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Ndless games might run from 3 to 50 times slower on TI-Nspire CX CR4 hardware

Started by DJ Omnimaga, March 27, 2016, 02:33:12 pm

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DJ Omnimaga

So here are some bad news about the new TI-Nspire CX CR4 hardware, regarding Ndless games:

Critor compared the speed of some TI-Nspire games using the original hardware, and the new CR4 screen hardware with Ndless 4.2 compatibility mode. Here are some results, in summary:

-Jetpack Impossible: Runs 3 times slower (still playable, though)
-Another World: 50 times slower (virtually unplayable)




Basically, it is heavily recommended for game programmers to not rely on compatibility mode in order to make their games run fast, but simply update them so that they won't suffer from severe slowdowns as a result of the screen compatibility layer, such as only updating the necessary parts of the screen during gameplay rather than everything. Basically, do like on the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, which required partial screen redraw in order to run fast enough.

Source: https://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=198935#p198935

critor

Thanks for sharing the informations. :)

Vogtinator has rebuilt Another World with the latest CR4 compatible nSDL library.
It's apparently enough to solve the problem.

Download : https://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=18160&p=198939#p198939

DJ Omnimaga


critor


DJ Omnimaga


Lionel Debroux

From these tests, it looks like most games which draw lots of content to the screen will need updates.
Member of the TI-Chess Team.
Co-maintainer of GCC4TI (GCC4TI online documentation), TIEmu and TILP.
Co-admin of TI-Planet.

critor

I've updated nDoom :
https://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=18163

Doom's internal buffer is 320x200.
So instead of a simple memcpy for the old 320x240 screen, I've a got some code which converts and copies the data at the same time for the new CR4 240x320 screen.

In the end, updated nDoom is just slightly slower on CR4, 20% without any overclock :


But you should notice something strange in the first 30secs of the video, before I start playing...
The CR4, on the right, seems to be much faster than the CR3 - twice as fast ! :o
It's, by far, the first calculator to display the game menu, and to start rendering the 3D map.
(I'm pressing keys at the same time on both calculators)
Performances which can't be explained just by the CPU frequency increase from 132 to 156MHz.

Ivoah

Quote from: critor on March 28, 2016, 08:12:58 pm
But you should notice something strange in the first 30secs of the video, before I start playing...
The CR4, on the right, seems to be much faster than the CR3 - twice as fast ! :o
It's, by far, the first calculator to display the game menu, and to start rendering the 3D map.
(I'm pressing keys at the same time on both calculators)
Performances which can't be explained just by the CPU frequency increase from 132 to 156MHz.

Could TI have changed to a faster NAND chip? That would seem to explain why loading times are less.

Adriweb

Current hypothesis is that the higher AHB freq. positively affects the NAND speed as it is its clock source ?
Co-founder & co-administrator of TI-Planet and Inspired-Lua

DJ Omnimaga

I'm glad that the loading times are actually faster on the new hardware. Also I notice that the speed drop in compatibility mode for graphics isn't that bad for nDoom. It almost seems to run close to the original game, which is good. I hope that all other games can be updated to not suffer from severe lag.

critor

That's not the compatibility mode.
That's the new nDoom version supporting the CR4 hardware.

DJ Omnimaga

Oh ok, I  thought it still went through the compatibility mode. Thanks for converting it :)

critor

By the way, there are some lines about nDoom in a recent article on Intel iQ :
https://iq.intel.com/how-doom-1-inspired-the-diy-gaming-movement/

What do you think about it ?

DJ Omnimaga

You know, for a company that used to make computer processors and that is mostly oriented into the technology business, Intel sure has a lot to learn about website hosting, because the first thing that struck my mind when clicking your link is how slow their website was loading.

Anyway it's nice that calculator programming still gets recognition outside the TI community. :) I wish however that more websites did that, because there are so many more calculator programs and games that are interesting besides the big franchise ports such as Mario, Doom, etc, which big blogs tend to focus exclusively on.

gnmmarechal

Wow, TI really are d***s. I'm glad I got a Rev. D and managed to join the A-I master race, though I also own a Rev. T. Actually, recently, when I got my Rev.T, I saw a blue-back TI-Nspire (all the new models, like my rev. T, have a white back) on the shop... I might take it, though I doubt it is on A-I. Hum... I know a few people who couldn't care less about Ndless with a Rev.A and a Rev.D.... Would they perhaps trade their calcs with my rev.T? :D

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