simplest coolest hardware add on to enhance msx games

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Door st1mpy

Paladin (838)

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07-04-2009, 11:46

What is the simplest and coolest hardware add on we could have to to enhance msx games? What I mean is say a simple (cheap) hardware inside a cartridge for example, that would enable MSX1 to have smooth scroll.
Or the add on don't have to be the cartridge, it could be to the joystick port, or reading information from the video out (timing info?) etc
Or may be enabling somehow some features that is not officially supported...

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Van wolf_

Ambassador_ (9903)

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07-04-2009, 12:23

Problems:

- add hardware such as a new videochip, and people will say that it's not 'MSX' anymore
- heavier hardware (e.g. hardware that offers more sprites, multilayers, hi-res graphics.. or simply a g9k) increases the CPU-load for the MSX. More sprites are fun, but you got to manage them all. More musical options, such as an OPL4, are nice, but you got more channels to control, more RAM usage and more medium storage.

I'd say that a cartridge could come with its own Z80 and some RAM in which you could store a tune and a replayer, thus unloading your main CPU. Preferably also a clockchip so that the 50/60hz timing issues are gone. I'm sure tho that others will label that as 'lame'. Tongue Fact remains that you can't just add modern mediahardware to an old system forever. At a certain point the Z80 (and later on the R800) is too slow, the addressing space is too small, and the standard/typical RAM is too few to make good use of all the new options.

Van nikodr

Paladin (747)

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07-04-2009, 12:51

I think scc from konami is the best example of such hardware.It came with the games,it enchanced the music.And nowdays there is the megaflash scc cartridge that you can flash with game roms and use an scc that is there to have the original sound in konami games.
Highly recommended i can say!

Van LeandroCorreia

Paladin (955)

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07-04-2009, 14:55

A fast action game with Elite like graphics for MSX would be cool. The cartridge would need a chip that would calculate polygons, render them to a buffer and them send it all to the VDP. Sort of the SNES FX for the MSX.

At least theoretically, could it be possible?

BTW, games with a chip for video playback, synthetized audio or MOD music mixing would be great too. Smile

Van st1mpy

Paladin (838)

afbeelding van st1mpy

07-04-2009, 15:10

Being in a cartridge, it still would be limited by MSX architecture and the graphics chip/vdp in the cartridge probably can not really 'send' stuff to the buffer (as that would be to the VRAM of the VDP in MSX and the band width is limited by the transfer) enough to update the screen with good frame rate. Or can it be done?
A video play back would be cool, and using super impose feature of the vdp to take those images in. (So like those Laser Disc games, you could have a mp4 player that can be controlled by MSX).

Van LeandroCorreia

Paladin (955)

afbeelding van LeandroCorreia

07-04-2009, 15:59

Nikodr, where can I buy the Megaflash SCC? Big smile

Van nikodr

Paladin (747)

afbeelding van nikodr

07-04-2009, 16:16

http://personales.mundivia.es/mpazos/flashrom/index2.html

it is from manuel pazos's site.I have bought it from there.Excellent piece of cartridge.You can load any rom in it with the opf utility.Konami titles are the best one for it though.
:D

Van MicroTech

Champion (385)

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07-04-2009, 17:12

A fast action game with Elite like graphics for MSX would be cool. The cartridge would need a chip that would calculate polygons, render them to a buffer and them send it all to the VDP. Sort of the SNES FX for the MSX.
At least theoretically, could it be possible?

IMHO it is.
I'm just trying to add a simple "arithmetic accelerator" component in 1chipMSX to perform 16bit * 16bit = 32bit multiplication by hw.
I use it in a 3d transformation routine, just only replacing the software multiplication routine with the corresponding sequence of out/in to/from the math coprocessor.
I get a x4 speed improvement Big smile
If I switch 1chipMSX to 10,5MHz I get a x10 improvement... "faster" than a TurboR.
So I believe your dream is possible, but you should use a 1chipMSX or an FPGA based cartridge... ESE4 Question

Van ARTRAG

Enlighted (6564)

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07-04-2009, 17:48

What a nice idea to exploit the 1chip!!!
You could implement a MAC-unit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiply-accumulate)
It is very useful for matrix operations.

Even a simple Fused multiply-add (FMA) could help 3D graphic: to this regard,
consider that C supports the FMA operation through the fma standard math library function
(I know, not our ancient C, but maybe you could adapt some newer library...)

Van st1mpy

Paladin (838)

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07-04-2009, 18:06

there is an FPGA based cartridge??

Van ARTRAG

Enlighted (6564)

afbeelding van ARTRAG

07-04-2009, 18:35

No, but actually it seems good idea...
Each sw that uses it could define its own HW !
(dunno why but this reasoning seems familiar...)
Wink

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