What I think an MSX 3 Should be ?

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By hit9918

Prophet (2867)

hit9918's picture

09-03-2015, 05:19

Ok, I made the MSX3 Mini for emu Big smile

The deal is a board with fast z80 - the rare thing, and the rest is minimum spec, asking to plug things.
Maybe some hardwaremakers get curious.
By the way how can I get some panasonic 5.4Mhz or some other z80 turbo into the emu?

The slot 0 is flashROM plugged by user.
There is no subslot hardware. The cartridge/expander could have subslot.

Second board version (the other XML file), going even further and removing the VDP and then plugging NEOS MA 20.
The board has no RTC because NEOS has RTC.
And then an MSX1 ROM used as boot ROM. cbios hangs when the VDP is fried (or absent).

Make a copy of the two neos extensions and rename like "0neos" to make it go earliy in openmsx slot plugging business.

Then add the extensions
expander
ide (or whatevern is your modern disk)
ram1mb
gfx9000
Let the MSX3 plugging start Smile

Instead neos, you can add the naked 9958 expansion below. Then MSX2 ROMs are missing. Interesting, DOS2 of ide extension still works with MSX1 ROM.

machines/MSX3_Mini.xml

<?xml version="1.0" ?>



  
    Realist
    <code>MSX3 Mini</code>
    2015
    
    MSX2
  

  

  

    
      true
      
        16000
      
      
      jp_ansi
      true
      true
      <code locks>false</code>
      false
    

    
      AY8910 
      
        21000
      
      
      
    

    
      hb-f5.cmos
      
      
    

    
      V9938
      128
      
      
    


    

      
        
          
            hb-f5_basic-bios2.rom
            0081ea0d25bc5cd8d70b60ad8cfdc7307812c0fd
          
          
        
      

      
        
          
            hb-f5_msx2sub.rom
            b8e30d604d319d511cbfbc61e5d8c38fbb9c5a33
          
          
        
      

      
      

    

    

    
            
          
        
    
    

  


machines/MSX3_Mini_novdp.xml

<?xml version="1.0" ?>



  
    Realist
    <code>MSX3 Mini NoVDP</code>
    2015
    
    MSX
  

  

  

    
      true
      
        16000
      
      
      int
      true
      true
      <code locks>false</code>
      false
    

    
      AY8910 
      
        21000
      
      
      
    

    
      
        
          hb-75p_basic-bios1.rom
          8963fc041975f31dc2ab1019cfdd4967999de53e
        
        
      
    
    
    
    
    
        
             
       
    
    

  


extensions/9958_port98.xml

<?xml version="1.0" ?>


  
    9958 port 98
    Realist
    <code>9958 port 98</code>
    2015
  
  
    
      V9958
      128
      
      
    
  

By hit9918

Prophet (2867)

hit9918's picture

09-03-2015, 05:21

ok and you need to click quote to get at the ascii of the files.

By hit9918

Prophet (2867)

hit9918's picture

09-03-2015, 05:41

The VDPless version is thought along with a 9958 cartridge being available.
They should be dip switchable between port 98 and port 88 to also serve MSX1 MSX2 expansion.
And connect the wait pin, maybe it runs faster on TurboR than the internal one.
Whether the RTC missing on the board is right I am not sure.
Also the manufactor should list bioses that work.

By flyguille

Prophet (3029)

flyguille's picture

09-03-2015, 13:15

sd_snatcher wrote:

I agree with AxelStone. New software are targeted mostly for the barebones MSX1, and rarely for the MSX2. Absolutely no new software comes out for MSX2+, and one or another programmer supports the turbo mode of the Turbo-R (but none other of its features SCR>=10, PCM etc). Most of the programmers just deactivate the turbo instead of building proper timing routines.

For the extensions, the scenario is even worse (except maybe for the HDD/Flash interfaces):
- The OPL4 is the best supported extension, but still don't have widespread support
- The V9990 cartridges are the market for ages and is pretty much a paper weight
- Joymega had a very slow start, but seems to have gotten more popular recently
- The MSX-Audio BIOS was pretty much ignored by OPL4 cartridge makers.
- Ethernet interfaces are out for ages. Only Nestor has supported them. No 3rd party software ever used the nice UNAPI extensions he created.

More eccentric hardware performs even worse than the extensions:
- The Yamaha SFG-01 and SFG-05 has very few software support
- Franky only had support from the maker. No demos or games were ever made for it
- PlaySoniq sits in the same category as Franky. AFAIK, nobody ever used the built-in SID
- Musical Memory Mapper has no software for it

There's no shortage of new hardware for the MSX. But hardware without software is useless.

it is because z80 don't have enough power to move higher capabilities modules with in a game. The 9958 is varely handled about an 80% in the best games, the problem, is that msx release several higher platforms but not upgraded the z80, how do you expect, or how any will expect that the usual 3.57mhz z80 moves everything for a game that move chips at its 100%.

That was a fundamental mistake, from the msx platform, as every other platform was increasing the clocks, MSX was stil using 3.57mhz in its msx2+, so?....

coders can't do magic, they have enough trouble for making a good game that uses the screen 5 or (in my case), screen 8. And someone asked for sc>=10?, go away!. A good complete, opl player eats the 30% of the z80 power!.

By Dirty Harry

Resident (45)

Dirty Harry's picture

09-03-2015, 16:58

It's about time we had a REAL MSX3 made with real hardware....there's certainly a market for one if priced right ! No FPGAs just real hardware like in the Good Old Days !

By rogermm

Master (130)

rogermm's picture

09-03-2015, 19:39

Besides dream, for now what we've got about MSX3 is the MSXARM architecture. It demands lots of work(software & hardware) for these projects and I think that the MSX community don't have enough resources with free time to achieve these dreamed big projects.

https://twitter.com/msxarm
https://bitbucket.org/msxarm: the opensource boards: breakout boards
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEIdZhM_kcA : Running MSX-LUA on @MSXARM simulator SDK (openMSX + ARM Cortex M4 simulator)

By hit9918

Prophet (2867)

hit9918's picture

09-03-2015, 20:00

z80 in FPGA is ok. Why, because I haven't heard of problems.
But the nature of VDP is that you discover new corners, and when you don't have the real thing then these corners are missing.
9958 and 9990 are available chips, aren't they?
The 9990 has no software, but is unproblematic, you just plug it and then you got it.
That is not so with 9958, because of bios and port issues. The 9958 actualy needs more care in the MSX3 dreaming story.
What I mean is for example "why are there no 9958 boards with dipswitch for port 98 vs 88".

Because the MSX business has been too un-modular. I heard that the OCM almost died by users babel feature flame!
Maybe first the users need to give up their habit to reject a project that is not the feature kitchen sink. I think that is improving the propability that a MSX3 project alias a fast z80 board project gets real.
And that is why I posted that "MSX3 mini for openmsx" as a brainstorming thing.

A 9958 board with dip switchable port could be plugged to the "MSX3 z80 board" story and it can be in a "MSX2 users upgrade to 2+" story.
At this point maybe I should mention that 9958 has dramaticaly more scroll power than 9938.
And this can translate to dramaticaly more software sprite power. Streetfighter has it, but then it has no scroll, that's the 9938 thing.
The things seen in streetfighter could scroll thru a world on 9958!

The MSX route must be carefuly planned to stand the next 30 years Big smile
Combined with looking at the software situation, at the moment I feel the 9958 is the one who needs more care.

And where the route goes then is already known, the 9990. The 9990 is available to emu gaming, isn't it? That's actualy a massive factor. It is in the emu because a decade ago was planned as sucessor VDP.
Every time when is said "sega", that was an error and should have said "9990".
Lets excersize this.
"oh the sega is so easy programming".
now do the apropriate word replacement.
"oh the 9990 is so easy programming".
There you are Smile
On these chips with the same 16 color sprites and tiles, you could start to wonder whether one could have a game that runs on both 9990 and sega playcatridge.
Maybe 95% of the code can be shared.
Those who want to just code game and not bother with engine rocket science should consider the 9990.

With the great modularity that MSX has, MSX1 users too could plug 9990.
A call to software camps to consider such things.
It is needed more "make things go on the entire MSX fleet" thinking.
To get more synergy against chicken-and-egg problems, VDP boards that dont exist, software that doesnt know VDP boards.

For example you could take the 9958 extension I posted, put it to port 88, and then look what mario is saying when it is plugged into an MSX1.
It complains about lack of MSX2. I mention mario not because it is bad, but because it is a killer app.

The bios address 6. It is not enough because after plugging VDP, it asks butchering the bios ROM, that sucks.
How about something like
vdpport = peek(6) bios variable.
done that, check whether an upgrade vdp is on port &h88 by making n = vpeek(0), vpoke 0,n+1, and then see whether vpeek(0) has changed.
If a VDP is there then vdpport = &h88.

By rogermm

Master (130)

rogermm's picture

09-03-2015, 20:51

I't unfair writting" don't exist V9990 software"
- https://www.teambomba.net/gfx9klib.html : Library, hundreds of source code lines, hours of hard work
- Symbos + v9990: even more hard work!

By hit9918

Prophet (2867)

hit9918's picture

09-03-2015, 21:07

Wow the 9990 lib, it has all the SetVramWrite etc etc one needs!

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3068)

sd_snatcher's picture

10-03-2015, 02:16

hit9918 wrote:

Let's get into realistic dreams Smile

The big irony is that the MSX is the most modular thing ever, but when talking the dream spec list, it goes like
every time you get a new box, you buy all the components again. That is inefficient.

The core deal of the whole story is a fast clocked z80. R800 is unavailable.
While all the rest exists, it is long known that MSX3 = 9958 + 9990.

A 20Mhz z80 has much higher 9958 performance than TurboR!
If there was a modular market, there would be 9958 cartridges.
And then TurboR users could plug that and too have more performance, SYNERGY!

Tip: The GR8BIT fits your description perfectly. Take a look at their website.

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