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Smartport Virtual Hard Drive
An external USB solution for the Apple II

1 Introduction
2 Overview
3 History and News
4 Offers
5 Compatibility
6 Benchmarks
7 Evolutions
8 Floppy Drives
9 Thanks !
0 Licenses
A Donations

I did these benchmarks to satisfy my curiousity, but also to improve the device and let you know the exact performances you could expect. Don't be fooled, the Apple II's smartport will never achieve MBytes/s, nor it will break the 100KBytes/s.
To get reproductible measures, the elapsed time between a manual reset and a given display event was done.
The boot of mousedesk on the Apple //c, consists of copying all Mousedesk's files from the boot device to the ramdisk, then start itself from the ramdisk. On the Apple IIgs, Mousedesk starts directly without copying itself into the ramdisk. The first display of the desktop marks the end of the benchmark. The SmartPortVHD isn't pushed in its limit here, but this is an usual user case.
The boot of GS/OS used the same GS/OS installation each time, from an existing image on internet. The Unidisk 3.5 driver was added to test it but is not required. The first display of the desktop marks the end of the benchmark.
The media verification was done with GS/OS on an Apple IIgs, and with Apple System Utilities 3.1 on the Apple //c.

Apple //c 1MHz

Mousedesk bootinternal floppy drive43s
Mousedesk bootSmartPortVHD26s
Media verificationinternal floppy drive14,7KBytes/s
Media verificationUnidisk 3.516,7KBytes/s
Media verificationSmartPortVHD20,7KBytes/s
Media verificationramdisk454,0KBytes/s
Practical bandwithsmartport connectorless than 26KBytes/s
Practical bandwithinternal busless than 250KBytes/s

Apple IIgs 2.8MHz

GS/OS bootMicroDriveTurbo23s
GS/OS bootSmartPortVHD63s
Mousedesk bootSmartPortVHD13s
Media verificationUnidisk 3.5 4:1 interleave19,0KBytes/s
Media verificationSmartPortVHD21,6KBytes/s
Media verificationApple 3.525,8KBytes/s
Media verificationMicroDriveTurbo227,0KBytes/s

The floppy connector is clearly far slower than internal bus, of course, and is the bottleneck for the SmartPortVHD. We can't compare a 8 bits at 1MHz bus with a 0.25MHz serial line. Nevertheless, it still allows good performances without the assle of opening your Apple II.
By avoiding all mechanical latencies it demonstrates improved performance of around 65% at booting Mousedesk over floppy drive, wich is representative of an usual user case on the Apple //c. The media verification shows a 40% increase in speed, wich is the minimum gain we could get as the head's movements of the floppy drive are reduced to the minimum. Using usb key or card reader with SD or CF card showed no performances differences.

The Apple II WebRing!
This site brought to you by Cedric Peltier at www.spvhd.org
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