2000, P3-500, uses 99% of the CPU and 4mb of RAM.

Ami99 uses a fair number of system DLLs - loading all of these at startup is what delays startup. That, and it starts several threads (which previous versions did not.) This takes a couple of seconds on my P2 at home.

If there is *any* disk access while it runs, it's memory caching. There are two possible reasons that I can think of...

One is low system RAM. I don't know how much is 'low'. Try running it with nothing else loaded (not in your system tray, nowhere), and tell me if it's any better? (Or tell me what all is running on your machine, including in the system tray.) Ami99 uses system memory for the program, TI RAM/ROM (includes modules), lookup tables for the CPU and VDP, CRU and Video states, and GROM.

The other is video RAM. I don't know the exact mechanism that DirectX uses when the video card doesn't have enough, but I know it uses system memory and it may decide that it's safe to cache that to disk. Ami99 reserves VIDEO memory for the actual display and debug display (reserving 640x480x whatever your desktop depth is set at), a second smaller video buffer for the character tiles, a third buffer for pens (to achieve rapid video mode independance), and a final small buffer for sprites.

Sound is currently a mystery, but it looks like I'm going to have to stop relying on windows owning the primary mixer and take control of it myself, so it's low priority right now. It does a lot of strange/stupid things.

The disk thrashing has me most intrigued. Jim, does it thrash your hard drive only during startup, or all the time? (If it's only during startup, these tests will prolly mean little to you). Also, Jim, how much disk space do you have free?

Let's see if we can at least see what's wrong, if not fix it at all. If you two would please try a few tests, and let me know the results:

First: I need to know your CPU, RAM, Video card type and Video RAM, what screen depth you *normally* run at (256 colors, 16-bit, 24-bit, etc), and what size, though if you don't resize the window it's less important.

-Run Ami99 in it's normal window, in a big window, and in a small window (so that you can barely recognize it, but still see it.) Does this affect speed/disk thrashing?

-Same tests, but put Ami99 into debug mode (press HOME... 'END' to take it out of debug mode).

-Pause Ami99 (F1). Does the thrashing stop? Give it a few seconds.

-Minimize Ami99. Does the thrashing stop? (It may not restore properly.. I know about that.)

-Change your desktop to 256-colors, 16-bit, and 24-bit (if you can). Does it make any difference? (You *must* restart Ami99 after changing depth.)

That's all I can really think of. I should note that some of the problems are still relating to timed events taking too long... my machine at work runs it flawlessly (except for known bugs), while my P2 at home struggles with it at times, especially while recording AVIs. ;)

Well.. armed with more information, maybe I can figure some things out. :)

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ TI-99 Emulator Forum ] [ FAQ ]