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/// Usenet Review:  RCS 35 MHz 68040 accelerator for Amiga 2000
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    By Adisak Pochanayon
    (pochanay@cae.wisc.edu)


Well,

        It finally happened.  After being on a waiting list for four months,
I finally got my long awaited and much anticipated 35 MHz 68040 Fusion Forty
accelerator from RCS Management of Quebec, Canada.  It was beginning to take
so long to get my board that at first I was worried that RCS had gone out of
business and stole my money.

        Well, I was mistaken and I owe RCS a large apology.  I was the happy
owner of a 28 MHz Fusion Forty 68040 board for several years and I am now
the extremely happy owner of the 35 MHz beast.

        This is a screaming board.  Using AIBB 6.1 for speed tests and my old
28 Mhz 68040 Fusion Forty as a comparison base I get the following results.

TEST           28 MHz FF      35 MHz FF      A 4000

EmuTest        1.00           1.28  *        0.78  -
WritePixel     1.00  -        1.09           2.41  *
Sieve          1.00           1.48  *        0.57  -
Dhrystone      1.00           1.26  *        0.89  -
Sort           1.00           1.27  *        0.84  -
Ellipse        1.00  -        1.14           1.71  *
Matrix         1.00           1.39  *        0.69  -
IMath          1.00           1.25  *        0.88  -
MemTest        1.00           2.00  *        0.41  -
TGTest         1.00  -        1.04           1.41  *
LineTest       1.00  -        1.06           1.63  *
Savage         1.00           1.26  *        0.90  -
FMath          1.00           1.27  *        0.94  -
FMatrix        1.00           1.45  *        0.58  -
Beachball      1.00  -        1.25           1.26  *
InstTest       1.00           1.31  *        0.62  -
Flops          1.00           1.32  *        0.96  -
TranTest       1.00           1.38  *        0.71  -
FTrace         1.00           1.26  *        0.90  -
CplxTest       1.00           1.26  *        0.89  -


* = winner of category for speed.
- = loser  of category for speed.

        As you can see, in a comparison of the three 68040 contenders, the
35 Mhz 68040 Fusion Forty from RCS did not lose in a single category.  As a
matter of fact, the only categories where it didn't win were graphics
categories where the A4000's 32-bit path to CHIP memory and 3.0 ROM calls
(graphics library is rewritten for 3.0) aided it.  However, in general, the
A4000 lost out most of the time to both RCS accelerators.

        Notice that the Fusion Forty 35 is in general twice as fast as an
Amiga 4000.  This is mostly due to its special 64-bit memory subsystem.
This is a very fast interleaved memory system which allows high speed burst
access to memory.  From what I understand in speaking to the people at RCS,
it lets the 70 ns SIMMs I have in my board work as fast as 40 ns SIMMs in
other boards (like GVP's).  The memory performance of the the Fusion Forty
35 is almost five times faster than the A4000 and twice as fast as the
older Fusion Forty.

        However, RCS is coming out with a memory accelerator for the Amiga
4000 that will be using this same memory subsystem.  It is supposed to
double the performance of the 4000 and from what I have seen on this
machine, I don't doubt that claim one bit.

        What do I think of my new board?  I'm in heaven!!!  I waited four
months but this baby was definitely worth the wait!  I have 16-megs of
killer fast speed memory on a screaming 35-MHz accelerator.  After several
months of waiting and $100 of phone calls, I am sitting pretty.  RCS was a
little slow in getting the board out, but they had some design problems early
on that they have overcome.  When I did call them, they explained the
problems they were having.  Also a recent move slowed them down in getting
some equipment out.  However, they are now getting ready to go full speed
ahead with their 68040's at 35 MHz and the Amiga 4000 memory accelerator
(code named Excaliber or something like that).

        RCS *IS* finally shipping this long awaited product.  They are
currently backordered and only shipping to those who prepay but if you are
waiting for a board, your wait is almost over.  Mine is!!!

        But do I have any gripes about the board?  Well, the manual is a
little skimpy... actually, it's on disk except for the installation
instructions.  However, installation couldn't be simpler.  You just plug in
the board, run a simple program and add a single line to your
startup-sequence.  My board contains the plug & go ROM's, so weird rebooting
is necessary like with the older 28 MHz boards (if you didn't upgrade the
ROMs that is).  I guess a manual is almost redundant.  When I first booted up
though, only 8 megs of my 16 appeared.  A simple call to RCS cleared things
up and now all 16 megs appear on boot-up.  RCS does have great support for
their products!

        This appears to be a very fast and solid product.  I would recommend
it heartily as the fastest accelerator for the Amiga I have ever used!

        RCS has a new address and phone number:

                RCS Management
                6755 Taschereau Blvd.
                Suite 211
                Brossard, Quebec
                J4Z 1A7
                Canada

                (514) 926-3755

I am in no way affiliated with RCS other than being a satisfied customer.
E-mail me if you have questions.