Scor­pio News


April–June 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 2.

Page 31 of 51

LanguageO/SClock freq. (MHz)ResultTime (secs.)
Nevada FortranCP/M-8042420.50470
Utah FortranMSDOS82420.50320
ProFortranDOS Plus82775.3430
BASIC86 (5.28)MSDOS82716.9669
BASIC86 (5.21)DOS Plus82179.8573
BASIC86 (5.21)CP/M-86*2179.85130++
*Gemini quoted value ‘about 6MHz’.
++Results obtained in earlier Benchmark tests (see Issue 1)

The results are of considerable interest since they show that the quoted speed of the Gemini 8 bit CPU and 8/16 bit co-processor combination is much greater than the actual value [Ed. – NO! See my comments below.] The Amstrad, working at 8 MHz is actually 1.8 times faster than the Gemini combination which appears to have a true overall speed of 4.44 MHz, marginally slower than the 4.77 MHz of the IBM PC. I was a little concerned about this so tried the program on a Samurai 16 bit machine (which runs MSDOS and CP/M-86) using the MSDOS and CP/M 86 versions of BASIC. The system clock is 4.608 MHz and the CPU is an 8086. The numerical values obtained were the same as before but timings were 115 secs for the MSDOS version and 122 secs for the CP/M-86 version, thus confirming the slowness of the Gemini combination.

[Ed. – sorry, but there is one factor here that you appear to be omitting to take into account, although you did mention it earlier. The GM888 and IBM-PC both use the 8088 processor which only has an 8-bit external data bus, as opposed to your Amstrad which has an 8086 with 16-bit data bus. It is therefore not correct to assume that the IBM PC speed would be 4.77/8 times that of the Amstrad, it is considerably slower than this. Nor is it correct to calculate the effective Gemini clock speed by comparing its benchmark result to that of the Amstrad. Neither of these calculations are comparing like with like.

When the GM888 board was initially introduced Gemini ran benchmarks on it and on the 4.77 MHz IBM-PC. The GM888/​MultiBoard combination ran the benchmarks approximately 25% faster than the IBM – hence the “effective” speed of the Gemini is about 6MHz, as quoted.

The areas where your figures are obviously interesting are (a) in being able to calculate the performance improvement to be had from using the 16-bit data bus versions of the Intel family as opposed to the 8 bit ones, and (b) in seeing the ACTUAL performance differences of the Amstrad vs. the Gemini.]

Microsoft appear to have improved the accuracy of their BASIC in it’s MSDOS version and out of interest, I looked at the performance of their 16 bit FOR­TRAN and PASCAL which run under MSDOS. Using appropriate versions of the benchmark program, Fortran-77 ran in 162 secs. on the Amstrad and produced an acceptable value of 2477.24 while the Pascal completed in 130 seconds and produced an appalling 3904.77. I’m glad I don’t have to use it! I had hoped to try out the MSDOS version of ProFortran and the CP/M-86 version of ProPascal but I didn’t have access to copies. I suspect that they would run fast and produce reasonably accurate results.

I included both versions of Ellis Computing’s FOR­TRAN because they are cheap and quite accurate. Their execution speed is a little slow but for many applications, this is not a great disadvantage.

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