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How fast will SD card access be on hardware?



I now learned a lot about the X16 and am almost finished with Brixx. So I'm thinking about my next project, but I have a concern here:

How fast will SD card access be on "real" hardware?

I'm now using the emulator and loading assets is pretty much instant. It's for example fast enough to load music in 8kB chunks into high-ram while playing. No need to load them up front. Loading into VRAM is the same. I wonder if on real hardware you could for example watch graphics to be loaded?

As I understand the VERA hardware is handling the SD card access, right? What is the bandwidth we can expect for VRAM and high RAM (if different)?

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  • The current implementation in the repository can read about 140 KB/sec if you go through the LOAD or macptr KERNAL calls. The fast path doesn't currently support high RAM or VRAM, but I plan to fix this.
  • The theoretical maximum if the hardware is about 300 KB/sec by reading full sectors to the target addresses instead of going through a buffer. I might look into supporting it.
  • The byte-by-byte slow path will max out at about 13 KB/sec.
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