vendredi 31 mai 2013

Introduction [eng]

Welcome to my new Blog, let's go to the Warp3D area, ship's apprentices!
Unfortunatly we have slow 3D on Amiga Classic in spite of having powerful GPUs on PCI RTG board.

After dismantling and examining Warp3D drivers code, it appears that they have slow and not well optimised driver routines: in actual fact, compilers C/C++ on our Amigas produce a little efficient code helped with the special 68k architecture that needs an hand made programming in order to obtain the best.

The principal fonction of GPUs is to free of many calculations our weak 68040/68060 CPUs: it's theoratically possible to have fast 3D games with low frequency CPUs.

This time we need to improve Classic Amiga Warp 3D drivers that are not very fast. The topic is very wide that's why a Blog is a great idea in order to share questions, informations and advances of that new process.

Moreover, with the possibility of putting commentaries, everyone will be able to give ideas, to test/contribute in improving libraries and, of course, to add informations that I don't know actually.

That initiative came from my person. Everything isn't offical. Offered patches are, of course, free for all.

These new versions are built and then modified with a "reverse engineering", a technic that consists in rewriting sources from existing programs which are the only solution in order to upgrade librairies and 3D drivers. Remember, one more time, that GPUs of 3dfx and BlizzardPPC/CyberVisionPPC cards work with higher frequency than our 68040/68060 CPUs and are dedicated to 3D calculations. And they also have their own memories.

The goals are very simple: to optimize Warp3D from 20% to 30% (from the source, it seems to be doable), and to add the romability. All these modifications will be made for the 68060 by taking into account specs and advantages in being 100% compatible with 68040 and 68030. Nowaday, there's no interest in optimizing other CPUs than the 68060. For 68040 owners, these new versions will be faster than the originals. Now, only 68k versions are rebuilt, PPC one will maybe come later. Is the PPC the Amiga future? Good question and thank you for asking!!

A dantesque work has already been made in rebuilding sources that need a lot of time because of the big size of libraries. Permedia2 ones are around 580 Kb, it represents more than 276 000 lines of assembler code! Time that is less important than rewriting from zero a new 3D standard for our beloved computers: optimization of existing code is the best solution because there is already many games using Warp3D.

Happy Reading!
(translated by johnz)

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